Archive for the ‘selah’ Category

Through Faith and Patience

May 16, 2020

I would like to remind my fellow-Christians, we serve  a Savior who did not insist, nor fight for, nor allow his right-hand man to fight for, his constitutional rights.

Rather, he bore the punishment of a cruel civil .gov backed up by a band of religious zealots.

Jesus Christ did not argue with Herod, nor Pilate, nor Caiaphas. He already knew that his ultimate victory was assured, because. . . while allowing their bloody conspiracy to totally defeat his body, they were unknowingly setting the historical stage for the greatest human victory of all time—our triumph over death itself.

His world-class demonstration of how to prevail over adversity advances the purposes of God on this earth.

He did not nit-pick about his right to gather on Sunday or maintain any semblance of religion. In fact, on one occasion he ran the religious folks out of their temple.

He was telling them to get their priorities straight.

His most ardent spokesman later reminded us, through a written legacy, that  faith and patience would be the basis of our inheritance.

Not the promises of man . . . nor our legal right to get together on any particular day and play church. while the rest of the world is engaged in a life/death struggle.

We now have in the world a life-and-death situation that will ultimately demonstrate, like Jesus’s own ordeal, the power of our God to deliver us from evil, amen.

So let’s not cloud the issue by trying to split hairs over traditional religious whoodoos like what they think about what we can or not do on Sunday.

They cannot defeat us. 

They can’t defeat the ongoing presence the risen Messiah in this world. His greatest life-affirming act was remaining obedient unto death . . . a death that erupted as Resurrection and changed the world forever. He was a man unjustly executed, but then he lived to tell about it.

ChristCruc

And get this: they will never defeat his followers.

His victory was a world-changing event that greatly outweighs our power to quibble over freedom of assembly issues during a life-threatening pandemic.

My dear brothers and sisters, they cannot beat us. That’s been tried already, multiple times through multiple ages.

But they can still join us.

You can’t beat down a man who survives death.

King of Soul

What we have Learned

May 11, 2020

(If you prefer to hear spoken word, listen on this mp3:)

What we have Learned

Now we are engaged in a great covid war, testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great media platform of that war. We have come to protect our institutions—our medical facilities and places of commerce, our recreational spaces and houses of worship, our business enterprises and residences—to assure our citizens of safety in their public paths through these gathering places. Those whose lives have already fallen under the infection of covid shall not have died in vain. Rather, let their untimely demise serve as a warning to us who remain. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Nevertheless, as we approach the end of Phase 1 of our long battle against covid, we find ourselves at a crossroads where some among us would persevere in their advocacy of dire measures to lockdown our mobile inclinations, while others of our citizenry would  demand release from them.

Yet . . .it remains for us the living, surely, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work through which these fallen do testify, by their very absence, of our need to persevere in the battle to defeat Covid-19.

The challenge ahead indicates a full-court press to oppose us— in the fateful minutes of the second half of our struggle against a teeming virus that dribbles feverishly against our most fervid defense.

At this critical moment of our offensive thrust, we find victory in the whizzing of our great  object through the last net of infection.

3-pointer

Thus do we celebrate the 3-pointer which, we hope and pray, shall be celebrated as our game-winner:

~ Six feet Apart—or Six feet Under!

~ Grab the Soap—Don’t be a Dope!

~ No need to Ask—Wear the Mask!

And I lay before thee  the great challenge before us in  such a time as this:

Whether by .gov compulsion, or by personal conviction,  shall we—shall we who are scattered like precious seed in the winds of time —shall we shrink from the dear prospect of adopting—whether voluntarily or by compulsion during these perilous days— these simple habits as a matter of common sense and common courtesy?

Nay, I say, nay, we shall not shrink from the task before us!

Send us your tired, your weary, your socially distanced yearning to be healed, so that healing of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth!

Glass half-Full

Spring in my Step

May 3, 2020

Spring rolled down into the blue ridge today

blastin all our covid cares away;

she rolled in like a queen

with corona crown of royal green.

Spring

I be strollin’ now out in the sunshine

glad to leave them Febs ’n March behind

out walkin on the greenway trail

these bloomin’ good vibes cannot fail

cuz aint no covid ’strictions now gonna crimp my gait

no not today my April blues were worth the wait.

With my pocket miracle transistor radio

I be striding in sunshine and sayin’ hello.

 

But lemme tell you ‘bout this tune that really makes me lose

them covid crimps and those wintry blues:

the wonder of wonders is that Motown sound

bustin outa deep dark Detroit as I walk around

keepin’ perfect time with my springtime stride;

Yea! now it’s time to take a ride!

down memory lane with my lifeline bride

cuz she was surely My Girl back in the day;

yet she’s my lifetime woman still today,

and though she be now in ICU as a nurse

her love strolls beside me just like at first.

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCcNcHx2DpY

 

Glass half-Full

I’m Convinced

April 12, 2020

There’s a lot be said, and much to be written, about how we got here, where we are headed, what we will endure, what we will enjoy, and why it all happens.

Of all the sages and great men and great women throughout the ages, I do  not know of one whose claim to truth—whose claim to know what he is talking about, and what our purpose is here— I do not know of one whose accomplishment can be more convincing than the prophet  who rose from the dead. There is not one man nor woman whose wisdom or feats can match  this one miraculous labor of love:

Being tortured to death, rising from death back into life, and then living to tell about it.

There is no treatise on truth, no explanation of existence nor spoken lecture on the meaning (or absence thereof) of life. There is no heroic feat, no dramatic rescue, no profound work of art—that can match or exceed personal victory over death itself.

So I’m going with the one who survived death: Jesus.

I’m not the only one. Take a look at history and you will see how many men, women and children have, over two thousand years, cast their lot in his direction.

Believe it, or not.

If you can’t agree with me now, just recall this testimony when you are, let’s say, one hour or one minute from your death. At that moment, consider carefully whether you will truly want to  reject the rescuing hand that is extended to you just after crossing . . .

Better yet: believe me now, that. . . that hand is gesturing for you now, because the gift of eternal life through faith is even more precious–and more lovingly beneficial to others– when it comes into full use during this present life of trouble, trial, and triumph.

EmptyTomb

King of Soul  

zombie time

April 11, 2020

About 2700 years ago, some obscure blogger posted this, although my translation is a little bit off:

DeadSeaC

He was despised and forsaken, a man of sorrows, living with the worst of all human feelings–he was, like, the guy you look away from while passing in the street.

We didn’t like him.

But somehow he carried the terrible weight of our pathetic existence; this God-forsaken wanderer was afflicted with the worst fate that any humans have ever inflicted on their-fellow-man.

As it turned out, we discriminated against him, pushed him down as if he were the lowest of the low. Even so, he didn’t raise a big stink about the maltreatment that was inflicted on him. He didn’t whine about the injustice that he ended up getting.

He got screwed-over like the worst of the worst, even though he had done nothing to deserve such a judgement.

I mean, he never hurt anybody, never raised his hand against any person; he was no bully. In fact, he told the truth about everything everywhere he went. He was known for it. In fact, that’s what got him into such deep shit. He was a truth-teller . . . didn’t sugarcoat anything.

He was, like, a good guy. Looking back on the whole damn torrent of events, it doesn’t make any sense. The events of that terrible time just escalated far beyond any reasonable justification for what they did to him.

I mean, if there’s a God in this universe, he just, like, didn’t care at all about the devolution of events that, like, seemed to conspired against this man.

His fate was cast with the common criminals, but some rich guy showed up to deal with the corpse.

Tomb

Go figure. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense to me. Sometime I wonder if anybody in this life ever gets what they deserve. The one-percenters get to set themselves up all high and mighty, while homeless folk just get shoved into the dead-end corners underneath freeways, and dumpster-diving and hitting people up for handouts on the street.

But this guy didn’t do any of that. I don’t think he even had a place to crash at night, although he was one of the smartest people I ever heard railing on the street about this God-forsaken planet that we’re trashing worser and worser every day that goes by.

Now that they’ve disposed of him, no tellin’ what’s gonna happen next.

Slab

I mean, it’s like zombie time, but we can’t even go see a dam movie any more. No more Saturday night at the movies for us. Who’d’ve thought you couldn’t even catch a flick on a Saturday night? What the hell is the world coming to? All the worst stuff is going viral, while the best are clueless. Who knew?

King of Soul

Get Satisfaction

April 6, 2020

In 1964, I turned 13 years old.

Like most kids in those days, I was listening to a lot of popular music on a transistor radio.

My first hearing of the Beatles happened  one night while laying sleepily in the dark, in bed.

I’ll never forget that moment. Perhaps you have had one like it.

Their sound was absolutely unique, new, and fresh. Paul and John’s two-voiced harmony rang so clearly through my juvenile brain:

 

Well, she was just seventeen;

You know what I mean,

and the way she looked

was way beyond compare.

Now I’ll never dance with another

since I saw her standing there. . .

My heart went boom

when I crossed that room

and held her hand in mine!

 

Along about that time, there were some other groups knocking out their raucous vibes over the airwaves. I remember one joker came along ranting:

 

I can’t get no I can’t get no I can’t get no satisfaction!

When I’m traveling ‘round the world

and I’’m trying to make some girl . . .

who tells me baby you better come back next week

cuz cant you see I’m on a losing streak.

I can’t get no I can’t get no I can’t no satisfaction!

 

Yeah, yeah, whatever, man.

Not my cup of tea.

Years later, I began wondering just what kind of trip the music industry was trying to put on me and my g-g-generation. Well, that’s a profound question, and it goes much deeper than just “the music industry.”

As years passed by, I had a lot of great experiences, and  of course a few bad ones.

Now it’s 2020 and I’m sitting around the house wondering where the Covid is going to take us before it plays out its invisible death scenario among us. And I have some time to reflect on the meaning of life and all that . . .

Today, while strolling in the sunshine on a park trail, social distancing,  I realized that—looking back on it all— I have discovered, thank God, what satisfaction truly is. I’m not kidding.

Forty years ago, I met the love of my life, married her; she gave birth to our three children who are now grown and living productive, happy lives.

And we have managed to get through that very long “gotta make a living” phase of life—forty years of it. Well, she’s still working . . . ICU Nurse in this time of Covid, while I have made it to that classic, gold-tinted “retirement” state of mythical bliss.

And it will not be so very long before I pass on . . . into that eternal life with the Lord who created us and guided us through these paths of fulfillment.

So I’m approaching that great, big open door that will be like nothing else this life has shown me so far.

They say . . . as one approaches that final  stage, one may become feeble, losing a few neurons along the way and finding some of those ole dependable body parts unable to do what they used to do.

And . . . and yet . . .

this person who is beside me as we approach this unfamiliar juncture . . . this person who has been with me since . . . forty years . . . this woman who has made my house a home, guided my children through better paths than I could have done alone . . . this woman who is still with me as we draw near to that last sunset, whenever it comes . . .

LifeSunset

I have found it! The Satisfaction! . . . the meaning of life:

To have one person who does this long journey with you all the way through, and is there—so familiar and comfortable and caring— all the way to the end, when the sparks start to fall short.

That’s what it’s all about! Whoever thought up this plan—my hat’s off to Him!

Now I realize this personal revelation that I have described may not be your cup of tea. I get that. It takes all kinds to make a world. But I do want to leave you with this little piece of advice.

If you have one person to love—and who loves you—stay with that person. The sacrifice of loving one mate all the way through the journey is definitely worth all the .  . . whatever it takes.

Chances are,  you don’t fully appreciate the full significance of faithful love until you approach the final stages. That’s when the deepest reward is realized. Today is the day I have understood this most clearly.

Glass half-Full  

I hear America flinging

April 3, 2020

I hear America flinging

challenges of COVID dare;

UncleSam

I see America stringing up a net of Covid care.

I feel America wailing, with going-viral fear:

Pleas from nurses, sending out the call for protective gear,

Journalists following every viral report they hear

Doctors attacking the dreaded virus’ lethal spread

Families mourning for—and remembering— their dead

Health Officials call forth our care-giver legions

Media transmit the message to far/near regions

Friends fling phoning nets of loving, living care

Brave RNs march into the battle as they dare

Administrators send out urgent staffing calls

  flinging open clinic doors in crowded hospital halls

Governors rush out urgent calls for public health protection

Reporters fuel the urgency of that damned fast-spread infection

Every citizen who inhabits regions far and near

   gets affected with this dreadful viral fear.

As pleadings sound forth to maintain some social distance,

you could save a life—maybe your own!—in every social instance.

Hey you! Ask not what the world can do for you, in this anti-covid call;

Ask what, together, we can do for protection of us all.

 

(with appreciation for inspiration from Walt Whitman and John Fitzgerald Kennedy)

Glass half-Full

Tiananmen talk

Queen Corona

April 1, 2020

Hey! Who knew?

Somebody somewhere

must have been dreaming

this one up

for next blockbuster

disaster flick

while we were looking the other way

searching for needle in a haystack

next thing you know

we’re  caught in the middle

of hundred year flood

so to speak

though it started as a trickle,

but suddenly swirling whirling

wuhan never saw it hurling

its way through hubei

exotic epidemic

starting, like, quite anemic

but before you know it

mutating to pandemic

mutilating expectations

it was one in a million

i’m tellin’ ya!

straw that broke camel’s back

the damn thing—

a wild card

that brought down our worldwide

house of cards

flinging shards of dollar hordes—

so steadily deadly

everywhere it went

strickening  our system’s

wheelin’ dealin’

achilles heel

nobody saw it coming

GoldRepair

black swan swimming

in the dead of night

just aint right

left without a clue

who knew?

the next big thing

going viral

would be some very vague

plague

nobody ever heard of

who’d’ve thought it

the queen of quite a

lot of unlikely

events

crown it queen

of destruction:

coronavirus.

Even with 2020 vision we never saw it coming.

Blindsided we were.

Actually,

I noticed one person did

see it coming: Chris Martenson.

But don’t blame the messenger.

Don’t blame anybody. Just

Do unto others

as you would have them

do unto you.

Selah.

Glass half-Full

The SwanSwoon of our Era

March 21, 2020

In her recent article at Social Europe,  Indian economist Jayeti Ghosh  accurately identifies a major consequence of our worldwide collective anti-COVID restrictions:

  “Supply chains are being disrupted, factories are being closed, entire regions are being locked down and a growing number of workers are struggling to secure their livelihoods. “

  https://www.socialeurope.eu/the-covid-19-debt-deluge

Her statement does indeed identify the crux of our economic problem right now, and the global complexity does unleash trouble on a very large, international scale.

You might say this COVID-crash is the “Crash of ’29” of our era.

Some compare this tsunami to the crash of ’08, or the blah-blah of ’87 (whatever that was.)  But it seems to me this thing is unwinding as an event historically more far-reaching than those two economic downfalls. This Covid thing can be compared to  what happened in 1929.

The Crash of ’29 exposed the vulnerability of a newly-Industrialized USA. This present Covid-crash exposes the vulnerability of a newly-Internetted World.

Ms. Ghosh is correct in her observation when she writes:

  “Today’s financial fragility far predates the Covid-19 ‘black swan’.”

The black swan represents the unlikely possibility that something like this could happen . . . . even though it did.

It seems to me the immensity of our present global Covid co-morbidity is indeed directly related to our newfound world connectivity in trade, travel and talk. The black swan in the background represents this unprecedented development in world history.

Swans

In that same technocratic network to which Ms. Ghosh contributes, Social Europe, Karin Pettersson posts her insightful analysis of our Covid conundrum, which includes this accurate assessment:

   “Already however, we know this: this type of disease cannot be efficiently fought at an individual level, but only as a society. It requires preparation, co-ordination, planning and the ability to make rapid decisions and scale up efforts. A strong state.

But nor is government enough. The situation demands personal responsibility, a sense of duty, concern for one’s neighbour. “

     https://www.socialeurope.eu/the-corona-crisis-will-define-our-era

What she writes there is so true. I agree.

Karin goes on to pose  a question that is surely the crux of the problem for millions of earth-inhabiting workers:

   “Yet what will you do if you simply cannot afford to stay at home?”

And I’m thinking . . . because of this widespread affordability problem, the response of governments and corporations in the days ahead should reflect benevolence, not authoritarian oppression. At least I hope it will.

Karin Pettersson also presents this profound thought:  

   “I wonder if young people might come to think that authoritarian China dealt with the crisis better than the US—the land of the free.”

We shall witness, in the days ahead, how this dilemma is dealt with between China, USA, and all the other nations of this planet.

Karin’s bright insight becomes dimmed, however, when she criticizes, in the same article cited above, Vice President Mike Pence’s public act of leading scientists in prayer.

She is displeased that Pence, a former Indiana governor, had cut funding for HIV-virus research and prevention, back in the day. . .

I can understand Ms. Petterssen’s emphatic let’s fix this humanism. It is quite the de rigeur among technocrat intelligencia who would like to run the world, because they could certainly do a more equitable and better job than all those corporate 1%ers whose rabid profit-taking shenanigans have now made such a mess of things.

 Yes, Virginia, the news is bad. Read ’em and weep. . . but act, benevolently. That also  goes for all you 1%ers out there who think you’re in charge of things.

But I also like to remember, and take seriously, a statement that I heard, many years ago, from a fellow who was then what I now am, an ole geezer.

  “What we need now is some damn prayer!”

So Let’s all work together harmoniously to get these problems solved. And remember that a little help from the OneWhoIs could only render our burdens a little easier to bear.

Glass half-Full

The Big Questions

March 3, 2020

The big questions are:

1. How did I get here?

2. How did we get here?

3. What is the purpose of being here?

4. What should I do while I am here?

At the age of 27 years, about 43 years ago, I had made a big mess of my life. So I turned my life over to Jesus.

