Sinner’s hope

The regular confession I bring

Like a guilt offering

Could atonement never make

Nor my heart truly break

Salvation is made not by Mere repentance

For before you all are in the traitor’s stance

Until your son takes my place

I have no hope to see your face

For our confessions do not save

Only through the one who trampled over the grave

The mystery of thy love my mind does confound

For truths such as these are infinitely profound

Accept me as thy son so I may be brought in

Forgive my sin oh god of heaven

I want to feel the texture of thy eternal grace

Song of the Infanticide 

I finished the Gosnell book and it filled me with a poetic passion. I felt so grateful that we live in a world where evil is fought with truth and hate with is fought is love. But of course passion is suffering, and I began to cry as the book came to a close because Gosnell’s thousands of victims had no chance for justice of any sort in this life. They must look to the new heavens and new earth for justice, as really all of us must.

As a man who will never father children the issue of infanticide has a different significance to me. I have come to believe that in the eschaton (the final state of the cosmos after Jesus’ return) there will be lost children waiting for me. Orphans that will be given to me and my wife as our sons and daughters. And I think many of these children will have suffered the grave injustice of legalized murder. 

I wrote this poem for myself, my wife, and Gosnell’s victims (all of them, the people seeking his services, his staff, his children and wives, but most importantly those he murdered).

Song of the Infanticide 

Some where in the night there sits a spider 

Weaving webs into a noose to bind her

But instead it sits upon his shoulder

And it’s tied to the top of Winter’s Soldier

Fruit of the womb the spider has eaten 

And to our eyes the children are beaten 

But one day we shall see them undefeated

For soon this spider will be unseated 

And down his own webs he will follow

Haman’s path to the cup and swallow

The wine of his own pressing

And find it poison to the tasting 

On that day the one who suffers

By drinking poison made by others 

Will ask the spider for his wine 

So that the spider may later dine

In the new world that is to come 

Where spider victims shine like the sun

But the spider will look to his web

And find that it has become his bed

There he hangs in eternal restless sleep

And then his murders will begin to peep

Open eyes that have never opened

And hear with ears that never listened

And run with legs that never ran

And swim with arms that never swam

Singing with throats that never sung 

“Death itself has been undone!

The spider has not won!

Hung upon the gallows he spun!

The gallows rode by the true son!

By death we can no longer be stung!

For upon our gallows true son has hung!”

Empty arms these children will fill

And quaking hearts they will still

These families made in future land

Against the final evil will stand 

A misfit gang of warriors they band

Around the winter soldier hand in hand 

A question to the past they broach 

As Ragnarok makes it’s final approach 

“Join the spider and die like a roach?

Or let go of your webs and finally come home.”

The Resistance 

I haven’t been blogging here much recently because the tiresome and anti intellectual atheist arguments I was engaging with were taking up too much time. I realized I was essentially trying to educate fundamentalists who didn’t want to learn…I am still working on an extended response to one atheists’ very poor attempt at debunking the Resurrection of Jesus and even his existence but the argument I’m crafting is different and essentially just logic based so it’s taking a lot longer than I anticipated. 

In any case I think I’m gonna to make this blog much more personal. Essentially just top tens, poetry, film reviews, and creative writing. 

I’ve joined a new blog 

http://www.resistancetv.org/

and this is where I’m going to post intellectual, political, and philosophical stuff. So if you want to argue with me head over there!

Christian Meditation

Christian Meditation

This post isn’t some profound or scholarly explanation. It’s just about a simple Christian meditation on death. 

Skulls are a deeply Christian symbol. They represent the truth that we are mortal. We will die. From dust to dust. The Masonic tradition uses these symbols in private meditation with both stoic/Greek ideas in play as well as Christian ones. For them the idea (unless they are Christian, and there used to be little if any animosity between Masons and Christians at least Protestant Christians) is that change is good. This connects to stoicism where the embracing of “facts” is the key to happiness.

The real Christian idea behind the skull is not the embrace of death as a positive change but the courage we have in the face of death because of the cross. As Paul wrote many years ago Jesus conquered death. And as John remembered years later Jesus told his disciples that those who follow him will never die…though they die. Christians embrace death not as a friend or comfort but as a defeated enemy. Death is an evil. It is lamentable. Paul says we mourn with hope. He does not deny that we mourn but tells us to mourn with hope.

