Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dang, did I just smile?

I will be the first to say that I tend to be grim. At least, I seem to be prone to a kind of kneejerk grimness. But today I walked outside! YAY!! It was so nice outside. I was actually smiling. The healing service is certainly having its effect. And the sinusitis meds for Gabe certainly aren't hurting. (This kid is gonna -- is GONNA!- learn how to take pills. He's pretty good about the Cipro Rid being dissolved in his juice though! That thing is bitter!) So, yeah, I'm relatively whimsical today. Kept son home today. Yep, i know...it's going on his third week of no school. And next week is spring break! He's doing well but he was kicking this morning so I decided it was best to keep him in. I've determined to give him whatever he likes and to trust that God has freed him from eating only chocolate cookies. So will be plying his lunch box with cookies until the prayer manifest and he shows signs of actually eating normal food. Better than him getting tummy issues.

Tomorrow is the day we start looking in the mailbox for the Marvel check. I am totally convinced it's coming tomorrow via Fed Ex. Cause the Marvel lady said April 1. But hubby thinks that'll be the day it gets mailed. Oh men!

Ah, the stuff I want to do with this money!

Am wondering what to do with my hair. I've washed it and not combed it all winter. When I tell you I'm reclusive, I'm reclusive. But this Jamaican heritage and the scarf thing pretty much allows me to just put on the old "tie-head" and go outside. But now I want to cut it. I always cut it short behind my husband's back...cause he HATES me cutting it. (Cause I look like a guy...and he ends up walking downtown holding hands with a fat black person who looks like a guy. Poor guy.) So, will have to be sneaky about it. Off to do the dishes.

In the meantime, enjoy!


Video helps officers understand autism


Psalm 41

In this psalm the psalmist is sick in bed. He's bargaining. God probably doesn't bargain with a lot of people because He knows they won't fulfill it. They don't love him in their hearts. So this bedridden sufferer explains to God that although he has sinned, he has always been a friend of God's. He has always had integrity. He has considered the poor. When we make a bargain with God, that's as firm and as basic a foundation to begin with. But how many of us can say we have considered the poor and had integrity?

Psalm 41

1Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
3The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
4I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
5Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?
6And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.
7All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
8An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
9Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
10But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
11By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
12And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.
13Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

More Than Dreams -- Mohammed's Story

Arrest of autistic boy

I mean, honestly! This society has no respect for its disabled! Arresting an autistic little boy!

Two good places to keep track of autism news

Autism news twitter

Age of Autism Blog

Sunday, March 29, 2009

a new fave blog

Okay, so there I was on youtube when I found videos from failblog They got me so hooked I bookmarked the site.

To start you off, here's one of their vids of Terry Moran, one of my favorite anchormen btw..so I'm not being meanspirited here.

Psalm 40

I always liked "in the volume of the book it is written of me, I come to do your will." It is so mythic, so glorious.

I like it that he hears us and inclines toward us. Also we just have to remember the other part. Not only does he hear but he brings us up out of the horrible pit

I like the "he has put a new song in my heart" cause it makes me think the book i'm writing is the new song he gave me. It is so blessed to be a writer.

I like verse four: blessed is the man whose trust is the name of the lord who turns from vanity and doesn't return to lying conversations

I also like "I have not hid thy righteousness." I like it that I really have not been ashamed to mention Jesus even in some odd places like the internet where folks are just waiting to mock Christians.

Psalm 40

1I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

3And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

4Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

5Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

6Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

7Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

8I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

9I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.

10I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

11Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

12For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

13Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.

14Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.

15Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.

16Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

17But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

Praise and Worship

Friday, March 27, 2009

This month's travels around the internet

Nice little quiz on black geek

Came across Scrah's blog via Angry Asian Man and loved it! He's written a new book called The Next Evangelicalism Freeing The Church From Western Cultural Captivity. YAY!!!!!!! You know I love this stuff if you keep up with my posts on wiconi and Native American Pastor Richard Twiss's book, One Church, Many Tribes: Following Jesus the way God made you. The book is finally expected to be in the warehouse towards the end of this week. I pick up my copies on Friday. It's not too late to pre-order on Amazon. Give his book a first week boost. Order by the end of the month, beginning of April.

Black Women Blow the Trumpet did a post on dismantling entitlement. Okay, I don't mind black folks talking about this cause I know where they come from. So I agree with them when they talk about it. But when certain whites talk about it...uhm...

Maurice Broadus did a great post on Blogging in Black about Race Fail racism and horror and ignoring the elephant in the room. Claire Light also did a post on Race Fail and cultural appropriation in respect to the word "hapa."

Christians in Cinema blog did a post on what the vatican learned from the Da Vinci Code

Christianity Today did a post on christian films being short on substance. Totally true. Honestly, not everyone is brought to christ by being told how sinful they are.

Electronic Village is supporting Genocide Prevention Month

Am really loving a blog called Facing Autism and they did a post on truth which I utterly loved. Yeah, too many romanticized autism stuff in the media.

Living in a Toxic World did a post on Obama overload. They aren't against Obama; they're against the old same-old same-old thinking. Raw Dawg also said the same thing. So it's not a black or white thing. I totally agree with them. I mean, look who he made head of the dept of Agriculture: Monsanto's Man.

And APOOO did a post on African-American women for Women's History Month

Discovered Rob Rey at Artist of the Day blogspot

Psalm 39

This is another Psalm I really loved as a kid and still love. Notice the world-denying stuff going on, the utter frustration at people, the turning away from humans because humans were/are so problematical. Heck, I'm sure I'm a pain in the neck too. But this truly shows the dark night of the soul and how one can turn away from God and grow numb.

