Friday, October 21, 2005

Those were the Days 1980-85

Sometimes you just need to remember with pleasure the glory days. For Some people, its football. Some it’s a job or a great vacation or a band they used to play in. For me, it’s a group of men and a Church. I got a call from Jeff today, one of those men. It brought back memories. And then:

I read in today’s Wall Street Journal Personal section that men hate Church. That most denominations are losing men. There’s a reason. Men see church as sissy stuff because for many men it feels that way. So, many churches try to make up for that loss by having football or baseball games. Chili cookouts. Tailgate parties. Men stuff. It always fails. It’s a poor imitation for the real thing.

I never go to those things.

I know what it’s like to be a man among men in a Church of men, how that feels sounds and smells.
I long to be there again. I may be getting close.

It was in the early 80’'s. I hadn’t been saved that long. I joined a charismatic church in Fargo ND. I met the other men. We were all in our mid 30’s. All married. All with kids. All working and all full of the Holy Ghost and fire. A few of us came together and became a team of sorts. We never had meetings. We never had strategy sessions. We only knew one thing. We believed God and we hated the devil.

There was Lee (He’'s gone now).
He had been a Rock and Roller. He was pure Gospel. He believed what it said and that’s that. There was Jeff, strange and wonderful. He was a cop. He brought a cop’s sensibilities to the Church. He believed in the power of prayer. Not some namby pamby prayer. Power Prayer. Hell shaking heaven-reaching prayer. No missing his gender. There was Gaylon. He was an engineer. He could teach. But he would prophecy and demons trembled. If he looked at you funny you knew he knew everything you had done. He probably didn'’t but it kept you from stupidity. There was Pete. Pete was a body builder. Binding and losing. Take back territory from the enemy. No holds barred. Ex Military, he was tough. He now goes to Ukraine and takes back territory, starts churches, and never quits. He ducks bullets and gets thrown in the slammer a lot (in Ukraine) but he never quits. Then there was me.

Jeff’s brother Curt was at that time a pastor in the Church.
My brother Steve came and developed the media (TV) ministry. Pastor Dan (Really operating as an Apostle) kept an eye on all of us. It is wonderful being in submission to an Apostle who says sic em and you know if it gets weird you can trust him to keep it on course. There were men who could move mountains with direct faith like Mike Johnson and Pastor Nate. When we had a men'’s retreat things happened. Good Things. Radical life changing things.

I remember Pastor Dan saying to me, "“With the men we have in this Church nothing is impossible for us".
I knew what he meant. It was a heady feeling. We were all submitted but we had a spiritual swagger that John Wayne would have envied. We didn’t know that there was anything but victory over the enemy.

Every time we had a meeting, sometimes late night Friday prayer meetings, sometimes on Sunday nights, there was a sense that Jesus might just show up bodily.
We had no idea what might happen. Every service was different. It was always a surprise. It was always supernatural. We wished that they would bring the dead so they could be raised up. Sickness, infirmity, demons in need of being cast out, nothing was impossible. We had a growl in our Spirit that made demons run when we walked in the room. Jesus was so big in us that we didn’t see ourselves. We saw only him and what he could do. Any devil in hell that tried to rise up against the power of Jesus was dead meat in seconds.

Oh we weren’t perfect.
We were MEN. In ALL ways. But we believed God for a practical tangible line of attack. Nothing theoretical. We read Mark 16 and looked for scorpions and snakes to step on. We didn’t wait for the Devil to attack us. We looked for the Gates of Hell because we believed that they would not prevail when we attacked. We read it in the book so we attacked.

But most of these men moved up or out and new team members pulled punches a bit.
Like the 85 Chicago Superbowl Bears who became the 95 and 05 Bears, same team name, not the same team.

I was so acculturated in this radical faith that when I moved to Chicago and began attending Church here it was a shock.
One time (because I was a weird believer in the Power of God) I was asked to pray for a woman with Parkinsons who shook badly. Is the Name of Jesus above Parkinsons? YES! So, cinched up the armor and took out after this devil. About 5 minutes into this a pastor from the Church came and asked me to stop. He didn’t want to get her hopes up that she might be healed. What?? That’s exactly what I was hoping to do. Faith is the substance of things HOPED for.

I then began to realize what most Churches and many pastors (including this large Charismatic Church we joined when we first came to Chicago) didn't really believe in the supernatural power of God.
Form of Godliness, no power.

