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State of Me Address

January 21st, 2014

Because You Asked

I never know what to do with this blog. Quit altogether? Take it down?

I started blogging in 2002, on the recommendation of my friend Aaron. I thought it sounded unappealing. The word “blog” sounds like something you find in your nose after cleaning a dusty attic. But I signed up with Blogger, and off I went.

I already had a Homestead site which was not in blog format. I had to post every item in a somewhat time-consuming way. It’s amazing that anyone saw it, because then as now, blogs get more attention than random websites. Aaron told me a blog was a better way, maybe because he knew how search engines and blog links worked.

By the time I moved, I was already very excited about the Internet. I did not realize blogging was already dead. Anyone who put up a site in 1998 and wrote anything remotely interesting became popular. By the time I arrived, you had to network or have a sponsor like Instapundit or…it’s been so long I can’t remember the others. If you didn’t attract the attention of big bloggers by happenstance, and if you weren’t the type of person who sits around emailing strangers all day, pretending to like them and begging for links, you were not likely to get far.

I loved what I was doing. I was practicing law, but I was a failed writer, and I found that hard to accept. I had been published regularly in the local newspaper’s Sunday magazine. Unfortunately, their in-house humorist was Dave Barry, so they didn’t exactly see me as their savior. I had quit writing professionally in maybe 1988, partly because I had not gotten very far, and partly because I was attending church and finding myself somewhat alienated from the secular world. When, in my small way, I returned to writing, I felt like I had wings.

My traffic increased until I had something like 3,000 unique visits per day. I felt I had not succeeded. People whose work was not very good were getting ten times that much traffic. I still enjoyed it, though, and back during the Bush years, bloggers had more influence on the world, so that was a nice incentive.

I was amazed when my work led to the publication of three books. They did not do well. The first one was too long, and it was handicapped by an awful title. The second one was a throwaway I wrote just because I was asked. The third one was my dream project. I think it would have done better, but by the time came to get serious about promoting it, I was a different person. During the promotion process, I lost enthusiasm.

At one point, I got an interview with Mancow. I was thrilled. On the big day, I put on my headphones and turned on Skype. I listened to him and waited to be introduced. While I waited, he made a joke I could not believe. I don’t even like describing it, but I will say that it was about committing a sex act with God. I was horrified. That was going to be the last thing people heard before they heard my voice. I should have hung up, but I had waited for that interview for so long, and millions of people were listening. I did the interview, but I felt I had learned something. This was not God’s plan for me.

I hated to give up on writing again and take a chance on losing my agent and whatever small amount of momentum I had gathered, but I wanted my next book to be about God, and I was not willing to start it without God’s inspiration. Most Christian books are written by people who barely know God. They’re full of errors and even outright lies. They tend to be relatively useless. Many–Rick Warren’s books are examples–are actually harmful.

I wanted to write books that would lead to miracles and inner transformation. I started a project last year, but I eventually realized I was getting ahead of the Holy Spirit, so I let it go.

There were unexpected developments in my relationship with God. I think I had problems because I was thinking of him too much as a source of blessing and deliverance and not enough as someone to whom I owed the opportunity to transform me. Things went much better than they had while I was away from God, but there were speed bumps.

I joined a crooked church, and I thought they were serious about God, but eventually I realized they were parasites who stole from the people God had sent them to help (unless they had sent themselves, which seems likely). When I started serving there, I thought I had found my home, and that the problems I had endured while trying to fit into the secular world were behind me. I was wrong about that. They treated me exactly the same way the world had. They rejected me and took advantage of me.

That church was not a refuge from the world. It WAS the world. All they thought about was money and fame. That should have been a big setback, but fortunately, I did not see it as a problem in my relationship with God. I saw it, correctly, as a problem with a few carnal people who ran a church. My walk with God continued to prosper, and eventually, he showed me a better church. I took off in a hurry. I was tired of praying God to help preachers who had no interest in being helped.

Now I go to a church that amazes me. I have been delivered from corrupting and hindering spirits there. I have been welcomed into the family. The things I said which brought condemnation down on me at the old church now bring me respect and gratitude. I have never missed the other church. Not for a second. On the contrary, I thank God often for answering my prayers for a new church.

My life is bearing fruit now, in ways that I never expected. I have never been one to hang around with young people. I’ve always thought there was something little off about anyone who would want that (and often, there is). But at New Dawn, I’ve affected people’s lives in lasting ways, and a number of those people are young.

I have two goddaughters; one is eleven months old, and another is still in the pipeline. Young people have come to my garage just to pray. Talking about God at the old church was like yelling down the toilet, because no one listened, but now there are people who pay attention and run with the things I tell them. And God keeps sending us people from the old church. The pastors there think I’m an evil Svengali who uses mystical powers to “poach” his livestock, but they come on their own, because they’re worn out. If you beat a dog every day, eventually it stops coming when you call it.

I am still not used to having pastors who talk about God instead of flattering the famous preachers who occasionally let them kiss the ring. It’s very strange, to come out of a lifestyle in which having people take advantage of you is par for the course. When people treat you well, a little part of you wonders what’s wrong.

