I found a new home. Explanation is there. Visit me at:
I live in Michigan, not far from idled factories which are dependent on rail service. So most mornings, including Saturdays, I wake to the sounds of hustle and bustle. Not this morning, a Robin outside my window awakened me. Fourteen percent unemployment is a state-wide disaster, but the stillness resulting from it is a blessing.
This is one of the few mornings in which the sounds of my neighbors driving by on their way to work has not interfered with quiet time. The Psalmist said, “…be still…” and I’m trying. The antithesis to stillness, when the outside is quiet, is the inside churning of the mind. It won’t stop: It churns, pauses, then churns some more. I have never been able to stop it and I’m really not sure I want to.
I read somewhere “insanity is consciousness without memory.” I’m not really enthralled with that concept. I have enough problems physically as it is: a touch of short term memory loss, for one – which I can live with. Now that I think of it, what other option do I have. A pretty good memory or none. That isn’t a choice.
What has gotten me into this frame of mind this morning, other than the stillness, is an article written by Dr. Michael Horton. (HERE) The article is about Joel Osteen and some of the things he teaches. Horton says:
A TIME story in 2006 observed that Osteen’s success has reached even more traditional Protestant circles, citing the example of a Lutheran church that followed Your Best Life Now during Lent, of all times, “when,” as the writer notes, “Jesus was having his worst life then.” Even churches formally steeped in a theology of the cross succumb to theologies of glory in the environment of popular American spirituality. We are swimming in a sea of narcissistic moralism: an “easy-listening” version of salvation by self-help.
“We are swimming in a sea of narcissistic moralism: an ‘easy-listening’ version of salvation by self-help.’” I don’t care who you are that phrase demands reflection.
During my reflection about it, I couldn’t help but compare the stillness I’m enjoying to the demanding “narcissistic moralism” of the popular TV preacher. I’ve listened to enough of what he says to know that every “blessing” he promises is followed “if you do so-and-so.” His version of salvation requires so much “…if you will do…” I don’t see how “…be still…” is possible. Who has the time?
Isn’t the “if you will, then God will,” idea Paganism? I like what Piper says about Osteen and his ilk: They’re “…selling…a load of crap called gospel…”
So in the stillness of the morning, I’m trying to ignore pain that is an after-effect from recent emergency surgery. I’m thinking happy thoughts. “I’m a good person God.” “I didn’t kick the dog today, where is my Lincoln?” He didn’t give it to you by mistake did he?
I was reading the blogs on First Things this morning when I came across this:
Ulysses, in other words, is the high brow literary equivalent of an Adam Sandler movie.
That sentence brought back a flood of memories from my days in Higher Learning; memories of being required to read, among other literature, James Joyce’s “novel.” I thought the book incomprehensible then, and still do. Those in my class who were short on study and needed “grade-enhancement” talked about the nuances used by Joyce to tell his story. I assume they thought the Professor wanted to hear this kind of verbiage.
I told the Prof the book was written by a monkey and may have done more to advance the belief in evolution than science had. I got an “A.” I don’t know the grades of the others. After class the Prof told me how refreshing it was to have someone actually say what they thought of this kind of nonsense.
Art, poetry, literature, music – the things which separate us from the rest of creation – are a special gift given by our maker, I believe. As I see it, they were given so that we could participate in the creation God had pronounced “good.” To use this gift to write as Joyce did, or paint as the Dadaist artists did, to my mind, is nothing more than defiance of God. These kinds of things say “God, we don’t like you and we will not honor you by using the gift you gave as intended.”
Many so-called Christians do the same kinds of things today using bastardized forms of music, and “show time” from the Pulpit. Often what is pawned off as “worship” is nothing more than the expression of an ego trip by the leaders. Worship of our maker should consist of our joy in reflecting His Imago Dei, not a reflection of what we saw on Saturday Night Live, or heard from Madonna.
I’m just sayin’.
A guy named Letterman apparently has a late night TV show that many people watch. I’ve never (that’s right; never!) watched his show, and don’t intend to watch it. I realize, of course, that humans are social animals and talking about each other is great way to waste time – for some.
The problem I have with this kind of activity, and I understand that’s what late night TV is, talking about other people, gossip, is that I don’t recall anything good ever coming from this kind of narcissistic activity. Gossip is narcissistic, isn’t it? People do it so that in their own minds they might feel a little superior to someone else. National news, of course, sometimes get caught up in this nonsense, because so-called News organizations will do just about whatever it takes to get a better rating from some company named Nielson.
