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Pork Crisis Comes to a Sudden End

December 18th, 2017

Plus More Testimony

I got a nice surprise today. My sliced country ham arrived, and it’s much better than I expected.

I ordered it from Gatton Farms in Kentucky. I quit using them a long time ago, because they sent me a ham that wasn’t smelly enough. A few days ago, I started looking for a new ham, and I decided to try buying a Gatton Farms ham (because the price isn’t bad) and letting it sit around for a week or two before refrigerating it, to see if it improved. When the ham arrived today, I couldn’t resist frying a couple of slices. The last country ham I had was from Cracker Barrel, and it was pretty bland.

The new ham looked promising right out of the box. The slices were vacuum-sealed in clear bags, and the color was dark and nasty-looking, the way it should be. I flopped a couple into a skillet and gave them about three minutes on a side, after adding two tablespoons of bacon grease for good thermal conduction.

When I took them out, I poured off the excess grease, added a little water to the skillet, and boiled it down to make redeye gravy. Some people call cream gravy redeye gravy, but it’s much simpler. Cream gravy is bechamel sauce made from pork grease and pepper, more or less. Redeye gravy is what you get when you deglaze a skillet with water and then reduce it. People will tell you to add coffee to it, but my grandmother never did.

I’m very impressed. The ham and gravy were nicely acidic, the way they should be. The meat wasn’t too dry. It was nice and salty. I didn’t add water to cut the salt.

I don’t know if they’ve improved their curing method or if the disappointing stuff they sent in the past was just bad luck.

My half-gallon container of sorghum molasses hasn’t made it here yet. I look forward to trying it. I want to make biscuits and eat them with ham, butter, and sorghum. I hope the sorghum is thick. I’ve had sorghum so thick it made me want to chew on it.

Things are going very, very well in my prayer life. God has been helping me to spend more time praying in tongues, in several sessions every day. I can’t tell you why, but when I do this, life just flows. Problems solve themselves. Stress disappears. When I don’t do it, problems pile up.

I got a phrase during prayer the other day. It was, “I know the answer.” It just means I need to quit asking God for new answers and start applying the answer he already gave me. In 1986, he told me I needed to pray in tongues for long periods every day. For a long time, I’ve known that it works, but I haven’t applied it enough.

I always say I would be the most boring preacher alive, because I would always say the same thing: get baptized with the Holy Spirit and pray in tongues as much as you can. I keep coming back to it. It never doesn’t work.

It’s a great message. Think of all the effort it obviates. Denominations are teaching people to slave away at unpleasant methods that do not work. They tell them to make pilgrimages on their knees, give all their money to grinning monkeys on TBN, go on long fasts, pray this canned prayer, pray that canned prayer, pray to this or that false “saint,” give up good food for Lent, avoid meat on Fridays, and a whole list of other useless tasks, when what people really need is to connect themselves to God’s power and let him do the work.

Yesterday I had a funny thought. Imagine you dig ditches for a living. One day your foreman comes up to you and tells you to dig a ditch of a certain size. You give yourselves blisters and make your back sore, digging the prettiest ditch in history. Then the foreman makes you and all the other workers assemble to praise him for the great job he did. “You’re so worthy. Look at this great ditch you gave us, o foreman. We thank thee for thy ditch.”

How would you feel about that guy? You’d think he was an parasite and a colossal jerk. But somehow, we expect to do all the work to straighten out our lives…AND praise God for it.

Is God a colossal jerk? Does he want credit for the things you do? If you have to do the work, what, exactly, are you supposed to praise him for?

God wants to do the work. We know this because he wants the praise. He doesn’t want you to praise him for what you do without his help. When you pray in tongues, he does the work. He gives you the words. He answers the prayers. You’re barely involved. It only makes sense that you would praise him when you see the results, because there is no way you can take credit. You had no idea what you were saying!

God fixes people’s problems, and he even wants to do the work of changing your character. Your catastrophically disordered and disabled character is too screwed up for you to fix. You already blew it. The damage is done. If you could repair it, you wouldn’t need Jesus. The crucifixion would have been a waste of time. It’s as if you spent your life mining sin, and while you were a thousand feet down, the mine collapsed on you. You can’t move the timbers and boulders. You’re pinned. God understands that, and when you keep trying to dig yourself out, your pride tries his patience. It proves you haven’t learned anything. It drives him to stop helping you.

We are heirs, not self-made men. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We’re supposed to sit back and let God give things to us. It’s humiliating, but then it should be. Humiliation just indicates that we finally understand what we are.

Here’s something I realized the other day: when God gave his stamp of approval to Jesus, he didn’t say he was proud of him. Remember? Jesus was baptized, and when he rose from the water, the Holy Spirit alighted on him, and God said, “Behold my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Not, “of whom I am very proud.”

Sometimes when I accomplish something satisfying, I think about that. I feel like saying, “I’m proud of this,” but I know better than to do that. The correct thing to say is, “I am pleased that this is done.” We like to say we take pride in our work. That’s wrong. We should say we take pleasure in doing it well, and that we’re grateful God helped us. I think about that a lot. You don’t need pride. It’s a poison. You can be satisfied with what you have and what you do, without ruining everything by bringing pride into it.

God himself is not proud. That’s incredible. The Bible says it’s true, though. God himself, who has more reason to be proud than anyone, is humble. But somehow we, who offend God constantly and live on his mercy, think our asinine pride is a virtue.

I hope things continue to go well. I know from experience that I can always find a way to drop the ball.

I don’t care if anyone agrees with me or not. What I am doing was not my own idea, and it works. I can’t force anyone else to accept it. I wish they would. I’m not going to be disturbed if they tell me how offended they are by “cheap grace” and so on. Maybe they’re so great they can save themselves. I’m not, and clearly, I am not required to.

5 Responses to “Pork Crisis Comes to a Sudden End”

  1. Ruth H Says:

    I like that phrase. “I know the answer.” It ties in with what we all know. We’ve all wrestled with our conscious on doing the right thing. We all know the right thing, but sometimes we feel more comfortable doing the not quite right thing and then we are troubled with the choice. I like that you were given that phrase, I see it as a word of wisdom.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. John Bowen Says:

    Is Gatton Farms now Father’s Country Hams? I hope so, because that website makes me drool.

  3. Steve H. Says:

    That’s them.

  4. Ruth H Says:

    Father’s Country Hams, oh yes, drool country. I looked them up. If I didn’t already have a ham and a half I would order those slices. And someone else is bringing ham for Christmas dinner at my house.
    Two miles from me is the Rockport Relief site where some people are living in rescued RV’s from Harvey. They are going to get one of those hams.

  5. Steve B Says:

    I got something similar recently. I’ve to writing the little “words” God gives my on sticky notes and hanging them on the cupboards, One recent one was, “Don’t make me tell you twice!” I felt like was both humor but also some steel in it. Like a parent that has to call into the backseat on a road trip.

    The gist of it is, don’t keep circling back for a confirmation or another “fleece.” God doesn’t like to repeat himself. If he gives you something to do, don’t dither. Move Out!