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When the Owner is Lazy, the Roof Sags

June 12th, 2015

When Hands are Idle, the House Leaks

I got an interesting revelation yesterday.

We complain a lot about the things that happen to us, especially if we don’t believe in God or we have been sucked in by the prosperity preachers. People who don’t believe in God generally think they deserve good things, and people who have been duped by the prosperity preachers think God is obligated to do things for them because they send morons money.

I don’t complain about disappointments and problems. I realize I don’t deserve good things. I’m glad my life is so pleasant. The fact that it’s as good as it is impresses me, because I know what I really am.

Yesterday morning, I realized that I had been sowing destruction and pain for myself for most of my life. That added a new dimension to my understanding of my circumstances.

If you’re not serving God, you’re serving Satan. There is no neutral ground. And going to church doesn’t make you a servant of God. You have to hear from the Holy Spirit and try to obey. You can’t just treat the advice in the New Testament (or Old Testament) as though it were law, obeying it as well as you can. A person who obeys a list of rules can’t, by definition, be Spirit-led.

If you haven’t been Spirit-led, you have been serving the devil, to one degree or another. So you’ve been sowing destruction.

I’ll tell you something personal. I have tried not to discuss this publicly for quite some time, but I will make an exception.

A relative of mine used drugs and refused to change. She refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong with her. She lived in a house for which her father paid the bulk of the purchase price, and she did virtually nothing to maintain it.

If you want to destroy a house, all you have to do is sit on the couch. If you’ve never maintained a property, you would be amazed at what inactivity can do.

There was a water leak under the floor. She paid a $300 water bill every month and didn’t fix the leak. The living room floor started to rot; even the joists and subflooring started to go. One day the hot water connection under the kitchen sink broke, and steam filled the house. When the steam went away, she thought the problem was gone. The added humidity caused black mold to cover the walls in a short period of time. Water kept pouring out under the house.

Rats came in. They wandered in and out of the kitchen cabinets, eating old bags of beans and whatever else they wanted. During the day, they were easily audible, because they got used to ruling the house. Their excrement was everywhere.

Roaches were thick. Large South Florida roaches that fly and bite. The roof gave out, so there was an additional source of water. Termites love water. They started eating the house.

By the time her father bought her out, the house was so far gone that everything except the outer concrete walls had to be replaced. After she moved her filthy belongings out, it cost him about a thousand dollars to get the remaining junk hauled to the dump. Furniture, dishes…you name it. Things that originally cost many thousands of dollars.

Why am I telling you this? Because it shows that inactivity is sowing.

If you haven’t been spending substantial time in prayer every day all your life, you have been sowing destruction to yourself. So if you get cancer, or your business fails, or your kids die, how can you say you’re surprised?

If things go well, you should be amazed, humbled, and afraid. You should reconcile with God before your bill comes due.

I sowed both actively and inactively. I was lustful, ungrateful, disrespectful, proud, gluttonous, lazy, cruel, greedy, and a bunch of other things I could rattle off if I thought about it. That was active on my part. I didn’t pray. I did virtually nothing for other people. I thought pride and confidence would fix my life, so I didn’t fight them the way I should have. I did little to correct my faults. In these ways, I was inactive.

Now things are not what I had hoped they would be when I was 18. I have never married. I have no children. I didn’t make it as a physicist. I didn’t make it as a writer. Well, what did I expect? What did I sow for? A life much worse than the one I have. I have nothing to complain about.

It sounds like the revelation I got was bad news. Of course, it’s not. A mature person doesn’t shoot messengers. When we receive bad news, we generally react as if something bad has happened, but usually, the news isn’t the problem. Very often, receiving the news is a blessing. If you know something has gone wrong, you can react and fix it. If you’re still in the dark, things will fester and get worse.

The revelation was very good news. It showed me that I have not been cheated, and that I have the power to improve my future. It made me feel relieved, because I have a few years of prayer behind me now. I have good seed in the ground. The bad seed is being eradicated before it can bear fruit. Things are getting better and better.

Other people–people who seem evil or just obnoxious–have blessings I don’t have. Does that mean life is unfair? No, it just means they’ve gotten some undeserved blessings I didn’t get. What happens to them is not really relevant to me. God has a prescription for everyone, and yours may not match your neighbor’s.

I know things some of them will never know on this earth, and I have tools and weapons most of them will never have. Is that fair? Should I want to trade places with them? Obviously not. So who got the better deal?

I can’t share this stuff with most of the people I know, because I’m simply not allowed. It would be like drunk-dialing an old girlfriend who ran off with a rich guy and vandalized my car. I would be inviting more disrespect. Once people show you what they are, you have to treat them accordingly. If you keep going back to them, you are as responsible for their bad acts as they are.

It probably sounds like I’m furious with the people I know, but that’s not it at all. They’re not malicious. They just don’t listen. Talking to people who don’t listen takes a toll. I’ve had my dose. I’m not supposed to take any more at this time.

They can’t have it, so it’s yours. If it sounds negative, you didn’t understand it, and you’re not ready for it. If you get it, it will be helpful to you.

I am not good. I still do things I’m ashamed of. But with God’s help, I am becoming good, and I am heading in the right direction. It’s not about how well you obey rules. It’s about submission, confession, repentance, and prayer. Focus on internal change, by the means Jesus prescribed, and everything else will take care of itself.

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The Truth Can’t be any Planer

June 11th, 2015

Something New: Tools That Work

You’re probably wondering how to handle the chips and dust from your DeWalt DW735 portable (HA!) planer, now that DeWalt has stopped making the dust collection attachment.

I wondered, too. I bought my DeWalt years ago, and I have used it very little because it was inconvenient. It weighs over a hundred pounds. To use it, I had to pick it up off the floor and lift it onto my Workmate. After clearing seventy or eighty pounds of junk off the Workmate. Then I would turn it on and go deaf, and chips would shoot all over the place.

A responsible person does not buy tools without the required accessories and storage. I know that NOW. I needed a stand and a dust system.

I still don’t have a dust collector. I am not sold on them. Yes, obviously, it would be fantastic to have a bunch of 4″pipes running all over the garage, connecting to every tool. But that is a gigantic amount of work and expense, and it looks like it’s not necessary. The table saw does just fine with a shop-vac. So does the router. So do the bench grinder and oscillating spindle sander. The drill press is impossible to rig up for dust collection. That leaves the vertical band saw, and I’m not sure a dust collector would fix it.

I don’t think I need a full-blown dust system–feeble pun not intended–but I should make some sort of effort. And the planer needed to be on a moving platform so I would not have to risk ER visits by lifting it from the floor.

I have become convinced that bench tools are stupid. For the most part. Think about it. You buy a bench drill press to save space. Where do you put it? On the bench. Where it takes up space. Or you put it on the floor. Where it takes up the same amount of space as a floor press, but you can’t use it without getting down on your knees.

Bench tools take up just as much room as floor tools, so you might as well buy floor tools or put bases on your bench tools.

DeWalt makes a nice rolling stand for the planer, but I didn’t like it. It would cost over $150, for 12 pieces of Chinese steel, four wheels, and a slab of MDF. And it had no bottom shelf for a dust bag or whatever. If you rig it for a shelf, you have to put the pedal that unlocks the wheels out where it takes up room. I opted for the He-Man’s choice: Harbor Freight. They make a table that costs $40, plus a mobile base that costs slightly less.

Don’t do what I did. The table is wobbly, so if you want it to be rigid, you will have to add additional steel, which is a pain. The base requires four pieces of 1 1/4″ square lumber to connect the four corners, and because that’s a weird size, you will have to cut the wood yourself. Big mess. The instructions are horrible. I hope the guy who wrote them also writes documentation for China’s nuclear weapons.

The table has no top, so you have to buy plywood and make one, and that’s also a pain. The sanded plywood from Home Depot is sanded in the same sense that club soda is pre-sweetened, so you will have to go back over it, and then you will have to hit it pretty hard with Danish oil or something.

Just buy the DeWalt stand.

Anyway, after three days of work, I got the stand assembled and mounted the planer on it. It works, but I can’t get the wobbles out of it, so I know some metalworking is in my future.

I got the idea for this project a few weeks after I finally threw out the old hose from my shop-vac (I had upgraded to a nice orange hose), so I had to pay $20 for a new hose. Never throw anything out, because the minute you do, you will need it or someone will offer you a thousand dollars for it. On the other hand, grow up and throw things out, because clutter is unhealthy.

You can’t win. I know I haven’t.

If you have the same planer, you will benefit from my dust-collection efforts. I found a 2″ flexible pipe coupling at Home Depot, and I used it to connect it to the 2 1/2″ port on the DeWalt’s dust attachment. You may wonder why a 2″ connector fits on a 2 1/2″ port. I do, too.

I connected the other end of the coupling to the vacuum hose. Then I put a hose clamp over the other and of the hose. When I finally get a dust bag (still working on it), I will slip the dust bag’s collar under the hose clamp and tighten it. The planer has an incredible fan in it, so it will blow the crap through the hose, even though it’s narrow, and it will go into the bag.

One guy on the web uses a pillow case to catch the chips. Supposedly the planer doesn’t make much fine dust, so you can use a crummy filter bag. But I am trying to find something better. Might as well get rid of as much dust as possible.

I will want to put a lower shelf in the stand, to hold the bag. After that, I should be in business.

A planer is a wonderful thing. You can’t use the wood you buy at the store until you plane and joint it, and a planer performs both functions. You will need a planer sled to make it joint, but that’s no big deal. If you put a Wixey DRO on it, you can thickness (“planer” is really a misnomer) wood with great accuracy, and you won’t have to do much sanding at all. If you don’t have a planer and jointer, you will need to get very handy with hand planes, which is not a bad idea, but still.

Speaking of hand planes, as noted in an earlier post, I rehabilitated one last month, and I am adding some new ones to my collection. I seem to have the skill to get old planes going, so I might as well pick up a few.

To make a plane work well, you need an edge like a razor, so you will want water stones or, if you’re a hack like me, a super-fine diamond stone. Anyway, if you can get planes to work, you can avoid a lot of dust, expense, and noise. Machines replace skill and effort, but they come with their own problems.

For jointing, you want a #7 plane or bigger. I don’t have one, but I do look around on Ebay. It’s also nice to have a shoulder plane. It fine-tunes tenons, and you can cut slots with it. IF you can find one that works. Stanley makes one that seems okay until you try to use it. I am referring to the #92. The problem with it is that the blade is narrower than the body. That means you can’t cut all the way to the side, so you can forget cutting a slot, which has to be cut on both sides. I bought a Stanley, and the blade was 0.007″ narrower than the body, so there was no way to make it work. I sent it back, and now I’m waiting for a Woodriver medium shoulder plane. This is the cheapest new shoulder plane that actually works.

You can buy ordinary planes (smoothing, jack, jointer, and so on) used without much fear, but shoulder planes are a pain in the butt, so you might as well grit your teeth and spend for a new one.

I don’t actually know how to USE these things, but I am going to put in a little effort, now that I have learned how to obtain them and make them function.

I guess I went down a rabbit trail there. Sorry.

I got the planer set up tonight, and I am really happy about it. Having stuff is fine, but if you’re not aligned with God’s will, your stuff won’t work, or it won’t bring you pleasure. Now that I’m getting with it, things are going more smoothly, and the things that are happening in the garage are exemplary.

Correction keeps pouring into me, and I am more grateful for it every day. I know, and feel in my heart, that inner correction is the blessing we are supposed to be seeking. We clamor for money, houses, and even sex, but we reject the opportunity to become like the God we beg for favors. No wonder he doesn’t help us.

The devil was cursed for saying, “I will be like the most high,” in his own heart. The funny thing is, we are blessed for saying the same thing. Satan wanted to be like God in that he wanted to be admired. He wanted to be all-powerful. He wanted to punish. We are supposed to be like God in that we love and forgive. We are supposed to have his humility and kindness. If you want God to do things for you on earth, you have to say, in your heart, “I will be like the most high.”

The idiots on TV are trying to convince us that power and wealth will come just because we go to church, send preachers money, and recite Bible promises. If you were God, would you subsidize that garbage? Of course not. It would be like continuing to send your college-student son an allowance after he told you he had become a dope dealer.

You don’t get blessed because you’ve changed. The change IS the blessing. After that, the other things–money, houses, and so on–can’t hurt you. They can’t spoil you. So God has no reason to withhold them, and you just might get them. After all, Jesus gave us instructions for getting wealth: seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. He didn’t say anything about buying Creflo Dollar a jet.

I still can’t write about these things on social media. Today I wanted to say something. I at least wanted to warn people. I wanted to say that the reason I quit sharing things was that I was no longer allowed to, because no one listened. But I wasn’t even allowed to say that. So here I am. Saying it to twelve people.

Today God showed me that trying to warn people who have already had multiple chances is like trying to rekindle a bad relationship. If you’re out, be grateful. Don’t return to your own vomit. So I’m not pushing it.

Here’s a photo of the planer. I am determined to make something out of wood in the near future, just to see my tools do what they’re supposed to do. Maybe a box. I have a great DVD about box-making.

06 11 15 DeWalt planer on HF table with hose attached

Last night after I got done working in the garage, and after I had cleaned up, I turned around to walk out, and I felt as if I had turned too fast. Suddenly I saw the garage with new eyes. It looked new to me. I saw tools that could actually be used. I saw increased order. It was very strange.

