This is no “big” Lebowski or Jackie Treehorn production, no theological porn like the fantastical self-validating spectaculars that made so many rich yesterday… not here, not with me and Jesus. Jesus could call an audible, but in that absence, we’ve had standing orders for millennia: the Word of God, in Spirit and Truth, in reality, walked out. That’s the plan, always has been, Jesus’ way. By his example, across all time and space, it maximizes the yield and minimizes the losses, but it is a grind. It is hard now, but it will be worth it forever. Love God and “other” people, keep it simple.
(see you in a month, come what may, there is already a plan)
O God, remember David, remember all his troubles! And remember how he promised God, made a vow to the Strong God of Jacob, “I’m not going home, and I’m not going to bed, I’m not going to sleep, not even take time to rest, Until I find a home for God, a house for the Strong God of Jacob.”
Remember how we got the news in Ephrathah, learned all about it at Jaar Meadows? We shouted, “Let’s go to the shrine dedication! Let’s worship at God’s own footstool!”
Up, God, enjoy your new place of quiet repose, you and your mighty covenant ark; Get your priests all dressed up in justice; prompt your worshipers to sing this prayer: “Honor your servant David; don’t disdain your anointed one.”
God gave David his word, he won’t back out on this promise: “One of your sons I will set on your throne; If your sons stay true to my Covenant and learn to live the way I teach them, Their sons will continue the line— always a son to sit on your throne. Yes—I, God, chose Zion, the place I wanted for my shrine; This will always be my home; this is what I want, and I’m here for good. I’ll shower blessings on the pilgrims who come here, and give supper to those who arrive hungry; I’ll dress my priests in salvation clothes; the holy people will sing their hearts out! Oh, I’ll make the place radiant for David! I’ll fill it with light for my anointed! I’ll dress his enemies in dirty rags, but I’ll make his crown sparkle with splendor.”
You didn’t think we’d really do 7 candles without one of the low hanging fruits that everyone else uses? It has been my experience (in general) that people who talk alot, don’t do much, and if you do it, then really there’s not much need to talk about it… idk, maybe it’s just me. As you read, and burn this last one down, please know it’s only a pearlstring of good things that I’ve kept close by this season. We only want to take you to the reality of Jesus Christ by calling you back up to God’s vision for his people. It has always been the same. So let’s close the loop, pop the top, and rise… all only so that we can engage with the earth and all life the way our Father always desired, be like Jesus, his way. What a revelation! Behold and return, so that the old is new again!
If we’re ready with cleaner hands and purer hearts in Christ, then let’s do this because Jesus is always ready, willing, and able in Glory…
Thank God because he’s good, because his love never quits. Tell the world, Israel, “His love never quits.” And you, clan of Aaron, tell the world, “His love never quits.” And you who fear God, join in, “His love never quits.”
Pushed to the wall, I called to God; from the wide open spaces, he answered. God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid; who would dare lay a hand on me? God’s my strong champion; I flick off my enemies like flies. Far better to take refuge in God than trust in people; Far better to take refuge in God than trust in celebrities. Hemmed in by barbarians, in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt; Hemmed in and with no way out, in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt; Like swarming bees, like wild prairie fire, they hemmed me in; in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt. I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me. God’s my strength, he’s also my song, and now he’s my salvation. Hear the shouts, hear the triumph songs in the camp of the saved? “The hand of God has turned the tide! The hand of God is raised in victory! The hand of God has turned the tide!”
I didn’t die. I lived! And now I’m telling the world what God did. God tested me, he pushed me hard, but he didn’t hand me over to Death. Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates! I’ll walk right through and thank God! This Temple Gate belongs to God, so the victors can enter and praise.
Thank you for responding to me; you’ve truly become my salvation! The stone the masons discarded as flawed is now the capstone! This is God’s work. We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it! This is the very day God acted— let’s celebrate and be festive! Salvation now, God. Salvation now! Oh yes, God—a free and full life!
Blessed are you who enter in God’s name— from God’s house we bless you! God is God, he has bathed us in light. Festoon the shrine with garlands, hang colored banners above the altar! You’re my God, and I thank you. O my God, I lift high your praise. Thank God—he’s so good. His love never quits!
Some of the messages and songs that have carried my wife and I through this season. And we just hope that one day we might repay the favor, a favor from God meant to be shared. Again there’s no “set order,” the Holy Spirit can be a little wild on appionted ocassions. But even then, Jesus is always the theme for us, or haven’t you gotten that and his message yet? What other affirmation could come from seeing God’s face and living?
Let’s actually do the red letter words that Jesus Christ published with his blood, not to be portioned and rationed out by fruit inspectors and carnival barkers. So it will be easy for Him to spot us. Know this: if you obey God to engage the world through the salvation that our Lord so genereously gave to us for free, and you live out that Grace his way, then you are marked with his blood for sure, and no body else’s! And let the haters hate. Because who could argue Rightly with what the Word of God says in the Word of God for the Word of God?! Let the chirppers chirp and the rosters crow, and all the new school Babylonians howl. Yes, they are inivted too! But for us, now, we have Life to live and give! So we beg you to enter into God’s engagemnt with us all! We dare you to move.
“We live in the culture of the Big Me. The meritocracy wants you to promote yourself. Social media wants you to broadcast a highlight reel of your life. Your parents and teachers were always telling you how wonderful you were.
But all the people I’ve ever deeply admired are profoundly honest about their own weaknesses. They have identified their core sin, whether it is selfishness, the desperate need for approval, cowardice, hardheartedness or whatever. They have traced how that core sin leads to the behavior that makes them feel ashamed. They have achieved a profound humility, which has best been defined as an intense self-awareness from a position of other-centeredness.“—David Brooks, “The Moral Bucket List,” The New York Times, 4/11/15
What if you handed over your social media to Jesus, some, not all, at first. You’re still in it but He runs it… um say… like your life? Ooh, so that’s why this blog is somewhat ananoymous? Kinda, but mostly because I know Jesus, well and personally… and I want everyone to know him better than I do. There’s plenty of room. I’m an old man now, and the only thing that means anything through all the sorrows and occasional sucesses is that I managed to introduce him around a little to folks of all sorts all around the world, hopefully by His many acts that He ordered, and when needed, if necessary, I used a few words. If I had one thing to say it would be, “follow Jesus and never ever stop, let go & let grow!”
All these to edgy for you to reach for? Well, if these aren’t hittable for you, what are you here for? Sure they sound different but they are all about the same thing: Jesus.
In Him,repenting is not for your past, only God’s Grace (Jesus again!) can cover anything like that. No, repenting in Him changes your future! Still want hypergrace and prosperty gospels? Well you are invited still but you need to remap to the Word of God a bit, just a bit. Don’t believe me? Okay then, here’s the great-granddaddy of the reformation and those two earthly principalities, regimes of human thinking: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” –Martin Luther’s 1st and therefore crowning thesis! Yeah, I read other books too. So, where’d so many go wrong? Get right with God the Father, be righteous in Christ Jesus… then I beg you, make room for our Holy Spirit.
RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN!
“The all of God and the all of Christ demand as a necessary consequence the all of the Spirit. It is the work of the Spirit to glorify the Son as dwelling in us and by Him to reveal the Father. How can He do this if He Himself is not all and does not penetrate all with His own power? To be filled with the Spirit, to let the Spirit have it all, is indispensable to a true, healthy Christian life.
It is a source of great loss in the life of Christendom today that the truth is not discerned that the triune God must have it all. Even the professing Christian often makes it his very first aim to find out what he is and what he desires, what pleases him and makes him happy. Then he brings in God in the second place to secure this happiness. The claim of God is not the primary or main consideration. He does not discern that God must have him at his disposal even in the most trivial details of his life in order to manifest His divine glory in him. He is not aware that this entire filling with the will and the operation of God would prove to be his highest happiness. He does not know that the very same Christ, who once lived on the earth entirely surrendered to the will of the Father, is prepared to abide and work in like manner in his heart and life now. It is on this account that he can never fully comprehend how necessary it is that the Spirit must be all and must fill him completely.
If these thoughts have had any influence with you, allow yourself to be brought to the acknowledgment that the Spirit must be all in you. Say from the heart, “I am not at liberty to make any, even the least, exception — the Spirit must have all.” Then add to this confession the simple thought that Christ has come to restore the all of God, and the Spirit has been given to reveal the all of Christ within us. Remember that the love of the Father is eagerly longing to secure again His own supreme place with us. Then your heart will be filled with the sure confidence that the Father actually gives you the fullness of the Spirit.” — Andrew Murray, Experiencing the Holy Spirit
Now, these two, wow, what a lovely and talented family. It really is ridiculous! I put them here because of their parents. I have a sneaky suspicion that all they ever want and wanted is and was to have their children and grandchildren lifted up! Me too, and they’re perfect messages for here and now:
But this one, used to be my ‘catch phrase’ to my crew when we were first in and last out in service. And sometimes there were real explosions too. Looks fun, at times it was, but I am just happy to make it around the park with my dogs nowadays.
Now the tails from here below which have become the heads up there, because if I only had one sermon to give in my life, then I would give this one. It makes me weep everytime, every everytime. I am weeping now because everyday I am a poor man who needs a chance, everyday I am a sick man who needs healing, and everyday I am an ignorant man who needs wisdom… I need a daily Revival for my spiritual condition…
The Queen of Jesus’ Good News, who else could I head to a close with?
Can’t touch that, even the good Lord himself is waving off my keyboard!
But I think maybe, just maybe, the Mrs. Jackson on heights above would grant me these three “leasts of the leasts” in the depths here below to close this post and series:
And here’s a mighty woman of God, who has been a gracious and elevating mentor to my wife as a female scholar surviving within “willy waving” environs. She makes it clear that Jesus was one of the least too, foremost in exdous and to return home:
The last of the least happened just a few months ago in a meeting with my home group. We were finishing up our testimonies and the facilitator asked a young woman, who was hiding in the back, no more than 14 years of age, to share. She was obviously in flight from vicious abuse and bondage. She was hesitant at first, and then she only said this: “I’ve been in recovery for only 3 days, so I don’t know anything. I’ve just learned one thing about God and my feelings… if it feels good now, then feels bad later, that’s the devil. If it hurts now, then feels good later, that’s God.” [heavenly mic-drop that rocks the world] the Spirit and I and some of the “elders” agreed that very well could be the greatest summation of wisdom and an instructive remembrance for anyone, since our God last spoke in the flesh. It was just another day with my people, but I pass it on to you for Love’s sake.
I hope and pray, most fervently, for God’s dream soon, and then to post a few during the season of Light. May the love of our Lord Jesus bless and keep you. Shalom y’all!
