Thy Will Be Done

Camping at Sandi’s bedside at the nursing home, watching her helplessly lie in bed, sleeping much of the time, struggling to give her drink with a straw and solid food with a spoon, is causing me to reflect more on life. I’m coming to grips accepting the fact that she’s dying.  There are few precious moments when she smiles, converses, and sometimes even jokes, with her own brand of humor. 

Although I’ve been helping Sandi, she’s given me much. She’s admonished me when I’ve expressed sinful anger at people who wronged me. When I started gloating over someone who hurt me having a difficult time, she reminded me “they are people.”   

Inside I’ve been screaming. Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream doesn’t seem to express my angst about what’s happening.     Man at bridge holding head with hands and screaming

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scream 

The Serenity Prayer helps comfort me: 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.” 

My problem, my dilemma, is that I want the world as I would have it. In the 2 ½ years I’ve known Sandi, I’ve become very attached to her. Seeing her lying here, now sleeping, I’ve forgotten what a pain she can be sometimes, and how I wanted to get rid of her and how I took her for granite. This is a game changer! 

I ask “why”! I then realize that we will not always know why, but in faith remember that God works all things together for good for those who love the Lord. I have, however, realized some good in this situation.  People at the nursing home are amazed, touched that someone would stand by a loved one this much in this situation.  Jesus is reflected. God continues to teach me compassion for others, to put myself in their shoes. 

What I can change, is Sandi’s attitude. As our pastor told me, it’s good that she knows she’s loved. During this last health episode, when I asked her, Sandi said “Jesus is in my heart.”

Sandi was part of a population that is forgotten by society, especially in Bucks County, PA – the homeless. They do not contribute to the surface glitter of those hung up in personal peace and prosperity. As Detective Frank Thorn shouts as he’s taken away in the sci-fi movie Soylent Green, “Soylent Green is people!”, the homeless are people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green 

http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi2020082969 

People have intrinsic value; we are made in the image of God, who breathed life into us. 

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.… -Genesis 1: 26-28 

I Feel Like Busting Loose!

Desolation Row, as evidenced in the drug abuse epidemic and other examples of a fallen world, the subject of my last blog, can be put in the rearview mirror. In a sense we are all homeless – in this world we are sojourners.

When we get too hung up with the things of this world – a house, a nice lawn, a car or cars, even maybe a swimming pool, there is a problem. The obsession with material, worldly things is one reason there is prejudice, judgmentalism against the homeless in Bucks County, PA. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these things, but there is more to life than personal peace and prosperity. Otherwise, we may as just as well be mannequins! We’d live in boxes.

Losing my house, job, etc. helped me realized what’s really important in life.

If we don’t know where we are going, and why things happen, then we are lost. In John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian, an everyman character, is taken on a journey from his hometown, The City of Destruction, to the Celestial City. As he journeys along The Kings Highway, after being relieved of burden of sin, he goes through trials, temptations and tribulations. The classic novel is subtitled “The Allegory of The Soul.” For those of you in Doylestown, an allegory is “a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one: “

“Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the spiritual journey”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pilgrim%27s_Progress

In the everyday twists and turns in life, you may wonder where you going? What’s the purpose of life, you may be thinking. Do you, like the mother in The Rolling Stone’s Mother’s Little Helper, need valium to send you on your way, get you through your busy day?  https://www.bing.com/search?q=the+rolling+stones+mothers+little+helper&form=EDGTCT&qs=PF&cvid=4b140af9dcd44e0b8092833b507ba222&cc=US&setlang=en-US

Like the pilgrims in The Pilgrims Progress, people today get caught in the slough of despond, bogged down by doubts, fears, temptations, lusts, shame and guilt. Some are homeless. To cope with homelessness, you won’t find the answer in the bottle, by eating more food than you need – gluttony, by worshipping with Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes (smokes are gold in the homeless community) or through drugs, which is popular outside the homeless community and often brought into the homeless community as druggies become homeless, which is no more helpful than the little yellow pill that mother, although she’s not really ill runs to for shelter. Like her, if you keep running to these shelters they will get you through the day, and finally to your busy, dying day.

