The Argument for Apocalypse

November 17, 2015

Yeah, I know…that’s a pretty radical and morbid title for a post, but it’s one that I’ve been spinning around in my head for a few days as I work on another story outline. This one? A three novel arc that spans generations and brings a deep spiritual aspect to the age-old adage of “good vs. evil”.

So, in light of what I’m working on, I thought I’d share this tidbit: I’m sometime asked what I think of the world we live in now, and will there be an apocalypse on day? Well, being a fan of The Walking Dead and other world-altering stories (my favorite by far is “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson), I would have to say that it weighs heavily on me from time to time; could this be the way that the world ends? With a huge party favor complete with zombie fireworks, or with a flu-like whimper as in Stephen King’s “The Stand”?

My opinion? I’d have to say with maybe a little of both. If we did have manivores (flesh-eating people, get it?), then all it would take is a few bath salt-sniffing addicts to alter their brain chemistry enough to insitute the necessary changes in behavioral patterns to think that it’s really okay to ingest a few innards. Could that sort of disease be spread virally or biologically? Probably not. On the AS (Apocalypse Scale), a tepid 3 out of 10, since there would have to be a WHOLE lot of sniffing agents to make the entire world a glorious all-your-can-eat buffet.

Or how about a man made, genetically produced bio agent courtesy of the good ol’ U.S. of A.? One that escapes (or is let loose) from underground labs and mutates humans into muchin’ machines, a la Resident Evil? Method of transmission primarily via physical (chewing) contact. This scenario has a good side, though.  After a while, their food source would be exhausted; so, all one would have to do is stock up, board up, lock up, and wait it out. On the AS; say about 6 or 7 out of 10.

Worst-case scenario? Believe it or not, nuclear devastation would wipe out a majority of the world’s population in seconds, and the lingering after effects could last hundreds of years via nuclear winter, radiation poisoning over a vast wasteland, mass starvation, etc. Billions dead, major cities wiped out, utilities eradicated…basically, a survivalist’s nightmare. Tally on the AS, a perfect apocalyptic storm of 10 out of 10.

One thing to keep in mind: during any apocalyptic event, the playing field will be leveled dramatically as societies roll back to the Stone Age. There will be no more rich or poor, and no privileged class to lord over the underdogs. All people will be struggling the same way, and attempting to survive against the backdrop of annihilation. The odds will definitely NOT be in your favor.

So, my friends, there’s my argument for the apocalypse. Could it happen? Perhaps.

Will it happen? Only God knows.

All I can say is this: if you see anyone with some intestines hanging out of their mouth, please let me know as soon as possible, ok? 

Just in case.

🙂

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Me and the iPhone3G

November 21, 2008

Yeah, I know…I love my Apple toys.

Here’s a shot at work with the aforementioned iPhone3G, complete now with the version 2.2 firmware which came out early this morning; a shot across the bow for RIM and their new Blackberry Storm.

All I can say is…wow…StreetView is awesome on the iPhone. I’ve been visiting old neighborhoods in L.A. and Orlando. Lots of things have changed, sad to say. :(.

DaMacDood and his toy

BTW, the hair growth is two weeks after shaving it completely bald with a razor. Crazy, huh?


Catching Up

November 10, 2008

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes; I’ve been swamped crazy-busy with work and church and life…seems like it never ends and only gets piled on deeper and deeper as I get more involved in the ministry.

Of course..that’s exactly the way God has planned it! So I am thankful. 🙂

The bald head is quickly filling in with hair now; interestingly enough, some of the white stuff (no, NOT dandruff but hair) is being replaced by darker stubble. I find that fascinating. Perhaps the cure for baldness and/or dyeing your hair is to shave your head bald and then grow it back. Hmmm….

Home life is good. I pray that God will open up doors for me to actually go into ministry full-time in the very near future, so I can spend more time with my wife. I really miss her when I am at work; more and more every day. Really bums me out sometimes.

Disciple 1 class tonight. We are in week 28; only a few more to go and we will be done. There has been tremendous growth in those who have been faithfully taking it over the past several months, and we are truly thankful for that. God is good!

Still contemplating the presidential election, and the ramifications of it. Lots to say; just need to sit down and spill my guts sometime.

More later. may God bless each of you richly today!


A New Winter ‘Do

November 7, 2008

You know…I’ve always wondered what it felt like to be bald; totally hairless against the ravages of frigid north Missouri winters.

So, I took the plunge and had Jeannie shave my head. A pic below:

img_0071

Yeah, I know. BIG ears.

What’s a guy to do with those?

Thoughts? Comments?

(BTW…I AM letting my hair grow out after being outvoted to keep it. The tally was a landslide against me)


Post-Election Thoughts

November 5, 2008

Voter tsunami.

Those are the only words I can use to describe the events that quickly engulfed the world early yesterday evening, when Barack Obama cannonballed into John McCain’s electoral college swimming pool and emptied it out with one swift splash.

McCain, no doubt, is still drenched from the soaking he received at the hands of Obama’s relentless victory-making machine. He seemed listless and unfocused at his concession speech, while Palin shed bitter tears of defeat behind him. After all, this was her time; her moment to shine; her chance to grasp the brass ring and swing from it. Instead, all she got was a long plane ride back to Alaska, where she will have to answer numerous penetrating questions from her constituents: Why did you need a new wardrobe for the campaign trail, Sarah? Did you think it was right to take your kids along with you on official governor functions and have us pay their way?

Etc., etc., etc.

