It’s A Day

Have a post or two I hope to get done, but it’s off to being an interesting day.

First up, not sure I took my medicines or not. I think I may have, and as such do not want to take them twice. If I didn’t, not the end of the world but not what I would like. I miss having a short-term memory.

Second, I had to cancel PT for the day. Went out to the car early to get coolant in for the ride, and discovered the doors are frozen shut. Or, at least the driver’s side doors are and because of issues I can’t unlock any of the non-driver doors unless I can get inside. Driver’s door was resistant even to prying, so hoping the sun might warm it up enough to get it open in a bit. Last time this happened I pried the door open, and couldn’t get it shut again. Driving holding the door shut with one hand is not on my list today, so…

Besides, given the rate of coolant loss, the heater may not work long enough to heat things up inside so the door will close again. Big issue there is that if the coolant level drops far enough, the system starts sending out frigid air, such that frost and ice form on the inside of the windshield. As you are driving. Part of the reason I did not get to Church yesterday was the likely lack of heating. Didn’t even think to try the car doors then. The other had to do with not wanting to wait 20-60 minutes for a bus then walk 20 minutes or so from where I have to get off in sub-zero temps. Given all, didn’t think it a good idea (yes, I am crazy but I try to avoid stupid).

Still looking at options on a new vehicle. A reader has made a very generous offer, and besides price the largest problem is getting it here to be worked on. Am trying to get an estimate to have it brought here, but that is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. More soon.

Meantime, hoping the day smooths out. May your Monday be a good one.

UPDATE 1: Got the car door open, and of course it won’t close and lock again. Tried to heat up interior, no joy. So, hoping for a bit more sun and some luck to get it closed again. Also, found out my insurance provider changed my GP/PCP without asking or telling, but that it may be because my GP/PCP (who I really like overall) may no longer be accepting that insurance. Trying to get answers today isn’t very likely, but have hit the e-mails to see what I can find out.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

What Is Christianity?

To hear about it on social media, Christianity is many things. It is a horror and abomination to some, the basis for a theological autocracy for others, and a seemingly endless source of disagreement for those who profess to practice it. Thankfully, for at least a few online, it is a source of strength, guidance, and hope for this life and the next.

It is sadly easy not simply to get distracted by minutiae, misrepresentation, and theological dead-ends, but caught up in them. I’m more than ever reminded that the greatest triumph of the Evil One is convincing people that he doesn’t really exist. I’m convinced that some of what I see presented on social media and in corporate media in regards Christianity is, in fact, the work of the Evil One.

Even with the holes in my memories, I think I can give a concise take on Christianity and lay out some areas for future expansion and explanation. I also want to bring out some aspects that I fear are, deliberately and otherwise, getting lost in the shouting as it were.

At its core, Christianity is the belief that God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be born of the Virgin Mary so that he could live, suffer, and die for our sins. That through him, and him alone, we can obtain eternal life with God the Father. That we are saved by Grace through faith, not works. That the Bible is the word of God, infallible, and is the guide for our lives. That the reward of faith and of living the best we can the guides laid out for us in the Bible, is eternal life in Heaven (or a perfected Earth, topic for later); and, failure to accept Christ and live as we are commanded will result in our being sent to Hell.

Of course, there is more to it — much more to it — than that. Some of the points have been being argued since the Catholic Church (note, not the Roman Catholic Church) first started. Actually, some quick research shows the term Catholic truly got going in the second century of the Church, and it derives from the Greek word katholikos which is translated as “universal.” I may get more into that in a later post, as it is interesting linguistically and theologically. Even more interesting are the churches (flavors?) of Christianity that follow the Nicene Creed “…one holy catholic and apostolic Church.” More on that once we get into a discussion of the flavors.

In addition, some points I hope to get to in the future (hopefully near future) include salvation, baptism, confession and the forgiveness of sins, that Jesus is NOT our friend as we currently use the term, and the problems of theology via throwing out portions of scripture and theology we don’t like.

For today, however, I want to touch a bit on Grace and remind myself and others of one of the key tenets that is being deliberately ignored by both those who follow the pseudo-religion of wokeness/socialism (note, communism and socialism are two sides of the same coin), and those who profess faith but seem to fail to grasp what I consider some basics.

