Saturday, July 19, 2008
If you have not heard from me for a while it's because I don't have your email address any more.
It's gone until I figure out how to get it back.
So, if you would please, if you want to hear from me for any reason whatsoever, it might pay to drop me a line at:
That's the most reliable right now.
I'll export your email address from there.
Of course if I have tormented you in the last few days with wiles and wisdom you may disregard this note. There aren't many of you.
For instance I would like to inform those in Ellendale that we are coming and not just show up. Send me a note, I'll do the rest.
If this doesn't scare the spit out of you nothing will.
These people are insane.
A few tidbit from Gore's brave new Greenworld. (that should be the name of a HORROR flick). Hey John Waters, Got one for you GREENWORLD - when Al Gores attack.
A farm with over 25 cows would exceed the EPA's proposed carbon limits. So would 500 acres of crops, due to harvesting and processing machinery.Read the whole thing, if you have any doubts, this is green driven central planning. Just like communism.
The EPA would regulate "farm tractors" too, plus "lawn and garden equipment." For example, it "could require a different unit of measure [for carbon emissions] tied to the machine's mission or output -- such as grams per kilogram of cuttings from a 'standard' lawn for lawnmowers."
There's a slew of auto regulations, especially jacking up fuel-efficiency standards well beyond their current levels, and even controlling the weight and performance of cars and trucks. Carbon rules are offered for "dirt bikes and snowmobiles." Next up: Nascar.
The EPA didn't neglect planes and trains either, down to rules for how aircraft can taxi on the runway. Guidelines are proposed for boat design such as hulls and propellers. "Innovative strategies for reducing hull friction include coatings with textures similar to marine animals," the authors chirp. They also suggest "crew education campaigns" on energy use at sea. Fishermen will love their eco-sensitivity training.
They are out to control your every move, if they allow you to move at all.
Don't mow the grass without having the lawnmower inspector show up, don't grill that burger, don't drive that car. You will be punished. We know who you are. We have our ways. We know your parents.
It's all evil. Witchcraft is the desire to control things you shouldn't control.
Gaia strikes again.
No, I don't know any of his "Songs". I do know that he was targeted by God over 3 years ago. Kim Clement, a Prophet I respect, called him out and let him know that God was going to invade his life:
Be aware of this, 50, 50, 50! Maybe you have no idea who this is. But now is the greatest voice in this nation. It shall come to pass that 50 shall be known as 50 because there are no cents. For there is one thing that shall happen. The Spirit shall come upon him. And they shall say, is he amongst the prophets as well?
Then in today's news I see a story about FIFY. The degradation, humiliation of a man who has experienced adulation by millions. And, at the hands of a woman who is the mother to your Son. Kind of like the Jews and Jesus. Fifty is also just now 33 years old. Time time and a time Fifty.
I wish him no ill. He will be among the prophets as well. I do know that when God puts his hand and crosshairs on someone they are in deep weeds till they come to Him on bended knee.
Come on home Fifty, He loves you, He has a great plan for your life, you are destined for much much more than you ever knew. The ultimate high awaits you. God has you steady in his sights. You are a marked man. You are sooooo fortunate.
Of course that would be an inconvenient truth. The Mantra Bush Lied Men Died would be lost forever. So CNN, MSNBC (the all Obama all the time) channel would be off. BUT what about the Foxy news, you know, we decide you comply, Where were they on this?
Read John's take on this. It's really pretty good then you decide. Better than FOX; the Northern Gleaner.
Friday, July 18, 2008
The one that really gets me is this:
Let me translate that for you, David Foreman to almost all of Humanity - DROP DEAD or we'll kill you. That's the real goal of the global warming hoax. Green is universal genocide.
“[M]y three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness with its full complement of species returning throughout the world.”
- David Foreman - Founder of Earth First! and the Sierra Club, and promoter of the Wildlands Project.
Voinovich Finds Gore's Energy Speech 'Ridiculous'
"We could put windmills from the Atlantic to the Pacific and, yes, it will increase the amount of carbon-free energy production, but the fact of the matter is, it's not going to get the job done," Voinovich said. "What we need to do is to look at all of the various sources of energy… We'd be much more realistic to realize that it's going to take all of these things in order for us to meet our energy demands."The second is Rich Lowry who says that the global warming hoax bubble is imploding:
Global-Warming Bubble - Some prices are too high.
No matter what the price of gas is, the most sensible policy in the U.S. is to avoid costly schemes to fight global warming. If our economy keeps growing, we will be better positioned — richer, and more technologically proficient — to help others mitigate its effects decades from now. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid huffs that global warming is “the most critical issue of our time.” Really? More critical than energy prices? Than health care? Than wages? Than terrorism? Than nuclear proliferation? Keep huffing, Mr. Reid — that deflating bubble needs all the hot air it can get.
