Adullams Cave

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Law versus (W)holiness

To me the problem with the OT, NT law and any spiritual law system is not in the particular code itself but rather it is in me. I have within me this thing that Paul talks about as the sinful nature, the old nature or the flesh. It derives its ability to operate from the law - any law. Most of Romans and Galatians are devoted to this and most of Pauls letters talk of it to one degree or another. It was the theme he continually strived to enable others to understand. “The strength of sin is in the law” (1 Corinthians 15:56).

Of course this is not Paul's idea - it did not originate from man. God has always known that at the heart of our seperation from him we have a nature that demands its own terms, its own determination, its own control. The law, any type of law, offers this. It offers us our own confidence and a sense of self that is of our own making because spiritual law (as the sin nature sees it) depends upon our own ability to obey it. However subtle a form it may come in, however disguised it may be, our sin nature wants to perform and will use any percieved system (moral or otherwise) to attempt to do so, but unfortunately it will always leaves us in bondage.

The thing is, I believe, is that this problem existed a long time before the law came from Moses. It was their from the fall when our consciences became seared and we corruptly inherited the knowledge of good and evil. The knowledge of good and evil is in its most fundamental form a system of law that varies greatly or slightly from person to person. It is our own code of right and wrong, good and evil, shoulds and should'nts, musts and must'nts, righteousness and unrighteousness, do this and don't do that. It is the origins of the yin and yang in every man and woman. Up until the fall, at various points of creation in Genesis we see that it was God who was deciding what was good and the phrase was often used “and He (God) saw that it was good.” After the fall man began deciding what was good for himself. The first and most obvious example of this is when Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves because they knew (through the knowing of good and evil) that they were naked. Later on in Genesis we read that “every man was doing what was right in his own eyes.” A system of good and evil existed in every man and still does today.

With Christians this state is accentuated because we have externalised our knowing of good and evil and given names to the things that are good and those we consider bad. This varies from sect to sect, group to group and movement to movement. We have christianised the knowledge of good and evil collectively and made a religion out of it.. This has served as a very poor substitute to living out of and sharing from the reality that Christ came to DESTROY RELIGION and seeking constantly to undo the law and the knowing of good and evil within us. We now have a “form of Godliness” (a form means a formation or a FORMULA) but the greater substance and power of Christ in us is sacraficed so we can hang onto the form we have created to satisfy our flesh. This is where the Pharisees were at when Jesus came. They had the form but rejected the substance because it/He was apposed to their form - their religion. They tried to bring Christ into their own 'form of Godliness', into their own religion, but when they couldnt they killed him. We do the same today whenever something or someone appears who is outside our own box (whether within the IC or outside of it). We try and fit them into our own form, creed, belief system and code and if they don't fit they are rejected - killed. It doesnt mattter how enlightened we are, we still all have a sinful nature that demands a code or system for our selves/flesh to be recognised and unless we are continually on the guard against it we will succumb. This is why we need to constantly share and talk about these things so our flesh does not make the move of God we are currently flowing in into another "form of Godliness."

In the world every adult individual has their own code or knowing of good and evil even if it is more subtle or even if it is more terribly corrupted - like that of a serial killer or a dictator who committs genocide. On apparent study of all these types of people, they always have a reason (however warped) for believing that what they did was RIGHT. For them, darkly twisted though it may be, they were seeking to obey some moral imperative within themselves. For average folks this code may be more or less obvious but it is there. It is plainly seen if looked for because every person as they grow into adolescence experiences a change whereby they began to feel a tension between what they think they should be like and how they really are. It happens as a child grows into the knowledge of good and evil. This tension is at the heart of every pshycological disorder. It is a seperation of ourselves from ourselves and from the way God made us as children. It cuts two people from one. It gives us an added voice within ourselves that constantly either accuses or condemns (accepts or rejects) who we are versus who we think we should be. This is the same voice that makes constant commentary on all our actions.

