Archive for October, 2006


Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

God tells me that we need to be scared. We evolved with a flight or fight response which was incredibly useful before we were at the top of the food chain, so our bodies expect us to exercise our adrenal glands on a semi-regular basis. As we became domesticated and comparatively sophisticated, we lost a lot of the regular contact we used to have with having our wits scared out of us, so we had to come up with something more urbane than lions and tigers and bears to get our hearts lodged in our throats. Somewhere along the way we ritualized that need with Halloween.

Now a lot of people have complained that Halloween has been corrupted over the years. They say that its original purpose was to remind us of the evil monsters of the world, both physical and spiritual, so that we could guard against them all the better throughout the year. In that respect, I guess Halloween is sort of like a fire drill. But, they claim, we’ve now twisted it all around and made it into just another party. We laugh at the ghoulies and ghosties and use the night to engage in all manner of frivolity and debauchery.

I got the notion that this might be due to the effectiveness of horror movies. God refused to support my position, but he wouldn’t categorically deny it either. My thought is that Hollywood does such a good job of making us want to hide behind the couch to watch certain movies that we can get our required dose of fear any time we start to feel a little too top of the world. So with that need taken care of, much as Hollywood naturally cycles from slasher films to parodies of slasher films, we’ve moved from taking Halloween with deadly seriousness to just having fun with it.

So how will I spend my Halloween? I’ll have my fun and get my sugar rush on, but then I’ll pull out my copy of Alien and get ready for a couple of hours of disgustingly dangerous creatures jumping out and figuratively saying “boo” at me.

The Rosary

Monday, October 30th, 2006

I was raised Catholic. I’ve paid mild attention to other religions and other forms of Christianity but nothing too extensive. The reason I mention this is, I don’t want you to get up in arms if I say something is common but it isn’t common in your church, or if I say something is rare but you do it all the time.

One thing that’s common in Catholicism is the Rosary. Saying the Rosary involves reciting The Lord’s Prayer several times and between each recitation saying the Hail Mary ten times. Usually this is done using a set of beads (in the form of a necklace) to keep track of where you are in the sequence.

I asked God how he feels about this practice.

He told me that if it helps people to focus or to meditate, then it’s great for them, but that he just ignores it. He said that’s how he feels about most formal prayers. He’s heard them so many times that they’re just background noise.

But would he miss them if they stopped? Yeah. Much the same as I’d miss the sound of crickets if they ever went away.

Light Learning

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Throughout history man has been fascinated by light in all its myriad forms. From when we were cavemen sitting around staring into the campfire, to today when we sit in darkened rooms staring at moving pictures flashing on a screen. We even use the ancient light of distant stars to study the universe itself. I asked God why we are so drawn to light, why it is so big a part of our lives. He told me that the answer is right in the Bible, right in the book of Genesis, where it says, In the beginning was darkness and it was without form and void and God said, “Let there be light.”

So that made sense, light was God’s first creation, and that’s reason enough for us to be interested.

But then, God told me that I had cause and effect somewhat confused. It wasn’t because of our fascination with light that we are able to learn so much from studying it. It is because he put so much into light for us to learn, that God made us so fascinated with it. He gave us our great minds to use and wanted to be sure that we didn’t just fritter them away watching soap operas.


Thursday, October 26th, 2006

On Tuesday, unscriptured member GodBob, brought up a point that I’d kind of been thinking about myself. The question is: Why should you believe me when I tell you what God has said to me?

In a broader sense, why should you believe anyone on anything?

Scientists have an answer to why you should believe them. They publish their data. They explain their experiments. They build on the published experiments that have come before them. This means, that if you wanted to, and if you had enough time, and if you had enough money, you could reproduce all the experiments yourself going right back to first principles and see for yourself that what they’re telling you has an empirical basis. Now, of course you can’t do all of that, but you can see that for pretty much every accepted experiment, someone has checked the math and reproduced the results. This is what peer reviewed science journals are all about and is what leads to the famous statement about standing on the shoulders of giants.

So I asked God, “Why should they believe me?”

And he told me you shouldn’t. That is, you shouldn’t take anything I say on faith alone. And you shouldn’t take anything your preacher says on faith alone. And not anything in the Bible either.

What God wants you to do is to learn principles that you can apply to figure out for yourself what is right and what is wrong. You should read what I write if it entertains you. And you should read what I write if it helps you to think about things in ways that help you to figure out for yourself what is right and what is wrong.

