Monday, December 22, 2008

Censoring Global Warming

Dec 18, on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers said:

“You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant.Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big – I think we’re going to die from a lack of fresh water or we’re going to die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure.”

Meyers is the 2nd CNN meterologist to challenge the indea that global warming is a result of human activity. In 2007 Rob Marciano said that Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth had inaccuracies and that he didn't think global warming caused Katrina. He got such flak for it, he recanted the next day. Hmmm.

You can read the full article here. In it you'll find links to another equally interesting report from the Business and Media Institute on how reporting on Global Warming has been censored in the media. No big surprise there, for those who've been paying attention, but BMI took a look at the numbers, noting both how many times the MSM reported from the side that Global Warming is universally agreed to be true, versus how many times they reported a dissenting view. The ratio is horrendously lopsided (only 20% of stories even suggested there might be differing views on this issue.)

It's also lopsided with regard to their so-called experts and interviewees. For every 13 proponents, there was one skeptic on average. And among proponents, only 15% were actually scientists. The other 85% were politicians, celebrities, journalists or unidentified people on the street. You can read that report summary here: Global Warming Censored


Thursday, December 18, 2008


"Some of the very best lessons that God has to teach us are often missed because they come in the back door of our lives. They are sprung on us and we are not ready to take them in the particular package in which God delivers them, and it's easy to miss them. However, when we learn to wait upon the Lord and His timing, then we will begin to see things from the divine perspective. For example, FAILURE. That's one of the back door experiences in life because we are so success-oriented. It is our interpretation that every failure represents a waste of time, or a setback. When in reality, failure might very well be the avenue to teach us that special lesson which could never be learned without it: waiting upon God."

~From Tree of Lifes for 2000...

The last time I read this lesson, I applied it to large failures -- failure to sell the book, stay in print, acquire readers (none of which, I realize now, I have any control over). But this time I'm seeing it on a small scale: a daily occurrence in my life. That's what's been going on for some time with writing. I measure success by writing something that I will keep -- good, solid, material. Anything else is a degree of failure. I'm not producing! Me. I. But shift it on to Him: I'm to be waiting on His timing, not my own. And every day there is a failure it reminds me I have to go back to Him.

If the book was just writing itself, flowing onto the page smoothly, I'd not be learning a thing.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Remember that in a period of waiting, when the door is closed, that doesn't mean you're out of the will of God, it means you're right in the will of God. The open door is the exception in life, and the rest is filled with red lights. Our problem is often not our weakness, but our competence. Our professional expertise, our brains; we are highly capable, we don't really need Him... [Except He'll make sure we eventually see that we most certainly do need him.]

We're to wait in stability and confidence. Silently.

Waiting on God is resting, not worrying.

--From Tree of Lifes for 2000, Robert R. McLaughlin, p82

Reading these concepts I can see the purpose in what I'm experiencing. The approach of the deadline makes those waiting periods that occur in the midst of the rewriting process harder. There is always the temptation to look into the future and try to put it all together, to see how much work there is and how I'm going to do it all -- delusional for sure, since I really don't know at this point. (I'm actually thinking that I'm not going to have to go through all the events that I set down in my first draft, that things are going to be cut out and consolidated, but right now, I don't know which ones)

But in waiting under these conditions, and doing it confidently and in rest, I would truly be giving it to him. I can trust Him to handle it all in accordance with His plan, not mine. Trust Him to move me to work when it's time and relax while I wait. If I was waiting for someone to arrive at the house, I would consciously dink around with unimportant tasks so that when the time comes and the arrive I could drop it all and be ready to visit with them...

Some of the things I turn to during the blank, waiting periods really are no different from the dinking around one might do while waiting for a guest to arrive.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let Him Do It

Today I thought I'd set down some recent thoughts I've been grappling with, spawned as much from our daily Bible classes as from what I'm dealing with in my life.

It's a little bit confusing. Or seems so. I know I'm to live in peace and relaxation in the Lord. He has won the victory already, and in Him so have I. His burden is easy, His load is light. I am not called to torture myself with guilt and fear. I'm not supposed to be occupied with my performance, neither how bad it is, nor what to do about it/how to improve it. I'm already holy in His eyes and am to live one day at a time, focused on Him.

But when I get stuck in the writing, as I have been repeatedly of late, instead of waiting patiently for Him to move in me, I get antsy and restless and anxious. As I'm flitting around from thing to thing (reading email, or Drudge, vacuuming, writing in my journal) the anxiety and condemnation mount.

"You have no self discipline! Get to work! Your time is running out! Here's a vision of the disaster that awaits you!"

Now the anxiety swells into panic as I contemplate the vision... This is NOT living in the Royal Family Honor Code. This is sinning. Guilt and panic are not conviction. They are sins, spawned by arrogance. There is now NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Cease striving and know that I am God. He will do all He has assigned me to do. When I am afraid I will trust in Him. Stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord.

Condemnation and panic are how the world motivates. They are how I in my old nature have long motivated myself. They are in fact, my flesh's most powerful and oft-used motivators, so when I hit the lulls when my mind is not actively engaged with production, when I hit the blank spaces, that's when the flesh begins to seek control.

But I think, since God has said He is the one doing the work here, since He knows the whole story and could enable me to write it all at once, any time He wishes, but has not ... I think perhaps it is so I will back off this function of me trying to control my output and really just have to trust Him. Accept fully that I might miss the new deadline and trust Him to handle that.

Stop trying to predict or control what will happen and let His plan unfold and let Him take care of you. He loves you. He is for you. He really could give you the story in one complete download, or step by step with no gaps, no closed door periods. But He's not doing that, and you have to stop trying to blame yourself and trying to get yourself to do something. Stop looking to yourself and some improvement of your performance to solve the problem. You KNOW that's wrong. Relax and let Him parcel it out in HIS timing. Our lessons have repeatedly been about us stepping aside, that it's His work, not ours...

You must concentrate on recalling those concepts and believing them.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

650 Dissent on Global Warming

Wow. Today I discovered an article on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Press Blog titled, UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

The subtitle is "Study: Half of warming due to Sun! –Sea Levels Fail to Rise? - Warming Fears in 'Dustbin of History' "

You can imagine how pleased I was to find this! It's coming out of Poznak, Poland where the UN global warming conference is going on and which "is about to face a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe who are criticizing the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. Set for release this week, a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report features the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN."

650 international scientists now claim there is no man-made global warming. That number is 12 times the 52 scientists who authored the UN's 2007 Summary for Policy makers.

Here are some quotes:

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” - U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

“Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” - Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

“Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” - Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

I especially like this one, because it says exactly what I believe, that is that Global warming is a hoax, created and sustained for the purpose of gaining control of a large group of people:

“Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” - Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

In fact, I read another article about how for the first time in all of our history is is finally possible to actually have a one world government and that global concerns like the energy crisis and stopping global warming may just be the forces that will overcome our natural inclination toward national identities to bring about this one world order...

Other reports excerpted and linked to:

Sea Level rise 'has stumbled since 2005'

Recent worldwide land warming NOT a result of increasing greenhouse gases

2008 will be the coolest year of the decade..

And here we have President-elect Obama and the Democrats promising all this green activity and "change," our government looking at forcing the auto industry to make green cars -- should they actually be able to get their hands on those businesses and nationalize them -- so we can "save" the world. It's jaw-dropping. Wonder what will happen next!

(I can't believe the media would not report on this, but just now I did a quick scan of MSNBC and saw nothing about it. Of course the full report has not yet been released, but this, to me is huge news....

Having found nothing on the main page of MSNBC I clicked on weather and discovered the main article was "Warming Seas cited as World's Reefs Degrade". Hmmm

Then I went to CNN and they at least had an article on the Poznak climate talks with these "story highlights:"

"Climate experts hopeful politicians will agree a clear strategy at U.N. talks in Poznan."

"CEO The Climate Group: "We are moving towards a robust global framework"

"Global Climate Network urge leaders to focus on rolling out technology and finance"

So it sounds like they're full steam ahead over at CNN...Well, maybe tomorrow there will be something)

If you want to read the entire article on the 650 dissenters at the U.S. Senate Committee for Environment and Public Works, it is HERE.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Grinding Wheel -- Part 2

Wheel of Pain photo from the Conan the Barbarian

I got several responses to my blog of last Tuesday, the one with the nonstop, from kind readers offering comfort, encouragement, counsel and prayer. Thank you. I do appreciate your concern, your words and your prayers.

However, I felt quite foolish in realizing I'd created in some a sense of undue concern because I'd failed to communicate the fact that the crisis had been largely resolved by the time I got to the end of the nonstop. Or rather my thinking had been adjusted.

