Why you failed as a blogger #stopthefail 200 Words or Less

April 18, 2015

Why you fail as a blogger and a human being

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna
Dear me, you or, in fact, both of us:
You fail because you lie to me. You fail because you want to ascend the clouds, alone. With great strides. Without me. You fail because you seek to ascend to high places by means of intimidation, manipulation and deception.
You fail because you don’t know more than shit and shit isn’t helpful, useful, encouraging, healing or building up anything. You fail because you never put in the sweat, tears and trembling to become a you that truly cares about me. Or a you I can admire without much reasonable doubt. You only know your own vanity.

Who speaks when the words come out of your mouth? Who speaks when you type the words that you type? Is it you?

Are you the liar, slanderer and that monster? Or is it another which you have mistaken for yourself? Or, perhaps, they are many which you believe to be you. They are not you.

I never once believed you were a monster.

Only a truth of the patient, good and encouraging kind will set us free.

With much love and truth, and anxious concern,
Stan Faryna
18 April 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

Last Words and Testament

April 6, 2015

Last words and testament
[Flash Fiction]

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

John wrote it with a stone. He carved it upon the soft floor of his basement prison with his mouth. His hands had been removed.

Can you feel how heaviness pulls on my beating heart? Can you feel the friction of the slowly turning gears? The weight of the elephant that sits on my heart

It’s been so long since I’ve heard the ringing bells in your laughter. Since my heart lifted at your enthusiastic and happy plea. Since joy entered into my eyes as I watched you sleep, peacefully, beside me

I will go but I will come again by God’s grace. For God has appointed me as your hero, your husband, and your lamp. Believe it and if you believe it, proclaim it – Love never fails 

George wept in his unbelief. But he wept without tears. Because ghosts do not have tears.

“Bring my love here when it is safe,” John commanded George after he had finished.

It had taken John forever to write…

“Bring her to this place that she will know that I have not abandoned her – even now.”

George was shocked and angry.

“Are you fucking talking to me now?! Can you fucking see me?! Why haven’t you said anything until now, bro?!”

John smiled and looked with kindly and sympathetic eyes at George.

“I was lost. I was scared, brother.

I had thought I had become mad.

And you could use some clothes.”

Stan Faryna
6 April 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

Wild Geese know the season but do you, Mary Oliver?

April 2, 2015

Hand-crafted notes from an adulterous generation no. 2
[Flash Fiction]

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

“The American poetess, Mary Oliver, inspired Freddie by her poem, Wild Geese. He wrestled with it like Jacob wrestled with the angel…”

A heavy tear slid down Martha’s cheek, she paused and took a sip of water from a stainless steel bottle.

Martha looked over to the open casket with a black glossy piano finish. Her handsome brother lay peacefully with death. He had a face that reminded everyone of superman. It was the strong, square jaw.

“I remember the day Freddie first heard Oliver’s poem. Another student had read it in his junior year high school AP English class. He came home wildly excited. He could not praise the poem enough at dinner and then he read it – defiantly, enthusiastically, and proudly.”

Martha smiled and Freddie’s ex-husband, Roy Saul, sighed loudly in the front row as he removed his buffalo-hide, long coat.

Martha reminded Roy of Freddie. She and Freddie had the same dark brows and lashes. And full lips.

If only Martha were a man. He would go down on her…

Martha continued speaking.

“Some say Oliver’s words transformed Freddie. Or put him under an enchantment.

Not all at once. The apparent transformation from the outgoing, gorgeous, varsity jock that had nailed three prom queens to the soft-spoken, sensitive book worm and monkish lily gardener would unfold in due time. Freddie’s transformation, however, happened much later. By greater words than the words of a poet.”

Sitting two rows back from Roy, Louis Cohen, Freddie’s neighbor, a prayer warrior and Messianic Jew, gave a loud Hallelujah. He wore a pin on the lapel of his black suit jacket. “Repent” was written in silver.

“Freddie’s journey, however, was a long and dark journey. I can tell you this because we were very close. He shared everything in his heart with me. Just as I shared my heart with him.”

“That’s why I have to remember Freddie and share him with you as he is. For Freddy has not abandoned us and we shall see Freddie again. In glory and with a crown.”

Roy interrupted Martha with a loud, enthusiastic voice.