To get out of swamp, you don’t drain it, but ask for help from a higher power, God, to get out of the pool of decadence, scum and filth. Press on towards the Celestial City!

Life can be demanding, frustrating. As a caregiver, I deal with someone who, although her stage IV cancer is almost gone, wants to give up on life. She’s worn out physically and that’s affecting her spirits. By contrast, my grandmother, rather than being cranky and despondent in her waning years when she had Lou Gehrig’s disease, kept a kindly spirit and thought of others. Unable to speak, she’d write notes to me to ask me about how things are going. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis

Sometimes I feel like busting loose, busting loose. https://www.bing.com/search?q=i+feel+like+busting+loose%2C+busting+loose+song&form=EDGTCT&qs=PF&cvid=69dd32eb059e4907bf4b845a3d4a156f&cc=US&setlang=en-US

But that’s just another escape. It doesn’t resolve the problem.

When you are on the right path, and not a customer at Vanity Fair, and see the vanity of cheap thrills that don’t satisfy, you find true peace and meaning in life. You don’t have to be, as Curly of The Three Stooges chirps, a victim of soy-cum-stances!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you“. -2nd Corinthians 4:8-12

How Can People Be So Heartless?

“How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold”

-lyrics from Three Dog Night’s Easy To Be Hard

Except for some of the churches and caring individuals in Bucks County, PA, who help the homeless and people in need, Bucks County sees people in this category as useless, a blight on their suburban paradise. One example of this attitude is nixing the annual Stand Down for homeless and needy veterans which for years has been held in a clearing in the woods behind the Levittown public library.

At Stand Down, veterans can either come for the day, where they get free medical and dental checkups, clothing, acupuncture, etc., or stay overnight a couple nights. Here, veterans can get information and referrals. At the last Stand Down I attended someone set up a medical appointment at the Horsham veteran medical clinic, and got me in quickly. There’s normally a long wait – sometimes so long that vets have died – a problem that The Donald is working on.

Evidently, we need to drain the swamp in Bucks County.

In their hubris, callousness and dysfunctionality, authorities in Bristol Township/Bucks County didn’t give a reason why the annual Stand Down will no longer be held behind the library. http://levittownnow.com/2016/09/10/program-helps-veterans-need-kicks-off-last-year-current-site/

https://www.bing.com/search?q=easy+to+be+hard+three+dog+night+youtube&form=EDGEAR&qs=AS&cvid=98ce65ea4f5e43dcb1941c5b5b6e87d7&cc=US&setlang=en-US

Banning Stand Down reflects a snobbish attitude from people who don’t want anyone who doesn’t fit into their fabricated, middle class, bourgeois world around them. The public relations gal at the local Salvation Army echoed this attitude when she argued against my complaint that the (former) librarian was on a campaign to oust homeless people from the library just because they are homeless. The Countess of Carlisle decreed that some people who visit the library don’t like the homeless being there and that It’s OK for the library to keep them out just because of their prejudice. Because I disagreed with the countess, she used her position to block me from getting a job writing for the Salvation Army.

In Bucks County, the homeless are a commodity. The Bucks County Mental Health Hustlers, who fortunately were defunded, round up the homeless like cattle and leech onto their government funding to get them into programs such as at the Penndel Mental Health Center. I observed and keep hearing that people come out of this place in worse shape than when they come in. Just today at an afternoon community meal, a friend told me of someone he knew that came out of Penndel Mental Health worse than when he came in. “I thought they were supposed be help you get better!”, he exclaimed.

Personal Peace and Prosperity is the underlying attitude that causes the Bucks establishment to treat others the way they do. Evangelist Francis Schaeffer, who coined the phrase, said that someone who subscribes to the philosophy of personal peace wants to avoid controversy and struggle at any cost and lack moral conviction.