The common core (pun intended) is that both parties reject or ignore Grace. They both reject or ignore that God is Love, and that there is no sin that God can’t forgive via confession and penance.

It is well worth noting that in the secular pseudo-religion of wokeness that there is no Grace. There may be a temporary rehabilitation for political purposes, but that is only temporary and as soon as the need is passed one is once again cast forth. There is no true and real forgiveness for “sins” real or imagined in that secular monstrosity. Not even death brings absolution.

As for those who profess faith and appear to reject Grace, there are two points that come to mind. One is the start of the prologue to the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church:

God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Saviour. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

Again, God is love and he so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son to live, suffer, and die for our sins. A very good argument can be made that by rejecting this, by rejecting Grace, for those they consider to be in sin, that they are rejecting the sacrifice of Christ, and therefore Christ himself.

The other point I see is that they are in some ways a modern-day version of Donatism. Just as the Donatics felt the Church had fallen into sin and only they were the true Christians (and I seem to recall that they weren’t real sure about each other even), the modern version is quick to condemn others and paint individuals and even whole denominations with an unforgiving broad brush.

My own readings, study, and journey have convinced me that God doesn’t demand perfection as much as that we try for perfection within the limitations of mortal flesh. Continuously, exhaustively, and with repentance when we don’t make it. To paraphrase a line from a science fiction show (Babylon 5), ‘Sin is what makes us fall; but, the larger sin lies in not getting back up again.’ It lies in failing to try, to confess our failings and to ask for help, and then get back up and try again. Keep trying: you are NOT a failure, only human.

At some point, I want to address the concept of complex problems, such as medical issues, and why a single failure is not truly a failure. For all that I’ve heard ‘Oh, X must not have truly repented/believed/etc. or else they wouldn’t still have this problem’ (and yes, I’ve heard it more in the Roman Catholic Church than elsewhere, but it exists in all denominations), it’s an assumption based on error. Sometimes, God wants us to work through things the long way for a reason. Again, a discussion for another day.

I will note that my thoughts and beliefs are subject to change. For one thing, I think the day we truly die is the day we quit learning and growing. Life, and Faith, are not static and should not be static. We should continually be open to God, to learning more in and about Faith, and even the history of our Faith. As we do so, we gain a greater understanding not only of God and Faith, but of ourselves and what we can and should do. For a final thing, given that there are holes in my memories, something I used to know may come back or learned anew, which again will result in growth and change.

The core belief of Christianity does not change. What does change is our understanding of ourselves, our responsibilities in Faith and life, and the magnitude of God’s love and Grace for us all. For those that need to hear it, hang in there, have Faith, and know God does love you.

The Series Of Posts:

Exploring Faith, Christianity, and Theology

Some Thoughts On God, And Man

Some Additional Background Memories

SecDef Blues

I really thought about doing a long post on chain of command and the intricacies of same. It is a fascinating topic, and one a LOT of pundits and other political types get very, very wrong. I actually hope their take stays wrong, as what they view as how-it-is/proper is a great way to have very bad things happen. As in illegal orders is the least of the issues involved.

Thing is, I suspect many/most of you who are regular readers have served. You know how interesting things can get. For example, I watched a jackass LTC from the 10th try to intimidate a LT who was not in his chain of command into doing something against orders issued by said LTs chain of command. Don’t think things really went as well as the jackass (who also used physical intimidation) thought it did. If you’ve served odds are you seen it and had the joy of dealing with a Vindman-type. Such people are often worth their weight in plutonium — to the enemy.

For today, I’ve decided against getting into the weeds just to deal with the issue at hand. The President is the commander-in-chief of our armed forces. Despite hollyweird and bad punditry takes, that doesn’t mean that POTUS can call up CPL. Snuffy and order an attack on the local chow hall. Though, given the state to which current military leadership has let things fall, CPL Snuffy and crew might cheerfully, even eagerly, illegally obey the order. When it comes to things nuclear, things are even tougher. That’s a topic discussed in the posts on nuclear war and operations.