External order comes from internal order. There is no other way to get there.

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I Can See my Floor!

June 8th, 2015

May Your Garage Prosper Even as Your Soul Prospers

Outward order is a sign of inward order.

This week I handled some really annoying problems in the Garage of Shalom. I got a new tool box, I moved some junk out, I created a mobile grinding station, and I fixed the casters on my table saw’s extension.

This stuff may not sound important, but the simple fact is, if it’s inconvenient to use your tools, you will stop using them.

First, the box.

Maybe ten years ago, I decided to get a real tool box. A friend had a Craftsman that looked okay, so I decided to try Sears. I didn’t know about Craftsman’s declining reputation.

I ordered a stainless roller cart and a chest to go on top. I still have them. They’re very nice. The steel is thick. The drawer metal measures 0.050″ in thickness, which is very good. The drawers slide well. The casters work. Great box.

Recently I realized I needed a second box. I had a Northern Tool cart for machining, but it was not a great choice. It only had two shelves. You can’t store a lot of stuff in a cart that has two shelves. It made life easier when I was using the mill and lathe, but I still had tools all over the place.

I started looking for a new box, to go in the 20″-wide space between my mill and lathe. I learned some surprising things.

1. Craftsman boxes are really bad now. Boxes have generally gotten thinner, and brands like Craftsman and Husky are awful. For all I know they have some luxury boxes that have thick steel, but I am not willing to take a chance. The boxes I have were discontinued years ago, so I can’t get new ones.

2. Harbor Freight makes pretty good boxes, dirt cheap. But they’re not as good as they used to be, and Harbor Freight is keeping quiet about the change. For $369, you can get a roller cabinet something like 41″ long, and it’s not too bad, but the metal in the drawers is under 0.040″ thick, so they wobble. Someone I know miked an older box, and the metal was 0.050″ thick. Caveat emptor. On the up side, the Harbor Freight box has lots of shallow drawers, which is nice if you have tons of wrenches and screwdrivers.

3. A company called Extreme Tools makes nice boxes for very good prices, but in order to get thick metal, you have to get a box at least 56″ wide.

4. Snap-On boxes have a great reputation, but the prices, even for used ones, are completely insane. A new box in the size I wanted would run over $2000, and a used one in acceptable condition would be well over $1000.

5. Vidmar and Lista make boxes that are much better than Snap-On, but they are very expensive, and they are oddly shaped. You won’t see used ones on the market very often.

I was about to buy a Harbor Freight box, but I changed my mind after I took a dial caliper to the store and checked the drawer metal. The box was just too flimsy and wobbly.

What’s the alternative? Believe it or not, it’s Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee company just came out with a $400 48″ box. It has 6-gauge metal in the undercarriage. The drawers all hold either 100 or 200 pounds each (much more than Harbor Freight). Most of the drawers are over 0.050″ thick. The box has thick powder coating, and it even has a power strip built in. You can put a Milwaukee chest on top of it.

The only negatives are the need for a wood or MDF top to stiffen the work surface, and the lack of shallow drawers. Most of the drawers are fairly deep. Great if you have bulky stuff to store. Not great if you have 2000 wrenches.

I got the box and shoved a bunch of stuff in it. I’m going to make a plywood top. So far, it’s fantastic. I could not come close to it for under $2000.

06 03 15 Milwaukee tool box assembled in garage

Moving loose stuff into the box opened up a lot of table and shelf space, so I was able to move a lot of junk around and open the garage up. It’s fantastic.

A responsible person does not buy tools he can’t store. When you spend $800 on a guitar, you should spend $1500 on an amp. When you spend $800 on a rifle, you should spend $300 or more on a scope. Tools work the same way. If you can’t afford the accessories and so on, you can’t afford the tools.

Lesson learned.

I was going to sell the utility cart, but I changed my mind. I set the belt grinder on it temporarily while I was straightening up, and I saw that the rubber feet on the base were spaced perfectly so they lined up with the inside of the cart tray. I was able to drop the grinder onto the cart, and it fit perfectly. That got me thinking.

I took a piece of the same plywood I used for the grinder base, and I made a base for my bench grinder. The bases are sized so the two of them fit in the cart with no room for wobbling. I use the space under them to store belts and wheels. I put some heavy chucks on the lower shelf, and I plan to add a Bucket Head vacuum for the bench grinder, plus a power strip. It’s excellent.

Now I have a wonderful, convenient grinder station I can wheel around and use whenever I want.

06-06-15 rockwell grinder and bench grinder on utility cart

While I was moving stuff off the table saw, I decided it was time to fix the extension casters. I built the extension myself. I think it was in 2007. I used an old melamine desk for the top. I intended it to be temporary, but it’s sturdy as it can be, so I left it alone. But I did an extremely poor job of attaching the casters, and they were coming loose, making me reluctant to move the saw so I could use it.

I had an old mobile base I had made for the band saw. I was made from 2″ angle iron. I got the plasma cutter put together (should have used the angle grinder) and cut it in pieces, and I made two brackets to hold the casters.

I used a Rockwell Jawhorse to hold the base while I cut it. This tool is wonderful, and right now Amazon is selling it for $99, delivered. That’s crazy cheap.

After cutting the steel, I had two rough pieces to use for brackets. I took them to the belt grinder to deburr them. It works like a dream. They’re beautiful. The grinder won’t hog steel the way a 2″ x 72″ will, but it’s great for finer work.

I drilled the brackets using the drill press, and then I got ready to attach them to the extension. Problem: the bottom of the extension was uneven at the bottom where the pieces of wood were joined. Luckily, I had a Fein Multimaster with flush-cutting blades. In a few minutes, I was able to slice the unwanted wood off. Amazing.

Here you see the result, with the brackets attached to the saw.

06 07 15 table saw extension caster brackets fabricated

Now I don’t have to worry about the casters falling off.

My next project is a cart for the DeWalt planer. I never use it because it’s heavy and dusty. I found out DeWalt makes a rolling base, but there is no way I’m paying $150 for it. I’m going to make one from wood, and I’ll include a lower shelf for dust collection.

I found out that the DeWalt’s dust is coarse, so you don’t need a fancy 0.0001-micron collector. You can actually use a pillow case. DeWalt used to sell a bag similar to the ones used for leaf collection. The planer has an incredible built-in blower, so all I need to do is add a hose and bag. Home Depot has a wide selection of leaf bags, so this will be easy. As with so many of God’s blessings, it’s hard to believe I didn’t see this sooner.

After that, I hope to arrange for dust collection on the vertical band saw, and then I plan to use my tools.

This is wonderful. I have so much more room now, and sometimes I actually do things with my tools instead of staring at them.

This is a reflection of what’s going on inside me. I have realized that mainstream charismatics are wrong, wrong, wrong. They worship money and success, but they should be clamoring for correction and maturity. That’s where the progress, power, peace, and success are.

I can’t really share this stuff with my church. They are on another path. God has shown me that I am not allowed to go on Facebook or show up at services and try to share. I’ve been doing that for three years, and all of the people who are going to listen have listened. It would be a waste of my time–a waste of ME–to keep striving.

I am no longer serving as a volunteer. What a difference it makes. Yesterday I was able to go to church at eleven instead of ten. I was able to leave at 1:15 instead of 1:45 or 2:30. I didn’t have to testify or try to persuade people of anything. The music was too loud, so I showed up 15 minutes into it and wore ear plugs. The service was too long, so I took off early. I wasn’t tired. I still had energy. I didn’t have the familiar feeling of frustration.

They’re nice people. I don’t want to be dismissive or insulting. I still go to church twice a week. But I don’t have to wrestle any more. If they are going to be persuaded, it will not be by me. I did my part, and I have been released so I can heal.

I don’t have to work in the ministries and offer suggestions no one will take. I don’t have to show up for every event and work and spend money. I don’t have to buy every promotional T-shirt. I like it. It would be better if we were unified, so I could work toward worthwhile goals with them, but at least I’m getting some rest.

Things are going really well in my own walk. My friend Travis comes down once or twice a week for prayer, and he’s really taking off. The wise things that come out of him now amaze me. I have other friends whose lives are changing dramatically because they listen. And instead of going to the church’s Wednesday night services, I go to the quiet prayer services on Tuesday. No loud drums. No yelling. Just two or three men, praying quietly. No one else shows up. If the service attracted a lot of people, it would turn into a noisy rally.

I’ve asked God to take proud people away from me and to put me among people who listen. This is almost like asking to be lonely, because there are so few people who fit that description. But it’s worth it. As the psalm says, “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.”

When your heart aligns with God, he will take notice, set you aside, and see to it that things start to work. Donating money is a waste of time (and money). Working as a volunteer won’t get you over the hump, either. What matters is loving and receiving correction. After all, why should God help people who don’t pursue his goals? It’s common sense.

The Garage of Shalom really IS a garage of shalom. It comes from God, not effort.

I wish I could keep sharing the revelation I get, in the usual ways, but I am not permitted. So I blog. Maybe someone will read it and catch on.

I’m glad I got that out. Hope it helps someone.

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White is the New Black

June 3rd, 2015

Up is the New Down

I keep asking God to show me my faults, and–I am tempted to say “unfortunately”–he is coming through. When he does, I feel like I’m on the down slope of a very high roller coaster. I’m thrilled that he heard me, and I’m excited to receive the knowledge. I find myself looking forward eagerly to the improvement that will come of it. But at the same time, the things I see are surprisingly nasty.

I wish there was one thing I could be proud of. I wish my history did not exist. I wish that a thousand years from now, in my purified form, I could look back and not see the disgusting acts and thoughts of my time on earth. But I’m very glad to have pride and denial taken out of me, because there is no way my biased self-image can be permitted to continue to exist.

I don’t receive the knowledge continuously. Every once in a while, I get a burst of it. I don’t think God expects to clean out the Augean Stables of my heart in one session. It’s too big a job, and he isn’t going to subject me to an arduous cold turkey ordeal.

Last night while I was praying, it hit me again. I thought of all the sick things I had done and felt in my life. How can such a person be loved by anyone, let alone a God who has never done anything but good? It’s hard to accept.

It’s true; I’ve done some good. That doesn’t matter much. Would you come to my house for Thanksgiving dinner if you knew there was half a teaspoon of cat manure hidden somewhere in a 25-pound turkey? Of course not. If you’re mostly good and partly bad–and I’m not saying I’m mostly good–there is a word to describe you: “bad.”

We live in a tee ball society now, where everyone gets a prize even if they miss. People can’t be good. They can’t succeed. The solution? Pretend they’re good! Pretend they succeeded!

We judge ourselves against a standard of total failure instead of God’s perfection. So we feel a lot better about ourselves than we should, and we think we deserve things to which we are not entitled.

You can’t grow if you can’t acknowledge fault. You are a product, and products must be subject to quality control. If every product passes, quality drops to an unacceptable level. It’s that simple.

Pride is poison. We try to raise kids to be proud, because pride and confidence provide motivation, but it’s a mistake. It’s a substitute for the power of God.

If you think you’re a pretty good person, you will feel entitled to things. When your neighbor does better than you do, you will feel cheated. A lot of life’s unhappiness comes from the sense that we’ve been cheated, especially in America, where our unrealistic expectations are so entrenched we have collected them in a package and named it “the American Dream.” The truth is that we are only entitled to hell. Every second that we spend here on hell’s doorstep is a great blessing and a reprieve, and we should never complain about anything.

I don’t mean that we should not criticize. God forbid we stop criticizing. I mean we should not take the attitude that we have been deprived of good things we deserve. That simply does not happen on earth. We receive good things we do not deserve, but after we reach the age of accountability, we never receive evil that we haven’t earned.

The modern charismatic church is poisoning people as though they were weeds, spraying them with self-approval which stunts their growth. They always talk about God’s love and lack of judgment. Yes, he loves us. That doesn’t mean he thinks we don’t need to change. And as for judgment, he piled it on us, with great brutality. We don’t feel it because Jesus stepped in the way. It still exists, however. God’s wrath is real, and it had to be satisfied. The bill was not discarded. It was paid.

If you accept salvation and then quit examining yourself, the improvement you experience while you live on the earth will be very limited, as will your power and peace. Correction is not a punishment. It is an opportunity to avoid punishment. If only we could learn to love it and embrace it.

America just witnessed an event which serves to illustrate my points. A male senior citizen just posed for a photo in women’s underwear, the photo was published on the cover of a major magazine, and many Americans responded by declaring him a hero. That shows how the culture of mindless approval has poisoned us.

Of course, I’m referring to Caitlyn Jenner. I respect his right to change his name, even if the gender change is a sad delusion.

He lived a life of sexual confusion, and he did not have a corrective connection to the Holy Spirit, so he never received a solution to his problem. The result? Surrender and intellectual perversion. He lost, so he and his cohorts declared victory and decided to call an evil result good.

If he had really known God, he would have received knowledge and discernment. The man he could have been would be horrified by the man he has become.

Very few Americans have a corrective connection to the Holy Spirit, so we are surrendering, too. We have decided that the strange inclinations we can’t change are normal and healthy. We call evil good and good evil, largely because we see no alternative. The church wandered off into a swamp of effort, pride, and greed centuries ago, so it has failed to connect us to the help we need. Now we drift without anchors or compasses, and there is no limit to our deviations from God’s healthy course.