God sent the law as an external form that we can measure ourselves up against so that we can as a result, see and hear this voice more clearly for what it is. And what it is is the knowledge of good and evil and it came as a curse. It IS the CURSE from the FALL and it is that which Christ came to redeem us from. That is why we must be “born again” and “become as children to enter the kingdom.” Paul found this out too personally for himself. This is why he said “By the grace of God I am what I am” and also why he said “I no longer judge myself.” He had learned to accept himself the way he was as a direct antidote to the curse of the law and the knowing of good and evil. Paul also said in regards to himself and the law that "all things are lawful". He learned how to dismantle the accusers voice by disposing of the law itself. It is this complete acceptance of one's total being that brings us back into wholeness and ends the seperation of self and the seperation between us and God. It is this childlikeness of faith alone in Christ that restores our purity of heart and causes the knowledge of good and evil to die. It robs the sin nature (the flesh) and the accuser of its/his power to accuse or defend us or to try and define us by some external list, code, morality or obligatory expectation etc.

This is why in both Colossians chapter 2 and Ephesians chapter 2, Paul says that Christ abolished not just the law but all the “handwriting of requirements contained in ordinances (this word means dogma)” and “created in himself one new man from the two.”

I believe as more and more believers come to understand these things that our discussions with one another will take on a new light and a new language as we realise the emptiness of trying to define ourselves by some collective FORM of what we consider acceptable and what we do not. Instead we will talk continually of the cross and the power and acceptance and wholeness and completeness that we have found there. Questions of controversy may very well become obsolete. (I do not say this as a challenge to anyone who wants and needs to talk about certain things because I think all such discussions will help us to arrive at this place (the cross) of full acceptance of ourselves and eachother.)

From a personal perspective I, having come to a deeper and ever growing understanding of the totality of Christs work on the cross, now try not to think in terms of wrong or right, good and evil but instead I think about the prize of full acceptance and righteousness in Jesus Christ that is the only true reality. If there is striving within me now it is to undo all my preconcieved ideas of what good and evil is and to let go completely of my socially and cultural and church infused form of Godliness. This at times has been messy (and appeared that way to others) but I am convinced that it is the only road for me as a believer. In essence, even though it may seem and sound like an unholy path it is actually, paradoxically, the only true path to holiness (or my new word; WHOLINESS) . Paul found out the same truth and expresses it in his own language in Philippians when he said that he considered his own moral code, that which he had been in-breathed with since birth and that which as an adult he had become an expert in, to be no more than a loss (Chapter 3: 5-7). About the law and his blameless form of Judaism and his being chosen into an elite spiritual heritage he says “...But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”

Actually this word “loss” in Philippians means the type of loss resulting from damage or violence. Paul, now entranced like a lover by Christ, considered his birthright into the Holy Law to be a loss equal to a form of personal damage that was inflicted by violence. In the next verse, (verse 8) he calls it 'rubbish.' Rubbish is a word that meant 'dung' or that which was thrown to the dogs. The law and the system of morality that was intricately entwined into Paul's shaping and character was now (in Christ) considered by him to be a loss to himself and only worthy of being thrown to the dogs. It did nothing for him except gave power to this knowledge of good and evil and he wanted above all else to dismantle and lose it utterly so that he might find Christ and be found in him with no righteousness of his own.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter's Cross...

The truth is that the more I see the cross the more I want to stay with it and have it and have the guy who was on it to stay by me. There on that little hill we have called calvary, outside the walls of the city and in the place were thieves and murderers and losers died, I have found an end to my life sorrows and the struggles that crippled me for so many years.

I have a recurring and ever growing vision that swims around my heart and mind becoming clearer and clearer whenever I close my eyes to soak in his presence and think of him. I am in a garden as a boy just looking around under rocks and playing make believe and I am alone, like I mostly felt I was as a kid, and I'm trying to make my own fun and to forget some stuff that went on regularly in the home of my boyhood. I look up and I see at the edge of the garden, where it is barren and lifeless, an old dry and dead tree sticking out of the ground with red rivulets of blood running down its base. It is the red that attracts me to it because it is the only thing giving it some colour. As I lift my head I see the vague form of a man with his feet immovably fixed parallel to the tree, one on each side, with thick nails going sideways through the heels. As I move a bit closer and my sight becomes clearer I follow the line of the man's body upwards and notice through the red map of fresh bright blood that his skin is almost as dark as the tree and the dying sun at his back is turning him into a silhouette. Again I move closer, having to squint my eyes a little because of the angle of the sun. But as I get nearer, I realise the dark skinned man is breathing still. Though still a few feet away from him, I hear each loud breath is incredibly strained and desperate. I notice that with every new attempt at breathing he has to lift his whole body upwards from his feet, using the nails that pierce his heels to push up from. Every breath he manages also pumps a new stream of blood from the nail holes in his heels. I sense the man's terrible pain as well as his desire to let go and die, and yet I can tell also that his human instinct to live is contstantly willing his body towards yet another and then another agonizing breath. I am frightened. I look around but no-one is there to help. I hesitate before moving closer to the man as I realise that tears are forming in my eyes, not so much in empathy for the man but more because of the fear and powerlessness I feel. Fear and powerlessness being two emotions I was acutely aquainted with as a young child and here, with this man who hangs before me so helplessly, the sense of them is incredibly heightened.

