Saturday, January 21, 2023

Poem: If Wishes were horses

 A team of horses racing toward me

Brown like the uniforms of soldiers fortressing me around


Speckled like a found family, salt of the earth

White like picket fences

Black like the cozy comfort of night.

Dappled, gray, red, also among them

bringing lesser-pondered but nevertheless still powerful dreams.

Rainbow-like, a promise that destruction -- at least for a time-- is gone and peace has come.

Thursday, December 29, 2022


 Homesick is a new cdrama on iqiyi and it is awesome. I still think Reset is the best cdrama of the year but Homesick is definitely up there. And if there's one thing that I will take away from this drama it's that inviting a new person into your house can cause one trouble after to another to ensue.  What I love about this story is its economy of storytelling. It's a mystery and its pace seems laidback slice of life but the viewer is on a speeding train and doesn't realize it until it's too late. I envy this kind of storytelling. I like slow burns too but their slow style have influenced me too much. This drama does slow burn and speeding train at the same time. The information, backstory, everything is told so efficiently This is writing skill!

The story so far --four episodes in-- is our heroine arrives from the orphanage region welfare home in a small town full of secrets and shady doings to find her lost sister/friend who was a maid in a family's house. This family had a daughter who mysteriously went missing when she was seven--ish and an intellectually disabled teenaged son who was normal but got a sudden fever as a boy which left him disabled. Heroine takes advantage of this info in order to find out about her lost sister and pretends to be the family's lost daughter returned. Housewife has doubhts but Dad is weepy doting and disabled brother is overjoyed. Housewife gets DNA surreptitiously taken of girl to disprove paternity. DNA confirms paternity but Housewife isn't shocked and tells no one the results.

Meanwhile Heroine discovers that her sister had discovered the family's mom's affair with a local shady character. (Actually most everyone in this drama is shady. It's a small town after all. Not exactly Deliverance country but we all know how shady small towns can be. The police department is pretty much on the up and up, though.)

Sister either blackmailed housewife for a watch or stole watch but either way is branded a theif and a loose woman who upped and disappeared. So the discovery of the affair is only the first trouble that comes from opening one's house to a stranger. It only gets worse. That watch only causes more trouble. Heroine had received it from her sister but gives it to her sister's Ex for safekeeping. He's kinda dumb so he wears it outside in the street to show off his bling ...only to be seen by thuggy cheater. Thuggy cheater goes to housewife to ask why she sold the watch. Housewife explains that missing girl blackmailed her for the watch and together they plan to get heroine returned to orphanage. Heroine by now is loving the dad and brother because she never had such love all her life. But she knows housewife knows the truth about her having the watch and well...the ruse is up.

Meanwhile a shaman has come to the village. He performs some energy ceremony on disabled boy and boy improves exponentially but regresses when he returns home. Housewife asks shaman to give her son another ceremony. Shaman says the spiritual information he's received about the situation is heavy and says something vague about karma and folks getting served what they deserve. Housewife says she's a good person and pleads that her son is innocent and if he got healed even a little bit to get a tiny little job she would be happy. Shaman says helping her son in such a situation would deplete his own energy but after an offscreen talk with thug cheater gives in and says he'll come back in a month and the price will be 5000. 

Housewife returns home and finds that her hubby has put that savings into an account for their newly found daughter because daughter will be taking care of everyone when mom and dad get older. Housewife rages and says he's deluded and this girl is not their daughter. But doesn't show him the paternity paper. Husband says she is deluded that their son can get better. Husband cuckold decides to rent out a warehouse that isn't his because his boss gave him the key. With the extra bad money, he can start a savings account for newfound daughter.

Cheater Thug decides that the best way to get rid of heroine is to show her a tape of her missing sister preparing to enter a local beauty pageant. Housewife, thug, and heroine watch very skeevy tape and heroine believes her sister has deserted her. Housewife is also disgusted by cheater thug's seductive moves on the missing girl. Heroine dashes out crying and tells her sister's stupid ex to look at the tape and to stop waiting for sister's return. 

Stupid Ex goes to room later and steals the tape. Instead of looking at it in that room. He goes to a room where he and his thuggy friends hang out and starts watching the tape. His friends gang up on him, take the tape, watch missing girl being seduced...but wait...there's something else on the tape. Housewife with thuggy cheater lover beside her long ago taped a confession to her hubby saying she's grateful that he took her in when she was an unwed mother and has taken care of her and her disabled son but she has not been able to get over her thuggy lover. Note: half the town's young men are watching this tape. Next morning, housewife is at some office and hears that her husband has drunk pesticides and is now in the hospital. End of episode four.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Ruminations: Epiphanies

 Hubby and I sitting here listening to the Messiah and discussing the first time we realized something. Hubby remembers the first time he "got" biking. For me, it was the day I suddenly understood how to read music. I was in sixth grade orchestra, playing second violin. Mr Klingensmith, our teacher directing. The music sheet was on the stand before me. Some simple classical piece and I was busily watching the fingers of my fellow violinist and imitating his/her fingers. The only violinist I remember from that class was Randy Brown. A blonde cowboy from Colorado who was absolutely amazing in looks and skills. And a very sweet kid. I doubt he was playing second violin though. But I digress. My gaze bounced between the music sheet which I didn't understand and the fingers of the violinist which I was trying to imitate and keep up with. This went on for weeks and then suddenly as my gaze  bounced from sheet music to finger to sheet music, I realized that when my fellow violinist played a C, he or she used the left index and middle finger on the violin A string. And when the B note was used, the index finger alone was used on the violin A string. And suddenly I understood how the notes on the music sheet were mirrored by the fingers on the violin string. An epiphany! 

