Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Love Isn't. . .

Years ago, back when I still acquired my daily dose of news from a newspaper, I always finished up by turning to the comic page looking for the touching, single frame cartoon titled “Love Is...” by artist Kim Casali.  It featured two cherub-like characters sketched in scenarios that represented a simplistic definition of what love is. “Love is...your anchor” “Love is...when it’s just great being together” “Love is...sharing the same dream”. The sweet little couple expressed the never ending positive views of love and over time “Love is...” became an industry and familiar iconic phrase in modern lexicon. 

Love is... (fill in the blank).

In the English language the word “love” is more or less generic and used to cover all manner of ways for one to express devotion or affection for another unlike in the Greek which distinguishes love in several senses depending on the way in which the word is used. For example, ancient Greek has the words philia, or brotherly love, eros, physical love, agape, idealistic love, and storge, for child/parent love. 

Christians believe that to love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important kinds of love in life. The Apostle Paul glorified love as the most important virtue of all. Describing love in the famous poem in 1 Corinthians, he wrote, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres."

The short version of first Corinthians 13:4-8, as used frequently in wedding ceremonies, lists fifteen attributes of love, seven of which speaks of what love is and does. The remaining eight items addresses things that love isn’t. For example, love is not jealous, envious or possessive.

In my life I have had more than enough experience with the complex and various manifestations of love that has taught me how to discern when love is genuine, whether  it is agape, philos, eros, or storge, and when it is something else masquerading as love. Unfortunately, because love taps into emotions instead of intellect, love is easy to imitate. Love can often be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a dark devourer dressed in artificial light. Synthetic love is enticing and speaks glibly, making promises it rarely keeps or, even worse, enslaves with guilt because of promises endowed. In comparison, real love does more and speaks less. 

Of all the things that love is, there are as many attributes that love, real love, is not.  Most importantly, among these, love does not loudly demand loyalty, rather it chooses to earn devotion gently, quietly. Sometimes, because of circumstances and affiliations, one might find it easier to capitulate to the dictates of imitation love, if only to silence the din. That’s when real love shows its true character by remaining even more silent. That’s when real love waits patiently, never drawing attention to itself, never issuing ultimatums or imposing its own will. For this reason real love is often taken for granted and/or ignored. It is the first great failing of humans, to misinterpret what love really is. The second is assuming that real love never needs anything in return. But even love eventually needs affirmation of love and loyalty back, needs reciprocating, because though real love is indeed patient... it isn’t blind. 

Love is...often better revealed in what love isn’t.

The beginning of a brand new year is the best time to figure out and stand up for real love. 

For Christ,

(Rev. 2:1) To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks:  (2:2) I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false;  (2:3) and thou hast patience and didst bear for my name's sake, and hast not grown weary.  (2:4) But I have [this] against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love.  (2:5) Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013


As the year wraps up, it’s a common practice to reflect on the previous twelve months and count blessings, failures, successes and, above all, what was learned, if anything. At least I do. I’ve been measuring my progress in yearly increments since childhood. Some years I proudly note strides, other years I barely manage to claim having maintained status quo. All in all, in this winding down stage, I am grateful for anything and everything, including status quo. Mostly I live in my own little world anyway, but they know me here so it’s okay. Whatever I do, or don’t do, accomplish or not, isn’t earth-changing and isn’t the thing that everything else is hinged upon, which is not a small comfort, I admit.

This year, however, I’m more focused on something other than my own report; I’ve been thinking about the impact of silence and when it is a good thing as well as when it is bad.

Silence is a noun but it can also be a powerful verb. In the doing it can often accomplish ten-fold more than the noise of disingenuous words. So, silence used properly can shut down contentious debates and quickly remove the vehicle for nefarious lying. Who hasn’t resorted to silence on occasion to put an end to conflict? When one is hiding from a threat, one instinctively goes silent and thus silence becomes a defense mechanism. Sometimes silence is often the only possible equalizer in a situation where there can never be balance or consensus. Faced with knowing that what one has to say has no chance of being heard, one is effectively muted for lack of fuel to continue.

