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Revelations From This Week

May 25th, 2013

Run With It

Thought I’d post a few things I received this week.

First off, I got a better understanding of grace. I can’t say I learned anything new, but it became more real to me, which is a supernatural thing you can only get from the Holy Spirit.

I always tell people they should not doubt the message of tongues. I say God changes us through tongues and makes us more powerful and decrees things and puts blessings in our paths. People say that’s too easy. Then I point out that these same people believe they’re getting a home in heaven, plus eternal life, just for asking and repenting. If you can get infinite wealth and help by uttering one sentence, you should not be surprised that God will do great things for you because you spend time every day praying in tongues. It’s not “too easy.” It takes a lot more work than receiving salvation.

A day or two ago, God showed me that the same thing applies to the things we ask for with our understanding. If I can receive eternal life just for asking, while I am still a sinful mess, then surely I can receive an infinitely smaller blessing, such as a healing, by asking. I should not swallow a camel and strain at a gnat, as a very wise person once said.

I don’t merely know this now, but when I act on it, I feel supernatural faith rising up inside me, confirming it and making it work. This is a tremendous breakthrough.

I would tell you to act on it, but there’s a catch. You need supernatural faith. Simply trying to believe it is not enough. The Bible makes it very clear that real faith isn’t something we manufacture. It comes from the Holy Spirit, and we develop it by praying in tongues consistently, as a daily thing. See Jude. As Andrew Wommack says, you can’t cram to get a harvest. Sometimes God will just drop a gift on you, but generally, you are going to have to walk with him consistently in order to see fruit.

If you’re not praying in tongues every day, maybe you can make this work, but you probably can’t. You should be praying in tongues or at least seeking the gift.

There are people who can pray in tongues, yet who choose not to, because they don’t want to get too close to God and give up their silly carnal fun. Today God showed me that these people are cheating the rest of us. They’re a burden. They’re like babies who refuse to learn to walk. They’re big, fat, lazy adult papooses. When they have problems, instead of getting connected to the power, they run to their pastors for prayer. As a result, many pastors are heavily burdened, changing the spiritual diapers of lazy individuals who should be growing, prospering, and helping others.

That’s crazy. That’s disgraceful.

I was in that situation for over a decade, so I can’t brag.

Anyway, you don’t have to be perfect to have miraculous power work through you. You should try to behave, and you should never ACCEPT a sin or iniquity and quit fighting, but don’t think God is going to disappear just because you had a weak moment and looked at your neighbor’s wife at the beach. If he did things like that, grace would not be grace.

God is also giving me a good understanding of things like gates and doors. Today I wrote this:

In ancient times, a city gate was more than a door. It was a place where legal judgments were made, and decisions were recorded there.

When Jesus talked about the gates of hell, he was talking about our souls, where we make decisions and decide what goes in and out. If the revelation of the Holy Spirit is inside us, then the things that try to enter through our souls will not prevail. This is the “rock” Jesus referred to. It is also mentioned in Psalm 40.

Psalm 127 says: “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Surely this applies to God’s children as well as ours. We are continually at the gate, speaking defeat to our enemies.

A wall can surround a small place where we are protected from our enemies, or it can surround a small place in which our enemies are confined, while we are free outside. When you are the head and not the tail, you don’t have to hide. When your enemy is the head, it’s another story. These days in America, people who used to hide are out in the open, roaring like lions, and Christians are hiding in little walled areas, afraid to speak.

The Holy Spirit was on Samson when he stole the gates of Gaza and took them away. He carried the authority of Gaza off and made it his. We should be doing the same thing.

Samson did this on the day after he slept with a Gazan prostitute, so clearly, it was grace and not his own righteousness that gave him power.

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The Stephen Hawking Piano Method

May 21st, 2013

Study Music in Spinning Class

My musical studies are as exciting as ever.

The more I learn about the importance of timing (or “rhythm,” depending on your favored term), the more I realize conventional music teachers are blind. In fact, the musical world, generally, is blind. They’re obsessed with pitch and harmony. They have it all backward. Timing and dynamics, for most musicians, are more important, and a failure to master them is the main reason musicians fail to progress. I’m sure of it.

If you read about famous pianists, you’ll see a lot of bragging about absolute pitch, which is the correct term for what people refer to as “perfect pitch.” A person with absolute pitch will be able to listen to a chord on the piano and tell you every note. In fact, if someone drops a tray of dishes, a person with absolute pitch may be able to tell you the note every dish sounded when it hit the floor. Musicians get very excited about this ability, because they think pitch is what it’s all about. But very often, you will also run into statements by musicians, saying absolute pitch was of no value to them, or that it actually caused problems. And many great musicians don’t have it. Schumann didn’t.

Oddly, there seem to be no accounts in which famous musicians brag about their rhythmic talent. I suppose you would run into stories like that if you read about drummers, but I’ve never seen a biographer brag about a pianist’s ability to handle difficult rhythms. Sometimes they compliment a pianist’s rubato, but that’s not really the same thing. In fact, “rubato” can actually be a fancy way of excusing a musician who can’t keep regular time. Classical pianists are often overrated as technicians. Some of the best played sloppily.

There are some instruments that require good relative pitch. This is the ability to compare notes. If you play a horn or a fretless string instrument, you’ll need to be able to identify and produce accurate pitches, the way a singer does. But this is not a rare gift. In fact, just about everyone has it. And if you play the piano or a fretted instrument, it means almost nothing. You can’t play a sour note on a piano. The pitches are predetermined at regular tunings. And you can use a machine to tune a guitar, and after that, any note you fret will be in tune.

If you want to write or play music with real skill and understanding, you will have to be able to read, hear, and feel complex timings. That’s just how it is. If you can’t do these things, you will always be confined to the shallow end of the pool.

I’ve managed to get to the point where I can reliably tap out any rhythm I read, from 2/4 to 12/8, syncopated or not. On my teacher’s advice, I haven’t fooled with rhythms that contain 32nd notes. But everything up to that point, I can read. I hear the rhythms in my head before I tap them out. And I can write rhythms that I hear. This is a tremendous advance. If I head music in my head, and I want to write it down, the rhythm is the hard part. The pitches, I can figure out later. A monkey could do that.

The other day I went to church, and I ran into a friend who teaches piano. We talk about music a lot. He had a rhythm assignment he had written for a student who hadn’t shown up. He said I could have it. I took a look at it, and I could read it instantly. I leaned back and tapped the whole page out on the wall. No problem. It was a one-handed exercise, which made it easy, but it still shows how much I’ve improved.

I don’t care about absolute pitch, and there is precious little hope of developing it at my age, but now that I have rhythm under control, I realize I need to program intervals and harmony into my brain. I can identify any interval between unison and an octave (my fridge’s icemaker plays a major 6th), but I still have trouble identifying fast intervals in songs, and I can only identify about 60% of the harmonic intervals I hear. A harmonic interval is two notes played simultaneously. I haven’t been taught much about them, but it seems evident that if you can identify harmonic intervals, you are well on your way to hearing chords in your head, and that will be helpful with composing. I have always had the ability to write one staff of music and then automatically come up with harmony in the other staff, but I need to go beyond that.

More and more, I am realizing that music is a thing of the mind, or maybe of the mind and spirit. It is not a thing of the body. Glenn Gould said we play the piano with our minds, not our fingers, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. The truth is, you don’t need an instrument to be a musician, and in fact, it may slow you down at first, because it will distract you from the process of getting music into your head.

I’m not using the piano as much as I was a few weeks back. I’ve realized I do my best work away from it. When I develop the mind of a musician, THEN I’ll be ready to work on the hands. I can now practice music while driving or showering; I don’t have to be anywhere near an instrument. I simply do mental exercises, like a physicist doing a gedankenexperiment.

Arthur Rubinstein said that he could perform pieces he had never practiced. He would get the score for a piece and read it over and over without an instrument handy, and by the time he got to the piano, he was able to play it. I think that says it all. He got inside the music, to the point where playing it was almost an afterthought.

It has always bothered me that my parents made no effort to get me musical instruction. People commonly believe that you can’t become a really good musician unless you learn early, and I have bought into it. But now I think that’s not quite true. It may be that an older student will have a hard time mastering an instrument, but the progress I’ve made lately shows that we can learn the other stuff very quickly. I’ve learned rhythm in a few months. I beat intervals in a few weeks. I’m sure I’ll beat harmonic intervals in a short time. My age is not slowing me down. I don’t see myself becoming the next Horowitz. There are some things you can’t fix. But if I can write music as well as someone who started young, I still have something very valuable, and it’s what I was after in the first place.

