Thursday, December 30, 2010

Almost the end of another year

This morning's sunrise

12/30/10 Thursday
We’re almost at the end of another year. It’s been an interesting year for sure but I’ll have to go back through this journal in order to remember all that happened. There’s been good and there’s been bad. Some of the bad came through people we trusted and thought were our friends, but proved otherwise when their greed and disdain for who we were became obvious. We’ve seen hypocrisy and watched sadly as some made decisions to go down paths that we know will end in grief but refuse to accept any advice from us. Financially it’s been tough, but ultimately God has met our needs so we’ve never gone hungry. I am grateful for life and all the blessings we have, but sometimes I must remind myself of them, especially when things look bad on the outside.

I got the sink in the bathroom hooked up. It’s not perfect and needs some adjusting but we now have water in the bathroom. I had to make three trips to Lowe’s in order to get the right parts and advice on how to do things. At forty miles a trip that’s 120 miles worth of driving for a total of maybe ten dollars worth of parts. Next I might get ambitious enough to try and hook up the bathtub/shower. Ran into a friend at Tractor Supply and while talking about the bathroom mess he reminded me of something I already knew, but forgot. One of our concerns is tying the tub into the sewage drain as there is no easy access to the pipes and part of that is old cast iron plumbing. He said that we don’t need to do that, all the drainage from the tub is what is called “Grey water”, which can be recycled for use in the garden and farm. While we were still in Toledo, before we had officially inherited this farm, I had done extensive planning and research that included a grey water system. Of course I forgot all about that, as I am still prone to do. Basically, all I have to do is run the bathwater out a pipe to a basin of some type outside to catch it. Then I have to figure out a way to pump the water out of the catch basin so as to use it elsewhere. At some point we’d like to set up a rainwater catchment system with a cistern to capture all the rainwater that comes off the roofs. All that takes money we don’t yet have, but God will provide.
Here you can see what I suppose is the front line of the cold front that's heading in. This line went clear across the sky and my little kodac camera can't get it all in. I love the wonders of the sky here in West Texas.

It’s going to be a warm windy day. The wind blew pretty strong yesterday too. Tomorrow the cold comes again so I want to take advantage of the warm weather as much as I can today. That means no more time to write. Got work to do.

3:12 - I am frustrated. It seems that lately my issues with the brain injury are returning. I’m having more slowdowns, am having one now, and an old problem with getting overwhelmed with input in places like a store has resurfaced. Used to be that when I looked at a shelf full of products my ability to absorb all the potential choices and make a decision was overwhelmed. I am having a hard time even finding words to write this right now. Went to HEB the other day to buy two frozen dinners Cherie asked me to get and it triggered a slowdown. Soon all the sounds, people, choices to make, trying to remember what I was supposed to do, just pounded me and my brain froze up. That hasn’t happened in years. It’s recurred at Lowe’s when I was trying to understand and figure out what I needed for the plumbing several times. I need to return to making lists of what I need to do in order for anything to happen. This is all very troubling. I’ve been steadily healing but now seem to be taking steps backwards. I suspect my ability to communicate is affected based on some of the responses I’ve gotten. The widow called and asked if she had done something wrong based on what I said when we prayed together. Once again things are coming out not quite the way I intended, the wrong words for what I’m trying to say. Kind of a bad flavor, sounding judgmental when I’m trying to compliment kind of thing. This is an old problem that has caused many unintentional rifts with people we know in the past. I’m worried about it. Hope it’s not an indication of brain deterioration, a known issue with TBI survivors as they age.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The big lie is over

This morning's sunrise

12/26/10 Sunday
Despite the wonderful ways my brain has healed itself over the ten years since I was in a coma, I still enjoy one of the strange benefits that comes with memory loss. Right now Cherie and I are watching the movie “The Sound of Music”. I asked her “Have I seen this movie since we got back together” and she told me “Yes, many times”, but it’s still fresh and almost new to me. I find myself once again wiping tears from my eyes as Maria and the Baron, Von Trapp, find their love for each other. Some of the scenes are familiar and just about all of the music is, but for the most part it’s still new to me. Coupled with that is the increase in the emotions I feel, thus the need to wipe tears from my eyes. Last night I watched the Nutcracker Ballet for what seems to be the first time ever, though I’m sure I’ve seen it, or portions of it, before. Once again the music is familiar, so that part of my memory stayed more intact despite the trauma.

There is a purity in this movie, a purity that has long since left much of the world. Sure the movie deals with the evil that infected Europe through Hitler and his Nazi’s, but despite that there is an illustrated innocence and goodness of the human spirit that shines through. It is good triumphing over evil, the eternal battle that goes on at an ever increasing pace in this day and age. That pureness, the clean morality presented in the Sound of Music, is now made fun of in many circles, held in disdain and even despised by some who’s stain strives to corrupt all that is good, who desire to bring all to their level of depravity. Such is the way of men, and has always been. You’ve heard of the old saying “Misery loves company” and it’s a truth we see all around. When I was an alcoholic and a drug addict I surrounded myself with others who shared the same weaknesses, and we all gloried in it. I remember making stupid jokes like “I must have had a good time last night, because I can’t remember what I did”. Looking back it seems incredible how I worked hard to make a level of alcohol poisoning that damaged my liver, kidneys, and brain to the point of being unable to remember what I did, into something fun. And I had a lot of company in that. How grateful I am to now be free now, to live a life where drugs or drink aren’t a requirement to have a good time.

Well folks, the big lie is over. I’m sure that if I asked any of you “Is it good to tell lies” most of you would say “NO”. Honesty is a principle that is generally presented and promoted as a good thing, and being dishonest is equally looked on as a bad thing. So we were at a restaurant yesterday and listening to a family seated at the table next to us lie to their children about Santa Clause. You know, how he flies with reindeer and comes down chimneys of every house in the world. And it’s a lie that the world supports in so many ways. Movies are made, the weather stations track him with the radar, and even NORAD, our nuclear defense department, gets into the act. Presents are under the tree labeled as coming from Santa, and there are thousands of people donning red suits and fake beards to pretend to be this guy we all know doesn’t exist. “BUT IT’s FOR THE KIDS” you say in dismay that I would dare expose this grand deception. “BUT It’s a LIE” I reply. We set all the kids up for disappointment, knowing at some point they will realize they’ve been lied too. Can’t we give gifts because it’s the end of the year, or for some other honest reason?

I was just saying in church, yesterday, that God is a God of truth and in Him there is no lie. He is light and reveals all lies, driving away the darkness. The truth is not terribly convenient for many people, but that doesn’t stop it from being true. Even if it’s not convenient we should face the truth, and examine our lives in the light of it. I know so many people who live a lie, who’s lives are a big false front of contradictions between what they say and what they do.

I guess that while I’m busy being politically incorrect about Christmas I might as well go all the way. The truth is that Christ was not born on December 25. Odds are he was born in October or before based on the fact that the shepherds were still out in the fields with their sheep. When the rains and cold weather came is when shepherds throughout the land would bring their herds in for the winter. Where did the date come from? Basically it’s from the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. This moment has long been recognized and celebrated in many ways by all cultures throughout the world, with the exception of equatorial civilizations that do not experience the seasons the rest of us do. The winter solstice happens in December in the northern half of the world while the southern half experiences it’s longest day of the year.