Short version is that POTUS operates through (and with) the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). The SECDEF relays orders and intentions through the Joint Chiefs and/or the civilian leaders of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. It starts the process of amplification and clarification that turns ‘Take X Out!’ into a real plan and ops orders to implement same. In nuclear terms, as noted previously, the SECDEF confirms the orders to the National Military Communications Center (which could be complex in the form of ‘target package Axis 7 plus X, Y, and Toledo because F them).

Which is why people are justifiably and understandably upset that the SECDEF was out of the loop for DAYS with no one knowing. Were the actions taken by the military during that time approved, and if so, how? Who had his f’ing biscuit and/or was duly delegated to act in his behalf in the event of a major event or nuclear alert? Wanna play a game of how many laws were broken by this apparently deliberate and willful disappearing/dereliction of duty act?

I was not a fan of Austin from the start. To be polite and diplomatic. His actions show a willful disregard for the law and the chain of command, among other things. Frankly, he should resign over this. Really, he should be impeached and tried over this, as if I or CPL Snuffy had done something like this we would rightfully be in a cell under Leavenworth. This isn’t a disgrace, it is a willful violation of law and oath.

It also raises a lot of questions about who knew what, and the operations of the DoD and military. Not to mention the operations and competence of the Biden Regency. I will settle for a resignation, but in reality a number of civilian and military heads need to roll over this.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Behind The Curtain

I’ve been pointing this out since around 10/8, but the point keeps getting lost in the flood of outrage porn and engagement manipulation for compensation on social media. Not as many may see it here, but it is an important point: pay attention to the creatures behind the curtain. Don’t count on Toto to pull it open to make it hard for most to ignore.

From the start, the so-called “pro-Palestinian” movement was amazingly well prepared. Pre-printed signs, banners, shirts, and more were somehow available on 10/8. The amount has only grown since. There are other logistics as well, most especially transportation. A different form of logistics is seen in the obsequious abasement of political and judicial/law enforcement to these protests even when they blockade or assault houses of worship (hallmark of the greater jihad, see Hagia Sophia, Dome of the Rock, and far too many other examples) and clearly break the law via blockading streets and otherwise taking actions without appropriate permits, etc. Take a look at all the spontaneous outdoor prayers being performed in the streets and on the grounds of churches and places of government in Europe and England (and even here a bit though it seldom makes the news).

Add in the deliberate desecration of war/veteran memorials, cemeteries, and other cultural items of import by those who conquer and claim them for Palestine (and Islam), and you get a taste of what is to come. Can they pull it off? Yes, at least in cities where the leadership has already been suborned or replaced (think NY, Seattle, Toronto, etc. for the former, and London as a prime example of the latter). On the rare occasions when arrests are made or citations issued, those seem to get quietly dismissed. Most of the time, no matter how egregious the behavior, it is condoned and allowed. Not so is any counter-protest, to the point of arresting or attacking under color of law those who simply carry a flag of their nation (or in the case of the Castreaux regime, dare to ask questions of its members).

Well, maybe they can pull it off. People are getting fed up, and while a good bit of effort has gone into provoking a response so the individual who acts to defend others (see NY again) or otherwise “assaults” those committing crimes can be hammered hard to drive the point home to the proles (pour encourager les autres). Problem is, people are fed up and the rage is bottled up to the point it is a much larger danger than I suspect those behind these protests realize. They expect easy to control individuals or small groups, or larger who decide on a legal fight via lawsuits in court. Problem is, while I hope to see the latter, the amount of pissed off people is such that I think it is already far outside their control, and they are going to be extremely and unpleasantly surprised on how far things go when they pop.

I’m seeing that and some other interesting signs even here in Indy. Despite desperate fellating by most of the corporate media here, the pro-terrorist/rapist demonstrations are small, and frankly pathetic. The public is increasingly not only unresponsive, but growing antagonistic to them. Maybe it helps that there is some pushback against the corporate narrative by talk radio and non-traditional media here. When it is repeatedly pointed out that the demonstrators are pro-terrorist/rapist (a point that needs to be hammered home hard) and the public sees the contempt with which such protests/protestors hold them… Despite the incompetent administration of the city (and the gross mismanagement of the State), I have some small hope that we might, maybe, avoid some of the worst of things. For those in the large blue cities, get out now if you can for the worst is yet to come.

