Be Not Afraid.

I want to tell you about something extremely weird that happened to me in 2019 — well before the Covidiocy and the Great Election steal — and which has me profoundly uncomfortable, because it’s woo woo stuff, and I don’t like woo woo stuff.

It has however been the only thing to keep me going since then and without it I’d be the blackest of the black pilled. However, this was one of those maybe not part the red sea (there was no physical manifestation) but by the very nature of it undeniable and by coming when it did, puzzling then and “Oh,” afterwards.

I’ll also point out that I know at least three other people who had similar experiences at around the same time, and took it better than I, because they are more comfortable with faith.

Some of you have rebuked me in the past (in private, thank you) for not talking about religion or my relationship with himself. There are many reasons I don’t do that, the most important being that this is not a religious blog. I don’t have issues with religious blogs, but this one deals with secular issues of society, culture and governance. Are all those influenced by religion? Sure. But in a religiously pluralistic society such as ours, I can’t convince anyone — and will chase many otherwise willing people away — by screaming things I believe and they don’t.

Like there is no arguing with taste, there is no arguing with faith. You either believe or you don’t. And there is nothing sadder than someone trying to convince others by repeatedly quoting a book or a tradition they don’t believe in. And it’s probably sadder when it’s my own. You can dispute within groups of believers by quoting basis of the faith, but outside? It’s somewhere between hollow and silly. Yeah, yeah, convert, etc.

That brings me to the second reason: I don’t particularly feel called to convert people to my faith. I will pray for those I love who I think need Himself in their lives, but that miracle is beyond me. And please don’t yell at me, I do realize it’s heretical in oh, so many ways, but I believe Himself finds a way of reaching even those who believe objectively harmful doctrines. I believe, in the beautiful phrasing of a Greek Orthodox monk to whose lectures a non-believing friend introduced me years ago, that “The doors of hell are locked on the inside.”

The third reason is. however, the most important: I am not a woman of faith.

Stop staring at me. I am not, naturally. I dislike that which I can’t see or touch. The irrational and miraculous annoys the living daylights out of me. And it annoys me whether it comes from the faith (which with some interesting admixture. No really) I was raised, or from Bob the sun worshiper who has made a shrine of rocks in his yard and makes fires there in summer, and dances around it in animal pelts. (Dude, I DID live in Manitou Springs for 7? years. What part of that is unclear.)

It annoys me because in my back brain it’s a breaking of the rules.

On top of that my religion is painfully legalistic, or it is as it was taught to me, and I’m not one of those people. Even if I TRIED dotting every i and crossing every t I’d fail twice a week and ten times on Sunday. It bugs the living daylights out of me, in the same way that it bugs the living daylights out of me to learn German: Three genders, randomly assigned? What do you mean Casus? If I have to solve quadratic equations to say “Good Morning” I’m just going to hit every native speaker with the dictionary and run screaming into the night. Your Casus is Casus Belli, your language is an offense against normal people, and I will only learn it under protest, and then forget it quickly.

This is not, by the way, an invitation to discuss my faith or lack thereof, much less to try to convert me to a new and exciting faith. I follow the religion grandma taught me. Badly. And mostly when I pray, I hear Himself chuckling in the back of my head. Because I’m the plucky comic relief.

I’m just trying to explain my relationship with the whole thing, so that you understand why what I received is both unlikely, and why I trust it, despite everything.

So, because I am what I am (Popeye of me) and because Himself is what He is — and I do believe in Him and that He’s an author because nothing that doesn’t have self-directed intelligence could be this perverse (Yes, I just called the Creator perverse. Yes, I remain uncharred. You will most certainly deal) and no creature who ISN’T an author could have this disgraceful sense of humor and plotting (yep, still uncharred. DEAL) — I sometimes get …. miracles. Miracles, “seeings”, answers to prayers I didn’t make but would if I knew to do it.

I can explain away ninety percent of them. I also have “religious nerd” friends I hit up to make sure I haven’t wandered into seriously diabolical stuff, or at least very evil, particularly when this stuff involves dreams, because I’ve had some doozies. (One of those died, but this doesn’t save him from my discussing it with him. He doesn’t answer audibly. I’m not that crazy, but I still tell him about it.)

Ninety percent? Well, I can explain them away so they don’t bother me. Not that the explanation needs to be very sane or make tons of sense. A lot of devolves to sun spots and weather ballons as explanations for UFOs. They make no sense, but they allow me to ignore that for just a moment something that shouldn’t have happened happened or was given/granted to me. And then I can sleep at night. Yes, I am aware I’m playing a game with myself. Deal.

Now I get these…. once a year or so, not always on matters of high import. Or on matters of high import to anyone else. And they break causal/logical sense. I only refer to them as coming from the Creator, or G-d, or whatever you care to call them because they seem to all come from one…. well, person. And there’s a personality.

If you’re not a believer, you could think it’s some logic of the multiverse. In fact, we have a broad category of things that have happened to us that are either miracles, or time/multiverse travelers playing pranks. And for them to be miracles, it would need to be necessary which we don’t see.

Examples and the first was beneficial: when we moved from an apartment in Rockhill SC to a house in Charlotte NC, we made three u-haul trips, and cleaned the apartment. We were 24. And we carried everything/did everything alone.

By the time we finished, we were beyond exhausted. On the last trip to Charlotte, after returning the u-haul, I realized I didn’t have my purse. I remembered clearly that we’d left it behind, in the one piece of furniture in the place: a sofa, which we were abandoning/leaving behind, with agreement from the complex. I made some exclamation that included “purse” and my husband said “I know. You left it on the sofa in Rockhill. Tell you what, we’ll call the landlords and go get it at the office in the morning. I just can’t tonight.” Both of us clearly remembered the purse, and where it had been left.
Imagine our surprise when we opened the door and the purse was dropped on the floor in front of the door, in the new house.
And yeah, I explain these things way easily “We both misremembered” and go on with life.

Other things are harder to explain and most fall under “gremlin activity.” Like, my husband’s contact lenses disappeared from the closed box. This is …. He’d worn them for ten years, and trust me, it was a ritual. There’s no way he didn’t put them in the box. But they disappeared, forcing him to drive an hour to the eye doctor with a seriously outdated prescription. (Yeah, it could maybe be good, because it delayed him, maybe there was an accident if he’d gone at the regular time, or gone straight to work, but frankly, that requires a lot of special begs.)

The others are really, really stupid things. For a while there, my phone and my kindle disappeared and appeared in randomly strange places. Earning me a reputation for being a total airhead. And then it stopped, suddenly. The tell for “this wasn’t right” is that the places they appeared in made no sense whatsoever, or were places I’d already looked in ten times. (And by that I mean places like a vast, clean coffee table, where nothing could hide.)

The other week, we spent a day, both of us, looking for a relatively large piece for an essential machine. I’d carried it from the bedroom to the bathroom, and it disappeared. Both of us looked all over. I ordered a replacement. That night, my husband was brushing his teeth and glanced at the top of the hamper, where it was sitting in splendor and visible glory.

Those might be miracles, but I have no idea how. There is no actual “intelligence” or sense behind them. Weirdly they disturb me less than those that have intelligence and sense, because it’s just one of those “there are holes in reality. Meh.” My husband has a short hand for these events. It’s “Frigging time travelers collecting souvenirs.” (He assumes the supervisor makes them bring some back.)

But anyway, if you want to believe these are all random acts of the multiverse, I won’t argue with you.

I’ll just say the very few things that happen for which I have no explanation not even a bad one, tend to be “true” even if sometimes you have to wind through a weird road to get there.

A lot of these are knowledge, sudden certainty, strange dreams (there is a feel to dream that’s “true” even though one of them I refuse to believe is, because it’s more mystical than I like to believe and would also imply I’ve been called to something important. (And the one of you who has heard me gnaw on that dream like a dog with a bone can stop giggling right now. It’s not becoming, and sets a bad example for the kids.)

They rarely come when I’m praying, or if they do, they come about something unrelated to what I’m praying for, if that makes sense.

And when I say “I heard” understand I have never yet had an auditory hallucination. I “heard” refers to a thought in my head that isn’t mine. I don’t know how else to explain it. And I realize that sounds crazier than hearing voices. Mind you, most of the time I don’t “hear” words. I “feel” a train of thought.

One time I “heard” something clearly was when I first met Dan. For various reasons — no seriously, he had had dental surgery, hadn’t showered in two days (I still haven’t broken him of not showering when he feels sick. I think it’s counterproductive, but it’s his thing) and was high as a kite on pain killers. He was also having a massive acne outbreak — he didn’t at all look attractive. But the minute I saw him, I heard in the back of my mind “This is your future husband.”

It took us four years, relationships to other people, etc. etc., but dang it, yeah he was. (The miracle there, is that I didn’t run screaming into the night. Probably only thing that prevented it is that it was the middle of the day.)

There are others, like a sudden certainty younger son would be all right (Back then. Now I just worry.)

Or knowing to the moment when grandma died, and also that she was all right and was with all her beloved animals, including the turtle, even though my annoying family hadn’t told me she was sick.

These things, when they hit, can’t be doubted.

Call it my back brain adds up to something that my conscious brain has no words for, if you insist on not believing in woo woo stuff, which I really wish I could do, and still try.

Anyway, in this case, my “sense/feeling” in 2019 came while I was praying, but I was not praying about this specifically. I was worried, but about much more personal stuff, such as where money would come from to do some needed repairs.

And out of the blue I got…. a train of thought and a certainty.

I knew the election would be stolen (which is why I was so sure through 2020) and I knew very bad people would get power. The train of thought was “Worse than FDR LBJ and Woodrow Wilson rolled into one and dipped in Nancy Pelosi.” And I knew it would be bad, very bad.

But I also knew with absolute, unwavering certainty, that America would not only survive, but would come out of this more America than ever.

Perhaps not the perfect constitutional republic — I think that worked for like an hour after the ink dried — but closer to it than we’ve seen in the last 200 years or so. With more freedom, more prosperity and more individual ability to pursue happiness than ever.

I got the certainty that “past the bad times” the republic not only lived, but it was a golden era. And that I would see it. Or at least the beginnings of it.

And it was absolutely, unwaveringly CERTAIN.

Have I tried to explain that episode away?

Am I still me? Of course I have. But there is a rock-hard certainty to it that can’t even be chipped away, no matter how depressed I get.

And btw, the friends who were vouchsafed almost exactly the same, though most are of different religions and one tries really hard to be a non-believer AREN’T HELPING ME EXPLAIN IT AWAY.

Maybe it’s an amiable delusion, to help me weather the storm. Maybe my devious subconscious is so smart that it foresaw what was coming and gave me this, so I wouldn’t die of despair.

Sure. But I know my subconscious really well, and if it were behind this, it would have — instead — filled me with the illusion that there were time-travelers hiding in old train stations and then forced me to write a novel about it.

Reassurance and kindness are not in its range of abilities.

And at any rate, it won’t let explain itself away that way.

So, today I was going to talk about the consequences of gerontocracy. (Yeah, there are some. It was to be called “Eating our seedcorn” And then I was going to have a post about what comes after. Because I don’t know, so I like to explore and poke at it.)

Instead, as I was thinking about what comes after I got a strong feeling I should write this.

Do I think it was a divine command?

No. I think this is my subconscious doing some weird math of its own, and figuring that at least one of you needed to hear this.

I have no clue which one of you. But now I’ve said it, and I hope it helps.

Gerontocracy — or in this case kakistocratic gerontocracy — tomorrow.

I have boxes to unpack, and younger son is tapping his foot and crossing his arms at me.

Wally wally wally.

See you tomorrow. And don’t send the men in white coats for me. I can act completely sane. Sometimes.

330 thoughts on “Be Not Afraid.

  1. I have had the same feeling, not as exact, but an overwhelming sense that it will all work out OK…. God bless.

    1. Everything will definitely be all right in the very end.

      We have, however, been warned that it’s somewhat worse en route.

    2. Yes, on January 20th, 2021, I had a deep feeling of calm and peace. Despite everything that was going on.

  2. Act sane?

    I’m always sane. It’s the world that’s insane. 😀

  3. You’re not crazy. I haven’t had that detailed a message, but I have had at least one. In my experience it was the inner voice that sounds like mine….and definitely, clearly isn’t.

