Things I Think

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140 Responses

  1. Glen says:

    Thanks for all you do, Michael.
    Take a break and enjoy the day.

  2. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ah this calls for a TWeT day. So just post the Things You Think and we will have a blast.

    1. I think we all want Michael to walk in health and blessing so we wish him God’s grace.

    2. I think Rob Bell should give up explaining himself. It just gets him in more trouble the truth is the guy just thinks we should all hold hands and get along.

    3. Getting older is humbling. God has a good strategy for knocking us off our high horse.

  3. Please Note says:

    Get well, Brother!

  4. Bob Sweat says:

    Sometimes I don’t want to think.
    Thinking causes some to think more about something than they need to.
    You don’t want to know what I think.
    After being swept by the Giants, I think the Dodgers need to spend some more money to get better players.

  5. BD, Amen to your #1!

    Things Derek thinks:
    1. When people think that somehow our generation is more wicked than previous ones, they need to read a book on history from America’s past. I started reading “Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild” this weekend. People are just as bad at any point in time. Great read though with some wild stories! Pirates, earthquakes,and tornadoes so far.
    http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-River-Mississippi-When-Vintage/dp/0307473570

    2. Am I the only one who wants to take the little girl in the AT&T “We want more!” commercial and tell her “No, you can’t have more!” Most annoying commercial on the air right now. Put this on FB yesterday, but this commercial has been annoying me for a while.

    3. The weather is finally decent here now. I hope winter has had it’s last, but I am ready for the southern climate soon. I miss the smell of honeysuckle.

  6. “After being swept by the Giants, I think the Dodgers need to spend some more money to get better players.”

    ROTFLOL! We suck again! New management, mountains of money, same mediocrity.

  7. TWeT for me:

    1. I agree with Dread and everybody else here. Good health, and a life richly blessed for Michael.

    2. Nothing more humbling than preaching a sermon. Maybe you get used to it after a while. I don’t know. But immediately after delivering a sermon, I can’t help but realize, wow if there is one person in the the world who is unworthy to handle God’s Word, it is me.

    3. The prelude to the Gospel of John (chptr 1: 1-17) is the most brilliant thing ever written. Life, and the Gospel, and hope for all sinners is contained within.

    4. I need a vacation. One with a beach, my wife and kids, and absolutely nothing else. I need that vacation to last about 3 months.

    5. Stephen Curry is my favorite player in the NBA, because he is so un-NBA’ish.

  8. I think that if I had listened to the advice of Centy, Michael, Rolph and many other pastors and played the Game politically and used my knowledge of persuasion and rhetoric etc to schmooze my beefs through the CC System…I would have probably gotten a lot more traction.

    I also think that is dishonest and would have been a self-fulfilling prophecy and any result would have been a faux-miracle…which I’ve discovered is all the miracles we see today. They are moissanite miracles. If you believe it, if you make it happen, if you politic it enough, if you schmooze it enough, if you have a slick enough marketing campaign, a persuasive enough presentation…you can build god’s kingdom and claim miracles.

    For some reason, I couldn’t politic it through, I couldn’t schmooze, my conscience wouldn’t let me. I challenged God (if He is real) to do a miracle that I couldn’t take credit for. He didn’t act. His supposed “anointed” did the wrong thing. I got my answer, but I don’t think it’s that God isn’t real…just that his “anointed” aren’t really anointed and that God doesn’t really actively work in His creation any longer…no more real miracles post-OT/NT, no more supernatural manifestations, no more magic like in the very early church. Not exactly sure “why”…but overwhelming evidence that it is this way now (despite the anecdotal stories and sincere testimonies that are unverifiable).

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    Self defeating strategies are common to us preacher/teacher/pastor Joes.

  10. I also not only think but know that the bible is full of contradiction and paradox in both word and in example. Overwhelmingly so. My path has caused me to study the bible at a level that probably few do. I have reviewed the apologetic of nearly every guru on the big questions and big issues.

    None has a good answer. Many get very un-orthodox when you examine closely (Chuck Smith gets way out there on some issues).

    Most folks are too distracted or too obtuse or too lazy or too apathetic to notice. That’s humanity in a nutshell…it’s how Rulers rule and how a Few control the Many.

  11. JTB,
    #3. Always loved those verses.
    #4. Yep.

  12. filbertz says:

    I think I agree with Dread’s assessment of growing older and humiliation. My back is on the fritz after too many hours in the car and too many stairs on a catering job. good grief!

    I think the Participation Required threads have been fun and illuminating. Thanks Rueben.

    I feel encouraged having seen some former regulars poke their noses in for a moment lately. I hope to hear more from them.

    I think reintegrating into church life is harder than I thought it would be…

    I think sleep is under-rated. 😉

  13. Babylon's Dread says:

    Inglourious, you get more self defeating by the moment. Full of contradiction? Depends very much on your criterion for consistency. Progressive revelation knocks out most contradiction and allowing writers to use nuance and emphasis knocks out more. But believing in literal inerrancy is a boondoggle. That is where most conservatives get hung by their own words. Smith is just an interpreter with a viewpoint. An anyone trying to defend pretribulationalism is mired in an impossible task anyway.

