Saturday, May 31, 2008

Still small voice

So...what has God been telling you to do?

The first was fairly simple. I was at the store and wanted to buy a whole chunka candy...and I was strong and didn't buy it. YAY!!! I was very thankful that God gave me the strength to say no! to something that just was not healthy for me. I really felt that to disobey the warnings inside my spirit re those wonderful chocolate candies would be a real slap in the face. I mean..sometimes one KNOWS it's God telling you not to do something ...and one does it anyway. And what happens? One feels crappy. God is still there and loving us but one has not straightened one's spiritual walk or fine-tuned one's ability to obey. And when one continues to obey God, the time comes when he's not going to ask you to do anything anymore. One develops a seared conscience that cannot hear or feel God's spirit.

Well, moving from chocolates. I’ve been feeling a little whisper telling me to stop watching gossip shows and to stop clicking on internet links that deal with gossip. Other than the fact that we live in a culture of greed, a culture of spite, a culture of envy, and a culture of adulation, and those things taint the soul....there’s the spiritual fact that negative stuff about other folks lives simply is not my business. It’s an addiction that destroys the soul. I find myself getting very annoyed at pundits and comedians who make fun of the trials of other people. I’m actually quite peeved that they have made certain folks their communal laughingstock. Sure, I don’t know Britney Spears but I don’t have to stand by all full of schadenfreude and feel superior to famous people who are having a tough life. So yeah... in addition to giving up cop shows I now have to avoid TMZ, Best Week Ever, and The Soup. Talk about withdrawals! But if God seems to be hinting at this change in my TV-viewing...well, homegirl’s gotta do it.

Of course it may not be God telling me this at all. It might just be that my soul is more tender toward people being humiliated and insulted. But even so....if the soul becomes sensitive to something, it’s a good idea to think that the “soul is the lamp of God” and that what the soul wants is also what God wants. So either not change something about one’s self when one feels the inner urge like quenching the holy spirit’s warnings. I know all too well what it’s like to not listen to the Holy Spirit. One becomes dull of hearing the next time. I don’t want to do something that will leave me in the position of resensitizing myself to hearing God’s voice.

BTW, this is my issue. Am not saying everyone should be changing their viewing habits. Just saying that I feel it is time for do something.

The stuff Christian moms in the hood have to deal with

Okay, so this is my very talented son rapping. It's a totally raunchy song...and a joke. Do NOT watch it if you're touchy about sex or if you're a feminist. But to show you the stuff I deal with...

That's his friend, Mehmet in the picture and Mehmet's little brother. Isn't that girl singing in the VID talented? My favorite of my son's raps is a song called "Stay in yo place, ho." May I say that it's the kind of song that riles up my feminist friends. -C

Friday, May 30, 2008

A verse that jumped out at me: Jesus temptation

The first:

Satan to Jesus in the temptation in the desert (Luke version, which arranges the temptation in different ways from Matthew and adds a couple niceties ...and this is one of them): Luke 4:6b --
To you I will give their (the world's) glory and all this authority. FOR IT HAS BEEN GIVEN OVER TO ME AND I GIVE IT TO ANYONE I PLEASE
. Okay, Luke is the only one who says this ...and you know Luke's issues about power and rich folks. But forgetting that for a moment, think of what Satan has just said and what questions come to mind.

For me, a writer, I thought...wait a second, this is a passive sentence. "It HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME." What the heck does that mean? Who is the one who gave the dominion and authority and glory of the world to you, Satan? God or man? I cannot for the life of me see God giving Satan the dominion and authority of the world. And technically speaking, the dominion was STOLEN. And who from? Adam and Eve. MAN! After all, the psalms tell us that "the earth has God given to the sons of men." And Genesis tells us that God gave man dominion and authority over the earth to rule it.

Okay, we Christians believe that Jesus has bought back the world's dominion for man and redeemed us out of the hand of the devil. We believe Jesus when he said "I saw Satan fall." We believe John the Revelator's vision of the lamb of God opening the seal and title deed of the Earth. But this verse really ministered to me because I felt more encouragement to speak with authority to younger son's illness and to tell the Devil he is a defeated enemy who no longer has authority. I've heard ministers talk about this but even though the Lord's prayer has "for thine is the kingdom, and the glory, and the power" I was always a might suspicious about their theology. Not until I saw it myself in this verse did I jump up. This is what the Bible means in the parable of the sower where one has "root in himself." We can accept a truth because a minister says it...but when one sees it in the Bible and understands it...then wow! One has root in one's self.

