Prequel – 1961 Metro Van Tour

I’m still working on a few last minute fixes before I head out to pick up Jackie. So until then, a few of you were interested in what the van looked like before I started the renovation. I’ve put together a mess of photo’s for you to see below. I’ll not bore you all with long detailed explanations. I think you can see for yourself it has been a journey. There are many more things I’d like to do after we get back from our tour, but until then……

Day One

Not to bad right?

Well, this is the real story! It was quite rough, and looking back, “What was I thinking?”
I kinda like the old seat. But the old van did not have two seats, it never did. So I got some “old” new seats.
In the beginning, after a quick paint job and before the new engine. A short drive!
Engine out

Sold Engine and Axles to owner of Metro in Canada

Turbo 400 Trans and 205 transfer case

Engine In
Krell Jones – Krell’s Customs – Columbia Falls, Montana
Master Restoration Specialist
Starting up the engine for the first time.
New rear end bolted right in, out of late 70’s suburban. Front axle was a different challenge.
New Steering Column and dash
Up on the rack

Done, with new drive train. Before I did any work to the inside of the van.

Well that’s it for now. I’ve a lot more to do like re painting and fixing all the things you can’t see. But the tour comes first. We will work out the bugs and fix things accordingly. I think it’s better to start something and use it, then go back and fix things that really bug you! Next post will be from on the road!

“An Articulate President”

“Unfortunately we don’t have an articulate president!” This statement and critism about our president I saw in a Facebook thread this morning. It’s mostly a true statement, and I’ll not argue against it by itself or in context. But we should not confuse having the ability to speak fluently and coherently with having the ability to express our ideas or “sell” a concept with comprehensible skill. Nor should we equate verbal skills with intellectual giftedness.

This is a personal issue for me. It’s like having my own oysters kicked when I hear of people criticised for their lack of verbal eloquence. It makes me righteously angry and you had better get out of my way when you do so!

We can all comb our hair, brush our teeth even get a makeover to help us appear eloquent. But our delinquent verbal or social skills are not always laziness or indicative of our gifted minds. Yes gifted! We all have the ability to think! And most of us have the ability to understand views, concepts, theories, facts, emotions, etc.. And although we may not have the verbal eloquence of an elite, silver tongued Yale law school grad, we know what we mean in our own minds, even if we cannot express our words eloquently.

I’m a frusturated speaker and a retarded preacher! God never gave me the gift. I can go over my words in my mind a thousand times, but when I open my mouth my tongue reveals disjointed, sometimes incomprehensible, jibberish. In other words I can say what I don’t mean (just as my wife) and create misunderstanding and confusion; a psychologist might say I have symptoms of communicative dysforia. You know the more common saying, “He’s certainly no rocket scientist” best describes me.

I grew up with this sociological inadequacy and it made me self conscience to some degree. Fortunately I was athletic, and I had football skills, so grunting was acceptable, but you had to be cute, funny or a star player to be popular; I scored in at least one of these, not everybody is as fortunate. As I got older I still struggled internally. I realized with training, financial success, even fearlessness, I was not going to be a smooth speaker. I was destined, as President Trump, to repeat myself, have pregnant pauses, slur my pronunciations, and make poor word choices to make myself clear. Speaking was, and is, frustrating and it may be why I like to write. My son has a favorite and familiar saying when he finally understands my verbal assaults, “Ok, I get it dad, quit beating the dead horse,” he says.

So to all of God’s people who cannot fully express themselves in graceful utterances: Expressing oneself readily, clearly, and effectively is not in the least an indication of your intelligence or indicative of the value of your ideas. Remember that!

The quick-witted and slick tongued are not free to be merciless nor dismissively arrogant, there are accountants in heaven. We know in our own hearts what is right, what is good, and what is acceptable. And the best arguments do not have to be eloquent to be understood or believed. So while it it refreshing and mostly entertsining to hear from an eloquent speaker or read a specially gifted author, we should never dismiss a person of any stripe for their lack of eloquence. In fact I look forward to hear from those less fortunate, for in them is the same God that created me. In them are thoughts, emotions, imaginations, ideas, and better ways than I can ever think or be. Thank you President Trump for being real! Thank you all the people who are tongue tied, poorly spoken and incapable of giving coherent, clear, and effective expression of your ideas and feelings. I love you as I love myself!