Last night was a truly amazing thing to watch as it unfolded. First red, then blue, then more red…and, then, a swatch of blue that blazed a path across the electoral map as had never been witnessed before. Republican states flipped over to the other side so quickly that the carnage was over before it had a chance to sink in.

Obama 349; McCain 163; with Missouri and North Carolina still too close to call at this time.

Folks, we saw what was perhaps the most profound evening of election history in the making on Tuesday. We were privy to a nation coming out from underneath the shadow of bigotry and racial hatred; a country that was being reborn from the ashes of war and economic gloom.

However, we also saw troubling signs. We saw a President-elect who believes that abortion is OK; who wants to spend and create big government all over again; who did not praise the Name of our Lord until his closing sentence, and even then made it as a passing remark; a man who thinks that we can have a new “spirit” of patriotism in our own power.

It’s time to get real, my friends. Abortion is murder, plain and simple; we need to spend less as a nation taking care of those overseas, and instead help care for those in our midst; God should be thanked and praised continually; the only spirit we need is the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and lives…and the list goes on and on.

So, in the end, I thanked the Lord that our nation did not break out into civil unrest; but I am truly frightened when I think about the next four years. We need a leader who will put God first, and not mention Him as a casual, offhand reference.

Pray for Barack Obama; pray that he will fully turn his heart and life over to the his Creator, and Sustainer.

God will not be mocked, nor will He be ignored.


November 2008 Linn County Leader Column – “United We Stand…For God”

November 3, 2008

Well, folks, this is it! Tomorrow we will vote to elect a new leader for our nation; a person who will guide our consolidated union of fifty states forward into a time of uncertainty, looming recession, and declining ethical and moral values in our world. Each vote is important; each vote matters; and everyone’s voices need to be heard in this important matter.

As a pastor, I cannot stand in the pulpits where I serve and lecture my congregations on whom they need to cast their ballots for; that is unethical as well as illegal (according to IRS regulations for churches that hold a tax-exempt status; this has been in effect since 1954). People also hold fast to the long disputed idea of separation of church and state as the Founding Fathers of our nation ascribed to; one of the staunchest defenders of this framework was James Madison, also known as the “Father of the Constitution”. He is most recognized as quoting the following about the subject: “Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).” Or, to break in down in simpler terms: Madison believed that the two subjects did not need to interact with each other that much; the more they did, the more muddled things became and the more at odds people would be with one another.

Now, don’t get me wrong about this! I really believe that we need to have a foundational aspect to our government; a cornerstone on which to gauge everything from a pure moral and spiritual standpoint. And that can really only be with God. Because the great leaders of our nation’s history understood that if we didn’t have anything on which to base the creation of this great nation on, then things would really melt down in a hurry. There would be chaos without focus; instead of a coming together, this nation would have blown apart at the seams. And, to put it bluntly, that great stabilizing influence was (and continues to be for those who choose to accept) our Father in heaven.

John Adams put it best when he said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Or this quote, on the day that the Declaration of Independence was approved by Congress: “The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

So, one might ask, “What in the world does this have to do with our presidential election coming up?” My friends, it has EVERYTHING to do with it! We were, and still are, a nation founded under God. We’re supposed to be indivisible; unbreakable; unshakeable; even in the midst of turmoil at home, or even in the world. And, yet, we have strayed far from the original intentions of those who wanted this nation to be a shining light for others to see; a hope for a globe at war with itself. Instead, we are a people split apart; divided among ourselves; and it is so prevalent in this election cycle. We have the major candidates slinging mud at each other and their respective parties; it’s all about looking good no matter what the cost.

My question is: Where are the issues that we need for them to discuss? It’s not about sound bites for the mass media; there are real problems with our economy, our justice system, and with our nation as a whole. There is still racism, hatred, and mayhem all around us, and we are doing nothing to solve them. We would rather gloss it over with nice-sounding “themes” of economic stimulus packages or creating new jobs for America than face the music–the song lyrics that tell us that all is not right in our country.

I do agree with both McCain and Obama on one very important thing, and it’s the underlying riptide that we are facing in the United States.

We need change.

Change in a big way.

But we don’t need the kind of change with more taxes, or bigger government, or cutting back retirement benefits for those who deserve it, or even change achieved through socialized medicine. The kind of change I’m talking about doesn’t come out of a bill passed through Congress; or a law put into practice after being signed on the president’s desk. It’s not the kind of change that can be switched on and off like a light bulb, dark and foreboding one moment, and then shining brightly the next.

No…the kind of change we need is from a spiritual aspect, like the Founding Fathers knew we needed so desperately at the creation of our country. It’s a change that occurs within the hearts of men and women when they turn from their wicked ways, and pray, and seek His face. A change that will heal our land and pull together the torn fabric of our society; a change that will show us how to love our neighbors as ourselves and do unto others as you would have them do unto you; a change that doesn’t come from the will of man but entirely from the will of God.

One last quote; this one is from Thomas Jefferson. He wrote, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

Folks, the change has to start by admitting to ourselves that we need God in our land; and then allowing Him to be Lord over everything in our lives.

As a people; and as one nation.

Under God.

Please vote for the person tomorrow who will do the same.

Richard is a regular monthly columnist for the Linn County Leader, and is also pastor at Bear Branch, Purdin, and Pleasant Grove UMC’s in north Missouri. You may reach him via his blog at https://sliceofhome.wordpress.com or e-mail at sliceofhome@gmail.com.


Blogging with the iPhone

October 28, 2008

One of the great things that a person can do with their iPhone is blog while on the road…sort of like using this as a mini-laptop.

Well, I thought that I would give it a go and we how it works; it’s not too bad in a pinch!