Driving While Black

So yesterday was an interesting day....for me anyway. Cops in these parts are simply out of control. Not even thinking about the Sean Bell incident. I mean one teenage girl (from one of the wealthier towns around here) made a sex tape with her boyfriend. Cops were looking for something in her boyfriend's place, found the tape, forced her to look at it while they also looked on. The kid's family is suing and dang straight they shuld. Also: in Newburgh at least 14 people have died in police custody in the past year. Okay, what's that about? The town is absolutely tiny. And then there is the problem with my son. Between my son's tendency to speed, weird laws against tinted windows in cars, my son forgetting to pay his speeding tickets, cops doing the driving-while-black thing, and cops just going fishing (when you stop at the light and they are behind you, they just run your plates for the heck of it.) well, we have paid $1600 in car fines in the last three months. But the kicker was yesterday when a cop car stopped beside my son who had pulled over. Cop searched car, found nothing except a small penknife. Checked to see if penknife flicked open. Mercifully it didn't. Said to my son threateningly, "Hey, it's too bad this thing doesn't flick open cause I would've given you a ticket." Then proceeds to TAKE my son's wallet with $50 and drive away. Then cop returns to the precinct with the wallet and says, "we 'found' his wallet on the ground." $50 gone!!!!!! GONE, BABY, GONE!!!!! That was our food money, the cop took. Dang, I do not wish to go to the food pantry. But that's the way these cops are. They don't realize that folks need their money. I said to son, well, just accept it and pray for them. I might write the police cheif about it but it's our word against the cops'. At least, it'll be in the cops personnel file. I said to son, "Stop speeding because once they stop you, they can do anything they want to you...consider yourself lucky they didn't plant marijuana or crack on you." Dealing with cops just is no joke.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Effortless Change

Well, am sitting here trying to change certain aspects of myself. Attempting to change myself is something I really should not be doing. Paul has a thing against what he calls will-worship and which is basically our attempts to save ourselves from sins, bad habits, the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Paul believes that we are changed by the Word of God. He tells us to rest in the finished work of Christ, rest in the word of God by reading the Bible and allowing the truth itself to change us(because the word of God is living and active and sharp), to rest in the true manna that gives us true food (because communion is God's gift of health to all our spirit, soul, and body), and to rest in the help of the Holy Spirit who is actively working within us changing us. As Jesus said, the spiritual work God has given us is this: BELIEVE

So am gonna attempt to stop attempting. Gonna God's work. And will let God do the work of changing me. -C

Loving St Thomas the Doubter

There are truths/revelations the Bible tells us to believe and we Believe them because it says so. There are truths/revelations the Bible tells us and theologians/ministers/priests/older folks have different interpretations of what the Bible is saying so we choose which of those interpretations we will believe. There are truth/revelations in the Bible that we believe because we have had clear revelations in our life that that particular truth is in fact very true and active in our lives. The last of these is the one we tend to trust in. They have become a rhema (personal truth) from the logos (totality of revealed truth) and we are convinced because we have seen this revelation in our lives. I kinda wish I would grow more in personal knowledge of these Biblical revelation. But I definitely feel that many Christians have been given so much personal light on certain passages that we should remember to walk in joy of that light we have received.

Yesterday, I flicked on the television on a channel I never watch. At the exact moment, one of my favorite songs was about to be sung by the singer. I leaped for joy. Yeah, it's a small thing but to me it's a deep true. One of the deepest ongoing revelations I have ever received in my life is this: my times are in God's hands.

I am totally convinced that God is a great choreographer. I wish I could tell you the many, many, many times God has shown me that he leads me -- even when I don't know that he's leading me.

He has also shown me that he has a bit of a sweet side. I mean "sweet." He is altogether lovely....the little sweet things he does for me. After all, I didn't have to really see the song. But he led me to it in one of his typical "Godwinks." He simply wanted to show me he was with me yesterday.

I've had other revelations of his goodness. By this I mean that I have had other instances in my life that illuminate and press permanently into my soul some truth about God. I know, for instance, that the negative words we speak can affect our lives. I know that angels exist and that they protect me. Heck, I know they are the sweetest and most loving and the flakiest of beings. And I know that God truly truly truly leads people when they don't even know it...and that he often leads those who don't yet know Jesus as Lord. (Those are the folks he's leading toward salvation.) I won't talk about all the specifics of these instances but I thank God for these moments.

