Sunday, December 02, 2012

They said I am demon possessed. LOL

12/2/12 Sunday

          It’s catch up time again. Always seems to be catch up time around here. I stay busy and often find that what I thought I did I did not do. That is one of the most frustrating results of this brain injury. There is much that has happened so where do I start? Thinking, thinking…what to share and what should I keep to myself? There are of course things that happen which are not very positive or uplifting so the internal debate is “Can anything good come out of me talking about it?”. Sometimes that is a tough question. We live in a fallen and messed up world, with many varying viewpoints on what is good and what is not. Regardless of who you are and what you believe there is someone who will take offense regarding the stance you display. I understand that well as it seems I have an innate ability to rub others the wrong way. I guess this is unavoidable, especially in this day and time. As I write I am deciding what to share and what not, but I also understand that it is not what a person says that matters, it is the motive behind it that is important. I have recently been called a racist and demon possessed by different people in different situations. I can write in a way that puts them down and makes me look right, or I can write with the hope of making people think and examine their hearts, with the ultimate goal of improving their lives. Will contemplate whether or not to write about these instances as I work on the journal. (I did decide to write about it. You can read find it near the end of this post) The racist thing was a comment from a guy who says that everyone who did not vote for Obama or is not accepting his ideas is racist so he threw that at me. Not really worth taking the time to discuss. The demon possessed deal is different, and might be worth shining some light on.

One of the roots of all disagreements is the need folks have to be right, and to prove to others that fact, which of course requires that they prove the other person to be wrong. In all conflicts there is the desire to win, to come out on top. At the core of that lies pride, the source of all sin. Now I know that some of the readers of this blog are not believers in the same God I put my faith in, and I greatly respect their right to believe or not believe however they choose. In fact I feel honored that they still visit and read these ramblings of mine despite not holding the faith I have.

We had a beautiful thanksgiving dinner. It was just Cherie and I and she went all out to make it extra special. The turkey had been given to us a month or three earlier so that was a blessing for sure. Cherie made the green bean casserole from fresh beans and I’d have to say it was the best I’ve ever had. Of course, when you are unable to remember ever having green bean casserole that statement loses some value but I suspect it is a safe bet cause it was yummy. There was sweet potatoes mashed and a sweet potato pecan pie, something I had never heard of before. Cherie got out her grandmothers antique china for this meal as well. We prayed, gave God thanks for all the blessings He has given us and really enjoyed a wonderful time together.

I sent email messages to my sister, mother, and brother, wishing them all a happy thanksgiving. They all replied, even my brother. His response was only one sentence but considering the friction we have had I was grateful for even that. My hope is that our family could be reconciled but that will take some effort on my part. Unfortunately I am not very good at keeping in touch despite desiring to. Just like I forget when I posted in this blog I forget to write to my family.

I finally got the diesel truck running. It has cost us more to keep running than we paid for it but I suppose we should expect that from an eighteen year old truck with 200,000 miles on it. Two flywheels (because they didn’t put the first one on right) a starter and then what is called a PMD failed. That is the electronic controller of the fuel injection pump on the Chevy diesel, a part that is known for its high failure rate. Not knowing much at all about diesels I went online and joined a diesel owners forum. There I learned all kinds of things and got lots of good practical advice on what was wrong and how to fix it. When I described how the truck would surge in power and would quit running in the middle of the street they quickly identified the problem, and a solution. The factory placement of this part is on top of the motor, where temperatures get pretty high so a common solution is to relocate it.

Meantime the other truck still had not been repaired (and hasn’t yet today. Fact is the mechanic just refused to fix what he broke, told me to take my truck and go away. Problem is it does not run and I borrowed his truck to tow it there) so this left us in bad shape, with Cherie’s car the only trustworthy transportation. With money tight we do the best we can, and pray a lot. One day, as we walked out of our Sunday school class we meet a friend from the Kairos prison ministry, whom I hadn’t seen in almost a year. We got to talking and catching up on what had been going on and he learned about the trucks not being operational. Later he offered to help pay to get one of them fixed and the least expensive fix was the diesel. Even though he seemed to be willing to pay for the more expensive repair, the need for a transmission in the other truck I suggested he help with the diesel. That was a repair I could do myself so all we needed was the part.

After searching and asking online I learned Auto Zone carried the part in two forms. One was remanufactured and the other was new. The remanufactured one carried a 1 year warranty while the new one came with a lifetime warranty. That cost a hundred dollars more so I called our friend and he agreed that the lifetime warranty was worth the extra money, especially for a part that is known to fail. With the part purchased next came the task of relocating it to a cooler place. One of the Diesel owners forum members had an extra wiring harness to use so sent it to us at no charge.