I stop within arms distance of the dying man. He is still laboring with all his strength for every breath. Breaths that are becoming so loud and disturbing for me that I wish in my heart he would hurry and die. The man is not aware of my presence and tentatively, in my fear, I reach out with just one small finger and touch him once lightly on his bloodied foot - somehow thinking in a childlike way that it may comfort him. Amazingly, in the immense trial of pain that the dark skinned man is experiencing, I know his body has registered my tiny touch. His eyes open and he looks at me. There is nothing striking about his features except his eyes. Within his eyes is an ancient knowing. As he looks at me and I at him, I know somehow that I have known him and that he also knows me, though never having ever seen him before. It is a difficult moment to put words to. The look he gives me is such a sudden and profound one of recognition that I feel embarressed and I have to look away. It is similar in the way I might encounter a stranger on a train and our eyes get inexplicably drawn together for a brief second just like we recognise some long, forgotten part of ourselves but cannot put a name to it. The moment passes. The man dropps his eyes shut again and attempts another breath but can barely lift himself up this time. I hear the blood gurgle and the wheeze gets louder and more strained and suddenly, for reasons I do not understand I no longer want him to die.

I move more quickly this time, ignoring the blood that covers his legs and feet, and I reach out with my little hands to try and push his body up so he can breathe. My hands slip frantically up his feet with the blood as I try to push and I know the effort is futile. New tears began to well in my eyes. The man lifts his eyelids once again and looks at me with a single acquiescent movement of his eyes that tells me it is okay. I feel forlorn and overwhelmed with such a sense of loss as if somehow, unexplainably, this man dying will mean the end of all hope for me. I am overcome with grief and began to cry openly with huge sobs that come from someplace deep within me. Then through my grief and despair I hear the man wheeze out my name softly, "Simon". It sounds like the last call of a dying father for whom the love of his young child is the only thing that matters to him. I look up again and the man holds my stare in compassion for a brief moment then glances sideways as if pointing with his eyes. I follow his eyes that turn towards one of his outstretched arms that are pinned to a cross-bar by thick nails in his wrists. I can see him straining to move his hand and then his finger slowly extends outward. I look to where his finger is pointing and see an old wooden ladder leaning against a tree only a few feet away.

Inwardly my hope rises. As I rush to get the ladder I think in my childish madness that he wants me to use it to help him down from the cross. "Maybe I can still save him!", I think.

I return with the ladder and with one downward movement of his eyes he motions for me to lean the ladder against his left-arm side of the cross bar. I do so and begin to climb hurriedly up the steps, the weight of my small body against his arm not enough to add to the pain he is already in. By the time I am at eye level with him I know instinctively that my thoughts of saving him are folly. He is not coming down from the cross alive. He stops trying to lift himself up to breathe and I know he has but a few moments before he will expel his last breath. Yet with those last few moments of his life he holds my gaze with a penetrating look and a love that seems to see into the places of my life and soul - some parts that not even I could see. And with that one look this man unveils my life to me.

As this dying man's gaze holds me for what was in reality the briefest of moments, I see myself walk through my life and into all the places where only the very broken go. I see the path where my rejected self took me. I, the boy Simon, who now is mesmerised by the eyes of the man on the cross, re-live my existence. All the dark haunts I found myself in, the places where bitter and lonely people go to use every type of device in an effort to fill their love starved lives. I sailed from one useless and vain moment to another, from alcoholism, crime and addictions, to sexual degradation and social humiliation in just about every possible form. I travelled through my life creating one crisis upon another. Arrogantly abusing women with infidelity, misogynistic control, manipulation and violent cruelty. Using every relationship and human being who crossed my path for my own ends and unable to stop the cycle of deceit, selfishness and empty fulfillment that had all begun as a little boy. A boy who at the age of six had once, on bended knees and with tears, asked God to make him good because he was sure that he was bad.