I can recall several occasions, and for different reasons, that I have utilized silence as a way to declare there was nothing left to say. In each case I will never know whether or not my silence caused angst or frustration or any kind of detriment though I can assume it did because the absence of sound usually leaves a void of unanswered questions on both ends. Life is rarely tidy and sometimes things must simply hang out unfinished, unresolved and left to ongoing speculation, if for nothing else, in the interest of prudence. Sometimes this kind of non-ending is merited because it was inevitable anyway, other times it’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when it wasn’t expected or foreseen. It just happens, like a blow from behind, and then...nothing, no reason, no explanation. 

There have been times when I elected to go silent to stop myself from saying something I instinctively knew I might regret someday; a classic example of silence being golden. 

Many times I have been able to walk away from strife of one kind or another by choosing to shut up so I can easily sympathize with someone else who takes that road. And this is why I am unable to judge another for doing so; I get it, completely. But there is a subtle difference between acquiescing to keep the peace, and knuckling under to sinister intentions or influence. That is when silence, coerced in one way or another, is most assuredly not gold. 

The decision to speak or not speak is always a painful judgment call. There are times when words left unspoken are the very ones that should have been said even though breaking the silence risks causing discord. Wars have be launched on less. Stephen, the Apostle, found out the dire consequences of choosing to speak over remaining silent. But what he said needed saying and though he paid the ultimate price for it, he looked up to glimpse his reward for having said it.

Personally, and keeping it real, I’ve never experienced a reconciliation once silence has fully closed a door, whether I closed it or it was closed on me. But I am experienced enough to realize and accept that, even though silence most definitely is better than witless yammering, a day is rapidly approaching, if not already here, when those who choose silence for the wrong reasons, find out that while a thing said cannot be unsaid, a thing that ought to be said does far more damage in all directions when it is silenced.

What I learned in 2013 about silence is that it works both ways, for good and for bad.  Knowing the difference is the blessing. 

For Christ,

(Acts 7:57) But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord;  (7:58) and they cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.  (7:59) And they stoned Stephen, calling upon [the Lord], and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.  (7:60) And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

And The Day Came

On the last day of school, in June, 1965, I stood in the parking lot and paused to look back at the buildings that had been the central focus of my life for the previous four years and marveled. It was almost too much to absorb–I was graduating. It was over. All the fun, the angst, the work, the studying, homework, tests, the daily structure, routine. Done. The day that I had only imagined for most of my life what it would feel like had finally come. 

In the decades since, I’ve had numerous similarly epiphanic days, wedding day, childbirth, grandchildren birth, death of a parent, each and all moments noted with a sober recognition of how a thing hoped for, dreaded, or otherwise anticipated, finally does happen, no matter how long it seemed to take in the coming. 

Twenty-eight centuries ago, God’s prophet, Isaiah, proclaimed a child would be born who would change everything. Isaiah didn’t say when this miracle would occur, just that it would. Eight centuries after Isaiah’s prediction, Jesus was indeed born in a most unexpected way and place in Bethlehem. In the lengthy time span from the original prophesy to the ultimate fulfillment, there was plenty of speculation about how and when the day would unfold. Over time, assumptions distorted the great Jewish hope from birth of a savior to expectation of a warrior deliverer. Some had all but forgotten about the promise altogether. Not surprisingly, when the day did come, many did not recognize the meek and non-warrior like personage of Jesus. If it had not been for some selective angel visits to shepherds and a dedicated group of wise men, the birth of Emmanuel, God With Us, might have gone completely unnoticed. And surely this was by Divine design. 

The thing about time is that God owns it and He is therefore not bound by our clocks and calendars so He does things in His way and in His time, to our dismay. But, without a doubt, He does keep His promises. Isaiah counted on the birth of the Prince of Peace, though he didn’t live to see Him, but because he trusted implicitly that God does keep promises. 

Two thousand years hence, Christians still celebrate the Promise that Jesus will return. Those who like to point out that it isn’t going to happen because it has taken too long just don’t understand about God’s timing, God’s expectations of patience from His faithful and God’s undeniable reliability. Like the Jews before us, we anticipate the Day without giving up because we know He is faithful. He will come, as promised. It’s scheduled. Not even Jesus could say the hour or the day, only our Father in Heaven has that privileged information. 

