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Archive for July, 2015

Another Round for the Great Whore, Please

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Planned Parenthood has Company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This message is about believers, not the unsaved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Curious Welcome

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Charismatics are Poor Hosts

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

flop on floor meme

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Son: OOGITY BOOGITY OOGITY BOOGITY OOOGITY BOOGITY OOGITY BOOGITY

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

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

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

batman seed gift

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

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

Am I the only one who sees a problem here?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Someone Come Get the School Bus

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

The Driver is Taking a Walk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The World, as it Really Is

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

We are All Dumpster Divers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After that I got away from them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Godless people aren’t much at fulfillment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cry Havoc! And Let Slip the Dogs of Bench

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Wood That I Could

Today I learned something disturbing about hand planes.

A while back, I found that I had the ability to hand-sharpen stuff with remarkable accuracy. I proceeded to fix up the blades of my old hand planes. I made edges that were either perpendicular to the length of the blades or, in the case of a blade that was originally sharpened way off perpendicular, nearly so.

I was happy. The blades looked pretty good, apart from the gouges my early efforts made, and they were literally like razors. I planed with them and felt great joy.

Then I saw this guy.

His name is Richard Maguire, and he goes by “the English Woodworker.” Good luck getting a trademark on that in the USA.

When I watch him, I keep expecting Eric Idle to pop out of a refrigerator.

He uses hand tools and does lots of neat work. He makes a living making workbenches. He knows a great deal about weird old tools.

A week or so back, I heard him say something about “cambering” plane blades. This means that instead of a straight edge, you create a convex arc. When you put the blade in the plane, the center is slightly lower than the edges, so it hits the wood first.

I waved my hand and decided to write him off as an eccentric. Because I had done so much work on my blades.

Today I was reading up on planes, and I read some credible stuff that said that it was necessary to camber plane blades. Not optional. Not optimal. Necessary.

The problem is that if you don’t do this, the corners of the blade will be level with the center, and they will cut just as deep. Where the blade ends, the cutting stops, so you get a tiny rabbet. Not the kind you surprise your kids with at Easter and then turn loose in a park when no one is looking because you’re tired of cleaning the cage. A rabbet is a straight cut in a piece of wood with a 90-degree wall.

I guess calling a miniscule gouge a rabbet is an exaggeration, but you get the point. You’re trying to make a piece of wood smooth, and you leave long scratches in it.

Today I removed my vise from my bench so I could flatten the top a little. There are six boards in the top, and the third one in was pretty warped. I started planing it, and I saw the scratches, and that’s when I started reading up.

Then I read up on how to put a camber in a plane blade. Some people call plane blades cutters or irons. I am not that particular.

It turns out that if you sharpen by hand, using whetstones, you have to push really hard on one side while you sharpen it, and then you push really hard on the other side. Over time, the sides get cut more than the middle, and you get a very wide arc.

So I spent like 3 hours resharpening my blades. I found that once you start to get close to the arc you want, you can perfect it by switching the pressure from one side of the blade to the other during each stroke.

You can buy jigs and machines to do this stuff, but then you’re a loser and a girly man, and I wasn’t having that. And I don’t want to have to drag the woodworking equivalent of the Electrowhocardioshnooks out every time I want to do something.

So here is the bench now. The last two boards are covered by important woodworking tools such as my computer monitor and CNC lathe, so they’re not flat yet.

07 17 15 workbench flattened with hand planes

My big project for the weekend is to put the vise together. I am hoping UPS came through on its promise to deliver the acme screws and nuts today.

I also ordered some holdfasts. These are bent pieces of wood, like the hooked ends of crowbars. Dang…I just realized I could have bought crowbars and sawed them in half. Anyway, you drive them into holes in the top of your bench, they get wedged in, and pads on the ends of the hooks hold your wood down.

I will have to make holes for these things. Unfortunately, the bench top is only 1.5″ thick, and that’s half an inch too thin for holdfasts, so I will have to attach a board under the bench to make the holes deeper.

Once this is done, I will be able to hold wood down properly while I work on it instead of sitting on it or holding it down with my face.

The bench is getting surprisingly nice. You wouldn’t want it in your living room, but stuff no longer rocks when it sits on it. I could build a new top in two days, but I like doing modifications. It allows me to get practice without screwing up anything expensive or important.