But digging deeper into written history we find a more significant source for this date. It was the acclaimed birth date of Nimrod, the builder of Babylon. Nimrod was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah we know from the story of the flood. A study of who Nimrod was and what he did reveals why God got so upset when Nimrod went to build the tower of Babel. To avoid getting into a ton of detail that I don’t have room or time for here I’ll just give a synopsis on who and what he was. Nimrod, among other things, married his mother, Semiramis. When he died she decided to make him a god by concocting a story about an evergreen tree that sprang up full grown overnight from a stump. This was to represent Nimrod’s “resurrection” from the dead into new life. She claimed that every year at this time Nimrod would leave gifts under this tree. Sound familiar?

Now, throughout the history of the world, we find the roots of this belief system in many forms and variations. The whole “Mother and child”, “Queen of heaven” with her “Devine son” concept permeates cultures throughout the world, and is the core of Baal worship that the Bible speaks of so much. The names are changed, be it Isis and Osiris from Egypt, or Fortuna and Jupiter in Rome, the root is the same. A central tenant found in these many variations of the pagan religion is worship of the sun and the son of the sun. Do you understand where the name “Sunday” comes from? It was the roman day set aside to worship the sun. Mithras was a “secret” religion popular in Rome that traces it’s roots to Zorastrianism of early Persia and Constantine, who married Christianity with Roman pagan beliefs practiced it and declared Sunday to be the Sabbath.

Of course that’s at the beginnings of what was to become the Catholic church and the church eagerly practiced assimilating existing beliefs through compromise and making the pagan practices a part of the official rituals, changing the names to make them “Christian”. Part of those practices involved the evergreen trees that dated back to Nimrod. Here’s an interesting scripture that sure describes what we practice today, thousands of years after Jeremiah wrote this.

Jeremiah 10:2 This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. 5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good."

Ok, don’t know about you but that’s pretty clear to me. While I’m at it, lets touch on the Yule log and other things connected with the word “Yule”. Basically this is a Germanic word found in many variances throughout the European continent. As with everything all cultures make things their own, putting their own spin and flavors to them and adopting them as their own. As a general rule they are based on the solstice, the end of the old year and beginning of the new, a natural time of celebration. The “Twelve days of Christmas” directly come from these pagan practices, though in Norway and Iceland (among others) it’s thirteen days. Interestingly, in Iceland there are visits each of these days from a person (Who comes down out of the mountains) bearing gifts. This person knocks on the door and asks if the children have been good in order for them to receive presents. This is a tradition that precedes the arrival of Christianity by hundreds of years.

In most forms of Wicca the solstice is significant and celebrated as the rebirth of the great horned hunter god, sometimes known as the lord Cernunnos. I don’t think it’s an accident at all that the bible refers to Nimrod as the great hunter and see a clear connection between the two. When you dig into the original Hebrew you find that the term referring to Nimrod inferred that he was a hunter of men’s souls, a scary connotation when it comes to spiritual things. The Wiccan’s burn a “Yule log” decorated with Holly and other items in honor of the horned god. Part of the ritual symbolizes the death of the holly king and the rebirth of the oak king. Mistletoe is also an important item in many of the pagan practices, with the white berries symbolizing the semen of a god and the whole kissing under it a fertility rite.

I’ve just barely scratched the surface here. It amazes me how many pagan practices are a major part of our Christmas celebration, and how many people are pretty clueless about it. I know that some will now call me the Grinch, and that’s fine. I’ve been called a lot of things but at least you can’t call me a liar. I don’t like Christmas because it’s a pain in the ass. People are rude, people get depressed, suicides are at their highest, and many spend money they don’t have to give gifts to people who don’t appreciate them. It’s a big money making enterprise, the biggest of the year that makes or breaks some companies. Just because pagans give gifts to each other at this time of year, doesn’t make it wrong to give gifts. The whole attempt to make this about celebrating the birth of Christ is based on a lie, and while it’s good to try to make a bad thing good, don’t lie to do it. I will celebrate the end of another year of life, the life that is a gift for me to have. I will love those around me, even if they are not lovable. When I see a need and am able to meet it I will give, no matter what time of the year it is. Jesus was born, when doesn’t matter. He is God and came to earth with the specific goal of dying in all of our places, dying in order that we might have life. This is the miraculous rebirth that is real and reachable. The one that comes when all your sins are forgiven and you are washed clean so you can start anew, and have eternal life.

The widow called so I must go visit her and help around the house. I was able to fix her chair and that is where she can sleep without the intense pain her broken hip causes. Consequently she has gotten more sleep than she’s had in quite a while. I set the vanity up in the bathroom. It’s not plumbed yet but after getting lots of advice from the Lowe’s guys I think I can do it. Cherie just cried when she saw it. This not having a bathroom has been so hard on her and I was glad to give her some hope.

Time to go.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rough time to be in jail

12/21/10 Tuesday
It’s been a busy day, but I’ve done almost nothing at home. Despite that I’m worn out, feel like I’ve worked hard all day. Cherie was able to get an appointment today, with the dentist she had found the last time we had a tooth emergency. She’d been suffering for well over two months, ever since the cap had fallen off of one of her teeth. She was unable to eat chips or food that had hard parts to it for that whole period of time and despite being careful she would still on occasion bite something that caused excruciating pain. When we would go out to our favorite Thai restaurant she would always order some soft food and I’d eat her fortune cookie because it wasn’t possible for her. Of course these kinds of things don’t get better with time, they generally get worse. Cherie had been saving up some money and we were finally at a point it had to be taken care of and we could pay the dentist, who expects payment when the work is done, unless you have insurance.

So I drove Cherie to work this morning because I wanted to fix her bosses blinds that were in her office and had fallen apart. I’d had a long interesting conversation with her (Cherie’s boss) the day before regarding our mutual friend who was just fired because of her bizarre behavior. That behavior continues to be disturbingly strange and we have great concern for her, fearing that the path she has chosen will cause much pain and heartache. I keep a record of what she says and does in my private journal, documenting it for future reference should a time come when it all needs to be brought out to the light. It is a textbook example of what happens when you choose to do what you know is wrong, and then cover it up in order to continue practicing it while you put on a big show of how holy and spiritual you are. It is sad because she has pulled the wool over many peoples eyes. We know and clearly see what is happening, can name dates and events that would reveal great deceptions, but God won’t let me say anything until those being deceived can see it for themselves. So I pray. Pray that all that is done in darkness will come to light.

I went to the jail after taking Cherie to work. Tuesday is my regular jail ministry day and I try to be consistent about it. Walking into the office I asked the sheriff if there was anyone in the jail this week, for last time there was no one in the jail. There was a young man who had been arrested last week so the sheriff went down to see if he was willing for me to come and talk with him. He was so I went down and the sheriff let me into the cell area, locking the door after me.

The young man is heart broken. He didn’t really commit a crime to be in jail for, at least not from what he said. His story is one I’ve heard many times and seen as well as personally experienced in my life. It’s easy for a woman to accuse a man of mistreating her, and in the process use the law to get that person put in jail facing criminal charges. I listened to a boy pour out his heart, tell a story of falling in love, getting a girl pregnant, and then watching reality set in as he learns more about this future mother of his child. There are no easy answers here, unless she surrenders to God and allows His love to come in and change her life and put a new heart in her. Without that I see a lot of turmoil ahead, with an unborn baby being a victim of the poor choices it’s parents made. I prayed for him as he cried. My hope is for reconciliation, that these two can come together with Christ as their head, and create a home for this new life that is soon to come into the world. Those of you who pray, please hold them up for God’s hand to touch. It’s a tough time of year for this kind of thing.

