Red Pill / Blue Pill

red pill Blue PillYou may have heard the question “Have you (or they) been red pilled?” Many people will remember the Blue Pill / Red Pill conundrum from the film The Matrix.

The Red Pill metaphor is being used today to highlight the awakening that many are having as they break free from one paradigm and make steps to enter another.

The paradigm we are leaving behind is the mindset of being imprisoned in a world where others control all outcomes and we have no real power. Think again of The Matrix. Yes, we are trapped, and our imprisonment is inescapable.

If we swallow the Blue Pill we embrace the idea that even though we are trapped, we can still exist in a kind of imaginary world where we seek to make the best of our low-estate lives while subliminally believing that ultimately things will never change. Our fate is sealed and there is little we can do about it, so we build a fantasy world of sorts and press on in a state of blissful ignorance. This way, in our own minds, we can ease the pain of our subjugation to a power we can’t even fully understand.

For some reason, likely God’s call and grace, I never swallowed the Blue Pill. Oh yes, I have been discouraged, angry at times, and frustrated with my government for years. Though embattled and depressed in difficult moments and seasons, I never fully bought into the belief that there is no longer any hope. I never surrendered to the notion that my beautiful country is past its prime, or that God had given up on her. Though tempted to believe that we would never return to our message and mission of individual liberty and personal self-government, I never gave up. Once again … I am not tooting my own horn, just reminding myself and my readers that I am a beneficiary of the grace and mercy of God poured out on me.

Over the decades we Americans have had our liberty slowly stripped away from us. The theft of our ability to govern ourselves came so quietly, so methodically, that we barely took notice. Like the proverbial par-boiling-frog-in-the-pot, we did not realize what was happening to us until it was too late … well ALMOST too late.

Now, suddenly, God has reappeared on the scene. We are coming to understand that God is a covenant keeper and that despite our covenant-breaking ways, He remains faithful.

Have you swallowed the Red Pill? Have you made the decision to face the truth about what we allowed to happen to our country? What kind of discomfort would you be willing to embrace to consider that Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama have all betrayed us, that some of their acts might even amount to treason? Could you ever believe that God raised up Donald J. Trump to be God’s wrecking ball to political correctness and to those entrenched in power, stealing literally trillions of dollars away from tax-paying American citizens? Have you ever seen a full report of how our tax dollars are spent, or how that 20 trillion dollars we now owe was invested? Do you even care? What if I told you that much of those funds now line the pockets and bank accounts of about 8,500 of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world? And could you believe that the CIA went rogue decades ago and is involved in all kinds of criminal activities throughout the world?. Have you heard that JFK’s assassination in 1963 was arranged by the CIA because he was on to them and that a young CIA man, George H.W. Bush, had a hand in it? Sounds like a “jump the shark” moment, doesn’t it? Oh there’s more, much more. I am giving this to you in small doses.

I sound like a crazy man, don’t I? Well … though I never swallowed the Blue Pill, I have now swallowed the Red Pill. I have invested countless hours researching the claims I am now boldly posting here. I have become a believer in the Deep State, the Swamp, the Cabal, the almost successful New World Order that is now in the process of unraveling thanks to many long-hidden patriots who made their move to arise and reclaim our liberties, and of course our unflappable president who seems to fear nothing. The establishment elite, those thieves, are terrified of what is about to come down on them. That’s why so many of them are coming unglued so publicly. They know the tables have been turned, that their number will soon come up, and that they will have to pay the piper.

To take the Red Pill means that you want to know the truth, no matter what it may cost. It means you cast off your hesitancy to resist because you fear the truth. You decide not to shrink back into living in the escapist world you have built for yourself.

Tough words. Confrontational thoughts. But please understand that we ALL have been intentionally conditioned, programmed by those holding power. That would be the news media, academia at all levels including public schools as early as first grade), television, film, much of the music we listen to … The list could go on but you get the idea.

Taking the Red Pill comes from a willingness to have our paradigm reconstituted, to face the possibility that perhaps there are things we are missing or failing to see. It is hard, frightening and downright scary. I know. I am not asking you to consider doing anything I have not done myself.

Nearly every day, more and more of the dark side is being brought to the light. If you are paying any attention at all, you must be aware that a battle is well underway. And just so you will know, what I have noted above contains far less of the dark, evil and wicked things that still remain behind the curtain. Whether we like it or not, we will soon have to deal with matters that will shake us to the core. You can remain hiding in the shadows, or begin to become informed. If you don’t know where to start, Private Message me on Facebook and I can get you moving in the right direction.

