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Trip Around the Sun

 

45 of 52 – Potter’s House Christian Fellowship Church

Have traveled about 506,000,000 miles - 7 weeks to finish the Trip Around the Sun.


(That’s more than half a billion miles! Give me a penny per mile – and I’ll have more than 5 million dollars. We’re all making this trip. Is it worth a penny per mile to us? If so, our measured wealth is a pittance. We are all very wealthy, indeed. And this is every single year.)

 

Question from atheist:

 

Don't you find something philosophically wrong with supporting belief in a
blatant falsehood?  This isn't a metaphor, or just pretend.  People
actually believe this stuff. (Speaking of the various religions.)

Response:

This assumes that what we ought to worship is "truth." I see no reason to do so. Many untrue things are good - many true things are evil.

As a scientist - truth is the goal - but it is not the goal of religions. (They often think it is - but they are wrong - they seek something else. They are actually very efficient at rejecting truth no matter how much data there is.)

Both, science and religion, have a legitimate place. If we can be good scientists - and still glean good from the non-scientific – or even the anti-scientific - all the better.

Religion and science should not compete with each other - they are about entirely different things.

Yes - I supported the tooth fairy - and had lots of fun with it. That one's over at about 5.

I know the religious beliefs can go on through the end of one's life – (that’s still a short time – it’s not about individuals if we want to be scientific. “We” have lived millions of years.) - and the beliefs end before life ends for others – many of you were probably believers when younger - that's all ok with me - people are different.

The only thing I don't like is brainwashing or forcing beliefs on others. Even that, however, I don't have a clue how to stop.
Russia tried - but it didn't work. There are too many unfulfilled needs in people who don't have all that science to give them a feeling of "knowing" what's going on.

I assure you that scientists also do not actually "know" much at all. We get little pieces of a huge thing - and we make the little pieces useful - but that's about it.

 

(Concerning Russia – in a way, it did work. It got rid of the terrible relationship the church had with government – the two eagles wrapped around each other represented the Church and the Tsar. Now they can develop without this relationship. We are lucky in this country – we did that separation early in our history – not complete – but pretty darned good separation.)

 

Statement from “Creationists”:

"When God the Son squeezed energy into atoms, he squeezed and held the atom so

tightly that there were no unstable elements and therefore no radioactivity.

At the fall [of Adam and Eve], He relaxed His grip slightly... which affected

every atom and allowed some to become unstable, i.e., radioactivity!

      [Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 1982]

 

Response:

And this is creation “science”?

Why not just blame it on the “alignment" of some planets?

 

It’s hard for me to believe anyone who could write well enough to write these sentences could possibly believe this. Radioactivity started just 6000 years ago?

 

I have met “ministers” on this trip that I have a hard time believing - that they believe what they teach. Some are becoming or already are wealthy far beyond their “followers.” (Not wealthy by way of other sources – but directly from the “ministry.”) A real minister should be “among” his people – not “above” them. A leader – not a manager. I have met many of these good ministers also. A majority of them are the good ones.

 

Frankly, I also think God Himself would be “among” and not “above” those He loves.

 

The current sign on the Church of Christ says:

 

“It’s about God. It’s not about you.”

 

If that were true – He, even God, would be like these selfish self-interested profiteers.

 

We all have known a father or two for whom, “It’s about him – It’s not about the family.” We don’t like these fathers. There is no god like that. It is about us – and God. Whichever ones of us actually exist - we’re in this together. No selfish god should ever be worshipped.

 

Radioactivity, incidentally, has been around for billions and billions of years – long long before any intelligent being invented and organized a religion. The Sun itself is just one big “controlled explosion” hydrogen bomb. We would be very cold indeed without radioactivity – and we would never have come into being at all.

 

 

The Visit: Potter’s House Christian Fellowship Church - Escondido

 

From the internet:

“In 1970 Wayman Mitchell went to the small town of Prescott, Arizona. From here, a spiritual fire was launched that is spanning the globe. In a few short years, hundreds of churches have been planted, and crusades and conferences are touching tens of thousands every year. This church is a product of that vision and is working to see it expanded in the short time that remains before Jesus' return. God has given us a vision for the day we live in. Our message is simple, yet it is the cornerstone of all truth. Jesus Christ is the only hope for man's salvation. In a world full of empty dreams and false promises is a truth which grows stronger every year, and that is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

 

This one in Escondido is called Potter’s House – but the organization is called “Christian Fellowship Churches.” Each congregation selects their own name. Another popular one is “The Door” Christian Fellowship Church.