WELL SAID MEN
I like him.
He's a guy's guy.
The rest of the country is smart enough to note who is a giterdone type and who's the buffoons.
Chuck Norris in a column today:
I think it's time to let Congress feel our election fury this November. As reflected in the latest Rasmussen Reports, "Just 9 percent (of Americans) say Congress is doing a good or excellent job." It is the first single-digit approval rating for Congress in Rasmussen's history, and it makes Bush's 30 percent approval rating seem like a stat to boast. The study went on to explain: "Just 12 percent of voters think Congress has passed any legislation to improve life in this country over the past six months. That number has ranged from 11 percent to 13 percent throughout 2008."That would put the Congress squarely in the buffoon category. As John Stewart on the Daily Show said: IT'S THE STUPID - ECONOMY. Of course, being a brain dead liberal Stewart was lampooning President Bush.
He's right to be outraged, it's just that the target of his rage is all wrong.
It's the stupid (congress) economy.
We are a nation of obese fatties. I speak from experience. 6' - 270# (but everyone says I carry it well).
Today's Chicago Tribune has an article that defines this exactly:
Americans, who have been getting fatter for decades, reached an unwelcome milestone in a report released Thursday: More than one in four of us are obese.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of adults who say they are obese jumped 2 percent between 2005 and 2007—from 23.9 percent in 2005 to 25.6 percent in 2007. That doesn't include people who are overweight.
ONE IN FOUR. That means if you walk down the street today every fourth person you meet will be morbidly obese. What is more interesting is a map that shows this. The states with the poorest populations are the most obese.
When you do, say hi, I might answer back.
He reprinted a very thought provoking article about the limits to man's authority. I don't know what to think. I will think it over but thought you would find it interesting. I am reprinting it in it's entirety without permission from Steve. I hope he doesn't hate me for this, But, it's that good:
Matthew 28 says that all authority has been given to Jesus Christ. This means that all human authority in this world is derivative from Christ and delegated to us. But one thing that many people don't consider, or don't consider very carefully, is that human authority on earth is limited, and limited by God, so that there are a vast number of things that man has no authority over. Specifically, the state doesn't have authority over all human activity.
There are many sins that a civil magistrate can punish, but many more that it cannot. A glance at the Law of the Old Covenant easily shows this. Looking at the Ten Commandments, there were punishments for murder and adultery (death), theft (restitution and restoration) but curiously, not covetousness. Of course if covetousness manifested itself in a punishable sin, then that sin could be punished. Other sins (and some are grave sins at that) that carry no punishment are drunkenness, prostitution, possession and use of green seed-bearing plants (think of Tommy Chong), greed, slothfulness, laziness and evil motives. One of the "sins" in the previous list is never even called a sin by Scripture, but only assumed to be so by men.
It is interesting how some sins carry their own judgment and punishment. A prostitute gains a bad reputation, is open to abuse from pimp and john, STD's, drug abuse and so on. She (or even he) is shunned by family and friends. The same is true of the other sins I listed.
What is sad is that many Christians, and especially conservative ones (of which I have counted myself most of my Christian life), have a "tough on crime" attitude and advocate harsh criminal penalties inflicted by the state that Scripture never warrants. In many cases, the more conservative, the more contrary to Scripture (as if this were even possible! Ahem). Like the Pharisees, conservatives add to God's law because they don't see God's law as sufficient for governing society. It's time for conservatives to stop playing God and let Him alone punish the sins over which man has no authority.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Now a conclave of Scientists have come out, 50,000 of them and said it's all a bunch of baloney.
Not that this is new news. This is the biggest boondoggle ever caused by the lunatic fringe.
If there were no concern for Global Warming gas emissions we would have no energy crisis. We would burn lots of things. But for the stupidity of global warmists we don't.
I wish I could say that THIS REPORT would put the final nail in the coffin of the global warming foolishness. THERE IS NO CONSENSUS AMONG SCIENTISTS - It's all a myth. Read the article linked above and learn.
Yes there is climate change, there will be winners and losers. It will be warmer some places and colder others. Things are changing but not because you or I did or didn't do anything.
When will all this foolishness stop?
He's gone now. That was 40 years ago.
When I was young I didn't realize the wisdom age had. Yes there were old fools. But there were as many young ones as well. I think about those who have had the greatest impact in my life and for the most part they are all gone.
