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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Extreme makeover, soul edition

If you've read this or this or even that... on second thought, don't read that. That's depressing as Christmas in Tehran. But if you were already one of the six or seven saps who subjected their sorry psyches to that or this or this then you don't only deserve, desire and demand indemnity but the theme of this thank-you is gonna thump you in the thalamus like a theatric thaumaturge. So buckle up space cadets it's time to go plaid! For everyone else, i am endeavoring to make these posts more than just a quick and quickly forgotten laugh. In all seriousness, you should receive something for your investment of time and so i promise to impart what wisdom has been imparted to me. So buckle up space cadets it's time to go plaid!

i thank God that he sent me here to the Pickyernose mountains to work on this ramshackle shack.

We will pause a moment to allow the saps time to say, "Whut?" and then we'll pause for a moment longer so they may say, "Did he just say what I thought he said??" Everyone caught up? We will continue.

Yes, i said it. i even wrote it. Cuz it's true. i have been brought to the place where i can finally say, this has been a good thing. How can this be? How did this happen? The answer to that cannot be told with anything less than a six pack of Guinness, a campfire and an entire evening but i shall endeavor to sum it up like this...

Renovation. Whilst i was isolated and alone, trying and mostly failing to make something beautiful and new of this poor, dilapidated, neglected, excuse of a house here in the Pennslobovian Northeast, God has been quietly making something beautiful and new of my poor, dilapidated, neglected, excuse of a life. He lifted me up and set me level again where i had gone askew. He has been peeling back the siding and exposing the rot and rodents. He has been pulling out the broken, useless plumbing and fitting me with a working faith that taps into the Living Water and quickly confesses out the crap. He has replaced the dingy paneling with His white righteousness so that i look around my soul now and see Him reflecting off of every surface in the glorious light of His new fixtures.

What can i give you dear reader other than a pick-up truck load of colorful metaphors, amorous analogies and starry eyed similes? The Truth. The main thing that changed, the central focus of all this renovation has been direct, constant and total immersion in His Word. In my case, having no form of entertainment or distraction outside of an ipod and a laptop, i have filled my life with sermons and from them, i have been broken, exposed, healed and learned to start praying more, read the Word more and even to keep a journal. i've come from attacking the Word to get answers to my life and my questions, from study for selfish purposes and to learn about me and my plight, to a place where i study to learn about Him! To my surprise, the more i learn, the more i want to learn! The slaking of my thirst for God has only produced more thirst! i now know the temptation of the monastery. To set oneself apart from the world and live only to study and meditate on the Truth and beauty of the Gospel is an intoxicating drug. But to do that would be to totally betray and ignore everything i'm learning. This joy was meant to be shared. Just as the Old Testament was symbol and story to point to Jesus, the church, Christ's body is here on earth now to be symbol and story pointing not only back to Him and what He's done but ahead to what He's going to do!

And that's where the trial now lays. The roles of refuge and furnace have reversed. Where once i came here in spite and with one foot aimed towards home, i now turn towards my home and my joy is tempered with fear. Fear that i won't measure up, that i'll fall back into my old patterns, that i'll be tempted to give up, that it will be too hard to bring this simple faith to a world so entrenched in rebellion that it calls the Creator a pretender. How will i keep this fragile candle lit in a world that loves darkness?

Turns out you can find the answer to that question in the Word too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pennslobovian Prophet Pulls Plug on Post

Thornhurst, Pa- Few people read it, fewer still will remember it but in the waning days of last summer, a blog written by the unremarkable hack known to some as Scruffy Mynxbane and to at least two pitiable children as "dad," promised special revelation. Indeed, in a post on prophecy that has proven to be less than prophetic, the writer threatened to reveal "What God is Still Telling Us?" As if his temerity was not subject to the safety belts of common sense nor even the DOT approved cranial protection of a good crash helmet, he even went so far as to hint, some say, declare, that the message to the world at large and at present was this, "Not much." Since that time fractions of fearful followers have sat at their computers with bated breath awaiting the promised revelation.
One month.
Another couple of weeks.
Is this some kind of sick joke? Did Scruffy Mynxbane think the world would move on and forget his bold prediction? Did something horrible befall the pathetic prophet? Secretly hoping for the latter, we came to this ramshackle hovel in the woods of eastern Pennslobovia to get the truth, straight from the horse's ass.
We arrived in late evening and after peeking in several windows, let ourselves in. The shower was running and having had that lawsuit before, we took a look around while we waited for a more appropriate time to do the interview. There were tools everywhere. A radio was playing a preacher from Chicago and there was an open laptop computer at a makeshift desk in the kitchen. Since it was already open, our lawyers assured us it wouldn't be illegal to peruse the open windows. As luck would have it, it was open to a new post that apparently Mr. Mynxbane had been writing before we arrived. There was a title and nothing else. The title read, "What God is still telling us?"
Exiting the bathroom in a stolen Motel 6 towel and some wool socks, the dripping blogger appeared surprised and indignant. After explaining our presence and snapping some incriminating photos he reluctantly agreed to answer some questions.

Knot Gnews: How long have you been blogging?
Wet guy in towel: Do i really have to do this?
KG: We'll ask the questions if you please. What makes you an authority on religion?
Wet g.i.t.: Who said i was an authority on anything?
KG: Who's interviewing who here, Mr. Mynxbane?
Wet g.i.t.: Well, i guess you are.
KG: That was rhetorical. Do you claim to have prophetic gifts?
Wet g.i.t.: No.
KG: Does God talk to you?
Wet g.i.t.: Well, sort o...
KG: Does He use words?
Wet g.i.t.: No.
KG: Have you ever done hallucinatory drugs?
Wet g.i.t.: i don't see how that...
KG: What's the capitol of Assyria?
Wet g.i.t.: Ninevah.
KG: Will Andy Reid still have a job this time next year?
Wet g.i.t.: Golly, i hope not.
KG: So you admit you wish ill on weight challenged football coaches?
Wet g.i.t.: Well, that's not really what i...
KG: How do you feel about Mitt Romney's acidic remarks in the recent Republican debate?
Wet g.i.t.: i dunno, what'd he say?
KG: Please stick to easily manipulated soundbites, Mr. Mynxbane. How many times a day do you brush your teeth?
Wet g.i.t.: Once.
KG: Are you aware that nine out of ten dentists suggest brushing after every meal?
Wet g.i.t.: Yes.
KG: Yet you still persist in this wantonly self destructive behavior?
Wet g.i.t.: I wouldn't say it's...
KG: Why haven't you written the blogpost entitled "What God is still telling us?" Mr. Mynxbane?
Wet g.i.t.: Oh, um, well, it's kind of embarrassing.
KG: We were hoping so.
Wet g.i.t.: Well, you see, i never actually wrote down the idea i had other than the title and um, i seem to have forgotten what i was going to write about.
KG: mmhmm.
Wet g.i.t.: yep.
KG: That's it?
Wet g.i.t.: Fraid so.
KG: Are you at this time or at any time in the near future considering a scandalous relationship with Monica Belucci?
Wet g.i.t.: Wow. i hadn't really considered it... um, i guess not. No, not really.

So there it is. The whole sad story in black and white. What was God trying to tell us? Was He trying to tell us anything or was it all in the head of a balding, hallucinating, self loathing, half-wit with a seething hatred of obese professional football coaches? The world may never know. But one thing's for certain: after waging words with this erratic oracle, we need to brush the taste out our mouths.