“Freddie was handsome, stylish, intelligent, funny, charming and well endowed!”

Martha was not going to let Roy dominate the moment…

“Yes, Freddie was all that. And you’ll get a chance to share your memory with us after I have spoken, Roy.

But Freddie was also lonely. He felt rejected. He had lost trust in people. Freddie had lived in a place of fear, sorrow, despair, anger, grudge and hate.”

“If he had taken the Xanax and Valium I used to deal to him, he would have felt so much better,” shouted Roy from his pew.

Roy stood up – slender, ripped and glorious in his custom-fitted white suit. He turned to the friends and family sitting behind him.

“Freddie wanted to go clean. Whatever that means, right? Honestly, it didn’t help him.

‘Clean’ made Freddie morbid and serious. How boring is that!”

“And that’s why you cheated on him and broke his heart,” Martha asked Roy.

“That’s why you had brought six lovers (on different occassions) into the same bedroom that you shared with Freddie – thinking that Freddie wouldn’t come in from the garden and find you taking pleasure with someone else.

Or if he did (which he did) that it wouldn’t break his heart.

As if he didn’t long for true things, for true love and for your goodness.

Or will you say that Freddie is not entitled to these things? That none are entitled?”
Roy turned around. He was almost embarrassed by Rachel’s public accusation and sat down.
What the fuck does she know about things. She’s not gay. She doesn’t know how we feel.
Roy turned possible replies to Martha over in his mind.

Martha was not going to have the last word on things. She didn’t know shit. She lost her husband to another woman. She had stage three breast cancer and two kids with heroine addictions. What the fuck did Martha know about anything!


Tears streamed from Martha’s blue eyes.

“We’re here to honor our Freddie and share our love for him.

And to love Freddie is to want to know him.”

Looking around, Roy’s eyes locked with the eyes of another man who sat across the aisle from him – a hot, new date. Roy felt excited, warm and tingely in all the right places.

Martha continued.

“Freddy walked in darkness for most of his life. He walked in dry places where there was no rest.”

Martha’s tears increased.

“However, Freddy was transformed and he found freedom at last – a peace and joy which I am…

… still trying to understand.

Freddie discovered that life was more than him. That it was more than himself. That freedom was being free from him. From his unending search for self-pleasure and self-amusement.

Freddie had discovered that his hunger, loneliness and pain could be healed by God. When he lived out the word of God. And, expeditiously, by being a gift. For we are made wonderfully. By helping others do good. Helping them to be good.”

Martha had difficulty speaking.

“When I was driving Freddie to the hospital…

and he was bleeding all over the car.

He put his hand over my right hand as it lay on the steering wheel.

He. Said.

He. Was. Happy.

Because. Finally. Finally. HE. WAS. GOOD.

Jesus. Had. Justified. Him. And. Made. Him. Righteous.”

Martha was quiet for a moment. She took a deep breath.
“And then Freddie closed his eyes as he recited his reply to Mary Oliver.

And this is what he said.

Before he died in my arms – on the shoulder of I95…

‘Wild Geese know the season but do you?

You do not have to be good;
you do not have to be made complete and know joy
and to receive God’s blessing.
You can be a tare – torn, cursed, worn and thirsting,
cursing the day you were born;
blasphemies rolling off of your swelling tongue.
Meanwhile, the stars still rejoice –
each was counted and named.

You can be fiercely free, flung,
undone, like glowing coals, hurling, burning brightly
and bearing down, angrily,
equally upon neighbor, lover, enemy,
family, even stranger
for little birds have made wicked nests in your heart.
Meanwhile, the Leviathan
shakes his square beard with laughter.

You made them yours, your flesh, who you are, set apart,
these fiery darts – like treasure.
Precious. As powerful as any addiction.
Rebellion and rejection,
pride, prejudice and self-seeking pleasure?! Repent!
Repent. The Kingdom is near.

Where are the mighty buffalo?
Where, the buffalo hunters?
The bee and the butterfly?!
Were their gods but idols too?
Nearer. Now, in fact. Hereto.
Due are the rents, praise, thanks and living sacrifice.
Notice rolls down like thunder.

Meanwhile the whole world shudders
with shame for the lawless things;
the hearts of men grow colder
while their hands profit evil.
No moon lit garden, no goose,
no mossy rock nor shall poetry
redeem our depravity.