Retirement Tour- In a 1961 Metro Van

Our van in the Polebridge July 4th Parade

We’re only days away from beginning our tour. I’ve only yet to set the timing, hook up the vacuum advance, air up the tires, install a cheap Chinese diesel cab heater, and pack up.

Eight degrees of initial timing and no more than 34 degrees of total timing at 3000 rpm will do just fine, I hope! Though I can always make adjustments along the way I’d like to get it right before I leave. I’m picking up my bride in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin. She’s flying there tonight and landing God willing, tonight. A hole in a snow storm here in Montana was her delight and she got off the ground safely. So now she can see her mother before our trip. The plan is to let Jackie, my wife, visit mom for a couple weeks, then head out!

The first leg of the journey I’ve done many times but never in an old under powered, poorly heated van. I should not give you the impression that the van is an old jalopy. It was however a sight to see when I bought it at a vacant lot in Columbia Falls Montana. The owner said his father, or grandfather, I don’t recall which, had parked it in a field at least 20 yrs before and it had been parked there ever since. He said he used it as a camper van, and the old man traveled to Mexico many times in it. On the windshield and the back windows were authoritative Mexican government stickers all about. It was cute, but truly in rough shape. At first sight I only saw potential and asked if it ran. The answer was, “not sure!” So I gathered up a gas can and an old battery, did some wire tying and cranked it over. It fired up to everybody’s surprise. “I’ll take it,” I said. An hour later it was sitting at our business. I had it towed because it didn’t have plates, but more so because I didnt know what else might not work.

Sure, it was one of those impluse buys. But we bought it for only $1,400, it was not much of a risk. We could just paint our business name on it and plant it in front of our shop if all else failed; a big cute sign that we could write off.

Sleeping Quarters

But it wasn’t long before I had it running good enough to get around town. And boy was it fun to drive. Fun because it reminded me of the old days of driving a stick on the column. The manly smell of oil burning, and the lifters rhythmicly clanking brought back many feelings and good memories. For this was not the first old vehilcle I would own. My first car was a 1936 Plymouth Coope. I cut my teeth on that old girl. Learned about popping gears, and timming, and hotwiring to get it to go. Then it was all I could afford and all my mom could loan me to buy a car. This time I wanted a project, I needed a project. But I soon found the old Diamond six cylinder, the transmission and parts to work on the old Metro were almost extinct. International Harvester was the brand but back then they used parts from Chevy and from whoever they could find them to build their vehicles. The only aftermarket parts I could find was a master brake cylinder. But the kicker for me was the day I drove it to town and lost a hubcap. I retaced my route, even walked it for several miles in search of the hubcap. It was gone! Somebody must have nabbed it. And so were gone my hopes of having an original classic vehicle.

Kitchen Area

I searched online and in magazines and came to the realization I’d have to buy several vehicle’s of the same make and year along with having things custom built at exhorbitant prices to make the dream come true.

The Cockpit

I didn’t take long to conceed and began thinking about other options. I heard from a friend that there was a good mechanic in the valley that did restorations. I thought maybe he could put in a completely new drive train and convert it to a four wheel drive. But at what cost? You see I usually do things myself. I’m generally pretty cheep or frugal if you like nicer words. I built my own home and it took nine years if that gives you perspective. But this time was different. We had a good year financially and I was getting a little too old to learn all the things needed to do such a conversion, besides it had been since high school that I turned a mechanics wrench. Krell Jones of Krell’s Customs got the job! He was very patient with me and let me come over to watch, help, and talk about his progress. He normally does complete, body off, restorations of vehicles he’s familiar with, so for him this was a treet as well as a challenge. A low budget challenge to boot. It took, if I remember right, about 8 months of off and on again work to get it running. He did not do it the right way, the way he wanted to. That was to take off the body, scrap the old and install the new. He had to pull the engine from inside the cab, figure out how things would fit, weld in motor mounts and install a new short block Chevy 350 crate engine that I had built and bought from Pheonix Engines. I can’t remember the torque ratio or many details beyond it having a beefy crank shaft and 326 horsepower off the dyno. We decided on a bomb proof turbo 400 automatic transmission and a rebuilt 205 transfer case. I also had him install a new steering column, wiring harness, custom gauges, and a Vintage Air heat and a/c (I havent hooked up the a/c yet). After some overheating issues, i also had a custom dual core aluminum radiator built.

