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Archive for February, 2013

The Floods of Great Waters

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Change is Here

I went to a carnal church that was under the influence of greedy megachurch preachers. I left because they were hostile to scripture-based correction offered in humility, and because they treated people like slaves and milked them like cattle.

I ended up at a church where the Holy Spirit was welcomed. The pastor and his wife were enlightened through the gifts of the Spirit. At the old church, when I brought up revelations I had received, or good teachings I had heard, I got this: “That’s great, Steve.” And then I got blown off. At the new church, usually, the pastors already knew about the things I brought to them, and when they didn’t, they listened and thanked me sincerely, and with the Spirit’s help, they added to them.

I’m not a big wheel at the new church. I’m not in charge of the volunteers. I don’t run a ministry. I have never been asked to teach, except for a couple of minutes. I’m not pleased because I finally found a place that exalted me and kissed my rear end. That hasn’t happened. I’m pleased because God led me to a place where I was not treated the way a white corpuscle treats bacteria. My old church was under the control of Satan, and his servants kept me and other sincere Christians sealed off from acceptance and authority.

A while back, my pastor started teaching the same things I tried to teach at my old church. Prayer in tongues, mostly. It’s a secret language, through which you speak directly to God. You prophesy your future. You build yourself up in the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. You fire weapons at Satan, and because he can’t understand you, he can’t defend. You pray God’s perfect will, with faith provided by the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’s name. As we know, those prayers are always answered. Jesus promised it.

Because I’m middle-aged and not totally stupid, I predicted that a few people would take this seriously, and that it would be enough to bring change to the church. That is now happening.

On Sunday, the pastor called up a friend of mine. Unbeknownst to me, she had listened to the sermons. She stood up and said she was praying in tongues at least an hour a day. She said she was doing it at work, and she was trying to keep it quiet, because she worked in a library. She began teaching and prophesying. It was amazing. I’m sorry I don’t recall all the things she said. I was too busy thanking God to pay close attention.

A year or two back, at the old church, I attended a Friday prayer service. They have since cancelled these; apparently, prayer services aren’t “dope” or “slammin’.” At the service, I found myself saying, “Unleash the flood. Unleash the flood.” I had no idea what it meant. Soon I realized I was talking about the Holy Spirit flood.

Water, floods, rain, mist…these things represent speech. Prayer in tongues is a flood that comes from the Holy Spirit. More accurately, it’s like the mist that used to come up from the ground every day, before rain existed. It comes up inside us; it doesn’t just fall on us from outside.

Genesis 1 says God created heaven and earth, but the next verse says, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Many believe something happened between the verses. Creation was performed, but something screwed it up, and then the earth was without form and empty, and it was covered with waters.

Satan works through voices. He’s a tiny man who talks loud. He’s like the moon, which looks big when it comes between us and the sun, which is 444 times as wide. He and his fallen spirits speak and yammer constantly. They slander God. They curse his work. They curse and corrupt human beings and turn them against him. I believe this is the water that covered the earth. Through salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we receive faith and knowledge that lift us above the flood, into the space where God works miracles.

In Matthew 14, we see this illustrated symbolically. The Disciples see Jesus walking on water; Jesus is above the words of the enemy and his people and spirits. Jesus asked Peter to come to him, and Peter walked on the flood, which would have drowned him but for God’s help. When Peter focused on the storm, he sank.

We are so immersed in Satan’s lies, we can’t get to the place where God works. We are conditioned to think he doesn’t care, or that he doesn’t exist, or that he can’t help. As a result, we don’t get help from God, and he doesn’t improve us, as he wants to. If you pray in tongues every day, you will eventually be lifted up for air. Your faith in the deadly waters will be overcome and destroyed by your faith in God, through the living water.

I believe that’s what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me through those words. God is unleashing a flood of living water on the earth. A generation of people are rising up, and through God, they will have tremendous power. In the hearts of many, Satan’s lies will be wiped out and proven wrong, and through us, God will finally do the “greater works” he promised.

My church is focusing more on prayer and worship. We’re also doing some things which are probably pointless, involving social media and so on. But we’re doing what matters. The prayer and worship we go through before and during services are ramping up tremendously, and God is manifesting himself. This Friday, we’re having a special night just for prayer and worship.

My own prayer life gets better and better. Sometimes it seems as if there is no room for improvement, but you know God (I hope). He doesn’t fill the cup. He makes it overflow. There is no end to his help and his goodness. I can’t even guess how much better things will get, with his help.