Stan Faryna

2 April 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

What are you blogging about?

March 20, 2015

What are you blogging about!
[Flash Fiction]

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

“What are you blogging about,” he asked as he took a sip of his $10 half-liter bottle of water.

She handed him her iPad 2 Air and shrugged.

This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 

James 1:19-20

Somewhere, snow falls on Spring’s eve. The dandelion, surprised, clench their golden fists in spite while little demons work their affliction in epileptics, alprazolamites, porn addicts, diabetics…

Little birds speak in mysterious tongues and the ignorant, angry, radical muslim lusts for blood; ironic, prophetic puns; german cars; the sons and daughters of their neighbor, nakedly; pop tarts…     

The lilies of the valley, dubious because of blood moons, the economy, and the lawless heart – none were curious about the sirens, the groans, the tears and the fears that we share today.

There is no rest for the wicked, they walketh the dry places, they drag their feet with parched and angry desire.   

But non can stop the bread of life from entering into the mouths of those hungering for God’s righteousness.
“It’s a little too bleak and a little too politically incorrect for a reblog,” he said as he handed the iPad back to her.
“How about something happy,” he suggested – white teeth gleamed in a smile that stretched across his glowing, smooth, brown face. Ty was religious that way. He was religious about skin cream – face, body and hand cream.
“Happy gets traffic. People want the Xanax. And, you know, it’s that crazy kind of traffic that gets the ad spend.”

She nodded.

In agreement or disagreement – Ty wasn’t sure. Sarah was like that. She wasn’t stupid. Or particularly smart. But she knew things. And, sometimes, the wisdom of the world didn’t matter. “Because money can’t buy you blessings,” she’d say.

Ty knew better. He was a survivalist. He had a fistful of silver dollars in his pocket, a can do attitude and a positive outlook. He had impact, voice and influence. He could tow the lie with the best of them. And he was paid well. Ty had it all.

“What if all of our lies and self deceits were all in vain,” Sarah asked Ty as she looked up – her long blond hair shifted and her blue eyes sparkled.

She was worthy of Ty’s desires in every manner and way. A phenomenal women – Maya Angelou would have said of Sarah.

Flashes of light lit the Los Angeles sky. But unknown to them, flashes of light sparkled over Beijing, Berlin, London, Moscow, New York, Paris, Washington D.C. and elsewhere.

The iPad went black.

Stan Faryna
20 March 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

Best Ever Charm Farm Guide – maybe

February 24, 2015

Best Ever Charm Farm Guide – um, well, maybe

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Note: This is a guide for Nevosoft’s Facebook game, Charm Farm. This is not a WOW (World of Warcraft) guide for farming charms.
Thanks for feeding my exotic animals!
Thank you for feeding the animals

Charm Farm

Charm Farm follows in the Castleville genre of Facebook games – clicks beyond counting, casino-like sounds, and cute. Charm Farm does not compare with Casteville but it is one of the better Russian makes of a would-be social game. Nonetheless, Charm Farm is trending as a Facebook game now because the the recent collapse of the Facebook game, New Rock City and the diaspora of NRC players looking for the next time-killing cutesy-ware. Beyond the people (some of them are wonderful), my interest in Charm Farm is about developing insights about social game market segments, social game design (or failure) and business strategy. None of which may be interesting to you if you searched for a guide.

Lucky for you, this blog post is mostly about how to play Charm Farm and dominate the noobs.

First to Complete the Fire Tree Quest

tree of fire etc


Charm(ing) Overview

Like all Castleville-ish Facebook games, you fill a graphic-based map (or maps) with stuff – decorations and production units. You do quests, build or put stuff on your map, make coin (to expand your map and buy stuff to put on your map), visit neighbors (other gamers who you befriend via Facebook) and “connect” with your neighbors in the various Facebook groups related to the game. Sometimes, the latter gets a little scary with all that drama.

Regarding Facebook game group drama, my advice is simple and, perhaps, biblical.