Sarah has started a series of posts that look promising for resistance outside the big blue cities. Looking forward to it, and would love to find a way to mitigate the chaos likely to come. In fact, I’ve been praying for such ways and for Divine intervention to minimize what I think may be headed our way. On a more general note, having to do with the rampant antisemitism revealed crawling like maggots under the skin of the body politic, this post at The Lid is a good read.

Oh, and speaking of behind the curtain, I’ve noticed that the fact that a lot of billionaires and millionaires are building bunkers and other doomsday retreats is finally starting to get more widespread attention. I’ve been aware for a while and have (I think, stupid lightning) mentioned it a time or two. Still a bit annoyed as some land I had considered out West got bought up for same. Sure is driving prices up… I will also note that if all are doing security the same way, which includes treating such security as dirt, a potential threat to be controlled by holding families hostage or otherwise for blackmail, well, things may not go the way the so-called elites think. And, yes, there are far better ways to ensure loyalty, fealty, and more. Also, when people realize what you have in store for them and their families, they talk within the community as it were. For the record, while many big names are building in Hawai’i, you would be amazed at how many are quietly (and through shell companies, etc.) building in the American West and even into portions of the midwest…

With your help, I hope to be writing a bit more on preparedness, and ways we might can divert and mitigate some of the potential consequences economic and otherwise. Meantime, be prepared and keep your things where you can find them in the dark (literal or figurative). Also, keep an eye out for who is behind the curtain being so free with money, logistics, and political favors. Don’t count on Toto, Be Toto! More soon.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Some Additional Background Memories

While not entirely germane to the overall discussion, some memories came back to me in the course of writing and as a result of some people from my past writing me. I want to put them down before I forget them (again).

First, Vineville Methodist had one of the finest choirs in the nation, in my highly biased opinion. Part was some good talent, and part was having the head of the music program at Wesleyan College as the director of Music. Sylvia Ross was gifted on several levels, including that of herding cats I suspect, and did wonders. She even brought in some promising students as members or guest soloists over the years. Along with the raw talent in the Church, that choir could and did hold it’s own against pretty much anything in the state, or even the nation. Again, my very biased opinion is that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir only beat them because of numbers. Smile.

That held true for a number of years, right up until the bass section lost what seems like about half it’s members to heart attacks and other health problems. The first I remember was Mr. Thomas, who lived not far from the house where I first grew up. Shame, as that section rocked it, as it were.

Also, the church had/has a magnificent organ. The organist, Mrs. Lawson, knew I had some favorites and would sneak them in on occasion for me. One I listen to regularly still, both as Christmas music and in general, is Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. Have a recording of that done in the Thomaskirk where the song was composed.

Second, I think the memory of going to visit Rev. Wilson at the parsonage was part of an evening of caroling by the children’s choir, of which I was a part. Seem to remember going to the homes of some members, possibly those in poor health and unable to attend, and singing for them. We may have finished at the parsonage where we got some food and drink to cap off the evening.

Third, my interest in the Catholic Church may have been far earlier than I realized. Popped up that I had some romantic notions about the Catholic Church and some of its actions that a 9th-grade teacher (who I much respected) had me do a research paper on said actions. Romantic notions busted, but it actually did help set the stage for a train ride across Italy where a Jesuit stuck with us took the time to tell me about the history and more of the places we were passing.

I also remember going to a certain monastery in Conyers, GA when I was about 12 with a church group. For those of you who read John Ringo, no I was not trying out for Team Conyers as I’ve always been (IMO) medium-speed high-drag. I was, however, rather interested in the life of a monk and starting to give it a bit of consideration. My parents, this time both mom and Dad, pretty much expressed their displeasure and disapproval of such thoughts.

A final thought is that all of the aptitude testing I took in late high school shared one thing in common. They all said one career I should consider was that of a preacher. That was NOT an interest of mine at the time, and I was looking rather strongly at the whole engineer, Air Force, astronaut route. Even Mr. James Doohan, Scotty on Star Trek, was giving me some encouragement on that, so being a protestant preacher did not get serious consideration by me at the time. As noted elsewhere, I am very glad the process of divination for becoming a Catholic priest is a cup that passed from me.

Just some flashes of memory that may or may not add to the background discussed the other day.

