Friday, January 22, 2016

The Beheading Was Such A Shame

I was in the local tuxedo box in the local mall getting fitted for my oldest son's wedding with my youngest son in tow.  A pudgy little man with a measuring tape was busy at work on me and the young boy was messing around somewhere nearby, out of sight as young boys are apt to be. Suddenly the pudgy little man with the measuring tape and I jerked with a great startle as a huge crash boomed out behind us, followed by a mannequin's head rolling across the floor between us, then rocking to a stop with its glassy eyes gazing upward.  The pudgy little man looked angered, and then I turned around to find my boy.  He was not in sight.  He had quickly climbed into a rack of tuxedo jackets, right into the very center, closed off from the world and shrouded in the protection of this black cloak of slightly warn wedding attire.  Safe, alone, isolated, hidden in the darkness, unable to do or think of anything other than the horror of his unforgivable screw up.

It was a rare moment for me because the next few seconds of life could have gone a bunch of different ways.  Odds were that I would have dropped a four letter word or two, dragged the boy out of the rack and scolded him to tears.  But instead, I looked down into the middle of that tuxedo rack and right through his big wide puppy eyes on the verge of shedding tears, right through the fearful face,  and I immediately saw right into his heart.  I connected with him and for a moment, it was like all my past screw ups flashed before my eyes and I was right there, in the middle of that tuxedo rack, right there with him.  What did I see? I saw the crippling darkness of shame.  I felt the weight of a head hanging low, bent down under the mountains of shame.

Next, I did something that really surprised me, I reached into the center of that rack, wrapped his little hand up in mine, and gently guided him out into the open, into the light, and then these words came out of my mouth:

Boy, don't you dare feel ashamed, all you did was make a mistake, just admit it, apologize, and move on.  There is no reason to feel any shame.  Never hide in shame.

I shocked myself on that one, that was way above my normal level of daddyness.  But it stuck.  You see, just like you, Billy Hill has made a lot of mistakes in life and can quite easily be crippled by shame, shame from internal voices as well as those external ones that we can all do without.

Shame steals, kills and destroys.  It isolates, it abandons, it debilitates, it cripples, it incapacitates.
Shame is rooted in fear, the fear of being found out, the fear of not being accepted the fear of not being loved.
Shame is the tool of bullies, manipulators, controllers, dictators and . . . .

Shame can take on many forms to accomplish its work and it has been cleverly disguised in our world today under the name of Political Correctness.

STEP OUT OF THE TUXEDO RACK, admit, take the power of shame right out at the knees, own it and stand in confidence that yes, I am human and I make mistakes but I will NOT let you force me to cower in the dark corner of shame.

Billy Hill here, I like it neat.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Krispy Kreme Discount - A Kind Word - A Puppy Swarm

I was at Krispy Kreme just after Christmas, picking up a couple dozen HOT ONES for a group of men that I was going to build a stage with this bright warm winter Saturday.  While I was waiting for my boxes to be prepared, a young lady steps up and gets in line.  I see in her hand that she carries a gift certificate to the Kreme.  And, because I have this uncanny grasp on the banal and obvious, and the inability to resist saying it out loud when it hits me, I say "get'n some free doughnuts today are we?".  She replied yes, with a somewhat forced smile.  She said her children had given it to her for Christmas and informed me she was a teacher.  She said she was looking so forward to getting back to school to be with her children.  I introduced myself and asked her name.  We then briefly identified a few teachers we knew in common.  Then her order was up and she presented her gift certificate and turned for the door.  I thanked her for being a teacher and said "have a great day Ms. _______".

But her name sounded familiar to me.  So when I got in the car, I did a quick FaceBook search and that is when it hit me.  Her husband had just passed away a few days before Christmas.  The lady's life was turned upside down, no telling what levels of emotional pain, fear and anger at God she was going through.  I sat in my car, cut to the core.  "Thanks for being a teacher"?  "Have a great day"? Is that the best I could do? What would I say now, to this beautiful lady and hurting lady?  "I know it hurts, let your friends love on you, just call them on the phone and have them all come over at the same time and sit all around you on the bed and hold you, rub you, brush your hair, cry, hug and cry some more"?  I would have reached out to hug her myself.  I may have  even held her and cried with her, having just recently lost someone I loved very much just a few weeks earlier.  But I was so reminded how very important it is to pay attention. PAY ATTENTION! and always be ready to share an encouraging word.  Look people in the eyes and try to look into the depths of their soul.  Look past the things that would normally push you away and always try to walk away from any interaction with having left a positive deposit in someone's soul (or their love bucket if that works for you).  A kind word of encouragement, a compliment, a hug.  It is not that hard really is it?

So, I got my 10% discount on my Krispy Kremes because, hey, if you are over 50 the Kreme takes care of you.  And, I got a heck of a challenge and a lesson that I hope has changed me.  I'm sorry I did not hug you ma'am, I am sorry that I did not realize who you were before you got away.  But if I could send you a hundred puppy swarms like this, I would.