But the first step, if you have not yet made it, is to surrender your life to Christ.

I am sorry to do this to you my friend, but I want you to be prepared for what is likely just around the corner.

Staggering just completed viewing Netflix’s seven-part documentary series titled The Keepers. I am still reeling.

On the night of November 7th, 1969, 26-year-old Sister Cathy Cesnik, a teacher at Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, Maryland, failed to return home after what was to have been a short trip to the store. On January 3rd, 1970, Sister Cathy’s partially-clad body was found by two hunters in a remote area of Landsdowne, a community just south of Baltimore.

Nearly forty-five years later, two of her former students, now in their sixties, launched their own investigation into her still-unsolved murder. The twisted, perverse and sickening story uncovered by Abbie Shaub and Gemma Hoskins (l to r pictured above), left me staggering.

Spoilers below …

What began as a quest to discover who it was that murdered Sister Cathy became an ever-expanding window into a foul, dark world of sexual abuse and rape and a decades long cover-up of heinous crimes.

All of the seven-part series was wrenching, but episode two is particularly brutal as a now sixty-two-year-old survivor, going by the name of Jane Doe, details her account of multiple rapes by a priest and his friends and accomplices over a two-year period at her above-named school. Some of the rapists were police officers, likely brought into the priest’s office at the school to take his pleasure only a few minutes before the victim was summoned to his office over the school’s intercom system.

As the story unfolds we find that Jane Doe is not alone. Many others, slowly escaping the decades-long paralyzing trauma of their terrifying experiences, and heartened by Jane Doe’s courage, began to emerge from the shadows.

What follows is the evolving story of a cover-up of large-scale proportions.The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Baltimore City Police Department and even the FBI have been uncooperative and largely unresponsive to FOIA requests and other inquiries for information by Shaub, Hoskins and reporters seeking to understand what happened to Sister Cathy, who, we find out, had made a promise to a young Jane Doe to take care of “the problem” for her, just one day before her disappearance.

The Keepers by itself is enough to draw anyone into its story’s tangled web. But when coupled with the recent criminal charges and upcoming trial of Cardinal George Pell in Sydney, Australia—a close aide to the Pope charged with sexual assault, and the now week-old story of the thirty-four Chilean bishops who have all offered their resignations to Pope Francis for their failure to properly handle multiple accusations of the sexual abuse of children, a weight of deep sadness weighs down my heart. And now, there are stories rumoring the possible, soon-to-come resignation of Pope Francis himself, a controversial figure whose rise to the papal office in 2013 remains controversial.

As most of you know, I am not a Catholic, so it would be very easy to say, “This is not my problem.” But the truth is, many innocents have been abused over decades and throughout the world. And I suppose on this darkened planet of ours, the Catholic Church’s pedophile problem may only be a small piece of a much larger puzzle. Yes, every Christian is guilty of sin, and every church and every denomination has its problems and issues, some more troubling than others. But this rancid infection in the Catholic Church today, an infection that is not new, demands our attention and prayers.

I do recommend The Keepers for viewing (on Netflix) but only if you have the internal constitution to deal with some pretty graphic descriptions of hideous acts of violence against innocents.

“You’ll Find Out.”

2018.05.01.tfpOn Thursday, October 5th, 2017, President Donald J. Trump met with a group of top military leaders and officials. As they concluded their meeting, they gathered together for a photo shoot. Surrounded by some of the best military minds in the country, President Trump looked out toward the reporter’s cameras and said, “You know what this is? It’s the calm before the storm.”

“What storm?” came the reply from several reporters.

“You’ll find out,” replied the president, smiling.

In the days and weeks that followed, the press corps speculated as to what he might have meant. Some conjectured that he was referring to the possibility that the deal with Iran, made by President Obama, would soon be nixed. Little did they know what he had in mind when he made that very purposeful remark.

A little more than four months previous, on May 20th, 2017, President Trump began his first overseas trip with his first stop in Saudi Arabia.

One month later, on June 21st, 2017, Saudi Prince Salman ousted his own father, Mohammed bin Nayef, from his position of leadership, and took control of the country. It was reported that his goal was to clean up the corruption in his country’s government (read “drain the swamp”).

On September 30th, 2017, Saudi Arabia affirmed its commitment to ending its role in human (sex) trafficking.