Psalm 39

1I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

2I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.

3My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,

4LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.

5Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

6Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

7And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

8Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.

9I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.

10Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.

11When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

12Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

13O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Than Dreams -- Khalil's Story

Rob wants to give you a high-five

Dark Parable: financial advice

I dreamed I was in a restaurant. I wanted to make a reservation. But that involved incurring a debt. I reconsidered. Then I went outside and saw my husband buried up to his neck in a deep hole. I was so upset that he would do that. He said, "Look, it's easy." And there was someone beside him in the hole who lifted him out just like that. I said, "Well, okay, but whatever you do, don't use that $7600."

I think this dream is referring to some money h ubby and I are expecting next week. I feel I'm being told not to incur any debt--especially on pleasures like eating out. One can fritter money away without realizing it. I was afraid my husband would mess us up with debt again and get us and himself into a hole up to his neck but I was shown that an angel or helper will help him. I don't know how much money we're going to get next week but I feel God is saying no matter what we must not use $7600. One thing I learned from playing simcity and simtower is that I tend to use up all my money then end up waiting for the next pay check to help me out. I've learned now that when I get money, I must save. And I think that's what the dream is saying.

I am a total believer that when God gives you a bit of advice...no matter how small..that one MUST obey it. He knows what's what. He knows what's coming up. So, whatever we get...$7600 of it will not be touched.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hagar and Keturah

More and more I find myself wondering about why Christian ministers don't look a little at what the old Hebrew rabbis said about the books of Moses.

For instance, we have Christians hating on Zipporah. Yet, in Judaism she is considered one of the great Circumcisers of Israel. The descendant of Midian (and Keturah) who reminded Moses of the circumcision covenant and who said to Moses, "There is a blood covenant between you and me, my husband." If they also studied Zipporah, they would also not even be thinking of hating on the "ethiopian/midianitish woman"

But it's the issue of Hagar and Keturah which is really interesting. And the weird thing is how important this discussion and issue is in Judaism but Christians are utterly unaware that the Midrash has often stated that Hagar and Keturah are the same person.

Let me not see the death of the child

So there I was listening to a sermon on Hagar -- and sermons on Hagar are typically sermons I do not listen to-- but I kept telling myself to hope that the minister wouldn't slip into the kneejerk scapegoating of supposedly "bad" Bible characters and the making into sacred cows of supposedly "good" characters like Sarah. (Do not even let me go on about how racist and classist Sarah was with her "The son of this slave will not be heir with my son!" crap. Moses pretty much telegraphs how he feels about Sarah and Hagar by using the same phrase to describe the cruel treatment Hagar endured with the treatment the Israelites endured under the Egyptians.)

But anyway, there I was and the minister says, "Can you imagine what a horrible woman this is? Her son and her are in the desert and they're thirsty and dying and this woman is so selfish she puts her son away from her and says, 'I don't want to see my son die.'" Genesis 21:16

Okay, first of all, Ishmael was probably about thirteen.
Second, we all know Hagar is a bit emotional. She tried to throw herself off a cliff. This is not a particularly stable young woman.
Thir, Hagar's young. She was probably a kid when Pharoah gave her to Sarah. (It seems that Pharoah was the one who gave her to Sarah. Possibly as a wedding gift.) Heck, for all she knew her new mistress was going to be one of Pharoah's queens. She was probably brought up in the palace as a slave and then bingo all of a sudden she is given as a gift to a lying nomad and his wife.

But to this main point: How many of us could see the death of our child? At times when Gabe is very sick and in pain, I can't sleep. I'm so afraid for him. But I send my husband to look at him in his bed. Cause I just can't bear to see him suffer. So I don't know if one can judge a flaky emotional young girl who simply feels her heart will break if she sees her son die. Trust me... my heart felt --literally-- as if a knife had gone through it when I sat at my mother's side as she died in the hospital.
So then, who are these strong men of the 21st century to judge a dying girl in the desert?

I honestly don't know why Christians don't look at what Jewish rabbis say about these passages. As I've said before, In Judaism many rabbis have historically believed that Hagar and Keturah are the same person.

Psalm 38

Psalm 38

1O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
3There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
4For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
6I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
7For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
9Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
10My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
11My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
12They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
13But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.
14Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
15For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
16For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.
17For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
18For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
19But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
20They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.
21Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.
22Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Than Dreams -- Ali's Story

harmless religion

I saw an old acquaintance who told me why she no longer speaks to a mutual acquaintance who no longer speaks with me. Seems the mutual acquaintance did the same thing she did with my old acquaintance that she did with me. The mutual acquaintance was totally indoctrinated with NPR (and Maggie Jackson) type anger against Christian, and kept being snide about how evil and unenlightened Christians were. She went on with this although she knows Christians who are all very decent folks.

So there are these hateful folks out there who hate christians cause christians are supposedly hateful...meanwhile we're quite willing to be friends with them and not drop them but ...they get nasty with us by generalizing and analyzing and just saying cruel things about us and our religion. Not to mention the guilt-tripping. Like I a black person in the 20th century, ( a century where Christians have been persecuted by atheists (Stalin and China), Moslems, Hindu fundamentalists) am personally responsible for what oil-stealing white guys in Washington do. (Of course no one blames Buddhism for wars and devastations caused by Emperor Hirohito and other past Buddhist leaders but somehow Christianity will always be blamed for what the Crusaders, the inquisition, and western imperialist who happened to be christians did.)

