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Archive for the ‘God’ Category

119/73

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Stick Those Pills in Your Ears

Man, I feel good today. My throat is a little dry, and I sound like Barry White, but other than that, 10 out of 10.

During my prophylactic visit to the doc-in-the-box yesterday, my blood pressure registered 167/90. I was not happy. For a long time, I’ve had a problem with “white coat” high blood pressure. That means I hate going to the doctor, and while I’m sitting there dying to leave, my blood pressure goes up.

The big problem with white coat high blood pressure is that doctors love finding things wrong with us. They overdiagnose and overprescribe. If you have white coat high blood pressure, every single time you get a high reading from a new doctor, you will get the lecture about how you need to keep monitoring it, and they will sometimes talk to you as if you’re in denial. Like you’re trying to introduce them to your invisible friend, Harvey the rabbit.

I didn’t invent white coat high blood pressure. Doctors came up with it. I don’t see why one doctor would tell me I had it and another doctor would treat me like a mental patient for revealing it to him.

A long time ago, when I was in my twenties, I showed up at a doctor’s office with fifteen pounds of extra weight on me, a total cholesterol reading of 208 (the “high” threshold was 200), and a blood pressure reading of 140/90. The doctor put me on a diet. He told me I had to exercise. He never mentioned white coat high blood pressure. He didn’t mention the fact that my LDL (bad cholesterol) was low and my HDL (good cholesterol) was high. My high “good cholesterol” level was the sole reason my overall level was high.

For several weeks I put up with his BS, and then I forgot all about it. I am not dead. My kidneys have not failed. I have not had any strokes.

My mother and grandfather both had cholesterol readings in the mid-300’s. Both were thin, and neither had heart disease. My mother’s blood pressure was so low doctors marveled at her ability to remain conscious.

This same guy called me after I went in for a stomach virus. He said my bilirubin was high, and that it needed to be looked at. I asked him what could cause it. He said one likely cause was a viral infection.

Yeah, okay. Why not just break into my house and take what you like? It would be a better option for me.

Let’s consider the alternatives.

1. You deliberately bring me in for pointless exams and treatment and take my money, and then you make me come back over and over and take pills I don’t need and which may harm me.

2. You break in and steal stuff worth the same amount of money, but you spare me the exams and treatment.

I would choose 2. In fact, that’s what I did, except he didn’t break in. With a racket like his, you don’t need to rob houses. I’ll say this for burglars: they may take your stuff, but they don’t stick things up your rear end. Generally.

When I was in college (the second time around), I got my typical reading of 130/90 during a visit for some minor problem. This was the first time a doctor mentioned white coat high blood pressure. She said I needed to come back and have it checked a few more times, to get me used to the horror of being in a doctor’s office.

At this time, I was waiting for letters from grad schools, and I was under stress. I was also being evaluated for ADD. The letters came, I got accepted, and I was given my first Ritalin prescription. Ritalin is a stimulant, but it relaxed me. I went to the same doctor, full of prescription speed, and my pressure was something like 125/80. The doctor was happy, and so was I.

I went to a doctor in 2016 to get a strep test (pretty much the only reason I ever go), and I came in at something like 135/90, and the nurse started talking down to me about how we might need to consider the possibility that I’m just imagining the white coat thing.

Of course, I went home and paid no attention at all. I do not want high blood pressure pills. They cause headaches, impotence, memory problems (according to my dad’s doctor), and God knows what else. Their use is also highly correlated with reduction of bank balances. Death doesn’t scare me as much as having to get up and take 15 unnecessary and expensive pills every day.

I first learned to distrust pills when I was treated for ADD. They gave me Ritalin, and I loved it, and then I developed a tolerance. I could take 120 milligrams per day without exploding or going nova or whatever the overdose reaction is. A typical dose is 10 mg. Same thing happened with Wellbutrin. A big dose is three large red pills a day, and on some days, I had to take seven. I took so much, they told me to get off of it gradually in order to avoid withdrawal seizures. Other ADD drugs nearly made me crazy. I learned that even if a pill works very well when you start taking it, you can’t trust it, because two months down the road, it may make you miserable. Ask a manic depressive about that. They’re famous for having to switch medications over and over.

It makes sense if you think about it. What happens to drug abusers, generally? The first time a junkie uses heroin, it’s wonderful. He loves it. The pleasure is like something he has never experienced. The hundredth time, it doesn’t feel so good. He has to take it in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Drugs are like sexy girlfriends who put out at will. Fun in the short term, but if you marry one, you will regret it. If it’s true of recreational drugs, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be true of prescriptions. A drug can’t tell whether it’s prescribed or not.

I will never trust pills again. If you take a pill once a year for an occasional problem, it’s fine. If you take it every day to get rid of chronic symptoms without addressing the cause, sooner or later it will let you down. That’s what I believe, based on experience. I think I could develop a tolerance to anything if I took it long enough.

Supplements are different. At least the ones I take are. They are intended to address the causes of problems, not the symptoms.

Because my pressure was so crazy yesterday (I didn’t know my body could even do 167), I decided to be cautious and look around on the web for advice. I decided to check my blood pressure in the morning.

I learned that 90% of people over a certain age have high blood pressure. That was depressing. Those are not good odds. Even if my blood pressure had been fine earlier in life, I might be screwed now.

Because I’ve been harped at so much, I have a blood pressure machine at home. Today I used it, and unlike the doctor’s people, I used it correctly. Here is what you do when you take your blood pressure. This may do you a world of good if you are currently being treated for a blood pressure problem you don’t really have. Take your blood pressure the correct way and see what you get. If your blood pressure is low, ever, you don’t have high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure have it all the time. It’s a minimum value.

1. Don’t do it when you have a virus, because they raise your pressure.
2. Don’t do it when you’re fasting, because it also jacks up the pressure.
3. Take it while sitting or lying down, with your arm no higher than your heart.
4. Put the cuff on your weak arm or your leg. If you’re right-handed, keep it off your right arm.
5. If you’re sitting, put both feet on the floor, flat.
6. Do not take it until you’ve been still for a full 15 minutes. Doctors never tell you that.
7. Do not do it AT THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE or under any other type of stress. Hello?

Here’s what I got today: 119/73. That was right out of the box. I didn’t take it fifteen times and look for a fluke reading.

It was a shock. I was hoping for anything under 130, over anything under 90. To see a 73 in there…that was a present from God.

Why do I pay attention to these people? They don’t know how to take blood pressure correctly, and then they give you condescending lectures based on faulty data, with the intention of hooking you on drugs and bringing you back for profitable monthly visits. It reminds me of the time I went to the ER with a 2mm kidney stone and got charged $5000 for a completely unnecessary MRI. You know what I did the last time I had a stone? I stayed home and drank beer. Total cost: $13. Out came the stone. It would have cost even less, but I like good beer.

If you have kidney stones, start drinking purified or distilled (not spring or mineral) water, and drink two beers in a row once a week. See what happens. If your tap water has dissolved calcium in it, you are drinking the raw materials for kidney stones, and your body will try to put them together. Stay away from rhubarb and spinach, too.

Not only do I not have high blood pressure compared to other old people; I have somewhat low blood pressure compared to people half my age. What if I were a typical sheep-patient who takes every pill doctors throw at him? God knows where I’d be. I’d be on Ritalin, statins, and a cabinet full of pills that cause impotence and dementia.

I am so grateful to God. I hate going to doctors. I hate relying on the same people who believed in low-fat high-carb diets forty years after they were proven harmful. I hate relying on people who have powerful financial incentives to give me drugs and put me on monitoring programs.

If you think doctors don’t look for ways to make money on people, you are dreaming. They have been known to have seminars where they are taught how to find excuses for treating people and bringing them back. No one goes into medicine out of a hatred of money. The US is full of dishonest doctors who make a living giving known drug addicts painkiller prescriptions. I could name a few for you, now that I think about it. Doctors aren’t particularly pure.

Here’s another reason I don’t believe everything doctors say. To this day, doctors have no clue how to prevent gallstones, and they’re not even trying to find out. They yank your gallbladder out, as if it were some sort of divine mistake. Then you get diarrhea for a year, you don’t absorb vitamins the way you should, and you may still have stones! You don’t actually need a gallbladder to have stones and pain, and the recurrence rate is high. Yeah, that’s what I want. Gallstone pain plus chronic diarrhea.

I had gallbladder pain, and I avoided the doctor. I went online to read about the problem. I read that some patients choose to “watch and wait,” and that they generally had to have surgery anyway. I read that modern medicine was 100% incapable of preventing stones. I decided to watch and wait, and I ate a lot of fatty food. That was about five years ago, and I haven’t been cut. If doctors really want my gallbladder, they are welcome to cut it out after I die. I won’t pay, though.

I don’t have a single prescription. May God keep me free of them until the fateful day when he ends my earthly existence with a meteor. That’s what I always pray for. You can’t beat a meteor. One second you’re here, and then you open your eyes and you’re in heaven, and your family or coworkers are looking for a mop.

Lightning is good, too, but you don’t want to get partially roasted and then survive.

I can’t tell you how happy I am with that blood pressure reading. Greatest thing that’s happened to me all year.

Okay, it’s January. But still.

Healing Comes in Different Flavors

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

But it Usually Comes With Hot Sauce

I do not understand the way diseases work.

Last month I was exposed repeatedly to someone who had a cold. After about a week, I finally felt something. I wrote about it here. I started to feel an ache in my bones and a general crappy cold-like feeling. I was getting sick. I used my Christian tools, speaking defeat to it and so on, and a couple of hours later, I broke out in a sweat, and the cold was gone.

Great.

I was well for a long time after that. It didn’t return.

Today is a Saturday. On Thursday, I realized I was starting to get sick again. Evidently I managed to run into a second disease in a month.

I used my tools again, but this time the problem stayed with me. It never got very bad. My nose didn’t run. I didn’t cough. My only problem was a mild sore throat and serious snoring that kept waking me up.

Today I went to a doc-in-the-box at a local strip mall. When you get a sore throat, you should get a strep test, so that’s what I wanted. While I was sitting in the waiting room, my legs started to sweat, and I felt like I had low blood sugar. In other words, I felt like a fever was breaking again.

By the time the doctor looked at me, I was considerably better. He didn’t even seem convinced I had been sick. He said my throat was a little red, and that the problem could have been caused by something I ate.

My best guess is that he thought I was a hypochondriac. I was definitely sick, and it was definitely an infection. It’s not my fault it started to go away while I was waiting to be examined.

That was a couple of hours ago, and now I feel almost normal.

Some day I want God to sit with me and review videos of my life. I will ask why I got delivered from a disease in two hours, and I will then ask why I got something a couple of weeks later and couldn’t make it go away. Then I will ask why it started to poop out in the doctor’s office.

You would think that if you received miraculous healings, it would be a consistent thing. It hasn’t worked that way for me. Are some diseases attached to bigger spirits than others? Are those spirits harder to get rid of? When I can’t get a quick healing, does it mean I’m hanging onto something that gives the spirit power to stay?

Mysterious.

In any case, I am very, very glad I don’t have a runny nose and a severe sore throat. I’m glad I don’t have chills or a real fever. My temperature was 97 in the exam room. It might be a little high right now, but if it is, it’s not by much.

I feel very good. Better than I usually do. I am full of energy and enthusiasm. How can that be?

Life is crazy.

Yesterday and today I tried to kill myself with spicy food. I always do that when I feel sick. It makes me feel like I’m torturing whatever is bothering me. I had Thai food for lunch. They brought out the little jars of Thai condiments, and I piled some sort of chili paste all over my food. It was lovely. Sometimes I eat so much of chili paste and whatever else they have, the little jars need to be refilled after I leave.

I hate going to doctors. I always tell God, “Please keep me away from the witch doctors,” referring to human beings with secular remedies. I suppose that’s insulting, but if you’ve ever been healed by God you know this to be true: there is nothing like the real thing. Supernatural healing is the best healing there is. No side effects. No charge. No pain. No rehab. No being stripped naked in front of strangers and having objects and people’s digits rammed up your rear end or your genitals. Can’t beat it.

I suspect there are some things I need to get rid of. Maybe some CD’s, for example. I believe objects associated with evil give the devil footholds in our lives. I bought an Aerosmith CD to listen to during exercise. I feel like I ought to get rid of it. That type of rock and roll has always had a bizarre association with Satan. I don’t know why that is, but it’s true. White kids who are into rock love the devil. They’re like Jews who go around wearing Hitler T-shirts.

I hope by tonight I’m so much better I no longer wake myself up with snoring. That’s the worst. You lie there hoping to fall asleep, and then it happens, and two seconds later you wake up with that sound in your ears.

Keep me away from the witch doctors, Lord. I don’t want to go out like that.