That's probably a shortcoming of the nonstop form, where you just set the timer and write whatever comes to mind for the designated period of time. Since I often start nonstops precisely because I'm stuck and frustrated or feeling like I can't write, it's common that the beginning of them is the ranty, gripey outpouring that appeared in Tuesday's blog. It's in the process of setting all that stuff down, that I see the lies for what they are, and inevitably get around to thinking truth instead. Sometimes that change doesn't always make it clearly to the page, because once the light has gone on and the struggle has ended, the pressure to keep writing goes away. (Or the timer went off... )

Since I had traveled through my frustration and despair to the metaphor of the grinding wheel and found that concept helpful, it seemed to me others might benefit from reading of my progression, moving from sinful, frustrated, self-absorbed, doubting thoughts, to the solution to any problem, which is always to remember who we are in Him, and get our eyes back on him. I also believed He was nudging me to post it, even though, raw and disjointed as it was, I wasn't sure anyone would even want to read it.

The crying jag did not come because I felt bad, though I see now that that was not remotely clear in the nonstop. It was more an expression of a deep and powerful emotion closer to appreciation than anything. The way God just breaks into the middle of your thinking and says the most increadible things. The fact He's there hearing it all, knowing exactly what silly path his child has taken for the moment and then exactly what it takes to get her back under His wings.

The point where the Lord said to me, "That is what made Conan strong" was what it took for me then. And I was amazed at how He had taken the bitter, frustrated direction of my thoughts (it's hard work and I'm walking around in circles) and in a second transformed the entire metaphor into something wonderful. Something encouraging, but something true. He showed me the truth of the situation, when I was looking at it through lie-tinted glasses. That blew my mind.

To be specific: the grinding wheel involves hard work, pain, and the perception of purposelessness, all of which are made more intense when you think you shouldn't be in it. But when you back up and realize that you have been put into it deliberately by God for His glory and your growth, that He in his perfection has chosen this very thing for you in all its specific detail, then you realize there is purpose. And wanting above all else to be conformed to His image, no matter what it takes, then the grinding wheel becomes not only acceptable but a thing of strange beauty.

That's what I was hoping to convey in that last post...


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Grinding Wheel

Nonstop from earlier today:

I’m out of fellowship. I don’t know why. I think it’s because… I don’t know. I’m feeling very small and insignificant. Things are hard. The book is hard. It’s not going right. I think about the criticisms sure to come, the fact people just aren’t going to like it because it’s not what they are expecting.
They like those short stupid books I don’t like. So I’m not going to write one of those short stupid, nondoctrinal books that I don’t like. I’m going to write a book that’s not short, but still stupid and hardly any doctrine because I don’t know what I’m doing. This is frustrating. Is it because I’m not writing what I care about? No. Because I had this same problem with …

It was reading that article by Koontz yesterday! Now I’m down in the… no there’s tons of stuff besides that. The hope has fled. The book sucks. I can’t get it to be better than sucky. So I don’t want to do anything.

Father I need help. What do I think about? You called me to do this. You are, in fact, doing it through me. Then let me see something. Let me see...

I got distracted and now I’ve used up my time playing with my keyboard and I can’t type and…

Where was I? God has assigned me this task. To write this book. He will do it through me. I can only do the best that I can do and if it seems terribly lame, oh well. It’s got to be what He wants because He chose me and assigned me to do this.

Thinking about what others are going to think is totally wrong. Caring what people think of what I’m doing is wrong. And that’s what I’ve been doing here. Caring what people think. Thoughts of critics of Koontz come in. I don’t feel safe. I fear the criticism and … yet…. Of course. It’s in man’s nature to be critical and to find fault. You have been told that you are foolish to care what people think. You have to capture those thoughts.

Father, I need a clear path. Jesus… you didn’t care. You didn’t entrust yourself to them. How? What’s the line of thought I need here?

Feel bad because you're worried about what people think? Name that. I’ve been told not to do that. I’ve been told to care what God thinks. And what does God think? That I’ve already won it all. I already have everything in Him. He is seated at the right hand of God, master and ruler of the universe and I am in Him. So… why do I care what a grasshopper thinks? Which is pretty much what we all are compared to God.

The master of the universe, the creator of everything loved me so much He sent his son to die for me, so I could have everything, so I would not have to concern myself with what people think. For me to do so anyway… is gross.

Yes, the battle is intense. Sometimes I’m right in there. Sometimes I can see it clearly. I can see the reality of the word, the substance of the truth. But other times... I doubt.

What did Scott say about my work? NEVER DOUBT YOUR GIFT!!!!!!

And here you turn right around a week later and you’re doubting it. Totally. You think you’re all done, all washed up. That nothing is going to happen. That everything is going to crumble into nothing. RotGK is going to go Out of Print, and then the rest of it is a waste and… no one cares, no one likes it, it’s so hard, it’s not making any sense, I can’t even see the importance of it.

All I seem to hear in my head now is that it’s irrelevant. Why am I messing with Nephilim? The book should be about mystery doctrine! I’m not getting any good spiritual stuff in it at all, because the … because I can’t… because…

I think that’s what’s bugging me the most. There’s no spiritual value here. It’s hard. It seems wrong. It’s frustrating. I don’t know why. Why is it so hard? Shouldn’t it be easy? Lord you said you’d do it, so why aren’t you? Or if you are… could you give me a glimpse or something? If you want me to keep slogging in what seems to be a circle of going nowhere. Hard, hard work that’s just going to be eaten up, taken away. I’m just a slave in one of those pushing wheels. Where you go round and round and it grinds the wheat or whatever it does. I’m thinking of Conan the Barbarian in that wheel of pain thing. And…

And the Lord says, “But that is what made Conan strong.”

[Silence. Wonder. Amazement.]

Then I had a big crying-jag meltdown. Because I don’t feel strong. I feel like all I’m doing is blowing it. I’m doubting. I can’t make application. I can’t make myself work. The time shortens. I’m failing constantly. What I want to do, I’m not; what I don’t want to do, I am.

There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. My yoke is easy, My burden is light. Why are you condemning yourself all the time? Why are you finding fault with the work and yourself all the time?

Didn’t your pastor just say, hasn’t he said repeatedly, "Stop focusing on your performance and what you’re doing? Stop trying to do better and focus on HIM. Stop looking at the problem. Look at HIM. The solution. What He did." He died so I would not have to live in bondage and condemnation. There is now no condemnation. Who is he who brings a charge against God's elect? Who is he who condemns? God is the one who justifies. Why are you condemning, when God has pronounced you justified and righteous?

No one really understands what you're going through. Well, God, yes, but not ... And look what happened to you this weekend. All the stuff that went on, the problems, the difficulties. The mishaps. You serve and wipe yourself out, are all beaten and battered and sore from standing and Quigley, and all that… and there is this… deadline. This task. This thing…

Ah. Yes. Don’t think of that. When you are at the grinding wheel you are just moving around in a circle. It’s hard, you can’t stop, but there’s not a lot of distraction.

So correct thoughts here are… I am already one hundred percent accepted in Christ. God sees me as perfect, as righteous, as justified, I’m living with Him forever. He sent his son to die for me – so I can live in freedom and peace and humility NOW. It’s arrogance that thinks you should do better.

Grindstone. You can’t see what you’re doing. You are putting out all this effort and the wheat is being ground, but you can’t see it. You don’t know what’s happening. And then the flour is taken away. And you don’t know what happens to it. It’s used to make all sorts of different things, that feed people, nourish them, make them happy, satisfied, build them up, give them strength…

But even that doesn't matter. My job is to focus on Him. To do this task with my eyes fixed firmly on Him. Maybe I am walking around and around in a circle. But I have to trust that this is where He’s put me, and that He will make something beautiful out of it in His time. He will do it.

I know I can’t see if the book is any good at this stage. I’m way too familiar with it. So just stop anguishing about it all and keep pushing forward, around and around and around... Til it's done.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Black Swan

"Before the discovery of Australia, people in the Old World were convinced that all swans were white, an unassailable belief as it seemed completely confirmed by empirical evidence. The sighting of the first black swan might have been an interesting surprise for a few ornithologists (and others extremely concerned with the coloring of birds), but that is not where the significance of the story lies. It illustrates a severe limitation to our learning from observations or experience and the fragility of our knowledge. One single observation can invalidate a general statement derived from millennia of confirmatory sightings of millions of white swans. All you need is one single black bird."

~Opening paragraph, Prologue, from the book The Black Swan (The Impact of the Highly Improbable) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2007)

I love this encapsulation of human viewpoint. Of life by sight. It's unreliable. Everything we think is true, by sight, by what others tell us, even by what science tells us, is unreliable. It can be changed by a single observation or experience.

Not so the Word of God. Our lessons of late, as I mentioned, have focused on challenging us to live in the truths of what the Word of God says we are: spiritual royalty, in union with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, possessors of everything He possesses. God is for us, so who can be against us. At salvation God made us new creatures and crucified the old man on the Cross with Christ. We have His perfect righteousness. God sees us as perfectly righteous right now, and He is perfectly satisfied with us Right Now because of what His son did on the Cross.

