Friday, August 15, 2008

do we still believe?

do we still have our hope? that jesus is coming back? that one day god is going to put this right? or has that been pushed back into the realm of wishful thinking? a nice idea, but something rational and logical people can't get tied up in. that would be silly.

it has been on my heart to share this song for a long time. it seems like such a strange place to find these sentiments. it seems like such a strange thing for a man such as this to be calling for the kingdom. to be pleading for it. and praying for it. do we join in the prayers? are we more interested in seeing the kingdom manifested in all of its glory now? to just drop all of this human bullshit we call the "real world" and walk away? to "see it all go down?" would it bring us joy? as if the consummation of our desires? or would we disappointed that it has disrupted our schedules?

the thing that is so striking to me about this song is just how much it sounds like biblical prophecy. very OT as well as revelation. (rev 18 to be exact) but more than that, when i am very honest, how it echos the desires of my heart. please god, just flush it all away. i don't need to go to work one more day or pay one more bill or watch one more movie or listen to one more song or play one more game or drive one more mile or eat one more hamburger or smoke one more joint. not here anyway. if these things exist in any form in the next life, i would rather participate in them there. this world is a huge dead end and long ago it was rightly noted "all is futile. a striving after the wind."

what are we doing this for? do we even know where we're headed? do we overwork ourselves and damage our families for any purpose? do we really love these golden chains that much? are we working towards a device that can do it all? play music for me while i call someone and do my taxes and jerk me off at the same time? all the while the size of a postage stamp? and even if we do finally invent a machine that can do it all, what then?

i'm getting off course, now. i apologize.

i just don't need it. any of it. if i had a place to go, if i had an alternative, i would be there. but this time. this time. i think we may have run too far to get home. this time, when it goes down, i don't think anything in our own power can save us. which is why i'm waiting for everything to be put right. and doing what i can to live my life in moment to moment protest of the dominant paradigm, and freeing as many others minds as i can before it is too late.

(tool are big fans of strange and sometimes disturbing imagery. if you are not a fan of those things, you may wish to simply focus on the lyrics printed below while listening. i understand the song is lengthy, but i think it is well worth your time.)

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this

Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car.

It's a
Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky.
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves.
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still.
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will cuz
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly shit, stupid shit...

One great big festering neon distraction,
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to swim.

Mom's gonna fix it all soon.
Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be.

Learn to swim.

Fuck L Ron Hubbard and
Fuck all his clones.
Fuck all those gun-toting
Hip gangster wannabes.

Learn to swim.

Fuck retro anything.
Fuck your tattoos.
Fuck all you junkies and
Fuck your short memory.

Learn to swim.

Fuck smiley glad-hands
With hidden agendas.
Fuck these dysfunctional,
Insecure actresses.

Learn to swim.

Cuz I'm praying for rain
And I'm praying for tidal waves
I wanna see the ground give way.
I wanna watch it all go down.
Mom please flush it all away.
I wanna watch it go right in and down.
I wanna watch it go right in.
Watch you flush it all away.

Time to bring it down again.
Don't just call me pessimist.
Try and read between the lines.

I can't imagine why you wouldn't
Welcome any change, my friend.

I wanna see it all come down.
suck it down.
flush it down.


Sue said...


You know what, Jonno? If I didn't have that hope that he was coming back, I would have gassed myself in my car by now.

But that hope, it seeps into everything. I loved this post. If filled me with joy. Is that weird? I dunno - I just like the way you think :)

So thank you for posting. I was just thinking the other day about Jesus return and about this doesn't get talked about anymore (well, at least in blogland - this is the only Christian contact I have really).

It feels almost like a childish concept sometimes, these days, to say that I believe He's gonna back. But honestly, I don't think there is anything in my heart that is as gently held, as soft, as that hope.

Erin said...

Well here is where we diverge, my friends. I tend to be a bit of a preterist...

I can certainly see the hope there and I understand because it was my lifeline for years, but I think I've been too deeply Left-Behinded to continue to hold that belief.

But then, I don't really think about it all that much anymore...because in my experience the 2nd coming was just an excuse to not care for others, to not care for the environment...

In charismatic circles that I know, we have been saying with certainty that our kids are the last generation for, oh about 2000 years.

But this is OK, Jon, because I'm sure you will set me straight. You should call this blog "Things that make You go Hmmm..."

Sue said...

Isn't it weird, how human just distort everything - you would think the concept of a second coming would make people care more for each other, for the environment, knowing how he loves us so - that that love would infuse everything, make us see the beauty in the world the way you do when,for example, you're in love and even the most mundane stuff looks kinda cool. But naw - lots of people used it as an excuse to control and use. Fucking great.

Humans really piss me off. Me included. We suck. We suck so much sometimes. Sigh

I really want to read up some more about preterism, Erin. I think I am a partial preterist. I believe a great deal of the stuff in the Bible has already happened, but I still think Jesus is gonna come back to rule and reign and set the world to rights. But it feels weird believing that and thinking that because, as you say, all the Left Behind bullshit that has preceded it.

Walking through the halls of Christianity, sometimes it's so hard to walk anywhere that doesn't stink, because of all the shit piled up along the walls.

(You'll have to excuse my grumpiness. I'm not feeling well. I probably shouldn't be posting anything at all :)

Erin said...

Here's my train of thought on it...the apostle Paul, for instance, thought Jesus would be back before he (Paul) died. So why could someone who was so close to Jesus be so far off, and why the heck has He waited another 2000 years? It seems like the statute of limitations has run out on that.

