Would You Look At That

In the space of less than an hour, eight people liked a single post.

That’s the most I ever had.

And I thought it was a trash post.

Nothing earthshattering here (yet, anyways.)

Well, I don’t want this post to be entirely vestigial, (though I’m burning with scientific curiosity to figure out what gets the views and why) so I guess I’ll make it about something not so great and holy and mysterious as the Lord, since He has not yet struck me with words today.

But that will have to be in the next post, so as not to contaminate it with the inanity of this one.

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Race to the Red Light

It’s fun sometimes, on an afternoon drive home from the warehouse, to observe the people who around me are making the same commute.

Fun is too strong a word. Amusing is more appropriate.

Watch the Honda Odyssey swerve across four lanes of traffic to go screaming down an exit ramp doing 65 in what will soon be a 35 zone. Take note of the open topped Ferrari driving ten below the limit, inducing the flash orange Dodge Charger behind him to cut in front of you with inches to spare, gunning it only to get stuck behind a dump truck. Or maybe you’ll be making a turn down a small city road past empty parking spaces when a girl with a top-knot and a frappe blows through those parking spaces in her daddy’s Audi A8 and nearly removes your right side mirror. See the Cadillac Escalade who in rage guns it to get around you and races towards the red light 50 feet ahead.

Why do we want to go so fast (the Ferrari notwithstanding)? What do human beings get out of getting 50 feet closer to home, at the risk of pulling a stupid and killing themselves with erratic, wild driving?

And why does this impatience carry over into the rest of our lives?

I can only speak for myself, being neither God nor one of His angels – but I know that I’m impatient. I have a decent enough job cutting metal at 12 an hour, and I’m trying to figure out how to get to 50,000 a year (preferably in two years or less.) I already have a contract to write adventure supplements for an RPG, but I want to have a publishing mill for stories and books. I want to marry my girlfriend (now would be nice!) but – I’ll be brutally honest  with myself – I still struggle day and night to stay above the temptation to look at pornography, praying to God for courage and resolve and for forgiveness and mercy to this dirty wretch down here.

Everything in its own time comes – for every thing there is a season, so sayeth Solomon. And like so we are admonished again and again in the Proverbs to lean on the wisdom of God and not on our own understanding of the world: (3:5) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding.”

There is no profit in racing to the finish line, for first place in the race that we can run on our own feet of flesh and bone is death. Wait upon the Lord and run His marathon, and when your bones are all worn to dust and your flesh shriveled by time, though your feet will be tired, your soul will be rested. Wait for the Lord’s deliverance or seek your own salvation – one will see you safely aboard the Inheritance, and the other will find you bailing water out of a sinking hulk.

Worrying is like racing to a red light. God will deliver you when the time is right; why waste your gas?

I Should Mention This….

I hate writing essays.

I’m good at them (or so I believe). And to an extent, sometimes they’re even fun.

That is, until I realize that writing like the way I’d like to talk is a very good way to devolve into a confusing mess of bizarrely punctuated run-on sentences.

Then it comes to the part I hate – writing in a way that’s meant to be readable.

Call me an elitist, but I don’t like the writing style which pervades most blogs – simple to the point of being a bullet-point checklist minus the dots, as conversational as a PowerPoint, and by my pompous wordiness do I hate 5 Steps to literally anything. What is with the internet and making everything a 5 Step process?

So, I guess I don’t really hate writing essays. I’m not fond of hearing the sound of my own voice, even on a screen, wary of conceit as the past few days have led me to be (more on that in another post, coming soon), but at heart I do like composing speeches.

I just don’t like making them readable.

Truth be told, I just hate lists.

That Light Might Shine

For a good while now, the god of the West has not been He who spoke the world from the raw firmament of His own being, but a concept. Human thought on the supernatural is ever in flux, but not so much progress is made as our academicians would like to suppose. For though we no longer strip off our clothes to dance before demonic idols and slake their thirst with the blood of our infants, criminals and bitter enemies as the Aztecs or the Celts of classical Europe once did, we have no less the same degree of fanaticism in the consecration of our mentally abstracted idols.

To wit, we worship liberty as Baal once was among the Canaanite peoples of the Levant. Our freedom to do as we please is as inviolable a divine mandate as the Law handed down to Moses – or so our actions say.