So, yeah, God wants you to read what I write, that’s why he bothers to talk to me, but he also wants me to write in a way that makes you want to read it, even if you can’t know for sure that what I tell you comes from him.


Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

As I’ve already mentioned, I saw the movie Jesus Camp the other day. One of the striking things in the film is the kids at camp “speaking in tongues.” Like probably most people, I’ve heard of this phenomenon before; I even learned that it was called glossolalia by watching the movie Where the Heart Is (the 1990 film with Dabney Coleman, Uma Thurman, and Christopher Plummer, among others). The churches that regularly encourage this practice cite its occurrence in the Bible to show that it’s divine.

When I talked about this with God, she pointed out that the modern Christians have the practice pretty much backwards. In The New Testament, the Apostles speak in tongues shortly after Jesus ascends into heaven leaving them for good. They are all sitting in a room and the Holy Spirit descends on them in the form of “tongues like as of fire.” Then they go out and start talking to the assembled multitude, and the multitude, devout men out of every nation under Heaven, each hear the words in their own native language. So the miracle of glossolalia was that the apostles spoke in their own language but were heard by each listener in the listener’s own language. In today’s churches and tents the devout speak in languages which no one understands and which linguists say don’t even have discernible syntactic structures.

I think that means gibberish.

So I thought, this was an obvious case of religious zealots either faking inspiration or being duped by the devil to produce a facade of a miracle. I kind of wondered why the ministers and preachers don’t put a stop to it, but then I ran across a line in the Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians where Paul says, “forbid not to speak with tongues.”

I thought maybe Paul was referring to genuinely speaking in tongues rather than the modern corruption, so I asked God about it. She didn’t tell me what Paul intended and she didn’t tell me whether the modern gibberish was a miracle or not. What she did tell me was that it didn’t matter if they performed a miracle or not, what mattered was why they did it. If they did it to be closer to God, than that was great. If they did it to show others that they were close to God, than that was simply vanity and did not help their chances of getting into Heaven.

So the bottom line is that God cares more about intent than actions, even though the actions express the intent. She did add that while this works for her, that it’s not a good idea for our courts. Apparently they don’t have access to the same evidence that she does when it comes to discerning intent.

Fired Up

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

I was talking yesterday about the movie Jesus Camp and I’ve got some more to say about it. The movie was kind of disturbing to me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what all bothered me until I talked it over with God. The biggest thing was that the kids seemed to be being programmed but that wasn’t all of it.

The camp that the movie profiles is run by Becky Fischer, and she explained that she is doing no more than the Islamists are doing elsewhere in the world. She said the religious extremists in the Middle-East are using religious indoctrination to train their children to fight against the West and she wants to enlist the children that attend her camp to be soldiers in God’s army, to make them into spiritual warriors. Essentially, she wants to fight religious fire with religious fire.

Well, God and I would just like for Becky to learn what my mother taught me: Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Camp Counseling

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

I just saw the movie Jesus Camp and liked it quite a bit. Like many another good documentary, it presents its information without obvious bias of its own. The movie follows a few of the kids that attend a summer camp that teaches Christian values and Biblical studies. To provide transitions and a bit of counter-commentary, the film intersperses some segments from a radio program that rants against the Christian Right hijacking the U.S. government.

I discussed the movie with God. The striking thing about the camp is it’s blatant use of brainwashing techniques to indoctrinate the kids. Rather than teach the kids how to discern if something they do is right or wrong, they’re told what is right or wrong and programmed to blindly adhere to what they were told. The kids’ effusive imaginations are channeled into having religious visions and speaking in tongues and they’re taught that they must devote their every action and thought to the Lord.

Now devoting your life to God can be done in a good way and it can be done in a bad way, depending on what you do with that devotion. But, what you do with your life you should do freely; you should do it by choice. In a song by the group Rush, there’s a lyric that goes, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” I’d like to add a corollary, if you’re programmed to decide, you haven’t made a choice.

If you want to get into Heaven, you’ve got to do the right things, for the right reasons, and because you want to do them.

I’d just like to finish up with one more lyric, “Teach your children well.”