Dr. Schaeffer expounds on his observation of personal peace and prosperity, which he says is an epidemic of the 20th century:

“Personal peace means just to be left alone, not to be troubled by the troubles of other people…Personal peace means wanting to have my personal life pattern undisturbed in my lifetime, regardless of what the result will be in the lifetimes of my children and grandchildren. Affluence means an overwhelming and ever increasing prosperity — a life made up of things, things and more things — a success judged by an ever–higher level of material abundance.”

http://christinprophecy.org/articles/francis-schaeffer/

The three day a year program for homeless and needy veterans was another thing the elites considered useless, not in their interests, as is their resistance to providing more shelter for the homeless in Bucks County. They are on a roll. They cleared the homeless from the Queen Anne Park woods, around the memorial, and imposed Draconian rules for the whole Lower Bucks Government Complex. For sure, some of the homeless in this area gave the establishment good reason to boot people from the woods, but it will not even get out of the way to allow caring people to create housing for the homeless – official places with rules where the druggies and other miscreants are excluded.

The Godless belief system that has polluted the 20th century is being played out in Bucks County, PA. No longer do people have intrinsic value, made in the image of God.

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  -Matthew 22:36-40

She’s Leaving Home

Back in the 70’s, evangelist Francis Schaeffer said that a problem in America is that people are too hung up on their personal peace and prosperity. Today, people will camp out overnight for a sale or to get the latest electronic gadget. This behavior is not only tolerated, but applauded.

Yet when the homeless scour out a place to camp just to survive, they are considered criminal trespassers. Aside from the fact that some of the homeless have caused problems, the problem the establishment has with of the homeless in places such as Bucks County, PA is that their presence shakes up their bourgeois world.

With such a materialistic, living in a bubble world view, it’s no wonder people, especially the younger generation, turn to drugs. A new drug, an extremely lethal synthetic opioid, is entering the black market, coming to a local drug pusher near you soon in Bucks County.   http://levittownnow.com/2016/09/05/pa-health-officials-warn-of-powerful-synthetic-opioid/

The Beatles sung about the bankruptcy of materialism in a song on their Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album: She’s Leaving Home. In the song, the parents don’t understand why their little girl is leaving home.

“She (We gave her most of our lives)
Is leaving (Sacrificed most of our lives)
Home (We gave her everything money could buy)
She’s leaving home after living alone for so many years. Bye, bye”

The problem: “Something inside that was always denied for so many years
She’s leaving home, bye, bye.”

As Astro, the family dog on The Jetsons cartoon would say “Rares rumthing wrong rear, Reorge.”

As the fictional girl who left home in the old Beatles’ song found, material things leave us running on empty.

Since the 60’s, people have tried to find meaning through drugs and expanding their minds in other ways such as pagan Eastern religion.

In the 70’s, Dr. Schaeffer said that the counter culture of the 60’s correctly diagnosed social problems, but their remedy was worse than the disease. Many of the 60’s hippies devolved into YUPPIES, who have become just as unhip and materialistic as the former establishment.

The term “yuppie” derived from “young upwards mobile professional”, who made a lot of money. It originally had a negative connotation in that a yuppie would do anything to make a buck, no ethics. Back in the 50’s and early 60’s, there was honor among businessmen. A handshake sealed a deal, and it was honored. When I worked a temporary job about 1990, I overheard someone saying that a contractor was asking for money the company owed him, but they didn’t have to pay him because they didn’t have a contract.

The Brave New World culture of the 60’s is manifested in politicians such as Hillary Clinton, where talk is cheap and everyday people without fame and fortune are treated differently than are the limousine liberals or their pets. It’s also found at the public library in Levittown, PA. The librarian, a fan of Hillary Clinton, treats the homeless who visit the library as persona non grata and constructively tries to evict them from the library while she gives a pass to the unruly kids of the soccer moms, who run rampant in the library as if it’s a playground.