But one day, just when many have forgotten or given up, when the concept of Christ’s return has become a vague memory, He will keep the appointment and the long awaited Day will happen. 

And we will marvel.

Merry Christmas
(not happy holidays or season’s greetings)

For Him,

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

In The Bleak Mid-Winter

In the bleak mid-winter, the frosty wind did moan
The earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone
Snow had fallen softly, snow on snow on snow
In the bleak mid-winter, oh so long ago

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him nor the earth sustain
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign
In the bleak mid-winter a stable place sufficed

For the Lord almighty, Jesus Christ
Oh, what can I give Him, woeful as I am
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb
If I were a wise man, oh, I would do my part

Yet, what can I give Him 
I will give my heart
Oh, what can I give Him 
I will give my heart 

In the timeline of modern mankind, regardless how one perceives the when, how and why homo sapiens came into existence, there are repeating patterns of periods of humankind rising to a state of relative excellence and then subsequently plummeting into abject misery, which seems to be fallen man’s natural state. 

Keeping it real, there has never been a Utopian time on earth, nor can there be as devised by man. Nevertheless, there have been eras when peace was more prevalent than strife, creative human endeavors–art, literature,  music–impacted civilization positively instead of negatively, and psychotic behavior, deemed unacceptable, was a more manageable social ill. 

In these short periods of civilized growth, reason, logic and innovation flourished. The hallmarks of mankind on the ascent include, but are not limited to, the attributes of, honesty, honor/personal integrity, benevolence, selflessness, and a humble recognition of a fundamental moral law as set in place by a divine higher authority.  

Conversely, on the descent, mankind firstly and always adamantly rejects all notion of divine authority and moral law, readily embraces lies, lying, and liars as the norm and therefore becomes, by choice, untrustworthy, self-centered, and given over to crass, simple-minded language and lewd visual/auditory stimulus, abandoning any and all things time-proven, in a mindless pursuit to satisfy addictions to and insatiable hungers for counter-productive things that lead ultimately to self-destruction. 

In a declining era, any possibility of great uplifting thinking, common sense, and pursuit of true spiritual righteousness must be abandoned and dismissed as archaic, out of date, and useless in order to further the cause of a society based on self-worship. In the last stages, these qualities often must be made illegal. 

This is not new; it is an ancient pattern and the Bible chronicles this continuing process, from way back when to right now, the rising up and falling down, and the subsequent crying out for the very mercy so easily having been dismissed as myth and superstition. The woefully addicted shake their fists and shout, “Where is God?” when they finally hit bottom, analogous to children who disobey in self-assured insubordination only to instantly wail for help when things go awry, illusions dissolve, and life becomes untenably real.

In His unfathomable mercy, God, having grown tired of watching the reruns, gave us a way out of this unfortunate accumulatively destructive pattern. He gave us a new, indestructible temple, not made with hands, and a balanced, sustaining way of life. Not a new religion, not an updated, revised, more tolerant moral law. But a Divinely Ordered, Unimpeachable Standard that is not bound to the vulnerabilities and whims of this doomed planet. 

As the bleak mid-winter of decimated morals and self-idolization implodes into itself, as it must, know there is a warm safe place, where in to hide from the chaos, that He established for those who are willing to enter. But also know that the call, once and always a gentle offer to, “Come ye out” is now being effectively silenced by the roar of the beast. To hear it, your ears must be fully open. To obey it, you must be willing to be an unacceptable, rejected oddball. 

To trust it, you must completely let go of your own understanding and give Him your heart, fearlessly.

For Christ,


“Merry Christmas!” She said, and then she winked, as they hauled her off to a reeducation camp. No one ever saw her again but some never forgot her smile. It wasn’t so much defiant as it was peaceful, as though she was assured completely how it all would end–no matter what they wanted everyone to believe.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Taking a Break

Sometimes I have so much to say, I work on drafts of two or three posts simultaneously. It's as though everything is mixed together in the bottom of a long-necked bottle and fighting to get out the narrow passage. I often struggle with hanging it up and quitting because, in fact, it matters very little what I think, so why say it? This is where I am today so I conclude that perhaps I need a break, need to get quiet, ask some questions, get some clarity.

