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Instigated by Tim Gratz introducing me to the new minister of Glad Tidings Tabernacle Church the other day, I attended yesterday’s Sunday service. Afterward, Tim wrote to me:
You will have to let me know if Dr Carey’s remedy works.
Just as soon like to talk to you about it by phone but I have a very very remarkable coincidence relating to how I first met Mark in 2003. No spiritual significance but it sure had to be more than just a coincidence.
If you get a chance give me a call sometime tomorrow or Tuesday. Tonight, to church and then to work.
It is amazing to me how you can put out so much product day after day!
That was not Rev Carey’s best sermon or even best delivered and I agree it was overly long. I think he could have made his points as effectively in less time.
It was however an interesting story how he gave up a boxing career at the direction of God.
P.S. Mark and I are now working on a small book re the JFK case. First chapter will argue that two men likely plotted the assassination (or parts thereof) while they were drinking buddies in the Florida Keys. (Each allegedly admitted their involvement in the assassination.)
Maybe when the time comes you can give it a “plug”. We will give you a free copy of course. We plan to sell it for about $5 so we will only make a pittance on it.
But it should be interesting. Dealing with Keys connections to the assassination.
I wrote back:
I called in and am to report for jury duty tomorrow morning, so I will not be trying the bush remedy while that is going on. I put it in the refrigerator, as John’s wife advised. Maybe it will still be viable by the time I am done with jury duty. If not, it wasn’t meant to be.
I liked it that John told the congregation they needed to stop wanting to be closer to God, to know more about God, and to, instead, let God be closer to them, be more controlled by God, know how God viewed them. I liked hearing that. I figured if it happened, they would know what it’s like for me every day of my life. Hope they get to experience it. Hope you get to experience it, Tim. It changes everything, permanently.
I think John made a mistake, however, when he chose “The Scriptures Are Insufficient” as the title for his sermon. He explained it as his congregation not having enough faith in the scriptures, which made the scriptures insufficient. He quoted Paul, to prove the scriptures, despite what people might think about what’s bad in them sometimes, are inspired by God.
What scriptures did Paul mean? The Bible had not been invented yet. It did not exist as a book. Was Paul speaking of the Hebrew scriptures?, he was Jewish. Was Paul speaking of his own letters? Was he speaking of the Gospels, which had not even yet been written down, as far as I have read? What scriptures did Paul have in mind? And, was Paul inspired by God when he wrote that Christ is to the head of a man, as a husband is to the head of his wife, and only through her husband can a woman know Christ? Was Paul inspired by God when he declared homosexuality an abomination? Was he quoting from the Jewish scripture, Leviticus?
Paul wrote in one of his letters that people should not speak in tongues unless they could interpret what they were speaking, or someone else was there who could interpret. Toward the end of the service today, John started doing healing on various congregants who had come forward, and he spoke in tongues a few times, and I wondered what the interpretation was?, and I did not hear it. That’s when I finally wore out and told you I was leaving and you followed me out the front door, and John caught up with us shortly after and gave me the bush remedy for my G.I. tract, which we had discussed over lunch the other day.
Perhaps I digress.
If it had been my sermon, the title would have been “God Is Insufficient” because, I would have explained, people do not have faith in God, who is not scriptures, which John told the congregation were written by men, as was religion created by men, John told them. He kept talking about being led by the Holy Spirit, and I know for a fact that the Holy Spirit can lead without any scriptures; it happens to me all the time, and I have seen it happen to other people, some of whom took to the leading better than others took to it. It’s that God getting closer to and controlling people thing, very different from praising and wanting to get to know God better.
The above was swirling in my thoughts when you asked me, after I told you I was leaving, how it went for me? I told you the service was too long, too much was covered. I said, I saw no homeless people in the congregation, but back when Pastor Ernie was at Glad Tidings, homeless people attended services. You said, interesting observation. Then you said, maybe homeless people don’t feel welcome. I agreed. Said, I kept getting throughout the service that John ought to try out his ministry on homeless people, see how that goes. You said, interesting.