It was only five days later, October 05, 2017 as noted above, that Trump made his remark about the “storm.”

Three weeks later, on October 28th, 2017, an anonymous individual (or group—no one knows for sure) identifying themselves as “Q,” began posting a collection of cryptic messages on an Internet board called 4chan. Under the heading of “Calm Before the Storm (CBTS),” Q claimed to be a high-ranking government official charged with the task of quietly informing the public about the plan to mount a counter coup against the deep state.

Q’s postings continue to this day (May 1st, 2018) and I have been following with fair regularity since they first began. It is remarkable the way that Q drops hints and sets independent, citizen journalists scrambling to dig and research and uncover things that are not being covered in the news. I often find out things a week or sometimes even a month before they are made public. While reserving the right to be mistaken, I have pretty well concluded that Q is legit. If you would like to check out Q for yourself, you will find him here.

Now, back to Saudi Arabia and human trafficking. By the way, Q has commented much on that topic. Anyway I have come to believe that one of Trump’s chief goals is to arrest and prosecute pedophiles. Pedophile arrest rates have increased dramatically since Trump took office.’

Rest assured, there are many other goals in the “swamp draining” work—much to be done. And progress is being made! 

I will conclude with this: On December 21st, 2017, Trump issued an executive order authorizing the seizure of property and interests in property of anyone engaged in human trafficking (be they American or otherwise) that in anyway impacts the United States of America.

Recap (all 2017)

  • May: Trump makes first stop of first overseas trip in Saudi Arabia.
  • June: Regime change in Saudi Arabia with commitment to clean up corruption.
  • September: Saudi Arabia commits to fighting sex trafficking.
  • Early October: President Trump hints of a coming “Storm.”
  • Late October: Q Postings begin with cryptic messages about the launch of a counter-coup against the deep state.
  • December: Trump issues an executive order targeting human trafficking.
  • 2017: Arrest of pedophiles skyrockets. Hundreds of rings are shut down.

I will proffer a final thought: Corruption has a root cause and that cause is the wickedness of the human heart.

And this, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy …

2018.04.28.tfpSo, what is going on? And why do I feel a need to post these blogs?

I will answer the second question first. Good things are happening, although to some it might not seem so. I am reminded of the Scripture passage from I Chronicles 12:32: “Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.” For some reason, I have long had a desire to be like the “men of Issachar.” I want to understand what God is doing. And so, as noted previously, I chose to pursue understanding.

I believe that the chaos we see now in our time will pale in comparison to the chaos that is around the corner. America is in the early stages of rebirth. I want my friends to understand what I have come to understand. I want you to be both encouraged and prepared. That is why I am posting these blogs.

So now … as to what is going on … Let’s take some more steps back in time to gain some perspective.

I began this series of blogs with a proposition that a New Dawn is breaking across our land. In Donald Trump’s inaugural speech on January 20th, 2017, I heard hints of hope as he spoke about coming changes when he said, “… we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.” A very hopeful word.

I followed with a second post explaining that since the 1960’s “America has suffered under a silent, gradual, systematic, well crafted, Coup D’état.”

In my previous post I included a link to a video by former U.S. State Department official Steve Pieczenik about the plans of a small group of patriots to take down America’s usurpers, those who have arrogated power, or claimed it with arrogant presumption. Yes a Counter Coup! Pieczenik’s message was posted on YouTube November 1st, 2016.

Six days before Pieczenik’s stunning announcement, nearly two weeks short of the 2016 election on October 26th, 2016, Dr. Lance Wallnau likewise posted a message on YouTube titled Trump: God’s Chaos Candidate. If you, Reader, truly wish to understand what is happening in Washington (and in other places across the globe), I strongly urge you to watch this video. Advance the video to around 2:45 minutes in. Please take the time to watch and consider what Dr. Wallnau has to say. It will open your eyes.

Also, a number of months before Dr. Wallnau delivered the message linked in the paragraph above, a prophetic Bible teacher named Dutch Sheets underwent a chain of experiences which convinced him that it is God’s intent to pour great mercy on our land. Again I ask you to invest some time to listen to his story. Advance the video to 22:00 minutes in. You will not be disappointed, I promise.

Finally, as one more point of reference, check out this 5 minute clip from CBN dated November 17th, 2015, one year before the presidential election. In it you will  learn of Dutch Sheet’s  Appeal to Heaven call and the movement it has birthed.