Carnal people will doubt this. That’s how it has always worked. This stuff is only understood and accepted with the help of the Holy Spirit. Your mind alone will never get you anywhere. Hell is full of brilliant people, and heaven is full of the simple. It’s frustrating to know that it’s pointless to say these things to most people, but I’m glad there are people who will hear, understand, and take advantage.

If you haven’t received the gift of tongues, keep trying. Find people to lay hands on you. Ask people to pray for you. Fast, if you have to. Look up the promises of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and stand on them in prayer. I can’t tell you why it takes some people longer than others, but I know God loves you, and he will give you what he wants you to have. He hit me with it while I was alone in a room with a television set.

The faith of the Holy Spirit is the rock Jesus referred to at Caesarea Philippi. People think he referred to Peter, but that was a play on words. Peter had a revelation through the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus referred to. Through the Holy Spirit, we understand and believe, and once that happens, we stand on the Spirit as we would stand on a rock in a turbulent sea. God says he has lifted us up out of the miry clay and set us on a rock and established our goings. He didn’t mean Peter was going to hold us up.

God will also transform the floods of your enemies into rock you can stand on. He will turn your enemies’ lies and curses into blessings, so you will walk on the flood. Your enemies will be your footstool. In this way, he will make your enemies your slaves, as he brought honey out of the lion he killed for Samson.

Why did Samson kill the lion and touch its dead body? He shouldn’t have been handling torn, rotten flesh. He was a Nazirite. He did it because it showed that when the Holy Spirit was with him, he was above the written and spoken law.

God IS the law. What he tells you in real time is what you should do. The Bible is great, but because it doesn’t change, Satan can use it to trap you. He can cause you to go against God by obeying the LETTER of the law. Look what happened to Jephthah. When you hear from God minute by minute, you obey the SPIRIT, who has the liberty to tailor his orders to the situation. This is why Jesus let the disciples pick grain on the sabbath. It’s why Jesus made a habit of healing on the sabbath. The book is good, but it’s inferior to the one who wrote it.

What’s happening in my church is exciting, but I’ve already seen the danger. When the Holy Spirit falls on a gathering, kooks show up. People who love attention come, and the first thing you know, they’re howling like monkeys and hitting people and rolling on the floor. They’ll come to the microphone and say stupid things. It happened in Pensacola. I warned my pastor about it. I think God gave me that insight. Satan hates the power of the Holy Spirit, so he will send idiots to make it look like heresy and ignorance. Don’t be fooled by the chaff. This is real. Satan may put on a sideshow to distract you, but a hundred fools don’t disprove the righteousness of one true witness.

I get quibbles from people who sit around reading things like St. Augustine and Tertullian. I hear nonsense about how the books of the Bible were chosen arbitrarily, or how they’ve been altered. People love to pump themselves up with intellectual pride, as if a little being with a 3-pound brain and a 70-year lifespan could dissect the Almighty.

You can read about God, or you can cut out the middleman and get to know him personally. That’s where real authority comes from. God and those who believe him will be here long after the conceited have been sent to a place where bloviation brings them no recognition and no relief. Don’t let your pride ruin your future.

Smaller, Worse, Slower

Monday, February 18th, 2013

America’s New Slogan

Last night I had a remarkable experience. I watched the James Bond movie, Skyfall.

It’s remarkable that I sat through it. Skyfall is a truly terrible movie. They have the best James Bond ever, and they’ve already destroyed and abandoned the character. It also looks like they’re hiring people’s girlfriends to write the scripts. But apart from that, I was amazed by what it showed me about the world.

Part of the movie took place in Shanghai. According to Wikipedia, Shanghai is twice the size of Los Angeles. The population is around 23,000,000.

They showed some night scenes, shot from the air. You could shove New York inside this place and never notice it. It’s gigantic. And the buildings are gorgeous. They’re new. They’re clean. They’re immense. They’re lit up with all sorts of electric displays. Lights. Moving advertisements. It looks like a carnival for giants.

The streets are filled, not with bicycles or pedestrian traffic, but with cars, trucks, and buses. The roads are modern.

It buries anything America has to offer. It’s not even a contest. Our cities look puny and dirty by comparison. They look poor.