I think all Christians have these experiences and a good personal revelation of a Biblical truth can last a whole lifetime. Many Christian old folks talk about some of the experiences that made them know something about God's love, grace, kindness, healing power, etc.

We therefore end up with various stages of unbelief. Theological truth we accept wholeheartedly but we don't quite believe. Theological truth we believe because like Thomas we have seen it and felt it with our very own eyes. So many people are tough on Thomas. They say, "what a fool! He would only believe Jesus had risen if he saw him in flesh and blood!" But I always felt that he was no worse than the other disciples. They also didn't believe until they saw. Heck, they didn't believe what Mary told them until they saw Jesus. Thomas' nickname was "the Twin" and we really don't know why they called him that. I've seen some flaky stuff like: "Thomas looked like Jesus and that's why they called him the twin." I kinda doubt that. But Thomas does seem to have been a guy who was capable of great faith and great unbelief at the same time. He was the only one recorded in the gospel who said, "let's go to Jerusalem so we can die with Jesus." So, he was always saying something that showed him to be a man who was more full of faith than most and yet.....

Upshot? I'd like to see more instances in my life where I can "see the kingdom of God" as it's happenign in my life. I'd like to receive more personal touches that make me understand some theological truth in a personal "wow, it's really true!" kinda way. But I'd also want to believe -- deeply believe-- God's word. Even if I don't see or feel anything in the physical world to confirm it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Loving St Luke

Nah, not talking about my hubby Luke...although he is a bit of a saint and although I DO love the beloved. Am talking about Luke, the physician who wrote the gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.

Luke is a supreme fighter for the oppressed and the poor. Of course he's the one who puts in Mary's Magnificat -- the song about how the rich are gonna suffer and be rejected. It connects to the song Hannah sang in the book of Samuel.

But also, check out his version of the Sermon on the Mount and compare it with Matthew's version. The way Luke writes's all about poverty and wealth. Matthew starts with "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Luke says, "Blessed are the poor." Period. Love it! Compare how he tells about the healing of the woman with the issue of blood to Matthew's version. Heck, Luke does all this research about Jesus and he has a choice of telling about the three wise men coming to Jesus and bringing gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense. But does Luke even care about that? Nah!!! He totally ignores that part of the story and tells us instead about the birth in the manger. No wonder the Liberation Theologists love this guy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Words, semantics, expectations, stylings II

Okay, my other post today about Words and spirituality. Second part:

Was doing my devotionals this morning -- Paul's letters to Timothy, Titus, Philemon...and whosever's letter to the Hebrew's.

It is amazing how modern mainstream Christianity has so limited the meanings of certain religious words. By limiting the words and making them bereft of their fuller meaning, we have a lesser gospel. And unfortunately, since the lesser gospel is the prevailing gospel it's hard to believe in the glorious marvelous full gospel of Jesus.

For the most part the gospel as preached today is limited to the saving of one's soul from hell. So when we read words that imply the salvation of the body, the soul, the spirit, the finances, the mind, etc...we read them with our bereft understanding of them. Even though we know the Greek word "sozo" is translated as "salvation" and means the deliverance from hell, sickness, poverty, etc, etc, etc, etc...we are so brainwashed that we struggle to see more than the deliverance from hell. At least I struggle. I keep asking myself, "why this internal struggle against accepting the word in all its facet and meaning? Carole, are you trying to not believe?" I suspect I am trying not to be fooled. I suspect the world tells us that good news is just too good to be believed. After all, didn't Isaiah say, "Who has believed our report?" Plus we just don't know how much God loves us, how much the Devil hates us, how much God hates the devil, sickness, sin, etc. And HOW GREAT AND POWERFUL THE GOSPEL IS!!!!

Weirdly enough, I tend to have no faith in what modern full gospel ministers say. I suppose I think it's a fad. I wonder if their American "good life" mentality has affected their interpretation of the gospel. But when I see that the old guys. Folks like Rev Romaine (way back in the day), Jeanne Guyon, John Lake, Andrew Murray, Bosworth and some unknown little pastor in the middle of nowhere believe the fullness of the words we modern Christians have trouble with. Then I begin to belive. Today will be reading Jeanne Guyon.