As you can imagine by this point I was committed. The money was pouring out of our savings and into a classic old van that still had no proposed use except to run well enough to drive in Montana and beyond.

New Seats

Here is where van life and retirment converge. Why not make it again into a classic travel van? A new Mercedes Sprinter Van would cost way more than what I had into the Metro. Jackie agreed! Besides she thought it looked cool too. You see, we are both peas in a pod when it comes to liking different sorts of unique things. In a way it’s a curse. Furniture at Ikea is cheap and everybody buys it. But that’s exactly why we can’t. Of course we like the cheap part, but what usually comes with unique is expensive! For some things like underwear, socks, and maybe a winter jacket we can go to Costco and buy what 400 others have bought that day. But like unique door hardware and screen doors (former business we owned), being different was the draw. The same would be true for this old van.

Driving the old looking, but good running Metro gets all kinds of attention. It has become a game we play while traveling to count the number of waves, thumbs up, peace signs, and hang loose’s we get between waypoints. Of course we also get some strange looks but they are always happy strange looks. Jackie describes our van as like something out of the movie Cars. It’s cartoonish. It also has that “rat rod” look. It’s quite original on the outside besides the crappy paint job I put on it just to stop the rust. When I purchased it the former owner had painted it with brown and beige house paint – with a brush – and it had flying ducks painted on it’s side panels. Then it was ugly cute. Now it’s just cute!

Since we got it running and since Jackie finally decided to retire with me, I’ve been working on the inside making it into the travel van we can’t afford except by sweat equity. This is also a curse; and a blessing. Doing things yourself saves a lot of money, but learning how is also a challenge.. Usually more than half of everything you build or repair is labor. Sometimes it doesn’t look as good as a professional would do it or the materials need to be sewn or crafted to “make it work.” But in the end the joy can be had by the preparation, the learning, the effort, and the savings. And let’s face it, the pride that comes with the joy in seeing an 8 year old giving us a thumbs up as he’s driven by in his mom’s Escalade is priceless.

Well, besides describing the sunroof installation, electrical system, solar panel set up, roof rack installation, and describing how we will be staying warm, sleeping, cooking, showering and using the porta potty, that’s it for now. When our journey begins I’ll be updating my blog between campsites and interesting places. I hope you enjoy the journey too.

Bob and Jackie

Pantsuit Envy

This one is sure to get me in trouble with some, but here goes. It happens that whenever I read, wherever I get my news, there are gobs of articles about women seeking equality or protesting their tribe as oppressed and suppressed in society. For me it is actually sad that this taxonomic category has taken root. For all the historians, God has categorically made man and women different for many reasons. Equal pay for equal work is not exclusivily a feminist category. “Reproductive rights” is not solely a womens issue, ordinarily it would be called a moral issue. Women’s sufferage is over. As far as I know the right of women to vote in elections changed a hundred years ago. So, to me, at the heart of this radical, white pant suit, backlash is envy and more kin to the exploits of Cruella than Cinderella.

If we look at people, male and female, as individuals created for the glory of God we will see that each of us is given talents, abilities, and traits not only specific to gender but more likely specific to the purposes of God. As a man I do not expect to get paid more than a harder worker. I don’t expect jobs better suited to others to be granted me because I’m a man. I expect that I’ll get chosen because I’m better liked, better qualified, that I have a more famous reputation, or that I will be a better “fit” to the goals and culture of the organization. Sure, opportunities should not be given based on race or gender alone (sexuality is a whole different matter). For instance, let us take “social equality.” It’s a term often associated with feminism. Feminists believe in “social equality for women.” Sounds good right! But what is “social equality?” What does it mean for a woman to be socially equal to a man? You see the problem is definitional. If it means a woman should have the right to make the same amount of money for the same work generally, well that’s true. But if she thinks her talents are equal to a man’s just because she is a woman, well that’s subjective. It will always be subjective and she is envying a position she has no right to own solely based on her gender.