The social engineering of the left, drugs, booze and other institutions have not brought true peace and good order to our society.

There is, however, hope. It’s found in God:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” -Jeremiah 29:11

Substance abuse and other social maladies continues to plague our land. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men seem to be having trouble putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.

There’s a reason for all the social problems we’ve had the past several decades. It’s where are heart is, what we treasure. After WWII, we turned back to God. Today, we’ve become an Obama Nation.

We are reaping what we sow. The drug problem, for example.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 6:21

All Aboard The Disoriented Express

Tonight at the community meal was a microcosm for the church verses secular psychology. This hit me when I walked by the pastor and a representative from Penndel Mental Health Center standing next to each other. Both of them made their rounds and mingled with the homeless and needy who were dining at the church.

The mental health rep was wearing a chain around his neck with a badge attached, so you know he meant business. And speaking of business, the deadline for yearly public funding for the center is approaching – in July. A parody is in order:

Upcoming Funding Time (parody of Fats Domino’s Finger Popping Time)

It’s upcoming

Funding Time

It’s upcoming

Funding Ty-ime

I feel so good

I’m on the public dime

Hey now Hey now Hey now Hey now

They lost Alan but here come Keith

Here comes Chris and he’s talking sweet

But Alan’s still with the county

And helps get the bounty

It’s upcoming

Funding Time

It’s upcoming

Funding Ty-ime

I feel so good

I’m on the public dime

Hey now Hey now Hey now Hey now…

While Chris was doing the hustle, most likely trying to Shanghai the homeless to get them aboard The Disoriented Express, the pastor was asking the guests, many of whom she formed a bond with, about their lives, showing God’s love. Her motive was Christian concern and she encouraged people to go to church.

Just this week, the pastor at my church said that the church has relegated it’s responsibility to meet the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of people to the government. Welfare programs just hand people a check and food stamps but do an inadequate job of ministering to people to help them.

Penndel Mental Health Center is infamous for passing out drugs to control behavior. I suspect that they push drugs to maximize profits for Big Pharm.

Shanghaiing the homeless is a win-win proposition for Bucks County, PA.  It keeps the nuthouse in business while removing what Bucks County deems pests, letting them linger in the Land of The Lotus-eaters. “In Greek mythology the Lotus-eaters, also referred to as the lotophagi or lotophaguses or lotophages, were a race of people living on an island dominated by lotus plants. The lotus fruits and flowers were the primary food of the island and were narcotic, causing the people to sleep in peaceful apathy.” -Wikipedia.

The enemy of the homeless is not a couple outspoken people who tell it like it is, but the government and some intolerant, judgmental people who influence the government — people who are more interested in their personal peace and prosperity than the needs of hurting people. Homeless patrons at the public Library are made to feel unwelcome and are constructively driven out, as they used to be at the Veterans’ Memorial, where I believe guards were egged on by government leeches at the WIC building and other self righteous people to shoo away what they consider pests.

Dr. Jeff has a diagnosis for what ails some homeless people. It’s PMS (poor me syndrome). They wallow in self pity. They are miserable so they work hard to make others miserable. The cure? Accept your circumstances and work on ways to overcome them. Turning to God is the way I am dealing with my situation. I was only living in my car for a few months, but after losing my job and having other bad circumstances happen, I was devastated, a total wreck.

For awhile, at the advice of the local Salvation Army, who relegated some of it’s responsibility to secular psychology, I went as an outpatient at Penndel Mental Health Center. My anxiety and depression got worse with the drugs they gave me. Drugs should be used for medical, physical problems, not to control behavior. I’ve made much better progress with the church and my personal relationship with God. It’s a long journey, with setbacks along the way. Restoring oneself takes time. As I gathered from the 12StepJourney  (meetings which I attend) Facebook page, we still have old wounds, many of them self inflicted,  that need to heal and poisons that need an antidote.

All aboard the Disoriented Express!

Not!  

“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” –Psalm 40:2