 

From this scripture comes “Potter’s House”:

Jeremiah 19:2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.”

 

I arrived about 10:45, 15 minutes before the meeting was scheduled to begin. It probably used to be a house – with some of the interior walls removed to make a room for a chapel. A few people were visiting in the parking lot behind. They were all friendly – and all a little eager to do some “outreaching” to the new guy. They all seemed acutely aware of the newer high gas prices – and wondered how the hotrod did on gas mileage. I made a slurping sound with my mouth – and told them, “about five,” if you’re not racing, “but,” I told them, “it doesn’t go very many miles.” They all laughed.

 

Inside were chairs for about fifty people. About twenty were in attendance.

 

They started by singing several songs – the minister led the songs – projected words only – and the leading was just by the clapping of hands. Everyone else clapped also – for every song – about ten songs in all.

 

All during the singing, there was another man off to the side a little – singing with enthusiasm – and kind of praying out loud at the same time – clapping his hands with his eyes closed.

 

There was a young boy at a drum set – hit only the cymbal and a snare drum – two times on the cymbal – once on the snare – over and over and over through all the songs. One electric guitar played by a man – all big strums across all strings – strum strum strum – again – through all the songs.

 

It went very fast – writing words down was not easy – but I did get a line or two:

 

“I command you, Satan, get down - on the ground be ye.”

“For the Lord has given me the authority to stomp all over thee.”

 

(I thought that was an interesting use of the word “authority.”)

 

It reminded me again of my favorite on the Trip:

 

“I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart,”

“And if the Devil doesn’t like it, he can sit on a tack.”

 

They have a traveling rap group – were on the Silver Strand yesterday – going to Beaumont next Saturday.

 

The man off to the side now came to the center – turns out he is the minister – the one leading the music was an assistant minister, of which there appeared to be two.

 

Then came the “Morning Offering.”

 

We got our new beam – and everyone can see that the center post is now gone. (I was sitting directly under the new beam.)

 

The minister continued: There was an offering in a church a long time ago – and they had a rich man in there – maybe like this guy (and he gestured palm-up towards me) – everyone laughed. (Was it because I had a T Bucket hotrod?)

 

He continued that the man was giving a thousand dollars – and just then, some plaster fell off the ceiling and hit the rich man him on the head. So the man said “$2000.00!” (Laughter) – and then a bunch more plaster fell on his head – so he said “Make that $5000.00!” (Laughter again)

 

Still more plaster fell – and finally the man got to $20,000.00, the minister was elated – but some guy in the back said, “Hit him again, Lord!” (Much laughter.)

 

People just speak out whenever in this group – even right during the talk – so I said, “I’m grateful for the nice new solid beam you have, protecting the unwary from falling plaster.” (Laughter)

 

Now the actual “preaching” started – one of those “ah” talks. The “ah’s” are spoken – or loudly grunted at the ends of words. If you’ve heard it, you’ll know: “Jesus (ah!) came down (ah!) from the mountain (ah!) Usually this is accompanied by some stomping or pacing. I’ll leave the “ah’s” out for the rest in this report.

 

(I heard some speaking in tongues – but could not place where it was coming from. It was constant throughout the sermon. I finally realized it was not in our main room – but in a room off to one side. I think it was translating to Spanish for a few who did not speak English. It was not distracting as it might be in a quieter environment – there were always others in the congregation speaking out as “directed” by the spirit. So far as I could tell, most or all of it was in English – not speaking in tongues – but had the feeling of getting ready at any moment to lose control of the language. I was suspecting that I might eventually hear some speaking in tongues. I’ve been where that could occur before – but I think my rather formal “acting” got in the way of sufficient comfort for them to get it going. So at this meeting, I closed my eyes and did a little clapping – in hopes I could witness the real thing. I’m sure I looked a little as I do on a modern dance floor – not really moving enough to look “into” it.)

 

(The nearest I can remember something similar was in the Salt Lake Temple – in the Terrestrial room – they invited all to sing “The song.” Then everyone started singing – but each in different words – and different tunes – or just spoken without singing tonality. (Completely unintelligible to me.) This went on for about a minute. If anyone’s “interpretation of tongues” talent were sufficient to take messages from this, I would be impressed. This was about fifty people – all singing different from one another. They most likely would not be admitted into the Tabernacle Choir – where I think they generally sing together.)

 

The minister:

Until I was about 25, I just thought “Jesus Christ” was another – you know – another cuss word. I really knew no more than that. I actually did not know who this was.