Saint Francis is often depicted with a skull. His life is sometimes thought of as representing a “second Christ”. This is because of all the post biblical saints Francis’ life is the most cruciform. The brilliant Bonaventure recorded that Francis was mystically crucified. This is the famous first (and only officially recognized by the Roman Church, I Padre Pio’s is recognized through his canonization) instance of stigmata. But the idea comes from Paul when be says I bear the wounds of Christ in my body. Years later the wounds were still visible in Francis’ dead body. The description available has been interpreted by at least one historian as being actually caused by a specific disease from Francis’ time that he would have contracted through his ministry to the poor. To me this explanation is more beautiful because it is more like Christ. Francis came from wealth and gave it up for the poor. And if his ministry to them gave him the wounds of Christ…well that’s how Jesus got those wounds in the first place. He took our sin upon himself, our sickness. He left the “wealth” of paradise with His Father and became one of the sick ones. Paul uses this hymn in his Letter to the Philippians:

“who though he existed in the form of God 

did not regard equality with God 

as something to be grasped, 

but emptied himself 

by taking on the form of a slave, 

by looking like other men, 

and by sharing in human nature. 

He humbled himself, 

by becoming obedient to the point of death 

– even death on a cross! 

As a result God exalted him 

and gave him the name 

that is above every name, 

so that at the name of Jesus 

every knee will bow 

– in heaven and on earth and under the earth – 

and every tongue confess 

that Jesus Christ is Lord 

to the glory of God the Father.”

The anabaptists emphasized the bitter Christ. That to follow Jesus required pain, death to self, and struggle. The Psalms are full of dark hopeless emotion. The Christian faith is full of death. The earliest followers of Jesus in Rome would wait in the toilets in order to save abandoned babies (that was where they were “aborted”). Becoming a Christian makes you sadder and happier. It makes your pleasures sad and your sadness purposeful and joyful.

So I wanted to try to meditate on death as a Christian better. I realized that my temperament was much more sensual than typical Protestantism. I like to have my senses stimulated. I like incense. I feel close to God and feel His covering in darkness, symbol, and art. The Nordic Christian faith means a great deal to me. I’ve done much simple religious art based on Norse Christianity. I will start publishing some pictures of those things on here but first I’m going to explain my skull meditation.

I bought a small plastic skull off Amazon and wrote certain scripture references on it with a sharpie.

You take the skull in your hand and look at the back:


Recite the scripture:

Now from noon until three, darkness came over all the land. At about three o’clock Jesus shouted with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This is the cry of derelection. I start here because it is the darkest moment of scripture. It is also the most historically reliable due to its embarssing dark nature. It is the foundstion of the good news: Jesus represents all humans fundamental cry of pain before God. We all feel distanced and estranged and orphaned. Jesus became these things for us.

Next turn the skull left:


Recite the scripture:

“A good reputation is better than precious perfume; likewise, the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to a funeral than a feast. For death is the destiny of every person, and the living should take this to heart.”

Death brings humility. We must embrace our mortality. We will die. Wisdom says this fact must be embraced and that happiness that ignores this is wistful and insincere.

Then turn the skull left and up:


Recite the scripture:

“They brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which is translated, “Place of the Skull”)”

Here we arrive: we are on the skull with Jesus. Literally symbolically.

Then look the skull in the face:


And recite both scriptures:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Then:

“Therefore, to sanctify the people by his own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp. We must go out to him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse he experienced. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.”

We can look Death directly in the face with courage and hope. Because Jesus has conquered it. And we must look Death in the face so that we may follow our messiah bearing his reproach and participating in his salvific work through pain and sorrow.

Then turn the skull right:


Recite the scriptures:

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist. And the one seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” Then he said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.””

It is finished. The skull looks to the right which represents the future symbolically so it becomes a sign of hope for resurrection. The skull will not remain a skull, it will become covered in living flesh again some day. And the symbolism of scripture written on a “head” should become obvious to us: the truth must become etched onto our mind.

This is a simple way to place yourself fully and sensually within the story of the good news. Not to pay myself on the back but this meditation is deeply moving and wholly antiseptic to the spirit of this age where death is hidden and Christ is denied. The only medication for the modern sickness of soul we all have is the truth embodied by the cross.

Come back home

I just finished reading Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance and it was spectacular. This needs to move to the top of your reading list. I don’t want to say much more about it then that but this book really moved me deeply. It bothered and inspired me. I think it really helped me put some things in perspective and figure out what I want out of life from a different angle. Most of all it made me grateful…and thankful for my life. Comparing problems is an idiots game. But if you had to choose between being hungry, truly hungry because you didn’t have enough to eat and struggling with obesity…in most cultures being fat is a sign of health and prosperity. 

