Saturday, July 27, 2013

Advertising, News, and Other Lies

(John 8:43-45) Why do ye not understand my speech? [Even] because ye cannot hear my word.  (8:44) Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and standeth not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.  (8:45) But because I say the truth, ye believe me not.  

Lies, lying, and the love of lies has been with us since Satan promised Eve she ‘surely would not die’ if she took a bite of the forbidden fruit. You might be shocked to know that Adolf Hitler said, “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” The problem, of course, is that the ‘least intelligent’ have no idea they are thusly disabled and therefore have no built-in defense against the barrage of lies that come at us all day, in all ways possible. 

A dumbed down populace is an easy target.

It occurred to me that, although this era is no different than any other in terms of lies used as weapons to subjugate and manipulate us, this era is unlike all others previous because of unlimited access to us. How many lies do you suppose you are told on any given day? Through interactions with individuals, but mostly through media, TV, radio, print advertising, news accessed via Internet on computers, large and small, smart phones and iPads. Human nature being largely unchangeable, we have learned to deflect, ignore and dismiss most of it. We DVR our favorite programs and then fast-forward through the commercials. We click the X to ‘skip ad’ so we can read an article. We toss, unopened, the envelope full of coupons for duct-cleaning and BOGO dinners. We ignore giant billboards and signs on moving vehicles. We flip past the full page ads in magazines. 

Those with average intelligence know that most of what is pushed at us is either out and out lies or truth stretched beyond recognition. But still there is an undeniable impact. We are so accustomed to being lied to, we have been conditioned to expect lies, and, what’s worse, we have adapted to the illusions swirling around us as though they are a new kind of truth. Expedient, useful, exaggerated, pretty, wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if-that-was-real, non-truth is actually embraced as something as good as the real thing now. 

This is the dangerous part. 

Once we have been reprogramed to expect we are being lied to, the next stage is that we just ‘go with it’, slowly forgetting how to tell the difference between lies and truth. Slowly adjusting to the ‘popular comfortable lie’ and ultimately rejecting the more painful, disappointing truth, until finally the liars with the self-serving dark agendas are able to lie with impunity and no one knows the difference. 

Here’s a painful truth, though, that the liars don’t understand–God knows. He knows the difference. 

For Christ,

(Revelation 22:14) Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right [to come] to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.  (22:15) Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This Moment

Confession: I’ve been thinking about packing it in–ending this blog. Every morning, reading the headlines confirms what I have quietly been resigning myself to, i.e., the Hand of protection has been lifted and the asylum has been turned over to the psychopaths. Worse, it cannot get better before it gets way worse and I can hardly bear to think about what that even means. In this blog I’ve tried to speak about this moment in time in simple language, using analogy and other creative tools of written communication, in order to stay away from making this just another ‘End of the World’ religious nut blog. 

Trying to be subtle, my goal was to warn without fear mongering, to encourage those with ears to hear and eyes to see that what is happening in real time, all over the world,  to warn that it will not unfold as we have been preached to for eons that it would. How many ways can it be said without actually saying that those who are clinging to the man-made doctrines are seeking comfort in the wrong hope? Do you know what happens when you believe in and place your hopes in illusion? You lose your faith when it dissolves and then leaves you vulnerable. Only those with simple abiding faith outside of doctrine can find hope in the worst of circumstances.

In the wee hours of this morning, I was semi-awake, just conscious enough to pray and ask for an answer, “What do You want me to do? Is there anything else I can say? What can I do for You? I’ve run out of my own words, Lord, and they aren’t paying attention anyway.”

I fell back into a fitful, tossing-turning sleep. And then the words came, fluid, fast. I even stopped to wonder if I would remember come daylight. Well, I did. These are the words that came. Pay attention, or don’t.

When one has lived a span of six and a half decades, there are many moments in the timeline that stand out, in the wisdom of hindsight, that can be pointed to as definitive markers of significant change. However, only rarely do we recognize, in the moment, that something has occurred that turns the tide, derails, or reroutes us. We aren’t astute enough, but mostly we just aren’t paying attention to the signs–His signs, not man’s  interpretations of His signs–when they are given.

I was born shortly after WW2, the war that should have ended all wars. But it didn’t, of course, because war and conflict is the natural state of humans who can never fix themselves, make themselves evolve to good and peaceful, loving, tolerant, non-violent, non-biased, non-racist, all embracing, self-evolved perfected beings. While the ideology is grand and noble, it leaves out the unfixable reality of self-centered human nature. More importantly it ignores the part that is absolutely required for real change–recognition of sin, repentance and surrender to the Creator. Ideologues have been seeking formulas for human improvement, without God, forever. It’s been tried over and over again, it fails and then goes dormant for a bit, returning under another name, with a new generation of eager, passionate followers. Most often it has come in the form of dictatorships, disguised as champions of benevolent, equitable hope and change. Then, when the truth comes out, as it always does, revolution puts a big bloody swipe in the timeline. 
It has also come in the form of convoluted and oppressive religion. When the shiny wears off and the truth is exposed, it retreats to lick its wounds, regroup and returns as reconfigured, amalgamated doctrine, that is more inclusive and hopefully more appealing to the greater masses. Apostate in every way possible. Sure looks good though, good enough to suck in many a foolish follower, who prefers shallow passion to genuine heart-wrenching conviction.

