LIFE IN THE HOOD, "The Culinary Adventures of Monsieur Hennessey"

My two French dogs staged a sit in, today. They had been sitting and barking all day below the kitchen counter with the simmering pot of Beef Bourguignon. I took pity and dipped a few milk bone treats in the du jour for them. Burning my fingers, I accidentally dropped one into the mix, amidst the baby potatoes, onions and carrots. Try as I could, I never located it. So now, I repeatedly circle the doggies in the kitchen. Occasionally bowing my head to them , I exclaim with my best Julia Child voice, "BONE APPETIT !!"

Next time you see a dog and it is wagging it's tail, know the dog is laughing. They laugh with the wrong end but hey, it's all good in the neighbor hood, where children shout, dogs wag their tails and Aunt Sally sits in the parlor cracking the seal of a second bottle of gin.

Someone once wrote, "laughter is an instant vacation" and I am blessed to have a lot of friends and a few animals, that I think of as travel agents. My life has been bit tough as of late and I don't want people to cry for me, but instead laugh with me. Seriously. lol

So let's really get serious now, as we pick up again, our series on the "Matter of Man." Before we look at the natural law and the sense of mortality, placed in Adam, from the get go, let's explore the first man's overall nature. Keep in mind, this nature is "the matter of man, which is the matter of the world."

Genesis 3
The Fall of Man?

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

Some say it's the oldest trick in the book, man reaching to become like God. Is it really a trick? Heavens No! It is not a trick, but instead a plan, purposed according to the will of God. And as Adam before us, we each must experience the same "reaching to become as God." It is all according to plan, purposed in a mysterious love called, Agape. Maybe instead of the "fall of man" it should be called "God's plan for man."

Romans 8
The Cursed Creation?

20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it . . . . . "

This is an incredibly important scripture, should we care to understand Adam and his progeny, which includes you and me. It also includes Aunt Sally, in the parlor breaking the seal to her second bottle of gin, today. Yes, this verse in Romans paints the original picture of man, the natural man, Adam, you and me and also the drunk lady in the parlor. In the context of this verse, the creation or "creature", as some translations render it, is created to "frustration." This word "frustration" comes from the Greek word, "mataiotays" and in other translations, it is rendered "futility" and "vanity." I often share this verse, in this way (below), to give greater meaning to Adam's sore plight, which is man's sore plight.

"For the creation was subjected to frustration/vanity/futility, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it ...."

One commentator explains, that this term "mataiotays" applies to our "inward vanity or emptiness of the mind." So the creature, Adam, as created is "non rational and empty of mind." This emptiness is as far from the "mind of Christ", as one can get. I won't go as far as the aforementioned commentator, with regard to "Adam's emptiness", because I believe, Adam, is not really empty but filled with an unbearable tension and I will get into that subject in proceeding blogs, Lord willing. As for now, let us look at Adam, the first man, as having a form of child like innocence, not knowing good from evil. However, there is a plan, and Adam's eyes will be opened shortly and try as he can, Adam will never be able to rid himself of that which he will see and experience, because of his reaching for the forbidden. This reaching for the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, is the beginning of all dead works and these works, will fill Adam's life, as it did, each of our lives. The vain futile works, born of frustration, will take their deadly toll until "the wondrous hope" is first glimpsed and finally fully realized. This glorious hope is the fullness of life, obtained from, in and through Christ Jesus, the last Adam and man's Creator, Saviour and Lord.

"For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,"

Yes, there is a second part of this all important verse, we know as Romans eight and twenty, and it speaks of "hope." With this most high and supernal of all "hope", meaning is given to the "curse of creation." The curse, all along has had a plan to it. And with the realization of the perfect plan, the curse is miraculously made into a blessing. Such is the "mystery of Christ", who makes all things good in time. Thus it is, I believe, that "frustration, futility and vanity", gain purpose and are necessary , to understand and measure their opposites, found in "peace, strength, and fulfilment." Every created thing in the cosmos, must have it's counterpart, in order to take measure and render rational meaning, to our existence in God. There is no rest without frustration, there is no selflessness without vanity, there is no fulfilment without futility. The antonyms are endless and before Adam and all his children will be through, they will fill the book of life with all the opposites. And in the end all the antonyms will be reconciled, finding meaning within a solitary and single synonym, "JESUS."