This book will help you understand the recent presidential election better as well and that the true face of poverty in America isn’t black, brown, or white. The true face of poverty has no color only hunger. 

The American dream isn’t yet dead. But the easiest way to cultivate it: foster, adopt, and volunteer with children. Children without parents are at risk for being the next generation of American poverty.

Lord thank you for giving me the problems you have…fill my heart with courage and love to find and fill empty broken spaces in this world.

Reading this book made me think of this song:

Well…the party is over…time to start over

Well…the party is over…time to start over

Tonight’s loss to the Packers was extremely rough. Especially since the first half went so badly. We are the better team and we just weren’t prepared I guess. The future is bright but the present sucks. 

I usually don’t care this much about a big loss…I’ve gotten used to it. All sports fanatics get used to it. At least the crazy ones who actually root for one team instead of just whoever happens to be winning.

In some ways it’s because this was almost certainly goodbye to Tony Romo. I kept envisioning Tony kneeling out the clock against the Steelers the being handed the Lombardi Trophy and hearing Jason or Jerry say “This one’s for Tony!” just like when Elway finally won. Not that I think they should start Tony over Dak but just letting him kneel out as a way of saying thank you for all the years of fighting for the star with so little support. But he’s almost certainly gone now. And Witten and Romo won’t be wearing the same suit ever again…the Packers ended the greatest duo in Cowboys’ history.

I hate being a sore loser but I just don’t care about watching the rest of the playoffs. I don’t like Football that much…I love the Cowboys. That’s why I watch Football.

I wrote the following 2 months ago but never published it, it just didn’t seem quite right…but now it seems perfect:

http://kluv.cbslocal.com/2016/11/18/tony-romos-speech-mashed-up-with-dallas-cowboy-game-footage/

I am a Cowboys fan. It’s the first sports anything I was consciously aware of. When I was 3 my parents moved to Fort Worth Texas. Little did I know that was maybe the worst year in the glamorous sport franchise’s history. I had no idea that the man I would come to admire like a biblical saint (Tom Landry) had just been fired. Nor was I conscious that the team was terrible. In fact my earliest memories of birds are that Cardinals were evil. At the time the St. Louis Cardinals were both a Baseball and football team, and the football team happened to be the fifth team in the NFC East, the greatest division in NFL History (12 Super Bowl wins & a total of 21 NFL Championships, 20 super bowl appearances & a total of 36 NFL championship appearances, 14 Super Bowl MVPs are from the NFC east, all 4 teams are in the top 17 most valuable sports franchises in the world with 3 of those teams being in the top 9 and the Cowboys of course are #1, additionally 94 pro football hall of fame inductees belong to the NFC East which is 31% of the total inductees). Obviously this was many many moons ago. Back when Warren Moon was one of the best QBs around.

I don’t know if I could really be called a cowboys fan at that point of my young life. In any case we moved to the Philippines when I was 6 and Football was the farthest thing from my mind. They like Basketball in the Philippines.

At some point during elementary I read Tom Landry’s autobiography and simply fell in love with the Cowboys. If it had been Joe Gibb’s bio instead I may have become a die hard Redskins fan. But the time still really wasn’t right for me to be a true sports fan of anything. I just didn’t follow Sports and except for the NBA Finals we really didn’t watch sports in my family.

So I missed the Cocaine Cowboys…obviously there’s good and bad there. The 90s Cowboys were amazing but they also weren’t exactly role models the way previous Cowboy Eras were. And I must admit I didn’t really understand football or know much about it. But today I can literally write from memory every super bowl winner and loser in correct order (but I can’t list all 50 states).

