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Monday, April 18, 2011

Atlas Shrugged, Pastor Wood persevered, I got saved and my world changed forever and other stuff...

Ramble alert.   Musings after a long and interesting day...

We went to visit my Mom this morning and  deferred going to church until evening.   We had a terrific time talking with her and discussing various things, showing some pictures and talking about how the family is doing and telling old stories again and I did a couple of chores for her.   I need to come back with my tool box and fix up a few things on her house, yep.   My Mom hates politics but she is one smart woman and we could discuss some pretty geeky things and she was right there.   My Mom the brain!  Then in the evening we were to meet up with the guy who led me to Christ and go to church with him and his wife and then do dinner with them.

Mini history of me

When I read Atlas Shrugged as a grade schooler, it rocked my world more than any book ever had. I believe I changed from being a precocious child who just believed and absorbed what he was told into a critical thinker who considered and thought over everything. Unfortunately being drafted and other things including my great selfishness and pride led me to drugs and craziness.   Later on in this post you will see an article about Atlas Shrugged, the movie.

Pastor Wood has published 34 books.   He was in ministry for 55 years and still fills in now and then.  He taught the adult Bible class we attended Sunday evening.  He can still teach very well, good stuff!  We got to talk with him and his wonderful wife before the class and then went out to eat together afterwards, sharing all sorts of stories, laughing, learning, having a wonderful time of great fellowship.   I am forever grateful to this man and I am glad he has a smart, cute, happy wife kind of like I do.   We both married up, I would say.

Pastor Wood was the pastor who led me to Christ and told me last night that he knew my nickname was "Caveman" and I was known around the area as a big, scary, wild and crazy guy who might do anything and, indeed, I was about to leave my wife and child behind and go try to make it in the world of rock and roll. I was a crazy druggie, a drunk, a guy who should have died three or four times or more and only by odd chance (or the hand of God) managed to live.  He liked to say I had such a big beard and such long hair you could hardly find a face in there.   Really, the Caveman nickname was from football because I growled and roared when I hit people and I had wild, long hair and a big beard.  I hadn't been in a bar fight of any kind for a couple of years, maybe longer,  because I was a happy horny drunk interested in chasing women rather than an angry one crunching faces and no one messed with me because I looked scary.   But I guess that makes Pastor Wood heroic, because he was afraid of me but came to talk to me anyway.   He is a hero to me, that is for sure!

I am able to believe that when Pastor Wood came to tell me about Christ that it may have been my last chance. If I had turned away from God yet again maybe I never would have known truth and would have been just another loud raucous rock and roller until I died of an overdose or drowned in my own vomit or by being shot by the husband or boyfriend of some woman or by driving at 80 miles an hour into a telephone pole. Only God knows.  Larry Norman told Janice Joplin and Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix that they would need to turn to Jesus or be dead by the age of 33.  They were all dead by age 27.   When I came to Jesus I was 26.   Sure, I know I mentioned that before but it is significant to me.   My wife got saved after years of being a worldly ungodly woman.  Now we have six kids, three grandkids, at least eight Godkids and large numbers of students over the years and between us we support missionaries and programs and work in ministry and try to bless and teach others whenever we can.

I came back to sanity, too, when I gave up drugs and drunkenness and reactivated my critical thinking brain. Soon I realized that Evolution was completely ridiculous and soon I realized that socialism was not just wrong, it was among the greatest evils ever presented to mankind. I realized that God wanted me to be humbled in many ways, understand that my intellect could not compare with God's and that only by completely surrendering to Him could I really be free. And I am free - of my sin and shame, of judgment by God, of many sins. Yet I am still completely needy - I need God to lead me and I need His Word to teach me and I need to submit to His teachings to be worthy to teach others.

Now I am a big friendly loving guy who spends many hours teaching and hanging out with and mentoring teenagers. Now I am a man who would rather blog about God and philosophy and science for free than to be paid to write about sports (and I am a sports nut). God is so important to me for so many reasons but I know I would be a completely worthless self-centered ungodly waste of space without the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Agree with me or disagree with me but I write this blog to try to reach all those self-centered foolish idiots like me who could change their lives if they would just stop and give Jesus a chance. Not to be famous or make money or annoy Canucklehead. 