  14. Babylon's Dread says:

    Wait I just sounded like I was picking a fight… better leave before the big guns shoot

  15. Bryan Stupar says:

    #1 If agreeing to “not consume alcohol” is an entrance requirement (like at prom) for Calvary Chapel Affiliation (or any other tribe/denomination) then sadly, Jesus wouldn’t be welcomed.

    #2 God’s LOVE (as seen by Jesus’ absorption of our guilt) is strong enough to:
    melt our cynicism,
    deconstruct our self-righteousness,
    disarm our defenses,
    + repair our brokenness.

    #3 When instructions are added to the fine print of our organizations so as to define “whose in & whose out”, which clearly don’t bare an Apostles’ name along w/ a chapter & verse following…you can be fairly certain that God MAY not be in agreement with it. So, if you’re going to inscribe ancillary rules, write them in pencil and be humble enough to give the eraser to God.

  16. sarahkwolfe says:

    Agreeing with all the amen’s to Dread’s #1. Praying for health for Michael.

    I think…I love my church fellowship. I love that my kids hang out and laugh and that we are usually the last car out of the parking lot. I love that yesterday I was brought to tears before taking communion and aware that God continues to work in this selfish heart.

    I think…I am slightly overwhelmed planning the homeschool plan for next year. I’m excited how it is beginning to come together, but a bit amazed that I’m doing this.

    I think…Gosnell has been on my mind the last week. Everytime I see a baby I think of him. I cannot fathom the callousness it took to kill those babies, and yet…he is just the amplification of the abortion issue. Sigh.

    I think…I’m glad the kids talked us into cats. We have two young girls now and they have become a blessed part of the family.

  17. Xenia says:

    1. I think I am enjoying growing older. Some things are growing hazy and some things are coming into sharper focus.

    2. I think the Scriptures make more sense if you have a garden.

    3. I’ve been thinking about bacon for six weeks and now that I have eaten some, it’s no big whoop after all.

    4. I think many of you would enjoy the free, college level courses offered by Coursera.org

    5. I think my priest needs about twenty hours of uninterrupted sleep after serving 30+ hours of services during Holy Week and Pascha.

    6.I think localism is a good political philosophy. I am more interested in what goes on in my town than at the state or national level.

    7. I am always torn between two ideals: Should I shop at “green” stores with the hipsters and rich folks, demonstrating concern for the environment and third world sweat shop workers? Or should I hang out with ordinary people and shop at Wal*Mart? What would Jesus do? Lately, I am inclined to think He’d go to Wal*Mart.

    8. I wonder why the US felt it had to make the world a safer place by eliminating Saddam Hussein by means of a terrible war yet pussy-foots around the rulers of North Korea?

    9. I think I would get rid of Facebook if it weren’t for the fact that I would never know what was going on in the lives of a few of my children if I didn’t have it.

    10. I think I am glad Lent is over but I sort of miss it already.

  18. Xenia’s #7. I go to Wal-Mart because it is what I can afford.
    Also, does no one think that those 3rd world sweat shop workers are just like everyone else and trying to earn money to support their families. Conditions may be bad for them, but if we put them out of business, then what do they have? This is far more complicated than people like to make it.
    I have actually heard christians speak of shopping at Wal-Mart like it is so low-class and wrong and don’t see how that makes them look to people who don’t have all the money in the world to spend on “green” things.
    My wife has a garden planned for when we return to MS. They call it “green” now, but I just call it trying to save money. Plus, fresh tomatoes are the bomb! 🙂

  19. Definitely go local. Small towns could fix the economy.

  20. PP Vet says:

    Sorry to hear that The Only Interesting Person on the Internet is tired and more. Perhaps from fighting the fight.

    Sometimes I wonder if I am too much like Hezekiah: “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”

    What do I care about the state of the church….

    Not necessarily proud of myself.

  21. Nonnie says:

    God bless you, Michael. Praying for your restored health, and God’s provision for you in every way.

  22. filbertz says:

    In our experience, Walmart is more expensive for groceries. My wife is the queen of comparison shopping and avoids WM except for certain advertised specials.

  23. Fil,
    It used to be that way for me when I still lived in MS, but in Rapid City, the grocery stores are more expensive than Wal-Mart and my Mom, who still lives in Ms, says it is the same there now.

  24. erunner says:

    1. Still like the Beatles more than the Stones.

    2. Had my eyes dilated this morning. Had fun wearing my cool shades they gave me to a few stores.

    3. First the Red Sox send us their owner. Now they have sent all of their excess payroll to us and we stink while they’re in first. Money doesn’t buy first place. Little bit of thinking does.

    4. A close friend is using Israel’s attack on Syria as a sign Christ is at the door.

    5. A Wal-Mart grocery store is opening within walking distance on Friday. I will be checking it out.

    6. Is it ever acceptable to keep child molestation a secret? Even if 20 plus years have passed and the victim just regained the memories and had to undergo therapy. Even though the perpetrator was a preteen at the time.

