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Sunday, April 30, 2023

Preview: The Knight Shift's very last blog post

Am looking at making a few edits and additions to this blog.  Nothing too drastic though.  I used to change up The Knight Shift's appearance about once a year or so.  But it's had this template for five years now and it really does seem to be the best it's looked.

And I'm going to make sure it stays looking good, up until the very end.

A long time ago I heard about something that, it was kind of a legend.  That somewhere in the bowels of the CNN headquarters in Atlanta, there was a videotape.  And it was explicitly noted that it would not be used until the end of the world had been confirmed.  CNN founder Ted Turner had declared when the channel first started up that it would be on the air until the absolutely final moments of Planet Earth.  There would be no signing-off of CNN until then.

It turned out that this was not a myth.  Turner did make a "hold until end of the world" video.  Here it is on YouTube.  Depicting a military band playing "Nearer My God To Thee".  To be followed by CNN going out into darkness eternal.

When the tale turned out to be real, an idea hit me.  That I should also have a final post to be made on this blog.  There are actually two posts for the occasion: one to be made when my own passing away happens (hopefully a LONG time from now), and one to also hold for publishing until the apocalypse truly is upon us.

So if you are wondering what the very final words will be on The Knight Shift, after all this time and more, here's what is "in the vault" ready to be used at the closing of human history.  Please ignore the January 2050 timestamp.  That's just a placeholder for the actual date of Armageddon.

Anyhoo, here it is:


I want to be well into my eighties before I leave this earth, however it happens.  I was a kid when Halley's Comet visited in 1986 and it really was a letdown unless you lived in more southerly latitudes.  Hoping I'll get to see it during its next appearance and praying it will be much better.

Well, there it is.  When you all see that post, you will know to step away from the computer or put down your smart phone and embrace your loved ones as destruction rains down upon us.

I just like being prepared, is all :-)

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Dr. Charles Stanley has gone Home

"Well done, My good and faithful servant."


Let us be thankful for the very long time that God let him be among us.  A lot of people came to Christ... and drew closer to Him... because of this man's seemingly tireless efforts.  Dr. Charles Stanley truly had a servant's heart.  I for one learned quite a lot from watching his In Touch weekly series on television.

I got to meet him once.  It was January 2001, some friends and I went to a service at First Baptist Church of Atlanta.  Stanley struck me as one of the kindest people I've ever encountered.  He asked where was I from and I told him Reidsville, North Carolina.

"Oh I know where Reidsville is!" he replied.  "That's right down the road from Danville!", where he grew up.

I asked him if he could sign my Bible and he did on the inside front page.  Below his name he wrote "Isaiah 64:4".  It reads as thus, from the New International Version:


Since ancient times no one has heard,
    no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
    who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

In hindsight, I should have taken that verse more to heart.  I am thankful now though, that I get to appreciate it anew.

See you later Dr. Stanley.

EDIT 04/19/2023: my best friend since forever, Chad Austin, is managing editor of Biblical Recorder.  He just published an excellent article about Dr. Stanley's early years, from his first devoting his life to Christ on through serving as pastor of several churches and becoming a teacher.  It's a very inspiring read and I felt truly moved by it.  Click here to read "Stanley's global ministry has deep, formative roots in NC".


Friday, April 14, 2023

Anyone else feeling this way too? (Spoilers for Stranger Things)

The very last shot from "The Piggyback", the finale of Stranger Things season four:

Click to enlarge

That's the overwhelming sense of things that I've had for much of this past year and I imagine it has been for a lot of other people too.  The visual metaphor is a most fitting one.  Many of our heroes, who have just gone through an incredibly exhaustive tribulation that spanned the width of America, enjoying a brief moment of joy and reunion.

And then they see the particles floating downward, not just them but everyone else in Hawkins.  It builds up to the final scene as Hopper and Joyce lead the others out of the woods... and toward the inescapable reality that for all their effort they have failed after all.  All they can do is stand from afar and look on as the Upside Down begins its invasion of the world.

Here's the sequence in its entirety, from the goosebumps on the back of Will's neck on through the devastating conclusion:


That, for me, is the thematic encapsulation of what I've had to watch unfold around us these past couple of years especially.  Growing darkness.  For each apparent win it becomes apparent that it hasn't been good enough.  That the battles may be won but the war is far from over.

I feel like I'm in that field, standing at a distance away from the chaos and turmoil that's threatening to engulf everything.  Looking onward toward the encroaching darkness and the world really is being turned upside-down and inside-out.

It's a powerful sense to be hit with.

But that's not all that scene conveys.

Joyce and Hopper are holding hands, bracing themselves for what is to come.  They've gone through so much for each other and they're going to be together now, too.  They aren't giving up.

Neither is Eleven.  The very last closeup of her shows her face in grim determination that this is not the end.  That the fight isn't over.  That she's going to do whatever it takes to face the threat of the Upside Down.  Eleven is going to finish this.  She's standing between her friends and evil unleashed: literally as well as figuratively.

I look at that final shot and see a battle that has been lost.  Things look bad now.  Very horribly wrong.

But there is still hope.

I don't think this present darkness around us is insurmountable, unconquerable.  I think it can be held at bay, if only for a little while.  Maybe that's all it will take for things to begin to be set right.  We look at how circumstances are now and we're going to acknowledge that the situation is dire.  But that's the furthest we'll allow it to get.

What comes next will be difficult.  The darkness will not give quarter to us.  Many people are going to be hurt in some capacity.

I think of scripture, and the promises of God.  We just had the Easter season.  Remembering a time when things seemed beyond all hope... and then God intervened and turned grief into immeasurable triumph and victory.

That's what we have to cling to, as we stand in our own field looking out upon the world that's being engulfed in evil.

We don't have to win.  We only have to stand.

If there is strength to do just that much, it will be enough.



Monday, April 03, 2023

The April Fools prank I helped a friend with

The other week my very good friend Eric Smith (yes, the same one who also made a campaign commercial during that VERY wacky school board race years ago) approached me with a project.  Could I help him pull off an April Fools stunt this year?  I said absolutely, that it would be an honor and a pleasure to work with him.

Along with being an expert welder, Eric is also a professional Santa Claus (the reason his beard is so big and bushy).  And he's a certified beer expert (no really, you can get certifications for that) who regularly posts videos on YouTube as "Beer Santa".  So he came up with the idea for Duke's Mayonnaise Beer.

Here's the video he published two days ago.  Looks and sounds pretty convincing aye? :-)

Maybe next year I'll come up with another prank.  It's been too long since I've pulled off something.  I think my favorite was when I got everyone thinking that I was joining the Amish and turned this site into "Plain Blog by Brother Christopher Knight".  And then there was that other year's prank that got the Vatican's attention... but we won't go there.

So on your way home this evening, stop by your local grocer and pick up some all-natural Duke's Mayonnaise Beer.  Made by Sloof Brewing in Piedmont, Georgia.