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Matthew 7:6 NIV

In other words, get away from the drama queens as quietly and quickly as you can. You can pray for them on the way out. [grin]

Here’s my map at level 36 with some imaginative edits that I’ve made with the help of Maddy. Click it to see it bigger.
a vision softly creeping

How to play Charm Farm

Charm Farm is a free-to-play game. It’s also a pay-to-win game. This is not a game for the casual player who only has four to eight hours/week to play a game. To “build” (or fill) your map, you need gold, mana, shmoos, neighbors, magic points, experience points and a Charm Farm Facebook group. Knowing where the Charm Farm wiki is and how to search it for quest, build and object information is also important.


Gold is collected from buildings, harvested from animals or collected on the visits you make to neighbors’ farms. You need lots of gold. That’s an understatement. It’s not easy to make gold. You’ll spend countless hours every day trying to make gold. Or you will spend real world cash on rubies.


Mana is produced by mana resources (crystals) and crops. You need lots of mana to power buildings and feed animals. You’ll spend countless hours harvesting mana from crops and visits to neighbors’ farms. Some will spend real world cash on rubies to speed up crops.


Shmoos are the fuzzy blue workers that you will exploit in your pursuit of your Charm Farm ambitions. They just want cookies. As of yet, there are no cookies in the game. [sigh] Shmoos are added as you add places where Shmoos live (houses, huts, shacks and cabins). Unfortunately, there are limits to the number of Shmoo lodgings you can add.

Magic Points

Magic points build Magic level. You need to increase your Magic level in order to expand your map. You get magic points for items you buy with coins and rubies. You also get magic points by creating spells, using spells (enchanting buildings), and grooming animals.

Experience Points

Experience points build Experience level. It’s mostly a bogus status symbol since Experience level can be indirectly bought with real world cash, but you do need Experience level to “upgrade” the Tree of Peace which is related to the quest line by the same name.


There’s too much to say about friends/neighbors to keep it in a sub-listing like this. You need friends to exchange gifts and visits. You needs lots of neighbors. 400 would be nice. You need lots of good neighbors – people who you communicate with by group forum, group chat or PM for specific requests of help. 50 or more is recommended.

Charm Farm Group

You should belong to one or more Facebook Groups related to the Charm Farm game. A good group will be friendly and helpful. You’ll be able to get your 400 or more neighbors. It will have tools for you to coordinate gift exchanges, quest assistance, etc.
Here’s some groups to join:
Charm Farm Gazette
Charm Farm Voisons
Love thy neighbor.

Zoom on a vision softly creeping 5


The first rule of social game design is that you don’t allow players to buy their level with real world cash. The second rule of social game design is that you don’t let players buy their level or obvious success with real world cash, period. Because, if you do, you have created injustice and empty vanity. Maybe, these Russians don’t know things. Maybe, they don’t know better.

On the other hand, you’d think that they’d know a thing or two about corruption – being Russians. And that they would hate corruption with all of their heart, mind and soul.

There’s also just a whole lot of bad mojo built into the game play. Neighbors are squabbling. Some are rage quitting. But the problem is not the players. Your neighbors are not the problem – unless they use all CAPS. Nevosoft didn’t think things through. They just dreamed about a fictitious success as a game company and they could care less about the human beings that play their poorly designed games. The proof is in the pudding.

Another problem is the lack of decorations, the large size of available decorations and buildings, and the lack of alternate perspective of decorations and buildings. It’s as if the project manager had no clue about the award-winning Social City and the industry/design lessons learned from that game.

I’m reminded of my Ninja blender/food processor. The spout lid broke off in the second month – just out of reach of the warranty. When I use it, there’s always the possibility of a huge mess shooting out the top. Sometimes, it hits the ceiling too.

Those who don’t know shizzle about business, technology, games, social, life, the human condition, etc. will say I’m being rude. I say, I don’t like gangsta-style, drive-by business strategy and that old fashioned snake-oil kind of transaction. They want to get rich off a third-rate knock-off that limps. Where’s integrity, vision and value? Where’s the respect for the dignity of the human person?

So I also say, get back to me after you have finished reading and deeply understanding the following little books:

Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics
Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica
Fyodor Doestoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
Adam Smith’s The Weath of Nations
Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery
Paul Tillich’s The Courage To Be
Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man
Tom Peter’s The Little Big Things
Jon Katzenbach’s The Wisdom of Teams
Derek Prince’s Called To Conquer

Then – we can talk. Ok? [grin]

Nevosoft breaks a lot of rules, ignores best practices, smells like a mob-funded venture, and their run of luck is likely to run out. Their big win was coming out with a cute Facebook game at the moment that the New Rock City game had collapsed. But Nevosoft can pull it together before all that unexpected interest and enthusiasm falls apart. If they are clever, wise and hard workers. They have about 30 to 60 days to get it right.