    7. Smelling bacon is better than eating it!

    8. How about churches that have you sign off that you won’t view R-rated movies. How about churches that take employee tithes out electronically from their checks?

    9. Bob Sweat could be the chaplain for the Dodgers.

    10. Why have so many replaced spanking with time outs?

  25. Hmmm, this appears top be a timely article for not just one friend but perhaps a few of us as well…

    http://www.howdesign.com/design-creativity/how-to/how-to-overcome-creative-roadblocks/

    Enjoy!

  26. jamesk says:

    Fil doesn’t have teenage boys to feed. Winco and Walmart are the cheapest around, unless you are into extreme couponing.

  27. Crowned1 says:

    Praying for a scientifically provable, or un-provable miracle for your health Michael. May the Lord hear the prayer of His servant with the mustard seed sized faith.

    Nevertheless not my will, but His be done.

  28. Winco rocks. Employee owned, great prices. I loathe Wal-Mart, but they thrive. They’re a result of Big Corp Capitalism* which is our current System.

    Humans are selfish, they’ll b***ch and moan, but at the end of the day, they’ll cut their own throats to save a buck.

  29. London says:

    1. Resting is the greatest invention EVER!
    2. Netflix is the second.
    3. I like not being in charge at work more than I thought I would
    4. Redemption is more than just a theory
    5. My best friend from college started a FB chat with me this weekend. Her complaints about her life were exactly the same as they were 7 years ago when we last talked. Not sure what she expected me to do about them or why she started the conversation without addressing the fact we haven’t talked for that long.
    6. People are weird
    7. I wish I had as much courage and conviction as my Canadian friend who gave up all her “worldly wealth” to go to Northern Iraq to teach children there how to photograph and see themselves as artists.
    8. Everyone else on here thinks loftier thoughts than I do and I”m ok with that

  30. “8. Everyone else on here thinks loftier thoughts than I do and I”m ok with that”

    You’re way ahead of MLD 🙂

  31. “10. Why have so many replaced spanking with time outs?”

    Spankings are statistically not a good form of punishment and often “spankings” turn into child abuse by psycho parents who use the misnomer to justify their sadistic beatings.

    Study after study proves physical abuse results in a higher rate of incarceration, violent behavior etc.

    Even “spanking” sends a message that physical violence is an acceptable form of conflict management or punishment, which imbeds unconscious tendency to violence as more acceptable.

    “Spanking” no more adjusts the will than a time out does. “Beating the rebellion” out of a child only ruins them (and yourself) and if God is real and Jesus is real etc, it is probably the single-most destructive practice of the stupid Fundamentalists today.

  32. filbertz says:

    jamesk–you are correct, I don’t have teenaged boys to feed…anymore. Three daughters and four sons–shopped at Costco, Cash’n’Carry, Grocery Outlet (the used food store 😉 ) and the major chains from their flyers and coupons. It takes effort to save money, but in our experience, Walmart was convenient, but didn’t net savings. Winco is 30 miles away, but a good value overall.

    IB–a steady stream of insults is wearisome.

    London–re: your #8. I disagree. 😉

  33. Muff Potter says:

    Xenia wrote:

    “…I wonder why the US felt it had to make the world a safer place by eliminating Saddam Hussein by means of a terrible war yet pussy-foots around the rulers of North Korea?…”

    Answer: Because North Korea is not sitting on immense and easily extracted oil reserves.

  34. London says:

    🙂 Flip

  35. Bob Sweat says:

    “E”
    I’ll have to pass on the Dodger chaplaincy. I stopped bleeding Dodger blue some 30 years ago. I’m a Giant fan now. Besides, my theology would not meet the standards of MLD. 😉

  36. Xenia says:

    Muff, yep. It was sort of a rhetorical question.

  37. “IB–a steady stream of insults is wearisome.”

    No more wearisome than a steady stream of ignorance (not directed at you).

  38. jamesk says:

    @24 #10 I wonder the same thing.

  39. PP Vet says:

    Speaking of chaplains – Happened to catch US Senate Chaplain Barry Black speaking at the Heritage Foundation on C-SPAN last night. What an awesome human being.

  40. Michael says:

    Just saw on Twitter that Dallas Willard has stage 4 cancer.

  41. @40. So sad.

    Is IB Alex?

  42. Steve, why does it matter? Who cares?

  43. Well, I guess I could tell you it was Alex, but then you say you don’t believe Alex’s testimony, so if it was Alex you probably wouldn’t believe it anyway, so what does it matter?

  44. Hoppy, yes, but don’t tell anyone.

  45. Ya Hoppy, listen to Kevin McCullers

  46. “…if God is real and Jesus is real etc, it is probably the single-most destructive practice of the stupid Fundamentalists today.”

    I are wonna them there stupid Fundymentalists. My mama and daddy spanked me, and I spanked my kids, and we is all just fat, happy and stupid down here in the trailerhood!