Moses, man of God, blessed the People of Israel with this blessing before his death. He said,
God came down from Sinai, he dawned from Seir upon them; He radiated light from Mount Paran, coming with ten thousand holy angels And tongues of fire streaming from his right hand. Oh, how you love the people, all his holy ones are palmed in your left hand. They sit at your feet, honoring your teaching, The Revelation commanded by Moses, as the assembly of Jacob’s inheritance. Thus God became king in Jeshurun as the leaders and tribes of Israel gathered.
“Let Reuben live and not die, but just barely, in diminishing numbers.”
“Listen, God, to the Voice of Judah, bring him to his people; Strengthen his grip, be his helper against his foes.”
“Let your Thummim and Urim belong to your loyal saint; The one you tested at Massah, whom you fought with at the Waters of Meribah, Who said of his father and mother, ‘I no longer recognize them.’ He turned his back on his brothers and neglected his children, Because he was guarding your sayings and watching over your Covenant. Let him teach your rules to Jacob and your Revelation to Israel, Let him keep the incense rising to your nostrils and the Whole-Burnt-Offerings on your Altar. God bless his commitment, stamp your seal of approval on what he does; Disable the loins of those who defy him, make sure we’ve heard the last from those who hate him.”
“God’s beloved; God’s permanent residence. Encircled by God all day long, within whom God is at home.”
“Blessed by God be his land: The best fresh dew from high heaven, and fountains springing from the depths; The best radiance streaming from the sun and the best the moon has to offer; Beauty pouring off the tops of the mountains and the best from the everlasting hills; The best of Earth’s exuberant gifts, the smile of the Burning-Bush Dweller. All this on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the consecrated one among his brothers. In splendor he’s like a firstborn bull, his horns the horns of a wild ox; He’ll gore the nations with those horns, push them all to the ends of the Earth. Ephraim by the ten thousands will do this, Manasseh by the thousands will do this.”
Zebulun and Issachar:
“Celebrate, Zebulun, as you go out, and Issachar, as you stay home. They’ll invite people to the Mountain and offer sacrifices of right worship, For they will have hauled riches in from the sea and gleaned treasures from the beaches.”
“Blessed is he who makes Gad large. Gad roams like a lion, tears off an arm, rips open a skull. He took one look and grabbed the best place for himself, the portion just made for someone in charge. He took his place at the head, carried out God’s right ways and his rules for life in Israel.”
“Dan is a lion’s cub leaping out of Bashan.”
“Naphtali brims with blessings, spills over with God’s blessings As he takes possession of the sea and southland.”
“Asher, best blessed of the sons! May he be the favorite of his brothers, his feet massaged in oil. Safe behind iron-clad doors and gates, your strength like iron as long as you live.”
There is none like God, Jeshurun, riding to your rescue through the skies, his dignity haloed by clouds. The ancient God is home on a foundation of everlasting arms. He drove out the enemy before you and commanded, “Destroy!” Israel lived securely, the fountain of Jacob undisturbed In grain and wine country and, oh yes, his heavens drip dew.
Lucky Israel! Who has it as good as you? A people saved by God! The Shield who defends you, the Sword who brings triumph. Your enemies will come crawling on their bellies and you’ll march on their backs.
Doom to the rebellious city, the home of oppressors—Sewer City! The city that wouldn’t take advice, wouldn’t accept correction, Wouldn’t trust God, wouldn’t even get close to her own god! Her very own leaders are rapacious lions, Her judges are rapacious timber wolves out every morning prowling for a fresh kill. Her prophets are out for what they can get. They’re opportunists—you can’t trust them. Her priests desecrate the Sanctuary. They use God’s law as a weapon to maim and kill souls. Yet God remains righteous in her midst, untouched by the evil. He stays at it, day after day, meting out justice. At evening he’s still at it, strong as ever. But evil men and women, without conscience and without shame, persist in evil.
“So I cut off the godless nations. I knocked down their defense posts, Filled her roads with rubble so no one could get through. Her cities were bombed-out ruins, unlivable and unlived in.
“I thought, ‘Surely she’ll honor me now, accept my discipline and correction, Find a way of escape from the trouble she’s in, find relief from the punishment I’m bringing.’ But it didn’t faze her. Bright and early she was up at it again, doing the same old things.
“Well, if that’s what you want, stick around.” God’s Decree. “Your day in court is coming, but remember I’ll be there to bring evidence. I’ll bring all the nations to the courtroom, round up all the kingdoms, And let them feel the brunt of my anger, my raging wrath. My zeal is a fire that will purge and purify the earth.
God Is in Charge at the Center
“In the end I will turn things around for the people. I’ll give them a language undistorted, unpolluted, Words to address God in worship and, united, to serve me with their shoulders to the wheel. They’ll come from beyond the Ethiopian rivers, they’ll come praying— All my scattered, exiled people will come home with offerings for worship. You’ll no longer have to be ashamed of all those acts of rebellion. I’ll have gotten rid of your arrogant leaders. No more pious strutting on my holy hill! I’ll leave a core of people among you who are poor in spirit— What’s left of Israel that’s really Israel. They’ll make their home in God. This core holy people will not do wrong. They won’t lie, won’t use words to flatter or seduce. Content with who they are and where they are, unanxious, they’ll live at peace.”
So sing, Daughter Zion! Raise the rafters, Israel! Daughter Jerusalem, be happy! celebrate! God has reversed his judgments against you and sent your enemies off chasing their tails. From now on, God is Israel’s king, in charge at the center. There’s nothing to fear from evil ever again!
God Is Present Among You
Jerusalem will be told: “Don’t be afraid. Dear Zion, don’t despair. Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.
“The accumulated sorrows of your exile will dissipate. I, your God, will get rid of them for you. You’ve carried those burdens long enough. At the same time, I’ll get rid of all those who’ve made your life miserable. I’ll heal the maimed; I’ll bring home the homeless. In the very countries where they were hated they will be venerated. On Judgment Day I’ll bring you back home—a great family gathering! You’ll be famous and honored all over the world. You’ll see it with your own eyes— all those painful partings turned into reunions!” God’s Promise.
I did not want to write this post, so I asked my Lord, “why?” He said again, with a bit of heat in his breath, “to make a difference, for I am the difference in you.” There are many comforting words, sayings, and stories by my Lord. But he’s impressed upon me, perhaps just me and too few others, his greater truth and more perfect plan: the hard sayings are those which mature and perfect. They make the most of the difference. And one doesn’t bring in the harvest early, the bulk of the wheat must be mature first in the Light… Or else, all the efforts of the previous labors, toils, and the sacrifice was for not and famine will result. All people will reap what they sow. The ones who want famine are also the ones who lead people away from the greater truth of my Lord. They rejoice in the dark when they bring famine and death. They, not We, are the enemy of our God and a flourishing humanity. The hard sayings blossom humanity at all points, every time to bring joy to our Father of lights, to whom all the crops and all the fields and all the laborers belong, as surely the they all grow in the Sunshine of His Spirit.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention. Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma;look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned. Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’ These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
“First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.”
“Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me. If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me. We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger.Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”
“It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to dogs.”
“That’s what I mean when I say, ‘Many get invited; only a few make it.’”
I love it when he gets on a roll… I think that’s enough of a set-up, if the reader doesn’t appreciate your framing the issue and get it from that, then here’s a parabolic testimony that they will hate even more. But I am with you, my Lord Jesus, even when it’s like living under a volcano while in the eye of the tempest… especially then, and now.
Disturbing picture below? It is meant to be. Scapegoating stopped being a holiness practice at the imperial crossed bars of Jesus Christ, who is the only Messiah for there is no one else like Him. The news of that cross and revolutionary new way of life was meant to rescue all the “red headed step-children,” strangers, refugees, all the dudes that “the righteous” hold in contempt, those they don’t like the looks of, people who don’t hate like they hate, and most token outlaws… and the like. But somehow, over time, the enemy has captivated “a holy people,” again, to abuse the one and only sacrifice of God meant for healing and salvation, and turned it all into an instrument of the self-righteousness to degrade and oppress anyone who disagrees with them. The parable and pains below are meant as the last warning, to drop that practice of abomination, besides burning death over creation.
Below is a cartoon conception of Azazael who is the arch-demon who taught warfare to humanity, instructed men on the production of intoxicating spirits that blind, showed humanity how to make destructive cosmetics that make beauty a lie, and many other vile acts. For this parable, he is known predominately as the maker and murderer of scapegoats… the chief propagandist against the Gospel of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We’re outing Azazael now because he, along with Lucifer (maker of pride), still insidiously seduces “holy people” to continue the slaughter of what the Lord of Life wants to save.
WARNING THE PARABLE BELOW CONTAINS A DEPICTION OF GROSS SEXUAL ABUSE, many audiences should skip the first half of the parable.
The Parable of the Dude
The Stranger and/or the Cowboy narrates: “Way out west there was this fella… fella I wanna tell ya about. Fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. Mr. Lebowski, he called himself “The Dude”. Now, “Dude” – that’s a name no one would self-apply where I come from. But then there was a lot about the Dude that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. And a lot about where he lived, likewise. But then again, maybe that’s why I found the place so darned interestin’. They call Houston “the energy capital of the world.” I didn’t find it to be that, exactly. But I’ll allow there are some nice folks there. ‘Course I can’t say I’ve seen London, and I ain’t never been to France. And I ain’t never seen no queen in her damned undies, so the feller says. But I’ll tell you what – after seeing Houston, and this here story I’m about to unfold, well, I guess I seen somethin’ every bit as stupefyin’ as you’d see in any of them other places. And in English, too. So I can die with a smile on my face, without feelin’ like the good Lord gypped me. Now this here story I’m about to unfold took place back in the early ’00s – just about the time of our second conflict with Sad’m and the I-raqis.”
“I only mention it because sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Dude here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dude, in Houston. And even if he’s a lazy man – and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Harris County, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide. But sometimes there’s a man, sometimes, there’s a man. Aw. I lost my train of thought here. But… aw, hell. I’ve done introduced him enough.”
It was the year of ’01, the Stanger to many who claim to know him best, while usually he appears to the Dude in person as a cowboy. The Cowboy came to the Dude to speak with him at a personal low point for the Dude, and prepared him for a call to go even lower by a high-ridin’ harlot who wanted him to give her kind of destructive craziness vile babies and sanction her malevolent desires for tribal dominion.
The call, to a world descending into chaos fer no good reason, was to meet the wicked who took something that Cowboy gave to the Dude for a program of survival, endurance, and rescue for real heroes and turned that salvific training and plan into terror, violence, and torture for their own aggrandizement over the weak and destitute of the earth. Well the Dude was disillusioned at first, but as their increasing commitment to their perversions of the good became clearer, the voice of the Cowboy became louder. Ultimately, the Dude interceded in truth and with authority.