I am tainted. I spend many solid years of my life, especially after 9/11, wearing out my knees, begging Jesus to come soon and have mercy, and get us out of this hellhole. One day the blinders were lifted and I realized how little sense it makes.

But then the Muslims and the Mormons say Jesus has already been back, and the new agers are certain we only have 4 years left, so what the hell do I know?

I have no issues with the left-behinders as a breed, as long as they are nice about it, but I fail to see it anymore. I have great hope now that we will continue to get smarter and take better care of the planet and get smarter and live longer and be healthier and happier and maybe one day we will all get along.

Let the sunshine in, let the sunshine in...(that's my love child kinda thing)...

Oh and Jon, just in case I came across wrong...when I said you would set me straight, I meant that as a good thing...I hope you didn't think I was being a bitch. I love the focus you often bring to my crazy ideas.

Sue said...

Yes. The Mayan calendar says it's 2012 :)

I don't like to focus on the whole left behind thing, that breeds that so-lovely creature, the "you can all burn 'cause we're outta here" Christian - I dunno about all that and none of it resonates for me.

But the idea of Jesus returning to earth as King - the entire world living in peace with him ruling justly kinda thing - that makes my mouth water. The jehovahs witness focus, but with a universalist slant :)

But I'm open to everything. I mean, obviously, if we were meant to know we would know, right? I love these discussions where no one gets dissed for what they think. Such amazingnesses come out of it :)

Sorry for blabbing on so much on your cmments, Jon! :)

jON said...

don't ever, EVER apologize for blabbing on my comments page. that's what the hell it's here for.

slept in a little long

in the interest of time, i'll just say this. the first lesson i ever did in my stint as "the inappropriate youth pastor" was on eschatology. which is a 10 cent word for "the end times."

i don't believe in left behind pre-trib rapture bullshit for anything. the case that tim lahaye has for his beliefs is flimsy and weak at best. in fact, when i read one of his primers on the subject, because i was curious how he answered some of the questions i had about his flimsy theory, his resopnse to the verses i had in mind was this: "they can't be interpreted to mean this because that would contradict a pre-tribulational rapture which we already know is true."


but that, in my mind, does not mean that jesus is not coming back with power. and it does not mean that we get to escape before the shit hits the fan. and it does not mean that we should not be doing everything we can to spread the kingdom around now, even though, i grow ever skeptical that we will achieve a beautiful vision, like the one in john lennon's "imagine", here on this earth under our own humanly power. i used to think we would. i used to think i was even called to do something like that. but now, i just don't know.

i think it is possible. but it requires people to be self-disciplined and unselfish. which renders it near impossible. it would take people who can police themselves gathering together for the greater good and working alongside one another unselfishly. it would take learning how to do for ourselves and stop depending on the over-produced crap of the corporation for our existence. a willingness to simply drop out of society and ignore the things that matter to the world.

how many people do you know like that who would be willing to get together and start something like that?

"there's too many men, too many people, making too many problems. and not much love to go round."

Valorosa said...

Substitute North American church people into the word 'China' in the below quote.

"In the Olympic Village, you can find religious freedom. Maybe some foreigners can worship. ... But I tell you, the real crisis in China now is that there are no reformers left. The power struggle among the leadership is for power, not reform. To have real political reform, they would lose their power."

- Fan Yafeng, a law professor at the Institute of Law at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a leader of an unregistered house church. (Source: The Washington Post)


Until we learn to gather together without money cost and with those jockeying for power over others in so called leadership positions, we will not have what those in persecuted countries have.

They have the reality and the closeness and the power of God visible and tangible.

As long as we continue to point out faults and do not rise up to love and intercede for our nations, as long as we build million dollar gathering places that place a burden and a shadow over the real reason we are to gather together, God, who is love will not be there.

It is that simple.

Valorosa said...

Erin, where does it say the apostle Paul thought Jesus was coming back before he died. Is that really so?

I should not be lazy and look for myself ... but for now

Money and the love of it controls our lands. There are people and corporations in the world who control us, as most of us are not financially independent. We cannot afford a home or a car without a loan ... there are many things we cannot afford even if we have a so called 'good paying job'.

That said ... the Lord tells us to owe no man anything save love. Hard to do here, unless you want to rent and bus it the rest of your life which, I guess, is a possibility. Although with a family to raise, by the time you pay for everyone to have a bus pass to get around you might as well be paying for a car.

And they just keep upping the ante on us. The cost of living is hitting real friends in our countries harder and harder. Most people want more and more and get further and further into debt.

But we, true believers, will survive with His wisdom and with His love. We are real no matter how things out there look, we are here, the salt of the earth.

Not those who are running million dollar church buildings. If you see a church body getting into that kind of debt you know that there is going to be no real focus on the Lord. Money and power struggles will cause internal turmoil. The flesh loves beautiful, earthly surroundings and snubs more meager surroundings.

We are all caught up in this, not just church building people. We need to free ourselves... there needs to be those who love God who rise up, and, without dollar cost, begin serious prayer and intercession for our villages our towns and our cities. This is the community that will bring love to our villages our towns and our cities.

God is love and that love is the most powerful entity we know. Therefore God will live where the sincere intercession is and the sincere love for Him is.

We complain too much... we point our finger at all the wrong doing too much. We don't do what the Lord is prompting us to do.

Insert North American church into the word China in the quote below.

"In the Olympic Village, you can find religious freedom. Maybe some foreigners can worship. ... But I tell you, the real crisis in China now is that there are no reformers left. The power struggle among the leadership is for power, not reform. To have real political reform, they would lose their power."

