Posts Tagged ‘Triumph’

Czech out the Opus of our Messiah!

December 4, 2018

Messiah has come.

The people who walk in darkness (we) have seen a great light! Can you feel it? Open up your soul to the flood of good tidings.

Listen to the great news–yes, Virginia, there is, in the universe, eternal presence of Joy. Yes, Roy, there is, in this world, a way of overcoming our bad decisions, bad government, terrible events, terrorist evil, massive tragedy, constant temptation, stupid politics, polarizing idiocy, universal iniquity, and even my own and your  very own personal sin. If you’ve never done anything wrong, just pretend I never sent you this opportunity to repent. But if you find yourself anywhere near feeling the urgency of Messiah’s message of deliverance, give it a listen. Watch and listen.

Consider leaving behind  your stubbornness to not believe. Go ahead and  accept that there is a Good Creator of this world, a Corrector of our climate-changed, polluting life within it. Believe there is a Deliverer–Messiah, King of Glory, who has come into human activity  to show us the way out of our stupidity and iniquity.

Believe it! Accept it. He’s looking for you, wants to sign you up for the Kingdom of Heaven that in the end prevails over the kingdoms, the democracies, the caliphates, the governments, the autocracies, the oligarchies, the dictatorships, the corrupt regimes of this world.

Watch this musical testimony about our ultimate triumph over injustice and enmity.

Be attentive to the counsel of ancient shepherds who beheld in the heavens never-before-seen signs of our ultimate delivery from pain and death.

If you will only believe the good news!

Victory, as demonstrated by Messiah–victory over the worst of the worst human suffering: torture, crucifixion, even death! It has been done already, and will be done again, inside of you. Go for it!

As bad as things are now, it’s not over yet. It’s not over ’til that alto lady sings:

“He was despised, despised and rejected, rejected of men. . . a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

How many of us humans, through the history of mankind, have suffered the despisal of our fellow-humans? How many of us have endured rejection, how many have  been forced into immigrating from destructive human degeneracy, war, racism, holocaust, persecution, murder and mayhem ? How many have persevered through terrible sorrows. . . how many members of our human race have become “acquainted with grief” as Messiah himself was?

“Surely, surely he hath born our grief, and carried our sorrows!”

The savior of us all had to be a human acquainted with grief. We have no need for a jizya-wielding conqueror. What we require is a fellow-traveler–one who has been there, been here–in the world with us, and understands our plight.

“Emmanuel: God with us!”

‘We seek, we need, we long for–as the wise men of old–Messiah who overcomes suffering and death itself, and shows us the way out of our depravity.Hallelujah!

Can you comprehend it? Listen on. Listen to this musicated oration of our great message of hope for all men and women. . . the profound enactment of Handel’s Messiah, as only a bunch of passionate, young Czechs could perform it. Thank you, Vaclav Lucs and Collegium 1704 of Prague! Thanks for renewing our faith in the next generation of creators and musicians. They’re not all hung up on meaningless drivel and sensuous provocation.

Watch; Listen to the urgent message of the Ages:  the angelic experience given to shepherds who, in ages past, laid the nocturnal groundwork for Georg Friedrich Handel’s revelation of  Messianic visitation: divine intrusion into the sordid affairs of mankind!

Divine intervention in our world. The centerpiece event of human history, between Moses and Mohammed–one man’s triumph over unbelief–one man’s victory over torture and death!

If you will but believe it, ’tis yours to enter into: triumph over the injustice and tribulation of this life! and ultimate entrance into eternity!


The trumpet shall sound, and this corruption of ours made incorruptible for all time. Listen for the call in this symphony of saved life, and in your own seeking Spirit!

King of Soul

Surely, He has born our griefs

December 13, 2014

Every now and then in world news, it is reported that Muslims have taken offense because the Prophet Mohammed was insulted by some disrespectful kaffir journalist, speaker, or movie. In such cases, followers of Islam have been known to demonstrate their ire publicly.

This does not generally happen–it should not–among Christians, because our Savior has already suffered just about every insult, torture, or disgrace known to man– when he was nailed to a cross. There is nothing a person can say or do to humiliate Jesus that hasn’t already been spoken or done.