  4. I needed to hear this. Because as many times as you’ve said you believed it will work out, we will get through the evil, you didn’t say this part of why. Lots of sense and reason and experience, but not this. But this part of why matters more than all the others. Thank you for writing it.

  5. C.S. Lewis wrote in That Hideous Strength that if you must see ghosts, it is better not to disbelieve in them. Probably the same can be said for miracles, no matter how pedestrian they seem to us.

    Also, I just rewatched Leap of Faith, Steve Martin as a tent revivalist who doesn’t believe in miracles. Absolutely beautiful movie (and some good music, too). A movie that could be. Are today–but would require a completely different ending to denigrate all that had happened before.

    1. “Leap of Faith” is one of a very few movies that depict God working in the world the way he usually does (“Babette’s Feast” is another). The scene at the end when it begins to rain as Steve Martin gets into the truck and he begins to laugh and hits his knee and says “Yes Lord!” — that’s a moment of conversion, clear and simple.

      1. “I think this is my subconscious doing some weird math of its own, and figuring that at least one of you needed to hear this….”

        Looks like there was more than one of us, but…

        “Let’s not always see the same hands.”
        https://tom-lehrer.fandom.com/wiki/New_Math

        And that $5 bill I desperately needed that one day was definitely NOT in my wallet the first three times I looked.

        Jocularity aside, once you’ve ever heard The Voice, you can’t mistake it for anything else, and important messages are usually intended for all those willing to listen.

        “I got the certainty that “past the bad times” the republic not only lived, but it was a golden era. And that I would see it. Or at least the beginnings of it.”

        Getting past the bad times is going to be challenging, and hard, and frightening on all possible levels, but, as it says in The Wisdom of Refrigerator Magnets 10:4 “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end.”

        Or in the more authoritative source —
        “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33.)

      2. FWIW, parts of “Leap of Faith” were filmed in my hometown.
        Biggest thing that ever happened there.
        Among people who were not strangers to miracles.

        1. The movie claims it’s in Rustwater Kansas but the moment they drove into town it was very clearly Texas. I initially thought it might be Fort Stockton, it looked so similar. But I’ve never been in Plainview/Abilene area (something I need to rectify).

          1. Abilene is lumpy, covered in brushy trees, and has Ft. Phantom Hill. Plainview is flat, flat, flat, has a neat archaeological museum at the college, and is flat. And used to be the northernmost point you could obtain Blue Bell Ice cream.

            1. “used to be the northernmost point you could obtain Blue Bell Ice cream.”
              We still can’t buy Blue Bell Ice Cream in Michigan, but I can drive for about an hour to Montpelier, OH and get it there. 🙂

  6. I “heard” refers to a thought in my head that isn’t mine. I don’t know how else to explain it.

    Precisely.

    I have, on exceptionally rare occasions, gotten direct communication from Himself. (Once upon direct request, a couple times in the “you’re My boots on the ground, go do your job!” sense.)

    I am an introvert. I know the sound of my own mind talking to itself (even when it does the funny voices). And I know when it’s not MY mind but something way bigger.

      1. THIS. I’ve done and written some things only because the Hound of Heaven (my term for it) chased me so hard I had no choice.

        I am not fond of that dog.

          1. The Hound of Heaven is a very good boy. But darn it he (or she didn’t check) is DARNED annoying and stubborn does not begin to cover it.

              1. The problem is that now I’m stuck on the Hound of Heaven as our departed dog Bear. Part Shepherd, part Pyrenees, all-loving and all-stubborn. One of those dogs who’s juuuuuuust dumb enough that you circle around and start wondering if he’s actually playing you…

                  1. I dunno, this is the dog who tried begging my lunchtime pizza from alternating sides, in hopes that I would think there was two of him and feed them both. Divine Hounds, thankfully (?) are not required to be Dumb.

                1. Mine probably looks like Greebo.
                  Look, among the many things I don’t understand, that cat would come, snuggle and stay perfectly still while I prayed, and it felt like it was Greebo and I and G-d, in a little perfect bubble of love. Like the cat also felt it and was also praying in his way.
                  THIS MAKES NO SENSE. Not with our beliefs. But all the same, I hope on the other side there will a little black cat soul, built like a bulldog, protective as a guard dog, and filled with faith. And that we get to pray together again.

                  1. I can believe that one with you. 🙂 There’s a C.S. Lewis bit about “man’s lost ability to ennoble the animals” and I occasionally wonder: if God’s love is enough to lift us from mortal to whatever-we’ll-be, why shouldn’t human love be enough to start something similar in our sphere of influence?

                  2. He tells us there will be a new heaven and a new earth. That means everything. And a new earth means all the cats and dogs I’ve loved over the years are in heaven. Waiting.
                    Yours will be, too.
                    I wonder what it might be like praying with Jesus sitting there next to you?

                    1. I had an interim pastor once who was a cat man. His own thought/hope was that we would have our beloved feline friends back but at the size they thought they were, say somewhere between a tiger and a cart pony. He noted there was no scriptural basis for this other than we’re told that creation will be renewed (Revelation) and that creation (All of it including cats) was good at the start (Genesis). But the Author is infinitely loving and infinitely wise, and I’ll just have to trust that He’ll do what is right

                    2. I maybe ten minutes ago finished listening to the Mysterious World episode for today.

                      You may be interested in it.

                      He has some related supporting arguments, including that we’re told that dominion over the animals is PART of being human.

                    3. I wonder what it might be like praying with Jesus sitting there next to you?

                      He gets an annoyed look on his face and says “I’m right here, you know. We could just talk like normal people.”

                    4. LOL. I always think of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof when I’m not certain that I’m “doing this prayer thing right.”
                      I can hear the Holy Spirit “Just talk to me for Chrissake!”

                  3. The word angel in from the koine greek angelos (ἄγγελος) and means messenger. I suppose the Author can use whatever he wants as messengers, although scriptural descriptions of seraphim and cherubim are pretty darned bizarre.

                    The running joke in our family comes from the fact that all our cats have loved sitting or standing by the Nativity manger at Christmas. As the angel from the set was broken by one of the cats we have always said that the cats ARE taking the place of the angel and in fact ARE the angel(s). They tower over the manger and look like they’re 50′ tall. We figure this is why an angels first statement is usually “Be not afraid” as any rational person would find a 50′ tall cat a bit terrifying.

              2. from C.S. Lewis (The Lion, The Witch And The Wardeobe)
                Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.

            1. YES. And he SNIFFLES and SNUFFLES LOUDLY.
              And the archangel Rafael is no gentleman, when he wants something. EVEN IF/particularly if the something is getting you in touch with the one person in your set who can fix your health.(Fix-ish)

          2. No, and what I wrote seemed to help people during a rough patch. But I don’t like being, ahem, hounded. arranges buckets for incoming carp buffet

            1. Be happy for clear instruction!

              I’m only alive because of a miracle. (OK, more than one. But three of them I can rationalize, albeit not very convincingly.)
              But I know I didn’t make that jump.
              I felt myself falling.
              I could see I was going to fall well short.
              And I knew that I was as good as dead. Then I was carried to safety.
              And there was rock solid certainty that I was living on borrowed time.
              That I owed a debt.
              One day that debt would come due.

              I’ve gotten a few reminders over the years (like those situations I can just barely rationalize when I want to).
              But about the only clear direction I’ve received has been a very firm “NO” when I thought about attending seminary.

              I did get a very pointed “prepare yourself and stand ready” about eighteen months ago,
              But I would kind of like to know what I’m supposed to be preparing for.

              1. In “The War God’s Own,” Tomanak (the war god, with a strong dash of St. Michael) tells one of his knights, “You’re doing exactly what you ought to be doing, ” and her reply is, “Well, that’s reassuring. Now if I only knew what I was doing, everything would be perfect.”

        1. I fled Him down the nights and down the days
          I fled Him down the arches of the years
          I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
          Of my own mind, and in the midst of tears
          I hid from him, and under running laughter.
          Up vistaed hopes I sped and shot precipitated
          Adown titanic glooms of chasme d hears
          From those strong feet that followed, followed after
          But with unhurrying chase and unperturbe d pace,
          Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
          They beat, and a Voice beat,
          More instant than the feet:
          All things betray thee who betrayest me.’

          Full text here

      2. The Good Book has numerous tales of people being called to do something, and then arguing about why they don’t want to. In the end, they end up being where they were told doing what they were told to do by Himself.

        You may argue and grumble about it, but you end up doing it.

        1. The perfect example being Jonah, possibly the world’s first hellfire and brimstone preacher.

          1. Except Jonah doesn’t grumble, he whines, and tells the Author “NO I don’t wan’t you to do that”. Being shoved in a fish/whale for several days does not seem to have cured him of his whininess.

            1. Nope, sure didn’t. BUT… you know what apparently did get him to examine himself and see that he’d been wrong? God’s verbal slap on the head after the incident with the plant and the worm: “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:10-11, ESV).

              Now, why do I say that that got him to rethink his attitude, when the book of Jonah doesn’t say that? (Those are literally the last words in the book). Because think about why we know those words. Jonah wrote them down. Why would he write down something that portrays him in such a negative light? Because he realized he’d done wrong, and this book is his confession.

              The Veggietales movie Jonah ends with this song: “Jonah was a prophet (oo-ooh!) / But he really never got it (sad but true!) / And if you watch him you can spot it (a-doodley-doo!) / He did not get the point.” And if you go strictly by the text found in the Bible, they’re quite right. Jonah is never actually shown getting God’s point that he should have had compassion on the people of Nineveh. But if you stop and think about the text for a little, and ask yourself who wrote it down, you’ll soon realize that Jonah did eventually get it, and wrote down a confession in which he makes no excuses for his own behavior, does not show himself as justified in the least, and basically says, “Look, don’t be like I was.” So I’m convinced that he did, eventually, get it and shape up.

    1. Hearing a supernatural voice not one’s own, not audible to others, is called a locution. It’s pretty common, on the scale of supernatural experiences. Visions are similar, and there are also supernatural perceptions of smells and tastes and touches. (Or shoves, or pinches, on the evil supernatural side of things.)

      It seems to be related to the way the brain processes experience and perception normally, and also to the way individual people perceive things in dreams, under medication, etc. But it also seems to be quite different — it has a certain insistent reality that the other experiences don’t.

      Strange things happen in this world; but they happen fairly often to a lot of people. A lot of people won’t bring it up unless somebody else brings it up first.

      1. Having thoughts that are not one’s own is somewhat related, but I can’t remember what it’s called. If the baddies are doing it, it’s demonic obsession; but I think it’s more “inspiration” when God’s doing it.

        There are various flavors of inspiration, I know. Like if you just have a good idea, and it’s minor and not a big deal, it’s just a little one. But I think St. John of the Cross talks about that, and how it’s good to be docile and willing toward nice little inspirations that are just suggestions from God.

      2. ” it has a certain insistent reality that the other experiences don’t.”

        I had a locution that healed me of an interior (spiritual/emotional) wound and probably saved my soul. It was definitely not my voice – and it gave me a message. I appreciated the message. What I did not realize, until 2 weeks later, was that the message it gave me was not just an encouraging boost, but was an announcement of the healing I had been gifted with at that instant.

        Wow. This stuff is real.

        Sarah, your message is so life-giving and hope-giving, thank you for sharing it!

  7. Thank you for sharing. That was deeply personal, and I appreciate how hard it can be to share something that might make you feel vulnerable.
    Some of us who are deeply religious have had the same impressions.
    You’re definitely not alone.

  8. I’ve had that sudden conviction, a “knowing” which came out of the clear blue – not often, but I can take it as a certainty when it does hit.

    1. There are a couple of different flavors of “knowing.” Some are interior—I can point to a couple of times when my back brain was working on an issue and then presented me with a conclusion, all wrapped up in a little bow. From the outside it probably looked like an abrupt turn, and it certainly felt like it in some ways, but it wasn’t, really, just all the buildup coming to an explosion.

      The exterior ones are definitely weirder, especially if you announce them and are later proven to be right. (I am not shy. Neither am I afraid of seeming weird, because that’s actually to my advantage.)