In the meantime, I'll leave this up for the joy of it.

Uniquely Performed 'Angels We Have Heard On High' Will Astound You from djbeats on GodTube.

For Christ,

(Luke 2:8) And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.  (2:9) And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  (2:10) And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people:  (2:11) for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


tradition |trəˈdiSHən|
1 the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way an age-old tradition: custom, practice, convention, ritual, observance, way, usage, habit, institution; formal praxis.

My sister Jo and I had lunch at the local Cracker Barrel where Christmas 2013 is in full swing. Thanksgiving is late this yeargotta get on with it. Even so, there is nothing I don’t love about that place. I’ve often remarked I could live there. They could put a cot for me in the back room. I could eat three great meals a day. In exchange I could stay on exhibition like a fossil encased in stone among the relics and memorabilia of the vaguely familiar traditions long retired. 

Moseying around, all my senses fully engaged in the sparkling new as well as the worn-out rusty old on display,  I thought about this dynamic and how, because of nothing more than age, I have witnessed the cycle of life through several generations, family traditions created, then adjusted to accommodate the ever changing circumstances, starting with my own childhood core family, through the growing up of my children and now my grandchildren. It seems, in the middle of a growing family stage and the traditions we enjoy, we are given to believe they will continue forever. We never consider otherwise. And then, one day, life does what it does and the old is set aside to make way for the new. 

The word ‘tradition’ brings to mind unchanging, standard, something forever expectable and memorable. In truth, over time, it’s a challenge to maintain our little rituals and customs because time inevitably rearranges things. Families mature, expand and shrink; life, above all, is a living thing. Kids, the primary reason for establishing traditions, grow up and out and evolve into the inescapable–the establishment of their own traditions. 

It’s called the circle of life. And it’s okay.

This process is nothing if not traditional. But in this age, when new and improved is constantly seeking to displace what is old, ergo that which is deemed traditional, old has suddenly become outdated before it has fully finished it’s usefulness. New for the sake of being the latest greatest thing is very often not even a close second to what it replaces in terms of function. More often than not, the update/upgrade/innovation doesn’t even work as well–if at all. But it doesn’t matter because next week it will be revised anyway. 

Regardless my decades of experience seeing things come and go, traditions formed and reformed, and this can be extended to include morals, ideals, religions, philosophies, inventions and customs morphing from one thing into another, I have never seen such manic acceleration as there is now. There’s a saying that life speeds up as you age but I recognize something else happening, dark and potentially destructive, which does not bode well. I’m seeing something symptomatic of a more troubling force in play. When there is no longer enough time allotted to develop a tradition because the next new thing is already in queue to render all before it obsolete, the inevitable happens. When fundamental, foundational, age-proven conventions are relegated to the archives and replaced with short-term, short-sighted praxis, civilization rapidly declines into the abyss of self-destruction. 

Clearly, there is no time for tradition nowadays. Life has become one giant frenzied expectation for the next concept/thing that must replace the one before it. Of course, most of this is in large part attributable to the beast of commerce and its ever insatiable hunger that devours us in great greedy gulps as we pretend we are better for it and that we even like it. 

I don’t know about you, but I prefer slow and easy, everything allowed its time to be, time to mellow, come to fruition and shape impressions that become strong guidelines for constructive, productive living. Yes, I’m an old fogey and I could easily fit into the decor of Cracker Barrel, along with the remnants of the traditions of our American past. But I’d rather be a relic that still works, (even without a battery) though. I just would. Stable, reliable, nurturing, up-building, antithesis to decimating, these attributes describe the function of long-established tradition.

Isn’t something old that still works better than something all shiny new that doesn’t? 

For Christ,

(Daniel 12:3) And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.  (12:4) But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

a million little ways

This is one of those posts I’m going to have to work my way through to find out how to say what I really want to say without penning a book length discourse or baring too much of my inner soul. 