- Fan Yafeng, a law professor at the Institute of Law at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a leader of an unregistered house church. (Source: The Washington Post)


It is interesting that the persecuted church has no questions at all about the reality of Christ.

One Voice of Many said...

I'm with Erin on the Preterist viewpoint. I take that stance as well but, also as she said, "what do I know?" I don't know much except that the Left Behind perspective doesn't make sense to me either.

Val - you pointed out about the massive expensive church buildings - we have a local baptist church in our very small town that is about to have completed the construction of their new sanctuary to the tune of 6 million dollars! I don't know where they're going to bus in people from to pay that kind of tithe but maybe God will just pay it off for them. Or maybe the rapture will come and they won't have to pay it back. That'd be sweet. :-) Yes, I can suspect that money won't be far from their minds in this "work for the Lord". Side note: my take on those kinds of structures is that they're simply the Pastor's legacy in stone. My husband refers to it as the pastor's resume.

The Mayan calendar prediction worried me for a while -- well, everything worries me for a while. But then I thought, ya know, as some point they'd have to quit. That date probably was just when the guys said "ya know... I'm tired... let's wrap this thing up." lol


Valorosa said...

LOL I posted twice didn't mean to.
Thought I'd lost the first one which is the last one lolool

blaaaaaab ;-)

mrs. peres said...

my niece (whom i consider to be a reliable source) enlightened me not too long ago about the mayan calendar thing. she said the exact date was december 21st 2012...which when written in american abbreviation would be 12/21/12. interesting....

Erin said...

"...Can't you see this is the land of confusion..."

Valorosa - I love what you said about of my pet peeves. I'm sorry, but if we need a bigger building, THE CHURCH IS TOO DAMNED BIG! Time to split up and spread the love around.

Michelle - And then the rapture will come and they won't have to pay it off. LOL!

I guess I can't say that I know about Jesus' seems illogical to me on many levels...but if it happens maybe it will be in 2012. Maybe we'll find the Mayans were right all along.

Like I said, I'm tainted. I've been left-behinded to death and cease to care. If another Christian tells me again that our kids are the last generation I'll vomit.

God will do what God will do, He doesn't need my opinion. I would love to think that Jesus is coming back to live on earth...but he already did that and look what happened.

OK I'm feel grouchy about it all...just thinking about it...sorry all if I've been a bitch. I spent 6 hours at the hospital with mom in law, and no one knows what the hell is going on with her now and I'm pissed. This lady has given her freakin' everything to God and look what she gets! A brain tumor and hell on earth recovery. She's having seizures, paralysis, tremors and nothing helps and they can't figure out what's wrong.


Where's God when you need him?

Sue said...

You're allowed to be grouchy. Don't mean you're being a bitch.

Except to the Stepford Wives. And baby, they looked nothin' like you :)


jON said...

the only problem i have with preterism is that is doesn't account very well for jesus' return. it can be shaped and molded to fit the physical. we can look at it and say, "ok. i can see that" when it comes to the destruction of jerusalem. but it hasn't really ever accounted for jesus' words that we "will see the son of man coming on the clouds with power."

perhaps several church fathers were preterists because they couldn't see this far down the road?

but really, if we were to genuinely look at this, you ladies just might need to dust off your bibles... if you're interested that is.

because there's four ways i think this conversation could go. we can talk about biblical writings. or we could talk about what we can do to move forward as humans and try to make this world a better place. or we can discuss a symbiosis of the two. or we can simlpy grow bored of the conversation, forget about it, and move on. (a common blogger phenomenon)

i would prefer to continue it in some fashion, but it's a waste of time for me to continue it alone. i already know what i think. if there's interest, i am certainly interested, no matter what direction.

because for me i see it twofold. i have the hope. although i work like it's not coming for a long, long time and i need to do something to make this world not suck so bad.

yet i also have the fear. i can't speak for the world, but right now america feels like a car that is traveling at about 200 miles per hour with no genuine maintenance and we're just going to drive it as fast as possible until it falls apart. and then where will we be?

how much longer do we think this can last? prophecy or no, NO civilization lasts forever. just not sure what's going to happen when millions of people who are accustomed to having food provided for them in grocery stores suddenly need to do for themselves. it may be in a hundred years, it could be tomorrow. either way, i don't think ignoring the inevitable is the way to go.

jON said...

and erin, i've known bitches. you're not even close. so if you're trying to be bitchy, you need to practice a lot more.

since you're in the thick of it, i'm not going to try to rationalize god or the way s/he works or doesn't work in these situations. i'm just going to say i'm sorry and pray for healing for her and strength for everyone else.

Sue said...

Yes, I get very irritated sometimes at the ADHD of blogland when it comes to conversations.

I'm all for keeping this one going.

The other thing that I keep thinking of when it comes to Jesus' return is those verses that talk about him ruling over all (which sounds scary but I couldn't think of a better ruler ruling over all, really :) I just can't shake the idea that heaven is going to marry earth somehow in some wonderful fashion.

One Voice of Many said...

Jon -
I'm all for continuing the discussion. I also agree that it's most likely a mixture of the two. The trick is deciding which is which. A fact we won't know until that big glory cloud day happens anyway I imagine.

Erin - I'm pretty bitchy today too. Wonder if it's the full moon!


wanting more said...

Yay! I'm so glad we are continuing the conversation! I had so many mixed emotions as I read your post and all of the comments.