The Series Of Posts:

Exploring Faith, Christianity, and Theology

Some Thoughts On God, And Man

Some Additional Background Memories

Some Thoughts On God, And Man

After spending pretty much all day at Church yesterday, starting about 0745 and getting home about 0200 this morning, this is not going to be as long or as detailed as originally planned. That is probably the latest I have stayed up in more than a decade, much less after all the fun of the lightning strike and other health delights. I will say I had fun, and it was interesting to take part in various liturgical forms for the same service, and I learned a good bit as well. It also served to highlight how different apostles presented the same event in very different ways. That’s a discussion for another day.

I am also glad to report that today’s post has nothing to do with Yale or Buckley (1). That said, however, I need to make a note to myself that in later discussions of the Bible that I remember to give thanks that neither engineers or academics were involved with the original New Testament. Just ignore and roll with that one for now.

If there is a greater contrast between two parties in the universe, than between God and Man, I have yet to find it. Polar opposites is a good descriptor, and highlights the challenges of God explaining things to Man, and Man understanding (more often not understanding) what God is saying and intends.

While a number of theologians concentrate on the 12-15 characteristics of God, it is in my opinion best to focus on and understand the 3 prime attributes of God. Those attributes are the basis of trying to understand God and of the characteristics we have come to associate with God. They are also why we do not have a chance of truly understanding God without assistance. And, no, that assistance does not come from pharmaceuticals as there is no amount of mind expanding or mind altering drugs we can take that will let us truly grasp even a fraction of the mind of God. Trying such is a great way to burn out your brain and waste the gifts God has given you, at least in my opinion.

God exists out of time, as in before and after time as we understand it. Let’s look at the three key areas.

First, God is omnipotent. While that does indeed mean all powerful, it also means that God has the wisdom, judgement, and other characteristics that make him infallible. God does not, therefore, make mistakes. Which leads to God being almighty, because of this and because of what comes next.

Second, God is omniscient. God knows everything since he existed before time and will exist even after time (as we understand it) is gone. God sees all of time (and the before and after) as a single instant. Scripture tells us that God knew that a third of the Heavenly Host would revolt before they did so. God knows we are going to screw up, how we are going to screw up, and loves us anyway. Which is getting a little ahead of myself, but…

Finally, God is omnipresent. “No sparrow shall fall” is because God is present in everyone and everything in the known (and unknown to us) universe(s). There is nothing that happens anywhere (or any time) of which God is unaware.

Where we see probabilities for actions, God not only saw the probabilities but knew which would become reality (in this and even in other potential dimensions) before we even started to take actions. Keep in mind that while we deal (awkwardly and often unwisely) with this reality, God deals with this reality and quite probably more. Keep in mind that whole ‘known and unknown’ thing that pops up in scripture and life from time to time. Which, when you add in free will, makes for a complex situation that puts 3-D chess right out the airlock when it comes to complexity.

So, you have God who likely knows all and sees all across what we would consider multiple dimensions (though God may not see it as such, again a rather advanced discussion for another day). Then, you have us, mankind.

We are why most aliens lock their doors and speed up when passing by our cosmic neighborhood. God is a wondrous trinity of attributes (cough, cough, pay attention) while we know little and seem determined to get as many things wrong as possible. While the latter is a bit cynical of me, the former truly isn’t our fault. To explain why, I need to borrow from the late Kurt Vonnegut.

In one of his stories, I remember him describing humans as a figure who experiences life essentially bound on some sort of open rail car, the car only able to move in one direction while we can only look in one direction (off to the side?), and do so through a long tube that limits our field of view. Let’s face it, that’s not a bad descriptor of how we experience time (and space in a relative sense).

Our viewpoint is extremely limited, we have no real ability (other than some possibly limited bits of pre-cognition and related, again, a discussion for another day) to look ahead. As for looking behind, my own take is that we far too often fail to do so even when it would do us good. Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it; and, those who seek to prevent the teaching of history are working as hard as they can to repeat it and not to the benefit of mankind.

