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Issue 048
The Ninth Roman Month 30, Anno Domini 2020
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. ~Psalm 24
Revolutions are carried out in order to change the ownership of property and the names of streets. The revolutionary who seeks to change “man’s condition” ends up being shot for being a counter-revolutionary. ~Nicolás Gómez Dávila

Source: unknown

To You, Or For You?

Are you a victim, a child of the age of wrath? Or are you a disciple, a son of the age to come?

A disciple knows that even his perceived victimhood in this age is only temporary. 

Years ago I picked up something from Tony Robbins that remains immensely helpful: 

STATE effects STORY,
and STORY effects STATUS

The way that you feel tells you a lot about who you think you are, and who you think you are determines many things about the way you feel. This is a double-edged sword. Ignore your feelings, and ignore your "self." Then again, listen to your feelings, and set adrift on a winding sea.

Slicing in both directions is the sociological notion that the best way to create a new habit (that is, to act against natural feelings until the feelings become natural) is to connect the new action to an altered state. (This, I gander, is the reason people drink at weddings....)

Inebriated matrimonials aside, the story that the world dictates to you about your state of life (Sitz im Leben), even though you seek to resist it, is its own kind of intoxication. Over time, the world's definition of you through all its manifold media onslaught has its desired effect: influence.

Sober-mindedness begins with calling a mindless age what it is. You, Christian, know that you are free to speak and act with fearless dignity, even though you be bound with chains. ...For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things....

Agency in this age is more than a Christian's daily choice. It is that too. But it is first Christ's promise to be with you, in you, as you, against you and yet all for you. As your convictions bloom with hope that the resurrection is real, you will find in that seedbed the blossoming of gratitude.

Adversity is a gift. Even the pagans know it. (The smart ones, at least.) Don't miss out on the bonus content: it's not just a hack for this life. It's the ultimate "perspective REFRAMES story CONFRONTS state" pivot: what you feel today is no match for Jesus' resurrection being a cold, hard fact yesterday, today ... and tomorrow.

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
Rev. Fisk

Keep Mad Mondays Comin'
I can't believe it's not turkey
Clickbait Paradise
Stay-bags are GO

According to a recent National Geographic article, prepping was once a way of life for Americans. The author, Nina Stroclich, writes how decades ago, through the two World Wars and into the Cold War, communities used government guidelines to stay ready for threats of all kinds. Even as the Soviet terror subsided, people still kept alert for environmental contamination and natural disasters. 

But many years later, Strochlich notes, the pandemic has revealed how much things have changed. "As the country braced for lockdowns and began seeing shortages of crucial supplies last March, people found themselves woefully unprepared." It would seem that we've lost our edge and Strochlich thinks she knows why. 

People began to be skeptical of government advice in dealing with disaster. "Duck and cover during a nuclear attack? People began to wonder if the drills were effective or just propaganda. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter [set up a] centralized disaster authority: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)." Yet mismanaged disaster responses to some of the worst hurricanes caused some Americans to lose faith in FEMA. One man interviewed in Stroclich's piece says the country has lost its "collective preparedness." He asks: “Why are we sitting in our houses waiting for someone to come save us? No one’s coming.”

The slow-growing distrust of government seems to have been accelerated by COVID and the focus is shifting back to planning locally. “You can trust Bob down the street or Police Sergeant Jane, but who knows who these people are coming in from Washington? What has been a curious component of the evolution of FEMA is that the sheer size of it causes a distrust. That’s part of the catalyst that has given birth to the prepper movement.”

So are we all preppers now? Stroclich points to the pandemic-driven trend for baking bread and canning, as well as record sales of firearms. She says, "Something has shifted in our collective psyche as we remember empty aisles and medical supply shortages." It would seem that the fallout from COVID has finally lifted the remaining stigma surrounding prepping. "In a public imagination fueled by reality TV, preppers are lonely survivalists, members of fanatical religious groups, or even wealthy Silicon Valley moguls who buy luxury underground bunkers and keep a getaway helicopter fueled. But in reality preppers range from New Yorkers with extra boxes of canned goods squeezed in their studio apartments to wilderness experts with fully stocked bunkers."