Cherie’s appointment with the dentist was for 1:30 so I made sure I was back in time to take her there. We didn’t know exactly what the dentist would do so wanted to make sure I was there to drive her home after. The dentist took out two teeth and let Cherie know that another one would cost over two thousand dollars to fix, as it required a root canal and then a cap. The cheaper option will be to have it removed, as we decided to do with the two teeth he pulled today. So we will save up our money and get the other one done later.

We went to HEB after the dentist to get her prescription filled and buy some soup and other you just had some teeth pulled food. Then I took Cherie home, fixed her some macaroni and cheese, a fresh pot of coffee, and then a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Solstice today, It'll be 80 degrees

12/20/10 Monday
I’ve made my private journal entry so it’s time to tell the world what we’ve been doing through the blog journal. So much I want to tell but can’t. Prayed and fasted for four days regarding a friend, who has made some poor decisions, and we are seeing the fruit of those compromises. There are a lot of deceptions coming out of her mouth, little stories that aren’t true but justify and put a spiritual spin on what is happening in her life, and in the process make others look bad. We hope for the best, hope for God to reveal the truth so that it might come to the light and be dealt with. It’s when we have secrets, when we practice things in darkness, that we open the door for evil to come in. John 3:20 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." I pray for you all, pray that you come to the light, and in doing so have all the works of darkness forgiven and forgotten, made a thing of the past. Thus you will have new life, and a future to look forward to, knowing you can stand before God on that final day and be accepted, inheriting the gift of eternal life. This is what Christmas is about, and for us Christmas never ends, it is our life. Jesus was born to die, in fact that is the reason He came, to pay the price of every wrong we have done, so that we can be forgiven.

Today is winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Strangely enough, here in West Texas, it’s going to hit 80 degrees today, not just a little warm but even a little hot relative to the temperatures we’ve seen the week before. Tonight there will also be a full lunar eclipse, something that hasn’t happened on the solstice in four hundred years. There are many around the world who will celebrate this in pagan traditions, and thus we see the eternal conflict between truth and deception. It’s a conflict that will only come to a close when Jesus returns on that final day, which I see rapidly drawing closer as the prophesies and nations foretold align themselves in an uncanny way. War, serious war way beyond the conflicts we see these days, is just around the corner, and with it will come nuclear weapons unleashed. All that is comfortable and that we have thought we could rely on will unravel. Soon there will be no security.

The wind is kicking up, as predicted. Today I will once again work on the bathroom, but I’m getting to the point where I no longer can find things that I am capable of doing. It is so frustrating to have been left in a lurch on this project started by others. I can’t even get the plumber, who came once and has not shown his face since, to get the correct parts he said I needed. We returned the faucet he said was no good and have yet to replace it, and he said the drain I got for the tub won’t work, but I don’t know why. We relied on his word but he is no where to be found. Now the money we had has dwindled away, and we must wait for Cherie’s next check, which will come just before Christmas. Now I no longer know what to buy, after being told I bought the wrong stuff, but he’s nowhere to be found. There are people who could help, but they cost money and we don’t have any to spare. I got the name of a local guy who knows plumbing but haven’t called him because of that.

One of the things I’d like to grow is the spice Saffron. It is something like the most expensive spice in the world and from what I read is fairly easy to grow, a crocus flower that comes up from a bulb every year and blooms in the fall. That must go on the list of things we’d like to do but can’t quite get too because of a lack of funds. The VA seizing all our money sure hurt bad, and we are still fighting that. As things stand they will once again take our income tax refund so we can’t even rely on that.

I called our friend in Toledo, Suzie, my former secretary’s daughter, but her phone is disconnected. We feared this would happen as she and her daughter were homeless the last time I talked to them. The other daughter had gone ballistic and caused lots of problems, being removed from the home and forcing Suzie’s husband to move out as well. I so wish I could help, wish I had the resources to do something, but we don’t.

Time to get to work.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Strange days indeed

12/16/10 Thursday
There is so much going on in this world, in this country, and at the local level. Things that are unusual, different, yet the same things that have been going on for centuries. I sense a spirit has been loosed and is moving through the hearts of those who, through their compromise, have opened the door to it. It is a spirit of deception, a powerful demon that disguises itself as an angel in white, using the truth to tell lies, seeking to deceive and lead away the elect of God. With it are many other spirits, that entice with sensuality, greed, and feed the pride that is the downfall of so many. Things are rapidly moving towards the inevitable conclusion, towards that final day when our Lord returns. There is coming a purging, a purifying of the church, where the works of man will be tried with fire. False prophets and teachers are here, imbedded in the church unbeknown and accepted by the congregations, who have their eyes blinded by false doctrine and apathy. I see so much but am not allowed to speak on it, at least not yet, for I must first purify my heart, or I will not withstand what will come.

I know this all sounds strange folks, a little out there. But watch. See what’s coming. There will be violence and persecution of all that is holy. Money will fail, greed will prevail, and those who wish to suppress and dominate the weak will gain greater ability to do so. Soon food will be hard to come by, and the ability to feed your family made difficult. It is already this way elsewhere in the world, where tens of thousands starve to death, but here in America will come upheaval and that which we thought unshakable we will no longer find reliable. Islam will be at the root of this, along with communist powerhouses, and both will attack God and the nation of Israel, along with each other. As the world crumbles they will strive to grab as much as they can, will engorge themselves till they vomit out that which has already been devoured, now ruined and destroyed.

So we prepare this farm, knowing we need to feed many in those last days. Will it be ready in time? I pray so, and depend on God’s help to achieve this goal, for I cannot do it by myself. I am spending more time fasting and praying these days. Often waking up in the early hours of the morning to pray for people and situations I do not know of, along with people and situations I am acutely aware of. These are strange days, and I know there is a greater purpose for me being raised from the dead than just the restoration of my life and marriage to Cherie. Our enemy knows this and works hard to disrupt all relationships with those we meet. But God will prevail, as long as I don’t compromise and keep myself right.

Today I will write more letters to the prisoners in Ft Stockton. Then it’s back to work on the bathroom, doing the small things I know how to do and waiting on those things I don’t.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A dog returns to it's vomit

12/15/10 Wednesday
It’s going to be an interesting day. There is much that has happened and I’m not sure how to write about it, or even if I should. I will touch on something but not in great detail, mostly to cover the spiritual principles revealed by these events, coupled with a desire to protect and perhaps help the individual involved. Meantime my back pain is predictably high, but I knew it would be. I will continue working on the bathroom, dressing out the window first and then putting in drywall. The drywall will all be smaller pieces that I can cut before hand so it won’t be as much of a strain to handle as the two full sheets I put up yesterday.

I talked about that on facebook yesterday, but not on this blog so I would be remiss if I didn’t cover it. A good part of the day was spent putting up only two sheets of drywall. This is definitely not a one man job, but there is only me so either I tackle it or nothing gets done. Nothing getting done is a great frustration when it comes to the bathroom so I will push on the best I can. As always the motto here is “do the best you can with what you’ve got” and what I’ve got right now is me.