This may be self seeking seeing as how I have lived 6 full decades. Our churches are youth oriented. I still think of myself as young and love the rocky kind of worship music. I grew up in the 60s and rock and roll is my soundtrack. It's not about that. It's about men like Old Poppa Joe who died a few months ago. He was the one who discipled and grounded me when I was first saved. I will never forget him singing with tears flowing down his face, "Thank you Lord for saving my soul, Thank you Lord for making me whole, Thank you Lord for Giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free". I wonder if younger than me people even know this song.
But, time marches on. I think it's good if we reflect on who the Bible reveres age. This man thought of it and wrote:
Hmm, . . . think about these words from R. C. Sproul Jr.
When I last crossed a decade barrier in my own aging process, God was good enough to grant me this small bit of wisdom—the Bible honors age, not youth. I came to understand that the disappearance of my youth was something God thought a good thing, and if I were wise, I would agree. Now a decade later and I have been given this bit of wisdom—easier said than done.
My calling, as I grow older and my responsibilities grow, isn’t to take a mental vacation to that time when my responsibilities were few. Nor is it to grow grey hairs (or in my case, lose hairs) worrying about those responsibilities. Rather what I ought to do is long for, or better still pray for the maturity that rests in Christ in the midst of responsibilities. I need to not wish I were younger, but to pray I’d grow wiser.
He's right you know!
Discontent seems to be the mood of our lives. Do you remember how dissatisfied you were with your life when you were a kid because you weren't grown up? And are you now dissatisfied with your ilfe because you're not a kid anymore. The ol' gray mare just ain't what she used to be for any of us. Yet, it is an honor to attain old age and R. C. Jr. is right. Think of these Scriptures.
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?Proverbs 16:31
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.It may be we need to consider the wisdom of age along side the vigor of youth. I need to at least.
BUT Ron Reagan. Two term gov of the 7th largest nation in the world, California? I don't think so.
None the less. I won't argue, B. Hussein Obama is a virtual child wonder in wonderland when it comes to governmental experience. What DOES a "Community Organizer" do anyway? Has he EVER had a REAL job like say planting trees or making cabinets? Don't think so.
None the less for a second time. This story about the sycophantic press is so over the top it's almost beyond belief except for it's truth:
The three network anchors will travel to Europe and the Middle East next week for Barack Obama's trip, adding their high-wattage spotlight to what is already shaping up as a major media extravaganza.
Lured by an offer of interviews with the Democratic presidential candidate, Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric will make the overseas trek, meaning that the NBC, ABC and CBS evening newscasts will originate from stops along the route and undoubtedly give it big play.
John McCain has taken three foreign trips in the past four months, all unaccompanied by a single network anchor.
Obama has "proven adept at generating excitement," says David Folkenflik, media correspondent for National Public Radio. He said the anchors hope "a little bit of that excitement will rub off on their newscasts if they can convey an American phenomenon abroad, if that's what it turns out to be. Senator McCain is not as magnetic a figure in that way."
How much in the bag for Obama can anyone be and still breath? As my dear old dad used to say, they don't have enough to do.
Don't sell that SUV just yet..................
Edward L. Morse, Lehman Brothers' (LEH) chief energy economist, says the oil bubble (he dubs it Oil Dot-com) will burst by New Year's. Not only that, he predicts a plunge to about $93 a barrel (about $2.50 at the pump). Pretty audacious as prognostications go, at a time when Goldman Sachs (GS) foresees $200 a barrel. To that Morse just replies that he's the one talking sense. "We are trying to keep our heads in a wild market," he says.
Morse is the most prominent oil contrarian on Wall Street. Before joining Lehman two years ago, he taught international monetary policy at Princeton University, was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for international energy policy in the Carter Administration, co-founded consultants PFC Energy, and was publisher of Petroleum Intelligence Weekly. "He likes to be a provocateur," says Frank Verrastro, director of energy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, who served with Morse under Carter. Morse has made bold predictions that Russian oil would weaken Saudi Arabia's predominance (bad call) and that scarce production capacity would drive prices up (bingo).
The 66-year-old Morse gives several reasons for being bearish. First, oil has long been cyclical. Why should the pendulum stop now? Second, Morse thinks China's go-for-broke industrial economy is slowing, leading to a "radical" reduction in its oil demand after the summer. Third, he foresees a big buildup in oil inventories this fall and, longer term, a greater flow of crude as new deepwater drilling rigs reach equipment-starved producers in the Gulf of Mexico. Finally, 13 million barrels a day of new refinery capacity will be available by 2013, making hard-to-process crudes more marketable.