My life is full of prayer now. I get revelation from God every day. I sense his presence every day. Faith pours through me in rushes I can physically feel. He has promised me so many good things, I’ve made a list of them, and I keep it on my cell phone.

He has shown me how filthy I made myself, and how much opportunity there is for healing and restoration. He is using me to guide others to these things. That beats getting fat checks for writing humor which is largely based on pain, cruelty, and revenge. It’s a good thing I didn’t manage to turn my problems into cash cows. If I had, I would have no incentive to reject and overcome them.

I know a great deal about God and Christianity now. I know that this planet is God’s womb. He created us in order to reproduce, and in this world, we become his children or the children of Satan. I know where demons came from and what they do. I know how they influence the world. I know how to get authority and freedom. People won’t listen unless the Holy Spirit gives them ears, but from time to time, he does that, so while most people will continue going to hell, and most Christians will continue to serve Satan, many are going to be freed. That’s wonderful. What better purpose could I have?

I’m not concerned about the future. God has it covered. The things he told me are in my list of promises, and they will come to pass. I feel a little irresponsible, not running on the world’s hamster wheel, but then I am not part of this world. It may seem that I lack direction, but in reality, I’m on track, and most people are lost. They seem to be doing the smart thing; they are playing the game by the rules. But they’re playing the wrong game, and I’m playing the right one.

I thought God would have a purpose in this blog, and that he might bring people here. That hasn’t happened, to any substantial degree. Maybe that will change, or maybe this chapter of my life is over.

Anyway, life is good. I am healthy. The recession never touched me. I am succeeding at things at which I used to fail. If anyone is worried about me, they need to quit. Maybe I’ll come back and write more, or maybe I’ll take the site down. I can’t promise anything, because I don’t know the plan. But I am doing well.

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15 Responses to “State of Me Address”

  1. JPatterson Says:

    Nice to hear you’re doing well.

  2. Jeffro Says:

    Well, whatever you do – God Bless. You may not be all that as a writer in your own eyes, but I’ve enjoyed reading you all these years.

    I am very happy you are doing so well and moving on with your life, even if it means you’ll probably quite blogging altogether. I’d rather see you fulfilled and thus far less inclined to post.

    Best to you and yours.

  3. Stephen McAteer Says:

    I’d be sorry to see you go – I enjoy reading your posts, even though I don’t have a huge personal interest in all of the topics. I think you’re a good writer. You have my best wishes with whatever you decide to do.

  4. Virgil Says:

    “Live long and Prosper” in his name

  5. TJ Burns Says:

    I’ve always been blessed by the details about your spiritual journey here… I truly hope that you will decide to continue to post here, in that you have touched my life and given more Christian guidance than you know. I am very glad to hear that you are all right… you deserve the best.

  6. The Old Man Says:

    Good on you. Been reading since ATS. Hope you and dad do well, and your sister gets to be who she should be.

  7. Ron Carroll Says:

    I understand how you have grown and are moving on. When I first read your work you were developing the perfect pig cooker, the Hoginator! That was fun to read and watch you make improvements. I particularly was pleased to see you just had to set up your own home machine shop (that’s one of my interests) and I hoped to see more of your plans and projects.

    Thank you.

    Be well.

    Ron

  8. Juan Paxety Says:

    I’d hate to see you go, too. I was reared in an old-line, mainstream Protestant church, so a lot of what you write about is enlightening to me.

  9. syd Says:

    I’ve been encouraged by lurking here over a number of years. Your writing is enjoyable and your candor truly refreshing. Whether you post more or this time is over, be encouraged: God’s word does not return to him empty. There may be many who have been moved closer to him thru this venue, whether or not that was your primary goal. God bless your future endeavors. Keep on being faithful in every way you know how, and you will keep on becoming more like him.

  10. Elisson Says:

    My two cents? Leave the site up and let it go dormant. There are some folks who might benefit from looking through your archives, and you don’t want to make all your hard work go away.

    At the very least, download an archive copy so you have it.

  11. lauraw Says:

    Still good people in the world- even Miami ;)

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/02/20/3949698/drivers-on-dolphin-expressway.html

  12. Steve B Says:

    Steve,

    I’ve been very encouraged and strengthened by your writings over the years (been with you since way back in the Hog On Ice days). Your no-nonsense style, personal transparency, and your practical, literal and unapologetic apporach to letting God reach into your life has been a source of great encouragement. I hope you keep writing, but would certainly understand if you didn’t. Everything has a reason and a season.

  13. Tina Says:

    Remember that God’s success is not the success of the world. What if you are to write only for 50? How about 10? If God leads you to keep writing here, then He has a purpose, and it may only be one, and it may not be immediate….

    God bless you in all you do. :-)

  14. amanda Says:

    I have fallen off the face of the earth a bit myself, happy to see that you are well.

  15. Scott P Says:

    Steve- I know what you mean about blogging, and my food blog has been down for two of three years now. I sure enjoy your writing, and it’s been great to celebrate my renewed faith as you have yours. I really hope you keep the site up as an archive, at least. There’s been a lot of truly memorable stuff here over the years.