 

But He knew who I was.

 

The minister was talking about his youth:

I was nothing – nothing – Mom and Dad got a divorce – Mom later committed suicide – I tried to join the hippies – but was too young to be accepted. I was nothing but dope and alcohol and missing school.

 

I don’t know how He did it, but He found me. Jesus found me.

 

Give me the eyes to look on a sinner like I was – and love them. Give me that vision. Someone says they have a prayer list – Gimme gimme gimme – my name is Jimmy. But why not pray instead for a vision?

 

Give me a vision that everyone needs my love – and that they are all worthy to have my love, just as they are worthy to have the love of Jesus.

 

Use my life to preach to nations. You all know I got to go to Africa. I could hardly believe it – and hundreds gathered around to listen there.

 

(There were many pictures on the walls of this trip to Africa.)

 

Have a big vision – pray for a big vision. If you had one wish, who would wish for plastic pearls? Wish for big things you can do for people.

 

Then he said he was going to read from Proverbs 6:6. He said, “Wo – one more six there and we’d be in trouble.” (Laughter)  Then he read the verse – but I didn’t get it well enough to tell you what it said. (I just looked that up in Proverbs – makes no sense – didn’t fit his talk - must not have been Proverbs – but it was something 6:6.)

 

God is always making something out of nothing – or something out of something that you wouldn’t think was the right material. “Let there be light,” and he makes that out of nothing. But then he takes some dirt – and makes Adam out of it.

 

Then he led a closing prayer. God can change water into wine – he can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

 

(It continued less and less intelligible. A couple went to the front – knelt down and prayed along with him. The wife prayed silently – and the husband (same guy who played the electric guitar earlier) prayed quite out loud. (So loud – that sometimes you couldn’t hear the minister – but it was ok with the minister – I could tell.) He had the appearance of being Mexican – and was bi-lingual – but his praying indicated more language skill even than that – it was fast – and no language I’ve ever heard. Then another couple and another – all speaking in tongues – or not – some spoke in clear English. (Or was I simply understanding some and not others?)

 

Then the minister himself said some stuff I tried to write some of down:

 

(Think of hard rolling of R’s.)

 

SHA NA R------AND AND DA SHAR-----N DO R-----BA SHO DRI R-----AND DA!

 

(Spoken very fast – and over and over with some variation in the “wording.”)

 

If this is the “Adamic” language, perhaps that fig leaf was a little too tight.

 

(I guess that wasn’t a closing prayer – there is some more preaching now.)

 

I was in a two bedroom apartment – me, my wife – my 14 year old – and my 9 year old. My brother had come – needing a place to stay – and was staying on the couch. It was one of those HUD apartments – where the government pays part of the rent. Ours was a four-plex – four two bedroom apartments. One of the families was not paying their rent – so we got a notice that we all had to leave.

 

28 hours later, I was out. No money for a deposit – no money for any rent elsewhere. It was a Sunday afternoon. My mustard seed was cut in half – and then the half was cut in half.

 

My brother had a $100. bill, and he gave it to me. That wasn’t much – but my mustard seed was growing. I prayed and prayed – and then went looking. Saw a sign on a house for rent – went up and asked about it. The man told me the price. I told him I had no money for rent – and only a hundred dollars for a deposit – that there was no way I could rent that house. It was a three bedroom and had a big family room besides. The man said, “Ok – give me that hundred.” And he told us to move into the house. My wife’s mouth was open all the way – so was mine. The man said that we’d talk next month about how we might start handling this. This was a miracle in our lives.

 

We can all do miracles.

 

He excused us – and apologized for keeping us so long. (About an hour and a half.)

 

Outside, they wanted to know if I went “Cruising Grand” in the hotrod. I said I had a couple times – and that it was fun. They said, “Then you probably saw us out there outreachin’. I said I thought I had seen someone doing that – and that it was probably them. No table – just a bullhorn and fliers. “Outreaching,” ha – we call it proselyting – (The speller here doesn’t accept our version – but does accept “proselytizing.”) Ha - different languages.

 

SHA NA R------AND AND DA SHAR-----EN DO R-----ABA SHO DRI R-----AND DA!

 

I’ll assume that means something real good. (We always taught the kids that it was probably wise not to use words if we didn’t know what they meant. Dennis the Menace said to a visiting minister and his wife – “Wow – you live in that neat house dad told us about – dad says you have skeletons in your closet – wow!”)

 

45 of 52 – Potter’s House Christian Fellowship Church

 

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