Prophetic Economics 03

We can already see the bleeding of profits from major entertainment and broadcast corporations. Part of that is simply the turnover in technology, and how the new is embraced by the newer generations of consumers. Print is nearly dead, TV is dying (cable in particular), and Hollywood is barely hanging on. They aren’t going away, but are simply not that profitable any more. Meanwhile, the technology to provide entertainment on-demand to individuals is all the rage. Further, we see that decentralized production of the content is taking a strong hold, and the old centralized dinosaurs are stumbling. We are already in the age of the Indie entertainer.

You would naturally expect the political left to seek their previous advantage by infiltrating this new Internet driven entertainment. To some degree it has worked, most notably in the larger technology companies. However, it’s not hard to see that, in America at least, advertising revenues in that sector of the economy are declining because they are too much a part of the old broadcast technology. Have you noticed that Facebook has already taken membership losses in the US? So far, a few giants have proven nimble in finding ways to stay relevant and profitable in the market. However, many are at risk and a few are already gone and forgotten.

On the one hand, it seems that there is no way to assert the left-leaning message without alienating users. It’s way too easy for some disgruntled executive or entrepreneur to fire up a competing service that simply doesn’t respond to leftist pressure. This siphons off a major portion of the most active users from the older, bigger services. While this may make the remaining community of left-leaning users happy, how can the political leadership keep up the leftward pressure on the rest of society if their targets move off the services they control?

This is something that politicians still don’t get: The Internet is not like meat space. Even Biblical Law is not the same for the Internet. Man remains a fallen creature, but virtual space has its own different reality, and the basic assumptions behind Biblical Law forcefully manifest themselves because Western social mythology fails on the Net. It is not possible to overwhelm the public discussion on the Net as with public broadcast in meat space. And people on the Net manifest their tribal and nationalist wiring more forcefully than ever.

So not only is the political left running out of financial support, but their whole game of influence is undermined by the way social discourse now takes place in virtual space. But marketing is where it showed up first, and that has radically changed. The Internet thrives on offering a million minor tweaks in the product simply because it is now possible. Consumers have always wanted it, but could never so much as request it in a mass-produced world. The Internet gives everyone an equal voice in stating their desires. It showed up first in entertainment content, making Indie artists possible — writing (including news and commentary), film and visual arts, as well as music and gaming. Any homeless waif who gets his hands on a decent used laptop can find the software and work out how to offer fairly advanced content for an untapped niche market. Technology has also increasingly democratized and commoditized production in ways that make catering to every imaginable taste in physical objects possible. That business of 3D printing is just getting started. (I’ve been trying to do that with religion, as well.)

This is a case where technology, and then economics, leads the cultural shift. We have just begun seeing how this will affect politics. The tolerance for business-as-usual is long gone. Give the Networked Generation a little more time and they will come up with their own radically new ways of doing government. Despite the many desperate efforts to tap into social media for the old political stuff, the vast majority of those now having grown up on the Internet are scarcely paying attention any more. The new political rally is the come-n-go affair on forums and chat services. I am convinced that we are on the verge of explosive changes in how this plays out in meat space.

Every part of the old order is on the chopping block.

We Have This Treasure

What we have here is powerful, rich and sweet. Do we need any further excuse to offer it to others? Actually, the thing itself won’t tolerate silence. It would be wholly unjust to keep this divine justice to ourselves.

But the same justice constrains the means to sharing. It is inherent in this justice and cosmic sense of harmony and peace that we tend to be peaceful about it. There’s no bait and hook, no strings attached. We help those who ask; otherwise we seek God’s command in defending what He has given us. There’s no doubt we end up helping a lot of folks who don’t tell us.

Most of you know this instinctively. Once you surrender your reason to the convictions of the heart, everything changes. No two of us experience it the same, but the only real agenda here is restoring the divine justice that was missing internally. It’s a mission that we expect to find unfinished in some ways when the final call comes to stand before our Creator. This thing we do carries with it the ultimate confidence in Our Creator to remake us, and in similar fashion to remake everyone else who shares this thing.