I am sure we all have various epiphanies...especially when we were in school. The moment we understood that letters had sound, the moment we understood how a clock's hans worked, etc. All this to say that as I read Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, Red Fish Blue Fish to younger son, I keep imagining son suddenly seeing and understanding. Understanding what? Lord knows! Preposition, Colors, Everything? I keep thinking that I am glad I always remembered my own epiphany. It makes me imagine the wonder and joy younger son will feel when sudden insight comes.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sow Bountifully

 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor 9:6

I know this verse is used in context for money. But it's a general principle for most things. So, let's think about sowing the word. The word of healing, specifically. One prayer can be enough, but why not sow many prayers into a situation? 

So, if you're taking a shower and you think of a sick friend, say a prayer or command healing for them since we have the authority. Later, if that person comes to mind again, say another prayer for them or command another healing for them. Or if someone else comes to mind -- later that day or whenever it comes-- command a healing or pray for the sick person. Pray without ceasing. If you pray for or command for a person six or seven or eleven times a day, aren't you sowing bountifully? Let us all reap bountifully and speak the word of healing or blessing or prosperity over OTHERS and over ourselves whenever a prayer or a need or a person comes to our mind. 

And water the word with thanksgiving in the same way. Always be giving thanks for blessings received and those not yet received.

Friday, December 09, 2022

Take Every Thought Captive

 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a sound mind.

Paul tells us in Romans not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. In Corinthians, he tells us to take every thought captive and to subject them to the knowledge of God. We are told to nail the decree against us to the cross. The Bible gives us knowledge of God. We have precious promises. We have been given gifts, strengths, authority, and righteousness in Christ. We use the weapons of our warfare and are told to seek God's rest. The rest of faith is how we fight. We fight by resisting the devil, the flesh, the world. We fight by resting. The world, the devil, and our own history have filled our minds with lies. But the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and he has given us everything necessary for life and godliness. We are seated with him in heavenly places and Christ has given us authority and power. The devil, of course, doesn't want us to know or trust in the Word sowed into our hearts. God has given us power through his precious promises. This is why we read our Bible. Each promise and Bible verse that we believe in is a living, active, powerful weapon.

There are many lying thoughts that lie against the truth. Lies like: God doesn't hear me when I pray. God doesn't love  me. God isn't helping me. I am powerless. The Bible is not true.

So, how do we take our thoughts captive?

By speaking:

Example: if we are attacked by a thought that we are old and probably will get sickly and die at age 70, or if we are attacked by thoughts that we are losers and we never overcome anything, we have to speak.

How do we speak?

We take the negative thought captive and we use the word of God spoken from our lips (and believed in our hearts) to declare the thought is false.

Example: In the name of Jesus, I declare the thought that I will die at age 70 because such and such runs in my family is a lie. I take this thought captive to the truth of the word which says with long life God will satisfy me and show me His salvation. It is written in Gods word that The Lord is my healer. I choose to believe God. God does not lie.

Another example: In the name of Jesus, I take the thought captive that I am powerless against my sin, flaw, habit, etc. I take that thought captive now and I choose to destroy it by  making it subject to Christ. All my sin and the power of sin was nailed to the cross through the victorious death of Christ. The grace of God has appeared which teaches and empowers us to conquer sin. In Christ I have victory over this thought, habit, sin, etc. I choose to believe God's word.

We can also command the thoughts to go. We have the authority to command them to go. But do it in faith.

And always, always pray and hope. Trust that something good is happening.

Saturday, October 08, 2022

Pondering: A priest forever

 Pondering: The Lord as sworn and will not relent. You are a priest forever. Just like Melchizedek.

This is said twice in Scripture referring to Jesus.

So what can we understand?

First: Melchizedek is a priest forever. If Melchizedek's priesthood is forever and unchanging, so is the priesthood of Jesus. God doesn't change his mind. Melchizedek still doing his priestly work? Or has he been, so to speak, retired?

Second: God has given to Jesus a name above all names and everything and everyone must bow their knees to the name of Jesus. So whatever Melchizedek is or is not doing now, he is in no way equal to Jesus.

Third: Jesus is the high priest of our confession. We have been made kings and priests in his kingdom (definitely on earth but will this continue in heaven and the New Jerusalem?) How many eternal priests are there? A high priest is over many priests. 

