31 December 2010

RIP Wunderkraut

(UPDATE)  So it finally happened.  As of now, Jan 17, 2011, Wunderkraut is no more.  (wipes tears from eyes)  Wunderkraut you will be missed.  A moment of silence please. 


Mike announced via facebook that he is pulling the plug on Wunderkraut and removing it from the internet.  I posted this comment under his announcement:

Wunderkraut, thanks for the memories.  You were the blog all other blogs looked up to.  There will never be another blog quite like you.  You were everything a blog should and shouldn't be all rolled into one.  If there is a heaven for blogs I know there will be many computer screens there for you to frolic upon.  Now excuse me, while I go post this news on my blog.  As there are millions of readers who will stop by there in the next few hours and will want to hear the news and hold a moment of silence for the late great Wunderkraut: the greatest blog of all. 

Good bye Wunderkraut.  You were the blog that inspired me to blog.

18 November 2010

A great article on the Nephilim


This article says most everything I'd say about the Nephilim.  But since someone else has already done my work for me, I'll just post a link.  Seriously, read the article.  There are some deep mysteries in the Bible, many of which we lose simply because of translation.  This is one of these.  It answers a lot of questions about why God had to mete out certain judgements in the Old Testament. 

12 November 2010

Holistic Christianity

Puzzle pieces

This is what the Church looks like to me.  Fragments of the truth scattered everywhere, disjointed, and therefore incapable of providing the complete picture of what she truly will become.  Now, I'm not going to go into denominationalism, because that would make the topic just too darn complex for what I want to say here.  Instead I want to focus on a few main issues that are on my heart.

On one hand you have those that either outright say that the supernatural is not for today, or (as is more common) deny it by their lack of action or pursuit of the supernatural.  Or perhaps they merely show a fear/skepticism of even the tiniest display thereof.  To the extent that the biblical mandate of bringing the sick forward to have the elders lay hands on them for healing is completely ignored. 

On another hand you have those who make claims that are as extreme as they are unverifiable--the cousin of a friend of a brother type deal where someone was teleported or grew a complete new set of legs.  (Though you can never quite pin that particular person down and find out for sure.  But that's where faith comes in the perpetuators of such tales might say.  To which the hypothetical I woud reply, "How convenient that once again I am expected to just blindly accept what you say because you are my brother in Christ.)  Gah!

And here is the saddest part of all.  On both ends of that spectrum (since there seems to be so few places in the church that aren't polarized), you have folks that are, for the most part, still babes in their faith.  Now, I'm not against genuine baby Christians, but when someone has been a Christ-follower for over five years or so, they should have moved onto meat and be possessed of a faith that is more than an inch deep.  And whose fault is that really?  Mine, of course.  For not being what God has called me to be.  A discipler.  (Oh that is going to change!)  And the church's, for focusing on getting folks down the aisle and then proferring the same salvation message week after week.  That or some variation on the theme of 'here's how to be a good person and live your best life now.'  I'm not implicating any particular church here (just particular people), but if you keep your eyes and ears open to the culture of pop-Christianity that's out here, then you know what I'm talking about.

And pursuit of the supernatural, while not a bad thing, is not necessarily the same thing as pursuing a deeper relationship with Jesus.  I believe cultivating a relationship with Him will automatically lead to supernatural experiences, but sometimes we really have gotten the cart before the horse on this one.

My mind tracks back and forth from the rigid traditions handed down through the centuries, to the latest fictional depiction of the nature of God (ie "The Shack).  And I come back dissatisfied with both!  I know there is a balance and a true expression of love in which doctrine and relationship coexist, but it seems so hard to find.

I'm tired of being dissatisfied, tired of being told (and saying) that we (the Church) are not living in our potential and birthright as believers.  I'm also sick of being deflected by the subtle insinuation that a cry for balance is somehow compromising the truth and siding with the well meaning, but misguided members of the body that don't believe exactly like "we" do.  If nothing else, take a hint from this post that I'm finding it hard these days to side with anybody.

Holistic Faith

I have one foot planted in a denominational church that is really doing a ton of good works. The other reaches back to the Charismatic roots where I was ushered into the kingdom.  But I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.  Tonight, for instance, as I was walking into church (late), I heard the pastor preaching on our true identity and seeing ourselves as God does.  He was talking about being powerful of all things.  This is huge, folks.  I believe God has something big for the Baptist church to do in the coming years and we are on our way to being equipped for it.  I had this confirmed earlier today in an email reply from a prophet of God.  I'll share just a bit of what I said to him, which really just reitterates what I said at the outset of this post:

I have such a sadness of spirit over believers who have no knowledge of the Word, church history, or discernment between truth and error. A lot of what I've seen the past few years is troubling to me in that people are at polar ends of the spectrum when it comes to the supernatural, but when it comes to true spiritual knowledge, they are at exactly the same level.

On the one hand you have churches that either outright reject the supernatural or deny it by their lack of pursuit in the areas of healing, the prophetic, or anything that smacks of God's power. These churches accomplish things that could just as easily be done by the local Kiwanis club. And so their deception is one of denial. They have a form of godliness but the power is denied. Their idea of maturity is to reach the point where they are 'good people' and they end up making 'resisting sin' and 'making converts' the primary goals.

On the other hand you have those that are following every supernatural wind that blows, without even trying to discern its spirit of origin. They hunger for a sign or a manifestation, but won't seek God's face. Satan could show up performing miracles and they would blindly follow him. This is a sad fact.

Both these camps miss the point. We don't need converts that forever struggle with the basic things of God. We need to become and make disciples!

It's time that we (I include myself in this) stop checking our brains at the door.  We can't afford to let someone else do our thinking for us, nor should we sit by and allow the world out think us.  The truth is on our side, the ball is in our hands, and we should be playing offense - moving it down the field instead of sitting in a huddle trying to let the clock run down.