I started out the day yesterday with going to the jail. The last guy there had been shipped off to prison last week so I wondered if there would be anyone new incarcerated. Nope, the jail’s still empty. The sheriff was there and I always enjoy talking to him. He joked “I guess I should go out and arrest some people so you’ve got someone to talk to”. We talked a little about things. John asked me, with genuine interest, what I’d been working on lately. I told him about the bathroom and how slow it was going. It was busy with people having to fill out forms and stuff so I excused myself to get out of the way.
Coming home I tackled putting up drywall. In my mind I was going to a whole lot more than that, with a list of hopeful accomplishments, but the drywall took till 4:00 and finished me off. The first sheet wasn’t too bad. I dragged it carefully into the house, trying my best not to buckle a corner. Took some maneuvering to fit it through the door, around the corner, and to the spot it was going. Lots of back and forth, leaning it on things so I could move to the other end and drag it in different directions. It got there and I screwed it in place. When I dragged the second sheet in I noticed a mistake I made with the first. Didn’t leave room for the final sheet of hardiboard that can’t be put on the floor until I’m able to remove the toilet and reinstall it in a new direction. So I unscrewed the drywall sheet and lifted it up the half inch needed and reinstalled it.

Then came the real contest. The second sheet needed to go on top of the other to cover the top half of the wall. I carefully measured and cut out holes where the electric socket and light switch are, and then worked to lift it into place. It’s a squeeze as the wall is exactly 8 foot long, the panels are 8 foot long, and nothing in this house is square, so struggle, lift, try, hurt, it doesn’t fit, and it slips out of my hands and falls. I see an area that needs to be cut to make room for the half inch thick drywall I installed on the other wall, so cut it. Still doesn’t fit, cut some more, lift, struggle, hurt, drop it again, and repeat this process for two hours. Finally it fits but now I’m holding it in place and wondering where my screw gun is. Of course it’s out of reach so I stretch my six foot frame, with one hand holding the sheet of drywall as I extend my foot to try and kick the cordless drill closer. The drywall falls down so this time I make sure drill and screws are within reach as I lift this thing into place again. At last it gets done but now I hurt so much walking is difficult. I sneezed and the pain racked my back like someone stabbing me with a knife. That’s it, I’m done for the day. Take a pain pill and lay down. That’s where I still was when Cherie came home from work, and pretty much where I stayed the rest of the night.

Cherie filled me in on the details of our friend’s downfall. It was sad to hear but we knew it was coming. Here is where I will be careful to talk only about the spiritual principles that led to this situation.

So the spiritual principles I referring to are those which lead to a fall from relationship with God. It all starts with rebellion, with doing what you know is wrong, and continuing in it despite being told. The other principle is that sexual relationships are a joining of body and soul, you become one with the other and thus take on their issues. When you’ve been delivered of demonic forces in your life and then decide to willingly continue in sin you open the door back up for those forces to return. Jesus explained this in Mathew 12:43 "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.

We’ve watched in sorrow as this friend went downhill. She puts on a big front with those in church, hiding what she does in darkness, and impressing them with her spirituality. Deception is normal in her speech now, and we are seeing the fruits of her words and actions, seeing it in the lives of those she touches, who’s situations are made worse from her attempts to help. I tried to warn her but it was not received, and now some see me as not speaking the truth. I’ve not been allowed by God to speak up on it, and must wait till all comes out into the light God shines on all darkness.

2 Peter 2:20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."

We love our friend, and I certainly have no room to judge anyone. Lord knows I've returned to my vomit before. But God has been merciful and restored me, when I repented. What we want is the best for her and will be glad to help her pick up the pieces, should she be willing to let us. It's been strained ever since I tried to warn her, to tell her what God had revealed to me. Knowing I know the truth she has avoided all contact like the plague, fearing I will reveal the truth. I don't have to, God will.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's done

It’s done, I got the window installed. I’m sure I didn’t do it in the correct professional way, but it’s in, it’s sealed so sand will no longer blow through, and it opens and closes. It is not pretty by any stretch of the imagination but I’m sure I can cover that up later. This took me all day long to complete. I had another slow down and now I have one of those splitting headaches, to the point that sounds and lights really bother me, so this was a struggle to get through. Adding to that, my pain level is high now, a direct result of the work I’ve done. Don’t care cause the window is in. There is always a price to pay. Never got around to doing any drywall work, but I’m not worried. Did the best I could and never slacked off.

The widow's not doing well

12/13/10 Monday
It’s the start of another week. Today I intend to install the new window in the bathroom, and if possible more drywall. The reason I say “if possible” is based on whether or not I am able to move full sheets of drywall and hold them up by myself. As I wrote this a thought came to mind. Did I install the right type of drywall when I put some up the other day? I need to check because there is stuff they call “purple board” we bought because it’s designed for high moisture areas, and I also bought two sheets of regular drywall for the outside of the new wall we will build. These gaps in cognizance, forgetting I had two types to install and just taking the first one in the pile, unaware for the moment I had two types, cause me a lot of frustration. I figure things out later many times, but often it’s too late. If I put the wrong stuff up that’s tough, I’m not going to tear it down. As dry as it is out here in the desert I’m not too worried about mold, which is what the purple board is supposed to resist.

This picture shows the drywall I put up. I checked, and sure enough, it's the wrong stuff, not the mold resistant board I should have used.

Putting up what I did proved to be a contest. I used the nice fancy drill that Steve gave me, a cordless hammer drill with a clutch thing on it that’s supposed to be settable to stop before the screw goes through whatever or breaks. Never could get it to work consistently so ended up using the cheap cordless and driving the screws slowly and carefully. Took me an hour to do what professionals would do in seconds, and it’s a safe bet they would have done a better job.

I figured out that I will be able to install the sink without having to run new water pipes or a new drain, will be able to tap into the old ones. Cool, that means I can proceed with that because the Hardiboard flooring is already in place for that area. Little by little it’s getting done.

We went to Cherie’s company Christmas party Saturday. It was a great time at the same restaurant I’d taken Cherie to a few years back for her birthday. We had been very disappointed with that first and only visit as the service really sucked, but they sure made up for it this time, so we must have caught a bad night or perhaps just a poor waiter. Regardless, it was superb this time. Cherie and I are so not used to such rich food and our bodies had to work to handle it. We eat simply and probably much healthier in general but sure enjoyed the rich fare. However we have no desire to eat this way on a regular basis, and if we did I’m sure it would bring health problems.

You can see the old window with the new one sitting on the floor

It was an opportunity for me to meet and get to know Cherie’s employers. Unfortunately the restaurant was busy and noisy, so that coupled with a long table with ten or eleven people seated made conversation difficult. Towards the end of the evening lots of other tables emptied and things got quieter so that helped a lot. I was able to talk to the owner of the company and, after getting a better idea of their goals and needs, offered to provide some help in the area I know the most about, marketing and sales. She was positive about that so it might happen. That would be exciting, to finally be able to function in that area I was so adept at before the coma. What’s also exciting is the possibilities their future holds. I’m not at liberty to speak about the particulars right now but this is a start up company that has more than just room to grow but the chance at cornering a market in this area through an exclusive contract. It titillates all the entrepreneurial nerve endings I have and will be a joy to watch and a blessing if I can have any hand in it. They don’t need my hand at all, it would be neat if I could help in any way, especially because my wife works there.

Friday I did make it to the Kairos prayer and share that regularly occurs on Friday’s at the Ft. Stockton prison. It was good to see the guys and catch up with what’s going on down there. It’s sad to report that the church in prison has all the same problems we so often find in churches out here in the free world. That comes anytime humans are involved, for we all have the same ability to be petty, proud, and jealous. I found myself advising an individual in leadership there and my advise was to submit to those in charge, despite not being happy with how they do things. That and to pray for them. This requires humility and swallowing some pride, things I’m not good at either. Kind of wonder if I’d be able to follow my own advice.
You can see the drain, and just barely the hot and cold water pipes. The new sink cabinet will just come to the edge of the hardiboard you see on the floor.