When I first "came back" to God was at a conference at the International House of Prayer in KC. My whole experience was based on 2 things: Mike Bickle's SOS teaching (which is good) and their end times teachings...they teach that there is not a pre-trib rapture and MB has several teachings on Revelation, Daniel, Joel...I could go on, but he delves deep and it's pretty scary I think, it's very intersting, but if those things are really going to happen, I don't really want to know that God.

Anyway, I bought into it all. I really did. I had a dream about being in the midst of the "tribulation" and being able to "stand" in MB terms. During this time I also read the Left Behind books and was totally captured. I truly thought they were right on, except, of course for the small error of a pre-trib rapture. So, I mixed my overwhelming desire to love Jesus and fall in love with Jesus and know the heart of God, who loves me and thinks I'm beautiful and all of these lovely things...with all of this tribulation shit and how it would all be worth it if I could just stand through the tribulation because He loves me so much and nothing else would matter.

That was a long time ago. Now, IHOP and Mike Bickle are on God TV (a continuous raise-money-athon) and many of the leaders there have bought into the Lakeland BS and I find myself where I am...wondering why a God who loves me so much and thinks I'm beautiful and lovely and knows my heart and all of those ushy gushy things, why would He ever cause someone to go through the tribulation? I've never researched the matter further. All of my information comes from IHOP and MB, and I now have no interest in learning anything else, because my perception of God, what I learned there (I was hooked - went to every conference, and would drive down just to hang out at the house of prayer and sometimes would just sleep there...) seems so skewed, seems like such the "charismatic" caca, almost club like. I now know that most charismatic churches are alike, and so is IHOP and they seem to create this emotional high, this amazing atmosphere, but I have realized lately that without all of the drama, there really isn't anything there in my heart at all.

I don't know either! But, I find myself wanting to be a better person now that I've left it all behind, and I am finding that people matter more and I'm paying attention to my heart and what is truly important...even really caring about my body and my contritution to pollution and my family's consumption, stopping to help someone instead of making an instant judgement about their future in eternity. Here I have to agree with Erin.

I guess I held on so tightly to the hope that He was coming back, and I was somehow going to play a part in it, and when my brain seemed to turn on regarding "church" and I came out of the charismatic cloud, it all seemed to be blown apart for me.

I guess I wonder now sometimes what faith is about if there is no end? No second coming? Just a place in heaven?

Another thing that has been in my heart and on my mind lately (this may be totally off topic), but there is this song that I should know the name of and it's on this baby video that Sam watches - Praise Babies...but the words have made me angry and peaceful and hopeful at the same time. "This is my Father's world..The battle is not (done? Ours?), Jesus who died shall be satisfied and heaven and earth be one. And though the wrong seems oh so strong, God is the ruler yet." I think God is trying to tell me just "resonates in my spirit" in charismatic terms.

Valorosa said...

Erin,you say your mother in law had a brain tumour?
Has it been removed?

All the things you have mentioned are symptoms that accompany a brain tumour.

jON said...

erin, still praying for you guys. any updates?

val, same for you and your son. news?

kari, it is most wonderful to see you again. i hope all is well in cincy. any news for us?

groovy. if you're all down, then i'm all for it. i, too, get frustrated at blogger ADHD. i still have several conversations that i feel were abndoned prematurely. but you can't really make people chat about things if they aren't interested. (strangely enough, erin and i recently continued a conversation to the point where she actually called the issue settled. {not the original issue, mind you} i don't know if that's ever happened before in blogdom, so i thought we should have had a cake and CG fireworks or something.)

give me a little bit to study my old notes and we can start from there.

and if anyone knows anyone else who you think would actually enjoy this sort of thing, and be willing to see it through, feel free to send them an invite to this soire.

i will be back with more words and snacks. looking forward to this.

Erin said...

Hey guys I'm here, but in and out for the next week or so. I'll try to follow along...

My mom in law had a benign tumor removed on May 29. She has been in recovery every turned out to be much worse than they thought and she's had a real tough go of it. She's been in and out of the hospital for various things...but when not in the hospital, she has been in a care home run by family friends and has been doing really well. About a week ago she was doing great, carrying on conversations, even standing.... but she developed an infection and it completely thrashed her...she's been in the hospital again since Thursday. Thing is no one is really sure what the setback is about...she's not speaking or communicating again, except gibberish, she is back to paralysis in her right leg, etc etc..and we are all taking turns sitting with her, making sure she gets the attention she needs, getting fed, etc. It's crazy.

So forgive me if I seem absent...but anyhow, thanks for letting me know I'm not a bitch. These conversations seem to sometimes rub me raw as I try to sort through the rubble of what I believe.

Oh and Jon, as far as "calling it settled" I didn't mean the conversation was over...just that you and I had settled one thing.

wanting more said...

Okay, okay...I AM interested in all of this, I guess it just hits a sore spot in my christian life or what it was...or is. How interesting that I just threw out all of my hundreds of books on the topic, CDs and DVDs...I'm in. I will have to go back to my old blog and see what I had to say back in the day.

Any news? Well...we are in our house, and have almost all of the boxes unpacked. Sam is doing well, Mayah is happy and kind again. We are still seems that we lived with so little for so long, that just to look at it all is overwhelming. So, Goodwill and the trashcan are receiving all kinds of treasures from the Bryant household.

We will finally have internet tomorrow, so I will be back in the land of blogging ;)

Barry said...

I'm coming into this conversation late, but here we go...

I do believe that Jesus will return, but I have no time for all the "We're living in the last days!" stuff, as people have been saying that for a few centuries at least. For all I know it might be another thousand years until he returns.