This must be why the Democrats are nominating B. Hussein Obama, who finished middle school three days ago and has less experience than a person one might choose at random from the audience of "American Idol."
Announcing the Democrats' bold new "plan" on energy last week, Pelosi said breaking into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve "is one alternative." That's not an energy plan. It's using what we already have -- much like "conservation," which is also part of the Democrats' plan.
Conservation, efficiency and using oil we hold in reserve for emergencies does not get us more energy. It's as if we were running out of food and the Democrats were telling us: "Just eat a little less every day." Great! We'll die a little more slowly. That's not what we call a "plan." We need more energy, not a plan for a slower death.
They don't want more oil. They want humans to ride bicycles and then to die. We deserve it: We were mean to the polar bears.
It's good to know that in the middle of a crisis, the Democrats are still liars. As long as we're fantasizing about "alternative" energy sources, what we really need is a car that runs on Democrats' lies.
Read the whole thing, it's a hoot.
This will become a major global economic transition like the world has yet to experience! The American dollar and worldwide currencies will no longer retain their value, as a recession will affect everything we do and need! NO ONE WILL ESCAPE! Everyone will be drastically affected!Of course he has a solution:
I will teach you. I will anoint you. I will show you how to PROSPER in this time of financial FAMINE! Job 5:20-22, NKJV, will be a reality in your life: In famine he shall redeem you from death … And you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes. You shall laugh at destruction and famine … .
The Holy Spirit has anointed me with the wisdom of God for such a time as this! I have taken this wisdom and prophetic insight and placed them in a new book, never before published. It was prepared just for your end-time financial anointing. John 8:32, NKJV, declares: And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
AND OH BY THE WAY he offers:
Friend, I encourage you to sow a special offering that will be your seed sown in the ground to reap a supernatural, superabundant financial harvest. This act of obedience will be your protection—just like God protected Israel in Egypt—from the tricks and strategies of the devil to try to attack you, defeat you financially, and rob you of God’s financial anointing!This is absolute drivel. This is using people's fear to sell a book, get people to a meeting and take an offering. What a bunch of hooey. I won't tell you who the spam note is from but this is a national ministry on TV and one who has me on his spam list for some reason or another. Ignore him.
Then a good friend sent me this from a nationally recognized teacher. She (the teacher) is one who I trust and one who I believe hears from God. But the level of grief she is feeling when she shared this at a conference recently was profound:
.....her spirit was heavy and there was a certain “heaviness” in the atmosphere even before she started to speak. She said that she had been literally physically sick to have to bring us this message and right out the gate she said,”We are in grave danger.” She said that God had revealed to her that a literal famine is coming to America. Physical, not spiritual. She said that God is moving in judgement against our nation. I know I can’t describe this well enough, but the atmosphere was ominous. She is a seasoned speaker and she had to BATTLE to get through her message. She stumbled over scriptures and had an extremely difficult time. At times I was almost expecting her to collapse. At one point she just had to stop and pray.
Her prescription was not, send an offering, come to her meetings or buy her book. She was more practical.
1. We are to break up the fallow ground. We do this by returning and repenting. (Jeremiah 4:3)
2. We are to mourn. (Jeremiah 9:17-18)
3. We are to pray fervently.
4. We are to love God's word, to know the whole counsel of God. (Jeremiah 20:7, Deuteronomy 8:3)
5. We are to love others as Jesus loved them. (Jeremiah 31:3)
6. We are to introduce people to Jesus Christ. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
7. We are to rest. Rest in the fact that if you do the other six points you can rest in His assurance. Rest in faith. He is the one who does the work and you are only the vessel. (Jeremiah 33:1-9, 15-17)
Now that makes more sense.
Pat Robertson, who as a Prophet has been nearly 100% wrong recently, (you can search this blog with the search engine at the top and see all the times I have called him on it) is calling for economic collapse. Of course the answer in Pat's case is send an offering, join the club and buy a book.
Even on CNBC when I watch the financial news the people reporting it are beginning to say, "people, get a grip, life as we know it isn't come to an end. It's tough, It might get tougher, but hang in there, you can make it, we did before, we will again". Most of this is driven by bad economic education, by political posturing, by liberals who want to make everything look bad, by people like T. Boone Pickens who wants to benefit from casting fear and by preachers who thrive on crisis. All are to be condemned.
I work with and spend fellowship time with some good sound trustworthy prophets in this area and nationally. I know the sound of the prophetic in my own spirit. It's not what the world and it's pressures are pressuring them into what they believe it to be. This is all fear. Fear is of the Devil. God did not give us a spirit of fear.