If you’re old, and you want to become a musician, my advice is to learn to tap out rhythms at sight, then worry about sight-reading pitches, and then concern yourself with pitch and harmony. THEN think about buying an instrument. You should be able to do these things in six months, and then when you hire a teacher, you should be able to zip past a lot of the truly tedious stuff. In fact, these are good things to do even if you have no desire to play or compose, because they’ll enable you to understand the music other people make. And EVERY kid should have to do these things. I can understand choosing not to force a kid to spend years playing an instrument, but if the little goofs can sit through math and history, they can sit through music class and train their ears and learn theory. It won’t kill them.

God really does restore. More things are possible than you think.

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Keep Your Hands and Feet Inside the Car

May 15th, 2013

Death Imitates Space Mountain

For a long time, I’ve believed that celebrities often have a sick attachment to this life. To become a rich celebrity, you have to overcome great odds. Most of the people you know in the beginning of your career won’t make it. You’ll know hundreds of people who failed where you succeeded, so you will feel very lucky or very special. Naturally, this means you’re likely to want to hold on to what you have, no matter what.

I thought about this when I read about Angelina Jolie’s voluntary double mastectomy. Is it healthy to be willing to do something like that, at the age of 37, instead of taking your chances with constant monitoring, when you can afford it easily? I have to wonder. Her actions may reflect a desperate desire to cling to her highly unusual earthly existence.

This lady is very wealthy. She is admired. She married one of the most coveted men on earth, after taking him from his wife. It seems only natural that she would do anything to hold onto this life. Is that the reason she was willing to submit to disfiguring mutilation on such a large scale? Was her decision brave or shallow? And if her husband left his first wife because of her beauty, will he stay now that she has lost it? Has he suddenly developed character? He’s still desired by women the world over. He can leave whenever he wants. He did it once. Men like that will usually do it again.

Look at people like Madonna and Cher. These old women dress like teenagers. They do everything they can to look young. They sing music more fitting for performers in their teens and twenties. They even get involved with younger men. As a result, they don’t age gracefully. They begin to look ridiculous. They appear with wrinkled faces and hair that lacks grey and has unnaturally bold color. Madonna bared her aging rear end at an audience when she was well into her fifties, apparently thinking people still wanted to see it. The men she wanted to tantalize were disgusted. What an error in self-perception.

The Christian way is so much better. We don’t peak in this life. God blesses us on earth, but if you’re poor or homely or deformed in this life, and you can’t seem to get delivered, you don’t have to worry. The next life will be here before you know it, and in that life, everyone is what celebrities want to be: beautiful, healthy, powerful, rich, safe, and loved. Meanwhile, many of our celebrities will be burning in hell, because they thought they didn’t need God. They will be like rich men who saw no need to try to get through the eye of the needle.

It’s better to be blessed in heaven than on earth. We don’t always have to make that choice, because God blesses us here, but any problem we can’t fix here will disappear when we are transformed. His path is truly wonderful.

Personally, I don’t fear death at all. Sometimes during prayer I feel as though I’m about to leave my body, and I always tell God I’m ready. I definitely don’t want to go through injuries or disease, but the actual moment of dying isn’t scary at all. I’ve had a number of dreams in which I died, and I believed my experiences were real. I wasn’t afraid. I felt like my annoying earthly problems were over, and that a great adventure was starting. I felt like I had just gotten on a roller coaster, and the safety bar had just come down.

When I was young, I used to worry about not getting the things I wanted in life. I’m not exactly immune to that now, but the older I get, the more I think of myself as holding out until I can get out of this place. God has something magnificent waiting for me. All I have to do is hang on for another twenty to forty years.

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Saved by Syncopation

May 3rd, 2013

Keep Your Knees Bent

I’m on fire today. Two whole blog pieces.

I thought I’d write a little about my music studies.

I haven’t written any music in a while. I’ve become obsessed with learning to read rhythms, as I’ve said earlier. Quarter-note triplets have been driving me nuts. They’re so slow, it’s hard to get a feel for them. I made a lot of progress with an exercise my teacher taught me. You beat out “Carol of the Bells” with two hands. One hand plays quarter-notes, and the other plays quarter-note-triplets. You switch hands. You use your feet. Eventually, you start to hear both rhythms, and that helps.

That was useful, but I went beyond that. I made a Youtube video with a soundtrack featuring this rhythm. I made the triplets higher in pitch than the quarter notes. When you play the rhythm with your hands, the pitches are the same, so the rhythms are not as distinct.

My Musition software is trying to push me to a new level full of 32nd notes, but my teacher told me to forget it. It’s more important to get a grip on 16th notes and rhythm figures made of them.

A rhythm figure is a four-beat fragment of music which takes up the space of one quarter note. You can have a quarter note, or you can have a mixture of eighth notes, rests, and sixteenth notes. There are about 15 of these things, because the combinations are limited. When you can read these fluently, you will understand written music a lot better.

He has me studying the slash notation versions of these things. Slash notation consists of rhythm figures with slashes and X’s instead of note heads. Each 16th note is a strum. A slash is a fretted string or chord. An X is a deadened string or chord. It’s musical shorthand. Practicing reading these things will get common rhythms into your head. I was supposed to start doing this yesterday, but I was really busy, and I discovered something very distracting: syncopation.

As you may know, “syncopation” refers to unusual rhythms. It means rhythms a classically trained ear won’t expect. We are used to hearing waltz timing and 4/4, with the emphasis on the first beat, but you can also emphasize any other beat. A jazz musician named Buddy Bolden is famous for popularizing “Big Four” rhythm, which emphasizes the second and fourth beats in 4/4 time. I think. Anyway, there is a lot of syncopation in American popular music. It’s mesmerizing, because it teases your ear. It makes you wait for things instead of getting them when you expect them. It’s hard to describe, but if you listen to some syncopated music, you’ll see what I mean.

My software will provide syncopated exercises, but I tried it a while back, and I was hopeless, so I dropped it. This week I decided to try it again, leaving out the quarter-note triplets. I’m using 4/4 time, but you can do it with other timings, like 3/4 and 2/4. If you can do 4/4, you can do the others. You don’t have to exhaust the possibilities.

This stuff is amazing. It sounds like real music. Compared to non-syncopated rhythm, straight timing (my term) sounds like really bad marching band music, or Muzak. It sounds primitive and simple. I’m no expert, but my experience so far suggests that studying syncopated rhythms is about a thousand times as effective as studying straight timing. It keeps you off your balance. It familiarizes you with more fragments of rhythmic “vocabulary.” Studying straight timing is like studying formal French or Spanish. It will not prepare you to deal with real people using real rhythms. Just as a student of French will be hopelessly confused when he hears slang, a person who studies straight timing will be helpless when those weird beats show up. And they don’t just show up in jazz and the blues. They pop up in other types of music, even though music teachers don’t focus on them.

05 03 13 musition syncopated rhythm exercise

This is probably why you can sight-read the crap in the books your teacher supplies, but you can’t get anywhere with the music you want to play. That’s my suspicion.

So now I can’t quit doing these exercises. They make me hear music in my head. Even though they have no pitches, I hear the beats in my head, and pitches sort of show up on their own, because the beats imply them. I think this is the way to go.

I’ve reached the point where I can imagine rhythm measures in my head and hear them. That’s very nice. If I can get this under control, pitch and harmony should follow. Then I’ll be Mozart.

Well, maybe not. But I won’t be totally lost. I’ll be musically literate. This should open the door to real sight-reading, which should open the door to faster improvement.

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Born Again v. Stillborn

May 3rd, 2013

You Can go Further

Sorry for staying away so long, but it’s not like I’m disappointing a big crowd!

Life continues to improve, and I keep getting new revelation.

Last night I went to a class my church provided. They’re doing an eight-week series on the Holy Spirit. My old church, Trinity, was pretty useless when it came to teaching. They taught a lot of outright lies, and they didn’t bother giving people basic guidance. People I know think astrology is fine. They don’t understand the baptism with the Holy Spirit. They think Steve Munsey’s lies are sound doctrine. Very sad. New Dawn Ministries is giving people the fundamentals they need.

The text of the booklet my class is using was written by a man named Maldonado, who runs a church called El Rey Jesus down in Kendall. It’s very good. They say his church is wonderful. My pastor canceled our own Tuesday service one week and told us to go to Maldonado’s church, but that church had some kind of emergency, so there was no service. One day I’ll make it.

