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Posted By Ed B

I heard a review today of "The Rite", a movie about exorcism that is supposedly authentic and approved by the Catholic Church.
I suppose split pea soup and head rotations are out of the question, then.
A few years ago, I was dissatisfied with the church I was a member of.
I met a local pastor while the wife and I and a friend were at a restaurant in town after church.
At the end of the service that morning, a visiting pastor recommended that I join another denomination that wouldn't hold my divorce and re-marriage against me.
This pastor and I talked (he was seated at a table next to us) and at the end of the conversation, he asked me to join his church and teach doctrine to his congregation.
We met again, and I agreed.
Bear with me, I have a point.
We started attending and on Wednesday nights there was a Bible Study that I’d be eventually teaching in.
It was currently being taught by another gentleman named Ed.
I found myself wondering how Ed ever got that position.
In Pentecostal churches there is a lot of belief that is more tradition based than Bible based.
Not so far as snake handling, but stuff about alcohol, dancing, movies, demons, etc.
This is what Ed taught, and if I suggested an alternative meaning of the text, people looked at me like I’d grown a second head.
As much as I was frustrated at hearing Ed teach this stuff, he was a genuinely likeable guy. Not a stuffed shirt, prude, or holier-than-thou type.
Quite the opposite.
One Sunday morning I met a guy after church that I really connected with. He and I agreed that we should get together sometime soon with the wives for dinner.
The next Tuesday, off and on, I had the distinct impression that I should call this guy (let’s call him Bob) and see about getting together that night. I kept putting it off, but on the drive home, it happened again, so I looked up his number and gave him a call.
The cell phone connection wasn’t the best in the world and as we talked I understood that he thought it wouldn’t be a good night to get together, his wife wasn’t feeling so well. I asked what was wrong so I could pray. It was difficult to hear his answer, but it included the words “demonic oppression”.
After a bit, I convinced him that we were coming over and bringing pizza.


 
Posted By Ed B

When we arrived, Bob met us at the door and took us inside to the dining room, where his wife was seated.
I wish I could do justice to describing what transpired after that.
When his wife was introduced to us, I wondered if she had neglected to take her meds that evening.
She would not make eye contact, quite the opposite, and she looked truly disturbed.
During the course of the evening we found that there were a number a strange things that had been happening in the house for the last few months.
When their daughter’s friends would come to spend the night, they were frightened, or had seizure-like attacks. The daughter was also telling us these things. Feelings of dread in the middle of the night, things falling off of shelves, etc.
I began to wonder whether we were being had. I had never seen anything like this before.
At one point, Bob offered to show me around the house. He said this had something to do with her bringing some Buddha type statuettes into the house. That was when he told me that they had had to leave the Baptist church they had been attending because it had caused a rift in the congregation. Christians can’t be demon-possessed, and everyone knew this woman was a Christian, so what to think?
When we left, we offered to pray with them, but she’d have little of that, and looked very uncomfortable.
As Bob saw us to the door, I asked him if they intended to attend church the next night (Wednesday). He said no, but I felt compelled to insist that he bring his wife.
The next night we got into church and saw them sitting in the front row, so we went and sat next to them.
Ed was at the podium and he was talking about spiritual gifts and at some point mentioned spiritual warfare.
At this point Bob’s wife stood up and said something about not needing this shit and walked to the aisle and to the back of the church. Bob got up and followed her.
I got up and asked Bob if he wanted some help. He said yes. I turned to Ed and told him we required his assistance. He in turn asked the church to pray.
We then walked to the back of the church and into the foyer.
I explained what I knew about the situation and asked Ed to pray over this woman.
The funny thing is, is that I had no regard for Ed’s ability to teach regarding the Bible, yet I had felt, since the night before, that he was exactly the person to be dealing with this.
Bob’s wife sat in an armchair in a corner of the foyer. Ed put his hand on her shoulder and started rebuking the evil spirits that were tormenting this woman, and by extension, her family. I stood by with Scherie, and we prayed for her. The church was praying for her.
After about twenty minutes of this, the woman looked up and smiled. Probably the first time in a while.
After a while, it was decided that continuing the Bible Study would be pointless, so we asked Bob and his wife if they’d like to get some coffee.
We went to a café in Old Town and sat outside. Bob and I went inside to get the coffee and dessert. While standing in line, I asked him if the evening was going well for him. He beamed. We went out with the coffee and his wife was talking to my wife, and she also was beaming.
We did not bring up the events of the evening, thinking that this would make her self-conscious. After a while, we bid adieu and headed home.
Never saw them again. Their daughter kept coming to our church for the youth group, and said her parents were doing well, were happy, and had gone back to the church they had left. We haven’t seen them again.
No split pea soup. No spinning heads, or levitating bodies, or priests falling out of windows.
Somehow, we weren’t disappointed.