Perhaps the potential disasters are so diverse that it's hard to prep for every contingency. The possible threats in 2020 fill a long list - cyber attacks, drone strikes, genetically mutated critters, threats from rogue states, overzealous Dems wanting to "deprogram" Trump voters... Or as Rev. Fisk often ponders what would happen in a week without electricity? Here's a hot tip from the article: Prepare like a zombie apocalypse is going to happen, then you have "all the bases covered."

All joking aside, this crazy year has forced some fresh introspection on us, and contemplating ways to protect your family and serve the neighbors in your community is worthwhile. There may be ways to share skills and knowledge, to plan together and pool resources. A group of preppers in New York City meet regularly and discuss "contingency plans for all types of natural and man-made disasters." They hold weekend excursions where members learn to build fires, "filter water, provide basic first aid, and scope the best on-foot escape route from Manhattan." 

So, grab a book and read up on survival skills. Rev. Fisk happened upon this one which defines survival as "living on after hope is gone." Here, we are at an advantage, as Rev. Fisk pointed out - Mad Christians are never without hope. In many ways, we live in a perpetual Advent, preparing and waiting for the completion of time - the return of the King. Though we don't know when that will be, we are not those who will be taken by surprise on that Day, but are sons of the light. If you wonder at times if you really are ready for that awesome event, check out Rev. Fisk's recent sermon about the end of the world. Come Lord Jesus, we are ready and waiting.

Power to the strong

A longread from Vice details how determined Amazon is to keep close tabs on all its employees. The kinda scary, kinda predictable report says that Amazon uses social media monitoring and "Pinkerton"-style infiltration to bust unions and track their employees, with military level surveillance techniques. Whatever you think of environmental activism or worker unions, stories like this show how far the long tentacles of Big Tech can reach.

While we're talking about surveilling... It has been revealed recently that Jack Ma, the flamboyant billionaire founder of AliBaba has run into trouble with China's Communist party. He was planning to float the company in the world's biggest IPO, but was reportedly thwarted by President Xi Jinping's personal intervention

Also, regarding the CCP... Their slow occupation of Hong Kong is almost complete, with the resignation of democratically elected officials.

Drop it all for Discord
Wars and rumors of wars

Armenia has succumbed in its long war with Azerbijan over disputed territory. The Azeris use of unmanned, undetectable armed drones is being described as Armenia's "Pearl Harbor" and is becoming a case-study in the use of military tech. 

To struggles nearer home...

And yet here we are

Several media outlets have reported on a study that found that many folks who voted for Biden would have changed their vote if they had been aware of particular issues. These include the Hunter Biden's laptop scandal and the extent of Kamala Harris' commitment to Progressive agendas. Some also said they would've voted differently if they had known of Trump's success in brokering deals in the Middle East as well as his administration's enabling of speedy COVID vaccine development. 

While this info can be found with a bit of digging, it is testament to the power of the white noise media to obscure truth and promote the approved narrative.

Victor Davis Hanson thinks Trump is a CT scanner who has exposed the innards of elite institutions and people. Little wonder the President rubs many the wrong way. 

From Rev Fisk's feed
  • An oldie but goodie: A great essay on the human lust for power "If we desire any kind of freedom in our life on this earth—moral, cultural, economic, political—we have to fight to prevent the centralization of power. Struggle is our lot in life; that die was cast long ago, by Adam and Eve in the Garden. The world is broken. But not forever."
  • Rockford's own Fire Department Coffee for your daily skull-crushing needs
  • Lockdown Sceptics: We will be keeping an eye on this site out of the UK
Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

⚙️ Yeet: A rolling, throwable drone that can be used to assess situations by first responders

🤳 Death by selfie: yes, it's a thing

🐕 How tall is Clifford the Big Red Dog, actually?

💨 Sign me up: BMW have tested an electric wingsuit

👀 Helicopter pilot spots strange monolith in remote Utah (update: it's gone!)