The evil doers called him “preacher,” not “dude.” They tore up “the preacher’s” bible and desecrated it, just as they did to other lost sons of Abraham. And they did far more than piss on his rug like the anarchists they were while pretending to be ushering in a new glorious world order, Nazis, always the damn Nazis taking the light and making it dark. It got dark. They tried torturing the Dude, but he helped write the book on resistance, so he availed. His noncompliance to their powers madend them more and made them angrier. So, they did what all unholy patriarchs, fascists, and imperialists do when the captives refuse to worship their sacred phallic pillars (which God says repeatedly he will annihilate, e.g. last week’s reading): they began to gang rape the Dude.
If you are surprised, well you shouldn’t be. Just ask any colonized people, any oppressed people, or anyone ever raped then blamed for it. It’s just petty tyrants putting their phallus worship before the proper order of things, just ask anyone burned at the stake, and the Dude even heard tell of a fella a lot like Donnie, who a long time ago was beaten and killed on a phallus symbol of a once great empire, their stars and bars ate him, and he did that willingly so every other story might get told. And so that it would never be done again! But there I go, digress’n, again, the point is that it is what all devils do when the reality sets in, when the light gets turned on, that their powers are nothing in the grand scheme of things. They become more and more virulent in their atrocities until the world is a wasteland and everyone else, not like them, is murdered. But a funny thing happened as the Dude went to a safe place in his head to flee their darkness… he began to laugh. He laughed at their futility, their utter inability to do anything well. As he laughed more and more they became ineffective, completely useless, all of them, each in turn. And this most humiliating defeat set their minds to murder the Dude in the worst way possible.
They told the Dude, “Hey preacher, we’ve erased all records of you, and preacher we will leave you here in the wasteland dying slowly and alone. No one will ever know what happened, not even your mother!” The Dude just focused on the death of his best friend Donny as they beat him savagely and left. He thought about his reunion with Donny in the big ranch house in the sky and the party. Azazael walked round about gloating and mocking, “Hey preacher how good is this? You should’ve accepted one of our many offers over the years and you would be a star in our administration! Look at yourself and your truth now preacher! Where’s your weak and useless friend Donny now when you need him!” And the vultures circled lower and lower, the Dude could hear their fowl wings and the dark joy of Azazael’s retinue celebrating the Dude’s death and the coming of their new world order.
Funny thing though, the Dude ain’t no quitter, even though he’s lazy. And he might be unattractive, pathetic, and unknown to the world, but he’s always had the rarest of rare hearts. So even after the common torture, feckless gang rape, erasure from the history books, and being left to die miserably alone in the waste and horror, the Dude still abided. And he did something with the little remaining life he had n’em. He did something he knew would honor Donny and make the Cowboy proud. The Dude sang. He is a terrible singer by all accounts, I mean intolerable, but he sang an old hymn he had learned in better times with his family. He spat out in bile and blood into and onto the dirt that was choking him, “Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be bars that raiseth me; Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee…” It slowed the vultures that the Dude feared they might start picking at him before he shed his veil, and the demonic party was stunned and went silent. Then the Dude saw Donny running, as if on fire, running to him. And all the Dude could think is, “let’s raise Bethel and get this party started. I am done with this place.”
When Donny arrived, he did something unexpected; he got down into the dirt with the Dude and whispered a plan so elegant, so perfect, that the demons didn’t understand and the angels pressed close to hear but couldn’t. There would be an incredible plot twist. Two rounders came low and lifted the Dude flesh, soul, and spirit up to the Cowboy’s hall. First time for him, but there had been tales of a few others. The Dude knew his body was there because as soon as he realized where he was, he immediately skubaloned himself, glorious day… not. But the Dude didn’t care, all he could wonder about is why the steps up to Donny’s unique station were wonky and weird, he thought, “in digs like this they oughta hire a better mason.” But that’s the kind’a fella the Dude is, always looking where nobody else does and asking meaningful questions kind’a like Columbo, certainly not Sherlock.
Then the Cowboy said to Azazael and Lucifer, ‘I, rebuke you, and all false accusers! I rebuke you and choose a Garden of Shalom. Surprise! Everything is going up in flames, but I reach in and pull out the pit they have made!’ The Dude collapsed before the rounder, was dressed in dirty clothes. The rounder spoke to his attendants, “Get him out of those filthy clothes,” and then said to the Dude, “Look, I’ve stripped you of your sin and dressed you up in clean clothes.” Some other dude spoke up and said, ‘How about a clean new Stetson for his head also?’ And they did it—put a clean new Stetson on his head. Then they finished dressing him, with Cowboy’s rounder looking on. Cowboy’s rounder then charged the Dude, ‘Orders from a glorified Donny: ‘If you live the way I tell you and remain obedient in my service, then you’ll make the decisions around here and oversee my affairs. And all my attendants standing here will be at your service. Careful, Dude—both you and your friends sitting here with you, for your friends are in on this, too! Here’s what I’m doing next: I’m introducing my servant Branch. And note this: This stone that I’m placing before you, a single stone with seven eyes’—Decree of glorified Donny—‘I’ll engrave with these words’: “I’ll strip this land of its filthy sin, all at once, in a single day.” “‘At that time, everyone will get along with one another, with friendly visits across the fence, friendly visits on one another’s porches.’” The Dude figured all these fine, but odd, folks were talking about the time Donny got killed by the nihilist Nazi’s for everybody. But the Dude wasn’t dead; he hadn’t even died; he ate the bars they tried to shame him with… He certainly wasn’t Donny, and even though their experiences echoed, they were very different and happened at very different times, apparently all as part of a plan the Cowboy always had and that not even His closest rounders knew about. Well now, don’t that just beat the band?!
Then came the terrible part, the Cowboy sent the Dude with some rounders to confront the evil doers. The Dude was dropped in front of their caravan, and there must’a been a mighty rounder with a great light behind the Dude because the perverts, rapists, and liars (who claimed to be powerful and justified) stopped their vehicles immediately and all looked terrified. I mean it looked like all the blood had dropped out of their bodies. The Cowboy’s voice came from above “son of man, eyes forward.” So the Dude didn’t turn around, and he saw several glorious rounders with terrible weapons surround the evil ones. The Voice then said, “son of man raise your left hand toward me with your palm down over them.” And as the Dude did, the terrified men were transformed. They appeared as small, vile clouds above cups. The Voice then told the Dude to say an untranslatable word and when he did one rounder swung his weapon through the vapors and each dirty cloud sublimated and then their grim liquids fell into the cups. The liquids screamed like legions in torment. The Voice then told the Dude to say another untranslatable word and another rounder swung his weapon through the cups and the liquids were desiccated and the cups were ground into a fine powder. Then the Voice said, “son of man blow upon the powder.” And when the Dude blew a little breath, a great wind came up from behind him and the powder disappeared into nothingness. Lastly, the Voice said, “you are an honor before my eyes. Your hands are clean in doing my will. Go home, for no one will stop you. They meant to erase you, but I have annihilated them; everything they ever did or wanted to do will leave no trace in my Work. You are free to do as you please until I send a rounder for you.”
The Dude feared… he feared a lot, who was this Stranger above? Not like Donnie at all! Such horrible works! How could he still be innocent? All he ever wanted was to heal and save, then all this? Why would the Cowboy turn to him for such an atrocity? And like the Stranger says: “Darkness warshed over the Dude – darker’n a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night. There was no bottom.” But Dude dove hard to find bottom. What kind of Narrator was writing the story? None of this was anything like, anything that Donnie ever did! He couldn’t drink enough white Russians or get enough of anything else, substance or person, that could make him forget the terror and despair of what he saw… what he participated in… it was against everything he ever wanted or conceived in takin’er easy or the stories he grew up on. The Dude dove hard for 3 years, as fast and as long as he could…
The Dude Returns
On about 2004.5, as the Dude let himself fall, a familiar rounder came to him and said, “son of man rise up.” But the Dude being lazy and with many other issues to boot and still reeling in disbelief at part of the Cowboy’s greater disclosed nature replied, “I beg you to find another, there must be another. You’ve taken more than I can stand in standing for y’all. I have done all I can and never cursed you or my Lord or my God. Just let me die, please.” Another gabby rounder responded, “God knows how to rescue the godly from evil trials. And he knows how to hold the feet of the wicked to the fire until Judgment Day. God is especially incensed against these ‘teachers’ who live by lust, addicted to a filthy existence. They despise interference from true authority, preferring to indulge in self-rule. Insolent egotists, they don’t hesitate to speak evil against the most splendid of creatures. Even rounders, their superiors in every way, wouldn’t think of throwing their weight around like that, trying to slander others before God.”
The Dude was stupid and numb but he was not ignorant of the Story… the rounders’ message was truth, but he needed a reason for his heart and gut, so the rounders told him of the troubles his sister and niece were in, information that he was out of the loop on. And that trouble was the initial reason our fouled-up protagonist sat up and said, “sure man, let’s go again.” Later the Dude would find more reasons to deal with all the crap and group delusions that held most the world captive back then. And as the Narrator said that he was willing to say, there was some good folks among too many ignorant folks. So the Dude could abide them. But you see, there’s ignorant, then there’s a special kind of ignorant: willful ignorant… and that the Dude won’t and can’t abide that or them on orders from the Cowboy. It was put by a smarter fella this way:
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. This principle is contempt prior to examination.— Herbert Spencer
Because of this special type a person, the Dude can always tell these willy waving egoists, the Dude just can’t tell’um much. They listen to nobody except the ruling, more popular willy waving folks, who are dead inside and trying to kill anyone who will listen and wave willies with’um. But in truth, in their ends, ‘in their cups,’ they’ll either brake good and turn late, or die and burn by their own choices. So that was the lay of the land before the Dude. We could write a novel on these folks, heck another movie is probably in the works, but to the Dude, in the moments that counted most to the Cowboy who sent the Dude… this is what it looked like in a parabolic, or simplified and roundabout way:
The Dude’s job was your basic three step dance from the Cowboy’s old playbook: warn the people, kill the monster, and save the maiden. But the people made sheltering walls for their monster, and the maiden adored the monster like a pet. Now the Dude had the Cowboy’s energy and proficiency for the job, but instead of going egomaniacal like big Lebowskies would with that unction, the Dude did it the Cowboy and Donny way. And they hated him for it. You see, unlike them, to the Dude all those abilities were his greatest fear because he remembered everything and still couldn’t abide the destruction of the evil doers, even though his hands were clean and it was Judged properly. Always in the back of his head the Dude remembered, “I’m going to wipe them right off the face of the Earth and smash their sacred phallic pillars to bits!”