I disagreed with something the teacher said last night. He was teaching about the need to change the soul (mind, emotions, will) as well as the spirit. When we accept salvation, our minds aren’t transformed instantly, and we need to be renewed so we have hearts like God’s. We read the passage where Jesus told Nicodemus he had to be born again. My teacher said all Christians are born again when they receive salvation.

Here is what I believe. There is a difference between “saved” and “born again.”

The crucifixion was clearly a conception, not a birth. The Temple symbolized the body of a woman, and the holier areas represent the private parts and womb. When Jesus died, the bloody veil, which represents the hymen, was torn. The crown of thorns represented circumcision. The tearing of a hymen and the cutting of the foreskin represent covenants with God; a man who represented God circumcised Jewish males, and when they married, they “circumcised” their virgin wives on the wedding night through sex, and then the seed passed through two cuts on its way to the womb.

When he died, Jesus provided for our impregnation with God’s seed, which is the baptism with the Holy Spirit. He also provided for our salvation.

Jesus told Nicodemus he had to be born again in order to enter “the kingdom of God.” He did not say “heaven.” Heaven is heaven, and the kingdom of God is the kingdom of God. While you’re here on earth, the kingdom should be in you, and you should be in the kingdom. God should rule inside you and in your immediate vicinity, as America rules an ambassador and embassy in another country. Even if you don’t live in the kingdom of God while you’re on earth, you can receive salvation and go to paradise.

Nicodemus asked if a man could re-enter his mother’s womb. He did not understand. Rebirth doesn’t mean re-entering a womb of flesh. It means entering God’s womb. You are to come into God’s presence, as it was in the Holy of Holies. God lives in you (a temple), and you live in him.

It’s very clear that there are Christians who are not born again. There are crooks out there who perform legitimate healings, for example. Turn on TBN, and you’ll see them. They don’t have the character of God, so it can’t be said that God rules inside them. They’re greedy, arrogant, obnoxious, selfish, and sometimes sex-crazed. But they are definitely Christians, and God does things through them.

Unbelievers love to ask why Christians do such awful things and have so many problems if we’re born again. We make up excuses, saying Satan is really strong, or it’s persecution. That’s not right. We have the same problems unsaved people have, because most of us are not really born again. We’re like embryos that haven’t grown. We’ve been fertilized, but that’s where our growth ended.

The Temple had areas of differing significance. The closer you got to the Holy of Holies, the fewer people were eligible to enter, and the closer they were to God. Any idiot could walk around in the outer area. You had to be a priest to go farther in. Only the high priest could enter the holiest place. He went in once a year, on Yom Kippur, to take away Israel’s sins. It’s still this way now. Any carnal person who is afraid of hell can become a Christian. Some will draw closer to God and experience growth. A few will get very, very close and see great power and blessings in their life.

Jesus said you had to be born of water and the Spirit. Many Christians think “water” means immersion. I don’t think so. We still do that, as a way of expressing our commitment, but it’s very clear that you can be saved without being baptized. It’s also obvious that baptized people are often nasty and sinful. If Jesus had been referring to water baptism, then we would expect quick results from immersion, and we don’t usually get them.

Paul stated unequivocally that “living water” (the kind of water Jews use for immersion, which is what we imitate when we baptize) was the Holy Spirit, flowing inside us. To enter the kingdom of God here on earth, you have to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and that water has to cleanse you from within, not from the outside, as the mikvehs cleansed.

Remember what Jesus said. He criticized Jews who were clean on the outside but not the inside. He was referring to a cleansing they could not perform without God’s help. You may be able to obey God, but you have limited power to change your heart so the compulsion to disobey (what we call “iniquity”) leaves. Through the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and prayer in tongues, you will, over time, be cleansed. Not by willpower, but by supernatural means for which you can’t take credit.

A Christian on earth is like a baby in the womb, who is helped by blood from the umbilical cord and the water of the amniotic fluid. You’re supposed to grow and develop, like an unborn baby. But most of us don’t get very far. Satan loves contraception, abortion, miscarriages, stillbirths, and infanticides, not just in the literal sense, but in the spiritual sense. He finds ways to hold us back, and often, he uses bad doctrine which sounds good because we don’t have the Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom.

Satan’s mindset is revealed in his obsession with preventing reproduction and killing off the young. In Jacob’s time, men murdered their firstborn sons, cut off their heads, mummified them, and used them as oracles. Satan gave people information, so they could achieve their carnal goals, in exchange for their children. In Canaan, people murdered their firstborn sons and put them in jars in the walls of their homes, to bring good fortune. In Judea, Jews murdered their children by sacrificing them to Moloch. Satan went after Abel to prevent him from giving rise to a righteous people. He murdered the Jewish firstborn in Egypt to prevent Moses from defeating him. He murdered the babies in Bethlehem to prevent Jesus from being born. Today he pushes contraception and abortion, and we’ve even reached the point where blind morons refer to the killing of live, viable babies–outside the womb–as “abortion” and not “murder.”

When the Babylonians conquered the Jews, they took the best young men and castrated them. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had their testicles cut out. These were men of nobility. They would presumably have given rise to powerful Hebrew leaders. For that reason, Satan castrated them. If you can destroy the seed, you will never have to cut down the trees.

I think the material I’m being taught is very good, but I can’t agree that people like Steve Munsey are born again. If this is the end result of the crucifixion, what was the point? Did Jesus die solely so slavedrivers and pimps could go to heaven without changing their ways? If that were true, he would not have talked to us so much about our behavior and our desires.

It’s not hard to get into heaven. The thief who was saved on the cross got in just by calling Jesus “Lord” and believing he would save him. But the path to the KINGDOM of heaven is “tight” and the gate is “narrow,” according to Jesus himself. The difference is obvious.

The farther you go into the kingdom, the more power you have. You will have persecution, but you won’t live in defeat, unless God is a liar. Look at Jesus. He had all sorts of persecution, but he was unscathed until he chose to lay down his life. They tried to kill him in Nazareth, and he walked through the angry crowd unseen. The Holy Spirit guided his parents to Egypt before the Bethlehem massacre. He was guided away from enemies on other occasions. We don’t have any stories about Jesus being beaten, jailed, tortured, or afflicted with disease. He was a winner, until he chose to move on.

I keep seeing things happening, as a result of telling people about the Holy Spirit. God used me to get Ward Brewer going on it, and he says he talked to a leader of three Baptist churches about it the other day, and now these three churches are rethinking things and heading for a major shift. Obviously, that’s not my doing, but I was part of the pipeline, so I can say I’m bearing fruit. I have friends who are having wonderful breakthroughs from praying in the Spirit. No one ever comes back to me and says it doesn’t work. They always have a glowing testimony, or they admit they quit.

Don’t die in the womb. Be washed with the water. Grow and become strong. Don’t be afraid of the enemy, because he will never have the power you will have. He is temporary. He is sterile. If you’re going to be afraid, be afraid of the all-powerful God who created our weak, mortal enemy. Don’t mistake Satan’s PR for the relatively puny reality. If he was as strong as you think, you would never have been born.

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God’s Perfect Timing

April 17th, 2013

Here is How Music Works

Life continues to zip along. I can’t believe how well things are going. ALMOST can’t believe. I am careful to avoid saying things like “can’t believe,” “unbelievable,” “incredible,” and “fantastic,” because they all imply unbelief.

I’ve learned some remarkable things about music.

Sometimes I’m shocked at the density of the human race. Every so often, I realize there is something we should have realized ages ago, yet which we somehow managed to miss. For example, we’ve done things to make trash bags easier to tie. We put cinching loops in the mouths, or we put ears on the bags so we can tie them in knots. That took decades. Why didn’t someone do it within months of the debut of plastic trash bags? It’s so obvious, it should have happened much sooner.

Now that I’m starting to understand written music, I’m stunned at how bad teachers are. I worked with a classical pianist for several years, and he never told me important things I needed to know.

First of all, rhythm is much, much more important than pitch. The correct pitches, without rhythm, are noise. The correct rhythm, with random pitches, is music. When you compose, the ability to write rhythms is crucial. If you can write a rhythm down, even if the pitches are wrong, you can easily fix the pitches later. If you can’t get the rhythms right, you’re incompetent and helpless.

