Angels In Our Lives

Featured

Does God Physically Intervene in our Lives?

In Psalm 91, God says he will deliver us from pestilence, plague, attacks from our enemies, and guide us in such a way that we will avoid all these things.  We don’t know how he does it.  It’s invisible to us in a spiritual realm.  The Bible talks about His right hand and the Spirit doing mighty works, but it also says a lot about angels.

Psalm 91:11-12   For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.  In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

This sounds so out of bounds, that people use this as a reason to call the Bible a “book of fairy tales,” and so on.  Many, if not most Christians, find it hard to believe these extra – terrestrial beings are real and have any tangible influence in our activities.

In “From Woodstock To Eternity,” Dustin Morgan has a few encounters with the other realm, so to speak, and God’s hand is introduced throughout the book, showing that He has always been there to bring Dustin around.  In one hair raising incident, he is about to crash his pot laden plane into the trees when God calls two angels to go to his aid.

Up in the heavenly Control Room, Jesus is watching all this and shaking His head.  He calls two of His angels, Clarence and Fred, and explains their assignment to them.

“Do you see Dustin down there, getting ready to crash into those trees?  He’s really been

a hard nut to crack.  I saved him back in Texas, but he’s making it awfully hard on himself.  Legion’s got him all twisted up in knots.  Now, I’ve got a plan for his life, and he can’t kill himself before he accomplishes it, so I’m going to have to send you two down there to help him out.  Clarence, you’ve done some of this kind of work before, but you’re going to need Fred here for backup.”

Now, this is probably not exactly how it happened, but Morgan’s plane did regain engine power, and it did fly over the trees.  The problem with so many of the inexplicable things in our lives is that we don’t know if it was God, or an angel, or what.  But there is a key to gaining access to Him

Ask – Seek – Knock                                 More about this later.

Memories from Blacksburg

Interview with Virginia Tech student Ally Larrick

I got an interesting call the other day from a Virginia Tech student who was writing a story on the life of Psychology Professor Joe Germana. Dr. Germana was a professor of mine from 1970-1972, and was an integral part of our little band of hippies. The amazing thing is, he is still teaching in the same department, and is soon to celebrate his 52nd year!

The interview with Ally was a real trip down memory lane for me, and an eye opener for her. Since many young adults her age do not even know what a Woodstock is, I had to ask her if she had heard about it. Of course, she said she had, but she really wanted stories that related to Professor Germana. Well, you just can’t get the essence of Joe Germana without understanding the aura of the time, so I did my best to re-create the vibes of 1960’s – 70’s Blacksburg. Of course, it is ethereal and intangible… you had to be there.

I told her about the early hippies in Blacksburg and how they were considered a strange minority. I told her about the fights we had with the rednecks and how the Blacksburg mountain hippie culture was born. Peace and love with leather and knives. I told her about our own hippie Fonzie with his long black hair flowing over his shoulders, his bare feet and studded jacket… and how he beat up rednecks at the drop of a hat.

I told her about eating LSD like it was candy, and how our growing need for more weed sparked an innovative capitalistic pot distribution empire with fingers stretching all along the East Coast. I told her about Andromeda and the hard rock heartbeat of the hip community. I did forget to tell her about the outdoor concert in the country where the whole band was tripping, and the lead singer (yours truly) was slamming the ground with a big club like the apes in 2001 A Space Odyssey. I think that’s the one where I threatened to beat Germana over the head with my club for no apparent reason.

I told her about our semi-conservative values, that even though we believed in free love, homosexuality was not a part of the equation. We still considered it strange… and traditional marriage was a given.

There were some problems, however. Even though our success at pot capitalism generated a wealthy class of dealers, our propensity for pleasure, and cocaine in particular, provided a drain for all that money to go through. Like Robin Williams said, “Cocaine is God’s way of saying, ‘you’re making too much money.'”

How does all this relate to Professor Joe Germana? Well, to be fair, he had nothing to do with the pot dealing network, the acid or the cocaine. But, since the movement began in the college community, and many of the students took his classes, he was a beloved part of something that blossomed into what would later be called the Woodstock Nation.