All this I was seeing through his eyes that held me like love to his cross.

Then I realise, on that lonely tree with a man about to breathe his last breath, that I am seeing my life for the first time as the sad, terrible, self centered and vain journey that it truly was. Not only that but, by way of revelation, I understand that it is just not this man's power and love that is showing me the true nature of my life. It is because at that moment as I am seeing my life unfold from beginning to end, this man is living it also, with me, even as he himself is dying. He too is breathing in each tobacco stained, drug induced and curse-laden breath. Every dark and wandering step, every hand laid upon me in anger or lust and every one I dealt out to another, every shameful act, every thrust of my yearning and corrupted loins, every sad, bitter, resentful, vile and meaningless thought and word that ever passes through me, he experiences himself - just as if he is the one doing it. Just as if he were the one who did it all. He drinks down the cup of my life lovingly like it were his very own. A cup that to a righteous man must taste like poison being poured into a pure soul. He becomes my corruption. Here, the holy one, in the final Genesis, re-makes himself in my dark and twisted image. He becomes my broken me so that I can be his whole Him.

In stark and humble awareness I see that it was not just the weight of his crucified body that was causing him to gasp so desperately for air, nor is it the blood seeping from the nail holes that is killing him. But rather, it is the sin of the ages, the billions of cups he drank just like mine, drowning this man of light in a universe of black Godlessness. Transforming him into something unrecognisable, so hideously deformed and ugly that the sky becomes black and heaven shuts its eyes as his form is "disfigured beyond that of any man."

And I, the little boy Simon, can do nothing but hold onto him around his neck and kiss his cheek gently, smearing the blood from his face over my lips and tasting the gift he gave me, listening to his last exhalation, as his spirit leaves his body like a breeze, carrying the words that I have waited to hear all my life, softly to my ear like a whisper, "It is finished, it is finished, it is finished..."

Oh, dear, dearest one of God
Your highest and utmost
For my lowest and my least
This cross, this cross, this wonderful cross
Where the ancient Most High became one with us
On a filthy, bloodied and accursed tree
Upon a hill that was barren but for thee
The Son's lasts breath
Beneath a blackened sky
and darkened heaven
As Father hid himself to weep
For that which he could not bare to see
Thank you, oh thank you, oh thank you....

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Culinary Perfection (One for the Ladies - and the creative men)

As we have been speaking of perfect things I have to tell you something that to many of you may seem trivial but to me is very exciting. Before I tell you though and with tongue formly tucked into my cheek, I feel a need to also announce quite clearly that I am not gay (only of heart). Infact if anything I am extra-hetro but that is a whole other confessional, except to say, that when God was dishing out hetrosexuality I thought he called out 'icecream' and I asked for a double serving. Having stated that, I do inexplicably enjoy the peculiar comfort of pottering around my house in a tastefully colored Moo Moo and believe it or not, 'Simon The Rejected' also gets off big time in the kitchen.

Yeppers...I am, or at least up until recently, I was, a frustrated chef. I say frustrated because as some of you know I've had for what seems like forever a nasty gastritis in my tum tum that has made anything except really bland foods not so yum yum. Anyway these last couple of weeks my tum tum has healed... thank you jesus....and I am back on chilli, coffee (that explains the increased blogging of late), chinese food and all manner of other exotic and spicy foods that titillate my taste buds.

This has been and continues to be a great joy for me because, Jesus knows, I really like my food. This makes perfect sense for anyone who like me once ate drugs for a living, downgraded gradually to steady alcohol intake, dropped further under the sanctifying work of the spirit to a staple diet of inhaled tobacco and an occasional immoral act, until finally by his grace there was nothing left except FOOD!!!! (Well okay, maybe the odd {and I DO mean odd - but not gay odd. Got that!?} illicit movie running through my brain).