Second, written music is like English. It’s broken up into short rhythmic patterns which are homologous to words. If you practice reading rhythms, without changing the pitch, you start to recognize these patterns, and you begin hearing them in your head before you play them. You no longer have to count out the beats, which is impossible at performance tempos.

Third, you should take this language-like quality into account when you write music. An experienced musician will be looking for familiar patterns, just as a reader looks for words, not random letters. If you write familiar patterns, the musician will be better able to play fluently, and your ideas will be clearer to him. They will also be clearer to you, as you work with them.

I use various methods to get this stuff into my head. My Musition software has been incredibly useful. I guess I can say “incredibly” in that context. I can program it to throw up one rhythm pattern after another. It plays a metronome for me, and I tap out the rhythms. Then it tells me how I did. I can program it to repeat things I’m having trouble with, or I can simply progress from one pre-programmed level to the next.

I also take my studies to the keyboard. I have a book of awful classical pieces. They’re simple. I put it on the music rest, and I use one finger to tap out the bass rhythms and one finger to tap out the treble rhythms. This helps me to work the hands independently.

I’m still using my Note Play software to learn note reading. I can’t believe how effective it is. It has levels of increasing difficulty. As I’ve improved, I’ve started to get into things like octaves and playing melodies with both hands. If I can get reasonably fluent, the jump to actual sheet music will be very manageable.

I’ve had some trouble with triplets. I can play triplets over eighth notes on the piano, regardless of whether the triplets are written in sixteenth, eighth, or quarter notes. But doing it from sight… that’s a pain. The short notes aren’t bad, but quarter notes are hard, because they’re so slow. The feel is hard to get into your mind.

I looked at all my software and all of my books, and there were no good answers. I scoured the Internet. No luck. Today I decided to visit my music teacher, and of course, he had the solution on tap, instantly.

He told me I needed to tap out “Carol of the Bells” with my hands and feet. One limb plays triplets, and the other plays duplets. You switch hands. You change things up. Eventually, you get to where you have a sure feel for the rhythms. Then you’re in business.

Now I practice this exercise. I feel stupid doing it, but I know it will work, and as he said, you can do it anywhere. In the car. Wherever. In a few days, I should have a much better grip on triplets. I can read eighth-note triplets very well, but the software says I’m going to have to learn to read quarter-note and eighth-note triplets in the same measure, and that’s tricky. I don’t want to barely get by. I want to nail it, every time. Now I know how to get there.

Once I get fairly sure of my timing, I’ll be able to devote more time to pitch and harmony, but with a simple cell phone and a knowledge of timing, I’ll be able to write tunes anywhere. The phone will let me check pitches, so if I can write the rhythms down, I’ll be ready to go.

Today my teacher told me the stuff I’m doing typically shows up a year or two into a method. I’ve been doing this for what? Two months? I should have been doing it from the start. He said it was insane to put other things before this, and I agree. I’m learning exactly what I wanted to learn when I first took an interest in the piano. If I had continued doing it the other way, I would have died musically illiterate.

I’m obsessive with this stuff now, because I’m sure there is a point after which things get much easier, and I want to reach that point ASAP.

There are a lot of software-based approaches to teaching music, but most of them stink. With the two tools I’m using now, I’m learning quickly and without a lot of frustration. It’s very sad that software companies aren’t doing a better job. It should not be that hard to come up with a good program. And here’s something amazing: Note Play isn’t available any more. They replaced it with something fancier which isn’t as good. Note Play is so small it fits on a floppy, and it’s a breeze to use. I’m amazed it didn’t become popular.

People criticize computer-based music training, claiming it ruins you for real music, but that’s stupid. It does not happen. If you can play with a beat or other aids which are supplied by electronics, you can play when they’re turned off. I had an ear for music before I started, and it’s not going to disappear just because a machine helped me become literate. I know there are some people who practice with metronomes until they sound like machines, but in all likelihood, those people never had soul to begin with, and they never had much of a chance of understanding music. I doubt that the metronome ruins musicians. I think it’s more likely that it permits people with no talent to play music by mimicry, with no depth or understanding. I think this explains a lot of the bad Asian musicians who have incredible technique. There is much more to music than pushing the keys at the right times.

The closer I get to God, the better things get. I come closer and closer to seeing my dreams realized. Stress is leaving me. Things that used to be impossible are working out. Within the next few months, I expect to be able to move to another level in composition. The music won’t necessarily be much better, but it will be much, much easier to write. And I may actually be able to play some things.

If that’s not a good testimony, I don’t know what is.

Keep praying in the Spirit, every day, and remember, the promises of Malachi 3 apply to this, more than they do to money.

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Isaiah 40:31

April 3rd, 2013

More Progress

Sure enough, I felt God’s touch again at church last night. I guess he plans to keep this up for a while. What a blessing. You can’t get this for all the money in the world. There are literally billions of people who need this, but very few get it. You can’t get it through work. You can’t get it by manipulating God. He won’t listen. You have to pray diligently, as a lifestyle.

Last night I was getting ready for bed, and I started having problems in the left side of my head. My nose was stopped up, and my ear felt funny. I went into prayer, and I started feeling faith, peace, and victory. My head opened up, and I went to sleep.

I slept so well, I can’t remember the last sleep that compared to it. I had some kind of dream which I can’t remember, but I know that in the dream, I was praying in the Spirit, and I felt freedom and peace like I had never felt before in prayer. I felt as if I were soaring up to God along with my prayers. Nothing was obstructing them. They poured up out of me like a torrent.

When I awoke, I still felt this way. I got to bed late, so I didn’t wake up until almost nine, and there were already leaf blowers outside. Usually, this drives me nuts, but I didn’t care at all. I wasn’t distracted. I went into my usual time of prayer. It was like the prayer in the dream.

Strange things are happening. My knees feel wonderful. I bounce out of the truck like a young man. On the way home from church on Sunday, I hit a traffic jam, as I usually do in this cursed city. Ordinarily, I can barely stand traffic jams. They make me feel claustrophobic and trapped. But this time, I didn’t care at all. The impatience had left me. Today I got stuck in traffic again, and the same thing happened.

The world is coated with a shell of lies put there by Satan and man. When you pray in the Spirit consistently, you eventually get bursts of faith that penetrate the shell and reach God. You become like Peter, who rose above the flood and walked on it. That’s what’s going on here.

Jesus said you have to be born again. He wasn’t referring to salvation. That’s just fertilization. A person who is born again grows to resemble his or her father, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Many people who are saved are weak, scared, angry, and full of iniquity. They are not born again. A baby can’t be born until it develops.

This world is God’s womb. Between us and God, there is “water,” like the water of the womb. This water is lies and curses. God’s water–the living water–is stronger. It enables you to break through the water of lies and emerge into the kingdom of heaven.

If you remain small, Satan will always seem big. But he’s not, and he can’t grow as big as you have the potential to be. And thank God, he has something you don’t have: an expiration date. We are immortal. Satan is not. He isn’t real. A thing that doesn’t last is not real, by heaven’s standards. He is a puff of smoke that will disappear shortly, and we will remain, free of his cruelty and lies.

Life can be better than it is.

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Joint Beneficiary

April 2nd, 2013

One Service, One Miracle

A few days back, I wrote about the miracle I experienced in church last Tuesday. I was sitting in church, and I felt something touching and handling my right knee, and afterward, I was healed of minor stiffness and soreness that had been with me for 24 years.

I wondered why God had only healed one knee, but later in the week, I saw a purpose. When I moved, one knee would hurt, and the other would not. Over and over, this reminded me I had been healed. Had both knees been healed, I would have felt nothing, so I would not have been reminded.

On Sunday, it happened again. Several times, during worship, I felt something touching me, but this time it was both knees. It came and went. By the end of the service, I had been healed.

I still feel a very small amount of sensitivity in the left knee, but it’s a small fraction of what it was.

While this was happening, I thought of one of the miracles Jesus worked. He was healing a blind man, and it took several tries. At one point, Jesus asked the man if he could see, and he said he saw men who looked like walking trees. Jesus kept working on him, and the healing became complete.

Apparently, it still works that way sometimes.

That’s fine with me. When you get things all at once, you appreciate them less, and you don’t have as much to look forward to.

It’s very strange, being healed. It turns out I was doing things to accommodate my knee problems, and I didn’t realize it. I find myself doing those things out of habit and then finding there is no reason to do so. Or sometimes I’ll anticipate pain, but it won’t come.

I now walk a little differently, especially when taking stairs. My knees point straight ahead, instead of being slightly turned out.