For even in many houses of God, we might hear so simple and easy a command as “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And yet in our American way, we strive, worry, bite and gnaw (yes, I remain guilty of this too) about what we shall eat, how our bills shall  be paid, what soil be predestined for our hands to cultivate, and in our fervor to labor for our own bread mistrust the providence of the God who formed the very soil that we till. Is God’s strength not greater than that of our flabby biceps, fat from the convenience and ease of our modern life? But perhaps we do not doubt God’s strength, but His willingness to condescend to our mundane needs and provide such little things such as money and good grades, or relief from an irritating case of the flu. His unwillingness to aid in those (or so it may be said) is not of Him. It is of our predisposition to credit our victories to ourselves, and not to Him who sustains us through the continual outpouring of His Word, without which would not exist a speck of the reality which we know now.

Some modern philosophers propose that we are all but figments of imagination. Truly, being unable to know the world except through our own perceptions, we could well live in a construct, for by Man’s means we can never escape the hard casing of our skulls to explore a world beyond the limits of the flesh. They, of all pagans unknowing the majestic truth of the Living God, may be closest of all to the reality, that we live in the mind of God, who was and is and still is to come, all that breathes and thinks and orbits, and yet above and separate from all that can be seen with the eye and grasped with the hand – immortal God.

We live at the Lord’s command, whether we follow Him or not. Rebel and disciple both, live at the grace of a merciful God, a God who as He lives, burns with righteous anger at a rebellious creation which defies the very nature of its origin, spitting on the good works and the good name of Him who breathed life into humble clay. If one will say, “Who is God to declare what is right and wrong? Who is God to choose who shall be punished?” – I say to thee, “Count what makes you right to discipline even your dog. What gives you authority over your children? Are they not living, thinking equals of you? What gives your children the right to eat at your table freely? Do they earn their keep? What is it that keeps them clothed and dry in a warm house, but your unwarranted love for them – in spite of and irregardless of their behavior? When they throw their tantrums and scream and cry, do you not discipline them? And when they have come to you for forgiveness, do you not forgive and forget, and embrace them even more warmly than if they had done nothing wrong in the first place?”

We are children before a loving Father, one who is not stern alone, but consumed with compassion for his suffering, wayward children – who do far worse than merely scream at their father or mother. We murder with our hearts, wishing harm on those who mildly inconvenience us on the road or cut in line. We lust with our primal organs, ravenous predators stalking the streets in the deceptive guise of happy citizens – restrained not by good morals, but by animal fear of the consequences for acting out our brutish desires. We slake the thirst of our crying souls on money, conveniences, entertainments of all kinds from the lowest of brows to the heights of sophistication, to darker twisted pleasures provided paid and free, in person or through the vast internet. We joke at the expense of those unable to answer for themselves, delight in expressing our opinions in the most creative of vulgarities, distracting ourselves from the painful light of higher truths by targeting our quests for wisdom on practical tips and tricks to quiet a tremulous heart which knows that it was made for so much more than perusing a hundred blogs on green tea and Buddhist meditative practices as interpreted by a professional connoisseur of cultural commercialization.

And we haven’t even touched politics yet. The titles and means of succession may have changed, yet still we rally around presidents and chancellors – elected kings of empires ruled by a collective dream. My thoughts on this remain for another essay, but suffice it to say – is it not an affront to the true King that we will so readily latch onto the words and scuffles of these petty rulers who are in one cycle and out the next, naught but a short tract in an already outdated high school textbook – and thusly ignore the ageless, ever-growing chronicle of the deeds of the one Lord of all lords?

I have spoken long enough. I am sure by now that I have either sufficiently dissuaded you from continuing to read my prattling, or that somehow my words have been efficacious. If it is the former, that is what I can only expect from the weak efforts of my fleshly mind. If it is the latter, then it is because what was read was different than what I wrote, and I can only thank God if what I have written here has helped anyone.

My desire is only this – that you, him, her, me, every soul which dwells upon God’s Earth, would have their eyes opened up to the Heavens, and that God’s Light might shine on His starving children and show them the way to not merely survive this life – but live into the next – and chase after Him who is Life who loved them enough to die for their rescue while they pelted Him with curses and nailed him to a cross. For all that God is Justice unflinching, He is also Love unending, and Compassion unsurpassed.

The Life of Weariness

You’re born.

You take your first breath. It’s the hardest thing you’ve done in your life to date, but there will be harder hills still.

You drink from your mother’s breast. In every way she cares for you. Her words slowly sink into your mind with your father’s when he’s home, and gradually, those words shape you – or do you fashion those words around yourself?

You grow up. Now gifted with a voice to name the brilliant spectrum of life which around you winds, it blasts by in an instant, as the autumn leaves before winter’s gales, which in their own turn die down before the chirping growth of spring, which bakes beneath the coming of summer at its own conclusion before once again the ripeness of the months of warmth crackle and age into those same, hoary colors of fall.