It was nice to see how some of my brothers in white are maturing in the relationship with God. One of them gave a testimony of how God has miraculously answered prayers and of his desire to dedicate himself to serving the Lord. Brought me back to those days thirty five or so years ago when I first became a Christian in prison and after my release pursued that desire by enrolling in Bible college. It was there I met and fell in love with Cherie. What a ride it’s been since, but the grace of God has sure intervened and restored so much I destroyed. Now I am returning to the prisons to help and hopefully guide those who now stand in the same shoes I did. I am so grateful to God for that, for His mercy and His hand on my life, that I can now turn the bad I’ve done into good to help others with. That’s God’s way, to turn bad into good.

The widow isn’t doing very well. Pray for her if you could. Her health was poor anyway but has been taking some turns for the worse. She spent a couple of days in the hospital. We didn’t know till we called to check on her yesterday.

That’s it for now. Time to get to work on the window.

Friday, December 10, 2010

to touch a life

This morning's sunrise

12/10/10 Friday
It’s Friday, already. This morning I’m debating what to do, and what to put off doing. At the core of this debate is the question “What is really important”. I have worked to prepare laying the hardy board on the floor of the bathroom and had planned on doing that this morning. However I’ve learned that the person I’ve been teaching at the jail will likely be sent to prison early next week. The sheriff wasn’t clear about it, just told me, in response to my saying that I planned on visiting the jail at least twice a week in order to teach the inmate, that if I come after Monday he probably won’t be there. I understand that in the realm of things, regarding security about prisoner movement, that these things are generally kept secret. The prisoner knows that he will most likely be going to prison but hopes to be granted parole, having seen the parole board in April and still awaiting their decision. What will be happening I don’t know, it’s just hinted at that something will happen soon, and as a result I have a shortened window to help him understand his new found faith.

I visited the jail yesterday and spent two hours with J. (I will use the initial of his name to protect his identity and because it’s more comfortable than constantly referring to him as the “prisoner” or “inmate”) He’s currently the only guy housed in the jail, other than the trustee, whom I’ve seen only once as he’s free to roam and perform a variety of duties around the courthouse.

J has talked to me extensively about his family and the great concerns he has for them. He is a man who is truly aware, and repentant, of the mistakes he’s made and the consequences of them on the lives of others. His son had Leukemia and while being cured of it sustained serious damage to his brain. As a result the son has serious seizures and is greatly impaired regarding his ability to think things through, operating at a child’s level of cognizance.

J has been trying to study the bible but it is often incomprehensible to him. There are a lot of big “church” words, such as “Sanctification” who’s meanings are lost on him. Heck, the meanings of many of these words and concepts are lost on people who’ve gone to church all their lives. J said he had started to read the first book of Peter, and didn’t get very far before he gave up, so that’s where I started.
Rascal and Trixie, as they accompanied me to take pictures of the sunset. We sure do miss Ben, Gretchen, and Midnight, who were killed, but are extra protective of these two.

I could quickly see why it was so hard for him to understand. In the two hours I was there we only got to verse ten. There is so much packed into just those first few sentences, so many concepts and doctrines, that, for someone who has no background or knowledge of the faith it might as well have been written in Greek.

I started out by showing J who Peter was and read to him about how Jesus said to Peter “Follow me” and that Peter left everything behind, his business, boats, and family, to do so. I related this to J in that we all, when we accept Christ as our savior, must surrender all to follow our Lord. The first ten verses of First Peter covers being born again, sanctification, our hope for eternal life, the gift of God, how the Lord will protect us till that day we stand before the judgment seat, the prophesies written thousands of years before telling how Jesus would die to give us life, and a few other things. All of it lays the foundation of what it means to be a Christian well.

Knowing that J may not be there next week spurs me to spend as much time as I can preparing him for the life ahead. Thus the debate. Part of my creed, what is carved on the plaque that hangs on the office wall, says “Money and things can vanish in a flash. What has lasting value, is the lives we touch”. This creed, this central truth I choose to live by, is the reason I must sacrifice working on the bathroom and head into town to visit J. It’s frustrating for us to be stuck without a bathroom, and an indirect result of that is Cherie fracturing a bone in her foot, but when all is said and done a man’s life is far more important. I will trust that God will help provide for us regarding the bathroom.

I got a card yesterday from the prison we minister in. Was surprised when I opened it and found it was signed and had notes from many of the inmates who sat at my table during both of the Kairos events I participated in. Brought tears to my eyes as I read some of the notes of thanks and love out loud to Cherie, telling how I had touched their lives. I had been debating making the two hour journey to the prison tonight, and that card ended the debate. I’ll be going to the prison tonight for sure.

So I don’t have a lot of time to write now. Have to get ready and head for the jail. Will look online real quick and see if there’s something I can download and print that will help J understand his bible. Need to wash my hair in the kitchen sink and clean up before I go, so bye.

J is gone. He’s off to prison. The sheriff on duty let me know that J’s lawyer has been putting this off for quite some time, using all the tricks he could to delay this. We had talked the day before about how people use the welfare system and don’t like to work, an interesting conversation where he expressed his opinion. It’s an opinion I share, to a point. So J is gone and I pray that the words I shared with him will fall on good soil, resulting in great fruit and a changed life.

Now it’s time to work on my bathroom floor. This gives me more time to do that but before I forget I need to call around and make sure I can get a ride to the prison in Ft Stockton.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Cherie hurt her foot

12/8/10 Wednesday
I am doing much better this morning. It’s so frustrating to have these reminders of why the government declared me disabled. Never liked that and generally deny I have a problem, but then there are times I can’t escape from it, times the results of this traumatic brain injury just slap me in the face. I am so much better than I was years ago, and for the most part can function fine without others being able to tell there is a problem. Ricardo asked “What do you do for a living” a week or so ago, and I told him I was building a farm. I always worry about how others judge me. Do they think I’m lazy living off my wife? Do they think I just look for excuses not to do anything? What do they think? I work hard every moment I’m able to, but you sure can’t tell it looking around at all the stuff that’s not done. It’s a world of unfinished projects that surrounds me. I need to finish that bible study on hell as there are several who are looking for it. Didn’t make it to the jail yesterday and I need to do that, so will go today. I must print up some new believer stuff for the guy who came to the Lord, stuff he can read and study while he waits to go to prison.

Cherie went to a friends house last night, to take a shower and clean up. It’s so awkward to ask this of others, and so hard on Cherie. She cried again last night, cried and apologized to me for not being stronger and accepting this hardship with greater grace. The people who let her use their shower told her of how they had once lived in a single room for three years as they raised their children. That just adds to Cherie’s guilt about not being stronger for we are surrounded by many who have endured greater hardships and Cherie doesn’t feel up to par on it. I don’t know what to say to help her, to encourage her that it will all work out. It does make me angry, angry at the person who started all this with a lie, telling others we didn’t have a bathroom, only a garden hose run through the window. We’ve learned this woman often doesn’t quite tell the truth a lot and have seen lots of bad in areas she touches.