  47. mrtundraman says:

    “5. I think my priest needs about twenty hours of uninterrupted sleep after serving 30+ hours of services during Holy Week and Pascha.”

    My priest was sweating hard but I could see the joy in his face as he tossed around the flower petals on Holy Saturday.

  48. Ya, LOL. I always here that refrain.

    “Well my dad wooped my ass and look how I turned out!”

    …and then I look how they turned out and i cringe and vow to never spank my children.

  49. mrtundraman says:

    How could I not smile from ear to ear as they tossed the flower petals?

  50. Alex
    Wow! what a change from a year ago. Sounds like you’re losing it. Hope you don’t end up doing something stupid.

  51. Steve, the stupid thing I did was believing in Fundamentalism and thinking standing up and trying to do the right thing and “expose the deeds of darkness” and “rebuke them publicly” in Calvary Chapel was a just cause and right and righteous and that God would act.

    The only thing I’m losing is the tentacles of Selective Fundamentalism and realizing how duped and delusional I was to believe your brand of god was real and that your brand of church had any integrity and any real care for righteousness and justice.

  52. I’ve learned it’s every man for himself. Michael has articulated that offline, pretty much everyone on here has in one form or another as well. I’ve learned a ton about what is real and what is true in the last several years. I’ve crossed some things off the list, it has been educational.

  53. London says:

    MTM,
    You know, I thought it was a bad idea to have you back on this blog when I first saw you’d return.
    Have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised to have been wrong about that. You’ve been doing well to fit in and to be a part of the group discussions in a positive and thoughtful way.

    Thanks!

  54. IB, for what it’s worth, I can understand why you would lean away from physical discipline. Jerks like BG have no business spanking or even being around children.

  55. Michael says:

    Don’t use real names if someone is using a moniker.
    I probably should shut this down while I’m figuring life out.
    This is not a productive use of anyone’s time at this point.

  56. Ironically, it has given me more grace toward myself and even you and others. You’re human which is why you can be a douche-bag at times. You are what you are and that’s just how things are and I shouldn’t expect anything from anyone, including myself.

  57. Now, I’m going to go do something which I’ve been told is really stupid from within Selective Fundamentalism (though the pastors do it too)…I’m going to go make money and build my man kingdom and take care of me, my family and my friends and allies and all those who have been abused, hurt, disillusioned…are on their own. They shouldn’t have trusted pastors and the church and they shouldn’t have given their money. They’re stupid and it’s their own fault.

  58. Sorry Michael. You too IB.

  59. London says:

    So, Hoppy…have you heard any good jokes lately??

  60. London says:

    Michael, it’s a productive use of my time…
    Otherwise, I gotta work. 🙂

  61. “Today Calvary Chapel unveiled its new policy. Don’t ask, don’t confess.”–Jay Leno

    😆

  62. covered says:

    London, you are too funny. Regarding your #29 and your friend in Northern Iraq, what an awesome heart she has! In my travels there, I have been blessed to meet several Christian Americans who are giving of their time and resources to help these beautiful people. Their desire to learn from us is humbling.

  63. Hey L-dawg
    No that jokes you’d like…actually…just haven’t heard any

  64. Guy on a train asks ” are there any Presbyterians on board?” No answer.
    “Any Episcopalians?” Still no answer
    A man in the back says ” I am a Calvary Chapel pastor,can I help”
    The guy says “No. Im just looking for a cork screw toopen a bottle of wine!”

  65. Rob Murphy says:

    I think that since January when I was in the hospital with bacterial meningitis and then recovered in a manner that all 4 of my infectious disease doctors found inexplicable and cited the hard science phrase (all four times) “You’re lucky”, that I don’t know much about the miraculous or hard science.
    But what I have had even greater struggles understanding is why God has me walk away from that and back to my job while dear friends like Michael struggle with ongoing health needs and financial needs. Why a girl of 17/18 years old has the same thing I had and loses all four limbs to save her life just over the hill from me in OC.
    I know I used to say ‘why me?’ when the wind would blow the rain in my face, and now I say ‘why me?’ when I look at my great “luck” as explained by the hard science scientists and wonder why Michael didn’t get some of that “luck” or that girl over in Irvine, or my friend who died last week from brain cancer. Why do I still get to say goodnight to my kids? Hard, provable science says I’m just plain lucky. I just look at Heaven and wonder if God needs help with the scorecard down here, because some days I think He’s really missing some details. It keeps me up nights, some days. I’m lucky that way, it’s when I run out of words/complaints and finally listen. Haven’t heard any great explanations yet, just “I’m here”. Two little words, three if you count the contraction liberally.

    I think I am very thankful for the hard thinking that Michael has challenged me with.
    I think I am very thankful to have Michael as a friend.
    I think I am a better selective fundamentalist for having listened, heard and responded to a guy who used to be on here named Alex.
    I think I am very thankful for BD’s example in life, marriage and joyful ministry.
    I think Xenia makes a great case for walking around practical faith.
    I think Sarah and Nomans make my heart seem Grinchfully small.
    I think BrianD may have been the most effective and brilliant collator of internet information, ever.
    I think Erunner also dwarfs my heart.
    I think I’m forgetting many, many others who have made me want to holler, weep and laugh.
    I think that’s all I got today.