People who do not believe in Christ sometimes say that ours is a weak religion–even pathetic–because we put all our hope and faith in a Messiah who was judged to be a criminal and blasphemer and then publicly humiliated by torture and death on a cross.

The Muslim religion, by contrast, is founded on belief in the spoken word and action of a different person, Mohammed, who was a very successful man. Although he was opposed by many religious people of his day–as Christ also was–Mohammed surmounted the opposition of his enemies. In spite of his contentions against the stubborn Arab old-religionists of Mecca, he became, during his lifetime, a highly respected religious leader, revelator, military leader, judge, and founder of a world religion. Along the way he who took multiple wives, fathered many children and grandchildren, and died a natural death.

Jesus Christ, however, died on a cross after being publicly humiliated and tortured.

People who criticize Christians for following a suffering, crucified Savior think we have been misled or duped to put our faith in such a loser.

Whatever. It doesn’t matter what they think. Whatever abuse, verbal or physical, was heaped upon Jesus, is to be expected in the Christian life, and we must bear that humiliation with the same dignity that Christ bore his.

And that is a major point of Christianity–learning to bear the humiliation and suffering that this life generates, even as he did.

The real frustrations and failings of our life, after all, usually center around our defeats, not our victories.

So, by going to the cross, which facilitated his later resurrection on the third day afterward, Jesus showed us how to accomplish the greatest–the most necessary–victory in life. This overcoming is obtained through facing, bearing, and overcoming whatever-the-hell trouble life throws at us, including the worst adversity of all–death itself.

The Jewish prophet Isaiah foreshadowed this exemplary, salvatory role of Messiah when Isaiah presciently spoke:

“Surely, He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows!”

Several millenia later, the composer Georg Friedrich Handel included these prophetic words from Isaiah in his great musical oratorio, Messiah:

This motivates us to proclaim, as Paul did:

“Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation–giving no cause for offense in anything. . .”

Life is sad, and difficult, but our God has shown us how to get through it victoriously; this does not require taking offense at every little errant word or insult. He was our example in this forebearance. Furthermore, we have better things to do.

Glass half-Full

The Swan Song of J. Al DasCapital

May 24, 2012

For some it’s a good thing; for others a bad,

to be like the capitalist, or provoke socialist rad.

Back in the day, Rockefeller and Carnegie forged the enterprise deal;

JPMorgan and Ford cranked up  capitalist zeal.

But then in ’29 the machine broke down; all hell broke loose.

It was a train wreck for sure, from engine to caboose.

Smart as he was,  Hoover was thought clueless in ’32,

so they brought in Roosevelt to set up a new deal crew.

The gov from New York saved us, so they say,

with a big shot of socialism,  making work for payday.


Now these days, since the meltdown of ’08,

we’ve the same situation, but reverse, on our plate:

Big Spender Barack’s in the driver’s seat; he’s catchin’ the flack,

while Money-movin’ Mitt says its time to get back

to those good ole days when investors and innovators were calling the shots,

before all these Keynesian Krugmanites got the hots

for quantitative easing, and stimulus, and priming the pump;

’cause they give us a ride, but we don’t get over the hump.


Now out here on Main Street where the grassroots grow,

in the shops and garages where the mom and pops know,

we whip up the long tails; we push pins in the bubbles;

we wink at the black swans and laugh at the troubles.

Class warfare’s just a phrase in some socialist goad,

inequality  just a pothole, a mere bump in the road.

No flash-tradin’ froth, no credit default fizz,

we just work with what can be, and we deal with what is.

If the day ever comes when the gov regulates us beyond reason,

or corporations have all the wealth tied up for the season,

we’ll just stick out our necks and  we’ll sing our swan song,

cuz life in the free market goes on and goes on.

Glass half-Full

Time for Soul-searching

April 26, 2012

America needs to find something else to do besides argue and complain. Each man, each woman has a destiny to fulfill.

Get hooked up with some person or organization with which you can at least partially agree; get your hands, your feet, your mind busy, to solve the problems that confound you now.