Political Pins and Needles

Friday, October 20th, 2006

I caught some political campaign commercials on TV this week and was dismayed by how I could take no information out of them. There’s no accountability for the half-truths, out of context quotations, and distorted representations of voting records. I felt like launching a class action suit but rather than a class bringing suit, I wanted to be bringing the suit against the entire class of politicians. Surely there’s evidence of fraud in their disingenuous statements and campaign promises not just failed to bring to fruition but never even tried to be enacted.

I talked about it to God. I didn’t really expect anything to come of the conversation, and I was not to be disappointed in my expectation of being disappointed. What God did have to say on the subject was to remind me of the part of the Bible where it says that a rich man has a harder time getting into Heaven than does a camel of passing through the eye of a needle. He reminded me that the symbols of the two dominant political parties in the U.S. are an elephant and a jackass and asked me if I thought those animals would have any easier of a time of passing through the eye of a needle.

I took his meaning. I wish I could say that it made me feel better, but it didn’t. I hope politician’s are better in the rest of the world, but I don’t have much hope of that either.

Oh, well.

Good and Evil

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden because they ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were told they could eat anything they wanted, except for the fruit of that one tree. I asked God about that. Why give man free will but not the knowledge of good and evil? What would be the point of our being able to do whatever we want, but not know whether what we chose was good or evil?

It’s like Christmas he told me. Like the story of Santa Claus. We bring up our children telling them this fantastical tale of a man who is infinitely good, yet who will punish them if they are bad. We delight in watching them write their letters and address them to the North Pole. We take them to sit on his lap. We happily give him credit for the presents that we buy. Yet, through it all, we know that someday they will learn the truth, and that will just be the first lesson in how cold and heartless the world really is.

We spare them that lesson for as long as we can. We give them their innocence for as long as we can.

And God kept Adam and Eve from eating from the tree for as long as he could.

Climbing the Trellis

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

God seems very different in the Old Testament than in the New. The Old Testament God is a God of vengeance, the New, a God of love and forgiveness. At the risk of finding out the Old God is barely hidden behind the appearance of the New, I asked him about this.

The answer ventured into the realm of metaphor. I believe I took the meaning correctly, but I can’t really be sure. With many people I would have pushed for a clearer response, but here I decided discretion was the better part of valor.

I was told a tale of gardening. It seems that vines do not always leap with joy to attach themselves to a trellis and wind there way upon their assigned paths. The gardener will wind such shoots as are close enough onto the trellis and will prune those that go off in untoward directions. Eventually, when the vine has covered the structure to which it has been trained, the gardener may simply take a nearby seat and bask in its beauty, enjoying the peaceful view.

Blame and Punishment

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Certain evangelical leaders famously blamed the destruction caused by hurricane Katrina on the United States earning God’s wrath for tolerating queers and other sinners. Now even if I weren’t gay, I’d find this outrageous, but it still seemed like something worth asking the deity himself about. So when God stopped by for our chat, I brought it up.

After having a good laugh, God asked me if I believed that. Obviously I don’t, and I said so. He told me that was good and said the most important reason why these claims were wrong, was the same as with wars, he doesn’t take the side of any country and doesn’t punish whole populations because of the actions of a relative few.

He told me that’s also the reason why, despite ministers making such stupid claims, he doesn’t wipe out religions.


Monday, October 16th, 2006

When you look at species they tend to live in fairly standard ways. Lions live in small groups, as do many other species from cockroaches to whales to kangaroos. Birds are famous for living in flocks, fish for schools. Ants live in colonies, bees in hives. Bison in herds. Wolves and bears tend to be loners. But unlike these other species, people naturally seem to gravitate to an incredible variety of living situations.

There are people that spend most of their time alone. There are people that live with their spouse for the vast majority of their lives, some of them with small circles of friends, some with vast networks of friends, acquaintances and family. There are people that live together communally, some for economic reasons, some for religious reasons, some for experiments in new definitions of family, and doubtless some for reasons of which I have no idea. We band together in tribes. We group together in towns, cities, and nations, of various densities.

Are we just confused? Out of touch with our instincts? What?

So I discussed it with God. She told me that it came back to the issue of free will. If we had instincts so strong that we had to either follow them or exist in an eternal internal state of self-conflict, it wouldn’t really give us much in the way of free will.

But what about the compulsion for reproduction? The need to eat? The agony of loneliness that so many feel?

She told me that there have to be some rules. Without some constraints there couldn’t be free will any more than there could be if everything was constrained. Without some rules we could never tell the difference between an exercise of free will and just random movement.