Humanity also has an unmatched (as far as we know) ability to screw up. Much of that comes from taking the easy way on most everything. It reflects strongly in certain politics and political movements, where free and easy is the promise, along with the idea that no payment or work will ever be required to enjoy the largess. This despite rather clear evidence the world really doesn’t work that way…

While jumping ahead a bit, it is worth noting that the Old Testament can be condensed as follows. God: Do these things as I command and life will be good. Mankind: Yes, we will do that. Ooops. We didn’t, we got what we deserved. Please give us another chance. God: Okay, here’s a new covenant, do these things as I command, and life will be good. Mankind: Yes, we will do that. Ooops. We didn’t, we got what we deserved. Please give us another chance. God, possibly tempted to sigh: Okay, here’s a new covenant, do these things as I command, and life will be good. Mankind… For the record, that’s also an accurate summation of me and sin. There is the best of intentions, but the flesh (esp. my brain) is weak.

So, back on track (pun intended). We, mankind, really haven’t got a shot at understanding more than a very limited fraction of the mind of God. We simply are not wired to understand such in this form. Outside this form is an interesting discussion, but again one for another day. The fact is, however, we really don’t need to fully understand the mind of God in order to understand what God wants us to do.

Whether it is from the Burning Bush, the words of the prophets, or the parables of Jesus, the basics are there. Now, particularly in the latter, there is room for growth as it were. Keep in mind the ‘spoke and thought as a child’ bit as it applies to our understanding of God and his word.

For example, I’ve read some ‘learned’ (cough) discussion that God evolved in the Old Testament. After all, God went from a vengeful and emotional creature to the God we know today. This skips a couple of important points in my opinion.

First, in the earliest forms, Judaic belief held that God in Genesis was a first among equals (a concept that comes up again in scripture I believe, and most assuredly in Church politics). Judaism, however, went from from somewhat polytheistic to monotheistic far more rapidly and far earlier than almost any other belief system in the world.

Second, as it did so it was not God that evolved, but our understanding of God. Where we had tried to place a human face and understanding on something that is far from Human, as Mankind evolved our understanding grew as well. This mirrors our understanding of the parables of Jesus, where what we get out of some of them has indeed involved over the years (‘So that’s what it really meant!). That’s one of the beautiful things about parables, is that it is possible to see and understand more (look at this from over here!) as we learn and grow. Not only do I think God has a sense of humor, but I also think he’s efficient in such things, yet another point we may get into later.

What we do need to consider is that our understanding is limited. There are far too many out there who seek to place limits on God, which is something we have been told flat out not to do. For all that such can be amusing, it is also incredibly sad to see people proclaim that God has to do what they want because he has to operate on the basis of how they think God should operate. Such is often linked to extremely legalistic thinking on theology. My personal take is that the more legalistic you get on theology, the greater the chance you are, er, messing up by the numbers.

Indeed, today’s post brings up one of the greatest hopes for the individuals of mankind. I think I’ve been told this before, but a wise priest shared with myself and others that no good, reputable priest (or preacher) will tell you definitively where the soul of a recently departed has gone. They may have strong suspicions (I got the impression that this was particularly true to those who were not so good in life, and likely to go down as it were) but even if likely to go up one didn’t make that declaration. One reason is that for the former is that God is a being who transcends time, and we have no clue if in the final nano-seconds of a person’s life that God did not intervene to give that person a chance. After all, what is a nano-second to us can be an eternity to God. God’s love and mercy are infinite, so we do not know what God might do, especially given that our understanding is both limited and to some extent likely flawed. Just look at the number of times God has given mankind another chance in the Old Testament. Who is to say that such might not extend to an individual level? As for those going up, we may think that but we don’t know all and the only people known for sure (as far as we know) in heaven are the Saints and Martyrs.

Some food for thought as we explore the holes in my memories and I try to work some things out for decisions and more to come.

