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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Dented Saints

 Something just isn’t right. I know you feel it, I feel it too, most folks do if they’re honest about it, but it’s better to keep your head down, bite your tongue, and watch from the sidelines how this thing is going to play out. We wouldn’t want to inadvertently use an acronym, do some basic math, or point to FBI statistics because, you know, that’s racist now. Oops, FBI is an acronym, well, there goes that.

What strikes me as grotesque to the point of feeling physical nausea is how readily the vast majority can ignore events they would have a legitimate grievance over and how completely they embrace twisted narratives if they happen to further a particular agenda. The names that ought to be on everyone’s lips aren’t, while the names of dented saints with blackened halos and broken wings are whispered in reverence.

A three-year-old boy died in Miami Saturday after someone opened fire at a birthday party, but no one will know his name. Sure, his immediate family might, but his name will never be stenciled on streets in large enough fonts as to be seen from space. The same goes for the seven-year-old girl in Chicago whose life was snuffed out by a stray bullet, as well as the little boy who was just sitting on his parents’ porch when he met his fate.

This was just from this past weekend. These were just the stories that tore at my heart. There were four fatal shootings and thirty-two wounded in Chicago alone, so it’s not like misery is in short supply. But rather than confront the real issue, we obfuscate, bloviate, sidestep, and find straw men because the truth, if we were to face it head-on, would hurt.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, no, I’m not talking about the guns. The state of Illinois has some of the most stringed gun control legislation in the nation, and still, week after week, the bodies keep stacking up like cordwood. It’s happening everywhere, in every city, big and small, and the reason isn’t anything more complicated than godlessness. Yes, I know, it’s always about God with us Bible bangers, but if the hollow heart fits, well, then, murder she wrote and then some.

Let me break this down in shorthand because I hear the kids coming down the stairs. If your philosophical baseline and foundational belief are that the Son of God died to redeem you, that He laid His life down that you might have life, not only do you have higher self-worth, you see greater value in the lives of others around you.

When you assign a higher value to human life, both yours and everyone else’s, you’re less likely to try and snuff said life out. The son of God paid the ultimate price for you. Therefore, even if others don’t see value in you, He does. Because He saw potential, because He saw worth, because He made a priceless investment in you, you strive to live up to that which He saw in you.

I’ve done enough research into those who were ultimately caught and charged for the murder of others to conclude that, generally speaking, they were not regular churchgoers. I have yet to run across the description of a shooter that included, ‘he was a regular attendee of the Sovereign Grace Southern Baptist Missionary Alliance Church.’

So, yes, at the risk of sounding like a Bible banger, it is a godlessness issue, a spiritual problem, and one that stricter laws, more handouts, more police, less police, or no police will not remedy. It is, however, a problem that can be rectified with prayer, intercession, proper parenting, and, yes, more of God in everyday life.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Takeaways

 It’s been said for so long that it’s become a cliché of sorts: if you don’t learn anything from your mistakes, you are bound to repeat them. The funny thing is that it’s true. It really is. The problem, however, arises when learning from your mistakes demands that you, as an individual, acknowledge you made one.

Because so many today are self-absorbed to the point of narcissism, they would rather bang their head against the same wall every day all day than admit to anyone, especially to themselves, that they made a mistake. In a time when everyone is lying to you about everything, self-awareness is priceless. That shortness of breath and tightening of the chest you experienced taking the three steps from the mobility scooter to your car in the Walmart parking lot isn’t body positivity. You’re too fat, and you’re about to have a heart attack! That hissy fit you threw in the coffee shop because your half-caff soy latte was missing the foam wasn’t you standing up for your civil rights; you were just being a shrew.

By far, one of the biggest mistakes most people made in the recent past is that they didn’t believe people at their word no matter how crazy what they said sounded. While the power-mad railed on about what they would do if by some miracle they took control, most people sat on their couches, shrugged their shoulders, looked at their spouse, and said, “well, that’s just crazy, that’ll never happen. This horse-toothed jackass is talking about outlawing burgers, cars, and private property. The other turban-wearing one is talking about defunding the police, making Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico a state, and opening up the borders. I don’t think that’s what they really mean.”