Miracle Souffles

Friday, October 13th, 2006

So what happened to all the miracles? A few thousand years ago it seems like there were a lot of miracles happening. God was smiting down the sinners, visiting plagues on the Egyptians, and talking to every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

I asked him what happened, why’d it all stop?

Like so many other answers I get from him, there were two parts. The first part is that it didn’t stop, they just became less public for the most part. There’s more small conversations like he has with me and fewer handing down the commandments kind of moments. More spontaneous remission of cancer and less raising Lazarus from the dead.

The second part was a little more complex. Not a lot more complex, but a little.

God told me about baking souffles. Baking a souffle is actually a pretty simple thing, but it doesn’t have a lot of tolerance. What you do is simple but it has to be done right, and then you have to trust that you’ve done it right. If you open the oven early to check how things are going, the souffle falls flat.

Somewhere along the way, God decided that humanity was like a souffle, so he stopped meddling. At least at a big level. We’re in the oven now. God is convinced that we’ll eventually figure things out, learn to live in peace and solve most of our other problems, if he just doesn’t stick his nose in.

Of course, we might just end up flattening ourselves.

Universal Truth?

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

Yesterday, unscriptured member deej3464 commented that the God I’m talking to seems very Judaic (see Revolt of the Angels). Now I was raised Catholic but had a pretty lackluster interest in what churchy stuff I was being taught. By specifying Judaic rather than Christian, I don’t know if deej3464 meant to imply the God of the Old Testament as distinct from the God of the New Testament, or if he meant the Judeo-Christian God as distinct from religions that do not hold any parts of The Bible to be sacred. Now God has already told me I don’t get to use him to pry into the minds of individuals, so I wasn’t going to ask him for any clarifications on what deej3464 meant, but I could ask why pretty much everything we’ve talked about could be related back to The Bible.

So I asked.

What he told me is that he largely reflects back to me what I’m already comfortable with. So, because my background is Christian, I get to talk to a Christian God. If I had been raised Buddhist or in a family that worshipped Shiva, I’d be getting face time with very different aspects of God. Not a different God, but a different part of God.

So, aha, I thought, the polytheists have it wrong, there’s only one God. Well, he disabused me of that notion pretty quick. So much as there’s only one universe, there’s only one God, but in that sense we are not individuals because we are part of the universe and the universe is what God is, at least in some sense. So if it’s at all practical to think of ourselves as individuals distinct from the universe, it’s just as reasonable to think of different Gods as individuals distinct from each other, so both polytheism and monotheism are both true at the same time.

God doesn’t seem to like it when I try to limit him.

Revolt of the Angels

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

I asked God about the devil today. I don’t really remember how the subject came up or what led to what. As you probably know, Lucifer was one of God’s most favored angels until he was cast out of Heaven for rebelling. The story goes that when God created man and imbued him with free will, some of the angels were jealous and that led to their rebellion. I’ve got sort of a thing about free will, so this story has always held a bit of fascination for me. What I didn’t understand, is why would they rebel over man getting free will, when if they didn’t have free will themselves, they wouldn’t have been able to rebel.

So God and I talked about it for awhile and here’s what I remember.

When God created the angels, he never really specified if they had free will or not. It just wasn’t something he thought about that early in creation. Everything in the universe was part of God, so giving something the ability to act in a manner divorced from God wasn’t a natural thing to think of. Now God likes to create by making processes and then letting those processes fill in the details, so he says that angels might have had free will or might not have had free will, but he definitely gave humans free will. So he told the angels about this free will thing, when he was showing them his latest work, and they thought he was trying to show them how inferior they were compared to what he was doing then.

Up until then, the angels had never done anything other than what God would have had them do. This seemed like clear evidence that they had no free will. But, God loved them and wanted only the best for them, so if they had had free will nothing would have been different. So the question became, how could the angels know if they had free will or not. Lucifer, in particular, became obsessed with the question. He finally decided that only if he went against the will of God would he know. So he led a revolt.

And God demanded an apology.

And like a little kid, Lucifer asked, “Or what?”

And God told him that if he didn’t apologize, he had to leave.

Well, Lucifer figured that if he apologized, he wouldn’t know if he had free will, so he let himself be cast out and to this day, all he’d have to do to go back would be to apologize, but he can never do that, because he believes that doing so would take away his free will and make him, and all the other angels, less than humans. And I thought being human was tough.