Where are all those men today?
All who are still alive are still in ministry. Some full time, some not. But still kicking the devil’s behind and loving it. We’re all late 50’s or 60’s now. That Church is not the same. It has evolved in to a good church but lacking the fierceness, passion and fire of those days. Oh, it’'ll grow. Fierceness frightens the women and women go to church and then men lose interest and then they leave and..... That’s a pattern many churches go thru. Chili Suppers and Tailgate parties don’'t attract men. Being on the team and kicking devils in the butt does.

I'’m not critical as much as pitying.
I long to get back on the team. A team of Manly Men of GOD who believe, who run to the battle. Men with spiritual swagger who have Holy Ghost fire deep in their bones. I’'m like Sampson, just once more Lord, show me those Doorposts. Let'’s bring the house down. I really miss those days. Once more Lord, just once more.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Golf North Dakota

I was reading this article about someone with Golf Rage.
Well, it's true.
I have golfed enough in Illinois to tell you that the "Rangers" push you.  If you aren't a good golfer you are run off the course.  People are quite rude when you don't golf at 80 miles an hour.
So, I'm left with the lousy courses to play.  Even if you pay big greens fees ($100 including cart) you are still harassed.
The only times I really enjoy the game is when I golf back in ND. 
I have been a bit hard of my home state (mostly for it's politics, Republican-Socialism). 
But, there's nothing like a nice slow incompetent round of pasture pool in the wide open big skies of North Dakota. 
The nineteenth hole is great too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Have a Blessed Sukkot

Today October 18, begins the 8 day Festival called Sukkot, Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Booths.
This is full of prophetic significance.

This is theday when Jesus was born. Not Christmas. The first day of Sukkot 5 BC. So Happy Birthday Jesus.

This is the time he is predicted to come again. Sukkot.

There is a great deal of history, joy, and celebration during this wonderful season. The solemn feasts are done, the feasts of celebration kick in to full gear.

So, go outside, sit under a tree, think about the Goodness of God. Give thanks for all his provision. Eat, drink and be a little merry.

Look at the stars. I love this time of year. Oh, and happy New Year. Party like it’s 5766. The New Year is begun again.

You are blessed. Enjoy. I will. And look to the sky, evenso come Lord Jesus.

Encouragment and Advice

A little boy was giving a book report on Socrates that went as follows:

Socrates was a wise old man who went around giving people advice. They poisoned him.

I feel like Socrates a bit sometimes. Not everyone loves being encouraged or advice. Knowing how and when is difficult. Particularly when I have a positive influence from time to time it's hard not to try and be the encouragement so many have been for me. Sort of Pass it Forward.

In 1975 I became a Dale Carnegie associate under Loehle Gast in Fargo. For the next 10 years I traveled all over the upper Midwest Dakotas and Minnesota conducting training and development programs for Dale Carnegie and Associates. We had 3 programs all of which I taught.

  1. Sales Training 12 weeks
  2. Confidence Building and Public Speaking 14 weeks
  3. Management Development (Sort of an MBA without the Finance part) 8 weeks

I enjoyed what I did and the people I had in my classes found them helpful. Many still point to those experiences and pivotal for their future. So many times people have told me what a difference I made in their life. It’s so rewarding. I keep in touch with many of the approximately thousand people I trained in one of these disciplines.

I have watched many of them go on to great things. Some are very wealthy today. Some have become movers and shakers in politics. Some are Church leaders today. And some are just really great people.

Then there were a few who just didn'’t take. They were people who usually came because their boss told them to. They just showed up. They weren’t going to let anyone encourage them no matter who. Anti Networkers. "I’m miserable and I’m not going to let anyone try to help me." They succeeded at failing. Still do.

So, like the classic lightbulb question: How many Dale Carnegie Instructors does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.

SO WHAT, you ask? As an observer of humanity and particularly those with whom I was in Dale Carnegie years ago I have come to these conclusions:

  • People who complain about their life but are unwilling to change it should stop complaining
  • People who tell you they are happy just the way things are and then are constantly depressed about how things are just conning themselves
  • Who you think you are or can be is the limit to who you will become. If you think you are beaten you are, if you think you can’t you’re right.
  • Fear of Failure or ridicule keeps more people from trying than incompetence.
  • Self Image when enhanced will cause the reality around you to rise to that new level.
  • Trying and failing and trying and failing is how things get done.
  • Your potential is not limited by your circumstances. Only what you believe about yourself.
  • A positive outlook coupled with action is a force multiplier. Colin Powell said that and it’s absolutely true.
  • We make the decisions about our future with every action we take. Repetitive action will create a repetitive future. Stuck in the Rut so to speak.
  • It takes a firm mindset to reject the influences and limitations others put upon you. You must become your own best counsel. The past is gone. The lies and putdowns which put you in this box will keep you there until you bury them.
  • Other people’s encouragement and belief in you to go higher is a gift they give. But it has to be unwrapped before you benefit from it. Then become a regifter.