One interesting result is that I am now even more enthusiastic about church attendance. I keep wondering: will there be a miracle every time I go? God is two for two over the last seven days.

I don’t understand why this was a priority. I’ve been thinking about it, and the only thing I can think of that will be easier for me is standing for long periods. If I had to speak in front of people, this would make it easier. Other than that, I can’t think of any particular reason God chose to do this. I did pray for it, but it wasn’t a major concern.

I was always able to stand for long periods, but standing still got to me after a while.

I hope this doesn’t stop. I would love to get rid of my reading glasses. That would be tremendous. I don’t expect to live forever in this body, nor would I wish to, but the Bible says there used to be old men who were strong and who had good vision.

These events got me thinking about David Herzog. He’s a preacher who says a cloud of God’s glory falls in his services. He says people get amazing healings. They lose weight instantly. They find new gold crowns on their teeth. They find jewels that have appeared from nowhere. Naturally, I’ve been very skeptical, although Sid Roth, who appears to be an honest person, said he saw a white patch disappear from a person’s hair in a meeting with Herzog.

It is said that some people have faked this experience. A preacher was accused of pumping some kind of fake smoke into a crowd to simulate “the glory.” And for all I know, Herzog is a complete phony. I am not a mind reader. But what happened to me is very much like the things he claims happen at his services. So is he telling the truth? I can’t say it’s impossible.

I don’t know why it happens at church, but the Bible suggests that miracles occur most readily where people of faith gather. Jesus himself could not do “great works” among the unbelievers of Nazareth.

The hidebound “NIH” mind is frustrating to deal with. Many people believe miracles are rare, and they would actually get angry if you said otherwise. The Catholics say a candidate for “sainthood” has to perform three miracles, as though that’s rare or surprising (I’ve had at least four, so sign me up). There are places like Lourdes, where people go, at great expense, and wait for healings that never come. They seem to believe God won’t touch them in Terre Haute or San Antonio. Obviously, the people who don’t expect miracles to happen in their homes and churches are completely wrong, but because they don’t believe, they won’t receive. That’s not a small thing. It means they’ll die of cancer, they’ll continue to be paralyzed, they’ll stay blind, and so on. These are not small things, like minor knee pain in a middle-aged man.

These things are available, where you are, right now. Start praying in tongues every day. Don’t quit. Pray for a good church, and go weekly. Read the Word. It’s God’s Constitution, so learn your rights. Supernatural things will happen to you, sooner or later. Look at me.

If your church disagrees, well, they’re wrong. Get over it. Every church has to be tested by the Word of God. If your church says God doesn’t heal, it contradicts the Bible (not just me).

I hope to see more manifestations, especially in my friends. It’s somewhat pointless if I’m always the recipient. When they take place, I will do my duty and let you know.

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Bending the Knee Just Got a Little Easier

March 29th, 2013

Mr. Hate Gets a Miracle

Trying to catch up again.

Things continue to bloom in my life. There is no way I’ll capture it all.

My church is completely nuts. The Holy Spirit interrupts every service. We get prophecy and guidance, and now, even better, miracles.

In 1989, I went to Key Largo. My dad owned part of a condo at Ocean Reef. My friend–I will call him Elmer–came down from Massachusetts, and we spent a few days running around together.

Elmer is gay. In 1989, he was still denying it, but everyone who knew him from college realized it was a done deal. This was not a concern to me. As far as I knew, he was not acting on his urges, and anyway, I was not the strongest Christian around. I was about to fall away for a very long time.

We rented some jet skis. The water was rough. The machines were not maintained well. They were supposed to have rubber padding to help riders stay on their feet, but the padding was gone. As a result, the footing surfaces were slick fiberglass. It was very hard to stand up, so I spent a lot of time on my knees, trying to get up. The bouncing flexed my knees too far, and ever since then, I’ve had a little bit of stiffness that shows up at certain times. It’s a very minor thing, but it has been aggravating, and of course, I pray for God to get rid of it. I have always regretted renting that stupid jet ski.

It’s funny if you think about it. It was a winter day, and the water was not clear. I was bouncing around, on my knees, in rough water where I could not stand. The Bible says dark waters have covered the earth (Genesis 1:2). Waters represent speech. They represent blessings and cursings. Satan has wrapped the earth in a flood of lies, and the gay push is a big part of that.

On Tuesday, right in the middle of the gay marriage kerfuffle, I went to church. People were praying and praising, as usual. We went on for a very long time. The pastor and musical guest managed to do their jobs; God didn’t completely obliterate what they were trying to do.

While the pastor was talking, I felt something going on in my right knee. I felt a pulsing, massaging sensation. I knew it might be God, but I also knew it could be a twitch or some other purely physical thing. I moved my leg. The sensation returned. I moved it again. It returned again. I decided to accept it, and it kept going for maybe ten minutes. I don’t recall, but I was probably thanking and praising God the whole time, because that’s what I do in church.

We have to stand up and sit down a lot in my church. When I stand, my knees tend to get stiff, so I get a little pain when I sit again. We stood up for some reason or other, and when I sat, my left knee felt a little pain, and there was no pain in the right knew.

For the rest of the service, I made a point of standing and sitting over and over, to see what was going on. I would stand for a few minutes and then sit. And I always got the same results.

I got up the next day and got on the exercise bike. I felt a little stiffness in the left knee. The right knee? Nothing.

I can tell the difference when I go up and down stairs. It’s very obvious.

For a long time, I’ve been praying for God to manifest himself more powerfully in our services and our daily lives, and he has been doing it. The peace and prophesy and improved worship have been with us for a while now, but I’ve also been praying for him to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out devils through us.

He has now covered “heal the sick.” He gave me a bona fide miracle. I didn’t think I’d be the one he chose, but I’ll take it!

And the funny thing is that he did it at the time of the gay marriage mess. I’m very outspoken in my opposition to this change in our laws. A total acceptance of sexual perversion will lead to increased persecution of Christians. It already has. It will prevent gays and those who support their bad behavior from getting to know the Holy Spirit. It will keep power out of their lives. It will keep things like healing and peace away from them. That’s how the Holy Spirit works. You can’t demand iniquity AND the Holy Spirit. You have to choose.

People are accusing me of “hate,” which is not only dishonest but idiotic. Some of the most likable people on earth are homosexual. It would not be easy to hate Nathan Lane, for example.

The healing fixed my leg, and it also gave me an opportunity to mention the circumstances. It’s hard for the liars to reconcile my willingness to spend a weekend with a gay man with “hate.”

I still hear from Elmer from time to time. He has no problems with me. Maybe hate doesn’t bother him! I keep praying for him. He is very angry and bitter. He talks about killing his ex-boyfriend. He made tons of money and lost it all, and then he got banned from the industry in which he made it. Life is hard for him. I would like to see God turn that around for him. He’s a hardcore atheist.

It’s funny. I’m standing up for God, over the dark waters. And he fixed one of my legs. What does that mean? Does it mean I’m part of the way to where he wants me to be?

The music goes well. I will probably repeat things I’ve written about earlier. I got a new digital piano. Sam Ash sold me a floor model. I tried to save money. At first I was just composing on it, so I didn’t work the keys much, and I didn’t see any problems. Then I started working on “Bumble Boogie,” which is something I really want to learn. A finger started getting sore. I discovered a chip in one of the keys. Because I was hitting the key a lot, it was hurting my finger.

I was within the return period. I figured the Sam Ash people would give me the runaround, but I prayed before taking it back, and they were incredible. They gave me a new piano for the same price. Now I use it all the time.

I’m playing again. I can play “Linus and Lucy.” I can play “Walking Bass Blues.” I am getting a few other pieces back. I found sheet music for “Roll ‘em Pete,” which amazed me. I’ve always wanted to play this piece, but I thought no one had transcribed it.

My interval training has solidified to the point where it’s just maintenance. I can identify any interval within an octave by hearing it once, ascending or descending. I dug out some sight-reading software (notes without rhythm), and I’m doing really well. I’m doing rhythm training with two different programs, and it’s paying off.

In the past, I could not get all of my teaching software to work. It had MIDI bugs. When I dusted it off and got it going again, I found that there were updates that fixed the problems. Now it runs as it should.

I learned to play Clair de Lune a long time ago. I could not count out the notes. Not well, anyway. It’s 9/8 time. I just tried to play it the way it sounded on CDs. I sat down with it the other day, and now I have no problem counting them out. When I learned it the first time, I had to guess. My teacher was a great guy, but he really led me in circles. He didn’t know any better. Now things are working. The other day, my pastor prophesied that we would now be able to plant seeds, and they would grow. It’s not like the old days, when everything I did withered. I’m living in Joshua, not Deuteronomy.