What I heard was that Letterman made some very dispicable remarks about Mr and Mrs Todd Palins’ 14 year old daughter.Letterman is 62 years old. A man that age has no business remarking about any 14 year old girl other than to say “she reminds me of my granddaughter.” But, then Letterman, I’m told, is not like the rest of us; he just recently decided to get married. To my mind that pretty much sums up the social capabilties, and intentions of the man. He is anti-social, narcissistic, and probably just a little off mentally, if his life has been nothing more than a television studio and the people around him.
In any event, he said, after it appeared his ratings might suffer:
On Monday’s show, Letterman said, “I’m wondering, ‘Well, what can I do to help people understand that I would never make a joke like this?’ I’ve never made jokes like this, as long as we’ve been on the air, 30 long years.”
After reading the above I am more convinced than ever this man may be short a few cards. His deck seems incomplete. “I’ve never made a joke like this, as long as we’ve been on the air, 30 long years.” I thought what got him in this predicatment is the fact he did make such a joke.
He apparently doesn’t realize “ideas have consequenses,” and the idea he is immune from public chastisement is stupid. This apparent attempt to limit the damage of what he said proves his ignorance. He says he’s never made such a joke, but we all know, now, he did make such a joke. It’s on the internet for crying out loud. It will remain there until the Lord returns.
What Letterman needs is to get out of that TV studio for awhile. Might I suggest a hunting trip with Mr. and Mrs. Palin in Alaska. But that probably is not a good idea. Mrs. Palin might mistake him for a Moose while hunting.
Writing, even a simple
rant blog such as this one, is difficult. Perhaps there are those among us who can just sit and let the words flow, but I can’t. I have to think and rethink what I want to say. That is the way God made me, so I say “thank you Lord, I’ll deal with it.” You see there are times when I would like to write with the ease I assume in other men.
Doug Wilson is such a one. I wish I could put words together like he does. I assume he does it easily. This morning I read on his blog “Blog and Mablog:”
I have written many times that free markets depend on free men, and free men are not to be had apart from the gospel. Another way of putting this is that men who are slaves to sin will not be able to create or sustain any kind of significant liberty anywhere else. Freedom from sin is the central freedom, and this depends on slavery to Christ (Rom. 6:20,22). When we are enslaved to Christ, we are as a consequence liberated from ever-increasing iniquity, and this in turn works outward into every other aspect of our lives (1 Cor. 7:22-23).
“Freedom from sin is the central freedom, and this depends on slavery to Christ.” You have no idea how many times I have tried to say just that, and have been unable to say it clearly. If a human has not been regenerated and accepted the fact of dependence on Christ for everything, including thinking, what comes from any of his endeavors is deformed. The “fall” effected all of man, especially his capacity for clarity of thought.
For example when car guys – clear thinking men, who for the most part, at least the ones I worked with, are nominally Christian – build things this is what they build. (2006 Dogdge Charger R/T Shown in Drag Times). Clear thinking went into this. Not some convoluted twisted notion of what a car is.
And this is a good example of what the Government will probably wind up building. Ex-Nazi’s built this. This is a German car built right after the War. It is a Messerschmitt. A one seat death-trap. There are still some on the road but I would of course prefer the Dodge. After all, I’m a car guy. Even this brand new Smart car doesn’t interest me. Small cars just don’t a thing for me. I’ll take the SUV behind the Smart car.
I certaintly do not want to drive a government mandated car. The last two governments, I’m aware of, that built cars did not survive let alone the cars they built. Who still owns a Yugo? Raise your hands. That’s what I thought. And who wants to buy a Soviet-Union era Lada? I hear Putin Automotive has several used one’s for sale. I’m not sure they still run. Caveat emptor.
Rep. Alan Grayson, Democrat, from Florida deserves the praise of the Nation for this interrogation, and a medal.
For the Uhmm’s and Uhh’s given in response to Grayson’s pointed questions, I can only conclude the Federal Reserve has gotten caught with it’s hand in the cookie jar.
Sometime back I read the book “The Creature from Jekyl Island,” which laid out just this kind of scenario as I recall. (It’s been years since I read the book). What I do remember is that a private corporation with a money-printing press, and no oversight (That is the Federal Reserve) was a very broad path to disaster. It seems as though the disaster has arrived.
According to the Grayson $9,000,000,000,000.00 (Nine Trillion Dollars) has been doled out to who knows, for unknown purposes, without the least concern by the bureaucrat charged with watching out for us, the taxpayers.
I’m just sayin’, I didn’t get any of this money, so don’t blame me. I didn’t vote for this either.