February 5th, 2014

finds not satisfaction in self

It is 10:45 AM Wednesday morning in the snow wind flow. Outside this morning the wind is blowing and it is snowing.

I have been up since 6:15 AM this morning. I have been thinking of going back to bed. I have these mornings when I find it almost impossible to wake up.

I picked up my wife when she got out of work this morning around 8:55 AM. She has gone to bed for the day. Once again I am left alone to enjoy the silence. I love silence. I would love right now to be sitting in silence in a warm place where Spring flowers are in full bloom.

Yesterday I mainly wandered the house and read 'The Dark Night' by St. John of the Cross. During the night time hours I watched TV and went to bed around 11 o'clock PM.

There is not much else to report presently. My life keeps on decaying.

I plan to read St. John of the Cross today and pray for salvation. I need to be ready to die any moment.

"[11] For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
[12] So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
[13] We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
[14] Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
[15] For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
[16] For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
[17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
[18] While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinth. 4:11-18

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an old diary entry a life of constant prayer

a life of constant prayer

Jan. 6th, 2002 at 10:33 AM

It is 9:27 AM Sunday morning and I am waking up to a new work week. I decided not to go to church this morning. I need time to drift and not rush off someplace. I need a mental health break. I got up around 9:15 AM this morning. I never stay in bed that long, I must be whipped. Carol came home from work and woke me up this morning. So here I sit drinking a cup of tea listening to Freakwater. I woke up this morning thinking about a question someone asked in a livejournal. The person asked folks to list the books that changed their lives. I listed four books 1. the Bible 2. The Collected Writings of St. John of the Cross 3. The Cloud of Unknowing and 4. Carthusian Spirituality: The Writings Of Hugh Of Balma And Guigo De Ponte [The Classics Of Western Spirituality]. This morning the more I thought about the question I have to say that these four books are the books I would keep with me if I was chained at the bottom of the egg pit for the rest of my days. But as I think about books that have influenced me or changed me I have to say that at certain periods of my life certain books effected me intellectually and spiritually. One has to keep in mind that I became a Christian when I turned 18 years old. That means I had not been reading that many books in my youth. I do remember reading the Bible from the age of 13 to 16 years old. But in my early teens I did not read that many books. When I was in the 12th grade in High School is when I started reading books. In those early days of youth I was searching for the meaning of life. I suppose the book that effected me in High School was Jack Kerouac's book "On The Road" and Henry Miller's book "The Tropic of Cancer". These books caused me to start writing a diary which I have continued to do till this moment. The thing that changed me in High School was LSD. I suppose there were other things that shaped my world and life view in High School besides drugs like the Anti-war movement, the Hippie movement, the poetry of Allen Ginsberg "Howl", sex and rock & roll music.

As a new Christian in 1970 I did not read books but only The Book the Bible. I mainly just read the Bible from 1970 till 1975. I did read Christian books but none of them effected me or changed my view of reality. The book that changed my understanding of the Bible was a commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews by A.W. Pink. In this book Pink quoted the 17th Century English Puritans. So to make a long story short certain books by the Puritans effected me spiritually and intellectually. Here is a list of a few books by the 17th cent. English Puritans that changed me at a certain stage of my Christian life.

1. "The Harmony of The Divine Attributes In The Contrivance And Accomplishment Of Man's Redemption" by William Bates

2. "The Christian In Complete Armour; A Treatise Of the Saints' War against the Devil" by William Gurnall

3. "Looking Unto Jesus: A View Of The Everlasting Gospel; Or, The Soul's Eyeing Of Jesus, As Carrying On The Great Work Of Man's Salvation, From First To Last" by Isacc Ambrose

