Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28English Standard Version (ESV)

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 8:28 Some manuscripts God works all things together for good, or God works in all things for the good

 

Romans 8:28 has special meaning to me.  Approximately half a year went by between the time I said a prayer asking God to make my heart right and going to prison.  When the detectives came to my home six hours after I had said that prayer, I knew even though a lot of people just believed it was the criminal justice system doing it’s job, I knew it was God answering my prayer.  It’s easy to feel God is present in your life and it’s easy to believe God is good when things are going smoothly, you feel blessed.  Sometimes it’s not so easy when things aren’t going well, like right now when I’ve been sick for three weeks and I’m sore from coughing and on many nights can’t sleep.  But all the time everything was happening, I was being evaluated, many court appearances Romans 8:28 kept appearing in every conceivable venue.  I’d catch part of it in a normal television show, hear it on the radio, randomly open a Bible and land right on that page, and in prison it kept showing up.

But I know now the truth of this verse, it is one of the most literal verses in the Bible and absolutely true.  If you love God, and you allowed yourself to be called according to his purpose, all things do work together for good, although sometimes it’s not always obvious, sometimes it’s quite counter-intuitive.

God taught me this in a situation when I was at Airway Heights, I was celled with someone I really wasn’t getting along with well.  I snore, he was at times very intolerant, and he was also bipolar, so we’d go through phases where he’s decide to be up all night and of coarse that meant so would I, and other times he was just grumpy.  The cell was also on the ground floor and it was very cold at night.  They only gave us two of these airy cotton blankets that were mostly holes, and the cells on the ground floor were so cold you could see your breath.  I spent many nights curled up shivering.

I prayed for relief from this situation.  One day while I was taking a shower a buzzer sound went off.  A contractor had recently been drilling holes through the cinder block walls to install something they called J-Pay, a station where you could load an mp3 player with music for a fee, or send e-mails for an exorbitant fee.  The buzzer sounded the same as the drilling and so that’s what I thought it was.

A few seconds later an officer comes over and demands my ID.  I give it to him, he chews me out for not responding to the fire alarm (I didn’t know that’s what it was).  I figure I’m getting an infraction, something I had really been working hard to avoid.

Later I’m sitting at a table with some Christian friends, and someone had just read a passage out of the Bible about God upholding us with his righteous right hand.  I see two guards heading my way and I knew they were coming for me, with handcuffs.  They had written me up for disobeying a direct order from an officer.  How not recognizing a fire alarm can be construed as that still eludes me.  At any rate when I seen them coming for me, I said, “My righteous right hand my ass!”.

They hauled me off to solitary confinement for eight days which wasn’t a huge deal since I had spent the first two months of my incarceration there.  I was more concerned that it was a major infraction and could have either prevented me from being transferred to Monroe which close to home so my family could visit, or take away good time (time off for good behaviour).

When I came back they had re-assigned my old bunk so I got a new cell, on the second floor where it was warm, with someone who as Christian, mentally stable, and not bothered by my snoring.

They had some sort of better living program there.  Most of the inmates either didn’t participate or participated minimally.  I participated fully, not because I expected to get any favours for it but because I knew I was on a journey that was an answer to a prayer and I didn’t want to impede whatever God was going to do with me.  I was the first one to level up, and as a reward for that they allowed me to choose where I wanted to go.  I asked to go to Monroe, and within a couple of weeks I was there.  Got to see my family for the first time in a year.  When it came time for release, the infraction did not affect my release date.

So what I thought was an unjust thing, and to be sure on the part of the staff it was unjust, never the less, God used it towards my good.  Through this whole experience God took away an overwhelming anxiety problem that had ruled all of my adult life up until that point.  I am no longer on any psych meds, haven’t been since April of 2010, and no longer suffering any anxiety issue.

Sometimes I can be distracted still, the first time God had to throw me into solitary for a couple of months to eliminate distractions so I’d listen to him, now I try to do better but whenever I see Romans 8:28 come up, I know it’s God saying to me, hey, I’ve got something for you here, pay attention!  And I know God is good, ALL THE TIME!  I don’t know what possible good this sickness can serve, maybe just taking my voice away gave some people around me an ear rest, but I am sure it will be used for some good.

Losses

I thought about the feeling that seems to be with these dreams and it’s a feeling of something lost.

Two years ago in January my mother passed away.  My daughter is gone and I’ve got a court no contact order prohibiting me from contacting her that doesn’t expire until September 29th, 2019, and even then I don’t know if she will want to talk to me.  My youngest son is gone, he was emotionally close to my daughter so I think that is why he is angry with me but since he won’t talk to me I don’t really know.

So maybe “getting home” means going back to where these people were in my life.  If that’s the case then I’m just screwed.  This is the part of getting old that I’m really not enjoying and I know at least two out of three people gone I brought on myself.

I can’t use distractions I used in the past because I have to be good if I want to see my mother again.  My daughter and youngest son, well, that’s between them and God at this point.

Why do I put all this out?  Particularly when I know NSA will put it in their great data storehouse forever?  Secret keeping got me in trouble before, don’t want to go down that road again so instead I’m being as public as I can.  Maybe too much information, nobody is forced to read it.

I’m sick, started out with a mild flu but it was short-lived, but just on the tail of it got a nasty head cold that’s now screwed up my voice and makes sleeping damned near impossible as I hack and cough until early hours of the morning.  I’m taking pseudofed (generic equivalent), chlor-trimetron, and Robotussin DM, and not really helping all that much.