What the first Adam's vanity could never realize, the Last Adam's selflessness will reveal. This has all been planned, purposed and reconciled, within the perfect care of an unfathomable love called Agape. So it is, we will come to rest in the last day, when all things are realized and measured perfectly in Christ.

But hold on! Even when all is perfect, there must come, the dawning of a brand new day and a more glorious day. This is because, an "unfathomable Love" must always spread it's wings further and more perfectly, encompassing all the more, for ever and ever. Selah. O Lord, let us forever enjoy the thrill of experiencing a new and greater measure of your unending love. You are immeasurable and beyond wonderful!

"Love is life's end, but never ending. Love is life's wealth, never spent, but ever spending. Love's life's reward, rewarded in rewarding."
Herbert Spencer

In His Sweet Lord Jesus,



Might you feel like you have missed something in life? Maybe you share a painful longing for someone, or you fear missing a future event. Some of you may even suffer the loss of a facet of your living. In other words, you can no longer enjoy living as you once did, because of a present situation. If so, I thought to share one of my favorite messages of encouragement, that it seems, I rewrite in the spring of every year. I am ever the consummate perfectionist when it comes to sharing my writings, because they firstmost, are gifts of love to God and He deserves the best. Secondly, His saint's are the body of my God's Son, so I write with care toward you.

It happens that today is St Patrick's Day, which is my daughter's very favorite day of the year. Her name is Erin, which is the Gaelic rendering of "Ireland" and the home of St. Patty. So it is no wonder, my Erin should proclaim March 17, "the best day in all the year." The following is a story surrounding a miraculous event that took a place some years ago. This tale speaks of an occurrence of profound intimacy between Erin, God and myself. This recounted experience is one reason, I can write fearlessly on the subject of death, as I have been of late on our blog. With the reading of the last paragraph of the following message, I sincerely hope you will find encouragement in life's disappointments. I have red fonted this particular section, for it is profoundly pregnant with the hope, I wish you to share with me. Be blessed dear reader.

If you have ever laid in bed and wept because of a person you will forever miss or occasions and enjoyments you have been deprived of due to one hard circumstance or another, I pray this story will soften your pain. I wrote this account a couple years ago and even today, it is one of my favorite writings ever. It seems even the original emotions, once so deeply felt as I originally typed this story out, have been made afresh as I read through it once again this morning.

I want to share a most extraordinary experience I had a few years ago, when God for one second took me out side the parameters of this world and deep into the heart of my daughter.
My only daughter Erin, upon entering the University of Kansas, received a letter from the Athletics Dept. inviting athletic freshmen women to try out for the KU Women's Rowing Team. Having been a recreational runner through out high school and being bold of spirit, Erin decided to give it a try. After many challenging hours of painstaking training, she was accepted onto the Novice Rowing Team. The following year for all her hard work, Erin was then elevated to the Varsity squad and awarded a full four year athletic scholarship.

It seems almost four years had gone by, since Erin had entered college and because of the distance and my lack of funds I was never able to visit my daughter on campus nor see any of her races. I knew that it was a "must" that I at least attend the last home rowing regatta of her senior year. This last race was an event, which included the KU Athletics Dept. putting on a large BBQ for all the rowing fans. Also included, was a ceremony honoring the parents of the graduating senior crew members, along with their daughters.

My ex-wife and Erin's mother, not being able to attend this event, just raised the stakes higher for me to be there. Three weeks away and after much prayer, I still saw no way, that I was going to be able to afford a flight to Kansas for the race. I was just heart broken and I was letting God know in prayer, how disappointed I was, when in the midst of my petitions, I received a phone call from my sister. She offered to fly me out to Erin's race. It seems, Jill, along with her partner and two of my other sisters were all going to be flying in for Erin's celebratory weekend. For a surety, they wanted me there also.