So this was no walk in the park, it was a fearful and trembling passage through fire, and signs were all around, but that’s not the Dude’s story to tell. For his story, the Cowboy and Donny provided the Dude with other people, Spiritual peoples’ all over the earth really. And they helped heal him in ways “special people” never could or would or ought. The humble ones not only believed, a few had foreseen all of it, before the Dude was ever born. So the Dude shares everything with them. Many had suffered in much the same way and had been rescued likewise many times. They, real people, helped the Dude make peace with the Cowboy’s greater disclosures and took it all in stride with and for the Dude, until the horror changed into this here parable. The Dude still abides with them most days, he’s even lazy with them, out in the streets literally breaking chains from the enemy and helping the blind to see by overcoming Azazael and his leigons, at a sustainable pace. I mean these clean folks all actually do the work that Donny died for… hum, imagine all that… shoot, go par-take. Cause it’s one thing to believe in baptism but it’s a whole other shooting match to live out the knowledge of baptism, to fulfill Baptizer’s purpose.. Whoops, ther I go ramblin’… again.
The thing to remember is the Dude only wants to take’r easy and help people to be more like Donny… and some special folks always make that hard. The new hitch, the Cowboy was at the end of his really, really long rope with these folks and the Dude didn’t want to be any part of any more of the Cowboy’s harder decisions like from before. But onthey went acting just like folks in other parts, only these self-styled specialists took pride in doing it better while they raped the nations and desecrated the Cowboy’s special parcel plot… and then they’d just slap the name of Donny on it (like their beloved nimrod would on “his property,” or dogs pissing on something they can’t eat)… The Cowboy did not, does not, and will not approve them or their works… in fact they already lost but they continue like zombies unaware and uncaring spreading terror and death, consuming the rest of humanity… It wasn’t so much that they needed to be cast into darkness, heck-fire they wuz’a marching that way and taking prisoners and most the Cowboy’s back 40 with’um. The Dude was also really worn out from the Cowboy showing him the fear that stands behind all their anger. He pities them, but they have to let go to heal and open up to change, then anything is possible.
Why all the Allowance and suffering by others? To be fair they were ignorant, in general, about themselves and the world, as the Cowboy was a Stranger to them. They’d been mediated and manipulated horrifically by the very forces they prided themselves in controling. The Dude couldn’t be a preacher to them, at that time, and share the descration of Donny’s way by a common type of “special people.” They denied responsibility for the evil men who pissed on him in the desert, even though they sent the evil doers out enthusiastically and supported their great rapes unwittingly, because they were not ripe and twisted by fear.
They only blamed the Dude and assumed Donny’s, meant to be, better half was their wife already, and worse, she was their’s to abuse like their own wife as they pleased… Most encounters with the self-righteous went something like that, but in the end it will be very bad for them and very good for the Dude and Donny’s better half. But the decieved and twisted could not accept truth because they refused peace. So the Dude took the Cowboy’s advice form long ago: ‘if the responsible party denies accountablity and rejects you, especailly by their own self-righteousness, then then walk away, everytime without worrying about any dirt in yer Croc’s.’ Even though one of them still owes the Dude’s family $5600, but they never called a meet’n on that! ‘Nah, hell no, nothing for an outlaw, the bounty is on him.’ But the Cowboy’s got the last say and a rule on that too.
Dear reader, they did much worse than piss on the Dude’s rug again and compound the insult of actual gang rape because they were proud of the evil men and their vile works…that small-ing pride still controls many of ’um to this very day. So as folks committed to self-aggrandizing lies, they were as bad as the evil doing rapists. They elevate and adore sexual molesters and nimrods among their pantheon of powers that be, still. Their dark rounders knew it and led them to call the Dude liar, homosexual, pervert, and worse! Freaking repressed puritans always project their own unresolved issues onto the innocent or lost before they banish them as scapegoats. In reality, they are actually rejecting the reality of Donny. ‘Blame the victims and punish the innocent’, that’s their credo, unless it fits one of their pet-projects which were supposed to be the whole shooting match. Unrepentant they live by it, then unrepentant they’ll die by it. Their larger conference has already experienced and denied the Cowboy’s outing of their own, very real, pedophilia problem as a foretaste of things to come if they do not pay heed to the message the Dude gave them. The Cowboy’s feelings will not change without their repentance. The Dude abided becoming their unwelcome scapegoat once, because he knows that the One who sends him will turn all-false accusations that they make about him back on the accusers many fold. Accept that there’s an end game afoot in the timing of this here re-telling today: the Cowboy is done waiting on them, no matter what the Dude says or does next because the Dude is sick of their story, and dealing with them, and there’s plenty’a folks out there who are ready.
Here’s the big take: act as if a lie is true then it is the same as lying, and then to remain in that lie, especially after the lie has been disproven, well that’s much worse than lying… Dude was sent to rescue the wife who kidnapped herself just to get away from all their impotent willy waving and self-worship. The Dude actually cared for her well-being much more than they ever did. Actually the big Lebowskies are more like Jackie Treehorn who used her “for publishing and social advocacy.” Smug and smutty, all they could do is aggressively blame the victim and punish the innocent, in the end those are curses returning to themselves. All-the-while they accused everyone else of doing those very things they did! Many didn’t know the Cowboy and hated the Stranger, and many would never have lowered themselves to act like Donny. They had their own story about themselves and that’s all they wanted, ever (full stop). Again, like the evil doers in the desert, they took the most potent plan in all creation which the Cowboy gave them to rescue, heal, and restore like heroes, and they used it to reject, murder, and descrate like devils… very, very, very bad mistake! Stop please, and “give fair warning to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this book: If you add to the words of this prophecy, God will add to your life the disasters written in this book.”
The stiff-necked Lebowskies had become like their phallic pillars of worship, the enemy had set them up perfectly on earth as bowling pins for the Stranger’s bowling alley above…patriarchy, fascism, and empire are all the same phenomena spiritually, all about “powerful men,” petty and insecure tyrants actually, who can never get enough power for themselves because they are unwilling to deal with their own sins Donny’s way: in repentance and meekness with humility. Or worse they say that they themselves are without sin, in a name they really don’t know properly; that shady impropriety is proved by their bad fruits, just open your eyes today and look at their orchard. Instead of changing and changing their yeild, they then blame those they oppress, degrade, and destroy for the evils of the world, even more. They double-down in wickedness. In churches, that is the spirit of anti-Donny who rapes the Cowboy’s words to rule on earth, in religious circles of willy waving. Some even go more dark and use Donny’s good character and image to bind and judge the very folks that image was given to liberate and save. And that aggression will no longer stand, in fact, without repentance those who used the Cowboy’s stick in this way will be annihilated by it on their day, by the Good Lord himself.
Yikes that’s enough fire and brimestone for any dude. I supposed it has it’s place here and there under direct orders. But let’s turn on the lights stead’a cursing the dark, I’m hop’n I might? Yes, thank you Sir. So three good things the Dude was grateful fer, before the sons of Nahash twisted truths subtley and they preformed a forced banishment after 9 whole months. See how the devil strikes in timing?
Then there was one, Pauline, who took something way, way, way out of context. And that’s all the counsel of the Nahash needed, and to be sure he made up some extra stuff almost out’a nothin’. But talk ‘bout giving crazy babies, may the Cowboy bless Pauline, not just their heart. And their spouse, I promise you that they are going to be among the greatest in the big ranch above. There’s a bit of favoritism by camaraderie there because the Dude knows now the load that a true holy-roller can be to block and tackle fer, especially in willy waving places. And the Dude will take the blame, fer the Cowboy had had enough of them, so he told the dude to tell them “their son of man was leaving.” The Dude didn’t use the whole term because they really didn’t understand the term properly, in the parlance of their times, and well chaos and fear ensued anyway… and bye, bye. The Dude won’t make that mistake twice. He’s in fuller voice now. Lastly, the Paul gave a message to the Dude for Pauline, “Stop comparing your nose to mine, yours isn’t nearly this bad! But stay at proving the gospel properly!”
Lastly but not leastly, there’s one we’ll call Matzah for a dang good reason. He does a really fine Donny imitation both in character and stature. We’re serious about that from the Cowboy on down. He wasn’t part of the original plan, so the Dude worked to give him plausible deniability. That way he could go on with the good works for Donny that he had only begun when things went pear-shaped. The Dude enjoyed his comparison of him to Jason Bourne, but the Dude is much more like Mr.Bean. Besides, it ain’t never been about any identity problem the Dude might have. No, it is all about the identity problem that Matzah’s people have, intolerable and terminal in too many cases!
The Dude, on orders, went to him personally after the dust had settled. Because the highest court on the earth stated repeatedly that no one could come between any dude and their pastor. Well the counsel of the Nahash did, and to prove it here’s their hypocrisy. Not once out of any of the times the Dude was before their counsel did they ever bring up any of the Cowboy’s sayings, not once. The son of Nahash did pray a curse over the Dude at a meeting on all hallows eve… I mean the Dude had a real live witness there to verify the actions, rounders and electrical phenomena and more, but that’s a great story for another time. Iff’n they used anything from the Cowboy’s Papers, then the Dude could have turn it all around then and there, but the darkness knew that and prevented it. Also, the only authority they ever cited for acts as a social club or post office was the great state of Texas. Now that is a proper authority, but not what ‘fer they did and do. The Dude’s kept all his records for the Cowboy, and he’s still got their confession, which they meant for his condemnation. Higher courts ruled on it, and the signatories have yet to reconcile themselves, unfortunately.
And there were many other things the Dude cared about at John’s other home, so much so even that after all that, he visited other leaders at other house’s of John, and they told the Dude to sue their lights out, that exposed their Nahashism too, talk about “a brood of vipers.” So the operation and the handling of truth was off the table for all those houses. Even after that funk, the Dude cried out to the Horsemen who the Cowboy sent, “oh, horseman pass by.” The Horseman came to prove the Dude’s poetry and proclamation true and reveal the Cowboy’s real feelings. But the Dude was given a last minute option to put grace and mercy first, again, before himself and his justified self-image, despite all their ugliness toward the Dude and the Cowboy. So the Dude rose up and drove up in the middle of a mighty twister to exercise an option play. In full disclosure it was a close call, but there were a doughnut shop next door, a Shipely’s at that. And the Dude is a bit of a glutton, besides being the laziest man in Harris County and worst man in their world. So he did it with flaky doughnut sugar on his lips. But he did it. The really weird part was, “why was the shop open in the first place?”