We have reached a point where all correction is called “judgment” and “hate,” unless it’s the judgment and hate of people who dislike God’s ways. If you call a Christian or an Orthodox Jew a bigot, few people will criticize your obvious hate, but if you say an old man with chemically induced breasts has problems, even if you say it with empathy, you can expect to be excoriated as though you had endorsed child molestation.

The enemy has done a wonderful job of sealing out correction and targeting those who are bold and caring enough to provide it. It’s as though he had convinced people that water was poisonous. Amazing. He even has the people he has misled, continuing his work for him. He destroyed them, and they reward him with fervent service.

They remind me of the Jews who worked in the death camps, stripping the dead and shoving them into ovens. The difference is that the hearts of the Jews were not in their work.

If you can understand your own guilt, you can be rid of pride. If you can be rid of pride, God will stop fighting you. The Bible clearly states that he fights the proud and helps the humble. If you deny guilt and hold onto pride, you are poisoning yourself and your children. It’s pointless for a proud person with a sense of entitlement to complain about his enemies, because they are only doing that which is just. We need to look at ourselves in order to uncover the gaps that let our enemies in.

America will let Jesus sit in the doorway and beg, because we like to pretend we respect him as a really nice person, but it hates the Holy Spirit. It hates truth. We have reached a point where people who listen to God will not be tolerated in mainstream society. Christians love to say we need to stand up for God and make ourselves heard, but that boat has sailed. We need to pray and repent, as individuals. It’s very unlikely that this country will turn from its course of hatred and persecution. Things will almost surely get worse. Like the Jews in Europe, we will be seen as necessary sacrifices, to be burned in the oven of the common good. The country will not help us, and if we stay proud, God will not help us, either.

I encourage you to pray in the Spirit and think about pride and denial. Stop being satisfied with what you are. Stop listening to the positive opinions of people who don’t really know you. Help is available, but it only comes to people who admit they need it.

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Tools I’ve Helped Renew

May 30th, 2015

Don’t Buy What You Can’t Store

Things are going well here. I am getting more done with tools than I used to. Below, you will see an example.

05 27 15 Rockwell grinder with lid installed

That’s a Rockwell 1″ x 42″ belt sander/grinder. I found it on Craigslist. The owner wanted 30 bucks. I could not pass that up, even though I did not want the tool.

I drove up to a borderline-ghetto area to pick it up. The owner was a young man with tattoos. He took me to his backyard, where he had a small shed set up. It was immaculate inside, complete with a two-tone paint job on sheetrock walls. He had a Logan lathe, a Rockwell drill press, and several other old machines set up. I was startled. You wouldn’t have expected anything from the outside.

He couldn’t get the grinder to work, so he removed it to sell and kept the stand.

Because the motor was in the stand, I needed propulsion. I decided to try a treadmill motor.

These motors used to be real bargains. They run on DC, and DC motors are usually expensive, but because there are a lot of old treadmills out there, treadmill motors have been easy to come by.

Some, at least, are controlled by boards that can be removed along with the motors. One of the most common boards is the MC-60. It has no transformers or power capacitors on it, but you can plug one end into a wall socket and the other into a motor, and it will make it run.

I found a 3/4-HP motor and an MC-60 on Ebay. I don’t recall the total cost. Somewhere around a hundred bucks. I made a mistake and fried the rectifiers and thyristors on the MC-60, so I had to put new ones in, but other than that, it worked.

The motor came with a cast-iron wheel for a flat belt, and the wheel had vanes in it so it sucked air through the motor. It wouldn’t work for my purpose, so I made a new aluminum pulley with vanes. I bought a plastic junction box at Home Depot to hold the control and switches. I mounted the whole mess on a piece of thick plywood, and I applied rubber feet.

The grinder needed to have crud cleaned out of it. It was also adjusted incorrectly, so things were rubbing. I got it clean, and it turned out to be in good shape. Even the wheels were okay. They are notorious for falling apart.

I ordered a few belts for it, and now it works. Very nice. A belt will cut non-ferrous things without exploding, and it produces less heat, so it can be very useful. If you’re grinding aluminum on a wheel, you need to be aware that aluminum can melt into the grit, expand when hot, and then make the wheel explode. This can lead to unpleasant events such as having large chunks of wheel imbed themselves in your facial bones.

Bench grinders are extremely dangerous, but almost no one knows that.

I put a reversing switch on the grinder so I can use the lower wheel for thicknessing parts. I will put some sort of table under it, and then I’ll be able to raise and lower the table and shove parts under the wheel, against the rotation. If you grind with the rotation, the belt will try to yank the parts away from you, and it will try to pull your fingers along with it, breaking them if necessary.

Right now I have an Accu-link belt on it, but I think I should get a normal v-belt, because Accu-link belts are not made with reversing motors in mind. It only takes a few seconds to reverse the belt, though.

While building this thing, I learned a lot about DC motors and belt grinders. Now I’ll be ready if I go on to build a 2″ x 72″.

A while back, I found that things were rusting in one corner of my shop. Eventually, I started to suspect that muriatic acid was to blame. I had a jug of it stored in that area. I investigated and found out that muriatic acid will make things rust even if you keep it capped. I moved the acid to another location and started polishing and oiling things. One of those things was a neat old Stanley #6 plane I got from a tool restorer.

The plane had some rust on it, but it wasn’t actually damaged. It got me thinking about another old plane that was in the garage somewhere. I dug the other plane out and looked it over. The sole was deeply pitted on one side. I mean, maybe twenty thousandths deep. I didn’t know if it was worth saving, but online tool people assured me it was worth a go.

I had to grind off maybe an eighth of an inch of pitted and dented blade, but I eventually got a good shaving edge, which I did my best to polish with a 6000-grit diamond stone. I used sandpaper, WD40, and a flat surface to clean the plane’s sole. I found myself a crummy two-by-four to use for test purposes, and eventually, I got the results you see below.

05 29 15 Stanley 4 plane sharpened and cleaned making shavings

It’s not a desirable plane. It was probably made about fifty years ago, when Stanley was making dubious products, but with effort, I got it to function, so now I can’t throw it out.

I’m considering getting a big rolling tool cabinet to organize things. I already have a really nice 26″ stainless Craftsman combo, but it’s not enough. I want something I can put the CNC lathe on, so it won’t be on my bench any more.

It’s hard finding good boxes now. I got very lucky with my Craftsman, because their stuff is mostly junk. So is Husky. There are a lot of used boxes out there, but I don’t think $1300 for a used Snap-On with rust and flaking paint is much of a deal.

Supposedly, the best stuff comes from Vidmar and Lista, but I will never find that locally, and if I did, it would cost a ton.

I made a surprising discovery. Harbor Freight makes very nice tool boxes. Not the best, but much better than Craftsman. You can get a 44″ roller for $369. I took a look, and they’re not bad at all. I also discovered Extreme Tools. Their boxes are supposedly better than Snap-On and Matco, but they’re considerably cheaper. For $900, you can get a 44″ box with 18-gauge steel in the drawers.

You can order from their website, but that’s a bad idea. If you do that, you have to deal with the shipper, and shippers are idiots. They ruin things all the time, and you have to jump through hoops to get things fixed. The best route is to order from Home Depot. The price is about the same, and delivery to your local store is free. Home Depot will then have to eat any shipping problems, and they will also collect the local sales tax so you don’t have to send a check to your state.

It’s a tough choice. I would like to use credit card points, and if you use them to buy Home Depot stuff with a gift card, you get 100% of the value of the points. If you shop at Harbor Freight, you only get 60% of the value. What it boils down to, for me, is about $360 more for the Extreme Tools box. Might be worth it. But then I’ll get hammered again if I buy a side cabinet to go with it.

I see tool organization as part of God’s pattern of correction and ordering. I bought a lot of tools without much thought for storage, so I have stuff all over the place. A second rolling cabinet would make a big dent in the problem.

Speaking of God, things go well in that area. I feel like a fool for taking so long to understand how wonderful correction is, and that it’s the main purpose of our walk with him. I wish I had seen the obvious sooner. I knew it was important, but I didn’t realize it was the biggest blessing available, after salvation.

You can know things without really feeling them in a way that motivates you.

Unfortunately, things are not going as well for people around me. My church is shrinking, and enthusiasm is waning. They insist on loud music and long services, so people come a few times and then get tired of it and move on. I can’t recommend the church to people any more, because I know they won’t stay. Everyone at the church has been made aware of the issues, but they have made a firm decision not to change, so there it is.

Every morning I wake up and spend hours in prayer, and until recently, God gave me revelation which I shared on social media. That’s over. I still get revelation, but I am not permitted to share it. When I consider sharing it, something stops me.

I realize what’s going on. I have been striving to convince people, and they have decided not to listen. I have been wasting my time. God required me to do it for a while, but for my own protection, he has told me to stop.

This is how the Christian life works. The only reason God allows us to remain here in this filthy mess of a world is to reach other people. For that reason, we are required to pray for them and talk to them. But we aren’t supposed to overdo it. We can’t force people to listen. We can’t choose God’s children for him. When people reject us consistently, we are supposed to pull back and let them receive the harvest for which they have sown. That’s where I am now.

If you keep pestering people, your relationship with them deteriorates, and you run the risk of becoming bitter and angry. You also become frustrated, because you feel you’re not achieving anything. When I stopped prodding and encouraging, I felt as though I had put down an anvil. I had been carrying lazy, proud people on my shoulders. It wasn’t until I put them down that I realized they were wearing me out.

It’s a great feeling, but I would rather see people listen and change.

Even God doesn’t get that wish. He can’t change people, and neither can I. He likes to put us in positions where we suffer what he suffers, so we understand what he goes through. Now I know what it’s like to have my time wasted by people who don’t listen. That’s God’s life. The entire Bible is about mankind’s failure to listen and the destruction that followed.

God told me this a few months back: hell isn’t full of sinners; it’s full of people who don’t listen. Sin can’t keep you out of heaven if you are willing to listen. A humble, repentant serial pedophile is better off than a missionary who thinks he knows everything.

Pride is THE worst sin. I know Jesus made it seem like all sins were equal, but he was talking about their effect on salvation. When it comes to destroying a person’s progress with God, pride is IT.

A small number of people have been affected by the things I’ve shared. That’s all I think I will get. Again, I am learning how God feels. He never gets the majority. It’s always a small remnant.

I don’t think the church will be around long. We started churches in Winter Haven and Georgia. The Winter Haven church disappeared, and I’m pretty sure the Georgia church is also gone. There haven’t been any announcements. Things are not going well in the main church. The other day I counted 50 people in attendance, excluding babies and small children. That’s not good. Back when we were moving forward and experiencing revival, attendance was a lot better.

I’ve had a lot of great experiences in the church, and I’ve made some wonderful friends. We have seen each other change for the better. Now I will wait for the next chapter in my life.

I may hop in the truck and check out a flea market today. I’ve never tried it, and they say you can find cast iron skillets and old tools at good prices. If not, it will be a nice outing.

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Receive Everything by Admitting You Deserve Nothing

May 18th, 2015

Life is More Than Fair

God keeps giving me breakthroughs. I don’t know how much I can do for other people, but I do try to share. People don’t have any real motivation to listen to me, and there are all sorts of competing voices out there spreading sweet-tasting nonsense. I can’t do much about that, but I can say a few words once in a while.

I turned back to God because life didn’t feel right, and I was under stress. I felt some guilt, which is commendable, but I was largely motivated by a desire to have a more pleasant experience here on earth. There is no reason to lie about it. I didn’t wake up one day with a burning urge to help God do his work.

In my pursuit of blessings, I was strongly encouraged by the charismatics I looked to for teaching and support. My old church was a silly, embarrassing fermentation chamber of selfishness and denial. Then there were the characters on TV. Some TV preachers told me that what God really wanted was for me to be rich, and that he would make it happen in exchange for donations to their ministries. Other TV preachers said that what I really needed was motivational training, to provide me with the encouragement and willpower to make things happen with my own strength.

My influences were awful. But I knew one thing that was useful. Back in the 1980s, God had made me understand that if I prayed in tongues a lot, everything would work out. So I stuck with that. Unfortunately, most of the teachers who influenced me were working against God, and that slowed me down. I listened and tried to reconcile when I should have walked away.

I knew the money-lovers were wrong. I had been burned by them in the past. They are complete idiots. But I still thought it was important to donate a lot. I also thought it was important to volunteer at church, and that it was important to help build the organization. In addition to these things, I was highly motivated by the idea that when I was aligned with God’s will, things would generally go well in my life, so if I gave money, volunteered, and did what seemed right according to the Bible, I would presumably have a blessed life.

I wanted to do what God wanted me to do, but really, I was thinking about the external blessings more than anything else.

My life improved a lot, but I could not truthfully say that I got satisfactory results.

I started to realize that it was very important to get rid of iniquity. I came to understand that human beings were full of dumb ideas and bad habits which came from external spirits and our own flesh. That was important.

People at my old church did not want to hear about it. Anything that smacked of repentance or correction was considered “legalism,” “division,” and “condemnation.” They seemed to believe that God wanted the Wilkerson family–the pastors and their offspring–to be very rich and highly admired, and that the purpose of the people who attended the church was to submit without question, to give and do without complaint or restraint, and above all, to smile and shut up.