  66. Steve H, that was funny. What’s funnier, is they’d have one, but they’d hide it and wouldn’t ever cop to it.

  67. Michael says:

    Rob,

    You just redeemed my day.
    Thank you.

  68. Rob Murphy says:

    Well, Michael, you’ve made many of mine, so it’s nice to maybe reciprocate a little. Also, without you, I wouldn’t have felt free to say I did anything, even count contractions, “liberally”… 🙂 For a guy who has conserved so much good, it’s easy to be liberal with my admiration for you!

  69. E, btw, from an earlier thread…your opinion of the discussion with Perry is not accurate. He hit a philosophical road block and the discussion ceased. His line of reasoning was not as tidy and correct as you seemed to perceive.

  70. david sloane says:

    Is Captain Kevin Steve Wright? I think he is, seen that captain avatar once before somewhere on the moon…

    ‘My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don’t know.’
    Sherlock Holmes Quote
    -The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

    ‘There is nothing like first-hand evidence.’
    Sherlock Holmes Quote
    -A Study in Scarlet

    ‘Come, Watson, come!’ he cried. ‘The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!’
    Sherlock Holmes Quote
    -The Adventure of the The Abbey Grange

    I agree with PP vet…Michael is a very interesting person that stands out on the net…

    And may I also add is not shy about sharing his thoughts…I like that…hard to find these days. Keeps me willingly coming back daily…

  71. david sloane you just redeemed my day 😆

  72. London says:

    Yeah, you’re right…your joke telling is as lame as ever Hopkins…..
    😉

  73. Reuben says:

    I once told this joke to a congregation…

    I went to heaven, and was getting the grand tour. With Saint Peter, we walked into a room with a million clock looking things on the walls. Under each clock looking thing was a name. I asked Peter what this was all about. He said, “This is the sin-o-meter room. Every time someone sins, the hand on the dial moves a notch.” So I started looking for friends, and saw most everyone I knew. But there was one sin-o-meter I could not find, so I asked Peter where Steve Hopkins was? Peter laughed a bit and said, “We moved that one to the kitchen to use as a fan.”

  74. Reuben says:

    I didn’t use Steve as the example. I used the pastor of the church I was preaching to that day.

  75. one of the funniest Christian jokes ever…and so true LOL:

    Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

    He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

    Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

  76. London says:

    That’s a pretty good one Reuben!

  77. what’s the most hilarious is the group dynamics on here and the passive aggressiveness of some of the most comically prideful folks on here…though they pretend to be otherwise.

  78. R
    Ouch!! :-). But…probably true. I figure at least I am good for something even if its jst a fan!

  79. erunner says:

    ib, We spanked our three children and they turned out just fine. Spanking can and should be applied responsibly and without anger followed by reassurance that you love your child. As you, I didn’t experience that having grown up under the roof of a mean alcoholic.

    I believe I was accurate in my statement about you and Perry Robinson and I would guess the majority of folks who followed along would agree.

    Your # 78 is getting old. You are not the expert on people that you think you are.

    I do desire good things for you. Yet it’s frustrating to see you act out as you seem unwilling to put others here above the negative stuff you insist on posting.

  80. This is Really really bad…but Ai can’t help myself

    A guy is kayaking with his wife in Puget Sound and are swamped by a ferry
    Try as he may, he can’t find his wife
    Coast Guard come and after hours of searching, they can’t locate her either
    A month or so later, a WSP officer knocks on the door “we have bad news, good news, and really good news. What do you want first?”
    “Give me the bad news” he says
    “We found your wife at the bottom of The Sound. We’re sorry”
    “What ‘s the good news?”
    ” When we brought her up she had some really nice Dungeness crabs hanging on her”
    ” What’s the really good news”
    “The WSP officer says ” we’re bringing her backup next Tuesday!”

  81. London says:

    It was entertainment night at the senior center and the Amazing Claude was topping the bill. People came from miles around to see the famed hypnotist do his stuff. As Claude went to the front of the meeting room, he announced, “Unlike most hypnotists who invite two or three people up here to be put into a trance, I intend to hypnotize each and every member of the audience.”

    The excitement was almost electric as Claude withdrew a beautiful antique pocket watch from his coat. “I want you each to keep your eye on this antique watch. It’s a very special watch. It’s been in my family for six generations.”

    He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting, “Watch the watch, watch the watch, watch the watch…”

    The crowd became mesmerized as the watch swayed back and forth, light gleaming off its polished surface. Hundreds of pairs of eyes followed the swaying watch, until, suddenly, it slipped from the hypnotist’s fingers and fell to the floor, breaking into a hundred pieces.

    “CRAP!!”, said the Hypnotist.

    It took three days to clean up the senior center

  82. London says:

    Ooh, that one was almost funny Hopkins.