Shanghai has three buildings over 400 meters in height, and it will have a fourth in 2014. The entire US has two, and they would rank third and fourth in present-day Shanghai. Take a look at this page to see what has happened in Shanghai: Shanghai: 1990 vs. 2010.

We have lost. That’s what the movie showed me. Our economy is still bigger than theirs, but they’re on the way up, and we’re on the way down, and unlike us, they still believe in “bigger, better, faster.” Their human rights record is dismal, and they have a lot of pollution, but they are still leaving us in the dust, and even if they cleaned up and treated their citizens better, that would not change. Critics love to point to the pollution and oppression, as if these things somehow generated China’s prosperity, but they’re wrong. It came from hard work, and from our disobedience to God. These people are our enemies, and God has stopped restraining them, just as he has stopped restraining the anti-progress leftist nuts who used to lose elections here in the US.

A long time ago, I realized that a man’s sins can breed and feed an giant enemy who sits beneath the horizon. You may think nothing you brings consequences, but somewhere, an angry behemoth may be dining on your wickedness, and one day, he may step over the horizon in the blink of an eye and destroy you. It happened to the ancient Jews more than once, and it can happen to us.

Shanghai is just one city, in one country. What about Mumbai? What about Moscow? Xingdao, Beijing, Hong Kong…go to Ebay and look for tools, and see the place names that come up.

When China goes after Taiwan, we will back down. They’re going to be ready, armed with weapons we paid for, and we’re going to be mumbling “Believe in America” and “You didn’t build that.” The socialists and America-worshipers will have to drop to their knees and say, “Enjoy your new province.”

America isn’t going to be restored unless we repent and pray. It may already be too late for our nation, but you can still save your family.

I am Superfluous

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

God Proves he is With me by Rendering me Obsolete

I feel like I gave birth today.

For the past few weeks, my pastor has been teaching about the power of prayer in tongues, and he has been explaining the benefits. He has been encouraging us to spend a long time each day, praying in tongues.

Today the leaders met for the usual 9:30 prayer, and the young man who runs the worship ministry spoke. He started talking about the power of tongues, and he talked about the way God wants to do things for us. We work too hard. We do the wrong things, because we don’t listen. We wander in circles in the desert because we won’t follow God into the Promised Land. I was nodding my head the whole time. I was amazed. He was saying the same things I tried to tell the people at my old church for three years.

He asked if anyone had a testimony. I didn’t say anything, because I don’t want to monopolize this thing every week, but he called on me anyway. I told him he was absolutely right. I told him about Psalm 23. It says God will LEAD us to LIE DOWN in GREEN PASTURES. To a sheep, this is like saying, “I will turn you loose in a bank vault.” To a sheep, a green field is inexhaustible wealth. And it doesn’t say you’ll PLOW AND SOW AND WATER. It says you will LIE DOWN. God does most of the work.

Before we prayed in our understanding, he had us join hands and pray in tongues for a good long time.

When we broke up, the usual praise and prayer started. A young lady took the stage and started teaching about prayer in tongues. She was teaching things I was saying years ago, in the back room at Trinity Church, where the leaders had no interest in the Holy Spirit.

I was amazed. I had to sit down. I realized I wasn’t necessary any more. They didn’t need me. If they continue praying in tongues, God will tell them everything I tried to tell them and more. It all comes from him, not me.

This is what I wanted for Trinity Church. I prayed for it and pushed for it. They wouldn’t listen. They didn’t really believe in God. They talked about him in order to make money, but they really believed in hard work, self-promotion, cut-throat competition, and positive thinking. The pastor’s family kept competitors down, while using them to get ahead. They relied on plans and schemes and connections. They ran four services a weekend (more services, more offerings), and they scheduled the Holy Spirit out of the program.

Jesus told us that if a house would not receive our peace (our blessings and success), we should leave and take our peace with us. That’s what I did. I went to New Dawn Ministries, and they received my peace. In fact, they took it from me! If I died right now, they’d do as well as if I stayed. This is the best result possible. I have been fruitful and multiplied.

When I thought about this, I felt as though God was telling me I had accomplished the thing I had been restrained in Miami to do. I can’t stand this carnal, nasty city, but I’ve been stuck here. I accomplished virtually nothing at Trinity, but when God called me out, and I listened, I found a church where I could make a dent. Just as Jesus showed the disciples where to cast their nets, God showed me where the ground was fertile.

I think now God is going to make a way for me to get out of this aggravating place. He has told me about a couple of things he’s going to do for me. They’ll make it possible for me to go, without a lot of hardship.