I plan to use the holes for bench dogs, too. These are little cylinders of wood that sit partway in the holes, held up by friction, and keep wood from moving sideways. You can put a vertical thing in your vise’s moving jaw, put a piece of wood against it, and tighten the vise until it drives the wood into one or more dogs. This holds it in place. You can also use a bench dog, a holdfast, and a batten. But I am too lazy to tell you what this means.

I have learned an amazing thing, which I already suspected. Human beings have the ability to detect things their senses can’t really pick up.

For example, when I was sharpening the blades, I was creating deviations from straight that amounted to maybe four thousandths of an inch. To be really sure what was happening, I would hold the edges up to a machinist’s square and look for light between the rule and the blades. But before I put the blades up to the square, I already knew, pretty much, what I was going to see.

When I was planing, I had a carpenter’s square, which I used to check the wood for flatness. But I found that when I ran my hands over the wood, the high places, which were maybe five or ten thousandths high, felt positively swollen. They were very obvious.

Don’t ask me to explain it. I can’t.

Let’s see. What else?

I made a router plane. A router plane is a tool with a blade that projects down from a flat body. You use it to even out the bottoms of dadoes, which are like two rabbets facing each other. In other words, a dado is a slot with vertical walls and a flat bottom.

07 16 15 homemade router plane with set screw added

There are a million router planes on the market, and none are cheap. I was very confused when I shopped. Then I saw this guy.

That’s Paul Sellers. He is merely AN English woodworker. To be clear. Anyway, he says you can make a working plane by driving a chisel through a board. So I bought a chisel and gave it a shot. But I found that making a chisel sit level in a round hole was iffy, and on top of that, I expected the hole to open up quickly with use, so I decided to make a board with a flat hole through it.

In order to do that, I had to make a slot half an inch wide, at 35 degrees to horizontal. Then I had to fill the slot most of the way with a piece of wood half and inch thick. The finishing touch was a set screw, which I made by cutting a quarter-inch lag bolt in half. I can move the chisel back and fort to adjust the depth of the cut, and the screw holds it in place and forces it to level itself against the flat bottom of the hole.

I cheated in the worst way possible. I used the milling machine to make the slot. Doing it with woodworking tools would have been a nightmare. I finished with planes, butchering the wood in the slot pretty badly, which proves my point.

I almost killed myself making this infernal object, but I did finish.

Does it work? No idea. I don’t have any dadoes at the moment. That’s not the point. I wanted to make it, and I did.

Now I may have something that will function while I either choose or make a real router plane.

07 16 15 using milling machine to cheat on router plane

I know you find this fascinating. Let me just say this: you’re welcome.

Bench Trials

Monday, July 13th, 2015

A Certain Amount of Bleeding is Good for You

I have been fiddling around with my workbench.

I built it in maybe 2007. I did not know what a workbench should be like, so I guessed. I used pressure-treated four-by-fours for the legs. I put horizontal two-by-eights in several places for added rigidity, and I covered it with two-by-sixes laid flat.

I did not know much about joinery or routing, so I made an interesting choice. I took a router and made tongues and grooves on the boards that made up the top, and I shoved them together. The outermost boards had screws holding them down, and they held the other boards in place. I put one additional screw near the end of each inner board.

The tongues and grooves were not too good. I think I didn’t understand the importance of milling wood to make it flat and straight. When you have boards with curved edges and various types of warpage, they don’t mate up all that well. Now I have a few cracks that things fall into. Screws and drill bits, mostly.

The irony is that I thought the joinery would prevent things from falling. I didn’t want stuff to fall down between the boards and go right through so they landed under the table. Now it falls and gets stuck half an inch below the level of the top, and it tends to get covered with sawdust and other crap.

Yesterday I dug around between two boards and found a drill bit I had been missing for weeks, plus an unusual screw that fell out of a rotary table.

The workbench has its issues, but it’s very solid. You could literally park a car on it, if you could find a way to fit it.

It’s not a real woodworking bench. It’s just a general-purpose bench. I stuck a heavy 5″ mechanic’s vise on the left front corner, and I didn’t add any features that would help me work on wood. No dog holes. No wood vises.

Much later, I learned what woodworking benches were like.