Second, I write this blog to encourage Christians of all ages to understand that God was the inspiration for the modern methods of scientific discovery and that His Word is evidence that must be taken seriously and, with the exception of a random copying error that we can detect, inerrant and authoritative. I believe that. God made each and every one of us and we owe him our allegiance. Deny Him now and He will be patient and give you a chance to change your mind. But how many chances will you have?

Third reason?  I have students who may come here to compare what their secular teachers say to what I say and do research to decide for themselves who is telling the truth.  If I point to enough good sources I may help someone know truth.   Truth never changes.  We find science keeps making findings and then changing them and then changing them again.  But there is one Truth and it never changes.  Shouldn't we seek to find it?   I say yes, we should, even if it is entirely politically incorrect.

Finally, I write this blog because I know God wants me to do it.  He gave me a few gifts and one "gift" is that I am an opinionated loudmouth for God and Truth and Justice and the American Way.   But what I really am in doing all this is a servant.  I am God's servant seeking to do His will and obey and please Him.  My wife seeks to do the same.   She could sell her art for hundreds of dollars but she makes things to give away to others to bless them and encourage them.   

Some of you will never like us.   That is life in the big city.   We don't want you to dislike us.  But we do want you to hear (read) Truth because we want to please God. 

Common Cents posted this article below. .

Atlas Shrugged - The Movie Trailer:

Who is John Galt?  Finallly it's here - the The 1957 tome which champions Objectivism--Rand's controversial philosophy--has managed to find its way to the big-screen despite numerous challenges along the way. But at last, thanks to John Aglialoro, who bought the rights to the book in 1992 and has been trying to get it on-screen ever since, Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is here.  The official homepage to Atlas Shrugged.

PJTV interviews people walking out of the theater after seeing Atlas Shrugged.

"I've been waiting for this movie to come out for decades"
"It was worth the 50 year wait"

 IBD's editorial on Atlas Shrugged is superlative!
Individualists and money grubbers of the world, unite; you have nothing to lose but your servility and confiscatory tax rates.
After all these increasingly collectivized decades, "Atlas Shrugged, Part I" the movie, is finally coming to town. It opens nationwide, appropriately, this Friday — Tax Day. Check your local listings for the time and place.
"Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand's legendary novel, was published in 1957. Instead of focusing on the old tale of victimized workers and greedy owners, the story turns the tables and shows what happens to the world when the innovators and producers go on strike, when the capitalists and owners turn out the lights and disappear.
The question has been asked on billboards, T-shirts and bumper stickers for half a century: "Who is John Galt?" In "Atlas Shrugged," he's the man who initiates and leads the strike of the producers.
"There is only one kind of men who have never been on strike in human history," states Galt in the novel. "Every other kind and class have stopped, when they so wished, and have presented demands to the world, claiming to be indispensable — except the men who have carried the world on their shoulders, have kept it alive, have endured torture as sole payment, but have never walked out on the human race. "Well, their turn has come. Let the world discover who they are, what they do and what happens when they refuse to function. This is the strike of the men of the mind."
The shrugging comes when men of achievement refuse to accept their unearned guilt, refuse to have their strengths and accomplishments turned into weaknesses and sins.
"All your life, you have heard yourself denounced, not for your faults, but for your greatest virtues," Francisco d'Anconia says to successful industrialist Hank Rearden in the novel. "You have been hated, not for your mistakes, but for your achievements.
"You, who've expended an inconceivable flow of energy, have been called a parasite. You, who've created abundance where there had been nothing but wastelands and helpless, starving men before you, have been called a robber. You, who've kept them all alive, have been called an exploiter. You, the purest and most moral man among them, have been sneered at as a 'vulgar materialist.'
"Have you stopped to ask them: by what right? — by what code? — by what standard? No, you have borne it all and kept silent."