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, “..one 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.

Intangibles

Intangibles are not qualities that can be timed, measured, or weighed. In pro football it’s the intangibles that mark the difference between players. Two quarterbacks can have equally strong stats, but a player’s character, things like his work ethic, his leadership capabilities, his mental capital, confidence, responsibility, and his personal faith all play an amazingly important role in his recruitment and development as a person. The following are important concepts of good character – listen and learn.

Are you willing to take constructive criticism? Criticism helps you improve; it can actually help you improve your chances of long term success. If a player or person is not willing to take criticism, and learn from it, his chances of growing up become self-dependent and opportunities will diminish.

When you hear a commentator say, “He’s mentally tough,” what goes through my mind is that he’s able to withstand diversity. When something goes wrong he’s able to get up off the ground and go on. He doesn’t sulk and feel sorry for himself, he remains focused on the task at hand; his faith and hope does not disappoint.

Can a man be trusted? Trust is earned, which means he must be consistent; he must make the right choices again and again, over and over. It takes time to develop this character trait, but without it would want him on your team or trust him as a friend?

Kindness is a character trait often overlooked. Not the kind of kindness seen, but the kind unseen. The story about the boy who helped the old lady across the street is timeless. He did it not to be recognized, but because it was the right thing to do.

Having God given talent helps. We all have it in one capacity or another. We need to pay careful attention to finding out what our strengths are and developing them for the glory of the Giver.

Although somewhat measurable, to obeying the rules, leading by example, and being cool under pressure, are also very important character traits we must live by if we want success in life.

Remember, no man wakes up in the morning and becomes a great football player, a master musician, nuclear engineer, a pro skateboarder, or a godly man. It takes hard work, lots of prayer, and a willingness to be shaped, prodded, bent, and sometimes broken to be great. The apostle Paul said, “I have fought the fight, finished the course, I have kept the faith.” The crown of righteousness, and eternal life was his reward, not a bad deal but it cost him hard work, suffering, persecution, even death!

Intangibles are hard to put on your resume without looking arrogant, but if you have them you can be sure the right people will appreciate them and having good intangibles will change your life for the better.

God Bless,

Bob Graham

A Life Worth Living

It is the grace of God given to us in Christ Jesus that we stand. In the end, in the day of our lord Jesus Christ, it will be the testimony concerning Christ that shall confirm us blameless, not our good deeds, not our status in this world.

A friend of mine’s mother went to heaven today, she was 95. I did not know her, I may have met her a time or two at church, but I don’t remember. I cannot tell you much about what she looked like, or how she lived. I don’t know if she was famous, rich, or poor. Did she have a liberated career, who knows? I suppose I could find out. Maybe she was the daughter of politician? Maybe she had ancestral ties to royalty? What I do know about her is that her son loved her very much, that he was a believer and that she loved Jesus. What joy there is in knowing Jesus! I can rejoice with my friend, not in his sorrow but in his joy, knowing the grace of God was with his mom. That she now resides in heaven with the Father. She loved and lived faithful to her calling in Christ. She was blessed by God, called to do His will, and nonetheless she knew she humbly breathed, and now lives by the mercies of Christ.

If this is all that could be said about her, is it not enough? Some of us aspire for a calling not of God. We think we should be a great singer, a famous writer, a popular preacher or a rich man like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. Maybe God has a simpler plan for you and me. Maybe He wants us to be a great fathers or a loving mother like my friend’s mom. To be known in the end not for some worldly achievement, but for the righteousness given to us by the mercies of God through Christ Jesus – a good and faithful servant of Christ.

Social Conventions and The Gospel

Is it true that much of the Christian Church’s success was derived from social convention rather than inherent human need for Christ, a savior? Many believe so. That a small town doctor might attend church to appear socially straight is not uncommon. That a student might attend youth group to meet, even prospect for dates is true. That the churches of America were once better attended, yes. But why?  It is true that social conventions can and do both encourage and discourage church participation. A lively “spirit led” service with optional arm waving will encourage some and discourage others from attending. Form and liturgy matters. So does doctrine. Many denominations include social norms not found in scripture, including democratically legislated conventions that besmirch, muddy, and even blacken the true light of scripture. The ramifications of socially acceptable laws go way beyond justified feelings. Feelings, less restricted, in truth, limits social freedoms and godly joy.  So if people are fleeing the churches, what should the true believers response be? Preach the gospel and teach what the scriptures say, nothing more, for it is the gospel that populates the houses of faith not social conventions.