It’s never too late to rise up. I remember a woman who took our class less than 10 years from her dying day; who’s last years were double the joy because she began to believe in herself. The last 8 of her 75 years on the earth were her best.

I will never forget a young man from Valley City who worked in a grain elevator and suffered from a debilitating disease who was in our class. He became manager and rose to great heights in industry.

There were times I really had to try to see good in what others were doing. I worked at being encouraging. I involved myself in their quest. It nearly always paid off. Those people were ready to move up. There were some that resented it.They had made the decision that there was nothing anyone could offer that would help. They had tried it all before. Nothing would work out. They were right.

I have worked with people coming out of prison. I am doing so now. Helping them release the past and move forward is a real challenge. Some make it, some don'’t. It’s a tough sled. It’s all about believing.

A bigger prison is self-doubt, fear, routine and the lack of a big dream that drives you on. I have known a few people who were carrying in their person true greatness. A potential gift to all of humanity. Who have nothing short of their own self-degradation that holds them back. Who will die with their unrealized potential buried with them.

I have also known people like John Redlin who had NOTHING going for him health wise but who believed he could make a difference. Even when they cut both his legs off he fought for a chance to matter to the world. He did. He taught in the public school, was in politics, a firefighter, and hundreds of other things. He mattered to those who knew and loved him. Gone too soon, he left much of his potential behind for those of us who survive to enjoy and remember.

Be like that. Matter, reach, believe in yourself. Try fail try fail try fail and eventually you will soar. That’s how you learned to walk and then run.

Am I talking to you?


I wish I had said that, Wait, I DID

I wish I had written this, I have sort of, but, this new book seems to say everything I have been saying. Go out and get it, you'll feel better.

In "Black Gold Stranglehold," Corsi and Smith expose the fraudulent science and irresponsible politics that have been sold to American people in order to enslave them. By debunking several myths, Corsi and Smith provide an outline for progress that would help to establish America as energy-independent.

Be prepared to be challenged by:

* The myth of fossil fuels: Corsi and Smith argue that the deep abiotic theory of oil is a more reliable theory than the fossil fuel theory. It rejects the contention that oil was formed from the remains of plant and animal life that died millions of years ago. Instead, they believe in Thomas Gold's argument that oil is abiotic: "a primordial material that the earth forms and exudes on a continual basis" and is "pushed upward toward the earth's surface by the intense pressures of the earth's core and the influence of the centrifugal force that the earth exerted upon the specific gravity of oil as a fluid substance."

* The running-out-of-oil myth: The 1970s scientific study known as Hubbert's Peak, predicting we would exhaust oil reserves by 2003, has been proven false. We are currently sitting on "more proven petroleum reserves than ever before despite the increasing rate at which we are consuming petroleum products. New and gigantic oil fields are being discovered at an increasing rate, in places the fossil fuel theory would never have been predicted as possible.

* The global warming hoax and other environmental myths: Corsi and Smith present compelling evidence that "burning fossil fuels does not release into the air chlorofluorocarbons or halon compounds, the types of chemicals identified as the culprits causing holes in the ozone." Instead, "human beings breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide" while "plants absorb carbon dioxide and throw out oxygen."

* The folly of oil conservation: "Black Gold Stranglehold" presents and documents how no alternative energy option has been able to provide enough energy and how each alternative has been deemed uneconomical.

* Oil playing a part in the illegal-immigration problem: Mexico has the third largest proven reservoirs of crude oil in the Western Hemisphere behind Venezuela and the U.S. As a result, the United States imports virtually all the oil Mexico exports. Consequently, "the U.S. government finds it difficult to take a systematic, hard look at the nearly free flow of illegal immigrants coming across our southern border. As a hedge against instability in the Middle East, the U.S. government has to calculate our oil needs when considering any steps we take regarding Mexico or illegal immigrants.

