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!!!

Discounts on Create Space and Kindle!!!

Price Reduced for Christmas! Get $5.00 off From Woodstock To Eternity!!

Two discounts are now available for the wild tale of deliverance – From Woodstock To Eternity

From Woodstock To Eternity

Go to www.createspace.com/4936312 or search From Woodstock To Eternity in the Createspace.com store and enter discount code RAXXKE82

Get the reduced price of $14.95 for From Woodstock To Eternity.

Go to Amazon to get the Kindle version of From Woodstock To Eternity for only $2.99

These Discounts Will Go Through The New Year 2017!!!

For those who have not yet read this book, it is a highly entertaining story of the hippie era and a moving tale of deliverance. For this Christmas season, it is a stirring account of what Jesus can do to transform a life.

Amazing Real Book May 2, 2015

Amazing Real Book!!! Thank you for writing it and then Sharing it with us!!! Oh how I

remember the days of my youth!!! My Parents were so right about my music and lots of other things!!! I see now that I am older, THANK YOU AGAIN !! Loving the readings in this BOOK!!!

LIVE THIS ADVENTURE YOURSELF May 2, 2015
INCREDIBLE, VERY ENTERTAINING,GETS YOUR ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY AND DOESN,T LET UP.
WOW!!!!! FROM ANOTHER PERSON WHO ATTENTED WOODSTOCK. THE READER WILL GET THE
FEELING THAT THEY ARE ACTUALLY THERE, LIVING THIS ADVENTURE. YOU ARE LEFT TO FORM
ON OWN CONCLUSIONS ON WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG, THE MORAL IMPLICATIONS OF DECISIONS
MADE BY DUSTIN MORGAN ARE OPEN TO INTERPRETATION. AWESOME!!!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND
THIS
Powerful! January 21, 2015
There is only one possible way this man could have lived through all of this and come out of it mentally stable, emotionally balanced, and spiritually whole. This is the power of God. I promise, you will not regret reading this book!
 You made me feel like I was on the plane with you. Actually, I think I would have been in the “drop zone” waiting for the goodies! Very descriptive, accurate, and well-written. Rick Blaisdell -Pastor Renewed Life in Jesus Church and Author of One Life to Give-Living Water for Thirsty Souls.
 It arrived from Amazon Saturday afternoon and I finished it Monday morning. Couldn’t put it down. It was really intense.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

So Much To Be Thankful For

From Woodstock To Eternity might not seem like a candidate for a great Thanksgiving thanksgiving-dinnerbook, but it really is.

First, consider the setting on the Mayflower as the Pilgrims embark for their journey away from the Old Country to go to the New World

Imagine the wharf where the Pilgrims loaded all their earthly belongings on the Mayflower to sail to the New World.  What was going through their minds as they contemplated leaving not just their friends and families, but the only world they knew – a whole continent?  They left a civilized society that had developed over eons to go to a land no one had ever seen. 

Mayflower

Mayflower

Then the day and the hour came when they drove their animals on board, carried all they could take up the ramp to the boat, settled into their places in the hold and headed off into the Western expanse.  The great sails went up, and the waves slapped against the hull of the magnificent vessel as they lined up along the rails.  Straining to absorb every last detail of the skyline, they took one last gaze at the vanishing European land mass.  All that they knew became smaller and smaller as it receded into the emptiness behind them.  They turned to soak up the scene ahead, and there was only the sea and the horizon, the bow of the mighty ship rising and falling with the swells.  From now on, all they had were their dreams and a determination to conquer the unknown.

We know they were thankful that they made it. They realized their dreams and conquered the unknown. And they gave God the glory.

Dustin Morgan is also he made it in the final chapters of the book.

Soon, the guitar strikes up the chords, and the whole house fills with the joyful music.  Everybody sings it out with all their might, clapping the island beat, and a big grin spreads across Morgan’s face.the-other-side

“I finally made it!  I really did.  I made it to the other side, and I don’t feel bored.  On the contrary, this is probably the best I have felt in a long, long time.”

He also made it from the Old Country to the New World in Christ.

Now that I am living in the Heavenly Country, here are some things I am thankful for.

A lovely, faithful wife who goes with me chasing my rainbows

Seven fantastic children who make me very, very proud

Six (and counting) grandchildren – all boys so far.

A life of deliverance, free from the chains of sin

May God richly bless each of you this Thanksgiving!!!