      1. “Interior” is familiar. It’s sort of the subconscious (for lack of better term) working on a problem, and then when the conscious mind is finally off that problem, “Now that the noise is down, you can hear solution…” and thus the Programming Problem (or whatever) seems to get solved in the shower…

  9. Sarah, thanks for sharing your “message” from “Himself”! I too am absolutely certain that we are in the midst of a massive, world wide, spiritual revival. Not sure exactly why, but I see signs of it all around me. Himself has taught me (in the bible) that Israel went through numerous cycles in history and that all of His people do the same. We are blessed and prosperous and mostly spiritual. We forget about the core spiritual principles and the prosperity goes away. We hit bottom and rediscover those God given principles. Then we renew and become prosperous again. We are nearing the bottom & I hope we may be there before it gets much worse! The change is coming and prosperity is just around the corner!

  10. Stuff like that doesn’t happen to me. But at least in the sense that you describe, I don’t feel it’s needed. My confidence that everything will work out in the end for our country as it ought to (note that I did not say for the best) seems to be hard-coded into me.

    Perhaps as a result of that, I tend to get irritable when I see people getting beligerant while pushing a black pill narrative.

    1. The viewpoint mentioned above is probably part of why I’m not ready to give up on California.

      1. There are still Americans there. Thus, giving up is not warranted. I can see a day where California becomes the new Texas. Or Florida. The day when all the fraud and the lawfare and the dirty dealing cannot keep the kleptocrats in power.

        Californian Americans know, on a gut level, what the result of SoCoMarxist policies applied are, applied to the American system of government. Should such persons finally get the power to make changes…

        Well.

        Can you imagine the flight from California, once they realize they’ve lost and lost hard? To Washington state, to New York, to some other liberal haven, will they go? When a governor starts backing the customs and border patrol, starts booting out the illegals and the bums and the criminals…

        It would be like a country that lost a war. Political refugees.

        Reality is like to be much less than that rosy picture, though. It will be along slog to muck out the Californian stables. Fight on, Californians. Let the spirit of Ronaldus Magnus be your guide.

  11. Thank you. I agree. It won’t be fun. It might be painful but the US will come out of this. Already seeing cracks in the narrative, and the other side doubling down. As they squeeze the fists the water drains faster. Momentum is there.

  12. I describe myself as an optimistic cynic. I think things are going to turn out well in spite of the fact that we humans tend to do some of the dumbest stuff you can think of…

  13. I’ve mentioned Whatifalthist before here, and I do recall him mentioning in his predictions for how Canada will likely break up that he’s also expecting the US to be in a golden age around the 2050’s. I don’t recall the reasoning he used, though.

    I suspect that largely, our current troubles are caused by the post WWII systems being completely mis-fit for the modern world, and tearing themselves apart at the seams.

    I don’t remember if I’ve said it here, or elsewhere, but I suspect the entire root of American Exceptionalism is the realization that people work hardest and are most productive at what they want and choose to do, rather than what they are compelled to do. And I think a lot of the productivity slowdown we’re seeing now comes from institutions trying to forcing people to do things, instead of running on people wanting to do things.

    But forcing is not a viable model, not when other people can do what they want to, so one by one, the old kings are falling.

  14. Nobody who has ever had a truly precognitive dream (raises hand), one with people one doesn’t know yet in places one has never been, that months later happens as it was dreamed, can ever completely dismiss the “woo woo”. There are more things in Heaven and Earth than we can now (or may ever) explain.

    And while I worry that it’s just wishful thinking on my part I have some of the same optimism your received message contains.
    The feeling in the air here in Florida recently is that TWANLOC have overreached badly and are heading for a major reduction in their ability to be effective. All Americans really need to fix a lot of what’s wrong is to have the Federal meddlers leave them alone to get on with it.
    And that’s beginning to look possible.

    1. I know when it’s a precog dream. I don’t know when it will happen, or how, but the dream is SO different in “flavor” from the usual that it can’t be anything else.

      Which is somewhat uncomfortable. As is the gut “do not do whatever you are planning/about to do” feeling. Which has always been right thus far . . .

      1. very much agree about the “flavor” of the dream being different. When it’s happened to me I’ve woken up thinking, “THAT was really weird.” And then sometime later (a few hours or a few weeks) it happening exactly like the dream.

        1. One night, about twenty years ago, I had a very vivid dream that I still remember in detail. I was in Manhattan, standing on Sixth Avenue, looking south towards the World Trade Center, which was on fire.

          The spooky part, that still disturbs me, is that the dream was the night of September 8, 2001.

    2. We experience time as linear, but C.S. Lewis likened it to a sheet of paper, and God can see the whole paper. And sometimes, I think we get a little glimpse of the paper, not quite mired in time.

      ‘Cause yeah, those precog dreams are weird. (I usually just get places.)

  15. I think I have a lot of experiences trying to get through life on my own, without trying to explicitly seek help or guidance from The Lord. Some times it looks like I have a lot of evidence that this does not work, and that He is trying to hint me about improving things.

    Knowing my own thinking, I’m not sure that some of what I come up with is not from Him. Studying Truth can be a way to The Lord, perhaps, and so perhaps some of what I find looking for Truth was brought to my attention by Him.

    But, I would say that my thought processes are fairly erratic.

    1. Aquinas says that Truth, Beauty, and Goodness are transcendentally one, in the sense that each is ultimate Being perceived in a different way. As such, each is a path to the One who Is. Some of us follow one path, some another, but all three paths lead to the same Being.

  16. There are two classes of people — the productive class, and the parasite class. The productive class makes all the stuff everybody needs to live. The parasites make nothing of value, they just cause problems for everybody else.

    Trouble is, most of the world today is being run by and for the parasites. ‘Activists’ are parasites, always trying to force other people to solve the problems they are obsessed with. If you call them out as the parasites they are, you’re Racist or Sexist or Something-phobic or…
    ———————————
    Today, every child in America is born $89,000 in debt.

  17. Sarah,, you have probably noticed by now that your minions seem to be all of the same mind. So much for you being weird!

    I used to wonder what happened to the “hand of Divine Providence” that was so involved in our Founding, but lately it seems to have returned.

    1. Sarah,, you have probably noticed by now that your minions seem to be all of the same mind. So much for you being weird!

      Minions?

      You… don’t know us very well, do you?

  18. I needed to hear this.

    We could nickname you Jeremiah Hoyt but non-believers wouldn’t get it and that would be rude. But, if He had given you a divine command, I don’t think the outcome would have been different.

    Know what’s weird? That one paragraph where you detail what you heard? I can read it and know it’s true. That kind of knowing that comes from a place that disappears if I try to look at it.

    The paragraph where you say we’ll be more American than ever filled me with a rising joy. Real joy, the feeling that feels like sunshine that warms a small spot and then spreads till I’m all glowey.

      1. blink, blink, blink.
        I did tell you I had one of those dreams in which there was a big (!) hyped up (??!!) bio of me on sale in bookstores (?????) (I’m not even sure there will be bookstores, and really, who the heck am I? Maybe it’s an alternate universe.)
        Anyway, it had a picture of me standing at the airport with my luggage when I came over to marry Dan (yes, the picture EXISTS) and the title was two words: The American.
        I’m fairly sure I was dead by then, thank heavens.

        1. Ye blobs and little fishes. Telling an introvert that there will be a biography of that person someday, that it will be hyped, popular, and big…

          Are you sure that wasn’t a nightmare? Because that sounds like a nightmare to me.

            1. And, being dead, somewhere you were looking down and saying “Were you TRYING to write fan fic? Because this reads like fan fic to me.” Eh. Maybe at least it was/will be/fictionally be good fan fic. And, if it turns out to have been somewhat prophetic, you can console yourself with the company of those who’ve already passed on and peeking in on the grandkids to make sure they are doing okay.

        2. I’m not even sure there will be bookstores, and really, who the heck am I?
          Maybe you get so big they bring back bookstores just in your honor. Bigger than Jesus! 😛

        3. Damn it, let me try that again:

          I’m not even sure there will be bookstores, and really, who the heck am I?

          Maybe you get so big they bring back bookstores just in your honor. Bigger than Jesus! 😛

            1. Hey, if it’s what your God wants who says you get a choice? 😛

              …Alright, I’ll stop now. Please don’t ban me.

  19. OT, but I wonder if Elon Musk or a friend might be lurking here. Today he’s saying Earth could support many more people and that in fact the population is crashing.
    I think he likes being contrary. And his bid for Twitter is up to 46 billion and a bit.

    1. I’m a 2 1/2 cheers for Elon Musk guy, I wish he would move on from China. What I can’t deny is his optimism about the future and his evident dedication to free speech, I think there are free speech absolutists and fascists, nothing more. Most importantly, he wants to go to space and is taking the steps to do it, Laurie Jo Hansen in the flesh, unlike the billionaire bankers and those creepy google guys who want to live forever — struldbrugs blech,

    2. John Ringo was mentioning Baen to him on Twitter the other day. No idea if Elon saw it, but who knows?

    3. It would not surprise me that much. Sarah has more-or-less taken on Heinlein’s mantle, and Musk is definitely playing D.D. Harriman.

    4. Elon’s not exactly one of us politically. He supports a carbon tax, for example. He could end up doing a lot of good, but I agree with Razorfist that we should temper our expectations:

        1. Okay, those still landed in moderation so putting the links in quotes wasn’t it. Maybe it’s just because both links went to the same place (which is useless).

  20. Sarah, the “thought that isn’t yours coming into your head” thing has happened to me. It’s real. And when it happened it put me on my knees because I had no other choice. I totally believe you here.

    Thanks for writing this.

  21. The things disappearing/reappearing happens often enough to have multiple explanations (gremlins/ fairies/ Borrowers, etc.) It happens to my family, though it doesn’t sound quite as extreme. I usually say I found something the third time I looked somewhere, but I rarely ever keep count. I doubt that it’s God, though. But something alive and intelligent (for certain definitions of both). Maybe the equivalent of a spiritual dog?

    In some ways, the fact that they stole the election is encouraging. Because they stole it in real-time, in front of everyone. (And those of you who say there is no evidence of stealing, I say, “Bah!” and again I say, “Bah!”) I think that they were prepared for the level of voting that they had for Hillary, and instead got a landslide.

    And yes, I think that many elections are stolen.

    I would like to know who the bad people in charge actually are. Because I don’t think they’re the visible ones.

    I also am taking great comfort that you were told that you would live to see this golden age. Rather like Simeon and Anna in the Temple, seeing the Lord. And I’m a couple of years younger, so I might see this as well.

    I personally hope that our family has reached our nadir, and things start going up. I keep seeing things going up, and then we have another bad couple of weeks, and wonder if I’m fooling myself.

    And IIRC, most prophets tried to deny their gifts. Until they were forced to spew it out.

      1. If they do it again they’ll lose. For one thing, fraud of that scale is simply inadequate to overcome the vote against Democrats these days. More importantly, the more fraud they commit they more people realize that the elections are illegitimate and the less winning elections matter.

  22. Yes, I just called the Creator perverse.

    :goes and looks it up:

    “(of a person or their actions) showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences:”

    Add in a dash of Chesterton, the Patron Saint of Paradox…

    via GIPHY

  23. Do I think it was a divine command?

    No. I think this is my subconscious doing some weird math of its own

    for many people, I believe thats EXACTLY what belief/faith is … its not a conscious thing … its a gut thingy …

  24. I’ve had problems with the woo woo thing too, being Sarah’s co-religionist I tend to react the same way to them, but I can’t deny they’ve happened. We Celts are fey, or so they say.

    It’s funny how things go though, I was starting to sink into my semi annual depression but I went to a wake last night and met several people I haven’t seen in years, decades for some. Listening to how their lives have turned out, I came to the realization that I have absolutely nothing to complain about and the depression went away, poof, gone.

      1. Thank you, always appreciated. The black dog is my constant companion.

        I’m at that crappy, bets have been made now waiting to see if I was right or wrong, time in the cycle. I’m pretty sure we have rough times ahead and have positioned accordingly but ahhhh, the waiting. in my business the waiting breaks more people than anything else, especially when you’re going against the trend and the first moves are against you.

        Still, objectively, who has it better than me? I’m healthy, married to the same woman going on 34 years, my children are productive and aren’t involved with unsuitable people, I’m employed, own my house, and have some money put by, so who has it better than me? is it unicorns and moonbeams, nope, but I was born in the United States of America and married to a woman solid enough to build skyscrapers on, hell, I’ve won both the life lottery and a lifetime achievement award right there.