If you want to learn an instrument, learn to sight-read. Learn to read rhythms, especially. Rhythm is much more important than pitch. Get it into your heart so you feel and hear it when you read. Otherwise, you’ll have to work by monkey-see-monkey-do memorization all your life, and when you forget things, you’re toast. The fundamentals matter. A drummer who can read rhythm patterns is a better musician than a pianist who memorizes.

Prayer in tongues continues to pay off. The message of tongues is confirmed over and over again by my experience. The growth never stops. It brings supernatural faith, revelation, correction, and miracles. Without it, you will be weak when the rains come. Right now, Satan is raining lies all over us, trying to promote gay marriage. Weak Christians who lack the Spirit are washing away, like houses built on sand. They will believe anything people tell them. They are herd creatures who can hear peer pressure but not the voice of God. They haven’t seen God work in their lives, so they feel he is far away and aloof, and that it’s okay to go along to get along. They don’t think he’ll show up to defend them or to punish those who go against him.

I can stand because God helps me through the Holy Spirit. He has shown me that by fighting habitual anger, I lose fear and anxiety. They are a package. You can’t have one without the other. When you’re angry or worried, you’re weak. Worry and fear counteract faith, which is the thing that gets prayers answered. I’m not as afraid as I used to be. People are small before God, and Satan is not a roaring lion. He appears AS a roaring lion, but he’s really a barking Chihuahua in a lion suit, holding a megaphone. He’s the weak one. He is a mere angel. He is nothing before the one who created him, or before those who are close to God.

We tend to think of the world as a place ruled by two great powers: God and Satan. That’s completely wrong. There is only one great power. Satan is puffed up with BS. He’s like Liberace. Take off the jewels, the toupee, the sequined suit, the cape, and the wire harness that allows him to fly, and what do you have? An old mortal man. A second-tier pianist.

When the time comes, God will send one angel to take him by the neck and dump him in the Lake of Fire. He could not do that to a God. Right now, Satan serves a purpose, so he is permitted to survive, but when his day comes, he will look as small as he really is, and people will say, “‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms? (Isaiah 14:16).”

Eventually, the world will say that, but if you are strong in the Spirit, you can say it NOW. Satan will still be a problem, but he will be a problem of a much smaller scale. Jesus was not afraid of him in the least, and we are not supposed to fear him, either.

I hope people will pray that God will soften the hearts of homosexuals so they can be reached, and that he will help us to repent and pray so he can give us the supernatural tools we need to get people delivered from sinful compulsions. If we can give gays a real way out, many of them will take it, gladly. We have failed them by turning down supernatural power, whining about our unworthiness and how much we deserve to be weak. What we deserve is irrelevant. We are heirs, not wage earners, and if we turn down our inheritance, we displease the testator. Groveling and accepting crumbs is not the way to make him happy. You have to learn to accept what you did not earn.

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God WORKS

March 15th, 2013

It’s not All Persecution and Fasting

Sorry for staying away so long. I will try to catch up.

The music is going incredibly well. I haven’t done much in the way of composing over the last week or so, but I have a good reason. I have realized I will never get anywhere until the music–notation as well as sound–is in my head. Therefore I am going back to various exercises intended to improve my ear, familiarize me with rhythm, and help me sight-read.

Sight-reading is important because, like transcribing, it helps you see music instead of notes when you look at a page. Some people get to the point where they hear music as they read it. That would be a great thing to have. Whether I get it or not, I am determined to get to the point where I’m not totally dependent on notation software to tell me what my written music will sound like.

I’m studying intervals, or at least, I was. I’ve been learning to recognize the twelve basic intervals by ear, using an incredible phone app called Interval Recognition. It plays an interval, and you have to push one of twelve buttons, identifying it.

I used this a while back, and it worked well, but this time, it’s going way better. Over the last week or so, I’ve improved a lot, and today I reached the point where I don’t get any questions wrong. I am also replaying the intervals forward and backward in my head after I hear them, involuntarily. I think that represents a big improvement in my musical memory. Things are going so well I’m going from 15 minutes a day to 5.

Rhythm…what a pain. The first time I studied piano, my teacher–swell guy though he was–did not push rhythm study much. He was a classical pianist, and although I may get yelled at for it, I’ll say it: I don’t think their timing is that good. I think you can learn a lot more from someone who teaches a drum line in a public school. I know that’s a horrible thing to say, but you CAN’T PLAY DRUMS IN A GROUP UNLESS YOU CAN READ RHYTHMS. Or you have to have a flawless memory. Am I right, or what?

My current teacher, who is, for good reason, incredibly opinionated, says the wrong pitch in the right place is a right note, whereas the right pitch in the wrong place is a wrong note. He’s right. Pitch is much more easily understood than rhythm. You can memorize all the intervals by ear in a couple of days. Try that with notes and rests. Good luck.

I fired up Musition, a training program made by the Sibelius people, and for the first time since I’ve had it, I got it to work with no latency. In the past, the sound didn’t work right, and the notes played late, and it was useless. I downloaded an upgrade, and I was off..

Musition has a PHENOMENAL rhythm-teaching tool called “rhythm tapping.” It shows you a few measures of notes (all the same pitch), and you have to tap out the notes as a “metronome” plays. You have to screw around with it to make it fast, so it moves from one exercise to the next quickly. Once you figure that out, it’s blazing fast. It has one major problem: the jump from the fifth level to the sixth level is impossible. You go straight from eighth notes to sixteenth notes, and it throws them at you in 9/8 and 12/8 time, at high speed. You can get around that by creating a custom level. Which I did. So now it’s perfect.

I happened to come across an old floppy containing a program called Note Play. This works with a MIDI keyboard. It puts notes on the screen (different pitches), and you have to play them back. It’s a game. You get a score, and you get bonus points and extra time. It’s highly addictive. My PC has no floppy port, but I have an old computer in my bedroom, and guess what it has? I easily defeated the moronic security measures intended to prevent people from installing it without the floppy, and now I have it on my regular computer. It’s very good. You can get it from Alfred Music. Presumably, they have a CD version by now.

I dug out my old piano sight-reading book. I finally realized you don’t need a piano to study rhythm reading. I take the hardest pages, and I sit down and tap them out with my finger, on the book itself. It sounds awful, but it’s actually fast and highly effective. It got me to the point where I could sort of handle sixteenth notes, and today I moved to the custom level on Musition.

I pulled out a few piano pieces I used to play, figuring it would help to look at them. I found out something interesting. I used to play a simple piece called “Walking Bass Blues,” which I really liked, and for which I wrote variations. A lady named Arletta O’Hearn wrote it. I used to think she was just some goofball who wrote practice books, but it turns out she’s a real composer. No wonder I liked that piece. I started fooling with it a few days ago, and my fingers seemed to remember nothing. Every day, I got better, and today I can play it again! I can even play triplets over quarter notes again. I got so excited, I dusted off the grand piano and went to work. I emailed my tuner, and he’ll be out as soon as he can make it.

I’m thrilled about the rhythm stuff. You can’t do anything with sheet music unless you can read and understand rhythms fluently. That’s just a fact. I have to be able to look at a rhythm and hear it in my head. I started by counting things out, but now I’m switching between counting and feeling the rhythms. I find myself going back and forth, doing one or the other. That suits me just fine, because I want to be good at both.

I’m also remembering measures well. When Musition gives me three measures to play, sometimes I find myself looking away from the computer before the third measure starts, because I know what it’s going to sound like. That’s something I need. You have to be able to look ahead when you read music, especially if, like me, you are having problems remembering pieces you’ve learned.

Franz Liszt could take an orchestral score, play a piano version of it at sight, and provide comments and alterations at the same time. I don’t see that happening to me any time soon, but it shows how far some people have gotten. I wish I had done this when I was six. Reading was a total breeze for me. I never moved my lips. When I was a kid, I had a bigger vocabulary than most adults. I read smoothly. I heard the words as I saw them. I would have been really good at reading music, had I started earlier. I’m hoping aptitude will provide some compensation for age.