So on the one hand, we cannot possibly keep this to ourselves. On the other hand, we dare not transgress anyone else’s boundaries in any way. This whole thing is about divine justice, God’s character, cosmic moral truth, etc. It’s all the same thing. The highest art form is discerning the fluctuating contextual boundaries to satisfy God’s moral imperatives in the moment. But we can’t avoid this moral justice oozing out into the world around us. It’s the miracle of our Father’s Presence in us as we go about shining His light into every corner of our own existence. We can’t avoid bumping into other people who happen to populate portions of our private world.

You have to find your own path, but I would never presume to infiltrate my person or my teachings into an existing religious organization to disrupt things there. That will surely happen to some degree, but not by my design or intent. People who absorb what I share will eventually come into conflict with the existing system of their world and handle it according to their own calling. But there is no conscious effort at shaking things up. The truth of God does that by itself. It certainly shakes me up, and to all appearances, does the same to some of you, dear readers.

So all we have to do is live out the implications of that shaking and shattering before the world. God will catch the attention of whom He will, by whatever means pleasing to Him. To the degree we are any threat to the existing order, it’s simply because we exist as proof that there is something not right in the system. God is adding to our number. We aren’t keeping count in any human sense, because too many will need to move along and take this thing with them once they get what they need. Others will stay to help with the incubation process. Today I’m addressing myself to those who feel led to stick around for awhile.

Don’t worry about cooking up a strategy. Just be and the actions will become apparent in their time. By all means, notice how it works, insofar as you can discern it. That’s part of the incubation process: We can tell others what we have seen. So sometimes I get the craziest ideas in my head and they won’t let go, yapping at my heels and demanding action. It’s because I’m not God and can’t comprehend what He’s planning, so I do well enough to respond when I can discern something rather concrete that I should try. It’s not even the doing, per se, but moving in the right direction to intercept something I can’t possibly see coming.

Just those things we find calling from within our convictions is enough. It tends to be more than we can handle anyway, so that’s plenty without trying to devise a plan that might interfere with God’s moves. Stay loose.

Some practical implications for me: I haven’t seen the end of this ghost server. How I use it now is not how I’ll use it somewhere down the line. There is a lot I can’t see in the misty future, but my heart tells me this is just a passage along the way. This thing is parish property, so to speak, and I’m simply the guy tasked to handle it. I still need a serious laptop, but this is a prayer request, not a call for funds. All I understand right now is that I’ll need to isolate my personal stuff from the server some day because the server will be somehow open to the public. Just pray with me; computers are the primary way I carry out my mission. I’m not a gamer and this is not about feeding my ego, as most of you already know. I’ll share the specs if you ask.

And the mission is not confined to some future exodus from mainstream churches. That is a major focus for obvious reasons, but we’ve long had a stream of folks coming here from outside of organized religion. God uses our limited grasp of the situation, too, but it seems this thing we do here calls to a lot of folks from all across the human spectrum. Divine justice is sweeter than any siren song and certainly does no harm. However, my conscious effort is mostly a matter of reaching out to folks consciously professing Christ who bear a sense they are being held back from really serving Him. I remain convinced that something ahead on the road for humanity will cause an exodus of conscience. I’m trying to be ready to help them and asking you to consider joining that effort. That we are sure to bless others is hardly a mission failure.

Vision Refresh

This is just an update for the sake of accountability.

Would you believe the spam I get on this blog? Every day I see at least a half-dozen spam comments on various posts, and easily a dozen spammy messages on the “Private Contact” form. Right now, the latter is mostly a bunch of Asian characters that I can’t read plus a few English phrases indicating attempts to market cracked software from Microsoft. Yeah, it’s a hassle to run this site, but it’s what God has called me to do.

So I’m going about this process of studying how to provide my own services and even buying some of the necessary equipment with your generous donations. This is DIY web services for a reason. At first I had to wonder why I felt so provoked to go this way. My instinct was to ponder if it was necessary to spend a lot of effort in high security preparations, but that doesn’t seem to be so important. I believe in prayer and how it changes us and helps us shed false impressions infesting our minds and imaginations. The longer I pray and contemplate what’s going on, the more it seems the real issue is not to worry about attacks, but to insure availability.