What's important is not when he will come back, but how we live our lives in the here and now. He might not (probably won't) come back tomorrow, so ignoring everything else "because we're not going to be here long in any case" is a path to nowhere. I'm sure he won't be too pleased to see his beautiful earth go down the tubes because his followers were too busy waiting for him to come back before doing anything about it.

I'm resigned to the fact that I'll probably die before Christ returns - but then, I'll see him when I'm resurrected anyway. (Yes, I believe in the resurrection and the Day of Judgement too.)

Hmm, looks like I'm not a heretic in every area then! ;o)

Valorosa said...

To Erin
Infection ... where is the infection?
This is the area I am specialized in. Neurosciences ... if I can help let me know.

My son is home Jon.
He was discharged against medical advice. She should have discharged him long ago. He had been back to his baseline for quite some time.
I had no choice but to take him AMA. He had received pot twice that we know of in there and we have been keeping him away from it at home without a problem. Pot wreaks havoc with him. It has been the reason for two hospital admissions.

His primary nurse agreed that he should go home regardless of her butt covering motions. He was home all the time anyway except for the mornings she wanted to see him.
She is an odd duck... her well being comes far before her patients.
Anyway, the new psychiatrist is on the horizon. But my son has shown up with some side effects that are infrequent and he has had chest pain once. We were in emerg last night. Unfortunately we still have to deal with her. I have been sending her messages about these side effects for a couple of weeks now. She is ignoring them. Had to have the pharmacist let her know these were actually side effects because she didn't think they were. As of today she is still ignoring the fact that I am seeing them.

Pray that I have the wisdom of God to deal with her tomorrow. My sister and I cannot figure out if she is evil or just plain dumb. Whatever she is, I have to get through to her tomorrow, somehow someway.

I think you would be interested in this little bit of info since you have dealt with Zaavan's seizures.

My son has a clozapine level drawn on August 7th ... the results of which do not get to her eyes until 12 days later on August 19th. They are low. The previous ones are high two weeks before that.

So on August 8th she receives the level from July 24th. It is high. She orders my son's medication to be decreased based on July's level. Meanwhile in real time the drug level is low and the dosage of the drug is being lowered when the level is actually low. I will be asking tomorrow about this practice. Does it seem odd to you?

Found a research site that says folate may help relieve the symptoms of this devastating disease. Gonna go get some tomorrow.
Thanks for asking
If any of you think about us in the morning would you pray for us. That in spite of her, the Lord will reign supreme and protect my son.

Erin said...

Kari - Glad to hear you are getting settled.

Barry - You have shattered my image of you! I won't be saving a seat for you in heck anymore.

Valorosa - Well the specifics...She is 68. She had a meningioma (I think that's what it's called) the size of a golf ball and it was calcified so removal was very intrusive. Surgery was May 29th. The day following the removal she had a stroke...right side paralysis and loss of all verbal skills.

But she had been recovering pretty consistently since then - as of last week she was standing, taking steps, carrying on conversations and feeding herself...except for trouble with recurring UTI's, which seem to lay her out systemically (total regression, temporarily). She has been hospitalized 4 times during this recovery for the same thing. They manage to get rid of the infections but they just return, probably due to catheterization. Generally within 24 hours of antibiotics, she regains most of her recovery progress.

This last time, though (started last Wednesday/Thursday), that's not the case. She is now as bad as she was immediately post-op and even after 5 days of 2 antibiotics she's not regained anything, and with the addition of new symptoms...continual verbal babble and humming and no coherent communication. They are thinking now she may have had another stroke last week, but so far that is inconclusive. The symptoms would indicate it.

So there you have it.

jON said...

thank you for the updates. prayers will continue.

barry, thanks for stopping by. i hope you'll stick around and keep sharing you input. it is valued.

i, too, believe in a "second coming." i'm not sure what i mean by this, or what exactly that will look like. but i have this overriding hope that one day all of this will be put right. and i, like barry, have thought that it may not even happen for another few thousand years. or it could happen in just a couple of years. but either way, i think it should impact the way we live. not in a dissociative way. (which is what the apostle paul warned people against) but in a way that is moving towards embracing this reality and preparing for it. and again, i'm not sure exactly what that means.

since i gained an understanding of this concept from going to church and they got it from the bible, i thought i would start there. you can dust off your bible and look this up, or you can let it be and wait for conversation to turn towards practical things. it is up to you, no guilt or obligation whatsoever.

i found it interesting one day when someone told me that Revelation 6-7 and Matthew 24 lined up together. so i did my own investigation into this and was surprised to find that, IMO, they certainly do. i make mention of it only because both passages speak of this "coming" and non-specific events surrounding. the breakdown is as follows:

1st "seal" - false christs
Rev 6:1-2 <--> Matt 24:4-5
2nd "seal" - war
Rev 6:3-4 <--> Matt 24:6-7a
3rd "seal" - famine
Rev 6:5-6 <--> Matt 24:7b-8
4th "seal" - death
Rev 6:7-8 <--> Matt 24:9
5th "seal" - martyrs
Rev 6:9-11<--> Matt 24:10-14
(while the account in revelation continues with more "seals", jesus pauses briefly in matthew 24:15-28 to describe the "times of tribulation")
6th "seal" - signs in the heavens
Rev 6:12-13<--> Matt 24:29
the arrival of the "day of wrath"
Rev 6:14-17<--> Matt 24:30
(there is now a pause in Revelation 7:1-8 as it describes a "sealing" of 144,000. interestingly enough, it speaks in v.1 of "four winds" being held back in order for the "sealing" to be done. and in Matt.24:31 it is these "four winds" on which people are gathered.)

then, we see this gathering of people together AFTER these things.

