Progress

Just a quick update for those who are interested. The VA sent me home with Tylenol-3. I hate it, but the pain would be intolerable without it. After surgery there a lag between the time the anesthesia (“saddle block”) wore off and the nurse giving me something else. It was very nearly as bad as any pain I can recall in my life. You would expect that with a shattered kneecap and that big slice across the front of my leg. At the same time, my own wiring has risen to the occasion and my pain tolerance has actually improved.

At any rate, writing here will be a little slow until the initial shock to my system passes. The pain-killer makes me woozy right after I take it.

The real blessing in all of this was God granting me a divine composure. From the moment I sat up in the grass and knew I was hurt, I had an overwhelming sense of God at work with a solid plan. I never really went into shock except for the briefest moment in the Emergency Room.

Folks you can speculate about how tough I am, but I must give God the glory, and encourage you that this faith that carries me is more than big enough to carry you through whatever you face. I love you all.

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A New Adventure

As I pedaled across the bridge over Crooked Oak Creek, the Father caught my attention. It was quiet and just a little breeze, but the power of the Spirit was overwhelming in His Presence, so I stopped to pray and give thanks for all the blessings. A short way down the bike path, I came up behind a Bobcat with a street-sweeper attachment on the front. The operator was knocking the sand off the bike path from recent rains. I trailed him for about 100 meters because we were in a tight spot. I didn’t see his mirrors, but I know Bobcats had them, so I was hoping he knew I was there. Once there was safe clearance I pulled off onto the grass and began climbing the embankment to go around. This one had no rear-view mirror.

WreckSceneHe spun sharply left and I collided with the hard plastic cover on the roller broom. I was pitched over the handlebars, and in the process gashed my knee against the lower edge of that plastic shield. The bike was busted up a bit, but my leg was a mess.

LegAfter surgery the doctors said something about the patella being broken in 4 or 5 pieces. The tendons and muscle were cut through just above the knee cap, and all had to be stitched back together. The knee cap has been screwed together and there’s a technique involving optic fiber threads used to bolster the whole thing. So I have hardware and the first broken bone in my entire life.

For a week it must remain immobilized, so I’ll sit in my recliner and use my wife’s laptop. I go back in for a post-op check up and see if anything changed. They say recovery takes a minimum of six weeks. No rides for awhile, even if we get the bike fixed. We are praying for guidance in dealing the with city government, because I seriously doubt any lawyers will starve if I don’t hire one. I am believing God that He has placed someone there who will do the right thing; we are not bloodthirsty.

Indeed, I seem to have made quite a few new friends here and there because the Lord empowered a solid patient witness in dealing with the bureaucracy.

Pray for Larry Ponder, the man operating the Bobcat. He took it worse than I did. We prayed together while waiting for the ambulance. It matters not who is responsible, I bear no ill will against him. So I’m all groggy now from the pain killers and it will take awhile for me to respond to much. I love you all. Let’s see what great things God will do with this.

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Just to let you know about Ed

Hi my name is Veloyce I am Ed’s wife. I am not a writer so forgive me. Ed was in a accident with his bike. He has surgery to fix his knee. I hear the bike is bad. Will have to replace it. So he will not be able to get back with any one till he gets home. If you need to get word to him you can e-mail me at mousenchurch@yahoo.com.Thank you for your prays. He was doing good when I left him.

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Kiln blog: Our Crazy Ancient New Religion 6

You will fail.

That is, lots of things you try won’t turn out as you expect. So the only wise course is to adjust your expectations. Turn failure into learning and learning into victory.

I’ve done what I could in this series to shake loose a bunch of crappy thinking about how religion is supposed to work. It is work, and it is mostly failure for a very long time because that’s how we get better at it. But the whole purpose is not success in those terms; redefine success as perception, not objective fact. It’s not a question of knowing the truth, but your truth. Yours and mine cannot be precisely the same, because God will not let it be that way. Yes, God Himself will see to it that “reality” is varied somewhat between His servants.

You can read the rest by clicking this link to Kiln of the Soul blog.

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Cycling: Storm Damage Area

01PooreParkYesterday’s storms were not particular epic for us here in Central Oklahoma. There are two things to consider: flash floods and wind/tornado damage. So our first shot shows the flotsam sitting on the path and standing water in Tom Poore Park. This is part of the Solider Creek Basin, and it floods frequently because there’s no dams or anything on it. This whole basin was originally swampy before it was developed.