Succeeding Charmingly

As soon as possible:

Have 24 pigflies penned, feed them every five minutes, and immediately harvest them at adulthood. Rinse and repeat. That will generate sufficient gold to pay for buildings and expansions.

Always be growing mana crop with no less than half of your Shmoos. There’s “timed” exceptions but we can talk about it in PM.Build mana storage via the “crystals or whatever” of concentration. First shoot for 1000 mana storage. Then 2000. There hasn’t really been a need or use for storage beyond 2000 mana in the 30s.

Do not pass Go and collect $200 until you have worked on your magic points. Huh? What I meant to say is that you should not level up in experience without keeping your Magic level close behind. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a situation which can only be easily corrected by whipping out the credit card.

Join a group (see above) and tell them that Stan sent you. If you don’t tell them I sent you to them, I’ll never answer your add request or PMs. That’s just a tease. In fact, I welcome all good and friendly communications. [laughing]

Once you have joined, go ahead and add 100s of neighbors. Be friendly and nice. Leave your baggage and demons at home. Be a good neighbor.


Tips and tricks

Charm Farm Tower of Magic

Make Spells

Make one (or more) spells every harvest or two of mana crop. Enchant the Magic Tower to get two spells per production cycle. It’s better to incorporate spell production into your harvest cycle than wait to make all your spells in a single, long and boring sitting.

Leveling Up

Make one production at the Tree of Peace at least once per day. This will help you level up because the Tree of Peace gives the most experience points in a production than any other “building” in the game.


It’s best to dedicate time and attention to pigfly farming in one hour and twenty minute blocks. It’s not fun but it is a productive process. In a farming-time, you’ll feed pigflies every five minutes (or so) and harvest (sell) adult pigflies after 10 feedings. Again, this is the best method to generate coin and experience points in the game.


It’s best to start with the basic animals: pigfly and bully. After you have at least 24 penned pigflies or bully, go wild and do the zoo. But not before – if you want to get all the territories in your map unlocked. Because the exotic animals will slow you down. They cost a lot more mana in feedings and they take a lot longer to mature and produce.

Charm Farm Nurseries

Restocking Pens

You’ll save a lot of coin and make a better profit if you can restock your pigfly and bully from animals you collected from your neighbors’ nurseries. Restocking a large pen with 8 pigflies costs 800 gold (100 gold per animal). Restocking a large pen from your neighbors’ nurseries is obviously the better option.

Being Helpful

The most helpful actions you can do on a neighbor’s farm is as follows:

1. Unwither crops
2. Feed exotic animals (rabbits, flamingos, llamasa, etc.)
3. Collect from buildings or objects requiring action according to your neighbors’ current quests (such buildings are often indicated by a “Help required” sign.
4. Feed ordinary animals (pigflies and bully)
5. Selling things in a neighbor’s marketplace (helpful to the under level 12 crowd)
6. Collecting from mana resources
7. Not doing havoc – if you collect from a building with a costly production (large library, green house, tavern, etc), make it the first action you do so your neighbor can decline your visit activity.


New players will find it helpful if they place their marketplace, crops, mana resources, animals and quest buildings together in the center of their playable map. This will allow your neighbors to find them quickly and easily. And perform the required actions.


Like any other social game, you’ll exchange gifts with your neighbors to fulfill quest and production requirements. That’s why you need 100s of neighbors. So you can get stuff done and not wait around. Most of your neighbors will only be helpful in this regard. It’s the good neighbors that will really help you (if you communicate with them), but it can be challenging to communicate with (or assist) more than 50 people on an ongoing basis.

Once you’ve got momentum and rhythm in your game, request large quantities of needed and constantly needed items. For example, say you need 50 magic dust today, ask 200 people for magic dust. That way you’ll have some magic dust left over. Also, use stuff up (make stuff in the lab) so that you can request items for the next gift schedule reset.


