Prayer Request: Car Troubles

Short version: Our car is having wiring trouble. The labor cost of diagnosis alone runs about as much as the market value of the car.

Let me first give you the context: With the help of very generous donations, we bought our current Volvo about 3 years ago. Within the first year of ownership we ran into problems associated with previous owners’ neglect. So far, everything we’ve had to fix was a matter of research on the Net where a great many do-it-yourself folks have created a vast library on fixing Volvos. Some of them are retired Volvo specialists, people trained by the manufacturer with a lifetime of experience. I’ve been able to do all of the labor myself, so it was a matter of getting parts. Once we got past the initial restorations, this thing has been remarkably reliable. We have been truly blessed.

During my research, I discovered that my Volvo has something that is not supposed to be available on this model. It’s a security and alarm system that’s from a newer model. Everything on the car is run through that alarm system. For example, when I found a replacement for the switch cluster in the driver’s door, it fixed a dozen or so wiring issues by itself: locks, windows, etc. I’ve asked advice from the people who made themselves available, and they tell me my system is an anomaly that they cannot explain, with a wiring harness under the dash that makes computers look simple. It’s clearly installed from the factory, but it comes from a later model, so it’s confusing to the experts.

And now it’s causing trouble. The locks aren’t working properly, even though the switch I replaced is okay. We can live with that sort of minor issue, but it also tends to set off the alarm and it affects the headlights (which are always on and sometimes don’t shut off automatically). Again: Just about everything on the car runs through that alarm system, and it’s utterly incomprehensible to me. I’m considering getting a battery master switch, which itself is fraught with all kinds of hassles.

So I’m praying for wisdom to discern how we might obtain another vehicle. We aren’t soliciting funds for it, though there’s nothing keeping any of you from contributing to that cause. What we need is guidance from the Lord.

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We Are Alien Invaders

Jesus made multiple references to His Kingdom as “not of this world.” Here’s a partial list: John 8:21-25; 14:28-30; and 18:34-38. His disciples filled the New Testament letters with even more such references. His true Kingdom has always been rooted outside the human sphere.

Before Christ, there was a human kingdom that God claimed, but that kingdom serves still as a prime example of how futile it was to try keeping a human government on course. All the most awe inspiring miracles were not enough to keep Israel’s minds focused on the task of keeping human government consciously under God’s authority. In other words, they could not maintain a human kingdom as a direct manifestation of a mystical divine Kingdom. There were always too many folks in the human kingdom who refused to be a part of the divine. A critical part of what Christ did was to point out how insane it was, and to end the charade. It had served its purpose and His life was the culmination.

One of the most pernicious lies among humans today is the notion that Christ did not end it, but that He made Himself the head of a new human kingdom. In a desperate scramble to avoid having to work with a mystical Kingdom of Heaven in human souls, we have a history of liars insisting that their actions represented obedience to Christ in raising up a human government that could somehow be better, a more valid manifestation of the divine. Thus, we have people today still taking seriously the idea of “Christendom” as somehow God’s only hope of keeping His message alive on the earth today.

In times past, God has exhibited incomparable wisdom in handling human pretense. We look back over the history of human warfare and see how God has intervened in wholly unexpected ways, matched by how He sometimes allowed things to take a rather natural course. (We can say such things as characterizations based on what little we can perceive.) Today “Christendom” (AKA, the West) is stumbling and falling apart because the enemy refuses to cede the field of battle to the plotting of generals and politicians.

The West shares something with the Hittites: quite expert at conquering, but unable to rule even themselves once established. The Hittites capitalized on the discovery of iron as a material for weapons, and it gave them quite the edge as they developed tactics for using them. But the lacked a necessary element of cohesion that we don’t really understand. The West is also quite good with weapons, but their only cohesion is keeping a sense of being under attack.

One of the most despicable weapons of Western warfare has been the espionage, writ large and small, as the means to destroy social stability in places Western governments want to conquer. Keep in mind that social stability is some part of what Biblical Law is supposed to provide. We can certainly go about it wrong, but social stability is itself a primary moral value in Scripture. Every society has weaknesses, and anyone with sufficient knowledge can exploit them, but such is the work of Satan himself. That the West carries out that kind of warfare deserves the ultimate level of wrath.

We are familiar with the multilevel attacks. Agents of Western governments will provoke any discontented element that is amenable to such leading by the nose, and creating discontent where it does not exist by encouraging the official government to be oppressive. Western agents work both sides at the same time, driving them apart. Meanwhile, the West dangles the lure of material excess, decadence and dissipation to tempt governments into unwise trade deals. This entangles those governments in dependencies that make them slaves of the worst Western plundering abuses. This, after having corrupted all of the various societies in the world by coaxing them into Western forms of government, as if no government can be taken seriously if it does not surrender everything that made those non-Western societies unique.