As Cherie left the friends house she tripped on a step. It was dark and she is unfamiliar with the house so she didn’t see the last step that was only a couple of inches high. We don’t know if she broke a bone in her foot or what but she can barely walk. She hid the pain from the people, not wanting them to worry or be upset that their generosity caused any problem, but by the time she got home there was no hiding it. I prayed over her foot, asking God to heal it. Every time she gets up to do something I jump up to get it for her. Cherie doesn’t ask for help very well so I have to insist on doing so. I fixed dinner last night, and did as much as I could for her this morning. She can’t put on her regular shoes so had to wear tennis shoes to work. We were contemplating going to a clinic or hospital and having a doctor look at it, but without insurance, due to her just starting a new job, it’s something we want to avoid whenever possible. This morning Cherie decided to go to work and thinks it’s just a twisted or sprained foot so will work itself out. I sure hope so and am praying for that.

I will focus on that bible study, otherwise it will never get done, just like so many other things in my life. Then I’ll go online and look up new believer literature to see if there’s something I can quickly download and take to the jail. Made another pot of coffee and have put more wood on the fire. It was in the lower twenties this morning. We woke up at 4:00 this morning so I fired it up again to get the house warm, after I helped Cherie make it to the bathroom that has no walls.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


12/7/10 Tuesday
It’s a rough morning. Cherie is fighting off depression stemming from not having a bathroom. I don’t have any magic words to say and we aren’t seeing much hope of help from the plumber. I wish we had the money to pay him or someone, anyone. She made it off to work unhappy and not as clean as she would like to be. We have friends in Midland who have offered their shower but that’s a twenty mile drive away and is real awkward when you think about it. We’re up at 5:30 in the morning to start getting ready for her to leave for work by 7:30. I can’t imagine putting someone out like that. Add the half hour driving time and it makes it even worse.

I started doing stuff for the bathroom but when I started trying to figure out and understand what to do, and what not to do, trying to order my thoughts, it triggered a slow down. Just talked to Cherie on the phone and she could hear it right away. I’m looking at all this stuff and am lost. Tilted the tub over to see if it needs anything underneath it for the install. Don’t have a clue. The plumber, who showed up, looked, and left saying I had all the wrong parts, said I need to build a two by four frame for where the pipes go and to hold the tub. Ok, how do I do that? He also said I need to cut a hole in the floor so he could get at the pipes and stuff. I can do that but don’t really want to unless I know he is coming. So far he hasn’t come when he said he would. Not anxious to have a big hole in the floor that rats can enter through or that our cats will crawl under the house through. I might be able to cut it and leave the wood there as a removable hatch.

I want to put the hardy board stuff down on the floor, but am unsure what to do around the toilet. We want to move the toilet slightly, face it in another direction. Should I remove the toilet and lay the board, cutting a hole where it flushes through? Right now the toilet is the only thing working and we’re anxious to keep it that way. However it is no longer stable on the floor and the water pipe feeding to it is now leaking a little.

So I’m working on removing the window. I’m not going to take it all the way out just yet, just removing all the trim pieces around the outside. I’m thinking this job I can do by myself so will carefully move forward on it. I would like to put up drywall but can’t handle the pieces by myself. Perhaps I can do the areas that require small pieces. I should be able to measure and cut them outside and carry the smaller piece in by myself. At least then something is happening. I’ll scrape the old adhesive stuff left on the floor from the old linoleum floor we removed.

Have a Kairos committee meeting this afternoon. Don’t really want to go but we need drinking water and the widow called and needs help so it works out. Just doesn’t help me when it comes to getting anything done here. Have an earache that is coming on with a vengeance. Figures.

It was a bad slow down. Lasted most of this day. Went to the Kairos meeting and people asked if I was ok because they could tell something was wrong. It's embarrassing to me to go out when like this but the Kairos is important. I don't really remember what they talked about. Went to the widows house after and fixed her lift chair. She couldn't tell I was slow. Really nasty ear ache as well. Turned into a crappy day, but I woke up so it's a good day no matter how bad it seems. still slow. Writing this is a challenge.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wrestling with Hell

This morning's sunrise

12/6/10 Monday
This morning is flying by. Checked emails, facebook, replied to some and bam, it’s almost 11:00. Just now getting to this journal. It was 22 degrees this morning so we definitely have had the fire going. Saturday we went to a Christmas party put on by our friends at the Midland church we attended before we began going to the small church down the road from us. It was a great party, with great food, and lots of deserts that we really don’t need to eat, but did anyway cause it was so good. It is always good to be missed, good to be loved, and great to be warmly received. Vickie was there too, she had been a member of the group before her husband tragically succumbed to cancer and had since done what we did, joined a church much closer to home. At the end of the party a part of me just wanted to preach, to say that Christmas is the celebration of God coming to earth and becoming a man in order that we can all have life, and that we all now have that gift to share with others, eternal life. There was a gift exchange at the end and it was nice, all of us are Christians so all of us have that eternal life, but my thoughts are on all of those who don’t. That is the reason for, not just the season, but for all of Christianity. Jesus came, died, and rose from the dead in order to give us all life, eternal life.

Sunday morning we went to the Stanton church, as usual. It was good but I had an unusual burden to pray so spent my time before the regular service doing so. There has been a lot of this, this need to pray, lately. I don’t know why, just know I need to do so. So I do. This comes on me in the morning, afternoon, and even at one and two in the morning. I wake up, put more wood on the fire because it’s usually died down by then, and pray. There’s something going on folks, I just don’t know what.

The pastor announced that we were having guest speakers that evening. The speaker I think, was a guy named Bill Wiese, known for his book and video entitled “23 minutes in hell”. This disturbed me as I am familiar with Bill Wiese and his tale of having a vision where he was taken to hell and tortured by demons. He was a guest on GLC once and what he had to say was just wrong, absolutely not in line with the bible. Cherie and I were in agreement in having no desire to go see this guy. Our perspective is that he and his wife are just using this as a way to make money and be lifted up as important spiritual leaders while selling more books.

I wrestled for a while with this, with a great desire to go and stand up for what I know to be the truth, to oppose that which I deem to be error. But in the end I opted to stay home, decided to not stir things up and in that way to support the pastor and not be divisive. So I went online and studied up on the whole thing, the subject of hell and eternal damnation.

At the core of my discomfort is the whole concept of a loving God, who cared so much for mankind that He would send his only son to earth so that He might die a horrible death in order to grant us eternal life, then sentencing anyone to endure incredible torment forever, with no end at all. Just imagine someone burning, the most painful of pains, engulfed in fire from head to foot, forever. In my research I learned that Augustine, the theologian who introduced this whole concept to the church, actually stated that God would eternally heal these people of their wounds from the fire in order that they would perpetually suffer. This is just not acceptable to me, this is not the loving caring God I have chosen to worship.

And then Bill Wiese states that when he went to hell, he was locked in a barred cell and that demons had the great joy and pleasure of continually torturing him and that he could hear the screams of others as they were tortured. NO, Absolutely NOT!!! Hell was made for the devil and his angels, it’s a place they will be punished in, not a place where they have fun doing more evil. Plus the bible is clear that all of this will only come to pass at the final judgment, the last day. It is at that time that the dead are raised to stand before God at the judgment seat, and not a moment before then.

Using fear to scare people into being good, into church, is not God’s way. There absolutely is a place for fear in our faith and the bible states that fear is the beginning of wisdom, but it’s a different kind of fear from the terror of burning for eternity. God offers life, Love, and happiness. Here on earth as well as for eternity in heaven. He draws us to Him, offers it as a gift.