Convincing Illusions

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

So I brought up the subject of free will again. I decided to get God’s take on the whole universe as a big clockwork thing. In case you aren’t familiar, it’s the idea that everything is a result of deterministic processes. It was a natural philosophy to come out of Newtonian physics and the industrial revolution. It’s a little harder to see it when it comes to thoughts and decisions, but the idea is that all the experiences of our lives produce an inexorable cascade of chemical reactions in our bodies and brains and ultimately lead to whatever decisions we may reach. This starts to seem a little less far-fetched when you see all the progress psycho-pharmacology has been making in medicating away mental maladjustments.

So after I laid out all of that, I was a little surprised when God brought up computerized random number generators. These are more formally referred to as pseudo-random number generators, because any computer scientist will be happy to tell you that the generators are never truly random. The thing is, they’re random enough. So God’s point was, does it matter if we really have free will, if what we do have is a convincing enough illusion of free will?

But I didn’t care about the answer as much as I was intrigued by God bringing up computer science as a way of making a point. She explained to me that she talks to people on their own level and using whatever metaphors and illustrations they can understand. Just because The Bible hasn’t been updated in many hundreds of years, doesn’t mean that God hasn’t kept up with the world.

She really finds most religions rather limiting and wishes we’d grow up a little.

The Seventh Day

Monday, October 9th, 2006

So God stopped by on Saturday. I said, “I thought you took Saturdays off?” She was not amused. Just to sum things up: The whole seven days thing in Genesis was just a metaphor. And talking to me is not a job.


Friday, October 6th, 2006

So having broached the subject of war with God, I decided to move on to other aspects of politics. I asked God how she felt about laws based on Biblical directives. She said that it was pretty obvious that some things that the Bible comes out against would have to be part of any sensible set of laws, but that they should be derived separately, not just lifted from religious texts. The point, she explained, of religious prohibitions had to be free will. You needed to do the moral things out of love for her and love for each other, if you just did them out of fear of punishment, then it was no better than if she just made it so you couldn’t do them to begin with.

She also said that a lot of the stuff in the Bible and other books didn’t really come from her. A lot of people had slipped in their own personal pet peeves and a lot of stuff had gone in for other reasons. Like dietary restrictions. Most of the stuff about don’t eat this or don’t eat that had more to do with the lack of refrigeration and other aspects of food science than her really caring what we ate.

She apparently thinks the Catholic idea of giving things up for Lent is pretty cool, though. It’s not what you specifically give up, it’s that you make some personal sacrifice in order to keep God in your thoughts. She likes the fasting that Muslims and Jews do for pretty much the same reason.

I told her I didn’t do any of those things. That was okay too, she told me. Being good was the important thing, ritual supplication was just one way to get there.

Choosing Sides

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

I’ve kind of been avoiding asking God about any of the really big questions. Part of it is being afraid of the answers I might get, but even more, I’ve been afraid that if I ask the wrong things that’ll be the end of it. God will stop stopping by. But the never ending troubles in the Mideast finally got the better of me and I asked God how he chooses sides in wars. He said he doesn’t. Ever. It’s like negotiating with terrorists, once you start, it just encourages them.

“Not even in World War Two?” I asked.

Not even then. God said that if he had taken sides, did I really think that there’d have been that many dead soldiers?

He told me my Mom had it right when she taught me that two wrongs don’t make a right and that goes for war too.

So I asked whether he preferred ice cream to frozen yogurt. We went back and forth about the merits of each of them. I don’t think I ever did get an answer to the basic question, but I do remember that God said it was a sad day when Haagen Dazs stopped saying “made only with” instead of “ingredients” on their packaging.

Pronoun Trouble

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

In one of my favorite cartoons, Daffy Duck says to Bugs Bunny, “Aha, pronoun trouble! It’s not ‘he doesn’t have to shoot you now,’ it’s ‘he doesn’t have to shoot me now.'” Well, today, when God showed up for our chat, instead of the old man that I’ve been talking to, God was a young woman. At first I tried to ignore it. I thought to myself, “Okay, God can be whatever he wants to be, even if that means she and not he.” We talked about something meaningless for a few minutes, but I finally gave in and asked.

“How come you’re a woman today?”