The Dude Aibes
After all that, there are many other stories form Houston and abroad but he mostly checked out a lot of other houses some good, others not so much, all in different stages of the big round up, all in different pastures. The Dude served in several places, places he could find friends like Donny, or he bowled. Lots of stories but they ain’t for tellin’ today.
To finish up the mission at hand, the Cowboy sent rounders for one last big giddy-up after seven trips around the monster. Toward the end of 2008, when people were all stirred up again, the Dude went up to meet Donny and Walter and finish what they had started back in ’01. Donny handed the Dude a hammer, and Walter said hit the monster where its official stamp is on its head. The Dude did, and oh the ruckus that ensued, cheers above and screams below. That monster is still falling today and it won’t stop till it hits the bottom of a very deep hole.
Bigger picture, later on down the line, the Cowboy sent a man of blessings and quick as lightening, a man of moral rectitude, who healed many of the horrors and restored prosperity without being mean. And of course, all “the special people,” hated him because he would not bless their hate. Then they went like dogs to vomit for a nimrod who would tell them that their hate was good, and he (who is a literal, moving haz-mat zone materially and spiritually) with them brought the most death and darkness that the land would ever know. Because they still love the darkness and desire to rule on earth more than anything. They keep missing the boat and can’t see the bigger picture or know the Cowboy. Not just once, but six times now in the last half-century alone.
If there really are just two sides, there’s not in point of fact, but if there were you’d think a dude would wonder what side they’re really on when they’re standing with Putin, Nazis, and QAnon? I know, okay scream “babykiller,” tell me man do you know how many people, how much born and unborn flesh, God has ended? Besides the whole world once, apart from a handful? I know, okay scream “socialist,” man get a grip, study the poverty and social networking of the early, free churches. Economic systems change over time, collapse and rise, the character of God’s people should not because God’s character does not change. Even if the latter terms were epitaphic, they’re not, then the Spirit of Christ has covered it and would in the future, while the former things have always been marked for destruction.
I know your arguments and I sympathize, but more importantly I know only God can fix all that in time, in Jesus’ way to please our Father. Legislation didn’t, doesn’t, and will not be a pleasing sacrifice to the nostrils of God. I know your phallic powers that be will never please God. By the Book the best state needs only to provide safety, health, and liberty for all under equitable laws for all equally, and hopefully over time economic prosperity for all is a bonus. That’s it! You’ve been behind in the count on all those strikes since Nixon. Check the debts and deaths, but I wonder what it really will take for you to believe and let go? How much horror will a special kind’a people demand be losed in the world before they say… “ooh, wait a minute?” You know what Satan loves almost as much as a perversion of Scripture and leaders without character? A single issue voter, who he can lead by the nose with the single finger of one demon. Blow the devils out’cha nose, and return to God.
Men and women who bring light (demurred to be sure but light all the same) with prosperity and hope, they hate. The men who come and wreck prosperity, start wars, and say “life” on one issue for votes just cause more and more death everytime, well they love their guts… it’s the mystery of blind fear and cherished hate. This ain’t opinion, it be history, numbers, and facts the whole world knows, but they hate all those things, all those lights, too. It ain’t the Cowboy nor Donny nor the Dude hating, never a one oughta say that! It’s all them and their phallicous powers and temporary authorities that they’ve abused, and been abused by, for ruling in hatred and darkness. There is a (the) Patriarchy but it will never be theirs’, unless they turn. There is an a Ruling Order at hand, but it will never be from their self styled fascisms, and there is a Kingdom coming but it will crush all of their empires and ideas. All those dark works and selfish workers will be annihilated, so that the Cowboy’s back-40 will be restored and the Glorified Donny will oversee that peculiar parcel himself. Amen, amen, and amen.
Any ways, back at the fall of ’08, Donny then told the Dude to take off a spell and look for a maiden that he had picked out. The Dude wuz’a hop’n it still be the one the church did, but that’s a secret story that wore him out in ways he wern’t never willing ta on his own… and it set him up perfectly fer the next go, the finals, all un-be-knowst to the Dude. Sure he’s taken a few bars for the hometeam, but he can’t even see those things anymore… no one can. What’s more, Donny never let the Dude die, even though the Dude wanted to die like Donny more than anything else his whole life. But you need to see, Donny wants the Dude to live so that everbody else might live like Donny too, and they too might serve the Cowboy in tak’n his plot back, like He done above, but ‘n a more gentle, easy, and Donny-like way. Did the Dude desrve it? Hell no! He, especially the Dude, never would, could, or should! No creature from the fall does, but nothing is about what’s deserved in the whole Story, everything should be and will be about what the Cowboy wants. That’s the only desire that counts or consumates completely…
Say whatever you want about Donny, no matter, that dude’s always got impeccable taste in people. The Dude wanted to stay a spell, but Donny said, “there’s a lot that still needs doin’ so enjoy yourself awhile brother, and after a time we’ll finish up in the finals.” Donny knew it made the Dude smile all day, even on the longest of days, when he called him “brother.” And Walter… ah there I go, ramblin’ again, but maybe later. The Dude did see the Cowboy in person one more time, if only to hear Him say, “sure, I gotcha” in the summer of ‘09, while the Dude was doin’ what he loved most, prior to sendin’ him across a pond to live among lovely people, who took in a cowboy like a good friend who’d never been a stranger, in some enchanted isles with considerable less willy waving. It went something like this :
Definition of “abide” according to Merriam-Webster online:
“(transitive verb) 1a: to bear patiently : TOLERATE, cannot abide such bigots. b: to endure without yielding : WITHSTAND, abide the onrush of the enemy. 2: to wait for : AWAIT, I will abide the coming of my lord. — Alfred Tennyson 3: to accept without objection, will abide your decision.
(intransitive verb) 1: to remain stable or fixed in a state, a love that abided with him all his days. 2: to continue in a place : SOJOURN, will abide in the house of the Lord.
(abide by) 1: to conform to, abide by the rules. 2: to accept without objection : to acquiesce in.”
Enjoy the whole movie if you have the limber conscious and right fortitude, with the ability to laugh at yourself. Be warned that it is rough in places. You don’t approve, well, again Jesus gave me this blog, in part, to tell our stories as we please. And me, this dude always dances with the one that me. And ‘nobody should mess with the Jesus!’ LOL
If you watch it, this key might help: First, if you’ve done your viewing homework, then you would know the Narrator, the Cowboy shouldn’t be a Stranger to you, he’s the one who makes the story. The three other guys? Well Donny is written unique and above the other two, more like the Cowboy than any other dudes. And we know this because to the eyes of men he’s the weakest, the least phallus-like fella ever been begotten by the Narrator. He is always humble in manner and innocent in motive and pure of heart, and he dies to tie all the other narratives and characters together. While in the bigger Story, much bigger than the parable or the whole earth, it is all about him first, always. Walter, the upside down M in character. M’s actually about as affable, hospitable and witty fella you could ever want to meet; neither Walter nor M are Jewish but they are fully devoted to setting up the people of Abraham. And the Dude is the least and the last, a one-off of God’s own prototype that was meant for mass production but the world and the self-righteous who run it don’t want that Difference to appear in their world because it would mean the end of their’s.
But for this day, the day of the Cowboy’s desire, the Dude is still a man purpose built and shaped, mostly in his flaws and failures, to help like-minded folks and sympatheic or curious along to finish their stories in a way that pleases the Narrator. The Cowboy himself, with all his rounders, is tending the hard work with faith-filled and trustworthy associates, new and old alike. He and Donny and the Dude are just looking for that one thing that ties the whole room together. Maybe the Dude found it finally, at least a bigger part of it… maybe, or maybe not.
Most of all, the Dude always remembers and serves Donny above all else… and we mean before EVERYTHING else. Believe me, he’s out in the world every day tak’n ‘er easy for all us sinners. He’s out there *hoping you don’t see him in his ragged company but he could never alone*… I know because I see him every morning in his robe and house shoes. And maybe, just maybe, if we all mind our p’s and q’s another minute or two, he can show up to fill in the gaps of the Cowboy’s story that y’all still ain’t seein’ just yet. That would be a good day for all, to finish the Cowboy’s story with the three guys, which is after all, quite literally, a Cohen Brothers production.
But it will require Vertical, reciprocal faith… abiding, in a holy reciprocity of whole trust while leaving the world behind. That’s “the great difference” between abiding in the booths and abiding in captivity. Abiding in God’s difference from the world, and aiding in the differences of across humanity, that’s what makes the people of God different. His Spirit can stretch out and really get’a going. God’s people never take to the worldly worship of things, things the Spirit of God will not abide, fallen powers, or phallic pillars, or saying, “ooh, this is ours so it belongs to the lord!” Maybe it is their lord’s, but it is not Jesus Christ’s… for if they really knew him, then they would never keep making the same lethal, terminal, and categorical errors in faith and acts.
Or as the good Rev. D.E. wrote to his flock this very morning, “Faith is a process of healing. It is an ancient therapy many have discovered: ‘We become what we believe in, and what we believe in… is life, in all of its fullness and wonder.'” (Shalom…)
That’s one of the deeper truths of the “booths,” or so my rabbis tell me, is that we move out of our comfort zone, accept the inconvenient truth of our cherished and profitable captivity; then we become vulnerable and God meets our needs, always. Only God can really lend that type of complete guidance and support; so then, we really come to understand Him, and only Him, unadulterated and free, in a greater way, as one in/with Him. And if we keep moving, ultimately He becomes our all in all. That’s real freedom, power, and truth. Sometimes He even meets our wants if they are the same as His. An even deeper truth is in God’s calendar. Booths and Passover are at exact opposite sides of the year, God created the history of His people that way by design. Being on polar opposite ends of time is proof positive that God is mighty to deliver even after the most extreme separation ever, by sin or time/space or any other deleterious power that is… whatever mess we’ve gotten ourselves into… again. Please come home.
So move, for all of us in the real world, for every one’s stories, each their own wines… the wine of Cana was good for all of us to believe, but it is old. The wine of the cross was bitter for our salvation, and it was done for all, but we all each ought to have our own crosses to carry, sometimes bitterly but always in knowledge of hope. Hold to those stories in yourself as I do in myself, while all in Christ. But know the new wine, which follows from the many vineyards of reconciliation here upward to Heaven, like a fire returning form earth back up to Heaven, in Spirit, to the greatest feast of all, uniting all who follow Jesus, the only Godman, in his way. So we might all trade our own crosses for crowns to give back to him on the Glorious Day to come.
