Keeping Up With an Old Friend

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Keeping Up With an Old Friend

by baldilocks

One of my best long­time blog friends — in the cat­e­gory of haven’t yet met face-​to-​face — is Steve Gra­ham. A few may remem­ber his hilar­i­ous blogs from the early 2000s, Lit­tle Tiny Lies and Hog on Ice, and might won­der where he’s been.

I’ve kept up with his blog, Tools of Renewal, for a good ten years. The humor is still there, but this blog has a sin­gu­lar pur­pose: to glo­rify God. Even when Steve is not talk­ing overtly about God, he is.

Here’s Steve on the Col­bert tem­pest:

I’m not nearly as upset about pol­i­tics and pub­lic atti­tudes toward God as I used to be, even though my esti­mate of America’s future has got­ten much worse. I credit God with help­ing me escape point­less agi­ta­tion. God is the all-​time cham­pion of battle-​choosing, and he teaches his ways to his chil­dren. If you’re deter­mined to lose your peace over Antifa, so-​called gen­der tran­si­tion­ing, the bizarre polit­i­cal power of ille­gal aliens, and vio­lence toward con­ser­v­a­tives, you can cer­tainly go ahead and sink into the flames. You can write furi­ous blog posts, go to ral­lies, get beaten with your own flag­pole, and get ulcers. My approach these days is to let things slide in the nat­ural realm and to do my fight­ing in prayer. If I tus­sle in the mud (euphemism for some­thing else) with the pigs, I’ll become one of them, and the pigs won’t change. Much bet­ter to sit back in the com­fort of my home and do bat­tle on a super­nat­ural level.

I pray for God to defeat Col­bert and also to change his heart, I ask God to help me not to have ani­mos­ity toward him, and then I go on my merry way. I can’t fix the world, and if I want to lead a blessed life while I’m here, I have to be able to let go of things.

And, in the same post, on moun­tain climbing:

The Ever­est pro­fes­sion­als had a mis­sion men­tal­ity, but in real­ity, they were just help­ing rich peo­ple walk up the side of a rock. They weren’t repelling the Ger­mans in the Bat­tle of the Bulge. They seemed to feel that what they were doing was very, very impor­tant, but in real­ity, it was one hun­dred per­cent unnecessary.

They reminded me of gang mem­bers. Before you join a gang, you may have a happy-​go-​lucky life free of stress and dread. Once you join (com­pletely by choice), you have a life of drama. Every­thing is seri­ous. You’re a “sol­dier”; gang mem­bers often use mil­i­tary terms to describe them­selves. Your life is full of dan­ger, and you have to face it. You are likely to end up lis­ten­ing to, or writ­ing and per­form­ing, pathetic, self-​pitying rap music, in which you glo­rify your­self and try to get peo­ple to see you as a mar­tyr and a victim.

Climbers respect each other. If you’re a dead climber, for­get it. “Respect” doesn’t even cap­ture it. What you get is more like wor­ship. Because you climbed a rock and died, when you could have been at home eat­ing pan­cakes. Sounds a lot like gang­sters, pour­ing cheap booze on the ground as an offer­ing to absent homies.

If you remem­ber the qual­ity of Steve’s writ­ing, you’ll enjoy it and if you’re try­ing to get closer to God, he has plenty of expe­ri­en­tial rec­om­men­da­tions. Go read.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel ten­ta­tively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Fol­low her on Twit­ter and on Gab​.ai.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism!

by baldilocks

One of my best longtime blog friends—in the category of haven’t yet met face-to-face—is Steve Graham. A few may remember his hilarious blogs from the early 2000s, Little Tiny Lies and Hog on Ice, and might wonder where he’s been.

I’ve kept up with his blog, Tools of Renewal, for a good ten years. The humor is still there, but this blog has a singular purpose: to glorify God. Even when Steve is not talking overtly about God, he is.

Here’s Steve on the Colbert tempest:

I’m not nearly as upset about politics and public attitudes toward God as I used to be, even though my estimate of America’s future has gotten much worse. I credit God with helping me escape pointless agitation. God is the all-time champion of battle-choosing, and he teaches his ways to his children. If you’re determined to lose your peace over Antifa, so-called gender transitioning, the bizarre political power of illegal aliens, and violence toward conservatives, you can certainly go ahead and sink into the flames. You can write furious blog posts, go to rallies, get beaten with your own flagpole, and get ulcers. My approach these days is to let things slide in the natural realm and to do my fighting in prayer. If I tussle in the mud (euphemism for something else) with the pigs, I’ll become one of them, and the pigs won’t change. Much better to sit back in the comfort of my home and do battle on a supernatural level.

I pray for God to defeat Colbert and also to change his heart, I ask God to help me not to have animosity toward him, and then I go on my merry way. I can’t fix the world, and if I want to lead a blessed life while I’m here, I have to be able to let go of things.

And, in the same post, on mountain climbing:

The Everest professionals had a mission mentality, but in reality, they were just helping rich people walk up the side of a rock. They weren’t repelling the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. They seemed to feel that what they were doing was very, very important, but in reality, it was one hundred percent unnecessary.

They reminded me of gang members. Before you join a gang, you may have a happy-go-lucky life free of stress and dread. Once you join (completely by choice), you have a life of drama. Everything is serious. You’re a “soldier”; gang members often use military terms to describe themselves. Your life is full of danger, and you have to face it. You are likely to end up listening to, or writing and performing, pathetic, self-pitying rap music, in which you glorify yourself and try to get people to see you as a martyr and a victim.

Climbers respect each other. If you’re a dead climber, forget it. “Respect” doesn’t even capture it. What you get is more like worship. Because you climbed a rock and died, when you could have been at home eating pancakes. Sounds a lot like gangsters, pouring cheap booze on the ground as an offering to absent homies.

If you remember the quality of Steve’s writing, you’ll enjoy it and if you’re trying to get closer to God, he has plenty of experiential recommendations. Go read.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!