  25. Thank you for this, though I’m probably not the one that needed it badly.

    I’d also like to thank everyone, especially you and SusanM, for your comments on “Expectations” the other day. I spoke with my psych about it today and she agreed.

    1. I am glad that you found my comments helpful.

      I feel kind of worthless many days because I am rather a shell of my former self. But I shouldn’t feel like that because trials and tribulations can be very valuable even to other people.

      So, head up. Keep on keeping on. You matter. And the trials you go through matter too. They make you who you are. And who you are happens to be an unreproducible being of infinite worth.

  26. If Casus is German for “case,” in the grammatical sense, then I must confess it’s unintuitive to me that you would have trouble with it. I encountered case when I first took Classical Greek, and in my brief try at Sanskrit I ran into it big time (Sanskrit has eight cases!), and I’ve read linguistic studies of it, and on one hand it’s a really beautiful idea, and on the other it helps me understand some things that English does without having much in the way of overt markers of whether a noun is nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, or vocative. But I guess everyone’s brain works differently.

    I hope you are right about the future. I’m not personally frightened at this point, but I see lots of observable evidence of reasons for fear. I had always hoped that Atlas Shrugged would be prophetic in the sense of preventing itself from coming true . . .

    1. ‘Casus’ is Latin for ’cause’ in the sense of ‘motivation or justification’ — thus, ‘casus belli’ as ‘justification for war’.

      1. It appears that Latin casus is also “case” in the grammatical sense.

        There seems to be some ambiguity between “case” and “cause.” In Alice in Wonderland, one of the poems has a dog speaking to a mouse:

        I’ll be judge, I’ll be jury
        Said cunning old Fury
        I will try the whole cause
        And condemn you to death.

        1. This could also be a pun. Carroll filled the book with them. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of them require knowing Latin.

          1. Well, there is the passage where Alice says, “O Mouse” because she has seen, in her brother’s Latin grammar, “A mouse—of a mouse—to a mouse—a mouse—O mouse!” Now Latin has grammatical case big time. (Though it’s not as extreme as Finnish, which has 15!)

            One of the definitions of “cause” in Wiktionary is “A suit or action in court; any legal process by which a party endeavors to obtain his claim, or what he regards as his right; case; ground of action.”

  27. I have had similar messages. Thank you for saying this, it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    There’s also something I think you need to hear: The spiritual is not random. There is sense to it. Sometimes it may look like it is random, but that’s because there is an entire network of connection most people can’t see. I can. Things get through, even for others sometimes. Himself sometimes makes certain things get through in a certain way. We usually call these signs and miracles.

    I see dimly because even what I CAN see is often a strain. I think for most people the surety would be worse than the doubt. Seeing the Powers that be form battle lines (accurately enough to cross reference with physical battles and tell which was on which side… and track back to some very nasty things.) and knowing you can’t hide. This would be too much for many folk. The spiritual touches our world the way gravity does. You can’t see it, but it’s as solidly real as that. Just harder to measure. Trying usually attracts attention, not always good.

    I do not think either of us are crazy. It would be easier if we were.

  28. And when I say “I heard” understand I have never yet had an auditory hallucination. I “heard” refers to a thought in my head that isn’t mine. I don’t know how else to explain it. And I realize that sounds crazier than hearing voices. Mind you, most of the time I don’t “hear” words. I “feel” a train of thought.

    I know this one.

    The, in the words of my generation, “dafuq?” thoughts out of what the heck.

    1. Heh. I have gotten exactly one verbal encounter, when I was in desperate need. The other times…well. You know how in some video games, Important Thing is placed and highlighted to get your attention? It’s like that. All of a sudden this one person/item/paragraph just stands out from the rest of the world. No instructions, just “This is important. Deal with it accordingly.”

      …I don’t argue.

        1. Those callings can sometimes lead you through pain. Fair warning to those afflicted, He does not often require of us the simple things, the easy things. You will suffer.

          But doing the right thing is always worth the personal suffering. It quite literally makes the world a better place. Objectively, even.

          1. And some of the voices in your head are neither you nor are they your friends. Learning who’s in there and who’s friend and who is foe is important.

  29. There is a reason that the Christians had largely moved on from Jerusalem BEFORE it was destroyed by the Romans. Abruptly moved.

    And, you’d think, that reason might have been written down somewhere and the process recorded in the Bible. But it really wasn’t. They all just somehow knew it was time to go and it wasn’t just because persecutions because those followed everywhere. And it wasn’t just because they were told to go out among the nations because that didn’t require everyone to leave, just the missionaries.

    Somehow the message came that it was time to go. And they did.

    Was it as concrete a message as you and others received that “this too shall pass and you will love what’s coming”? Maybe, maybe not. We don’t know. For some maybe it was just being able to see the truth in what someone else reported about their message.

    So, I have received no special assurance, no certain feeling. EXCEPT when I just read your post I felt in my heart of hearts it is certain true. And my feeling of certain truth is that I have readied for what is coming to the best of my meager ability and all will be well and all things will be well and all manner of things will be well. Even if I don’t live to see it.

    I don’t like that oogy boogy stuff myself. But I do think people get those messages. I’m glad it’s not me. I will be fine just knowing a true one when I see it.

    Thank you for sharing yours. I needed to see it.

    1. Eusebius and Josephus both talk about the signs before Jerusalem fell, but of course Eusebius has a lot more to say about why the Christians headed for Pella. (Largely it was the signs warned about in Matthew.)

      1. Yeah and the trendiest current Bible scholars say that Matthew’s gospel was NOT written by Matthew, and written before the other gospels (as tradition holds) but years and decades later. Well after Jerusalem fell. And Matthew was just telling people what already happened.

        Which if you read that gospel then look at the actual histories of the time from Josephus and Eusebius, one has to realize that the trendiest current Bible scholars are full of baloney.

        It seems to me. But I’m not trendy or current or even a Bible scholar. So I could be wrong

        1. C.S. Lewis and, I believe, others, thought many early “critics,” and “scholar,” started from the point of trying to discredit the Bible.
          If you start with the assumptions, “miracles don’t happen,” and “there’s no such thing as prophecy,” you can go far in academia.

  30. Am I still me? Of course I have. But there is a rock-hard certainty to it that can’t even be chipped away, no matter how depressed I get.

    Even if there is no Narnia.

        1. I haven’t seen the Narnia movies, nor the Doctor since Sylvester McCoy, but I knew who you were referring to. ❤

          1. I haven’t seen the Narnia movie in question either. But I certainly know who the best doctor is so now I may have to find the movie to watch.

        2. Even if he wasn’t played by the best Doctor, I swear, he’d hit me in the heart.

          Puddleglum was played by Christopher Eccleston?

          [ducks and runs] 😛

    1. Puddleglum! Since I tend to be a bit a marshwiggle in temperament I try to remember him.

  31. Being agnostic, my occasional mode of prayer might be mistaken for me rolling my eyes and muttering at the ceiling. Especially of late.

    1. if you haven’t stopped in the middle of the street and SHOUTED at the sky “You call that a plot? You need a writers’ group” you’re not as bad as me. I was on my way FROM the mailbox.
      Older son told me to stop that. It causes talk.

      1. I think it’s how He tells us it’s really His doing and not a whim.

        Fiction has to make sense.

        He doesn’t. His ways are not our ways.

        No one can think of what He comes up with.

        1. Doesn’t make sense in our frame of reference. I keep thinking of Himself saying, (if He felt like it), ” Yes, it looks random now, but 200 years from now someone will do X because of the chain of events you started with that kind word.” Or, possibly, with that unkind word. Eww.

          1. My husband and I were discussing historical continuity the other day… and he mused out loud that he wondered how WWII would have looked if England had won the 100 years war. Was Joan of Arc there to secure, not France’s throne, but the distant future?

      2. When I was in high school, a classmate was going through absolute agony with cancer, and I was so angry that I walked down to the creek, looked up at the sky and said, “Either kill her or cure her, but stop tormenting her like a cat with a mouse. It’s disgraceful.”

        I went to the creek because I knew I’d get holy heck if I did it in the back yard and my folks heard me. My dad was an elder at our church and would’ve taken it very seriously.

        1. Hey, quite a few of the old testament prophets especially, argued with God(or rather his message/messengers) before acquiescing.

          1. “Isreal” “He who wrestles with God.” Then you look at all the OTHER ancient religions and go ‘no wonder they thought the Jews and later Christians were NUTS.’ Rule number 1 of pretty much every other religion: Don’t piss off the powers that be. Ours seems to like being argued with (Doesn’t mean he always lets us WIN mind you.) or at least doesn’t mind it most of the time.

            1. If it’s from people who are honest, yep. There’s one case where he rebukes someone for doubting him: Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. The angel tells Zechariah that his wife (who was past menopause) will bear him a son. Zechariah is a priest, and should know how many miracles God has done in the Old Testament, including giving Sarah a son when she was well past menopause. It’s literally his job to know that sort of thing. So when he asks the angel, “How will I know this will happen?”, he’s saying “Oh yeah? Prove it.” He’s either doubting God’s power, when he should very well know better… or he’s doubting God’s honesty (via doubting the honesty of God’s messenger), when again, as a priest, it’s literally his job to know better than that. And so the angel rebukes him and punishes him by taking away his voice until his son is born.

              Contrast that with Mary, who just asked “How will this happen?” Not “How will I know?” but “How will this happen?” In other words, she’s asking “Should I get married to Joseph next week, instead of next year as we’d planned, so that we can have a kid right away?” And she gets told no, that’s not the plan: the plan is to have the birth be a miracle, a virgin birth, something absolutely impossible without God’s intervention. Mary isn’t doubting, she’s just asking for more information so she should know what she’s supposed to do: marry Joseph and have the baby in the normal way of the human race, or something else. Her attitude is one of obedience, not skepticism, and she’s rewarded rather than punished for it.

      3. My moment was a bit quieter but made up for it in surliness, when the recessional after a church sermon I had been Determinedly Ignoring played the lullaby I sang to Kid every night. Which was an old hymn, much treasured in our family but thoroughly obscure. I stopped in my tracks and said out loud, “FINE then.”

      4. Yes, I just called the Creator perverse. Yes, I remain uncharred. You will most certainly deal

        if you haven’t stopped in the middle of the street and SHOUTED at the sky “You call that a plot? You need a writers’ group” you’re not as bad as me.

        I’ve got to admit, Sarah: if I ever did end up having to choose a God to follow, your version would be a strong contender. At least yours has enough of a sense of humor to not smite me at the first irreverent comment. 😉

        1. If the Most High smote people for irreverence, I’d never have made it out of my teens. Let alone through the past ten years or so.

  32. When I was a little boy, I was interested in sports, science fiction and science, in that order, but had no thoughts about the Source of everything..I was never an atheist, just not interested in faith…Later, my life was saved twice by outright miracles, and I subsequently spent much time and energy working with kids, pretty successfully…Then a friend, a woman of profound faith, told me she had received a message from angels, that I and my family would be “taken care of”, and that ” I had done enough”..Subsequently we received an enormous windfall, and I was able to teach some more part time…

    1. In a mental crisis, I got not-so-subtly reminded that God has a sense of humor. A rough one if you try to ignore what he’s saying. (“‘Jonah, I have a job for you and a surprise if you decline…”)

      I survived and have been able to carry on with help from Himself. I haven’t had That Message just yet, but my gut tells me it’s true, and it’s coming sooner or later. Whether I see the joyous outcome, I don’t know, but if He’s willing, so am I. I’ll do my part.

  33. “But the minute I saw him, I heard in the back of my mind “This is your future husband.””

    You know, that sounds an awful lot like the passage in the Bible when Mary was being Spoken to.

    Two things I know. God exists. God still has something planned for me. There’s just too many occasions where I should have ended up dead, and I’m still here kicking and in decent health. What it is He has up His infinite sleeves I haven’t got the foggiest idea. I hope it’s not something as silly as making a lane change on the highway at a certain time.

    1. St. Therese’s mom got a head’s up on her husband, but she heard it from the Virgin Mary. (And knew it was Mary.) This was years before they got married, too. (And St. Zelie was not looking to get married, in any way, shape, or form.)

        1. I didn’t think I would find anyone either. Heck I barely had friends. I sort of saw myself as sleeping in a cot in the back of a laboratory somewhere keeping an eye on the experiments. Like Igor.