We don't have to overcome sins and failures, merely rebound them. They're already judged, already removed. It just doesn't always seem like it. None of what we are in Christ "seems like it" while we are living in this fallen world. But our position in Christ, the reality of His word and of His promises, are the only really reliable things we have. We must learn to live in those and not in the kind of knowledge that can be nullified with a single new piece of information...


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Progress Report

Yes, I'm still blogging. Though it may be sporadic for the month of December since I will be working hard to finish The Enclave by the beginning of January. I've already decided to postpone our annual Christmas trip to California until February (since there's really no way I could work at the level I'll need to be then from a hotel room). I am not thinking about all I have to do, or how it's going to be done. I am relying totally on the Lord to see it done. (The alternative is mindless panic, stress, guilt, sin, frustration. Did I mention panic??)

"For it is God who is at work at you both to will (proper motivation) and to execute for His good pleasure.

I will cry to God most High; to God who accomplishes all things for me.

Faithful is He who has called you and He will also bring it to pass."

I'm taking him at his word, claiming these promises utterly.

Classes lately have been all about not being occupied with sins and failures, not trying to do better and fix ourselves, but to fix our eyes upon Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of the Father, and the fact that we are seated there with Him, positionally. When you claim this fact and look down at it all as finished, that does change things.

The other thing to focus on is doing His will, not mine. I'm not going to worry about whether I'm failing to be diligent or self-disciplined. That's God's problem, because those are fruits of the Spirit not the fruits of Karen.

Staying home from the conference as great and I am more certain than ever that's what I was to do. This last holiday, Thanksgiving, though, I did not work a lick, beyond a random hour here or there to consider the next sequence, which for awhile seemed hopelessly wrong without alternative. (I am currently working on chapter 25, which in the "first" draft was chapter 19).

Thanksgiving day also completely wiped me out. I was a zombie on Friday, and really sore on Saturday, especially in my hip joints (possibly from being pulled to the ground in the attempt to restrain Quigley the night before). That made it hard to sit and concentrate. There were myriads of other distractions as well, since my son was staying with us (ie, in my writing room). Granted he was not in the writing room all that much of the time, but just having him here, and all the other things going on made it hard to focus. Plus it's hard to focus when you're a zombie.

Tomorrow (Monday) I have only to go across town to pick up my replacement sunglasses clip, which was ordered a month and half ago, I think, got lost in the cracks and came in last week. That could work into a good time of thinking. We'll see.

As soon as I finish this blog post I'm going to turn my attention to The Enclave, and maybe do something easy like put in changes on an earlier chapter. We still have dinner and Quigley walking to do, too. Oh, and ironing...


Thursday, November 20, 2008

How Obama Got Elected

Hey! I'm actually focusing on writing. It's still slow going, but a lot of stuff is happening in the places where I am. If that makes any sense.

So. Short blog posts or, in this case, a video are the order of the day. I first saw this a couple of days ago. Some say it's about "stupid" Obama voters, but I think it's more a picture of the influence of the media, the state of our culture today, and something of an indictment on our public educational system, which I don't think stresses the importance of knowing what's going on, how government works, etc., nearly enough.

It's part of a project by John Ziegler to produce a documentary called How Obama Got Elected. On election day 12 Obama voters were interviewed after they left the polls for the purpose of learning how media impacted their knowledge. They were chosen, says the website, "for their apparent intelligence/verbal abilities and willingness to express their opinions to a large audience." Ziegler also commissioned a Zogby telephone poll of 512 Obama voters using the same questions (you can read more about those results on the website.) In most cases the questions were multiple choice among the 4 presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

The video, below, is about 9 minutes long, but quite fascinating. (Feedblitz subscribers: I think you'll have to click on the blog post title to take you to the blog itself to view the video)

What's especially striking to me today, is, as important as the presidential election is, even more important is knowing who God is, and I suspect if a similar sort of poll were conducted involving basic questions regarding God's essence and nature the results would be even worse. And for the same reason, which is that mostly people are involved in themselves and the small details of their own lives, content to accept without question information that affirms their pre-existing ideas, and not terribly interested in investigating information that doesn't.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The New Star Trek Movie

I remember (this will surely date me) when the original Star Trek TV show came out. My friends and I had seen the trailers for weeks, read the articles in TV Guide and the newspaper and could not wait. I believe I was in the seventh or eighth grade (I could go research and figure it out exactly but I'm not going to take the time; this isn't a legal deposition, after all).

I was already a big fan of science fiction and fantasy. For years I'd watched those weird movies on Saturday afternoon which today are mocked and ridiculed on things like Mystery Science Theater. The Giant Behemoth. Godzilla. Frankenstein. Dracula. The Blob. It Came from Outer Space. The Creature from Black Lagoon. All in black and white and cornball as can be. The special effects were ridiculous. The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits were better, but they worked more on suggestion and less on actual special effects.

But as we had nothing else to compare them to, they worked. Books, of course were better and I was already a voracious reader of Andre Norton, Heinlein, Asimov...

The night of Star Trek's premiere, one of my friends hosted a special Star Trek party, and we all went over and watched it. In color. When it was over, everyone just sat where they were. Awed. That was SO COOL!!

I loved Spock. I think we all did. I loved Kirk in a kind of amused and tolerating way. McCoy for some reason was my favorite. I couldn't stand Nurse Whatsherface (with the crush on Spock and the basket hairdo) or Chekov, but Sulu was cool. That first season was just awesome. I audio taped the episodes and played them back repeatedly "watching" the show again through my ears alone. I memorized a lot of lines. ("Captain! Lt Sulu is on deck 4 attacking crewmen with a sword!").

The second season was good too, but then it began to get silly. I only watched the final season off and on and was put off every time I did. The movies resurrected to some degree the original tone and quality and I enjoyed all of them. The characters were by then old friends.

Maybe that's why The Next Generation just never clicked with me. (Or maybe because I'm of the Last Generation...) I liked Pikard and Data, but everyone else drove me up the wall, particularly Capt. Riker. I liked the third series, the one with the woman captain, even less. So I approach the notion of a new movie, with new actors playing my old favorites, telling the story of their youths before the Enterprise with some trepidation.

Today I found the trailer they've just put online. And... it looks pretty good! Simon Pegg as Scotty, though? He'll probably be fun, but ... And the guy they got to play a young Spock looks pretty... baby-faced, I guess and one thing I never thought of Spock as being was baby-faced, not even when he was a baby. And the young Kirk, is, well, not Kirk but... A sexy romance between Kirk and Uhura? That doesn't seem right... But I admit those are the usual sorts of objections from ancient fans like myself -- we only like old things! LOL. Maybe. Because despite all that, I'm intrigued.

Anyway, here it is, for those of you interested in this sort of thing.

The Daily Mail Online article ("Star Trek gets a sexy makeover in new film with love scenes, motorbikes and hunky stars") with still pictures and a bigger sized video if you scroll down is here. I don't know how long it will be up.

Just the video, but much smaller, is here.



Monday, November 17, 2008

A Private Retreat

Well. I was supposed to go to the San Francisco Bible Conference last week, scheduled to leave Thursday and return today (Monday). I had my plane ticket, my hotel reservations, and had even gotten my suitcase out in preparation for packing. But Enclave had not been going well, and distractions just weren't ending. We had a birthday celebration for my mother on Tuesday night, during which Thanksgiving and Christmas were discussed. Maybe that triggered it.

Or maybe the Lord just used it. I don't know. Whatever the case, I was awakened at 4:15am Wednesday morning by a hot flash (not unusual) and was flooded with the sense that I should not go. That I needed to stay home and concentrate on the book.

Lately the Lord had been dealing with me on the matter of taking this part of His calling on my life more seriously. If you've been reading this blog for any lenght of time you may have noticed that I've been struggling to apply some of the principles I've been learning -- most notably the concept of rest. I have never been sure how to rest and at the same time do the work. Most problematic of course was that horrid deadline. Should I completely ignore it and just live my life like a normal person, doing whatever came up, writing as I could and let the Lord handle it? Well that was one way to maintain rest.

Sort of.

But over the last few weeks I think I was being shown something else. Not that I need the deadline, but that I have an unusual calling, one that seems to require solitude, and much time for contemplation. The sheer number of things that had crowded into my mind compromised my ability to concentrate on the word. And maybe I should be taking that work more seriously. Not to the point where I obsessed about the deadline, but where I started choosing for it over other things.

So there I was Wednesday morning, faced with the sudden conviction that I should stay home. Yes, it's a good thing to go to the conference and fellowship with the other attendees, to build them up, to encourage the pastor(s). I've done any number of them. I'd sacrificed time to work on the book just last August for one. Maybe it was time now to sacrifice time at the conference (for I absolutely love going to them) for the sake of the book.

It was one of those choices where both seem right, but you can only choose one. In the the end, talking it over with a friend, she pointed out that I was only seeking to do what God wanted me to do. Whatever I decided he would bless it, because the motivation was right.