Not ONE of the prophetic voices in my life nor the one in my spirit bears witness to the truth of these fear monger prophets. I do accept that judgment is part of God's discipline but Mercy always trumps Judgment. Read Ezekiel 36. He doesn't do what he does for our benefit or ruin. He does it for his name's sake.
16 Again the word of the LORD came to me: 17 "Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman's monthly uncleanness in my sight. 18 So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. 20 And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, 'These are the LORD's people, and yet they had to leave his land.' 21 I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone.
22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
We in the USA have behaved just like Israel did. We have profaned HIS good name around the world. BUT, HIS good name is at stake. The profaners are being judged by fear and trembling. Some called by HIS name have bought into the fear.
As a minister of the good news I am here to tell you the good news is the bad news is wrong. No matter what, God is still God and we aren't. Not even Obama will save you. He can't even save himself.
I want to encourage you in Jesus. RIGHTEOUS ARE NOT FORSAKEN NOR BEG FOR BREAD Psalm 37:25. Jesus still multiplies fish and loaves. Happens every day.
So stop the fear. Even when Jesus was in the back of the boat and the storm raged all about, when the disciples woke him his first words to them were, STOP THE FEAR. Where is your faith he asked. He's still asking. He didn't hand the disciples a towel to dry off, he didn't try to soothe them, he didn't feel sorry for them. He rebuked them for the fear they had and had given each other.
He would say the same to you today. Even though the storm clouds form, even though the sky looks dark, He is still with you.
David Ruis long ago wrote a great song, Whom have I but YOU?
It's time to get that spirit back. Who or what DO we have but him?
That my friends is a prophetic utterance you can bank on.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The Climate is Changing. Not warmer always everywhere, just different. Man didn't cause it. Cycles come and Cycles go.
This cycle is freezing out Alaskans. It's cold up there.
Could we just have a little more CO2 in the atmosphere please? It's natural. It's going to happen with our without how help or attention.
It's not always good nor bad, just different. ADAPT!
Or as the Pagans like to say - EVOLVE!
Among Charismatic Christians there is a spectrum. From Conservative passionate miracle believing expectant of the supernatural types (BLUES) to those who differ little from a liberal episcopalian (GRAYS).
So, with that spectrum it comes as no surprise that Charismatic Christians are split over the Lakeland Revival.
Here is an AP report. Not from a person with a Christian Perspective. But how the world sees it all.
Then a report from a man I have met, correspond with and respect. Lee Grady. He wants us all to take a deep breath and step back for a second.
I don't want to see a civil war in Charismatic circles. We might however.
I hope to go to Lakeland and see for myself. That's the biblical thing to do. If you have doubts or questions you should too. Depending on other's hearsay or others opinions is wrong.
Let's not have a civil war but if we do I know what side I'm on.
BLUE! I am constantly expecting a miracle and the supernatural to occur. How bout you??
Evenso Come Lord Jesus
I have removed a comment that was talebearing about Todd Bentley. No matter your opinion of him and his ministry, no man no matter what should be impugned at that level. I don't know the credibility of the accusation. I'm suspicious of it. So, it's gone. I don't enforce comment moderation. I'm of the opinion people are civil and reasonable. This wasn't that.
It became so rank that I couldn't stand it. I almost wretched yesterday morning. I had to get out.
I had lunch with the Pastor. When I came home she had that "Come On and look at the doorknob I fixed" look about her. She had taken that hood apart, disassembled the ductwork and removed the smelly carcass. All while I was out having lunch in a nice clean restaurant. I had told her that it was impossible (what she did).
Cleaned it up and disinfected the whole thing.
I get nauseous going to home depot. Tim the Toolman I'm not even close to being.
Peggy should be nominated for sainthood. Maybe that's what I will get her for our anniversary.
If you watched the home run derby Monday Night as I did and saw Josh Hamilton hit 28 in 10 outs you will never forget it. I won't. Lots has been written about all that and televised, not a peep about the redemptive power of Jesus, but the REAL story is not about one man overcoming addiction and coming back, the real story is about the Power of God who is mighty to save.
Read the whole thing:
“I’m proof that hope is never lost”
by Josh Hamilton (as told to Tim Keown)
ESPN The Magazine - July 5, 2007
To let you know how far I’ve come, let me tell you where I’ve been.
Not that long ago, there were nights I went to sleep in strange places praying I wouldn’t wake up. After another night of bad decisions, I’d lie down with my heart speeding inside my chest like it was about to burst through the skin. My thinking was clouded, and my talent was one day closer to being totally wasted.