  83. e said to IB “Your # 78 is getting old. You are not the expert on people that you think you are. ”

    I think he is – when he said above that I don’t have lofty thoughts, he was right. I have godly thoughts … and very sinful actions.

  84. London’s #82. That was funny!

  85. I’m definitely not Steve Wright, but thank you for the compliment.

  86. Rob Murphy’s #66 gets my vote for comment of the year thus far.

  87. “Crap!” said the hypnotist. I don’t care who you are, that’s funny!

  88. Linnea says:

    Praying for restored health, Michael, and sweet fellowship.

  89. “If any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him, for you are worse than he thinks you to be.” –Spurgeon

  90. Het…London’s joke was funny but so was mine… :-0

  91. Believe what you want Hoppy. 😉

  92. London says:

    Yours was funny, mine was just funnier!

  93. Don’t encourage him.

  94. Gotta agree whitcha…yours was funny…

    Kevin
    I need all the encouragementbI can get!!

  95. Yeah, me too. Love you Steve-O!

  96. Nonnie says:

    Rob, you comment was beautiful. Thank you.

    London and Steve H…..you just gave me my first laugh of the morning!

  97. brian says:

    For what its worth Michael, I always considered you my pastor even though we probably disagree on many aspects of the Christian faith, I still see Jesus in you. I hope you feel better. Its hard being sick all the time, it is frustrating. All theological aspects aside, your deeds will echo into eternity.

  98. London says:

    But you laughed harder at my joke right Nonnie? 🙂

  99. brian says:

    I really rejoiced in this article

    http://tinyurl.com/returnedhome

    Three kidnapped victims returned home after a 911 call. I have had some personal experience with this, sibling runaways, missing clients, missing children (a place I volunteered for a very little bit but supported financially because I lacked the intestinal fortitude to deal with kids that turned up dead.) I count that a weakness on my part but that is a different post. One experience turned out ok sort of, the other they found her dead a year later turned over in her car in some ravine with her decomposed body still in the drivers seat. I spent time with this person, she was a good friend, she struggled with mental illness, granted that is not an excuse for being a desperate human being but that to is another post.

    I wont go into how I am trying to manipulate emotions, looking for attention bla bla. That is status cue from my Christian experience. I was dumbfounded as to what to do, I drove all over hell to find this person, up and down back roads, putting up posters, I even asked for prayer for her (something I find extremely hard to do). I could post many other quips but the american evangelical religion has no answer, NO ANSWER, for these travesties. The older faiths do but they are all heretics and apostates (GAG).

    I can tell you when a family member, a kid, or a good friend is missing you go numb, I understand one should not and that proves what a complete piece of human filth I am but I did. One should move on preach the Gospel and take on the spawn of Satan that are sewing doubt into the Body of Christ. Well good luck with that. Personally I was blind with terror, I fell on my face and wept to God, I even prayed God take me instead of them. Granted that is pathetic evil emotionalism, I get that. Well actually I dont, people often tell me emotions are not good or bad, beg to differ, try having them in the modern evangelical religion. Trust me they are evil.

  100. Nonnie says:

    London, YES!!!

  101. Babylon's Dread says:

    Oh my! … thank you Rob

    And London… It was a good joke … I would borrow it but I am afraid

  102. mike says:

    Michael N.
    Dude, the whole “I gotta take a break… I don’t know if I can do this anymore… I gotta reevaluate the blog…” Thing is really getting old.
    Get over yourself, brother and do the blog or don’t do the blog. I don’t really ccare either way. Your pitch at ‘self examination’ and telling eveyone how tired and frustrated you are with the blog may be intended to sound ‘humble’ and ‘real’, but it always really plays more like a fishing expedition for compliments and praise from men.
    Mike

  103. Hey Mike, your #105.

    Nobody cares what you think.

  104. david sloane says:

    Spit out my coffee on my laptop London! LOL!

  105. PP Vet says:

    Mike, your #105 sounds reasonable, but I think the truth is a little more subtle than that.

    There is actually a difference between whining because I need to whine, and whining because I am trying to manipulate others with my whining. You and I would agree that the second type is wrong.

    However, I am a believer in whining as a therapeutic exercise.

    We have discovered here at PP that passive aggressiveness and manipulative behavior is unconstructive, whereas all sorts of other behavior that on the face of it may appear unconstructive actually turns out to be constructive.

    Watch, listen, and learn, friend.

  106. filbertz says:

    JtheB,
    that was a bit harsh…

    mike,
    that was a bit harsh…

  107. filbertz says:

    when I whine a lot, my wife opens the outside door and lets me go water the lawn. 😉

  108. covered says:

    I agree with Josh, why would mike even bother to post here if he knew anything about the dymanics of this blog or it’s creator? To come out of the gate with such an insensitive comment is like a hug from a snake. No thanks. Take it elsewhere.

  109. My #106 was harsh. I apologize.

    Mike, the problem is that we do care what you think. We would love to have you as an integral part of this community, exchanging ideas with one another, agreeing and disagreeing, sharing each other’s burdens, etc. That’s the kind of relationship we have with Michael. We talk, encourage, argue, and unload our burdens on him. So, when he tells us that he is under heavy burden, we listen and we care.

