Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nothing Wasted, All To The Good


Here is me and my guitarist Michael Hatfield at Open Mic Night at Velour performing an early, folksy-period song of Bowie....

And below is the other song we did--an odd choice as the original is not at all "acoustic" . . . which is why I chose it; to do a whole different take on it (called "Sweet Thing/Candidate":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKoTJyRZuLw

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Tomorrow night is the big show.  I just got home from our last practice before showtime.  Still somewhat surreal and astounding (if I stop to think about it) how quickly this has all come together.  It's been a very interesting on so many levels . . . especially juxtaposed against all that is going on in the world at the same time.  I'm always watching, thinking, analyzing . . . how my mind, my soul, and more subtle inner things . . . how they are affected by what I'm doing, focusing on, practicing.  Always studying . . . learning, observing. . . .  This venture is producing a lot of fodder for contemplation, comparing and contrasting.  It won't be wasted. . . .

And . . . watching how others are affected, how they act in new circumstances.  It's easy to be a semi-"saint' when you're sitting alone, reading scripture, unchallenged by others, by social interactions, never having to deal with radically different types of people.  So long as you can control your environment, you can maintain a false sense of progress and attainment.  But put some "sandpaper" people in there and suddenly you're not so sweet or "saintly". . . .

To every thing there is a season.  A time to be inward, to retreat.  A time to go out, engage.

I've always made a point . . . at certain times, to do something uncomfortable--challenge myself, shake it up.  Law school was one of those tangents.... Indeed, this was one of the better traits of David Bowie, speaking of Bowie. . . . He would deliberately put himself and his art/music into foreign, strange environs and methods, just to keep it fresh and keep learning and coming up with new twists.
It helps keep you "young" . . . supple . . . growing, alive. . . . Sometimes it pans out, sometimes it doesn't.  In any case, if you are staying aware, conscious, prayerful, with God as guide and supreme end . . . it is always fruitful in some way or another.  Nothing is wasted on the Godly path.  All works to the good. . . ..

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Showtime, Prayers Welcome...Ayeeee...

It's the beginning tonight of the big week.  I'm kinda blown away by how much there has been to do.  How much it has taken in time and money--oy, it's been nuts, but fun . . . scary, exciting, intense, semi-frantic.  A million and one little (and big) things to do and get and make and practice. . . .  Last night was late night working on the banner in the garage.  It's about half done, yikes . . . and needs to be well ready for the debut show of my band this Thursday night.  Tonight me and my guitarist are doing a small acoustic set at the venue for open mic night to promote the show Thursday.  Final rehearsal is tomorrow night.  My millennial bandmate  is giving me a panic--seems to think you can just wish your way being ready to perform and not really have to do the work.  As in he's flakey and doesn't show up to practice or communicate properly; although that seems to be all the rage now. HARDLY ANYONE communicates anymore!  What the heck is going on?  It's gotten bizarre.  We've got more ways to respond than ever: text, email, instant message, phone call, etc., and yet . . . lately, no matter how important the thing is, no matter how much I need a quick, simple answer on something or to stay in communication with someone over a project or task that we both have agreed to do . . . people are just disappearing!  They don't respond.  They WON'T respond! 

For instance, I've had now 3 different guys wholeheartedly commit to me to help shoot the all important video of the show Thursday night--going back weeks I was trying to line someone up.  Got commitments . . . and then . . . when I wanted to start pre-planning, going over details of the shoot--DISAPPEARING ACT!  Just gone.  Poof!  I send polite emails, "hello? where'd ya go?". . . . Nothing.

2, 3, 4, 5 emails, texts, all genteelly imploring, wondering just wanting to find out, "are you in? if not fine I just need to know so I can find someone else"--. . . . Nothing.  Zip.  Nada.

And this has occurred in a number of cases.  It's just so impolite, odd, and inexplicable. . . . And frustrating as all get out!

Anyway, aside from that, I am excited though nervous a bit for this.  It is surreal that just a few months ago I had no band, few music contacts anymore, hadn't really seriously sang or played in years . . . and here we are with a killer band, websites, growing fan base, shows lined up etc.  Always and still ongoing, all glory and thanks to God.  Like I said at the beginning of this, I knew it could appear to be one thing on the surface--as in, I am venturing into the world where I have been leading a practically monastic homelife for a long time for the most part.  But with this there have been the Gospel sharing opportunities all along the way in interesting and spontaneous ways--people and venues that I would not normally venture near. . . .