You cannot use the weapons of Satan to defeat him. When the West acts on the perception that non-Western countries are evil, the choice to use social disruption is an open invitation, a clarion call to point the same weapon back. Most non-Western societies were inherently more cohesive than the West, long before they adopted the veneer of Western-style government. Their societies are inherently stronger than any part of the West. The last chance the West had for any kind of cohesion was the pitiful grounds of simple racism, but it has surrendered even that. Western success demands a pretense of being cosmopolitan. Such cheap racism has not simply gone away, but it cannot work to unify if it is publicly denied. Western social stability rests entirely on material comfort, something other societies often place as a lesser value against something more important.

That “something more important” is any number of transcendent moral ideals. The whole point is the “transcendent” part. All the supposed transcendent values in the West are fake; they never existed except in mythology. Without a perception of threat, there is virtually nothing in Western society left to die for. Such imaginary virtues die on the battlefield, where soldiers keep fighting only because they manage to recreate some kind of tribal loyalty of us-versus-them. I note wryly that the cheap racism tends to manifest strongly among troops in the field. But more broadly, they keep fighting for creature comforts they are frequently denied, except in measured doses that seem like their greatest treasure. It’s the Cult of Fake Odin, a cheap modern version of the Beowulf ethic wearing fancy modern uniforms and bearing modern weapons.

With a practiced eye, one can see that, while non-Western societies can be corrupted somewhat by such creature comforts, those comforts cannot fully spoil a society with deep roots, which roots are lacking in the West. There remains a core identity that, once provoked with threats, will become the basis for conquest. But instead of letting Western militaries choose the field of battle where they hold the advantage, the non-Western invaders instinctively — and yet quite consciously — understand how the Western style of espionage works. Instead of sending a few agents to stir things up, non-Western invaders send themselves as a mass wave of spies. They don’t bring the obvious weapons, but use their cohesive presence as weapons. It’s their tribal loyalty beyond mere creature comforts that the Western governments can’t break because the West doesn’t comprehend how God actively supports that cohesion through how reality itself is designed.

The West is being overrun and will disappear quite soon. We can all see it coming; the seeds of destruction were present at the birth of the West. Material success is ultimate failure.

If Christians don’t turn away from the false ideals of kingdoms among men, they cannot hope to bear the treasures of God’s truth in earthen vessels. The gift of God’s revelation in His Son is more powerful than all invading armies together, regardless of how they are armed or what tactics they use. Our mere presence is part of God’s Presence and Creation itself responds favorably to us more than any other human presence. Our cohesion transcends everything human, because it’s cohesion with Creation itself. What remains is for each individual believer to surrender the pretense of any particular human kingdom or society as their true identity, and rebuild a self-awareness that is rooted in Christ Himself, whose Kingdom is not of this world.

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Cycling: Fitting a Rack

The trail riding experience turned out to be fun at first, but the shine wore off quickly. Then I realized that I really did need to prepare the bike for commuter/tour riding. So I put the hybrid tires (flat-free!) back on along with the front fender. I sought out a bigger handlebar bag to carry my road-repair kit and the cable and lock. I also decided I didn’t want the seatpost mounted rack; I prefer frame mounted for that purpose.

I did the research. There are racks made to fit over disk brakes like mine, but the mountings were part plastic, which meant large surfaces to mount onto the frame and I doubted the side plates on my rear forks could accommodate that. But I knew it was possible to find other ways to fit the lower end of the leg on the brake side. So I ordered an Ibera PakRak (IB-RA16) for about $28 (US) on eBay and waited for it to arrive. I noticed it was one of the lightest of its type and the legs were adjustable for different wheel sizes.

Keep in mind that I use the local Ace Hardware store to supply the odd bits and pieces I knew I would need for this. All of the parts are based on 5mm normal threaded (i.e., not fine-threaded) bolts; this is common with bicycles. There are several threaded mount points in most frames. Mine offered two different sets of holes for the rack legs. I knew I could get metal sleeves to stand off the one of the brake side. When I checked, the end of the leg was just about 1/2 inch away from the threaded hole, but I also needed just a bit more clearance to keep from rubbing the break caliper. Ace offered a nice aluminum sleeve 3/4 inch long, which was too much, but nothing in between that and 1/2 inch. I took the longer one, gripped it lightly in a vise-grips and shaved it off 1/8 inch with a hacksaw. That gave me the perfect length. All it needed now as a longer bolt (30mm) to get a proper grip.

The other issue is that my bike frame has no threaded bosses on the seat brace tubes. The stay that comes with the rack was designed with a nicely curved hardened rod with a slight offset outward and either up or down as needed. I grabbed some 5/16-inch clear plastic water tubing and cut it to cover the ends of the stay so as not to mar the paint on the bike. Then I got a 50mm long bolt and matching lock-nut (nylon lock). I had to squeeze the ends together very tightly to get it all to fit, but it grips the seat tube very tightly.