I see the things that are happening to me as a release from bondage. Very powerful things are happening at my church. The push for prayer in tongues continues. People keep getting revelation. The other day my pastor prophesied that things would change for us. He said we should not hesitate to plant seeds, because this time, they would grow. Well, now. Isn’t that what’s happening to me? Over the last two weeks I’ve been beating things I couldn’t beat in three years of musical study. I have copyright registrations on the way for six pieces of music. I’m even exercising again.

Funny thing happened while I was using my pricey exercise bike. The pulse sensors never worked right, and Nautilus was not willing to fix them, and when I got on the bike the other day, one of the LEDs on the display had pooped out. Great. I prayed about it, thought. Now the LED works, and the pulse meter is working, too. How about that?

My pastor had a word for us. He preached about “Baal-Perazim,” which means “possessor of the breakthrough.” He told us we were going to experience breakthroughs. This comported completely with things that had been going on with me, and with revelations God had been giving me. I had come to see the earth as surrounded by the lies–the floods or waters–of the enemy, and I had come to see God as lifting me above them, into the area where he works miracles. I believe I have broken through.

My prayer life keeps blowing up. Sometimes it seems like it can’t get any better, but I know it will. The progress never stops.

I’ve learned a few useful things.

First of all, prayer in tongues continues to work. The more, the better. No denying it.

Second, the name of Jesus is important. No Biblical figure ever said God would not hear you unless you used it, but if you’re a Christian, and you are trying to serve, it helps. I’ve found that something very strange happens during prayer in tongues. If you pause once in a while to say you’re praying in the name of Jesus, faith will shoot up inside you in a sort of explosion. It’s wild. It’s as if prayer in tongues fills a bowl with gasoline, and adding the name of Jesus tosses in a lit match. You may not be able to discern it now, but I’m sure it will happen anyway.

Third, you should thank and glorify God throughout the day. In this way, you can hold the windows of heaven open. It’s a challenge to handle daily responsibilities and still stay close to God. If you thank God and glorify him, even a few times every half-hour, you will find yourself drawn back into his presence. It works. Try it.

We expect too little from God. Over and over, he tells us he will do things that far exceed our expectations, yet we think we make him happy when we brag that we don’t ask much. Life can be much, much better than it is. God is a good boss. He does not expect us to be like workers who have unsatisfying jobs they hate, and he is far more powerful than the enemy. A while back, I realized Satan is like a Chihuahua that barks very loud. He’s not a god. He’s not that smart. He’s not that tough. He has to be taken seriously, but he is not as strong as we make him out to be. All that barking has paid off. The Bible says he roams the streets AS a roaring lion. It doesn’t say he IS a lion. And besides, lions roar to make themselves seem bigger and stronger. They even have manes for that.

I think music is going to continue exploding for me this year. God is working wonders. I hope you get the same results, or better ones.

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All Ears

March 7th, 2013

Cooking With Sound

I finished another piano piece yesterday and stuck it on Youtube. Here it is. Love those free photos.

I had about half of that when I got up yesterday morning, and I was having problems because the harmony is weird, but I knuckled down and got it done. I had a music lesson scheduled for today, and I did not want to show up empty-handed.

My teacher says this is written in G harmonic minor. I’ll take his word for it.

I think I would go to my lessons just for the conversation, even if I didn’t learn anything. My teacher is an extremely interesting guy, and we have a lot in common. He has a math degree, and his dad was either a physicist or an engineer. I forget which. He’s a conservative Christian. He has an “interesting” family, as I do. He spent years doing transcriptions for music publishers. If you see a “recorded version” book of some rock musician’s tunes, there’s a good chance my teacher wrote it.

He’s always telling me not to underestimate myself. That’s good to hear. I don’t have any real training, and I don’t have enough character to study theory with any kind of intensity, so I don’t know much about the technical side of music. It’s easy to feel like I’m not going to write anything worthwhile. But he keeps telling me the ear is what matters.

Evidently, a lot of tedious musical training is intended to give untalented or inexperienced people something many people already have: the ability to know what’s good when they hear it. I didn’t realize that. I thought everyone could tell what was good or bad, or what was discordant. My teacher says that is not the case. Today he told me it was a waste of time for me to study certain things, because they teach things I already have.

I studied under a classical pianist for three or four years, and while it was a great experience, I did not learn what I needed to learn. I learned a little bit of sight-reading, and I mastered (sort of) several tunes, but I never got to the point where I felt at home inside written music. I didn’t develop the ability to transcribe.

I got a lot of terrible advice. I talked to my teacher about it today. People told me that if I played scales, everything would start to make sense. I learned all the scales. I got to where I could play any major scale with my right hand while playing any other with my left, and I got absolutely nothing out of it. He says he’s not surprised. He studied guitar scales until he could rip them off at 10 notes per second, and he didn’t get anything out of it either. He says the main reason to learn scales is to learn sets of notes that sound good together. Some people are not born with this feel for harmony.

He says he gets in a lot of arguments with people who push the theoretical approach. They assume he’s against it because he doesn’t know anything about it, but then if they start quizzing him, God help them. He knows everything, backwards and forwards.

Today he told me he has taught a lot of people who got degrees in music and were still unable to write or do the other things they wanted to do. Apparently, many music instructors teach ABOUT music without teaching people how to make it or feel it.

This makes complete sense to me. Music existed before theory existed, just as the physical world moved and changed before physics existed. Notation and theory are very clumsy compared to music itself. It takes a great deal of knowledge to notate what people like Ella Fitzgerald have done instinctively.

Like I told him at my lesson, I can sit down and hear a SYMPHONY in my head right now. That’s not a problem. What I need is the ability to write it down.

Here’s what he told me today:

Sounded great, my friend and using harmonic minor and hearing it so well is something I hope you do not take for granted. You are cashing in on some great influences to hear something that isn’t easy to hear and most people struggle with it for a very long time before their ear can even come close to what you can already do. NICE!

If I were plodding along with a method or a course, I would not be writing music yet, and I would have no idea that I had any potential. It’s wonderful to get a little confirmation from a real expert.

I have two challenges to overcome, as far as I can see. First, I need to man up and master timing. Sometimes I avoid writing complex passages I can hear in my mind, because it’s too hard to do the notation. I think it would be smart to study drums, although I’m afraid I’d kill myself after a week. I really do not like drums. But drummers can–well SHOULD BE ABLE TO–play any written rhythm you put in front of them, so presumably, a person who studies drums will have timing by the throat. Second thing: I need to get intervals under control. If you know how intervals sound, and you know how to write rhythms, you can write music on the fly.

Right now I tend to write things with fairly simple timing, and I try to be somewhat repetitive. That’s because it’s self-indulgent to write one original measure after another. Nobody wants to hear that. If you hear a nice musical idea, you want to hear it one or two more times before the piece ends. If every passage is a fresh variation, the audience gets cheated. I try to keep things simple because I’m trying to write popular music, not Chopin, but sooner or later I’ll want to do something a little more liberating.

It’s good to have a teacher who believes in me. I love what I’m doing, but I don’t have his competence, so I’m not as good a judge of my ability. When I hear good things from a source that can’t be assailed credibly, it gives me motivation to do more work. I’m supposed to be doing written interval and key exercises. I actually did a little this week. He gives me great advice all the time, and I do about 10% of what he tells me to do, so eventually, I would like to start doing more.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. I have six tunes registered with the LOC right now. A year from now, it should be at least thirty, and they will be more complex.

God will give you the desires of your heart. He didn’t create you to be a cubicle slave, unless that’s your thing. He is not a bad boss. Trust in him, get to know the Spirit, spend time in prayer, and good things will happen. Give it a shot. You’ll be surprised.

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Megachurches: Concentration Camps of the Soul

March 4th, 2013

Make Sure You’re Serving the One You Think You Serve

This morning while I was praying, I got a new revelation. Here is what it adds up to: today’s megachurches are really concentration camps where Satan puts Christians in order to keep them in slavery. I have written about this general idea before, but the notion of churches AS camps set up by Satan is new.

The only disclaimer I will make here is that I’m not suggesting the things that happen in churches are as horrible as the things that happened during the Holocaust. It’s not a literal analogy, so don’t stretch it farther than it should go.

A few years back, I visited the Holocaust Memorial in Washington. I’ve written about this. One of the exhibits was a large model of the death camp at Auschwitz. Looking at the camp, I realized it was Satan’s parody of the Temple.

At the Temple, clean animals (which are symbolic of the Jews) were killed in a way sanctioned by God, releasing their blood. They were burned, and much of them was consumed. And it pleased God.