Just You Wait

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

I’ll Fix Those Windmills

My Literature Humanities quest continues, and appropriately, I have moved on to Don Quixote.

For those who have a mysterious lack of familiarity with western culture, Don Quixote was a man (if I refer to the protagonist instead of the book, I can avoid typing italic tags) who went nuts and decided he was a knight errant. It’s an absurd premise. No one would invent a patently false identity for himself in middle age and let it lead to his destruction. For example, no famous male athlete who used to appear on Wheaties boxes would decide he was a woman and have himself mutilated by doctors in order to bolster his conviction.

I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that Cervantes (avoiding italics again) is a better writer than I had remembered. Maybe I’m reading a new translation. The first fifteen pages of the book are really dull, but after that, it picks up a bit, and it’s not actually painful. It’s not Catch-22 or King Lear (dang it), but it’s not the never-ending mental toothache we call The Iliad (more italics!).

I did myself a disservice by re-reading Shakespeare (ahhhh) before beaching myself on the dry sand of Cervantes. Shakespeare is simply astounding. He is profound. He is skilled. He is incredibly witty. He is entertaining. I should have read him last. It’s like I slept with Rachel before marrying Leah.

I think Leah was the first person to use the phrase “chopped liver” metaphorically.

I’ll catch it for this, but I’ll say it anyway: Cervantes isn’t funny. He almost draws a chuckle once in a while, and to his credit, I can tell when he’s trying to make me laugh, but it’s just not happening. Am I simply biased because I resent having to read the classics (even when I’m the one who forced me to do it)? Well, I am biased. But I’m right. Rabelais is funny. Voltaire is hilarious. If schoolboy resentment were the whole explanation, I wouldn’t think any of these old coots were funny.

Someone I am too lazy to look up said, “The soul of wit is brevity.” Or, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” I guess I just proved I’m lazy. The second one works better. Anyway, one of the keys to humor is to avoid beating jokes to death. Ideally, a joke should have one syllable, or no syllables at all. I’m not sure Cervantes is capable of writing a sentence that doesn’t run to three lines on a page. He lived in a time when people had very little to do (rich people like Cervantes, I mean), so he didn’t spare the ink. That’s a huge mistake for a humorist.

I really look forward to getting deeper into the book (italics win), because it will mean I’m that much closer to closing it.

To make my mind feel better, I looked at a book I actually enjoy, and I saw that my memories of it did not do it justice. I have a copy of Eugene Butkov’s Mathematical Methods of Physics I bought when I was slowly dying in grad school. At the time, I liked it a lot, because I found it easy to understand. Until I looked at it again yesterday, I didn’t remember how much I had liked it.

Wait…I’m going from literature to physics! That’s not right! You’re not supposed to treat physics books like…books! You’re not supposed to enjoy them! Well, if you think that, you’re high. When you’re in the STEM world, you get pummeled with one bad text after another, and some of them are even worse than Homer. They are torture to read. It leaves you with a desperate appreciation for good texts. I actually wrote a textbook author a fan letter once.

Anyway, Butkov has a great virtue: he writes about math the way physicists teach math.

When a mathematician teaches you about a mathematical tool, he will be very rigorous. He will make sure he is absolutely correct about everything, in order to deter pedants who will pick his book apart if he slips. For this reason, mathematicians take a long time to teach methods. Physicists aren’t like that. A physicist will teach you, say, Stokes’ Theorem in fifteen minutes instead of a week. He’ll tell you what you need to know, and he’ll leave out the BS. It’s not a superior way to teach. It’s just the best way to teach people who are interested in physics, not math. If you study math itself, you want to know everything about it. If you study math for physics, you just want to be able to use it.

Butkov leaves out the endless i-dotting and t-crossing that makes other books tedious and hard to understand. Very nice.

Yesterday I went over a bunch of stuff concerning complex variables, and it was neat. In like ten minutes, I went from the beginning of the chapter through Euler and de Moivre. That’s how a physicist is supposed to do it. Let the math guys wallow in details. They get off on that stuff. And on pornographic Japanese cartoons.

I read something depressing in the foreword. He said he was writing with “less gifted” students in mind. Ouch! At least he didn’t use my name!

For the heck of it, I got out a Schaum outline and did a few problems.

This experience got me thinking about my physics days. I think of myself as someone who washed out of grad school, but that’s not really right. I left. I was not expelled. It’s true, I had some problems, due to being pumped full of mind-bending ADD drugs that would have driven a wooden Indian (PC alert) crazy, but when I quit, I was a few weeks into a new semester.

The department had made an accommodation for me; that’s true. They said I could continue to study if I agreed to pursue a master’s instead of a Ph. D. But it’s not like I got a bunch of F’s. I only got one bad grade.

My best guess is that if I had stayed and done okay for the year, they would have lifted the condition they gave me. That would just be common sense. I will never know, however.

I wonder why I’ve gotten so used to thinking of myself as someone who washed out.

What I achieved was not something to be ashamed of. On a certain date, I didn’t really know algebra. A couple of years after that date, I was in class with grad students, including a guy who taught my second semester of physics lab. A year after that, I believe, I was in one of our country’s top grad school programs. That’s not bad. Somehow I feel embarrassed about it, though. All I think about was leaving.

I know people who were thrilled to get into the University of Miami. I don’t tell them, but I’m embarrassed about my UM degrees. There is nothing wrong with UM, but I started my undergrad studies at Columbia University, so UM was a step down. I started my graduate studies at the University of Texas, which was an excellent department. Then I got my only graduate degree at UM, in law, which is a discipline for people of very ordinary gifts. “Smarter than the average bear,” as my Evidence professor Mickey Graham used to put it when he wanted to needle us.

Sometimes I feel like I couldn’t have made it in physics, and of course, that’s wrong. I got some good grades in graduate school, and what I did as an undergrad was just crazy. I suppose that since I left, I have gaslighted myself.

I remember how crazy the ADD drugs made me. I took my first test in Quantum Mechanics at UT, and I froze up. I could not do the problem. Then I returned to the TA office and did it on the blackboard in a few minutes. I just wrote it out. I didn’t have to puzzle and ponder.

Imagine how frustrating that is. Meanwhile, the department’s big fixation was on weeding people out, not helping them. I didn’t know that when I agreed to study there!

I didn’t like UT’s attitude toward students who had problems. Once I understood it from my own experience, I decided not to fail anyone in the class I taught. There was a girl who was in turmoil of some kind, and she deserved an F. I told her she was getting a C, and that should could relax.

Was that a bad thing to do? No. She was pre-med. A C wasn’t going to get her an undeserved position in medical school and allow her to kill people with her incompetence. It was simply going to help her avoid disgrace and dealing with the deans.

Reading Butkov was very nice because even if he wrote it for the sweathogs of physics, it reminded me that I was bright enough to do the work.

I hope I’ll never stop rebuilding my knowledge of math and physics. I hate looking at my old homework papers and being unable to understand them.

It was a mistake for me to get involved in liberal arts stuff. The chairman of the English department sent me a letter asking me to apply to Columbia, and everyone assumed I would write literature, but that was a blind trail. The fact that you’re good at something doesn’t mean you should do it. I should have stayed away from that nonsense and stuck with the technical stuff. I may be less gifted in that area (or I may not) but I could have done it, and it would have prevented me from trying to join a segment of society that would never have welcomed me. I was already conservative when I left college, and I was on my way to becoming a Christian. People like that do not survive in the arts.

Anyway, I had nothing to say. To write novels and plays, you have to have something to say. There has to be something inside you that wants out. I didn’t have that. So regardless of how well I strung words together, I wasn’t actually capable of writing literature.

Other types of writing were closed to me, too. The first newspaper editor I wrote for said I was brilliant, but gradually the local papers became closed off to me. If you’re not a raging socialist, people will eventually figure it out, and then you will find them inching away from you. They control the newspapers. I could never have had a newspaper humor column or a comic strip, even though my work impressed people to whom it was submitted. A few people get through the red blockade, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to follow their example. The odds against people like me are overwhelming.

I would advise any young Christian to avoid the arts. You will not make it there, unless you’re a sellout. Don’t even try. In other areas, like business, medicine, and the STEM world, you have a chance. STEM people generally hate God, but on the other hand, he doesn’t come up that often when you’re designing a bridge or an engine, so unless you make your religion an issue, you should be able to fly under the radar without becoming a complete whore.

By the way, I’ve learned a few things about the Christian music business, and it looks like it’s fairly whored-up, too. I would be hesitant to try to make it in that arena if I were a young musician. I shouldn’t be surprised. Look how whored-up every single large charismatic ministry is. If it’s a big organization, you can generally bet the devil is running it, no matter whose face appears on the label.

This is what I’m thinking about this fine weekend. May your day be free of academics.

Tired of the Gods of Mainstream Christianity

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Hurry up, Seventeenth Century

I finally finished Montaigne today, with no small relief. From my standpoint as a Christian, I think he knew very little about the real nature of life, and his lengthy streams of speculation were not always pleasant to endure.

Having closed the book, I have one impression that stands out above everything else: historically, European Christians haven’t been real Christians; they have been pagans who went to church. Maybe they managed to receive salvation, but they didn’t think like Christians. They didn’t know the Holy Spirit. They were influenced much more by people like Socrates and Plato than they were by Isaiah and Paul.

From the things Dante and Montaigne wrote, I can see that they had much more respect for dead Greeks and Romans than they had for Biblical figures. They quote the ancient pagans time and again, and Dante even puts their ridiculous heathen deities in positions of power in heaven and hell. They are like Jews who revere Talmudic scholars so much they would never question them. If Seneca or some other dead pantheist said it hundreds of years ago, you can cite it as a Christian would cite scripture. You can consider the blather of the ancients to be infallible. From a Christian perspective, it should be obvious how crazy that is.

Many people hold Christianity responsible for the Dark Ages. I wonder if that’s true. I’m starting to think pantheism is to blame. People like Montaigne had so much respect for the classics, they may have been unwilling to consider new ideas. There is a huge gulf of time between the classics and the era of Montaigne, and somehow, very little important thought was recorded in that period. I wonder how many original medieval minds got shot down for criticizing Aristotle or wondering aloud whether Christians should continue promoting the homosexual predators of The Symposium.

Past authority is a great thing in some ways. It lifts you up out of the mud of prehistoric ignorance. A person who knows the classics is better off than someone who grows up with very little inherited knowledge. On the other hand, it can paralyze you. If you crucify everyone who disagrees with your moldy old books, you can expect to remain stuck in the first century forever.

Christians should never have looked to pantheists for moral instruction. How can anyone ever have thought it was a good idea? Paul went to Greece and Rome to change people’s minds, not to adopt their garbage. People who came after Paul weren’t that smart. They tried to build a Christian church on a pagan foundation.

Montaigne ended his book with a plea to Apollo, not God. Apollo is a Satanic deity. You can’t have Apollo and Jesus; you have to choose. Montaigne was a smart guy, but he could not figure that out. I would no more praise Apollo than I would praise the devil himself. For all we know, Apollo is Satan.

It’s insulting to put a thing like that in a book, when you claim to be a Christian. Jesus was tortured to death for Montaigne. Apollo was not. Jesus allowed himself to be killed so Apollo could be discredited and so his prisoners could be saved from hell. Apollo is the enemy of every Christian. How can you praise someone like that, even if you’re not serious about his existence?

Apollo isn’t a joke, and neither were Zeus, Aphrodite, and the rest of them. People killed in their names. They made sacrifices to them. Antiochus sacrificed a pig to Zeus in the temple in Jerusalem. We don’t take the pantheist “gods” seriously today, but an astonishing amount of evil has been done in their names.

I don’t like reading books that try to supply heathen solutions to our problems. I don’t have any interest in philosophy or self-help. God gives me answers that are pretty clear. I don’t wonder about things that get philosophy professors excited; who would want a person like that as a life coach? I don’t wonder about the meaning of life. I don’t wonder why evil exists. I know the answers already, and they’re not complicated or hard to understand.

Evil exists because God refuses to withdraw free will. The purpose of our lives is to give God pleasure. This is what the Bible says. I have no difficulty believing it. Next question.

Montaigne says to give in to disease and let it run its course. God says disease is a curse, and, as my own experience proves, we can be healed supernaturally. I know who I’d rather believe. Montaigne says it’s wrong to cultivate the soul and fight the flesh. Well, God calls the evil we do “works of the flesh.” God says we have to crucify the flesh. Who is right? God, or someone he created?

Montaigne says “supercelestial” thinking gets along very well with base carnality, meaning he finds people who claim to love God contemptible and hypocritical. This is part of his rationale for giving in to the flesh. Imagine if Jesus had felt that way. He would have skipped the crucifixion, and we would all be on our way to hell.