They think they are so spiritual and say religion is harmful or they say they want a religion that "has never done any harm." I remember this girl saying that's why she converted to Judaism ::rolling eyes:: I was like. So that's the criteria for a religion now? Harmlessness.

First of all, a religion is not what its adherents do or not do.Or else Judaism would be responsible for the evils the israeli does to the the Palestinians. I totally think Israel deserves to survive but let's face it...both governments of these two groups are pretty nasty and mean to each other.

Second of all, atheists have not been harmless. (Stalin, Mao Tse Tung)

Thirdly, how does one define harmfulness? Is Israel harmless because it is "merely defending itself?"

Fourthly: Liking a religion because it is harmless, or aesthetically beautiful, or has logical doctrine, just isn't the way a religions should be judged. There are spirits in the world, there are spiritual matters that need to be addressed. Does the religion address them in a way one feels it should? I, for one, simply could not be a Buddhist. I could not -- like Buddha-- decide that well suffering happens to everyone (else) and I must learn to live with it.

And on a totally personal level, what is harm to me? My feelings being hurt. So if someone sits around saying harmful things to me because it's chic to pick on Christians, does that measure up to great harm? I have had so many moments where Buddhists, Jews, and atheists say something so utterly cruel about Christians and Christianity because they could get away with it...and because they feel it's okay to be snide to Christians. Hey, I don't say anything mean. So, let's get our definition of harmfulness down.

This is not to say that some Christians aren't nasty, judgmental, and downright hateful and creepy...but it's to say that folks of other religions and non-religions are just as nasty. So the fingering of Christians as so incredibly bad is not valid. Okay, sorry...had to get all that off my chest. -C

Monday, March 23, 2009

Psalm 37

This is one of the first psalms I really loved, the first that really spoke to me.

Psalm 37

1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
14The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
15Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
16A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
17For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
18The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
19They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
21The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
22For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
23The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
26He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
27Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
28For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
30The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
31The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
33The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
34Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
35I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
36Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
38But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
39But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Psalm 36

Psalm 36

1The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
3The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
4He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
5Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
6Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.
7How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
8They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
9For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
10O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
11Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.
12There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

The Beauty of Mathematics

Friday, March 20, 2009

And underneath are the everlasting arms

Got up thinking of this verse Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee."

So looked up sermons

and this one at abideinchrist
and this one

Life gets scary sometimes.I know some folks believe we christians pray to God because we're afraid of life. well, duh, yes! I'm not ashamed of leaning on God. Yeah, i have fallen into the snare of the fear of man. But I fight the good fight against Tyrant Shame. I'm not ignorant of Satan's devices. I know one of his tools is to make us feel ridiculous. But eh, what's mockery in the long run?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Psalm 35

Check out the imagery of this poem. It's as if a weak soldier is calling to a greater fighter: Why're you sitting there without protecting me? Take up your armor and help me!

Psalm 35
1Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
2Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
5Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
6Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
7For without caus
e have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
8Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
11False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
16With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
18I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
19Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
22This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
23Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
24Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
27Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Do Lord, Remember Me

This brought joy to my heart. I love seeing international and indigenous Christianity but I get a special tickle when I see Christians from other cultures singing an African-American spiritual.

Psalm 34

Listening to my hubby read Psalm 34, I realized that pretty much all of its verses are my faves. Heck, there isn't a verse here that isn't somebody's fave! It's the greatest hits of verses. O, taste and see!

Psalm 34

1I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
9O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
10The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
11Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
13Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
20He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gabe update -- remember us in your prayers

Well, today the social worker at the school called to tell me that if my son doesn't stop acting up they will be forced to call in the crisis team which will take him away and put him in a state institution. They keep hinting at this. . . all the time!!!! The problem now is: can I take him out of the school system? I have no power to take him out of the school because I don't have guardianship. So it's one of those catch-22's. Your son is in pain and is acting up in school therefore we are ready to take him away from you and put him in an institution because he is 19 and he is the one who must speak for himself as an adult because he is an adult. But he cannot speak for himself because he is 19 and you can't speak for him because the guardianship papers aren't finished yet. You can spare yourself this horrible grief because if you take him out of school the crisis team can't take him and institutionalize him but you can't take him out of school because he's 19 and the guardianship papers aren't done yet.

All this because the kid is in pain and has a bad sinus headache and is suffering. I've had no sleep for I don't know how long. I'll be keeping Gabe in for the next few days. Don't know what it'll do but will try to work on his sinuses.

One miserable act of stumbling and 3 acts of divine grace

Well, am up today. Aaargh! Doing well considering.

Yesterday, I stumbled quite badly. Someone got me so annoyed I was shaking and ended up screaming at her about how ill I was feeling and why did she have to get all superior with me when I was feeling like sh*t. Not good. Hey, bad enough I mind losing my temper (because as already said I get very snippy when I lose my temper) but I actually mentioned the pathological truth of certain illnesses in my body and my son's body when I've been pretty good about keeping to my promise to speak only the theological truth. By Jesus' wounds I was healed. God heals all our diseases. But that is over with ...and the day ended up with three very lovely moments of grace.

