I pretty much promised a bit of pontificating for the New Year, but if I restrain myself I think I can do this without getting out of hand. I wanted to offer up a little bit of testimony, sort of to let you know a little more about the real me (as if you really wanted to know), but at the same time, for the sake of time and space, and interest, let's be honest, I want to just sketch out the outline and not dump all the details in. If this makes it to the Blog page, you'll judge for yourselves (are there more than one out there?) how well I succeeded.
This actually begins years ago, about the time of the failure of my first marriage. I managed to escape alive, barely, but in pretty bad shape emotionally. I began saying and believing some pretty awful things about myself and about life in general. I would say things like, how old I felt (I was 37 at the time of the divorce, and felt like 50); I believed that I was going to die in obscurity, though why I thought that was important is still a mystery to me. (I would say, "Fifteen minutes after I die, no one will know I was ever alive." And mean it.) I would go over my life and list all the things I thought would have made me happy, opportunities I had missed, or projects I had attempted and failed to succeed at, like parenthood, or learning to fly an airplane, etc. I could write pages of this stuff, but it would bore and depress you, and I promised just a sketch.
One day, about a year and a half ago, I suddenly realized (I credit the Holy Spirit with this; He has an arsenal of two-by-fours with which to get this old mule's attention -- I still have the headache) that the devil has for years been speaking curses into my ear, and I've been agreeing with him out of my own mouth! Talk about self-destructive behavior!
As soon as I realized what was going on, I determined to set about changing the situation, and I knew that my first step was to counter the spoken curses with the confession of faith. After some prayerful thought, this is the confession I came up with: "I'm going to die RICH, OLD, and FAMOUS!"
I'm not recommending this confession for anyone but myself; these words are meant to counteract and contradict specific curses that I had allowed the devil to infect my life with. You fight fire with fire. A short time later, the Lord brought to my attention a passage of Scripture that promises certain blessings to the person who "fears the Lord and delights greatly in His commandments;" in other words, if I maintain a proper relationship with God, I can expect to die rich, old, and famous. I now had God's Word that the confession I was making was completely in line with His will for me. (The Scripture, BTW, is Psalm 112.)
Side note here: The word "famous" gave me a bit of trouble at first. I was sure in my heart that this was right, but emotionally, it sounded sort of egotistical, if that's the right word. But as I contemplated it, it occurred to me that certain people, like the Apostle Paul, or Mother Teresa, never set out to achieve fame or notariety, but because of their submission and obedience to God, their contributions to the kingdom of God became so significant that they became conspicuous on the world's stage. And there is nothing wrong with making a significant contribution -- God encourages it, in fact!
Do I need tell you that, as a result of this confession, this change of attitude, my entire life has changed? I have as many chances to get depressed as ever, but I pass them up. Simply changing what comes out of my mouth has made all the difference. And it isn't enough simply to stop saying the bad things, you need to start saying good things. Whatever it is that you face on a daily basis, you overcome it first by changing what comes out of your mouth.
On a related note, James tells us in his epistle that the winds and waves of life are what propel us, get us moving, but it is our tongue, like a ship's rudder, that sets the course. And that's my advice for you, my friends, as we embark upon a New Year:
"Grasp the handle firmly, and allow the adversities of life to drive you to the destination of your own choosing!"
That's the word from St Enoch's Pulpit. God bless you all,
Just a short note today; possibly a longer post later on. In fact, it's a better-than-even chance that I'll be pontificating about the end of the year, so stay tuned.
The reason for this post is that I wanted you to be aware of the fact that I'm aware of the spelling, grammar, and typing errors in these posts. I'm a self-taught typist; I took typing in high school, but I typed about 35 words per minute at the beginning of the class, and had not improved one iota by the end of the class.
I turned in a paper in college once, and got dinged by the instructor for typing "teh" instead of "the." I complained that it wasn't really a spelling error, but a typing error. No, I was told, it was a proof-reading error; it should have been caught and fixed before I turned in the paper. And that was that.
So, I plead guilty to bad spelling, bad grammar, and poor typing, but the real problem is that I'm lazy about proof-reading. Now, having got that off my chest, go forth and enjoy the rest of the year, and have a very happy and prosperous, in every sense, New Year!