I will write up my study on this and post it later on my Balaam’s ass blog. It will be in depth and include an analysis of the original Greek and Hebrew words used in both the old and new testaments along with a history of how this doctrine was introduced into the church and has since become a tradition held to by many. Ultimately my desire is for truth, and such is God’s desire too.

Today I plan on responding to the several letters I’ve received from the prisoners at the Ft Stockton prison we’ve ministered at. Then it’s bathroom work. Sure wish I knew what I was doing but must do something so will muddle through. There is no promise of the plumber showing up, at least nothing firm I can count on. Ricardo said maybe Thursday, and perhaps Tuesday but he wouldn’t be able to be here for that. He kind of roped the plumber into helping and the plumber isn’t getting paid for his help, just paid for the cost of materials, so I don’t expect much. We will be grateful for anything we get. I’m chiseling a two by four in half down it’s length of about five feet. It is laid on the floor and goes down to the old foundation of the building. If I pulled the whole thing up it would leave a gap that isn’t acceptable so I used the skill saw to make lots of cuts at the level of existing floor and have chipped it away. I’m sure there’s a better way to do it but don’t have a clue so am doing it this way.

We also have a new window to replace this one. Cost about $70 bucks and was the smallest window available at Lowes. The next size up was too big to fit between the studs so went for this one, which is only an inch or two narrower. Should be easy to put in, but won’t know the answer to that till I try. Once I tear the old window out I’m committed to get the new one in quick, especially with this cold weather.

Just had someone drive in to look at the diesel truck. Had someone look at it Friday too. Both were a surprise as the truck is parked back from the road so is not easy to see. Haven’t been in a hurry to sell it and frankly, have been occupied with other things so it’s not been on my mind. Perhaps it’s because the end of the year is close. Maybe I should pull it close to the road. We sure could use the money but on occasion I need to use the trailer to haul something. Plus there have been times my truck isn’t running, especially with the transmission going bad, so it’s been handy to have a back up.

The widow called. Her lift chair stopped working. I don’t know anything about them. Evidently it has a motor on it and that lifts her up. She said she sleeps in it a lot and that helps her hip. I’ll make a run up there and look at it sometime soon.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

What to do? How to do it?

Yesterday's sunset

12/4/10 Saturday
Hard to believe we are already four days into December. I called Ricardo yesterday to let him know we had decided to get the more expensive brushed nickel bathtub fixtures so he called the plumber to let him know. Ricardo called back much later to let me know that the plumber won’t be here today, something came up. Cherie was just arriving home from work so I told her. She cried. She got angry. She has every right too. All of this is the fruit of someone that started this whole project with a lie, telling the pastor and church we only had a garden hose running through the window for water in our bathroom. That person won’t talk to us and avoids us like the plague, not necessarily because of the bathroom project, but because I had a word for her a month ago that because of compromise the enemy was at the door to devour. Meantime we are now totally without a bathroom, with the exception of the lone toilet sitting by itself. I am so glad I didn’t let it be removed when we were tearing down the walls.

Yesterday I lost a big part of the day because of a slow down. It was a bad one and lasted for hours. Even talking to Cherie was difficult as I had a hard time forming words and pronouncing them where they could be understood. Despite that I worked hard to joke and get Cherie to smile, but that was like running up an escalator going down. The moment I stopped it took me back down, negating the progress made. She’s still having a hard time with it this morning. We are planning on going to the Christmas party put on by our old Sunday school class from Midland. We will go to the widow’s house this afternoon and clean her ceiling fans and other areas for her. She had planned on doing this herself, an 80 or so year old woman with a fractured hip, balancing on chairs to reach ceilings. As soon as we heard this we volunteered to do it for her. After we clean Cherie and I will be able to use the widow’s second bathroom to take showers and clean up ourselves. I’ll be able to shave with a mirror.

Meantime, I’m looking at what needs to be done in the bathroom. Do I put two by fours here, or there? Should I put drywall all the way to the floor or just at the top? What about the ceiling, must I take it all out? Or can I put a sheet of the purple board that is mold resistant right over the existing drywall? Let’s see, that purple board is a half inch thick so I must leave room for that thickness when I screw the two by fours in. Is there room for the shower with that extra thickness? Must I drill holes in the floor for the drain before I build the wall? We don’t even have a drain now because the plumber said what I’d bought was the wrong thing. I called Ricardo to see if we can at least get the parts from the plumber. He said the plumber would get them this morning but we haven’t heard. Another new problem is the price on the brushed nickel may be much higher than I had thought he said. Instead of $160, maybe as high as $250. As Ricardo interpreted for the Spanish speaking plumber I’d gotten the impression that the chrome fixture was $80 and nickel $160. What a mess. We can’t afford a $250 price and stretched to make the $160 one. If we’d had any idea things would turn so difficult we would have been happy to keep things as they were. It wasn’t our idea to do this in the first place. Again, it’s the fruit of someone living in sin and running around trying to do all kinds of good works for a variety of people and causes, but we’ve seen several bad results come out of it. Her heart is sweet in wanting to help, but there is something off there. Poor judgments and decisions made that have caused others harm. She had asked me to “baby sit” a young woman just getting out of jail. I ran from that with all I had, wasn’t even going to think of putting myself in that kind of compromising position. What I see is that because of willful compromise she has opened the door to influences that are not from God, but from the father of lies. We pray for her every day and I pray for her several times each day.

It sure has gotten cold. Didn’t watch the weather yesterday but there is a strong wind that has come up out of the east. Lots of blowing sand and because the wind normally blows out of the southwest there are hundreds of tumbleweeds dislodged from where they came to rest and heading out in a different direction.

I still need to write letters to the inmates. The slowdown yesterday put an end to all that. I think I’ll tackle one right now, and then go stare at the bathroom some more and try to figure out what should be done and how to do it.

Friday, December 03, 2010

I see with different eyes now

12/3/10 Friday
Ron has gone, so things can return to…well I guess that normal isn’t a word that applies well here on Westbrook Farms, so basically I can now focus on things around here. We put nearly five hundred miles on our vehicles while Ron was here and I spent every moment I could serving him. Had to take some time to meet with Ricardo and the plumber, along with the priority of teaching the inmate at the jail.

He probably will be going to prison sometime soon. Because he has no history in church, other than occasions in the Catholic church as a toddler, all of this is new to him. I so want to insure he has a good basic understanding of Jesus, a firm foundation to stand on, and thus am feeding him faster than he can absorb it. He let me know that so I understand I need to slow down some. I will write and print up some stuff for him that he can read at his leisure. When I went to the jail Tuesday, I learned that he had been reading in Genesis. Not the easiest place to start reading the bible but still a good place. A biblical principle is that the end is revealed in the beginning. I spent some time showing him how Jesus is found even in the first verses of Genesis. There is the story of Adam and Eve, of how sin first came into the world, and how that sin caused separation from God. From that I explained again why Jesus came to earth and why He chose to die, so that we can be forgiven of every wrong we ever did. It was a lot to absorb so I spent the last part of our visit letting him talk to me about his family and fears. In the process I told him that the greatest gift he could give his son, and anyone else he cared for, was eternal life. His son developed severe epilepsy as a result of the treatments that cured him of Leukemia. He also is now mentally slowed, evidently from those treatments, so I explained that when his son gets to heaven he will have a new body and mind, all of that hardship will be gone. That certainly gave him something to look forward to.
Here's the bathroom in process

I won’t use Ron’s last name anymore when I write. My Statcounter program revealed that there have been some from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries who Googled his name and the name of his foundation and it led them to this blog. Ron has had several attempts on his life and now there is a poster with his picture on it at all the Liberian border crossings, saying he is not to be allowed into that country. The doors are closing for him as radical Islam’s power and influence steadily grows. It’s growing here in the U.S. too folks, creeping in like a cancer. Only this cancer is coldly intelligent and has an agenda, a clear plan on how to bring death and it’s dominance over all life, over the entire world.