I understood that I needed to change, but I still didn’t have a heartfelt love of change. I was glad that God had helped me to be grateful, and that he had delivered me from eating too much, but I did not have a burning enthusiasm for improvement. Mainly, I wanted the power and help that come from improvement.

I don’t know if I can be blamed for that. I was raised in a dysfunctional family, and I had all sorts of scars. I wanted an ordered and peaceful life.

I kept praying in tongues and receiving new knowledge. During 2014 and the last few months, things started to shift. I had a list of people I prayed for every day, and I started praying a lot for internal change. I asked God to remove our iniquities and put the heart of Jesus in us. I asked him to put his ideas, urges, and emotions in us. Since I started making these requests, things have broken loose.

Over the last few months, I’ve developed a genuine love of correction I have started asking God for it, explicitly and fervently. I have started to crave it. This is a major change, and it has made my life much more pleasant.

Correction, which is another word for righteousness, sounds like an unpleasant thing. It sounds like I asked God to hit me with a stick or take away everything I enjoyed, but that’s wrong. Supernatural correction is just healing and straightening. It enables you to do the things you want to do yet were not able to do in your own strength.

I have always had a lot of weaknesses. I was disorganized. I worried. I was afraid, usually of things that were extremely unlikely to happen. I was bitter because I felt that I had been cheated in life. Even if I rejected bitterness and refused to indulge it, it was still inside me. I had issues with crabbiness, even though I did not like being crabby. My work ethic was bad. I was messy. I procrastinated. I didn’t connect with people as well as I wanted to, because past mistreatment had put barriers and limiting chains inside me.

If you listen to most preachers, they’ll tell you to fight problems like the ones I had. Fighting is swell, if you can’t get rid of the problems. God wants to take your inner problems away so you don’t have to fight them. There is a difference. It’s better to be good than to try to be good.

You can argue all day about whether a person who is good without trying is as praiseworthy as someone who fights his negative traits every day. It doesn’t matter. We are not supposed to be good through willpower and determination. After all, the Bible says our righteousness is like rags used for cleaning people’s rear ends. It’s somewhat better than nothing, but it’s weak and failure-prone.

Think about the people you know who have tried to change. What percentage of people who diet stay thin? What percentage of addicts stay clean for life? Have you ever known anyone who continued to work out and eat right until his death? I think Jack Lalanne managed it, but he was one in millions.

Sometimes we succeed in changing certain things about ourselves, but generally we fail. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger let himself get fat, weak, and flabby at least once, and his self-discipline is legendary.

Correction means relief from your weaknesses. It can come through supernaturally imparted knowledge. It can come from deliverance from spirits. It can come from the power of the Holy Spirit. However it comes, it’s very, very good, and the shocking thing is that it even feels good. It feels better than receiving money. It feels better than meeting your one true love. It feels better than success or physical healing. Once you start receiving it, you’ll understand how good it is, and you’ll want more. As the Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Nothing is as convincing as experience.

Once I started feeling correction happening inside me, I got very excited about it, and I found that I wanted it more than anything. The peace it brings is magnificent. It feels like the peace of accomplishment, but unlike that peace, it is neither temporary nor illusory. It comes from God, not you, so you can’t claim credit.

The inner correction led to outer manifestation. I saw it in my surroundings. My house was gross. There was disorder everywhere. There were places where the dust was a horror to see. I had junk I needed to get rid of. Things needed to be moved. When I started receiving correction, suddenly things started changing. I used to be intimidated by cleaning and organizing, but they became pleasant hobbies.

I bought various cleaners and tools. I got excited about microfiber and HEPA filters. I threw things out. I moved furniture and mopped under it. I washed things that had never been washed. I finally learned how to get a bathroom to look the way it should, instead of being satisfied with bleaching the floor and toilet.

I got back into electronics. I brought my old calculator back to life, and when I couldn’t get the display to work right, I replaced it. I found myself compiling and synthesizing information from various sources. I did homework for several hours a week, and I put everything in a big notebook.

I developed a crazy system of exercises I designed myself. They take about fifteen minutes a day, they require no equipment, they’re easy to do, and they work.

I got off of carbs, caffeine, and sugary drinks, and I started eating more fat, protein, vegetables, and fruit. I feel better. I don’t have carb headaches or caffeine irritability.

I am better able to manage the tasks of an orderly life. I feel like Hercules, cleaning the Augean stables, or Alexander, cutting the Gordian knot.

The funny thing is that I’m being blessed, which is what I wanted back when I was misguided. Isn’t that wrong? Should I be so quick to conclude that the good things that happen to me are indicative of success in my walk with God? Doesn’t this make me a bad, blessing-obsessed Christian? No! I’m getting these things as the result of the inner change which is now my primary goal. As Jesus said, you have to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness first, and then the other stuff will come. Now that the little things are less important to me, they come more easily.

If you can get to a state in which you really love correction, the way you love pizza or following your favorite sports team, you will receive correction, and with it, you will receive external blessings.

The message is not that blessings come through correction. The message is that correction is the blessing.

Last week, I moved another step forward. God made me realize that I deserve to be in hell. That sounds bad, right? It’s not. It’s liberating.

Every human being above a certain age deserves to be in hell, suffering terribly, under the authority of vicious beings that torture and abuse without rest. Think about that. If that’s true, can anyone on earth claim to have been cheated?

Earth is the rim of hell. It’s a terrible, corrupt place, filled with suffering. But it’s not hell itself. People in hell would do anything to get back here. We can’t imagine how much they want to be anywhere other than hell.

If these things are true, then every bad thing that has ever happened to you has not only been fair; it has been much, much better than what you deserve. Maybe other beings had no right to mistreat you, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it.

Life is not unfair. It’s just not. Life is way more than fair. We are not victims.

Maybe you’ve been raped. Maybe you’ve been imprisoned unjustly. Maybe you have cancer. Your problems may be horrible. But you’re not in hell, and if you could choose, knowing what hell is like, you would beg to be here, with every problem you have, before you would agree to spend one day tormented in the pit.

We have a tendency to complain to God. We think we’re supposed to have good lives, whether we do anything for him or not, simply because other people seem to have good lives. If you can’t find a spouse or a good way to make money, or if you have an illness you can’t get rid of–if you have any problem which seems unusual to you–you may feel cheated. In your heart, you’ll say, “It’s not fair.” But it is fair. Actually, that’s not true. If life were fair, you’d be in hell, and Jesus would never have been tortured to death. Do you really want fairness?

God gave me something to say to myself. I say, “The worst things that have ever happened to me are much better than what I deserved.” These words have supernatural power. When I have a problem that seems like a big deal to me, and I start to feel cheated, I say these words to myself, and I feel the power working in me. Tension leaves me. Bitterness goes. It’s wonderful.

I have been asking God to destroy my pride, and these words are among the tools he gave me to help him get it done. Job suffered until he admitted he could not say he deserved better. We are in the same boat. The Bible clearly says God is the enemy of the proud, and that includes proud believers. It includes people who preach and run churches. It includes proud people who run Christian orphanages. If I think I’ve been cheated, I’m proud; I’m saying I’ve earned something better. As a result, God will fight me, and he can’t lose. If I admit I’m getting a much better deal that what I have coming, he will fight my problems, not me.

It works. It’s not a joke. You have to try it. Say, “I am not a victim,” and mean it. Realize you deserve evil, not good. Get out of denial. Stop comparing what you have to what your “blessed” neighbors have.

If you will put this stuff to work, you will get a result. If you defend yourself and claim God will reward you bases on what you do, you will remain stuck in the swamp of pride, spinning your wheels and sinking. Don’t do it. No one has the standing to defend himself before God. It will poison your future and ruin your success.

I hope someone who reads this will try it.

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Why You Can’t Use the Courses You Passed

May 5th, 2015

Enroll at Ebay University

I got a few comments on my last post, which was about studying electronics online. I feel like I should add a few things.

Andy-in-Japan says: “Thanks for the info – I’ve been looking for something to help out some members of the extended family that were a step up from Khan. And this looks fantastic!”

Steve G. (not sure if he wants his full name here) says: “The MIT courses are good from what I’ve seen. There’s also a new edition of The Art of Electronics out this month that I am digging into now; depending on the things you want to learn, it could be a good resource.”

I’m glad the stuff I wrote looked helpful, and I hope it was, but I know a little more than I did then, so I am adding a few things.

First off, I had to take to my bed after Steve mentioned The Art of Electronics. This book was one of the few dark spots in my efforts to get a physics degree. I felt like it was written in nerdese, which is impenetrable to normal people.

One of the big problems with technical texts is that they are written by people who can’t remember what it was like to NOT know the subject and the jargon. So they use weird slang and explain things poorly, if at all. I think the lab manual from The Art of Electronics is great, but the book seems more like a reference than a teaching tool. I would stay away from it if I were getting started. Which I am, sort of.

I am going through the lab manual now, redoing the experiments with a breadboard, an oscilloscope and multimeters (thank God for Ebay). It’s good for me to remember what it was like to do things in an ordered way, with tables and whatnot.

Second thing…I would not recommend relying on the MIT/EDx course. It’s incomplete. I don’t consider this a knock on MIT. They do a great job producing miracle workers. I think it’s a knock on electronics teaching in general.

I rounded up a few external sources when I got started. I will list them here.

1. The Electric Circuits Problem Solver
2. Electronics Demystified
3. Basic Circuit Analysis (Schaum)
4. Principles of Electric Circuits, Thomas L. Floyd, 2000.

I have some other things, but these are the really useful ones.

I knew I needed to do solved problems in order to learn, so I started trying to do problems in the first three books. I found I could not get through a chapter without extra research, because they mentioned ideas and methods that were not mentioned in the MIT lectures.

For all I know, later on in the MIT course, all these things are covered, but I doubt it, because they are fundamental things that would be unlikely to appear in relatively advanced lectures.

I have been taking written notes from the MIT class, and I have been inserting additional notes between the pages. I write up my own explanations of material from other sources, including debunking some of the BS. This has made a world of difference in my progress.

It doesn’t do you much good to learn three methods from one guy when you find yourself confronted with challenges that require five methods from other teachers. And sometimes the things you learn will turn out to be wrong or so backward they cause you problems.

If your teacher is good, you should be able to do any problem that isn’t above the course’s level, regardless of which book it appears in. Obvious?

Example: I had to relearn Gaussian elimination, for purposes of solving systems of linear equations (voltages and currents and so on). One source said to put augmented matrices in reduced echelon form and then use the results. This is insane advice. It can be incredibly tedious and nearly impossible to put a matrix in that form. In reality, you can save yourself a lot of pain by settling for echelon form or simply creating one row among the unknowns with only one nonzero entry.

I’m not going to explain that, because it’s boring, but trust me: you do not want reduced echelon form unless the matrix is really cooperative, and you can waste your life trying to obtain it. I spent hours trying to do it with a 3 x 3 matrix, and then I wrote my own treatment of linear equations and realized it’s a five-minute job IF you don’t do it the stupid way.

I also learned that Cramer’s rule (another tool for solving systems) is to be avoided at all costs. Lots of tedium, and no advantage over Gaussian elimination. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t see any reason to consider using it. But the books teach it.

Another example: an instructor may not tell you how to count loops in a circuit. This may be important, depending on what you’re doing. The answer is simple: count the components and sources, subtract the number of nodes, and add 1. Again, it’s too boring to explain, but it’s very useful.

If I were enrolled in the MIT course for credit, I would be in trouble, because I would never have time to consult the other sources or write my own material. I would have to keep up with tests and so on, so my time would be limited. Because I’m not taking tests, I have time to do it right. And if I ever decided to take the course for credit, it will be a joke, because I’ll be better prepared than most students.

Third thing…if you plan to study electronics, you should definitely get your own equipment and do practical work at home. After all, you’ll eventually need it. You’re studying so you can use what you’ve learned, and you can’t do that without equipment.

I have a breadboard and some handheld multimeters, and I also have some other stuff lying around. An old HP function generator and an HP current source. I learned something that will be very helpful to anyone amassing equipment on the cheap: old bench multimeters are plentiful on Ebay. A bench multimeter is a big box which, if you’re lucky, has an AC cord instead of batteries. They do all sorts of things, you don’t have to hold them in your hands or prop them up, you never have to change batteries, and you can get a nice one delivered for $50.

I forgot to mention the oscilloscope. I have an ancient Hitachi I bought for $50. It would not be useful for creating the next groundbreaking CPU, but it will be a very long time before I reach a point where I need anything better.

Radio Shack has an interesting product that can be useful. They’re going out of business, so this is the time to buy it. Forrest Mims, the electronics educator, helped them create a self-contained project lab, complete with a little breadboard, an ammeter, and components. You can buy it for under $35. It comes with two books of projects. I grabbed one, and it’s nice for gaining practical experience without driving yourself crazy looking for the components you might find in a college lab text. You can also use it for testing your own ideas.

They call it the “Electronics Learning Lab Kit.”

I fiddled around with electronics in the past, but I never really got anywhere. It was like I was in a jar with a big heavy lid on top, obstructing my progress. Now things are really coming together. It makes me wonder what I could have accomplished when I was younger, had I really known how to study. In the past, I just showed up in class and did what they told me. That doesn’t really work unless your teacher is exceptional.