Yes, in the midst of all the chaos, much good is happening. In fact, “chaos,” believe it or not, is all a part of the plan.

If you have not already seen them, please watch the videos linked above. Then contemplate the possibility that we might just be in the midst of a move of God which is leading to a third great awakening and the restoration of our country to its foundational principles.

Hundreds of thousands—probably millions—are praying. God is answering. How about you?

More to come …

Counter Coup

2018.04.24.tfpSeven days before our most recent presidential election, on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 to be precise, I pondered again the choice before me. My decision had already been made, sometime in September. Yes, I would pull the lever for Donald J. Trump. Was he unorthodox? Yes. Unruly and uncouth at times? Yes. Did I feel uncomfortable about my choice? Yes. But considering the alternative, I knew my vote would have to go for him.

Oddly, that same day, as I poked around the Internet, I came across a video on YouTube. I cannot recall exactly how I arrived there. And when I watched the 4 minute and 9 second clip I was not sure what to think. Was this man I was watching, a nut? Was he in his right mind? Or was he speaking the truth? Was what he explained actually happening? A part of me was thrilled. But another part of me was confused. What to believe?

In the eighteen months since watching the video I now know with about 99% certainty that what I heard that day was absolutely true. An American counter coup is now well underway. The “White Hats” are actually draining the swamp. Right now, today, this very minute, patriots are hard at work behind the scenes dismantling the massive, deep state, corrupt-to-the-core cabal that came within a hair’s breath of stealing our country. Bold words? Yes. Stay with me as these posts continue and you will begin to understand what I have come to understand. Corruption far more corrosive than ever imagined. And wickedness beyond human comprehension.

I have been following this story now since the election. The puzzle pieces of understanding quickly picked up for me, and for many like me a year later, on October 31st, 2017. The story I have been following is literally like reading a mystery and suspense novel. And almost every day I encounter a new twist and a new turn.

I’ll stop now. There is much more to come.

But before you click off this page, I strongly urge you to click on the link below and watch the video described above. It will only take you a little more than four minutes. Please do it. And remember, this was just seven days before the election.

The Hillary Clinton Takeover of the United States

I’ve only just begun!

Coup d’état

2018.04.23.tfpIn my previous post I said that I intend to create a series of blogs to “explain to you …what has been transpiring and why we should be very hopeful about our nation’s future …”

Those of you who know me well know that I love my God, I love my country, and I love history. In the early eighties I began to pursue an understanding of America’s history and its founding upon Judeo-Christian principles. Much of this story is documented in the pages of my Famished Patriot blog. I am also telling this story in my NightWatch podcast.

For the last 40 years, I have carried a very deep and growing burden for my country, watching it slowly decline before my eyes. In response I studied, campaigned for candidates, got involved in the Christian Coalition, studied more, joined Help Save Manassas in 2007, NoVA912 in 2009, kept studying and blogging, and in 2010 I joined the Manassas Tea Party. In the midst the slow decline (the pace of decline accelerated rapidly beginning in 2009) I never gave up hope. Friends—fellow patriots even—became so discouraged and many threw in the towel. I never did and do not plan to now. Especially not now!

Many voices in my life told me that America was lost, that our time in history had come and gone. Even the highly respected evangelical leader John Piper gave up. Just one week before the election of 2016, he published probably the most stupid, ill-conceived and off-base article written by someone of his caliber that I have ever read. God’s Call to Leave this American Mess. It infuriated me. It still does!

But guess what? God has not given up on us. No, He is at work in a mighty way, slowly, methodically, pulling us back from the brink of ruination. If you are one who still looks at our President, Donald J. Trump, and considers him unqualified (John Piper does),I urge you to step back, take a deep breath, and look again (see below).

Since the mid-1960’s (and even before that) America has suffered under a silent, gradual, systematic, well crafted, coup d’état. It happened right under our noses. A small band of a few thousand wealthy, influential businesspeople and political leaders just about stole this country away from the American people. We watched it happen and did virtually nothing.

But the tide has now turned. We’re not yet out of the woods and when that bad guys do go down, we’ll have to rebuild again from the ruined foundations. There is lots of work to do.