First, there I was in bed --still shaking from being so angry with that twitty woman. I was pondering the sex scenes I've been trying to write. (Sex scenes which have been difficult because I am really quite bad at writing sex scenes. Plus the situation for my character and her two husbands is also a bit awkward. Not because she has two husbands but because she's a captive plus these guys have issues.) So I said to hubby at my side, "okay, so there are tons of different kinds of kisses. Give me a kiss that comforts me." He gave me a long sweet kiss on the nose. "Okay, give me a kiss that is playful." He gives me a sweet little peck on the lips. "Give me a kiss that is playful, affectionate, etc." By the end of this creative exercise I was just hugging him. He is such a sweet guy. So that was one.

Then I said to him, "Guess whom I'm thinking of." (Okay, I might have said "who." Dang I might not speak perfect English in bed.)
He said, "James Spader."
I kinda rolled my eyes. "Why would I think of James Spader?"
"Well, you said to try to guess who you were thinking of."
"Try again."
"I have no idea."
"I was thinking of David Constable." David Constable is a friend we haven't seen in a long while whose wife died around fifteen years ago. He had always been vital but after she died, he suddenly aged a great deal. We haven't seen him since he sold their house and moved to another state fifteen years ago.
"You won't believe this."
"Of course I will."
"Ten minutes ago I was just thinking of him."
"Oh, of course I believe it. I'm always thinking as I lie here in bed beside you. And for some reason I felt Holy Spirit say to ask you who I'm thinking of. So Holy Spirit probably wanted us both to be aware of David, or to be aware that we were thinking of him. Isn't it wonderful? We're one! Maybe Holy Spirit just wants us to know we're one and He is here with us. You know...to comfort me after I made a fool of myself with twitty woman earlier."
But then it occurred to me. "But you know...maybe God wants us to pray for David. Who knows?" So we prayed for David, not knowing how to pray. Prayed for his happiness, his safety, whatever. Actually, come to think of it, I should have prayed in tongues cause I didn't know what the heck to pray for. And then that was it. I spent the night up and looking at the ceiling. No sleep. (Okay, that's the last time I'll talk about my sleep issues.)

Now the weird thing about that is that earlier I had thought of David and I hadn't mentioned it. I was watching different artists versions of the stagger lee song on youtube. Quite fun. And as I watched it, hubby had come down to watch it. He said, "Did you hear me playing Stagger Lee this morning on youtube?" I said, "No. I was surfing blogs and someone mentioned stagger lee so I went in search of the song." So that was odd.

This morning, as I dragged myself outta bed, I thought, "Wow, God has told someone out there to pray for me." It touched my heart.

Somebody somewhere is praying for me.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

For Jesus the divine guru

The word "saranam" is Sanskrit for "refuge" or "abode" or "protector"

Mahalia Jackson: Move on up a little higher

Whenever I get into one of my "I am tired of living on this earth" moods, I listen to this.

This is really a vale of tears this earth.

Psalm 33

This psalm celebrates the word of the Lord, the counsel of the Lord, the creative power of the Lord.

Psalm 33

1Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
4For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
6By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
7He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
8Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
13The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
16There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
18Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
21For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
22Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Art, murder, love

What a stressful day the past three days have been! There I was -- totally sure and aware that a certain beloved character had been poisoned-- but dang if I could figure out how he ended up in that unfortunate position. I tried to have my main character do it. But to no avail. He balked. Then, mercifully, after brainstorming with Jessica, a writer buddy, I figured that mystery out.

One good thing that popped up, though, was that I discovered a hateful spiteful anger in a character whom I thought was rather sweet. Turned out I hadn't really understood his anger. I'd been trying to make him be rather noble but it never worked. I kept saying I couldn't find his personality. Alas, I couldn't see it cause I was trying not to. But now, wow! I see him. So, it was fun and a bit scary to feel his hurt and how it led to malicious anger. So that was good.

But then I had to figure out the sex scenes. Yes, Carole --Queen of the awkward sex scenes-- had to awkwardly write not one but two awkward sex scenes. And I've been trying to get to them for days. Am gonna force myself to get down to my characters getting down. However awkward and stressing it might be for them and for me! The story needs the scenes! I tried slipping by with some general summary but nah! didn't work.

I ended up spending a great deal of time researching and watching videos about directing and writing sex scenes, passion, and kissing. This is one of the best because it combines both a discussion of art, technique, and passion.

So, today will be spending most of the time in bed with my characters. I hope I enjoy it. -C

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Well, that should have it covered

I got up this morning with one of my, "I simply cannot take this house anymore! I want a new life!" frustrations. (I'm so hoping the Iron Man money will help us fix it in addition to paying off the old debts because I just want to scream sometimes. And again, I'm way happy some gorgeous young rich thing hasn't popped up to take me away from all this.)

So I said two specific prayers to God. One: "Lord, someone must want our house. Bring them to us. Amen." And "Lord, let the printing folks across the street buy this house. Let them call us. I'm sure they can use it." Then I kinda made an attempt to pull the hubby into a bargain with God. "Luke, what would you do for God to let us win a lotta money in lotto tonight so we can get out of this house into a wonderful new house? (Yeah, yeah, I know. Religion isn't the opiate of the poor; lotto is. As long as we think we can become rich one day we don't rise up against the system. But I digress.) Adopt unadoptable children? Go to Africa and preach the gospel?"

Hubby, of course, is way too disinclined to be specific. So, what was his specific prayer? "Lord, guide us as to what we should do with this house. Lead and direct us." And what was his attempt at a bargain? "Uh, I dunno. I'll do whatever God tells me to do."

