My Religious Experience at the Asbury Revival

I love my routines,

and the people who don’t like me (which is becoming more and more) love to say, “You’re very predictable.”

I don’t care.

They’ll have to change their underwear, when I shock them again.

My dad told me, “There’s a revival on in Lexington, Kentucky.”

This is my chance, I thought.

I hadn’t been anywhere in 4 years.

I told my friend that I wanted to go.

He said that he would think about it, and get back to me on Sunday.

I met with my other friend who retired last year. She’s a Jewish lady who is into spirituality, but not religion.

I shared my faith.

I said the name of Jesus.

A big feminist with blue hair sat down next to us and glared at me.

She reminded me of Jaws (the shark and not the James Bond Villain).

My friend called. “I bought the tickets,” he said.

“We’re on,” I told my Jewish friend.

“On what?” She asked.

“I’m going to get revived. I had the Holy Spirit for two months last year, but then I got separated from God because of sin.”

“What did you do?”

“I think about women all the time.”

“That’s normal.”

“I know. The world is going to hell.”

I hugged her, and left. Then I went to pack my bags.

I had never been to the South. People were friendly there. Crowds were lining-up outside the Asbury Chapel, but they were only admitting ages 16 to 25. I was in my mid-thirties.

When I tried to sneak in, they asked for my ID. I didn’t dare lie. They redirected me to the gym.

“I should’ve made a false ID,” I told my friends.

People were worshiping God there, repenting, and reading from the Bible.

I felt this gold glow surround me. A warm feeling penetrated my insides.

Ordinarily, I am a skeptical person who loves to make fun of organized religion.

This event happened spontaneously.

19 students were praising God in the college chapel, and they all began to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. They skipped their next class and began to praise God. Soon, word got out, and hundreds filled the chapel. Their praise and worship got shared on TikTok.

Thousands, from all over the world showed up, including me.

I met two engaged couples. One was Amish. The other was a Mennonite.

The young man was looking for a sign from God that he should marry this girl.

I wouldn’t have needed a sign. I was envious of him. She was beautiful.

He asked that God provide a ring.

His niece was talking to somebody on the bus.

“Who are you talking to?” He asked her.

“God,” she said.

“What is God saying to you?”

“He said to give you this.” She handed him a ring-pop.

Now that he had a ring, he needed to ask her dad’s permission.

When he drove his truck to her house, he came out.

“He never comes out.”

When he asked, her dad said, “You have always had my permission.”

Then he took her to a lighthouse and was about to propose, when she got down on one knee and proposed to him with a ring pop.

(Ordinarily, I consider it a red flag when a woman proposes to a man, but in this case, God was in it.)

On the last day of the revival, I snuck past security and got into the chapel to worship God. It was like the Holy Spirit was the conductor of the worshipers.

The energy was coming from somewhere else.

“You got to hear this guy!” My friend shouted over the screams and singing and yelling.

I turned to shake his hand.

He told me, “You are like a sharp tool that will be used to cut away the shell of unbelievers.”

“That’s evangelism!” My friend shouted. “You’re going to be an evangelist!”

Since the revival, I have shared my faith with countless people.

“What did you do over the break?” A coworker asked me.

“I went to a revival,” I said.

“If that’s a religious thing, I don’t want to hear it.” She held up her hand.

“Okay,” I said.

“Are you in some kind of a cult?” She asked.

“No. I just spent my vacation worshiping God with believers from all around the world.”

The End


A Golf Course Revival

It was a cold February evening, before the sun went down

and the golf course parking lot was empty, with the exception

of two cars.

Frank was there, and Ken.

I noticed that Ken was agitated. He was always complaining about Frank.

They were friends who hated each other, but at 81 and 82

they were the best company each other had. They had finished 14 holes, and Ken was going home.

I shook his hand. “Did you finish 18?”

“No. I can’t stand that guy. He has problems.” Ken gave a look of disgust in the direction of Frank.

“I’m going home,” he said.

I waved goodbye, and then I waved to Frank. “Do you want some company?” I asked.

“Yeah. Let’s tee-off together.”

Frank wore Levi jeans and an electric coat. I played with him in 2020.

Now, his face was deathly white, and his hair was white, and his eyelids drooped, so that the red mucous membranes showed.

I crushed my drive.

“You hit the hell out of that one!”

“Thanks,” I said. “It’s nice to be playing golf with you again, Frank.”

“Are you married?”

“No, but I’m looking for a wife,” I said. “I picked this game up, to get exercise and to lose weight. I sit behind a desk. But the best part of this game is the people that you meet.”

We walked to the next hole.

“I can’t gain weight,” Frank said. “I hate to eat. I don’t even like to drink water.”

“What do you drink, then?” I asked.


“But that’ll dehydrate you.”

“I know.”

“What else do you drink?”

“Beer. Last summer I was barbecuing and drinking beer and I set fire to my face with propane.”

“That’s awful,” I said.

“Yeah. My life flashed before my eyes. My wife put my head under water, while my skin was peeling off my face.”

