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Issue 021

Mad Mondays Issue 017
Pagan Moontide of Maia 25, Anno Domini 2020

Easter 7:  Ek-Grateia, the Way of Outer Power

"The Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.." Psalm  47

The Bus Is Late by megatruh

American Christianity established its protesting-mythos as an experiment in preserving true religion, but she has become a bloated, undisciplined and cumbersome albatross. 

For all the humming crusade of bulletin covers and emails stuffed to the gills with properties' committees’ reports, legacy-donations’ legal counsel, and reminder readings from Sir Roberts’ letter to the Romans, we are little more than the mistress of managing much ado while achieving very little in real time and space. 

Or, I have been….

“That’s just the way it is,” he told me. He’d been a pastor much longer than I. He must be right, I thought. God does not call Christianity to win every engagement on every front. (That mortal error of the “Church Growth Movement” has left associated wounds all over the American Christian landscape.) 

That was fourteen years ago now. But all these years later I still can’t make myself really believe it. I can’t compel myself by hook, crook or crowbar to shove this thought into the Bible I keep reading. Christians shall expect to suffer, be misundestood and maligned, and finally turned to dust by the world inherited of an unbelieving man. 

But no where are we to expect to lose.

Christianity has nothing to lose.

Christianity cant lose.

Because Christianity is the definitive reality that we (in our Lord) have already won

American middle-class WASP culture-club masquerading as the enclave of the Holy God has been playing "not to lose" for years now. My coaches always told me, “Playing not-to-lose is the exact same thing as playing not-to-win." 

Winners don’t play not to win. Winners play in order to win, with the nerve to handle losing as a cost paid to learn how to win. Believing you are going to lose before you take the field is for losers. By definition. 

Champions play the hardest because they pass from believing they can win to believing they can’t lose.

And that’s you, Christian. So get out there this next six and play like you believe God is the one who said so. Because he has.

This is the first understanding of Karpos Ek-Grateia: the seizure of sensation, against sensation, by the person who believes in a power greater than sensation.

The fruit of the Spirit is … self-control. 


Be strong, and let your heart know courage.
Rev. Fisk

If you love Mad Mondays, forward this newsletter to someone who needs a bit more madness in their life.

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

United we stand, 6 feet apart

Clickbait Paradise

Space: the Final Frontier

While this strange time has given many folks a much-needed reset and increased time spent with family, some have found they need a bit of space, shown by the rising demand for hourly rental of hotel rooms. People are using hotel rooms to focus on work tasks and catch up on rest, and ingeniously, to attend work Zoom meetings in a nicer space than their own. Those meeting can be tedious, and sports commentator Andrew Cotter is at it again, giving his dogs a performance appraisal via video conference.

Work habits have been changed by this pandemic with a new study showing that workers would rather play mobile games during their breaks than drink coffee. Strange days indeed!

While a lot of things will probably return to their pre-pandemic state, sooner or later, the new vigilance in hygiene standards will no doubt see many jobs created. We will probably need queue managers, chaperones for robots, temperature checkers, "sneeze guard" installers and cleaners - lots and lots of cleaners. And for pity's sake, open a window!

Maybe tire bumper tables will be a feature of restaurants in the future… then again, maybe not..

I wonder as I wander

Rev. Fisk has often spoken about the urgent need for Christians to examine ways they could be more community-minded, using their vocations to best influence the course of our neighborhoods and rescue more from hopelessness in this decaying world. Thinking about the many talents we know our Mad Christians have, this recent opinion piece bemoaning the loss of the peculiar creature known as the polymath, caught our attention.

The author examines how in an age of the super-abundance of information, we are left with specializing (knowing a lot about a little) or popularizing (knowing a little about a lot). Perhaps Pascal was on to something when he said we could solve all of our problems if we could learn ”how to sit quietly in a room”. Mindfully checking in with your boredom may provide a goldmine of inspiration and wonder.

The writer also delves into the idea that the elevation of the scientific method has devalued arts and philosophy as other ways of discovering truth. The almighty god of Scientism has wrecked havoc on a many aspects of our lives, even politics, when we “follow the science" with no discernment. In an effort to get to the cold hard facts of reality, the “this-is-all-there-is” worldview renders useless any study that doesn’t trade in empirical data. 

Asserting that "measuring things and making...laws from the results" is the only metric worth having, Modernity has undermined all the ways that God in his brilliant complexity, reveals his truth to us. What a difference for us, Mad readers! We do not have to choose to pursue what is “true" over what is good and beautiful. We are free to do "with all our hearts" whatever our hand finds to do. It takes grit, patience, humility and endless, exhausting mortification of our flesh, but we’ve read the back of the Book, we know how it ends. The Lion of Judah triumphs!

Bite-sized Teasers

🐛 A brightly colored worm species has been discovered deep under the ocean and they jitterbug!

⛏️ Behold, the Underminer! GE has made a soft robot that digs long tunnels like an earthworm.