I don’t know how this interview affected Ally, but she did say that it opened up a whole new part of history that she knew nothing about. Sadly, as I wrote in From Woodstock To Eternity, the magic of peace and love and flower power was over in a few short years, replaced by booze and downers and acquiescence to the lower, baser elements. Such is the progression of man without the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.

Ally, thank you for the opportunity to relive a special time in the lives of all of us who were there. I hope your bio of the good Doctor Germana is successful. And to all my friends in Blacksburg and elsewhere from that magical era, I say this,

“for a little while, for a sweet moment in history, we were stardust, and we were golden.”

Woodstock Chapter – From Woodstock To Eternity

 

The Power of Woodstock Fever

Why Did Dustin Morgan Cry at Woodstock?

Excerpt from “From Woodstock To Eternity”

The images of the last three days roll through his mind like a video.  The overwhelming onslaught of people from everywhere.  The gathering of the tribes.  The exhilarating swells of peace and brotherhood.  The generosity of the hog farm, the open market of psychedelic drugs.  The acid reports.  The smiles on everybody’s faces, the “hello, brother”, “hello, sister”, “peace, man”, “this is far out, really far out”.  Jimi says it all in his brief chatter between songs,

“You proved to the world what can happen,” he says, “A little bit of love, and understanding, and sound.”

Hendrix goes straight from “Voodoo Child” into the opening notes of “The Star Spangled Banner”.  He raises his arm high in a salute to the crowd, his fingers formed into the peace sign.  The adoring audience flashes the sign back in unison.   The twisted, exploding version of the National Anthem paints the picture of everything the revolution stands for, and Morgan knows he is part of it.  Woodstock has sealed the deal; he has sold his soul.  A great swelling of emotion rises up in his heart, and he cannot contain it.  He raises both hands into the air, with his fingers forming the “V”, and cries like a baby.

Why did he cry? He just had an overflowing sense that all the Woodstock movement stood for was the real thing. And because it was the real thing, he was obligated to devote himself entirely to it. It was going to transform the world, it was based on brotherly love, and it just felt so good to be a part of it. But some people were not going for it…

“If they think I’m going to grow my hair out and wallow in the mud, they got another thing comin’!”

In time, the innocent Peace and Love movement began to mutate into forms that were not very pretty…

Just as this generation of free spirits was certain that the Great Establishment wanted to enslave them and force their ways down their throats, they adopted the same role of tyranny, forcing their ideas of how things should be down everybody else’s throats. 

Now, the radical fanatics living in the glass dome in Eastern Wyoming really do want to make the whole world like Woodstock.  They want everybody to share everything.  And if you don’t want to share what you have, then into the concentration camp you go!  If you don’t agree with their ideas of social behavior and political correctness, then too bad, they are going to force their view of what is right and proper on you.  

From the “Woodstock” chapter

Unfortunately or fortunately, however you see it, the Woodstock fever faded away after a few short years. Oh, it’s still around in aging hippies, hip centers and liberal ideology, but the massive wave of hip culture has been pushed into obscurity. On the other hand, consider a fever that has not faded away, but has only grown over the last 2,000 years. Consider the woman at Bethany, anointing Jesus with costly oil  and wiping His feet with her hair and her tears.

Mark 14:8-9  “She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Why was this woman crying? In many ways, for the same reason Dustin Morgan cried at Woodstock. A truth bigger than herself had revealed itself to her. A truth bigger that the earth, or the universe, had suddenly taken root in her heart. This Man before her had come down from heaven to save her and deliver her from her sin. He was God in human flesh. And He came here to show the world there is a God, and His Son is Jesus, and He is going to transform the world with His love. Not only that, He had just transformed her. Knowing that this Son Who was sitting right in front of her had taken away her sin and made her a new person demanded that she give him her full devotion.

So, she poured out all that she had to anoint Him for burial.

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Why should we walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?