Lest I take from my dramatic event, I will tell you now, that we ended up with about fifteen Erin supporters in our crowd. When we left Lawrence Kansas following the big weekend, we found we were the talk of all the girls and their parents, as they marveled at the fun and exuberance we had in loving and rooting for our girl, Erin. All of us in the group were stone sober during our whole of our stay but because of our joy we were often asked what magic elixir, we might be drinking. lol

One other exceptional event I want to share, that lends support to God's miraculous ways, concerns an oversight of mine that became apparent at the Kansas airport. I found myself in a trying dilemma, when upon securing my reserved rental car, it was noticed my drivers license was expired. This negated any use of one of their rental automobiles. My daughter's apartment was a long forty miles away. As I was standing out on the curb, contemplating how I was going to complete my journey, a woman in a van drove up. She asked me if I had notice particular group of people waiting for a shuttle. I replied, "no" and then asked her where she might be going. She told me Lawrence, which is where my daughter lived and where the university is located. The driver, then told me to hop in, after I told her of my destination. Now, that's God's curb side service and it sure seems He knew, I would never once, be in need of an automobile the whole time I was in Kansas..

I spent five days in my daughter extra bedroom that week and I would accompany her each afternoon to the river for rowing practice. In those five days, I was blessed to enjoy all of her day to day activities, meet all her friends and visit all her haunts. It could not have been a more enjoyable and precious time, even without my miraculous experience which was soon to come.

So the big day of the race and celebration has arrived and it is an absolutely stupendous day to spend on the river. The weather was warm and still with not a cloud in the sky. We watched all the early races, with Erin in our company, while anxiously awaiting the final and most important race of the day. I am weeping right now, as I begin my account of what shall take place during this next event; Erin's last ever home race of her rowing career.

Being an ex-professional photographer I had brought my old 35mm. camera with all the lenses so I might capture the events of that day. I was set up on the shore about fifty yards in front of the finish markers, in anticipation of getting that perfect shot. This was where Erin and her team mates will absolutely be giving it their all, during the final yards of the course. It was so amazing to feel the heightened anticipation within the crowd and more so myself, as the boats came into sight, a mile away. The closer they came the louder the crowd cheered and as the teams closed in to where I was, every one was standing, shouting and clapping as loud and as hard as they could. Just as the Kansas boat, which was in a narrow lead, barely passed where I was standing, I readied my camera with it's long telephoto lens on Erin, for that planned shot. Looking through the lens, it was hard to comprehend the beauty of the rhythm of eight girls rowing together, while exerting every last ounce of their energy and strength for the last few meters of their final race.

I tightened in my focus and moved from the whole of the boat to where I could just view Erin's form, filling up the frame. I fine-focused and as I hit the shutter button it happened! In one single, incredible mind altering, fraction of a second, God took me deep into Erin's precious heart and I experienced every moment she had given to rowing in the last four years. I felt in my own heart, every ache and blister she had ever suffered during those years. I gloriously experienced all the joy she had received and also the whole of the disappointment she had endured during her four long rowing seasons. I tasted deeply the spirit of camaraderie she shared with her many boat-mates along with the encouragement, sisterhood, and closeness that had grown strong between them. Incredibly, I also was given understanding, of all the days Erin had gotten up at five in the morning to train in the cold and rain plus all the evenings she dragged herself home after a second practice to do piles of homework. Piercing my heart, was also the pure pleasure she enjoyed, knowing how very proud her Dad and everyone was of her, on this day. I could truly go on page after page describing what I experienced and saw in that smallest increment of time, when my camera shutter opened and closed during that perfect shot.

I believe I was the only parent that day that had tears in their eyes at the finish of that race. My sisters and our group of friends really gave me some razzing hell, upon noticing my face awash in my tears. If only God would have allowed me tell them the reason. It seemed this miracle I had just experienced, was just too precious for Him, also.