There is an ancient conflict between pagans and people who serve Yahweh. In the centuries preceding the birth of Jesus, it was just as bad as it is today. Jews in Israel wanted to be like the Greeks who ruled their country, and that meant becoming huge sports fans and participating in nude athletics. That meant exposing their circumcisions, which set them apart. Jews started trying to undo their circumcisions, and some refused to circumcise their sons. People were drawn into idolatry, and of course, that’s why the Jews remained a conquered people. Christians are infected with the Hellenism bug, too, and it still controls most of us.

The “gods” of the Old Testament pagans aren’t different from the “gods” of the Greeks and Romans. They’re the same. They’re called by different names in different countries. They’re the same “gods” the Egyptians worshiped. Nothing has changed. Today most of us don’t worship them as gods, but we live and think like pagans, so we end up at the same place spiritually.

To be destroyed, you don’t have to follow a precise formula. You just have to fail to find the one true path. Satan doesn’t care. He’s all about options.

Oh, boy. Cervantes is up next. Give me strength. The first passage alone is 269 pages. I read the whole book in college (probably), so I don’t feel bad about sticking to the syllabus and skipping long passages.

Maybe it’s not as bad as I remembered. I can hope.

Do the Roman “gods” appear in Cervantes? I don’t recall running into them. It would be nice to get away from them.

I can’t imagine living in a world without evil people and spirits, or even a world, like the post-Tribulation earth, in which they are restrained and dominated. It will be too beautiful for me to imagine. Try to picture yourself looking at a morning newspaper and not reading about crime, war, disease, and death. That’s the future, for people who believe. There won’t be any problems with Hellenism, because the beings responsible for it will be bound in hell or running around screaming in the lake of fire. It will be as if the entire universe got a delousing.

I don’t care what people think of my beliefs. I’m going to die. I’m as good as dead right now, and so are they. My death is closer to me than my birth, and it’s not far away at all. If I am criticized, it’s by people who don’t know anything, and I will be free of it permanently before very long. If I get killed for what I think and say, the enemies that kill me will be providing me with an escape from their vexatious presence and a ticket to the presence of God. That’s a win for me.

Like Jesus, I am against religious tolerance. I have no confidence in any scheme that doesn’t involve the one real God. I have no confidence in man. I don’t want to weasel around and pretend I think other religions are okay. I leave that for people like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren. The fact that lost people are willing to extend a foot and rub your eager, appeasing belly shouldn’t determine what you believe or claim to believe.

I better start steeling myself for Cervantes. I think he will make me miss drinking coffee.

Geppetto’s Folly

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

In the Future, not all Robots Will be Helpful

My Arduino studies are still progressing.

As I wrote in earlier posts, I got myself an Arduino UNO, and I started learning to program it. I went to a website belonging to a person known as Ladyada, and I began working my way through her tutorials. I’ve run into a few snags, so while I haven’t stopped, I’m not moving as fast as I would like.

To program an Arduino, you have to write in a language which is either C or C++. If you’re wondering which it is, so am I. The Arduino website says, “the Arduino language is merely a set of C/C++ functions that can be called from your code.” They don’t know, either.

I guess they do know, but I don’t. I have no idea what the difference is, except that C++ came later.

Arduino comes with its own programming editor or “IDE” (Integrated Development Environment), which is a program like a word processor. You write the programs in it, and it can compile them (turning them into software that actually works) and help you debug them. It also helps you lay your programs out in a way that makes them easier to understand. Supposedly.

I say “supposedly” because it doesn’t really do that. At least it doesn’t seem like it. When you write computer programs, you make long lists of procedures and statements, and they tell the computer what to do. You’ll say things like, “If this, then that, but if this, if this, if this, then that, or else this.” You have to keep track of which “if” goes with which statements and so on. It’s very helpful if the program turns things different colors and indents them so things are clearly identified and so blobs of text that go together are clumped together visually. Arduino doesn’t seem to do this very well.

While I was using it (and getting confused), I remembered my ten minutes of college programming experience. I programmed in a language called Pascal (so named because computer science students are always under pressure – I kid), and I used a program called Borland Turbo Pascal. My dim and unreliable recollection is that Turbo Pascal did a very good job of coloring and clumping. I figured there had to be something similar out there (free) for C/C++, because the human mind’s ability to keep lines of code straight hasn’t improved since I took that course.

I found Turbo C++, which is apparently Borland’s C++ equivalent of Turbo Pascal. Sadly, when you run it, it takes up the entire screen, so you can’t move stuff to Arduino and upload it to your board.

I started looking for other stuff. I already have something called Dev C++, but it didn’t make me happy. I found Visual Studio, which is a free Microsoft program (free for hobbyists), and I decided to try that.

Visual Studio takes about a month to install. I believe that’s because it’s a huge program you can use to create your own version of AutoCAD or just about anything else. I was planning to use it to make three LED’s flash on an Arduino board, so maybe it was overkill. It took quite a while to figure out how to make it run, and when I did, it didn’t look too promising. People swear by it, though, so I plan to keep trying a while longer.

The tutorials themselves turned out to have a major flaw. The instructor asked students to write a program, and then way down the page, after it was all over with, she said the program wouldn’t work.

I learned this after trying to make it work. For several hours.

This is not the best way to present a course. When a problem has no solution, you really want to tell people up front.

It’s not surprising that a STEM instructor would do this. When I was in school, they did it all the time. They would give us integrals that diverged or problems the professors couldn’t solve, and they wouldn’t tell us until we had pulled all-nighters failing to find the answers.

The lesson I learned from this is to read the whole page before starting to write anything.

I’m starting to realize I need to think a lot about C (or C++) itself as I learn this. It’s not enough to take the little bits Ladyada provides and extrapolate. You have to know more than that. What’s the correct punctuation (or whatever) for an if statement? Can you read the state of a pin powering an LED to tell whether the LED is on? Things like that. If you start guessing, you end up with problems.

Arduino uses integers to label pins on the board. I don’t get that at all. If “int SwitchPin = 2” means the second pin is named “SwitchPin,” then doesn’t any integer you set equal to 2 become tied to that pin? I have no clue. Very confusing.

I’m going to have to go back and forth from C++ to Arduino to figure everything out, and I guess I should join the Arduino forum. I really hope it’s not full of snotty nerds.

I’m trying to come up with a strategy for writing programs. I think it’s best to start by writing a plain-language version of every program first. “This program turns an LED on if it’s off and off if it’s on.” Stuff like that. Then I can break it down into necessary steps, and then I can think up ways to say it in C++. Maybe that will be helpful.

Every mission needs a statement.

I still want to build a self-balancing robot, because they’re cool. I started looking into ways to build a robot that balances on one wheel or ball, and that got me to gyroscopes. Thanks to Arduino, I now know how gyroscopes are used to make rockets fly straight. You can go to Youtube and see the actual gyroscopes that made V2 rockets fly straight on the way to England.

I’m kind of hung up now, because I can’t decide between a kit and buiding a robot from scratch. A kit would get me past the relatively boring tasks of choosing parts and making components by hand, but it might push me into an area where I mainly turn the robot on and off instead of learning how it works.

It would be neat to make a robot that goes from one room to another and bothers people. You record a message into it, and then you send it across the house to your wife to say, “Bring your man a beer, pronto!” I’d need a really brave volunteer to try it out, though.

On a more serious note, though, I am disturbed when I think about the power machines will have in the very near future. As I check out the things very ordinary people with little training are doing with Arduino, as well as the crazy things well-financed organizations are doing with sophisticated electronics, I realize we are on the cusp between two ages: the age in which men were more capable than machines, and the age when machines will be more capable than men.

Some people worry that machines will become self-aware and then try to exterminate us. That’s silly. There is no reason to think electronics will ever be self-aware. The fact that something reacts to external stimuli doesn’t mean its aware, unless a TV is aware when you push a button on your remote. Machines won’t be aware. But they will act as though they were, so the future still looks pretty scary.

Right now, I get calls from robots that argue with me. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, get ready, because it will. They call and ask you something which is obviously intended to smoke you out as a sales prospect, and something tells you you’re not dealing with a human being. You ask, “Are you a human being?” The robot pauses, laughs, and says, “I’m a real human being.” It has been programmed to say that. Then you say, “Can you say ‘God Bless America’ for me?” Then the robot is stumped. They don’t program them to do things like that.

I offended a legitimate caller the other day. She happened to have a voice that sounded too perfect, and I thought she was trying to sell me something. I started telling her I didn’t talk to robots. She argued with me, so I asked her to say ‘Gerald Ford.'” I like tormenting robots. To my amazement, she said it. Then I had to apologize. Unfortunately, she had never received a call from a robot, so she assumed I was crazy when I told her what was going on.

A good sales robot can get through several sentences without giving you conclusive proof it’s a machine. That’s remarkable. If they can do that in 2017, think what they’ll be able to do in 2025. It won’t be too long before it will be impossible to tell a robot from a person, without considerable effort. Eventually, it won’t be possible at all. Then we’ll end up in a Blade Runner scenario, where an average person will never be sure what he’s dealing with.

Robots already have superhuman processing speed, and in the future, we will be able to give them superhuman physical speed and agility. They’ll be able to move around. They’ll be stronger and faster than we are. They’ll be able to predict what we do. They’ll do our jobs–even complex ones–better than we do. They won’t hate us, because they won’t really have awareness, but they can certainly be programmed to react as though they hate us. From outside, a being that mimics awareness perfectly might as well be aware. We could find ourselves dominated and abused by machines we don’t have the brains or strength to fight.

In the movies, we get around this with ridiculous bits of code saying things like, “Never harm a human being.” That’s beyond stupid. If we have to rely on code–and we do–we’re in trouble. Look how much malicious code there is right now. Do you think things will be different when machines become autonomous? Why would they?

If the human race lasts long enough, we will eventually see people sentenced for programming robots to hurt or kill their owners. It’s inevitable.

There are a lot of malicious people in the tech arena. Right now, they program machines to do evil. In the future, they’ll be able to program machines to program machines to do evil. When that happens, we will be removed from the loop and the problem will be self-sustaining and self-augmenting.

Nikola Tesla predicted that wars would one day be fought by unmanned machines. He was right, just as he was right about so many other things. But it’s going to be worse than that. It won’t be just war, which takes place between nations. It will be intramural conflict, within cities and nations, between human beings and nationless machines. Won’t that be something?

We will have to delay things by putting restrictions on machines. We always say guns don’t kill people, and that’s true. Computerized machines, however, will kill people. Unlike guns, they’ll do violence without our input. They’ll be like super-powerful pit bulls that have to be penned and detuned. Wait and see. It will happen. But we can’t stay in control forever.

Autonomous machines will be able to shoot people extremely accurately and quickly. They’ll be able to dispense deadly chemicals. They’ll be able to blind us with lasers. They’ll act so fast the cops won’t be able to react. They’ll be like the big nasty drones in the Robocop movies, only much faster. They’ll be able to use weapons that exist today, with skill and speed we can’t match, and they won’t feel pain or have fear. They won’t feel regret or mercy. They won’t be concerned about jail.

I wonder if anyone is even thinking about defensive measures yet. I suppose they are. I guess they’ll be a lot like the machines they’ll have to battle. I would imagine you would need a robot to fight a robot.

I won’t worry about this stuff. I don’t know if the world will last long enough for rebellious machines to become problematic. I’m a Christian, so I expect this age to end pretty soon. In any case, making a primitive Arduino robot that wanders around the house won’t speed up our doom.

Arthur Koestler compared the development of the thinking parts of the human brain, in our species, to the development of a tumor in an individual human being. We have greater reasoning abilities than animals, but our emotions are just like theirs, and our ability to control them is also undeveloped. We develop technology, and then we invariably misuse it because we lack love and mercy. We should not have been surprised when we read about drones shooting video through bathroom windows, and we should not be surprised the first time a robot kills a person.

I never expected life to get this weird. But predicting the future should not be hard for those who can see the obvious.

Malice Doesn’t Live Here Any More

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Plus it’s Elvis’s Birthday

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the way God is helping me to get his love to flow through me. I thought I should provide an update.

I’ve learned a few things about love. the most surprising thing is that it’s connected to power. A lack of love will constrict the flow of whatever the Holy Spirit is trying to get to move through you. That includes faith, and faith brings power.

I suppose this makes sense. As I wrote in my earlier post, last year God gave me this sentence: “You created the universe for love.” Love is the whole point of our existence. God created us to love and be loved. He didn’t need servants to help with his projects. He wanted the universe to be filled with love. If love is the reason for everything, then surely God will give more power to people through whom his love flows. God allots resources to those who are aligned with him.