I had already decided that I would go and work on the plane and in between lessons... so the whole idea of fellowshipping was already curtailed in my thinking. To go, to have to spend Wednesday preparing, then Thursday traveling... and how could I gather my material properly to work on it somewhere totally outside my comfort zone, as one of the pastors taught over the weekend? Not just out of my comfort zone, but on an old laptop I never use, with a different program, a flat keyboard, no printer. I wouldn't have my files, my papers...

So I decided to stay home, looking at it as a matter of caring for my own vineyard, which is a concept we've been repeatedly exposed to of late in our Bible classes. I canceled my flight (I love Southwest -- didn't lose any of the money, and have it for the next conference I need to fly to. Maybe Florida???) and my hotel reservations. Except for the one friend I talked it over with, and one other, I kept my decision secret, deciding to act as if I was out of town, still get the lessons, but beyond that devote all my time to writing.

Wow. That level of concentrated focus really made a difference. What I thought I would work on, I didn't. What I did, was very difficult. I became enmeshed in a dilemma of which of several scenes to put in what order, and what day should I start them on. Should I begin the narrative on Monday and just do a summary til I got to Wednesday, or should I start on WEdnesday. Should I start with Cam? Or Lacey?

In the end I had to go back to chapters 19 and 20 and redo the endings on them, putting in material I was trying to stuff into 22 and 23. It's made 19 and 20 much stronger. A lot of things emerged over the weekend, time which I had mostly to myself, since my husband had other activities that kept him away most of the days. I really started learning how to listen to the Lord.

It's been so cool to be blank and just go to Him and say what should I do? Then I listen and He tells me. It's step by step. Moment by moment. I am not thinking about the deadline at all. I've given it over to Him. Again. I've also given over myself to Him, too, since I have been so utterly incompetent at managing myself. He'll have to do it. The cool thing is, he's eternal and omniscient so in His perfect plan He's already factored in all my screw ups.

So this marks the end of my little "retreat" but it's been very enlightening and I think I will be doing a lot more guarding of both my time and my mind in the days to come.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Good Man, Bad Rap

I've for the most part left politics behind, now, but have just a couple more things that I found of interest which I'd like to share over the next couple of days.

The first is an article in the Washington Post by Staffwriter Dan Eggen, that appeared on Sunday, November 2, 2008. Yes, the Sunday before the election. I saw the headline on Drudge and it caught my eye immediately because it echoes how I feel. It's called, 'My Heart and My Values Didn't Change' -- In Bush, Loyalists See a Good and Steadfast Man Who Has Gotten a Bad Rap

It starts:

On a cold, gray morning a week before Election Day, President Bush briefly emerged from the White House for an unannounced visit to the headquarters of the Republican National Committee in Southeast Washington.

Outside the RNC building, Bush continued to face record-low approval ratings and a presidential campaign focused on his failings. But inside an overflowing conference room, he was greeted with roaring applause as he urged his fellow Republicans to keep pushing for the finish line.

"His general message was to thank the staff for everything we've been doing and encourage us to keep working hard all the way through Election Day," said one person who attended the closed event. "It was upbeat and very exciting."


Thursday, November 06, 2008

In Whom Do You Trust?

When the results came out on election night, I was pretty bummed.

I was appalled that our people had come to the point they had elected a man who could not get the security clearance to serve as his own bodyguard, nor even to do my husband's job;

a man that our enemies wanted us to elect, and are now dancing in the streets and slaughtering animals in celebration over;

a man who said he wants to bankrupt the coal industry with global warming carbon emission fines and cause our energy prices to skyrocket;

a Marxist who thinks if you don't want to redistribute the wealth you are "selfish," and who in all likelihood shares the view of Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va) who regards as "simplistic" the notion "that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it," and thinks it's obvious that wealth should be redistributed (LINK);

who plans to do away with our "unproven missile defense systems," take away our guns, and establish a civilian security force that is as strong, powerful and well-funded as our military.

Who promises sweeping and fundamental change -- for one of the most prosperous, powerful, successful nations on the planet, a nation full of active sin natures, yes, but still the best in our lifetime.

How could this be? I didn't understand. Why would people want any of that? Why couldn't they see the truth? Yes, they have elevated Barack Obama to messianic status... but why?

One woman was excited because now "I don't have to worry about putting gas in my tank any more. I don't have to worry about paying my mortgage. Obama's going to take care of that."

Others were enraptured. Ecstatic. "We're going to have change! We have hope again for better lives, a better experience, freedom after the torture and nightmare of the last eight years! We're going to have happiness, finally."

How could they believe all that?

Yesterday morning I picked up a little booklet I had lying around, the transcript of a sermon given by my former pastor, Col. R.B.Thieme, Jr, the day after Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993. It spoke directly to the issue and is called "In Whom Do You Trust?":

"There was quite a cross-section of people from this country attending the (Clinton) inauguration. Almost without exception, everyone interviewed expressed similar ideas. Some were eloquent, some spoke with hesitation, some with a measure of confusion, but they all centered eventually on one word -- hope. Their hope was not the biblical hope of confidence in the Lord and in the Word of God...

"In effect, their hope was based on unrealistic expectations -- a new face in the White House, a new administration, a political change. To the people who were interviewed, political change meant something better for them. Hope was the word they used. They were depending upon government -- a government that has failed to fulfill its functions and obligations and has the greatest indebtedness in human history. They were depending on Congress, on a president, on people...They thought the government either owed them a living or that change would bring something they wanted -- happiness. A better environment was just around the corner. ...

"Never have I many people from all walks of life who had such tremendous needs. Because they cannot define their needs in terms of values (from the Word of God), they are looking for a man to solve their problems. They are looking for government to do something for them. They are looking at people to wave a magic wand and give them what they want to make them happy."

It's eerie how accurately those words describe what we have seen from those who have elected Obama in the past few days. They want change. They have hope. They can do it. They can change the world and find happiness and peace and tranquility.

But it's all a lie. A delusion. I know it is, because the Bible says it is:

Thus says the Lord, "Cursed is the person who puts his confidence in man and makes people his strength, so that his heart turns away from the Lord, for he shall be like a tumbleweed in the desert and he will not see prosperity (the word can also be translated 'good' or 'values') when it comes; for he shall live in parched places."

Dried up places. Places of no hope, places where you are always searching, never finding, always learning, never coming to a knowledge of the truth, always craving, never satisfied. Those are the places of the world, which offers much, and delivers nothing.

"Happy is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is in the Lord; therefore the Lord is is confidence. He shall be like a tree planted by the water and by a stream; he will send out roots. Therefore he does not fear when the heat comes, for his leaves are always green."

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Upon reading those words and the remainder of that sermon, my sense of anger and outrage drained away, replaced by something closer to sympathy. They are blind. Deceived and deceiving. They have rejected the only source of happiness -- God and His word -- and like Solomon in Ecclesiastes are running about searching for something to fill the hole in their hearts that only God can fill.

And until they stop and realize there's nothing there and turn back... they are doomed to repeat the cycle. Desiring change, achieving hope, disappointed when the man, the government, the project they pinned that hope on...doesn't deliver. Dispirited, depressed,angry, frustrated, they lash out with hatred, until the next cipher comes along and they can latch onto him -- or her -- and convince themselves that this person will finally do what all the others didn't. This one will finally make them happy.

Except he won't. Guaranteed.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

In the Last Days

"But realize this, that in the last days, perilous times will come. For men shall be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconciliable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;

"holding to a form of godliness though they have denied its power (the filling of the Holy Spirit; knowledge of doctrine); avoid such men as these...

"And indeed, all who desire to live godly WILL be persecuted. But evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being decieved.

"You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from childhood, you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to deliverance through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

"All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate (mature, capable) equipped for every good work."

~2 Timothy 3:1-3; 12-17


Saturday, November 01, 2008


I find Barack Hussein Obama's name to be of interest.

First, because of the obvious: Hussein evokes recall of Saddam Hussein, while Obama is but a letter away from Osama, Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden being two of our country's greatest recent enemies.

And Barack? That's the most interesting of all. It's a diminutive of Baraka, which is the Arab word for blessing, understandably very close to Berachah (roughly the same pronunciation), which is the Hebrew word for blessing. (And the name of the first doctrinal church I was a part of.)

Baraka is also the Kiswahili word for blessing, according to this article in Wikipedia. Kiswahili (or Swahili, to the rest of us) derives about 35% of its vocabulary from Arabic.

But back to Islam, whose Koran clearly instructs followers to kill both Christians and Jews whenever they can.

In Islam, baraka is said to be the "divine blessing that is normally associated with holy men or women," and can be transferred from one person to another. Or from an object or place to a person. Baraka hangs out at local shrines, but the strongest baraka is found in Mecca, at the Ka'ba. (That's the curtained, boxlike structure that Muslims march around when they do their pilgrimages at the time of hajj). There's a black stone outside its door that also has great baraka.