Before I close, just a little bit of factual info to get your blood pumping.  From October 29th, 2017 to March 31st, 2018 the U.S. Justice Department filed 24,544 sealed indictments. Click the link and scroll down a bit. Some have been unsealed and many arrests have been made. The newspapers and broadcasters are not reporting this. Guess why. Yeah it’s bad news for them. The normal count is 1,000-1,500 per typical 12-month period. Remember citizen journalism from my previous post?

Also, have you noticed how many congressmen are not running for election this fall? Over 40! What’s going on? When you have a chance, Google “pedophile rings busted 2017-2018.” And oh yeah … a bright light has been turned on the wicked, backroom ways of Hollywood.

Yes, the swamp is being drained.

Stay tuned … I am just getting started.

Breaking Over America: A New Dawn

2018.04.22.tfpThe Famished Patriot has been relatively silent for a good while. With this blog I am launching a new series of posts that will commence to lay out the new dawn that has begun to break across the American landscape.

If you have not been tuned into current events, if you gave up tracking with things a long time ago, if you are confused amidst all the chaos going on in high places, or if you simply need a fresh dose of encouragement, read on. The second American revolution is getting underway.

In the posts that will follow over the next days/weeks/months, I am going to do my best to explain to you, in simple terms, what has been transpiring and why we should be very hopeful about our nation’s future, and why we should not despair. There is so much to report that I cannot insure you that everything will be rolled out in chronological order, or that it will all make sense at first. In some regards it will be like a puzzle that you will have to assemble for your self.

The opening salvo …

On the eve of his departure from office, on January 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a bold warning. He proclaimed:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

From the vantage point of nearly sixty years past, Eisenhower saw something that is now, very much, a reality. With the untimely death of President Kennedy, and the swearing in of LBJ, a small band of industrialists and elected government leaders began in earnest to set in motion plans drawn up nearly a half-century before (1910’s) to take control of our country away from the American people and to place it into their own hands. They almost succeeded.

By chance, did you listen to Donald Trump’s Inaugural speech? I did, and I was quite encouraged by it. It certainly was unconventional. And he was excoriated by many who claimed it was dark. But read this:

“Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

“For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”

I thrilled at the hearing of those words from the strange, orange-haired man at the podium. But I could not yet see what I see today. Fifteen months following his inauguration, as the chaos continues to swirl—from “collusion,” to “obstruction,” to “mentally unprepared,” to “morally impaired,” to “Stormy Daniels”—I can see now that the tide has begun to turn. I can see, faintly on the horizon, a new dawn emerging on our land.

Before I close, I will throw out a few words and phrases for you to ponder:

  • chaos candidate
  • coup
  • counter-coup
  • citizen journalist
  • the Q phenomenon
  • wrecking ball

8 Podcasts In …

Well I am eight podcasts into my NightWatch venture. Over the last few years, a handful of friends periodically urged me to begin publishing the 76 episodes I had in the can. I finally succumbed, surrendering up my fear that once I started I would not be able to keep up the pace of production needed to feed two of these 4+ minute audio wonders into the queue.

Now I find that after all the hullabaloo, I am having difficulty building an audience. There are a fair number of folks who have “Liked” my NightWatch Podcast page. But unfortunately I have received feedback from only a few. Even “Likes” are hard to come by.

So, in an effort to stir up some fresh interest, I decided to create this blog post with images of the eight podcast episodes to date. If you click on the image, you’ll be taken to the episode. For those of you who have missed episodes, now you can find them. Or, if you’ve missed them altogether, start from episode no. 1.

If you don’t want to miss any, subscribe to my page on Patreon. And if you really like what you are hearing, become a NightWatch Patron by clicking the red button in the upper right hand corner of my Patreon Page.

And a loud THANK YOU! to all who have joined me.









Without a Vision …

tfp.2017.03.13.hold.the.visionIn the early spring days of 1972, I began to wrestle with God regarding the ownership of my life. I was twenty years old at the time and what I am about to tell you happened forty-five years ago. Four years prior to this 1972 wrestling match with God, in the spring of 1968 as a sixteen-year-old Junior in High School, I had invited Jesus Christ into my life as my Savior. In the spring of 1972, God began to press in on me. Life was great with Jesus as my Savior. But now the question came. Who would be my Lord. Would it be HIM? Or would it be ME?

Young, full of life, filled with the Spirit of God, learning how to read, study and even understand His Word, gifted in music, a songwriter, unattached in terms of marriage or even a girlfriend, still living under my parents’ roof, I was as free as a bird! 

“What do you want from me God?” I asked.