I liked the young woman who came before the congregation early in the service, after the singing had ended, and shared how she was taken by the Spirit through healing of her anger and resentment. I wish John had taken that cue from the Holy Spirit, and used her experience to make his points that the scriptures are insufficient, and even God is insufficient, until, frankly, we actually experience God directly, which this young woman seemed to feel she had done. Jesus was about having the direct experience with God; that was in his words and actions through the Gospels. He also was about God’s will, not mine, be done, which John told the congregation today.
When John brought Acts into it, and spoke praises and hopes of there being Acts churches, my ears perked up. The church in Acts was Peter’s community. I still chuckle over a Methodist minister up in Helen, Georgia telling me he wanted his church to be an Acts 2 church. I laughed, asked, was he sure? He said, yes. Why did I laugh? I said, because those people were communists. They put everything they had into one pot, and everyone then shared and shared alike. Except one couple said they put everything they had into the communal pot, but they only put in part of what they had, and when Peter confronted the man about it, and the man confessed, Peter said he was sorry and the man dropped dead. And when Peter then confronted the woman and told her what had happened with her husband, she dropped dead. I wish John had told the congregation about that today.
Also in Acts is an interesting report of how Peter, through dreams, was persuaded by God to take the message of Jesus to the Gentiles. Up to that point, Peter, being a Jew, had nothing to do with Gentiles.
The last half of Acts is about Saul of Tarsus becoming Paul, and God working with Paul, to bring Paul to where he was of use to God, and how Paul was told by God to go to Rome, and the weird way that journey unfolded.
I woke up feeling really rough this morning. It got rougher as the morning developed. Riding my bicycle over to Glad Tidings, about 5 minutes from where I live, I told the angels who run me that my going to Glad Tidings feeling that way was a lousy idea. As the service went on, I felt even worse. It was an act of will and fear of what the angels would do to me if I left, which kept me in the service until the healing up front and speaking in tongues was well in progress.
I told the angels I would love the kind of healing John told the congregation God was providing to them through him, but what I came away from the church with, though, was needing to go home and take a nap, in hope that would restore me.
John told the congregation they were not getting from God what they wanted, because they did not take the Sabbath completely off, no work at all. The angels never give me a day off, and today, which was the Sabbath, they really loaded me up internally. It took me tooling around Old Town on my bicycle, watching pro football, visiting with friends, watching pro football, tooling around Old Town, for me to start feeling sort of recovered from this morning.
The main thing I am left with is, God is sufficient; it is people who are insufficient, and the only fix I know for that is the direct experience with God, on God’s terms alone. God can use a minister to facilitate that, God can use a church, God can use the Bible, but God needs neither a minister nor a church nor the Bible to get closer to and take control of a person, and show a person how God views that person and what that person needs to see, hear, feel, experience, etc. God is unlimited, can do anything God wants to do, anytime God wants to do it, regardless of, or in keeping with, scriptures, churches, religion.
If I had been John today, I would have asked the congregation why homeless people stopped attending Glad Tidings? I would have told them Jesus was homeless. I would not have passed the collection plate right after the half hour of singing and praising, when the congregation felt good. I would have passed the collection plate at the very end of the service, when the congregation was jostled by my saying a few times, with examples, God is insufficient because people do not want God to be close to them, controlling them, and seeing themselves as God sees them.
Some, all, or none of this might be published tomorrow; the angels will let me know about that in dreams tonight. Hell, Tim, even when I’m asleep, I’m in church. And daily, the angels remind me that I am insufficient and need more of their attention, correction, instruction.
P.S. On waking in the wee hours this morning, apparently not a day of rest either, I found myself thinking that I might have much preferred chewing the fat with you and Mark about Kennedy assassination theories, than going to Glad Tidings yesterday morning. I wish John had just told stories yesterday, like he did at lunch. Stories like the end of his boxing career, to demonstrate what it’s like to be run by God’s angels, which is what he and I talked about over lunch.
Of course your meeting Mark was a spiritual event, it was arranged by angels, just as you meeting me in 2006, when I stopped at the bus stop by Sugarloaf School and offered two strangers, you and your daughter, a ride to Key West was a spiritual event, arranged by the angels.
I am happy to read your and Mark’s Kennedy assassination book after it comes out. Whether or not I review it on goodmorningkeywest.com, though, is up to the angels who run me.