I’m utterly certain God’s wrath on America is merely the localized manifestation of His general wrath on the West. To the degree America dominates whatever it means to be “Western” we shall see America get a bigger share of that wrath, but it is sure to spill over into other places. That spillover includes virtual places. I really believe that many of the current services that we treat like public accommodation will go away or simply become less accessible. The funding model behind most of it is dissolving before our eyes. These are effects, not so much God’s purpose and plan. To the degree any of that stuff rests on making a profit, it will tend to disappear because profit will be hard to obtain. Only what people do for other reasons will stay around. This is why I trust Open Source software: It tends to arise from a non-profit drive to excel for its own sake. I’m seriously working to move away from reliance on commercially produced software.

Obviously I’m not trying to make a profit myself. I do this because something inside drives me and I can’t be silent or still. So it comes to my conscious mind that if I plan to keep doing this, I have to be ready to do more of it myself. In order to serve God, I have to know more about Internet services and the gritty details of running those services. I’m all too willing to share what I know and encourage you to be ready to learn as much as you need to provide your own ministry. I would talk about things like having sufficient hardware with the capabilities for running some of the services you require to minister, and stop relying on the Cloud to cover it. Even in Windows you can learn to run a server, or simply gather the software tools and learn how to use them so that you can pass the content to some other device somewhere.

If you sense even the slightest drawing to do something, I would urge you to research the new line of more powerful home routers. You’d be amazed at the stuff they’ll do, and you’d be surprised at how much your ISP will let you get away with. For example, most of them tolerate a private FTP server like mine because it’s not enough traffic to worry about. It’s so common these days they have a hard time telling you “no.” Properly secured against hijacking and abuse, a powerful home router can make your Internet presence much easier to maintain. If you need to do this stuff, learn how it works and do it well.

My point is this: We are coming into a time of tribulation when one of the few hopes for keeping your sanity is a driving sense of purpose. If you can keep your eyes on those things God demands of you personally, you can weather a lot of really tough conditions. I’m not doing this stuff because it’s a fun hobby; that might have been the case some years ago, but now I have a hard and clear focus on the imperative of divine glory. I’m not an activist fighting much of a human threat, either in the flesh or virtually. My focus is less about defending from attacks and more about making sure I provide with my own hands what is suitable for my calling. We all lean on each other, but right now there’s no one else in a position to do that work for me. I’m okay with that; this is something I tend to do well enough on my own, as it were. As things get tighter economically, I’ll have to gear up and do even more. A great many tasks in our Kingdom service will turn out to be more DIY than now seems necessary.

Part of that understanding is an awareness of the level of deception from the world about what’s going on. Some things are far worse than we are told, while there’s plenty of false alarm to distract. We’ve been talking about that already, so I don’t need to say much right now. It’s already past time, but you can start now reassessing what your calling demands and what you may need to provide in-house as we face a challenging future.

So right now I’m working on gathering content that supports my teaching. This is a mission of building the library and keeping it available. Maybe it’s a little superfluous right now, but I feel certain some of it will disappear suddenly. At the same time I’m updating and reformatting my own content to ensure it’s in the most digestible package I can offer. I’m trusting God for a lot of things I can’t do, but whatever I can do is now my sacred mission.

Right now the focus is content and availability.

Burning Heart; Changing Life

And then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:31-32, NKJV)

——–

“Why in the world would you want to do that?” The young man’s question was a demand. He was a brilliant technician who had sacrificed a great many hours of sleep to experience and know precisely how it all worked and what the results would be for just about every variable.

The older man let his breath quickly out his nose, then opened his mouth. His chest expanded to pull in a large volume. In a calm, almost bemused tone he responded, “It doesn’t matter to me what makes sense to you. I know what I want and you can either take my money or tell me you aren’t interested.”