We don't need to fear the argument of those who don't know the Source of ALL TRUTH.  Our faith can stand up to scrutiny, but only if we are ready in and out of season to give the reasons for our hope.  Maybe it's because too many of us have shown so little evidence of HOPE.  If you really have hope for healing  you will pray, you will lay hands on the sick.  They will recover.  It's time for a Holistic Faith where reason and radical belief become two sides of the same coin.  It can happen.  It must.  And don't be afraid to ask questions, to look for answers.  I think Thomas gets a bad rap.  All the other disciples doubted too, and was Thomas asked to proceed in blind faith?  No!   He got to touch the resurrected Christ. 

And I think that's what we are all longing for.  To see the Body of Christ resurrected.  To see the Bride alive and well, glorious and Risen!

Let's get whole.  Let's grow deep roots and move into all He's called us to.  It's time.

24 October 2010

The New Boy

The following occurred on Monday Oct 18th, around 8:20 pm and is taken from my journal entry written that night.

When I tuck my boys in at night I always pray a similar prayer over them.  It goes something like this:  God bless this boy.  I pray You would give him a heart like Yours.  I pray that he would learn to love You with all his heart and to love other people like you do.

I had just finished praying this over Caleb when he said "Daddy I feel something touching me.  It feels kind of rough."

I had painted a scene of a knight fighting a dragon on Caleb's pillowcase and thought it might be the rough surface of the fabric paint bothering him, so I asked if that's what it was.

"No," he said.  "It feels like a hand.  It's touching me on my head and on my shoulder."

This seemed very strange, so I asked him, "What do you think it is?"

"I think it's God," he said.

Now I'm a bit cautious when it comes to children and conversion experiences.  I truly believe children can be saved at very young ages and know people personally for whom this is the case.  However, I don't want my boys to have a false conversion just because someone has told them they need to do it.  I don't want them doing something just because their friends are or anything like that.  I want them to realize what they are doing, and I want it to be authentic.

So I was very cautious as I continued our conversation.  I didn't want to give Caleb a bunch of leading questions or fall into a ritual that was nothing more than him parroting me.  I tried as much as possible to let him find his own way, as I said, "What do you think He wants?"

"I think He wants to bless me."

I was also trying to understand all this myself so I asked, "What do you think He wants to bless you with?"

"He wants me to ask Him into my heart, Daddy."

At this point I just wanted to get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit and Caleb work this out.  I didn't want to do anything to mess things up.  I asked simply, "Caleb, what do you want to do?"

He closed his eyes and said, "Holy Spirit come into my heart."  Then he looked at me and smiled.  "Daddy, He did!"

After that I talked to him about what he'd just done.  It became obvious to me that he did know what the death of Jesus was about.  He also mentioned Jesus rising on the third day, and coming to live in his heart.  I feel so blessed to have been there for that.

He kept saying, "I feel joy in my heart."  I tried to get him to go on to sleep, but he wanted to tell his mama.  I told him she'd be home later and that he would see her in the morning and could tell her then.  (She was up at the school getting things ready for their Fall Festival.)  At any rate, I left him in his bed and told him goodnight.

Every ten minutes or so, he would come out of his room and ask if she was home yet.  He was up until 09:40 when she finally came home.  He told her, "Mama, I'm a new boy!"  Then I filled her in on what happened and together they started calling everybody to spread the good news. 


01 October 2010

Alabama Scientist Proves Everything!!!

If you love science as much as I do, then you will surely appreciate this graph by Don Grace of Florence, Alabama.  For years scientists have been looking for a Grand Unification Theory, but Don goes them one better with this Grand Unification Graph.  (GUG, for short.)  It's all so obvious now.  And I'd explain it to you, but there's a lot of math and, well, I think 'Billy the Exterminator' might be on.


29 September 2010

What's in a Name?

More than you would suspect.  I have been a Christ follower for over twenty years now but have never heard the teaching that I am about to share.  Note: most of this post is not original with me, sources are noted at the bottom.

I was in Church tonight, talking a bit with a friend before the service.  She was returning a book I had lent her (When Heaven Invades Earth - Bill Johnson), and somehow the topic of God's name came up.  Her sister was right there and explained what I have never heard before.

I had to know if it was true, so when I got home I got on the internet and started doing some research.  The following is what I found.  Enjoy (but more importantly be enlightened!)


'Yahweh,' the Tetragrammaton is composed of:


-Yod or yud was anciently portrayed as a symbol of a hand [yad in Hebrew]. This is the entire hand, or closed hand [in contrast with the letter kaf, which comes from the pictograph of the palm of the hand]. The closed hand denotes power and, figuratively, ownership.

-Yod is masculine. In the sacred name Yahweh, it is representative of the Father.

-Yod is the seminal letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It cannot be divided into component parts, like other letters can. It signifies the oneness of Elohim.

-The yod is the smallest [and most humble] letter. From it, the other letters originate. It is symbolic of creation.


-The letter hey is feminine, and represents femininity and gentleness. The first hey in the Name is representative of the Mother / Holy Spirit / Eloah.

-Hey means ‘behold’, ‘to show’ or ‘to reveal’.


-Vav is also masculine in gender.

-Vav signifies a nail, peg, or hook. It also conveys the meaning of being nailed or bound together.

-The numerical value of vav is 6.

They are pronounced, in Hebrew, "Yod Hey Vav Hey," when you read them in the Hebrew manner from right to left.

The four letters in God's name in Hebrew have the following meanings:
Hey = Behold
Vav = Nail
Yod = Closed Hand
When read in English from left to right, it says:

Or, "Behold the nailed hand."

"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." (Zechariah 12:10)

"Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet." (Psalm 22:16)

"Clearly, this is no ordinary, every-day name. But wait, there's more: Yahushua (often Yeshua or Yahshua, the Hebrew name of Jesus, similar to Joshua), the Hebrew name of the Messiah, the son of Yahweh, means "YHWH is salvation." Therefore, you can take that a step further and see it as "Behold, the nailed hand is salvation." This not only powerfully illustrates Yahushua's role as Savior, but also His divinity (as Yahweh incarnate) and His relationship to Yahweh as His only begotten son. As Yahushua Himself said, "I have come in my Father's name (John 5:43)." Just as His life and character point us to His Father (John 14:6 - "no one comes to the Father but by me;" see also John 17:23-26), so also does His name point us to the sacred Name of Yahweh. He even instructed us to pray: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name . . . (Luke 11:2)."

You have no doubt heard most or all of the following descriptive terms and/or titles that have often been applied to Yahweh: El (meaning "mighty one,"), Elohim (the plural form of El), El Shaddai ("almighty one"), and Adonai ("my lord"), among others. While those words, like the commonly used English terms "Lord" and "God," can certainly express different aspects of the character of Yahweh, they are merely generic titles and descriptions. None of them is His Name.

When the Scriptures were being transcribed, it was believed by the Jewish scribes performing the task that they should not pronounce the sacred Name of YHWH, for fear of violating the third commandment ("Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain . . . " - Exodus 20:7). This led to the use of other words, generic titles (such as "Adonai"), as substitutes for the true name, Yahweh. Therefore, if you were to compare a typical, modern English translation of the Bible with the original Hebrew texts, you would see how YHWH (which can be found a total of 7,038 times in the original Hebrew Old Testament) was replaced by "the Lord" or "God."

The form Jehovah did not exist as a Hebrew word. It is actually a conflation (blend, fusion) of two Hebrew forms that came about through a peculiarity of the Hebrew writing system. The Hebrew name for God, the consonants of which are transliterated YHWH, was considered so sacred that it was never pronounced and its proper vowel points were never written. In some texts the vowel points for a completely different word, Adonai, "lord," were written with YHWH to indicate that the word Adonai was to be spoken whenever the reader came upon the word YHWH. YHWH was never intended to be pronounced with the vowels of Adonai, but Christian scholars of the Renaissance made exactly that mistake, and the forms Iehovah (using the classical Latin equivalents of the Hebrew letters) and Jehovah (substituting in English, J for consonantal I) came into common use.

A New Standard Bible Dictionary (1936 edition) states, "The form 'Jehovah' is impossible, according to the strict principles of Hebrew vocalization."

So, it is clearly no secret that Jehovah is not the true Name of our God. But don't worry - this doesn't mean that the wonderful suffixes normally attached to Jehovah (as in Jehovah Jireh, Rapha, Nissi, etc.) are also wrong. Those transliterations are for the most part correct, and when added to the name Yahweh (as in "Yahweh Yireh" - "Yahweh the Provider"), they can serve as powerful expressions of certain attributes and characteristics of our Lord Yahweh."



(That's it for tonight folks.  Selah.)

28 September 2010

The Gospel

When I found out our church was going to start making a point of presenting the gospel, I was a little confused.  Hadn't we already been doing that?  To be honest, I wasn't sure how it could be made more clear.  After all, we are members of a Baptist church, and Baptist are very deliberate about presenting a message to get people down the aisle.  I hate to admit it, but I wasn't looking forward to the stock Baptist salvation message every Sunday.

Imagine my surprise when I heard a revelatory salvation message instead.

On Sept 19th, our Pastor gave us milk and meat at the same table, by presenting the gospel in a way that I suspect most Southern Baptists have never heard.  Personally, I had been piecing a similar view together in my own heart for a few years, but didn't expect to hear it echoed from the pulpit.  Efton was stressing that we are now saints, not "just a sinner saved by grace", as we Protestants so often hear.   He made clear the distinction of who we were and who we now are in Jesus.  He used words like "sons of God" (John 1:12), "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), and mentioned the fact that God has given us a new heart! (Eze. 36:26).

He made the bold statement that maybe the gospel we've heard isn't the gospel of the Bible.  Then he talked about standing in front of God, blameless because of the blood.  And having the ability to live victoriously in this life because of the Holy Spirit living within us.

I walked out of the service full of hope.  Religion is being put to death in our churches, denominationalism will follow, and the Bride will become her glorious true self as we pursue our lover who first loved us (1 John 4:19).

No more fear-induced decisions to get us to come to Christ.  No more guilt trips or emotional blackmail to get us to share the good news with others.  His kindness will lead the people to repentence (Romans 2:4).  His love shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5) will flow naturally from us and, as we lift Him up, He will draw men to Himself (John 12:32).


16 September 2010

Multiple Paths into Destiny - Free Will and Predestination

For a while now (actually several years), I've been trying to reconcile the ideas of 'free will' and 'predestination' in my own mind.  Though I'm not sure how successful I've been, I do feel that I've hit upon a few tenable theories.  They go something like this:

When we say that God knows the future we are right, but only to a point.  Now before you start bringing out the firewood, gasoline, and rope, hear me out.  I believe that God's omnipotence results in a certain amount of omniscience, but not total.  Or at least not in the way that we have defined 'total' omniscience.

To begin with, God is not constrained by our physical realm.  So let's think of our realm as a maze on some large plane (like a really really big desktop).  Let's also think of people as wingless beetles upon that desk and within that maze.  Let's think of God as standing above, looking down.  He is the one who set the beetles upon the desk and allows them to walk where they will.  But only within the borders of the desktop and inside the maze.  Thus they can move only within the pre-ordained parameters.

Within those parameters, however, is a lot of freedom, many paths upon which the beetles may travel.  God allows this, but when He is ready for paths to close and open, He is powerful enough to make it happen, to pick up a beetle and put it where He wants, or to close off/open up certain parts of the maze.  He does this sometimes, mainly to protect the beetle, but often He allows it to move unhindered.

This explains free will.  Which I also think of this way: Ahead of me lie many paths (the desktop plane), many possible futures.  God has left a certain number of them open to me; there are several that are 'good and acceptable' to Him.  In fact, I believe that there are multiple paths that will lead me into my God given destiny, and even multiple destinies for me to choose from, all ordained of God.  Others, however, are paths of rebellion, which He also allows me to travel. 

So then, when we speak of God's omniscience, I believe we have both overstated and understated it.  We have understated it in that we have said God knows the future and then we define the future as only one possible path forward.  As I just suggested, there are multiple paths forward, each resulting from different choices that we are faced with.  The omniscience of God allows Him to see into ALL possible futures.  Every path open to us is visible to Him, and so His omniscience is much broader than we have believed.

On the other hand, I propose we have overstated His omniscience when we declare that He knows which path we will choose.  In this, I believe He limits Himself.  That limitation comes about as He grants us free will, so that God has exchanged a certain amount of His omniscience in order to allow me to have free will.  (Freedom.  God is all about love and freedom.)  As I tell people all the time - God limits Himself, it is an historical fact.  He actually emptied Himself and came to Earth as a man.  He limits His own will.  2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  But rather than imposing that will, He foregoes it in order to grant us ours.

Suppose even that God, although He is outside time, looks into time and sees its final state not as some static endpoint, but an endpoint in constant flux.  As our reality moves forward and approaches time's culmination, what if our choices are causing some sort of flickering expression of this world's final moment?  To use quantum physics terminology, what if, as we make our choices and collapse the wave function, that final state remains indeterminate until our last choice is made and we pop the ultimate quiff (bringing a singular reality into existence). 

But let's go back to the idea of multiple paths for a moment.  Consider the Old Testament custom of a man marrying his brother's widow in order to father offspring for him.  This is because all the futures that would have resulted in his brother's offspring have been eliminated.  The children the widow now bears will be considered those of her first husband.  This is another reason that murder is so heinous.  Not only have you killed someone, you have eradicated all the futures in which that person produced offspring.

And what about satan?  I propose that there were possible futures in which he did not rebel, realities in which the Light-Bearer remained as such and did not allow pride to rot his heart.  Consider God's admonition to Cain: "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."  Gen. 4: 6-7.  Why would God give such a warning to Cain if it were impossible for Cain to choose otherwise?  I suggest that there was a possible future in which Cain did not murder his brother. 

Of course this all reminds me of the Bible's first garden.  Remember, there were two trees in Eden, and man was not forbidden to eat from the Tree of Life, that is until after he had tasted the other.  God wouldn't allow us to eat of a tree that would then doom us to an eternally fallen state.  He used His omnipotence to close that particular path.

Okay, so maybe the rebellion and Fall didn't have to happen?  Maybe.  Just maybe.  I'm thinking out loud right now, so I'm just going to type as ideas come to me.  Things may get a little disjointed, but I'll try to make sense.  What about the following: In Revelation chapter thirteen, verse eight, Jesus is referred to as, 'The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.'  Jesus was slain at a certain place and time, about two thousand years ago, not before mankind was even created.  So what is this verse saying?  Is it saying that God knew ahead of time that mankind would definitely fall and need a Savior and so He decided to make provision?

I'm thinking that maybe God, knowing His own intention to to create sentient beings and then give them the ability to choose whether to love and follow Him or not, saw every possible path that led to satan's rebellion, every path that led to the Fall, and made the decision then to provide our Sacrifice, should that be necessary. 

Jesus himself, when in the garden actually said, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will."  Of course at that point there was, for Jesus, only one possible path forward if He was to complete His mission.  Remember also, how he was tempted by satan early on; there were choices for Him to make, choices upon which the future of all mankind depended.  As always, Jesus never sinned.  Never missed the mark.  He did what the Father wanted every time.

I'm thinking also of how Jesus performed His first miracle. At first He resisted His mother's prompting.  But somehow her calm insistence led the Father to open up another path, making that wedding the appropriate occasion for the miracle working Christ to make Himself known.  Jesus recognized this, and the life of Christ had a slight alter made in its course.  The initial revealing was hastened as He turned water turned into wine.

Now let's turn our attention to the future.  What about the end times prophecies?  Aren't they set in stone?  This is where I believe God will choose to exert His will and through His omnipotent power cause the prophecies He has spoken through His prophets to come to pass.  Even here, however, I am not convinced that the church has its eschatology correct.  Our fatalism is holding us back and just killing hope.  But that's a topic for another day.

So what about scripture like Psalm 139:16?  "Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  Well, that's a good one to be sure, but only if we've interpreted it correctly.  Here is what it says in Hebrew, followed by a word for word translation.  (Follow the link if you want to read more about this verse.)

גלמי ראו  עיניך  ועל  ספרך  כלם  יכתבו  ימים  יצרו  ולא  אחד׃

Embryo saw Eye of book every written day form not one. 

Say huh?  Yeah translations can be quite problematic.  Culture, language, time, all those things can hinder understanding, so we need to examine what we read and pray for revelation.  The Hebrew is read from right to left, so my translation is flipped around for our language.  Also, I have chosen the meanings that were used when the English version of the Bible was developed.  Several of those original Hebrew words have many possible nuances of meaning based upon context. 

One more thing before I'm done.  The Lamb's Book of Life.  If your name isn't found there, then you will not get into Heaven.  So has God already written the names of the Elect there, and left everyone else out because He knows they will not choose Him?  Revelation 3:5 addresses this, I think:

"He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

Blotting names from the Book is also talked about in Psalm 69: 28 and Exodus 32: 32.

I propose that all our names are written in the Book, and at the point when we reject God's gift for the final time, our name is blotted out.  Interesting note:  in the Old Testament, the word blot or blotted, is translated from the Hebrew word machah and it can have the idea of "wiping off" as in wiping off a dish.  And if something is to be wiped from something else, then it had to be there in the first place, right?

So there you go, what I've been contemplating lately.  I know this turned into a rambling discourse at certain points, but maybe you agree with some of what I've said.  Maybe you think I'm completely off base.  Either way, I think it's worth considering that we just might be able to make a difference while we are here on Earth, and that things can turn out differently, and for the better, because of our actions.  The Elect may not be some fixed number of individuals that are completely predetermined before any of this even got started.  Maybe that number can be influenced and increased. 

And maybe God is inviting us to get in on what He is doing.  Maybe that involves actually going out and altering destiny, discovering ours, and helping others find theirs.  Maybe?


15 September 2010

Love not Guilt - 'With' not 'For'

I really believe that if we fall in love with Jesus, witnessing will be a natural byproduct.  Not some chore or part of a checklist to prove our love for him or satisfy a sense of duty and obligation.  Let's stop innoculating people against the gospel, and let's get so full of Jesus that we shine and draw people to us.  Listen to what this guy Skye Jethani says.  I think he is on to something.


14 September 2010

This is a series HBO is doing based on the novels by George R. R. Martin.  Sean Bean is in the trailer and plays Eddard Stark, the patriarch of the Stark family and the first main character to...well, just watch it and see.  Or better yet, read the books.  But be warned, this is not feel good fantasy.  There will be betrayal and death and lots of it.  Almost makes me want to sign up for HBO, but by the time George gets the last book written, these things will be on DVD anyway.

I can hardly wait.


My goal is to somehow civilize this creature.  Yeah, I must be crazy.

11 September 2010


Tonight I finally got a competent tech support agent on the phone.  My internet woes are over!  All I can say is AT&T better be danged glad they have Ebony working for them, or I'd be yanking my business outta there.  She deserves a raise.  Right after they fire the half a dozen inept agents that have frustrated me for the past couple of weeks.


01 September 2010

How to Liz - 15: How to Be Fit

Allright, I've decided I need to get fit. I found this youtube link over at "The Master's Artist". I think it's full of practical advice that I could actually put into practice. Slim City here I come!

30 August 2010

It's alive.....ALIVE!!!

Got the internet back.  We are reconnected with the world.  Still haven't gotten things back like they should be, but we are definitely on the right track.  I have struggled I tell you.  Tech support is about the most sporadic group of people you will ever find at the end of the same phone number.  They ranged from completely inept to fairly ept.  I could tell you the horror stories, but frankly I just don't want to think about it anymore.

26 August 2010

Computer Woes

Right now we are having computer problems because I let the virus protection lapse.  I'm still  sorting it out, so bear with me.  Right now everything is reinstalled after a hard drive format, but I'm having modem and router issues.

20 August 2010

RIP Dodo bird

On the way home from church Wednesday night, Levi was talking about a Dodo bird.  I asked him where he'd heard about the Dodo.   Come to find out he saw it on a sequence in the animated version of 'Alice in Wonderland'.   So I told him, "You know all the Dodos are extinct.  There aren't any more alive.  People killed them all."  To which he promptly replied, "Yaaaaayyy!"

Now, if I was a hunter with mounted animals all over the walls I might be able to understand his response, though it would still concern me.  I tried to find out why he said 'Yay', but what I got was utter nonsense.  I can't even remember what it was, but it was something akin to: they are poo-poo birds made out of poop.  Anyhow, sorry Dodos, but my five year old isn't the least bit sympathetic to your plight.

17 August 2010

Just one of the things we've done this summer.  Here are the boys at the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta.  I'll try to get some more pictures up when I have time.

11 August 2010

Happy Anniversary Darling!

August 12 will mark ten years of glorious wedded bliss for my beautiful bride and me.  In honor of this wonderful occasion, God has seen fit to bless the whole world with a night full of shooting stars.  Thank you Lord, for her and all the love and joy you have sent my way through her.  

As for the rest of you.  Enjoy, and celebrate with us! 
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is entering the debris stream of comet Swift-Tuttle and this is causing the annual Perseid meteor shower.  According to the International Meteor Organization, observers are now counting as many as 25 meteors per hour during the dark hours before dawn. For Tamas Ladanyi of Taliandorogd, Hungary, just one was plenty:

Happy anniversary darling, I love you with all my heart, and consider myself the most blessed man alive!

Don Williams - Good Ole Boys Like Me

A dude named Bob McDill wrote this song.  And nobody but Don could've done it this much justice.  I heard it on the way home yesterday and had to sit in the truck in the driveway to let it finish.  Great stuff, and that first line is just incredible:  "When I was a kid Uncle Remus he put me to bed, with a picture of Stonewall Jackson above my head."  Don flubs it here, by repeating 'bed'.  But, since he sings it so good, we'll forgive him this one time.


Publish Post

09 August 2010

Welcome to the Apocalypse

This morning when I woke up, if you can call it that, I felt somewhat less than human.  To tell the truth, much less.  The most herculean attempt at movement resulted only in a slow, stiff-limbed twitch.  Somehow, after raking past my wife's nose with what was surely a disfigured arm, I managed to find the off button on the alarm clock.  05:20 am, the time of night when nothing should stir.  But I knew that if I succumbed again to the coma I'd struggled out of, I might never make it back to consciousness. 

Not that you could call my mental state conscious.  Like I said before, my arms and legs were barely responding, my brain was a sluggish...uh...slug.  Somehow I staggered into the bathroom and found the shower.  I thought for several minutes thereafter that I had indeed become the victim of some sort of zombie apocalypse.  The only thing missing was the craving for human brains.  What I did crave however, was a cup of coffee and a donut. 

Which I am now enjoying as I type this.  Those two things, combined with the shower (I truly don't think I could survive in a third world country), have once again saved my morning.  I think I'm going to make it now.


05 August 2010

Keith Green - Born Again (New Song)

Trial vs Temptation (updated)

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.   James 1:1-3.

The question at church last night was:  What is the difference between a trial and a temptation?  (Some translations use the word trials in the verse above, and others use temptations.  We made the determination that the correct word was trials.)

Our pastor set up the discussion by defining trials as something God sends to draw us closer to Him, while temptation is something satan sends to try to pull us away from God.  I wasn't sure if this was a good stepping off point, cause I knew where it would send us.  But awaaaay we went.

As I told a sister afterward, "I try to stay off my soap box, but I just can't."

Sickness and disease do not come from God.  They are not His will for us.  It still appalls me that people have this view of God where He will put illness on his children to draw us closer to Him!  Where is that in the Bible?  You can't show me, because it's not there.  You may show me a verse and render an inaccurate interpretation to try and prove it (usually by going to Job, who was under an inferior Covenant) but on this side of the cross it simply is not a tenable argument.  God is not the author of that.  Can He use it?  He can use anything, but that's not my point.  My point is: Cancer was taken care of at the cross.  Let's stop building our theology on what we don't understand (i.e. - I prayed for someone to be healed, they weren't, and so God allowed them to stay sick until they died, therefore he wanted them to stay sick until they died, and in conclusion God gave them that sickness and wanted them to die.)  This is how a lot of folks seem to build their view of God.  It's not Biblical.  God's name is 'Jehovah my healer'.

Can you imagine Jesus going up to someone, putting a hand on them, and saying, "I love you, so I'm going to allow you to suffer with migraines, because it will build character and draw you closer to me."  For the life of me, I can't find any example like that anywhere in the New Testament.  I do, however, recall a leper saying, "Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean."  To which Jesus said, "I am willing.  Be clean."  And the dude was healed (this is in Matthew chapter 8).  Notice also that in Jesus' reply he used the words 'I am', once again showing us an attribute of the great I AM; that attribute is one that we need to get through our heads and into our hearts:  Willing.  Not only is God able to heal us, He is willing.

Okay, I got to get off my soapbox (again!), cause it's time to go to work.

04 August 2010

New show that might be worth something.

I've watched a little TV lately and have noticed a potentially good show: Billy the Exterminator.  This dude, along with his family, go in and get rid of your pest problem. 

Check it out.  After all, now that the Bachlorette is over, you don't have anything else worth watching.

28 July 2010

We did it!

My wonderful wife and I got the monitor back up!  I wasn't so sure we could do it, but I used an online tutorial to diagnose and repair the problem.  Cost us about $10 total for capacitors, solder, and soldering iron.  Beats the heck out of a new monitor, let me tell you.  Also got the new wireless router going -- Yeah buddy, we are streaming Netflix movies through the Wii now.  I also picked up my new pair of glasses (lost the old ones in the Atlantic during the 4th weekend at St. Augustine).  Replaced the battery in my truck, since it decided to die Monday.  Good news on that is it chose to die in our driveway, so no getting stranded in inconvenient places, and there was still some pro-rated warranty on the battery, so it only cost me $35 instead of $77.  Got the grass cut AND weed-eated yesterday.  It has been a busy week!  Friday we are heading to Atlanta to celebrate my birthday.  42.  (The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, you know.)  Awright, my minions, I must go to work now.  Peace.

20 July 2010

Last Blog Standing

I'm thinking of changing the name of my blog to the above.  Since everyone in my blog roll is giving up the ghost.  No more Wunderkraut.  Will is MIA.  Madison has gone underground.  The only one left is Cullen.  And me.  There will always be me...

I will not go quietly into that good night!  RAGE RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT. 

Which is actually quite apt, since I still haven't fixed my monitor.  The contrast on this old thing is awful.

RAGE RAGE!!!!  I will not go quietly!  I will be the last blog standing!  And then some!  Awright, I gotta go to bed.  I'm getting sleepy.

15 July 2010

Monitor problems

The monitor on our computer failed today.  I'm able to post this because, being pack rats, we had an old one shoved away in the attic.  I'm missing that flat screen already, let me tell you.  But maybe I've found the problem.  I managed to get the monitor apart without cracking/breaking anything and found three blown capacitors.  Tomorrow I'm going to try my hand at soldering in some new ones.   Pray for divine favor.

14 July 2010

To the uttermost ends of the earth...

Me and the boys were taking off trash today, riding about two miles to the nearest dumpster in my pickup.  I was speaking encouraging words over them, telling them that God has a plan for them and that they are going to do wonderful things with their lives.  I didn't get too specific, just speaking general good words, but once I finished Caleb said, "We're going to be prophets.  We're going to tell people about Jesus.  Even in other countries."  Which thrilled me of course, since I hadn't said a thing about prophets, but I had to laugh as he said, "Even Alabama."

All I can say is watch out world, here they come.  (Especially you folks in Alabama.)


06 July 2010

Photoshopped Jedi

Found a picture of Levi wielding a light saber and photo-shopped it up.  Tomorrow is a night off from church, so we are watching 'Return of the Jedi'.  Rockin'.

23 June 2010


If these guys don't make it big then nobody should.

14 June 2010

Carpe Blogum....nay, I say.

For those who have been wondering where Crotalus has been, I've got a newsflash.  Hey, I've got a life here people!  I mean c'mon, I can't be at the computer blogging for my legions of fans ALL the time.  I've got other responsibilities, fun to have, happiness to pursue, bills to pay, a job, a family, as I said before: A LIFE.  Geesh, some folks think all I have to do all day is sit around and blog for their enjoyment.  Now I know how William Shatner felt in that Saturday Night Live skit.  Get a life people!  Stop reading this blog right now and go out there and Carpe Dang Diem!

28 May 2010

My thoughts on LOST

Emotionally, it was a satisfying end.  But only in that regard.  And it's apparent that's what the writers were going for, since they left so much unsaid or unexplained.  No, I didn't need every detail spelled out, but some things had been built up to the point to where you just knew an answer was forthcoming.  The biggest  for me, as my wife can attest to (since she is surely tired of hearing me talk about it) was the Dharma Initiative.  They devoted an entire season to the time traveling back to the seventies so the main characters could infiltrate the place.  In my mind, Dharma was the Big Mystery that would eventually be solved.  I'm still not sure what purpose it served in the big scheme of things.  For the last several episodes we've been fed this Island Mythology that was revealed and then summed up in very short order, even then without answering much. 

I'm glad all the characters got closure, because I don't think many of the fans did.  The writers wanted to tell an epic, the only problem is they let it get too big for them to manage and, in my opinion, did not know how to get to where they say they wanted to go. 

27 May 2010

Hey Gramps, where you goin' with that gun in your hand.

So, Chicago has this statute outlawing the possession of handguns.  Seems the criminals don't want to go along with this:
An 80-year-old Chicago man shot and killed an armed man who broke into his two-story house in a pre-dawn home invasion Wednesday on the city's West Side.
At about 5:20 a.m., the homeowner and his wife, also in her 80s, discovered the intruder entering their home through a back door. The homeowner, who had a gun, confronted and killed the burglar on the doorstep, police said. Cops said the intruder also fired his gun during the struggle.

Read the whole story here.

Good thing the homeowner didn't abide by the statute either.  Like I always say; the day they make it illegal to own a handgun here, is the day I go out and buy one.

Peace.  (Through superior firepower.)

12 May 2010

LOST!!! It's all so clear to me now!

Wow.  Just wow.  Last night’s episode of Lost cleared up EVERYTHING for me.  It’s all so obvious now. 

My predictions based on what we learned last night:

Benjamin Linus will take off that incredibly realistic mask, revealing that he is an alien reptile that wants to eat all the humans on the island.  Hurley WILL eat the smoke monster, which will at first seem like a good thing, until it emerges from his other end and actually becomes even more dangerous (now that it has a sulfurous stench that doesn’t kill you, but makes you wish it had).  Jack and Sawyer will realize their true feelings for each other and build a little bungalow for two, right next to the light house so they can wake up and enjoy each morning sunrise together.  Kate will realize that she no longer serves any purpose and will simply wink out of existence.  Sun and Jinn will come back, their survival due to the Dharma shark which happened to swim by and neatly bite Sun’s leg off, thus freeing her, after which a friendly sea turtle gives them a piggy back ride to shore.  Kate will pop back into existence just long enough to shoot them both in the head for no reason.  Desmond will become a professional wrestler in the alt-time world, wearing a brown and yellow polka-dotted mask and going by the name of the Tootsie-Roll Bandit.  John Locke will put on a tuxedo and top hat, wheel himself to the nearest street corner, and gyrate around in his wheel chair for money.  He will collect about thirty-eight cents during his first week and then go back to substitute teaching, his dream of being a tap-dancing-street-performer forever crushed.  Vincent the dog will become the star of a sitcom spin-off called: Lost: A dog: goes by the name of Vincent. He will win an Emmy and go on to feature films.  Charles Widmore will spontaneously combust.

Watch and see how right I am.

11 May 2010

Frank Frazetta

Frank died yesterday, but I just now found out.  The man WAS fantasy art.  Rest in peace, Sensei.

29 April 2010

Foo Fighters - The Pretender

What if I say this song doesn't make much sense...(but I like it anyway)?  Jackson Browne did it better, of course, but this version is good too.  Only one thing bothers me.  Where's the Kool-Aid guy at the end of this video?  Kept waiting for him to come out, but he never did.  Oh well.

22 April 2010

Disney Pics

This giant coke refreshes by opening and spraying a mist on whoever is standing nearby.

Don't know how I got this effect, but I call it green boys.  
You can see the giant magician's hat in the background.

This is my new favorite picture of the boys.  We were in the spinning tea cups.
  Mad Hatter something or other.

Staci, getting in touch with her Asian roots.  Domo!

This was technically Caleb's first roller coaster, though he quickly moved on to bigger and faster things.

Friends from Vidalia.

 Fireworks every night.  We took several of the castle, but this is my favorite because of the varied colors.  Some of my other pictures are more dramatic.  I may post some of those later.

Just love this!  Magical.

What a great trip.  Can't put up all the photos, but here are some of my favorites.  Caleb really surprised us.  He was a lot different this time around, as in -  not scared or overly cautious.  Got on his first roller coaster (the mine train, whatever it's called) and the fastest roller coaster I've ever been on.  Aerosmith's Rock and Roll Roller Coaster.   Above is a photo of it that I got from the internet.  It's of the entrance to the ride.  The rest of these photos, either I or my wife took.  I heard that it's zero to sixty in two seconds.  Don't know if that's true, but I'm inclined to believe it.

We happened to be there the same time as some of our friends from Vidalia, so the kids got to meet up with some of their friends.  That was cool.  We hit all four parks.  Did fireworks, parades, and various shows.  The Lights, Camera, Action stunt show was incredible. We saw celebrities (yes, that is the real Green Army Guy from Toy Story, even got his autograph to prove it).  And we rode too many rides to count.  

I can hardly wait till go again.

21 April 2010

All I want to know...

Is how in the world do you defeat Count Dooku on Lego Star Wars.  Dern!

17 April 2010

The Crossing -- Ecstasy

First snake of the season

We were on the way to the movies yesterday (boy's night out), when we saw the first snake of spring crossing the road.  Since this was close to the house and the snake was heading into a yard where I know kids often play, I had to do something I hate doing.  I ran over his head.  It was a rattlesnake, about two feet long probably.  You could hear the rattles after I ran over it's back.  It was buzzing like crazy, then I changed direction and ran over the head.  Sorry little Crotalus adamanteus.  You were just in the wrong place buddy.

Crotalus adamanteus
Latin for "Rattle" and "Diamondlike" respectively

Incidentally, the movie we were going to see was about people and reptiles at odds with each other.  "How to train your dragon".  It ended a lot better than our story did.

16 April 2010


Last weekend we were in Swainsboro for Cameron's eagle ceremony.  It was a real pleasure to be there and see him attain the highest rank of Scouting.  Cameron is my wife's first cousin, only seventeen, and we got to spend a little time with him before the ceremony.  He's doing the whole getting ready for college thing.  I think his High School Prom is this weekend.  Four young men became eagles that night and the ceremony started with a slideshow that showed their progression from Tiger Cubs all the way through Scouting.  It got me thinking about my boys and how quickly they'll grow up.  In ten short years Caleb will be the same age as Cameron is now.  Scares me a little, in that I don't want to mess this parenting thing up.  Anyway, Cameron's parents obviously did a whole lot of things right.  He's a fine young man, he's worked hard, and they should all be proud.  Here's a wonderful photo we were able to get at the reception:

Congratulations Cameron!

12 April 2010

After the loooong silence...

I feel you out there, my legions of readers, as you wonder; "What has become of Crotalus?"  "Why isn't he blogging more?"  "Oh when will this dearth of awe-inspiring prose ever end???"

Well, the answer to that last question is: Right now!

As I write this, the boys are in bed and the good wife is curled up with a book.  There are no immediate vacation plans or transitions to muddle through, so, even though we've been busy, I see a settling on the horizon. 

To update the goings on we've just got back from Disney World.  Oh yes, it was glorious!  And there will be a post forthcoming.  I have also been writing a little, though not here.  I've got a short story sitting in the slush pile over at Apex and Abyss (speculative fiction webzine), and an article sent to a local magazine editor.  (A first person plug for the local Scouting program.)  The first submission I'm not going to bet on, but I feel pretty good about the second. 

Some randomness to follow:

My four year old described God recently as being 'sneaky', since you can't see Him.  He also has been getting pretty deep with the theological questions:  "Why did God make mokitos?" (after one had bit him on the leg), and "Are there little dogs in heaven?"  (Yes, but no cats.)

Caleb has some more artwork in the upcoming Autism Art show at Elements Bistro.  By the way, if you are ever near Lyons, Georgia (right next door to Vidalia) and want some fine dining, then Elements will completely blow you away.  I can honestly say I have never eaten better food.  You will pay a little more than mid-scale restaurant (I'm talking Ruby Tuesday's or some such), but man is it worth it.  The seared Ahi Tuna is unbelievable, and the Cowboy cut ribeye is 16 ounces of perfection. 

You know, I think we are fated to see semi-celebrities every time we go to Disney.  The first time we went, I saw a dude that bore an uncanny resemblance to Shooter Jennings.  Then a few weeks later I look at his tour dates and yep, he was in Orlando the same time as us.  This time my wife saw Dog, the Bounty Hunter.  His son and entourage were with him, so there was no doubt on this one. 

Awright, I'm going to bed now.  Peace out.

02 April 2010

Autism Awareness Month

A post written by my wife:

My child was diagnosed with autism in August of 2007, but I knew before then that he had autism. I knew when he did not answer when I called his name. I knew when he couldn’t ask me for a cup of milk to drink. I knew when he had intense tantrums every day. I knew when he couldn’t understand what I was saying. I knew when he wouldn’t look at me.

I knew my child was going to be OK when he was receiving speech therapy and started talking in sentences. I knew he was going to be OK when he received early intervention and started pretending to be a superhero. I knew he was going to be OK when he went to school and was learning to read. I knew he was going to be OK when he made a friend.

I knew I was going to be OK when I accepted that he is different and that just because his brain works differently doesn’t mean he can’t live a full life.

19 March 2010

What's new?

So we finally made it through the last grueling six weeks of night shift.  I also have some other great news:

I rarely talk about work here at AKT, but I'm making the rare exception today.  A few weeks ago a position opened up in our department and I looked it over.  It seemed like something well suited to my strengths and prior experience, so I threw my hat in the ring and what do you know, I got a promotion.

This means moving out of the hourly ranks and back into a salaried position.  It's also a great opportunity to build my career, in that it could lead to other promotions later on.  In fact, most people who move into this position move over into others after a few years.  We'll see how that goes, for now I'm just excited about learning some new things and working more closely with the other specialists in our department. I will also  be interfacing with people I've never met, so that's something else to look forward to.

I'm also thrilled that I finally feel like I have my feet back under me.  God has indeed blessed our family and this, for me at least, was a huge one, in that it gives me a big boost of confidence and a new sense of achievement.  Come Monday I'll have my own personal space again (something I haven't had since I left Merck). 

So rejoice with me!


13 March 2010


Of outage that is. 

You can do it Charlie Brown. 

Now let me go get a few hours' sleep before nightshift.


05 March 2010

Mid-Outage drawing

We are a little over halfway through the outage, and boy are we getting tire of it at our house.  I've been on nights all outage long, so while the family is asleep I'm up.  It makes little sense to switch my sleep around on my off days (Thurs and Fri), so I just stay up all night while they sleep.  Soon I'll wake the boys, get them off to school, and finally go to bed.  I'll get up when they come home.  Tonight I'll get to be with them while we go to Statesboro to get some frames for our family portraits.  Lord, please help me to be alert and 'on' while I'm with them.  And give us a good time of enjoying each other.  Amen.

I read a bit last night, folded a little bit of laundry, watched 'That Metal Show', and drew a few drawings.  Here's one I did, that is very Buscema-ish.  I call it 'Reclaimed'.  It depicts Jesus coming back for His church, and also mimics a crucifixion pose.  For some reason He looks angry.  Maybe just the warrior side of Him coming out.  Anyway, here it is:

There is something about my art that is always kind of 'in your face'.  I'm about as subtle as a brick. Oh well.  My art will probably never hang on many living room walls, for obvious reasons, but I like it.

01 March 2010

When God talks

I was on the way to work yesterday and really needed a word from God. Now, while I don't recommend the FM radio over the Bible, sometimes I do believe God speaks to us through the radio.  After all, He put talent into musicians for the purpose of speaking His truth and praising Him, even though many of them don't acknowledge that or use their talents for Him.  Still, sometimes they write songs for Him in spite of themselves.  And this time He sent one of those my way:

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mold a new reality
Closer to the heart, closer to the heart

The blacksmith and the artist
Reflect it in their art
They forge their creativity
Closer to the heart, yes closer to the heart

Philosophers and plowmmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the heart, well closer to the heart

You can be the Captain
And I will draw the chart
Sailing into destiny
Closer to the heart, yes closer to the heart
I said closer to the heart, yeah closer to the heart
Closer to Your heart, I said closer to Your heart.

(Thanks to Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Peter Talbot, and Neil Peart for writing that, and to God for inspiring them.  Sometimes I dig me some Rush.)

Anywho, this seemed to be a recurring theme for the night.  I spent the next 12 hours at work and listened to two podcasts I'd downloaded.  They were by my good friends Wunderkraut and his brother-in-law Jon.  WK was preaching on stepping into your destiny, while Jon was talking about love.  It all tied together in my spirit and really ministered to me.  Add to the mix a new book I've been reading called "Tally Ho the Fox", given to me by my good friend Phil J, and I was more than ministered to, I was also inspired.  There has to be more to our lives than just making a living.  We have to love people, achieve our destinies, and make a difference.

God let that be true for my life.

10 February 2010

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

All this global warming must be stopped I tell you!  Something must be done.  Seriously, it's hot outside.  It's scorching, I say!  Come on, let's all buy Priuses and turn off our incandescent light bulbs!  We can save the world and the polar bears, but only if we act now!