Righteousness & the Fearless Hoverboard of Faith - Part 3/3

Note » This entry is PART 3, continued from » Part 2. Today's entry was split into three parts in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization.

And now, without further commercial interruption, we present the conclusion of » Righteousness & the Fearless Hoverboard of Faith.

Radiation tri-blade warning symbol» Full Circle

Returning to our original topic of money/wealth (or lack thereof), near where we started, I think the reason that Jesus says this ..

.. is cuz people trust in that .. which is easy to do .. especially in a capitalistic society, where money/wealth plays such a dominant role. Definitely was for me.

Nothing wrong with money, per se .. you just don't want to put your trust in it or love it or serve it. Cuz that spells trouble. Most Christians, I think, would agree.

And it is difficult to trust in "uncertain riches" when you don't have any. =/

So we've come full circle. "Seek ye first" .. which is why today seems like a good day to post this entry .. seeing it's the first day of summer. Key word being » FIRST (.. as in » first things first).

And I neednt tell you that most Americans spend far more time thinking about money .. if what comes out of their mouths is any indication.

I should note that the very verse / idea that got me started along this line of inquiry .. is not the punch line. Getting "things added" is not the end of that line of teaching. Cuz there one more verse in that particular chapter ..

.. which says (I'm paraphrasing) » "Dont worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. You got enough shit to deal with today."

So notice how this seems to be saying » Stay focused in the present / now / today (.. which ties in well, I think, with my earlier point of how faith is about » "living in the moment".

Or to put it yet another way » getting-things-added to you is NOT the most important thing.

» In Reflection » Seek Ye First (HIS Righteousness)

In reflection, I think the reason he stuck the phrase "and his righteousness" in the middle of that verse .. is cuz .. righteousness gets you grace (which is God's "unmerited favor").

Actually grace gets you righteousness, which gets you everything you could ever possibly need .. both today and every day.

And when you have the favor-of-God .. coming on you and overtaking you .. you probably won't be needing much else (.. unless, of course, it serves some purpose).

I am still a rookie, but I have figured out (.. regarding this favor/grace) that you exercise your gift (of grace/favor) in proportion to your faith. (Big sentence.) Fortunately, that (faith) is something that we can do something about.

Expect obstacles. Be diligent.

Regarding that diligence, note that Paul wrote to the Hebrews something interesting. He said  » "And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation"

Now » eternal salvation .. I'm totally down with that, dawg. But I couldnt help but notice the word obey.

Regarding that word, I found three references. See what you think.

  1. the first is according to the very first thing that Peter (the eyewitness) wrote
  2. the second is something Jesus said according to John (another eyewitness)
  3. and the third is again according to John the eyewitness

Now, at first, I focused on the "favor" part of grace .. but I can't seem to get away from the "unmerited" part. I mean, at no time does the God's favor become merited .. or EARNED.

That is a difficult thing / idea / concept / notion for me to wrap my head around. Perhaps because I grew up in a society / culture where we are rewarded according to our works.

It is certainly a humbling concept .. and perhaps even uncomfortable .. this idea that there are things that I cannot do for myself. 

Unfortunately, humbleness was never one of my strengths. In other words, that was not an easy hump for me to get over.

The Fiscal CliffNotice that in a capitalistic culture / society, where money and finances and the things they can buy are elevated to a position of preeminence ..

.. we are taught early-n-often .. that we will be rewarded according to our "works" .. often measured in and rewarded in units of hours/time (.. which represent our lives).

This programming goes back far, very far (at least, for me) and has a high refresh rate. Because it represents the very foundation of Capitalism.

I think this mindset is reason WHY it has been so difficult for me to deal with (grasp) these ideas of grace (unmerited favor) and righteousness (right-standing by faith, not works) ..

.. very difficult. A formidable challenge to surmount (.. tho not impossible). A head-bender. They seem to go against everything I've been taught growing up and since becoming an adult.

Cuz, if I am going to have things "added unto" me .. I feel like I NEED TO EARN them. This thought or mindset COMES SO NATURALLY .. as tho it is a part of me. I never realized how much a part of me it is .. until I tried to shift away from it.

Certainly the process of understanding grace has been a humbling one. In other words, the workaholic mindset can be counterproductive here. Because, from a Capitalist mindset, grace makes no sen$e.

What I'm saying is .. even tho faith seems straight forward (it is simply believing) .. it is not as easy as it might look .. specifically BECAUSE OF these deeply entrenched thought-pattern$.

The idea of getting something without paying for it naturally arouses suspicion. "Okay, what's the catch?" you find yourself asking.

The impression I get here is one of railroad attendant switching the tracks .. from the track labeled $$$ to the one labeled Faith. Two different value-systems. [ Nietzsche is the guy who first got me interested in VALUES .. in analyzing them more closely. ]

Speaking of money, wealth & possessions .. Paul said he lost everything .. and considered it all » shit (.. "dung" in the King James version).

Before him, Moses refused the treasures-of-Egypt, no doubt with a similar opinion of it. Why would anybody do such a thing? What could they see that looks crazy to any capitalist in good standing?

Cuz Elijah might argue here that hanging out by a river during a drought (economic or otherwise) with God is better than living in the finest mansion .. especially if that's as far as your faith extends.

It is no big secret that the global economic system is quaking .. like a diseased man (rotten to the core) .. unsteady on his feet. No telling when the dude might go down (again). Or whether he will have the wherewith all to get back on his feet.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

Probably not something we should be depending on, anyway. Especially not when some see a bus coming .. barreling down the street.

Because, if the SY$TEM goes down .. and you are depending on it .. to hold you up .. that could be bad.

On the other hand, if the shit does hit the fan, and you're cruising the "high places" .. on your nuclear-grade hoverboard, my suspicion is that you will look down and think » "Been there, done that."

So it might be prudent to plan accordingly .. which, of course, you would need to do AHEAD of time .. which some folks already seem to be doing. "An ounce of prevention," quipped Ben Franklin. Seeing that his face graces the $100-dollar bill, I guess he would know.

Because notice how everywhere you look, you see ever-sharpening contrasts. Contrast brings clarity. Clarity brings .. finer contrast. Formerly foggy details become clear. More black-n-white .. less gray in-between.

Can you not feel this quaking yourself? .. this convulsing of the financial system? A slow-motion train-wreck is still a train-wreck. It merely gives you more time .. to brace yourself.

Does it not feel like a national collision is imminent? I'm talking about all of the Big Three »

  1. Economic (the budget with the debt)
  2. Social (the 1% rich with the 99% poor)
  3. Political (liberal Democrats with conservative Republicans, who seem to have precious-little love for each other. Cuz, unless one candidate breaks away, it looks like we're in for more-of-the-same.)

The River of LifeLike a voice in the digital wilderness, I am only referring to the obvious .. and merely reporting what I see. Radiation and other unseen dangers ..

.. like an iceberg from the observation deck of the USS Economy. The UnSinkable itSelf. Look and see for yourself.

For example, this guy here says (4th paragraph)» "If this credit bubble pops, the depression could be so severe that I don't think our civilization could survive it."

And the only answer seems to be to supply even more credit .. which involves loading even more debt onto our children .. which seems downright immoral for our generation.

More immorality or the end of civilization as we know it. Take your pick. Rock or the hard place? No wonder most people prefer the sands of denial. Can you blame them?

But more debt cannot solve a problem created by too much debt. It can only postpone .. the inevitable.

Is this not plainly obvious? If you keep kicking the can down the road, and never address the problem(s), you eventually get to the end of the road. The end of the line. "Attention: all passengers must disembark at this point."

And I've spent plenty of time down in the bilges, too. It's not pretty .. especially if you can't afford an executive suite.

Have you noticed that we are in the midst of a drought? Which is likely to continue. The worst drought in more than half-a-century. So it might be a good time to go camping .. down by the river.

It is not difficult to imagine a scenario in which a nation's DEBT becomes either a source or a catalyst .. for war. 

And you still have half-a-year 'til the fiscal apoca .. uh, I meant cliff. =)

I was just joking .. about the apoc-a thing .. but here's something that I 'know' .. for sure .. that I am supposed to note  [ something I would normally consider obvious ] .. that the hoverboard is for whosoever will. Normally I'd omit that .. if it were up to me. Notice that the Man himself said » "anyone".

I also find myself trying to 'tune into' a feeling for a sense of urgency. And I get nada. Tho I definitely sense accelerated tempo .. if that means anything to you.

It will be interesting to see what is going on in the nation when Jimmy Carter dies .. because my intuition (from my dream) is that things will be 'normal' at least until the time that Jimmy Carter (1924) dies.

In other words, we're safe until then. I have a reason to guess 2014 (autumn) but it is merely a guess.

Tho, you must admit .. it's not like we havent been seeing warnings. Red flags. Waving about. You know. Unsettling shit. No big secret.

Uno mas cosa (.. I gotta say) .. it doesnt matter how badly you fucked up. We love bad-boys. No shit. Really. Like the old Oakland Raiders. Bad boys r us.

You even get to use the word 'fuck' .. if it serves a purpose and conveys a message effectively. How great is that? =)

So, everything has already been taken care of. We got it handled.

Bad-Boys may indeed be many things .. many bad things .. but self-righteous is not one of them. Not on the list .. no matter how long it might be.

And God can deal with (read » has already dealt with) everything else. Cuz it seems that unbelief is the only thing that stops/thwarts his power.

» Bad-Boys, Pride, Ego & Courage

The problem with 'bad-boys' .. is ego. Actually the correct term is pride .. which is described as "puffed-up-ness" or having a soul that is "puffed up". Other places describe this state as » not straigt. Now, why might somebody puff up their soul?

Bad BoysWe puff-up (or inflate) ourselves in order to boost our appearance (to others) when we feel insecure. No?

Has not everybody done this at one time or another?

I could write a small BOOK on this topic. But ego is the term we usually associate with pride.

And this can be very difficult to deal with (.. tho getting your ass kicked repeatdly seems to have its benefits).

And the thing you realize, eventually .. is that .. it's not about you. And here is where bad boys have trouble.

Because ego/pride does not like this, and has trouble dealing with it .. because much of a bad-boy's life has been built upon developing/fostering ego/pride. Perhaps more insight » here.

On the flip-side, it actually feels good to let the air out .. cuz it takes energy to maintain that puffed-up state and to manage appearances. Relax.

I'll simply note that pride can be a major hurdle and that God is not impressed by the size of a man's bank account. (He seems to be impressed only by a man's faith. .. or a lack thereof.)

It isnt until you let go and relax/rest .. that you notice how people can be all tied up in knots over things that dont really matter. (Not in the grand scheme of things.)

Regarding the care-n-feeding of the fragile male ego .. yes, there is a sense of 'specialness' that comes .. but only after you abandon your own ideas of how you think it needs to happen .. of how you feel it needs to be done/accomplished.

Because it is clear that .. if we insist on running off and showing the world what we can do (on our own), he is content to let you and me go do what we need to do. "Have at it, dawg. Let's see what ya got. Go ahead and bust a move. Let me step back here and give you some room." =)

In other words, he is patient.

Tho these endeavors always seem to end in disappointment. Or worse. Something I know from experience. Much experience. Enough to make me an expert. (Unfortunately.)

» HOPE: Fulfilled Inner Knowing or Blueprint for Believing?

A small point here, which I am still researching .. that Paul and other New Testament authors seem to refer to. There is clearly an inner 'knowing' that (eventually) comes from believing/faith. (This is something I know from experience.) They seem to call this knowing 'hope'.

This is where you wanna be, cuz there is no struggle here. Note that there seems to be a big difference between believing you are righteous and knowing you are righteous. In one you actually feel Blameless. Because it seems to have taken root. While the other, not so much.

[ Perhaps it is just my Catholc upbringng, but the idea/notion of Righteousness, or Blamelessness .. is a mind-blowing thing .. one that goes so deep that it actually makes me feel like a different person. ]

Tho it seems like you have to go thru hell (your own personal hell) to get there, which seems to be a 'war' that takes place in the mind.

Yet, in other places, HOPE seems to be the blueprint .. to which we apply our/God's faith. (He gives it to us, so it's ours .. but it came from him, and he knows way better how to use it.)

Tho careful not to confuse pride with courage. It takes courage to be honest with one's self .. brutally honest and be willing to see one's self as we truly are .. without the puffing effect of pride. Much courage. Very difficult. Perhaps impossible for some.

Have you noticed how some folks are so terrified at the notion of coming face to face with themselves .. of seeing themselves as they really are .. that they busy themselves with endless distractions?

Hoverboard with individual padsIt doesnt matter how absurd or mundane these busy distractions might be .. long as they provide an excuse for having to look inward.

If my understanding is correct, faith is the 'currency' of transaction with God.

So dollars, it seems, are in direct competition with faith. (I'm trying to form another workable analogy.)

So .. to the degree that we depend on / trust in MONEY to meet our needs .. and solve our problems .. we thwart faith.

Note that the dual-pad hoverboard pictured just above is the best visual representation for a device that will take you to the Promise(d) Land (salvation) ..

.. because faith involves a 2-part process.

  1. believe (with your heart / spirit / inner man)
  2. speak (words of faith that affirm what you believe in your heart) 

Seems too simple, I know, but in practice it becomes a bit more tricky. Try and you'll see what I mean.

» The Most Difficult Objective

Of all the places my 'Fearless' brand hoverboard has taken me, the #1 most difficult objective (.. so far, anyway) .. has been to pull up the root .. from which we draw/suck something that feels like 'security' from the financial ground (system). It does indeed have a satisfying effect .. if only temporarily.

My sense is .. if we can yank that dude out .. we can sail unemcumbered .. seeing that the root seems to act as an ANCHOR .. for the hoverboard.

Yes, I have made progress, much progress, but the root seems to start growing again .. on its own .. automatically. And I'm not sure how you sever it once and for all. Seems so natural for it to grow.

If the system imploded, it would be easier to accomplish, I suspect. Because you can't trust in something that no longer exists. Tho I'm not sure.

When one false step might send you careening off into financial oblivion .. you are much more likely (I've found) to seek guidance .. for even the small things in life. So, in a way, you might say that there are positive aspects to financial difficulties.

Whenever faced with a dilemma, and I'm not sure about which path to take, I always default to the advice Paul gave the Romans » "follow after the things which make for peace." Isaiah says the same thing. A related topic is what John said.

Does not this passage seem to suggest that our battle [ 'warfare' ] involves eradicating bad / wrong thoughts [ 'speculations' ] that have taken root [ 'fortresses' ] in our minds?

Another thing that has been difficult for me (.. in a nod to the exhortation of The Ancients) .. is stop giving a shit what people think of me.

I am much better at this than most folks, and certainly way better than I used to be .. but I still give a shit what people think .. even when I know I shouldnt. And I'm not really sure how to get over this.

Some people feel that there are two types of people in the world » those who focus on substance, and those who focus on appearance. Of these types, people who focus on appearance place more emphasis on what others think, and are therefore more concerned about how they look.

» Intuition

And sometimes you 'know' things .. tho you dont know how you know. But here's what I know .. what I do know .. is that this entry has something to do, at least in part, with the descendants of Abraham. I mean, that is very clear to me .. tho I cannot see how.

I know this because I find myself doing things that I normally wouldnt think of .. and some of these things begin to develop a distinguishable pattern.

In other words .. no, I am not hearing voices, dawg. =) But nobody has perfect vision .. and it seems to be better at times than others. Flutuates. (But sometimes "Wow!" clear.)

Tho I have no insight into the quantity of descendants. Could be 1. Could be more. I have absolutely no vision there. I only know as far as my immediate part is affected. (But dont think I wouldnt just love to know.)

Sometimes I find myself heading in a certain direction, often by accident, even when I did not INTEND to head that way. When it happens repeatedly, with similar results, it gets your attention. Tho the scope is obviously beyond me .. beyond what I am able to discern at this time.

Sometimes I suspect it could just be a matter of insufficient huevos .. that if I had more insight, more vision, more perspective .. that I might balk. Because I could see how that might/could be true.

This here is kinda like surfing .. in that I'm trying to get a 'feel' .. for this Living by Faith stuff. Tho I suk at surfing. (Surfing is much harder than it looks.)

I would normally also omit the last few paragraphs, but if you made it this far .. then obviously this was for you.

Okay, here's one more thing » it's HIS faith/hoverboard (not yours) and so obviously he knows [all about] how to USE it. And he will teach you .. if you'll listen. It totally feels like YOUR OWN faith, tho. It just works a lot better (.. than yours did). =)

Being a Geek, a techie, with an interest in learning to program .. I find myself thinking of him as a developer. The Great Developer. He's a faith developer. And I neednt remind you how the rulers used to call him 'teacher'. The Perfecter. Most excellent.

Go to Jail, compliments of Monopoly» Breaking Point » then Jail » the Message

Here is where I cried out. That is where I felt like I had died. (I literally felt six feet under.) That's when it felt 'beyond me'. Discouragement. Defeat. Despair. Death. The end. Even worse than before.

And I suspect (tho certainly not sure) that THIS is somehow related .. cause both felt like I was dying. With the first lasting much longer than the second ..

.. as tho the first somehow prepared me for the second. [ Because I *am* surprised I survived and didnt crack. ]

From that breaking point I went (one week later) to JAIL. And no, I did not collect $200. After I got out of jail .. it soon became clear to me. I got the message.

I had an old, white-haired boss, who, in a moment of frustration, once declared to me (.. of the way the SY$TEM was designed), "Sir, they are sending me a message. And I'm getting the message." =)

The message I got after getting out of jail was this » The shit is being DAILED UP. [ Think » voltage rheostat. ]

Even tho dialing might not be my favorite thing .. I can dial .. if I have to .. if needs be. I know how to dial. And that's exactly what I did. In my own way.

I was raised in a culture (on the East coast) where only sissies went crying to mommy .. to fight their battles for them. (We didnt even *think* about going to our dads.)

Hard for me to respect somebody who goes crying to their mommy for help. Word gets around .. who is a momma's boy. And who aint. My mom told me when I was older, "Honey, we raised you to be independent."

So nobody should be surprised that I could not WAIT until I turned 18 .. so I could enlist (run off), get the hell out of there, see some of the world .. and maybe even play with a reactor in the process.

Some folks term such liberation "getting off the reservation."

So you might be able to see how it could be difficult for someone like me to admit they need help .. or to ask for it.

Christ the Redeemer | Rio de Janeiro, BrazilIt shouldnt have to, I guess, come to a place where you have no other choice. But sometimes it does. And if we are to be the best we can be, we will need help.

» Motivation, Pleasure & Perdition

THIS verse is #1 thing that got me over the faith hump .. thru the hard times .. the gut-wrenching shit.

I'm not talking about the first part of that verse .. which we've been discussing [» Living by Faith], No ..

.. but rather the last part .. where it says .. if you "draw back," or "shrink back" .. from Living-by-Faith .. that God says "my soul shall have no pleasure in him".

No pleasure? None? Not even a little? Nada?

If so, that verse would seem to indicate that God WANTS us to live by faith. Does that not seem obvious? And who doesnt want to please God?

[ The very next verse, by the way, if you need more encouragement, equates drawing back (from Living-by-Faith) with » perdition. No matter how you happen to parse the term, perdition is not good.

Notice how the phrase 'draw back' or 'shrink back' could be used to describe an intuitive response to what people frequently do when they're afraid. ]

» Okay .. I Get It

That verse seemed to follow me around a good many days .. until I finally said, "Okay! I get it." [ The hoverboard.] 

My own particular interpretation of that verse be » "I have no pleasure in any man who is too scared (or too proud) to ride My hoverboard."