So I end by telling you, until I have left this earth, I shall never forget how God took me beyond the dimensions of time and space that incredible and amazing day. Miraculously, He allowed me to enter into my daughter's heart and experience all that I had once feared, I had missed. I can't help but believe this most miraculous occurrence was a foretaste of what we will all experience on that day, when we are made complete in Him. Since that miracle, I have been assured many times in payer, that I need never feel sad that I have missed anything of this world, because it is all being kept in store to be enjoyed throughout eternity.

And people wonder why I cry sometimes when I tell them how much I love God. Who could ever give you a gift like that!


PS. There is a rain storm taking place over my key board right now, but I want to also tell you that Erin went from a walk-on to being named 'captain of the rowing team" and "Oars Woman of the Year." Today a plaque in Erin's honor, along with many photos of her rowing, hang on the walls of a brand new state of the arts boat house and training center. That new boat house stands in the very spot, where once, for the smallest instance of time, a glimpse of eternity was experienced. God is good.




“Be anxious about nothing” Phi 4:6

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matt 6:25

Why is man anxious? Is there a root cause to man’s anxiety? What does man fear?

With the further probing of this series, “The Matter of Man is the Matter of the World” we will try and discover the answer to these questions. However first, allow me to forewarn you. "The carnal man will make many inventions, rather than deal with the root cause of all his fears, all his phobias and all his anxiety. The dark rebellious soul hides in frustration and carries a vain bent toward corruption. The carnal soul within man can only embrace Truth, only when it is laid low. Thus there are many trials and much tribulation produced by the world of the soul to be reaped by the soul. Truly, in this regard, the bite of the serpent is its own antidote.

So, what is the corruption, which is the root cause of all the anxiety and all the fear in our souls? The root cause my friend, is “physical death” and man is, as uncomfortable looking at physical death, as he is staring into the brightness of the unobstructed sun." I write tonight with the hope, we might overcome the fearful soul, as we look at my death, your death, Adam’s death and the death, which visits all men of the earth. With this joint venture, just maybe, we might alleviate and dash away some of our fear, dismiss a few of our phobias and find relief from lot of our anxiety. Maybe, we will even be able to realize the reward of a greater rest and a truer peace. I believe we can do this, with an understanding of “physical death” within the framework of God’s plan and purpose for man. That is our goal. I hope you might stay with me as I share that which I have been blessed to see, as I have gazed through death's shadow and into my Saviors face.

Before continuing with some well hidden truths, on the subject of “physical death” and “man’s mortality,” allow me to share something of my incredible month of February. In an amazing journey of sorts, I have enjoyed a most wondrous and peaceful month. Whereby, God has taken me to a new and deeper understanding of his purpose in “physical death.” All the while, that I was being blessed, I knew this February was the very month a Christian lady prophesied, I would die. According to this misguided soul, I was to die in the second month of 2010, in judgment for my sins.

Well Jeepers! By Golly George,! I am here to tell you I made it! I am still breathing and it’s March, the other side of February. I should let you know, this one came to me last year and prophesied my demise, for taking apart some demigods with elitist names like Pastor, Apostle and Doctor? It seems some one got a little contrary, as you don’t turn the religious chaste system, upside down and not expect to get a few religious curses in return. Obviously, this sweet gal was really angry, upon seeing her idols cast under aspersion. So like any power hungry false prophet, she pronounced the worst of all judgments she thought she could, over me, “YOU SHALL DIE.!” Now, because this sweetheart believes, she has a real in with God. Plus she believes these God awful formulas put together by the doomsday prophet/teacher Doctor Stephen Jones*, she confidently picked the exact month, I should die. This was done in accordance with one of Jones' mathematical time formulas. So, within the time frames of this one of many judgment formulas, it was decreed “YOU SHALL NOT ONLY DIE. YOU SHALL DIE IN FEBRUARY!” Of course with these formulas, if the subject does not die in the predicted month, there is always the back up, of some kind of Ezekiel clause. This escape clause invented by Jones, proclaims, if a prophesy fails to find fulfillment in the predicted month you’ll damn sure get it the month after. So please my friends please continue to pray me, at least into The Fool’s Day of April (lol). I kid of course, however, if Jesus chooses to take me in March, please instead rejoice in my good fortune as my leaving this physical realm will be my gain. I think the Apostle Paul wrote something along that line, didn't he? The end of such matters is that, God is good in all He does. I believe that. I believe that, even when life’s events bring sorrow and despair, because our understanding vision is yet incomplete. Yes first and foremost, above all, GOD IS GOOD!”. In the utmost Divine wonderment, God is good toward all His creatures and we love Him for that!