Now you’re an adult. Adolescences was a speedbump, a maelstrom of emotions and dramas which, on reflection as one now so matured by the seemingly purely biological processes of pubescence – seem irrelevant. Petty. Insipid. Meaningless.

Or perhaps they are your golden years? A fond time of fun, games, loose clothes and looser morals, to treasure in your heart as time slowly makes his inroads into your chest?

You study. You work. Whether they benefit you or not is entirely in your hands. Perhaps for a while you’re content merely to sustain yourself. It’s possible that a another human of an opposite form decides to cast his or her lot in with you, and you get married, have two and a half children – and now your life belongs to them. Or maybe you don’t. Perhaps you chase your loves as you did in youth, though the game gets surely harder as time crinkles your skin and mars your complexion, and the yearly flu lasts longer and longer each time it visits. It’s unlikely, but perhaps you abstain entirely. For what reason do you do this?

And perhaps on some dark, lonely night, long after those of your hearth and kin have fallen asleep, you sit up in bed, in the gloomy, silent house, and you wonder – why? For what do I work?

To play a little on the weekends? To keep this aging woman in my house? To raise up little ones after me to go through the same toils? To what end does Man labor?

For vanity.

For though you might have striven with great boldness and cunning, with even the noblest of hearts, to build up a palace for your kin and a throne in your place of work, when Sheol calls you into his embrace, to another you must hand your preciously crafted treasures. In time, your treasures will fade and depreciate, till all of your hoard which your children hold in their hands are crumbs of dust as they go out into the broken shell of a world to carve from the dust their daily bread, for who will feed them?

It is vanity.

For if the glory goes not to one who is eternal, the greatest that can be made of it is a footnote in a dust-gathering chronicle. The glories of the warrior-kings echo down the ages, reflecting off the hardened and bored ears of the teenagers subjected to a dully rendered retelling of the greatest struggles of men’s lives. The hardships endured by women and families – through siege, plague, famine, despair – all ring hollow in an age where bread is plenty, and yet the spirit starves for rest.

Ours is the life of weariness. Convenience cannot save the soul.

And so challenged in your heart of hears, what shall you do? Shall you strive to play it safe, extend your years until you can beat the game, and create something great to truly last down the ages? Shall you ignore the murmurs of your starving soul, and let your fleshly heart and all its lusty dukes rule your life while you eke out an existence of blissful subsistence?

Or would you cast all you had into fire, limbs and all to find that which will not only save you the ignominy of a meaningless, unremarkable existence among the seething mass of profane humanity from which all of us come – but secure you a place of joy and glory everlasting at the table of your Judge, Father, and Savior?

The price?

All glory be to Him who saves, for whose glory mercy was shown to the undeserving who would dare to slay his blameless messenger, the image of perfectified Man.

Humility before God. That is the price.

A short message

Felt them goose bumps rising as the anthem played for Kate Ledecky’s medal. Came in at the last few bars, and even then I was shivering.

And I’ve realized why. Over these last few days, we’ve finally caught a break, the briefest moment of respite. After months of name-calling, mudslinging, dirty politics, scandals, shootings, terrorism, and the idiots on TV, we finally get some heroes to get behind. Simple men and women, solely focused on excellence, undistracted by the standard-issue human pettiness.

Americans, Brits, Koreans, Japanese, Israelis, Russians, Ukrainians, French, Chinese, Indian, Syrians, Moroccans, Italians, Brazilians, Mexicans, Canadians— we should all savor this moment. It is a rare one, when we can observe a clarity of purpose and total purity of will.

For us Americans, when the Olympics are over, we will have to return to this freak show of a presidential race, as the two most incompetent / deceptive / head-up-the-ass / boobish / nob-headed / treacherous / selfish a**holes ever to run for higher office go head to head, and all the world cringes.

No matter who you vote for, we’re all wrong.

An Abrupt Change of Tone

Our world is dying.

Not in the slow, geological sense, but at the erratic and unpredictable, inexorable speed of our own destructive impulses. I can’t speak as to whether this will be our last gasp or only another maelstrom which we must endure to rebuild shattered lives, but the world that we thought ten years ago would blossom into a new era of prosperity and understanding will instead be consumed by fire.

We suffer from a cancer whose symptoms are terror, suicide and depression, and whose causes are intrinsic to the world order which we so hoped would stand out from the blood-scrawled roll of history.


Stranger Danger; tolerance; safe spaces; personal space; political correctness; affirmation; convenience; welfare state; “work smarter, not harder”: facets of the cancer consuming the West which once stood as the measure to which all the rest of the world aspired.