Trinity is going nowhere. I keep praying for God to get rid of the ministers who are holding it back. If he boots them out and replaces them with people who know the Holy Spirit, things will start to work. I’ll continue praying, but what’s behind me is behind me. When God takes you out of Sodom, you don’t run back to turn off the iron.

Should I write openly about Trinity, by name? Yes. I’ve asked God about it. The answer is yes. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I did what I was supposed to do, and now I’m blessed and my church is blessed, and Trinity is still a mess. It needs to be acknowledged. There is no correction without awareness that something is wrong. I don’t care if I offend them. They’re already offended, and the world is still turning. God has told us repeatedly not to be man-pleasers. I have been proven right, and their approach continues to be proven wrong. If I say so, I am just giving God his glory.

The Bible says, “My soul shall make her boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.” I am right to talk about what God does and wants to do, and the only people who won’t listen are the arrogant. And as God has said, he is against them.

If you’re buying into the kind of garbage carnal churches teach–the money-crazy false doctrine you’ll hear on TBN–you need help, too. Trinity isn’t the only church that leads people in circles. God is not going to give you money for sending donations to Benny Hinn. He does not want special Jewish-holiday gifts from you. He does not expect you to pretend to be Jewish and give up shrimp and wear a prayer shawl. He wants you to pray in tongues, repent, and get to know him.

This is a big day. I’m wondering what’s going to happen this year. I think it’s going to be very, very good. It has been so far.

The Little Foxes That Spoil the Vines

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Always Nice to Get Constructive Feedback

I’m getting trolled again.

I guess I should be honored. After all, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”

Someone who is so concerned about discovery he or she (I will use “she,” arbitrarily, since “he or she” is tiresome) won’t even use an Internet handle is coming to my blog and posting comments ridiculing the Holy Spirit and, of course, me.

I don’t understand the anonymity. I don’t go after people. I’m not going to get in the truck and go shoot someone. I don’t even engage them on the Internet. There is little to fear from me personally. I can understand using a handle, but if you won’t even go that far, you’re overdoing it.

I think she may be an anti-Semite. She made approving reference to a name which appears on a weird, obscure, anti-Semitic blog.

I’ve received 2 trolling comments. It may be that they came from different people, but I don’t think so.

Summary:

1. Prayer in tongues is stupid and crazy.

2. My music is really bad and will never amount to anything.

3. I am conceited because I think my music is better than the worst music I’ve heard on TV.

4. I claimed I was going to be a famous humorist, and that didn’t happen.

5. It’s good that I didn’t have kids.

6. I am insane.

I think that’s most of it.

I don’t think I claimed I was going to be a famous humorist, although I did have hopes. If that had happened, I would have been lost. I’d want nothing to do with God. I’d be spending money and living for myself. I’d be praying for three minutes on a good day. Thank God it didn’t work out.

When I saw the last comment, the obvious Bible verse came into my head: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”

Criticizing someone for praying in tongues is reproach for the Son of man’s sake. Jesus died partly so we could be saved, but also in order to give us the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit. His primary mission on earth was to make it possible for the Holy Spirit to live in us and make us like Jesus. This is a horrifying thing to Satan. It’s the reason he killed and tortured early Christians. Once the Holy Spirit was driven out, persecution dropped off, and the church went mainstream, with much less opposition. When people insult you because you’re obeying God, you know you’ve hit a nerve. Satan doesn’t activate his puppets for nothing.

I used to have endless trolls. I was something of a troll myself. By that I mean I engaged in pointless carnal disputes, and I went out of my way to provoke foolish people. I try to avoid blogging about politics these days, and I think it has reduced the troll population, but not all trolls are political. Some hate God. And they hate God’s people, for no reason.

I don’t plan to approve troll comments. That may seem unfair to people who think everyone has a God-given right to have their point of view published, but as I’ve said for many years, my blog is not a forum. If you want to insult me, do it with your own money, somewhere else.

I also block troll IPs. A stubborn troll can always find a way to get here, but I might be able to discourage the weak ones.

It’s kind of remarkable that a person would show up to hit me with discouraging lies, when the things I’m writing are so non-confrontational. I understood it back when I was making fun of Al Gore and the BDS people. When someone attacks you or someone you idolize, you may get angry. But this nameless person is angry because I pray in tongues and because I like the music I write. That’s strange.