You don’t need two marketplaces. Don’t store your one and only marketplace. You need it for quests and so do your neighbors.

You don’t need more than four laboratories.

You don’t need to get upset when a neighbor digs up weeds, chops down trees and breaks stone on your farm. For better and worse, Nevosoft designed it to happen like that. Try not to rely on the freeware to create your decorative masterpiece.

You don’t need to be asked to do something nice for a neighbor.

Don’t ask for a paid gift unless you are ready to return the favor.

There doesn’t seem to be any good reason to keep or raise groundhogs in your pens after the quest was completed. The weather station does not provide worthwhile rewards.

Don’t get upset. 😛

Be a good neighbor

I’ll end on a scriptural note.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Mark 12:31

You want to find things you need for your quests at your neighbor’s farm. Offer the same productions on your farm and make them perma-ready if you don’t need their productions for yourself at that moment. People always can use pigflies, bullies, planks and knowledge. In other words, make sure you have nurseries, saw mills and large libraries ready to be clicked by your visitor. This also means that you refrain from collecting from all of your own buildings as much as possible.

You want your neighbor not to make havoc on their visit to your farm. Communicate with them and be thoughtful on your visits. What I mean by havoc is that you don’t know whether their visit will help you with a specific quest or general helpful click (feeding animals for example) or whether they are collecting a production that cost you a lot to produce in terms of mana, shmoo time or otherwise.

If the latter, you will want to decline their visit so that you don’t have to restart the production. Of course, it also sucks to have to manually decline 400 visitors. That’s a horrible way to spend an hour of your life. And what if they do a little of both kinds of clicking – it’s hard to tell. Sadly, this is a huge game design failure that is causing much drama, anger, rage quitting and alienation. But you can always message someone and let them know you collected knowledge from their library, for example, and that way they can decline your visit.

You want your good neighbors to help you with the important things: completing quests related to what a neighbor does on your farm, feeding your exotic animals, and unwithering your crops. Communicate clearly with your good neighbors. Tell them what you need and be ever-ready to run to their farm and help them out. Save up extra premium energy for that!

Obviously, your neighbors are human beings. Some of us have to be reminded about that from time to time. Discover them. Or, at least, discover your good neighbors. Check out their Facebook wall. Like, comment and share the stuff there that is cool. Maybe, you’ll discover someone who has common interests. Maybe, you’ll discover a life long friend.

Good luck and check out my facebook fan page for more tips, tricks and cheats for Charm Farm: http://www.facebook.com/Faryna.FanPage

Stan Faryna
24 February 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

Let me school you a little about friendship

February 20, 2015

Let me school you a little about friendship

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

My dear friend walked home along the river’s edge.

Charly walked among saw-toothed crocodiles
(their father is the king of pride and perdition;
they go to, fro, up and down until judgment day)
because the road took her six more miles to get home.

We buried my friend today – what was left of her
because I wouldn’t, couldn’t wait fifteen minutes
and take her home by my car, every Friday night.

Had places to go and things to do, Friday night!

I wept bitter tears for my friend, Sunday morning.
Charly knew better than to walk the river’s edge
irregardless of her young-un’s want for dinner

I told her, what they need’s a little respect
because their mother is working a twelve hour shift
and me, I made my own food since I’s twelve years old.
And I’s none the worse after all was done and told.
My dear friend used to make the most wonderful pie.
Charly walked among saw-toothed crocodiles
(out of their nostrils and mouth – smoke and sparks of fire;
their hearts, stone and eyes like the eyelids of morning)
to bring me a heavenly pie on my birthdays.

None made a better rhubarb pie than Charly made.
That’s what I’s thinking, driving by Charly’s place;
social service was herding up her kids with a hurry.

Couldn’t stop. Fifteen minutes late for church dinner.
Weren’t no better friend and a mother than Charly.
Stan Faryna
20 February 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

Mountain Tops and the Fall of Empires

January 15, 2015

Mountain Tops and the fall of Empires

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna


I have been to the mountaintop speech
by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this day, we Americans have decided as a nation to remember the life, thought and works of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The scoffers, the hard-hearted, the ignorant and the ungrateful will ignore the will of the people in this regard as they ignore all other things. “King who?” and “King, whatever,” they will say quietly to themselves lest someone recognize them for the racist, misanthropist or fool that they are.