I prayed to be spared another day of guilt and depression and addiction. I couldn’t continue living the life of a crack addict, and I couldn’t stop, either. It was a horrible downward spiral that I had to pull out of, or die. I lay there — in a hot and dirty trailer in the North Carolina countryside, in a stranger’s house, in the cab of my pickup — and prayed the Lord would take me away from the nightmare my life had become.
When I think of those terrible times, there’s one memory that stands out. I was walking down the double-yellow of a two-lane country highway outside Raleigh when I woke up out of a trance.
I was so out of it I had lost consciousness, but my body had kept going, down the middle of the road, cars whizzing by on either side. I had run out of gas on my way to a drug dealer’s house, and from there I left the truck and started walking. I had taken Klonopin, a prescription antianxiety drug, along with whatever else I was using at the time, and the combination had put me over the edge. It’s the perfect example of what I was: a dead man walking.
And now, as I stand on the green grass of a major league outfield or walk to the batter’s box with people cheering for me, I repeatedly ask myself one simple question: How did I get here from there?
I’ve been in the big leagues as a member of the Cincinnati Reds for half a season, but I still find myself taking off my cap between pitches and taking a good look around. The uniform, the ballparks, the fans — it doesn’t seem real. How am I here? It makes no sense to anybody, and I feel almost guilty when I have to tell people, over and over, that I can’t answer that one simple question.
I go to sleep every night with a clear mind and a clear conscience. Every day, I walk into an immaculate clubhouse with 10 TVs and all the food I can eat, a far cry from the rat-infested hellholes of my user past. I walk to my locker and change into a perfectly clean and pressed uniform that someone else hung up for me. I grab a bat and a glove and walk onto a beautifully manicured field to play a game for a living.
How am I here? I can only shrug and say, “It’s a God thing.” It’s the only possible explanation.
There’s a reason my prayers weren’t answered during those dark, messed-up nights I spent scared out of my mind. There’s a reason I have this blessed and unexpected opportunity to play baseball and tell people my story.
My wife, Katie, told me this day would come. At my lowest point, about three years ago, when I was wasting away to skin and bones and listening to nobody, she told me I’d be back playing baseball someday. She had no reason to believe in me. During that time, I did nothing to build my body and everything to destroy it. I’d go five or six months without picking up a ball or swinging a bat. By then, I’d been in rehab five or six times — on my way to eight — and failed to get clean. I was a bad husband and a bad father, and I had no relationship with God. Baseball wasn’t even on my mind.
And still Katie told me, “You’re going to be back playing baseball, because there’s a bigger plan for you.” I couldn’t even look her in the eye. I said something like, “Yeah, yeah, quit talking to me.”
She looks pretty smart, doesn’t she? I have a mission now. My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it’s never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger.
Addiction is a humbling experience. Getting it under control is even more humbling. I got better for one reason: I surrendered. Instead of asking to be bailed out, instead of making deals with God by saying, “If you get me out of this mess, I’ll stop doing what I’m doing,” I asked for help. I wouldn’t do that before. I’d been the Devil Rays’ No. 1 pick in the 1999 draft, supposedly a five-tool prospect. I was a big, strong man, and I was supposed to be able to handle my problems myself. That didn’t work out so well.
Every day I’m reminded that my story is bigger than me. It never fails. Every time I go to the ballpark, I talk to people who are either battling addictions themselves or trying to help someone else who is. Who talks to me? Just about everybody. I walked to the plate to lead off an inning in early May, minding my own business, when the catcher jogged out to the mound to talk to his pitcher. As I was digging in, the home plate umpire (I’m intentionally not naming him) took off his mask and walked around the plate to brush it off. He looked up at me and said, “Josh, I’m really pulling for you. I’ve fought some battles myself, and I just want you to know I’m rooting for you.”
A father will tell me about his son while I’m signing autographs. A mother will wait outside the players’ parking lot to tell me about her daughter. They know where I’ve been. They look to me because I’m proof that hope is never lost.
They remind me that this isn’t really about baseball. It’s amazing that God allowed me to keep my baseball talents after I sat out three years and played only 15 games last season in A-ball. On May 6, I hit two homers against the Rockies at home, and I felt like I did in high school. I felt like I could do anything on the field.
I’ve been called the biggest surprise in baseball this year, and I can’t argue with that. If you think about it, how many people have gone from being a crack addict to succeeding at anything, especially something as demanding as major league baseball? If I hadn’t been picked up by the Reds after the Rule 5 draft, which opened up a major league roster spot for me, I’d probably still be in A-ball. Instead, I’m hanging around .270 with 13 homers through 60 games with Cincinnati; not bad for a 26-year-old major league rookie. But the way I look at it, I couldn’t fail. I’ve been given this platform to talk about the hell I’ve been through, so it’s almost like I need to do well, like I don’t have a choice.