Once in awhile, God reveals Himself to us in a totally unexpected way but always in perfect timing. I’m skipping past the how to the what here when I tell you I read a book that should be required reading for anyone who has lost hope of ever finding his/her joyful art. I’m not talking about what most people call art - painting, drawing, photography, although those fall into ‘art’ category. I’m referring to the art that everyone is born to live. As the author, Emily P. Freeman, explains:

“You were born to make art. You were made to live art. You might not see yourself as an artist, but you are–in so many unexpected ways. In what you create, whether poetry or pie, sculpture or sand castle, calligraphy or conversation. It’s time to uncover the shape of your soul, turn down the voice of the inner critic, and move into the world with the courage to be who you most deeply are.
Creating a life of meaning is not about finding that one great thing you were made to do, it’s about knowing the one great God you were made to glorify–in a million little ways.”

As old as I am, even as most of my creativity years are well behind me, I am still able to find ways to make my art (so long as I don’t have to lift anything heavy or climb ladders) so this book was as relevant to me, at this late hour, as it would have been 30 to 40 years ago. No matter how old we are, we all crave validation and it is within our own individual art that we fulfill our purpose and therefore experience our joy.

What sets this book apart from the plethora of self-help books lining the shelves of bookstores, is, first, the author’s exquisite writing, both poetically soft and killing sharp at the same time; in the fewest words she ably comforts and consoles and then wields an edge that slices deep.

“We cannot wait until we feel courageous to make art even as we wait for the courage to come.
Courage bleeds neediness.
Courage sees hope in dark places.
Courage leans heavy on Jesus and moves in the middle of fear.”

Secondly, more than her talent to craft images with words as skillfully as a master artist uses paint on canvas, she validates the Christian’s point of view by adroitly incorporating and crediting Christ as the whole reason we need to uncover our art. It is a complete circle. The Great Creator makes us in His image and then imbues us with talents that we derive joy from as we serve Him with our gifts. 

Freeman’s pure, joyful relationship with God, without the tangled clutter of the do’s and don’t of modern dogma, is an additional plus and, if nothing else, reason enough to read this book. It’s about as accessible, clear and clean a glimpse into real Christianity as you’ll find in a book labeled “Christian”.

I could go on but time is wasting. Get this book.   
a million little ways by emily p. freeman

For Him,


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Try Again

I tried to embed a Godtube video yesterday but it didn't work. I really want to share this very special rendition of I Need Thee Every Hour by a young man who obviously put in a lot of effort to create it. So, I am trying again and if the embedded video doesn't show up, you can still access it HERE.

For Christ,

An Acapella Hymn 'I Need Thee Every Hour' Like You've Never Heard It Before from djbeats on GodTube.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


(Acts 27:14-22) But after no long time there beat down from it a tempestuous wind, which is called Euraquilo:  (15) and when the ship was caught, and could not face the wind, we gave way [to it,] and were driven.  (16) And running under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were able, with difficulty, to secure the boat:  (17) and when they had hoisted it up, they used helps, under-girding the ship; and, fearing lest they should be cast upon the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and so were driven.  (18) And as we labored exceedingly with the storm, the next day they began to throw the [the freight] overboard;  (19) and the third day they cast out with their own hands the tackling of the ship.  (20) And when neither sun nor stars shone upon [us] for many days, and no small tempest lay on [us,] all hope that we should be saved was now taken away.  (21) And when they had been long without food, then Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have set sail from Crete, and have gotten this injury and loss.  (22) And now I exhort you to be of good cheer; for there shall be no loss of life among you, but [only] of the ship.  

lifeline |ˈlīfˌlīn|
1 a thing on which someone or something depends or which provides a means of escape from a difficult situation: faith is a lifeline for the hopeless.

No matter how many times I read Holy Scripture, I am often stunned to see a new perspective in the Word. This is singularly attributable to maturing in the spirit and my ever continuing readiness to see a Biblical lesson. It’s rarely like a bolt of lightening, and never a revelation that could be labeled as ‘new interpretation’, but rather just a grown up understanding of what has always been there to be seen. Truly the Bible is a living Word. 

Recently, reading in Acts, the last chapters, once again I found Paul a prisoner on a ship bound for an interview with Caesar. The Jews wanted him eliminated. He was making too many waves in the religious community, drawing away too many faithful to become followers of The Way. They didn’t like it, so they asked the Romans to do their dirty work for them, find him guilty and execute him. 