Fourth: No man comes to the Father but by Jesus. This is very important. The Bible doesn't say that no man comes to a good afterlife or to heaven without Christ. It says no man comes to the Father. So we have Lazarus in Abram's bosom. We also have Ezekiel speaking of those who serve the prince but never see his face forever. We have people outside the gates of New Jerusalem. We have the book of Romans and the concept that where there is no law there is no sin. Although sin and death rule over them, there is the law of their conscience. And we have Jesus speaking of those who didn't know the will of God being beaten with fewer stripes. We also have the Great Commission because even unsaved ignorant people who live by their conscience will sin against their conscience. I wonder if Melchizedek is the priest whom God has appointed over these people. But all will be Christ's and at last everything that is Christ will be God's.

Just going through a Biblical rabbit hole. We have to be careful when it comes to rabbit hole theology and doctrine.... especially if ultimately some theory doesn't matter to our own life. It's okay to ponder but our ponderings must always bow to Scripture and this is why we need to know Scripture. So many deceptions have come about in the church because someone missed a Bible verse. I remember a pretty famous preacher going on about God creating many humans in the beginning and calling their name Adam, as a collective. He decided on this because he figured the world couldn't have been so quickly populated. But he missed the verse in Genesis that says Eve was the mother of all living. And he missed the verse which states that through one man sin came to the earth. If Gid had made many Adams then did all the Adams eat the fruit? And if one of the Adams didn't eat the fruit, why didn't God use that tiny remnant? The same way of missing or ignoring or misunderstanding a Bible verse can be found in theology  where hell supposedly doesn't exist, or even in the idea that Satan represents collective human evil and tendencies. So when they say Jesus battled Satan's temptation in the wilderness, they forget the verse that the Bible says Jesus knew no sin. This kind of thing goes on in small those who believe in the Sethite theory (as if two different kinds of humans could be good and bad and marrying into the wrong race of humans could create strange beings.)

Anyways...all this is to say that Scriptures are our guidelines in all our ponderings. Or else we'll wrestle scriptures to our destruction.

Friday, October 07, 2022

Mini review of Mr Harrigan's phone on Netflix

 I just saw Mr Harrigan's Phone. I really liked it. Don't expect anything horrific. Man speaking from the grave notwithstanding. It's just a good little coming-of-age YA story.  It has a quiet spirituality to it. Vengeance is such a part of Stephen King's stories and here is a story where the entire idea of vengeance is challenged. It shows the futility of getting back at evil. 

The moralism isn't mostly about phones as some reviewers are saying. Yes, phones affect human connection. But the stories he reads are about power and the ability to use money or power to avenge oneself or to fight against the evil in the world. Craig has only a dead person to help him fight against evil. In the end, he grows and accepts that the world is full of wounded people and of wounds and perhaps having the power to redress evil isn't for him to decide. It's an anti-superhero kind of story. And for Stephen King who has created so many stories about vengeance, it's almost like an old man (old writer's) admittance that he has written a lot of vengeful tales and perhaps that isn't the way to go. I really loved that relinquishing of power.  The protagonist basically noped out of being an avenger. 

I'm one of those Stephen King fans who loves his YA and or mainstream slice-of-life stories. Having seen my share of Christian movies, I'll say that it's got that Christian vibe that i could never imagine a regular evangelical writer writing. Gently religious, gently supernatural, a subtle message in a slice of life ya story. Well, in this case "slice of supernatural life" story.

I loved loved loved it. It reminded me of Nope by Jordan Peele. We come to a Stephen King story looking for bloodshed and vengeance and Stephen gives us a character who learns the guilt and futility of vengeance. Literature in the film, Scripture in the film, are all about using power, money, etc to destroy those who want to destroy us. Power makes us play God. Our protagonist has the ability to avenge and destroy evil. Writers can uphold morality or socialism or vengeance or ....not. Stephen King showing literature s power makes me feel he's challenging himself. And perhaps apologizing for making a spectacle of vengeance. In the long run, protag learns that perhaps we should not be judge, jury, executioner, and CCTV camera. And we shouldn't indulge in literature that emphasizes our  thirst for vengeance. A quiet antispectacle noping out.

The story is from the anthology is "If it bleeds" and that comes from the old journalistic adage, "if it bleeds, it leads." People like spectacle and they want bloodshed because it is more exciting. But King is very courageous in challenging his readers who expect bloodshed from him and who get bored with normalcy. I thought it was a great coming of age story for a culture that loves spectacle and revenge porn horror. It's not meant to be scary in a give me blood spectacle kind of way. Every quote in the story hints at stopping the misuse of power. Having the power to do harm is not the way to go. And if one uses power to do harm then that is what is horrific. Our hero is not in Death Note or even in Chronicle. He knows how to retain his humanity. By restraining his power... Even in the face of injustice, he's come of age. And if King's readers have come of age, they will understand that addiction to vengeance is not the way to go either.

 Interestingly, one of the subtexts of the story is malice, gloating, vengeance, forgiveness. Which was one of the things we discussed when we talked about Obadiah in last week's Bible study.

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