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FULL FLAME (AN OLD COMMISH'S LAMENT)

A fire will always go out unless it is constantly fed and fanned. My life partner, Doris captured this idea in the chorus of a song she wrote:


Lord stir the embers, breathe on the coals

Add to the kindling, nourish our souls.

Only Thy Spirit can kindle the flame,

Come Holy Spirit revive us again.


A revolution (revival) is like a fire in full flame. Our army, in its beginnings, was a fire in full flame. Then something predictable happened, as it does eventually with every fledgling revolutionary movement. She captures this slow and subtle eventuality in the opening lines of the song’s first stanza:


The fire's almost out Lord, the embers burn low

Where once a flame flourished is now a faint glow.


Many are critical of what I write, interpreting my musings as hypercritical and disloyal, with the word “treasonous” occasionally thrown in for effect. Not so at all. Just jealous for what our forefathers once had, wanting it desperately for this generation and those to come.


I recently read where Booth was called a “brazen-faced charlatan,” “pious rogue,” “masquerading hypocrite,” “cunning scoundrel,” and “well-meaning, but mad—stark mad.” It was this non-conformist, revolutionary spirit that first drew me to the army, my first corps officer, a free-spirited rebel, the first of several maverick role models to come. Where have all the flame-fanning rebels gone? Sigh!


I write what I do because I love the army and want it to be in full revolutionary flame, spreading like wildfire, so that this and every emerging generation can experience the “full flame.” The words for what I’m attempting to express, fail me, because they, alone, simply cannot convey the rush that comes with being smack-dab in the center of a full-flamed movement. And I only experienced a fleeting snippet of it.


I’m speaking of the “evangelical” part, not the “Do the Most Good!” part. There is no equal to this part. We shine and will continue to shine in that arena. Peter Drucker, the legendary business guru has tabbed us, “The most effective organization in the U.S.”


I read recently that there are certain features that accompany the beginning of the end of a great movement in church history. With regard to the “evangelical end” part, one of those features is “A disproportionate desire for respectability and reputability—sophisticated and sleek.”


As I draw now ever so close to becoming a centenarian, compromise and conformity no longer haunt nor hinder me. Like the lyrics of that Johnny Nash song say…

I can see clearly now the rain is gone I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind

Here is that rainbow I've been praying for


With this ever-increasing clarity, I invite you to interpret my writings, not as hypercritical or disloyal, but rather…


1. Jealous for what sparked the army’s beginnings.

2. As prophetically feeding and fanning the flame.

3. Wanting desperately to see that spark in full flame again.


These are the thoughts that inspired the “Old Commish’s Lament,” following. Let this thinking guide you when considering my latest semi-fictional prophetic opus: “The KISS of Death: A Lower Room Conspiracy.” And its message will be magnified when read in tandem with its companion piece: “UH-OH! The Left-Right Dilemma”—a one, two punch (“UH-OH!” to be read first).



Commish’s Lament


Some think his writings hypercritical

Flirting on the edge, sometimes heretical


~Think Prophetical

Page after page, coming faster and faster

Barreling forward toward the hereafter


~Think Disaster

Booth and his tribe were fiery and zealous

That’s what this writer is trying to tell us


~Think Rebellious

Jealous for what sparked this army’s beginning

Ridding this world of recalcitrant sinning


~Think Winning

Their spirit one of courageously caring

Spurred by impulses in no way forbearing


~Think Daring

He shares with you ridiculous verse

Hoping to counter the status quo curse


~Think Reverse

To get an entirely different look


~Think Hooked


That’s why controversial tomes he writes

A prophetic revolution intent to ignite


~Think Invite


JOIN THE REVOLUTION!


~Think MORE!

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