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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Telltale Signs

Shepherds protect the sheep from the wolves. Hirelings herd them toward their open jaws. It’s easy enough for the hireling to offer up the sheep to the ravenous wolves because there is no one to tell the tale of their demise. Some clumps of bloody wool and sinewy bits are all that’s left over after the wolves are done feasting on the sheep, the rain washing clean the remnants of slaughter. The hireling walks away, well paid, reputation intact, eager to find another flock because the money is too good for them not to wash, rinse, and repeat in perpetuity.

It makes it all the easier because sheep are by nature trusting, and until the moment the wolves descend, and there is nowhere to run, they still believe the hireling is a true shepherd, willing to lay his life down in defense of theirs.

Please don’t misunderstand; hirelings are good at what they do. Their purpose is to keep the sheep docile, compliant, malleable, and easily swayed because spooking the would be antithetical to their goal. The hireling does not want the sheep to know they are in mortal danger. If they could, they would attempt to convince the sheep that wolves don’t even exist. Since they can’t pull that off, the next best thing is to persuade the sheep that even though they hear the howls, the wolves are nowhere near, and pose no threat at all.

“That happens over there, somewhere far away, and it will never come near to you,” they insist in sugary, syrupy tones. “Those people insisting on having church, on fellowship, on congregating together and following Biblical principles are just trouble makers. They give good Christians a bad name, and we should condemn their actions!”

The hirelings have conflated the idea of believers being the sheep of His pasture, with the notion that we must be docile as sheep, obedient even to our detriment, and contrary to the Word of God. This is not the first time hirelings have conflated two independent ideas, the most notable being that loving someone must automatically mean that you validate, celebrate, encourage, and give your stamp of approval to any sin or perversion.

In order for their plan to work, in order for them to be able to feed you to the wolves wholesale, they must keep you docile for just a little while longer. By their nature, wolves are predatory and are continually searching for easy prey. Like any predator, the wolves have an innate sense of who will put up the least amount of resistance, of who will put up the least amount of fight, and that is who they focus on first. If they can help it, wolves don’t want to work too hard for their supper. They don’t want a fight; they just want a meal.

When those who ought to be defending the sheep attempt to comfort them by insisting that only half of them will get eaten, then they’ve shown their hand, and you know that they are not what they purport to be. When so-called shepherds insist that the only way to coexist is to let the wolves roam free among the sheep, then you know you’ve happened upon a hireling, one who will have no qualms about offering you up to save their own worthless skin.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Granular

I don’t write about outer space because I’ve never been an astronaut. The closest I’ve gotten to the moon, like most everyone else save for a handful of people, is watching the moon landing on television whenever the anniversary rolled around. That’s as far as my knowledge of how it feels to take one small step for man extends, so my perspective on it would be less than exhilarating.

Sure, I can start unspooling hypothetical yarns about how maybe there was never a moonwalk, to begin with, how we may have never gone to space, how we’re all living in some alien’s ant farm, nothing more than entertainment for a bored Martian. In the end, that would be a waste of time, something to do for want of doing something. When you’ve got kids, that sort of time is unheard of.

When I sit down to write something, I do so because I feel it needs to be said, and because I have a somewhat unique perspective on the subject matter. This is largely the reason I’ve been focusing on the dangers and pitfalls of Marxism. It’s because I’ve lived it, I’ve seen it not in its glorious beginnings, but its liver-spotted, degraded, dying stages and my take on it is more granular than most.

Because I’ve lived it, because I’ve seen how Communism can leach the joy and the will to live from the faces of the masses, no amount of screaming, screeching, and insistence as to how the only hurdle standing in the way of a perfect utopia is private property rights, will make me change my position.

There is a great big chasm between the theory of a thing and the practice thereof. Theoretically, if you cut out a thousand calories from your daily intake, and walk an extra couple miles each day, by this time next year, you will have reached your goal weight. The theory is simple enough. If the practice were as simple as the theory, we wouldn’t have close to two-thirds of the population in this country be deemed as overweight or obese, now would we?

It’s easy to regurgitate pabulum you heard from some pseudo-intellectual with less body odor than you. Still, once you start asking some simple, logical questions, you realize the only intellect they possessed was the ability to dupe you.