It shows how life changes when you submit to God. When you do things in your own strength, no matter how great it is, you will fail, or your success will be a curse, because God opposes the proud. Once you submit and start gaining supernatural power, tasks that used to defeat you start to crumble before you, and people who used to chase you start running from you.

America is in decline because we’re proud. We forgot who made us strong, so we don’t pray or give him credit. We don’t get to know him, and he does not guide our lives, so we do silly unproductive things, and we lose a lot. People who used to hide from us are now out in the streets giving us orders. Foreigners come here illegally, appear on TV, and shame us for refusing to give them privileges exceeding our own. Terrorists kill us from time to time, on our own soil. This is how life goes for the rebellious.

Things are rapidly getting worse, not just for America, but for Christians who live in America. We are not being spared. Our enemies beat us every day. That’s because we’re not good Christians. We don’t pray in the Spirit. We don’t hear from God. We have no idea which way to turn. He doesn’t help us, because we’re trying to do our own will, and we’re claiming it’s his.

I can’t go back to that. I would rather die than go back to wondering who would defeat me next. It’s not an acceptable way to live. Often released convicts say they will never go back to prison, no matter what it takes to avoid it. I understand that completely. No one wants a life of defeat, hopelessness, and humiliation.

It’s not really important whether I master electronics, but my success is a good example of the way God turns things around when I listen to him.

America is not going to do well. We can’t admit we’re wrong. We think evil is good and good is evil, so we can’t even diagnose our problems. A small residue of people will find help from God, and the rest will continue to fail. Even those who prosper financially will be failures, because they will have to lose themselves in order to get what they want.

When things get really bad, people will point to Christians who are successfully persecuted, and they will say it’s proof God isn’t real. In reality, it will just prove that proud, ignorant Christians don’t get much help from him.

It’s unfortunate that there is no solution to the problem, but at least you can save yourself, and you can help a few people around you avoid the mess. Really, that’s what we should expect. Lot, Noah, Moses, and Jesus were not able to save many people, and that’s a pattern which exists because of the stubbornness of human beings. It will never change as long as we have free will.

Anyway, while the country continues to slide, I will try to enjoy whatever peace and productivity I can.

I hope the information on electronics will be helpful to people, and that folks who know more about it than I do will add to what I wrote.

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Save $60,000 a Year and Fix Your Own Toaster

April 3rd, 2015

Free Knowledge for Nerds

I’m back.

I haven’t written anything here lately, but I have had all sorts of remarkable experiences. The practice of praying in tongues keeps paying off, not just for me, but for people I have encouraged.

My young friend who got a music scholarship at the University of Miami is in the neighborhood most weekdays because of class, and we meet and spend long sessions in prayer. You wouldn’t believe the revelation he gets. It’s tremendous.

That’s not what drove me here to write, though. I had a wonderful experience over the last couple of weeks, and I really don’t know anyone who would appreciate it, so here I am.

I have always regretted burning out on physics and quitting school. I could not do anything about it. I’m sure the people I worked with at the University of Texas think I just wasn’t smart enough, and that I was a typical washout, but that’s not true. I got a physics degree in three years, and when I started, I didn’t really know algebra, and then I got accepted by a top grad program. You can’t be stupid and do that. I just got burned out, and nothing I did helped. I panicked and resorted to ADD drugs, and they made things worse. And the people who ran the UT physics department didn’t care at all. They did give me one or two breaks, but they were small, and the impression I got was that they wanted me out of there fast, without an ADA lawsuit.

Before I was admitted, I was warned that UT didn’t care about students, but I didn’t know how true it was. And I saw my lab students get the same treatment. I guess that’s Texas for you. There seems to be something about the high percentage of Germans there that makes Texas different from other Southerners. They can be extremely rigid and cold.

I believe the real reason I failed was that I was out of line with God’s will. Every Christian is on the enemy’s radar, and the enemy is real, and he will make bad things happen to you if you’re an idiot, which I was. These days I have supernatural tools to put my enemies in my place, but back then, I was defenseless, so I lost to jerks and creeps who probably spent their entire childhood and adolescent years receiving wedgies from younger kids and being pushed in the mud by Brownies.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed online education opportunities, but they have taken a while to develop into something useful, and I didn’t really work hard to take advantage, so it wasn’t until recently that things started to click.

In February, I felt like I absolutely had to find a good online electronics course. I build tube amps, and I took two electronics courses in college, but I have no idea what I’m doing. The first course I took was somewhat practical. The second was all theory, and it was about things like the photoelectric principle, which is not going to get anyone a job designing computers. I’ve forgotten a lot of what I learned, and I didn’t learn that much to begin with.

I Googled and came across EDx.org, which is a site started by Harvard and MIT. You can go there and take courses from excellent professors at various universities, and you can even get certificates of completion. You can submit homework assignments, do labs with virtual equipment, and take tests.

I signed up to audit 6.002x, which is MIT’s basic electronics course. They provided an online version of the textbook for nothing. It was too late in the year to take the course for credit, but I already have credit for a similar course, and I don’t have any use for a certificate anyway.

The online textbook was nearly impossible to read, but I found the real book on Ebay. The American-market hardcover version runs $90, but I found the Indian edition, which is paperback, for about $20. I ordered it.

Near as I can tell, you can’t get the lecture videos unless you start from the beginning of the semester. That’s bad. But today I found the answer to that problem, and in doing so, I found the mother lode of free nerd classes. MIT has a site that provides a huge number of classes, for the princely sum of nothing. And the lectures are all on Youtube!

They even provide PDF lecture notes.

You can’t get credit, but on the other hand, you don’t have to submit a 1500 SAT or pay $60,000 per year (I checked) in tuition and costs. And if you ever have to get credit, you can take the MIT online class first and then show up at your local college and blow everyone out of the water.

This is wonderful. I feel like I’ll finally have a tiny bit of the knowledge you need to be competent with electronic devices. And the structure makes it easy to stick with it.

If you wish you could improve your brain, but you can’t go to college right now, this is a great resource.

I’ve already written about other providers, such as Khan Academy and NPTEL, but MIT is a cut above, because they provide real courses with real materials.

It’s incredible, really. Twenty years ago, I had zero chance of ever attending an MIT lecture. Now I can attend as many as I can stand, in my garage.

I’m sure there is stuff out there for liberal arts people, too. Truthfully, though, do you really need a professor to teach you about art history and novels? I’ve had plenty of liberal arts courses, and I learned absolutely nothing–nothing–I could not have figured out on my own with a library card.

Check it out if you want. If you’re technically inclined, you will never see a better bargain than this: MIT Open Courseware.

If you have a brainy kid who wants to get a head start on college, remember, taking courses online before you take them in person isn’t cheating. It’s just smart thinking.

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Why You are Still Here

February 2nd, 2015

It’s not so You Can Buy Anointed Miracle Healing Cloths

Time for another update.

I have learned something disconcerting: when the Holy Spirit drops a bombshell revelation on you, after you get over the surprise, the knowledge seems obvious. Because it is. We are unbelievably blind without his help. Things that are obvious–things God spells out pretty plainly in the Bible–are completely hidden from us.

We swim in a sea of lies. Well, some of us swim. Most lie on the bottom.

I got a big revelation that will sound obvious when I disclose it: our purpose on the earth is to put the heart and mind of Jesus into human beings.

I think most Christians would agree. It’s not a controversial opinion. In fact, the Bible says the reason God leaves the saved here instead of rescuing us from this cesspool is so we can reach others. But we don’t take the message to heart. Our main priorities are carnal, and that is generally true of preachers as well as the rest of us.

God offers us help with our problems. No doubt about it. He offers financial abundance, physical health, quality marriages, and success at what we do. But we make these things our focus, as though the only reason God exists is to do nice things for us. These gifts are not supposed to be our goals. They are helps God gives us while we work on what really matters.

I know I’m always criticizing TBN and the prosperity preachers. Well, I’m going to keep doing it. These people have charismatic Christians convinced that God is their genie. Got a problem? Pay God a large fee, through whatever preacher is speaking to you at the time, and God will fix it. God should have a price list. In fact, in some churches, he does. My pastor was at a church where a leader told people to form lines in order to receive prophecies. The $25 prophecies were in one line, the $100 prophecies were in another, and so on.

People get upset when I criticize. They think Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen and their pals are doing great things, even though they’re “not perfect.” That’s sad. The people who defend them have no discernment at all. They don’t understand that these preachers are doing tremendous harm. By baiting people with false promises, they get believers to focus on selfish things, and the big problem with that is that it prevents us from thinking about the things that actually matter. You will never get what God wants you to have as long as some greedy goofball in a $5000 suit poor people paid for is telling you to go after something else.

Which you probably won’t get.

It’s better to be saved and be greedy and ignorant than to know nothing at all about God. I grant you that. But we shouldn’t be comparing bad with worst. We should be comparing bad with best. The best is possible, and God wants you to have it. The best thing that can happen is for you to become like God in your heart and mind, and it will never happen while you’re obsessed with cars, houses, marriage, and so on.

Every person on earth is spirit-led.

Christians think the phrase “spirit-led” only refers to holy people. That’s true, if it refers to the Holy Spirit. But every person on earth is led by spirits. If the spirit that leads you isn’t the Holy Spirit, it’s Satan. I don’t care if you’re a Christian, an atheist, a Buddhist, or what. There are only two choices.

The modern crop of Satanists realize most people don’t really want to worship the devil, so they promote Satanism as self-worship, which more people find acceptable. They actually claim Satan doesn’t exist. They say he’s a fictional character they admire and use as a role model. He did his own thing. He believed in himself, and mean old Jehovah destroyed him for it. Satanists tell people to be themselves and think for themselves. But that option is not available on planet earth. If you try to be your own master, you submit to Satan.

A person is like a house. Spirits will come and live in it, one way or the other. If you’re not full of the Holy Spirit and moving in the fruits and gifts of the Spirit, and you’re not completely dedicated to God’s agenda, you are inhabited by spirits that hate God, and they make you feel unproductive urges and emotions. They also invite friends, the way crackheads invite other crackheads to abandoned houses. They are illegal aliens and squatters.

As a result of their presence, almost all of us are full of iniquities, which means we are full of externally imposed inclinations toward evil. We usually think these inclinations are our own, but that isn’t true, because when we try to get free of them, they persist.

When Jesus died for us, he bought us the right to forgiveness, but he also bought us the right to be filled with a better spirit: the Holy Spirit. Once the battle to get you saved is over, a new battle begins: the battle to 1) drive out the spirits that have ruled you, and 2) put the Holy Spirit in charge.

Being baptized with the Holy Spirit doesn’t get rid of the opposing spirits immediately. The Holy Spirit is not pushy. He will do exactly what Jesus told us to do: when he is invited, he will take the worst seat in the house and wait to be called forward. This is why we see Spirit-filled preachers on TV, moving in the gifts of the Spirit but serving greed and lust and pride. The Holy Spirit operates in them to a certain extent, but he isn’t the boss.

If you think I’m wrong, consider Jesus. Lie us, he had to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Unlike most of us, he received that baptism when he was water baptized. What did he do then? He went to the wilderness to rid himself of iniquity. Satan tempted Jesus and tried to rule him, but Jesus renounced him. After that, he began his ministry and did all sorts of miracles.

God is waiting for us to admit we’re full of spirits and evict them. When that happens, we’ll see real power and virtue.

When iniquity is subdued, we start to have the heart and mind of Jesus. He reveals things to us, and our motivation changes. When that happens, we become one with God.

People argue about the Trinity. They say it’s one being manifesting three different ways. Some say Jesus is the Messiah, but he’s not really God, because there is only one God. I stopped torturing myself with the riddle and accepted what seems to be the obvious truth: Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three separate beings. When the Bible says they are one, it means they are so unified in nature and intentions, they will always agree and work together. They will never have conflict, and they use the same power. This is what God wants for us. He wants us to be aligned with him internally. When that happens, we will be one with him, and things will flow. This is the kingdom of God. When God rules inside you, the kingdom of God is in you.

We don’t think about that much. We try to be good, but most of the time our big priority is to get God to give us stuff and do things for us.

God is supposed to guide us, but we choose our own jobs and wives and so on, and then we demand help from God. I guarantee you, right now, there are strippers asking God to help them in their careers. We’re supposed to let God put us where we should be. If we do that, then he has an incentive to help. If you’re doing things God doesn’t want you to do, why should he help you? What would be the point?

Preachers are as bad as anyone. They see rich megachurch pastors on TV, and they think God wants them to be filthy rich. They make slaves of people who come to them for teaching. They demand huge offerings. They demand unreasonable service from volunteers. They muzzle people; anyone who speaks correction is evil! They shoo the needy away while kissing the rear ends of the wealthy, famous, and powerful. This was the way things worked at my old church. They’re still doing it. The pastor’s son is running around on reality TV with the Kardashians. His reputation is wiped out, but he doesn’t know it yet, because all he can see is fame.

To have the heart and mind of Jesus, you have to get rid of the heart and mind of Satan. You have to clear out the spirits you used to serve. You have to invite the Holy Spirit and pray in tongues to get connected to power and correction. If you don’t do these things, whatever you’re doing with your life is almost certainly a waste of time, and you aren’t going to get the full measure of power and help.