 

From Woodstock To Eternity tries to address the ideology behind the peace and love movement in the 1960’s and ’70’s. The core principle revolved around the caution that if you didn’t really know what someone was going through, how they felt, the experiences they had, you could come to the wrong conclusion and judge them falsely. And by judging falsely, all of your subsequent perceptions of them would be false as well. Here is an excerpt from the book,

In 1970, Joe South wrote a song entitled, “Walk a Mile in My Shoes”, which defined the message that we should see, feel, and experience what someone is going through before we pass judgment on them.  This is the reason thousands of young people who already had it made tried to look, feel and act like they didn’t have a thing in the world.  They wanted to walk a mile in their shoes.  They wanted to experience poverty when they weren’t poor.  They grew their hair out so they could incur abuse for their shabby outward appearance, just like people who couldn’t help it did.  They wouldn’t admit it, or put it that way, but that’s what it boiled down to. 

Straight society would scorn them, avoid them, treat them like morally depraved, undesirable freaks. That’s what they looked like, anyway.  They wore their freak badge proudly.  They wanted to empathize with the downtrodden and join with them so they could experience the injustice.  If enough people did this, they could transform society, break down the barriers between classes, and permanently alter the hierarchy of mankind.

How do you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?

This is the harder question. While we may be willing to subject ourselves to someone else’s trials and tribulations, there are areas that others simply cannot go. A white man can never know what it is like to be black. A man can never really know what goes on in a woman’s mind. This has been proven over the course of human existence. But, it is nevertheless a noble effort to try. This is how Dustin Morgan approached it,

Morgan was already an attractive, normal looking young man.  What would possess him to grow his hair out and intentionally make himself look unattractive?  He was already in the middle class.  What advantage could he gain by intentionally making himself look like a low class bum?  He already had a home, so why would he want to make himself look homeless?  He already had shoes.  Why would he want to run around barefoot?

Some people just think it’s cool to be poor, downtrodden, and talk like a hick.  There is a perception that people who don’t have anything are more real than people who do.  Because they have no possessions, they have nothing to put on airs about, so they have no hypocrisy.  And HYPOCRISY, of course, is the greatest evil of them all. 

Because they are crude, and have no training in social graces, they also escape the phony, high falutin’, high society arrogance that high class people show.  The high class looks down on the low class, because they think they are better than others, and we all know that no one is better than anybody else, and we are all equal in God’s sight.  The low class looks down on the high class because they think they’re so dang high-falutin’.  So the real people, the ones who tell it like it is, who have no hypocrisy, who have no airs, who really look at the inside and not on the outside are the uneducated, unsophisticated, down to earth good old boys. 

The answer is in The Golden Rule

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This is the way I learned it. The actual verse from the New King James Version says,

“just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Luke 6:31

And, perhaps the best known verse is the Second Great Commandment. Jesus said,

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Matt 22:37

Doesn’t this say it all? Imagine yourself suffering the treatment, dealing with the issue, making the decisions that the other is doing, and how you would react, before casting judgment on what they are doing. Simple… but so few do it. Listen to Jesus and do what He says, and we can all “permanently alter the hierarchy of mankind.”

Woodstock Anniversary Promotion!

48th Anniversary of Woodstock: August 15-17, 2017!

From Woodstock To Eternity will be available on Promotion for the 48th Anniversary of Woodstock. Paperback now $14.95 (Reg $19.95) and Kindle now $2.99 (Reg $6.99)!

 Here is a brief intro to that time long, long ago, from the intro to the book.

August 15, 16, and 17, 1969.  Hundreds of thousands of hippies converge on a farm in upstate New York.  The Woodstock Festival became the symbol of a peace and love movement that came and went in just a few short years.  Though its time was short, the effects and influences of this era were profound, and are still with us today.  This book will take you on an odyssey from the development of the Woodstock ideology into the world of international pot smuggling, and through the spiritual victory of one who makes it to the other side. 

Woodstock 48th Anniversary: From Woodstock…

Every year when August rolls around, I have a little flashback to that weekend on Max Yasgur’s Farm in 1969.