Everyone gets everything for free! Great, super, fantastic! Who wouldn’t sign onto that gravy train? It’s the best of both worlds. You do nothing to get everything. All gravy, no biscuit, baby! But who makes the gravy you’re hungrily sipping through that paper straw? It doesn’t magically appear. Someone has to make it, and it’s the height of hubris to assume that anyone would sweat and toil endlessly so that you could enjoy the spoils of their labor.

At first, the gravy train jugs along because you’re siphoning other people’s money, but eventually, those people run out, and they too are forced to join the ranks of the miserable and dependent. It’s at that precise moment that the wheels begin to come off. The early adopters are expecting the same amount of gravy, while the gravy producers have all stopped producing.

By then it’s too late to do anything about it because those who have consolidated power have taken measures to not only insulate themselves from the fate of the masses they purported to be fighting for but to protect their power once the peons realized that they’d been duped. Because that’s the thing once you get past all the flowery speeches, and the promise of equity for all: they know the system they’re attempting to implement will fail eventually. They are fully aware that socialism, Marxism, or Communism, are unsustainable concepts, but they don’t care. They want the power they don’t have, and they’re willing to condemn your children and your children’s children to a life of misery to get it.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

What It Is!

 We’ve been having a hard time of late calling things what they are. We try to find flowery adjectives, apply disingenuous descriptors, and even tell out and out lies regarding what we see with our own eyes because we don’t want to be next on the list. The ad hominem attack has become a staple of the unhinged. Rather than defend their position, they attack the person trying to point out that there’s nothing peaceful about the riots that have been taking place in certain major cities in this country for close to three months now.

A severed arm is not a paper cut, and no one in their right mind could insist that it is. Yet, somehow, every talking head on television continues to insist that what we are seeing is mostly peaceful, with a peppering of people being punted in the head, tackled to the ground, drop kicked, punched, robbed, and threatened.

The latest ghoulishness is people celebrating the murder of a five-year-old boy by his next-door neighbor for the high crime of being white. The consensus is that he deserved it. That’ll show him! White privileged five-year-old riding his bike without a care in the world, he deserved the bullet to the head.

This is not what we are becoming, this is what we have become, and the only way to stem the tide, the only way to reverse course before we go over the edge is to call things what they are, and not be squeamish about it. Whether domestic terrorism, insurrection, rioting, marauding, or attempted overthrow of a duly elected administration, what we are witnessing is anything but peaceful.

Unhappy, unaccomplished people want to make sure that everyone else is as miserable and unaccomplished as them. In a nutshell, this is what we are seeing, and the more credence, credibility, or validation they are given, the more they will believe they are in the right and that they are doing good.

We’ve hopscotched from police reform to defunding police altogether, to doing away with the nuclear family, capitalism, private property, and freedom of expression or independent thought. All this being perpetrated by individuals who couldn’t manage to see themselves out of their parents’ basements by the time they were in their thirties.

The plans once whispered in hushed tones are now platform staples for a particular political party. Though the old guard is getting a bit worried and starting to sweat under their collars upon hearing the plans their replacements have in mind, there’s nothing they can do about it but go along. They built a monster they can’t control, and now they just want to be last on the menu.

Politicians will not solve this because they are by nature, cowardly, spineless, and altogether duplicitous. Even as the grim reaper is chasing them through the halls of congress, they cling to their power, whether real or imagined, because that’s all they have and all they’ll ever have. They forfeited principle, dignity, truth, honesty, and every other worthwhile virtue that makes us human for the sake of power, and now it’s too late to go back.

It’s up to the people, as it always has been, to make a principled stand and call out the insanity before it chokes out the truth altogether. There’s never a guaranteed victory if you choose to stand, but defeat is guaranteed if you choose to bow. I have to believe that those wanting to raise their children in the land of the free far outnumber the children who want to tear it all down. If I didn’t, I’d be learning how to speak Fijian.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Generous

 I learned to be generous from my grandfather. It’s not anything he said, at least not directly. Even if he would have insisted that I be generous, the term itself is so abstract that I could have taken it to mean one of a thousand different things. Unlike gender, generosity is a spectrum, so telling someone to be generous is as effective as telling someone to be smart.

I did not learn to be generous because someone told me to be, I learned to be generous by being surrounded by generous people, and watching their actions when they didn’t even know they were being watched.