    I know that your #105 was just a pop-in, snarky comment, but it comes across as kicking a man when he’s down. Is that what you intended?

  110. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Michael N.
    Dude, the whole “I gotta take a break… I don’t know if I can do this anymore… I gotta reevaluate the blog…” Thing is really getting old.
    Get over yourself, brother and do the blog or don’t do the blog. I don’t really ccare either way. Your pitch at ‘self examination’ and telling eveyone how tired and frustrated you are with the blog may be intended to sound ‘humble’ and ‘real’, but it always really plays more like a fishing expedition for compliments and praise from men.”

    My thoughts as well

  111. Steve Wright says:

    Michael defended me on the blog last week against ridiculous claims from someone with no knowledge. My turn to do the same for him. If all that he is going through was sprayed all over this blog, you would be ashamed at your criticisms of a man who is just saying he needs a little break. And I’m sure I only know a fraction, but I know a lot.

    I don’t know why God’s people don’t fear the Lord and refrain from making harsh judgements without knowledge of the other person’s side of things.

  112. PP Vet says:

    The point is:
    (1) What is your agenda, and
    (2) What is the base of knowledge and experience supporting your development of that agenda?

    Or, as the Good Book says, Love and Wisdom.

    My only problem with #105 is that it does not ring of love or wisdom.

  113. Crowned1 says:

    Mike @ 105 said – “Dude”, “Get over yourself”, “pitch at ‘self examination'”, “fishing expedition for compliments”.

    Subjective much? I am fairly new here but did not receive his comments that way at all. I have periods where I need ‘a break’ as well. This is a normal human occurrence.

    The most telling part of your comments to me, however, was “I don’t care either way”. Clearly you do care, otherwise you wouldn’t have posted a comment.

    May I suggest, in the future, perhaps asking Michael if he is indeed acting as your mind has portrayed him to be? I know for myself, I would let you know if your statement had merit or if it was all in your head.

    Food for thought. God bless.

  114. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Michael defended me on the blog last week against ridiculous claims from someone with no knowledge. My turn to do the same for him. If all that he is going through was sprayed all over this blog, you would be ashamed at your criticisms of a man who is just saying he needs a little break. And I’m sure I only know a fraction, but I know a lot.

    I don’t know why God’s people don’t fear the Lord and refrain from making harsh judgements without knowledge of the other person’s side of things.”

    No judgment here but Michael does come off like that. It’s simple, you need a rest take one. Michael has lamented this blog many times before and he could have taken steps to eliminate his frustation but he chose not to. That’s called doing the same thing expecting a different result. You might want to call michael out on harsh judgments as he seems to excel at that himself.

  115. Crowned1 says:

    P.S. It is entirely possible to vent one’s thoughts without intending to ‘troll’ or ‘fish for compliments’.

  116. “No judgment here but Michael does come off like that. ”

    Ummm, so which is it?!?

  117. filbertz says:

    SolRod,
    The reason I don’t agree with mike or you is that the opinion requires one to make a judgment about another without the prerequisite information or come to conclusions that aren’t warranted by the evidence. In my opinion, mike and you come off as having superior discernment or awareness into the thoughts and motivations of others. Perhaps you could save Michael the time and effort of sorting things out by simply telling him what to do…speak your words of wisdom specifically into his health issues, blog concerns, and personal matters. We’ll all hold our words with bated breath…speak Solomon, your audience listens.

  118. I will say that there is a bit of Michael Worship on here. Very human dynamic. It popped up from time to time on my blog and I would shut that down right quick. We all want gurus and men to idolize. Our gods are often in the form of us…those we perceive to be closer to God or more spiritual or smarter or wiser etc.

  119. Michael says:

    Thank you, folks.
    It’s always a difficult call for me to decide what to disclose here.
    I feel a responsibility to the community if I’m not active to explain that to a degree.
    Some will take that as an opportunity to scorn, others will understand.

  120. filbertz says:

    I basterd,
    Can I have your autograph?

  121. Or it could just be that Michael is a friend going through a tough time and its not very nice to take shots at him.

  122. Steve Wright said, “I don’t know why God’s people don’t fear the Lord and refrain from making harsh judgements without knowledge of the other person’s side of things.”

    Coming from you, if God is real, you just lost some reward or gained a millstone or crossed over into hell for the hypocrisy in that statement (of you and yours).

  123. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “SolRod,
    The reason I don’t agree with mike or you is that the opinion requires one to make a judgment about another without the prerequisite information or come to conclusions that aren’t warranted by the evidence. In my opinion, mike and you come off as having superior discernment or awareness into the thoughts and motivations of others. Perhaps you could save Michael the time and effort of sorting things out by simply telling him what to do…speak your words of wisdom specifically into his health issues, blog concerns, and personal matters. We’ll all hold our words with bated breath…speak Solomon, your audience listens.”

