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Archive for July 19th, 2009


Both my iPod and my old PC died this weekend, and as I murmured a few obscene words over their smoldering corpses, I realized it had been awhile since we last sought comfort and counsel from World O’ Crap Spiritual Adviser, J. Grant Swank.  So it came as both joy and relief to see that Pastor Swank has hoisted himself back into the pulpit, and in today’s homily, he tells us to let Jesus into our hearts, our Xerox copiers, and our fax machines.


There are times when your thoughts jam together so much that there’s nothing but mush.

That’s the universal sign that it’s time to submit this week’s column.

Or they pile on top of one another all at once. Thoughts start but don’t finish. Then another intrudes so as to threaten to take over. Then a third takes a swing at your head.

Pastor Swank was beaten up by his own brain.

Sometimes these jams take place in the middle of the night—dark dark dark and nowhere to go but couch and no one to talk to, obviously.

Because your wife has asked you to stop confiding in the furniture.

The devil can use these jams to get you confused to the nth degree. Also, that’s the time doubt sets in. Is Jesus really there? Are the promises really true? Am I believing in a mist?

Well, I believe in Primatene Mist, but that’s it.

Finances. Marital problems. Children disappointing. Lost job. Ill health. Friends let you down. And so forth.

Sometimes these all jam at once in the cranium. Where is Jesus?

I called the Help Desk like two hours ago!

Jesus is right there. He never leaves us. He has dealt with jams before. Then let Him deal with your jam.

Also, he really loves your peaches.  Let him shake your tree.

Surrender every thought to Jesus when it’s in the good time…Let Jesus talk to you. When He is not forming your thoughts, then it’s time for you to rest. Jesus orchestrates rest stops in the rhythm of thought pattern construction and silence.

Although, judging by that last sentence, he’s on a smoke break at the moment.

We need the silence. We need the quiet. We need to shut down until Jesus plants another thought.

We’re like the ventriloquist dummy in Magic, except with less personality and free will.

I mean being very practical here. Jesus will tell you to make the bed, wash the dishes, vacuum the carpet and empty the garbage. Do whatever He tells you when He tells you.

Great.  My cosmic puppeteer has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

That’s learning how to surrender your thought patterns to Jesus, not just the pious ones but the practical ones.

I offer up my thoughts on how to gap spark plugs to Jesus!

Jesus will tell you to spend that money for this or that. Jesus will tell you not to spend that money for this or that.

Jesus is why I’m $11,000 in debt!

Jesus will tell you it’s time to turn off the television and go to bed. Jesus will direct you to a book to read, a movie to watch, an outdoor scene to take in, a phone call to make.

Jesus is the micromanaging messiah.

Jesus will tell you it’s time to praise Him, thank Him, tell Him that you love Him.

Jesus makes you feel like Julia Roberts in Sleeping With The Enemy.

So when you learn how to surrender your thoughts to Jesus, taking no thought for the future but letting Jesus hold your future’s security, you will be ready for the jam.

In fact, you’ll be ready for Seattle’s New Hot Jamz!

It’s the same with jammed thoughts. Surrender the confusion. Jesus can handle confusion. He is up to it. Then don’t wrestle with the jam. Don’t try to fight it on your own. Don’t try to straighten it out.

Start slow.  Try some basic judo holds on pudding, then work your way up to jam wrestling.

Instead, surrender the jam to Jesus. Say, “Jesus, my head is going round and round. I’m scared. I cannot control my thoughts. I now surrender my head jam to You.”

But keep your toe jam to yourself.  Jesus has a hair-trigger gag reflex.

I would suggest then that you go to the Psalms. I have found that by going at random to the Psalms, Jesus directs me to the verses needed. My experience has been that in time the jam unloosens by way of the Psalms’ comfort and direction.

Or you could just dig it out with a Q-tip and some peroxide.

Again: don’t try to unwind the jam intertwining. Don’t work at making thoughts orderly. Let Jesus take the jam just as it is. He knows what to do with it.

He turns it into a crappy folk song?

Now here is another recommendation that I hope you will understand so as not to think I am diminishing the Jesus power.

I recommend that you see your family doctor if the jam is too often and too messed up. If it goes on and on, see your doctor.

Ask your doctor if head jam is right for you.

If your doctor is like mine, he’s wise. He will give you medicine to aid you in calming down the thought stress.

Yeah, Jesus?  You can keep the jam.  I’ll take the Xanax.

But why should you do this when Jesus is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-sufficient? Why not? Jesus creates medicines.

Like those guys who cook up batches up meth in motel rooms in San Bernardino.

They are heaven’s gifts when we need them.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Prozac.

Therefore, Jesus may work through medicines to correct the jam clog.

Or he might just recommend a fiber supplement.

Again, I don’t consider this thinking less of Jesus’ input. I think it as Jesus guiding me to a doctor for the medicine gift.

The Son of Man wants you to doctor shop and snort Oxycontin.

That’s what I have experienced. My own life has directed me at times to rely on prescriptions to assist in leveling out the thought jams that pile up. They cut through depression. They help clarify my head. They work to build up my strength to carry on.

So where was Jesus in all that? Jesus was in the medicine, in the doctor’s skill to provide me with what I needed and in my logic to do what was necessary.

Yep.  I’d be a devout Catholic by now if the communion wafer was laced with barbiturates.  I think I’m gonna drop that in the Vatican Suggestion Box.