It doesn't take much to make me happy, but then it doesn't take much to annoy me either.


First of all, I kind of don't like the word "religion" because it communicates all sorts of negative images... everything from a bureaucratic authoritarian organization all the way down to the personal feelings I had while sitting in church at St. Patrick's for 12:15p mass. Nothing good.

But I recognize in my life a yearning for God. Everything in my life takes place with a back drop of God in the background. Everything.

At first it was sort of unrecognized or undefined. But I remember as an 11 year-old kid picking up a bible and reading thru Proverbs. The quotes just seemed so true, so meaningful and wise. About the same age my father declared, for whatever reason I can't remember, that he thought I would end up becoming a priest. I had no such aspirations, but took it as a compliment.

At the age of 20, after having been raised a Catholic while attending Catholic schools and going to mass every Sunday, I had a conversion experience. I had been fascinated with the concept of learning and what a universal power it was - in attempting to write a paper about it for an English class I deducted that learning was so much more valuable than teaching. Teaching was good, but a teacher needs a student. If you want to be a student, you could learn from anything - no teacher required.

And this thought carried thru to realizing that God gave us this tremendous gift of being able learn without asking for anything in return. A gift with no strings attached. I could just as easily learn how to be a criminal as a scholar, yet God would not withhold the gift. And at that point I fell on my knees before the Lord in humble reverence, completely overwhelmed at this generosity.

It changed me. For the next few weeks my friends would comment that something about me was different. My response was that I didn't know what had happened but it had something to do with God. And from there I found my way to a small bible teaching church, found lifelong friends that loved me unconditionally, and became baptized as a Christian.

Now let me clarify something that absolutely must be said - I am not a good person. Here I am, 60 years-old today, and I have wasted so much of my life pursuing my own selfish wants and desires. I am no more generous or benevolent that the next person. I struggle with day-to-day urges, covet a lazy lifestyle, and generally have to fight to keep myself in a civilized fashion. I drink more than I should, smoke cigars endlessly (even as I write this) and if given the opportunity to stay at home wearing pajamas all day I would sign up without a second thought.

But one thing I have come to learn after understanding more of who God is, and that is that He loves me. There is not a single good reason for this other than because of who He is and what he has chosen to do. I am tremendously blessed because of this - my family is blessed because of this. It has nothing to do with me, so I claim no special abilities or rewards. But all throughout my life God has been there, either forefront as my conscious pursuit, or in background when I chose to walk away. He is faithful - I am not. He chooses to love me, even though my actions clearly show I love myself less. He is God, and I am not.

09 OCT 2019 - I've sort of renewed my efforts to spend time with God. Let me share how I came about this decision and what it's been like so far.

Part of my daily discipline is to do a workout every day. It's sort of a bastardized P90X workout, doing what I can and not worrying about the rest. (For those unfamiliar with P90X, that's one of their favorite slogans... "Do your best and forget the rest.")

Anyway, this is always a struggle but the benefits are huge, and so I fight to keep myself in a routine with daily workouts. And it is a battle - there are so many things that get in the way and I have to mentally lock in to force myself each day. Which is not uncommon so I'm not claiming any special circumstances here. The point is, working out is good for you and fighting with yourself mentally to make it happen is just a fact of life. You gotta do it.

Which led me to thinking, a spiritual workout is very similar. The benefits are huge, it often takes a mental mindset to make sure it happens, and just like a physical workout there's a growth factor where the more you do it the stronger you become.

Again, much like a physical workout, I decided instead of jumping in and spending hours with the Lord I would start small and work my way up. 10 minutes is all I'm aiming for. And as well with the physical, if I miss a session I try not to get too discouraged and focus on getting back in there the next time.

So what has it been like? Well, kind of what you would expect - nothing too impressive. I go someplace quiet, bow before the Lord, and as best I can empty my thoughts of anything except what is true. More often than not that brings to mind my own ineptitude and failures. This can be a challenge because it's easy to follow that path and wind up repeating over and over "I'm so sorry Lord, I've messed up so much." But I know God doesn't want to hear this endless wailing and quite honestly He already knows all of this - it's no surprise to Him! But I'm being as truthful as I can and so some of it is just an obvious outcome of of being completely honest. I can just hear the Lord: "Alright already, I get your point - move on!" As a result, I try not to dwell on that too much and recognize that God is aware of my fallen nature.

So another truth that has repeated itself is that by attempting to meet with the Lord I'm trying to encounter the God of the Universe. The Lord of Lords. The King of Kings. I'm thinking that if I am actually successful in this endeavor that it would have a profound affect... something along the lines of visions of grandeur or angels announcing the presence of God, or something totally amazing that overwhelms me. Guess what - none of that has happened.