Now, a part of me was quite proud to see his readiness to obey and to submit to "whatever" God wants. I thought, "What a sweet, holy devout guy I've got!" But the other part of me was thinking, "Oh, puhleze! Don't some preachers say we must make our prayers specific?" So, well, we have it all covered on both sides, I suspect. I think I kinda believe in both kinds of prayers. Cause sometimes we don't know how we should pray. But times like that we should perhaps pray in tongues or pray YOUR WILL BE DONE." But other times, it seems we have to be specific. . . or else the situation doesn't change. Like we need to know what the exact cause is of a problem so we can speak to it, address it, etc. Will see. I don't think I ever made that bargain with God yet. And there's still time to buy lotto. . . or for the guys from across the street to walk over and say they want our house. ;-) -C

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bono Talks about his faith

Credit where credit is due:
Saw this on Otium Sanctium

Gabe's dental plan

Okay, so there we were waiting around for the legal firm to finish the guardianship paperwork. Basically: it's tough to get a kid who's been diagnosed as autistic any healthcare after he's 18 without the guardianship papers. Health providers wonder who'll pay. So we're kinda in between everything. . . with no healthcare for the kid. But YAY! because we know the Iron Man money's coming in April, I went ahead and made an appointment for the 9th of April with Valley Pediatric Dentistry

So how did this happen? Well, I was on a blog I usually read and she talked about her son's dental surgery. . . and that led me to another blog she linked to where a father discusses the harrowing times parents of autistic kids might have at the dentist. . . and then there is the issue of my son's wobbly teeth. (The gum issue we can handle cause we use neem extract and gengigel --a drug used for gum healing which I always ask my brother in England to buy) --yeah, yeah, i know...closing the barn door after the horses are let loose but better late than never. Anyway that wobbly tooth!

So this morning I was listening to K104 (Yeah, I listen to rock and to hip hop in the morning) and heard an ad for the aforementioned dentist.

1) They handle pediatric dentistry -- kids as old as 21! YAY
2) They handle special needs children (Do not let me even try to explain what a papoose case means. And even then after awhile, Dr Ginzburg, Gabe's former dentist had to give up on him. Am hoping they have a large papoose for Gabe. Yeah, he's a slender kid but... )
3) They do in-office sedation. (Totally gets rid of the hospital business.)

I think this was God's leading.

Psalm 32

This is a psalm about being seen as sinless in God's eyes. This was written during David's time. As Christians we know that Jesus took all our sins but can you imagine what it was like to live a life of such faith and love of God that God decided to declare you sinless?

But this is also a psalm about the mouth. Keeping silent when one should not, speaking when one should not. And there's an order: "Don't be like the horse whose mouth must be held in with a bit!" Learn how to speak, how to confess one's sin, how to confess God's holiness.

Another of my favorite youtube folks

Psalm 32

1Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
4For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
5I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
6For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
7Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
9Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
10Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
11Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Mary, out of whom he cast seven devils

It dawned on me this morning that Mary Magdalene is a case of miraculous simultaneous healing. The Bible passage doesn't say what all these spirits were. After 400 AD, the Catholic Church began to portray her as a prostitute so most folks think those devils were lust-related or sin-related. But hey, who knows what trouble and affliction they actually caused?

In the Bible Jesus healed some sick folks with a word, with a gesture or an action, or by casting out devils. Sometimes he healed the sick by seeming to think of it as a sickness; other times someone else with the same illness is healed by the casting out of a devil.

So, whatever Mary Magadalene's problems were...it seems some or all of them were caused by devils. So, whether it was wild-eyed demonic possession as in the man who had the legion in him, or physical illness. . . Mary was miraculously healed of disparate troubles. Seven in all. Other than the fact that seven means perfection, thus a perfect healing. . . it's also one of the few times in the Bible where someone was healed of many different problems at the same time.

Think of all the folks who go to healing ceremonies. They say: "My arm hurts, I get headaches, I have diabetes. I have high blood pressure. I have cancer. I'm obese. I need knee surgery. Well, I guess you could ask God to heal the cancer." The assumption is that God is not a multitasker and we have to choose one thing to be healed of. But isn't that limiting the Holy One of Israel? Doesn't God use a whole lotta generalities: All, nothing, everything, everyone. He heals ALL our diseases. NOTHING shall be impossible to him who believes. Etc, Etc.

This realization really blessed me this morning. At the end of the month Gabe and I are going to a healing service. I would so love all the afflictions, trials, illnesses, of Gabe and me to go in one quick divinely miraculous moment. Yes, seven devils in one swoop sounds dang good to me! -C

Thursday, March 12, 2009

When I Came Home

When I Came Home
Directed by Dan Lohaus
Winner 2006 Tribeca Film Festival

When I came Home is such a painful film I simply could not finish watching it. Yeah, I know. I'm always watching painful films I can't finish.

Here's the trailer:

I swear! It's not as if I'm a revolutionary or something but it does annoy the heck outta me to see Christians getting all worked up over certain issues yet totally ignoring others. Where, oh where, is the Christian extreme Biblical left?

This film is about homeless veterans...and the horror they return to when they get home. No medical care, intense bills on medical care, disabled, homelessness, losing their kids, their homes, etc. And honestly, when I think of all the Christian friends I knew who were all for the war, I am tempted to ask, "Okay, now that these destroyed soldiers are coming home, why don't you care about them?"

Here's the blurb:

Director’s note: When I Came Home is a documentary which follows the lives and struggles of several homeless veterans, including those who have recently returned home from the war in Iraq. The film examines the factors which led over 150,000 Vietnam veterans from the battlefield to the street and asks the question: Will what happened to Vietnam veterans happen to a new generation of soldiers? The film also focuses on the veteran-led movement which is fighting to end this national disgrace.