King may be remembered most for his “I have a Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. Or, perhaps, the Civil Rights March that he led in Alabama – a march which called out and revealed the evil spirit working through the rule of law, leaders and law enforcement officers. There’s also his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in which he explains that non-violent, civil disobedience is just, holy and necessary under certain circumstances of oppression and injustice.

King reminds me that the Christian faith continues to have an urgent and powerful role in the American public square. It cast out the demons in the machinery of democracy and from the hearts of once prejudiced Americans. It brought healing to long sufferings. Of course, it did not cast out all demons nor heal every heart – for where there is stubbornness, pride and rebellion, God allows the person (or people) to pursue their self-determined course to hell.

As I contemplate the present Protestant hope for Revival, I wonder if the hour is too late, if our hearts are too cold, if our minds too cynical and if our evil ways too entrenched – wrong has become right and, likewise, right has become wrong. Unlike the past, our greatest challenge is not our ignorance. As a nation, we have chosen fear, curses and death – not love, blessings and life. These are interesting times. And dangerous.

What should democracy look like 1

Stan Faryna
15 January 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

Sleeping Through A Culture War #TamirRice #DCprotest #Ferguson #TortureReport

December 9, 2014

Sleeping Through A Culture War

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

It’s heroic humanism, stupid

The heroic humanism that gave unofficial permission to exercise the inhumanity described by ‪#‎TortureReport‬ gives the same unspoken permission to murder 12 year old Tamir Rice‬, ‪‎New Yorker Eric Garner‬, et al.

Consider how such diabolical humanism informs law, the so called rule of law, government mission and the culture of death.

Let us repent, together.



U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report on CIA practices for Detention and Interrogation

The official title of the unclassified #TortureReport is a long one:  Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program. It is the 528 page executive summary that has been released for public review. The full Study exceeds 6,700 pages and it documents the countless, inhumane, and diabolical abuses and mistakes made between 2001 and 2009. Those abuses and mistakes represent a grotesque monument of horror, immorality and human rights violations.

Here’s a few links for you to begin a journey into an Inferno which makes Dante’s hell seem polite and tolerable:








Culture War

It is no coincidence that we have been woken from our sleep at this time. We cannot ignore the overwhelming and horrific evidence that our society and culture has been compromised, corrupted, and turned over to an enemy – unprosecuted police abuses, the murder of 12 year old Tamir Rice, and, now, the #TortureReport.

Any attempt to defend, ignore and obscure these horrors is reducible to deception, false accusations and diabolical suspicion regarding the dignity of the human person, human purpose and the destiny of the human species.

The Culture War is not an academic debate. It is not a moveable feast for the parlor of intellectuals. It is not a clever forum to debate the diversity and consequence of opinions, values and ambitions. It is about casualties. It is painful, horrible and juggernaut. And wars, they are fought in the streets.

Snooze Button

Who can you trust? Neither Republicans nor Democrats to be sure. Nor libertarians, I regret. For they all serve the same masters – pride, greed, gluttony, lust, etc. Parties are called parties for good reason. No? But if you can’t trust anyone, why not hit the snooze and wake up when the dust has settled? Some suggest that this is what a democracy looks like.

What should a great democracy look like? Where is the dream, the vision, and the want for a promised land?

Where is the hunger and the thirst for good things? Where is the want for greatness, goodness and prosperity?


Where is the love!

Love, it is said, comes like a river when we have repented of our evil and forgiven others for the evil they have done to us.


What should democracy look like 1

Stan Faryna
09 December 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

Broken hearts and getting away with murder #TamirRice #DCprotest #pray

December 7, 2014

Broken hearts and getting away with murder

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

It has been said that when evil, immorality and self-serving license prevails in the world, the human heart will grow cold. That our compassion, empathy and desire to be a comfort and help to others shall be greatly diminished. I wonder if these are those times.

I wonder now if my own heart has grown cold.

Because I watched surveillance video footage that provided a view of the murder of a 12 year old child and I did not weep.

I understood it was a true horror that I was watching. I felt deep sympathy for Tamir Rice’s parents, but what I felt did not go deep enough. An awkward sound escaped my mouth but I should have sobbed. And I knew the fault must be mine. That my heart was growing cold.