So, words that need to be considered, words that we tend to shrink and limit semantically:
Reward, salvation, confession, grace, faith, gospel, hope, promise, word, life, eternal life, blessed, kingdom of God. All these words can be limited only to certain aspects of their full meaning.
For instance, if the kingdom of God is within us as Jesus said, do we interpret it only as a future life in heaven?

I was very blessed this morning reading the faith chapter (Hebrews 11). And why? Because I saw that some of those heroes of faith had faith which affected physical things. If one listens to some minister who has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof, the next thing one starts believing is that the sovereign God has put a thorn in one's flesh and means one to suffer forever. Then one doesn't fight to try to overcome evil because one starts thinking...well.... I must endure. But we are told to resist the devil and he will flee. We are told to fight the good fight of faith. A tough battle to endure...but one I'm fighting.

Words, semantics, expectations, stylings I

Am thinking about words today. In two ways.

First: the lingo of the New Testament.
Most Bible readers know that the New Testament of the Bible was written in the common language of the people of its day. That means that Paul, Jesus, the apostles all spoke the uneducated language of their day. Okay, Paul was a little more educated and his writing gets pretty stylistic and punny and downright full of allusions to Greek poetry and Hebrew poetry. But for the most part, consider the Greek of the New Testament the po folk talk of its day.

My Moslem friends rightly say that the language of the New Testament simply is not as beautiful as the Koran. They also add -- not so rightly-- that God would never write a book like that. God, they say, wrote the Koran. But let's be clear about this: Allah may not write a book like the New Testament or the Bible but Jehovah/Yahweh would. The Bible is about God and Man working together. In Islam God is so far above that he is totally sovereign. Allah may work with man but not to the extent that Jehovah allows man's writing styles, personality, peeves, doubts to enter into Judeo-Christian Scripture.

I remember an atheist telling me that St Paul wrote the entire new testament as a way to deceive people...that St Paul was a creation of Jesus....gospel and all. He said that's why all the prophecies of the Messiah work so well with Christ (???? Honestly!!!!) because Paul was a scholar and theologian. My attitude as a writer is this: IF Paul was such a scholar, and religious inventor, why did he write a book that picks on scholars and religious theologians? And why did he choose stylistically to write in the ebonics of his day? It just reminds me of people who believe some great inventor made the Shroud of Turin, or that Life just created itself out of nothing. The stuff some folks come up with to challenge the gospel always take more faith to believe than the gospel itself.

Smoke Signals -- Amahoro-Africa report

I received the latest wiconi email newsletter from Native American pastor, Richard Twiss. Usually, I snip a bit here and there and post info on my blog but this last report was so powerful, I figured I'd include everything in this post.

Hau Kola’s

Greetings from Kigali, Rwanda. Here’s a short first report. Hope you are well by the way.

The Amahoro-Africa Gathering was a beautiful time of friendship making with some really fun and amazing people from around the world. Many of them are deeply engaged in local and global endeavors addressing situations of injustice, human rights, AIDS, micro-financing and community development as followers of Jesus. I now have friends who are actively involved in peace-making efforts in the conflicts in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. The story of the past twenty years of Rwanda was heartbreaking, tragic beyond comprehension, confusing and inspiring.

Many of you saw the movie Hotel Rwanda a few years ago that told the story of the horrific genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. In 90 days more than 1 million people were brutally/inhumanely murdered. It was people from the Tutsi tribe who carried out the genocide against the Hutu tribe. It is a long story that ultimately happened as the direct result of social engineering attempts on the part of the Belgian regime to scientifically classify the Tutsi tribe as being superior to the Hutu (size of head, wideness of nose, set of eyes, height, etc.) and thus preferring them in assigning roles of power in the colonial system of government established. This created the environment which led to animosity between these tribes who share the same language and have a long-standing history of shared living and relationship between them.

I listened to horrifying stories of Tutsi women tell of their brutalization in every way conceivable. I visited a mass grave site where 200,000 people were buried. I visited 2 catholic churches that were massacre sites. 5000 murdered in one and 20,000 in another. In the buildings the blood stained and dirt covered clothes from all the victims had been hung from the rafters and left to cover every inch of the floor space. In each of these places there were hundreds of unclaimed skeletal remains; skulls were carefully lined up in rows and the rest piled on shelves. At another site thousands of exhumed mummified bodies in distorted positions lay inside the school building on the desks and tables. These sites, and many others, are part of a national genocide memorial to keep the memories of loved ones alive and to remember that human beings are capable of great evil unless we learn to forgive and love one another.