She gave me an answer and I really wish she would let me record her for times like this, because I can’t remember even a quarter of what she said. There was something about her appearance being a collaboration between her and my subconscious, but then she went on talking about how the whole universe is just a part of her. So everything is part of God, but how she appears to any one she appears to is some sort of negotiation between the part of her that they represent and the part of her that is representing itself to them. That’s not really a problem, she said, because she rarely actually appears to anyone and she generally avoids repeated exposure to any individual, me being a rare exception. There was also something about trees interacting with the ground but only taking in the nutrients that they need and ignoring the things they don’t need.

At the end of it, I’d have to say I was more confused than when I started.

I think that happened to Daffy Duck, too.

Punch Lines

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Lawyers have an axiom that you should never ask a question in court if you don’t already know the answer. Well, that’s what I’ve heard anyway, but I don’t really know if it’s true.

I could maybe learn a thing or two from lawyers.

I asked God if he had any favorite jokes. He told me that life was a joke he played on protoplasm.

Death is the punch line.

Abraham and Isaac

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

God talks to me in ways that I can understand. I’ve got a great-niece who’s about five years old. We can talk about how well she knows her ABCs or what’s her favorite bedtime story, but we can’t really get into things like why the United States trades freely with China but not Cuba. So when I talk to God, I’m sure there’s nuances that I’m missing and whole subjects that never even come up, still I do what I can. I think that maybe I’m more like a dog than a child, most of the time. Sure I love God when he’s there, but comprehend him? I’m not sure I’m even capable of that.

So, we got onto the subject of the Bible today. Well, we didn’t really happen on to the subject, I just had one of those questions that I had to ask, in much the same way as a dog just has to stick its nose into your crotch. I asked about the story of Abraham and Isaac.

For those of you who aren’t up on your Bible studies (and mostly that includes me), the tale can be summed up pretty quickly. Abraham was one of God’s chosen. God wanted to test Abraham’s commitment, so he ordered Abraham to take his son up on the mountain and sacrifice him on an altar. Abraham began to do what he was told. With a flair for the dramatic, God waited until Abraham had Isaac tied up on the altar, and his knife raised up and poised to strike, before he sent an angel to call the whole thing off.

So, like a friend that’s too stupid to know better than to ask someone how their divorce is going, I brought up this story and asked God what it was about. He said to me, you know how you go out in the yard and play fetch with a dog, and every once in a while you can’t resist and you fake a throw? The dog goes running off to find the ball but can’t, because it’s still in your hand. Well, that was it, Isaac was a fake throw.


Sunday, October 1st, 2006

It’s been years since my belief in God rose any higher than committedly agnostic, so imagine my surprise at God entering my life. I don’t mean entered like “I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior,” I mean entered as in sat down and talked with me.

I was home, alone, which is pretty normal for me. You’d think I’d be surprised when an old man walked into the room and the TV just shut off, but I wasn’t. He had prepared me for it. I’d been feeling pretty good all day, like last night’s sleep had been the most refreshing ever; then, after dinner, a sort of warmth started to spread out from my center, to seep throughout my body. Just when it reached everywhere, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, he walked in, and it was like I’d been expecting him.

After we exchanged pleasantries, God told me he wanted me to start this blog. He said he’ll come and talk with me, maybe not every day, but most days, and I should write about it.

Then he established some ground rules.

I can’t ask about the future. He said that if he tells me what will happen in the future that means he has to make that happen and that can get in the way of free will, so he lets the future play out on its own. It’s kind of like paint. There’s two ways to get lines of paint running down a wall. You can put blobs of paint on the wall and let it run down in whatever lines it wants or you can draw your own lines, putting them exactly where you want them. God says he built the universe so it can surprise him, he has very little interest in placing the lines himself.

I can’t make any recordings. Even if I try, he says that nothing will come out. I’m also not allowed to make any notes while we’re talking, so I just have to work from memory. That means that I’ll probably make some mistakes when I’m quoting him, but he says that’s okay as long as my motives are pure.

He’ll only come around when I’m alone. He says he can make sure that he’s gone before anyone joins us, so don’t drop by hoping to meet him.

Now he didn’t say anything about whether or not I can ask for any favors, but, boy, talk about presuming on a friendship. I think I’ll avoid that whole can of worms on my own.

So that’s kind of the basics. I did ask him, “Why me?” and maybe later I’ll get into that part of the conversation.

Until then, remember, God is watching.