I must admit, I have mixed emotions, feelings, and thoughts about the Woodstock

phenomenon, and those thoughts are what inspired me to write my book, From Woodstock To Eternity. I wanted to paint a real life history of the hippie era… its rise and fall, its ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly. A final scene in the Woodstock chapter captures the stardust…

He closes his eyes and lets the rhythmical power of the acid rock take him away.  The images of the last three days roll through his mind like a video.  The overwhelming onslaught of people from everywhere.  The gathering of the tribes.  The exhilarating swells of peace and brotherhood.  The generosity of the hog farm, the open market of psychedelic drugs.  The acid reports.  The smiles on everybody’s faces, the “hello, brother,” “hello, sister,” “peace, man,” “this is far out, really far out.”  Jimi says it all in his brief chatter between songs,

“You proved to the world what can happen,” he says, “A little bit of love, and understanding, and sound.”

Hendrix goes straight from “Voodoo Child” into the opening notes of “The Star Spangled Banner.”  He raises his arm high in a salute to the crowd, his fingers formed into the peace sign.  The adoring audience flashes the sign back in unison.   The twisted, exploding version of the National Anthem paints the picture of everything the revolution stands for, and Morgan knows he is part of it.  Woodstock has sealed the deal; he has sold his soul.  A great swelling of emotion rises up in his heart, and he cannot contain it.  He raises both hands into the air, with his fingers forming the “V,” and cries like a baby.

From Woodstock To Eternity is a story of change, of mutation and renewal. In just a few short years, Dustin Morgan and his friend Cutter lament the passing of the beautiful people…

“… We used to talk about the reasons for war, why it was wrong, what made up the human condition, what could be done to improve on that condition.  All we wanted was brotherhood, and good vibes; it was enough just to groove on a good rock beat and hallucinate.”

“Yeh, I know what ya mean.  Where did all those people go?  A whole society has suddenly disappeared!  Did they all vanish into thin air?  Did someone throw some kind of cosmic switch that instantly transformed a whole generation?  It’s like an alien mother ship slowly cruised around the world with a long vacuum hose dangling down to earth, sucking up the beautiful flower people, leaving behind nothing but dull-witted, lecherous, party ‘til you puke derelicts.” 

Cutter goes on,

“Now, the only thing anyone talks about is, ‘Let’s get drunk, let’s get stoned, hey, look at that chick!’  Slobber, drool.  Instead of ‘Why is there air?’ the deepest, most profound question anybody can come up with is, ‘Hey man, got any coke?’”

On the one hand, I wrote the story to give those of us who were there, in that time, a walk down memory lane. It blossomed in Haight Ashbury and peaked at Woodstock, but the hippie movement soon took a downward spiral into debauchery and depravity. Morgan witnessed it for himself at a rock festival in Evansville, Indiana.

The kid is a total mess.  His hair is not quite shoulder length, knotted and disheveled like a bad case of bed head.  His shirt is torn and unbuttoned, hanging loose.  His pants are halfway down his rear, sagging over his bare feet.  His shoulders are stooped and rounded in a slouch… a filthy lock of hair dangling over his face as he gazes downward.  Morgan thinks to himself,

“Is this the picture of the typical hippie?  Is this what the world thinks we are?  No wonder they think we’re disgusting.  I think it’s disgusting.”

The image of the kid playing in the sewage plagues Morgan from that time on.

“Has Woodstock Nation come to this?  This isn’t stardust and golden; this is space aliens in the sewage.  A wasted kid, totally stripped of all decency, full of downers, playing in the piss?  This is pathetic.”

Dustin’s Dad gives him a wise analysis,

“If you’re wondering why all this is crumbling around you, it’s because you have left Jesus out of the equation.  You want the results, but you don’t want to obey the Giver of the results.  Therefore, the Giver withholds His hand.”

Next: The Turn to Eternity 

True Freedom – Freedom to be Bored!

Do you think the Christian life is boring? Restrained? No fun?