This may sound crazy, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my path to the big leagues. I wouldn’t even change the 26 tattoos that cover so much of my body, even though they’re the most obvious signs of my life temporarily leaving the tracks. You’re probably thinking, Bad decisions and addiction almost cost him his life, and he wouldn’t change anything? But if I hadn’t gone through all the hard times, this whole story would be just about baseball. If I’d made the big leagues at 21 and made my first All-Star team at 23 and done all the things expected of me, I would be a big-time baseball player, and that’s it.
Baseball is third in my life right now, behind my relationship with God and my family. Without the first two, baseball isn’t even in the picture. Believe me, I know.
***** I’LL NEVER forget Opening Day in Cincinnati. When they called my name during introductions and a sellout crowd stood and cheered, I looked into the stands and saw Katie and our two kids — Sierra, who’s nearly 2, and my 6-year-old stepdaughter, Julia — and my parents and Katie’s parents. I had to swallow hard to keep from breaking down right there. They were all crying, but I had to at least try to keep it together.
I pinch-hit in the eighth inning of that game against the Cubs, and Lou Piniella decided to make a pitching change before I got to the plate. The crowd stood and cheered me for what seemed like forever. It was the best sound I’ve ever heard. When I got into the box, Cubs catcher Michael Barrett looked up at me from his crouch and said, “You deserve it, Josh. Take it all in, brother. I’m happy for you.” I lined out to left, but the following week I got my first start and my first hit — a home run.
Whether I hit two bombs or strike out three times, like I did in a game against the Pirates, I never forget that I’m living with addiction. It’s just part of my life. Johnny Narron, my former manager’s brother, is a big part of my recovery. He’s the Reds’ video coordinator, and he once coached me in fall baseball when I was 15. He looks after me on the road. When they pass out meal money before a trip — always in cash — they give mine to Johnny, and he parcels it out to me when I need it.
I see no shame in that; it’s just one of the realities of my situation. I don’t need to be walking around with $400 in my pocket.
I know I’m different, and my teammates have been very accepting. Being a rookie in the big leagues, there are certain rituals involved, and one of them is carrying beer onto the plane. My teammates gave me that job on one of the first road trips, and I didn’t do it. I didn’t think it would be a good idea for me to be seen carrying beer onto a plane. They respected my decision.
I get a lot of abuse in visiting cities, but it only bothers me when people are vulgar around kids. The rest I can handle. Some of it is even funny. In St. Louis, I was standing in rightfield when a fan yelled, “My name is Josh Hamilton, and I’m a drug addict!” I turned around and looked at him with my palms raised to the sky. “Tell me something I don’t know, dude,” I said. The whole section started laughing and cheering, and the heckler turned to them and said, “Did you hear that? He’s my new favorite player.” They cheered me from that point on.
I live by a simple philosophy: Nobody can insult me as much as I’ve insulted myself. I’ve learned that I have to keep doing the right things and not worry about what people think. Fortunately, I have a strong support group with Katie, my family and Johnny. If I ever get in a bad situation, I know I would have to get out of it and give Johnny a call. The key is not getting myself into those situations, but we’ve talked about having a plan for removing myself just in case. It’s all part of understanding the reality of the addiction.
In spring training, when I hit over .400 and made the team, there was a lot of interest in my story.
I decided to be open about what happened to me; early on, I was doing long interviews before my first game in every city. It’s been amazing how people have responded, and I think being honest helped. I can’t avoid my past, so I don’t try. It’s not always easy, though. I got sick in late May and ended up on the disabled list after going to the hospital with a stomach problem, and I knew I’d have to answer questions about whether I was using again. I can’t control what people think, but the years of drug abuse tore up my immune system pretty good. I get tested three times a week, and if it comes back positive, I know I’m done with baseball for life.
Aside from our struggles as a team, this season has been a dream for me. And that’s fitting, because in a way I had to learn how to dream all over again. When I was using, I never dreamed. I’d sleep the dead, dreamless sleep of a stalled brain. When I stopped using, I found my dreams returned. They weren’t always good dreams; most of the ones I remember were haunting and dark. They stayed with me long after I woke up.
Within my first week of sobriety in October 2005 — after I showed up at my grandmother’s house in Raleigh in the middle of the night, coming off a crack binge — I had the most haunting dream. I was fighting the devil, an awful-looking thing. I had a stick or a bat or something, and every time I hit the devil, he’d fall and get back up. Over and over I hit him, until I was exhausted and he was still standing.