Much love and blessings,
PS: It occurred to me just this week that my long-time Old Testament hero, St Enoch, has the distinction of being the very first writer in the Bible. Words that Enoch wrote way back, possibly while Adam and Eve were still alive, were quoted in the New Testament by Jude, believed by many to be Jesus' half-brother. Cool, huh?
Get any sleep? Me neither.
In an earlier post (How early could it be? This is only the third one!), I said that I had been on the Internet for a long time. Not long after I married Roxanne, in 1996, her brother-in-law, Glen Ray, sort of threw the gauntlet in my face. I know he didn't mean it that way, but he is a very tech-savvy person (notice I didn't use the word Geek), and he asked me if I had started a personal web-page yet. I'd been surfing the net for quite a while, but a web-page of my own? It sounded way out of my league. But the seed had been planted, and I started doing a little research.
I was on AOL at the time, and I discovered that I could put a web-page up there for free, anytime I wanted to. A little more poking around, and I found a fairly new company emerging over the horizon called CoffeeCup Software (Shameless Plugs R Us), who had developed a very useful thing called an HTML Editor, to make writing and publishing a web-site easy for guys like me. Well, I love a challenge, as long as it's not too hard or inconvenient, and there's nothing good on TV, so I did a little playing, and pretty soon I had a site of my own on AOL. And the rest is history. Goodnight.
Sorry. Over the following years, I moved from SOL (It was a typo, but I like it; it stays) to other Internet Service Providers, and at each place, I was able to put up a personal web-site. As my skills and my arsenal of software grew, the site became sort of a trophy shelf. I could say, "Have you seen my picture of the Loch Ness Monster? Check out my web-site!" And that would be an excuse to give people my web address. (That pic, and others from Scotland, will eventually end up here.)
Well, this past summer, I had a slight misunderstanding with my latest ISP, and I ended up losing my Internet connection altogether. In a panic, I turned to the only place I could think of, NetZero (No, this is NOT a recommendation; quite the contrary!) I went that way because I knew I could get free disk from just about anywhere, the grocery store, Radio Shack, etc., and be back online in a very short while. Since I do nearly all my banking online, this was essential. So I hooked up with NZ, knowing all along that this was only a temporary thing. The really bad thing was that I had to go through my lists and change my e-mail with everybody in the world, still knowing that it was temporary, and would have to be done all over again pretty soon.
There is a simple solution to the e-mail problem, and as I'm into shameless plugs (see above parentheses), that solution is GMail. (I'm not too dogmatic; if you prefer Yahoo or MSN's HotMail, those will work too.) The point is, over the years I had bounced from one ISP to another, each time having to change my address; my last ISP, 'Intergate.com", should have been more or less permanent, but it went the way of all the others, and I had to do something drastic. I opened an account with Google's GMail, sent notices around the world yet again, and have been using that address exclusively ever since.
Happy ending do that story: a couple of months ago, I was able to get high-speed Internet, so I've disconnected from NZ, and because of GMail, the process has been fairly painless. The only downside is that when I lost Intergate, I lost my personal web-site. Sometime this year I hope to be able to get a really for true commercial site of my own, but in the meantime, using free space provided by "Weebly.com" to post a few items, like this Blog/Therapy thing (There's a link at the bottom of this page, if you're in the market for a personal web-page.). Web-page creation here at Weebly is more or less automated, which is a bit of a trial for an old HTML pro like myself, but for a lot of people who're not experienced with the process, this is a great way to produce your own web-page without learning HTML from the ground up first.
While I'm here, I'm putting some more links at the bottom. CoffeeCut has a fine collection of affordable web-site creation software; if you're into graphics, you need to check out Xara-3D. This company has developed the most amazing software that turns simple text or 2-D images into 3-D shapes that can be manipulated in real time...well, you just have to see it to believe it. Actually, I used Xara-3D to generate the front-cover text of my new book. Use the "CreateSpace" link below to see it (and as soon as the book goes live, next week or the week after, I hope, you can use the same link to order a copy for yourself; you'll be glad you did.).
There. I've gone on until I've bored myself. So Doctor, do you think I can be cured? What?? Only after years and years of expensive therapy??
Oh well. Back to the blog.
Cheers, and God bless you all, if anybody's out here,
aka St Enoch
The Promised Links:http://www.coffeecup.com/http://www.xara.com/us/https://www.createspace.com/3418197
I don't usually do "Christmas Letters," or things of that nature, but this year is, and has been, quite different from other years. This coming year will be different still, Please God.
