To My Readers

For those of you who know anything about me by my writings, I like to push envelopes – majestically.  Whether it is my Christian horror book OOBERS: Kalamazoo, my Golden Vanguard articles, or the usual cynical blathering on my website, you usually find me hanging out on some ledge or another waving an off-color neon flag. I don’t often throw the full weight of solemnity or seriousness because, well, that’s not who I am.  At least I thought that about myself until two things firmly planted themselves into the very essence of my being. You are so dear to me, fair reader, and I am so incredibly grateful for your love and support.  Recently you have noticed a dramatic shift in my writing, and because of this it is important to me that you know and understand the reasons for such change.

On the 22nd of May an off-duty British soldier, Lee Rigby, was brutally killed by two self-proclaimed radical Islamists. The crime in itself was horrific, but when one of the killers – his hands covered in Lee Rigby’s blood and holding on to a meat cleaver and butcher knife – began babbling to a camera about his sick and twisted justification for committing such a heinous act, I noticed in the background a group of spectators milling about taking pictures and huddled together like scared sheep. One woman, pulling a wheeled shopping cart behind her, cut through the crowd toward the blathering killer, glanced over at Lee Rigby’s mutilated body, then walked right by the murderer as if nothing was wrong. I heard the straw snap, breaking the camel’s back; I felt the cup of my outrage running over; I heard the collective cries of every victim of terrorism calling out for justice. In that instant I knew I had to learn all I could about not only the agenda of radical Islam, the atmosphere of complicity permeating the social fabric of the world, and what specifically I could DO to try and turn the tide of our destruction. I’m on that learning curve now, and so far have read, heard and seen things about jihadists that frighten and anger me to my bones. I can no longer stand by and let the atrocities continue without sounding the call to action for all liberty-minded people. Listen, I’m by no means an authority on the subject. You could say I’m in kindergarten when it comes to this.  But I am a writer and a thinker, and I’m determined to use what skills I have to try and wake up as many people as I can before it is too late. I am compelled, I am driven, and I am not going to stay silent any more. Beginning today, dear reader, my writings on this subject will be posted on community walls, the Twittersphere and anywhere else I’m allowed to holler. I’ve created a new blog page called Beast by the Horns which will house these writings. The purpose of this is so I can separate this serious and urgent subject from all my other blathering.

The second, yet far more important force that has taken hold of my life, is the profound influence Jesus Christ has had in my life. In 2005 I was absolutely and irrefutably born again and baptized by the Holy Spirit. This was probably the last thing in the world I had ever considered happening to me, even though I have always been what is called a ‘God intoxicated soul’. I had come to believe that spiritual truth could be found in every religion, that there was as many ways to Heaven as there were people, even that God and Satan (the positive and negative force) was housed in the same divine consciousness. But on that warm summer day at my sister Marie McAbee’s church – the Parkview Baptist church in Tuscumbia, Alabama – I felt the presence of God wash over me like a tidal wave, an undeniable call Home, a complete conviction, a Knowing that Jesus of Nazareth was God-incarnate, that he lived a perfect life and that not only did he sacrifice his life for the sins of the entire world, he actually conquered death and was resurrected after three days and ascended to the right hand of God as part of the Triune Godhead. I became a new creature (“…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17); I became part of the body of Christ and was saved by the Grace of God. My love for God is not perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination, but God’s love for me is perfect, and I have nothing to fear. My constant prayer is simple: *Thank you, Lord, for your beautiful Mercy, for your abiding Grace, for loving me despite the fact that I am absolutely unworthy of it. Thank you for the sacrifice you made for me as the unblemished Lamb of God, shedding your precious blood and in doing so creating the way to salvation if I but believe in you and believe your promises. Please have your way with me, Lord; shape me into a vessel of Your Divine Will.* My dear reader, do not think I will try to shove Christianity down your throat. I believe a tree is known by its fruit. If your heart is open and receptive and softened, you will hear God’s spirit calling you, and your life will never be the same again. (“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” 2 Peter 1:3) I only ask one question of you: Are you at a place in your life that, if death comes for you right now, you are sure you are going to Heaven?  Now, I completely respect your beliefs, and I promise you again that I will not chase after you thumping my Bible and trying to drag you down to the river. If you wish, you may visit my blog page Back of the Choir which will contain my spiritual musings.

Finally, for all of you who enjoy my satirical and off-beat ravings, please feel free to bookmark my new blog page Beans on the Grill. You will not be disappointed, I assure you.

My primary website is still www.jaytharding.com and will contain links to all my blogs and articles, as well as random pictures, poetry and other such literary nonsense.  So there you have it. If you care to read and comment, participate and debate my socio-political spewing, visit Beast by the Horns. If you are led to follow me on my ongoing spiritual journey, visit Back of the Choir. If you just want to be entertained by a semi-senile former hippy, visit Beans on the Grill. Most of all, my friend, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your interest. Don’t forget, you can email me at jaytharding11@gmail.com, you can find me on Facebook or Twitter, Google + or Goodreads. Wherever you visit, you will be welcome. 

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About jaytharding
Christian Mystic-in-training, burgeoning Apologist, Writer, Poet, Philosopher, all-purpose curmudgeon I am part of the load not rightly balanced. I drop off in the grass, like the old Cave-sleepers, to browse wherever I fall. ~Rumi~

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