——–

It is human nature to make a great many decisions based on something other than reason and social custom. It is a standard delusion to imagine what what makes sense to you must be somehow universal. The vast lore of scientific and historical knowledge of how this world works could never cover all the bases; together they cannot possibly answer all the questions. Human need cannot be quantified that way.

Once you become conscious of this and embrace it as moral truth, it becomes a lot easier to suffer the arrogance of people utterly convinced that their way is the ultimate answer to all mankind’s ills.

If you are not in a state of flux on at least a few things in your life, then you have already died. It is the nature of childhood to explore things not yet experienced. Yet each child will unconsciously foreclose on a lot of possibilities for any number of reasons. This does not make them inferior. As we age, we tend to shut the door on more things, but that’s so we can pay more attention to things that do call us onward.

Adding in a conscious awareness of the heart and the moral sphere of consideration adds more complications. It does not reduce tension; it makes tension natural and normal. We stop wasting effort on vanquishing tensions and seek to build our own peace internally. We serve to personify peace in that sense. It’s not that everyone will simply buy into our sense of peace, but that their tension has little effect on us.

Even something as quantifiable as the computer technology so very important to my ministry calling, it still must yield to the variability of human questing. If computers become the masters, we are doomed. They are the servants, second in line behind the intellect that must also submit before the moral authority of the heart.

Don’t ignore your convictions; God plants them in the nerve clusters of your heart’s independent nervous system. There’s a mind there with its own logic, and the people of the Ancient Near East took it quite literally that the heart was an entirely different faculty from the brain. It’s the part of us that can know God.

Holding the Door Open

Eden is a long way from Utopia.

The latter will ever remain a myth, a materialistic fantasy. It’s a demand that God mend His ways to match human reason. Eden represents what God designed for us, what He designed us for. So long as reason rules human aspirations, we will never approach Eden. Human reason cannot possibly desire to face that Flaming Sword of revelation. Human reason cannot bow the knee to God unless some other faculty awakens to overpower reason. Reason on the throne of human will is what keeps us under Satan’s authority, precisely because we imagine that we are free.

You may know that I generally hate videos. Some of it is entirely personal, but there is a broad background of factual evidence that the medium itself is a serious danger to our conscious awareness. On the one hand, it offers proof just how weak and vulnerable is human reasoning. You can’t trust your mind to remain faithful to the truth because it is not designed to handle the truth. On the other hand, if you strive to remain connected to the higher moral awareness of your heart, there is no doubt you’ll be better armed to handle the manipulative nature of most video presentations. But don’t fool yourself; just because you claim to be heart-led doesn’t mean you can watch all the videos your addictive flesh wants to see. If you are heart-led, you’ll be careful to avoid most of them in the first place. And the ones you do watch will be heavily filtered through a powerful moral awareness.

So yesterday I saw one that I knew was a lot of propaganda, but was struck by something portrayed that was morally proper. How factual the portrayal might be was not the issue. Sometimes the facts simply do not matter. What matters is that Kadyrov knows the moral truth on one issue in particular — forgiveness. He welcomed home a bunch of stray sheep who went off to join Daesh and found out what a huge fat lie it is. While these men did pay their penalties, there was a place for them to return to their homes and rebuild a life in Kadyrov’s domain. In the video, it was plain to see his brand of forgiveness was strength, not weakness. He put people first because such is the core of his earthly treasure.

Westerners assign way too much value to “principle” — making a god of some imaginary “objective truth.” Absolute truth is moral in nature, far beyond intellectual packaging. Ultimate truth is the Person of God. If you cannot imagine our Creator as someone who can change His mind, then you make Him a dead deity. He tells us flatly to call on Him and seek to persuade Him. Granted, a great deal of that process is aimed at changing us to His way of seeing things, but God is not steel and concrete. He lives and hears and considers what is in our hearts. Knowing God bears little resemblance to a memorized body of factual knowledge.