Moving on with this doomsday prophesy, let me say it has been all kinds of comical, this last half year and no more so, than with my predicted demise, Seems whenever there has been a discussion of any future plans or events concerning me, I and those in the know, laughingly quip, “best get it done quickly, best hurry because February's end is in site” (lol).

Not surprisingly, this sweet prophetess came over to the blog many times the last many months to see what the skinny was on SONSHINE. Best I could tell, over the last year, she would visit once or twice a month. She surely did not want me dieing in October or January, so she had to check and make sure her gallows prophesy was still swinging. Yes, this little lady had her money on February, so I was not surprised to see her visit the blog twice in the closing three days of that very month, just past. Now, I can't help but think her visitations make up a very sick kind of voyeurism. This sad sickness is oft embedded in the natural mind and has also been groomed well within most Christians, by the religious doctrines of man and the practices of the organized church. Heck, we might as well go the whole nine yards and say the idea of physical death, as the worst judgment possible, is deeply ingrained in the carnal minds, within us all. So in reality our sweetheart prophetess of doom was only speaking out of that which was in her heart. And that heart, which is Adam’s heart, is in us all. The whisper of, want of judgement by death, is part and parcel of the dark call of our souls. Truth be known, that whisper, that was in Cain, has sounded at some time, within us all. Well maybe, with the continuation of our series on the “matter of man”, I can help you understand and overcome Cain's whisper, should you still suffer it.

Before we begin looking at physical death, in that which I consider a right light, let me clean up the residue of my friend’s misplaced curse. Let me reiterate, this, the month of February has been far from cursed. It actually has been a glorious month filled with the mixture of thrill and rest as I have been pulled deeper into the amazing grace and love of God, through Christ Jesus. This last month, I have also realized many pieces come together as I catch, what I believe, the true measure of Adam’s nature, which is the measure our own human nature. I know many of you have experienced the "beyond delightful phenomenon", that comes with Christ revealing another facet of His ways. That which I speak of is the wonderment of the occurrence of being shown a new and deeper Truth in Him, Who is before all things, the holder of all things, and after all things. How often with the first glimmer of such a mind altering truth, we come to see that very truth illustrated every where we look. In God's goodness, evidence and confirmation brings affirmation to that which we were first given to ponder. So it is with my pondering of Adam, being mortal from the very get go, even before the curse. This finds its levity, because, maybe with this truth, we can look upon God’s purpose of physical death, in a more correct fashion. Also comes the possibility, we will no longer look at another human's physical demise as only wretched and the worst of all curses. Now wishing to let my dear false prophetess off the hook, let me ask a question for all of our consideration. Who upon hearing of the death of an enemy has not thought, "yep, he or she got what was coming." We think, “do dirty, get dirty!” Well that’s WRONG!, and hopefully with the furtherance of our series, we shall come to understand why it is wrong. For the child of God the curse is always turned into the blessing, just as February was one man’s cursed month, it was made my blessing. Ain’t God, just the best, when you know the goodness in all His ways. What a wonder it is, that He shares such with us!