I didn’t totally miss the cocaine cowboys. At the beginning of fifth grade (1996 I think) we went back to the US for a year. At the beginning of that year we went to a preseason game in Dallas against the Denver Broncos. I’m pretty sure Dallas lost. I had no idea that they had won their 5th NFL title just a few months ago. I didn’t know who Jimmy Johnson or Barry Switzer were. But as it turns out I was about to meet a very special Cowboy. A Cowboy whose name doesn’t come up often anymore but might become a household name again soon because he might be on Donald Trump’s staff in DC. Herschel Walker. Walker is a really interesting person and as someone who struggles with emotional and mental illness I highly value his advocacy. His greatest contribution to the Cowboys franchise was in an infamous trade with the Vikings. They took him in exchange for a bunch of draft picks that Jimmy Johnson basically used to build the 90s dynasty. Then when the Vikings were done with him Walker eventually came back to Dallas and retired a Cowboy. That was when I happened to meet him. He went to my parents’ biggest supporting church: Irving Bible Church. So the next morning after church I met the biggest…blackest person I have ever met. I’m not sure if I had ever spoken to a black person before then (I’m a relatively sheltered white boy) or a real athlete. And I thought he was magnificent. He looked like…he couldn’t be real. I know my memory can’t possibility be accurate because even though Walker has always been in excellent shape he doesn’t look like Apollo Creed…well actually it’s close. But in my mind his arms and shoulders were bigger than Carl Weathers in Predator. He talked to my Dad for a minute. We told him we saw him play the night before and Walker said “if you can call that playing.” Aside from the superhero impression he left on my young mind the other thing was he wasn’t very happy. A grim awesome giant.

After winning super bowl XXX they didn’t win a playoff game until I was 24. I watched that game on an old SD TV on one of those Audio/visual roller stands at work. At the time I was a security guard for Coca Cola. A bunch of us were in the break room when we probably shouldn’t have been. But I remember how exciting it was.

The real beginning of my journey to actual Cowboy fandom was my third thanksgiving of college…I used to go to San Diego with my friend Tim for thanksgiving because my parents were still in the Philippines. Tim and his family are big chargers fans. In any case whenever anybody asked me who I rooted for I said Dallas not realizing how hated they were. I would always apologize and say really the old Cowboys, the Landry Cowboys not the gross 90s Cowboys. But I had been hearing rumors of this new QB, Tony Romo. I really don’t remember the game that day (it was Nov. 19, 2006 against the Bucs, the beginning of Tony’s turkey day winning streak) but I remember actually knowing what was going on with the Cowboys for the first time ever and realizing I truly did care. That would slowly turn into the deep sick obsession/love I have for that damn star.

In 2010 I would wind up at the thanksgiving day game with my beautiful wife (because of her, she surprised me with tickets) and watch Drew Brees beat a Jon Kitna led Cowboys team. Makes me feel like I’m a bit unlucky for Dallas.

But here’s the thing…Staubach and Landry, they’re my heros. Even though I never actually saw them do anything. They’re in the past. And I love the past, I love history. But they didn’t define me as a fan. Tony did.

There’s always a moment of no return for the real fanatic, and I think usually it’s after a loss. It can’t really be after a win…after a win proves nothing. You reach the no return point after a bad thing with your team. I knew I really had become a Boston Bruins fan after the Blackhawks scored twice in 17 seconds to take the lead in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley cup finals with only a minute left on the clock. I came late to them too. I missed out on the drought breaking 2011 campaign. But I knew in my bones when that second goal went past Rask and that we had just lost…that it was now WE, not the Bruins and I but WE. I was in there with them from now on. Them and no one else. The same thing happened when Steven Gerard slipped and allowed Chelsea & the evil Jose Morinho to steal away the closest opportunity he’d ever had at winning the Premier league. I knew I really would Never Walk Alone again, Liverpool Football Club had stolen my heart forever.

For me and the Cowboys it was 2009. I haven’t ever rooted for another team but this was when that would become impossible, unthinkable…every other team would become dead to me. The Cowboys had just broken the playoff drought by trouncing the Eagles and I knew they were going to march into Minnesota and find a way to win. We had briefly halted the inevitable Marching saints just a month before thanks mostly to Demarcus Ware. I was confident. I was pumped.

Then I realized I didn’t own any cowboys anything…so I ran to a few department stores the morning of the game and luckily for me one of the local Kohl’s always carries Cowboys stuff. I looked at all of it and I remember thinking I really don’t want to spend much money and I don’t want something gaudy…and a grey shirt with 9 on the back popped out at me…but no that’s Romo! Nobody likes him, he’s a choker. To my shame I really thought those things. But I tried it on and it fit and it was on sale so I bought it. Then I went home and watched the Favre Vikings eat the Cowboys alive. It was awful. But I knew they weren’t The Dallas Cowboys anymore…they were my Cowboys. And Romo was my QB. And I learned to defend him constantly. Anytime anybody said anything anti Romo I had a stat ready to go like an arrow in a quiver. Or a counter argument.

“No Super Bowl rings! Therefore he sucks!”

My response: “Dan Marino never won a super bowl. Did Marino suck?”

“Oh…I guess not.”