Internet hobbyists are probably not the greatest guys to ask for advice when it comes to benches. Most of them have never had to make a wooden item in order to put food on the table, so they don’t know a whole lot about efficiency or what really works. They like benches that look fancy and have lots of cool joints in them. And sometimes they use hardwoods, which is apparently a mistake.

I’ve been studying up on this. Evidently, crummmy wood like pine and fir is the best choice for a workbench. It’s cheap. It’s relatively easy to work. You can glue long pieces together and make huge laminated boards without quality jointing; the wood is soft enough to deform when clamped, closing any gaps caused by warpage. You don’t need to run it through a jointer, which would be a chore.

Also, you should not sand a workbench top and make it super-pretty. If you do, stuff will slide around on it because it has no grip. Professional woodworkers will actually fix their benches when they get too smooth. There are planes made for this purpose. They have toothed blades. You take the plane, and you deliberately rough up your gorgeous surface so cabinets won’t slide off and shoot across the shop.

Hobby woodworkers tend to make benches with tops that are way too thick. When a top gets more than 3″ thick, you will start to have issues when you try to use holdfasts. A holdfast is a bent rod that goes through the top. It has a flat clamping surface on one end. The other end is straight. You push the straight end down into a hole in your bench, and it gets wedged and holds your work down flat so you can butcher it. If the hole is too deep, it won’t want to wedge.

On the other hand, a thin (1.5″) top like the one I have is bad, because it won’t work with many vises. An example is the Eclipse 10″ vise, which is a Czech copy of a vise made by Record. This thing is supposed to be screwed to the underside of a thick bench, with over a foot of hardward projecting horizontally underneath. The fixed jaw goes against the edge of the bench, and it’s pretty deep. If the side of your bench is 1.5″ high, you have a problem. Also, if you have a vertical board under the edge of your bench to support the top, you will have to cut holes in it for the vise hardward.

I have two vertical boards a few inches apart.

Seemed smart at the time.

I am not planning to make a new bench right now. I can’t think of an excuse, so I will just admit I’m lazy. Over the last day or two I’ve learned things that make it less intimidating, but during that time I made a choice to work with what I have, and I made substantial modifications, so I want to see how far I can go with the existing bench.

In my Google-powered research, I learned about something called a Moxon vise. This is a fat board maybe two feet long, with two acme screws in it. You put a screw through each end and mount a dial on the outside, and when you want to hold something, you put it between the board and your bench and tighten the screws.

It’s not rocket science, but it has a following, and to me, it looked a lot easier than performing major surgery so I could install an Eclipse.

Usually, these vises have screws that don’t move. The dials are threaded on the inside, so they move toward the bench as you tighten the vise. That leaves two huge bars of metal hanging out of the bench at waist level at all times, waiting to gouge you every time you walk by.

No. That will not do.

I decided to make a version with screws that turn. That would move everything close to the bench when the vise was closed.

To do this, I needed a fat fixed jaw pretty much flush with the side of the bench, and that meant hacking off the ledge that hung over the side. Here’s a photo of what I did with an ordinary saw from the hardware store, followed by a flush-cut router bit.

07 11 15 bench with cutout for wood vise

I am not great with a router, and the bench top (my reference surface) was not all that flat, so I got a few gouges. But I had to fine-tune it with a scraper and plane anyway, so to a large extent, the gouges went away.

I needed wood for the hole. I had a couple of really ugly two-by-sixes rotting in the backyard, so I cut usable pieces from them jointed and planed them, and glued them together to make one board.

07 11 15 cheesy pine glued up for bench vise jaw

I drilled some holes in them and made recesses for screws, and then I attached them to the bench with lag screws. The result is really nice. I can’t stop looking at it.

07 12 15 moxon vise fixed jaw attached to workbench

I wanted a hardwood moving jaw, for some reason I don’t recall. I paid good money for three feet of maple and then cut it down, removing all the cracked and useless wood that always seems to come with lumber yard items. I plan to drill screw holes in it and add it later.

I also picked up a piece of 36″ threaded rod and two nuts. The usual choice is acme thread, but that’s not available locally, and I saw a piece of 3/4″ 60-degree threaded rod just staring at me at the hardware store, so stupidly, I bought it. Then I found out it won’t work.

I mean, yes, it will work, but the pitch is much finer than the pitch on an acme screw, so it will take a billion turns to open or close the vise a few inches. Also, 60-degree threads don’t work well with half-nuts.