I remember playing college football at a major university in the 1970’s, about the time when feminism was taking root, and one day the coaches came in and said, “men, that’s what they called us, not the boy’s that we were, “today there will be women reporters in the locker room, you better mind your manners, get dressed quickly and for God’s sake if you’re coming from the treatment rooms wear a towel.” The whole thing did not seem fair! It was our locker room, a man’s sanctuary. Of couse it was unfair that male reporters had access to the players when the women did not. But the solution was not to give women access, it would have been better, in my opinion, to give both genders access after we showered and after we were dressed. But in this case feminism won the day. From that forward the agenda seems to have gotten more radical.

Today the whole solidarity issue would be wonderfuly accepted if women were celebrating their feminity and giving glory to their creator. I say give them their own locker rooms, their own identity. But when the solidarity becomes a political issue for dividing and conquering the man cave, that’s going a bit far.

As for all the articles, lighten up ladies. If you can run as fast, jump as high, and take the hits like a man you can be on my team. If you can sell as much, think as fast, and make decisions suitable to those in charge you’re hired. But if you think showing off white trousers in solidarity at the State of the Union is making the case for equal access to a man’s world it’s not. If at the State of the Union, the congresswomen, again, wear white pant suits it will certainly distinguish them from the congressmen, it will symbolize and expose their holy garments as hypocritical. They will display the personal, expensive, privilege of their own careers, while maliciously bemoaning the idea that others, unlike themselves, are incabable doing quite well under patriarchy; they will covet the qualites of men (and votes), while denying the liberty of being wonderfully made a woman.

Progressive “Christianity”

It’s complex, but progressive Christianity is in general a false religious system. It centers around not Christ, but around sinful practices. It is a culturally acceptable rebellion against traditional, and dare I say biblical, truths. It twists scripture and forthrightly denies all teachings it disagrees with. It uses Christianity as it’s platform, and sinful behavior as its center. “Believers” use Christ because His teachings on the poor, love, and general kindness “fits” the liberal narrative. It’s just a hustle, not a grace by faith thing!

You will also find a strong political bent to this perversion. It centrally consists of 99.9% activist Democrats who agree with such positions as abortion, homosexuality and all LGBT “rights.” It is anti hell, does not believe in absolutes, and of course it’s anti Trump, anti Pence, anti Franklin Graham, anti all great preachers and teachings of the past. It’s about the future; social justice, love, unity, spirituality, diversity, and the environment, sounds familiar right? There is even a website set up that directly states its purpose is for progressive Christians is to “Resist and Pray.” Resist against Trump and pray to the god who agrees with their lifestyle and views. CNN just today 1/25/19 published one of its posts, that should tell you something about the movement. Obviously, the emphasis is on resist and reconstruction, for by opposing traditional Christianity new liberal social constructs and sinful convention’s can blossom (see:

The complex part about progressive Christianity is that some of these people have made a sincere profession of faith in Jesus Christ and are seriously committed to know Him better. Their issue is not sincerity, but rather their lack of knowledge about biblical truth. Young believers have always had this issue, I did! They look around them and see a kind of Christianity that “fits” them and they are attracted by it. They associate with others who agree with them, they get together for coffee, love the music, and learn just enough biblical verses to support their beliefs. Often their parents religion was just too traditional, or their parents never really took their own faith seriously. Or likewise, they used their faith for gain or “fundamental” acceptance of their own views on issues like skirt lengths.

I realize I’ve blasted this movement (rightfully so), but I could also do the same for many other religious and quasi religious movements. Fundamentalism in many forms, the health and wealth gospels, many charismatic and traditional denominations like the United Methodist Church have serious errors in what they believe and teach. The issue always comes down to what we believe and why we believe it. Just remember if you believe anything about Christianity that departs from the teachings of the bible your beliefs are only a construct of your own mind or culture.

So I recommend you regularly read your bible and pray. God is fully capable of teaching you His truths. I have been doing this for more than 40 years. I’ve grown a lot. I’ve changed my views on many issues and I have become more loving, more kind, more knowledgeable. Above all this I have more joy, and Christ has my heart.