Well, guess what, buttercup? That’s precisely what they meant and then some. Now it’s too late to put the crazy back in the bottle, and what’s more, they’ve been emboldened to take their crazy to new heights. Don’t get me wrong, their puppet in chief is no slouch either. While they’ve been able to brush off criticism of his mental decline thus far, we’re headed for some choppy international waters, and if we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves in a hot war with a nuclear power in no time flat.

I know, I know, the situation is under control. We are, after all, talking about the legend who stood up to Corn Pop steering the ship and making life and death decisions in the blink of an eye. It’s only his name, where he is, and what he’s supposed to be doing that he forgets on the regular. That life and death stuff, he’s sharp as a dull butter knife when it comes to that.

To say that we find ourselves in a mess is the understatement of the century. For the most part, we find ourselves here because we didn’t believe people when they told us exactly what they planned to do if they got the power to do it. Mayhap we can try not to repeat that particular mistake.

Maybe I’m just an old fuddy-duddy, but between glowing in the dark and having to spit roast my neighbor’s cat for sustenance and a few mean tweets, I’d take the mean tweets every day and twice on Sunday.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Foresight

 Even if I were to triple up on the kid gloves, this would still sting. It’s not that I’m trying to be purposefully hurtful or mean-spirited, but rather, the situation demands it. I’m past hoping to shock people into wakefulness because if the past year and change haven’t done that, neither will my words.

If there is one mistake I made over the past year, I overestimated the average American’s intelligence level. I know, see, already stings, but if you’re honest with yourself about most of the people you run across daily, you’ll realize I’m right. The next time you’re driving about, just for fun, look at the other drivers, alone in their cars, and how many of them are wearing masks. That’ll tell you everything you need to know.

I heard it said somewhere that fat, dumb, and lazy is no way to go through life, but seemingly, most of this nation has set out to prove this saying wrong. It’s not like they’ll succeed, but they sure will give it the old college try, even though all they ever did in college was get drunk, get high, and well, you know, the other thing.

My job, at least the way I figure it, hasn’t been to tell you that there’s a curve ahead, but rather to tell you what’s waiting beyond the hill, a few miles down the road. I don’t know; perhaps I should have warned of the curves too, because by all accounts, even though we’re all seeing the turn, we’re white-knuckling the steering wheel, hitting the gas, and closing our eyes. Just because we refuse to acknowledge the road’s curve doesn’t mean it’s not there, nor does it mean that we won’t run off the road and crash if we don’t make the turn.

If there is a silver lining in all this, it’s that I no longer have to refer to most things in the future tense. The road isn’t going to get bumpy; it already is, but if you think this is as bad as it gets, you’re in for a rude awakening. I know, I know, rapture’s almost here, so it’s no business of ours, but maybe hold off on packing those bags and saying your goodbyes just yet. On the off chance that the writers of a fictional series got it wrong, maybe don’t make everyone you know think you’ve lost your mind because you gave your cat away and went on the highest peak you could find, waiting to be caught up.

So what awaits us beyond the hill if we do make the curve? Suppose we survive health experts trying to pump our toddlers full of hormone blockers, our homeland security bussing illegal migrants to all four corners, our elected officials guaranteeing hyperinflation, and our media stoking hatred with bated breath; what can we expect after all that?

Not to be an alarmist or anything, but if we were to look back in our history, we would realize that we’ve just created the perfect environment for a strongman to appear on the scene. When you have to strap on tactical gear just to go to the grocery store, when you are marginalized, scapegoated, robbed in broad daylight by thugs and politicians alike, when chaos is the order of the day, and you’ve been made into a shut-in by people who roam free, a strongman is a welcome respite.

Before you bristle, before you say that could never happen, just look back and see all the things that have happened even though you said they couldn’t. Just like God, the sun, the moon, and the stars, some things exist whether you believe in them or not.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.