And in facing that fact with as much truth as possible, I run up against the thought that maybe God doesn't want to meet with me. Now I don't really believe that - His love for us is beyond our understanding, far beyond what we can imagine - it has been described as larger than the east is from the west. That's pretty big and also very incomprehensible. But in pursuing this encounter with God everything can be considered and nothing is off the table. So I thought, what if God doesn't want to meet with me?

Here's where I went with that - God is so good, His presence is so overwhelming, and just being simply close to Him is so very very good that if He doesn't want to meet with me then I will draw as close as I can and be happy with that. Even if I have to take up residence outside His house, like a beggar living at His doorstep, is far better than any other outcome of my life. Even in that lowly position and place I will be far better off than without. And that's where I'm at so far - my goal to this point is to camp on His doorstep, recognizing I'm not even worthy of that, with the hope that the door will open and He comes out to greet me. Amen.

The last thing that I've come to realize is there's a danger to be faced that lives within me. You see, spending time with God is a noble thing to do and it's very VERY tempting to start puffing myself up, as though I'm becoming more special or something. This is unadulterated bullshit. It's a pedestal of bullshit that I want to stand on that will make me feel special or better. But it's a stinking odious worthless pile of manure that I would do well to kick aside. I'm no better than anyone else, and I've got the wasted life to prove it.

The truth - the unvarnished truth that will be an everlasting truth - is that I'm not worthy of His consideration. I have wasted so much of my life, so many blessings and resources spent foolishly pursuing my own selfish pleasure, so many years lost forever in such a wasted excuse for living - that there is simply no way for me to expect even the slightest honor or recognition. I don't deserve to draw near to God, and if He chooses to ignore me then He's got every right to do so.

Fortunately He specializes in cases like mine, and because of who He is (not because of me!) and because of what He has done (not anything I've done!) I will continue to camp on that doorstep hoping to draw near.

God is good. 

24 MAY 2019 - I really struggled with writing this out, actually even discussing it with others, as I feel it's a somewhat scary thing to consider. I think I've figured out how the world will end.

Yeah, I know this sounds pretty wacko and just to be clear I'm not talking about when the world will end. Scripture is unequivocal about predicting this date - nobody knows when, except God alone. But the way things are lining up these days it appears to be getting close and just enough puzzle pieces are fitting to get a more clear image.

Here's the deal.

If you're familiar with the book of Revelation you know about the mark of the beast. It's a number applied to everyone's hand or face and without it one cannot buy or sell anything. It's a very bad thing to have and seems pretty obvious that you don't want this number assigned to you. What always confused me, though, was if such a prophecy was so apparent, why would anyone agree to having a number assigned to them? As I considered this I reasoned that the only way it would be possible is if there were a worldwide cataclysmic event which made such a system seemingly necessary. Then and only then would a rational person, not having the Spirit of God but filled with the wisdom of man, agree to such a thing.

Combine this with the current rage of "climate emergency" (formerly "climate change", formerly "global warming", formerly "the coming ice age"). The believers of this hoax are convinced the world will end due to an oncoming disaster. Time and again their predictions of disaster have come up empty, but the each subsequent generation seems glued to the conviction that there's an unknown nebulous disaster out there waiting to happen.

Combine this also with additional prophecies in Revelation about the plagues of the Four Horseman. These are beings authorized by God to bring devastation to the earth in a series of worldwide apocalyptic events. Wars, starvation, earthquakes, the moon turning blood red, stars falling from the skies... truly horrendous events the likes of which will cause men to panic with fear and wish for death just to avoid the destruction.

Now as a Christian familiar with scripture and trusting in God's faithful assurances, I believe that God will see me thru anything and everything. The Four Horseman are indeed fearful, but not so much as to shake my faith that clings to God's sovereign plan.

But people unfamiliar with God have been so molded to deny Him, to deny His Word, to deny anything related to his authority at all - to these people, prophecies in scripture mean nothing. And the horseman will be the fulfillment of climate emergency predictions. And as a result, they will eagerly accept any solution, mark of the beast or otherwise, which promises relief from the Horseman. Except there is no relief, only a fateful destiny with the Apocalypse and coming Armageddon.

I could be way out in left field on this one - it won't be the first time nor the last. I'm even open to correction is any would offer such. But it kind of makes sense to me.


full02 AUG 2018 - Came across a bible verse the other day: "A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry." Proverbs 27:7.

Reminded me that our default mode pretty much all the time is to pursue happiness and satisfaction, without acknowledging that if granted that wish as much as we want, we might not be happy. "A person who is full refuses honey" because they are not lacking. If they were hungry and lacking of food, the honey would not be refused. If they were hungry and lacking of food, even bad honey would taste great.

All that to say, maybe plan a little lacking in our day so we could better enjoy the time when fulfillment arrives. Skip a meal, and see how much more you enjoy food the next time you eat.



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