The music is going really well. With God’s help, I have figured out how to come up with original melodies, so it looks like I’m going to have a copious supply of material. More than I know what to do with. When God says our cups run over, he is not kidding. I’m not going to be able to finish all the tunes I come up with. I’ll have to start doing triage. If things keep going the way they are, I’ll end up with a tremendous library of original music. My hope is that some of it will be accepted and used, but it will be nice to have, even if I’m the only one who enjoys it.

My new Internet friend may not like what I’m doing, but my teacher–an actual musician with outstanding credentials–does. Here’s something crazy. He composed a new tune and put it on Youtube. At my last lesson, he said I had inspired him. If it weren’t for me, he probably would not have done it. That’s amazing! God used me to wake someone up. And the worship leader at my church is also excited. He composes, but he has been putting it off. Now that I’m doing what he’s supposed to do, he says he has new motivation!

As for prayer in tongues, the things that are happening at my church are astonishing. My pastor has been teaching about the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, he’s telling us things I tried to tell the people at Trinity Church for several years. The things that got me ostracized are now being proclaimed from the pulpit, by an authority figure. The leadership at Trinity Church had no respect for me or the Holy Spirit. The whole operation was a mechanism intended to promote the pastor and his family, and they did not want to spook people. Now I’m at a church where the Holy Spirit is taking over.

On Tuesday, the pastor had us pray in tongues as a group. I would guess we went about 15 minutes. I didn’t know what to say. I was watching a dream come true. The shoots are coming out of the ground. The final fire is lit, and this time, Satan will not be able to put it out, because this time, God is not going to rely on man to keep it going. It’s like the restoration of Israel. In the past, Israel’s situation depended on how the Jews treated God. Now it’s different. In order for prophecy to come true, God has to get in there and make things happen, regardless of how badly his people behave. It’s grace this time, more than before.

My own prayer life gets better and better. Sometimes I get so far into the Spirit, I feel as though my attachment to the physical world is almost broken, and I tell God I’m ready to leave if he wants to take me. I get new breakthroughs in faith and revelation all the time. Every time one comes, I think it can’t get any better than that, and then the next one comes, and it’s better.

Things keep improving. God has made it clear that certain things are going to happen for me. I wish everyone could get what I’m getting. It’s so easy, but people reject it. Or they never find out about it.

One of the things that comes out in my music is the sorrow over the people who aren’t going to make it. In nature, many are born, and few survive. Even in the moment of conception, millions of sperm cells die, and only one survives. In the kingdom of God, it doesn’t have to be like that. Provision has been made for all of us. But most of us will not know God, and most of us will go to hell. There isn’t much we can do about it. If the situation could be fixed, God would have taken care of it. Many of the people I see around me now are going to disappear permanently. I won’t know them much longer.

I am starting to see unsaved people as unreal. In a way, this is correct. Is anything real, if it doesn’t last? The unsaved show up for a while, make a little noise, and then vanish for good. A person’s life shouldn’t be like condensed breath on a windowpane, that appears for a minute and then dissipates. But this is how most lives go. The unsaved matter. But their presence is temporary, and the things they do will be erased, as though they had never happened. Ten thousand years from now, who will even think about them?

I don’t plan the music I write. The tunes come to me, and I write them down. I don’t think they express some true “voice” within me. They’re not what I expected to write. Maybe God is expressing something through me. I hope that as my skills improve, his music will come through me more clearly and in better quality. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.

Pray for the trolls. In God’s kingdom, like the fairy tale, a troll can live under a bridge, but she won’t cross it.

Latest Oeuvre

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Now With Added TULIPS

I finished a new piece of music, applied for a copyright registration, and stuck it on Youtube.

Here it is. I hope you like it.

I got the photos from a public domain photo site.

It’s funny how this works now. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to get anything written. Then I pray, and I get to work. I usually put in about 90 minutes, and then I feel God’s peace descend on me, and I realize it’s time to quit.

I got myself a new digital piano. The toy keyboard I was using was driving me nuts.

Some of the computerized instruments can be shrill. Hopefully real musicians with actual instruments will play it some day.

Psalm 37:4.

Hell’s Ellis Island

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

“May God Bless and Keep the Tsar…Far Away From Us”

What a fun morning.