I’ve already ordered a set of saddle bags (pannier) for those times I need baggage for a shopping trip or such. I’m also waiting to see if someone local can get me a proper fitting taillight. Several times I nearly lost the one I had rigged up on the other rack because it never did fit right. Who says being a mystic has to make you impractical?

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Time Not Wasted

On the route I call the Sooner Corridor, I cross a bridge over Crutch Creek near Interstate 40 and no local agency wants to take responsibility for trimming the foliage. In this first image, this is after a full summer’s growth. Note that I’ve cut this back before, last fall, though not so thoroughly as today. I took my limb loppers this time. That thick overhead foliage runs for several meters along the bridge railing.

The only reason I ride on the narrow sidewalk is because traffic here is typically very heavy, stretching back 20-30 cars in two lanes when I usually pass through here. It took the better part of an hour because there were vines intertwined in the limbs. That’s the limb loppers lying on the railing there.

There was a much smaller problem back up at the other end of that same bridge, and then in the other direction was a very large mulberry tree hanging over the sidewalk. I had to be careful trimming that last one because of the dense poison ivy under it. This is all part of an area along Crutch the once was owned by the Pentecostal Holiness Church and used as a summer camp. The place was bought out by a collection of military contractor outfits to house their offices, since Tinker AFB is just a mile away. When Boeing built their own campus next to the south gate, the building were renovated for new tenants and the old camp grounds portion showed up on the maps as a municipal park. It belongs to Midwest City and it gets very little attention, offering no accommodations at all, nor even designated parking. It just so happened there was a small tractor mowing some portion of the park today.

Anyway, I won’t have to worry about being slapped or scraped as I pass by at least until spring.

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Too Late for Regret

I’m ready.

Having spent this long listening to the convictions in my heart, I can’t go back. At whatever cost, I’m staying on this path. On the one hand, I could arrange for your inspection a list of proofs that this is working. None of it is conclusive in the sense of excluding other possible explanations, but I admitted that long ago. On the other hand, and by the same token, no one can prove this path is wrong for me.

When I shared with you that things in this world had passed a point of no return, I was not sure exactly what it meant at that point. At the same time, I’m pretty sure the impression on my heart included a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff I might never see. As I began to see that it included an economic shock, I knew some of that might also be somewhat hidden from us common people, but that it would be impossible to hide for very long.

Today I learned that Congress agreed to lift the debt ceiling for a limited period of time, something that has become routine over the years. However, there is also serious talk of repealing it in the meantime. Maybe you know that this would mean a high probability of inflation. Governments with a high debt burden like inflation because it means the debt is worth a lot less than before. Except, they won’t actually try to pay it down, just pay enough to keep it from going into default. It’s called “debt servicing” — just paying the interest.

That by itself is not enough to create an economic shock in the near term. Lots of natural disasters in a short period of time could do that. So if Hurricane Jose decides to mosey on over to Florida for a second round of shredding, that could hit the US economy harder than just one hurricane. That’s an awful lot of productivity being stopped for a very long period of time, and a lot of resource lost trying to clean up and maybe rebuild some of it. I’m quite certain that an awful lot of folks won’t go back and rebuild this time. There’s just too many of those folks already choking on debt. Once the flood waters recede, those properties will still be under water financially, even without new loans for rebuilding. And then there’s the local inspectors, permit offices, and the necessary labor force.

And then there are other natural disasters, like fires out west, earthquakes swarms that threaten worse, etc. Have you thought about the pollution from all those chemical plants around Houston, and one-sixth of our national petroleum refining capacity now off-line? Where will all of that clean-up debris go? These are just the things we know about as obvious. There is already a major patch of friction on our economy, but those of us outside the disaster areas won’t feel it immediately. Wait for the gasoline prices to jump; that should be the first indicator.

These are things you and I could know in our fleshly minds. What I cannot explain is the overwhelming sense I have that there’s much more going on behind the scenes. So if you aren’t sensing it in your own heart, there’s nothing I can write to make it more real. I’m still on edge, still utterly certain something hard to bear is now falling upon us.

If none of this pans out, I suppose I’ll just have to tell people I’m not sane by common definitions. It won’t change what I write here except for that extra notice that I probably belong in a padded room.

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All Remains Calm

It’s calm for now, at least. I just wanted to share some collected random shots from the last two weeks of riding. This first one is seasonal flowers growing in the corner of a farmyard. I seem to recall it was up on Hefner Road somewhere near Westminster. These grow wild and blossom briefly, but this batch is prospering quite well in this spot.

I don’t know the name of this one, either, but it’s a small tree that blossoms in late summer and continues to turn the green heads into lavender for a few weeks. They have no noticeable scent, but I love looking at them. This was along the Oklahoma River Trail near Western.