A young man told me a story about his walk on the wild side. He wanted a taste of the “fun life” and the “good times.” He joined in with his buddies going to the bars, eating at Hooters, hitting the strip clubs. He adopted the cussing and the crude jokes. Everything was fun and games and great adventure.

One Sunday, he drove by two guys his age who had just come out of church. They were wearing blazers and ties, and he said to himself, “That looks so boring. I’m glad I don’t have to live like that.”

More beer, more running around, more lewd jokes, and the effects began to take hold. The glamour wore off, the headaches weren’t so fun, and his relationships began to suffer.

As he drove by a church with a crowd of people outside, he remembered the two young men in ties and suddenly realized, “Boring doesn’t look so bad right now. As a matter of fact, I think I would like to be bored again, but I don’t know if I can do it.”

In From Woodstock to Eternity, Dustin Morgan encounters the same dilemma.

“Oh, I don’t know, Sis. I really don’t want power to live a wholesome life free from sin. I’d have to give up girls, pour out all my booze, throw away my pot, and say ‘aw shucks’, and ‘gosh darn it.’ I’ll be honest. I don’t think I’m ready for that right now.”

“It’s not a matter of you giving it up. God will give you a desire to give it up, and then He will take it away from you when you ask Him.”


“Well, that’s even worse. I don’t want God messing with my mind to get me to stop wanting to do all the things I want to do right now. If I ask Jesus into my heart, I’m opening myself up to a mental overhaul that I never signed up for in the first place. No, like I said, I’m happy for you both, but I’m enjoying life too much now to change things.”

“You didn’t seem to enjoy the part about going to jail for ten years.”

“Touché, you got me. No, that part I don’t like, for sure.”

As circumstances pressed Dustin from all sides, he eventually came to the same conclusion… “This is not working… I need to be delivered. I need to be free to be bored.”

Do you think you’re having a good time? Don’t want to give it up? Ask yourself this… Where has pride, partying and petticoats gotten you so far? Jesus can  take away your desire for the old life… sometimes by making it so unbearable you just want to quit. But you can’t quit.

The good news is, Jesus can make you quit. He can take away your desire for the wild side and make you feel elated that you are bored. Then you can go on and make something of yourself. Just ask Him… He will give you what you need.

 

If you like this blog, please click the comment balloon at the upper right of this page and leave a comment. I would like to hear from you. JDC

True Freedom – No Longer Obligated

3 Ways We Become Obligated to the Flesh

1. Driven by a lust for pleasure or relief from pain:

Can’t eat just one? That desire for one more bite of chocolate, one more Lays potato chip,
or one more drink is the work of a physical craving. To the extent that we yield to these cravings, we fall into bondage – we are obligated to carry it out. If we overcome these cravings, we gain the victory (as I put away my box of Milk Duds). The matter is not so frivolous if it entails committing a grievous sin. When this happens, it is a war between the carnal nature and the spiritual man.

How do you get free?  Quote Scripture

Romans 8:12-13 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

In Christ, you are no longer a debtor – no longer obligated to live according to the flesh…

2. Driven by peer pressure:

The whole gang may insist that you wear your hat backwards, but you don’t have to. However, they will most likely try to make you feel obligated. It is so easy to fall for social acceptance, that it can turn into a bondage you cannot shake. How do you overcome this? If you don’t do what they say, you will be an outcast. Put on an eternal perspective. Jesus said that when we are reviled in this life, we will be rewarded in the next.

How do you get free? See yourself as a citizen of heaven and a stranger on this planet… and quote Scripture

Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven,”

In Christ, you are no longer obligated to follow the crowd.

3. Driven by pride:

You’ve got to prove yourself. You have worked hard to gain a reputation as the best, the baddest, the this-est and the that-est. So you have to do this thing to maintain your status. Nobody bosses you around… nobody tells you what to do. Guess what? Your need for status now has you in bondage, and it is telling you what to do.

How do you get free? Determine to be humble, and trust God to give you His status.

1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 

In Christ, you are no longer obligated to be the Macho Man… Be the Christ Man!