I keep getting subpoena’d in a misdemeanor case involving a relative. Someone made a clerical error, and they put me down as a witness. I was not present when the crime took place, so I can’t be a witness. The first time the case came up, I showed up. The second time, I called the prosecutor, and she told me to stay home. This time, I could not get the courtesy of a reply, so I dragged my behind to the Gerstein Building.

In a Facebook status, I called this building dark, grimy, and Dickensian. I think that captures it. It’s as gloomy as a crypt. The last time I went to see one of my relative’s trials (felony, not misdemeanor), the room was so dark it made me wonder if the judge had some kind of problem. It was like the judge’s office in the movie The Natural. This time it was a little brighter, but still not a place where any sane person wants to be.

I dress like a lawyer when I think I’m going to have to speak, but when I’m forced to show up due to a clerical error, it’s work pants and a comfy T-shirt. I took a tablet with me so I could pass the lost time reading John Le Carre. I don’t usually read fiction, but I bought one of his books on a whim.

I was dressed in a way that would have gotten a lawyer cited for contempt in years past, but on this occasion it didn’t matter, and I looked a whole lot better than a lot of the characters in the gallery. One guy was wearing red, black, and white boxers, and we all got a nice eyeful when he stood to leave.

Some kid’s cell phone went off, playing the opening measures of “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees. It must have gone on for fifteen or twenty seconds. He was already on his feet and on his way to the door before he shut it off. The judge didn’t even look up. If it had been me, they would have brought the electric chair out of mothballs just to teach me a lesson, but everyone’s luck with judges is different.

The case was pleaded out. Twelve hours of traffic school, court costs, and a withhold of adjudication. What a waste of my time. I stayed long enough to be sure I wasn’t going to be needed.

The judge issued a pile of bench warrants, and she nolle prossed a whole bunch of cases because the cops didn’t show up to testify. My relative had a whole slew of cops waiting to sing. She allegedly hit one while he was trying to ticket her and then fled the scene. THAT will get them up in the morning to testify. And who can blame them?

I nearly wrecked on the way home. I turned left at an intersection, and some guy came barreling through without slowing down. This is the kind of accident that will get you charged, even though you’re not the idiot. You’re supposed to yield to oncoming traffic, but if someone is absolutely flying, and the visibility is limited, you can do everything you’re supposed to and still get charged. God looked out for me, and I managed to keep from smacking the other vehicle.

I’m finally done with this particular case. I don’t have to show up for all of the other ones unless I feel like it, and guess what? I don’t feel like it. I really hate the courthouse. I didn’t mind it much when I was practicing, but back then, I was jerking the chain. Now I’m always one of the people on the other end of it. A courthouse is where you end up when you get outside God’s protection and land in the hands of the secular government, which is a very stupid and merciless organization. I want no part of it.

So glad to be away from that place. May God help the people who are still stuck there. That building is like the market scene from Soylent Green, except they pass out jail time and devastating verdicts instead of orange dinner rolls.

Pennies From Heaven?

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Sow a Seed at the Library of Congress

Yesterday at church a couple of friends showed me a banner that had been created for a campaign called “I Love my Church.” They wanted to protect the design, and they were talking about the money involved. They were talking about thousands of dollars. It has been maybe eleven years since I practiced IP law, and I’ve forgotten most of what I knew, but I knew enough to tell them the figure was a little high. My first boss loved money more than air, and he only charged $120 for a copyright application.

I thought about the music I’ve been composing. It’s all on Youtube. People have suggested I protect it. I turned on my PC and researched it. It turns out getting a copyright registration is easier than ever.

You don’t have to do ANYTHING in order to get a copyright. Everything you create is automatically copyrighted. But you may have to prove priority in court, and back when I was practicing, the federal courts wouldn’t even entertain a suit until you showed them a copyright certificate. Getting an official registration is smart. It’s also cheap.

I’ll tell you what I learned. The Library of Congress (the folks who are in charge of copyrights) has a new (to me) website. The location is http://www.copyright.gov. If you have a musical recording (or anything else) you want to copyright, this is where you go. Depending on the nature of the work, you may be able to upload a copy electronically, so you don’t even have to buy a stamp.

You have to create an account, and any information you supply will be in the public record. You’ll have to give them a mailing address. It might be smart to get a P.O. box.

The fee is $35 per work, but you can cheat. If you write 300 songs, you can put them in one body and call them one work. I had one tune that was finished in 2012 and three that were finished in 2013, so I grouped them separately and applied for two registrations.