When I Came Home is a work-in-progress. Follow the making of the film on director Dan Lohaus’ GNN blog

Links you might be interested in:

Black Veterans for social justice

Iraq Veterans Against the War

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

Operation Dignity

I swear I just want to cry. I just keep getting myself upset with this stuff.

Must Read: The Student Loan Scam

The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History - and How We Can Fight Back
by Alan Michael Collinge, Founder of StudentLoanJustice.Org,
167 pages
Beacon Press (February 1, 2009)
Here's the blurb:
An in-depth exploration and exposé of the predatory nature of the student loan industry Alan Collinge never imagined he would become a student loan justice activist. He planned to land a solid job after college, repay his student loan debt, and then simply forget the loans ever existed. Like millions of Americans, however, in spite of working hard, Collinge fell behind on payments and entered a labyrinthine student loan nightmare. High school graduates can no longer put themselves through college for a few thousand dollars in loan debt. Today, the average undergraduate borrower leaves school with more than $20,000 in student loans, and for graduate students the average is a whopping $42,000. For the past twenty years, college tuition has increased at more than double the rate of inflation, with the cost largely shifting to student debt. The Student Loan Scam is an exposé of the predatory nature of the $85-billion student loan industry. In this in-depth exploration, Collinge argues that student loans have become the most profitable, uncompetitive, and oppressive type of debt in American history. This has occurred in large part due to federal legislation passed since the mid-1990s that removed standard consumer protections from student loans-and allowed for massive penalties and draconian wealth-extraction mechanisms to collect this inflated debt. Collinge covers the history of student loans, the rise of Sallie Mae, and how universities have profited at the expense of students. The book includes candid and compelling stories from people across the country about how both nonprofit and for-profit student loan companies, aided by poor legislation, have shattered their lives-and livelihoods. With nearly 5 million defaulted loans, this crisis is growing to epic proportions. The Student Loan Scam takes an unflinching look at this unprecedented and pressing problem, while exposing the powerful organizations and individuals who caused it to happen. Ultimately, Collinge argues for the return of standard consumer protections for student loans, among other pragmatic solutions, in this clarion call for social action.

Here it is on amazon

Here's the book's facebook page

Here's a great article on student loan debt from us news

and another from NY times

and another from L A Times

and another in the Wall Street Journal

Also check out

No Sucker Left Behind: Avoiding the Great College Rip-off
by Marc Scheer

352 pages
Common Courage Press (May 15, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1567513786
ISBN-13: 978-1567513783
7.6 x 5 x 1 inches

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Psalm 31

As Christians we are so aware of God's love and mercy in Christ that we often forget that there are certain things that will -- for lack of a better word-- make God love us more. Yes, yes, I know...God loves everyone.

In the life of a person who loves truth, there will always be confrontations with falsehood. In fact this is where many of the fights take place. In our minds, in conversations with neighbors, in discussions with people who supposedly are Christians. Truth is a hard thing to come by. Jesus told us, "The world cannot receive the spirit of truth."

What does it mean to live a life of honesty? What does it mean when we are told to not believe a lie? And is sitting by not saying anything the same as lying? The Bible tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.

Many Christians have faith to believe that Jesus saved them from hell. But do they really live a life of daily reliance on him? To them I say, God really is pleased with people who exert their faith. After all, the list of folks who don't go into heaven are: those who are cowardly. And those who are unbelieving. Right there beside those who abuse themselves with mankind. Uhm.... It is dangerous to speak the truth.

God loves courage! Good courage built on a trust in Him and His Word. God loves honestly. The world doesn't love truth. It has its stereotypes, set ideas, prejudices. So we need good courage! We need it so that we can live and not be ensnared by the fear of man. God courage that hopes against hope when all hope is gone. God courage that resists lies. Be of good courage!

Song based on Psalm 31

Discussion on Psalm 31

Psalm 31

1In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
2Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
3For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
4Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
7I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
9Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
12I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
15My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
22For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
23O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I dreamed of sitting at a table and someone said to me: "This is what she saw." I looked and saw a woman wearing a gold hat that seemed a bit like a crown and a bit like a church hat. Attached to it was a gold orb that pretty much made it hard for her to see because the orb was so big. And on her lips were bits that horses might wear but they were made of silver and had jewels in them.

I think this has to do with

A) Be not as a horse whose mouth must be kept with a bit and bridle
2) Zechariah, the Father of John the Baptist, had a bit put in his mouth because he doubted so much the angel Gabriel had to close his mouth lest he say something negative and cancel the miraculous seed God had planted.
3) The wise woman -- in the book of Kings-- whose son died in her arms did not say anything about the situation when asked how her son was. She simply rode off to Elijah...and even then said nothing.

I feel God has been really showing me the power of affirming His word and His word only.

To him who ordereth his conversation aright I will show the salvation of the Lord.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord My strength, and my redeemer.

God has promised good to me, and told me to expect great things. I have to speak faith.

Psalm 30

I sooo love verse 5: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh. . . JOY COMETH!!!!

Psalm 30 is recited daily during Chanukkah

Sermon on Psalm 30

Psalm 30

1I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
3O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
5For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
7LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
8I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
9What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
10Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.
11Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
12To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Will some good lovely woman out there please write a sermon on women married to the Nabals of this world?