A half-nut is a piece of metal with threads inside it, but they only go 180 degrees. If you took a nut and sawed it in half across the opening, you would have 180 degrees of threads, and you could drop it directly onto a threaded rod and get it to engage. You wouldn’t have to screw it in, because the nut would be open.

If you have two half-nuts, you can close them around a threaded rod in order to get a nut that works. When it’s closed, you can move the rod back and forth through the nut by turning it. When it’s open, you can move the rod freely without turning it. You can use half-nuts for quick-release devices. Open the nut to move the vise jaw (for example) quickly. Close it when you want to use the screw and apply force.

Lathes use half-nuts to move their carriages when machinists thread things. You turn a lever, the nut closes around a turning screw, and the carriage moves as the nut moves up the screw.

A 60-degree thread is sloped, obviously, so when it’s in a half-nut and you push or pull it, some of the force will be transferred outward, and the half-nut will try to open. Acme threads are pretty square, so they are less troublesome.

So now I have 36″ of useless threaded rod. I found acme rod online, and three feet of it are on their way to me now, complete with nuts.

This is too bad, because I had all sorts of neat ideas for a half-nut quick-release mechanism. But if you have acme threads, you don’t need a quick-release mechanism all that badly, because the coarse pitch makes things move pretty quickly as you turn the screw.

A famous woodworker named Paul Sellers has a series of Youtubes showing how to make a workbench top. It’s really not that bad. You plane a few pieces of cheap pine or fir just enough to make glue stick, and then you clamp them side-by-side. Eventually you get enough solid wood to make a benchtop, which you can plane and adjust.

It would be even easier for me, because I have a jointer and planer. I don’t insist on doing stuff by hand.

Nonetheless, I feel I should keep working on the bench I have, because it’s great experience. And if I have a bench that works, it will be there to use when I make a better one.

I have ideas for filling the cracks. I have an idea for a swinging TV arm to move my monitor out of the way when I need to use the whole width of the bench. A tail vise would be nice. Dog holes. A thin hardwood covering for the pine, to make the holes slower to open up and become useless.

It keeps getting better. To add the vise jaw, I had to move my power strip down low, where it should have been to start with. Putting a power strip at waist level sounds smart, but then you bump into it all the time, and you will step on the cords and pull them out.

The vise jaw is really beautiful. It goes to show that you can make very nice things with cheap wood. It looks much better in real life than in the photo. Makes me want to make more things out of inexpensive pine.

The photos show a lot of bright-looking areas. Those are places that have been planed. My planes are amazing; even the cheap one I restored. They whiz along like nobody’s business. I can actually do useful work with them. I am thinking of driving strips of wood into the bench’s cracks and planing them fair with the top.

It’s nice to have tools. It’s even nicer to be able to use them and get results.

If this project goes anywhere, I’ll post more photos. In the meantime, quit watching garbage on TV and eating Cheetos. Turn on Youtube, open a book, and learn a few things.

It won’t kill you.

What’s Worse Than a Dull Saw?

Monday, July 6th, 2015

A Dull Saw Cutting in the Wrong Place

The Garage of Shalom has significance that goes beyond tools.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things are moving right along.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is what Paul said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop Wasting Yourself on Organizations

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

The Body of Christ is Not a Church With Walls

God keeps answering my prayers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll take that!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stuff I Can’t Say to People in Person

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Memes to Live By

I am not going to lie. I get tired of having my intelligence insulted. Sometimes I almost think it would be better to be stupid, just so I would be able to AGREE with the people who treat me like a moron.

Sometimes I get “corrected” by people who didn’t get through high school. Hello? Is it possible that there is a connection between 1) lack of success and 2) unwillingness to respect the opinions of people who clearly know more than you do?

Anyway, I had an aggravating experience, and I went to the Morpheus meme generator site and cut loose. I am quite pleased with these.

Is it wrong for a Christian to blow off steam? Maybe. But sometimes I think it’s the only thing that keeps human beings from going nova.

Here’s how I feel: if you’re going to treat me like an idiot, be consistent. Don’t tell me how smart I am and THEN treat me like an idiot.

Too much to ask?

Yes.

wonka advice wrong

boromir yield hialeah

dicaprio okay youre still here

humble mcdonalds coffee

lumbergh criticize

told you so meme

dicaprio win win