We no longer allow our children to explore their neighborhoods and meet their own friends for fear of a random stranger in a white van. We daren’t speak our minds for fear of the immediate and callous judgement of a society that prizes propriety over honesty, allowing hatreds and opinions to fester in the resentful pit of a human mind trapped by artificial social rules. We self-isolate from information that challenges our beliefs rather than try to understand the opposing side to prove or disprove our own opinions nor find the third way that trumps either. We submit ourselves to the animal preference for comfort over progress, to ration our resources rather than seek to expand our wealth; on the micro, we’d much rather dawdle at home or skate by at work rather than force ourselves to be more than what we are. We make a mockery of those who weren’t born with an innate level of academic intelligence or a talent for inflated grades, and this only to avoid looking inward to see our own stagnation as we chase the sweets trolley of consumerism and corporatism.

And much of this can be laid to blame on the persecution of the spirit and His Spirit from the public eye. When we have no spirit to look to for guidance, no promise to keep our eyes turned heavenward, when as Nietzsche said, “God is dead,” we do not then exist in a happy atheism, seeing each man as our equal in a Godless world. Instead, as Chesterton said, “When Man ceases to worship God he does not worship nothing, but worships anything at all.”

In a world where we doubt the power of Providence and lack the security of the Covenant, we must make our own gods, again from Nietzsche. From this proceeds violence, hatred, division, blindness, cruelty, tyranny, the glorification of murder, the anointing of hedonism as the new prince. In the absence of God, we worship the gods of Pleasure, Avarice, Pride, and War. From the pursuit of endless pleasure comes an insatiable gluttony for the means to sustain it. From the acquisition of wealth and the conquest of moral constraint flows hubris. And from such accumulated pride, excess of wealth, glut of pleasure and void of spiritual purpose erupts the bloody cataclysm of war, the crucible which forges a man and damns ten thousand.

The gods of Man are many, and their king is Man himself, cloaked in the surefooted certainty in the power of his will and his wisdom. In his right hand is held the iron hammer of craft and cleverness, and his left is the mirror which reflects only what he wishes to see. His throne is Babel, and his crown is the ten spiked cast-iron circlet of Mars.

 

 

 

I Must Speak

How many of you think Israel is a repressive state?

Because I’d like you to take a moment to reflect on her neighbors.

Egypt– is only recently a democracy, and just barely.

Syria– is currently a geographical term for “sh*t hole.”

Turkey– is devolving into a theocratic dictatorship and may be funding ISIS by buying their oil.

Saudi Arabia– sentences homosexuals and atheists to death.

Iran– funds Hezbollah and imprisons apostates (though I will concede they are socially more progressive than Saudi Arabia, and it is mainly the Iranian government which concerns me, not its people.)


Contrast Israel, in which homosexuality is not illegal, apostasy is legally irrelevant, the military warns bombing targets beforehand, and despite constant terrorist attacks which have brought other countries to martial law, maintains some of the highest liberty ratings in the world.


The Jewish people have a country of their own for the first time in two thousand years, enduring constant persecution and suspicion, hatred and exile, and only three years before Israel’s founding, near-extermination of European Jewry at the hands of the Nazis. When they arrived, it was a desert; now, Israel is a vale of greenery, wealth and prosperity amidst a waste of mismanagement and violence perpetrated by medieval extremists and selfish warlords.

Take a gander at various articles surrounding the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Notice that there were two states, Palestinian and Jewish. Notice who started the war.

Why are those who support freedom and protection for minorities and national sovereignty so quick to turn on those who need their help the most?

This is why I study history– when we ignore the past, we are all too eager to repeat the savageries of those who came before and blunder gladly into murder. We forget that freedom is not given, but earned in blood and treasure. We forget that when we ask the strong to give us bread and liberty, we receive crumbs and chains. That is why I can never accept socialism or the statist line– taking the easy way not only stagnates us, but weakens us. It is hardship that makes us stronger and makes tomorrow brighter. Israel’s story is not a story of salvation by mighty men, but determination against the odds, solidarity among brothers and sisters, and faith in destiny. With looted German weapons and indomitable courage, Israel stood up against those who would see the Jewish people struck from the face of the Earth, and not only survived, but thrived.

Do not shirk the Israelites or their friendship, for there is no ally like the Chosen People. Do not shirk hardship, but overcome it, for true men and women are not cast like bricks, but forged under fire, and quenched in storms. Do not fear hard times, but embrace them. Faith, Duty, and Vigilance will carry us unto the dawn.


If these sources are unsatisfactory or I have left something insufficiently cited, let me know, either in the comments or in a PM. Feel free to discuss and debate this, and remember to keep an open mind.
Turning the Sand to Land
http://www.csmonitor.com/1987/0519/dsand.html

Israeli Independence War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_War