“Everything.” He replied

And so the tussle began. Yes I wanted to be God’s. I wanted to belong to Him and serve Him. But how much was I willing to surrender? Part of me? Most of me? Or all of me?

If you have been through this struggle, you understand the weight of the decision. If you have avoided it, then, well, you have only cheated yourself.

So, I wrestled with God for several weeks, probably two or three months to be truthful. “If I give You my all God, that means that You will choose my spouse, my life partner. That means You will choose my career, my work, the place or places I will live. That means You will own my car, my wages, my music, my ideas, my plans, my dreams, my future … yes YOU will own everything.”

Wrestling, contending, grappling, tangling, yes, God and I went at it for a good while. And then, one evening driving home from a gathering of believers, driving in the dark as I rambled down I-495 and then I-95 South toward home, I yielded.

“OK,” I said, “You can have it all. You can have whatever You want. You can do with me as You please, send me to where You want me to go, marry me off to the bride of Your choosing, take me down whatever career path You have for me, send me to Africa, to inner-city Detroit, to China, whatever. I’m not going to fight You anymore. Whatever pleases You, that’s what I want.

And that is when/where the planting occurred, the vision became real, and life in Christ truly began to become meaningful for me.

“Bumpy Difficult Road Ahead” read the sign. Oh not a physical sign in the roadway. This was a sign now planted in my heart, a word of preparation from my Father for difficulties to come. “These next years of life son, will be your seminary. These are the days when I am going to teach you how to seek Me, how to know Me, how to trust Me, how to wait upon Me, how to hear My voice.”

And so it began … A twenty year stretch of my life filled with great upheaval, turmoil, pain, heartbreak, disappointment. Oh it wasn’t all dark. I had the companionship of a wife, the joys of fatherhood, many friends, many good times.

Yet, external forces beyond my control pressed in on me constantly. I cannot provide specific details here. They are too personal. But I was afflicted with great trial.

“I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.” 

(Psalm 119:75 ESV)

I had no path of escape from the great weight of difficulty God had laid on me. It was never His plan, for a number of years, to deliver me. And I understood that. I understood it from the beginning and I knew the darkness was coming. And I knew when I sat in the midst of that dark place that He had placed me there and that He would keep me there until He achieved His purpose. Yes, my Father had set me in a place where He could work on me. Breaking, refining, sanctifying. These were my Lord’s aims. Would I rebel? Or would I participate in the process?

Well I did both of course. And I would like to think that the bulk of my responses were the correct ones – though not all.

I fought depression and despair, off and on, for many years. My course of action became praise, worship, and praying in my prayer language. Lots of it. Hours on end sometimes. And waiting on God. Quietly, still, in a comfortable chair I sat, struggling to divest myself of every self-generated thought. “The name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus,” my spirit and my thoughts focused and attuned themselves toward heaven. “I want you Lord, just You. Nothing else will do.” God’s presence became my hiding place.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

(Psalm 84:1-2 ESV)

These activities strengthened me greatly on the inside. My spirit-man became very active and very strong. I reached a point where I could discern the difference between my soul and my spirit. This is a very good capability to have for one who walks with God.

The great external pressure ended in 1990. And then, for three more years, I wrestled with bitterness. Those close to me in those days saw it and put up with me. Then, after more warfare, the bitterness faded and I became free.

Since the liberation, twenty-four more years have come and gone. Today, I am happier than ever. God is bigger to me than He has ever been before. I recognize His daily mercies, His ongoing grace, and His multitudinous blessings.

I intentionally used the word “happier” in the paragraph above. You see, from the moment I surrendered to God on that dark-night’s ride home down I-95 in the mid-summer of 1972, I have never pursued my own personal happiness as a goal for my life.

Happiness eluded me for much of my adult life. Oh I of course experienced some happiness here and there. My life was not 24/7 misery mind you. I have many wonderful memories from those years. The pain from those days is now only a faint memory. I have forgiven those who hurt me. And I have no complaints. Not one. I only fault myself for not being a better participator with God in His sanctifying work. But personal happiness has never—well since 1972—been my goal.

Since that day, so long ago now, my lifetime pursuit has been God’s pleasure. What pleases God? That’s how I have tried to live my life. I’ve failed at it countless times. But by His grace, I have gotten up and continued on.