Billy Hill here, I like it neat.

Everybody Loves a Holy War

The musical voice of Mark Heard was silenced on August 16, 1992, but what he created lives to touch hearts today.  Mark Heard, from Macon Georgia Graduated from the University of Georgia in 1974 with an ABJ (bachelor of arts in journalism) degree in television.  He was discovered by a few of my heros, Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill and soon launched an intense but short musical career. Over the last 24 years I cannot count how many times the lyrics of one particular Mark Heard song have raced back into my mind upon observing another self righteous moron wagging a finger of condemnation.  The song – Everybody Loves a Holy War.  The lyrics are presented below along with a link to a YouTube of the song.  But here is the burn, when someone says “God told me . . . . “, watch out, because that is the stirring up of a holy war.  You see, the important thing is GOD TOLD YOU.  Did he tell you to tell me as well?  Like specifically, did he say “Oh, and tell this to Billy Hill also, because he ain’t here”?  If He did not, then my suggestion is you should keep your God Told Me’s to yourself.  Or express it as, this is how I am responding to what I believe was a word from God.  Now, I am not saying that God does not prophesy through his people or anything, ain’t got no God box here.  I am just saying that you are just as messed up as anyone else on this planet and you have just as much fallibility as any (including the Pope by the way, yes, he is just a man as well).  So, when you start mixing up messed up and God Told Me’s, you may as well be a radical Islamic Muslim.  And sometimes, it isn't even a God Told Me, but rather a verse of scripture that neatly folds into the stance you are getting ready to make . . . for Christ of course.  So it is here where the Holy War begins, a person armed with a little bit of truth, and a justification of righteousness, and then you find that “righteousness and truth, can be weapons in the hands of fools”. 

Yes, I understand that Paul instituted church disciplines and all but, you have to remember he was dealing with particular people in particular situations - and you and I were not there to observe it.  You may THINK that you are standing on a battle field with God, and he is adorned in the colors of your army, waving your flag and waging war with you against the bad guys, but you're probably wrong.  He is probably in the middle of the battle field, kneeling down, drawing in the dirt with a stick and saying “let he that is without sin, cast the first stone”. 

I have seen it happen over and over and over again.  Right there in the middle of the church.  Someone finds another person’s sin leaks out into the open, then the feeding frenzy of gossip and dissension begins, and before long, the Jesus posse is riding into town ready to tar and feather the sinner and make an example of them.  But you know what, as they are riding into town, I bet they are thinking things like “dang, did I clear my browsing history before I left the house”, or “God, are you really real”, or “I can’t believe this person is so foul and offensive rather than perfect and righteous like I am” or "man, I hope that no one ever finds out that I. . . ".  Get the point you posse rider, F you and the horse you rode in on.  Get off the horse and if you are without sin, pick up a stone and make it personal.  Look eye to eye with the person you are about to condemn to death with the stone in your hand. Otherwise, go home and get on your knees until you really hear the Father really whisper and you have confessed and dealt with every dark sin in every nook and cranny of your heart.  And while your at it, why don’t you take a moment to sit down and think about all the hurting, confused or dissident cries that you met with cold eyes, and go ask them to forgive you and do what Christ told us all to do, love each other, yes, even the ones that have committed adultery or fornication, the ones whose lives are so painful they have found themselves addicted to alcohol or drugs to simply numb the pain, the ones that are just drawn to people of the same sex, the ones who can't silence the critical voices of a mean ass father, the ones that talk funny, smell bad and say the wrong things all the time. 

And try to read these lyrics while you examine your soul:

Some say that God has approved of their mob
Esteeming their purposes alone
Choosing sides with a definite pride
And taking their cause for His own
Everybody loves a holy war
Draw the line and claim divine assistance
Slay the ones who show the most resistance
Everybody loves a holy war
Many’s the man with the iron hand
Supposing his own thoughts to be Divine
He will break any bond-
’cause the other man’s always wrong
It’s a handy excuse for his crimes
Everybody loves a holy war
Draw the line and claim divine protection
Kill the ones who show the most objection
Everybody loves a holy war
Dissident cries are met with cold eyes
And treatment that the devil would get
Righteousness and truth
can be weapons in the hands of fools

While innocents go to their deaths
Everybody loves a holy war
Draw the line and claim divine assistance
Slay the ones who show the most resistance
Everybody loves a holy war

Billy Hill here, I like it neat

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Resist Not Evil, Really?

So this Jesus cat, seeing crowds of people around just digging on him, heads up to the mountain and sits down.  Now, whenever you catch the Jesus dude heading up the mountain to sit down, pay attention cause that is when he really brings out some good stuff, like the prodigal son story.  But the mountain quote that I want to focus on here is one that has become quite a famous saying "turn the other cheek".  There are many different views of what this means and the extent that one should go but, I want to focus on a different aspect of this little Jesus blurb.  Here is the passage:

Matthew 5
      38“You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYEAND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ 39“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

You have heard the saying "keep your friends close but your enemies closer"?  Where do you think that came from?  Wiki says the quote has often been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes Niccolo Machiavelli or Petrarch, but there are no published sources yet found which predate its use by Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974).  Michael says "My father taught me many things here (pause and neck scratch) he taught me in this room.  He taught me (pause) keep your friends close but your enemies closer."