    It’s simple, if this blog stresses him too much then eliminate those from here that cause the problems. He has already shut down the blog a couple of times and each time made a big deal of it. It’s that old Pro Wrestling working the crowd at it’s best. I mean this the Internet dude, if you need to take a rest then do so without blowing the horn. He’s already did this number a few times. And Filbertz, you have zero credidbility when you call me out but you don’t call Michael out for his arrogance in supposedly discerning people. You and Steve make yourselves Hypocrites in that.

  124. “Can I have your autograph?”

    LOL. Sure, for a hundred bucks…and you’ll get a free copy of my book “How to grow closer to God like I did” book and for only $9.99 plus shipping and handling, you can add “The Secrets of the Universe that God has revealed” but hurry, that offer expires in the next 10 minutes.

  125. Fil, I will be holding a Prophecy Conference, tickets are only $20 if you pre-order, $30 at the door. There will be all sorts of books and dvd’s available at the show and I’ll be signing autographs for free (with paid admission). Praise God! Gotta build the kingdom!!

  126. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “I will say that there is a bit of Michael Worship on here. Very human dynamic. It popped up from time to time on my blog and I would shut that down right quick. We all want gurus and men to idolize. Our gods are often in the form of us…those we perceive to be closer to God or more spiritual or smarter or wiser etc.’

    Yup!!

  127. erunner says:

    It’s Michael’s blog and we are guests. He’s free to do or say whatever he wants to. No one is forcing people to stay here and read so an easy solution is to find another place to hang out. Being the owner of a blog I have been known to spill my guts at times which is how I roll! 🙂

    Michael is a man that operates a blog and has a life like the rest of us. It doesn’t make him perfect or above any of us in any fashion but part of participating here is we get Michael warts and all.

    That’s what we call life. A friend is there through the good and bad as it says in Proverbs. (My paraphrase.) How his honesty provokes discord is beyond me.

  128. “I believe I was accurate in my statement about you and Perry Robinson and I would guess the majority of folks who followed along would agree.”

    The folks who were following along are probably about as qualified as you are to understand what constitutes a sound line of reasoning. Other “folks” who I sent the thread to who are knowledgable of the field disagree with your assessment.

  129. Michael says:

    No one here idolizes me.
    To many I’m a friend…and my friends know my flaws.
    I haven’t exactly hid them here.
    If I am an offense to anyone, they can simply change the internet channel…why people who don’t like me or the community stay here is beyond me.

  130. “Michael is a man that operates a blog and has a life like the rest of us. It doesn’t make him perfect or above any of us in any fashion but part of participating here is we get Michael warts and all.”
    Exactly! I was trying to figure out how to say that, but you did it better e.

  131. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “No one here idolizes me.
    To many I’m a friend…and my friends know my flaws.
    I haven’t exactly hid them here.
    If I am an offense to anyone, they can simply change the internet channel…why people who don’t like me or the community stay here is beyond me.”

    I’m neutral, I find this blog interesting. Sometimes I don’t come on here for long periods of time and I’m fine with that. Other times I come on here for a consistent period of time and I’m fine with that as well. I can live without this blog but I do find the content interesting. I have a hard time categorizing an internet blog as a community in the traditional sense of what community is but oh well.

  132. IB, SolRod, and mike,

    What is the purpose of your comments? It appears that you are trying to cause pain to a man, that has just admitted he was going through a tough time.

    Is that all you are looking for? Is that fun to you?

  133. Kevin H says:

    So Michael says he needs a little break and there are those who can’t help but to jump on him and criticize him for doing so, or saying so (What, would it have been better if he just disappeared with no word at all?). I know if I was in charge of this place, it would thoroughly wear me out. And that doesn’t speak to whatever other issues Michael may be dealing with at the moment.

    I’m not any worshipper of man, but I respect Michael. Don’t always agree with everything he says and does, but man, give him a break when he says he needs a break.

    And by the way, the Mike from #105 is not new to the blog. He was here before for a season and had quite an adverserial relationship with Michael amongst others.

  134. filbertz says:

    IB–thanks for getting my humor and rolling with it.

    So-lol-Rod, I have no credibility and I have “Hypocrite” tattooed on my left butt cheek. So what? I am willing to recognize that this is michaelnewnham.com and will behave myself accordingly as a guest in his house. If you don’t like what goes on here, leave. No one is forcing you to be here or like it. If you believe you are called to be Michael’s foil, then may I suggest you’re mistaken…you’re out of your league.

  135. erunner says:

    Sorry ib but I disagree. You came off badly in that exchange. It doesn’t take a genius to see how Perry not only is more intelligent and qualified in the things you are bothered by but I believe he could be an asset to you if you gave him the chance. There’s nothing bad in admitting you are wrong but you have justified every wrong thing you have done these past few years. You don’t seem to care what happens to this community based on your present attitude and the havoc you have already caused. Learning to be an online presence isn’t something you have mastered and I fear you will burn bridges as time moves on. I would hope you do all in your power to change that course.

  136. Michael says:

    This is unprofitable.
    I posted a short thought on the Gospel if that interests anyone.