So .. I finally said (.. while strolling thru the avocado orchard), "Okay .. let's do this thing. This righteous thing."

Blue hoverboard"I might crash-n-burn," I thought, climbing aboard, somewhat unsteadily, "but I sure as hell won't draw back."

"I understand this brings you pleasure. I'm sure it will be very entertaining. Hilarious."

After taking a spin around the block, my intuition is that .. the person who becomes proficient in riding the hoverboard ..

.. would feel like they were » living out-beyond themselves.

I also think God is not looking for anybody to prove anything .. or to earn anything. Not looking for more martyrs. (Has plenty already.)

He's merely looking for folks who will believe him. And for me, living-by-faith feels like riding a hoverboard. A little scary in a fear-of-the-unknown sort-of-way .. but exhilarating nonetheless.

Tho it's my understanding .. that, if you really wanna do this thing .. you will get Help. So we can answer 'yes' to this question.

Cuz, if my reading is accurate, God's Righteous brand of hoverboard is the only vehicle capable of transporting us to the Promise(d) Land. The Fearless Flyer.

And everybody needs to get their own.

Churches, you should note, are not in the business of distributing hoverboards. Rather they should be pointing you in the direction of an authorized Distribution Center .. of which, I know only One. [ Tho I hear He is multilingual. ]

In other words, the issuance of hoverboards is not contingent upon church membership (.. at least not according to the terms of the contract that I saw / read).

Churches should be involved in the subsequent care-n-feeding thereof.

» Making the Wastelands Green Again

And if you happen to have hurts in your life .. oowies that you may not even consciously recognize .. cuz they've been locked away in a closet for so long .. where you won't have to look at them ..

.. colloquially known as 'unresolved bullshit' ..

.. the hoverboard will take you there (.. so heads up) .. to places you would never [ever] choose to go .. on your own. (Under any circumstances.)

And as you pass over these burned-out, post-apocalyptic wastelands, the hoverboard will automatically release something like grass seed.

Post-apocalyptic flowerNow, it may take a while .. but the next time you return, you will find that grass has started to grow.

The charred, dead concrete replaced by vibrant greenery. Very cool.

But it seems that you have to GO THERE yourself. Can't send a surrogate .. to release this seed.

In other words, you need to go Confront the Ugly yourself .. in order to Make it Beautiful. That takes courage. Lots of it.

Now, there may be another way .. an alternate route .. one which requires less of a courageous commitment ..

.. in order to repair the desolate places of/in your life. But if there is, I have not been able to find it.

I'm talking about the inward life .. which, naturally, get reflected outwardly .. by our actions .. which are based on our perceptions .. which are based on our values .. which are based on our beliefs .. which are based on...

And because the hoverboard seems to take you (on its own) to places that you would normally never (ever) go (.. or even wanna THINK about) .. this is something that gets your attention.

In a hurry. In a big way. Perhaps this is one of God's way of letting us know that He's onboard.

Nobody said post-apocalyptic repair would be easy. Merely possible .. for the motivated. The determined. The diligent. Even touched.

The feeling however, that God has got yer back can make you surprisingly confident. Surprising .. even to yourself.

You will do a few fly-overs. Hold on. The first ones are the toughest. The roughest. Those places.

Look for the "Do Not Enter" signs. (They may be dusty or rusted.)

Sniff around for signs of fear or trepidation. Fear acts like a mooring-line for your hoverboard.

Cuz, after you release the mooring-lines, you are free to go pretty much wherever you'd like. You'll see. =)

For me, the big problem was » unforgiveness. Holding onto to shit. Let it go.

My intuition tells me .. that when all is said-n-done .. we will look back and be able to see .. that the great engineering feat of the ages .. was the bridge .. from God to man. God's bridge.

The end. ■

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Part 1 of today's entry is posted » Righteousness & the Fearless Hoverboard of Faith - Part One.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on June 21, 2012 6:21 AM.

Righteousness & the Fearless Hoverboard of Faith - Part 2/3 was the previous entry in this blog.

The SY$TEM is About the Money (more than it is about the Kids) is the next entry in this blog.

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