Again, if you are spiritually mature, you see the truth of what is under all this. It is the age-old struggle. Satan has a big bag of tricks. And God allows him to use them to test and refine the faithful. Some pass, some don’t. It usually comes down to self-will. Human nature allowed to triumph. Satan claims the win.

In this moment in the timeline we clearly have reached the ‘so what?’ stage. It doesn’t matter what lies are told with straight face, what egregious, unconscionable acts are perpetrated on the masses while using the most eloquent rhetoric, the arrogant response has suddenly changed from “I don’t know” to “So what, what are you going to do about it?” 

And the answer is, nothing. Because there is nothing we can do about it except surrender–to the only One who is worth surrendering to. The one thing that is fundamental to know about surrendering to Christ is that it is a solitary decision and walk, requiring less from the world, more of Him. But once you truly have, all your bad choices and misspent yesterdays matter so much less than the new day you are in and the possibilities of better, fruitful days going forward. When you arrive at that place you need very little else, and you will suddenly understand that true repentance instantly changes your focus from yourself, your predicaments, your needs, to Him and what He needs from you. This is the tell that defines true Christians apart from the pretenders, those wolves in sheep’s clothing–those who look good, and even sound good, but have hidden selfish intentions of promoting Good for Goodness sake ideologies/theologies that have nothing to do with true Godliness. I make no distinction between the politicians and the preachers.

Whether you recognize it or not, we have reached a pivotal moment when all of the tricks are now in play. As scary, intimidating, and overwhelming as it all seems, just know it’s really all one big delusion created to keep you from seeking the Confidence of Christ where you can be assured that God has this. Hide in Christ, beloved. If you are tested hard, just listen, trust and obey and you’ll pass with flying colors. 

If you don’t understand all this, know this one thing, the truly faithful don’t find solace in believing we’ll be spared hardship or knowing the outcome will be good, rather true faith allows that solace finds us in the middle of being tried and tested. 

For Christ,

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Woke up this morning to torrential downpour. It promises to continue today and into tomorrow, July 4, 2013. Though we’ve had rainy 4th’s before, the last time I recall having to completely cancel our traditional gathering was nearly 20 years ago. July 1994 was one of the rainiest summer months on record for this area. Caused lots of flooding and put the kibosh on many holiday parties, not to mention firework displays. 

We were moving to our first lake house that weekend but we had still planned to have a cookout and maybe put up with the long car line to see the annual fireworks sponsored by Lanier Lake. But the relentless rain shut that down completely. 

This morning, 19 years later, looking out the window as the island in the middle of the pond began to disappear beneath the rising water, I saw a frightening analogy. 

We, as a nation, are sinking beneath the waters of determined change. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with change, and, as the saying goes, nothing is as constant as change, historically speaking, change that seeks to alter and/or destroy what has proven to be solid and foundational to growth and prosperity, ultimately self-implodes eventually, and sooner more often than later. The jackals of change always turn on themselves because they only care about empowering themselves. Unfortunately the damage done before that happens requires long-term repair. 

This is not a new phenomenon; it’s happened numerous times over the centuries to countries rising and falling. There’s another old saying, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Some things will just never work. 

But this time seems to be different somehow. It’s reached a fever pitch. Almost as though there’s a sense that time is running out, there’s a psychotic frenzy underneath every new push to eradicate everything that once was revered as fundamental to the makeup of this country, the underpinnings that have made this country the one that people everywhere want to come to. This country, the one that has always stood for individual rights and freedoms, opportunities to pursue dreams and hopes.

This country, is now sinking under the fluid lies, drowning under the redefinitions of the basic principles that created it–and all for what? So that we can all be equally impoverished, equally unable to think via the exceptional individualism that has defined us for 237 years as Americans? So that we can all be enslaved to a few who think they know best how we should live, what we should eat, drink, say, think, do?

Rain is often a symbol for tears. It’s not just raining this 4th of July it’s pouring but what I can't help but imagine is that Heaven is sobbing. Regardless we'll carry on with our celebration, rain or shine, because who knows what next year will bring? Perhaps in the new egalitarian Utopia the parades and picnics and fireworks will be outlawed because, you know,  it might offend someone. 

For Christ,