Thursday, May 27, 2004

Ok...I'm working on part three of my story, but I just had to come and weigh in on this bit of news that I've just come across.
Did you know that there is currently underway a move to create a "Christian Nation"? I don't mean a return by this nation to its roots in Christian values...I mean a completely separate nation.
It's called Christian Exodus, and apparently, the idea is that since the United States won't return to the Christian values by the democratic system of voting, (as shown in the statistics they quote: "More than fifty-three million people voted for pro-abortion, pro-gay candidates in the 2000 presidential election")then the only recourse is to secede from the Union.

Dude. This is exactly the kind of nonsense I've been afraid the "bunker mentality" would lead to. What in God's name are these people thinking? Where do they think the mandate for this is from? Jesus never commanded this...and He had perfect opportunities to do so...especially in Matthew 24..."Times are going to be bad ...go form a nation that will only allow my disciples in, and keep everyone else out."
God help us.

They plan on moving 50,000 or more conservative Christians (and I'd love to see the litmus test on that one)to one of three states, who will then secede from the United States, and form their own government. The three states they have in mind are Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi. You know what really surprises me about this news? That Mississippi is considered part of the United States! (heh heh...just a little southern states joke....coming from a guy who lives in Northern Florida...heh heh he...oh.)

The tag line at the top of the web site says: "Would you like to live in a Christian nation with government similar to the early United States?
Well, here's your chance!
".....and I'm curious...is that the government that kept blacks enslaved, or the one that committed genocide on Native American tribes? I just can't decide which one was most Christ-like?

I'm not knocking the U.S.A. I love this nation, and I support our president, and ESPECIALLY our men and women at arms...but I totally call this notion that the United States was at one time a "Christian nation" pure crap. There is no such thing as a Christian nation; never will be until Jesus gets back.

Clearly these nut-cases have never had access to history books. Maybe they should start by reading the history of Geneva...it didn't work out so well for old Calvin. We only have to go as far as the origins of our nation to find Salem and the slight difficulties they ran into trying to create a "Christian nation". Who's got time to go into Zion Illinois, Alexander Dowie's little foray into forming a "Christian nation", and the debacle that became. And those are just a few off the top of my head.

Anyway...the idea is stupid, and only serves to promote the incorrect stereotype of Christianity as a hate-mongering, elitist religion.

Nuff said. Leave a comment if you think I'm out of line here...I'd love to discuss this.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Part two
(please read part one, below, first)

Deep into the night, the wind was howling. The sails had been stowed, and men were manning the oars by twos. Peter stood at the bow of the boat and James was manning the tiller. Peter was shouting instructions over the din.
“Keep at it guys, work together! James! C’mon man, steer into the wind! Matthew, for crying out loud, man! Puke over the side! I have to use this boat!”

The moon was hidden, it was dark, and there were no stars. Peter couldn’t make out land except in the brief illumination of lightning. Suddenly, the wind picked up, bringing the first drops of rain which pelted Peter’s face. Without warning, the boat seemed to drop out from underneath them, as though they were sinking into a hole in the sea. At the bottom of the trough the tiny craft began to rise again, as though shot from a catapult. Higher and higher they rose, until at the peak they were able to gain a view of the surrounding waters. A flash of lightning revealed a sight that caused a knot to form in Peter’s stomach. All around them, the water was rolling and surging in mounting peaks toward the horizon.
James and John strained to see Peter through the darkness. Each of the experienced fishermen knew what they were in for.

“Hang on guys, it’s about to get rough.” Said Peter, none too loudly.
“About to?” pleaded Matthew.

In the midst of a storm at sea, time ceased to exist. James had been straining at the tiller for what had seemed to be most of his life. Wind direction and the currents had changed so often in the last hours that every moment he had to correct their course to stay into the swells. Lightning continued to flash in the sky, less to the north, almost over top of them now. A steady rain still washed over them in curtains. With each flash of lightning, James scanned the horizon, trying to orient himself with the land. As his eyes frantically swept the momentary glimpses of scenery, something else caught his eye.

There was something in the distance. Not on land, but on the water, it would rise with the peaks, and then be hidden in descent. It was hard to make out what it was, from so far away, and in the brief, flickering light. It had to be another boat, but somehow James couldn’t seem to reconcile its shape in his mind. He kept his head turned in the same general direction in which he’d seen “it”.

Another bolt of lightning illuminated only rolling waves, nothing else.
“Maybe a trick of the light.” He muttered to himself.
Still, he continued to gaze out into the darkness in the same direction as before. When the sky lit up again, James saw the thing again, only this time to his right and much closer. The movements it made in the dancing light seemed somewhat familiar, yet so out of place that his mind was reeling in trying to comprehend it. His heart began to flutter with anxiety. He felt that storms were bad enough without strange sightings in the dark.

The distance between the sparks of lightning grew longer, and James strained his eyes to peer through the darkness, trying to identify what he’d seen. All at once, another bolt radiated light all around them, and James’ mouth dropped open in a silent scream.
“Uh…Uh!!” was all he could manage, while he kicked his legs involuntarily trying to back away.
Andrew sat directly in front of him, pulling at an oar, and receiving the brunt of James’ kicks. He spun around to see what was happening, fearing that James had somehow managed to fall overboard. He could just make out James’ face, and saw that he was pointing a little to his right. His mouth was moving, but he was saying nothing.

Andrew followed the direction of James finger, and just then another burst of lightning lit the sky.
Andrew screamed like a little girl.
This drew the attention of all the other disciples, including Peter, who looked first at Andrew, then at James, then in the direction in which they both now pointed.
In the next flash of light, they all saw it as clearly as anything. Out on the waves, moving steadily toward them, was the figure of a man. He was moving on the surface of the water, suspended like a boat that floats. He was running to the top of each peak as it came near him, and then sliding down the face in a half crouch.
Now all the disciples were screaming, crying, and there was the distinct smell of urine swirling around the boat.