No matter what men say here, please know that God’s Word says bodily death isn’t our dilemma anymore. In Christ we’re fixed, while the world around us is liminal. So as we move in Spirit and Truth the world will change. The movement is leaving the incomplete in exodus to a completing faithfulness in Spirit and Truth about who Jesus really is and who our Father wants us to become… that is our one and only struggle in reality. I celebrate my death because I will be fully restored, be with family, and drink all the new wine and better wine. Oh yeah, and Jesus will be there too with every “token outlaw” made manifest by the sins of “righteous men” in their bogus world systems, and every other good, trustworthy servant of Jesus who endured to the end. Glorious Day in deed!
While I was personally prohibited from playing any reindeer games with most, I am grateful to all those who offered for the best of reasons, and the worst…
For those who called me into their earthly authorities, thank you, no thank you. I know where all your works came from and where they’re all headed: to terrifying annihilation in the wasteland you have made. But bless you and I am going with Jesus, and he’ll give me the only energy and proficiency I need, on each day of my life, to do as only he pleases.
For all those who hypocritically said I was welcome, but I must worship their monster and give the raging harlot crazy babies. I will always remember first, “So don’t worship or serve their gods; don’t do anything they do because I’m going to wipe them right off the face of the Earth and smash their sacred phallic pillars to bits!”
I even thank the ones who tried to seduce me with the vision of a ‘TV contract in my future!’ Well man, I know two things if nothing else, that I got a face for radio and a voice for blogging. So I am going across the tracks to feed the poor and set up chairs for Jesus. Enjoy the Kool-Aide and bless you, but I abide amongst Jesus’ ministries only. So when the time comes, I will know and do as he pleases.
In fact, he’s already handed me multiple plans depending on our Father’s desire in weaving the difference of all things between the actions of men and foreknowledge with what’s been written and ordained. It is a mind blowing process to observe, but the point is that I will do what he decides, because we love you and want only the best for all.
The last is our favorite because it is the biggest evangelistic coup ever…to the ones who rejected me and God’s Word for them, well… just as another perverse and self-righteous generation rejected my Lord. Now, many of those you judged and degraded will enter into the Kingdom ahead of you, just as the self-righteous Jews in their disobedience, made a way for the Gentiles… Jesus Christ says it Himself, again:
“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.”
It is in the writings, Jesus was always clear about greater things and won’t ever do it the way men would… Go on, get angry or happy, curse or celebrate, it ain’t about you, it’s about them. And it makes no difference to me and my Lord, because the Word says, again:
“This kind of talk caused another split in the Jewish ranks. A lot of them were saying, ‘He’s crazy, a maniac—out of his head completely. Why bother listening to him?’ But others weren’t so sure: ‘These aren’t the words of a crazy man. Can a ‘maniac’ open blind eyes?’”
Jesus answers them, “I told you, but you don’t believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words. You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind.”
Therefore, now, as was always proclaimed in truth… many more will be saved and lifted up as the Jewish rejection of my Lord brought in oceans of gentiles, all those waves of common and filty people. But I ask the destroyers and thieves, how can a gentile judge another gentile without hypocriscy? Weren’t you told and did you not preach this repeatedly by the Word of God, that your own perceived place in Christ over other gentiles did not matter to Christ, and moreover you will not judge? To both questions, you cannot and yes you were. Yet you keep on in their sinning anyway. Well go on, keep it up, I am not here to stop you, just to warn whoever hears my small, whispering voice… one last time… for my Lord has now told me:
“Don’t seal the words of the prophecy of this book; don’t put it away on the shelf. Time is just about up. Let evildoers do their worst and the dirty-minded go all out in pollution, but let the righteous maintain a straight course and the holy continue on in holiness.”
And hear me, now and forever, righteousness is as Jesus Christ did, does, and will always do, while true holiness is in living his way (not like other nations’ and then just putting Jesus’ name on it like nimrod does). The difference, the un-common-ness, runs from alpha to omega at each and every point in between (full stop).
But for me, maybe just for me, I sincerely thank you and I am truly grateful, because each rejection and abuse pushed me on to one more step in the Way of my Lord’s Cross. I was always going to fall somewhere between the Porch and the Altar of my God’s house. It was by your rejection and my suffering that the Spirit carried me away from the porch and placed me, the worst of men, at the very side of Jesus himself. I moved from porch to altar in a path of his blood, from Jonah to Jesus. I could never thank you enough! I love you and offer shalom! I could not be this close to Jesus if not for your obedience as well as your disobedience! But you need to stop being the bad example now, please. My failures and returns were out of my hands, and still I never died. But please know the right hand of me and mine has only peace and love for each and everyone, because I live in a way that no man, or woman, could have ever taught me.
Here’s the only way to God given in a bonus track, c’mon family above, let’s giver a go:
Lastly, I was told that it was more than allowed for the larger reconcillation project. Edgy maybe, but that’s the Word, so it’s right and mete for a bonus, bonus track to thank the anonymous angel of hope, who always plays her part perfectly. If I had refused, then God would have sent another. But thank you, the rest of Jesus’ more perfect plan needed your particapation, not another’s. I kept some of the memories and treasure them, in a very Godly and unadulterated manner. It’s good to have memories, it makes our souls wealthy. And today, I wrote this part first to edify me while I wrote the hard parts above.
I say this so you might know, not just believe, and everyone you decide, if you decide, to share with will know, not just believe, that God will keep all the promises he made to you here and, even if need be, in the next life. God always keep all of his promises, even if it requires another age. I hope you get everything now that you ever wanted and that God, in his ridiculous riches, will give you exceedingly more; that’s what I prayed for you the whole time, even if it didn’t sound like it. I am the worst of men, I always fail. But may you and yours smile all y’all’s days, may y’all abide as with God’s best, even on the glorious days when y’all each slip off your mortal coils. May our Lord Christ Jesus always bless and keep all of your rather numerous, lovely family though every generation.
Really, in reality, that’s why dudes like me and our rounders do what we do, eat’n the bar or be’n ate by the bar e’ry dang day, a dang day atta time in the Spirit… so that many that we’ll hardly know, all generations to come maybe blessed, not cursed, within the big lasso of Creation. No worries about me, as the Cowboy said, I abide and folks… I made out like a lazy yet blessed bandito, undeserving and uncaring about the judgments of all save One, same as ever was!
Those who remain, please know we favor you most. Can we focus on the future, now? Can we please go live and go home now, doing Jesus’ work along the way, His way? Far out and ridiculious request in these days? Yup, probably, but I know the trail, and the enemy certainly knows that fo’ shoo as they have done their damnest all along (not just last go, all of’um) on my way to His. Pretty please… (the sugar on top comes tomorrow night at sundown). While many stories might end here and we grieve those losses, do please remember that for all those who abide *… just when you think it’s all over, it’s only begun.* Like my life…
A David Psalm
God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, (like Willie sang and the Man said) You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them! I couldn’t even begin to count them— any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers—out of here!— all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations. See how I hate those who hate you, God, see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies!
Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.
“Don’t link up with a wicked person and give corrupt testimony. Don’t go along with the crowd in doing evil and don’t fudge your testimony in a case just to please the crowd. And just because someone is poor, don’t show favoritism in a dispute.
“If you find your enemy’s ox or donkey loose, take it back to him. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you lying helpless under its load, don’t walk off and leave it. Help it up.
“When there is a dispute concerning your poor, don’t tamper with the justice due them.
“Stay clear of false accusations. Don’t contribute to the death of innocent and good people. I don’t let the wicked off the hook.
“Don’t take bribes. Bribes blind perfectly good eyes and twist the speech of good people.
“Don’t take advantage of a stranger. You know what it’s like to be a stranger; you were strangers in Egypt.
“Sow your land for six years and gather in its crops, but in the seventh year leave it alone and give it a rest so that your poor may eat from it. What they leave, let the wildlife have. Do the same with your vineyards and olive groves.
“Work for six days and rest the seventh so your ox and donkey may rest and your servant and migrant workers may have time to get their needed rest.
“Listen carefully to everything I tell you. Don’t pay attention to other gods—don’t so much as mention their names.
“Three times a year you are to hold a festival for me.
“Hold the spring Festival of Unraised Bread when you eat unraised bread for seven days at the time set for the month of Abib, as I commanded you. That was the month you came out of Egypt. No one should show up before me empty-handed.
“Hold the summer Festival of Harvest when you bring in the firstfruits of all your work in the fields.
“Hold the autumn Festival of Ingathering at the end of the season when you bring in the year’s crops.
“Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Master, God.
“Don’t offer the blood of a sacrifice to me with anything that has yeast in it.
“Don’t leave the fat from my festival offering out overnight.
“Bring the choice first produce of the year to the house of your God.
“Don’t boil a kid in its mother’s milk.
“Now get yourselves ready. I’m sending my Angel ahead of you to guard you in your travels, to lead you to the place that I’ve prepared. Pay close attention to him. Obey him. Don’t go against him. He won’t put up with your rebellions because he’s acting on my authority. But if you obey him and do everything I tell you, I’ll be an enemy to your enemies, I’ll fight those who fight you. When my Angel goes ahead of you and leads you to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, I’ll clear the country of them. So don’t worship or serve their gods; don’t do anything they do because I’m going to wipe them right off the face of the Earth and smash their sacred phallic pillars to bits.
“But you—you serve your God and he’ll bless your food and your water. I’ll get rid of the sickness among you; there won’t be any miscarriages nor barren women in your land. I’ll make sure you live full and complete lives.
“I’ll send my Terror on ahead of you and throw those peoples you’re approaching into a panic. All you’ll see of your enemies is the backs of their necks.
“And I’ll send Despair on ahead of you. It will push the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites out of your way. I won’t get rid of them all at once lest the land grow up in weeds and the wild animals take over. Little by little I’ll get them out of there while you have a chance to get your crops going and make the land your own. I will make your borders stretch from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Wilderness to the Euphrates River. I’m turning everyone living in that land over to you; go ahead and drive them out.
“Don’t make any deals with them or their gods. They are not to stay in the same country with you lest they get you to sin by worshiping their gods. Beware. That’s a huge danger.”
I asked my one and only high priest, my sole establisher and exclusive author, “what next?” He replied, “tell our story; it’s ours but it’s yours to share as you please.” “How shall I tell it lord?” Jesus said, “do like our Father and I did, from the beginning. Share your first public encampment of us, in your first going out in return to us.“
My, “Beta’s,” song of King Alpha along the bayous of shanty town, like sleeping with the livestock of a nation, in my Babylon that heads up the world in death worship. Yes, I know this song pulls the Yesterday’s Wine album out of order, but I am not Alpha. I am “a little” disordered like most, but we’ve all been given the power and authority to retell our stories of Jesus in us as we please, in all our divine failures and messy glories. He wants us all to tell, to testify of his victory in us!
