Rubbing the Genie Lamp


Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.  Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”  Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Matthew 26:36-39,

 

Nope.

God isn’t a genie in a bottle.  We don’t rub him in all the right ways and expect him to do our bidding.  If he did then who would be God?

Some have the mistaken notion that God exists out there as a sort of cosmic grand daddy eager to dispense blessings to all without discrimination.  God answers prayer because it is his prerogative to do so.  But sometimes he declines. And sometimes we have witnessed him acting in spectacular ways.

Is God being inconsistent?  Nah.  God refuses to be reducible.  We can’t cut him down to the level of an idol.  Idols can be manipulated.  Just say the appropriate mantra, burn the smelliest incense, channel the right energies, and presto, you got yourself a domesticated deity that can do your will as a pup on a leash.

Jesus says, ” thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).  If we can’t accept the notion of God being sovereign, then we aren’t ready to accept him as God.  Parents don’t give everything to their children.  When they do so we refer to such as spoiled brats deserving of our derision.  But wait, even spoiled brats don’t get everything.  They don’t get to be sovereigns of the family household.  Presumably the adults are in charge.  Can you imagine students managing schools and inmates running the prisons?   Who would like to live in that kind of world?

The expectation that God sits in the heavens in order to serve us is about three hundred and sixty degrees wrong.  God has decreed a certain course of action for each of us that is bound up with the vocation of Christ.  Only in relation to Christ will God do or not do some things in reference to us.  In Christ he will give us eternal life.  Outside of Christ we will face damnation.

We must pray persistently and learn patience.  The luckiest people are the ones who trust God and do not lean on their self-confidence at the expense of relying on God.  When God says “no”, it might mean “wait.”  If he says “yes”, he might have a different idea about how to help us than we originally envisioned.  God’s “no” might be his way of redirecting us to a wiser course of action.  Yet in other instances we are full of ourselves, rather than God.

kbWhen we are at our wits’ end for an answer the Holy Spirit can give us an answer.  But how can he give us an answer when we are still well supplied with all sorts of answers from our own.” — Karl Barth

Ultimately we must admit that there is an element of mystery involving prayer.  Why does God allow our loved ones to die of cancer when we have asked for healing? Why does the pastor who prays daily for protection for his family faces the apalling horror of having an evil intruder rape and brutalize his wife in their own home (true story)?   Why, why , why…..

Still we pray because we believe in the God who will finally and totally undo everything that has wrong in the world.  I am not talking pie in the sky for when we die, but about God’s commitment to defeat the anti-God, anti-creation powers and usher in healing and renewal within time and space.

Revelation 22:1-4
And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him.

 

 

 

 

Slut Rides and Laid Champions

Once in a while you will run into a certain kind man or woman whose sexuality is the primary grid for relating to others.  That is, these individuals can’t think of another person unless they size them up (or down) sexually.

The ethos of sexual conquest is the modus operandi of the adherents of sexual permissiveness.  “We only live once, so what is the bone about not letting the horse run wild ?” While the biscuit is warm in the oven, let’s grab a munch! “Get ready for the sex up, babe, here I come…….”

We are sexual.

Only the Puritanical suppress and downplay human sexuality by connecting it to everything sinful. That is so Neandertal and ignorant.  However, it is a truism that people have made sexuality deviant.   Look around and you can easily form a solid consensus of the chaos: rape, child molestation, degradation of women and girls in the media, sexual blackmail by spouses/bosses/coaches/teachers, despicable porn, sexual predation and exploitation by the sex industry barons and human traffic pimps; should I add more?

Ice cream doesn’t come only in vanilla flavor.  We have plenty innovative sinners and their exploits are the stuff that make it into films and tabloids. All parts of the body are equal opportunity and susceptible to flare ups and screw ups, not barring what lies below the belt. Hands slay, lips lie, legs dash away from responsibility.  Politicians and cops don’t share the monopoly on corruption. Every worthwhile enterprise is tainted.  The innocence quotient stands at zero.  Unfortunately God’s gift of sex is also a weapon of mass destruction.

We are attracted to sex symbols, gods and goddesses.  Nonetheless,  as you let your higher organs mature and override the lower ones, you will experience a Buddha moment of enlightenment where substance of character will hold more appeal than mere sexual acumen. You will awake and see that the good guy/gal is the one you are in need of becoming all this time, not the cute stud set on a quest for sex.   Cute is nice, but  cute without morals risks devolving into douchbags. Are you a prospectus for carrying inumerable abominations about?