So food is it for me people. Its all I got left basically and I'm gonna milk (pun intended) it for all I can while I can. Who knows? He may take it away one day and I'll end up sucking beef puree through a straw and reminiscing of the good old days when I could eat pizza, Thai food and hetrosexual ice cream half an hour before going to bed and still experience an uninterupted 8 hours of pleasant dreams...... Ahhhhh....the good life.

Now, I know I am taking a long time to get there folks but the wait will be worth it if you have love for all things digestable. You see I have over the past couple of years had, from time to time, spiritual culinary secrets dowloaded from my friend Goddy, the master of all masters when it comes to cooking. It started with simple curries and how to make them. He showed me how to make hot and wonderful Nothern Indian curries, side plates of fruit accompaniments included. Then came the Thai green curry which I humbly admit to making superbly. Then joyful exploration into lively salads, middle eastern foods like hummous with falafel and pita breads and pasta sauces with vegetarian bases etc.

I have to say that my growth into cooking has happened quite miraculously. It was not an inclination that was passed down from my either of my parents although my dad knew how to make a mammoth full English sunday breakfast as well as a damn good Yorkshire pudding. But there it ended. As for my mum if she had any inclination towards cooking she hid it from us kids almost as well as she hid her purse. I am not joking; her meat loaf (God bless her) was once patented as a new eatable building material ( the patent was dropped after the company that was interested in it discovered that it was not infact eatable after all). Even our family dog, the German Sheperd learnt how to dial for take out.

Nope, my cooking ability has been supernatural. I only rarely use cook books and traditional recipes. What happens is I usually just get a spur of the moment instinctive compulsion to throw certain foods together and somehow the creation comes out right. Either the Holy Spirit is talking to me at the time or the Iron Chef has astro-travelled all the way from Asia to Australia, into my brain and somehow found a way to translate from Japanese into English these amazing culinary delights. I think the former is more likely dont you? I mean if it were the Iron Chef the big question going begging would be, "Why would he do it?!"

So, this brings me to the reason for this post (apart from the all the coffee I mean) because last night it happened and then again today and I am so excited because it has been so long since I got something new! Last night I planned to have grilled fish and vegetables. Sounds ok huh? Sure it is nice but at the last moment, as I am putting the fish under the grill, I get one of my downloaded flashes from either God or the Iron Chef. It came to me in one split second and it was really quite simple:

"Why don't you put a half cup of canned, diced tomatoes over the fish and then smear a teaspoon of mashed ginger across the top of that and then douse the whole thing in a quarter of a cup of coconut milk and then grill it all together on the foil. Turn it once at the end for a few minutes and you got something that is fish but so much more interesting."

Wow. Sounds simple right? Yep, it took me two minutes and then 10 minutes grilling time and it was Alleluia! It was beautiful. I want you to try it next time you have fish. If you want an even better marinated taste then fry it all together in a pan with the coconut milk. You won't be sorry.

Then today I get another one even better while grabbing some stuff at the store. Again within a moment I see a list of ingredients and I buy them and take them home ready to have lunch!

I took a whole peeled avocadoe, about 4 real good tablespoons of light philedelphia cream cheese, two tablespoons of margarine, quarter cup of diced canned tomatoes, a half teaspoon of mashed ginger, half teaspoon of salt and a handful of diced shallots and then just mashed it all together into a consistent mix. It took me about five minutes to do the lot. I ended up with a 400 gram tub. Whats it for?! To spread on your bread or crackers! Honestly tis wonderful like. I had it on bread rolls with pastrami ham and lettuce. It was so good I had three of them. You can spread it thick or thin to your own liking. TRY IT!!! Maybe you will get a creative dowload yourself and add some twists! Maybe it has already been created but I sure didn't know about it. It is a bonafide miracle!

Anyway, what all this means is that our Goddy is good and really just loves to love us in real gritty personal ways like showing us how to make food that we really like as well as the big giant type ways like the DEATH of His dear SON and our dear BROTHER JESUS upon the CROSS!

All glory to Goddy! (Or just in case; a bit of glory to the Iron Chef - one never knows).