“You look okay, now,” I said. “Maybe, a little pale.”


We hit our shots and kept walking. Frank was a slow walker and a fast talker.

I could tell he had money, but he was quietly wealthy.

“Last week, I played golf in Kentucky,” I said.

“Why did you go there?” Frank asked.

“There was a revival. I met a guy who told me I was going to become an evangelist.”

“Really?” Frank asked.

“Are you a Christian?”

“Yeah, but a quiet Christian,” Frank said. “I’ve done too many bad things to be outspoken about it.”

“Well… it’s not what we do, but what God is willing to do in us,” I said. “It’s exciting to be used by God. I’m not the evangelist type. I’m a writer.”

“What do you write?” Frank asked.

“Oh—stories and poems,” I said. I neglected to tell him about my blog.

Frank and I began playing really well. I holed-out for a birdie and he did the same.

“Can you believe this game?” He asked. “One moment, you can’t do anything right, and the next, you are pretending to be a pro.”

“I like to make guys feel self-conscious on the golf course,” I said. “Whenever I start playing golf really well, I pretend that it’s natural for me.”

Frank laughed.

I don’t know how we got onto the subject of bodybuilding, but he told me that he used to take steroids.

“It messed me up,” he said, “but it made me strong. Let me show you a picture of myself at 49.”

In the photograph, Frank was wearing jeans, with a tanned upper torso. He was all muscle, like Hercules.

He reminded me of one of my closest friends—my golfing buddy, and come to think of it, Frank wasn’t that far off.

“I enjoyed playing with you, Frank” I said.

“Me too,” he laughed.

We waved and smiled at each other, and the sun did the same.

The End

Bosses Always Have a Boss

Many employees, wives, spiritual teachers, etc.

have an empty feeling

at the end of the day.

There is no greater feeling

than filling this emptiness before lunchtime—

it’s better than a hamburger and fries.

I do it with writing

but I suspect

that it could be done

with damn near anything.

That is the great mystery: status, fame, drugs, religion

don’t always work.

I like to play golf, to even myself out.

While finishing my Doctorate Degree, I told my boss that I wanted to be a great golfer and a writer.

She didn’t understand me—to her, these were only hobbies, to kill time.

It’s easy, to become too serious, and not to cultivate luck.

The luckiest man in the world has everything that he needs—

and by not being dependent, he is the master.

Bosses want control over others, which is a kind of slavery—

they always have a boss,


they resent anyone who avoids this trap.

I shave with Occam’s Razor

There are many ways to “Trip”

I trip on a shoelace, and fall down the stairs

I trip when I take drugs (not recreationally, because I’m a Christian)—

to some, God is a drug.

I trip, when I go on a trip. Everything goes wrong.

It might be

the bad luck of my travelling buddies.

I trip, when our flight is delayed

and we miss our connecting flight. My Indian friend restrains his anger

but the demon inside of him

is pressing-up against his good-looking face

and he asks our receptionist

with untold grace

“Mam—are there no other options?”

“This voucher is good for a hotel, but because of the blizzard, all hotels are booked within a 2-hour radius.”

He glares at her, through smiling white teeth, and says, “Thank you, mam,” in enunciated Oxford English.

“Here are some food vouchers for you.”

I take them, gratefully.

My Indian friend is dressed in a pea coat.

He would’ve done his business right there, but he has too many manners and too many patents, elsewhere.

He restrains himself, and uses the bathroom, instead.

We have to sleep in the airport.

The floor is harder than our camping trip in the woods.

I don’t sleep, but my Indian friend takes my picture three times

with my eyes closed

as photographic evidence that I did.

“Just because my eyes are closed, doesn’t mean I slept,” I said.

“You were snoring,” he laughed, gleefully.

It turns out, that our chain reaction of bad luck


because of a poorly planned bit of business in an on-flight restroom.

We were told this

by an elegant black man

in a service uniform.

“Our sanitation service can’t get rid of the smell,” he said.

His nostrils twitched, like he had sniffed something sour.

There was this blond girl in butt-tight pants and a sports bra


back and forth, in the airport.

“Does she want attention?” I asked my friends.

“She wants power,” my Indian friend said.

“It could’ve been her, who bombed the bathroom,” I suggested.

After 30 straight hours of no sleep, no service, and no sanitation

I shaved

in the restroom

with Occam’s razor.

My face was gray

4 flights were rerouted


thousands of dollars in flight vouchers were given away.

How could one person create so much chaos? I wondered.

“Whoever bombed that bathroom was a terrorist,” I said.

The simplest explanation is always the best.

Aphorisms on Waiting for the Word


I come to writing


to see the rabbit

come out

of his hole.


When I have found a magical place

I wait…for hours

Sometimes, the magic comes, but usually, it doesn’t.

It doesn’t matter how patient I am

Magic has no Master—

I understand it,

but I don’t control it.


All a man needs

is to find one white rabbit

and wait for it.


Traveling, is the surest way

to bottle-up experiences,

but if the cork gets stuck

it can drive a drunk insane.