You bedded this person, now what are you going to do with him/her?  Because ours is a reducible society, they will likely wind up on the score card Hall of Conquered.  But people aren’t trophies to sit on a stand.  They are not reducible to the cream on the pie.  Of course de-souled and vile individuals  don’t mind and quickly forget it and shift to the next adventure. Others go home and wallow in guilt and shame.   That is precisely the process of dehumanization undermining God’s good creation.

Toys R US was supposed to be a brick and mortar business, not flesh-and-bones bodies to be used and abused and discarded.  Irresponsible sex hurts and demoralise . Do it enough and you WILL morph into an abuser who demands it and manipulates just to get it.  Abusers don’t respect you and objectify you along sex tracks and fun for all they care.  Get off. Recover your humanity while the clock still has hands.

You can’t be riding the lust carousel open-ended.  Where are you going?  No Man’s Land.  It is fun and fuzzy, but progress will be illusory. You won’t win the Nobel Peace prize for most laid person.  After seventeen seconds of action you are back to square one. You need the journey forward, towards integrity and wholeness. Quitting the sex race isn’t as hard as it seems if you only desire it and commit to throwing away the Player’s script.

If you want to abandon the Hustler life and settle with a good person, be prepared for some realities: The good person may not want you after taking cognizance of all the bad and high mileage you have.  So settle the score by being honest before they uncover your trail.  You may not be entitled to a virtuous person in your company if you remain unrepentant and still want to fool around. Maybe a good start would be ridding your phone of all your past sexual liaisons?   Your dignified new love could understand where you are coming from but he or she may not forgive further transgressions.

After quitting the rough and loose life you might have to work double to regain your reputation.  People don’t easily forget prolific sluts.  If you have been a player par excellence , let me tell you about  this place called new possibilities where you can re-invent yourself and where the lurid ghosts of lusts past won’t haunt.  Otherwise, the bell can’t be un-rang.  What’s been done is a sealed deal. Good news is we can gain forgiveness and cleansing in Christ.

 

 

On the companionship of Pups

One can never go wrong having the companionship of puppies.  The tiny furry critters love you like you are the last species of human around. No one has yet improved on the binary experience of man plus puppy.  Dogs have a lot to give and if you reciprocate in all the right ways, you got yourself a home-run for many years to come.

Boris is my third canine that I care about.  The last one, Small-E, faced an unfortunate fate right in between the place where the rubber meets the road: the poor fellow snuck out from a very small gap in my backyard (he too, was a miniature chihuahua) and into the road where I suspect a motorist could have mistaken him for a small version of a bleached Mexican rat.

IMG_3379

the late Small-E 2013

Prior to Small-E Napoleon was the most enduring and endearing dog that ever stuck around for more than five years.  He was a chihuahua mix and like Boris and Small-E, possessed the cunning affinity to squeeze out of small exits.  When I divorced, my ex ended up keeping him.  He walked out of the fenced front porch and into the unknown one day when my ex left town.  Was he dognapped?  Did he end up as road kill somewhere? I don’t know.  I was tormented for many months and so were my kids who have grown up with him.

napoleonr

Three strikes and your are out!  Two gone, one more chance.  I am gonna try again.  I intend to cling to Boris for as long as I can manage.  I am confident Boris will stay put and I intend to boost my luck by being more cautious this time.  Boris tends to get overly excited to the extent of slobbering and licking all over my face when I return from work.  I wonder if the wagging of the tail  isn’t some sort of magic spell that manages to wag my hands in his direction in order to scoop him up.

At ten weeks his mouth still emanates that distinctive bologna sausage smell which triggers childhood memories where my mom used to fix me the epic sandwiches for lunch.  Combine that with the Frito-like odor of the paws and I think that is mother nature’s way of churning a delicious combo.  I think I am craving a hot dog right now.  Fritos on the side.  Kidding.

Feeling lonely right now?  Tired of being rejected and being treated less than your worth?  call your local humane society or look up the pets pages of Craigslist.  There are countless thousands for furry little gizmos eager to embrace you at once.  I can not vouch for older canines.  Older dogs tend to arrive in mixed bags: some were abused and some abandoned. Some have emotional/psychological issues that only a competent and understanding owner could deal with.  Prior to obtaining Boris I stumbled upon a page from a lady given out a girl  chihuahua.  The catch?  She would only donate her to a female.  See the chihuahua had a history of abuse from guys and she could not bring herself to trust men.

If you opt for a brand new, zero baggage canine, go for a puppy.  You can mold him and train him however you please and he/she will remember you forever.  It is best to start with a clean slate.  If you have the time and resources, go for it. You can never go wrong showing love to a baby dog.  The experience will be enduring and worthwhile.