The Same Holy Spirit Falls

The Christian’s Bond Through the Ages: Mar’s Hill to Grenada

Phillip in Samaria  Acts 8:6-8  “And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things phillip-in-samariaspoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.”

Peter at Cornelius’s house  Acts 10:44 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word”day-of-pentecost

What do you suppose it felt like to be in the streets of Samaria, or in Cornelius’s house when the Holy Spirit fell? It sounds like a far off fantasy, doesn’t it? It’s in the Bible, so it was 2,000 years ago, and everything was different back then. That means people felt differently back then right? No! Of course not! Their love was the same as we feel, their fear was the same fear, their joy was the same joy. They just had to experience them without electricity and running water.

whitefield-preachingWhenever there is a revival, the same Holy Spirit falls. George Whitefield had a booming voice and preached a message of holiness to tens of thousands in the American colonies. Ben Franklin estimated a crowd in Philadelphia to be over 80,000 people! Jonathan Edwards read his sermon called jonathan-edwards-resolved“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and people moaned out loud, “what shall I do to be saved.”

In “From Woodstock To Eternity” Dustin Morgan is in Grenada and witnesses the Holy Spirit fall in response to the preaching of the Word.

While they are singing, many locals gather around to listen or join in, clapping along in their rhythmical, island beat.  Suddenly, Pastor Terry steps out in the open air and starts to proclaim a message about the saving power of Jesus.  They are having a revival right here in the middle of the street!  A couple of local islanders raise their hand to get saved and walk up to the Pastor.  He lays his hands on their heads and they bow in prayer.  Dustin whispers in Lisa’s ear,

island-people“I tell you what, I never would have seen anything like this in my old days.  I feel like we are experiencing something that has been going on for centuries.  I bet people felt the same Spirit when George Whitefield was preaching in the colonies, or even when Paul was on Mars Hill in Athens.  I had no idea being a Christian would be anything like this.”

Isn’t it something? When we get saved, or filled with the Spirit, or feel God’s presence, we feel the same Holy Spirit that people felt in the Bible – or in The Great Awakening – or in Cornelius’s house! Just pull up a chair, listen to Peter and start speaking in tongues… it’s that easy, and it’s part of our bond. The fellowship of believers spans the ages.

Rites of Passage

Before and After: How a Rite of Passage Imparts a Permanent Change

In the movie, The Bourne SupremacyJason Bourne’s boss, Conklin, encourages him bourne-supremacybefore Bourne goes into a building to carry out his first assignment – kill a Russian politician.  He has been trained and brainwashed to be an assassin for the CIA, and now is his first test.  Conklin urges him on with the words, “see you on the other side.”

The fact that there is “another side” means by implication that there is a barrier of some sort that must be crossed, or gone through.  In Bourne’s case, it was the physical barrier of shooting another person, as well as the emotional barrier of committing the act.  Conklin knew that once Jason had crossed that emotional barrier, he would be a different person because of it… he could do it again and again.

Although this may be a grisly way to make the point, this scenario perfectly illustrates a vital part of everyone’s life.  The Rite of Passage.  But just because it’s called a passage does not mean everyone goes through it.  Only those who take up the challenge and summon the courage actually come out “on the other side.”

rockwell-footballIt starts out in our youth.  It could be a schoolyard wrestling match, or joining the military.  Once you’ve done it, you know you can do more.  It could be a one time mission or years of study in a college program, but then one day, POW!  A diploma and job offers.

In my article, “The Heart of a Pioneer” I try to articulate the inner desires and motives that drive someone to take the plunge, so to speak.  There are compounded benefits, along with multiplied risks.  But whether you Wagons 3succeed or fail, there is one benefit no one can ever take away – you did it!  You went through the gauntlet and you survived, and that very experience has left an indelible mark.  It has changed you, and you are no longer the same.  As a matter of fact, now that you

know you can do it, you may go for it again, and again, and again until you get it right.

There’s nothing wrong with refusing the Rite of Passage while others go on.  Nothing bad will happen to you, and it may happen to them.  But empty-ball-and-chainyou will experience what I call “The Agony of Not Trying.”  You will simply stay the same, but you will never taste the delicious honor of victory.  To a pioneer, even defeat contains a trace of victory.  Why?  Because he did it – he went for it – he came out “on the other side” – and he has left sameness behind.