Ah, you should’ve seen this imperfect son of an imperfect man coming for Jesus.
Mammaw Brooks had to wait 14 years from this first message (below) for me “to get saved by baptism.” But I think we’re all good now, and none of this would have been possible without all her heretofore unacknowledged work with me. Pappaw Brooks always emphasized telling the truth. So when God came to me as a child, one of the many times we talked (more on that latter), that’s what I asked Him to give me. Please know the simple faith of a child is a righteous spirit to my God. He smiled and said “done.” Don’t get me wrong I tell a lot of lies, but to this day no one has been able to say that I lied about my God. Many people just said “that’s not true,” well that’s according to their version of God; so we agree. But they don’t know my God, so I didn’t lie to them.
This is the Church where I preached my first sermon. I believe I was about 7. Ancient sources vary on the issue so I am guessing, using family lore, and piecing it together studiously. We used to go along South Wayside to get there, but the highways and streets have changed.
I wanted to go in and say hello to the pastor, but I was very, very sad to see it abandoned. It is happening more and more, not because the world is wicked. It’s happening because many American churches serve the powers that be instead of the power Who Is. That’s idolatry that the Bible doesn’t address directly much because people didn’t have a choice of leadership back in the day. But it is many churches’ biggest business of late (about 1700 years). So, He’s letting them wither before he cuts them off. Others serve self-interest and do well, but that’s not the gospel of my Jesus. So one day very soon, He’ll just pull them out by the root. Ouch!
The first Sermon, according the memory of my excitement then and to multiple family members retold through the years:
“My God has given me a heart to love him,
He gave me eyes to see him,
He gave me ears to hear him,
And a mouth to talk about him!
[Foot stomp, hand clap Bible]
I ask you, who is Jesus to you?!
Your God… good;
Your Savior… great;
Your Lord… okay.
[Double foot stomp, hand clap Bible]
Well brothers and sisters, this is my bible!
[Hold bible overhead while clip-on tie falls to the floor]
My bible says Jesus is the Word of God.
So my Jesus says, if you claim him
And you do not serve the little orphan,
And care for the widow woman,
Then you have forgotten your God,
And you can’t see yourself in the mirror!
That is what the Word of God, my Jesus, says!
So I can’t say you are right unless I believe Jesus first!
[one foot stomp and Bible clap]
Now, maybe it was the Church of Christ that made the mistake of teaching James to me in Sunday school immediately before asking me to get up there and share what I learned. Or maybe not, the point is they did and that’s what came out of me. But since then I came to know God was in it all along. Years later, I understood why the men just stared and a few ladies cheered and wept. My grandmother looked very uncomfortable and asked me to come sit down. And as I did, I heard an angry old cuss say, “he sounds like a damn Baptist!” And there it was… the snake in the garden. There’s always at least one, sometimes a lot. I learned to ignore it even though Jesus hasn’t.
Even later, I came to understand that churches are mostly representations of the people who go there and the God they like to reify by projection, in self-fetishes, even to the extreme abominations of human ordained theocracies! Even on this day! You know, Jesus loves what I love and hates what I hate. So, we’ll impose our rules over you and lord the truth over you like gentiles do.
How else can you explain slavery at the height of Christendom Triumphant? How else do you explain all that “priviledge, wealth, and power,” and they just wither in a dead forest and wreck God’s good work worse than any pagan clan ever did? They look like a big stinky horizon line of farts on the eschatological battlefield. Jesus and I are deeply grieved about that, and he will judge that issue later. I am here to help in the interim, only if invited, for however long it pleases my Lord. If our Father ever wants another theocracy, then Jesus Christ himself will come down and do it. No one will be able to say “hum, maybe, er, maybe not.” He’s the only one with the crowns, all of them. Any other one is anti-Christ in word and deed! They will only lead to more despair and terror.
You angry about what we just said? Well, tough, go away and start your own blog. This one is for me and Jesus, and our trustworthy folks. I mean it, go back out and see what you see. And come back when you are ready to carry your cross and follow Jesus. Come back when you’re ready to serve the Lord God Almighty and those that he called his people to serve (what James calls the one true religion), instead of yourself, which really means you’re serving Satan. Go on, get to stepp’n; nobody is going to stop you.
My God has never imposed his will on anyone to follow him, so I won’t either in order to keep ourselves set apart from all the selfish Christ-claimers. You can only carry a cross willingly and with purpose in sacrifice. We wear big-boy britches in this house, and women of God dress as your own good conscious allows; you all have done a much better job than the men so far. And I do not have the unction, time, nor inclination to change diapers. That’s someone else’s job. Come back if and when you’re able, please. In my Lord’s house we don’t shoot the wounded, everybody except Jesus is a sinner. The wounded and yet still willing are the ones elevated to serve in His trust-worthiness…
And hear me, we never, never ever, scapegoat the lost and sinful, broken or poor, or particularly, the oppressed. That’s what devils do! That’s the spirit in people that crucified my Lord of Glory! Deceived still, they say things like, ‘those filthy people over there are ruining my righteous marriage!’ Man oh man, if that’s actually true, then you were never in a righteous marriage and your faith is pusillanimous. Being right doesn’t make you righteous. Being rectified by Christ Jesus means you serve and sacrifice like Jesus. Even Forest Gump knows that ‘righteous is as righteous does.’ I haven’t ever met a person too dumb, too humble, or too honest to be reconciled to God, but I have met many too smart, too proud, or too deluded to accept the Shalom of God, which is life in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Sinners and the lost and alike are targets of the gospel, not easy marks to make you feel better about yourself. You can’t claim grace/salvation/glory on the inside of your house and, at the same time, sin/judgement/condemnation on all those outside. In truth, the inverse is much closer to the truth. Jesus called it ‘an issue with their cups.’ And our Father’s prayer makes very clear the consequences of that impurity. We all need to be daily refined by forgiving others and receiving forgiveness, or else my God and my Lord would not have said it. Most say it but very few actually do it. Be doers, not just sayers, of God’s prayer for us all.
So many churches and so many gods, and so many “Jesuses” I don’t recognize. Paul seems to stress the opposite approach. Many peoples, coming from many places to worship one God in one Faith by one Spirit baptism sent by Jesus Christ and our Father (and yes, you can say an actual believer’s water baptism too). Then, within a day and across an age, all those different folks become substantially and formally metamorphosed, by God, into one likeness, one image, into one body for his uniquely begotten Son. It’s kind’a like my God made my wife for me.
Pappaw Brooks said the first way is “horseshit.” I agree and so does Jesus, as I’ve always understood him. And they’re right, because I’ve known them both my whole life and neither ever did me any harm. But the splitters, deceivers, theocrats and self-imagers have attempted, without exception, to harm me and grieve the Spirit given to me. My other grandfather, who trained as a Methodist minister, he told me, “son that’s the problem, when you tell the whole truth of God’s Word in most churches you bust their hustle. ”
Now I understand it as idolatry in preferring to hear and see what pleases yourself. It is not evil to say if it is true, call a spade a spade inside the hosue in order to care for and serve the all those in trouble outside the house. In fact, it is an act of Grace to point it out now that we’re in the finals… and there’s too many diapers and not enough britches. It would be wrong to stay in our anger or stay in the hypocrisy because it would hurt ourselves and, more importantly, the others.
A reodering to/by/for God’s Logos is in order and it starts as an inside job that will become a more perfect outside job. This is all facts, let conviction and edification land where it does according to the spirits. Look out at your world now, the churches in power through their poor associations with the powers that be and selfish choices are at fault; no one else had the power or authority to create our present perilous state.
More on all that later, I hope, but this post was just looking back at what Jesus said in my first sermon then, and what it messages today. Now some more psalms that have better theology and doctrine than too many churches we’ve encountered.
Mammaw Brooks taught me to read from the bible as soon as I started to learn my abc’s. I had trouble and I had to write and rewrite words to remember how to spell them. It was hard but we spent untold hours talking about the stories and which words were the most important. Years later I was told that I probably had dyslexia or some structural brain disorder, but that was one term before I was going to graduate undergrad with honors. So the clinician said there wasn’t anything she could do for me; then she asked me how I overcame it. She was a nice lady, so I told her about my folks and Jesus working with me.
Bonus track for my baptism: I never felt apart from God but I did receive some insight and direct instructions from my Lord at my baptism by Neil Kemper in the Trinity River (1989). Jesus came to me and said, “never accept authority in any earthly government or receive orders from any human priesthood.” I was like, “er, well, alright.” Over the years my obedience disappointed a few people by declining one or the other. I am sorry for that. My sisters figured, “that’s our brother marching to the beat of his own drummer, again.” My parents and pappaw and Neil all thought, “that’s about right for you.” But poor mammaw, all she heard was, “[our grandson] will never be a Church of Christ preacher!”
Well mammaw, it seems God laid a better plan for us that he nested in his hugest decision tree of all. Wonderous things we only understand, dimly and in part, now, 31 years later. A long curacy by any one’s standards, especially after a 22 year catechism. So let’s sing apart but together (kinda like churches are nowadays) about what we both wanted most for each other then, now, and forever! If I can be Willie, then you can certainly be Patsy– although in real life we’d sound more like Punch and Judy. Let’s sing it anyway mammaw because, we know now and we’re are so joyous. You might even dance! Or not, maybe not…
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram and said unto him, “I am the Almighty God. Walk before Me, and be thou perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.”
He Is Your Life
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.
Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master.
Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don’t take advantage of them.
Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master to no end.
Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.
Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.
The next post (sundown October 9th) will be an excruciating parable discussing explicit, mature issues of horrible abuse. I did not want to write it, but Jesus ordered it because his Spirit will do glorious things with it, slowly coming to light. We want a few mature, circumspect, and sober women and men to review it and redact it as they deem proper in good conscious before anyone else sees it. Do not let anyone be harmed by it! A great light will arise from this pit, and then we will close one night later on a very positive upswing. Promise! But the power of the upstroke is proportionate to the preceding down stroke. It is a profound downgrade, but it is time to start building vertical circles of trust for the upstroke from our pit. This is a very serious and painful issue for too many but we trust you.
At that time, this song will be sung in the country of Judah: We have a strong city, Salvation City, built and fortified with salvation. Throw wide the gates so good and true people can enter. People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, Steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit. Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing. Those who lived high and mighty he knocked off their high horse. He used the city built on the hill as fill for the marshes. All the exploited and outcast peoples build their lives on the reclaimed land.