I live in a country where malice is considered cute. I have been influenced by my surroundings. Instead of listening to God, I decided to be part of the problem. I loved criticism and verbal cruelty. I loved it when these things came from me. I loved seeing these things on TV, in the movies, and in things I read. People I interacted with saw nothing wrong with my mindset. They thought it was hilarious. They rewarded me for it.

Now I have habits that obstruct God’s work in me. Every day, I’m presented with tempting opportunities to make nasty jokes to myself, for no productive reason at all. In the past, that was okay with me, because I enjoyed giving in to that temptation. I thought it was harmless, as long as I was good to people when it mattered. I didn’t realize I was cutting myself off from my supply of strength.

I’ve gotten a lot better. God has improved me to the point where often I am often disturbed by remarks I’m tempted to make. I wonder why I ever thought saying or thinking such things was a good idea.

TV and the movies are messed up. They’re loaded with malice. In the Fifties, the American sense of humor was relatively harmless. Over the decades we changed, and now it seems like we can’t be funny without being cruel. We are presented with a continuous parade of snotty role models, and they have had a tremendous impact.

The end result of this is that we have come to think malice is a good thing. We literally call good evil and evil good. As the Bible says, this is a curse. It brings problems to those it affects. They sow misery into their own futures.

Now I’m getting better, and my society is getting worse. That is not an optimal situation, but on this planet, an optimal situation is not on the menu. It’s the best situation available here. It’s better to be surrounded by malicious people than it is to be one of them.

Modern humorists seem to feel that humor can’t exist without malice, but that’s not true. There are a lot of funny movies that aren’t malicious. You just have to decide to write that way. Malice, like obscenity and shock, is a shortcut to a laugh. It’s a crutch. In our competitive world, people generally go for the easy solution in order to get ahead, so malicious humor is everywhere.

If you want to see what malice does to people, watch a few minutes of Chelsea Handler. She managed to become a success, but her eyes are dead, and she is obviously a very miserable person. That’s where I would have ended up, had I continued down the path I chose.

People also use causes as an excuse for malice. No news there. If you’re maladjusted and hateful, but you don’t have a good excuse for hurting people, all you need is a cause. That’s an ancient cop out. People join Anonymous, Greenpeace, Black Lives Matter, the Westboro Baptist Church, or PETA, and after that, they feel free to unleash their cruelty at will.

We see this principle at work on the Internet all the time. Comment avengers go to news sites and say astoundingly vile things to each other, thinking it’s justified because they’re standing up for Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, or God knows what else. Sometimes I look at the comments on news stories, and I get so disturbed I close the window and look at something else. I can’t believe how cruel we’ve gotten.

The world is full of Satanic safeguards intended to deter people who are trying to escape the tar pit of malice. When you try to get out, you will be presented with tremendous temptation to return. Satan knows love is power. He wants to keep it from spreading.

We need to get God’s help in eradicating the habit of malice, and we need to get the Holy Spirit’s love to flow through us. You can only do this through the methods God has provided. You can’t force it through willpower. You have to pray in tongues. You have to do communion often. You have to confess freely to God and repent. These days, liberals are the angriest people on earth, even though they talk about love all the time. They don’t know what love is. They say filthy things and follow them up with, “Love trumps hate.” They call the persecution of Christians “love.” Shutting down a family bakery over a cake you don’t really want has nothing to do with love. These people prove that trying to love without God’s help is futile.

Christians who reject the Holy Spirit are malicious, too. Think of all the kids who have been turned against God by beatings and verbal abuse they received at Catholic schools.

Religious people had Jesus murdered. You can’t get rid of malice by following rules. You have to have God living inside you.

America is going to get worse and worse. You need God’s help to seal yourself off from the corrupting influence. If you don’t have it, you and your pride will sink with the rest of the country. That’s just how it is.

I wish churches taught the truth instead of fables and lies. I have never seen a single church that taught enough of the truth to bring people real help. You have to go directly to the Holy Spirit, and it seems like most churches are dedicated to preventing you from listening to him.

Keep building up your prayer life. Keep asking for correction. Listening to your pastor isn’t going to help you, so go to the one who knows everything and never makes a mistake. The point of the crucifixion wasn’t to help you get to know your pastor; it was to help you get to know the Holy Spirit. If you’re still counting on your pastor after a year, something is seriously wrong. He’s just a matchmaker. He’s not the groom.

Hope this is helpful.

The Hegemony of the Mediocre

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Welcome to Cortlandt Homes

I had an interesting experience last night. Someone complimented my work and asked why I wasn’t writing for The New York Times. I thought that was nice, and I explained, basically, that I had never been a team player. I have a certain amount of ability, and I produce on demand, but the world of the arts is no meritocracy. You have to have cronies and benefactors if you want to do well. That means you have to say what they want to hear. If I can’t say what I want to say, I don’t see the point in writing.

On a more fundamental level, the reason I didn’t get anywhere is that God held me back. If he had let me succeed, I would have been wealthy and full of myself (more than I am), and I would not have felt any need to turn back to him.

Anyway, in my response to the comment I mentioned something that happened to me many years ago. I was working in a bar, and I had written and produced some funny radio ads for the owner. I applied to various radio stations and ad agencies in the state, trying to get a copywriting job. I sent out a funny letter with a funny photo. A guy who worked at a radio station called me and gushed over my work. He called me in for an interview. He introduced me to people throughout the station. They had been very impressed by my application, and they wanted to meet me. They treated me like a celebrity.

The interview went great. They hired someone else. And that person turned out to be…drum roll…absolutely nobody. No, they didn’t hire a genius who later became famous. They probably promoted a guy who swept the floor and went for sandwiches.

After that, the man who interviewed me made a horrible sample commercial for the bar, using the same concept I had used for my ads. It could have been described as a cure for laughter. He asked if I could get the bar owner to buy ads from him.

Yes, you read that correctly. He hired someone else, wrote ads that copied mine, and then tried to get me to help him get my boss to dump me and hire him.

I had other experiences like that. Eventually someone told me that when you try to get work in that kind of job, they give the hiring task to someone low on the totem pole, and that person knows that if he hires someone talented, he will put his own job in danger. He will be hiring his own replacement. So it’s standard procedure to torpedo anyone who could pose a threat.

Writing is a strange business, because it draws people who are incapable of doing it, and somehow, they find employment. I would estimate that over 95% of writers have no talent whatsoever and nothing to say. In order for them to survive, they have to do whatever they can to sabotage the rest of us. They should give up and become car salesmen or something, but for some reason, they doggedly cling to jobs they can’t really do, at the expense of the qualified.

I don’t know why they do it. For untalented people, writing is not pleasant. It drains them to write short pieces. A 500-word job makes their knees shake; I can write 500 words while standing in line at the grocery. Untalented people don’t actually enjoy writing. But the world is full of people who want to be called “writer” so badly, they are willing to devote their lives to a job they hate doing.

Most writers, even good ones, hate to write. If you hate to do something, maybe it’s not for you.

If football was like writing, you would turn the TV on every Sunday and see fat little bald guys on the field, with bifocals under their helmets. Whenever a real athlete showed up, they would put laxatives and roofies in his Gatorade.

I’ve had a few books published. I’ve introduced people to an agent. I’ve worked with people on books. So far, no one but me has actually written anything. No one I hooked up produced a book. I have never seen a book I co-authored reach completion.

When I got opportunities, I produced tons of material. No problem. No excuses. No extensions needed. It’s what I was designed to do. When I dealt with other people, even if their intentions were good, they generated almost nothing. The only exceptions to this were a couple of group-authored websites (in other words, pointless hobby time sinks) I ran. Even then, I produced a disproportionate amount of material.

Most writers don’t write.

It’s fascinating the way the world works. Law practice is the closest thing to a meritocracy I have ever seen. Most jobs are not like that. People are hired and fired for every reason except competence.

The reason it’s easy for a good lawyer to get a job is that most lawyers aren’t very good. They’re afraid to trust their own work, so they look for people to take the anxiety off of them. An old lawyer who isn’t good will hire smart young lawyers, make them do his work, pay them a fifth of what he gets for it, and sign his name to it. This is what Supreme Court justices do, except for the pay part. Clerks who die in obscurity write their opinions.

Out of curiosity, I Googled the guy who tried to steal my ad concept. He’s still out there. He has a small-time talent agency that supplies speakers. The home page has photos of two people I have never heard of, plus Jay Leno. Somehow I doubt this guy represents Jay Leno. Maybe Leno appeared somewhere, and he was allowed to carry his luggage. My guess is that if Leno’s people saw the photo, they would send a letter and demand it be taken down.

“A sampling of our clients: Jay Leno! Randall Pulaski! Dolores M. Weinstein!”

The thing that really struck me was the phrase that appeared on the tab of the Firefox page. It said, “Team Player.” No kidding. How spooky is that? Ellsworth Toohey would approve!

Look him up. Ellsworth Toohey, I mean. If you don’t know who he is.

I have come to accept the fact that I am not going to be a professional writer. I write for fun, and because I think my testimony is helpful to some people. That’s about it. I can write a pretty good book in six weeks, and I can do it over and over. I can write a good column every day. Doesn’t matter. The fact that you have a gift doesn’t mean you’re supposed to do anything big with it.

Gifts aren’t that big a deal. God doesn’t need gifted people. His ability to use you is completely unrelated to your gifts. Everyone in heaven is more gifted than Leonardo Da Vinci. Ho hum. While you’re on earth, it’s better to be steady, responsible, and honest than gifted.

I’m not sure what talents are for. Sometimes I think God gave me mine just for my amusement. That would be a pretty good deal. Low stress. As soon as you use a gift for something bigger than that, someone will show up and try to turn you into a slave or a milk cow.

Don’t be surprised that I’m not getting paid. I’m not surprised at all.

Merry Holiday That Dare not Speak its Name!

Friday, December 30th, 2016

‘Tis the Season to be Offended

What strange times we live in.

Today I went to check Drudge, and I saw a photo of a duck with the word “LAME” superimposed on it. It was a baby duck, I should add. Not a big, mature, adult duck. Drudge put it up in reference to a story about the Russian reaction to Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.

Isn’t it strange that he’s quick to expel diplomats while he has no interest in keeping terrorists, murderers, thieves, and rapists out? Maybe the best way to get rid of illegal aliens is to have them get jobs at the Russian Embassy.

I figured Drudge was trying to be cute, but then I looked into the matter, and I found out the Russian Embassy posted the photo first, on its Twitter account. The Russian Embassy gets in Twitter battles! We need a good term for this activity. How about “Twitfights”?

I’ll bet other people are already using that term. How about “wars of attwition”?

Here is my understanding of the story:

1. Hillary Clinton lost the election.

2. Obama was mad, because the world owed the left all power and glory.

3. Obama blamed Wikileaks, which had leaked damaging info on Hillary.

4. Wikileaks claims the information came from American Democrats.

5. Obama blamed the Russians, for reasons we haven’t been told yet. Perhaps it’s above our pay grade.

6. Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the US.

The humorous part about all this is that Vladimir Putin came out looking like the adult in the room. He declined to expel anyone, and he had his people publicly invite the children of American diplomats to a Christmas (not “holiday”) celebration at the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin says “Christmas,” and Obama doesn’t, because Obama thinks Christmas is the Confederate flag of holidays. Liberals hate Christmas even more than Obama loves the murder of the unborn, which is saying a lot. Obama voted against a law that would have required doctors to provide care for babies that survived abortion.

By the way, have you noticed that Bill O’Reilly turned out to be right about the War on Christmas? Remember how he was ridiculed for it? This season has been scrupulously sterilized of all Christmas references. Like no other before it. When I went to stores this season, I almost never heard anyone say, “Merry Christmas,” and when I did, they generally had a defiant air, just as I did when I returned the greeting.

I saw a ridiculous ad promoting a publicly funded celebration involved a “community holiday tree.” I’m not making that up. What holiday is decorated trees associated with? Tet? Walpurgisnacht? Beltane? Help me remember.

Actually, we did get the tree from a pagan holiday. But still.

Where is the “community holiday menorah”? Can I see that please?

It’s absurd. It expands the realm of absurdity, just like the bizarre claims that Bruce Jenner is a woman.

For the first time, Christmas was nearly 100% Jesus-free. It was just an opportunity to go to malls and riot over trinkets made in China. Presents! That’s what Christmas is about. We should call it “Present Day,” and we could call the second ghost Scrooge met “the Ghost of Present Day Past.”

I’ve quit giving really good Christmas presents. Except for my dad, I pretty much top out at $30, and for kids, it’s more like $25. I resent feeling obligated to spend four figures to support a disgraceful, godless orgy of materialism. You can be good to people in July if you want. You don’t have to save up and wait for an officially sanctioned mall stampede.