The ins and outs of the process are extremely confusing. You’ll have to figure out which category to put your work in, and you may find yourself pulling your hair out before you’re done. I’m a lawyer, and it drove me nuts for about an hour.

If you create a musical composition, turn it into a recording, and master the recording yourself (as I did), you can cover all three things (melody, recording, and production) in one registration. You don’t have to send them sheet music.

I’m not charging for this info, and you’re not my clients, so it may be totally wrong. Don’t rely on it. But it may be helpful to people who have stuff to protect.

It’s very exciting, having those certificates on the way. I’ve never registered anything before. Not on my own behalf. Now if I turn on the TV and hear one of my tunes playing, it will be easy to turn the perpetrator into my employee, taking the royalties and doing no work, apart from what I’ve already done.

I don’t think this will happen, but you never know. A lot of the crap you hear on TV is not as good as my work. A sleazy jingle writer could find worse things to steal.

I’m going to have to leave my tunes on Youtube as long as possible, because they will also be evidence of priority. The copyright certificates will provide the years in which things were written, but they won’t provide dates. What if some goof copyrighted one of them right after I uploaded it? I’d need something to wave in the judge’s face.

I suppose it sounds a little arrogant, suggesting someone might want to come after my obscure, simple tunes. Think of the bad music you’ve heard on the radio. If that garbage can be stolen by infringers, so can my work.

If people end up paying for my work, it means that right now, God is giving me wealth. I have to make sure I don’t leave it out on the curb for people to steal.

God has helped me understand that copyright is the best form of IP protection. To get a patent, you have to do a gigantic amount of work and spend thousands of dollars, and you get a limited period of protection. Trademarks aren’t useful for most people, and they’re a lot of aggravation to get. To get a copyright, you spend five minutes filling out a form and uploading a file, and the copyright will outlive you. And creating a work of writing or music is WAY easier than inventing something. To a person who understands the mathematical nature of the world, it should be obvious that there is huge potential in copyright, and a bigger return for the effort.

In other news, I’ve had a big faith breakthrough. I’ve learned a few things.

First of all, prayer in tongues keeps paying off. It’s the single most powerful, most important thing I do. If I ever got to the point where my life was so crazy I had to make hard choices, prayer in tongues would be the last thing I gave up. Everything I’ve believed about it has proven to be true. Everything. The more you do it, the better off you’ll be, in every way. It will fuel your life and put a foundation under it.

Second thing: last week, God showed me that when I’m struggling to believe, I shouldn’t necessarily think about the big prayers he has answered. I’ve found that it’s more helpful to think about the little prayers he answers consistently. Does God help you find your car keys every time you pray? Think about that when you pray for him to heal you of cancer. God spoke the galaxies into existence. He can put a new leg on you just as easily as he can tell you where your sunglasses are.

This is much more powerful than it sounds. Try it.

Third thing: when you pray in tongues, keep this in mind: the words are God’s, not yours. God is speaking. He is using your voice, but it’s still him, and his words have power proportional to the faith you supply as you speak. If you think about this while you pray, your faith will be supernaturally increased. Somehow, the Holy Spirit responds to it. He will rise up inside you and support your faith. Your mind will be “stayed” (propped up) on God, as Isaiah said: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isaiah 26:3).”

This is not a feel-good tip or a motivational tool. It is not carnal, like the garbage the self-help preachers teach. It is a key to supernatural power.

God has set his seal on some things he is doing for me and some people around me. He has told me this in faith. When your faith reaches a certain point, God will stamp a prayer as “done.” I’m not going to list the things that are coming my way, but I know they’re done. He has sealed things for me before, and he has come through. I think the funniest example was the Coral Gables pickup truck ban. He told me he was going to defeat the people who were trying to bring it back, and even though they voted to restore it, they failed. I have to admit, I laughed. These people were so sure their carnal efforts mattered, and they got so wound up. But it was all a waste of their time. They might as well have stayed home.

Don’t expect it to happen if you neglect the gift of tongues. God has gone to great trouble and pain to put a weapon in your hand. If you won’t use it, don’t whine when you fail. God is not a puppeteer; he will not pick up your limp body and move the limbs and the tongue to cause you to do and say what you should in order to be blessed. He has done so much already; he has taken a thousand steps toward you. If you won’t take one step toward him, you are not worth saving. If you won’t take the easy path he has provided, he may not help you. He may literally allow your enemies to murder you. You would not be the first.