Interestingly, though we associate the Ka'ba with Islam, it is not, in fact, an Islamic creation, but predated the arrival of Muhammed by centuries. During those pre Islamic times the site was reverred as a place of worshipping demon gods of the sun, moon and stars. Since demons hang out around such centers of worship, and transfer themselves to the bodies of those people who invite them to do so (not always with conscious intent; another subject) I find this notion of "Baraka" to be very interesting, indeed...

Click HERE for source for information on "baraka."


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Al Qaeda Web Video

I'm sorry...but the political scene just keeps turning up these bits that are so fascinating to me, they turn into blog posts.

Like this piece that appeared in Reuters today, reporting that al Qaeda wants Republicans and Bush to be "humiliated." Some guy named Libi put up a web video stating as much. (Interesting that it wasn't some guy named Osama) I know al Qaeda has long hated Bush, and thought him the Great Satan; I didn't realize the rest of us Republicans were included until now.

Here's the first part of the piece:

An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be "humiliated," without endorsing any party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to a video posted on the Internet.

"O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him," Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.

Libi, one of the top al Qaeda commanders believed to be living in Afghanistan or Pakistan, called for God's wrath to be brought against Bush equating him with past tyrants in history.

To read more (unless they take it down before you read this), click here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Guidelines, not a Schedule

Hmm. What happened? How did I manage to "forget" to blog three days in a row?

My husband has been out of town for a few days, and last Friday I felt like maybe I should make a schedule. Not a schedule, really, more of an assessment. The problem with making a "schedule" in the past has been that after I make it, I turn it into a god. An idol -- it becomes my master. I have to obey it. If I don't, wrath and disaster will descend... etc, etc.

But what if they were just guidelines? And more than that, what if I do miss the deadline? Am I going to drop dead? Will the book tank because of that? Where does God fit in this picture? Well, He doesn't. I've not used a schedule for months now, because I haven't been able to figure out how to do it without getting all anxious and frantic. And also maybe because I hadn't reached a point where it would be remotely accurate.

I might have turned a corner. Or maybe it's been the Lord's guidance that led me to do it. I did ask Him if I should, and the notion remained. It was something I wanted to do. Maybe it really was time.

So on Friday I took the number of chapters I have left, plus 5, and plotted them onto the number of days I have left. If I complete roughly a chapter a day, I should reach the end by Nov 30, which was my deadline. I know that I will not do what my schedule has outlined, but that's okay. I can still use it. It's a goal, a guideline, I'll do my best to follow it and if I get too far off, I will make a revised schedule.

Right after I had decided to make this thing my editor called to say she was coming to town this week and we could go to lunch. I jokingly noted the coincidence that I'd just been thinking about calling her for more time, and here she called me! Right away she said that if I thought I might need another month, she'd speak to the powers that be before she left and... I have December now. That means The Enclave will not release until summer, but really that's not looking like such a terrible disaster. A disaster would be to publish what I have right now...

And anyway, as one of my friends said, "Is continuing to be published something you believe you have to maintain? If you lost all your contracts, do you believe that the Lord wouldn't give you a new one if He wants your books published? Are you afraid that you can blow this deal? Because I don't believe that if getting your books published is from the Lord that it's even possible to blow it."

I think she's right. After all, He's able to "equip me in every good thing to do His will, working in me that which is pelasing in His sight..." And wants to. It's a verse which has been repeated often in class over the last week.

So. I have some guidelines, I have a new deadline, one for the first time I actually think I can achieve, AND things have finally started to move somewhat consistently. Since my husband was gone, I could concentrate more on writing and completed chapters 16, 17 and 18 and today worked on 19 and began to think about 20. Which is a big reason why I forgot to blog.

Oh, yes, and I've, um, been reading news sites maybe more than usual with all that's been going on...

Lunch with my editor was wonderful. The weather was perfect. We ate outside on the patio of Tohono Chul, drank apricot tea and talked. Turns out editors really do get it that writing is not like picking peas or making pots. You can't necessarily force it. And when we can't make the deadline, they can handle it. In fact, I'm not the only writer who's having unusual trouble getting her book to move.

Other tidbits of interest:

Light of Eidon is actually still selling quite nicely.

There's a remote possibility that BHP might repackage the Guardian King books in new covers....

And female faces on the covers of books sell better than male faces do.

Or so I'm told.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Interview with the Palin's - NOT

Hey, it's election time. Politics is beating at the doors and windows. You can't turn on the TV without being told to vote for this one or don't vote for that one. Nor can you drive down the street without being reminded that some people are for Obama and (around our neighborhood) very few for McCain/Palin. So I guess I can be excused for putting up a few posts on the subject ...

Except that everything seems to be going wrong. Neither of my last two posts, the one Tuesday on Barak Obama as Messiah, and the one Wednesday on Biden's warning that if Obama wins he'll be tested, went out through Feedblitz. I didn't get either of them in my Inbox, and neither did one of my friends. Though of course it's always possible we were the exceptions, rather than the rule.

Then tonight, when I went to post the bit I'd already written about excerpts from the People Magazine interview with the Palin's, Todd and Sarah, which I'd enjoyed, I discovered that it had been really excerpt-ized and they didn't even have the pictures that had been half the fun.

I'd really liked the things she said. I like them both, actually. And while some people say that with politicians you can't believe anything they say, there are some politicians that say things I can't stand, totally disagree with, find abhorrent and evil -- especially when they say them as if these are great and good ideas or policies -- and others who say things that I totally support and affirm. So whatever lies behind, at least I can support the surface.

Anyway, I wanted to share it, but now it's gone, and the only place I could find it was here, on People's site where it was broken down into ten pages of teeny snippets surrounded on all sides by ads, other links, pictures of other people, other stories... very distracting and annoying. And no pictures.

To make matters worse, when I tried to see if someone else had posted it, I only found the blogs of snippy liberals making fun of it. It's a "puff" piece, heaven forbid. "Can you believe she actually thinks she's intellectual? Ha! She couldn't even name one magazine or newspaper she read!" (She named the book she was reading, and probabaly had she named anything else the blogger wouldn't have heard of it anyway) "She says she's only bubble-headed when she acts like Tina Fey.Ha!" Their arrogance and condescension really is amazing.

In fact, so amazing that instead of the People interview, I'm going to link to another article I read recently in, of all places, the Boston Globe. It's on The Dangers of Liberal Bias by Joan Chevalier. It expresses a lot of what I just discovered.

Enclave update: I went back to ch 14 today, and reworked and reworked and reworked it, trying to get Cam's motivations right. Why does it all have to emerge sooooo slowly? But I've got it half done. Now just have to finish up the last scene to make it fit with the new stuff. Then I can hopefully get on with ch 17, which is what sent me back to 14 in the first place.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

He Will Be Tested

You've probably heard by now that Democrat Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden said at a Seattle fundraiser last Sunday that, should they win the election, in the first six months of his term, Barak Obama will be tested by "a major international challenge." Could that be... terrorists?

"Mark my words, within the next -- first six months of this administration, if we win, they're going to -- we're going to face a major international challenge, 'cause they're going to want to test him, just like they did John Kennedy, they're going to want to test him, and they're going to find out this guy's got steel in his spine.

"He's gonna need help. The kind of help he's gonna need, he's gonna need you," Biden said, speaking to potential donors. "We're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community to stand with him 'cause it's not going to be apparent initially, it's not going to be apparent that we're right."

Wow. Of course, it's all over the Internet. McCain pounced upon it, Biden's been removed from campaigning for a few days...I have two thoughts about it -- yeah, I already figured we're going to be hit should Obama win. That's just logical. He's already said he'll sit down and talk to our enemies. He opposed the Iraq war. He opposed the surge. He opposed everything except talking. I don't really think our enemies -- terrorists, Iran, communist thugs from China, North Korea, and, more and more, Russia -- are going to be remotely swayed by talking. They operate more on a "taking" basis -- them taking shots at us, then taking over. Islam is hardly a peaceful religion. Their Koran instructs them to kill the Infidel. Which we are.

In fact, all our new presidents have been challenged. Here's a quote from Rush Limbaugh the other day that sums up the challenges and the results:

"Al-Qaeda has a history of testing all of our new leaders. At the World Trade Center, 1993; Al-Qaeda tested Clinton. We failed. Mogadishu 1994, Al-Qaeda tested Clinton. We failed. Khobar Towers, 1996; Al-Qaeda tested Clinton. We failed. The Kenya-Tanzania embassy bombings, Al-Qaeda tested us. We failed. The 2000 bombing USS Cole, Al-Qaeda tested Clinton. We failed. On 9/11, Al-Qaeda tested Bush; we passed. We haven't been hit since. March 11th, '04, the Madrid bombings; Al-Qaeda tested Spain. Spain failed. August 2008, Al-Qaeda tested Canadian Steven Harper, killed Canadians. He announced a pullout from Afghanistan in 2011; Canadians failed. August 2008, Al-Qaeda tested Sarkozy by killing 11 French paratroopers. Sarkozy passed and said he wouldn't surrender in Afghanistan."