02PowerLinesAnd even when the tornadoes don’t touch down, they usually drag stiff straight-line winds along the ground below them. This second image shows a cottonwood after it was cut from these heavy transmission lines. According to the weather radar last night, a tornado cell passed over my favorite farm district up north east of Midwest Boulevard but it seems to have never touched down. So my pictures reflect extraordinary straight-line winds.03SmallTree

It seems almost random. A three here or there, a cluster over there. Then a mile or so of no damage.04RoadClosed And while it wasn’t much of a road in the first place, this sign that has been hanging on that gate for years is suddenly quite appropriate.

05BigTreeMost of these were taken in the area of NE 122nd and Post Road, just west of the North Canadian River. I really felt sorry for these folks with half their front yard still attached to that giant tree blown over.

06RoadblossomsBut it wasn’t all bad news. These wild flowers really shot up after the heavy rains. This was up on Memorial Road near Douglas Boulevard.07MoreWires This last one shows a tree caught in the power lines running to the farm, and the crew told me the power was off until they could get to it.

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Kiln blog: Our Crazy Ancient New Religion 5

(I’m reposting here in full because there’s no way to extract a teaser from this.)

Three short items this time.

One — Be aware that heart-led is not the same as spiritually awakened. So far as anyone can tell, the choice to use the sensory heart and connect your conscious awareness to the heart-mind is universal, a basic function of human existence. It does no require spiritual birth (AKA “born again”) to use it. What happens is that such people will tend to misinterpret their exposure to the moral realm. They won’t have the built-in spiritual awareness that only the Holy Spirit can give. This is why a lot of folks seem aware of operating principles and various portions of divine morality, but don’t have a consistent picture of it. They can see inside the sphere but don’t have a rooted grasp on what they perceive.

On the other hand, a great many people who are spiritually awakened in Christ do not use their heart-mind, which is a major concern for us. So far, the vast majority of folks drawn to our religion are these people. They are already believers, but lack the clear grasp of what to do with it. We can help this latter group of people find their way, but only God can change the spiritual condition in the former group. Nothing says we can’t be friends and witness the truth to everyone.

An awful lot of our ministry looks just like counseling, but counseling is mostly a special form or teaching ministry. We have to engage our hearts to sense what is broken and help them see and hear. The stuff we might tell them won’t work until we help them resolve the blockage between mind and heart. The single biggest problem is the mind rejecting or ignoring stuff.

Two — Everything starts with your location. That’s true on two levels, at least.

On the moral level, you really need to seek a sense of calling from God. Your actual calling is a moving target because life is all about change, but the issue is your sense of calling. It’s a matter of where you stand in God’s business on this earth — Why are you still here? For some, the process is a long one, bouncing a million things off their convictions until something sticks. The process itself is exceedingly valuable.

On the practical level of application, your geographic location can be wrong against the broad moral fabric for reasons that don’t make any sense at all. At any given moment, the power of God working in your body as Creator matches you to a setting that is your “home,” where the means to optimal life (shalom) are waiting. Your divine heritage is tied to a physical location. You are built to be somewhere, and it’s incumbent on you to sense the need to move to another place. You don’t have to know consciously all the details why, but you do need a wider awareness that you are in the wrong place for your calling and your needs. Creation itself can tell you that you need to move.

Three — Western culture gets most things wrong, and it is particularly bad about the relationship between perception and reality. There’s a sense in which Western Civilization is a very bad case of mass hypnosis. Everyone has been taught a fundamental approach on the issue and it’s very wrong, but since everyone agrees to it, the world seems to work just fine that way.

So get this: Your false perception by itself can kill you. Reality is fuzzy in the first place, and a great many people die from simply believing a lie so overwhelmingly powerful that their bodies doesn’t argue. Now extend that outwards and realize that demonic deception can make nonbelievers experience things differently from what a strong believer experiences in the precise same setting. And for all the difference it makes, both experiences are equally “real.”

Yes, reality is just that fungible. You will have to explore this for yourself. It’s not that heart-led believers can’t be fooled, but that demons have a lot tougher time fooling them. Demonic powers depend on perception far more than Westerners realize. The key is a powerful moral awareness of what God says ought to be.

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Riding the Twister

I write this at roughly 1900 hours local time (CDT).

No long ride today because of unsettled weather. A large number of school districts shut down or adjusted their schedules. That’s because, starting about mid-morning, serious storms and even tornadoes could have popped up any time on short notice. As it turns out, the storms are raging across the state and look to come this way in a couple of hours, if not sooner. Since this apartment complex has already survived from the 1970s without serious damage, I see no reason to worry too much about my own safety. However, I’ll keep my camera handy in case something interesting happens in our area.

Our Father’s divine care is all we need.

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