In the summer of 1972, God planted a vision in me—a vision of His will, His purpose, His plan, His pleasure, His higher calling. That night, the pursuit of doing His will became the primary objective in my life. But it was more than just an objective. It became a force and it grew to become the vision that has kept me from perishing. That is the vision to which I have held these last forty-five years. And by His grace, with many set-backs and start-overs, I have trusted the process, the sanctifying, dross-burning, old-nature-shedding process that God ordains. 

Life with Christ on this earth is an endless wrestling match. From the moment we say yes to God, to our last breath, He is, in some form and with seasons of rest and reprieve, after us to relinquish the control of our lives over to Him.

If you are still pursuing your own happiness, if that is your number one objective in life, you are missing the mark entirely. You are shortchanging yourself of God’s best. Take it from a guy who set out long ago to shed himself of his own lordship and pursue the will, the pleasures and the Lordship of His Maker and Redeemer. Almost half a century later, both the Father and I are still in pursuit of one another. I pursue Him because He first pursued me. I will never be fully surrendered in this life here on earth. But with His aid, I will keep pursuing.

Our Toxic U.S. Senate

tfp.2017.02.08.maxresdefaultSenator Elizabeth Warren had to “sit down” last night in the middle of her speech about Attorney General candidate Jeff Sessions. She broke rule XIX of Senate protocol which forbids any U.S. Senator from making disparaging remarks about a fellow Senator.

I write not to examine Warren’s words, the Republican response, or even the current toxic climate of the U.S. Senate in these tumultuous times. Rather, I write only to set up what follows – a fictionalized version of the true story of U.S. Congressman Preston Brooks’s (SC) assault on U.S. Senator Charles Sumner (MA) on May 22nd, 1856.

The following is an excerpt from an upcoming novel that John Jenkins and I will be publishing in the near future. It is titled Horsemen in the Sky.

You think the Senate is toxic now? Ha! You ain’t seen nothin’.

In chapter 8, Bloodshed in the Capitol, our fictional character, Sam MacDonald, a reporter for the Charleston Observer, tells the true story of the beating of Sumner on the Senate floor.

Date: 31 May, 1856
Time: 8:15 P.M.
Source: Personal Journal of Sam MacDonald
Location: Sheppard’s Boardinghouse, Washington City

Madness has seized the hearts and minds of my countrymen!

So my Lord, grant I pray, the grace to write upon the pages of this journal, the thoughts and feelings that so engulf my soul. Let the words and phrases flow from my heart even as the ink flows from my pen on this warm, late spring evening. And now, seated here at my window, pen in hand, ink well nestled against the windowsill, I attempt for a third time to capture the unutterable groanings within my soul over the events my eyes have witnessed and my ears have heard.

Two aborted pages lay on the floor by my boots. For three days running I have not been able to finish a full page, and I fear I have entered again into another bitter season of writer’s block.

O Lord let it not be so, let not my heart become so filled with grief and fear that Your Spirit cannot accomplish His work through this pen! So, O my soul, we will start once again to record the account of that bloody week in May.

Bloodshed in the Capitol

In the beginning I did not recognize the madness as such, but it was there all the while. I ignored The New York Herald’s report that our Senators and Congressmen had begun carrying knives and guns on their persons in the halls of Congress, considering it both slanderous and preposterous, something that the outrageous James Gordon Bennett and his muckraking journalists had contrived in a smoky back room to sell editions.

So I had continued to hope for a peaceful resolution to our national differences. It was here, in this same window seat, late in the afternoon on May 22nd, that I sat and attempted to pen an article urging our leaders to moderation and compromise when I heard a commotion out in the street below my window.

Leaning out, I saw several men on horseback and a carriage pull up in front of our boardinghouse. The passenger in the carriage sat back into the corner, his shirt and coat front doused with blood. As the others leapt from their horses and helped this gentleman from the carriage, I heard Mrs. Sheppard call from the doorway.
“I feared this would happen. Hurry him in—the room is ready.”

At that moment, I recognized the bleeding man, but someone spoke his name even as it formed on my disbelieving lips.

“Senator Sumner—you must sit down and let the doctor fully examine your head wound.”

I remembered stepping back from the window and planting one hand against the wall for support, my head spinning wildly with fear. Had The Herald’s report proven true? Had someone shot the Senator from Massachusetts?

Though I had yet discovered the perpetrator’s name or the means of his crime, I had already deduced his motives for the injurious assault on the Senator–for at that time I, too, cherished similar motives in my heart.