Of course, I somehow managed to get into some stinging nettle or poisonous thistle the other day weeding in the garden (which has been neglected with so much else to be done) . . . and I've got this big red welt by my eye, lol. . . . Just in time for the show......

heh, prayers welcome! God bless. . . .

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Prime Mover Causes Freedom

Self determination . . . freedom . . . individuality . . . individual creativity . . . representation.  I think of all things I continue to ponder and analyze, the biggest mystery and paradox and wonder is (according to my understanding) how it is that God is utterly, wholly sovereign and that nothing happens outside His "decree" and control . . . AND how it is also the case that our individual "freedom" and self determination is so crucial and such a gift and apparent reality.

I believe we are indeed "free" in a sense--truly free and share in some way God's attribute of unique creativity and self determination  . . . However, no one besides God Himself is wholly autonomous.

Which just fascinates me to no end. . . .

"The truth will set you free. . . ."  What does that mean?  It can't mean that you become absolutely free.  Once you know the truth and it sets you free . . . it doesn't mean, for instance that you can now flap your arms and fly to the moon if you want to.  You are not "free" to do that. . . .

But it is clearly within us--a most intense and constantly driving factor--that we yearn to be free and ever chaffing at controls being put upon us.  At the same time, the apostle rightly describes himself as being a "slave of Christ" (Rom. 1:1).  How is it that we are both a slave and free? 

And yet, spiritually, I believe I understand this.  These are the things that cannot be understood or known with natural reasoning--with the natural mind.  They are comprehended with a spiritual mind . . . and perhaps not even such that it can be put into words.  "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."  (Rom. 8:26)  It is beyond words . . . similarly to how sometimes our prayers cannot be put into words, yet deep within, on the spiritual level, we feel we know what we want to convey, plead. . . . And the Spirit is directing it.

My thoughts on this were again roughly triggered by watching the "Brexit" event with Britain leaving the EU--the people striving for self determination against unseen, mostly unknown tyrannical distant overlords.

I seem to know this much.  God is control of everything.  The devil promises freedom, liberty . . . but brings enslavement.  In God I experience a matchless freedom . . . while I am yet His servant.  Personally, I think this is one of His greatest moves; giving us a distinct, unique individuality and creative will or at least a very real experience of such . . . while He nevertheless is Prime Mover and Director of all. . . .

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

That Hopeful Tension

But then there is the wonderful fact that it is not what we do, but what Christ did . . . that saves.  We fail constantly, yet there is a hopeful tension where, even though we continue on with varying degrees of our prior faults and sins, now we struggle against them.  We know it is not what we can do that warrants favor, nevertheless, we are led by the Spirit to try to be better--to fight the good fight against our fallen nature.  The one who does not strive against spiritual faults must be dead.  The born again--the alive, walk in a state of blended sorrow and great hope, joy, gratitude.  We are not what we want to be--what we will be . . . but some things are indeed finally changing.  Now, our sins tweak our conscience.  They unsettle.  We wake again another day to do more, to do better for God, to show Him our love and thankfulness for His matchless gift.  The dead however, do not stir.  They never-mind.  They carry on with nary a thought or worry, or, at the most, a vague apprehension that is quickly quelled through diversions into sense indulgence and ego relishing.

Oh how I cling to that heightened tension between feeling dissatisfied with where I am at spiritually--where my mind and heart still fall and are tempted COMBINED with a new spiritual "knowing" that God Himself has succeeded perfectly and will eventually purge me of all darkness and sin and that it is HIS work which now covers my faults and will see me to the glorious end. . . .

Monday, June 20, 2016

Empty Titles

I guess this strikes me a lot, because I see it a lot--the claim by someone to be a believer, a follower of Christ but showing no sign of it in their life.  It must all be only mental assent of some sort--or even less, a mere statement.  Underneath there is no Spirit, no real commitment to live a transformed life.  It is something you say and quickly convince yourself of its veracity . . . then go on acting and being the same unregenerate person you always were.  Or, you change for a while, high on a new twist, acting superficially "Christlike" . . . but the game wears off after a time, and though you keep the title "Christian" you fall back into the same old nasty habits:  envy, gossip, lying, lustful thoughts, hating. . . .

The sign of a truly changed heart is that love, compassion, patience, encouragement . . . blossom.  You are longsuffering with others' failings and mistakes recalling your own.  You cease trying to control and constantly harangue others, for you trust that God is in charge and all are His anyhow.  So possessiveness increasingly falls away.  You clearly know and see your own faults so your are not prone to pointing out and harping on others' failings.  Instead, you feel commiserate pity and understanding for all concerned, praising God for all, all along the way.

It's fine if you don't really want to live out what it takes to be an authentic disciple of Jesus.  Go with the world, do your thing, fight, compete, put down, lambast, judge unrighteously all you wish.  Just don't call yourself a Christian--at least be honest about the situation. . . .


Friday, June 17, 2016

Facing Death Brings Peace

It's clear to me that what's happening in general is a serious program of trauma-based mass attempted mind control.  When so many horrific stories are presented on a constant basis to peoples' consciousness, it is just like the fire bombing of Dresden or London.  People go into a state of shock and reasoning skills vanish.  People are put into a constant agitated, emotional reactive state.  They split their personalities in order to cope with the day-to-day.  Many subtle and dirty deeds can then be done while the target is in a roughly catatonic state.  Like taking all their rights away. . . .

A big reason this often works so well is because people have not dealt with DEATH.  They've not faced the inevitability of death.  That is the backstory to all this. . . . Those that HAVE faced their mortality and the immediate concern (what does LIFE mean?  what is the point of it all?  what happens after? where do I go?) . . . are easily manipulated in life because of latent fear and unanswered vital questions.

It is imperative to be ready to die at any moment; to have all issues of conscience, soul, spirit considered and dealt with.  If they are not, then aggressive outsiders (outside one's own mind and heart) can sway, control, direct.  There is not peace, regardless of superficial poses to the contrary.

If one is not ready to die, then when a dire moment comes, it is all too easy to compromise--and to choose quick , convenient paths that lead directly away from peace with God.  The enemy is waiting right there to subsume and pull one away from the one, RIGHTEOUS path.

The tendency is to shut down, block it all out and stay distracted; which is highly dangerous, for one never knows when life and death choices may arrive.  It is best to face them now, while there is still time.  To be ready, willing and able to stand for truth, for God . . . and not be led astray

There is no real peace, however, for the one who has not considered the finality and inevitability of death.  This is really the only issue that matters in this life, yet few bother to regard it.  Most are caught unprepared and unawares--which is what the enemy wants.  It is not morbid to think on this.  It is crucial to face it bravely, clear-eyed and better yet, with joy, hope, faith.  Then . . . the whole world may rise and fall . . . atrocities, horrors may come and go, as they always do in this fallen, corrupted realm--yet one remains calm, detached, useful toward the healing and uplift of others who remain in darkness. . . . One becomes a light to the lost, an anchor in troubled waters--pointing to The Anchor and Victor over impending death.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Past blasters looming nigh?

Yeah . . . I'm quite suspicious of everything being posted as "breaking news"--the daily news narrative, shocking "events" etc.  Real things do happen--I'm just not so sure we ever get to see them.  It all appears concocted and managed to me for mass mind control, social engineering effect.

Recent events continue to look like what I foresaw waaay back around 2005-2007.... Here's again what I wrote:

  March 22, 2007:  "Recalling as best I can what I wrote, I think I then suggested that there would continue a swing to the left (which started with the last congressional elections and is now moving into full motion) . . . . and an ascendancy of the left for a time . . . . which is when the dangerous time will likely begin . . . . That will be the perfect time for the "t" word to happen in various cities, I suppose . . . accusations following of "see, we handed it over to the liberals and look what happened--" . . . . followed by the final hammer down, so-called "rightist" reaction of the police state/martial law . . . . . " 

June 26, 2008"I keep thinking of a post I made in the Lamb Cafe I think around winter of 2005. Bush was still relatively popular at the time--the anti-war groups had not really got going yet . . . though his approval ratings were starting to drop noticeably.
Anyway, I wrote that I saw Bush "limping" out of office--that his administration would be barely breathing, tarnished, possibly amidst "show trials" and a "constitutional crisis" of some sort. Then I said I could see a hard swing to the left, followed by the long-anticipated "next shoe to drop" ("another 9-11" type event) . . . . or series of terror attacks, during the left-wing regime; then finger-pointing "see what happens when you elect liberals", followed by the final hammer and swing back to a hard-line police state . . . . ."

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I can easily see Trump being the "rightist" reaction to sudden "t" terror attacks I predicted in the left wing administration I predicted.  If Trump does make it in, I don't believe for a moment that he will be allowed to "fix" things.  There will be chaos galore and he will be the one, as I foresaw, to establish martial law.  The "right", thus, in this case would be the ones who actually call for and cheer on the final police state.  So diabolical, the manipulators who are staging all this....
I hope I'm wrong.   I also can see how, if it looks like Trump could actually win, they will bring the chaos in sooner to cause suspension of the elections... and maybe then we get that "panel" style government I also seemed to see. . . .

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Simple, Free, Attractive. . . .

"Despondency is not a state of humility. On the contrary, it is the vexation and despair of a cowardly pride; nothing is worse. Whether we stumble, or whether we fall, we must only think of rising again and going on in our course." 

"True piety hath in it nothing weak, nothing sad, nothing constrained. It enlarges the heart; it is simple, free, and attractive."  (Fenelon)

Those who think God and Godly things are this dour, pinched, constricted affair . . . are dead wrong.  God is life, God is love.  He is expansive.  His Spirit brings the expansive to the withered soul.  Evil is boring, dead, dark, gloomy.  Murder, torture, abuse, depression, negativity, blind pride, fear and loathing--these are the fruits of darkness, of the evil one. . . .

Healing, composure, satisfaction, peace, love, joy, laughter, gratitude, humility are in the Godly purview.

If you are thinking that true piety involves a reduction of life and is of the grey, the the bland, the repressed then you've been fooled by the deceiver.  Similarly, if you look at the doings of the ungodly and imagine that they are having fun, are free, are liberated . . . you have been tricked.  Life abundant is found in The Truth.  Death and dismay are found in deception--in the lies of the trickster.

Following and trusting The Lord is the way to more, more, more--forever. . . .

Following and trusting the enemy is the way to less, to nothing, to death. . . .


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Freedom & Individuality

Freedom and individuality.  Such blessings, gifts.  Not autonomy, for none are autonomous but God.  "Ya gotta serve somebody" . . . one way or the other.  Let it be God, Who alone is good, just, perfect, merciful and the creator of individuals. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Patience


“Those who correct others should watch for the Holy Spirit to go ahead of them and touch a person's heart. Learn to imitate Him who reproves gently. . . .

When you become outraged over a person's fault, it is generally not "righteous indignation" but your own impatient personality expressing itself. Here is the imperfect pointing a finger at the imperfect. The more you selfishly love yourself, the more critical you will be. Self-love cannot forgive the self- love it discovers in others. Nothing is so offensive to a haughty, conceited heart as the sight of another one.

God's love, however, is full of consideration, patience, and tenderness. It leads people out of their weakness and sin one step at a time.” 
--Fenelon

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Wicked Infiltration "Programs"

Thanks for your comments on my "Celebrate God Not Recovery" post.

http://brothomasblog.blogspot.com/2016/02/celebrate-god-not-recovery.html?showComment=1465082773552#c6207438426792780170

It really is a bait and switch--dastardly in that it is done within the auspices of the church.  These "recovery" programs become an idol, a cult.  They replace what church should be and most importantly (and dire) is that they replace The Gospel and supplant Christ as THE ONLY WAY!  JESUS saved me--not some program or tangential "helpful" doctrine.  The founder of AA, Bill Wilson used a Ouija board and "spirit guides" to come up with his "recovery" philosophy.  And those spirits still run through the whole program and it's various offshoots like "Celebrate Recovery".  I am instantly highly suspect of any church that incorporates "Celebrate Recovery" in it organization.  They will say, "Look, it helps people get off their addictions so that then they can get to a place where they find the Gospel."