God gave us the story of Joshua to presage all this. The promised land represents you. The people who squatted there represent the spirits that rule you in God’s absence. The pillar of cloud and pillar of fire represent what they are: the Holy Spirit. You’re supposed to follow the Holy Spirit and root out his enemies. Then the land thrives in victory and peace.

Here is what Joshua said:

Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

This is the choice you have to make, and serving the Lord doesn’t mean going to church or working as a volunteer or feeding orphans. It means making the Holy Spirit the dominant spirit in your life, above even your own.

I don’t know if this will help anyone or not, but it’s the truth.

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Fall Cleaning

November 6th, 2014

You Want the Wrong Things

Time to catch up. Stuff happens all the time, but I don’t always feel I should write about it. Sometimes I feel like I would be taking a half-baked cake out of the oven.

More and more, I am realizing that the only truly valuable work God does is inside us. Charismatics see a fair number of miracles, including healing, and we tend to focus on things God does in the natural world. We are caught up in a web of lies from people like Kenneth Copeland and Steve Munsey; preachers with no vision try to convince us that we should pursue God in order to get rich and receive other relatively trivial blessings. We put the cart before the horse, so we don’t make much progress at anything God actually cares about.

When Satan wants to get at us, the primary thing he does is to lie. Sure, he causes illnesses and other problems, but those things happen because we believe his lies.

If we had not believed lies, the planet would not be cursed, and we would not be dealing with poverty and sickness and so on. A few lies destroyed the world. And since then, the lies have increased, inside every one of us. All of us are corrupted by faith in lies.

The Bible tells us Satan is the accuser. He stands in front of God accusing us of things–most of them true–and he gets power to harm us. But the Bible doesn’t talk much about the other side of the coin. Satan accuses God before us, constantly, and we believe it. Then we go on to accuse him, ourselves.

There is always symmetry in the supernatural. The spiritual realm is full of two-edged swords. Satan apes God. Sorcerers imitate apostles and prophets. Charismatics get filled with the Spirit of God; occult practitioners offer themselves as vessels for evil spirits. God cursed man when Adam fell, and man also cursed God.

Think about this: God has been cursed with the same problems he gave us when we left Eden.

God said Adam would work hard for what he got, and that the earth would bring forth weeds and thorns. Doesn’t God work hard to save us? Think of the crucifixion and the constant flow of martyrs. And look at what Isaiah calls the rebellious: “And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day.”

God said Eve would suffer in childbirth. As a result, human beings have gigantic heads when they’re born, and this makes labor very painful. Doesn’t God suffer in raising up children? Again, look at the crucifixion. And what prevents us from submitting and becoming God’s children? Our big heads. We value our silly thoughts above his.

God said wives would strive to rule their husbands. Don’t we strive to rule God? Isn’t that exactly what the prosperity preachers do? They want God to be their little genie, providing money on demand, so they can spend it on mansions and–let’s face it–whores.

God drove Adam and Eve out of a place of peace and success. Don’t we drive God out of our hearts and keep his peace and success out? Isn’t Eden a type of the healthy, blessed human mind?

God even put an armed cherub at the gate of Eden, to keep Adam and Eve out. Well, Satan is a cherub. He stands before our own gates, keeping the Spirit of God out.

So anyway, lies are our biggest problem.

Satan tells us God doesn’t love us. He says God can’t use us because we’ve sinned too much. He says God is dead. He says God is weak. He says God has decided not to help us. He says God gives us diseases to teach us things, and that we are not supposed to be healed. He says we’re supposed to be poor. He says we will always lose when we come up against his children.

We believe this stuff. That’s the problem. It’s slander, and we accept it, and then we repeat it in our hearts, and we become slanderers of God.

This is important. People think that what they do is what matters, but that’s completely wrong. What you do is important, but what you believe and feel is the root of your blessings and curses. The Bible clearly states that God looks on the heart, not the appearance, and that faith is accounted unto us as righteousness. It says the righteous shall live by faith, and that without faith it is impossible to please God.

The ancient Jews were satisfied with men who obeyed the rules, but Jesus came along and said that wasn’t good enough. The evil we kept to ourselves, without acting on it, was also unacceptable. Our desires are a problem. This is even true of desires we hate and ignore.

If you believe a lie about God, your heart and mind are not right, and your situation on earth will reflect that.

Charismatic deceivers lie by omission, failing to teach that prayer in tongues is essential. They don’t listen to God, so they don’t teach what he wants taught. They tell us prayer in tongues is “evidence,” as though that were its only significance. They don’t encourage people to pray in tongues daily. They have no understanding of the benefits, and they don’t care. They just want money, fame, and easy living.

Because we don’t pray in tongues, we have no faith, and faith is the money of heaven. We are literally poor in spirit. When we pray, nothing happens, and then we go to church and shout in fake joy when the preachers mention God’s promises, hoping they will eventually start to work.

Because we don’t pray in tongues, we have no revelation and no discernment. We don’t see our own faults. We don’t see God’s priorities. When a fool like “Rabbi” Ralph Messer shows up and wraps Eddie Long in a sacred scroll and tells everyone Long is a king, a big percentage of us buy it, because we haven’t had our eyes opened. Christians are THE biggest suckers on earth, but we are supposed to be the hardest people to fool.

No one who doesn’t pray in tongues should be preaching. It’s an invitation to disaster. It happens, because very few people who pray in tongues are available. God uses what he has on hand. But it’s not right. The blind are leading the blind, and Satan rules the vast majority of churches, charismatic, Catholic, Baptist, or what have you.

We don’t pray in tongues, so our hearts and minds remain unchanged, and we become what Jesus called “whitewashed tombs,” full of dead men’s bones. Bones represent the spirit. Demons are the spirits of men; they were the offspring of angels and women. The dead men’s bones that fill us are the demons of iniquity, and because we don’t pray in tongues, we welcome and feed them. Often we think they’re the Holy Spirit. And they don’t depart instantly when you receive the baptism with the Spirit. They stay until you turn on them and use God’s power and authority to drive them out.

Jesus said these things using metaphors, possibly because he knew men would destroy every copy of the gospels if he spoke plainly.

You have demons. You may not want to hear it, but it’s true. They work constantly to delay the end of the world and put off judgment. They are not looking forward to the lake of fire. They surround you and babble at you all day, and if you’re not praying in tongues, you don’t have God’s voice to balance them.

Think of the foolish concept of “quality time.” It was invented to excuse parents who didn’t want to spend ACTUAL time with their kids. The claim is that if you spend one really good half-hour with your son every day, he’ll be fine. Of course, that’s a lie. Every second that your kids are away from good influences, they’re surrounded by bad ones, and those influences produce a harvest. Similarly, you can’t get God’s wisdom and correction praying with your understanding for fifteen minutes a day. You need to put in long periods praying in the spirit, and your spirit will learn from your mind.

If you sow little, you reap little.

Hell is at the center of the earth, and it’s there for a reason. The kingdom of hell is at the center of a man. The more you turn inward and try to satisfy yourself, the more you increase the power of the kingdom of hell. What you need to do is to go in with a wire brush and clean everything out. God is above the earth, far from the center, and you will find his kingdom by valuing things that are outside of, and above, yourself.

One of the worst forms of slander is flattery, and self-flattery is probably the lowest type. Slander doesn’t have to be uncomplimentary. It just has to be false. Flattery is sweet, so we swallow it eagerly. And often it manifests in excuses.

If you’re not honest about yourself, you will turn God’s help away. Excuses are a wall of protection for pride. They preserve it. If you don’t admit fault, God takes it as a request to stop helping you. The Bible clearly states that he will actually fight you if you’re proud. Think about that! God fights Christians!

Why don’t preachers talk about this? They constantly come up with excuses for us and for God, explaining why we don’t see more miracles and more help. Why don’t they look at the Bible itself and find the most obvious explanation? If you have faith, and you still have problems, something else must be in the way. The Bible says God fights the proud and helps the humble. Could anything be more clear?

You’re not a victim. I don’t care what people or spirits have done to you. None of that could hurt you if your heart and mind were right. You have desires and drives that aren’t right, and when you obey them, you come up with excuses. You may even blame your culture. “I’m Latin.” “I’m Italian.” “I’m from Appalachia.” “I’m black.” As soon as that excuse rolls off your tongue, God sits back and folds his hands.

God’s primary goal is to transform you into his child, with his inner nature. That is JOB ONE. It’s not to give you money, find you a wife, heal your diseases, or fight your enemies. When you don’t confess and listen to correction, you are opposing the primary work he hoped to accomplish when he allowed himself to be tortured to death.

I got a bunch of revelation about this this morning, and it was very unpleasant. But I can’t go backward. The devil isn’t waiting to welcome me home with a big hug and an easy life. The Red Sea is behind me, so I have to get with the program, and so do you.

Quit obsessing on healing and money. Look inside yourself. Start cleaning things up, and do it with God’s power, not your own.

That’s all I feel like writing right now.

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Organ Transplant Complete

October 6th, 2014

Yah di Buckety…

I have a new adventure to report. I have entered the world of tube organ ownership.

Here’s the story.

In the Twenties, a man named Laurens Hammond invented a circuit that kept good time. He used it to create the first accurate electric clocks. He created the Hammond clock company.

At some point, he realized he could generate accurate tones using his gadgetry. He decided to make some kind of novelty machine that made sounds, but his accountant suggested he create musical instruments instead.

This is how the Hammond organ was born.

The Hammond company made organs for about forty years. They used tube amplifiers and other weird old analog circuitry. And they were amazing. They were nothing like as big or expensive as pipe organs, but they were able to compete with them musically. They exuded mojo. Eventually jazz and blues musicians discovered organs, and we ended up with classics like “Whiter Shade of Pale” and “House of the Rising Sun.”

Eventually transistors and digital circuits ruined the market for Hammond organs, and Hammond’s competitors beat it to death with cheesy features that allowed people to push a couple of buttons and essentially make their organs play without much human input. Hammond folded, and later, his competitors folded. Now you practically have to pay people to take tube organs, except for four or five Hammond models that have developed a following. Even those can be had for one to three thousand dollars, which is very little, considering the complexity and quality of the instruments.

I have a friend named Travis. He plays on my church’s worship team. I believe he plays 12 instruments. Right now, he’s on scholarship at the Frost music school at the University of Miami. He has been pushing the team to go for a little more soul, and sometimes he throws in some organ licks on a small, crummy keyboard they use. Our pastor is also trying to steer the team in this direction.

I told the worship leader they could get a great old organ cheap if they watched the ads, but he thought it would take up too much room. Unfortunately, by the time he turned the idea down, I was already hooked on Craigslist, and I had found several nice Hammonds for sale.

The one that finally got my attention was an E133. This is a variant of the E100, which is one of the last good Hammonds. Someone was advertising it for a hundred bucks. I believe she originally wanted a thousand, but that doesn’t mean anything. If you watch Internet organ ads, you will see them start very high and end very low. Sometimes owners will actually pay to have organs hauled off.

Her organ sold for something like two thousand dollars when it was new (c. 1965), so she was probably shocked to learn that it was nearly worthless.

I had a hard time getting in touch with her. Her Craigslist ad expired, and she was slow to respond. Finally, I got ahold of her, and I made a deal. I would give her a hundred bucks for the organ if it was basically sound.

Enter Travis.

The E133 is one of Hammond’s heavier organs. Not the heaviest, but it’s a console, which means it’s bigger than a spinet. The M3 the hit “Green Onions” was played on weighs around 250 pounds. The E133 is maybe a hundred pounds heavier, before adding the pedals and bench. I decided Travis was going to help me carry it.

Here’s something really sad. I got a pickup so I could haul heavy things, and as it turns out, that plan has not panned out all that well. The organ errand demonstrates my point. It was supposed to rain on the day we planned to get the organ, so there was no way I could use an open truck. I had to rent a van. So aggravating.

I could not figure out how to get the organ to the van, but then I remembered those nylon forearm straps they advertise on TV. The invention is called the “Forearm Forklift.” You run the straps under heavy things and attach the free ends to your forearms, and this allows you to stand relatively straight when you lift. It makes moving heavy things easier. On Youtube, people move refrigerators with people sitting on top. I figured those straps were for me. I bought a pair.

We drove up to Davie, where the seller lived, and we threw the straps under the organ. Yes, it did move. But because it was so low to the ground, it was necessary to bend down pretty far, negating part of the benefit of the straps. Also, the organ threatened to tip to the side, which was not encouraging.

By a miracle of God, we got it to the driveway and put it behind the van, hoping to tilt it gently onto its back, via the rear doors.

At this point we learned something fascinating about lifting straps. Travis said he wanted to put his end of the organ in the van first and then help with mine, and that sounded okay, but when he got his end onto the van floor and let go of one strap, all the tension on that strap disappeared, and of course, the organ headed for the pavement with me shrieking as I strained to hang onto it.

I was positive we were about to drop over three hundred pounds of fifty-year-old cabinetry and tube amps on this lady’s driveway. All my organ dreams, up in smoke. Embarrassing.

By a second miracle of God, we stopped the organ and got it into the van, and then we requested and received a third miracle to get it down onto my driveway.