But I didn’t realize just how much I had grown to love him until I got up for work a few days ago and started listening to my retinue of podcasts and heard his voice talking about how Dak Prescott was the Cowboys’ QB. And I started to cry, bitterly. Not so much because of how much I’m going to miss him but because I was moved by his courage. It’s not like he’s throwing himself on a grenade to protect his fellow soldiers…but it’s similar. It’s similar because it’s unselfish. Obviously soldiers give up their actual lives for each other but I really think Tony is trying to help this team win a Super Bowl right now by not playing, by not fighting, by not being dramatic. It really wasn’t dramatic. It was pretty matter of fact…but personal…and then it was done. It’s done. The future isn’t set, anything can happen but I really think this is probably the end of the Romo Star…I don’t think that Star has ever burned brighter then it has with Tony. The triplets had an amazing team. Landry was an amazing coach. Romo really has only had Witten. Until 2014 the only constants for Tony were Jason and injuries. Since 2006 Tony and Jason have been the Dallas Cowboys. That’s a whole decade. For a decade an undrafted QB and his tight end friend have been the single most valuable sports franchise on the earth. That’s truly amazing.

He doesn’t have Brady’s or the Manning’s rings. He doesn’t have their stats. But Romo will always have one thing that no one else in the NFL had for the last ten years: the starting position at Quarterback for THE Dallas Cowboys. For My Cowboys. Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, Danny White, Troy Aikman…Tony Romo has all their records beat and he wasn’t even drafted!

I can’t wait to see what more Dak can do. The prophet Ezekiel is making dry bones arise in Texas. Sean Lee might be the best LB in the NFL. Dez…makes Michael Irving look…boring. Our O line is a blue wall. I’m super excited to see what’s coming. But that doesn’t make the last ten years any less amazing. 

If the Cowboys do make it all the way this year I know exactly what we’ll see: Jason and Tony…and the other Jason (I think he’s turned into a fantastic coach…and he Bledsoed Bum Phillips’ kid) standing on that platform full of joy, knowing this wasn’t just a season it was a decade on a rocky road. There’s really no telling what will happen, Football is the business of the crazy, but it’s all been great so far. Let’s keep going.”

So sad…what a great season…but it’s over. And it’s a good reminder that winning really isn’t the only thing. Fighting is the most important. Not giving up, not giving in. Getting back up and moving forward.

Marv Levy has the dubious distinction of losing 4 consecutive Super Bowls. He also has the grand distinction of being the only coach to coach in 4 consecutive Super Bowls. When they were going back for the third time a fan wrote Levy and said “I don’t want to go back coach, I can’t lose again. It’s too painful.” The great coach wrote back “I understand how you feel but I’m glad you don’t play on my team.” Only cowards are afraid of losing. You always risk losing. That’s the job of life. Getting good at losing. And getting good at building on the rubble of loss.

After each loss Levy brought this old stanza to his team:

“Fight on my men Sir Andrew Said,

A little I’m hurt but not yet slain,

I’ll lay here and bleed awhile,

Then I’ll arise and fight again.”

Bye Tony…I wish you luck wherever you go.


That’s my first Cowboys hat and shirt that I bought many years ago.

Finish this fight!

Finish this fight!

I always say that I don’t care if the cowboys lose as long as they do their best. I always say what I really care about is that we play a good game.

Today…the truth is if we lose…regardless of how close it is…We have failed. The Cowboys aren’t a suffering fan base. We’re not the Cubs or the Eagles or the Blazers. We’re still the Lakers, Yankees, Maple Leafs, Brazil, & All Blacks of the NFL. We just haven’t been great in a while. But today we are the best team in the NFL and if we lose today then we have really truly failed.

We are healthy. We have all the pieces. Run game, pass game, special teams, defense…we have everything we need to win it all. If we don’t there are no excuses this year. No bad call should stop us. 

You have to get lucky and be very good to win it all in the NFL. We’ve got the very good…and since everybody is healthy we’ve got the luck…we’ve got the Dak so we got the luck several months ago.

The O-Line needs to Finish this Fight. The O-Line is the walls that surround Minas Tirith as orcs & beasts crash against it. The O-Line is the Viking shield wall. The O-Line is the Spartan Phalanx standing between the cliffs and the sea at the gates of fire as millions seeks to invade. The O-Line is the first, second, third, and last line of defense.

The O-Line is invisible to most people watching and that’s why they are the real heroes of football. Nobody sees them but they win & lose every football game.