We don’t have Christmas any more. We just have a rootless, totally arbitrary celebration of giving each other things we can’t afford. Let’s call it Credit Day! The Bible says the borrower is slave to the lender. How about “Slavery Day”? Most of us go into debt at this time of year. The Bible’s warnings about borrowing are treated like quaint curiosities from an unenlightened past.

O’Reilly is annoying, but he got this one absolutely right, with no hope of credible refutation. Anyone who says there is no War on Christmas looks stupid and dishonest at this point.

They’re like the people who continue to say relations between Obama and Netanyahu are good.

The War on Christmas wasn’t truly lost until we decided men could marry each other. That’s no coincidence. There is a huge gay movement to eradicate Christianity, because people seriously believe their unusual sexual desires are that important. Gays are openly persecuting Christians now, and a lot of Americans are willing to go along with stifling Christianity simply to make the unpleasantness go away. A lot of us will accept just about anything as long as we can have our cocoa and avoid confrontation.

Sex is not that important to me. I wish I had a lower sex drive. It amazes me that people pay for drugs to increase their sex drive.

I do not understand people whose whole lives revolve around sex. It’s not that great, even when it’s good. An hour or two of fun, okay, but it’s not so great you should make it the reason you live. I don’t understand people who think it’s torture to do without it. We all want a certain amount of sex, but it’s not like food or air. It’s not essential.

Sometimes I think I don’t understand other people’s feelings about sex. I once had an unsuitable woman chase me in vain, and she kept talking about how long it had been since she had had sex. Last thing I wanted to hear. Gross. Her chances of having a romantic relationship with me were about like my chances of having a romantic relationship with Tim Tebow. There are some people you could never, ever even consider thinking of that way. When a person like that talks about sex, you cringe and wait for it to end.

It had been longer for me than for her, but I wasn’t jonesing like a junkie all day. I still do not understand what was wrong with her.

I’ve read all sorts of literary works featuring characters who seemed to tacitly agree that sex was the central feature of life, and that fornication was completely normal and acceptable. I don’t get it. How can anyone stand a life that shallow? It reduces us to the level of dogs and monkeys. Isn’t anything else important? Family? Leading a useful life? Hobbies? The arts? Are we just goats that can read?

I finished reading Boccaccio this week, and I started on Montaigne. Boccaccio wrote about sex as if every person who gets an opportunity to have it, at any time, was expected to go for it. Married, unmarried, rape, whatever. He wrote as if it were impossible to understand the inner workings of a person who would forgo any sexual opportunity.

I had been told Montaigne was a great thinker, but sure enough, he was obsessed with sex. So far in my studies, he has spent an inordinate amount of time writing about impotence, as if it were the worst possible thing that could happen to a man. I don’t want to know what he thinks about impotence! Who cares? And who cares about impotency, anyway? I mean, okay, if it’s permanent, it’s bad, but if someone has an occasional off day, how is it the end of the world? People aren’t machinery. We have ups and downs. Get over it. Seriously, how insecure can you be?

Maybe the problem is that men know that 95% of women tell every woman they know about every sexual failure their men experience. Another thing I don’t understand.

Somehow I got here, from writing about Obama and Putin.

The two big things that made an impression on me today were a) the Russian Embassy gets in Twitfights on a very low level, and b) the president of the United States and Vladimir Putin had a dispute, and Putin, not the president, took the high road. Okay, yes, the Russian Embassy people were childish, but Putin’s own handling of the situation was shrewd.

More and more, the world is coming to resemble Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, a movie in which everyone is stupid, and all discourse takes place on the Internet-comment level. Our discourse is nearly in that state. It’s obscene, hateful, and dumb. We used to confine that kind of thing to locker rooms, but now the situation is reversed. It’s like the whole world is a locker room, and to get away from it, you have to go into a special shelter.

Here’s a look at the near future. The language is horrible, so don’t click if you don’t want to hear it. Mike Judge was trying to be outrageous when he wrote this, but I think we’re about ten years away from this scenario.

It may turn out that some or all of the people Obama banished were spies. So what? Isn’t every embassy full of spies? I thought we all knew that. You create a system in which diplomats have freedom to travel and can’t be prosecuted for crimes, and suddenly, some of them turn out to be spies. Shocking! A leader who wasted an opportunity to make his spies immune to prosecution would be remiss.

It will be very interesting to see what happens when Trump takes office. Apart from the predictable “protests” [riots], I mean. Will he bring us an age of profitable cooperation with Putin, or will Putin play him like he played Obama? I don’t know what to expect. As long as Trump appoints conservative judges, looks out for Christians and Jews, and protects Israel, I won’t have anything to complain about. In fact, I’ll feel like thanking God on my knees every day.

I can’t help wanting to root for Putin. I know how irrational that is. I don’t know if anyone but Obama could make me feel this way. The man is a disgrace.

I guess I’ll check Twitter from time to time, purely for entertainment purposes. It’s like watching a food fight in a mental ward. And our new culture of perpetual offense makes it even more lively. Steve Martin just got reamed out for calling Carrie Fisher “beautiful.” You have to wonder what kind of craziness is next.

If you want to rise above the insanity, get to know the Holy Spirit. Our “civilization” is on its last legs. You need to have something more solid to rely on.

That’s it for now. I need to go lie down in a dark room for about half an hour.

User Error

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

You Have More Control Than You Think

I’m a little reluctant to testify about things that could still go wrong, so I have been sitting on something for a few days. I feel like it’s safe to write about it now.

I have been exposed repeatedly to someone who has a persistent cold. I hate colds. I’m pretty sure I had one long cold from the time I was born until I was 12 years old. I was sick a lot, and it made me miserable. I hate the snot. I hate not being able to breathe or sleep. I hate it. I hate it all. I did not want to get another cold.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had tremendous success, speaking defeat to various problems. It sounds crazy, but it’s very Biblical. For instance, Jesus told a tree, “May you never bear fruit again.” It dried up promptly. Jesus followed up with a famous saying which has not worked very well for Christians since he died: “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

If you have a problem you can’t solve, you can say, “I speak defeat to [insert problem here] in the name of Jesus.” You have to have faith, and to have faith, you need to pray in tongues habitually. If you do it with the right preparation, it works surprisingly well.

Every day, I’ve been speaking defeat to this illness.

On Saturday, I started to feel strange. I felt the beginnings of pain in my bones. It was as if someone had draped a shawl over me, and everywhere a shawl would have touched–my outer arms, my shoulders, the back of my neck, and my head–I felt an ache starting up. I continued speaking defeat and looking for problems in my mindset or behavior that might open doors.

I started sweating, like a person whose fever was breaking. The pain went away. I never developed congestion or a runny nose. My throat didn’t get sore. It’s Wednesday, and I’m still fine.

I can’t say I have had no problems at all. For several days I had a strange sensation, as if I were enveloped in a cloud of someone else’s anger. I felt like something wanted in, and it was angry because it was forced to stay outside. I had problems sleeping on Saturday night.

One day my nose ran a little, but I had just sprayed a really filthy bathroom (not mine, I hasten to point out) with bleach. You can imagine the fumes I breathed.

Many of the emotions and drives we think are our own come from spirits. I know that for a fact. I remember walking into the National Holocaust Memorial and being overwhelmed by the grief of the Holy Spirit. It’s very common for mentally ill people to hear voices telling them to kill people they are not angry at. They kill their mothers, spouses, children, random strangers…the anger comes from somewhere else. One of the greatest rock and roll drummers shattered his mother’s skull with a hammer because voices wouldn’t leave him alone.

The fruit of the Spirit come from the presence of the Holy Spirit, so presumably, many of our viler drives come from loser spirits causing problems on their way to burn for eternity.

We have come to accept illness as normal. I don’t think it is. I think you get more power over it as you give more power over yourself to God.

David wasn’t well when he died, and Elijah died from an illness. We know Timothy had health problems because Paul said so. Does that mean we have to be ill? I don’t think so. Elijah made mistakes. He had to run from Jezebel because he ridiculed the prophets of Baal. Timothy probably made mistakes, too. We don’t know how many of the apostles’ problems were caused by their own errors, but surely many were. The Bible never holds any of them out as perfect.

A couple of weeks back, I looked into making a buffer arbor for my belt grinder. Every tool person needs to be able to buff things. I got on the web and looked into buffer safety. I found out buffers are extremely dangerous. A well-known knifemaker was killed by a buffer not too long ago. It grabbed a knife out of his hand and threw it into his heart. Buffers are scary.

I asked buffer users for advice. I wanted to know whether buffer accidents were inevitable or just the result of user error. Everyone agreed that buffer accidents are caused by bad practice, not some insurmountable characteristic of the machinery.

“User error.” That’s the phrase people use. If you run your hand through a table saw because you’re too cocky to use a push stick, it’s user error. It’s somewhat dishonest to call it an accident, because if you adopt bad practices, you almost assure that a disaster will occur eventually. If you willfully expose yourself to an avoidable risk, is it an accident when you get hurt? Not really. You consented. You ordained it.

I bring this up, because I have been thinking about it in connection with the problems we have here on earth. I believe most are the result of user error.

To make things more confusing, let me bring in the concept of inheritance.

The Bible says a righteous man builds up an inheritance for his children’s children. We always assume this refers to wealth. The truth, though, is that the best thing you can pass on to people is knowledge and wisdom, and that is most true of knowledge and wisdom concerning God.

Think of the way earthly inheritance works. Somewhere in a family’s line, a person who has nothing finds out how to get wealth. He works hard. He suffers. He has setbacks because of his ignorance. When he is old, he passes his wealth on, and his children don’t have to suffer as much or work as hard as he did. They do better than he did in life.

Knowledge and wisdom are supposed to work the same way.

People in good families pay attention to their kids. They don’t let them grow up untended, like weeds (as I did). They teach them how to do well and avoid pitfalls. God is a father, and he is a good father, not an inattentive or selfish one. He wants us to have knowledge and wisdom so we can avoid unnecessary suffering. He doesn’t want us to repeat the stupid mistakes our parents made.

When you learn about tool safety, you’re inheriting wisdom. The first guy who was hurt by a buffer probably didn’t have anyone to warn him properly. Ever since then, knowledge has accumulated, largely because of accidents in which people have been maimed. If you inherit the wisdom others accumulated with great suffering, you can make yourself safe. If you refuse, you get hurt just like they did, and you bring it on yourself.

When we suffer diseases and other setbacks in life, very often, it’s the result of user error.

The church rejects a huge percentage of the inheritance Jesus died to bring us. We reject prayer in tongues. We reject communion. We reject the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit; we feel we have to change ourselves. Like people who reject inherited money because they have the fantasy that they can be “self-made,” we want to make ourselves holy and earn God’s help.

We want to earn gifts. How is it a gift if you earned it?

We are supposed to be the earth’s nobility, and nobility comes through inheritance, not effort.

Healing and other helps from God are connected to confession, repentance, and obedience. Does this mean we earn his help? No, it just means we cancel it out by opening doors to the enemy. When you lie to God and pretend to be righteous, and when you habitually disobey him, you give other spirits rights. You drive the Holy Spirit out by dishonoring him. If you want the promises of the Bible to work, you need to make communion often. You need to admit that you’re responsible for the sacrifice of Jesus, and that you’re a taker, not a giver. God doesn’t owe you good things, and you need his help to control your flesh.

I still remember my friend who died from cancer. Everyone in my church kept telling him he was healed, but people got very angry when I said we needed to confess and get rid of sin and pride in order to close doors to disease. My friend was arrogant. That was just his nature. The church reinforced that. Now he’s dead. We invited God in one door and the devil in through another. God doesn’t like to share. He is “God,” not “a god.” He has to be given special honor.

One of the greatest things about having a good relationship with God is seeing other people inherit through me. There are a handful of people who have listened to me when I talked about things God showed me. Now sometimes I learn from them. They got things flowing, and they hear from God directly instead of waiting for me or some other human being to tell them things. That’s how it’s supposed to work. They will have better lives than I did. They will inherit instead of working. They won’t have to build up the same little stash of wealth that I did, all over again.

The church gave away inheritance a long time ago. Every generation starts over, in the dirt, and we die spiritually poor. If God manages to get some knowledge into someone, we ignore or murder that person. We don’t heal the sick very much. We only rarely raise the dead. We make the promises of the Bible seem like lies, because we rejected the knowledge that makes them work.

I’m very, very glad I’m not sick today. That’s all I can tell you. I can’t force people to listen or benefit. I plan to keep going forward, even if everyone I know dies in defeat.

I hope I don’t wake up tomorrow with a cold. That would be embarrassing.

Keep praying in tongues. Keep taking communion, with an emphasis on confession, repentance, and admitting you need help. Keep speaking defeat to pride and self-deceit. See what happens. It certainly beats giving a fifth of your paycheck to a white-trash liar in a purple suit.