 
Posted By Ed B

I saw a man on TV last night address the nation. 
He looked presentable and civilized. 
He has a reputation as a great orator.
He spoke of leading our country to greatness again.
He is a man who has no compunction to stop the slaughter of innocent lives.
Does this sound familiar?

He once stood up in the Illinois legislature and defended the practice of partial birth abortion, the only man in the room to do so.

There was a man arrested in Pennsylvania recently for infanticide.
He killed babies as he brought them out of the womb, or as they were about to exit the womb.
The only difference between these two men, is that one was willing to get the blood on his own hands.

 


 
Posted By Ed B

I just read a post at American Thinker; Losing the War on Drugs.

When I read the first paragraph of this post, I thought: kindred soul. Been there, done that.
It's amazing how few ex-drug users now opposed to drugs will relate how good it felt at times. That's the scary part about drugs: all the times you try it again trying to reclaim that great trip, buzz, experience. Sitting there bummed that it didn't. That the cracks in the paint and the wind whistling through the hall and the dust on the floor are so REAL.
I was considering recently relating a drug-related experience I had in Spain years ago, that still strikes me to this day as a great story. I just don't like talking about those days for fear of glorifying drug use.
I actually started using drugs because of the way they were portrayed on TV when I was young. I remember LSD trip portrayals on Mission Impossible as being... interesting. Stories I read in counterculture lit that portrayed the "reality" that could be known.

I used to push it to see how buzzed on LSD I could get before I couldn't function at work anymore. I found that point. Then I stopped at work. I almost got fired. Then I stopped while I was rebuilding my bike (if I could make a mistake at work, maybe I'd make one at home).
Only after not being stoned for a period of time, was I clear minded enough to see the truth of the Gospel.
Yeah, I traded one drug for another. The opiate of religion. Works for me.
I wish I could convince others of the high you can get from knowing the Creator of the universe who gave His life for us, the way I was convinced by others of the high that drugs would provide.
You want "insight" into the true "reality"? Consult the One Who Built It All.
Would I have anyone executed for making mistakes like I did? No. Put them away forever in the hope that they find the Hope I did?
Certainly.

I'm sitting here on a Saturday morning. It's 5 degrees out. I've got to heat the garage to do some woodworking out there. I finally got a good nights sleep this week.

Life is good.

 


 
Posted By Ed B

Just the day before Christmas Eve, a friend of my wife called her desk and asked why the phone ID had someone else's name assigned to it. It bothered her over Christmas tremendously. The bosses had left, so she had no one to ask.

Her first day back, she asked, and was told that her job was secure.

She's been a receptionist at the county's Michigan Works office for over eight years.

Last year, they split the services and the unemployment (and other) services went to a nearby bank building. A receptionist who had started a couple years ago went there.

The day after New Years, her boss took her aside and said that her position was being eliminated. They were going to do without a receptionist. That decision, of course, had been made before Christmas.

Now, that other receptionist has taken another position in the organization, before Scherie's last day, last Friday. No one has offered her that position, although numerous co-workers have made her aware of the position. Now she's applying for the position.

I may be defensive of my wife, but I've heard all the accolades from formerly contentious clients, former supervisors, and co-workers, along with seeing the glowing "mystery shopper" reports.

So what gives?

I know how she feels. Everybody tells you what an asset you are, indispensable, and then all of a sudden, a business decision is made and you're gone. Twice in two years for me.
You never know what can affect your employment. When the shoe might drop.

She got a call last night at the house phone (while we were at church) from the first place she'd sent her resume to, here in town. God'll take care of her.

Funny thing is, that in retrospect, the thing that increases my employability is the scope and range of my experience, which is directly  related to the number of jobs I've had, due to the number of plant closures I've endured.

There's a guy I know from church, an IT pro, who was just let go recently, now he too has found employment in Toledo, almost an hour away.

When I worked near Lansing, a lot of people there, particularly in management, drove an hour, even two, each way.
My best friend drives from Battle Creek to Lansing for a nursing job.

Better than no job. Or having a job that occasionally takes me to Detroit.


 


 
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Ed B
Ypsilanti, MI

 
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