I will now, make a supposition that might give you, dear reader, a glimpse into the gravity of of our exploration into Adam’s state, which by commonality of our humanness, is our state. In particular we seek the truth and significance of Adam's physical death, which is as our physical death. Again let us broach the question, “Why is it beneficial for us to understand the occurrence of death in the physical realm?” Well let’s try on the premise “by the rid of fear in our lives we make gain of peace and rest in our lives.” That is certainly good enough reason, so I will proceed by telling you, I believe all fears or phobias find their origin in the fear of death. Death is the very foundation, from which all fears arise. By the way “phobia” is actually the Greek word for fear. Today there are even secular psychologist and psychiatrists coming to realize the foundational fear in man is "fear of death." I am sure, we have all experienced the alleviation of a particular fear. That alleviation comes by an understanding or even the experiencing the object of our fear. In other words, how often, we find understanding or even the experiencing of a situation, event or object, alleviates the very fear of the same. I think it is likewise with the “fear of death." Thus, how much to our good, it would be, if we could presently, better understand "death, the mother of all fears." Even moreso how much better to would be, should we understand something of this state, before experiencing it. For the elect, the option of "understanding death" sure beats going into the "experience of death," crying and kicking in fear. Simply said, if we can understand God’s use of death, we can possibly, be made free from the fear of death. We might even recognize physical death as a necessary and good thing used by God in His purpose and plan for you and me and all of mankind. Also knowing, “Death’s Prophetess” will be reading this message, just maybe, with a possible new understanding, we can alleviate her, throwing any more death decrees at someone else, in the future. That alone would be a good thing :-))

So with the presumption of death as the mother of all fears let us look at a scripture that illustrates how the fearful soul is dealt with.

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev 21:8

How often the church goers, pass on by the “fearful,” in the aforementioned scripture, as if not even seeing it. For sure, the “eternal torment” guys, never mention the “fearful” in the group of sinners they want to see fried forever. Of course not, as that subjected group would surely include themselves. We, that have had our minds renewed to understand the “lake which burns with fire and brimstone” is God himself and "the second death" as being, baptized into the death of Christ Jesus, see a solution to fear, rather than a never ending punishment for fear. Hopefully this series can even hold a bit of the "Lake of Fire" in it, that our fears might be miraculously transformed into peace and love. I myself, along with many of you, have been cast into this awesome lake of fire and we are learning to float rather than struggle against it's insurmountable current. Some of you, doing this today in your lives, are even my inspiration.

Please bear my repetition as I report, it was some weeks ago, the Spirit began to stir within me and I began to get an inkling that the fall of Adam, is not as we have been taught and come to accept. As a result of that stirring, I gleaned over the last month a new
understanding of Adam’s nature and resulting sin. I believe a great beneficial practicality can occur, when one begins to realize the discovered evidence, I am going to share with you, in the following weeks, Lord willing. I really believe we can come to a right understanding of death and thus alleviate much stress, angst and anxiety from our lives as mortal humans. Lord, we thank you in making all things good in time. You are truly amazing, as is also is amazing, your plan and purpose for each of us.

By God's grace, I will attempt to share with you, dear reader, a number of views and truths concerning death, as I have come to see them. Lord willing in our next blog we will explore further the “fear of death.” With the understanding of death, I believe we will certainly live better. Amen.

“The ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, believed it to be, our omnipresent fear of death was the root cause of misery. The frightening vision of inevitable death, he said, interferes with one’s enjoyment of life and leaves no pleasure undisturbed.”**

"It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by Providence as an evil to mankind."
Jonathan Swift

In His Sweet Lord Jesus,

* Dr. Stephen Jones writings were some we used to recommend in our blog sidebar. Many of his writings are wonderful but as it is with many with great knowledge, he has overstepped the bounds and become even megalomaniac in his thoughts and practices. I believe this sadly, to be the current state of Dr. Jones. His date setting prophesies of doom and gloom are anything but of God. Instead they are tools of the enemy, that would cast a false sense of power into the hearts of those that hold them. Basically, the guy has some very foul spirits at work in him right now, as he promotes himself and gathers a following. God help the man, and yes, with this, I’ll probably get another death curse. That curse will find is rightful and original place in the dust, that was cursed even before Adam.

** I rephrased a quote. taken from Dr. Irvin D. Yalom, professor of psychiatry Emeritus at Stanford University