Notes From the Grinch’s Workshop

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

No Roast Beast This Year

Christmas has not been bad. It’s just me and my dad now, but life is peaceful, and my relationship with God is rewarding.

I don’t hear from my other relatives much. My sister is not really part of the picture now, and the others just don’t contact me often. It’s always about business when they do. I guess I offended them in some way, but I don’t know what I did. My grandfather left a screwed-up estate, and that tends to create alienation among relatives, but I have never taken a dime or a single article I wasn’t entitled to, and the only time I offered to work for the estate, I refused to charge. Oddly, they chose a cousin who took 33 percent of the proceeds of his work.

Could have saved each one of them thousands of dollars. Whatever their reason for turning me down was, it must have been compelling. Or maybe they just didn’t think it through.

I did hear from one aunt. Her relationship with the others is not great, but I don’t have any problems with her. She was upset because Obama jabbed Israel in the eye, refusing to oppose an anti-Israel UN resolution. She believes God will punish the US because of it, and history appears to show that she had good reason to be concerned.

For years, Democrats ridiculed people who said Obama had problems with Israel, but at some point during his administration, the gloves came off, and now people admit he’s Israel’s enemy. No apologies from the apologists, however. No admission of error.

The Bible predicts that God will start defending God personally when all the nations of the world turn against it. Has that happened, with the UN resolution? I’m not sure. We elected Trump, and he appears to be a rabid Israel fan. Ordinarily, you would think that would count for something. But he got fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, an enemy of God from the word “go.” That counts for something, too.

I am not worried, because worry is wrong. Besides, my relationship with God is going very well, so I don’t expect to suffer as badly as other Americans. I’m not all over the web calling the Israelis Nazis and comparing the Jewish state to South Africa. I hope as many people as possible get it together and stop provoking God, but I’m glad I’m withdrawing from the mass of ignorant people who are doing their best to bring on disaster.

The day was productive for me, by my standards. I spent a lot of time organizing and moving useless items into places where they will not be in the way as much. I spent some time reading an old quantum mechanics text, and I watched a quantum mechanics lecture on Youtube. I did a couple of simple problems. I am trying to pick up bits of the knowledge that leaked out of my head after I quit graduate school.

I also spent time with my handy-dandy Radio Shack Electronics Learning Lab. I have been going through the projects and writing up lab reports, because reports help you learn things, but the more I got into it, the more I felt it was counterproductive to write things up. The material in the workbook does not lend itself all that well to report writing, and writing slows the process down by a factor of maybe ten. I started going through the book assembling and dismantling the projects one after the other, without writing anything. It seems to be the right way to do it. If I really feel the need, I can write about certain subjects, but I believe writing about everything will keep me busy until I’m 70.

It’s nice to do things right, but if you overthink and do them TOO right, you fall behind and never get anywhere. I wish I had understood that when I was in grad school. I felt like I had to understand everything, backward and forward.

I’ve been fiddling with the test equipment I own. I found out I don’t have a cord for my ancient HP signal generator. The resulting kerfuffle is really something. A thousand years ago, when it was made, they used a connector called the PH-163 or Belkin 17952. It’s sort of like a modern computer power cord connector, but it has oval pins. In 2016, a PH-163 cord will run you thirty bucks, not including shipping. Forget that. I ordered a male PC connector, and I’m going to rip the old connector out of the box, carve up the sheet metal, and put the new one in. I don’t even know if the signal generator works, so I’m not going to Sotheby’s to bid on a priceless antique cord for it.

My old Hitachi oscilloscope has a messed-up volts/division knob on one channel. It’s very hard to turn, as if someone put glue in it. I tried running Kroil into it, but it didn’t loosen it up completely, so I guess I’ll have to dismantle the scope and take a look at the pot/rotary switch/whatever behind the panel. I have no idea whether it can be fixed.

I’m also getting a funny display when I check the square-wave calibration function, and from what I’ve read, that means parts on the PCB have to be replaced. Fun, fun, fun. I don’t know how much effort I want to put into a scope that cost 50 bucks, but I plan to see what I can do.

It’s time to get a real scope. That means digital. I thought I might try to get an old Tektronix or HP, but people seem to agree that you’re better off getting a new Chinese job. I may splurge for a Rigol DS1054Z. They get raves. It would be nice to work WITH a scope instead of working ON it.

When people talk about the old scopes, they say they do most of what the new ones do, and the quality is better, but they also say this part burns out and that part quits working, and then you either have to become an oscilloscope technician or buy another one.

I don’t know much about it, but it looks like you can hit Ebay and pick up a 20-year-old scope that does what a modern Chinese one does, for maybe 40% less than Chinese. But is that a good idea? I saw a technical guy tear down the Rigol, and it’s no Alibaba toy. It’s built like Kim Jong-Un’s armor-plated underground end-game outhouse.

The Hitachi was fine when I was basically using it to see if I was getting any AC signal at all, without worrying whether the display was correct. I was working on tube amps, and that doesn’t require a lot of precision. I can’t get by with grossly distorted waveforms for the rest of my life. Sooner or later I’ll need to know what a signal really looks like.

I dread opening the box up and looking for problems. I’ll probably have to remove and store thirty knobs to get the front panel off, and they’re attached with microscopic set screws.

One of the big down sides to fooling with electronics is that you have to join forums frequented by guys who have never, ever, for very solid reasons, gotten a date. Some of the people are nice and helpful, but others think that because they’ve spent their entire lives staring at circuit boards and watching Japanese cartoons instead of engaging with human beings, the rest of us should crawl to them on our faces and shower them with offerings of Jolt cola and Skittles before begging their forgiveness for existing.

You really have to finesse them to get what you want without falling into the mud-wrestling pit. You have to know when to say, “Great. Thanks for the information,” when you have received no useful information at all and simply want to end the interaction.

I guess it’s insulting to humor and cajole people you could never respect, in order to get answers out of them, but you can only treat people as well as they let you.

Anyway, it was a pleasant, peaceful day. It would be nice if I woke up tomorrow and the half of my family that died from old age and cancer was still here, and we were all in Kentucky sitting around a Christmas tree, but things are good, and they’re getting better.

Christmas Presence

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

If You Paid for it, it’s not a Gift

I wrote about the help God has been giving me with love. The process has not stopped, so I felt like I should keep writing.

Someone asked me how I go about loving certain people. Many human beings are venomous and obnoxious. That’s reality. A commenter wanted to know if I tried to think about the good parts of people.

That gave me pause, because the answer surprised me: I don’t.

That proves what’s happening to me is supernatural. I can’t do what I’m doing. It’s not me.

Sometimes when God makes an improvement in you, you forget what it was like before he fixed you. That’s the situation I’m in now. A couple of weeks ago, I would have had to grit my teeth and focus in order to try to love certain people. That’s not what’s happening now. It’s more like turning on a flashlight and letting the beam shine. I have the power to turn it on or shut it off, but I didn’t put it in myself. There is something inside me that wasn’t there before, and it doesn’t depend on the person toward whom I direct it.

That’s part of the beauty of it. If other people’s bad qualities prevent you from loving them, then they control you, right? They can always take away your love. How can you be the head and not the tail if other people can take your love at will?

We love saying other people can’t steal our joy, but we don’t say that about love very much. Love is more fundamental than joy. Love gives rise to joy, so if you can get ahold of love and hang onto it, joy will follow.

Saying, “You can’t steal my joy,” is a little selfish, because it leaves love out of the equation. It’s sort of like saying, “You can’t keep my paycheck,” when you haven’t been going to work. Not that love is work. I just mean love comes before joy, like work comes before a paycheck.

Maybe I shouldn’t have used work in the analogy. Hopefully, you get the idea. Sunshine comes before photosynthesis. Investing comes before interest. Planting comes before reaping. Wind comes before waves.

I don’t care how rotten people are; they can’t take this from me. I won’t have it. I’m not their slave.

I may not like everyone. There are many people I refuse to associate with, because associating with them is a nasty and unprofitable experience. There are a lot of people I can’t help but contemn. But I don’t have to hate them or live with anger because of them.

I feel a lot better now. Often in the past, I felt bad because anger was still in place. The root of anger will keep bearing fruit as long as it’s not pulled up. Whatever I tried to do with the root of anger in place was sabotaged by the root’s presence. It’s like trying to build a house right next to a tree. The roots will grow under the house and break the foundation, over and over. If you kill the tree, the house can be built. Now I have more power to cut the roots whenever they try to spread.

Christians in the US need to get ahold of this right now, because we’re very busy humiliating people who are against God, and anger is breaking up our foundations. We are crowing about Trump’s win, as if it proved we were the master race. That’s kind of crazy. If you’re going to be nasty and cruel, wouldn’t it make more sense to do it when you lose, not when you win? Anyway, it will bring a backlash of defeat. A certain number of people here have to deal with our win correctly in order to motivate God to keep helping us.

I believe an increased flow of love will improve my health and enable God to bless me more. I think that when your love is constipated, it’s like having obstructions in your lymph system and urinary system and so on. Things that should be cleansed get blocked and encrusted with filth. Destructive pressure builds up. Your body and mind will attack themselves. Seems that way, based on what I’m experiencing now.

It’s highly disturbing that famous preachers keep lying to us about money and keeping us convinced that God’s big priority is making us rich. Look at what we could be getting, if we weren’t deceived. We are chasing things we can’t get. We are chasing blessings that don’t exist, and when you do that, you’re really chasing curses. We’re offending God with our covetousness, and we are not chasing the good things he actually wants us to have.

People like T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Paula White, and Benny Hinn are poisoning us. It’s as if we’re all swimming in a septic tank, and these people are holding our heads under the surface. The evil they do is astounding, but we deserve it, because our desires give them opportunity.

The Pope…I don’t even know what to say about him. How can any Christian over the age of 12 love socialism? Who has killed more Christians than the socialists? Who has burned more churches? Who has touted man’s nonexistent power to change and help himself more? No one. The Pope is toxic and ignorant.

Cold, intellectual preachers are killing us,too. God doesn’t want engineers. He wants people with hearts like his.

The sad thing is that we have no leadership. Where are we supposed to turn? No one on earth–no one prominent–is teaching the things God has shown me directly. People say no church is perfect, but the truth is, no church is even adequate. Churches are poisonous. If you want to benefit from a church, go and get yourself saved and baptized with the Spirit, start praying in tongues as much as you can, and beg God every day for correction and knowledge. Then learn to ignore the garbage your church teaches you. This is your only hope of making real progress.

Be extremely careful about accepting any type of promotion from a church. It’s almost always a trap. When you’re part of the team, you have to parrot the party line, even if the party line is killing people. Don’t get attached to anything but God. Don’t owe anyone but God. You don’t need to be a youth pastor or deacon in order to serve him. You don’t need a “platform.” You can do just fine on your own, once you’re able to hear from God.

You don’t need a license from a man or an organization.

Jesus had no position in the religious hierarchy. Neither did John the Baptist or any of the apostles. Look at the prophets. They were rejected. Amos was a vinedresser. Elijah and Elisha were solitary. Elisha was a farmer. Moses was a shepherd. David was a shepherd whose brothers hated him. Meanwhile, the vast majority of priests amounted to absolutely nothing. Try and name a priest from the Bible who is honored today, to the degree that Stephen or Moses is honored.

The Jews killed Isaiah. They tormented and imprisoned Jeremiah. They stoned Stephen. If men love you and honor you, look out! It’s the devil, trying to put you to sleep on his lap so he can shave your head and put out your eyes. God help you if someone tries to point a TV camera at you. It takes God-given strength to endure that without being corrupted.

The Bible clearly says that God sets the godly apart for himself. That doesn’t mean he sets them apart in churches. It means he sets them apart, with him. In his presence. When you’re in church, be careful. Think like a person in a hospital ward during a plague. Avoid being infected. Avoid indiscriminate intimacy with the infected. This is part of what it means to be the head and not the tail.

To be holy, you have to have flexibility. Men will bind you with chains and straps so they can control you and tell you what to say. If you accept the chains, the Holy Spirit will go somewhere else. He is not going to be dishonored and compete with men for your loyalty. He is humble and patient, but he is still God, and he requires a certain amount of honor. Every day God gives up on people he loves, and he, personally, has them thrown into hell. If you tax him long enough, he will give up on you, too.

You can do what you want. Never forget that. It should scare you.

Don’t worry about the difficulty of doing what God wants. He does not want you to do it with your own strength. It offends and grieves him when you do that. He expects and demands that you accept his help. Don’t be discouraged. Look for his help.

We are heirs, not employees. How would you feel if you tried to give your son a fortune, and he insisted on getting a job at 7-Eleven and living in an efficiency?