          But, I can to this day, show you the second floor landing of the staircase where I met my husband 45 + years ago.

          He had two girlfriends already at the time we met and I turned him down flat when he asked me out a few weeks later because, as I said at the time, I had no plans to be part of a harem.

          He was very persistent, however. Ditched the other girls (who are very nice people btw) and in the back of my mind I already knew the inevitable. So we did finally date.

          He has no harem. I have no laboratory. But we have 2 children in heaven and 6 living and it has been an excellent life so far. Thanks to him.

          1. I met my husband at the first 1974 Fall Forestry Club meeting that a co-student-friend dragged me too at his wife’s insistence. To be fair. If hubby-to-be and I started dating then, it wouldn’t have been good. While in college (first term), note hubby is 4 months shy of 5 years older than I am, I was 8 weeks shy of 18. We were just friends until after I turned 21, and he turned 26, when we went on our first date-not-date. We got married the next December. We blame the co-student-friend above, and his wife, for shoving us together. 🙂 The two were always setting each of us up on dates. But for some reason never with each other (tricky pair they were). I too figured no one would be interested in me. Why?

        2. There’s a poem I learned when I was 12:

          If no-one ever marries me
          (and I don’t see why they should)
          For Nurse says I’m not pretty,
          (and I’m seldom very good?)

          I took to heart. Still a bit surprised how life turned out.

  34. “I can point to a couple of times when my back brain was working on an issue and then presented me with a conclusion, all wrapped up in a little bow” – this (i am a coder) this has happened to me so many times i have come to reley on it. customer asks for an impossible program. I ask for a couple days. – think about it just before bed. and in 2-3 days i wake up with a simple way do write this code in a couple hours.

    1. this (i am a coder) this has happened to me so many times i have come to reley on it. customer asks for an impossible program. I ask for a couple days. – think about it just before bed. and in 2-3 days i wake up with a simple way do write this code in a couple hours.


      Wait! What? I am not the only one who does this? I could “see” the solution. (Well technically still can. Retired. Not my monkey. Not anymore. After over 6 years … It. Still. Happens. Dang it. I’m retired!)

      Drove some people I worked with absolutely nuts. 100% not mathematically based, 100% worked. Especially when they’d been pounding on the problem during the time in question, but the problem hadn’t been assigned to me.

      Social situations when it comes up that I had been writing software, there was always a skepticism, especially among hubby and mine co-timber co-workers, and college mates. They know me with *math and logic. Hubby just shrugs and says “I don’t know how she does it either. But she is good at it.” My response is a shrug a huge grin and “I know. Right?”

      1. I’ve just completed a round of interviews at $GIGANTIC_SOFTWARE_COMPANY and in the programming question part of one of those interviews I came up with an O(n) solution that the interviewer said he had never heard before. Maybe that will push them over the edge on making me an offer?

          1. Thanks! The last interviewer told me that he thought I would hear something in a couple of days because the manager was “pestering” him for his feedback before the interview actually took place.

        1. I’ll pray it does because it’s the worst place to be, in that sea of interview after interview. You don’t know whether to be hopeful or annoyed.

          1. Thanks. Actually in this case I’m not interviewing anywhere else and I know that I’m done with the interview for this position, so right now it’s just waiting for the results.

            1. Do let us know how it turns out. Sounds like they love you but can’t quite make a decision.

          2. I’ve been in those sea of interviews. I remember my BIL saying “Wow. Just had a two hour interview!” I then asked, “how many more are lined up?” BIL “Only the one that is all there ever is.” Me “Since when?” Even the tiny firms I’ve interviewed there all start with a phone interview followed by in person interviews either ALL Day, with business lunch “break”, or there are at least 3 – 4 interviews, by multiple people; exhausting. IDK if this just limited to software positions or what. (Not just computer base firms because one company that did this was not).

            1. I had two one-hour interviews on Tuesday and two more on Wednesday, all by different people.

              I’m happy that they weren’t all in one day; I’ve done that before and it was exhausting.

            2. I don’t think I’ve ever done less than three. At least, not for a very long time.

  35. Re: heretical, I don’t think you’ve managed that.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church, Art. 27 – “… God never ceases to draw man to Himself….”

    Article 30: “…God… never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness.”

    There’s a general call of Christians to spread the Gospel, but Eph. 4:11 specifically names evangelism as an charism/gift that not everybody gets.

    1. SIGH I do wish more well-meaning ministers (lay and ordained) would understand that. Some of us are NOT blessed with the charism of evangelism. No matter how much some people push/cajole/cheer-lead/insist/guilt-trip.

      We will not discuss the church leaders who ordered/guilted everyone in the place to start doing a Gifts of the Spirit class series because “if everyone takes all these class miracles will happen.” I fled.

      1. Right. Sharing the Gospel with people you are close to, in ways that are appropriate to the person and the situation (i.e. when it comes up in conversation naturally without needing to be shoehorned in), is the duty of every Christian. That does not mean that everyone should be like, say, Billy Graham, doing it as a full-time job in public. Some are indeed called to do that, while others are called to share in private with the people God brings into your life. As you love your neighbors by helping them with groceries, letting them unburden themselves to you when they need a listening ear, etc., tell them (when the moment is right) about the One who wants to take all their burdens on Himself, and His offer of grace. That’s something that all of us can do, whereas public preaching is definitely not everyone’s gift.

        1. I had a die-hard Wiccan friend who had a crisis or three. She called me up all shaky one afternoon: “I had to talk to you, I knew you’d understand, I just feel so DIRTY…” I was just a tad concerned, visions of nasty family secrets and personal assaults dancing through my head. “Shells, I went to CHURCH…”

      2. Lord, yes. (No pun intended.) I got bludgeoned by “everybody evangelize!” in my childhood churches.

        I don’t evangelize. I argue occasionally and hope a clever turn of phrase pops up fifteen years later. What God DID give me in the “spiritual gifts” sense is mercy, which makes me roll my eyes and laugh whenever I’m not actively engaged in it. But when I am, I know that’s what he put me here to do. It’s a weird, weird dichotomy.

        1. Live well. That, more than anything you say, demonstrates the value in faith. If you are living well and doing what good you can in life (not necessarily nice, as Foxfier often says), that will speak to the faith within others that they may currently be denying. Or don’t yet know exists.

          Some people can talk others into faith. Maybe that works. For some people. But the faith that endures is the faith you live. That’s what I believe.

          1. My spouse is fond of quoting St. Francis (I believe Charles Wesley borrowed it from Francis, too).
            “Preach constantly. When necessary, use words.”

            1. I’ve heard that one a lot, too. grin Some certain folks of my recollection think they need to use their words. A lot.

              That’s never worked for me, so far as preaching and the like goes. I try to be a humble Christian. Himself knows I have flaws. Too many to count. Do a little good, here and there, when I can.

              If everybody did a little good, here and there, when they could, I think the world would be a much better place. Like putting the shopping carts away when you are done with them. Little goods. Enough of that, little bit at a time, makes for a better world.

            2. Is a fake quote, FWIW– and Saint Francis is an ironic choice for attributing it to, since the guy’s association with animals is because he literally preached to a bunch of animals when the humans couldn’t be bothered to show up and listen. 😀

              That said, there are the Works of Mercy, most of which aren’t talking.

              Long copy-paste:
              The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy and their Holy Scripture references are:
              Admonish the Sinner
              Proverbs 27:17
              Luke 15:7; 17:3
              2 Timothy 4:2
              Instruct the Ignorant
              Matthew 28:19-20
              Mark 16:14-18
              Luke 24:47-49
              John 20:21
              2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:1-5
              Counsel the Doubtful
              Matthew 13:18-23
              Mark 4:13-20; 9:14-29
              Luke 8:11-15
              John 14:27
              Bear Wrongs Patiently
              Matthew 5:38-48
              Luke 6:27-36
              1 Peter 2:18-19
              Forgive Offenses Willingly
              Matthew 6:14-15; 18:15-35
              Mark 11:25
              Luke 11:1-4; 17:1-4
              Comfort the Afflicted
              Psalms 9:8-11; 22:23-27,
              Psalms 27:4-5; 30:2-4,
              Psalms 46:2; 55:22,
              Psalms 56; 71:20-22,
              Psalms 116; 119:49-50
              Jeremiah 29:11-14
              Lamentations 3:21-24, 31-33
              Nahum 1:7-8
              Matthew 11:28-30
              John 14:15-18, 27; 16:22-23
              2 Corinthians 5:17
              1 Peter 5:5-11
              Revelation 21:4
              Pray for the Living and the Dead
              2 Maccabees 38-46

              The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy and their Holy Scripture references are:

              Feed the Hungry
              Proverbs 22:9
              Isaiah 58:10
              2 Kings 4:42-44
              Matthew 14:15-21; 25:35
              Luke 3:11; 9:12-17
              John 6:35
              Give Drink to the Thirsty
              Isaiah 55:1
              Matthew 25:35
              John 6:35
              John 7:37-39
              Revelation 21:6; 22:17
              Clothe the Naked
              Matthew 25:36
              Shelter the Homeless
              Matthew 25:35
              Visit the Sick
              Matthew 25:36
              Visit the Imprisoned
              Matthew 25:36
              Bury the Dead
              Tobit 1:17-19

  36. Quote may not b e exact. I am on my phone. “We will be more American then ever” .We Jews were chosen to receive the Law. We Americans are also a chosen people. I cannot put into words chosen for what, but He will not let us fail.

      1. I hope you’re right. But then, in the Grissom timeline, the Sharp Wars and the Expulsions are horrible at the time, but they end up being one of the catalytic events for the transformation of the lunar and Martian settlements to self-sustaining rather than dependent upon equipment shipped from Earth, and thus ultimately to humanity’s expansion throughout the Solar System and out to the stars.

        And speaking of the Grissom timeline, right now I’ve got about ten different characters absolutely demanding that I tell their stories Right Now — and no time to do it, because convention season has ramped up and I have a zillion business tasks I need to do (as in, right now I really want to work on about three different stories/novels at once, but I know I ought to be slogging through the ledger for the last two conventions, because at midnight my eBay listings go off Time Away, so here I am reading your blog when I ought to be working).

          1. They left our planets long ago
            The Elder Race still learn and grow
            Their power grows with purpose strong
            To claim the Home, where they belong
            Home to tear the Temples down, Home to change…

      2. There is something in my heart that says that Doc Smith was right. That inertia, time dilation, and increase in mass at near-light speeds are all part of a family of inductive effects. Which can be suppressed.

        But it will take the brilliance of a genius, the courage of a hero, and the glory of a dream to make it work. Laid on a foundation of moral virtue that is a relic of the 19th Century, carried through the darkness of the Age of Folly to relight the Torch of Civilization.

        1. I’ve had my hands more than full figuring out how to get up to 0.2c. I also suspect FTL is possible, but we are at best on that where Volta was with electricity when making frog legs kick.

          1. I’m sure FTL is possible.
            Clue: what is the purpose of “spooky action at a distance”?

      3. I teared up reading that. I hope I live to see that, being quite a few years older than you.

  37. I don’t discuss my views of The Unprovable.

    My opinions on the subject are no more interesting than any others. They are not subject to the scientific method. I do NOT believe that everything in life that matters is or must be subject to the scientific method.

    But no, I do not believe this is all just a Big Accident.

    Still, I’m mindful of Matthew 6:5

    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

      1. Knowing how Himself works, one person needing it would be enough reason to prompt Sarah to write it.

        1. I figure there’s multiple people who will be encouraged, and one (or more!) who NEEDED those exact words at that exact time. He’s efficient that way. 🙂

        2. My first book. I KNEW I had to get it out there RIGHT NOW. 16 hour writing marathon, I got it finished, then edited, cover finished… and there it sits. 8 years later, maybe a couple dozen people have read it. Why right then? Why the urgency? I’ll probably never know.

      2. That wasn’t criticism, Sarah. I may simply lack your courage, or I may hold back because witnessing might take away my ability to follow my calling, given the times in which we live.