  1. One of the unexpected (and IMO unearned in some ways) honors in my life was to be an invited guest to WeaponsCon I many years back. WeaponsCon was the response by the late (and missed) Irv Koch to a number of science fiction conventions to banning weapons. At WeaponsCon one had to be armed at all times. It was the safest and most polite convention I think I’ve ever attended. The Guest of Honor was the late (and much, very much, missed) L. Neil Smith. My being put on a similar level to him is what I considered unearned. That said, we got along great and it was a true pleasure to meet him and get to spend some time talking on any number of subjects. To this day I love his description of William Buckley (as character Buckley Williams I think in The Probability Broach) rolling his eyes like a dying horse as both accurate and a bit of sheer comic genius. His entire take was so spot on…

The Series Of Posts:

Exploring Faith, Christianity, and Theology

Some Thoughts On God, And Man

Some Additional Background Memories

Windows Again

No, not the operating system, those darn Russian windows have claimed another ally of Vladimir. Or at least a former ally of Vladimir. Some details are fuzzy, but it is dangerous to be either a full ally or someone who failed to be what Vladimir wanted to see in an ally. Waffle even a little bit…

Right now, no definitive information if Egorov was an ally who got in the way of the opposition, failed to meet a test of Vladimir’s, or what. There are rumors of other deaths recently, but not a lot of solid news. Politics truly is a blood sport in Russia, so would not be surprised if there were indeed more as things are heating up behind the scenes/curtains even as a picture of calm is trying very hard to be projected.

Also, taking reports of Gerasimov’s death with a grain of salt for now. The original source is interesting, and they deleted the report. For now, watching to see what happens and what does come out. Remember, if it comes from Moscow take it with a tun of salt…

UPDATE: Yes, I do think Vladimir’s New Year’s speech was either computer enhanced or computer generated. Watch the area around his neck and collar…

More soon.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

New Transportation Drive

I’ve been crunching some numbers, getting inputs, and otherwise trying to do as much due diligence as I can. Thanks to the defective offspring of unwed parents that is the Indiana GOP, those high-tax big-government loving statists, there are a bit more fees and such than just the sale tax. So, I’ve tried to plot for all those wonders, include money to have my mechanic check out whatever I end up buying (and more than one vehicle if necessary), and have some to get new emergency gear and other items at need.

So, I’m altering the fund raiser to include an additional $8,000.00 as that should get a solid vehicle, cover taxes, tags, fees, and all the other fun and joys of operating said vehicle. Since my jump pack, which includes an air pump, apparently didn’t survive all the recent electrical issues, I’m looking at a new jump pack, stand-alone air compressor, and related gear. I’m going to do what I can to reach that amount, and maybe even a bit more.

That said, if I can get something that will get me to PT, the gym, church, and groceries for less, guess what I’m going to do. My only requirements are that it be reliable and last for at least five years; have a working heater; and, have working wiper/washers. Anything beyond that is gravy. Would love it to have a heated steering wheel, working AC, decent radio, and sit high rather than low. Again, will take what I can get for now.

The rebuild dealer from whom I plan to buy has several vehicles to choose from right now, and several more in process. The latter should be ready by the time I raise the money.


Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Happy New Year!

Yep, good reason to feel that way, and I like the idea of opening that door while wearing a bomb suit, ballistic shield in hand, heavy load out, and maybe even sending a grenade or three through the door as it opens.

Given the last few years, this does seem a bit safer, especially since we keep hearing

That we are indeed here.

And that things are going to get even more “interesting.”

I wish I could tell you that they are not, but I will say that for all the bad things I can see happening in this new year I also see the potential for a lot of good on the individual level. Yes, the system is in trouble and lots of things can fail systemically, from economies to the world falling into war. That said, I also see opportunities for individual freedom and liberty, and survival of same. Never thought I would say this, but just look at (or even to) Argentina for part of that hope. So, plan for the worst, hope for the best, and we will take what comes and make it our own best. Be Prepared.

Meantime, yet another year I did not make it anywhere close to midnight, or the living room, and am not bothered by that at all. Needed the rest to be honest, as have not been sleeping well yet again. As for going out, I didn’t like crowds before Iraq and now don’t deal with them well at all.

May 2024 not be a year of mere survival, but one of positive growth, love, faith, and all the truly good and important things in our lives. Who knows, maybe I will find that sweet young lady with bad eyesight and worse judgement to date and marry this year. Anything can happen, when we put our minds to it and open our hearts to possibilities.

So, enjoy the celebrations of the day, and the semi-regular updates and talks on preparations and more will resume soon. May this be the year the enemies of freedom, liberty, and all that is good in life hear:

And may this not be our bounce upon leaving 2023!

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.