Next to my grandfather, my mother was the most generous person I’ve ever known, and although we never got a chance to speak on the topic, I feel safe in assuming that she learned her generosity from him.

My grandfather was never generous from a position of excess. It’s not as though we were rich growing up. The seven of us lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Southern California, and my grandfather wore plaid shirts my grandmother bought on sale from the Montgomery Wards for five bucks and change. In the evenings, we’d walk the neighborhood and go dumpster diving collecting aluminum cans to take to the recycling center because a few bags of cans got you a few bucks that you could buy some bread and milk with.

Even when the ministry started gaining traction, ministry money was ministry money, and it went to minister to the needy. We still lived frugally, we still recycled aluminum, and we still wore clothes from the bargain bin, but through it all, the generosity exhibited was undeniable and profound.

It wasn’t the flashy kind of generosity that I see nowadays, wherein if you give someone five bucks, you need to make a show of it, film it, upload it to YouTube, and trumpet your good deed until enough people acknowledge how much of a saint you are. It was quiet, subtle, and you had to be watching to catch it in real-time.

The thing I spotted most often was what I came to coin the Romanian handshake. Every country has its version of it, predominantly the older generation, but it’s when you fold a bill twice over, grip it with your thumb, and pass it along when you’re shaking someone’s hand. It was my grandfather’s favorite form of tipping, and it was so quick, you’d miss it if you blinked.

There was always a meal to be had in our home no matter the time of day, there was always a couch someone could crash on if they needed a place to sleep, there was always a warm smile, and a few minutes to pray together even though everything was moving at the speed of life. True story, we once housed an elderly Romanian couple for over a year because they had no place to go. Nine people in an oversized cardboard box was snug, to say the least.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because my oldest daughter is now of the age when she has started to notice things and inquire about them. From asking me why I picked my nose, to why I didn’t pick up my socks when she has to, or why we always leave money on the table after having breakfast at the local greasy spoon, I realized that she is not only registering what I do but also modeling the behavior.

Children do what they see you doing when you don’t know you’re being watched. They model consistent patterns and behaviors, like grace before meals, or evening prayers, saying good morning, or I love you or showing affection like holding hands or hugging. Children see more than we realize, for better or worse, and how you are day to day, will determine how they will be.

If you’re a mom or a dad, take a moment today and ask yourself if you are the kind of person you would like your children to be. It is a question of paramount importance because whether you like it or not, one day, your children will be you.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Mindset

 

We are the youngest family on our block. Most of my neighbors are either retired or retirement adjacent. It makes for a quiet existence. No parties, no loud music, just chirping birds, and the odd riding mower going up and down someone’s lawn. The only downside is that the girls don’t have anyone their age to play with, but you can’t have everything in life, and between having to drive them to a playdate every once in a while or watching my windows vibrate from the bass in my neighbor’s stereo, I choose the former.

My next-door neighbor has been retired for some time. Even with modern medicine being what it is, he is not long for this world, at least as far as decades are concerned. He may have a few good years left, but he’s not banking on seeing Halley’s comet again.

Although in recent days it’s been a bit cooler here in Wisconsin, yesterday was warm, bordering on hot, and the humidity was less than pleasant. As I was cleaning up the remnants of a water balloon fight in the backyard and feverishly wiping sweat from my forehead before it got into my eyes, I glanced over the fence and noticed my neighbor was digging a hole. I thought nothing of it at first, but as I continued combing the yard for pieces of latex, I’d throw a glance over the fence now and then.

A few minutes later, I realized what he was doing. My neighbor was planting a tree. For some reason, that simple act fascinated me. I said nothing, and simply watched him labor, and toil and sweat in the sun, planting a tree beneath whose shade he would never lay. It was an act of pure selflessness, and something rarely seen.

I toyed with the idea of going over and offering to help, but I decided against it. Somehow it would take away from his act or diminish it somehow if I’d gone in and started shoveling dirt. It was something he needed to do on his own, something he didn’t realize anyone was witnessing. It was something personal and meaningful, and I could see it in the way he went about gently putting the tree in the hole and patting the dirt around the roots.