For those of you who aren't Christians, there is a story in the Bible about a sane good woman named Abigail who was married to a food named Nabal. Doesn't help that his name means folly.

I've seen so many Nabals in my time I can't count. And yet, when ministers give sermons about submission they assume the men are perfect. But let's face it...some of these guys are poison. I have a friend whose husband made her buy a crappy house just so he could be close to his card-playing friends. I have a friend whose hubby is totally selfish and buys himself tons of electronic toys -- last thing was a Harley or honda motorbike-- while the family survived on my friend's paycheck.

What are women to do when they are married to men who literally kill them by making them stress or by making stupid far--reaching decisions? Oh, women ministers, where are you????? Stand up against all this horrible silly doctrine we have had to endure because of male preachers. I mean, when am I going to hear a minister -- male or female-- give a sermon about men "giving their life" for their wives. Hey, we women must submit but men must sacrifice themselves. Wisely dividing the word of truth? Not in most churches. And so many women ministers still reinforce the old cruelty. (And I'm not even talking about guys who've killed their wives and bullied them.)

Let us consider the Nabal/Abigail situation. She is married to a fool. A rich powerful guy arrives. Her husband forbids her to help handsome warrior. But she disobeys him and rushes off to badmouth her husband to this warrior. Her husband dies and immediately she marries warrior without so much as a heartbeat. Honestly, if a woman were to do this in real life, Christians would slam her. But she does this in the Bible and David is the hot warrior/king so we excuse that. Talk about flaky relativistic ethics. And then we tell women in Abigail's situation that we must submit, as Abigail did; or we must be noble as Abigail was because she recognized the Lord's anointed. Ah, the amount of women who have run off with ministers because they had bad husbands! Is that what we're telling ladies? That's the subtext and the subtle myth we're playing with here. Do we really realize what is going on here? I really like Abigail but --I just don't like David-- the way this story is often preached well, the rebound subtext is nauseating. Like a Christian romance. A bad one. A good man will take you after you've suffered with a bad man. That will be your reward from God. puhleze!

Marriage is a powerful institution and can be soul-destroying and life-destroying. It's been known for years that a bad marriage can destroy a woman's health. Pick the wrong spouse to "submit to" and you have ruined your life. And the trouble is that most good church women are so noble and wanting to please God they will put up with this crap, dying a early death or waiting for their Nabal to keel over. Of course he generally doesn't keel over. But even if he does die before his wife, the wife is generally too old, too sickly (because of his foolishness), too poor (again because of his foolishness and oftentimes his stubbornness) to make much of her life. Unless God steps in and do some miraculous recovery of her soul, body, finances, etc. So she'll have five years to enjoy her life AT LAST. Yeah, I know...I sound cynical but ministers really should watch what they say to married women about how to submit and who to submit to. Call me a bitch but if someone is suffering with a crappy spouse, I'll be the first to say, "Divorce the idiot!" And if it's a man, I'll say, "Submit my eye!"

Hey, Abigail deceived her husband, went behind his back, and ran off with another man after her hubby died of a heart attack. Except for the heart attackr part, sounds pretty cool to me. But then the other guy was David. And she ran off with David after her hubby had the attack. But dang, do these women have to wait around for their hubbies to die of heart attacks? Come on, women preachers, tell the Abigails out there what to do!

Honestly, I don't have much of an ism but it was said of Studs Terkel and I hope it will be said of me: "If she had an ism, it's underdogism." I just hate the idea of thousands of women being made to endure crap by churches telling them to submit to Nabals...and damaging the souls of women by not looking carefully at the story. -C

Psalm 29

I prefer the translation that states it this way: "Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength."

What does it mean to "ascribe"? To acknowledge. To affirm. To honor and declare. Many Christians will say taking God's name in vain is cursing and swearing. Well, that's probably true. But more and more I realize that taking God's name in vain can also mean saying that God is useless to help us. We often say "well, God can't do that." "God isn't strong enough to do that."

But the Lord tells us: Ascribe to me glory and strength.

Stop saying God cannot do this or that. Say God CAN do this or that.

A song based on Psalm 29:1-4

A sermon by Pastor Darrell Armstrong based on Psalm 29

Psalm 29

1Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
4The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
6He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
7The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
8The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
9The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
10The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
11The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Thwarting God's will

Sometimes when I hear christians talk about God's perfect will, God's permissive will, submission to his will, the thorn in the flesh....I honestly want to scream!

We really have to seriously ponder this idea of God's will. Most Christians have this idea that God's will is carved in stone. Well, yes and no.

His will for our behavior and for our holiness is carved in stone. He wants us to be perfect as He is perfect. God's will is that all men come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. No negotiation on that.

But his will in our life is something we have to find, fight for, and sometimes fight against.

First: finding God's will:
We tend to believe that if something very wonderful comes our way it must be God's will. Well, who knows? One has to ask God what one should do. There are many snares out there! How many guys have married gorgeous women and felt totally lucky to have them -- only to be stuck with a selfish cruel person? How many women have thought themselves blessed to get a rich doctor/lawyer/businessman only to find herself hooked on drugs and alcohol to escape the sorrows of her marriage? Wouldn't she have been luckier if she had married the kind poor possibly not-so-handsome working class guy down the street?