The path of right-living people is level. The Leveler evens the road for the right-living. We’re in no hurry, God. We’re content to linger in the path sign-posted with your decisions. Who you are and what you’ve done are all we’ll ever want. Through the night my soul longs for you. Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to you. When your decisions are on public display, everyone learns how to live right. If the wicked are shown grace, they don’t seem to get it. In the land of right living, they persist in wrong living, blind to the splendor of God.
You hold your hand up high, God, but they don’t see it. Open their eyes to what you do, to see your zealous love for your people. Shame them. Light a fire under them. Get the attention of these enemies of yours. God, order a peaceful and whole life for us because everything we’ve done, you’ve done for us. O God, our God, we’ve had other masters rule us, but you’re the only Master we’ve ever known. The dead don’t talk, ghosts don’t walk, Because you’ve said, “Enough—that’s all for you,” and wiped them off the books. But the living you make larger than life. The more life you give, the more glory you display, and stretch the borders to accommodate more living!
O God, they begged you for help when they were in trouble, when your discipline was so heavy they could barely whisper a prayer. Like a woman having a baby, writhing in distress, screaming her pain as the baby is being born, That’s how we were because of you, O God. We were pregnant full-term. We writhed in labor but bore no baby. We gave birth to wind. Nothing came of our labor. We produced nothing living. We couldn’t save the world.
But friends, your dead will live, your corpses will get to their feet. All you dead and buried, wake up! Sing! Your dew is morning dew catching the first rays of sun, The earth bursting with life, giving birth to the dead.
Come, my people, go home and shut yourselves in. Go into seclusion for a while until the punishing wrath is past, Because God is sure to come from his place to punish the wrong of the people on earth. Earth itself will point out the bloodstains; it will show where the murdered have been hidden away.
Faith in What We Don’t See
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.
By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.
By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.
By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.
By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said. That’s how it happened that from one man’s dead and shriveled loins there are now people numbering into the millions.
Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.
By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him—and this after he had already been told, “Your descendants shall come from Isaac.” Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar.
By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau.
By an act of faith, Jacob on his deathbed blessed each of Joseph’s sons in turn, blessing them with God’s blessing, not his own—as he bowed worshipfully upon his staff.
By an act of faith, Joseph, while dying, prophesied the exodus of Israel, and made arrangements for his own burial.
By an act of faith, Moses’ parents hid him away for three months after his birth. They saw the child’s beauty, and they braved the king’s decree.
By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff. By an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king’s blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going. By an act of faith, he kept the Passover Feast and sprinkled Passover blood on each house so that the destroyer of the firstborn wouldn’t touch them.
By an act of faith, Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The Egyptians tried it and drowned.
By faith, the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and the walls fell flat.
By an act of faith, Rahab, the Jericho harlot, welcomed the spies and escaped the destruction that came on those who refused to trust God.
I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.
…As I walked back toward the veil I was inspired to cast down these three crowns, at the feet of Christ Jesus:
Behind the veil we three priests talked about many things but the only things that were pertinent, for now, was the discussion with Joel’s witness and the one and only high priest’s, Jesus’, perfection of ‘his better plan for us.’ Then, they prayed over me to go out in our order and my own name. And finally, our Lord Jesus closed us by saying, “today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Behind the veil I was given another paper from my past and was instructed to roll it up and tie it to the left post of the entrance as I walked out to return below.
As we left the tent I handed the rolled paper to the guards and as they bound it on the left post. It reads, again:
“Abraham’s movement constitutes perhaps the fundamental arrangement that has governed and contested the religious lives of spiritual people from his day until our own.
This arrangement is essential because it forms our common history; but it is presently disintegrating before our very eyes as some of us recognize that God is greater than our desires, but many still insist on serving fallen crafts, or hypocritically seek to please both. In a critical mode of vision and action, we may recognize and differentiate our desires for God from His desires for us; we ought to relinquish the delusion of limited control and gain Glory. To this end… we can never forget the One that paved the opening at the cross, Christ Jesus, who covers our sin for all time, and only momentarily the ubiquitous blasphemy that is the chief obstacle standing in the way of an imminent new way of life.
To all those who rebelliously still wish to talk about “man” as idol… who wish to make themselves the starting point and judge of their attempts to reach up to the Truth… who compulsively self-reference their understanding of Truth back to what pleases them most… who refuse to think without immediately admitting it is they who have imposed their own will and thoughts to their end today, to all those warped and twisted calls to inaction, we must now turn away.
One thing is certain about this perilous state; man’s self-image is neither the oldest nor the most constructed image raised in vain against our Living God. Taking the relatively short chronological sample within a restricted geographical area—the West since Abraham moved— It is certain that the way we imagine ourselves is a recent invention within it.
Self-image cloaks our secrets and relations. Sin prowled so long in the shadows we stitched together and the abyss kept below, but now it gestates in our abusive housekeeping, satanic worthless-ship. In fact, among all created things and their order of relation, our self-image and chief commodity, now communed by the false prophets to give the appearance of life, movement, to the dead. The abomination resurrected, a worship of self-will run riot on terminally lethal fumes… only that one, that which began over a century and half ago and will now come to a close, has made it possible for the sons of perdition and lawlessness in league with those that bank on terror and fear to appear victorious.
If those arrangements built on self-righteousness and their forces of tyranny that rely on comfortable passivity were to disappear as they appeared, if we could throw down our vanities… if some event of which we can at the moment do no more than sense the possibility… were to cause them to crumble… if we could manage the slightest tangential shift in perspective… then we could certainly wager that our lies of self-image and importance would be erased like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea. And we would see, if only for an instant, in that parallax our Lord’s undesigned face slip through in return to acknowledge our repentance. That holy glance, however fleeting, would surpass anything we presently recall from our history in rebuttal to Abraham’s faith. We could live in the Holy Spirit and reign with Christ Jesus for our Father in healing over creation for a thousand years.”
As we walked to the edge they all wanted to know if it would be war or peace. Melchizedek told them, “Michael you return to Israel. Chamuel and Uriel you return with Raphael and Stephen. All others to the edge and watch closely, hold and stand. “But that is not our question,” they all asked, “will Nimrod remain for war or will they accept a real Cyrus so we can begin the Lord’s dream immediately?” Jophiel spoke up, “why isn’t Nimrod talking about the wall that isn’t there for us to knock down?” Raphael smiled, “the Medicine has taken hold.”
I interceded, “no matter… war over more dead bodies then healing, or peace and healing now. God will be glorified most, either way. He handed them over to their own desires several rotations ago and now the worst pagan darkness ever known hangs pregnant over the land. Things are so bad today no one will be able to cry we didn’t know again, tomorrow. Not on this watch, God didn’t call my wife and I back nor did we leave paradise island, cross 5000 miles of water, fight to hold the middle ground, and jump off the greatest mountian of smoke just to teach Nazis and nimrods lessons in humanity. There is much more to do. Our King declared to offer shalom now. It will be done below. In Truth, it already has been done. And then it is up to them again, only this time if they chose… unwisely, all flesh would see. Heck, we wouldn’t need to do much, after a time all their works crush them under their own temples everytime. So this time, time is our strong ally not Satan’s.” All of us became solemn and we prayed, as we walked, for hard hearts to be broken below.
Melchizedek walked us to the edge and we bantered. He said, “well newbie josser, Beta, you ready?” I responded, “were you, Psi? And more to the point, does it matter because we have orders to follow?” He laughed and said “hey man, no fair, Greek wasn’t a thing back in the day.” Chagrined I said, “yeah, must of been real tough being king in the wasteland where I was an innocent goat left beaten, abused, and within God’s hand of being dead!” He responded, “touche’, but I had to work with a lot of old dirty guys whereas you get to serve for the most lovely event ever.”
At the edge, I said, “yeah, well look at all that crap down there. Either way, it is gonna be a long haul.” And as we turned to descend we looked to the King and He, in turn, pointed above to our Father and all the choirs and creation above asked, “who is like the Lord?!” And the whole patrol cried back, “He is Jesus the Messiah, and there is no other like him!” There was much noise in the heavens.
As we rotated to catch the sphere and glimpse the totality of chaos, the deceived, and demons below, covering the poor and oppressed with all their flith and death worship. The stink began to fill my long nostrils… I looked side to side and said, “take your positions please, so we might stomp on the terror here too.”
As my spirit came to land, my Father explained to me, in private, why there was no blood on the altar above. And He set my face like flint to find the blood. For now, in this moment, the only remaing blood of Jesus is on the true Bride. She is being crushed on earth by the enemy and their deceived foot-soliders. Others are simple in faith and comitted to the Way of Christ. While still others of His most precious gift struggle well reaping in the fields, without enough support from wealthy churches. There are many others across the earth. They are easy to spot. Then she will be lifted up and put on pure cloth, just before her marriage to the Lamb. Finally, I heard the wretched voices of the proud saying, “we have saved this many or that number!” I thought how odd? The only number a child of Jesus remembers is how many “I” didn’t save; that is the only number that haunts us.
So to find peace to sleep, I recalled the most glorious day, by far, that Jesus ever gave me, just 7 years ago. I did not deserve it, I never could have earned such an umerited gift, but Jesus always keeps his promises and this restored my peace by his glorious Grace, like no other ever would or could:
So, from the Glory of Jesus Christ to our glory, we now offer the Glory of Jesus to all by Jesus for the glory of Jesus toward a union with Jesus and all humanity:
I and my war bride are one, now. Together we stand at the Altar upon the Heights, literally. We turn to face all humanity personally, from here. We humble ourselves to one and all. We kneel and bow our heads before you. We extend our hands out and up to you. In our right hand, to your left, is God’s shalom, Life now and forever. Drop your idols and receive union with Jesus Christ. The other way there is only terror and death, don’t go there! We plead, beg, and implore all to move to our right and receive shalom. It is our Glorified Lord’s right hand as well. We are nothing, but Jesus is everything. The Spirit of Christ Jesus is within us for this offering of shalom. We are great sinners. We have failed in epic ways, repeatedly. But we humbled ourselves before the Father and his mighty right hand, the one and only Jesus Christ, in time, lifted us up and called my bride and me back here, to kneel before everyone from here.
EVERYBODYcome and seek, repent and return, to the Lord, your true and most high God now, before the time has passed! Please do not misunderstand us, we will do all we might, even unto death for His Glory. But now, only two things are sure: God will be glorified in your obedience or your disobedience, always and forever. And as for us and our house we will obey Him, no other! There is no other! He is like no other in battle for our Father’s glory or His war to rescue it and us all, at His Cross, and now all other spots all about us. Choose wisely, for we are all immeadiately upon a separation of ways, a cataract in the river of Life, or a fork in the road up to Jesus, or not. Choose wisely, while you might!
We sing and weep with these few voices here who only want to serve and witness our Lord’s way. We will never stop: