Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Standing Apart, Thanks To HIm

It will be interesting yeah? If and when the UN really takes over the web.  We knew it was coming, right....this vast landscape of free talk, free thought, sharing ideas... surely couldn't be left to stand.  Especially since so many more are waking up.....

One thing that never fails to keep me grounded spiritually, while being challenged by all the outright evil, lies, deviousness, chaos, subterfuge, wickedness etc., where it is easy to fall into bitterness and even hatred at the whole affair... is to ever recall "there but for the grace of God" I would be too.

It is so easy to fall into a sense of superiority and condescension while witnessing the mind controlled, the banal, the destroyers of all that's good on all sides. . . . Righteously indignant, yes, we can be, within the deeper spiritual understanding, but "fighting fire with fire" only brings us right into their game.  Oh and it is sooo tempting to fight evil with evil.  I find, looking inward at my own impulses, it is always there, that tendency to strike back using the same weapons as are being used on me, on us. . . . Yet, it is incredibly liberating, freeing and even healing to recall that nothing I have done or deserve is why I can "See" and stand apart.  I recall, GOD sets me apart, by HIS choice, His will, not mine.  There can be nothing to boast of or feel superior for.  What a relief!  It's all Him!

In this tossing mess, I try to remember that as much as possible, as the "natural" impulses are fallen and not to be used or trusted. . . .

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Onward To The Real Home Of The Free

Such chaos....We had 3 tornadoes the other day!  Here in the mountains!  Very odd.

Riots . . . yes riots, riots, riots.  My first show with Zeph still comes to mind. 2005?  It was about riots, coming riots being a "thing".  In '91 during my talk radio political satire days . . . I did a bit called "Rioters & Looters Convention" where I talked about being at a convention (in Chicago?) to learn new and helpful techniques on how to riot and loot properly, lol.  Then I heard just the other day that certain Democrat Party contingents have been doing EXACTLY THAT!  Going to these strife-ridden, left-wing bastions of chaos . . . and teaching the riff-raff there how to riot and "protest" and loot.  Oy, so much of what I satirically warned about, beginning in late 80s is now here, every day, happening. . . .

One of the more lonely predictions I made, in a very early show with Zeph, was that the "patriot"/conservative movement here in the U.S. would begin to see Russia as a hope for liberation from our increasingly tyrannical government.  I can't believe how true this one is panning out.  Even as I spoke it, it seemed like a longshot, yet not too long afterwards, I began to see it taking shape.

I still don't buy it--that Russia is standard-bearer now for "freedom" and "national sovereignty" and even "Christianity."  Thing is, I have read tomes and tomes of their strategies to conquer the West going back decades, and all I see is the final, successful fruition of their devious, Godless plans.

People forget (or never knew) that the KGB and psychological warfare wing of the U.S.S.R. long ago planned to infiltrate our culture, our arts, our schools, local governments . . . film, music . . . their plan was to flood the country with drugs, counter culture, generation gap, destroy the family, attack Christianity and infiltrate churches, create racial strife, direct radical Jihadism, both from the outside and by infiltrating our intelligence agencies and State Department years ago.  Then change their image to the world as being the defenders of the very thing they have been attacking and undermining all along.  Very clever and deadly effective.  Now you've got the so-called "alt-right" looking to Putin and Russia (still a communist government) to come save us from the very thing they have had as their number one cause--to destroy and conquer free America.  I hope I'm wrong.  Don't think I am though....

Thing is, our people have been so hammered psychologically and spiritually, that when the takeover is finalized, most won't even recognize that it has happened.  They won't know the difference as FREEDOM has been so long gone already that the feather that finally knocks it over won't feel like much of a change. . . . A whisper of a death rattle that only a few (with Eyes) will actually be able to See. . . .

I thank God He has me remembering I am but a traveler, an alien in this current world scene.  Just passing through on the way to the real Home of the Free. . . . Liberated already, beyond death, untouchable, perfect in the eyes of God, thanks to the Savior who stands in my place.  Just a matter of time now--not so much time at that. . . . A journeyman, a visitor, from another "country", another land, a stranger in a strange land, witness to His goodness and majesty, rejoicing in His grace and friendship!


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Martialling Through

Whew . . . what a past couple of weeks.  Overwhelmed and underpaid, as they say, heh.  Son Alexander and His wife Skye are doing well with their boutique coffee truck start up.  They are now regularly setting up at various church functions, providing the best hand made coffee (other specialty) drinks in town.  It is a hard thing to do these days with all the incredible layers of local bureaucracy/red tape that need to be fought through.  It's amazing anyone can start up anything entrepreneurial these days. . . .

Jackson and Megan are working on their new music project "LaFrantz", which is just the two of them.  As far as I've last heard they are planning at some point in the near future heading off to the belly of the beast to "make it".  (Move to L.A. . . . . yikes....)  With all that is going on in the country and especially California I can't say I'm thrilled about that--plus I know how hard it is to break into the music industry.  But Jackson has always had a head full of steam and he is determined to give it a go.  We shall see.  I'm not so sure they won't be dodging "riots and fireballs" trying to get there, lol.  Yikes....

Skylar and Isaac are still with us at home.  They are both a bit stuck, as are we, to do much other than survive day-to-day and try to hold it together.  With their respective "disabilities" it makes it difficult to do much to help their situation (that is, get them out on their own and making their way.)  But, thankfully, they are both born again, and this helps relieve what could be a stressful domestic situation.  We are all constantly appealing to and taking guidance from the Holy Spirit to martial through the challenges.

My music venture is interesting to say the least.  Exciting on one hand and slightly terrifying on the other.  Lots of ups and downs, as you might expect.  The "business" is so cut-throat and competitive, even on the local level.  And then dealing with all the different musician personalities and their own needs, responsibilities, lives, ambitions etc., . . . trying to make it all work and moving forward.  WHILE keeping the "day job" viable. . . . We've been on the verge of total wipeout a couple of times but keep managing to pull through with a bit more breathing space.  As I wrote earlier, the vast amounts of time, energy, $, attention etc., are . . . well . . . heavy duty.  Yet, I feel compelled to make a go of it while there is still a chance I can.  Because of the long years of toxic effects of painting, and the toll I believe that has taken . . . and where it is all basically always just limited to the amount of hours I can work in a day . . . leaves no room to "get ahead".  It's hand to mouth with no possible upside.  Whereas with the music, there is the potential that I can break out, even at my age.  The music scene and "industry" is so radically altered nowadays from when I first was entering it.  There really are no clear paths anymore.  It is very much just what you can make of it yourself; at the same time there are a wide array of "tools" and opportunities to make it possible to do it yourself from the ground up.  It just takes a ton of work.

I prayed long and hard at the beginning of this, as did my wife . . . and trust that whatever happens, it will be God's will and I have kept in mind clearly the potential for Gospel sharing and exemplifying in realms and venues where the Gospel is normally kept out or even verboten.  As I move into working more on my own original songs . . . this aspect will develop more clearly (to those with Eyes/Ears) and purposefully. 

Meanwhile, I am well aware of the great social/political/spiritual battles that are raging all around and know that it could all be upended at any moment.  God bless and take care....

Friday, September 9, 2016

What Are We Called To Do?

I hear one certain national talk radio host often talk about how important it is to show yourself worthy in order to receive God's grace.  This is an easy trap of thinking to fall or be seduced in to. . . . Almost all the religions teach something similar. 

He talks of this in relation to the condition of the world--our country--that we need God's grace to save us; but we must prove ourselves worthy before He will give it. . . .

Of course, this is a knot-headed idea of what grace is.  The whole point of grace being grace is that it is UNMERITED.  Otherwise, it's simply work, a wage.  I do "this", you are obliged to give me "that".

Tit for tat . . . is not grace.

He also believes that God is going to judge us according to things like how we vote, how involved we were in politics, if we were engaged in the "proper" way. . . . And, of course, the "proper" way just happens to be the way this talk show host thinks and feels.  If you do it like HE does, then God will really shed his grace and intervene.

This is all such a small, narrow, self-centered view of God, I believe.

It is so easy and common to cloak God's will in our own personal agendas.  We assume God wants America to be free.  We assume God is on America's side.  We assume that God wants what WE want for our country and our selves. . . .

I also find it interesting how many who claim to follow and believe the teachings and prophecies of the Bible seem to think God may change His mind away from what He said is going to happen.  They will claim that Jesus is returning soon, yet maintain hope that we can "make a better world"--that we can stop the tide of darkness and create a kind of Utopia of freedom, justice, decency. . . . Does the Bible say this will happen?  That we will be living in a cleansed, ordered, moral, free world of peace and plenty . . . in the last days?

"It will be like the days of Noah" is actually what He tells us.  WHICH days, were horrendously evil--so bad, so corrupt that the whole world was flooded and all but a few were spared.

At the same time, it is not the case that we are to sit around and wait.  The question is what are we about?  "Making the world a better place" . . . or spreading the Gospel?  And it is a subtle difference, but huge in its final significance.  It is an internal thing that only we truly know and can deal with--whether our minds and hearts and souls and strength are truly focused on glorifying God and building His kingdom, or fixing and lifting up the kingdoms of men. . . .

Judging someone from the outside, it is not really possible to know, though many clues are there. Do they say things like "we need to prove ourselves worthy of God's grace"?  This shows a wholesale misunderstanding of the sovereignty of God and what He has said in His Word.

But many who claim to be about God's business are really just about the world's or their own business.  Jesus did not seek to change the political system or situation of His day.  And if we do want to see political or social change, even so . . . the only way it could ever be real, right and possible, is if people's hearts are changed--made "flesh" instead of dead stone, inspired, indwelt by the Spirit, activated through the proclamation of the Gospel.  Bottom line . . . is . . . what are we called to do?


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Activating "Tap" Of The Spirit

Oooh boy, what a slog.  An entertaining slog, but barely edging by nonetheless.  The most exciting of times/the scariest of times....

It's been astounding the amount of work--the millions of little things that have had to be done to try and get my musical venture off the ground.  I think it has come along quite quickly because we HAVE been doing the millions of little things (and not so little) but it's been a seat-of-the-pants ride so far.  Pretty much just Lindsay and I doing everything, learning all the (now necessary) social media stuff from scratch, all the logistics, materials, promo, networking--aye yi yi, heh.... The learning and singing and performing of the songs is by far the easiest part. . . .

It is a strange juxtaposition, having something so intense, new, fun and hopeful (albeit terrifying re what it does to resources) while at the same time seeing all the political and spiritual and social things coming to pass in the wider world, with all their dread, ominousness and impending sense of doom.

As it is, I treat every show as if it could be the last.  I think that is a good way to go anyway, as a performer--do your best always.  But truly, I feel like I won't be surprised at any time if events or the material toll this takes makes it actually so--that the next show could be the last.  Yet, I plan as though it could and should go on for years--I don't see why not 10-15 more years. . . .

For now, I am doing the so-called "tribute" angle . . . but I am also working on new original songs and plan to have a spin-off band that will perform my own material.  I've always rooted for underdogs and longshots and it seems somehow fitting that I be one myself at this point in life, trying to start something like this at my age and with so little to work with (resource-wise).  It is an invigorating challenge if nothing else, and one thing I've never lacked is creative energy.  In fact, I've had to keep it stifled for years, otherwise I would have gone crazy feeling frustrated... so put it deliberately into hibernation for the longest time.  I tend to stand back and watch personal experiences and developments objectively (a trait leftover from my meditation/observer/mindfulness days) . . . and remain fairly aloof from it all, which helps keep at bay any over-emotional attachment or slips into the worldliness of it.  In this vein, it is like an experiment and intriguing to watch unfold.  Especially the spiritual components as this has put me in a whole different arena of social interaction where the Spirit is sorely lacking.

With that in mind, I do like being involved with the world to the extant that it is constantly testing and challenging my true spiritual foundations and status.  Has it been all talk?  All just intellectual?... or have spiritual muscles, skills, abilities been forming over this past dozen-plus years which are proving reliable and stable?  So far so good and I like the exercise.  Too often it is easy to keep one's spiritual theorizing and learning purely in the abstract, where it falls flat on its face when put to a tangible test in the real world. . . . I am convinced that we ought be engaged (unless, of course, the Spirit has got us in a retiring/consolidating mode, which He also does at times.)

I do continue to see and believe that if we can survive this initial build-up phase without having to surrender or aren't forced under by the sheer weight of it . . . or if the world just goes too violent and insane--that this platform offers a unique and rarely used area of ministry and outreach . . . to people and areas of culture that I wouldn't normally choose to engage.  It's definitely out of the comfort zone....But I'm all about staying "young", supple, fresh, new and creative.  The commentary of Paul applies, I believe: "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some."  1 Cor. 9:22

I can say for sure also that both my wife and I have relished how being born again and having the Spirit as a guide sifts out so much nonsense and destructive "natural" tendencies.  It is easy to "see" what's going on, who's who and what's what . . . if you know what I mean.  And, no doubt, this infusion of the Spirit throughout has been responsible for this venture being an activator/inspirer of sorts for other people--a lot of people our age who previously had been kind of washed up or depressed or had given up on their own creative and hopeful side, now have suddenly come alive.  It's like it "taps" them and activated a new excitement and energy which this venture has brought seemingly brought with it, which I fully believe is God all the way.  While so much is obviously dire in the "world" He is always fresh, new, light, positive, good, healing, clear, uplifting regardless!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Surrounded, Submitted

Weird stuff going on on the internet; probably leading up to the seemingly inevitible blackout/takeover....Was locked out of here for a while....

So much is happening that we've talked about, warned about...all coming due....

Wise as serpents, gentle as doves . . . try to "live blamelessly". . . .



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