Second: Fighting for God's will
St Paul writes in Timothy that we wage a good warfare against the adversary by the prophecies we have received. So, let's say you have a dream, a leading, an insight. Let me be specific: I had a dream in which God told me he has determined I will do six great works. Note: he doesn't say six great novels. That would be an assumption. It could mean four novels, one non-fiction book, and one other great work. So, there's some confusion in my little pea-nut brain. But there is no confusion about the six great works. So if Satan tries to kill me, if illness and stress try to kill me, I can fight against it with the prophecies God has given me. And oftentimes when I lay in bed thinking I was dying, I have done this very thing.

Third: Fighting against God's will
But sometimes we have to fight against God's will. And God is aware of this. Sometimes he even sends someone to stand in the gap to help us fight. His will was to destroy everyone in Sodom. But Abram challenged him and interceded. Yep, Sodom got destroyed but not everyone died. God's will was to destroy Nineveh. But He sent Jonah to stand in the gap and preach. Nineveh got destroyed but not immediately. His will was to kill Hezekiah, but Hezekiah pleaded and begged and cried his eyes out -- okay, why isn't there a book out there on how to bargain with God since a heck of a lot of Bible folks did just that?-- and Hezekiah got 15 years of life. (I wonder how that worked. Did he have a 15 year countdown? How did Hezekiah feel in the fifteenth year?) Whether Jesus was willing to heal the demon-possessed daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman, he wasn't gonna do it. But the woman pleaded and begged.

Then there is the son of the widow of Nain and there is Lazarus. Looking at it from a human perspective, we might think that God wanted these guys to die. . .because these guys died. But no! Jesus came on the scene.

The Bible is full of instances where we see God changing his will, or being pulled into something he had no connection with. Imagine the little damsel who was taken captive and became a maid to Naaman's wife. This girl pretty much invented her own healing theology out of whole cloth. As Jesus said, "there were many lepers during the days of Naaman the prophet and none were healed except Naaman a Syrian." But as far as that little maid knew -in her mind-- a prophet could heal this leader of his disease. No one had ever seen this kind of thing but hey, this girl believed the prophet could. So, is this God's will that Naaman be healed that he used the flaky confused theology of a little girl? Was the girl's theology even confused? Who knows? It certainly wasn't part of the theology of her time to expect this. . . but the girl was bold. (And honestly, was Naaman's healing so important to Israel in the grand scheme of things back in the day? Naaman didn't do much. Now we look back and we learn great lessons from him. Humility, obedience, and being allowed to hide our faith if we live in the middle east and believe in the God of the Bible. But for the most part, did God will Naaman to live as a leper?)

God's will is that all should seek his will, not assume that some bad thing -- or some good thing-- is his will. And He likes His people to fight in faith and hope.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Update on Novel: Emotion and Culture

I'm finally cutting loose in my novel. I really had to allow myself to be brave and transparent and emotional in Wind Follower. Sometimes I'd write a scene and get very ashamed because it was such an intimate scene. But that seems to be my talent in writing: writing a story that is very intimate. (I just have to watch my pacing.)

It's hard to do this because deep-felt emotional pain isn't what some folks want in their fantasy. I keep telling myself, "You're going to get slammed for this." So I don't enter fully into the story. Or at least I haven't been.

But now I feel it. I'm breaking through, breaking away from stiff-upper-lipped ness and baring all the emotions. In this case I want to really show the unraveling of my main character, and to show him veering off. Not into madness but into a kind of self-willedness. He's right, of course. And that's what I like: a character who is totally right by standards of divine law and yet who simply doesn't know how to handle the battle he's fighting against the bad guys. I like these characters because -- honestly, I'm being very vain and honest here-- I've been in situations where I KNOW I am right...but where my anger at the stupid folks who can't see the light just produces absolutely nutty behavior on my party. I am way nasty when I'm right, and waaay nastier when the person I'm dealing with is cruel or smug. And this is the kind of situation where my main character in Constant Tower finds himself. He loses his way. And yet, I don't think readers will dislike him. He is so plainly right in his cause against genocide...and so utterly immature in how he deals with the situation.

Weirdly, I was watching a channel last night that I usually don't watch -- hubby was at a life modeling class and I was waiting for him to return, plus I was way too pooped to get up and turn the channel. And of COURSE, two interviews on two shows totally spoke to my situation. In one the British screenwriter of Slumdog Millionaire (which I hope to see now that I have some money coming) says (paraphrased) "When I got the book Q&A on which the movie would be based, it was a collection of stories. I couldn't figure out how to make it a novel because a novel is like a train on a track roaring along. So I went to India to understand India...and realized that India is over the top. The colors are over the top, the movies are over the top. And here was I a stiff-upper-lip repressed Britisher trying to write this novel. I realized the story had to be over the top. So I just let loose."

Ah! How I grinned with joy, then! Because, as you all know, that's been my trouble with my writing. I want to be over the top. But sometimes I'm pretty repressed.

So then after this they interview the producer of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. He's east Indian. A very nice guy. And in the course of the interview, he's asked, "Why do Bollywood movies do so badly in Hollywood and vice versa?" He said, "Indian movies have dancing, etc." Basically, he said they were over-the-top. And American movies have a different ethic, feel, emotional standard, norm, more, craft. You know what I mean (what he means) all those creative cultural words. Then he said (again, am paraphrasing.) "A movie like Slumdog Millionaire would never make it in India, but that he was trying to do movies that fit into hollywood, fit into india, and also fit into a new multiculti world cinema kind of thing."

That made me smile. The new multiculti ethic of film-making is something we artists are aiming for. The western repressed standard must give way. Soon, at least in some quarters...emotion will reign.

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