Remember all those times in the Bible when Jesus worked really hard and got blisters? Neither do I! Never happened! God isn’t impressed or pleased with your hard work. He created hard work as a reward for the cursed. Learn to receive charity. Jesus himself was not too good to do that. Who are we to insist on deserving good things?

Imagine how terrible life would be if we got what we deserved.

Love is available. Faith is available. Victory is available. It has already been paid for, by someone else.

I don’t know if I’m doing a good job of testifying, since I’m not making many people angry. I guess I’m being spared their participation here. If what you say pleases everyone, it’s wrong. Real testimony gives rise to hate and murder.

If I can get good things from God, anyone can. Keep banging on the door.

Festivus, for What’s Left of Us?

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Don’t Air Your Grievances; Give Them the Air

God keeps showing me good stuff and cleaning me up.

One of the needs I have been concerned about for the last few years is the need to love. A while back, God told me he created the universe for love, and that is consistent with my concerns. Love is important. Apparently, it’s one of the most important things there is. Also, on the occasions when Jesus visited me, the single sensation that impressed me the most was the warmth of the love that radiated from him. I also felt peace, protection, relief, and faith, but love stood out.

God can project his love through you, and that’s the kind of love he wants you to have. It’s hard to make yourself love without his help. We are fully of emotional scars. We feel cheated and wounded, because that’s what we are. Other people and malicious spirits prey on us, starting before we’re born. They get great pleasure from our suffering and humiliation. It’s as if they love bathing in our blood.

Years ago, while I was on my way to a church service, God’s love fell on me, and while it rested on me, I felt new love for other people. It didn’t matter who they were. I didn’t have to push it. The strength came from God. It was a great thing, but I wasn’t able to hold onto it. Ever since then, I’ve been aware that I needed it, and I wanted it back. Many times, I’ve asked God for this.

We live in a society of self-proclaimed victims, and I have been one of them. A person who thinks he’s a victim doesn’t feel obligated to love. On the contrary; victims feel entitled (their favorite word) to harm others. It’s not sin to them. It’s payback, karma, reparations, justice…there is always a name attached to it that makes it sound holy.

I had a warm personality when I was born, but according to my mother, that dried up during my first year of life. She thought it was because of an illness I contracted, but it may have had more to do with the presence of two abusive people in the house. My mother used to find my sister next to my crib, pinching me to make me scream.

In this world, we are taught to hold things against people and to feel cheated. I fell for it. Also, I got tired of opening up to people, only to have them mistreat me in return. People are truly sadistic. Many of them see openness as a welcome opportunity to violate and torment another person. It’s like a windfall to them. They pleasure of harming others is so pleasing to them, they can’t believe their good fortune when they get a chance to cause suffering. I found that I could protect myself by closing up and by using words to hurt back or to attack preemptively. I was rewarded for it, too, because I was funny. People admired me for it. They paid me with attention.

I became like the people from whom I wanted protection. I thought I was a good person because I wasn’t actively looking for opportunities to hurt people, but I was contributing to the atmosphere of defensiveness and malice. In Miami, everyone is familiar with this atmosphere, because people here are very antagonistic to each other. Everyone you see is a threat that has to be scared off or defeated. I believe this is largely due to the ways of the people who have made big cultural contributions here. Before Cubans arrived, the dominant culture was from New York, and after that, the aggressive ways of Cubans dominated our interactions.

I don’t want to be like that any more. I don’t care how other people treat me. I don’t want whatever petty victories they get to be augmented by the larger victory of depriving me of the ability to love.

Over the last few days, I’ve finally gotten relief. I feel like a passage inside me has reopened, and I’m able to let God’s love flow toward people. It’s extremely helpful. It cuts off tension and ugly thoughts before they get a chance to bloom. It’s relaxing. It’s healing to me.

I write about this because people need to know it’s available, and they need to know it’s essential. The Holy Spirit will give you a lot of great things, but without love, they’re very incomplete and ineffective. The propagation of love is the purpose of the universe, so if love doesn’t flow through you, whatever you’re doing in life is a waste of time and a failure.

One of the great things about this is that it helps you forgive nasty people. That’s important, because we swim in a sea of uncleanness and sadism these days. The Internet seems to be growing these things in us. Christians, especially, are subjected to constant provocation. We can’t sit back in self-righteousness, remain angry at unbelievers, and feel like we’re superior. We have to actively, deliberately focus love on them, even if we only do it internally. God is giving me the habit of doing this, and I can feel the pressure and tension inside me abating.

Love is not just a gift we give to others. It’s a gift we give ourselves. I say we give it, but in reality, we just let God run it through us. Love is power and internal healing. It will bring you victory, because God favors people who love, and he opposes people who are bitter and angry all the time.

It doesn’t matter what other people have done to you. To put it bluntly, whatever it is, they probably haven’t beaten you with a scourge and nailed you to a cross. You have to get over it and let it go, and only God can give you the ability to do these things.

I strongly suspect that a lack of love causes physical problems. In particular, I think it causes illnesses in which the body and mind attack themselves. Arthritis. Allergies. Psoriasis. Ulcers. High blood pressure. Heart disease. If you’re full of a desire to harm others all the time, and that desire can’t be fulfilled, surely you will end up harming yourself, simply because you’re available as a target.

My advice is to make love a priority. Quit thinking about what you “deserve.” Quit obsessing on “justice.” If we really got what we deserved, and if God gave us justice, it would be a lot worse than what we actually experience. We belong in hell, so maybe we should stop complaining about slights.

Think it over. I know it will help you.

Kurt Eichenwald; Disturbing Harbinger

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Paranoid, Vicious, and Irrational are the New and Future Normal

People think America is forever. I think they’re taking the little notations on the stamps seriously.

America is not stable. America is temporary. America can fail, and it already has. This country is like a weed that has been sprayed with Roundup. When you spray a weed, it looks green and healthy for quite some time before it yellows and dies. You can’t judge things by their current appearance. You have to be aware of what’s in the pipeline.

Empires develop, mature, rot, and die, just like people. Americans don’t understand that. We think we’re the master race, and that we’re just too darn smart to end up like the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Jews, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Romans, the English, and all the other people whose empires disappeared. We’re myopic. We can’t see things in perspective because we’re too conceited to think straight.

Christians are some of the worst offenders. Ever since Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, we have had it pretty good. God has given us half of the world. By and large, we have been more powerful than idolaters. We showed up in countries they occupied, and God drove them out before us. Now we seem to think God is going to conquer the entire world for us, and that we will usher in an age of peace and joy.

We’re insane.

The Bible makes it clear: we will fail, Satan’s people will conquer us, and we will have to be removed from the earth so Jesus can return and defeat Satan and his children. Robert Schuller and Rick Warren can’t change that. We are not merely likely to fail; it’s guaranteed.

Persecution is already here, and it will get worse. People who think we can’t be put in camps and executed live in a dream world. Among many Americans, the desire is already there, and the only thing holding them back is the knowledge that they don’t have sufficient numbers yet.

I saw something really disturbing yesterday, and it got me thinking about this.

A man named Kurt Eichenwald appeared on a show with conservative personality Tucker Carlson, and Carlson asked him about some explosive things he had said about Donald Trump. For one thing, Eichenwald said he believed Trump had been confined to a mental institution in the 1990’s. Carlson kept challenging him to discuss his remarks, and Eichenwald responded like a lunatic forced to defend his delusions.

Eichenwald refused to answer Carlson’s questions and tried to filibuster until time ran out. All the while, he kept trying to put Carlson on the defensive so the discussion would turn away from his own deeds. He held up a notebook that said “Tucker Carlson Falsehoods” on the front, and he threatened to start talking about its contents.

Obviously, this strange man had prepared himself carefully so he would be able to deflect attention from his own actions. What does that mean? It means he was frightened of Tucker Carlson. You don’t create a crazy notebook like that and wave it like Van Helsing waving a cross unless you’re afraid.

Why, then, did he choose to be interviewed? I suspect the answer is egotism. Many people have a bizarre, inexplicable desire to be on television, even when the attention is unfavorable. Even accused and convicted criminals will agree to interviews. Charles Manson loves to be interviewed. He is apparently so insane and so conceited, he thinks he can defeat any interviewer and convince the world he’s as wonderful as he thinks he is. I suspect Eichenwald is in the same boat. He probably adores attention and felt he was getting a chance to slay a conservative dragon and come away with hundreds of thousands of fervent admirers.

Just guessing, but that’s consistent with my knowledge of human nature.

Here is something scary: Eichenwald isn’t an isolated fringe nut. I think “fringe nut” is apt, but he’s a prizewinning journalist and a senior editor at Newsweek. This man is accepted and admired by his peers. They approve of him. He’s a leader. He’s not some crank who works in the mailroom.

Talk about having your worst fantasies confirmed. It’s shocking how the right’s negative perceptions about leftist journalists are proven true over and over.

Carlson never got a straight answer from Eichenwald. He clearly thought the man was mentally ill, and that was my impression, too.

After the interview, Eichenwald did what defeated political operatives often do these days. He tried to win, on Twitter, a battle in which he had been crushed in a serious national forum. He put out a flurry of disturbing tweets about the CIA and not being able to find his notes. He then deleted a bunch of it. Of course, conservatives screenshotted his ravings, so the coverup makes him look worse than the Tweets did.

Here’s something even scarier than the respect Eichenwald gets from his peers: I went to liberal websites to read about his self-immolation, and liberals were crowing about the way he “shut down” Carlson. I’m not kidding.

Tucker Carlson isn’t much of a pundit. He reminds me of Mary Katharine Ham; someone who gets attention without demonstrating any discernible gift. But next to Kurt Eichenwald, he looked like Winston Churchill. There was not much dignity in the interview, but what little there was belonged entirely to Carlson.

I don’t write much about politics, so why write about this? Because the comments reminded me of something: there is no limit to the absurdity of the things people can believe when they don’t have the Holy Spirit. The Germans and Austrians were nice, orderly people, but in a generation, it was possible to convince them it was a good idea to murder the Jewish race. The beliefs and intentions of a nation can change very quickly when people are detached from the anchor of God’s instruction. In four or five years, most Americans–think about this–have become convinced Bruce Jenner is a woman.

The wacky commentary I saw regarding Eichenwald reminded me just how much American leftists hate the rest of us, and how impervious they are to reason and common sense. You think they wouldn’t murder us if they could? That’s probably what Cubans thought of their neighbors in 1955. It’s what Cambodians thought before communists started rounding people up and shooting them.

Persecution isn’t “coming.” It’s here. Now. Today. We may win some battles here and there, as we did in the presidential election, but the tide is going out, and we are going to lose. We’re not preparing for that.

The hatred of the left is like a slingshot that has been drawn back. Once the restraint is removed, it will fire. There won’t be any hesitation or remorse.

We can’t beat the problem politically. We can’t beat it by moving to the country, storing canned goods, and buying guns. Those are stopgap solutions. The answer is to draw close to God and get his favor. You will still be on the losing side, but you will live in victory until the end. Whatever suffering will come will come, but you will be spared any suffering that isn’t necessary.

The devil and his people are throwing tantrums right now. They thought we were done. The polls looked good for them. They could almost taste our blood. Then their prize was pulled away. No wonder they use words like “grief” to describe their reaction. They thought they already owned us. Slavery was almost legalized, and we were the slaves.

Our defeat was postponed, and many of us are acting like we won the future (to steal a gaffe from Obama). We didn’t get a mandate. We didn’t even get a plurality. We got four to eight years of space, in which to prepare for harder times. The idiots who are strutting and ridiculing leftists are going to regret it when Trump’s socialist successor takes office. This is the age of the Internet. Names have been provided and recorded. Offenses have been recorded. Even trivial things like memes have been noted. Think you won’t be punished for things like that? Thailand jails people for insulting their king. Castro had bloggers beaten. You think Lawrence O’Donnell and Keith Ellison wouldn’t do things like that? Who are you trying to kid? What planet do you live on?

Trump’s election was a miraculous gift from God. It wasn’t proof the country had rejected liberalism. It was a brief reprieve. It’s shocking that conservatives are so stupid they can think otherwise. Clinton came out two million votes ahead! Wake up.

Buy guns. Get out of the cities. Can’t hurt. But if you want real help, you’re going to have to know how to get it from God. You’re not going to develop that ability overnight. You should have gotten started already. It may be too late. You should do whatever you can, starting now.

Our battles are supernatural, and you need supernatural weapons and armor. You can’t say you didn’t know. Excuses are not acceptable currency. They won’t buy you help.

I hope someone out there listens and puts this information to use. As for me, I plan to be on the ark even if everyone else on earth drowns.

Team Player

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Support Comes When You Need It

Here is my report on the latest supernatural events in my life.

Last night I woke up between 4 and 5 a.m. I assumed the construction crew across the street had started early again, but when I saw the clock, I realized they weren’t there.