🍃 Who knew? House plants move around a whole lot 

💰 Israeli teenagers dug up 1100 year old gold coins 

🏌🏽‍♂️ Crazy lucky shot: golfer skims ball across water trap for a hole-in-one

🥕 The truth about how baby carrots are made

📚 World's biggest book publisher Penguin Random House has bought third biggest publisher Simon and Schuster

Only Illuminati Need Apply
Your Reaction Highlights

For today's Illuminati, we share excerpts of an email from Cindy on Chris Rosebrough's view of Fascism in the church in response to SMChill 082520.

Good morning Pastor Fisk,

I laughed when you said, “Everything I learned about fascism, I learned from Chris Rosebrough.” Imagine what a field day Media Matters would have if someone on the internet said that about Tucker Carlson! But they don’t yet care about Chris.

I was pretty close with the Rosebroughs at the time he was working on that thesis you mentioned, and since I have editorial experience, I offered to do some editing and did that for him, so I’m very familiar with his work on that and it’s had a long time to percolate. I wanted to offer a summary, I think, of his work [and ... his] view of Fascism in the church:

  1. Many megachurch pastors and their devotees have put their churches on a business model vs. a Biblical model and follow the teachings of Peter Drucker and other devotees of leadership training directly descended from Italian Fascists.
  2. The emphasis is on the “Community” (Collectivism) vs. Individual. He compared it to the Borg. All things are for the good of the “community”. This is probably why fascism takes hold in eastern countries, because individualism isn’t really a thing there.
  3. The Vision Casting Leader (Church Fuhrer) is the one God has supposedly entrusted with His plan that the rest of the church body should fall in line with.
  4. Controlling the “community” is a lot easier with brains turned off. There has been an attack on thinking and focus on feeling for quite a while now. (“You worship the Bible!”, “You put too much emphasis on Theology!”)
  5. (This part I think Chris has included, or it could be what I’ve noticed over the years). The emphasis has gone away from taking care of the church body and looking outward to service the secular community. The church serving the world has prepared the church to be primed to become a State Church (And look! It’s totally happening!)

So that’s the summary of Chris’ teaching on this and this is what I’ve noticed that helps all this along.

  1. Brainwashing so that we don’t know what reality is
    1. Twitter “reality” driving things, even though the majority aren’t on Twitter, yet they bully politicians and corporations.
    2. Media “reality”. You watch the same “realities” on TV and in movies so much you forget you’ve never witnessed it in real life. For instance, the Cosby show presents a Doctor and Lawyer (partner in her firm) raising 5 wonderful kids who are at the dinner table every night. Ever seen that in real life? Not when you think about it.
  2. Because of the Internet and Media and so many international students coming to our horrible American Universities, we’ve got Babel Take 2 and we are all of one language again. Anyone freaked out about how quickly they got the whole world to shut down? Even churches?
  3. 1984-style, the masses are addicted to mind-altering substances. (Notice the governors didn’t shut liquor stores and weed shops and more people are drugged up than ever. Antidepressants are hard to come by; they’ve prescribed so many these past few months). There is no fun allowed and no space to think, even when you’re sitting at home, the white noise is all that fills your mind, because you’re on the Internet—your only remaining resource for social interaction. And the distraction out there is through the roof.
  4. People parrot slogans like the “Quack-Quacking” that Winston (1984) noticed. He didn’t even have to hear a conversation clearly to know what was coming out of the mouths of the zombie brainwashed party member.
  5. The Quack Quacking is happening in the church too. So many “Christian” friends who are suddenly spewing BLM talking points and when you ask them to explain, all they can do is point you to a book they read that “rocked their world” but they couldn’t explain it in their own words. Brain turned off.

All these things have everyone falling in line like a perfect little bundle—Churches, Universities, Government (around the world!), Media, Corporations—and what’s crazy, you can’t point to one fascist leader! All you can conclude is the Devil has coordinated this well. It’s the Ocean of the world, the Sea of White Noise, and the beast of an apostate church has risen out of it. Our only hope is to buckle down and get into the Word and keep our brains turned on. Thank you for your help in doing that.

“Keep me from the trap they have laid for me and from the snare of evildoers. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.” Psalm 141

Cindy Stokes
Leander, TX

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Let us pray:  Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.