Here is Travis, trying the organ out. This is probably one of the happiest moments of his life. He likes that organ.

10 02 14 hammond e133 in garage with Travis

The organ had a few issues. For one thing, it had that “I’ve been in a house with cats” smell, big-time. For another, it made a funny hummy sort of noise. It also had a coating of crud on it. Some mysterious yellow substance. I obliterated paper towel after paper towel, removing filth from the keys and plastic surfaces. It may have been nicotine. That’s not as bad as the other things that it may have been, so I prefer to think that’s what it was.

The vibrato didn’t work, although I didn’t realize that. Also, after we ran it a while, it made hooting sounds. Oh well. A hundred bucks, right? How can you go wrong?

Since Thursday, I have been taking the organ apart and putting it back together. I learned some fascinating stuff.

Mr. Hammond’s organs do not have sealed bearings. Maybe they didn’t exist in the Sixties. Instead, a Hammond organ has a trough running down the midde of it, and that trough is filled with Hammond oil (actually about the same thing as air tool oil). The trough has a sponge in it, and from various points in the organ, cotton threads run to the sponge. At their other ends are weird bronze bearings. There are two plastic funnels over the trough. You pour oil into each funnel, and it goes into the sponge, and then it takes a three-week-long journey down the threads and into the bearings.

I’m not kidding. It really works that way. If you buy a Hammond organ today, and it needs oil, expect it to be ready to play three weeks after the day you oil it.

The hooting sounds came from bearings in the tonewheel generator. I’ll bet you want to know what that is.

You may know what a hurdy gurdy is. Probably not. It’s a gourd-shaped instrumend with strings. Inside it, there is a shaft with discs mounted transversely on it. When you crank the shaft, you can select strings and make them contact the moving edges of the disks. The disks act like violin bows; the rubbing makes the sound.

A Hammond organ is basically an electric hurdy gurdy. It has a motor at one end, and a shaft runs down the length of the organ. On the shaft, there are tonewheels. These are disks with notches around the edges. There are magnetic pickups, like guitar pickups, next to the disks. As the disks turn, the notches vary the voltage in the pickups, and you get a signal that produces a tone. The more notches a disk has, the higher the frequency of the tone.

The beauty of this system is that you can blend signals from multiple disks.

Over the keyboards (“manuals”), there are drawbars. These are sliding bars that determine how the tones blend. If you pull a drawbar all the way out, it maximizes the output from a certain wheel. Or certain wheels. I’m not sure. Anyway, it’s sort of like a graphic equalizer. If you always pull the drawbars out to certain lengths, you will always have the same sound. Jimmy Smith, the jazz organist, made a splash by using the pattern 888-000-000 on the nine drawbars of his organ. I should also add that the organ has two manuals, and each manual has its own set of drawbars.

The drawbars explain part of the organ’s appeal. An organ’s tones are not pure. Because you’re combining tones, every time you press a key, what you really get is a chord. If you’re a musician, you know that chords have a more satisfying sound than discrete notes.

The organ I bought is not the most desired Hammond. That would be the B-3. Generally, big rock acts used these to perform the classics we all remember. There are similar organs that are a little less desirable, like the RT2, the A100, and the C-3. The E-133 has some of the B-3’s good points, but it lacks others. And it has some silly features that have to be removed in order to make it sound its best. It’s a fantastic instrument, though. And for a hundred bucks, it’s the deal of the century.

A B-3 will run you two grand or more. I am not blowing that kind of money on what is essentially an impulse buy. But I’m willing to spend a hundred to get 85% of that experience.

Working on the organ is a nightmare. It’s very tight in the cabinet, and nothing is modular, in any sane sense of the term. It would probably take two hours to get the tonewheel generator out. The vibrato is generated in a little can at one end of the organ, and I had to remove it twice and bang around on it to get it working. It takes one hour to remove and one hour to replace. It probably has eighty parts, and they are very small, and they like to fall out of your oily hands and roll under things.

Today I got the vibrato working, and I am well on the way to having the hooting fixed. I still have to fix one pedal. If you don’t know, the pedals on an organ are bass notes. They’re very cool. One of mine is missing a small piece of metal that actuates the switch that plays the note.

I washed the whole organ with Murphy’s Oil Soap, and I should really do it again. I polished it with Scott’s Liquid Gold. The cat stench is just about gone, and now I’m not afraid to eat after touching the keys.

I told Travis he has a lifetime pass to play it.

Once it’s reasonably healthy I may move it out of the garage.

The folks at my church say they want it. NOW. Oh, no. Sorry. You get to wait for the next one, and someone else has to deliver it. I’ll find it and I’ll make it work. That’s more generous than it sounds.

If you like old organ music, get out there and find an old Hammond. Steer clear of other brands. If you’re not handy, you can get a Hammond digital B-3. The Suzuki company bought the name, and they make a fake B-3 as well as a compact version for the stage.

Sooner or later people will rediscover these things, and then you’ll be sorry. Or not.

Anyway, I got mine.

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CNC Surprises

September 18th, 2014

No Cigar

I feel like updating the saga of my CNC progress. I have learned a great deal about CNC, but in relation to the amount that I need to know in order to be competent, I know just about nothing.

First thing: do not build a CNC lathe. Do not even waste your time. A mill will do nearly everything a lathe will do, plus a million things a lathe can’t begin to do. You can thread with a mill. You can turn parts with a mill. You don’t want a lathe. Believe me. And if you have a lathe, no one will want to help you, because only about 10% of CNC hobbyists use lathes. Even software makers ignore us.

Second thing: precision is expensive. You can fix a machine so the computer compensates for backlash. But it doesn’t actually work. Say you’re milling a round hole instead of boring. You have to make the cutter travel in a big circle, as well as rotating. Every time an axis changes direction, you’re going to get error due to backlash. The only way to get rid of it is to use ballscrews, and cheap ballscrews don’t really work, although they may make you feel good. On the web, people with cheap screws talk about backlash figures between 0.005″ and 0.010″, which is huge.

When I got ready to build my lathe, I figured the machinery itself would be simple to create. The plans I bought didn’t mention ballscrews. Then I got it running and found out I had 0.018″ of backlash on the z screw. The software compensates on simple parts, and that’s very good. It’s worth a lot. I can do a lot of stuff I could not do with a manual mill, and I can do it with good accuracy. But sooner or later I’ll want to cut a part that requires a sudden change in direction on z, and I won’t be able to do it well.

Another annoying lathe issue: you have to tell the computer about the cutters you use. When you use a tool, only a tiny part of it will touch the work. The computer has to know where that contact occurs. Tools have rounded corners, so there won’t be a sharp, defined point where the tool makes contact. It will vary as the shape of the work and the direction of tool movement change. Lathe inserts vary a lot, so you may have to have a whole bunch of tools defined. I’m not sure HSS is useful at all, because you can’t grind it precisely. If you try to tell the computer the radius on a tool made from HSS, you’ll definitely have error.

I have not used a CNC mill, but it stands to reason that it should be less complicated. Say you’re using a half-inch end mill. You know exactly where the lower surface is, at all times. You know where the sides are. Not complicated. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t really see myself spending days telling the computer about the small number of tools I’ll use.

I’m going to keep the lathe, because even with limited precision, it can be useful, but I would not waste my time building another one. I’m hoping to use it for threading and tapers, as well as curved parts like dial handles. Things like that will justify its existence until I get a mill going.

People are telling me I should have bought a used machine. There are a lot of old CNC machines out there that have obsolete electronics. I may be wrong about this, but I will relate what I understand to be true. Years ago, CNC required big dedicated computers and expensive controllers. In 2014, a secondhand PC can handle most of that stuff. There are old machines out there with screws and motors that still work, but they have heavy, useless built-in electronics. Commercial users want to get rid of them, so hobbyists buy them and bypass the ancient circuitry, running them with Mach3 or LinuxCNC.

I would love to have an old vertical machining center, which is just a very fancy milling machine with an enclosure that keeps chips and coolant contained. But they’re gigantic. There’s one for sale down here, and it weighs over 8000 pounds. I’m crazy, but not that crazy. Also, what if you buy one, and the screws are no good? You’re out maybe six grand, and then you have to put another two or three thousand in. Arrgh.

I am thinking I should get a new Chinese mill, like an R45 clone or a Grizzly G0704, which is a little smaller and less rigid. I would have to put decent screws on it, which would give me gastric distress, but it would do just about anything I want to do. I still have the ability to add 6 more axes to my controller, so I should be able to keep the lathe and add a mill with no problems.

I bought Dolphin CAD and CAM, which is a pretty good commercial program. They gave me a big discount. I haven’t gotten to where I can actually use it, but I’m working steadily. I have managed to get Mach3 working (most of the time), so I use it to fine-tune the machine. Yesterday I cut a #2 Morse taper in aluminum, just to see if it would work. Tapers have to be very precise, but the geometry is simple, and the tool doesn’t change directions while it’s on the work, so I figured there was some hope that my lathe would pull it off.

Below is a photo of the taper. It fits fine in the center bore of my rotary table. I put Sharpie ink on it and tried to rub it off on the inside of the bore, to check for high and low spots, but I couldn’t see any problems in the result. It would definitely be sticky enough to hold a drill chuck in the lathe’s tailstock.

09 17 14 Morse 2 taper cut on mini-lathe

If I can make tapers that actually work, it will be a nice ability to have. I should cut an R8 and see what happens. My experience with lathes is that even with error in the chuck, you can get a very nice, round part as long as you don’t move it around while cutting it. If you take it out and put it back in, it won’t be in the same position. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to try to make an R8 taper, but the dial indicator or test indicator will tell me for sure.

I am enjoying the lathe. I plan to keep working on it until it can thread. But compared to a mill, it’s…handicapped. That’s just how it is.

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Not so Fast

September 8th, 2014

I am a Deacon

Many times in my life, I have had things placed in my hands and then taken away, as if someone who hated me found out and ran to me to “correct” things. It happened again yesterday.

On August 16, my church had a meeting, and they named new deacons, ushers, and one minister, plus a house prophet. My pastor stunned me by announcing that I was going to be a minister, which is a purely spiritual function. Deacons have to do things like cleaning, driving, and so on. Ministers go to the front of the church when the spirit moves, and they pray for people and lay hands on them and so on.

As a recent entry on this blog says, I was pretty happy about this. I have never asked for any type of promotion at any church, and I don’t promote myself. I have turned jobs down. They asked me to manage the kitchen at my old church, and I said no. I won’t drive the van for my current church, because of the liability. Driving is for people who have no net worth, unfortunately. If you have anything, you can be sued. Anyway, I was shocked and pleased to be a minister, because it was exactly what I wanted to do, I had not asked for it, and I wasn’t going to have to spend two more years proving myself.

The week after the meeting, someone said I was supposed to do something or other as a “deacon,” and I corrected them so there would be no confusion. And I’ve been talking to my friends about how wonderful it was to be recognized and put to use. I’ve been going to the front of the church to do minister work, trying to get it right.

Yesterday, someone on Facebook congratulated me on my anointing as a deacon, and I corrected it, and then my pastor’s wife corrected ME! She wrote “DEACON” in capital letters. That was news to me. The word used at the meeting was definitely “minister.”

So regardless of what was said at the meeting, I have actually been appointed to the deacon team. This means I’m doing exactly what I’ve been doing as an armorbearer. I still have that job. There has been no change at all. I just have an additional title. We don’t have any specific duties or authority. We don’t get training as deacons. I don’t know what the job is, yet.

The whole thing is very embarrassing, but what can you do? It wasn’t deliberate. Sometimes people mean to say one word, and another one comes out.

Yesterday I was fairly disturbed by it, and I went to God and tried to figure out why it bothered me. Before I was appointed, I was happy, so why wasn’t I happy after being moved up and then back down? And then he showed me a few things.

He reminded me that spirits and people have been trying to kill and suppress me all of my life. Things that should have worked out have been taken away from me, even when I did things right. People with lesser ability and character got honors that were supposed to go to me. I had opportunities to make money and succeed, and they were destroyed suddenly, in spite of my efforts.

I probably shouldn’t say this, but when I was 16, I got to go to Europe for six weeks with a bunch of other kids, and a pretty girl who had decided to lose her virginity asked me to take her out. We went on a double date with another girl and a friend of mine, and the friend started acting like the pretty girl was his date. I got shoved completely out of the picture. Years later, I found out he had sex with her that night. Obviously, it would have been bad if it had been me, but it’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve had to deal with.

At my old church, they made me a security guard. I was a scientist, a published author, and a successful lawyer. I was a great cook, and they needed help in the kitchen. The leadership was working-class and lower middle class. They were not highly educated, nor were they sharp or capable. I could have been useful. They made me a security guard and shut me out of the inner circle. This was how they operated. They had a phenomenal guitarist there–an established performer who has played concerts all over the US–and they put him in charge of frying disgusting SYSCO chicken. They took the worship leader–a man who went to college on a voice scholarship–and replaced him with the pastor’s son, who sang off-key. They put the worship leader in the kiddie area, where he entertained small children.

When I saw the minister position slipping away, memories of other things I had lost came back to me. This is why I was disturbed. If I had been made a deacon from the start, I wouldn’t have thought about any of these things. I would have been glad to get that far. But when you’re told you have something really good, and then you find out you’re getting something pretty good, it feels like a step down, not a promotion.