In ancient Asia, things didn’t move as quickly as they do now. Paul spent several years as a prisoner, awaiting fair trial. As a natural born Roman citizen, he was entitled to be heard. Though the Jews made up a case against him, the local authorities, having interviewed him, couldn’t find a thing worth executing him for. They kept passing the buck until eventually he was sent off for a face to face with the big guy. 

This took time too because he had to be transported on a ship, airplanes and other modern transportation not yet having been invented. Winter was coming and Paul warned them they should port until after the threat of storms had passed. They didn’t listen, of course. Sure enough, they found themselves in a tempest for weeks. They couldn’t eat, they couldn’t sleep. They had to toss over goods to lighten the load. They believed they were going to die. Paul assured them that he was destined to be interviewed by Caesar and they also would be spared by God’s mercy. And that is exactly what happened, even though the ship was destroyed.

All these years, reading this story, imagining the little Roman vessel tossed about, the crew desperately hanging on, soaked to the skin, seasick and without hope, I never noticed one little thing, until this last read through. 

Paul suffered right along with the rest. He was tossed and soaked and sick and hungry and sleep deprived. He went through exactly what the crew did. But he had one thing they did not. He had faith and foreknowledge that he would be spared. 

How significant a thing is faith? How do we ignore the lifeline that keeps us looking up and out, keeps us holding on? How can we trust a manmade doctrine that lulls us into believing we don’t really have to have faith like Paul in the Tempest if we just believe that we won’t have to go through the Tempest? 

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, just like Paul warning the crew who would not listen, the Tempest is upon us, dearhearts. The waves of judgment are about to engulf us. We cannot prepare for this physically, only spiritually. It’s time to grow up and realize that God often spares us but only after we survive the storm. It’s the faith that we will  survive, no matter what, that is our lifeline. 

For Him,

God is waiting to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him. He invites us to prove Him. He longs to demonstrate what He can do, exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, great and mighty things which we know not.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

This is our Father’s world. God is still on the throne of creation. Call on Him and He will answer.  ~ Vance Havner

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Groupthink 6.0

Have you noticed the strange and growing disconnect between what is real and what is fake that is effectively disabling common sense? FYI, this didn’t happen over night; this debilitating condition evolved slowly over time. It’s clear for me that we have been socially engineered to accept, without question, that which is not real through the ever mounting volume of advertising and fiction thrown at us daily. Fiction has become our new standard so we are fully prepped to believe whatever we are told to believe even if it flies in the face of common sense. This process wasn’t an accident either. It was a agenda that is now almost fully installed.  

I understand the process of flooding brains with untruth until it becomes the substitutionary reality because during the course of one of my ‘careers’ I worked for a print ad agency. As a photo stylist I was energetically plugged into GroupThink 1.0. It was my OS for creating beautiful images incorporated into catalogs designed to entice the masses to buy, buy, buy. Of course, I didn’t see it as social manipulation then, for me, what I did was an art form as well as a job.  

One day the agency was bought out by a number cruncher company. In short order, the 'artists'–stylists, photographers, graphic designers, and support personnel were required to fill out daily time cards in six minute increments in military time. Suddenly numbers were more important than the art. Anyone who understands basic human nature could have easily predicted that within a few weeks, the artists, who were running from set to set all day in a 50,000 sq ft studio, and who didn’t have time to stop and fill out what they were doing every six minutes, would franticly fill out their previous day’s cards in the break room with totally fabricated information just before turning them in every morning.

It was my first exposure to the insanity of the modern computer age concept of productivity determined by numeric computation. After six weeks of collecting and evaluating the completely erroneous data amassed from the CACs (Creative Allocation Card) the managers gathered us together to announce their great pleasure in the  success of the program and how it was helping to forge increased efficiency. 

I recall that moment so vividly because it was a major life lesson. Not a single face betrayed the secret. Not a twitch, not a smirk. We, who knew the numbers were fiction, would carry on doing our jobs anyway. Those, whose jobs were to run algorithms all day, would do theirs. The work on the catalogs we produced would meet the deadlines just as they had before and the number crunchers would believe their mysterious mathematical computations–garnered from false information–were what had made it happen. The newly manufactured ‘truth’ would replace the reality and appear to run things. It was my first encounter with a matrix world where concept replaces substance, where uncountable human variables could seem to be contained within inhuman numeric formulas as though humanity could at last be converted to robotic efficiency and obedience.  