🏠 For the architects: a brick vault house, designed to be replicated.

🔫 A priest used a squirt gun filled with holy water to bless churchgoers. 

👓 Details about Apple Glass have been leaked.

🚀 Ultra thin material has been designed, which could be used as sail for interstellar travel.

🔒 Facebook has bought Giphy, but is it another way to harvest data?

Survivor: Shipwreck Island

William Golding’s "Lord of the Flies" famously tells the tale of school-aged boys lost together on an island, the story tragically ending with the island razed and some of the boys dead. A fascinating real life version of this story happened in 1965, when British school boys were shipwrecked for 15 months on a tiny Pacific island. Unlike Golding’s novel, these boys worked together, despite their fear, and survived with hollowed trees as water storage and a fire which they kept burning for over a year.

Please DO Feed the Rev.

Sure plays a mean b'ball

With or without spectators, state governors are keen to have pro sports return. Governor Cuomo of NY says that whichever sports can reopen should.  

As "The Last Dance" draws to an end, basketball has been in the spotlight with reignited debate over who is the GOAT . Writers at The Federalist went head-to-head, arguing Michael Jordan vs LeBron James. The merits of mid-shot jumpers and use of a triangle offence may be the deciding factor, but another Federalist writer thinks they’ve both got it wrong.

In a recent interview, LeBron relived meeting Michael Jordan when he was a kid and as it happens, a pair of MJ’s vintage Nikes broke a record at auction.

Speaking of record-breaking, times for the Cannonball Run have been crushed several times, as lockdown leaves roads empty.

Only Illuminati Need Apply
Your Reaction Highlights

Thank you Pastor Fisk!
'Mad Mondays' is delivered and delivers.

Deliver v. (thanks to 'Macquarie Dictionary')
1. to give into another’s possession or keeping
2. to strike (a blow)
3. to assist at the birth of
4. to give or declare (a verdict etc.)
5. to rescue or set free

    Your newsletter is all these (numbers coincide):
    1. worth bottling
    2. finds a weak spot every time
    3. my new baby is Hebrew (and I found a newborn nurse here)
    4. with a click, certifies me mad (Carroll’s Cat gave my young self an inkling)
    5. 'Dust' introduces Sonny

    What have I done with my time in quarantine?
    Back feeding and overloading, perhaps?


    A Good Word: Rec's from Rev. Fisk

    🤣 Peck your knees, seagulls will. If you tuned into Saturday's Chill, you would have heard Rev Fisk recommend this classic. Absolute gold!

    Sweetness You May Have Missed...
    Podcast Drop!

    Ideaology is Ideaolatry
    with Adam Koontz

    Recent Release

    All Waiting for Jesus

    Promo of Friends

    If you are in need of a livestreamed service, check out Village Lutheran or St. Paul Austin.  Don't forget to continue giving to your church - your pastor is worth his wages.

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    Last week’s feedback on DUST was marvelous, if sparse. I have heard that there is at least one discussion thread starting up out there in the Madworks/LLLANetwork of “Us, the Chill.” Moreso, one of you very kindly wrote some of the greatest praise I have ever received as a writer. 

    But what I did not receive was the hint I was hunting for in my hunch that something was off with the rhythm of 1.4. I won’t write about why that matters to me as an author, but let’s just say that you left me no choice but to hunt for it myself.

    This meant that I didn’t write or touch DUST for five days. 

    I didn’t like doing that. But I needed to get enough space between me and its language to get a fresh look at it. 

    This began by reading the entire book from the first page as “momentum.” 

    Here is the result of that on page 1: 

    This kind of tinker editing is not unexpected. The only time I have not marked up a printed manuscript of mine an a read-through is when it’s already in published form; and even that doesn’t always work!

    If I’m not mistaken, the Sphynx is a double-secret-ghost edit at this point. I’ll leave that as an Easter egg if you’re bored. 

    But page 2 got a little nastier and more interesting.

    It’s nothing to cry over. But it shows how much confusion can still be lurking even after the 9th and 25th drafts. (Or, in the case of radioactive, how that adjective was just used three paragraphs prior.)

    I was pleased to barely touch 1.2 and 1.3, (which doesn’t guarantee that they weren’t just boring.) But the point was to get to 1.4: 

    By and large, this was a very pleasant surprise. The hiccup I was searching for didn’t really show up until the second to last sentence. The other blip came in the first paragraph where (for some reason) I had switched into present tense.

    So, there’s not a ton of change in the following, though I do hope the conclusion more tightly draws us forward to the opening moment of 1.5, wherein (hopefully) some of this font madness will start to come clear - and maybe at that ,encourage your own re-read of the early chapters once you know who these varied “voices” can be. 😄 


    Let us pray: O King of glory, Lord of hosts, uplifted in triumph far above all heavens, leave us not without consolation but send us the Spirit of truth whom You promised from the Father; for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.