Rev 7:9-17<--> Matt 24:31

after this, the accounts diverge quite a bit. jesus talking about readiness. revelation talking about some really incredible wrath stuff the likes of which has not been seen (to my knowledge) on earth before.

this is a lot to take in so i'll let you digest, look up, study, ignore, or whatever you would like to do. see you guys when i get done with work tonight.

wanting more said...

I have to agree with your Biblical interpretation...If I remember correctly, I think I was taught that the 144,000 are Jewish Christians. I know there is another term for that, but my brain can't find it. I can't believe you got me to open my Bible. It's been quite a while.

You've really sparked my interest and I have a horrible memory, but I'm going to go back and look.

Valorosa said...


Sounds like you have a good knowledge base as far as her surgery and set backs go.

I am curious as to why the UTI'S kept ocurring and why it is 'inconclusive' as to whether she has had another stroke.

Has there been and MRI done?

Revelations ;-)
I have looked and looked to see if we miss the trib and get raptured but I have failed to find it anywhere and there are believers there during the tribulation. So it is cool that Matthew 24 seems to be unfolding now in front of us ... but as far as the rest goes I think we will recognize it when it gets here and go OH yea hey ... but I'm with Barry ... keep your lamp trimmed and ready and keep a watch for the signs of the times but our commission as the salt of the earth is to love one another ... we can't very well do that if we let our world fall down around us.

jON said...

which is what i gathered as well, val. when i took the time to study the so called "pre-trib rapture" i found the evidence lacking. in fact, as a part of my old notes here, i found some of tim lahaye's best evidence FOR the pre-trib rapture.

he says he knows it is true because the thought is a great comfort. he says he knows it is true because Rev4:1 says, "...the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, 'Come up here,and I will show you what must take place'..." (the "voice like a trumpet" he maintains is the trumpet call announcing jesus' return) and finally, he also says that to read scripture, and interpret it in the manner that we have just done yesterday, simply cannot be true because it would conflict with the pre-trib rapture which he already knows is true. so there you have it. bang up scholarship turned into a multi-billion dollar franchise.

you know, the pre-trib rapture USED to get taught in china after american missionaries brought it over. strangely enough they don't teach it any more. maybe it's all the tribulation they're enduring. worse, it damaged the faith of millions as they expected an immediate escape from the suffering and of course blamed god when escape was not forthcoming.

i simply thought it would be good to look at the biblical roots of this "end times" jazz. (as a side note "the end times" have been going on since jesus left. it is a quality of time, note a chronological series of events) i find it fascinating. you may not. it is good enough for me to know that there has been suffering, and there will be suffering. and that we must press on.

yet, press on towards what?

the kingdom. in my mind, that is the end. the kingdom. it is the end now. and it is the end then. it is, in my mind, what maynard is calling for in the song that started this whole thing. and it is this hope that i still believe is coming. that things will one day be put right. (whatever that means)

and still, how strange it is to find a man who cares nothing for the church calling for it. but i have found this sentiment many times in music made by people whom you would not think, according to church doctrines, have any sort of connection to the divine. which of course raises questions about who my allies truly are in this.

yet, i work on. ever trying to bring about the kingdom here in this place now. sometimes i feel like it is futile. sometimes i think, given enough time it just might catch on. as sue expressed not too long ago, "I have this weird idea that as the world gets darker and darker and zombier and zombier, that many other people are getting lighter and lighter and waking up and coming to terms and sorting their shit..."

and i think, that is what i long to do. help people wake up from zombification and sort their shit. just not sure if that job is too big to be accomplished one person at a time, or if a major flushing is the only way to fix it.

any more thoughts on all of this?

Sue said...

My thoughts on people sorting their shit (after just coming off a half an hour of bawling my eyes out - which was actually for someone else rather than myself, for a change) is that I suspect that is one of the things that has been going on in the last 10 years with lots of people being seemingly called out of church buildings and into the desert. My experience started when I got chronic fatigue syndrome in 1999, and it is still going on now after a marriage breakup and what feels like coming periolously close to a breakdown at times. I feel like all my shit is being stripped away. I have never felt so scared, vulnerable, foolish as I do now. I think the process must happen over a period of time if it is not going to break you.

I wonder if some time in the future the process will somehow be increased and compacted (which would be UNBEARABLE). I guess I might be showing my universalist leanings here - I think all of us will get our dip in the lake of fire and many of us are dipping right now.

Anyway, blah blah blah :) Sorry about crapping on so much, I'm just loving this conversation. I haven't thought about this stuff for ages because of all the poo that's got stuck to it ;) but I really appreciate being able to discuss this stuff with a bunch of peeps who are happy to accept each other's differences. Wild! :)

Barry said...

Erin: I'll find my own seat in Heck then :oP

Jon: I'm wary of using Revelation as a roadmap to the future, as it's not at all clear that it refers to the future. I base my views more on the reported sayings of Jesus. I do think much of Revelation can be explained with reference to things that have already happened, e.g. destruction of the temple, Roman persecution of believers, etc. What prevents me leanign towards rpeterism is the fact that we have neither seen the Son of Man coming on the clouds, nor the gathering of the elect that he spoke of in Matthew 24.

Valorosa: I'm wary of "watching the signs of the times" because the so-called "evidences" that the second coming is imminent (wars, rumours of wars, famine, earthquakes, deception etc.) have been there for centuries, or possibly have always been there. Every generation thinks things look worse in its own time.