David was rejected constantly, until he became king. Even Samuel rejected him, until God forced him to anoint him. Rejection is a pattern anointed people go through. If you have an anointing, and you get promoted, and God is in it, it won’t be because you listened to some idiot preacher who tells people how to network. It will be because God forced people out of the way.

Rejection is something anointed people can count on. The thing I’m wondering is how deep it runs. I know the prosperity preachers are wrong. I know we’re not supposed to have orange mansions and mink-lined doghouses and all the other tacky stuff rich preachers love. But I also know that we’re supposed to have good things in this life, eventually.

I had another problem like this at my church. They asked a bunch of us to come in and be in a video. We posed for the camera, and they sent us home. They didn’t tell me what my image would be used for. Then they showed the video to the church. It showed various people posing while a voice told about the iniquities they dealt with. When my face came up, and voice said, “PORNOGRAPHY.”

I was not too happy about that. I will not sit here and say that I use the Internet and have never looked at naked women, but I never told anyone this was a major issue in my life, and I certainly never agreed to pose falsely as a porn addict in a video. I told them they could go ahead and use it if they wanted, but some of the media people got angry when I went on Facebook and pointed out that it was a dramatization, not a confession. They said it made them look unprofessional. Well, it made me look pretty funny, too! People were telling me how sorry they were for me, because of my “problem.”

I never said I wouldn’t talk about it, but evidently they thought I had agreed to be silent when I told them to go ahead and use it. I’m a lawyer. We think in fine print. I would never have agreed not to talk about it. Not in a million years. Anyway, it caused a brief stink, and I saw it as an effort by the enemy to drive a wedge into the church. These things happen. You can’t let them stop you.

When I found out I was a deacon, the memory of the pornography thing came back to me. It was as if someone was saying, “You are NEVER going to be accepted.”

Little things like this can eat at you. At my old church, the kid who ran the media booth dropped part of a heavy plywood set on me and nearly killed me. I had bruises and scrapes, and a lot of skin was scraped off the back of my left ankle. I had pain and trouble walking for weeks. I had to drive myself home and pay the medical bills. That wasn’t right, after I drove up there in my free time and tried to help them dismantle the set. The thing that hit me barely missed the back of my head. If it had hit me, I would be dead or brain-damaged. They could have reached out just a little bit, but they never did. You can forgive, but you can’t forget. For the rest of my life, whenever I have a hiccup in my relationship with any church, no matter how blameless everyone is, I’ll remember that.

I see the minister misunderstanding as an attack, to make me feel rejected. Somehow the enemy got my pastor to say the wrong word by mistake, to see if he could stir up these old feelings. Well, it won’t work. I’ve been counseling people for a long time, and as I told someone yesterday, now it’s time to take my own medicine. Because I helped other people, I know how to help myself. I’ll have whatever God wants me to have. God has never rejected me. I have not fallen off the fast track. The plan is still succeeding, whatever it is.

This summer has been a real bear for a bunch of people I know. This is just one more challenge in a series. I am really looking forward to the end. We’re not going to have problems this intense, continuously, for the rest of our lives.

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Promotion

August 29th, 2014

Plus Neat Tools

Sorry I haven’t been around. I use my garage computer most of the time now, so I rarely check my blog email address, and I am also lazy about looking up the password when the garage computer decides to log me out! Today I decided to face this horrible 20-second chore, and when I brought up the login page, my info was already there.

So there is not much to brag about in that little episode.

First thing: I got my CNC mini-lathe going. I’m afraid people would jump out of windows if I wrote about all the kinks I had to work out of it, but I can mention a few briefly.

For one thing, the x axis (the cross slide) insisted on running backward. This would work if I ran the lathe backward and put the tool on the wrong side of the part, but it’s not so good for normal operation.

I’m using Mach3 right now, because it’s supposedly the easiest way to get off the ground, and Mach3 has several settings that allow you to change the axis direction. They don’t work. I also tried changing the sign of the gain (please don’t die of boredom) in KMotion, but nothing happened. I finally gave up and switched the wires on one motor. That reverses it. Done.

Before this I had other problems. For one thing, I stepped on the USB cord that goes to the controller and pulled the female USB port out of the board. That was a bad moment. I had to take the board out, remove the port, suck out all the solder, put the port back on, and rig something up to replace the support tabs I destroyed in the accident.

Last night I got the thing going and figured out a few things about making Mach3 work, and I made this:

08 28 14 CNC mini lathe first test part with radius end

Impressive, right? Guess what it is!

Keep guessing if you want, but it’s nothing. It’s test scrap. I used one end to test OD turning, and I used the other end to test the ball/radius wizard. The hole in the end existed before I put the part in the lathe.

The steps per unit on the motors are wrong (probably) because I set them by eyeball. You’re supposed to do a calculation based on the number of turns of the lathe screw per inch. For my x axis, I should have gotten 5000 steps per inch, but I think I’m using 75000, which is a BIT high. My guesswork settings appear to be really close, but they still have to be fixed.

I was worried that this lathe would not be useful, but last night I realized it’s going to be very handy. It can swing parts up to about 4″, which covers a great deal of ground, and it will do all sorts of shapes. It may take a long time to cut each part, but who cares? It’s automatic. I don’t care if each part takes three hours.

I plan to improve the mechanics of it. I am not thrilled with the bearings.

Finally, I can think about something else.

Last week, a teacher named Andrew Wommack came to town. He rented a hall at the Miami Beach Convention Center. He does that because churches that hate the gifts of the Spirit are not lining up to let him speak in their buildings.

This guy is fascinating to me, because he teaches things I believe. I don’t hear much of this stuff on TBN (although he has a show, so maybe I should watch). It just comes to me by revelation, and my pastor also teaches it. The same teachings come to different people independently, which is exactly how the Holy Spirit is supposed to work.

A bunch of folks from my church went (nobody from Trinity showed up), and we listened.

It was wonderful to see him say so many liberating things. He reinforced things I believe, and he also cleared a few things up. It was as if there was stuff stuck in the pipe, and he knocked it loose.

He explained some scriptures I didn’t understand. For one thing, he said that when the Bible says people who are in Christ don’t sin, it refers to our spirits, which are cleansed and made like Jesus at the moment of salvation. The mind and flesh may continue sinning. He also explained the remark Jesus made about agreeing with your adversary quickly. He said it means that if Satan accuses you of something you’ve actually done, you should admit it and quit crippling yourself with self-righteousness.

He also taught that prayer in tongues is essential. It is what makes us strong. Effort is nearly worthless.

I don’t want to get too deeply into what he said, because I’ll remember it incorrectly. He has a website where you can hear his stuff for nothing. Here is a link.

Since the event, I’ve felt even more faith and power than I was feeling already. If people will get ahold of this stuff and use it, great things will happen.

Unfortunately, people like Joel Osteen and my old pastors have conditioned us to go to church just to feel good, so as long as what we hear makes us feel good, we wave our hands and have a great time, but we don’t really listen. We listen for slogans, not advice we actually expect to take. I don’t know how many people who were at the event will remember to apply what they heard.

I can tell you this: the reason the promises in the Bible don’t work is lack of faith. If you pray in the Spirit, you will develop faith, and you will get a revelation of who you are in the supernatural hierarchy. When you understand what you’re allowed to do, and you have the God-given faith to do it, you will see the promises function.

People will fight you if you tell them they can’t cast out demons, but it’s true for many of us. If you don’t know who you are, and you only have human faith, when you assert your authority, the spirits will just laugh. Or they will strip you naked, give you a beating, and chase you down the street. If you know who you are, so will the demons. Then they’ll listen.

Faith, authority, and sovereignty are manifestations of the same thing. Get faith, be honest with God, learn, and you will succeed. And to get faith, you’re going to have to pray in tongues.

Andrew Wommack baptized maybe two hundred people with the Spirit. On South Beach! That’s like doing it in Sodom.

I went up for prayer. A man prayed for my gallbladder issues, and he told me I was a seer. He said I saw darkness, and that I also had to see the light. He didn’t tell me everything was fine, and that THE REST OF MY LIFE WOULD BE THE BEST OF MY LIFE, or anything else that might have been cribbed from Stuart Smalley.

In the future, we won’t have to concentrate and work to have faith. Because we are built up, faith will flow easily. The mind will be aligned with the spirit, and we will be able to let God do the work. This will be a major problem for Satan, and it’s why he hates prayer in tongues. This is the kind of teaching that leads to major persecution.

If I had to say one thing seemed to be lacking, I would say it was teaching on love. I’m sure he does teach about it, but I have noticed that even the best teachers are not giving love enough attention. When God came to me in 1986, the things that I noticed immediately were not might or healing power. They were overwhelming love, total peace, and an absolute certainty that I would be protected and cared for as long as he was there. We need to remember that these things are important, because they’re not luxuries or rewards. They are essential defensive weapons.

Check out his website if you think this is appealing. He was very helpful to me.

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The Boss’s Kid

August 20th, 2014

We are Seated in High Places, not High Chairs

I failed to write about the stuff that happened over the last week. I’ll give it another shot.

On Saturday, my church had a meeting for all the volunteers and staffers. Actually, I think we only have four staffers.

We were meeting so the pastor could encourage us to do some obvious things, like not being late, and so he could tell us about some personnel changes.

I’ve been an armorbearer for about two years, and I also work on the prayer team. I have not been particularly anxious to take on more responsibility, because my prayer life is very time consuming already, and the prayer team adds two hours per week. I do nearly nothing as an armorbearer, but I do make myself available, and I show up for church an hour early.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working to align myself with God’s agenda. It started with food. I knew it was wrong to bless food, because food doesn’t really need blessing. The Bible says we are to bless God. But how do you do that? It’s not like he needs a car or a watch.

I decided that when I ate, I would say things related to God’s goals. For example, I might speak defeat to the convenience abortion movement in America and Israel, and I would speak God’s protection to the unborn and to women who were being coerced to murder their children.

When I started doing this, my faith made a quantum jump. If you’re not a physicist, I will explain. A quantum jump is an instantaneous movement from one defined energy level to another. It’s not a gradual thing. I moved from a very good level of faith to a much better level of faith, very quickly.

Why did that happen? It was because God directs his resources to his children, not to idiots who send money to TBN preachers in the hope of becoming rich.

Let me digress. Last night I realized that a person who tries to buy God’s favor with offerings is exactly like a father who thinks he’s doing a great job because he spends money on his kids. All over the world, there are fathers who would rather die than get deeply involved with their kids, and the way they avoid it is by spending money and telling themselves it proves they’re great dads. If you give God money but not your heart, you’re actually using offerings to distance yourself from him.

To return to the point, we are supposed to be God’s children, working devotedly in his family business. If you had a factory that made tons of money, and your son was the manager, and he spent every day watching porn in his office, would you give him raises and send him new resources?

No.

You would back up whoever stood up and tried to do your will. That person would get unlimited support.

That’s how the kingdom of God works, and in the kingdom, faith is money. I just got a raise.

Now when I pray and bless and curse, I try to start out with God’s issues. I speak defeat to the enemies of Israel. I speak faith, revelation, revival, and contrition to the people of America and Israel. I speak defeat to the gay movement. When I cover everything that seems to need attention, I move on to my own issues, and when I do, I have more faith to use in my own behalf.

More and more, I have been serving God, and I have been thinking of myself as his son, involved in the family business.

At the meeting, I saw our pastor make great moves. I have been speaking victory and promotion to the Spirit-led among us, and I have been speaking demotion to the carnal, and what our pastor did was very consistent with my efforts. I consider it a testimony. He put some very effective people in the right positions.

I will admit that I was a little disturbed when he named the armorbearers and didn’t mention me. I started wondering if he was aware I was on the team. If so, was I out? I did not want to be named Grand Poobah, but it would have been discouraging to get the boot from the position I had. I would have felt that nothing I had done had been noticed.

Toward the end of the meeting, he really shocked me. He mentioned me, and he said I had been serving as an armorbearer–whew!–and then he said I was being moved to the position of minister.

That was not expected. This is a position where your duties are almost purely supernatural. You don’t have to mow the grass. You don’t have to drive to the dry cleaners. You pray. You are allowed to lay hands on people, which was something I really wanted to do. You can counsel people. Of course, you can also do things that are not quite as supernatural. You can carry things and so on. But that’s not your reason for being there.

I really didn’t know what to say. They could have made me a deacon or an usher or something. That would have been an honor. But they put me in the exact type of position I wanted. I don’t mind making coffee or running errands. Not at all. But I have some tools that can be very useful, and if I’m constantly doing manual labor, I won’t be able to get much done.

How does this tie into the stuff about serving God? Simple. A minister is a servant. I decided to serve God with serious intent, and the first thing you know, God gave me the title of minister.

Of course, I have concerns about screwing up and being an embarrassment. While our pastor was speaking, he said, “When you become a parent, it changes everything.” He wasn’t talking about ministry, but I still felt it hit home.

These things are connected. When I withheld, God withheld. And this shows why the TBN teaching is so evil. It teaches people that God wants to serve them, and that as long as he gets their money, he doesn’t want anything else. It teaches people to send God telegrams instead of going to see him.

That’s all I have for now, but I think you can see why I’m freaked out.

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