Of course, the matrix isn’t real and eventually what is unreal always and finally disintegrates leaving those who believed the created reality confused and bewildered, and prepared to  engage Blameshift 3.0. Because in the untrue, unreal world, what is plain and simply true must always be obscured to maintain the illusion of the Groupthink 6.0 Operating System. 

If you haven’t figured it out, Groupthink is not God’s System. 

Update: When truth finally prevails, and it will, as it must, the veil created by the lies of  false 1’s and 0’s will fall... and the final update will never need updating again.

For Him,

(Daniel 12:4) But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Through a Glass Darkly

We like to think of ourselves as generally and acceptably smart. Mostly we are not, at least in regards to the things that truly matter in the universe. In fact, we rarely see the big picture, choosing instead to embrace that which acceptably fits within our comfort zone of existence. Though there is always a solid bedrock of truth that can be accessed with some effort and a measure of discomfort, it is often obscured by layers and layers of soft, comforting, untruth that swaddles our intellect and psyche. Thus we tidily force the universe to conform to our understanding and we confine it within our boundaries. It does make more sense that way. 

My rule of thumb for discerning who and what is true has always been by observing actions, and whether or not they align with spoken words. This, as a safe-guard, has served me well. Though I find in my mature years this has also turned me somewhat cynical. Because I have seen behavior continuously betraying well-spoken words over and over again, coming from every corner, political, religious and personal encounters, I have developed a quick-draw response mechanism that leaves me instantly aware of disingenuousness and I am resigned that not only do liars abound, but also that people, in general, seem to prefer lies. Further, rarely can one be dissuaded from what he/she is determined to believe, even if there is empirical evidence to the contrary. As a Christian, I constantly struggle against this pragmatic, if not cold, attitude; I am supposed to hope for the best at all times.

So, hope I do. But hoping does not change what I see. And what I see is that the god of this world has been unleashed to freely harvest those who prefer to be content with what seems right and who therefore choose to ignore what they really see and what experiential evidence could reveal to them, if they but wanted to see. It is a sad report that in this evil age, the advice to, believe what is done and not what is said, is not enough armor. There is a seeping fog, an illusion, spreading that is dulling all the senses. Nowadays one can hardly believe what one sees even less than what one hears. What is real anymore? What is earnest, standard, reliable? What is true? If we cannot believe what we see or hear, how do we preserve integrity? How do we maintain discernment and equilibrium? How can we think of ourselves as ‘smart’ if we are so easily manipulated?

In this ‘feel-good’ era where comfort and happiness, not truth, is the primary goal of human existence, self-righteousness swells up to become the substitutionary delusion that gently reconfigures vision to conform to the path of least resistance. Within the fog, where vision and hearing is impaired, one can rationalize and ignore those conflicting bits of experience and visual evidence that might counter and, at the least, present arguments against persuaded judgment. It is in the dim light where one tends to make excuses for what is seen because it is blurry and out of focus. In this altered state one easily succumbs to the temporary created reality. And it will feel good and right, for a time.

But bedrock truth is not just fundamental, it is eternal. It is the difference between gold and glitter. Though not always as attractive as artificial turf neatly spread out over the remains of a festering dump, on bedrock is where one is supposed to build one’s house, if one wishes to  be able to stand against the coming storm. 

As a Christian, I am supposed to hold out hope that those who are called, no matter how far away they stray, will open their eyes, look out, and see through the glass clearly. It would be dishonest if I said I am not disheartened when I see that eyes are not only not opening, they seem to be obstinately held shut and more eyes closing every day. 

This I know, every word I have typed can be interpreted according to the reader’s perspective, either getting or missing my point entirely, and, frankly this is my greatest frustration. Nevertheless, though hope fades, I continue to pray even if some do choose to refuse to see. It isn’t my words that can clear up fogged vision, anyway. 

It is the sudden terrifying rush of realization that we are finite, and accountable, and that one day each of us is destined to find out what is true, whether we believed it or not. 

For Christ,

(1 Corinthians 13:10-12) but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.  (13:11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things.   For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.