Strange Recurring Dreams

For months now I’ve been having a recurring dream where I’m somewhere significantly south-east of where I live, on foot, and trying to find a way to get home, either by bus or walking.  Sometimes I got there by car but my car was parked in a tow away zone and towed, other times I’m just there, no idea how I got there.

The area I’m in is fictitious, if mapped into real space it would be somewhere out in the middle of Lake Washington, but in the dream Seattle exists farther east than it does in real life. The specific details vary from dream to dream, sometimes I’m only about as far South as Matthews Beach, other times I’m as far South as Rainier Valley, but the whole geography is wrong in all cases.

I frequently find myself trying to find a bus, but the buses either don’t go far enough North or if they do they’re too far East.

Whenever I have a dream like this I consider that something not conscious wants to be addressed.

I am trying to figure out what the symbolism of trying to get home is, and the symbolism of the obstacles involved, the buses don’t go to the right place.

There are other oddities to the geography that are consistent, from East to West there are huge hills / valleys that are almost impassable or require going around a great distance making walking a very difficult prospect. Other times there has been no way to get from a road I’m on to a road I need to be on except to trespass through private property.

The dreams haven’t been entirely unpleasant, the weather is usually good, often my wanderings take me to beaches I didn’t know exist (and really don’t exist).

Anyway, just tossing this out. Maybe someone out there is into dream analysis. I just have this feeling something is screaming for attention and I can’t figure out what it is.

Homeland Security – Your Tax Dollars At Work

Seahawks

I didn’t get to watch the game today, had to go to the co-lo facility and fix a broken server. Got to listen to the first half on the way and the second half on the way back. What a game!

If the Patriots win their game today and end up facing the Hawks in the Super Bowl, that is bound to be a rivalry since the Patriots used to have Pete Carroll as the head coach and made the decision to let him go.  That decision may really come back to haunt them in the biggest way in a couple of weeks.

Microsoft’s Take on Security

I think this rant would be valid if it weren’t for the fact that Google had already waited 90 days prior to revealing this Windows security issue. The botnet’s that we are continuously bombarded with are Windows machines, not Mac, not Linux. They exist because Windows is so full of holes that there is always a new exploit out in the wild being abused.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/msrc/archive/2015/01/11/a-call-for-better-coordinated-vulnerability-disclosure.aspx

Butter on a Pop-Tart

I watched this episode about three days ago now this song is totally stuck in my head.

 

Color Organs – Prismatic Glass

There must be some folks like myself still alive and old enough to remember a device popular in the 1970’s called a Colour (for some reason my spell checker only likes the English version) Organ.  It consisted of a box with light bulbs that were modulated to sound (usually music) behind prismatic glass so that colourful (spell checker again) patterns that flashed with the music.

 

Some were single channel using one colour, often an intense green, and others were multi-channel where they’d assign red to bass, yellow or green to mid-range, and blue to high frequencies.

 

Back then LEDs of significant brightness didn’t exist so incandescent lamps were used, usually 120V which required triacs and complicated driver circuitry.

 

I thought it would be cool to make a modern version, one could create many more channels using a DSP and a fast Fourier transform to separate the audio into many more channels and then simple driver transistors and low voltage DC to power bright LEDs of colours across the visible spectrum.

 

But, an essential component, prismatic glass, with a sufficiently small pattern to create a good display seems difficult to locate.  Home Depot and Lowe’s seem to carry only a prismatic plexiglass and the pattern is to large and plain to be useful.

It’s Such a Beautiful Day

I stumbled across a film on Netflix that I felt was worth bringing to peoples attention, it’s entitled, “It’s Such a Beautiful Day”.  It is done with line animations and strange photography and it’s convoluted and strange but it does a very good job of showing why it’s important to be in the here and now and notice what’s going on around us and enjoy our relationships, in spite of the transient nature of our relationships and our lives.  Don’t give up on it in the first five minutes, it will make sense as time goes on and is worth the wait.

“Rights” = Stolen Culture

The recent take-down of Pirate Bay is another example of oligarchy rule, specifically people making billions off of other peoples labour.

What MPAA, RIAA, and other “rights” groups have done is stolen our culture so they can sell it back to us.  There was a time when people made music and shared it with each other for the sheer joy of doing so, same for acting out plays.

Today, recordings, video, and film, provide a technological means to share with a much larger audience.  I’m not opposed to artists getting paid, and I’m not opposed to the costs of distribution being paid for, however, these rights organizations keep 99% of the income they derive from sales and give less than 1% to the artists.  Basically they are just giving the artists a pittance so they have an excuse to rape the rest of us.

I remember when mp3’s first came out, the music industry was telling us all it would be the end of music, the rampant piracy would make it impossible for artists to get paid (like that was their real concern), and people would stop making music.  Instead, the opposite happened, the variety, quality, and availability of music exploded.

One of the problems with the industry is that they’ll only promote artists that are willing to be screwed and sign for a totally garbage contract.  So instead of getting interesting music we get belly button girls.

Music and films are so much a part of our culture, that these groups that charge ridiculous fees and then give so little of it to artists are nothing more than common thieves, yet they control congress and pass laws that allow them to use our government for their thievery.  Folks, pay attention to what your misrepresentatives vote for and don’t support corporate thievery.