When I wake up in the middle of the night, I always start to pray. Very often, I’m aware that I didn’t pray enough the previous day, and besides, what else is there to do?

I felt rested, as though I had already slept all night.

As I was praying, I got a very strange sensation. I felt very strongly that I had been accepted by God. I don’t know if I can explain that. I felt like my application to join the team had been approved, and I was now part of the army or strike force or whatever.

I felt like I was part of something.

This is a feeling I haven’t had in a while. Maybe ever. I have always been an outsider, wherever I went. Maybe I reject people because of the way I was mistreated when I was a kid. I don’t know the answer. I’ve never been a real part of an inner circle anywhere. These days, my relatives in Kentucky don’t invite me or my dad to holiday meals. His relatives (we aren’t close enough for me to think of them as my family) have never included me in anything.

When I was a political blogger, I had some blogging friends, and I was on the right-wing side, sort of. But even then I was rejected. I told the truth about Pajamas Media, and I said Ann Coulter was a liability. I said Ted Nugent was an embarrassment. I was completely right, as time has proven, but no one ever came back and said they were wrong to shut me out. No one likes to admit fault, and besides, who knows what I might say in the future to alienate people?

At my last two churches, I had titles. I was an armorbearer at both churches, and I was a deacon at the second church. The first church came to see me as a threat to their disgraceful lies, and the pastors at the second church saw me as a loose cannon. I woke up one morning and found out the pastor’s wife had put on his pants and blocked me on Facebook.

One of the things I look forward to when I get to heaven is being part of an organization I can sink into. I want to have complete faith in my leader. I don’t want to be ruled by idiots and predators. I want to be able to trust my friends. I want to belong. You can’t get that here on earth. Even the church is screwed up. At best, you can have the sort of status prophets had. You can show up once in a while, say things that make everyone mad, and then go back home to be at God’s side.

Since last night, I’ve felt enrolled or enlisted. Whatever you want to call it.

It’s crucial to be part of God’s organization. For a long time, I’ve known that benefits are connected to membership. I remember the analogy I used to repeat. If a random person goes into a Fedex office and demands a jet to take him to another city, they’ll throw him out. If a Fedex executive does the same thing, they’ll click their heels, promise to get him a jet, make him coffee, and apologize for taking so long. Why? Because he’s united with the organization. He speaks with its authority.

Charismatic preachers teach people to beg God for nice things, but they don’t teach us to give ourselves to him completely. We want the jet, but we don’t want the job. Of course, God doesn’t listen. Why would he?

We don’t get much because we’re beggars. God gives us a lot of charity, but that’s because he’s kind. It’s not because he approves of us. We get table scraps. Sons sit at the table with the father and eat full meals.

It’s very unusual for me to give something to a bum. I know what they are. Almost all of them are rebellious addicts and criminals. The press doesn’t like to talk about that. They call them “homeless,” as if homelessness were something like earthquakes. As if people’s homes just disappeared for no reason. They don’t talk about the felonies, the drugs, and the alcohol. They don’t talk about the pride and stubbornness that put people on the street. To God, most of us are just like these people. If he blesses us too much, it’s enablement.

To enable someone is to push them into hell. It feels nice and makes you think you’re holy; it makes you think you’re better than everyone else, and it gives you grounds for insufferable self-righteousness. But it’s evil.

I used to try to get the help without offering myself in return. That’s insane. I was like a dirty bum who walked onto a military base, stood in a chow line, and demanded the same food the soldiers got. I was like an illegal alien, showing up to vote in an American election or demanding welfare. I had no standing. I couldn’t produce the correct ID, issued by the right authority.

If I want real help, I need to be enlisted. Soldiers get a salary, plus food, clothing, health care, and retirement benefits. Surely God is a better father and employer than Uncle Sam. Surely I can count on him when everyone else lets me down.

What we are eligible to receive is better than a salary. Salaries, like death (the wages of sin) are earned. We receive an inheritance. That’s something someone else worked for and built up. We don’t have to earn. In fact, trying to earn will cut off your blessings in God’s kingdom. It’s pride.

I feel like I moved up a level this morning. No, like I was moved up by another power.

It seems to me that while God works through miraculous ways, his help doesn’t necessarily arrive all at once. You can limit it through rebellion or unfaithfulness. Also, the crap you’ve piled on yourself before coming to him may take a long time to grind off. I stuck with God for years, and that was necessary because of the mess I had made of myself. He didn’t exactly reward me for long service. It just took a long time to prepare me for promotion.

It appears that a job in God’s kingdom is like a job anywhere else. Seniority matters. You will probably have to stick with him for quite some time to get things working right.

The unfortunate thing about this is that the people who need him most are the kind of people who hate waiting. They’re spoiled. They are screeching, entitlement-minded brats. Black Lives Matter. Occupy Wall Street. Bernie Sanders and his Bernout Army. The news that they will have to be patient and wait for God’s favor is exactly the kind of thing that will drive them away. They would rather live in their dirty diapers and take things by force.

You’re not entitled to anything except punishment and damnation. Who wants to admit that? People hate it when you say, “You’re not a victim.” They get very angry. Victimhood is like a pacifier they suck on all day. Pull it out and hear them scream.

I used to have the entitlement mindset. Meanwhile, the God who owed it to the universe to destroy me was working to save me. He had already allowed himself to be tortured to death for me, and I was blaming him for not doing better by me. I was blaming him for problems I had caused, and I was busy causing new ones!

I feel wonderful today. I am full of optimism for myself. I can’t say I feel it with regard to most people I know. That’s very sad, but I can’t go back to what I was. I won’t let their backward hearts draw me away from the only good path there is. I’m not going to give up “holy privilege” so I can avoid Christian guilt. The up side to getting on the ark is that you are lifted above the flood. The down side is that you watch your friends drown.

Keep moving forward. There is nothing behind you but death and torment, and what’s in front of you is better than you can imagine. That’s my advice for this Sunday.

“IMMIGRATION! SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS!”

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Time to Commence Deportations

I had a good experience this morning, and I figured I should share it.

For a long time, I have been obsessed with getting correction from God. He showed me that he wasn’t my genie or butler. His primary job isn’t to fix all my problems and make me rich, contrary to what I had heard from every single prominent charismatic preacher I had listened to. God helped me understand that the earth is like a uterus, and we are supposed to develop here before entering a superior world. That only happens when we accept correction. If you reject correction, you reject growth.

God also showed me that Christians–even Spirit-filled Christians–have resident demons. We give them power through our backward actions and beliefs. Youth is a particularly dangerous time, because young people don’t know anything. Their doors are wide open. By the time you get saved, you may have done a gigantic number of damaging things that opened you to demonic influence.

Let’s see if I can think of some dangerous things we do. Drugs, erotic entertainment, fornication, cultivating self-confidence, gossiping, hurting people unnecessarily with our words, violence, covetousness, cruelty, cowardice, gluttony, and idolatry spring to mind.

This morning I felt a horrible sensation inside me while I was praying. I felt that something foreign was there, and it was disgusting. Whatever it was, it was full of anxiety that radiated outward into me. I hated it. I wanted it out. I started asking God to tell me what it was and to help me get rid of it.

I started thinking about my experiences with drugs. You probably think I’m going to say I was a stoner in high school. No, I’m thinking mainly about stimulants and prescription drugs, and I’m including caffeine.

A year or two back, God told me this: “Caffeine destroys peace.” That’s clearly true, as anyone who has used a lot of caffeine knows. It makes you feel cheerful and energetic at first, and then you metabolize it, and you feel grumpy, anxious, and irritable. You may get headaches. If you quit for several days, you may get what doctors describe as “flu-like symptoms.”

I’ve used caffeine a lot. When I was in law school, I drank a quart of coffee during my first class of the day in order to help me deal with the boredom. Law isn’t all that boring, but it’s not exciting, either. It’s not physics or math. I needed help to make it palatable.

I’ve also used caffeine to get rid of headaches. Stimulants are great for headaches.

After I started praying in tongues daily, my caffeine tolerance disappeared. The other day I drank a glass of iced tea, and nine hours later, it kept me awake. I never had that problem when I was young.

I used several drugs in college. I never liked dope, but I did smoke it a few times just to be sociable. I tried a couple of weird drugs just because friends showed up with something new, and we tried them together. I also used cocaine, a stimulant, on a number of occasions. I liked it a lot, but when you come down from cocaine, you feel tremendous anxiety and guilt. I used nitrous oxide a few times. For some reason, it was popular at Columbia.

I don’t think the recreational drugs I used in college caused terrible problems, although I’m sure they generated some negative results. I think prescription drugs and caffeine were more harmful.

When I was being treated for ADD, they put me on Ritalin, which is a type of speed similar to amphetamines. Ritalin was great. It killed my headaches. It made me feel extremely relaxed. It helped me concentrate. But I developed such a tolerance I could take over a hundred milligrams a day. The pills kicked in in five minutes (not the expected half-hour), and they sometimes quit working after an hour or two, very suddenly. When that happened, I had to chew one or two 20-mg. pills to get back on my feet. It happened during my Advanced Mechanics exam during grad school, and also during the LSAT.

They put me on some other drugs which were horrible. They gave me an oil-soluble stimulant that stayed in my body for days. It made me angry and assertive, and it gave me a sex drive that would shame Bill Clinton. They also gave me some antidepressants which were supposedly helpful with ADD. I hated them. They filled me with anxiety and caused other problems.

Anyway, I didn’t use these things occasionally or sparingly, like recreational drugs. I used them daily, and I used some in huge amounts. I had to tell my doctor I was done with them. I quit. I never got addicted, so when it was time to quit, it was just a matter of throwing them out.

The time I spent on those drugs was the most miserable time of my life. No sleep. Very little food. Constant anxiety. Anger. Crazy sexual desire I could not get rid of. The last drug they gave me kept affecting me for weeks after I quit. It was bad.

I feel like I let some things in, and maybe some are still here! I believe I have to shut some doors.

I’ve been avoiding caffeine, but every so often I’ll have a Coke or some tea because I’m tired of water, and I’ve been having hot chocolate with breakfast because I want to add calcium to my diet. Chocolate has small amounts of caffeine, plus a milder stimulant called theobromine. Today I drank a boring glass of cold milk before breakfast. I just bought two bags of little dark Hershey bars to make hot chocolate, and I guess I’ll have to throw them out.

I wonder if the problem with drugs is that they take the place of God and deny him his glory. If I had had the presence of God and a good prayer life, I wouldn’t have gone to doctors to help me study. God would have helped me.

I know that the presence of God is like the effect of a drug. He emanates peace, joy, love, and a sense of complete relief and safety. Those are the things we try to get from drugs. Even things like beer and coffee. Living close to God is like being on a pleasant drug most of the time. There is a sort of buzz to it.

All over the US, doctors are pumping kids full of stimulants and antidepressants. It’s a wonder they’re not all insane.

I don’t have much faith in psychiatric drugs. People develop tolerances. Their responses change. If you know anyone who is bipolar, you know that every so often they flip out, and sometimes it’s because the medicine doesn’t work any more. We do what we can to help ourselves because we can’t find God’s help, and our own help isn’t very good.

We call people who drink and smoke weed “self-medicating,” but really, the whole human race is self-medicating instead of finding God’s cures.

It reminds me of what the Bible says about money. If you get it the wrong way, it causes remorse. God brings blessings without remorse. There is no crash after a dose of God’s presence.

Chocolate is great, but if it’s opening the door to illegal immigrants in my heart and mind, I can live without it.

Communion is essential. It’s mandatory. Christianity does not work without it. We have to examine ourselves with God’s help and get his correction. When we don’t do this, we continue damaging ourselves. This is why Paul said poorly performed communion causes disease and death. This is why God has made correction so important to me. It’s a cure. It’s a key that opens prison doors.

If you don’t have wine and crackers, do whatever you can. Pray for correction. Be as honest as you can with God. Pray for honesty! You can do that. God doesn’t want you to do it on your own.

I’m sick of certain parts of my personality, and I don’t think they’re completely mine. I have unwanted supernatural guests that influence me. That has to change. I feel like I live in a house with pigs that run around defecating on everything. That must be what it’s like for the Holy Spirit, who has to inhabit this mess.

Keep asking God what you’re doing wrong. Keep praying in tongues. Never forget that you’re surrounded by spirits, or that you have to address this problem. That’s what I take away from this.

Christians don’t want to hear this. They’re too arrogant. They think they’re perfect, and that no spirit other than God has any claim to them. People like that will be stuck here when God’s servants are taken from the world. Then maybe they’ll learn.

The other day God gave me this: “Thank you for giving us redemption instead of denial.”

I look forward to improving, and I definitely look forward to feeling more of God’s presence.