      3. I get that. I don’t know why the prayers I make come out the way the do sometimes. And believe you me, the not knowing why I have to say something- yeah. That is annoying as all get out. shakes fist in the air

        Does it mean I’m going to stop doing it? No. Am I going to complain about it (and many other things) sometimes? You darn skippy I will.

        grumble grumble special sense of humor my hairy butt

        1. Oh, dear. Reading the words “hairy butt” this early in my day made me giggle.
          I’m going to go plant a potato. 🙂

  38. I’ve had my share of messages from Him. Direct voices (at least 3 times, two of which shoved me into my lifelong career which I was not looking for), coincidences, dreams. And I think I’ve been told what I need to do when this episode in our country is over. So, thank you, ma’am, for the reminder. I needed it.

  39. Knowing things without knowing how I know them is sometimes troubling and sometimes makes me laugh out loud. I don’t have any problem with other folks doing so.
    I suspect some is just logic, some is an article or textbook that applied and remembered… sometimes it hits out of a clear blue sky.
    I’ve mostly learned to wait for folks to ask the question before answering it, well most of the time. I hate that awkward pause while people process they got an answer while asking (or before)
    The Great Architect had done weirdness in my life, made physical laws of velocity and friction turn upside down, healed wounds and defects while I watched, and worse.
    Mostly I just give thanks and keep moving forward.

  40. What troubles me is that there is a part of me that says, “Run for office.” And I am no glad-handing extrovert. My heart and mind are drawn to policy issues…but I’m a “Box? What box?” sort of thinker, willing to go for the Big Solution.

    1. Local offices, like the school board in your county, are ones where you can probably win just by talking about the policy issues, with a minimum of glad-handing. You’ll have to do public speaking, of course, but you probably won’t have to kiss hands and shake babies. Or was it supposed to be the other way around? 😉

  41. Be not afraid…I can’t quite manage it.

    Not being of the believing persuasion, I’m frequently told the values I hold are simply parasitized off of the Christian culture I was raised it. I used to argue quite vociferously against this, but now I begin to suspect it’s true.

    And now that see the rot in our institutions and the truly warped timber of humanity…it’s ironic that I also have to borrow my hope from believers.

        1. “The wise men know all evil things
          Under the twisted trees,
          Where the perverse in pleasure pine
          And men are weary of green wine
          And sick of crimson seas.

                "But you and all the kind of Christ
                Are ignorant and brave,
                And you have wars you hardly win
                And souls you hardly save.
          
                "I tell you naught for your comfort,
                Yea, naught for your desire,
                Save that the sky grows darker yet
                And the sea rises higher.
          
                "Night shall be thrice night over you,
                And heaven an iron cope.
                Do you have joy without a cause,
                Yea, faith without a hope?"
          
      1. I’m a Christian, before I was a Christian, that was probably the most encouraging thing I had to go on, many times. I love that speech.

    1. Not being of the believing persuasion, I’m frequently told the values I hold are simply parasitized off of the Christian culture I was raised it.

      Remind them that Christianity didn’t originate all those values either. The Code of Hammurabi, for example, is much older than Christianity and contains laws punishing theft, so it’s not like nobody realized stealing was a problem before the ten commandments.

      Christianity did a great job of POPULARIZING the values that western civ depends on, and I’m grateful to it for that. But it doesn’t have original or exclusive claim to them.

        1. The code of Hammurabi is horrifying.

          Oh, I agree it’s terrible.

          But that’s not the point. The point is that it beat Christianity to certain principles – such as “don’t steal” – by many centuries and thus serves as proof than the religion didn’t invent them. It’s a response to the sort of person who claims that non-Christians can’t be moral except by mindlessly aping Christianity (which I find somewhat insulting).

            1. [blink]

              Um… what? I’m not sure you’re having the same conversation I am.

              My point is that Christianity didn’t originate the moral values it teaches and doesn’t have an exclusive claim to them. What point do you think I’m trying to argue?

                1. It’s not a trail I’m following, and I didn’t say Christianity got its values specifically from Hammurabi. It’s just a data point showing that the idea that stealing is wrong predates Christianity.

                  I’m no fan of the CoH either, but I think you’re getting a little too fixated on it. It’s just the example that came to mind, no more and no less.

              1. Summarizing the discussion–
                1- Agnostics/atheists can’t be moral without borrowing that morality from Christians
                2- yes, they can, because at least one teaching in Christian morality predates Christianity.
                3- that does not work, because to be described as moral you need to do all the moral things, not just fail to violate one.

                Now, the whole argument has a flaw, I think it’s the genetic fallacy– why should someone who doesn’t believe in Christianity CARE if they came up with the best functioning moral framework when measured both by justice to individuals and outcome to the group at large?
                If you believe in absolute evolution– that we exist at all because of uninfluenced chance– then wouldn’t morality fall into the same pattern? In which case, Christianity is the highly successful mutant, and it’s kind of silly to fuss about getting that successful mutation from them. What matters is that it is successful.

                1. Summarizing the discussion–
                  1- Agnostics/atheists can’t be moral without borrowing that morality from Christians
                  2- yes, they can, because at least one teaching in Christian morality predates Christianity.

                  Correct so far.

                  3- that does not work, because to be described as moral you need to do all the moral things, not just fail to violate one.

                  Here you misunderstand me. I AGREE that’s a stupid idea, but I don’t see where you got the impression that I was advocating it.

                  The point was that Christian values predate Christianity, and I offered the “don’t steal” bit as a concrete example of that. Nothing more.

                  Now, the whole argument has a flaw, I think it’s the genetic fallacy– why should someone who doesn’t believe in Christianity CARE if they came up with the best functioning moral framework when measured both by justice to individuals and outcome to the group at large?

                  I’m not sure exactly what’s going through your head here, but I suspect you’ve got some false assumptions about my view of morality.

                  I subscribe to Ayn Rand’s notion that the purpose of morality, for humans, is to teach humans how to achieve survival, prosperity and happiness. The moral is the practical, as judged by both the short- and long-term likely results of a given behavior.

                  If you believe in absolute evolution– that we exist at all because of uninfluenced chance– then wouldn’t morality fall into the same pattern?

                  Okay, now I’m SURE you’ve got some false assumptions about my beliefs. As far as morality is concerned it doesn’t matter how humanity was created; we’re still in the same position and have to select our behaviors accordingly.

                  In which case, Christianity is the highly successful mutant, and it’s kind of silly to fuss about getting that successful mutation from them. What matters is that it is successful.

                  While I think the potential to do even better exists, I largely agree. That’s why I said I’m grateful to Christianity for popularizing the values that make western civ possible. I think I’ve told you before that I’d rather deal with Christians who take the commandments against theft and murder seriously than with fellow atheists who feel entitled to bash my skull and take my wallet.

                  However, Bob seems troubled by it. The reason I brought this stuff up was to give him some intellectual ammunition for the next time some jerk tells him he’s just mindlessly copying a religion he doesn’t subscribe to (which IS rather insulting).

                  1. I wasn’t addressing your beliefs, actually; I was pointing out the argument on being moral without adopting those morals from the Christians is flawed at the foundation, but “there is something else that has at least one of the Christian moral views” didn”t work to show that someone wasn’t getting their morals from the Christians.

                    1. “there is something else that has at least one of the Christian moral views” didn”t work to show that someone wasn’t getting their morals from the Christians.

                      Ah, I think I see what you’re getting at now. Yes, you’re right about that.

                      But when some smug jerk is in your face telling you that you stole your value system from his religion, pointing out that his religion stole it from others first might be enough to shut him up. 😉

                    2. It’s not. Really. Not that I make it an habit of yelling at my atheist friends.
                      HOWEVER I’ve had a few try to invalidate my system of belief because “this and that existed before.”
                      It’s a bad idea. I know a lot about this and that, since my mind is a stainless steel lint trap. AND particularly when mildly drunk or on pain meds, both of which amp up my weaponized autism, will proceed to take the argument apart.

                    3. I’d summarize a little differently.

                      1: Religion is not the source of morality.

                      2: Religion is not required for moral behavior.

                      All of those ‘Christian Morals’ were made up by people. Some of those morals have been rejected by modern society, such as the ones governing the proper treatment of slaves.

              1. I mean I won’t be quoting the Upanishads. Perhaps I would if I had read them, but I haven’t.

                1. That’s okay, even if you had read them, and tossed them into the conversation, you still wouldn’t be a disappointment. Not at all.

      1. C.S. Lewis The Abolition of Man

        Christianity presupposes that mankind knows what right and wrong are.

  42. Sarah,
    I’ve Been lurking for a long time. You say that you are not a woman of faith. Yet your words belie you. People of faith have hope, faith and charity. People without faith have no hope. It is rather easy to figure out a person by their words and actions. And your words and actions show a woman of faith. I think you are too hard on yourself. Just remember that you are a daughter of God – and he doesn’t do trash.

  43. I sincerely hope you are right about the future. Exactly who, however, will be the instrumentality by which the Left is defeated?

    I remember how back in the 1990s people like Newt Gingrich and Alvin Toffler were proclaiming the New Future of a libertarian Right based on high tech. At the time it seemed believable; the Republicans under Reagan had pushed high tech as a means to defeating the USSR. But as a matter of fact, the Gingrich revolution faltered; and eventually the 2000 election, and pretty much every election since, have shown that the most loyal, most patriotic voters are not geeks developing cool new software, but rather the conservative, blue collar salt of the earth types. No matter how theoretically libertarian some Odds might be, the fact is that geek-heavy voting precincts might as well be set up by Enver Hoxha.

    Unfortunately most of the blue collar types are dispirited, waiting for Jesus to return in the deus ex machina to end all deus ex machinas.

    1. I might add that Odds have contributed to national decay in non-political ways as well. Due to the obsession with software as opposed to hardware, I can get an app that connects me with HORNY GIRLS NOW!!!! but I can’t get a phone that I won’t have to replace within a year due to its charging plug ceasing to work. Because, you know, it’s China’s job to make boring things like that.

      1. My phone’s charging port was starting to be loose, so the USB cables would slip out and not maintain a connection. (Including brand-new cables, so it wasn’t the little springs in the cable getting worn out). We were visiting my wife’s family for Christmas, in a very small rural town of about 3,000 people. There was a shop in town that did phone repairs. I took them my phone, the guy looked at it, and he took it over to his workbench. I wasn’t able to see what tool he used, but a few minutes later (mo more than 10-15 minutes), he had crimped the metal connector back into its proper shape, so that it would grip the charge cables properly. $30 well spent, compared to paying ten times that much for a new phone (I like to buy midrange rather than bleeding-edge).

      2. Forgot to include the actual point of my story, which is that there are still blue-collar types doing good work with hardware, scattered all over America. That town of 3,000 people can’t possibly be the only place where there’s a guy who knows how to do that particular repair. You just have to go looking for the little shops, rather than the big chains that hire fresh-out-of-college people who don’t know anything (yet) so that they can pay them bottom dollar.

        1. There are companies out there actively fighting right to repair. Boggles the mind, it does, why they think this is a good idea. Their most loyal customers, be they drivers, phone users, or whathaveyou, they’re not the people buying a new unit every two years.

          Somewhere in their analysis they got things wrong, I think. Exclusive clientele translates to expensive product, sharply limited consumer base. Companies that got their start and make their money on marketing to, say, every human being that needs to go someplace at a faster than walking pace, or every human being that wants to contact someone right now at a further than shouting distance ought to be making things easier on the everyman.

          The guy with the corner shop that fixes $300 cell phones knows this. How come the big companies do not?

          1. I suspect they’re making the classic mistake, undervaluing the long term and overvaluing the short term. The first mistake is to think “If we don’t let people repair our devices, they’ll be forced to buy new ones. So we’ll make $500 per customer every couple of years instead of every ten years.” But what they don’t realize is that word-of-mouth is potent. For every customer they suck into their little scheme, they’re losing many customers who just quietly go buy from someone else instead. And in the long run, they’ll gain a reputation as a brand name to avoid if you don’t want to spend way more money than they’re worth (cough Apple cough). So they may make more profits in the short term, but in the long term they’ll make less money than if they’d just stuck to delivering good products.

            1. Case in point: the first five minutes of this video.

              If you want an illustration of “tranquil fury”, watch Linus’s reaction (he’s the one in the green hat, on the left) starting about 1:12. Quiet, restrained, only one Precision F-Strike (which he self-bleeps). But man, oh MAN, is he ever angry at Apple for that design choice!