I remember in my first Old Testament lecture in college, the lecturer showed us a quote despairing for the future of civilisation because of the decline in morality and increase in laziness and delinquency among young people. It sounded like someone in the present day, but he then informed us that it was actually translated from an ancient Near Eastern document and was thousands of years old. Our perspective is too biased towards our own time for us to accurately read the signs of the times.

I see no reason either to suppose that Christ will return in my lifetime, or to rule it out completely.

Fence-sitting - it's the only way to go ;o)

jON said...

sue, i as well am enjoying the conversation with those of varying views in a spirit of love. and i quite agree that if this process of shit-sorting didn't take a long time, it would break me. which is why we have a lifetime i guess?

i ceratinly think being lead away from the church is one aspect of it. i have been kind of watching those who have been lead out for a few years and ended up in blogland, listening to their stories, and looking for common themes.

it would seem that the most common thread is that one day, we woke up and realized that church for the sake of church is not the same as knowing, loving, and serving god. and once we saw it we couldn't NOT see it. and of course, this is where most stories diverge. some ended peacefully, some ended violently, all ended painfully and full of confusion. but at the end of the day, we know we are in a better place now. a bigger fish tank, so to speak, so taht we may grow even bigger than the four walls would allow.

barry! thanks for stopping by again. if i was unclear, i'd like to set the record straight in that i don't necessarily see revelation as some sort of road map to the future. i just found it interesting that jesus' telling to his disciples in Matt 24 and the opening of the scrolls in Rev 6-7 so closely mirrored one another. and when viewed parallel, at the same time jesus "comes on a clood with glory to gather the elect" in Matt 24 is the same point in Revelation when the multitude that no one could number shows up in heaven.

i do agree with you about perspectives, though. it brings to mind a lyric from a man named grover levy: "every single generation says it cannot get much worse."

the main thing that concerns me, not as a believer but as an existential human, is the culture i find myself in and the challenges that are presented to it. knowing throughout history that no civilization has lasted forever, and fearing that the one i am in right now isn't going to last too much longer.

and, of course, wondering if there is anything i can do about that. and i'm glad to talk to you guys about it from diverse places on the globe because like it or not, this is becoming a global society. and what happens to one of us affects us all.

please, let's keep praying for valorosa and erin as they deal with their situations. much love to you dear ladies.

Valorosa said...


Matthew 24 says nothing about an increase in earthquakes or wars. It simply says you will be hearing ...

It was not that long ago that we did not readily hear of the goings on of the whole world. Now we hear, through the media, more than we ever have.

vs 6"You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.


Valorosa said...

Thanks again Jon,

The doctor acknowledged the side effects and lowered the medication without an argument.


jON said...

that is terrific news, wendy. more than a little darkness was vanquished on your behalf methinks.

let's enjoy this together! woo hoo!

Sue said...

Insert comment totally unrelated to this post


I sing Something Else on Radio Susie, my internal radio station, about 10 times a week since I've started reading your blog.

(The Sex Pistols version, not the Eddie Cochrane version :)

jON said...

thanks for sharing that, sue. it's taking the time to share real stuff like that that helps me to know that these connections are real and not just wishful thinking on my part.

i totally had you in mind when i found myself rooting for austrailia. i thought it would be nice to be able to share victory with you. since i know you, and feel completely accepted by you, i feel as if i belong there as well as here. :-)

does that make sense?

Sue said...

Awww, fanks!

(Although like I said, thinking of me when you're rooting for Australia ... well in Australian terms, let's just say I don't think your wife would be too happy about that, heh :)

Seriously thanks :)Did we win (I'm not taking much notice of the Olympics at all to be honest. I think you guys are second on the medal tally though??)

Nate said...

Being gone for a while, makes me feel like a complete outsider. Do I still believe, oh yeah.

What it has made me do, is not to live in fear at all. If he comes, great. If I die, great.

To live is Christ, to die is gain.

Would not having this life make me happy. Why do you think I play the lottery on occaision? Normally only when fed up with the world.

It will be good to be back almost daily.

jON said...

nate, you'll never be an outsider. although i'm not sure if you've met sue or not. she topped by one day to tell me i smelled... like a freedom child.

nate, this is sue. i met her through erin. sue, this is my brother nate.

there. now everyone knows each other.

to live is christ, to die is gain. and christ is suffering. it's picking up the cross. some days i don't mind so much. and some days, i wish the sky would crack open so we could be done with this bullshit, you know? every day when i wake up there is at least a small part of my existential self that's like, "oh. we're still doing this, huh. (sigh)"

it's not being alive that bothers me. that's fine. it's the systems of living that we do. money. time. deadlines. cars. i know i've ranted about this before, and i'll probably rant about it again. this world just makes no sense to me. i don't understand why we keep on trucking down this road. at what point do we consider it failed? at what point do we realize we need something else...?

we now have a group of people known as the "working homeless" in the states. people who have full time jobs, but those jobs don't pay a livable wage. mostly those who don't have any sort of a college degree. and our kids who DO go to college? well, we start them off with a crushing weight of debt that they will most likely not climb out of for the majority of their lives. just seems like terrible, terrible planning to me. a complete lack of concern or caring for our fellow men and women. and i don't know why we don't change it.

i think the only thing that keeps me from simply killing myself is the thought that someday it won't be like this any more. whether here or in the next life, the thought that someday things will be right. and so i continue to work to help bring about a better world, if possible, here and now.

to keep the hope that someday my real life will begin. and not just mine.

everyone's. from this whiny guy in the first world country to the family on the run in darfur.