In the death camps, Jews (and others, of course) were killed by asphyxiation. Their blood remained in them. They were then burned, like sacrificial animals. In Judaism, cremation is not permitted, presumably because God knew deniers would claim the Jews had never existed, had their bones not been preserved. They already do this with regard to the millions who followed Moses.

The Nazis mocked the Temple by burning Jews. They mocked the Torah by tattooing them. They mocked the Levites’ portion by taking body parts from Jews and using them for various purposes. Like animals, the Jews were consumed.

I went through all that in earlier blog posts. But I’m not sure I mentioned this. The Nazis liked to decorate their camps with signs reading “Arbeit Macht Frei,” which means, “Work Makes You Free.” This also has significance.

We are saved by grace. When we receive miracles, we receive them by grace. No one earns anything from God. To say God owes you a thing you’ve earned is to equate yourself with God and to declare the crucifixion unnecessary. Work does not make you free. In fact, work is a curse, as we know from reading Genesis 3:17:

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to what your wife said and ate from the tree about which I gave you the order, ‘You are not to eat from it,’ the ground is cursed on your account; you will work hard to eat from it as long as you live.

If you don’t think work is a curse, look at how Adam lived before he fell. God planted trees from which we were allowed to take fruit “freely,” and he gave us every plant for food. It is true that Adam was created to “cultivate” or “serve in” the garden, but the entire operation was built and prepared by God, and there is no evidence that life there was hard.

Satan loves to put us to work. He put Adam, Eve, and their descendants to work. He put the Hebrews to work in Egypt. He took soulish Jacob and made him a slave to Laban, who was a heathen. He put Samson to work at a grain mill. He made the Jews work for the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans.

Now he makes Christians work for things God wants to give us for nothing. “Work makes you free,” he tells us, while he holds back the things God wants to give us. He is like a Nazi guard, holding back Red Cross packages that belong to prisoners.

He has a wonderful strategy for making us go along with this plan. He tells us a few things that are true: we’re not worthy, we owe God, and we need to serve God. Then he adds some lies: God helps those who help themselves, God will not pay any attention to us if we don’t work really hard for him, and God wants us to have the satisfaction of overcoming through effort and sacrifice.

A lot of that stuff sounds so reasonable! We do terrible things, and then we come to God and ask for forgiveness and help. It seems only natural that he would want us to prove ourselves and purify ourselves through work. That’s what we would expect, if we were God. If we expect him to give us things for nothing, and to do big things for us, we’re spoiled! We’re abusing his grace! We’re selfish!

None of that is true, however.

Think about it. The Jews sinned, and God allowed them to enter paradise through a simple system of repentance and sacrifice. That may be harder than what Christians do, but it’s still very easy, compared to saving oneself. We sin, and we believe that simply by repenting and asking for forgiveness, we receive eternal life–ETERNAL, which means unlimited generosity–in paradise! That’s as easy as easy gets. Talk about spoiled. That is the epitome.

If we believe these things so easily, how can we be crazy enough to think God won’t do comparatively tiny things for us? If God will give you eternal life in heaven for doing virtually nothing, won’t he help you change here on earth? Won’t he fight your enemies? Won’t he heal you? Compared to eternity in paradise, making a leg grow back is, in mathematical terms, nothing. Eternal life is an infinite blessing. Shrinking a cancer is a tiny, tiny, finite blessing. Destroying an addiction? Same thing. Yet we think God wants us to earn things.

In the charismatic churches, we somehow manage to be spoiled AND deny grace. That’s a remarkable achievement of which Satan must be proud. We are spoiled because we clamor for money, money, money, and we don’t think about granting God’s wishes, as we want him to grant ours. We deny grace because we believe we have to shovel huge cash offerings into ministries in order to get God’s help. If we buy God’s goods, are we blessed children, or are we just customers?

We also deny grace by teaching self-help and positive thinking. Those things are for people who don’t have God’s assistance. You will never see a Bible passage about Moses sitting in front of a mirror reciting the Stuart Smalley affirmations.

When a fool preaches nonsense about money, Satan will help him grow a congregation. This is just like what the Nazis did when they built camps. They wanted to concentrate people in a place where they could do them harm. Satan will grow a big church for a Benny Hinn or a Kenneth Copeland, and then he’ll hold people captive with Ponzi-like promises of future riches. The pastors will become addicted to money, and once that happens, they’ll slap down anyone who brings healthy doctrine in.

This is what happened to me at Trinity Church. The pastors loved money and fame, and they thought these things were always just around the corner, if they kept up their program of twisting doctrine. The people gave and gave and gave, and once they had money invested in worthless get-rich promises, they felt that in order to get the “harvest,” they had to keep going, so anyone who contradicted the Steve Munsey gospel was seen as an enemy of prosperity. You need faith to collect the prize, so anyone who says the prize isn’t coming is effectively robbing you of your future.

The circle of rationalizations gets tighter and tighter until the church becomes a money cult.

This has happened all over the US. Satan has helped bad churches grow large, and once the people are there, he robs them of their money and teaches them they always need to give more and serve more.

Satan has to do this, because he is not omnipresent. God doesn’t need even one church. If he wants to, he can unite and teach all of his people through the Holy Spirit. He can speak to a billion people at once, whether they’re together or not. Satan has no all-powerful spirit to tie people together, so he has to rely on conventional means, and that means he likes huge congregations.

The big-church model is inherently carnal. If God is God, he can give the same messages and the same help to an infinite number of small churches. He’s actually doing that, right now. The idea that he “needs” big churches to get the message out is a denial of his power, and it is also the height of human pride.

It reminds me of a story James Thurber told. A man had a large tree moved to his yard, and someone said, “Shows what God could do if he had money.”

Right now, all over this country, there are huge churches full of neutralized Christians whose pastors serve primarily–PRIMARILY–to prevent them from getting to know the Holy Spirit. Some of the pastors are outright crooks, but others are just afraid that if they quit talking about money for ten seconds, the loot will quit pouring in. They feel they have to spend every available minute talking about carnal tools.

Guess what happened to Steve Munsey, who harps on offerings night and day? You already know if you read this blog. His church has been in foreclosure for quite some time. The court will not permit him and his cronies to run it! How’s that for failure? And now we have numbers.

Munsey’s church took in about ten million dollars per year. Munsey took $900,000 per year for travel and meals. I don’t know if he was traveling by space shuttle or what, and I guarantee you, he took offerings wherever he went, and he was probably given food and lodging, so you would think he could get by without travel money, but still, that’s the figure. He also took $500,000 per year for private plane expenses. Isn’t that “travel”? He and his wife also took AT LEAST $700,000 in yearly compensation. These figures fluctuated over the years, but they are true. He also had his own zoo. Look it up. I’m begging you. Don’t believe me.

His mortgage was about $100,000 per month, so that’s roughly $1 million per year. He found over $2.1 million for ghetto-rich idiocy, but he couldn’t manage to write a comparatively small check once a month.

This is the man who inspired the leaders of Trinity Church. Businessmen have gone to jail for doing things like this, and TBN was letting him appear and beg for cash as recently as four months ago. I guarantee you, if he walked into Trinity today, they would assign people to follow him around and kowtow and cater. There is no way they would take him in the back, like lucid people, and say, “What on EARTH have you been up to?”

If you’re in a big church where they talk about self-help, and you’re not hearing about the Holy Spirit and prayer in tongues, you are a slave. Your church is a cult. It’s a spiritual concentration camp. Satan is just waiting for you to die, powerless, so he can scratch you off his threat list. He’s probably not happy that you’re in church, because any church can be turned against him with God’s help, but as long as churches have to exist, he is going to take them over and use them to keep people weak.

If you’re determined to work, work in prayer. This is the most important thing you do. Prayer parted the Red Sea. Prayer prevented the extermination of the entire Jewish people in Exodus. It sets people free, and it makes them more powerful and more virtuous.

Don’t be afraid to go to a small church. The size of a church has no relationship to its power. My little church has started four other churches. My old church is huge, and it has accomplished virtually nothing. For God, I mean.

Work does not make you free. Work will never make you free. God’s work created the world. The work of Jesus freed you from sin and enabled you to receive the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit, through you, will please God and solve your problems. Anything beyond that is garbage which will rot and be blown away in a generation.

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The Floods of Great Waters

February 27th, 2013

Change is Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Smaller, Worse, Slower

February 18th, 2013

America’s New Slogan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I am Superfluous

February 17th, 2013

God Proves he is With me by Rendering me Obsolete

I feel like I gave birth today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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