So yeah, if Obama wins, we're going to be hit. It's less likely we will be if McCain wins, because he's already perceived to be like Bush. I don't think he'd take any guff, and they probably know it. Which is why they've endorsed Obama.

My second thought is that if we actually have enough people in this country to elect someone like Obama, who so represents the opposite of every one of the laws of divine establishment (freedom, marriage, family, nationalism), who will most likely turn on Israel, and who actually allows his followers to make those disgusting Messiah comparisons... we are heading into apostacy, if not already there. Which is something the Bible says will happen in the end times.

If the Rapture is indeed coming very soon, and the Tribulation right behind it, then God in His grace will do everything He can to warn and persuade people of their need for salvation so they can avoid the latter, which is said to be the most terrible time to be alive on the earth. Another hit like 911 will do just that.

"In the last days, difficult times will come. Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy..." It will even extend to the church, where people will "hold to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power." How much of that is already in place?


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

False Messiah

I'm starting into Ch 17 today, and it's the slow going phase again. I got in my four hours of concentration, but no more, really (maybe a little less, if I were able to accurately account for all the hours.) But today after I did my stints I spent some time on the Internet and turned up a couple of interesting sites about people who are promoting the idea that Obama is the Messiah. Now I've heard Rush refer to him jokingly as such for some time, and was aware of the over-the-top orgasmic type reactions some of Obama's supporters were having toward him early this year, but I didn't realize that they actually call him Messiah.

World Net Daily ran a piece last week primarily on a February 24, 2008 speech given by Louis Farrakhan, the current leader of the Nation of Islam (which is apparently repudiated by the "real" muslims as not really being muslim. But that's another post). It's title? Farrakhan on Obama: The Messiah is absolutely speaking

"You are the instruments that God is going to use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth. And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn't care anything about. That's a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking."

Apparently the man Nation of Islam followers refer to as "the Savior," Fard Muhammad, had a black father and a white mother, just as Obama did. Which somehow makes Obama a savior, too.

"Would God allow Barack to be president of a country that has been so racist, so evil in its treatment of Hispanics, native Americans, blacks?" Farrakhan asked. "Would God do something like that? Yeah. Of course he would. That's to show you that the stone that the builders rejected has become the headstone of the corner. This is a sign to you. It's the time of our rise. It's the time that we should take our place. The future is all about you."

The article also references a blog called "Is Barack Obama the Messiah?" which is rather stunning. It's subtitled with a quote from an Obama speech given in Lebanon, New Hampshire on January 7, 2008.

"... a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany ... and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama" - Barack Obama

It also has a really creepy beatific poster of Obama with a halo of light rays streaming away from his head, with the words "The Dream" underneath his portrait.

If you scroll down a bit, there's a picture of Obama, the man who is so concerned about the little guys and "spreading the wealth" at a fundraiser (he's raised more than half a billion dollars -- no typo, half a billion -- which is more than any other candidate in the country's history) at the HOME of Steven and Judy Gluckstern... which is quite a home... where he appears to be descending on a lighted stair from on high... The title of this post is "The Transfiguration."

The next post says "I'm Asking You to Believe..." and then a picture of graffiti saying, "Obama is God."

It goes on from there. "He is the Alpha and the Omega," and there's the video of the creepy youth brigade chanting/marching/dancing in unison to him. Next comes the creepy video of the "precious children singing to our leader." Then a photo of a scene at Obama Campaign HQ where workers are grasshopper-ized by a humongous picture of Obama's face on the wall, rather like those gargantuan portraits of Lenin and Mao looming over crowds of followers. I was shocked to see it, but then realized that since Obama is closely aligned with avowed communists, why be surprised?

There are quotes alongside the text from various celebrities such as Halle Barry, Gary Hart, Deepak Chopra, Toni Morrison, and Chris Matthews. Here's one I find especially intriguing from Ezra Klein (who is a writer for the liberal American Prospect) (though I had to Google his name to find that out):

"Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. . . . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh . . . Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves."

So... his finest speeches don't excite, inspire or inform... but they elevate? What is that supposed to mean? The words mean nothing, but something else is at work? And that stuff about him not being the Word made flesh, but the word triumphing over the flesh? What does that mean? How is he triumphing over the flesh? I'm not sure he even knows what the flesh is.

It's an interesting, but creepy site and I couldn't figure out if it's supposed to be a joke, a parody of Christian beliefs or genuine adulation. Though why there would be so much use of familiar words and phrases that specifically refer to Jesus Christ being used by people who mostly don't believe in him, is befuddling.

But back to the original article at World Net Daily, which also quotes a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mark Morford, who says,

"Bill Clinton, with all his effortless, winking charm, didn't have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity," Gladnick says. "Dismiss it all you like, but I've heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence - not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence -"

Hmmm. That's pretty creepy too. Almost makes you think Obama might be demon-possessed... But more than anything it speaks to the matter of end times. This sort of fake Messiah thing is telling. I don't think Obama is the Anti-Christ (since as far as I know he's not a Jew) but the word does say that in the last times there will be false Christs and false prophets galore. And advises:

"Then, if anyone says to you, 'Behold here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him." Mt 24:23


Monday, October 20, 2008

Chutes and Ladders

Last Thursday I woke up down in the dumps, filled with a sense of futility, frustration, apathy. I didn't know why. This has been happening relatively often over the last few months. I go to bed fine, and wake up depressed. Once I get up and get working it tends to go away, but sometimes when I get ready to start writing, it comes back...

As I lay there asking God why I was feeling this way and what was wrong, He drew my attention to the dreams I have been having. I don't often remember my dreams, but lately I had been, and they were all the same: I was trying to go somewhere and/or do something and being hindered, pulled away, obstructed, distracted. I never managed to get to where I was going or do what I was trying to do before I woke up.

There are many things in my life I would like to change and cannot, and some of that is probably reflected in the dreams. I read about a dream study once that suggested we have several different types of dreams that can determine our mood when we wake up. In one type, we wrestle with a problem and finally solve it. In that case we wake up feeling good. In another type, we just cycle through the same situation (which may or may not bear resemblence to our conscious problems), never solving it. In which case we wake up feeling down.

Well, the latter seemed to apply to me. Obviously I wasn't having dreams of any kind of resolution. But I thought I had handled the frustrations and obstacles that were so often cropping up to hinder my day. Why, then, was I still having the dreams that go nowhere, and waking up depressed?

The Holy Spirit suggested to me that dreams come out of the subconscious, and thus, somewhere in my subconscious I had this viewpoint that there should be no obstacles or hindrances in life. That those were all "wrongs" that needed to be made right. A "right" life was one that had no problems, obstacles or hindrances.

Well, I knew right off that was ridiculous, especially for a Christian. The Bible teaches the exact opposite. We are going to suffer, it's been appointed to us to suffer for His name's sake. We do it for our growth, blessing, perfection, and to bring glory to God.

At that point I was reminded of the children's game Chutes and Ladders. The chutes are designed to be there. You are supposed to go down them. Yes, it's a setback, but without them, the game would be boring. The problem is that when I played Chutes and Ladders, my focus was so strongly on the goal of winning, that the chutes were not fun parts of the game. They didn't seem to me even to be necessary parts of the game, but rather great threats that had to be avoided. It was a "terrible" thing if you happened to land on a square that sent you sliding back down to another row.

I had the same underlying approach to life. I wasn't really seeing the obstacles and hindrances and frustrations as an integral part of the plan. Instead, they were "wrong," something outside the plan that needed to be avoided or "fixed." But we know that all things work for good to those who love God. All things. We're constantly being delivered over to death for His sake.

The obstacles are not things that keep us from getting anywhere, they are the things that actually take us where God is trying to take us. To conform us to His image. We should embrace them, not look at them as things designed to keep us back, or down, even though they might be implemented by the Kingdom of Darkness for this purpose, or though the people sent by that same kingdom might have this desire. Regardless, it's God who's allowed it. Not to keep us down, but to conform us to the image of His Son, and to bring us to new life.

I barely had time to jot down the above notes about this new understanding, before I had to go about my day. But I was more relaxed, throughout and The Enclave was (and is) really starting to move.

That evening (Thursday) I had the ordeal of preparing for the colonoscopy then the procedure itself on Friday, which left me loopy and very tired so I had no time to write my thoughts out. I even missed my usual Friday night message and didn't listen to it until Saturday. But when I did...


You know those pictures where someone opens a door and a violent wind and light rushes out at them, almost knocking them over? That's what it was like. It addressed the very things I'd started thinking about on Thursday, and tens of other questions and issues I'd been struggling with over the last few weeks and months. An amazing message. I took 8 double-sided sheets of paper worth of notes, stopping the recording every few seconds to get the whole thought noted. Then I went back and highlighted the "really good" parts. That was nearly the entire eight pages.