...to be continued

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Just wanted to mention that I have in-laws in town this week, but I am working on part two of my story....just in case anyone reads this. Look for it by the end of the week.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Ok...so I've got this urge to write...and the only thing that's striking my fancy is to write a little piece of fiction based on a Biblical event. So that's what I'm going to do.
If anyone reads this (and if you do, please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this story), let me give a quick apology.

Remember, this is all stuff out of my head, based on something real. What I'm writing may have a basis in what really happened...but the details, dialogue and the who said what and when all comes from my own twisted psyche. Please just read it as such. This isn't a means of trying to develop doctrine...but more a means of trying to bring the story to life. We miss so much when we just read the text of the Word and don't put ourselves into it. That's all I'm doing here. It wasn't like my description of it...but it could have been.

I'm going to write this in stages, and I'm not sure how long it will be between them.
So without further ado...here's my story:

Part One

Andrew wrinkled his forehead and asked, “He said to do what?”
“He wants us to go on ahead of him to Gennesaret.” said Peter.
“Why?” Nathaniel piped in.
“Look, I don’t know…he just said to. You wanna’ argue with Him, be my guest.”
“Well…when’s he gonna’ come down there? What’s he gonna’ do here?”
“I’ll walk you right over there and you can ask Him, ok?” Peter was getting irritated. Not just at the questions he was left to answer himself, but at the whole arrangement.
“C’mon guys, we can stand here and try and figure out what he’s doing, or we can do what he said to and not get him pissed off for once!” John always could settle an argument quickly.
“I don’t suppose he noticed there’s a north east wind starting to blow?” said Andrew under his breath.
They set off down the hill side, following the tiny road that led back to the Sea of Galilee. No one spoke much on the trip. Each man was privately rolling over the details in his mind of the event they had just witnessed; each man had his belly full of bread and fish.
It didn’t take the disciples long to stow their bags and cast off in Peter’s boat. Hoisting the sail, and manning the oars, they set out into open waters. A chill ran up Andrew’s arms as he felt the stiffening north east breeze fanning his skin, and the rattle in the rigging of the boat caused him to look over his shoulder toward the northern mountains. He furrowed his eyebrows and said out loud, “I’m tellin’ you guys, this is not a good idea.”

The last of the stragglers had left the hillside just as the sun dipped the horizon. He had hoped to be alone sooner than this, but anytime alone was a gift he was grateful for. Jesus breathed a long sigh through his nose, and sank down on the ground. He was tired. All of the faces he had seen and ministered to swirled around in his head. His chest felt hollow, and his limbs felt numb. Yet, even in his weary state, anticipation began to well in his heart.

This was what he had been longing for, the quiet moments when he could soar into the Father’s embrace, above the limitations of his flesh. Here he heard from Abba, and could see the plan from a greater perspective. He closed his eyes and tilted his face toward the sky.
“Abba” he whispered.
In his spirit, the dance began. To observe him from the outside, he was a man on his knees with his head tilted back. Beyond the veil of things seen, he whirled in the courtyards of heaven.

In the midst of his weeping and laughing and times of barely breathing, his eyes suddenly snapped open. In a split second, he had seen where the Father wanted him to be, and what was happening to his friends. His look of amazement soon gave way to a wry smile that spread across his tanned face.
“Oh, this is going to be good.” He whispered to his Father.

to be continued

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Well, we got the move accomplished. It was an adventure, no doubt about it. We moved last Friday, and you couldn't have asked for better weather...on Saturday. Friday the weather was just shy of typhoon status. All the people who came and helped were soaked to the bone, I felt terrible about it. How wonderful it is to have such friends who would plow through those obstacles with us though.

We had a few mishaps. Riley got into a head-butting contest with the top of a garage door and lost. I set my shoulder back by a few weeks...at least according to the therapist. I'm supposed to take it easy...but they don't give directions for that. What set my shoulder back really wasn't the move though...it was an incident that happened Thursday night before the move.

I had gone into the attic to bring down all the stuff that we store up there for reasons I still can't fathom. If it's so unimportant that it can remain for years unnoticed in the attic, why do we need it at all? But this is stuff that just isn't questioned, and I have learned my lessons over the years. There are some things that are inexplicable, yet immutable, so you just move along without questioning.
Anyway, I had gone up my mom's old ladder that we still had; an ancient, wooden, eight foot ladder that dated back to the McCarthy era, I think. I had just hoisted a box into my good arm, and was beginning my descent, when I heard an unnerving cracking sound. The McCarthy ladder was beginning to buckle. Seeing as how my good arm was holding a box of glass mason jars (we never can anything by the way...but don't question the box...just hold it), I had no choice but to grab the edge of the attic opening with my bad arm, and hang helplessly as the McCarthy ladder sort of slowly collapsed underneath me.

Two of my teenage children were just on the other side of the wall from me...I in the garage, they in the front room. I shouted and yelled for help, but there was no rescue coming. Finally, I just had to let go and drop down on the remains of the ladder and hope I didn't drop the mason jars in the process.

I stood there amid the wreckage of my climb, still clutching tightly the precious jars (you never can tell when the urge to can will overwhelm you). Suddenly, the garage door flew open and my daughter stood there looking at me. I think she was coming out to ask me to keep it down so they could hear the T.V....but I was yelling too loudly to actually hear her explanation of things.

So...really, that's what set my shoulder back a little. There's something about hanging from the ceiling whilst hoisting mason jars that doesn't set too well with shoulder muscles. I'll have to look into why.