That you might be able to find alleged ethical violations in Kadyrov’s rule over Chechnya is mostly missing the point. All that really means is that someone refuses to understand how reality works. Don’t imagine that I idolize Kadyrov in any way. I’m not a Muslim, for example. If I admired Islam that much I’d be one of them. But Islam isn’t nearly as much a problem for me as it is for most Westerners. Nor is any other religion, or having no religion at all. I don’t stand on rational principle, but upon my best grasp of the moral ground of God’s Person while having to tolerate the sloshing sewage of fallen human existence. I recognize that I cannot take seriously whatever my intellect and reason might imagine is the ideal.

But my heart knows a scent of Eden’s flowers when it wafts on the breeze.

Give It a Rest

Today is a good time for us to pray. As I was out on a long ride, I was generally praying out loud the whole time.

I have no quarrel with anyone, and I welcome all who can humor my blather as they seek to absorb a little of the good stuff that I might have to offer. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will be so friendly with me. I’m okay with a little carping now and then; I’ve written too often that we can’t possibly agree on everything. Most normal evangelicals aren’t interested in harassing me, much less folks representing other religions. I’m still your pastor when you need me. In the future, the greatest threat to this ministry will come from those who serve the Cult. More specifically, my heart still expects some defenders of Zionism to come after us eventually. They are getting more aggressive with their cyber-activism. Having this networking stuff hardened and ready for the electronic assault is simply the minimum responsible thing to do.

Things are okay for now. While I won’t go out of my way to provoke them, I doubt they will ignore me forever. They’ve got something ugly up their collective sleeves and the Mossad technically owns an awful lot of Internet security software companies. This should be interesting.

So let’s pray and each of you decide for yourself what God requires of you.

Moral Economics

I rather like the boating metaphor in explaining economics. Your economic existence is rather like traveling on water. What do you have to have with you to do what you do? More stuff means a bigger boat. Your investments and borrowings are part of your cargo; some are fixed to the boat and some are easily moved. Either way, you have to keep that sucker afloat. Your cash flow is how much buoyancy you have to float it. The water level reflects how much liquidity exists in the economic system. It works the same for individuals and for any aggregate, like a business, that shares an economic reality. Get the picture?

Gross economic debt freezes liquidity; it lowers the liquid water level. The debts others hold most certainly affect you, just like shipping and navigation in an icy area. In global economic terms, we are passing through an ice age. Most available economic resources are frozen. There’s not much left so you need a shallow draft and good buoyancy. Your actions in economic terms would mean a preference for paying off debt and liquidating fixtures you don’t use. If at all possible, detach your primary economic activity from bigger ships, because you will grind to a halt when they do.

There are limits to the metaphor, but it’s pretty good at helping you focus on real-world results of your decisions made for non-economic reasons. In other words, don’t get trapped into thinking economic logic is the whole story, but be aware of the economic implications of your choices. Here’s one dirty secret: Things are all iced up because we have all bought into a common global system already without knowing it, and conceptual debt in one country tends to be honored in another. Any country that plays too independently will be isolated and caged like a predator. Much of what you are told is political is actually mere economic dispute. The global banking lords would rather you didn’t think about that.

I’m guessing when I suggest this economic ice age will eventually pass without destroying everything. It’s based on a couple of factors. One: I’m utterly convinced the Internet (in one form or another) will continue to exist into the foreseeable future. It’s the one thing that hardest to freeze in part because the most expensive part of it is controlled by folks who are likely to keep it alive at all other costs. If the whole thing became government property it would be a different story, but the nature of this thing means the backbone remains in private hands, and those hands would rather die than let it fall apart. The banking lords can’t afford to change it’s fundamental design and can’t afford to let it fail.

Two: Global mass shipping has almost stopped already, but there remains a very high traffic in small shipments and individual packages. Most economic chatter on the Net tends to ignore that factor. Everywhere you look this business continues, but I’ve yet to see any comprehensive analysis that takes it into account. In that sense it shares a lot with the black market; it’s hard to get accurate statistics on something that isn’t organized through any single choke-points. All the attention is on the big stuff that’s easy to track, but commerce isn’t dead just because nobody is chartering gigantic loads.