I wish I could convey all the things Ron is accomplishing throughout the world. It boggles my mind, I am amazed at how God uses this man. Right now, as I write this, he is building a shelter for orphans in Mexico. I so wish I could be there with him, but I can’t leave the country, can’t get a passport due to my past and felony convictions. Ron told us about these orphans, and it reveals how the cancer of Islam is spreading to areas we don’t think about. It is a rapidly growing influence in Mexico, with mosques being built all along the border. When someone there converts to that religion and it’s found that their children had been baptized as babies into the Catholic church, they are tossed out into the street. Many of the orphans Ron’s building a shelter for are a result of this. Currently they live out in the open, sleeping under trees with blankets provided by those Ron is working with. When it rains they drag a tarp over them. Fortunately it doesn’t rain often. Ron is able to build a 30 by 80 cinder block building with a steel roof for something like $4,000. There’s no electric power with that, just the roof and walls. The biggest need is simply labor to help build. Ron has a torn shoulder and is too have surgery in January but keeps going despite it, because the need is so great. Through his foundation, which you can find if you Google the word Cubit (won’t spell it out in order to reduce the likelihood of those who oppose and wish to kill him from finding this blog) you can find his foundation and learn a little more, and perhaps help in some way.

They have built over 80 churches in Mexico and South America, distribute hundreds of thousands of liters of water every month in the garbage cities. Are also distributing thousands of pounds of food through the “Bags of Hope” program that Ron created to feed widows and others in Muslim countries, and that is not even all they do. Ron has had doors opened in India, where he is making a tremendous impact. That started through the education system, where his book, “The Search” is now used as curriculum in the colleges. The Search is a 600 page book that is the result of 33 years of research into the life of Jesus. It reveals third party records of Jesus’ life, accounts written by official Roman historians and others. These documents still exist in Vatican libraries and other places around the world. They include Roman historian’s eyewitness account of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. When Mel Gibson made the movie about Jesus this book was used and Ron called in as a consultant to help them more accurately portray the crucifixion.

There is so much more, but I don’t dare write about it, at least not here. Thousands have been saved, thousands fed, hundred healed, and Ron does it without all the fanfare and glory seeking we see with so many others. There is an idiot out there who spends his time putting Ron and his book down, without ever reading more than a couple of chapters, if that much. All the proceeds from Ron’s book go to feed the hungry and provide water to the persecuted Muslim converts to Jesus that are forced to live in the garbage dumps. They live extremely frugally, spending their time and lives helping others and serving Christ. Both Ron and his wife have suffered serious bodily harm in the process, coming close to death more than once. Paula once, after being flung from a horse, breaking 8 ribs, fracturing her hip, and having a punctured lung, refused to go to what they call a hospital in Egypt, choosing instead to continue on to deliver food. Ron told of how she, despite her great pain, loved, hugged, and kissed the children who were black with dirt, crying over them as she prayed. After that they had to make an emergency flight to Germany, where they learned the extent of her injuries and that she was probably 24 hours from death.

I remain humbled, and amazed, that I even know this man. He was my wife’s Sunday school teacher and was in our first wedding. He would take me out street witnessing at the bars and strip clubs in Toledo’s bad side, I was there as he founded and built a church, and I had no idea. Ron expects to lose his life serving the Lord, and with that sense of shortening time pushes to get as much done as he can.

So now I return to my life, return to it with different eyes, a different view of the world, what is important, and what is not. We will all face God, stand before Him and answer for the decisions we make, and don’t make. What was important to us? And what wasn’t! When all is said and done, the only thing that matters is what we do for the Lord.

Jesus said, in Mathew 6:19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Our desire for this farm, is to build a place that helps others. It has always been that and we expect difficulty, for we know we have an enemy who opposes all good and seeks to destroy and cause discord where he can. This we’ve experienced in so many ways since we moved here, and actually before we moved. But that’s ok, tells us we are doing something right. The devil knew, from the moment God raised me from the dead, that God has a plan for us so is focusing on stopping every forward step we make.

Today I will focus on the bathroom. Tomorrow Ricardo and the plumber are supposed to come. I need to cut a bigger hole in the floor so he can access the pipes and stuff. Then I need to build part of the wall and put in the support beam that’s needed. I think they want me to secure the bathtub in place but I’m not sure about that, and not sure how to do it properly. Part of my hesitancy is because we don’t have the proper drain for the tub and I suspect that needs to be in place before I lock the tub in. Sure wish there was more organized help for this project.

(Click to enlarge)

I also must answer the letters I’ve received from the inmates at the prison in Fort Stockton. Been putting that off while Ron was here but it’s important, and I just got another letter yesterday. Like it says on the plaque I carved after I woke from the coma “Money and things can vanish in a flash, what has real lasting value, is the lives we touch”. These lives I’ve touched are a responsibility now and I have the ability to guide and lead them to life.

Gotta go.


3:30 – It’s turned into a hard day. Seems like everything I try to do doesn’t happen. Just took out the compost after sorting through the green tomatoes to cull out the bad ones. Filled the bucket with water to pour on the compost as I have all the water turned off to the spigots that are out there. Remembered the oak tree we planted on Ben and Gretchen’s grave so filled the bucket again to water that tree. Now I’m having a slow down. I’m so thankful these types of seizure don’t happen much anymore, in fact they are rare. Talked to Cherie about the faucet and shower fixtures, and cleared up some miscommunication. Based on that I called Ricardo to have him tell the plumber we want to pay the extra to get the brushed nickel fixtures. He was going to call him anyway and confirm them coming tomorrow to finish the bathroom.

I’m real slow. The brain has become an old 286 computer again. Just typing this last paragraph was a chore. Head feels dizzy. It’s like being on drugs without the feel good part. Hard to believe I used to pay money to be stupid, impaired like this. Hard to understand there’s a whole world of people that would rather go through life drunk or high, even though that was me a decade ago. By the way, November 11th was my ten year anniversary of the wreck that put me in a coma. Ten years ago I was pronounced dead, and then in a coma till just before Christmas 2001. I am so grateful it happened. Had to die to learn how to live.

Haven’t gotten much done on the bathroom. Real frustrated about my lack of progress today.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/30/10 Tuesday
I’m going to pack a lot into this day, Lord willing. First I run to Odessa to meet Ron for breakfast and then take him to GLC television. I greatly regret that I won’t be able to stay and listen to his teaching for Ricardo said he planned on coming to the house with his plumber friend so we can continue working on the bathroom. We desperately want our bathroom back in working order and I need to be there. They are sacrificing to help us so I must sacrifice too. But the other obligation I have is one I see as more important than the others. That is to continue teaching the new child of God at the Stanton jail. Of all things he is most important, a life that is in my hands, so to speak. When I mentioned this to Ron, he didn’t hesitate in saying this was my priority.

This parable, found in Mathew 13 explains this importance
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear." 10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" 11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. 18 "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

Gotta run.