4. "The Saint's Everlasting Rest" by Richard Baxter

The above is not a complete list of the Puritan works that effected me but just a few to read so as to get a taste of Puritan Spirituality. I read the writings of the Puritans for the next 20 years. I also during those years I became a Calvinist and read a ton of scholastic Reformed Theology. Over those 20 years I did not change much in my spirituality. I was basically a Beat Puritan Bum. It was while being a seminary student at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson Miss. that I got into the study of the Bible especially Pauline Theology (the theology of the apostle Paul). In seminary I finally began to see that the Puritans did not have all the biblical Truth. I began to have a appreciation for modern biblical scholarship. Also in seminary I took a class on Christian Spirituality from Dr. Peter Toon that got me back into the writings of St. John of the Cross. I can not think of one book or books that influenced me in seminary. In seminary many things happened that changed me. I will though mention one man biblical theologian that I would recommend for folks to read, that is Dr. Meredith G. Kline. Read his book "Images Of The Spirit" sometime.

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The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies by Chris Hedges

The most prescient portrait of the American character and our ultimate fate as a species is found in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” Melville makes our murderous obsessions, our hubris, violent impulses, moral weakness and inevitable self-destruction visible in his chronicle of a whaling voyage. He is our foremost oracle. He is to us what William Shakespeare was to Elizabethan England or Fyodor Dostoyevsky to czarist Russia.

Our country is given shape in the form of the ship, the Pequod, named after the Indian tribe exterminated in 1638 by the Puritans and their Native American allies. The ship’s 30-man crew—there were 30 states in the Union when Melville wrote the novel—is a mixture of races and creeds. The object of the hunt is a massive white whale, Moby Dick, which in a previous encounter maimed the ship’s captain, Ahab, by dismembering one of his legs. The self-destructive fury of the quest, much like that of the one we are on, assures the Pequod’s destruction. And those on the ship, on some level, know they are doomed—just as many of us know that a consumer culture based on corporate profit, limitless exploitation and the continued extraction of fossil fuels is doomed.

“If I had been downright honest with myself,” Ishmael admits, “I would have seen very plainly in my heart that I did but half fancy being committed this way to so long a voyage, without once laying my eyes on the man who was to be the absolute dictator of it, so soon as the ship sailed out upon the open sea. But when a man suspects any wrong, it sometimes happens that if he be already involved in the matter, he insensibly strives to cover up his suspicions even from himself. And much this way it was with me. I said nothing, and tried to think nothing.”

Our financial system—like our participatory democracy—is a mirage. The Federal Reserve purchases $85 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds—much of it worthless subprime mortgages—each month. It has been artificially propping up the government and Wall Street like this for five years. It has loaned trillions of dollars at virtually no interest to banks and firms that make money—because wages are kept low—by lending it to us at staggering interest rates that can climb to as high as 30 percent. ... Or our corporate oligarchs hoard the money or gamble with it in an overinflated stock market. Estimates put the looting by banks and investment firms of the U.S. Treasury at between $15 trillion and $20 trillion. But none of us know. The figures are not public. And the reason this systematic looting will continue until collapse is that our economy [would] go into a tailspin without this giddy infusion of free cash.

The ecosystem is at the same time disintegrating. Scientists from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean, a few days ago, issued a new report that warned that the oceans are changing faster than anticipated and increasingly becoming inhospitable to life. The oceans, of course, have absorbed much of the excess CO2 and heat from the atmosphere. This absorption is rapidly warming and acidifying ocean waters. This is compounded, the report noted, by increased levels of deoxygenation from nutrient runoffs from farming and climate change. The scientists called these effects a “deadly trio” that when combined is creating changes in the seas that are unprecedented in the planet’s history. This is their language, not mine. The scientists wrote that each of the earth’s five known mass extinctions was preceded by at least one [part] of the “deadly trio”—acidification, warming and deoxygenation. They warned that “the next mass extinction” of sea life is already under way, the first in some 55 million years. Or look at the recent research from the University of Hawaii that says global warming is now inevitable, it cannot be stopped but at best slowed, and that over the next 50 years the earth will heat up to levels that will make whole parts of the planet uninhabitable. Tens of millions of people will be displaced and millions of species will be threatened with extinction. The report casts doubt that [cities on or near a coast] such as New York or London will endure.

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