‘Murderous robbers and hirelings picked from the drunken spew and vomit of an uneasy civilization,’ Sumner had bellowed just two days ago from behind his desk on the Senate floor, heaping condemnation upon the absent, Senator Butler from South Carolina. Sumner suggested that the whole history of South Carolina be blotted out, for its ‘shameful imbecility toward slavery confessed throughout the Revolution.’ He scurrilously compared Butler to a whoremonger whose whore was slavery, and that Butler, like the Egyptians, ‘worshiped divinities in brutish forms.’

How well I recall those and many other words from May 19th as I sat and took notes of the Senator’s speech from the gallery above the Senate floor. How scandalized I felt by each and every word, how red my cheeks burned as I listened to his slanderous barrage against Senator Butler, South Carolina and all of the South.

I had been used! I was possessed with anger as strong and wild as the day I walked into Seth Beaumont’s office with a pistol following Victoria’s murder!

How justified I had felt as I watched from my boardinghouse window as Sumner was helped down from the carriage, his head and clothing matted thickly with blood!

Less than two weeks earlier, Senator Sumner had granted me an extensive interview, playing me for a tool, convincing me that his attitudes had changed, now desiring moderation and positive dialogue between the sections. He urged me to have the article published in The Observer!

Full of naïve hope, I had pushed Mr. Pitkins as hard as my conscience allowed, and the article ran without delay. My story detailing Sumner’s changing views had hit the streets of Charleston on May 17, just forty-eight hours before his outrageous speech.

And standing by that window, I knew the cup of my heart overflowed with the same bitterness and resentment as the man who had injured Sumner. O my Soul, how quickly I had forgotten the lesson of the nails!
My Soul, do you remember how I dropped to my knees on the wooden floor and repented of my sin? Do you remember the sublime sweetness of that moment when I surrendered my anger to the Lord? And will the lesson of forgiving one’s enemies finally be learned?

As the aides moved the wounded Senator into the boardinghouse, I proceeded downstairs, compelled I suppose by a curiosity stimulated by my two years of medical training, and perhaps from a new-felt concern for the Senator’s health and safety.

I watched them bathe and suture his wounds. The cuts did not appear to be life-threatening, although I must admit I was somewhat shocked at the sight of his scalp laid back all the way down to the skull. Nevertheless, he was quite coherent after the stitching. Both of the doctors agreed, and I as well, that he should recover quite nicely and soon return to his desk in the Senate.

As the Senator was helped back to his carriage, I took one of his aides by the arm and learned of the Senator’s brutal encounter with Preston Brooks, the distinguished Congressman from South Carolina and nephew of the slandered Mr. Butler.

It had not been by a gun or knife that the Senator’s scalp was split, but a stout walking stick. Brooks had entered the Senate chambers and beat the Senator until he was nearly unconscious, pinning him helplessly between his desk and chair.
O the power of words, how they can destroy and tear down! How they divide and separate, breeding violence and bloodshed!

By supper time, all physical evidence of Sumner’s visit had been removed. His divisive spirit, however, remained behind and became the source of conflict at Mrs. Sheppard’s dinner table. Clarence, the young stonemason who hailed from North Carolina, and Toby, the free Negro and wagoner, had to be separated, having come to the point of raising fists during dinner over the propriety of Brook’s assault on Senator Sumner.

Mrs. Sheppard, in an angry, unexpected show of her political inclinations, informed Toby that he was terribly wrong to support Senator Sumner and that he would have to find another boardinghouse. He was gone within the hour. I shall miss Toby, he was a good conversationalist and a true friend.

As the week progressed, I did some investigative work into the circumstances surrounding this bloody affair. One thing I learned to my surprise was that Congress had prearranged with several boardinghouses, Mrs. Sheppard’s being one of the closest to the Capitol, to have a spare room maintained for emergency medical treatment required by some violent incident. A second discovery came as the result of speaking with several of my friends and colleagues in Congress .The attack on Senator Sumner had not been spontaneous; Brooks had planned his retaliation for two days.

The final incident unearthed by my investigation began after a brief conversation with Dr. Timothy Whitefield, the Senate Chaplain. He claimed to have seen a tall, goateed man with a long scar across his left cheek speak privately to Preston Brooks in the doorway to the Senate chambers just prior to his attack on Sumner.
No other Senator or any of their aides remembered having seen a man of this description, even those who were in the Senate chamber at the time Brooks entered the room.