Be Ye Perfect

This is my post responding to a recent discussion on Jesus's words, "Be ye perfect" of Mathew 5 fame. After I wrote it I liked it so I thought I would post it here too:

How about that Jesus didn't ever mean "You shall be perfect just as your father in heaven is perfect" as a command, but rather, as a prophetic utterance. As a formal announcement of his intention, of his purpose, the highest declaration of his plan for his service toward us on earth. "You SHALL be perfect" is how it translates. This makes beautiful heart stopping sense because later on this word "perfect" is used again when Jesus prophetically describes how his very own state will be on the day he arises from the dead (Luke13:32). Here the word "perfected" is a slightly varied form of the same root word, Telos, from which Telios comes from in "Be Ye Perfect." Again the writer of Hebrews also uses the exact same word when describing not only Jesus being "perfected" in his sufferings (Hebrews 5:9) but also you and me having ALREADY BECOME "perfect"by "ONE OFFERING" in Hebrews 10:14. YEEEEEEAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

This means that we are already there. There is no new message. No ifs, musts or buts. We are there! No wars to be won, no tests to complete, no mammoth tasks left undone and no frigging codes left to paralyse us! It is only that we need to truly believe it in order to truly enjoy it. Not believing it doesnt make it any less true or sure. It just makes us insecure....

If you are unsure then do a study on this word "perfect" in the NT.It has various inflections, many deriving from Telos but you will come up with the perfect conclusion that "YE ARE PERFECT." Just as our "father in heaven is perfect" you and I share the same pefection that Jesus achieved on the day he rose from the dead. There isnt another type of perfection. There is not one type of perfection we have by faith and one we strive for. The one by faith IS the one we strive for - except we strive to rest in it, not to do it.

"It is finished" which Jesus breathed out with his last breath incidentally means "perfected" too. It also is from the same word telos. It is even a stronger form of the word "perfect." It is like saying the word "perfect" but with enthusiasm. It is like a common man, like you and me, coming across a job that is done so well it astounds us, so we exclaim, "Man! That is damn perfect!"

So excuse me while I repeat myself;"YEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!"

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Simon the Rejected

I have not written for a while. Not a good look for someone who thought he would be SuperBlogger....he,he.

Ive been reading another post for quite some time and I was a very active member of that list also for several months. I found myself feeling hurt that no-one asked after me as I stopped posting there. I was still reading but just not sharing because of the personal space I happen to have been in, maybe still am in. I was also quite hurt and dissapointed that those who I had opened my life to through that list also never visited my blog when I started it, never left any comments or encouraged me whatsoever. I think one or maybe two people who I didnt know visited Adullams Cave once or twice.

Wow....As I write this I realise that the above is very real for me. I got hurt by them and stopped sharing. It is the person that I am. I am thin skinned in this area. I have a big heart and since walking into some awesome healing in the last few years by Big Goddy I have become quite a vulnerable person. I thought this healing would make me more like a man of steel with a sheild of exuberated love to protect me as I marched my way through the miry world. But nope - I ended up becoming a soppy, sensitive, easily hurt, woossy little boy. I am soft and squishy on the inside and still display old defensive patterns on the outside to protect me from all you meanies!

When I started on the said list I thought it would be this new and exciting journey as I was embracing and walking with others in the ethernet in ground breaking, cutting edge, revelation of the spirit, vibrant ex-church, reformation style..... Hmmm....bummer it turned out the way it did. I own a lot of it of course. The truth is I stopped being honest with them as I began to sense that some of my thoughts that I expressed made people feel uncomfortable. And some people told me they did. I seem to have been graced with that ability (hear the self pity?...blah!)

Anyway this story is the one of my life thus far. It has happened again and again, ad infinitum, at every church/christian group etc that I have walked in to - then out of. The result of this repetitive exercise has led me to two conclusions that I am convinced of:

1) I, all my life (much longer story), have suffered deeply from rejection and the Lord in his loving and gentle way has seen fit to allow these same circumstances over and over until I can find my whole and full acceptance in Him - as all that TRULY MATTERS. This has been both incredibly painful and incredibly joyful. I have a security now within myself and within him that I did not ever think I would be able to have this side of the New Jerusalem. Still I have further to go. The best is yet to come.


2) That I, together with the rest of the church and all the people who make up the church of Jesus Christ are just playing childrens games until we learn to love in practice. I dont now how yet....partly because of number 1) and partly because I have never been shown (except of course by him).

I wonder what it will look like when we find it and start giving it to one another with the same enthusiasm and quantity that we have shared all the lesser revelations that have amused us like tidliwinks for so long.