Has my heart been so broken that it is beyond repair. Yes and no. Comfort and convenience will not heal this heart. Technology cannot fix it. Nor chemical prescription – legal or illegal. Nor government.

The hows and whys of the murder of Tamir Rice will be argued with heartless contention, legalistic pageantry and much anger. But I will not put the murder of a child behind me. I will not move forward in my thoughts. There is enough evil in the murder of a child to claim my hearts’ complete attention. Racism and prejudice is also evil and, yet, I cannot move past the greater evil to feast and rail upon the lesser evil. There is time to account for all of our evil.

There is enough evidence in the paltry, unadorned facts that a child was murdered for you and I to understand that the world is broken and that we, collectively as the human family, are exceedingly worthy of a curse upon our heads- a curse that follows each one of us wherever we go and whatever we do, and confounds us with unrelenting hardships, misery and unbearable misfortune.

Some say that this is what is happening now. Others even suggest that those who do murder or other evil, they share their curse with us all. And those who get away with murder, they break the human heart (all hearts) in ways that shall never be healed – even until the last star blinks out. Yet we also know, deep down, that the answer is not to tear them to little pieces.

I feel the curses piling up upon me, my body, mind and soul. Upon my family, friends and neighbor. Upon my nation and all of the human family. I feel the poverty of my spirit growing wide and deep as oceans. For what should I be proud?

If only I could have wept, I could almost imagine that I could step out from underneath this particular curse – one among the millions. And so I put my face on the ground and I repent for us all.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and [God’s] word is not in us.

1 John 1:10

And I beg God to have for mercy on us and on the whole world.

Stan Faryna
06 December 2014
Fairfax, Virginia



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Where is the light? #EricGarner #ICantBreathe #Nowisthetime

December 4, 2014

Where is the light? #EricGarner #ICantBreathe #Nowisthetime

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Eric Garner

Eric Garner died as a result of a choke hold used by a NYPD officer attempting to subdue him. The first video shows it here. Mr. Garner pleads for his life. “I can’t breathe,” he cries out (weakly) to the police officers. The second video (here) shows police officers and EMT handling an apparently unconscious Mr. Garner like an animal. Or a slab of meat.

How did the Grand Jury not indict the police officer?

We should and must mourn the loss of Eric Garner lest we accept that our hearts have grown cold. We should and must grieve over the injustice served by the non-indictment of Daniel Pantaleo.

In the midst of an overwhelming number of police officers, Daniel Pantaleo’s actions in subduing Mr. Garner (in the manner in which he did) were arrogant, contemptuous and, yes, evil – beyond even the possibility of a racially motivated crime. If you watch the second video where Mr. Garner appears unconscious, hand-cuffed and mishandled, Pantaleo appears in the background – proud, puffed up and “manly” in how he holds himself.

Pantaleo did not act as a man on that day. He acted as a coward. He did as a bully does. And we can all see this with our own eyes. Any other conclusion is in itself, cowardice, false consciousness, or, yes, evil. Regardless of prejudice.

Daniel Pantaleo, however, is not beyond redemption or our compassion. He can confess his sin and repent, publicly. And, in return, we can forgive and love the man.

Cases of police brutality, state oppression, terrorism, and all kinds of violence may be worse and more frequent elsewhere in the world. That does not make the wrongful death of Eric Garner, acceptable. Lukewarm reaction is absolutely reprehensible and disgusting. It is written that God vomits the lukewarm.

In the face of overwhelming lack of compassion and concern for the dignity of the human person, outrage and anger will burn in the hearts of those who still have hearts to mourn what has happened. Evil shall also grow in burning hearts. There will grow a want of revenge, a spirit of fear and contempt for others. This too is human – fallen humanity.

Now is the time for justice. For leadership. For love.

Ye are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

Where is the Christian voice in the midst of the darkness? Where is the light of Christian love in dark nights as these?

Light does not shine in the streets. Now is the time for Christians to go forth, cast out demons, heal the broken-hearted, and demonstrate the power of Jesus. In prayer. In compassion and with love. In sharing Christian wisdom and truth. In solidarity with the human family. With a crying out to God!

I am reminded of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words, Now is the time.

Or is my opinion in error?

Stan Faryna
04 December 2014
Fairfax, Virginia



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