              Linus has one of the largest channels on Youtube: 14.5 million subscribers on his main channel (Linus Tech Tips). When he tells people “Don’t buy this product”, that’s going to cost Apple a LOT of sales. Was it really worth the lost sales just to put a non-removable 6-foot power cable on the monitor, instead of a more standard removable cable? Sure, it’ll make Apple a bit more money when they have the occasional customer come in to buy a new monitor because the power cable went bad, or pay for overpriced repairs to replace what should have been a $10 part. But I’ll bet any amount of money that if we could know exactly how much money they lost in lost sales from this review ALONE, it would be more than they gained from that design decision.

              Word of mouth MATTERS.

              1. Whoops. That was supposed to be “Linus tearing into Apple …”. I’m just so used to writing about Linux that I finger-macro’ed it. 🙂

                1. No worries. I make with the typos rather er… a lot. Just as my readers.

                  I’ve been anti-Apple for, oh, let’s say a while now. Mostly, because of sh!t like this. I’ve been building my own PCs for years now, tearing into gaming consoles for repairs, and the like. Linus reminds me of things I used to do, cursing and all, going back to the days when I used to have to write my own patches to make software work, or reboot systems from other working units, calling support and trolling the dusty corridors of the old internet in the 90s looking for workarounds.

                  As far as I’m concerned, Apple the company can die in a fire. While there are aspects of their hardware and software that look interesting, the many, MANY giant flaming F-Us to the customer have burnt me to the point that I will never buy an apple product again. Full stop. And haven’t for over a decade.

                  They’re not just stupid. Not just evil. They’re evil-stupid. They do dumb things that hurt the customer, harm the company, and they think its good.

                  1. Apple “we’ll make super thin laptops so it is easy to carry them everywhere and game or do picture stuff!”

                    User: “I need a full-size USB port to run a keyboard and other peripherals so your laptop is usable somewhere besides my lap.”

                    Apple: “iCloud! Super-skinny! Buy a desktop unit! That doesn’t have a DVD drive, but you don’t need one anyway. iCloud!”

                    User: “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.”

          2. They figure if they have folks over a barrel, they’ll get the money – rather than get REPLACED.

            I’m look at YOU, John Deere. The feller with the ‘crap’ ‘East Bloc’ tractor and toolbox isn’t being laughed at any more. He fixes his rig, and goes on – instead of waiting while weather destroys his livelihood so some Arschloch can make a boat payment.

            1. Deere is another one I have grown to loathe. There’s a reason that certain older models and off brand tractors keep getting repaired, over and over again, by the farmers around these parts. Big green done pulled an Amber Turd. They shat the bed. Farmers, especially, are known to have longer memories than most.

        2. Ain’t just the small towns; they have several shops just like that within a 2 mile radius from my house here in Plano TX.

          1. Eh, he ended up prompting an interesting conversation this time anyway. Thanks to Dan Lane’s mentioning right to repair, I got to mention Apple’s recent customer-hostile choices (which aren’t exactly about fighting right to repair, to be scrupulously fair) and Orvan got to mention John Deere’s behavior (which IS precisely about fighting the right to repair).

            So it worked out for the better this time, at least.

        1. You STILL haven’t banned him? Did you decide to keep him around as a chew toy or something?

      3. What you’re complaining about is HUMANS not Odds. i guess this is super-difficult for a lizard.
        Don’t want horny girls, don’t have horny girls. It has nothing to do with national decay. Think it has to do with Odds and national decay has to do with rats in your head.

    2. They will defeat themselves. They will stab each other in the back and fight over the crumbs of power. They always do.

  44. At age 19 having spent the day researching suicide methods, God told me in the middle of the night that He loved me and that I must not kill myself. This experience left me exhausted, unable to sleep the rest of the night but also strangely exhilarated. He works in mysterious ways.

    1. I had never seriously considered it, but perhaps strangely, reading the alt.suicide.holiday “Methods FAQ” was a potent de-motivator in that direction. Why? It included probability of the method being fully effective – AND what life would be like if one survived an almost successful attempt.

  45. America is a concept the World would wish away if it could, but somehow can’t get shuck of.

      1. No, but living here helps.
        I’d like, if the world gets slightly saner, in 10 years or so to do a pilgrimage of founders and war of independence sites. That would be a lovely way to spend a year.

        1. Pay us a visit. Most of the war was fought in and around Morristown, where the colonial army camped for two winters. We have Morristown, Princeton, and Monmouth Courthouse and Trenton, of course, the old Hessian barracks have a a great living history program. Philadelphia is just down the road and NYC was the capital when Washington was president. Šaint Paul’s still has the chair he sat in of a Sunday and the NYC Museum has his camp equipment, sword, and at least one set of teeth.

    1. “get shuck of”
      An interesting hear-say idiom, among the many I’ve been collecting lately.
      (That’s my own term; they aren’t quite malapropisms, but I have not ever seen them named.)

      They generally stem, I suspect, from having heard a couple of similar idioms and melding them together, because they aren’t used often, and/or are not part of the speaker’s “native” dialect.

      “Get shed of” and “shuck off” mean essentially the same thing (at least in the Texas Panhandle), but there is no traditional idiom that combines them.

      Thanks for the diversion into one of my hobbies.

      1. My mom’s family was from Iowa and Dad’s family was from the East Oregon ranch country (Bend, Prineville). “Pert nigh” was Uncle Norville’s favorite phrase. Everything was pert nigh this or pert nigh that.

  46. “Beep it Carl. How many times have I told you no souvenirs? “
    Carl, “But it is only a t-rex. It only ate Larry from Accounting, Bob the Barber, the IRS agents and the news crew. Oh and Joe Buckley.”
    “DO you know how hard good accountants are to replace. Time fix this.”
    Just some quick humor.

  47. Sometimes, these times feel like a severe case of coronavirus-induced brain fog but, when you cut through all the noise and clutter, woke is a mind virus.

    The way forward, devolution and decentralization! Rule by masterminds has shown itself to be an unworkable distortion (perversion) of human interaction. Looking to Washington DC for answers is foolish, the masterminds just aren’t that smart and their intentions are not pure. Sadly, our politicians are corrupt, incompetent, and dishonest — they need to be held accountable. Truth, beauty, and goodness are the standard.

  48. filled me with the illusion that there were time-travelers hiding in old train stations and then forced me to write a novel about it.

    Dibs on the alpha read.

  49. “…figuring that at least one of you needed to hear this.”

    Haven’t read the comments yet, but I’m absolutely certain the “I needed to hear this” count runs to at least a dozen, and that’s only in the comments. Outside the minority that leave comments, who knows how many more?

    I’m reading at work where I’m supposed to be doing other things, and this brought tears to my eyes right here in the middle of cubicle-ville.

    Never had any kind of spiritual connection or insight or certainty. The closest I can get is a bone-deep conviction that if there ever was a nation whose origin could have been divinely inspired, it’s this one. If America ceases being America…I can’t bear the thought of it. But maybe I don’t actually have to. I definitely needed to hear this.

  50. “The closest I can get is a bone-deep conviction that if there ever was a nation whose origin could have been divinely inspired, it’s this one.”

    That sentiment was attested by the Founders themselves, and has been present in many Christian churches as well as among the Jewish community since the beginning.
    It is also the official doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    Not every member believes this deep-down, and some in prominent secular positions seem to have forgotten it, but it is nonetheless true.

    https://www.ldsliving.com/what-lds-prophets-have-said-about-americas-founding/s/72917

    1. Which is why in A Few Good Men the Joseph Smith and Deseret brigades of the USAians come out to fight. Funnily some people decided I MUST be Mormon because of this

      1. @ Sarah > The Lord places his people where he needs them, and they are not all in the same Regiments.

  51. @ Sarah > “filled me with the illusion that there were time-travelers hiding in old train stations”

    One of my grandfathers was a depot master (the Army left him there in WW2 because he was an essential transportation employee).
    The stations aren’t very big in most rural towns, but a time-traveler would have had no trouble camouflaging his real identity, because the job was made for Odds.

    The whole railroad industry is ripe for a speculative fiction treatment.
    Maybe an alt-hist — lots of pivot points on the iron roads, including this one.

    https://sandiegohistory.org/journal/1980/january/br-ironroad/
    “As early as the mid-1840s, visionaries dreamed of an iron road to the Pacific, and by the early 1850s powerful sectional politicians like Stephen Douglas and Jefferson Davis sought to transform dream into reality. The federal government, under their urging, financed surveys of four proposed rail routes across the country: from St. Paul through the Cascades; following the 38th parallel from St. Louis to northern California; along the 35th parallel from Fort Smith to San Pedro; and a route from Albuquerque to San Diego along the 32nd parallel. This last route was estimated to be not only the shortest, but also the cheapest in construction costs. Southerners, naturally, ardently wished for the transcontinental link to originate in their section, although an embarassment arose when it was discovered that the San Diego line survey had transgressed Mexican territory. The Gadsden Purchase rectified that obstacle, but sectional animosities of the Fifties made it impossible for northern and southern politicians, already quarreling over the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska issue, to agree on a single rail route to the Pacific. One can only speculate that, had such obstacles not appeared, and had the cheapest and most direct route indeed been the extreme southern one to San Diego, what the subsequent commercial, demographic, and cultural importance of the city would be today.

    1. tongue in cheek Well, for one, air-conditioned train cars would have been invented at least fifty years earlier.

  52. A bit late, but thanks for the post on a lot of levels. It’s another one where I can relate to where you’re coming from well,having a hard time with matters of faith for the same reasons. I’ve never gotten anything like you’ve described, though, which compounds said issues. Add in the local culture and, well, you can see why discussions with the other Huns on this subject tend to go in the direction they do. All I can say is I hope you’re right about how this all shakes out and that there was something of this in the mutual cat sitting offer. With all the delays and stumbling blocks I keep hitting it really will take something big for it to work out well.

  53. Advertisement seen in an airport of the future: “Watch the streaming video about the seer who foretold the rise of the new America during our nation’s darkest hours. Her family knew her as Sarah but history called her The American.”

    1. Imagine climbing through that portable tunnel, climbing, climbing toward the terminal. The big advertisement, twice life size on the opposite wall so everyone coming out of their tubes from their flights sees it.
      Thunderously good.

  54. I do not belong to any organized religion but I accept that there is a Force or Intelligence, if you will, that cannot be explained by conventional thought. I have experienced things similar in kind to what Sarah has described, times when I sensed a voice not my own in my mind. Perhaps a guardian angel? Who knows. But I am grateful for it. How else can I explain the timing of this incident?

    It was noon on Easter Sunday. I had gotten up two hours earlier than usual, showered, dressed, and was sitting at the dining room table eating an early breakfast and reading my Kindle. Son was in his room downstairs, spouse was at the other end of the house at his computer with his door closed.

    Suddenly I smelled smoke. I raised my head, sniffed one way then the other, then looked at the wall 10 feet in front of me. At that moment, billows of oily black smoke erupted from the floor vent. I didn’t even take time for an expletive. I jumped up, took two steps to the head of the stairway and shouted down to my son to “get up here, there is smoke!”.

    Then I ran down the hall to the thermostat and turned the furnace OFF and the fan to AUTO. Hollered at spouse there was smoke. Son was right on my heels and went into the room telling his dad he had to get out of the house. Spouse stuck his feet into shoes, grabbed his walker and cane and he and son hustled to the front door as quickly as he could move.

    I ran back thru the kitchen, grabbed the handset for the house phone, got to the front door and held it open, and we were all outside in less than three minutes from when I first saw the smoke.

    As soon as I was off the porch I dialed 911, and managed to keep my voice steady as I gave the necessary information. In maybe five minutes there were three engines and at least two other vehicles in front of the house.

    One fireman asked me what was happening and where was the furnace. I gave him directions and he and others, in full smoke gear and tanks, went inside. By this time we could see much of the upstairs was full of ugly black swirling clouds of smoke, which smelled horrible. One of the crew came back out and said that the furnace had overheated badly, but there were no flames and nothing else was burned. Then they opened as many windows as they could and turned on at least two big fans to blow the smoke out of the house.

    They were there maybe 30 minutes,. The smoke was gone when they left, although they did say that we would find a big mess to clean up, with all the oily soot coating the floor and most everything else. They also told me I had done everything right, getting everyone out quickly, and especially thinking to shut off the furnace and fan. That probably saved the house.