Public Opinion – Bad

It’s more than amusing, it’s odd that people construct notions of acceptability on grounds of public opinion. In fact, public opinions are managed by ideologues and most people are coerced into believing their dogma. At this point we, as a society, are constrained by this moral force formally called “public opinion.” The oddity, for me, comes from the departure from truth and the desire to create these new, progressive, thought bubbles. Ideas like gender identity protections are nothing more than cultural re-assignments away from eternal standard’s. This “new” purpose is based on perceptions, notions, inclinations, not truth. And sadly, that “purpose,” gender reassignment law, is more about power and politics, more about appetite than science. Still, these notions, no matter how popular, are destined for extinction because all true moral law is eternal; the trustworthiness of God’s laws, true morality, is written in our hearts; it cannot be changed, only perverted. There are no “new” truths created by the veracity of the opinion, there are just new ways of expressing outrage to common sins and God’s standards.

Remember, sin in a biblical context, is “missing the mark.” The target is the goal, the standard, the norm. Opinions can not make changes to the boundries of the eternal target. Fidelity to the original differs from a self-evident proposition of human reason. In other words, indiscernable truths are not justifications for new standards.

In this fast paced society, “change” is cloaked in the desire to depart from God’s standards, and it is happening at a record pace. I’ve lived long and I call this desire a societal constraint on freedom; the creation of new laws for the preceived protection of certain classes, races, and thoughts are not helping but rather harming society.

Yes, we need change. We need to return to the freedom’s inherent in biblical law and common to all people. Thou shall not steal, lie, or murder are easy examples. Honor your mother and father, another. Of course, then, there is that really hard one, seldon taught in public schools, “love thy neighbor as thyself.” I believe we would be better off returning to laws of God and the standards of our constitution which have served us well. The past is not so bad!

Blood Moon

Dialogue in the Darkness

“What would you do boss?” said the minion.

“Convince them our government system is superior to their way,” replied  the “bête noire (the black beast).”

“You mean after two hundred years of following the le dieu d’origine éternelle (the god of eternal origin) they will now, out of the blue, chose to become imprisoned and destroyed like millions before them in socialist systems, and with you at the controls; like the wizard Oz pulling the levers! Glorious!” cried the minion. “

“That’s the goal, isn’t it! ” Interrupted the Prince of Darkness. “Did I not say, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

The boorish minion uttered sheepishly, “But for centuries this nation had central to its form of government a Christian heritage, a capitalist system,  Will they give it up easily? I think not!”

Furious, the bête noire rejoined, “We’re winning, you little runt! Have you not noticed the alternatives have become few? Their leaders have become foul like us. Hatred and mocking have become a sport, they will soon give up, I’m sure of it!” There is no peace, no civility, our people have been doing a great job day after night in the media of shutting down the originator’s message. We are fortunate their politicians have turned to dishonest gain, bribes, and perverted justice. Remember way back when Samuel appointed his creepy sons Joel and Abijah to become judges over Israel, we worked hard on them and we turned them! They now shovel coal in the furnace division. Then the people decided that they wanted a King, fools they were, they had one, the Big guy hinself, they tired of hearing stories of old and could no longer see him, they became blind. Our plan worked then it will work again, we made crooked their leaders, they did not walk in the ways of the righteous, I think we’re winning the messaging wars again! Now is our time!”

“Boy, oh boy! That will surely discourage and displease the faithful servant and he might just give us what we want! But he is stubborn. If we can only get him to imagine the people have rejected him it will discourage him, and also our enemy!” said the fickle minion.

“The people cannot serve their leader if they forsake and serve other gods. It’s their law,” said the Prince of Darkness. “We have learned their head will warn them of their impending doom, if not he, his faithful servant will, the faithful always do.”

“Yes, but if they falter?” replied the “bête noire, ” If we can finally reign over them, we can make evil our work again and prosper in their nation. We have come so far, we must press on. Just imagine, we can position the lesser ones into our wars and let them run the front lines before our operatives; we can have them do our plowing and reap the harvest. They can further make for us new technologies and social media schemes to equip our mission. We have already taken the best of their companies and institutions and given them to our servants; oh yes, yes, only the best must we take from them to use for our work, the meek we have no interest in! Then we shall tax them beyond what they can pay and bring them into submission with elite socialist values, everybody loves celebrity. Our moral education campaigns will need to be more forcefully imposed and the inequalities of a capitalist society exposed. A special unit embedded in the Democrat party are well on there way with this one. This restructuring of socioeconomic order is critical to creating the necessary idealistic and democratic rule. Our intentionality must not be exposed, it must be seen as freedom and progressive accomplishment for the people. Surely, in the end, they will cry out to their God. But he will not answer them because they will have chosen us over Him. They will become like the other weakened nations. And then you the bête noire can take your throne.”