The link is here, if you want to hear it. In the upper right corner are options to watch it as video, download the video, listen to audio with class notes, or download the audio. It's 90 minutes long (there's a 10 minute break in the middle which you can let run or fast forward through). I know there's been a lot of groundwork laid for this material over the last few months so it probably won't have the impact for everyone the way it did for me, but I was just... set free.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Marketing Questionnaire

Well, the colonscopy went very well. I have a normal colon, complete with pictures. The preparation for the colonscopy is something I am glad I will not have to repeat for ten years, by which time, I suspect that procedure will not be something I'll ever need to bother with again.

Got in some good work on Saturday. I'm now to ch 16 and for the first time ideas are starting to flow. Today I had to work on a Marketing and Publicity Questionnaire for the Bethany House M&P Department to use in selling my book.

I've had to trust the Lord to guide me on this. As may be obvious to consistent readers of this blog and my books, concise and pithy summations are not my forte. Here are some of the questions:

1. Why did you write this book?

2. How did you develop the initial story idea/plot line for this book?

3. Did you encounter any interesting challenges while writing/researching for this book? Please explain if so.

4. Did the book involve special research? Please explain if so.

5. What is the underlying theme/message of the book? Is this what you set out to write?

6. What is the take-away message you want readers to receive after reading your book?

7. Almost every author puts a little of themselves into their stories—what did you put of yourself into this one? (personality traits, life events/jobs, settings, characters based on people you know, likes/dislikes, etc.)

There are twenty of them in all. As I was pasting them in here, I thought... hmmm. Maybe my blog readers would also be interested in the answers I gave. Perhaps I should use these as blog posts...

I'll have to think about that. I already have my post for tomorrow written, however, so it won't be till after that.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Modern Medicine

Tonight I am preparing my colon for a colonoscopy tomorrow (my first). What fun. Not. But I can't help thinking what a strange world we live in, that we will deliberately drink a solution designed to give us diarrhea.

I guess there've been worse things in the past -- trepanning, blood-letting, leeches...

I have to drink it in two sessions, one today (at 5pm) and another tomorrow, when I have to get up at 4:50am to do it. I comfort myself with the reminder that long before this time tomorrow, I'll be done with the whole thing.

Despite the weirdness of being on a liquid diet all day, it was a good one. I am very slowly learning just how it is I'm to trust the Lord, in all areas, and relax. Just let Him take my hand and guide me and when some giant rears up to threaten me, not to run away but stand there, letting all the confusing, conflicting thoughts swirl around me until finally they fall away and He shows me which one I need to focus on. I've wanted to know which one too soon, I think. Anyway, I've finished chapter 14 and am on to 16 (skipping 15 for now to attend to when I work through the other plotline/pov)

So it's off to bed. More or less.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Hound

Life the hound
Comes at a bound
Either to rend me
Or to befriend me.

I cannot tell
The hound's intent
Till he has sprung
At my bare hand
With teeth or tongue.

Meanwhile I stand
And wait the event

~Robert Francis

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Splinter and Other Things

I made my 4 hour goal of (mostly) 100% concentration on writing. Considering I pretty much had the whole day to do it, that's fairly pathetic, but I did it. Despite the fact that things went awry at the start. I had chores left over from yesterday to do, which included mopping and vacuuming. Before I did those, I noted that the porch connecting the back door to the back yard needed sweeping. In the process of doing that, I picked up a rough wooden block in order to move the door mat and a splinter slid into the middle finger of my left hand.

So then I had to get it out. By myself. It was teeny. I had to have a magnifying glass to see it, but I had to hold the magnifying glass in the same hand I was digging the splinter out of, and still see it. This was a challenge. I wrapped the handle in a towel, which helped to position it, but the splinter was in there pretty deep. Pretty soon I had a small, bloody excavation, but the splinter was still in there. Then I found a spot of sun by the window and brought my little operation over to the window sil. Not exactly comfortable.

After a long time (15 minutes?) I began to think I wasn't going to be able to do this alone. So I went to the Lord. I can't do this alone, Father. I need some help. I don't want to wait all day for Stu to come home, so could you please do something now?

I went back to my spot of light on the window sil, and shortly discovered it was fading. But a new spot appeared on top of some file boxes. Much more comfortable. Brighter. Within minutes I had the thing out. So. Some could say I would have gotten it out anyway, but I know I had help. In fact, I'm sure of it. I'm suspecting my guardian angel of having a hand in it, because the splinter was really tiny, really in deep, my hands were clumsy, I could hardly see and somehow, it just came out.

After that I did do the mopping and vacuuming, but left the bathroom for another day. By then it was 9:30 and I still hadn't eaten. I thought I would work while eating. And did. Sort of. Until I decided I needed to write in my journal.

Long story short, I didn't start until 10:17 and worked until 12:20. Then I did another stint from 2 to 4. Sort of. I think I did some Internet reading during that last bit. It was hard today. My brain didn't want to work. When I was getting ready to begin, the resistance was great: "It's too hard, I don't know what to do, I can't even think about it without getting a headache, I'll never get it done on time, I have to go faster, I don't have the vaguest idea how to fix anything... I just want to run away."

But I didn't. I told myself the old standby -- just read the chapter. You don't have to change anything. So I did. I changed some things, moved some things around, left some really awkward confusing spots because I didn't know how to fix them but I did work. Not fast enough. Or rather, I don't feel like I made as much progress asI would have liked, or as I "should" have (except only God really knows how much that is). But I'm going to be happy that I did work through it, and take comfort in the "Progress not Perfection" slogan of I definitely made some progress. Now I'd better quit and go to bed so maybe tomorrow my brain will be clearer and sharper than it was today (Today was better than Monday, but I was still pretty foggy).


Monday, October 13, 2008

Not a Wasted Day

Well, tonight I'm even more tired than I was last night. I wrote the beginnings of a post this morning, but now I lack the mental clarity to edit it sufficiently to have it make sense.

Actually, I was tired most of the day, which is probably partly why my first day of trying for 4 hours of 100% concentration on writing was a total bust. I didn't even get in my former goal of two. Things did not go "right" this morning.

I had some spiritual issues to deal with. Also, Quigley started chewing on various fence boards which are in a pile in the back yard, some of which had nails and screws in them, so I had to take those out. (The boards are to stay there in the pile -- it's not my pile). In the process of taking the nails and screws out, I broke my hammer. :-( Had to find a new one.

I did a bit of dusting. Then decided that it was time to get to work (about 9:30) and I'd just let the other stuff go. But I couldn't get to work, was all out of sorts and had to address the spiritual issues, because what good is the work if I'm out of fellowship? It took me awhile to figure out what was going on.

Simply put, I had my eyes on the things of this world, rather than the things above. And since I didn't like the particular things I was contemplating and concentrating on, well, I was reacting to them. Which means sinning. Resentment, complaining, self pity, fault finding... arrogance... fear... Confessed them all, and recalled to mind that whatever my circumstances, ultimately they are the way they are because God has chosen them for me, decided in eternity past to place me in them and everything about them ultimately comes from His hand. Thus they provide an opportunity to bring glory to Him by acknowledging that fact and living as if it is true. If they are wearisome, frustrating and difficult, so be it. They're from God and I will accept them. Embrace them even, as an opportunity which is only available on Earth in time.

By the time I worked through that, I was hungry. While I ate lunch though, I went through my notes for Chapter 14. But then I got really tired. My brain felt scrambled. When I tried to think of what I was doing no thought led to any other logical thought. I went to take a nap. One thing led to another and that was the end of my writing for the day.

No matter. Tomorrow is a new day and I will try again. Four hours. I think I'll set 10 o'clock as my start time, and work til 12. Then try 2 to 4.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autumn Memories

Where did the weekend go? I spent the day, after church anyway, finishing up my autumn cards and now I'm tired. So that makes it a great time to put up a picture of fall. This is one of my watercolors, done from a picture of my son on a camping trip to the White Mountains. Every year in October we would take my mother, sister, Adam's friend Ben and our dog/s and head up to Northern Arizona for 4 days of camping and to enjoy the aspen.

This picture was taken when we were still going to the Double Cienega area, near Hannagan's Meadow. The moutains were ablaze with the yellow aspen. We used to hike through groves of aspen where the leaves would fall around us like rain and turn the light all yellow. It was magical.

Which is no doubt why there's a scene in The Shadow Within that came directly from those experiences. On p 261, where Carissa is on her way south from Highmount Holding, her party has stopped at Owl Creek to drink and refill their waterbags. As she is standing beside the stream, Elayne assures her that Eidon will make them a way, despite the dangers they face.

At that, a puff of wind coursed down the rocky streambed, rustling the evergreens and showering them in fluttering gold leaves shaken loose from the aspen on the riverbank behind them. The world turned briefly golden, and for the first time in days Carissa felt that sense of promise she'd known so briefly back in Highmount, as sure and compelling as it had been that night...