So, back to that metaphor, the current market reality is that whatever growth is possible will come in the area of smaller boats that turn and meet the tide more nimbly. The day of industrial giants is gone, unless they can learn to disperse operations over a number of smaller and responsive units. To the degree possible, find your market niche and work it hard. If you manage a big operation, be ready to ditch the old management philosophy.

I say this not because I’m some kind of genius management guru, but because I know how God operates in this world. He is forcing the world to return to His moral principles woven into reality itself. The capitalist-socialist paradigm was a big lie all along, but it was kept moving by sheer momentum and mass hypnosis. But Creation itself as cosmic moral principle has brought it to halt. The gollum was dead all along. What we see in terms of a global reset is not economic entropy, but God’s own nature at work prospering things as they come closer to His revealed moral character. The moral fabric of reality has the final say.

If you spend some time learning His Law Covenants, you can see through those details to His heart and you can begin to please Him by cooperating and conforming to Creation’s design. Pray and discern how that character should manifest in your context. Keep His Presence alive in your responsive obedience, always adjusting and trimming things to meet the moment. Take ownership of things He places in your hands and let Him control everything else.

Virtual Catacombs

Step inside my madness for a moment; I’ll leave the door unlocked so you can escape when it gets too much for you.

Review: The Cult is not so much a physical presence, but an avatar, a mental image of a perverse moral presence. We know them not by their physical presence but by the fruits of their labor. My description of The Cult is an abstract of consistent behavior, of how they have operated so far in human history. In broad terms, their aim is to prevent souls escaping the domain and servitude of Satan. Try not to oversimplify how they go about this. By the same token, don’t buy the wild speculations offered to confuse everyone about things.

I’ve mentioned in other places how the scandalous document — The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion — is at least partly true if we read it as a description of the plans of The Cult back around the time that booklet was published. There is plenty of exaggeration and broad satire in the document, but a kernel of truth peeks out at us from behind the curtains. However, the plans and expectations were not carved in stone. Some of the ideas didn’t pan out. Still, the general tenor of the basic plan from so long ago is our current reality today.

The Cult favors no identifiable human element outside the boundaries of itself. I’ve noted The Cult has has a vast army of servants, and some quite highly placed in the scheme of things. But most of those names and faces that we would recognize as powerful public and not-so-public figures are not actually part of The Cult. They are guided and used; sometimes they retire well and sometimes they are tossed aside as a reminder to others that none of them are indispensable. I’ve warned that some major projects hold the same status. I sense that the modern State of Israel is one such dispensable project; it’s value is merely contextual. The Cult will eventually let it go because it is neither the objective nor a necessity for the objective. It’s been a very effective tool in deceiving humanity regarding their objectives.

I get the sense that a major turnover is at hand, that we are about to see a great many other projects and people thrown under the bus very soon. Some of the old team will go down with the scuttled ships they crewed. A new crop of servants will replace them and herd us on board other vessels. Some of the old goals and plans are obsolete, as well. But the broad moral deception and control are still there. The only reason the new rising figures survive and are not marginalized or smothered is because The Cult sponsors them as the means to keeping the deception going and the power in their hands.

The biggest challenge for the cult remains the Internet. They are learning to use it, but they cannot change its nature. On the one hand, it is no longer possible to rule without it. On the other hand, it is absolutely essential that they insert a layer of abstraction between common folk and the Internet itself. Since there is no way to actually assert any useful controls at this point on the Net, there must be a way to control the people via their access to it. Currently the primary focus is through massive changes in the operating systems of commodity devices. Not so long ago began a very intensive effort to steer people’s browsing behavior into acceptable channels. Making a certain class of services socially essential was part of this plan, even as the services were incrementally modified to insinuate various forms of control. Look for these same services to become required for certain government services and each other. Look for the services to become interlocking in new ways.

Most of this is easily defeated if you posses some measure of technical expertise. The Cult has also been trying to squeeze the computer technology middle ground, like an obnoxious child who insists on squeezing the toothpaste in the middle. The underlying trend is making the technology more demanding so that users either give up trying or invest a far greater share of available resources just to stay even. The price of expertise is rising while the price of devices and access is dropping. This takes place against a background of general decline in the quality of education so that real life-long learning becomes decreasingly likely. The Internet services and information sources are being dumbed-down to enforce this trend.