“What a plan.” said the minion! “When can we meet again?”

I hope you enjoyed this little scene from the dark corners of my mind. Of course, this is all fiction with hints prophetic truth and historical facts. I hope it will it make you think. Ask yourself this one question, what imaginable dark dialogue about our current culture and our current state of political affairs is playing out in reality?

Mundane Thoughts

I’ve given up the sublunary world of Facebook! While I do enjoy keeping up with old friends and seeing photos of babies, food, and events, it is also important for me to think and encourage others! In a days time I found hours could be wasted just scrolling Facebook to relieve boredom. Do you feel the same way? I’ll stay connected but I’ll no longer be posting things. I’ve gone a month now without posting anything original, and it’s made me happier. The worldly and mostly silly political affairs of the present contrasted with dreamy reflections of the external has made the transition easier. It’s not the restraint that has made me happier, but the time I’ve gained by not checking and responding to the hysterical, comic, and mostly lame comments on my posts. Just too many disagreeable posts showed up. Then of course there was always the angry hater who mistreated my every word.

Surly a blog will not solve all these pleasure-less experiences, it may however help me better control my own behavior, improve my language skills, and facilitate a gratifying control of the narrative; not many posts I see on Facebook I find attractive.

The public space, has own its own set of problems that I may soon find unattractive as well. But for now I’ll give it a try. The commonplace and mundane narrative of worldly interests I find prevalent on Facebook are secondary to my interests in spiritual things. I hope to proclaim, at least for a season, unearthly howls and supernatural intuitions on matters dear to me, some purely fiction, some allegorical.

I hope you will bookmark my site and join me in this simple-minded yet adventurous journey in chivalrous courtship and heavenly romance. If you become bored you can always check your Facebook page.

Ignorance, Guilt, & Gratitude

Ignorance is essential to the existence of the human race; to posses omniscience is to cease to be human and to become gods. Proof- we can only know fragments, so the tragedy of human action and unforeseen consequences produces guilt for our existence, and fate more the result than classic action. So we should not think ourselves so smart.  In truth it is the counsel of God that deepens our hope. We are not self created, nor all that brilliant.  Gratitude withheld is a greater sin than ignorance.

The Great Something

Well, that’s really cool, you believe in a higher power! What kind of a higher power? I suppose it does not matter what your higher power looks like, but since it cannot be described, it could in theory be disguised as a nuclear blast or maybe an extraordinary magical gerbil. Or maybe like the mystical gods it resides in the sun, or deep in the earth? Maybe is does not live at all, it could be something unknown, supernatural. Notice I call it an “It.” A “higher power” is rarely portrayed as a him or a her. But some don’t think it must be something beyond us. Beyond all thought, beyond all comprehension – The Great Something.

But what does this great something do? You say it has power, but what kind of power? Is it an all powerful power or just slightly more powerful than mankind? Some think a higher power needs only to be “an adequate” power. So what can your higher power do? Does it have limitations? Can it make you fly? If you don’t know neither can I.

Many of the people who believe in this great higher power believe it exists, but they don’t revere it – for obvious reasons. They have never heard a word it has spoken. It has no standards, no thoughts, no requirements. Maybe it just is, depending on what is is, of course! Unwittingly, some believe it looks after them, somehow, in some way? Yet for some “The Great Something,” the “It,” the “Higher Power” does play some role in their lives; they believe for one it commonly heals addictions. Most of “It’s” believer’s believe it is a good power, why should they believe in a bad power?

But if it is a good power, where does it get it’s goodness? And who determines what is good? The believer? Yes, in all cases! That’s where this whole thing goes haywire. The all powerful “Higher Power” gets it’s power from the believer who believes the “Great Something” is doing good things that he or she wants it to do. That’s crazy! How can there be a higher power that has no ordinary, customary, stated standard or communiqué; to do good things for people for no other reason than they think the thing they wish it to do is adequately good? Who’s in charge here? Is it the thing that is powerful or the thing that wishes the “Good Thing” to be all powerful?