This sort of mindset is dying out in our present generation, and we’re all the worse for it. Rather than plant a tree nowadays, most people take out reverse mortgages to finance some want, some toy, or distraction that they’ll grow tired of within the year. It’s not a matter of need, at least for the most part, and when it’s all said and done, their kids are left owing a few grand for the casket and the plot.

They think nothing of future generations, of their children’s children, and that shows top-down, rich to poor, and everywhere in between. We think nothing of squandering trillions of dollars we don’t have and can’t hope to pay off in our lifetime, because we would rather saddle our children with crippling debt than endure some discomfort in the present.

If enough people stop planting trees whose shade they have no expectation of laying beneath, eventually, there will be no trees for anyone to find shade under. The world used to be evenly divided between takers and givers, but the scales have tipped, and evermore, people feel entitled to take without once wondering whose doing all the giving. It’s Obama money; it’s Trump bucks, it’s Nancy nickels, it’s Schumer shekels. It magically appears in the coffers of government. Get yours! If you don’t, well, you’re just dumb.

Why sweat in the midday sun and plant a tree when you can sit beneath the shade of one already planted? Because, contrary to popular myth, the world doesn’t revolve around you, and if you continue to take without once considering who’s doing the giving, you’re just abusing the kindness of strangers. Eventually, given enough time, those doing the planting will notice the masses doing the sitting, and conclude that it’s just not worth the effort anymore. God help us all when that paradigm shift occurs. 

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Sound and Fury

 

In recent months there has been an explosion of cross-pollination when it comes to people who have no experience in a particular field or practice telling you what you must do, how you must think, and what you can say. Code writing nerds have suddenly become experts in vaccines, black billionaires have become experts in latent racism, scolding the lowly white women who made them rich for being racist and not even knowing it, and middle-aged divorcees who smell of head cheese and sour milk have become de facto mask enforcement authorities because real law enforcement has better things to do than make sure you’re wearing a dirty cloth on your kisser.

It has become taboo to say you don’t know something, have not formed an opinion, picked a side, or aren’t interested enough in the topic to form one. Not only must you have a solidly cemented opinion about everything all the time, you must also be passionate enough about it that however trite and trivial, it’s a hill you’re willing to die on. Dig your heels in, defend your position, and attempt to destroy anyone not in full agreement. Even though the facts on the ground may have changed, even though the situation may have evolved and new data has transformed the landscape, as the man currently running for the highest office in the land once said, we choose truth over facts.

Self-importance is seductive to the simple-minded, and we are living amidst a whirlwind of voices, each trying to outdo the other for no other reason than to be the last one heard. Not that any of them would do anything about anything. It’s easier to talk the talk than walk the walk, and they figure if they do enough talking, no one will notice they’re not doing any of the walking. It’s all sound and fury signifying nothing, but it keeps people glued to their televisions, afraid, uncertain, uncomfortable, and suspicious of their neighbor.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s just that some days I don’t feel like adding to the whirlwind. Repeatedly pointing out that the house is on fire while everyone else is breaking out the marshmallows and graham crackers gets tiresome after a while, and rather than get bitter, I go for a walk with my kids or feed some ducks at the local lake.

All we can do is press on and hope and pray that there are still enough decent people left in the world to make a difference. I think this is why they’re trying so hard. They are attempting to discourage, dishearten, and dispirit the vast majority who just want to be left alone into believing that what we are seeing play out is inevitable and unavoidable. As far as I know, only three things are inevitable and unavoidable: death, taxes, and final judgment. Everything else is in flux, and if it can’t be avoided altogether, it can be delayed, and that’s a far cry better than rolling over and showing the whites of our bellies to faux-revolutionaries with testosterone deficiencies and an excess of self-importance.

This rant should have been done an hour ago, but I got caught up in watching birds fly to and fro from the bird feeder. More fulfilling by far than watching flaming homosexuals try and lecture me about God, Christianity, and morality, or a would-be tyrant insist that we’re nothing like China even though we’ve set up checkpoints, are demanding papers, and are going into people’s homes uninvited to see if they have the sniffles. We are normalizing the police state, but don’t worry about it, move along, there’s nothing to see here. Just go scream in your neighbor’s face about how he’s a mass murderer for not wearing a mask or something; that will make you feel better.

With love in Christ

Michael Boldea Jr.