As I consider the calling on my life, I find I cannot avoid the task of embracing the greater expertise. If just a few of us who are driven by moral purpose and heart-led awareness can seize some cyber hideout, we can offer refuge, an antidote to some of this moral poison. This vision keeps morphing as I walk farther along the path. There are other areas of expertise than what calls my name. I need brothers and sisters who will find themselves in those other fields of glory to stand with me, at least in the sense of using this virtual parish as the place to offer your particular antidotes to the moral poison of The Cult. This is behind my hopes for a virtual library. I’m hoping to create a catalog that we can share so that visitors need only click on a link to call the file from this FTP server; there are technical reasons that I can’t put a webpage on the FTP server itself. So if you contribute to the library, I need from you some kind of explanation of the item’s value. It’s not the idea that I would examine every item in detail (though I will probably scan for malware and viruses) but that we would work together to build a free information community.

Naturally I’ll have to put passwords on this thing for now. It’s not about secrecy but keeping control. That means you would need to build an element of trust with me in order to gain access. I’m still working through where to draw the boundaries so we can stay below the radar. We have to weigh the risks and sense where God says He’ll cover it with His mercy. We have to discern the boundaries of His covering.

I’m working as fast as I can on this stuff, so pray with me.

Vision for a Virtual Parish

Some are just passing through.

We aren’t seeking higher numbers of those who hang around just so we can feel big and important. Instead, we want more people to experience this faith so they can take it on to wherever and whatever God calls them. Only a few of you will feel the need to hang around stay connected; that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

I feel like Peleg (Genesis 10:25; 1 Chronicles 1:19) in whose lifetime the earth went through major tectonic shifts. Every step I take puts me in a place I’ve never seen or expected. If I try to step back, what was behind me is already gone. My heart demands I keep moving forward. I know the direction but not the landmarks.

This whole thing started with a conversation about private communication protocols, passed through the idea of getting a home server, and ended up with a wholly different mission path. This is not at all what I expected I’d be doing. This is not at all what I anticipated or what I had dreamed for years, and yet I am hardly disappointed. I’m struggling with the means and methods for an unexpected kind of mission. The one thing I know for sure is that God is preparing this virtual parish for whatever it is He does next in this world. One way or another, I am seeking to answer the missionary call, but it’s for a world not yet fully born.

God is most certainly steering events in the work I’ve done lately. My human inclinations lie shattered on the ground, forgotten as things moved too fast for me to mourn any loss. For example, I know where that business of using CentOS went: That’s the OS running on our webhost service for soulkiln.org; it’s what is behind the new blog and the static website I’m still developing.

I’m going back and reformatting some of my books into HTML documents. The ebooks are still at Smashwords where they appeal to that audience, but I want a way to reference that material directly from the new blog running on the same server. Turning them into webpages is a much smaller format so as not to crowd the limited space on our account with the webhost. It’s a bit of work because the only way to do it right is by hand, starting with plain text and adding just enough HTML markup to make it display in a browser. I’m also going to host here at home an electronic library, a larger private collection of files to share with parish members. So far it’s already a very eclectic pile of things I’ve found to have some value to my faith. Hopefully some of you will be able to add to this virtual library and fill the shelves. Meanwhile, I’m keeping most of the technology chatter and hobby stuff on the old blog.

At least, that’s the current plan.

While I can feel the big push driving me forward, my eyes can’t quite make out what’s down the road ahead of me. I knew a long time ago that the old way of “doing church” was not God’s plan for me, neither in teaching nor in physical form and structure. In place of that is only the vaguest idea. It reminds me of all those scenes in places like New York buried under so much snow you aren’t sure what’s under the humps. I’ve never been here before; is that a big bush or a car? It’s still winter and I’m out here enjoying the sparkly newness of it all, feeling my way around. I’m wondering how all these changes are going to make that much difference in helping people find their own faith.