A few years ago, I opened a page on MySpace, more or less as an experiment. It occurred to me that as a teacher and writer, the Internet is an ideal place to put things like my scribblings, where they could be seen and appreciated (I'm an optimist) around the world. In other words, shouldn't I be using this powerful tool, the Information Highway, to spread the Gospel? I had, at the time a small number of articles that I had written in the past and had no idea what to do with them, so I used MySpace's blog feature to post these articles. Then I announced to the world, both my 'friends', that my articles were being posted globally.
Of course, I ended up with a small number of friends, and eventually one of them suggested that I should put some of my more profound (he's also an optimist) articles on a site called "Ezinearticles.com." (I'm putting a list of the links mentioned here at the bottom of this post, if you're interested.) I actually got some notice from the denizens of Ezinearticles-world; that is, I could check out how many times an article got read, and one of them stayed in the Top-30 list for weeks. I felt like a celebrity.
I was still convinced that I could use the Internet as a tool for the Kingdom, so at the urging of some other friends, I opened a Facebook page. I will be honest here: I never really "got" Facebook. If you know me personally, you may have noticed that I'm not really a "social network" type of guy; I don't "chat" or "text" or even "answer the phone" unless it's absolutely necessary. (Or speak or wave or acknowledge your existence, but I digress.)
The long and short is, I have the tools, but not the skills. The Myspace page is OK, and I still post articles to the blog there; anything of real importance goes to Ezinearticles, and I have absolutely no idea why I'm still on Facebook. And yet I keep getting "friend requests" from Facebook. My audience is growing, but I don't have an act.
Enter Twitter! Yet another tool that looked like it should be a real world-beater. I Tweeted my brains out for about a week, and then the well ran dry. However, I did manage to link Twitter with both the Facebook and MySpace pages, so I'm announcing the opening of this blog, St Enoch's Pulpit, via Twitter, so all my combined friends or fans or whatever you're called, will get the message at once.
I said blog; perhaps I should have said therapy session. I tend to do this sort of thing in the dead of night, when my little gray cells are most active, and since I'm really convinced that there's no one out there (optimist or not, you have to go with the evidence, according to CSI.), I tend to say whatever comes to mind. Speaking of which, this post has gone on for a while, and I'm not done yet. I shall quit here, and tomorrow, or the next day, I'll tell you how this site on Weebly, and this Blog, came to be and what I have in mind for them both.
The links are below. It's going on 5am; go to bed!
Love and blessings,
I begin, of course, by wishing you all a very merry Christmas. It's Christmas Eve, you probably would like to know something about me, so here goes.
I've been on the internet since about 1994, in one way or another; I started out as many did, with America OnLine. I wanted my screen-name to be Cyrano, but that wasn't available, so I went with St. Enoch, or simply stenoch. I know what you're thinking, but actually, I took the name from a railway station in Glasgow, Scotland. (That's mostly a joke. Saint Enoch has long been a favorite Old Testament character)
Over the years, passing from one internet service provider to another, I was various forms of either Cyrano or StEnoch, until now, as my internet presence has taken a rather spiritual turn, it seems that St Enoch is going to be the name under which I will operate.
My activity here on the blog page, St Enoch's Pulpit, is going to be primarily teaching. I teach and preach from time to time, and I write, mainly on Biblical subjects, so this isn't really a stretch for me. However, since I am not very regular in my habits, don't expect this to be a daily, or even weekly column. From time to time, I will come across a subject that I feel needs to be talked about, and I will talk about it. I may even start a series, if the subject matter warrents it, but expect gaps and delays in the output.
there. Now that we understand each other, here are some things you need to know: I've written two books; the first, The Serpent's Tale, is available at this point only as an e-book; that is, a PDF file. Go to the Media page on this site, and you can download it directly and read it at your leisure. It's free for now; soon, however, I hope to add some other writings to it and re-release it through Amazon's CreateSpace as a physical book, and then you'll have to pay.
The newest book is A Prophet In Sychar and other stories, and it will be coming out very shortly, by the end of the year I hope, through CreateSpace. There is a link on the Home page to the E-store where the book will be available when it goes live; you can check out the site now, and when all is ready, you can order it from there.
That's all I have for now. Stay tuned. The next post will be worth the wait.
aka St Enoch