Drink your own words, and don’t write them down,


if others are meant to enjoy them

they will flow freely, like water turned into wine.


We have experiences

but we don’t write them all down

Otherwise, we would bore ourselves.


A photographer

doesn’t capture the moment

He steals

what nobody else sees.

Confucius—a man of justice, or a tyrant?


was a wise man, but he preferred to be called

a learned man.

He loved learning

from the masters of the past.

He served many kings

who openly admitted

they wanted conquest.


taught music and courtly propriety to his followers

so they might be able to serve great kings

and in so doing

become great themselves.

This was the only way

their wisdom could penetrate the culture.

Unfortunately, Confucius, nor his followers, were recognized in their lifetimes.

One King after another, scorned their wisdom.

When Confucius held a position, some courtly entertainers were immodest

so he put them to death.

They violated the rules of the court.

Confucius executed many

because their conduct was not appropriate.

How easy it is

for a “wise man”

to become a tyrant.

Men are not meant to be gods

and most of them

want to be.

On a very small scale

I can see the tyrant in myself.

It is so easy

to see the tyrant in others

and more frightening

when they don’t see it,

in themselves.

Moral courage might be

the ability

to recognize this failure in our humanity

and press on with the dignity

required to do one’s duty.

Now, I’m sounding like Confucius

who emphasized rules

to govern morality.

When we lack morals

we become obsessed with injustice.

A decadent society loves the law

because they have no love of truth.

Lawyers profit from lies.

Good Writing Hangs Around

Multi-tasking is too damn dangerous

I know people think

they can do it all, but they end up

at a dead end

driving their cars (like my Indian friend)

while checking their GPS

the road


everything else, at 111 miles-per-hour.

Old cars

have safety features

built in—like

no Bluetooth

Just a radio

with nothing interesting on.

I can’t write

and listen to my Indian friend

who asks me, “What if you could make a living from writing?”

“That would be a miracle,” I said.

A writer has to isolate

and pay attention to only one or two things.

Otherwise, he’s like everyone else—

not paying attention,

being hip,

on the cutting edge

of culture (Recycled Garbage).

A writer doesn’t


the waves

of society.

He sees far ahead, beyond the storm


He looks back

at the sands of time.

The rest of writing

can be found in urine-soaked newspapers

lining bird cages

full of opinions

and the poop punctuates the words, perfectly.

It’s all bird-shit-gossip,

forgotten is less than a day.

Good writing hangs around

Not because the words are written down,

But because they stick in the mind

where they belong.

Aphorisms on Pleasure, Peace, Popularity, and Pain (or Fame)


Knowing when to take a break, when to be lazy, when to let go

is the most crucial

spiritual practice.


There is such a thing as too much spirituality

just as there can be too much self.


We have to get away from who we are, forget who we are, lose track of our bodies

and then return to the pleasures

that we

enjoyed on planet earth.


When a man finds that he has nothing to say

he can finally enjoy the silence.


There are many foods to eat

that don’t feed the body.


A fat nation

is starving its soul.


It takes no taste

to appreciate what’s popular.


Great art changes you. It’s a spiritual thing.

Most art

is worse than a waste of time—

it convinces people

that art is a waste of time.

Aphorisms on a Rare Meal


It is rare


like a steak

when two souls meat

and share, this delicious meal



The higher the experience

the farther away it is

for most people,

and when they see it

it is only a speck in the sky

a dot, next to a cloud.


If you are meant to do something, do it


don’t wonder why.


They will attempt to explain you

but their vocabularies

only have one or two words for clouds.



can be just as dull

as visiting relatives.



can be just as dull

as essays on the economies

of the pre-colonial period.


This is why

a man must find

a few favorite foods

that when combined

make an exceptional meal.


Sharing it with a friend

is better than salt and pepper.


A friend makes that meal


It’s dangerous being a spiritual teacher.

I can see myself, clothed in white

teaching a crowd

of gullible people

while I bask in the glory,

but then their problems arrive…

“Heal my boy.”

“I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”

“You mean, you won’t do that!”

“No, I can’t.”

“What can you do?”

“I can look good, talking to you, but in all honesty, my bladder is leaking, and I’m worried about the yellow pee-stains you might see on my robes.”

“Tell us the truth!”

“I’m just a man. I don’t have any special wisdom. I don’t even know who I am.”

“But you’re spiritual!”

“That might be true. Look here, I’ve got to go. I’ll see you next Sunday.”

I play golf with my Indian friend. He delights me, with his crazy driving.

“This car is nothing like my other one. It’s a V2 engine.”

“I don’t think they make V2 engines,” I said.

“It is. It’s slower than a V4. See…”

“He tries to run a yellow light. It turns red. He’s still accelerating. He slams on the break.

He tells me about traffic in India, while he points to the GPS, and cruises between the center lane and the carpool lane.

Mothers are honking and giving us signs.

“Kentucky reminds me of India,” he said.

We get to my other friend’s house.

His sister is there, looking good. She pays attention to my handsome Indian friend.

Look at me! I scream inside.

It’s dangerous being a spiritual teacher.