The Flip of the Switch

Switches Open Doors

The “Gateway Theory” predicts that, if you experiment with an innocent looking vice, you will move on to deeper levels of pleasure and gratification that will eventually result in bondage to activities you never dreamed of when you first started out. The classic example of this would be the idea that if you take one hit of marijuana, you will end up addicted to heroin. Of course, the same reasoning would apply that if you drink one beer,  you will become an alcoholic.

While this may sound like a “scare tactic” to some, and totally unreasonable, there is a

Right Wrong Switch

very real underlying danger. It doesn’t reside in the first joint, or the first beer, but in the SWITCH you have to flip to make that first choice.

“They didn’t go directly to it, but whatever switch they had to flip in their soul the first time they tried marijuana, or LSD, opened the door to experimenting with other actions that were off limits. That “switch” had broken down their moral boundaries and loosened their bonds, but not for a good thing. They had proudly proclaimed freedom for themselves, to do whatever they wanted, but their new found freedom had only run them headlong into captivity.”

Excerpt: From Woodstock To Eternity

When we are presented with a temptation to try something forbidden, it is just like having a switch placed in front of us with the essence of our lives hanging in the balance, depending on what we do with it. If you’ve never smoked a joint, and you flip the switch to try one, it’s not the joint that will lead you deeper into bondage, it’s the broken moral boundary that will now make it easier to try other things.

Jesus called this switch a gate…

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”   Matthew 7:13-14

To add insult to injury, Satan will cast a deception that this new, broken boundary… this broad way… is “freedom.” But watch out… his freedom only leads to captivity and destruction.

For more on True Freedom, see my post, “The Cadet and the Water Fountain”

 

Richie’s Reviews Gives Four Stars

From Woodstock To Eternity Gets Four Star Review From R. W. Lang

Hello and a Very Happy and Blessed 2017 to everyone!! I just came across this review from Richie’s Reviews for my Christian Adventure Novel, From Woodstock To Eternity and thought I would share it. I encourage everyone to click on the link and visit his site, as well as read and comment on his review.

2017 promises to be  a very good year in many ways. For those of you who were left hanging on the cliff ending, I have already started writing the sequel, which will reveal what

Are you Dustin Morgan?

happened to Dustin Morgan, and how God again worked miraculously in his life, but only after he submitted to some very difficult commands from Scripture. The name of the next book is “The Steel Wall”, but more on that in a future post.

For now, please visit Richie’s Reviews and see his great review of my book, and also, please go to my Amazon page and leave your own review for From Woodstock To Eternity. I believe this book has a valuable message, and the best way to spread it is through many good reviews.

Thanks so much, and again, DREAM BIG!!!

Happy 2017!!!

Real Christmas

Real Christmas is the Gospel

Keep Christ in Christmas! Jesus is the Reason for the Season! We’ve all heard these slogansto remind everybody that the word Christmas comes from the word Christ. But sometimes, doesn’t it seem like it’smerry-christmas just not getting through? The debate keeps raging about whether to say Merry Christmas or not, but even those who don’t believe in Jesus say Merry Christmas.

So, without further ado, here is the simple Gospel message of linus-quoting-lukeChristmas from an excerpt in From Woodstock To Eternity

This man we had never met sat down in our living room and said to us, ‘God so loved themanger-scene world that He sent His Son down to earth, Who became a baby, grew up among us, and then went to the cross to die. Now, God’s law says the penalty for sin is death, and we have all sinned. So, either we have to die, or someone else has to die in our place. That is called a sacrifice. When God’s Son died on that cross, He sacrificed himself for our sins. He died in our place so we could go to heaven. All you have to do is believe Jesus died for your sins and receive Him as your Savior, and you will be able to live with God forever. And besides that, He will put His Holy Spirit in you, Who will give you power to live a godly life, and He will make your life more abundant and full of blessings.

Now isn’t that Good News?’”

It is Good News. It is “good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” as the angel said to the shepherds. They are the words of eternal life, and Jesus is the Word of Life. Whoever believes in Him shall never die.

This is the Real Christmas Message!

Merry Christmas!!!