I woke up in a sweat, as if I’d been truly fighting, and the terror that gripped me makes that dream feel real to this day. I’d been alone for so long, alone with the fears and emotions I worked so hard to kill. I’m not embarrassed to admit that after I woke up that night, I walked down the hall to my grandmother’s room and crawled under the covers with her. The devil stayed out of my dreams for seven months after that. I stayed clean and worked hard and tried to put my marriage and my life back together. I got word in June 2006 that I’d been reinstated by Major League Baseball, and a few weeks afterward, the devil reappeared.
It was the same dream, with an important difference. I would hit him and he would bounce back up, the ugliest and most hideous creature you could imagine. This devil seemed unbeatable; I couldn’t knock him out. But just when I felt like giving up, I felt a presence by my side. I turned my head and saw Jesus, battling alongside me. We kept fighting, and I was filled with strength. The devil didn’t stand a chance.
You can doubt me, but I swear to you I dreamed it. When I woke up, I felt at peace. I wasn’t scared. To me, the lesson was obvious: Alone, I couldn’t win this battle. With Jesus, I couldn’t lose.
***** I GET cravings sometimes, and I see it as the devil trying to catch me in a weak moment. The best thing I can do is get the thought out of my mind as soon as I can, so it doesn’t turn into an obsession. When it happens, I talk to him. I talk to the devil and say, “These are just thoughts, and I’m not going to act on them.” When I talk like that, when I tell him he’s not going to get the best of me, I find the thought goes away sooner.
Believe it or not, talking to the devil is no harder to explain than many other experiences I’ve had since that day last December when my life changed. I was working for my brother’s tree service in Raleigh, sending limbs through a chipper, when I found out I’d been selected by the Cubs and traded to the Reds in the Rule 5 draft.
But there is one story that sticks with me, so much so that I think of it every day. I was driving out of the players’ parking lot at Great American Ball Park after a game in May, with Katie and our two girls. There’s always a group of fans standing at the curb, hoping to get autographs, and I stop to sign as many as I can.
And on this particular night, a little boy of about 9 or 10, wearing a Reds cap, handed me a pen and something to sign. Nothing unusual there, but as I was writing the boy said, “Josh, you’re my savior.”
This stopped me. I looked at him and said, “Well, thank you. Do you know who my savior is?”
He thought for a minute. I could see the gears turning. Finally, he smiled and blurted out, “Jesus Christ.” He said it like he’d just come up with the answer to a test. “That’s exactly right,” I said.
You see, I may not know how I got here from there, but every day I get a better understanding of why.
I know for those who think on such things you wonder what the answer is to life the universe and everything.
If you have ever wondered what that struggle is really all about this will clear it up.
If you are a hip socially liberal agnostic secularist this will be a bad read.
You have been warned.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
So, now for a fee the wire is re-hooked and I am once again in the land of the living (sort of).
My HP laptop is still toast but otherwise I'm on line once again.
Yahoo. OK, not the website, the expression.
Last night after coming home Peggy informed me that HER computer was not working. I tried in vain to get it to fire up. Seems like the hard drive is crashed.
SO, we are down to this.
A Sony Vario I haven't used in over a year. An old windows 98 version. A clunker with 8 Gig of hard drive and 128MB of memory.
I will need to do something quickly. This is going to become a problem. I am hoping that we can fix things but if not it's off to Best Buy.
Maybe this IS a sign Chuck.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I am convinced that despite much of the press of that day regarding the comment that "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus" that he meant it the way he did because it is and was true.
BUT, he also felt he was a Christ Follower. That's not a bad thing, it is a thing to be grasped. Even if he didn't fit the profile or look like many of us, God knew his heart. He believed he was a Christian.
I hope he was when his life was taken and in an instant he stepped from time into eternity.
The article that I am referring to is here.
I haven't talked about this much but I am actively engaged in raising money for missions around the world and was invited to this conference as a result.
I will not say much more about all that for now, but this is a wonderful thing and I believe we can do mighty works of God if we work together and disciple the whole world one person at a time.
I live inside the emails of my computer. I live a narrow life.
It looks like it could be a month till I can get it fixed. I think this will be my last HP product. I'm going to try to use something else from now on.
In any case this means a few things, not all of them bad:
I will now spend less time on the computer since I am now sharing with Peggy
I will now spend more time out in the field.
I will be blogging less
I will be responding more slowly to emails than before.
So if it seems like I am ignoring you, I'm not. I'm just computerless. It's not REALLY terminal, it just feels that way.