Somehow the demands of life in our changing world will drive a portion of folks out of their comfort zones, and some of them will pass through what we do here. The nature of this virtual parish is that it’s just dandy for you to pop in and then disappear again. Some of you are bound to feel called to hang around for awhile, at least. Take what you need because we have lots more where that came from; it’s falling upon us from Heaven. God provides in abundance and we are struggling to give it away. And it’s for sure that some of you will carry it places no one else can go.

Don’t think I’m not enjoying myself playing with all this technology stuff. Part of it is hard work, and I’m compelled to engage elements of it that never really held my interest in the past. But I know I can’t move forward without it, so I’m still studying all the networking technology so I’ll know what’s there. Who can say when I’ll have to use it later? Still, some of this strikes me as really cool stuff. For a few of you who feel the same way, I’m going to offer ways you can interact with this fancy machine the parish donated to buy. We’ll keep it out of everyone else’s way, but God has plans we can’t guess. He’s going to need some soldiers prepared to fight in a totally different kind of warfare.

How can I help you?

Internet Infiltration

How we operate on the Internet follows the same fundamental moral reality that we apply to everything else: It’s all a question of boundaries and dominion. As followers of Christ, we regard our entire human existence as property of God, assets for His glory. Your device is His device; your use of it must reflect His divine character.

A fundamental expectation is that we will not permit Darkness to use our lives. That we are fallen creatures in this world where Satan holds some measure of default dominion means that we must continue in resistance in the sure knowledge that there will be some measure of performance failure. We don’t get wrapped up in the actual practical outcomes because Our Father warned that our human existence cannot be perfected in that sense. His favor is not dependent on performance, but desire. Our exercise of dominion in His name is very limited. Rolling back the powers of Darkness is His gift to us.

So the message of Christ is loaded with a sense of continual battle until the ultimate victory of leaving this dimension of existence for some other — one that is beyond our comprehension. While we remain here, our human nature will hardly remain subdued and obedient. Much less so would we expect the fallen nature of the rest of humanity to play along with moral justice. Each of us has to decide what we are called to do and work hardest at that narrow range of holy endeavor. We shine in the things He chooses for us; it’s His mercy that He doesn’t expect us to do everything. We fight the battles for which we are best armed and allow our fellow believers to help us with things they do better.

So I’m called to make much of this virtual world of the Internet, among other things. In some ways I can use my expertise to lighten your personal load of care; in other ways I work at things you don’t even understand because it’s not your calling. I can tell you that, on the one hand, we do have some allies out there in virtual space. On the other hand, there aren’t very many of them. So I do what I can to help you work with our allies insofar as they can bless us. Some of their works can help us maintain our individual moral boundaries against the Darkness on the Net.

Lots of stuff out there is for us a taste of that Darkness. Some of it is a matter of individual calling, but a lot of it is the relentless demand that we submit to someone else’s controls with an aim to defraud us of God’s glory. That’s Satan’s aim; most of his servants have no clue. For the most part, they simply don’t care about the whole question. They want what their lusts demand and they’ll do whatever it takes to get it. Their moral awareness is shaped entirely to fit their desires. Their minds will buy into whatever lies it takes to justify what they do. Thus, they regale us with messages according to their perverted sense of moral value, and they complain loudly when we exercise dominion that denies their control.

It’s possible that we might help this or that individual across the threshold into Light, but on the whole we have no expectation of changing what they do. And we still have to go out on the Net and interact with their crap in order to pursue our divine calling. For the most part, we are infiltrating into their world, and striving to pass through while shielding ourselves from their attempts to control us. Our shield of faithfulness to God’s moral character extinguishes their fiery darts of temptation.

So this is what’s behind all my blather about browser add-ons that block this or that, especially advertising. Or my advice that you use this or that browser or run this or that operating system. I’m not dictating for you what constitutes holiness, just sharing my experiences. That’s my calling. Your calling is to filter out what doesn’t apply to your Kingdom service. Together we infiltrate into the virtual space with our vessels of divine Presence.

God bless you with a sense of heart awareness to what matters for you.