I always look back on those times at this season. The blue sky, the chill air, the campfire. The cattle in the fields, the elk bugling in the night. One time, Bear's first in fact, it snowed and we had to stay in a motel. Another time the snow was so bad we kept driving to the next town and the next town to find a place to stay indoors and ended up driving a giant loop around the state and home again within a day.

We won't be taking any of those trips this year, I'm afraid. I have a book to finish! And today the Lord informed me that it's time to rev up my rate of working. I am going to try to go from two hours of 100% concentration/sacred time to four hours. This morning, for the very first time since I started writing this book, I woke up thinking about it. That's an excellent sign that things are starting -- finally! -- to percolate.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Heaven Forbid! Bibles in Barnes & Noble

I was in the Barnes and Noble today, looking for a new journal and as I was examining the various offerings I overheard one of the clerks say to another, "Boy, some of my customers are really going to get upset about these."

Curious, I looked over at what he was doing -- hanging up new bookmarks with a large, decorative cross on them, these amidst the fluffy white puppies, cute kittens, nature offerings and various bookish and avant garde designs. Hmm. Did he really mean what I thought he did? Did people really come into the Barnes and Noble and complain that they are selling cross bookmarks?

I stayed around in the adjacent aisle even though I'd already determined it didn't have what I wanted and continued to eavesdrop.

The other clerk came over to see what the first one was talking about and offered a story of his own. Apparently elsewhere in the store they had some teen study bibles displayed on an endcap that had set customers off, as well. They didn't think those bibles should be there at all, but especially not in the nonfiction section. If anyplace,they should go in the fiction section.

"Well, I think they have a case, sort of," said the first clerk.

From there the conversation continued but I couldn't follow it -- the first clerk said something about why the bibles were on the end cap, and added the fact that some people (not sure who) couldn't see the sign that said 'study Bibles.' I'm not sure what effect their seeing that would have had on the situation, largely because I'm not sure what situation he was referring to.

Was it the one where people looking for the bibles couldn't see the sign and so couldn't find the bibles, thus necessitating the end cap which offended the other people who apparently don't think bibles should be sold in a secular book store?

Or the one where people objecting to the bibles couldn't see the sign and so didn't know that they were study bibles and as such really did belong in the nonfiction section.

What was of greatest interest to me was that it was an issue at all. I was astonished to learn that people actually go into a general book store and complain about the sorts of books it sells. Of course I could see complaining about pornography, so maybe I shouldn't be so astonished. It all depends on your scale of values. And sadly more and more people in this country seem to be holding to a scale of values that not only excludes the Bible, but actively opposes its principles.

This was recently illustrated for me by a "much forwarded" email of an editorial piece on Sarah Palin written by Indian spiritualist Deepak Chopra. In it he took many of my values and turned them around as being evil. Small town values = "petty, small minded parochialism"; family values = "code for walling out anyone who makes a claim for social justice"; patriotism = "the usual fallback in a failed war."

Oh, yeah and Sarah Palin is the evil shadow of Barak Obama.

Wow. If you want to read this editorial, it's here. Not that I recommend it, since in my opinion Deepak Chopra is heavily influenced by and promoting doctrines of demons. But I think there are many who apparently adhere to the viewpoint, so from that angle it is interesting.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Link: Elitism

I promised another essay today, again from Victor Davis Hanson, this one on elitism. This one was published on Sept 28, 2008. It's called Culture wars and the campaign. What I liked about it is that it answered some questions for me, one of the main ones being why do people who claim to like "women who do things", despise Sarah Palin?

People -- liberals, to be sure -- that I thought would surely appreciate her, instead find her "scary" and bumbling, clueless and absolutely inept. That completely befuddled me. In fact, one blog I was reading, by a person who I could somewhat relate to in other areas, railed on to the degree that I realized not only was Palin anathema, but so was I. But why? The writer did not say, beyond hurling derogatory adjectives and adverbs. It made no sense until I read this essay by Hanson.

So, here is the beginning of Culture wars and the campaign by Victor Davis Hanson:

You are a damn elite, not me!

That sums up the current political debate — whether we look at charges that John McCain has so many houses he can’t remember any longer the actual number of them; or that poor Barack Obama is depressed at the soaring price of arugula; or that Fightin’ Joe Biden once bootstrapped himself up at ten in Scranton; or that moose-hunting Sarah snowmachines as naturally as Barack Obama trips over himself in a bowling lane.

A nation of wood-cutters

In short, we remain log-cabin America, formed as the frontier antithesis of Europe. Apparently, we are determined, at least in mind, to stay that way — rightly or wrongly sneering at both natural Francophile John Kerry’s spandex, and also poor forced and uncomfortable duck-hunting John Kerry, decked out in camouflage, and looking as uncomfortable with a dead duck as Mike Dukakis in a tank helmet. We don’t like snooty elitists, and don’t give them a break when they clumsily try at election time in the eleventh hour to morph into one of the people.

A state of mind

So what is elitism? And who is an elitist?

Read more here.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Hair Clip Kibble

Quigley ate one of my hair clips on Sunday night. It's about 2 1/2" long with about seven tines on a side. I found part of the tabs that you use to squeeze it open, the spring and a few tines. I guess he thought it was kibble.

I am sorry to say, that even after all my practice slamming things on the Lord my first reaction was not good. Later though, I got around to realizing there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. If some tine were going to perforate his intestine, well that was in God's hands. I think it was God the Holy Spirit who brought to mind pictures of the droppings of some of our former dogs that had rocks in them. If rocks could pass through, the small pieces of plastic probably could. So why think about it and torture myself with worry? How about I pretend it never happened and just go on?

Anyway, so far, he seems to be fine. He was very ... um... active today. Very pushy, willful, playful, intense. He barked at the dog next door until I had to bring him in. Later he barked at the neighbors behind us who have recently moved in and started some sort of landscaping improvement project (they're cutting down the jungle of weeds in the yard). He's also got half a dozen excavation projects going here and there. And the wind kept blowing weird things into the yard or onto the ground, which of course he found and had to eat. I have no idea why he was so ... mischievous. Maybe it was the wind...

Last weekend was a three day weekend for my husband. The Mondays after 3-days I'm always especially tired. We also had our monthly communion and pot luck on Sunday. I'm usually tired after those, too. Together I figured I'd crash yesterday, but I did pretty well. The crash came today. I crash weirdly. Instead of dozing off or collapsing into a nap as would seem logical, I just want to putter, don't want to get down to work, want to drift from activity to activity...

I did manage to get in my two hours of work (though I was hoping for more) (actually I think it probably was more. Maybe three hours). I'm on chapter 13 now, and in a tinkering phase. This is where I look at the section that needs fixing, have no idea what to do. Add a few things, take some things out, move other things around, put some of the things I took out back. Take out some of the things I added. Print it all up and put it in a folder for tomorrow. When I'll do more or less the same thing.

The progress is slow, incremental, spiraling. I think someone called it noodling. You go from complete chaos and "wrongness" to a gradual improving of the scene or sequence, one small area at a time. I keep getting ideas for things I've already written, too, so I have to go back to take care of those.

We took Quigley for his three mile walk, and though I started out wondering if I'd have to be carried back, I think it actually woke me up. I've just finished dinner. Now it's time to stretch and go to bed!

Tomorrow... an article about elitism.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Link: America's Nervous Breakdown

To go back to my evidences that we are indeed in the Dispensational end times (that's specifically the end times of the Church age and the seven years of Tribulation which follow the Church age's completion and can be construed to make up the end of the age of Israel with the second coming of Jesus Christ as their Deliverer), I direct your attention to this excellent essay by farmer/military historian Victor Davis Hanson, who is also Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor emeritus at California University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. It's from his commentary page and is called America's Nervous Breakdown--And the World's.

Here's how it begins:

Ancient thinkers from Thucydides to Cicero insisted that money was the real source of military power and national influence. We've been reminded of that classical wisdom these last three weeks.In a manner not seen since the Great Depression, Wall Street went into panic mode from too many bad debts. The symbolic pillars of American monetary strength for years — AIG, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Shearson-Lehman and Washington Mutual — in a matter of hours either went broke, were absorbed or were reconstituted. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed like the house of cards that they were.

Even though the U.S. government rushed to restore trust, hundreds of billions of dollars in paper assets simply vanished. Friends and enemies abroad were unsure whether the irregular American heartbeat was a major coronary or a mere cardiac murmur. How strong really was the world's greatest economy? Was this panic the tab for years of borrowing abroad for out-of-control consumer spending? Had America finally gone too far enriching dictators by buying energy that it either could not or would not produce itself? Had the chickens of lavishing rewards on Wall Street and Washington speculators rather than Main Street producers finally come home to roost?
You can read more here. It's longish, but worth it for the conclusions he draws.