The general consensus on that forum is to move the PMD and mount it behind the front bumper so that is what I did. The important step is to install a heat sink with it to cool this device that generates a great deal of heat on its own. Purchasing a heat sink means I’d have to spend thirty to eighty more dollars and I am pretty frugal when it comes to spending money, our own and that of others who want to help. So looking around I saw an old lawnmower I scavenged from the landfill for parts years ago. The top of the cylinder is finned and designed to dissipate heat so I removed it. Finding a piece of ¼ inch steel plate I’d saved from somewhere (I don’t throw much away, ever) so cut it to size and proceeded to drill and tap holes to mount it on the cylinder head and to mount the PMD on top.

Unfortunately the tap set I have is, like most of my tools, cheap and made in China. I was not able to get one little hole tapped. Was missing the appropriately sized drills I needed to so this required several trips to the store as taps bent, broke, and to get drill bits. But finally it all came together. Yay. I now have a truck that runs.

So we are blessed. We live in the midst of all kinds of darkness and while things are tight and sometimes difficult we are blessed. When I went to the jail yesterday I taught the guys a lesson from Mathew 5. In it Jesus said “you are the light of the world”. Light shines brightly in the darkness, it is there to lead and guide those seeking a way out of what often traps them. As I taught these men behind bars I wanted to emphasize that there is a way out of the path that put them in the jail, that Jesus came to set the captives free. Freedom from all those things that chain us, that lead us in directions we do not want to go is a big aspect of our faith in God.

The other message I wanted to convey is that when they get out of jail they will again face all the temptations that got them put in jail in the first place. Several of them have made the decision to become Christians or to renew the relationship to God they had once had. I have seen and experienced what happens when someone makes that decision to change their life and as a part of that to change how they live it. Their friends often are the ones who drink, use drugs, and practice the things that are appropriate for a follower of Christ. They don’t understand or don’t like a lifestyle that is based on doing what is right, from a Christian perspective. You see, they, like I once did, don’t see anything wrong with spending your time partying, getting trashed, and all the stuff that comes along with that, so for them it is right.

Jesus said “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (John 3)

This has always been the way of things when it comes down to how people act. In prison, and in the outside world, people who truly live as Christ are seen as weak and often attacked. My desire in teaching these men is to prepare them for the ridicule they might get when they get out and their old friends find that they no longer wish to carouse with them as before. There are unfortunately many who fall back into their old lifestyle and are lost after having been found. One of the things we are praying about is to find a place where I can work with these men and others, helping them to get or stay free from all those things that bound them before.

At Church today we started studying the prophet Hosea. The teacher described the conditions of the nation of Israel in the time period Hosea wrote and asked “How does that compare to what we see in our country today?”. There is no question, at least in my mind, that our country has followed the path of the Israelites, that God has been abandoned in many circles, forgotten in others, rejected and ridiculed by many, and in the church we see so much compromise that the line between right and wrong is so blurred many cannot see the difference. Read this scripture out of second Timothy.

 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Now I read this for years and presumed it talked about people who were in the world but the other day it hit me, right between the eyes, this is a description of what was to happen in the church. When you read the context you understand Paul was not only warning Timothy of what he would face but prophetically describing the church of today. “Having a form of Godliness but denying its power”. The prophet Isaiah said it well The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

          It is sad to watch so many, who proudly strut their faith in Jesus, yet talk about others, killing them with their words, and justify it by saying “We are doing the Lord’s work”. Think of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. Understand that they were confident they were doing God’s work as they fought against Jesus. They were righteously indignant when Jesus ate with sinners, when He did not wash His hands the way they thought He should, and followed Him carefully, looking for anything they could find to accuse Him of. How quickly they forget the number one command of the one they call Lord, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.

Paul also told Timothy “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” in his letter. I can definitely relate to that. Recently got an email from a pastor, who’s church we had attended for over a year and it said “You need deliverance but I knew you would not receive that information from me. You have the spirit of religion, rejection, unforgiven toward all the people who do not bend to your concept of your religion. The people at church spotted 4 others. I can't remember all of them right now. You need to seek help. We know you had already been ask to leave other churches before you came to ours. We thought we might could help you.” (Can you feel the love here? Me neither, just a whole lot of judgment) Heck they saw so many demons in me that the pastor lost count.

For the year we attended I practically begged this pastor to meet with me. We had gone there to submit our ministry to leadership, to be under submission to the pastor, as I feel this is the correct biblical way of doing things. Instead it seemed that jealousy, envy, and even a paranoid fear I was there to take over, ruled in the pastors mind. It is clear from this and several other emails I got (for she never sat down and talked with me) that not just the pastor but many in the church sat down and talked about me many times. They looked hard for faults and decided I was demon possessed and needed to have these demons cast out, but never once said a word or offered to help me with this perceived fault. I wrote back and said I would let them pray over me and try to cast out demons for as long as they wanted. There was of course no response because they really don’t care, just offer empty words to justify their judgment.

Here is more of Paul’s words in 2 Timothy, “I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

I’m done for now. Probably said too much. But every word is the truth and truth is seldom popular. Remember, God really does love you.   

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