I read on the Richard Dawkins foundation website a thread where a young lady was questioning the concept of a higher power and it’s use by AA, Alcoholics Anonymous. An atheist responded to her question, “ does not have to think of a higher power as a god, it could be an oak tree if you want it to be.” To many a higher power is simply something just bigger than one’s self literally or figuratively. And they are right if they have the mystical muscle to decide what that power is.

It is an important rule of the “Greater Power” believers not to put any name on their religion, like other religions. They say, “all religions cannot be right! And it would be fanatical to believe that one religion has all the answers.” They will not taper their broadminded thinking to believe in one true God. So the notion of a higher power is fashioned like leftover scraps of meat squeezed through a grinder and spices added to make the sausage suitable for consumption. From the creation they made in their own mind they consume.

So am I saying there is no higher power? No! There is a higher power, one higher power. God is his name! I know this offends some, get over it, He has! God is much different, it’s not just semantics. Like the your Higher Power “His” ways are unfathomable, but unlike your higher power he is knowable. Not because we can know him, or create him in our own minds, but because he has revealed himself to us. In creation, in nature, from historical eyewitnesses, in ourselves, in love, and in his word. For example we know what is right and wrong, good and bad, through the natural laws of nature. There is not a good and bad gene as some claim. No evolutionary ethical standards discovered by evolutionary science. The idea of decent behavior is basic to every human being. This idea does not apply to vegetables, rocks, or even my favorite animal, dogs. Right and wrong in its basic form does not have to be taught. You may find an outlier here or there, as you might find a few people who are born with six toes or cannot sing worth beans. C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity thinks the same way. He believes there are differences, but there is not a “total difference” between humans. He illustrates this by asking his readers to think of a country “where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him.” A ridiculous thought right! He also thinks while some people differ on what people ought to be unselfish about, the world has always believed that selfishness has never been admired. And he thinks, while some have disagreed about how many wives we may have, “we have always agreed that man must not have any woman he likes.”

So what does having such natural standards mean? It means that some things are not a matter of opinion. They call this subjective truth. But I believe God has created us in a certain way, in his image. We, by choice, violate His rules. And while you may think it unfair to have rules established by God, your taste or opinions don’t really matter. But I should not be arrogant. The problem arises that none of us find ourselves capable of keeping His rules, neither all of man’s ridiculous rules. We do our best, and more often than not practice ourselves the kind of behavior we abhor in other people. If we make our own higher power we relieve ourselves of this dilemma, so I can see why many choose to create for themselves a theology of tolerance. They say, “Why should I suffer the shame of selfishness, I’m being authentic, true to myself?” But the guilt remains because the true God, the on “I Am” who was ans is and is to come, “He” made the rules.

For some of you, you might say, “since we all break the rules, we are all the same so nobody is at fault.” We are all equal then, right? In one sense that is true. We are all guilty of breaking these laws of nature, Gods laws. But because we are all guilty, we are not all free from the consequences. Even mankind has consequences for breaking its laws. Speed through a school zone and you will get a fine. If something is not perfect it already has consequences, imperfection. We are therefore under natural law, a moral law, not made by us and, although troublesome, one we ought to obey. At least it appears that something or some Holy Higher Power wants us to obey these natural laws or why else would they exist? If you will look honestly at the universe, and this being behind it, you will find he is more than just a higher power. He is as Lewis says, ” intensely interested in right conduct – in fair play, unselfishness, courage, good faith, honesty and truthfulness.” This is why we can say God is good and He requires us to be so as well.

So God has standards – already that is a huge departure from a simple 10 step higher power. And we have not even touched upon the specifics of Christianity, or even those rules of other religions that claim their god is good. So the true God has power, ultimate power, but He also is behind morality. If God is behind morality, and God is good, then it should be a terrible thing to fall into the hands of God. For we have broken the rules already by our selfishness, our pride, lust, idolatry, greed etc…

So this is the bottom line. Belief in a higher power is wishful thinking, belief in the truth brings comfort and freedom. I know I came about it in a round about way. Your higher power is impotent if it requires nothing of you. Christianity asks much more and tells people to repent of their failures with the promise of forgiveness. If you feel like there is nothing to be forgiven for you have put yourself ahead of your higher power. When you recognize you are sick, you will know you need a physician. Christ came to heal your sickness. It (Christianity) begins when you realize you are sick, and in the long run you will realize being a Christian is the only source of undeniable comfort.