* The value of the dollar and its effect on terrorism: "In recent years the buying power of the dollar has decreased 40 percent on the average against all major foreign currencies. Since dollars can no longer be exchanged for gold, no hard, fixed commodity stands behind the U.S. international payments, including oil purchases. Osama bin Laden's "war against America was fueled by his belief that the U.S. has stolen the oil of Muslim countries. At the core of the issue is bin Laden's perception that America has paid for oil, a hard commodity, with paper dollars that are no longer backed as they once were by the hard commodity of gold."

* How high the price of oil?: "Today, the U.S. oil industry is sitting on a quantity of oil reserves that has never been higher. Still, we have built no new refineries, and the refineries in operation are producing at or near capacity. The picture that emerges is one of industry conglomerates simply sitting on large reserves and waiting for oil prices to go even higher. At some point, increased gasoline prices become an inevitable drag on the economy."

* Terrorism and Its Threat to Oil: Terrorists are "willing to bet that the U.S. will not be able to afford politically or economically a protracted global war against radical Islamic terrorism. Terrorists, like governments determined to impose price controls on oil, act to disrupt free markets. In doing so, they clearly understand the economic harm they can inflict."

Corsi and Smith believe that America can and will become energy independent if some steps are taken to correct the aforementioned problems. In addition, they not only meticulously lay out the problems facing American oil interests, but have developed a seven-step action toward U.S. Oil Independence by:

Promoting scientific research to investigate alternative theories.

* Expediting leases offshore and in Alaska to encourage oil exploration.

* Providing tax credits for deep-drilling oil exploration.

* Creating an oil research institute to serve as a clearinghouse of oil industry information.

* Developing a public broadcasting television series devoted to the oil industry.

* Reestablishing a gold-backed international trade dollar.

* Establishing tax incentives for opening new refineries in the U.S.

In the end, "Black Gold Stranglehold" not only provides solutions, but it will empower consumers and oil industry professionals to drastically change the debate about oil. This book is sure to cause thoughtful people to reconsider the U.S. dependence on foreign oil and its effects on our economy.

"Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil"

Monday, October 17, 2005

I know you have been worrying about this

Almost every year I get asked the same question.

Gene, you're in such terrific shape, why don't you run the Chicago Marathon? I mean you could run it between those vigorous workouts you put yourself thru.

After all, it's only 26 miles.

Piece o' Cake.

I have my reasons I DON'T run the Chicago Marathon.. If you know me you know what they are.

But, every year, rewind, Every YEAR! After the Toronto marathon someone crosses the finish line and immediately DROPS DEAD.

I'm imagining the Pearly Gates, St Pete, etc. Classic scene from all bad theology.

St. Pete: "You're 38, why are you here? Your time isn't up yet."

Runner "I just finished the Toronto marathon, and I dropped dead leaving behind my wife and children who will now have to fend for themselves, but boy was I in shape".

St. Pete: "(Insert your own derogatory remark here regarding selfishness stupidity etc.)"

I now believe in purgatory for runners.

Theoretical Theologians

I haven't wanted to pick a fight. I have no axe to grind.

I'm just becoming frustrated with the theological theoreticians. They are theorizing about a theoretical god. It's becoming another gospel. It's time to call them to account. They need to come back to the true God. Not one of their imaginations.

I;m going to start another blog. (Like the world needs this).

But, somehow I must put in front of people who consider themselves Christians, particularity among those who consider themselves theologically sophisticated the danger of their hubris.

The simplicity of the Word of God has confused the brilliant.

SO, I'm going to begin, In my "spare" time.

There's too much Really FUZZY thinking among Christian leaders.

I'm open for discussion, I'm ready for debate, I prepared for dialogue, I'm going to shut off degradation, and unthought dogma.

Reason is fine, but reason thru the screen of scripture.

What qualifies me or anyone to ask these questions and try to steer the ship back on course?

Read First Corinthians Chapter 2:10

But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1Cr 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1Cr 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1Cr 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1Cr 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

1Cr 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

1Cr 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

So, when I'm ready I will direct those of you interested to this.

Wait and See.

Things I have been Ranting and Raving About

As you know, I post from time to time as a guest on Say Anything. I just want to make sure that if you want content that's where it is. I will remain bland and uninteresting on this blog so as not offend sensitive readers.

So, Danger, Danger Will Robinson, Vile Political speech at:

Louis Farrakahn's quite a few man march

10 Bird Flu Truths you need to Know

K seeking K al Queida Letters

Global Warming, Cooling or Something

News of the very strange


The old man and his Newspaper

9-11 this explains everything

So, read with caution.

I'll post these links weekly so you don't have to be tormented to find the wheat among the chaff. Not that there's any chaff on Say Anything.