"we want the world and we want it now." - jim morrison

Sue said...

Hi Nate *waves*

Erin said...

i'm back. i'm not feeling like using capitals today so i'm not. they determined she didn't have another stroke but she's having seizures. they are trying to see what kind of treatment she needs. one of the dr's had the assholeish guts to tell my father in law "well if she was my mother i'd get a dnr and let her go". asshole.

so now father in law is terribly discouraged and we're trying to convince him that she will come a long way.

as far as the topic at hand i will have to get caught up. a lot happened in 3 days.

Erin said...

ok the only coherent thought i have is about something valorosa said.

it's not so much that we will have more wars and earthquakes and such, but that we will hear about them all the time worldwide. maybe it's 21st century communications that make this true. interesting.

but i don't will take a lot to convince me at this point that Jesus' return will happen or if it does it will be what we think.

jON said...

i quite agree with you, erin. i think it will not be what we think at all.

but i still think it will happen because jesus said it would. and i believe him.

wanting more said...

Hi All. I'm just sitting in the corner listening intently. I don't have anything to add...but I'm enjoying the conversation.

Sue said...

Erin - yeah, I think it's maybe not gonna be this great cataclysm of events that go on one after the other either if that's how it turns out. Some people think it's already happening. I know one mutual blogging friend of ours believes that the whole trib thing happened with the onset of WWI. Who knows?

BTW, that doctor should be delisted or whatever the fuck happens to bastard doctors.

One Voice of Many said...

I'm here too - at least most of the time. A storm sat on my area for days last week and something's happened to my internet and phone service. It works sometimes, most of the time it doesn't. Sure makes it hard to work from home so I'm losing $$ this week. Does the phone company care? Oh sure... they'll get it fixed "before Midnight Wednesday". Geez guys.. don't rush.. really... I only called SATURDAY!

Anyway, I'm reading along too and will try to post when I know the internet won't kick out again.


Nate said...

Had the same storm hit me. We are the closest neighbors that I know of. About four/five hour drive apart.

V- I think that the information age does have something to do with the knowing about the thing that happen. But you add more people, there will be more fights and wars. So I think it is a combination of the two. More people, more fights, more information, the more we know about it.

Sue- I enjoy your irreverent nature, and the sitrring of the pot.

Erin- I told you about our father and his stroke, which means brain problems. But what it really boils down to is the person who it is happening to. My father in law had a massive stroke about two months before my father. He quit, and died 3/4 years later. But in my eyes, we ought to love the one that is going through it enough to honor their decision. Whatever it may be. It is tough, but to want them around is normally just for our own reasons.

One Voice of Many said...

Man there's been so many great comments here! It'll be impossible for me to go back and try to comment back where I had thoughts and interjections pop up in my head so I'll just sum up where I stand on the big ole' rapture discussion:
I dunno.

I'm with Barry - fence riding I suppose.
I agree with Jon and Erin - it won't look anything like what we've been told it will look like.
I think that deep down somewhere I agree with Jon's point that it will happen in some form or another because Jesus said that it would.

I just try to keep things simple these days because my emotions need a break from the spiritual angst for a bit. Probably a bit too simple for this deep conversation but I'm here and reading and interested.


Erin said...

I guess like anything, in the end does what I think really matter? I don't have a problem with people who are holding out for Jesus in the sky...and I realize God does business independent of MY opinions.

But here's the thing: if 'IT IS FINISHED', why does he need to come back? If we can learn to live in the reality that we are ALREADY whole people and learn to spread that around rather than making up rules that prevent it....kingdom of God on earth....

jON said...

then dear woman, you have come up against the wall that i myself have come against. in order for that to work, it needs someplace to grow. to get bigger. in order for people to trade their reality, they would need to be confronted with a functional alternative, i think.

wihch is what makes the concept of the original church so fascinating and important to me. not as a religious institution, but as an alternative to "reality." not a political group, an anti-political group. one that doesn't even think about or recognize the authority of the system as it pertains to obeying god as he would lead.

communal living. having all things together in common and making sure there in none with need. i think the more we separate ourselves and continue down the path of consumeristically driven individualism, although the possibility exists... i am very skeptical that it will come about. not without radical intervention.

and i'm not saying that this radical intervention is going to literally be puffy clouds and chariots. but then again it could. maybe a disco ball, too. kool & the gang singing "celebration," i don't know what he's into. but jesus seems like a guy with plenty of flair, you know.

your earlier comments and thoughts, erin, made me really reflect on the things in the bible that actually speak of another coming or a returning of jesus to this planet. and that made me curious. so i looked up the verses that used the english term "son of man" and found it a very interesting read. all things jesus said about himself. things that jesus actually was saying about who he is and his purpose here on earth. not just in physical life, but in the grand scheme of eternal things. it was really cool to have them all laid out like that. it painted a very fantastical sort of vision.

if anyone is still interested in seeing where this conversation goes from this point, i will gladly, and eagerly, take the time to look them over and post the references. but if you're really not that interested, i'd rather not waste the time.

zaavan's starting kindergarten so we're going to be busy for the next couple of weeks.

any news on your MIL? is she doing better or at the very least, stabilizing and not deteriorating?

jON said...

(and i guess, really to answer your question " the end does what I think really matter?" i would have to say "yes. it does matter." to me anyway. while i can't rewind time to do it over again and find out, i'm pretty sure i wouldn't have had that thought if you hadn't shared your thoughts which sparked the thought i had.)

Sue said...

kool & the gang singing "celebration,"


Heaven and hell colliding :)