But that's not what happens, or if it does, it is IN SPITE of "CR".  What usually happens instead is that the recovery program becomes the end-all be-all, replacing Jesus and the Gospel as the only way to salvation.  What good is it to be free of addiction, "clean", so-to-speak, if you are still unsaved and relying on the flesh?  Many "clean" "drug-free" people are just as surely hell-bound as those caught up in substance abuse.  In fact, little doubt MORE . . . because they have a false sense of security and "success".  Those who are helplessly caught up in various addictions usually recognize their pitiful plight and utter need for a Savior.  They are "poor in spirit".  Whereas, those who've "overcome" are often "rich in spirit" imagining that one way or another, they have escaped destruction and achieved "victory".

Oh yes, they imagine themselves to be led and saved by a "higher power", but unless it is THE God of The Word and not some concocted idol, they are more lost than ever, deluded that they have "found it" when all they've found is just another replacement for the One, True, exclusive Way.

Jesus is necessary and sufficient to save.  Nothing and no one else is. Period.  The Hearing of the Gospel is the means to The Way.  Anything less or different is wholly INsufficient!  It is always and only Jesus Who saves.

Looking to Him and Him alone is the way out of all troubles.  He may or may not pull you out of the mire quickly.   He may leave you in some repercussions of your past sin life, for His good purposes.  That is irrelevant to the fact of His saving work, which is perfect and accomplished all He set out to do:  Set the captives free, thereby glorifying The Father Who alone rules Heaven and earth.

I believe, and the evidence shows, that these various "recovery programs" are subtly and deceitfully wicked to the core.  If any good comes through them, it is DESPITE them and again only because of God's mercy and grace in a given situation.  That churches and worldly-eyed church leaders, pastors incorporate them into their "ministries" is a blaring alarm and warning sign that true Spiritual discernment is lacking there. . . . These programs are just another sneaking and deceptive avenue for the demonic to infiltrate the gatherings of believers. . . . Distort and distract away from the simple Truth found in The Lord.

That's how I see it, anyway. . . . :) God bless!


Saturday, June 4, 2016

"Takin' it to the man"

Kicking against the goads. . . . So much sound and fury signifying nothing.  All is vanity.

What are these "constraints" that so many are fighting against?  Striving with an obvious desperation to be "authentic".  They talk about "breaking down stereotypes", "the struggle" . . . all complainers throwing in together to "take it to the man".

Who's the "man" they are all railing against?  Surely it's not "society".  Current "society" seems not to be constraining anybody except those with "traditional" "Christian" values.  Otherwise it's anything goes. 

The "man" . . . who all are fighting against with their mis-directed anger and resentment . . . is the God-man.  That is all.  Disguised behind a thousand different agendas, causes, slogans, rallying cries . . . is just the one, same old failing revolution.  Everyone knows God Is . . . and that He is sovereign.  And all the fallen rebel against this inner knowledge.

And when they throw off their "shackles" (supposedly) and proclaim "liberation", they actually become slaves of the lowest order.  There's only one that sets free.  The Truth.  Being controlled by a lie--being a slave to the lie . . . is the most insidious of bondages.  For they imagine themselves "free" while every breath, every shout, every fist raised in defiance shows the horrendous and heavy chains of total enslavement.

Running . . . running . . . screaming away from The Truth. . . .

Self worship, idolatry running amok, making an ever-increasing din. . . . Delusion compounded, living in the filth and degradation of pathetic self service.

Meanwhile God see the truth and waits.  None will escape.  None HAVE escaped. 

There are not a multiplicity of causes.

Any and every-one who "takes it to the man" . . . is going to lose.

Submitting to The Man is real freedom and joy and purpose and beauty.  All the rest is senseless noise and ugliness.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A brief interjection....

Aye yi yi....
What an incredible amount of work all this is....
Whew. . . . Unbelievable how many details, nuances, things to do, to get, to line up....
Amidst it all I did get a chance to reveal some things to a good Mormon friend who was perplexed why the LDS church is so pro "refugee" (illegal alien). . . . Always, when there is a chance to share the Gospel, I do.  I wasn't offensive or belligerent... and tried to shy away at first, but they genuinely wanted to know my opinion and how I looked at things. . . .

Take care, more in a bit, God bless

Brother Thomas ©2015

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