Act on behalf of those whom you love– those for whom you are responsible; assist those who are responsible for you.

If you are in a mess, Big Brother is not going to get you out of it. The government may toss a few greenbacks and food stamps your way, but ultimately you are responsible for your own life.

You go-getters out there–no corporation will fill your destiny. If you want to become an integral link in a corporate structure, remember: its all about what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you. You do your job right and the good stuff will come after many days.

Get busy. Look around you. Find something in your vicinity that needs doing, and do it, whether that makes you underpaid, underemployed, or seemingly underutilized. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done out there in getting this country turned around from our present dead-end of overinstitutionalism and overgovernmentalization. We need to restructure from the ground up. And I do mean the ground literally. This could involve growing some vegetables or something like that.

If you’re at a loss as to how to find some direction, take some time for a little soul-searching. That’s what I did a few decades ago, and I was never the same afterward. I wrote a song about it: Like Moses, like Martin Luther King, I took a walk up the mountain.

CR, with new novel, Smoke, in progress

The Malaise? again?

March 22, 2012

The question of whether the news is good or the news is bad–

whether America is in decline or not,

whether anything can be done about it or not,

whether we are citizens or are we just consumers,

whether the government must needs be the initiator

of of all our rehabilitative and wealth-generating strategies,

or whether the corporate powerhouses that be are bound

to lead us out of this withering prosperity that so easily distends us,

or whether by some miracle the people shall rise up

by yon legendary bootstraps and from within themselves

and through their own God-given and/or earth-extracted resources

take on the responsibilities and burdens of their own freedoms and

well-being (let us not call it welfare),

whether we shall or whether we will not–

that is the question.                      My vote is: go for it.


Glass half-Full

Why I am a Republocrat

November 17, 2011

The other night Pat and I were enjoying a meal in our home with a couple of dear friends. Our after-dinner conversation turned to heartfelt expressions about past, present and future. In the midst of some shared recollections about previous phases of our life, I wondered aloud about how this idealistic young McGovernite college kid could now find myself, at age sixty, running with a bunch of Republicans.

Then last night, Pat asked me why I am uncomfortable being a Republican. I found myself unable to offer an answer. But today, after some mulling the question over, I collected a few thoughts.

I am in fact not a Republican at heart, although I am registered to vote that way. But that’s because I’m not a dam Democrat either, and wouldn’t want to be caught dead anywhere near their gov’ment-take-all way of doing things.

Here is why:

I believe in the power, proven in our American history, of a free people to do great works. I believe in the limitless possibilities of a free people who, with their individual liberties constitutionally assured, can do what needs to be done, and prosper while performing it, both individually and collectively.

I believe in free enterprise, free markets, free trade, the invisible hand, Main Street, and God.

I believe human life, from its earliest inception , is worthy to receive the protection of the law.

These days, although I empathize with the opportunity-challenged. underemployed Occupy wall street 99% crowd, I also have no complaint with the so-called 1% gathering as much wealth as they can accumulate. The rich cats can only squander so much of the gravy before spreading some of that prosperity around as expenditures and investments, whereby the rest of us 99% can catch a little of the action.

Philosophically, I do not favor the practice of governmental income redistribution, and I surely do not want to see government take over everything– not health care, not business, not philanthropy, not any of that stuff that good citizens ought to be doing from the abundance of their own hard-earned resources.

Now perhaps you can see why I am not a Democrat, and here’s why I am not really a Republican either.

Beginning about 200 years ago our pioneering American spirit began to focus on settling and developing the north American continent. Figuratively speaking, yankee industry, southern agronomy, widespread entrepreneurship and nascent capitalism took on the challenges of capitalizing and developing this exceptional experiment in democratic/republican nationhood that we call the United States of America.

Led by wealth-seeking industrialists and prosperity-seeking workers, we built in short order an amazing infrastructure of railroads, electricity grids, highways, airways and communication networks. Thousands,  yea I say unto thee millions, of folks got in on the action and got a slice of the copious wealth. We were in high cotton for 150 years or so, in spite of a depression or recession or two.

But now we’ve gotten lazy. And I’m not just talking about couch-potato consumers. Now, American business, unwilling to take on the risks—and the sweat and the toil and the uncertainty—of capitalizing the upgraded prerequisite infrastructure  for 21st-century prosperity, dithers with profit-obsessive derivatives and credit default swap schemes, instead of venturing out into the new frontiers of what really needs to be done.

The infamous, phantasmic Wall Street, whatever that is, refuses to capitalize for us a way out of the self-destructive oil addiction rut in which we find ourselves cluelessly  bogged down. I can’t blame the Dems for taking a stab at these dependencies when our famous free enterprise entities won’t, or can’t,  take a chance on it. So the self-appointed prophets and the planners and the socialists and the gov’ment do-gooders and the democrats and the intellectual elites  want to take on the burdens of what unbridled industry used to do. Maybe they’ve overregulated the captains of industry into neutralized industrial impotence, I don’t know, but now it seems that the Dems want the government to initiate everything. Meanwhile, the Repubs are still dreaming in lala land about  bonuses, unfettered capitalism and tax shelters.

If I could, I would cast out  both the demonDemo bureaucrats and the corporatublican devils.

What has happened to our business leadership in this country? Have they abdicated the wealth-generating mantle of industrial innovation?

President Reagan, patron saint of the Repubs, said that government IS the problem. But now, thirty years later, that’s only half the picture. We’ve got a new problem: business.

Business is the problem—not enough of it. Why has business shrunk from the profit-possibility challenges of the 21st century? Why have the capitalists conceded the venture-risking function to government? Why? Because there’s not enough money to be made, and too much risk and expense required to do the work that needs to be done. Call uncle Sam, even if he’s broke busted and his mother can’t be trusted. He”ll take the risk; he’s got a pump-priming Fed to back him up.

Where are the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Edisons, Fords, Morgans and Watsons of our era? For that matter, where is the Gates, or Jobs, of the next generation?

In Congressional hearings today… Solyndra? Hey, I don’t care about the rhetorical politicized blameshifting and fault-finding. Solyndra was attempting to do the work that needs to be done, before wily Chinese competition cut them out of the emerging solar collector market.  Where’s the company that will, Henry Ford-like, put a solar collector on every roof by capitalizing mass-produced affordability in that sector? Where’s the UAW that’s willing to cut a deal so that every half-prosperous American can afford to put an electric vehicle in their garage? Where’s the bold corporation that will take a chance on new-tech American bullet trains?

It almost appears that American business, labor and industry has outlived its usefulness. How can that great trail-blazing entrepreneurial thrust of ages gone by be recovered, and recycled?

Don’t get me started; I’m a Republocrat, and dam proud of it.

Glass Chimera


Uganda has come a long way since Idi Amin.

October 5, 2011

The nation of Uganda has come a long way on the path to civilization since the dark days of Idi Amin’s regime. Although that dictator had attempted, back in the ’70s, to impose his blood-shedding will upon his fellow Ugandans, his murderous manipulations were foiled by the neighboring Tanzanians. They ran Idi and his gang of thugs out of Africa when he tried to export his cruel program across their border in 1979. Thank God they put a stop to his campaigns of killing.

This is the first thing I think about when Uganda is mentioned, because I’m a sixtyish baby-boomer who has kept, through the years, an eye on world news, and I remember this about Uganda: the murderous dictator, Idi Amin, who had been assisted by the Libya dictator, Qadhafi, and how he killed hundreds of thousands of his people just for the sake of…for the sake of …whatever it is that tyrants are trying to do when they set their killing machines into motion.

But these days, Uganda is, thank God, a very different place. Just a month or two ago, my daughter Kim visited that nation and its capital city, Kampala. She was working there–assisting in, and reporting on, the Operation Christmas Child gift distribution. Kim, trained at UNC School of Journalism, was able to utilize some of her documentary skills, as you will see from these photos, which are accompanied by her report upon the Samaritan’s Purse work there.

Yes, Kim’s facebook update about this situation in a formerly war-torn Uganda brings good news. And I received that news with a kind of deja vu, because it reminded me of when my other journalist daughter, Katie, had sent similarly upbeat reports from Vietnam a few years ago. Katie and her team of world-tromping Christian companions had been welcomed with open arms, in that country of Vietnam, which had been torn to bloody hell during the civil war of the ’60s and ’70s in which we had a dismal role.

Now these days…well, we live in dark days–hard times–in which the ominous clouds of depression and unrest seem to grow heavier every day upon our lowering prospects for peace and prosperity. But somewhere in the world today, children are joyful because the love of Christ is being extended to them. Uganda is such a place (who’d have thought it?), thanks to the persistently beneficial work of Samaraitan’s Purse, and other Christian outfits who reach out to underpriveleged folks everywhere.

I’m so happy that my Kim is an integral link in that worldwide network of mercy and provision. God bless ’em.

Glass half-Full

Go and Do.

September 3, 2011

Say, oh
say that star-spangled banner does yet wave. The brave doctor King did
raise his voice and he did
call out to a people from amongst the fields and forges of this imperfect nation. Yes, he did
challenge us from atop the steps of blood-bought liberty to
gather, and to
carve from the mountain of despair a stone of hope; thus did the oppression of a former age
become the foundation of a new work of freedom upon the earth.
Be free.
Pull that barge, and
tote that bale became, no longer,  some strawboss command, but instead, a new summons to
do the work of living free. No free lunch, you
Watch the sun rise and set as ye
stand upon that old mountain of despair, to
conquer it, and to
wield a chisel upon its craggy immensity..
Listen to  the whistling of the wind across our prairie land.
Hear the cry of the hoot owl in the forest.
Rise up.
Gather the seed, and
plant it.
Dig out the iron, and
smelt it for steel.
Find the copper, and
collect the sun.
Seek the gold.
Give it to your wife, to your children.
Multiply what your fathers and  mothers have sewn into your world. Though it be small, it
be much, enough to
work with.
Extract the resources of a new age from the cracks of the old.
Lift up from the fissures of failing institutions the cornerstones of the next.
Pull that wire.
Draw that dream.
Key that message to your people.
Build future. It aint what it used to

be. Your welfare rests not upon an SS check;  yeah, it doth
kindle behind your eyes. It doth
smolder between your shoulders.
Go, and
Wait no longer, but do
wait upon the Lord.

Glass half-Full

Church was bombed, Birmingham 1963

January 24, 2011

We do not fathom the power of innocent blood crying out from the ground until years later.  The grievous force of such injustice  reverberates in the lives of those whose grief runs deeper than the evil that inflicted it.
Terrorism is counterproductive. A terrorist who inflicts, by the planting of bombs, violence and death on innocent victims might as well shoot himself, and his cause, in the foot. The extreme iniquity of such irresponsible acts serves ultimately to harden the resolve of  surviving victims whose lives were affected by the atrocity.
I realized this today in a new way while listening to Amy Goodman interview Danny Glover on the radio, on Democracy Now.

They mentioned Angela Davis, and the fact that she had been raised in that volatile atmosphere of Birmingham in 1963, when local racists had set a bomb beneath the 16th Street Baptist Church. The bomb had killed four innocent children–little girls attending church.

Little did those reprobate terrorists know, but their irrational atrocity cut a deep slice of potently productive  grief into the 9–year-old soul of  nearby resident Condoleeza Rice, whose friend Denise McNair was killed in the bombing.
Our former Secretary of State of the US later had this to say about the  tragic incident:
“I remember the bombing of that Sunday School at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963. I did not see it happen, but I heard it happen, and I felt it happen, just a few blocks away at my father’s church. It is a sound that I will never forget, that will forever reverberate in my ears. That bomb took the lives of four young girls, including my friend and playmate, Denise McNair. The crime was calculated to suck the hope out of young lives, bury their aspirations. But those fears were not propelled forward, those terrorists failed.”
– Condoleezza Rice, Commencement 2004, Vanderbilt University, May 13, 2004

I lifted that quote from Wikipedia.

Ms. Rice’s richly productive life attests to the truth that the destructive efforts of KKK terrorists had not deterred a tender-hearted 9-year-old girl from rising to great achievements. In spite of the heavy deck of hate and discrimination stacked against her, Condi went on to overcome the evil that had killed her childhood playmate. Later, as a scholar, concert pianist,  and Secretary of State of the United States of America, she disproved, convincingly, the errant prejudicial irrationale of her community’s attackers.

Terrorism is counterproductive to the cause of the terrorist.

And unpredictable. Even as a bomb’s deathly remains and its victims cannot be predicted before the explosion, neither can the effects of such bloody deep wounds on the heart of a community and its diverse members.
While young Condi was later motivated to excel mightily in scholarship and diplomacy, another former resident, Angela Davis, of that Birmingham neighborhood charted a very different course
to overcome the injustice of Jim Crow. Angela was ten years older than Condoleeza; she was studying in Paris when she recognized the names of young Birmingham victims in a newspaper. Her stringent understanding of that putrid white supremecist tide was propelling her  toward radicalism, advocacy of violent resistance, and ultimately a life of eloquent speaking and teaching, the aim of which was to educate others about the evils of racism.

Angela and Condi were two very different women, with powerfully contrasting paths in this life. But as disparate as their two testimonies are, both lives are  persuasive evidence that death-spewing terrorism is counterproductive to the cause of the terrorist.

But the cry of innocent blood is powerfuly dynamic in the lives of the survivors,  and just as unpredictable as the bomb itself.

Glass half-Full

Surviving captive or dead rebel?

January 1, 2011

Surviving captive, or dead rebel: which would you rather be?
About 2600 years ago the ancient kingdom of Judah ended when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took Jerusalem.

Jehoichin, the Judaic prince-child, had watched his father, Jehoikim, play politics and military featherweight between the two opposing empires of Egypt and Babylon. But daddy Jehoikim’s maneuverings proved ultimately to be a losing game, as he ended up dead at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar after trying to do Pharoah Neco’s bidding.

So the teenaged kid, Jehoichin, was much more compliant with the strong man from Babylon than his daddy had been. When Nebuchadnezzar blustered into Jerusalem with plundering brutality, the young king of Judah consented to exile in Babylon. He lived many years thereafter in Nebuchadnezzar’s prison, but at the end of his life was released as an obsequious courtier under Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, Evil-Merodach.

When the conqueror Nebuchadnezzar had carted young Jehoichin off to Babylon, he appointed a royal uncle, Mattaniah, as new regent in Jerusalem, and renamed him Zedekiah. But after eleven years of vassalage–what we call today sucking-up– Zedekiah got cocky and rebelled against his Babylonian master. This resistance did not end well for the people of Judah. Zedekiah was forcibly removed in chains to Babylon, tortured, and publicly humiliated before dying. Nebuchadnezzar beseiged Jerusalem and wasted the city with fire and destruction.

The place was in ruins for seventy years until Cyrus the Persian allowed Jewish ancestors to return and rebuild the place.
So I was wondering this morning, as I read about this: With which of these last two Judean kings do you have more agreement? Jehoichin, who surrendered to the heathen tyrant and adapted to defeat, then  survived to become a tamed–what we might call wimpish (wise?)– ex-king.

Or Zedekiah, whose defiance ended in what we might call a martyr’s (or insurrectionist’s) painful execution?

I’ll just go ahead and say to you now that I can see myself only as taking Jehoichin’s path.

A leader adopting this careful strategy could end up like Puyi, the last emperor of China. He survived to become a benevolent historian under his Maoist taskmasters after being imprisoned and “rehabilitated” (brainwashed?). But the survival tact could also yield a fate like that of  Nelson Mandela, whose wily perserverance through prison produced ultimate victory for him and his people.
Yet there is a part of me that wants to appropriate the courage of Patrick Henry, who said “Give me liberty or give me death!”
Consider Aung San Suu Kyi, of Myanmar… Liu Xiaobo of China.
Hamid Karzai?
My guess, from this perspective of American comfort, is that in real life the difference between compliance and resistance is not easily discerned, and must be somehow ever-changing in response to events.
How about you? Would you take one strategy or the other?

Glass Chimera