I didn’t have time for a really long ride today, but I did get out to the bridge over Midwest Boulevard. There are some trees growing tall from the flood bank and putting a very nice shade on on section of the bridge during the morning. It was a very nice prayer chapel for today. You know, my heart still tells me quite firmly that what made me edgy has started, but as I expected, it’s not yet obvious. All in due time, folks.

On the east side of Midwest Boulevard near the bridge is a private lake, the first one that was left by sand and gravel dredging. It’s been a recreational facility for a very long time, so this goes way back. We catch a peek of the lake through some very lush summer foliage. The rocks are not at all natural to this part of the state. You’d have to go far into the southwestern corner of Oklahoma to find gray granite like that. Still, they add a lot to the picture.

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Still No Apocalypse

First, let me refer you to an article that might be worth your time:

There’s no meat left on that bone. There isn’t even a bone left. There’s only a debt-ridden mirage of a bone. If you’re looking to define the country in bumper-sticker terms, that’s it. A debt-ridden mirage. Which can only wait until it’s relieved of its suffering. Irma may well do that….

We can go on listing all the reasons why, but fact is America is in no position to rebuild. Which is a direct consequence of the fact that the entire nation has been built on credit for decades now. Which in turn makes it extremely vulnerable and fragile. Please do understand that mechanism. Every single inch of the country is in debt. America has been able to build on debt, but it can’t rebuild on it too, precisely because of that.

Yesterday, Jay asked a brilliant question in response to my post regarding Monday. “Do you think it might have something to do with 9/11?” Granted, it’s almost funny on the surface, since this coming Monday is another 9/11. But he provoked something in my soul that I didn’t know was there. It’s a mighty gift of God to ask the right question and awaken things like that. We learn what’s in our convictions by making queries like that. I’m rewriting my response to him into the rest of this post.

I suppose there may be a connection in the sense that 9/11 was another huge turning point loaded with deception on multiple levels, with multiple human motives and purposes. But I don’t think my prophetic gift works like that. It’s limited to the kind of knowledge that is directly related to calling and mission. I’m allowed to see only as much as I can use. The repercussions of 9/11 were instructive; it helped shake me loose from a lot of lies. It’s not a question of who actually did it, or how and why the Twin Towers fell, but that our government has consistently lied about it. That didn’t really do much to help me along the path I was on at the time, leading to where I am today. To me, the whole issue of 9/11 has become a rather minor footnote, more proof of what we already knew.

What we see coming this Monday has more to do with God’s hand bringing direct wrath, and it’s much more than hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and other “acts of God.” It’s part of the really big puzzle of how God intends to bring the system down. There’s no way I could summarize it, even if I knew all the details now. As it is, I don’t know too many details, but I can see large generalities that aren’t obvious to a lot of people. And each event seems to play into that pattern, revealing more detail, the sequence in particular. This isn’t so much about what government officials are doing. I’m surprised by the way things are going in Washington; Trump is full of surprises. But his twists and turns don’t change the broad pattern I see, just his role within the inevitable collapse. If not him, then someone else would do those things.

Right now, I’m very much on edge about economics. That’s why I suggested at first it might have something to do with banks. But now it seems to be a follow-on to something else: America as a whole (government, business and individuals) is too deep in debt and has no resources left for disaster recovery. These things are adding a sudden, massive burden on a very bad situation already. I believe God intends to push things over the edge, but I don’t know exactly what. All I know is that things will be rough for everyone for a month or so. After that, we’ll all be in a different situation with concerns and priorities that are unknowable or unimaginable to us now.

Thus, I’ve been stocking up on certain kinds of consumable products. Not in the sense of some prepper expecting to survive totally from my own pantry stock, but what I’m collecting will reduce the distraction of worrying about a tight supply. For example: Yesterday I felt the urge to ride my bike a few miles to a shopping area. I was hoping to make one last try for something that was frankly frivolous; that was my conscious motive. On the way, I got a strong impression to check some other shop first, just to see what was there. I found something wholly unexpected on sale — a food supplement I use. Meanwhile, the other item I was hoping to find was not available at the store I first intended to visit. I’m convinced God was leading me through that process to set aside something I would use that may be hard to get sometime soon.

I’m expecting some kind of economic shock. Not a collapse of everything, but the kind of thing that clobbers some consumer outlets and not others. The supply chain will be rearranged, as well. It won’t be the same for everyone everywhere, so I’ve consistently encouraged you, dear Readers, to pray and listen to your own hearts, because I’m convinced God will guide you that way. He’s prepared the means to care for each of us, in the sense that we will all have what we need to serve His glory. But that provision comes only if we stay heart-led, driven by conviction. You need to know what God wants from you and for you, individually in the context where you live. It’s obvious this will spill over into other countries.

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