    What are the odds that I would have been just five minutes into eating my breakfast when that smoke appeared? In exactly the right place to smell smoke, spot the first spewing clouds, and get my son up the stairs while there was still air to breathe? Think to shut off the furnace and fan on my way to getting spouse out with son’s help, and remembering to grab the house phone as I ran for the door? All of which resulted in no injuries to us, and no significant damage to the house other than the smoke and soot.

    We three stood in the driveway while the fire crew did their work quickly and efficiently. Once they had informed us that the furnace was no longer a threat and the smoke was nearly gone, I quietly stepped aside, placed my hands together in namaste, looked up at the sky and simply said, ’Thank You.”

  55. While kakistocratic gerontocracy, may me amusing, personally I would better describe it as a kleptocratic gerontocracy so addicted to the steal that they cannot give it up.

    As to woo or no woo, why worry, we will all find out soon enough.

  56. Heard that voice three times in my life. You are not going to marry X. I ignored that voice, I heard the statement again in a public library as I was walking across the lobby. YOu are not going to marry X, my response was so do I still date him? What if this is wrong? I didn’t marry X, when I got married it was someone totally different. Again I heard the voice, “This is one of the best things you have ever done.” I have never regretted marrying him. He is a lot of fun, smart, and just what I needed.

    I am asking the voice to please revisit me to let me know everything is going to be okay, but there are a lot of folks who need him more than I. I just need some peace of mind, I am a big time worrier.

    I have often had dreams where they show me the future. I am having a lot of de ja vu lately. A whole lot of it. I am sure it is telling me something, I just don’t know what. It is like glimpses into the future, just very strange and a bit alarming.

  57. I had a very strange dream when I was about 8 or 9 years old. It didn’t make any sense to me, but I never forgot it. When I hired in at my current place of employment, I recognized the place, from that dream of 10 years before, and during the new hire walk-through tour, I knew where the closest bathroom was before the person leading the tour told us.

    Come this July 28th, I will have worked there for 45 years.

    1. So you got a prophecy a decade in advance… Just so you’d know where to find a bathroom you were going to be told about anyway?

      I don’t want to offend anyone here, but I have to admit it’s amusing listening to you guys talk about this stuff. While there are exceptions – like Sarah being told she’d marry Dan so she didn’t flee from him – it seems like the vast majority of these prophecies are utterly useless or even counterproductive.

      If these prophecies are real and they’re actually being sent by someone rather than just being a randomly occurring natural phenomenon, then it feels like whoever’s sending them has WAY too much time on their hands. Kind of like the celestial bureaucracy getting bored at the office and playing pranks. Or glitches in the system no one bothers to fix. Or maybe most of these prophecies are being sent by trainees who don’t know what they’re doing quite yet?

      So many amusing possibilities. 😛

      1. Amusing. Really?
        Smh. Just because we hold back talking about eternal damnation doesn’t mean we’re not holding back. We’re just being polite.

        1. Um, when did eternal damnation come up? I thought we were talking about prophetic dreams/voices/etc.

          Did I miss something?

            1. Yes, friends, I’m sorry. I lost the train of thought and responded to something that doesn’t make sense. Forgive me.

              1. No problem. I’d be surprised if anyone here didn’t lose track of the conversation once in a while.

        2. No. These dream/prophecies are often funny. This is why I distinguish “message” from “This is completely useless” or “Now my subconscious is being a dick.”

          1. Thanks, Sarah.
            I don’t have much experience with atheist thinking, and it helps to understand what’s happening.

            1. I don’t classify these under messages. To me it just means humans are not … what we seem. For one, we seem to not really be moored in time? We just think we are. And our subconscious are dicks. Because what breaks through is not often JUST irrelevant, but often shades to “prankish alarm for no reason.”

              1. Yeah, I think human beings are way more than we think we are. It would make sense to be unmoored.

              2. Unmoored in time is exactly what I feel was going on there. There was a lot more detail in that dream than I mentioned because I didn’t want to be posting a wall of text.

            2. I don’t have much experience with atheist thinking

              While this place is quite tolerant, even here there seem to be a sentiment going around that atheists are alien/predatory/bound for hell. Seems like several of you either have little-to-no experience with us or your experiences have been consistently bad.

              1. I have no close relationships with any atheists, so it’s complete ignorance on my part.

                1. But Leftists aren’t atheists; as you’ve pointed out, Marxism is a Christian heresy that replaced God with the State. Kipling recognized that…..

                  https://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/macdonoughs_song.html

                  “Whatsoever, for any cause,
                  Seeketh to take or give
                  Power above or beyond the Laws,
                  Suffer it not to live!
                  Holy State or Holy King–
                  Or Holy People’s Will–
                  Have no truck with the senseless thing.
                  Order the guns and kill!”

              2. There’s naturally a decline in public trust occurring.

                The ritual in religion seems to tie into a lot of weird group psychology when it comes to generating trust, which would normally matter less. Now, it allows for a religious group to compensate for a broader/general decrease in trust.

                Doesn’t help that the opposition is clearly a religion, and falsely claims to be atheist/materialist.

                Honest atheists are not an issue. Folks like Romney, who are in good ritual standing with a Christian denomination, but are aligned to the opposition, are an issue.

                ESR, of that ‘reality of the lizardoid’ essay we pass around? Is some flavor of pagan.

                The other thing you may be noticing? If magic does not exist, than the purely material explanation is that human psychology is weird enough that for practical purposes, magic can be said to exist. That model, the stuff is all psychological experiences, and mental health, etc. Key element of the material/mental health model is that sanity is defined in a cultural context.

                Old norms of sanity were in the context of a culture extremely influenced by Christianity. Some stuff that would get classified as insane or unnatural is a psychological result of religious ritual or magical practices that are outside the bounds of Christianity.

                The current status quo is that we have a mixture of populations, basically. Christ ritual, and communist ritual standards of sanity. It is far from surprising for the communist ritual folks to be subtly off, in a way that Christians interpret as demonic.

                The behavior that in personal experience I interpret as deeply concerning, was a nominal Christian, who got into thought patterns I consider outside the bounds of Christianity. (Okay, they had pre existing mental issues, but…)

                My interpretation of what folks have been saying here? Communists are savages. The indians have been mostly civilized for long enough that, barring the cartels, we have forgotten what it is like to neighbor a truly barbarian people. The disputes that you pursue with others are based, partly, in the occult theories you hold, deep down, to be true. Humans are not perfect actors, so someone who has an ‘unhinged’ view of mystical harms you cause them, is going to subtly tip off people with their behavior. So, this thing of reacting to communists, is somewhere between picking up on cultural differences, and responding to someone who has driven themselves insane by practicing magic.

                Right now, stress levels have most folks a bit touchier about how they interpret the words of just about everyone else.

              3. DGM, I think one problem is that we’ve had a few anti-theists (You know, the “G-d doesn’t exist and I hate him and you’re an idiot for believing and I hate you too!!!”) types come through, and that tends to sour some people. Others forget that the BBQ and FAQ includes a bit about “we’re all sorts of beliefs and non-beliefs, please don’t argue theology.” That includes PC vs iOS, .45 vs. .9 mil, and a few other religions. 🙂

                1. DGM, I think one problem is that we’ve had a few anti-theists (You know, the “G-d doesn’t exist and I hate him and you’re an idiot for believing and I hate you too!!!”) types come through, and that tends to sour some people.

                  I can see that, although you’re not entirely free of religious types going after atheists either. Setnaffa implied I was going to Hell just a few weeks ago (though to be fair, he did drop it immediately when I explained why that wouldn’t work on me).

                  Others forget that the BBQ and FAQ includes a bit about “we’re all sorts of beliefs and non-beliefs, please don’t argue theology.”

                  I admit I find this rule irritating. It’s effectively led to people being able to preach to me and me not being allowed to respond, since I get treated as the one starting an argument.

                  1. Those of us with warning power need to be a little more proactive about using it, in that case. I will try to do better. We’ve had some turnover in the Raiding Party, and the “old hands” need to pay more attention to defusing things early on if it looks as if things are getting ad hominem.

                    1. Frankly, considering another element of the rules, here, I ought to be a bit more compliant, and less “I’m angry at this one guy, and I think politeness has already been violated enough that I won’t get moderated, much.”

                      When I think that the moderators are very busy with life, is exactly when I should be more careful with my own behavior.

      2. Yeah, I had similar thoughts about deja vu dreams. “Send me something USEFUL, dammit! Like next week’s lottery numbers!”

        Or, a little warning about natural disasters? Bridge collapses? Terrorist bombings?

        But nobody seems to get those.
        ———————————
        Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

        1. I think this just means the subsconcious is a dick and unmoored in time.
          BTW I did have dreams about 9/11 for a month before it happened. But it wasn’t CLEAR and anyway, what in heck could I do about it? I figure it just cast a big enough “shadow” back in time that it affected dreams.

        2. Your definition of “nobody” needs serious work; not only did a number of people cancel flights on 9/11, but the “Let’s Roll” guy is kinda famous for his dream that he told folks about ahead of time, as were several other heroes of the day. Actually kind of notable how many of the heroes had talked about a “feeling” or a “dream” about NEEDING to be where they ended up dying.

          It’s just a lot lower commitment to talk about stuff that’s funny where we can’t see a line-up.

      3. A ton of this makes absolutely no sense, and/or yes it’s counterproductive. I call it “unmooring in time” rather than prophecies.
        When I was a young teen I had a dream of being in a VERY WEIRD (by Portuguese standards) bathroom doing my hair.
        It was weird enough I remembered it. Five or six years later I found myself there. In my host family’s bathroom in Ohio, getting ready for prom.
        But the reason I consider this my subconscious being unmoored in time (and my subconscious being an asshole) was dreams, like of son coming downstairs, and my husband at the bottom of the stairs going “Son, you don’t want to be late for your court date.”
        At the time son was in sixth grade and going through a rough patch, so that dream was scary as all get out.
        Five years later, son was driving, and his speedometer was broken, in the old beater he drove. So he got a speeding ticket.
        Yep. that was the court date… (and he got off with a warning. And my parents got him another car.)

        1. Given how other stuff works– it’s possible that prophecy/timeslip is a natural occurrence we do not understand, and the Godly interference involved in prophecy is making sure the right person sees the right thing, not the causing-to-see.

          1. Remember these data points:
            First, God has a sense of humor.
            Second, his relationship with time is different that ours.
            Third, God Loves me. (and you).
            4.The best prophecy doesn’t happen. (Jonah and Nineveh). If prophecy is warning, what good would it be if there was nothing you could do.
            5. God invites us to join His adventure.
            6. Five leads to “You want me to do What?!”
            “I told you what to do. Now you need to get out of the boat.”
            7 The devil is real. We have an enemy.
            8. There are divine appointments in our lives, where God sends people to interact with us.
            9. When Peter walks on water poorly, Jesus does not calm the storm until they are back in the boat.
            10. When Mary and Martha send the servants so Jesus can heal their brother, Jesus waits, and sends the sisters thru suffering, and brother thru death.
            11. The God who created this amazing universe seeks a personal relationship with us.

            I am, and remain:
            A poet who does not trust poets.
            A prophet who does not trust prophets.
            And a cynic who knows God speaks.
            (and collects and shares paradoxes)

            1. I always thought that Peter was fine walking on water until he turned to yell back at his buddies in the boat, “Hey, look at me!” (Note, it doesn’t actually say that.)

              1. But knowing Peter you know he was goofing, you just know it. One reason we love him.

          2. Granting that these glimpses of the future are real and not just the mind playing a trick on itself, this mostly matches my own thinking: a natural phenomenon that someone occasionally takes advantage of and causes deliberately.

            Although I’ll point out that you don’t need to posit a non-human intelligence for this. You know how you hear stuff all the time without consciously noticing, but occasionally your subconscious will realize you’re hearing something important and you suddenly find yourself paying attention? Perhaps the reason some future glimpses feel special is because your own subconscious decides “Hey, you need to LISTEN to this one.”

            In fact, thinking of these future-glimpses as coming from a future-sense of some sort could explain other things, like why some of us (raises hand) just don’t seem to get them at all. Maybe some of us are just born future-blind in the same way others are born regular-blind.

            1. …Although it’s still funny to imagine that it’s all because the celestial bureaucracy just has no idea what it’s doing. 😛

              1. Given the size of just the Chinese celestial bureaucracy (three deities alone for civil service exams!), that wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit.

Comments are closed.