I really think that the GodFather quote is just a paraphrase of the GodSon quote "do not resist an evil person".  What is up with that?  You mean I should not resist radical Islamic Muslims that are beheading everyone that ain't radical Islamic Muslim?  Bull shit on that.  I should just say "here, chop my head off and here is my son's cell phone number, go chop his off also?"  No man, I am going to put a a freaking cap in that towel head's towel head first chance I get.  I mean, that is why I carry a gun.  I am just waiting for some ape shit crazy mofo to come barging into MY theater and go all James Holmsey so I can pull and charge and shove the barrel of my gun in his face and pull the trigger until it goes click click click.   But I heard someone, one day, long ago, say that when you apply resistance against something, it gives it something to fight against.  But, if you remove the resistance, the opposing object just falls on its face.  With nothing to fight against, it just feels silly sitting there swinging at the air.  Like, some say that if you are confronted with a bear, just lay down and don't move, it will go away.  But if you stand up and resist the bear, you are going to die.  Same principle, resist not the bear.  Mind you, although I am a self proclaimed bad ass, I probably would not try this and would die being over run by a bear that is simply enjoying the chase.  But, you get the principle I am trying to convey at this point.

So, really, we should resist not evil?  Turn the other cheek? Walk into Hitler's gas chamber and really pretend we believe it is a shower?  I am not sure I can do that, but this is what I have seen.  I have seen a small band of spoiled self entitlement attorneys in a firm begin to murmur and complain about certain partners, and then fueled by resistance it resulted in the collapse of the firm.  I have seen a person rise up in a church to bring division and dissension, a lone voice with a small following.  But, when met with great resistance, this lone voice hunkered down and 4 years later the church is on the brink of imploding.  I have seen this principle destroy families, marriages, friendships and businesses. Sometimes it all comes back to Rodney King's "why can't we all just get along?"

It is a radical thought is it not?  To what extreme should one take this?  Rather than resist the Islamic terrorist should we open our borders and allow them to freely pour into our country and become voters?  That seems to be the Obama way.  Should we allow someone to beat us with whips, mock us and then nail us to a cross?  I am not ready to bite off anything quite that big.  But, I do think that the principle is true.  I do think that if your son is bucking up against your authority, that you need to press in and show love not shove him down.  I do think that if someone is voicing a different opinion, you need to listen and try to understand.  We all have our own baggage and hurts that cause us to prejudge the world.  Would it help if we tried to keep our enemies closer.  Try to understand why they believe different than we do?  I don't know, it would save on ammo costs I guess.

Billy Hill here, I like it neat

Monday, January 18, 2016

Did you fight for freedom just to become slaves again?

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared, "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."  And so, what happened?

Let's take a quick look at history.  In the mid 1800's, large plantation owners found they could be much more profitable by utilizing slaves for their labor force.  They would provide food, clothing and shelter for their slaves in exchange for the slaves picking cotton, or other duties, to increase the wealth of the plantation owner and keep the plantation owners in power.  And so, these plantation owners had much power in the government and controlled the party that favored this slavery.  The Republicans? No, actually it was the Democrats.  

Then along comes the Republicans.  Yes, I know, you think these conservative, redneck, gun toting, Rebel flag waving Republicans are your enemy?  No my friend, they are your your freedom.  Abraham Lincoln, which I may point out is a Kentucky man, grew up as a Whig party leader.  But in 1860, Lincoln secured the Republican Party presidential nomination as a moderate from a swing state.  It was the Democrats that wanted to maintain slavery.  But, the Democrats found this to be a losing battle in view of the rising power of the Republican Party and so, instead of continuing their fight for minimal government and slavery, they then decided that they would read the writing on the walls.  

The Democrats soon took an entire different stance, rather than minimizing government, they became the greatest proponents of big government.  But they did not change their agenda.  Just like they needed the slaves to keep their plantations running smoothly and profitable, they also knew they would need slaves to keep their big government positions secure.  And so, they have cleverly and carefully emasculated the emancipation proclamation by making create a whole new class of slave, the slaves to the government.  These slaves get their Obama phones, their SNAP EBT shopping cards, their free health insurance, etc., and they remain loyal to their owners because they know they should not bite the hand that feeds them.  So, rather than vote for a person to lead this nation to growth and strength and prosperity, the slaves are content with the provision of their cracker box homes at the edge of the cotton field cause their boss is gonna feed em.   
Wake up and shake the shackles of your slavery free man, because this quote scares the living shit out of me
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse (charity) from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.” 
Alexander Fraser Tytler
So keep an eye on the Democrats, cause you may soon find them buying up some cotton fields as we take another lap around this track. 

Billy Hill here, I like it neat.