I am happy about how life has turned out for me and the family that God has given me.

Prior to salvation, I was quite undecided about those big questions listed above. Now, after walking with the Lord for 41 years, I have managed to answer those questions to my satisfaction. There are, however, a few questions hovering somewhat unresolved in my mind.

For instance, as pertaining to the big question #2 above—how did we get here?—I do subscribe to the biblical explanation, although I do not understand it. I cannot comprehend all that is being described in chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis.

GutnBible

I do understand, and accept as true, that very first sentence of the biblical revelation:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The verses that follow confuse me every time I try to impose order in my mind about the sequence through which our Creator did his creative work. This confusion does not really bother me. But it does fascinate me to ponder that subject.

Cutting to the chase—that is to say—the end of the book or the end of my life, the big truth that has been shown to me is that I will live eternally after passing through this life’s death.

How do I know this?

As the old song sings. . . the Bible tells me so.

The Word tells me what I really need to know: there is one man in the history of the world who survived death itself, and lived to tell about it:

Jesus.

This is a matter of belief, and I do believe it, thank God. I have been given the faith to believe in my resurrection from death, because Jesus himself has already shone the way—has been there and done that— and has passed that privilege of overcoming death along to me and to anyone else who believes what he has said about it, and demonstrated by his Resurrection.

Now, getting to the point of why I write on this particular day, year of our Lord 2020, March 3. . . while I have been fortunate enough to answer those big questions, there are still a few curiosity points that bounce around in my mind and my soul as I live and breathe in this earthly life.

For Instance, what about that creation sequence that is is described in Genesis?

People have been wondering about it, talking about it for thousands of years. In the last two centuries, speculations about question #2 above—how did we get here?—have taken a wider swath of variation than ever before. As far as I can see, this widening of theories and enquiries is prompted by two main developments in our collective human database—

1.) the discovery of geologic time, which scientifically explains how our earth was continuously rearranged by huge tectonic and geologic forces over millions of years.

2.) Darwin’s discovery of natural selection in the biological developments of life in nature.

As a believer in Jesus, I have no problem with either of these scientific discoveries. I believe these discoveries are merely a human way of classifying the universal and life principles that God set in motion millions of years ago.

For example: Genesis reports, in verse 1:24:

Then God said, ‘ Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind.’

This is just an old-fashioned way of saying: God designed into his creation a written code for ordering the development of life: DNA.

DNAdubhelx

So I hope you’re tracking with me on this. I realize that some of my believing brethren do not subscribe to this interpretation. But that’s okay; we’re not going to agree on everything. By ’n by, we’ll still celebrate our eternal life together with Jesus because of what he endured in sacrificing his perfect life at Calvary.

But the reason I am writing this today is: an amazing thing happened this morning. I had a funny little revelation while reading in Genesis.

In Genesis 2, we learn the truth that:

“. . . the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.,  The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there he placed the man whom He had formed.”

So we learn that Adam—and later Eve, were a special creation, placed in a special place, for a special, divinely determined destiny. But Adam and Eve screwed that arrangement up when they opted for knowledge instead of truth.

So our Creator had to suspend their special status. Consequently, he ejected them from the Garden; they had to  go out and make their way by the sweat of their brow like  all those other humans who had evolved out there in the wild wild world.

A little further down in the scripture we learn more about historical human developments. From Genesis 6:

“Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves . . .”

Who were those “sons of God”? They were the offspring of the Creator’s special creation in Paradise, the children of Adam and Eve.

We are told the names of the created couple’s first three sons: Cain, Abel and Seth.

These boys were, categorically, the “sons of God,” because their parents did not carry the same genetic imprint as those other men and women who originated “east of Eden,” outside the gates of Paradise.

Now just because they were “sons of God” does not mean they necessarily acted like it. You may remember that Cain killed Abel, and that God had a serious discussion with him about what was to happen next. But then God had mercy on Cain, even though he had committed such a heinous deed by killing his own brother, who had not deserved such a fate.

God gave Cain a second chance anyway, by releasing him out into mankind to get a new start.

In Genesis 4, the story continues:

  “Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain had relations with his wife, and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch, and he built a city. . .”

For a very long time, I had wondered about . . .

a.) these “sons of God”—who they were and where they came from? Answer: They came from Adam and Eve.

and b.) the land of Nod, and the people who populated that land? Answer: They were humans who evolved through God’s natural selection process.

Now I understand more about reconciling the revealed Truth of our Creator with what we ourselves have scientifically understood  about life on this amazing planet.

RockStory1

Glass half-Full