I had taken tobacco ties with me so at the first site, I felt deeply compelled to sing a song of remembrance and put tobacco on the shelf with the bones. The skeletal remains were not enclosed in any way. If you wanted you could touch them. I asked two men from Africa to stand with me as our group had moved away from this spot. I sang a traditional style native song of mourning and remembrance for these people. Many in the building began to weep as the Spirit of the Lord visited with us. After I finished I wept too.

I then listened to Hutu believers confess their stories of shame, guilt and sorrow for what they had done and saw the forgiveness that was exhibited by the Tutsi believers toward them. I was completely blown away! I cannot relate to that depth of forgiveness. Listening to Freda tell how the attackers lined her (she was 14 then) entire family up in a pit and chopped off her mothers head with a machete, caved her brothers and sisters heads in with clubs and finally clubbed her and buried them all, then to see her so clothed in the love and mercy of God was beyond my ability to “get.”

One fact worth noting about the context of the genocide is that prior to April 1994, the western church generally regarded Rwanda as one of the most "Christian" countries in Africa and the world, one of the real "successes" of Christian missions in Africa! Statistically speaking some 80% to 90% of the population regard themselves as Christians. An absolute majority are Roman Catholics, and a strong minority Protestants. Much of this Christianity is of a strong evangelical persuasion (Patrick E. Johnstone, 1993. Operation World. Carlisle, UK: OM Publishing, P. 472: there are many sources available about this fact). “And yet all of this Christianity did not prevent genocide, a genocide which leading church officials did little to resist, in which a large number of Christians participated, and in which, according to African Rights, more people "died in churches and parishes than anywhere else." – (David P Gushee, The Christian Century, April 20, 2004, pp. 28-31)

While it is a very complex situation in Rwanda, with no clear conclusions, this one fact is cause for some reflection. What was meant by “Christian.” While many God-fearing people lost their lives as they resisted the slaughter, the Christian church was also complicit in many instances. Many times I heard the question, “where was the church when it was most needed?” Even more compelling is where is the church today in light of the global AID’s crisis, the new conflicts in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and many more areas. I was encouraged because it was African nationals asking the question among themselves.

However, what about us, you and me? Does injustice only exist in Africa? As we face the compelling questions of our day, the answers will not arise from whether or not someone is a Christian, republican, democrat, evangelical, Pentecostal – it will found in whether or not we following Jesus in community with others of differing cultures, expressions of our one faith, economic status and power or privilege.

Have you hugged an “Indian” lately? How about a white republican? How about a black democrat? How about a white democratic Pentecostal pro-life orthodox liberal emerging post-modern evangelical? Or how about a justice doing, mercy loving, humbly walking follower of Jesus …Hmmmm? Okay then, go ahead and hug yourself.

Hohecetuwe yelo – “and that’s the way it is”

Jesus is amazing! His love for us in the midst of our brokenness is way too good to be true! I am reminded of the Father’s grace and goodness in my life and challenged again to love and walk as Jesus walked among his followers, critiques, opponents and enemies.

Peace, as you walk in the Jesus Way!

Wiconi International

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lord i believe, help my unbelief

In the gospel story of the man with the "moonstruck" son, the man says to Jesus, "Lord, I believe; help mine unbelief."

What a lovely and painful verse. It shows the reader that in one soul Faith and Unbelief can be working together. Many people think that if one has faith one cannot have unbelief. But Jesus doesn't think that. The Bible always talks about faith mixed with unbelief. From Abraham to the doubleminded man, there is always great faith mixed with unbelief.

After Jesus spoke the parable of the sower and after he cursed the fig tree, he told his disciples several things:

The first: Speak to the mountain.
The second: Have God's faith
The third: Pray and command in my name. (As his children, his bride, his authorized ambassadors who are occupying til he comes we can use his name and the Lord's name is good in spiritual circles.)
The fourth: It doesn't matter if one has small faith. Everyone has the measure of faith. If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can still move mountains with a command. What matters is purity of faith, pure unmuddied faith.
The fifth: It doesn't matter if one has small faith. What one must do is use the faith one has. If one has a servant, one tells the servant what to do. If one has a lamp, one doesn't hide it under a barrel.
The sixth: one must speak one's faith and speak the promises. One does not affirm the pathological truth, one affirms the theological truth: Jesus is my healer, The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. By Jesus' wounds I was healed 2000 years ago on the cross.
The seventh: Take heed what one hears. One must protect the faith one has or else one will muddy it. This means avoiding hearing and seeing those things that makes one give up the fight of faith. (This means not discussing one's faith with mocking atheists, kind-hearted well-meaning friends, or ministers from denominations who don't believe in healing or who don't believe that God heals miraculously through communion/the laying on of hands/the spoken word of faith.)
The eighth: When you pray, believe that you have received and you will have it. St Paul calls this casting down vain imaginations and being renewed in one's mind by not conforming to the world's way of thinking. Walk by faith in God's character and not by sight or what you feel.
The ninth: Persevere. Keep praying. Persevereance is powerful. The demonic world fights against getting prayers answered, the flesh fights against answered prayers but persevere.
The tenth: Rejoice and water the word with thanksgiving. This means that one keeps one's mind on what one wants, knowing that God has answered one's prayer in the spiritual realm and that
The eleventh: Ask God for wisdom. He will guide you to the spiritual, physical, emotional, nutritional, demonic, generational, and intellectual reasons why the healing is delayed.
The twelfth: Pray in the spirit.
The thirteenth: Hold fast until you come.
The fourteenth: Stay in the word. If we do not abide in the vine, we lose our connection to the living power of God
The fifteenth: Rest in the finished work of God. Rest because the living word of God is active and is working wonderfully in one's body and in one's life...even if one doesn't see it. It's the work that does the word. The seed grows by itself. All we can do is water it with thanksgiving.
The sixteenth: fast and pray if necessary
The seventeenth: Use communion and the body and blood of Christ to get your healing. Where the mountain is big and faith is small, God provides that the healing will come in a progressive manner.

Lord, you have taught us all things that pertain to health and life. I love you very much.-C
Lord I believe; Help my unbelief.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

being happy for others

Today I've got a bit of the blues. I suspect many moms in my position would be. My friend emailed me to say her son, about two years younger than my younger son, just got his first job. I was happy. Times fly! But at the same time, I have to admit I got all weepy. (sucking my teeth here cause I'm Jamaican and we Jamaicans do that to show our sorrow, etc.)

I get this way whenever someone's one year old kid starts talking or some other thing... I just have to bear up. It's not as if I'm not happy for them but then I just see how much the toxins in the world, food, medical vaccines have stolen my son's life from him.

Yet, I know that my redeemer lives. I know that God didn't make my son to have a life where no one understands what he says, a life where he has limited understanding of a Disney movie. I remember once I asked a Catholic priest to pray for my son. The jerk said, "Let me pray for you that you may bear the gracious gift God has given you." What an idiot! I can bear my own pain in my own body, thank you asshole pious theologian sentimentalist! But it takes a bit of nerve for me to say, "Yes, let me bear my son's loneliness. Let ME learn to live with his stomach and pain." I swear! Only a pious jerk would say that. And I told him so. YEP! I DID! I'm absolutely snippy with ministers who have sentimental crap always at the ready to say. And only a person who wasn't a parent would say that we are to accept our children's if the suffering child isn't a person in his own right. (I didn't tell the priest least I don't remember telling him that. Come to think of it...maybe I did. I can get pretty nasty when I'm riled. Plus being a minister's grand-daughter I have very little patience with ministers.)

Today I'm forcing the family to only eat fruits and veggies and nothing cooked for three days. Big aim: to get rid of son's congestion. Remember the old word "catarrh." The nutty health-nuts of days gone by used to use it. I totally believe it exists. And am doing what I have to do to get this kid cleaned up inside.

Trusting as usual the quick, active, healing word of God is working mightily in my son and me. And trying to be happy for my friends' son. I know that my redeemer liveth. -C

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rising up in defiance of the problem

Okay, so here I am ready to challenge the illnesses by rising up in defiance of them.

No, no, I don't throw away my meds or nutritional diets or regimen or anything but even if I feel like crap I DO force myself to walk downtown in my horrible feelingness. I know that the Precious Promises of God's word are working in my son and me...and I believe God's report about my son and me, not the doctors' report.

So, how do i do this with younger son? Well, we tend not to take him to the supermarket because we're afraid he'll act up. Plus -- even worse-- when he comes to our bed in the morning we allow him to slip under the covers...even though yours truly may not have slept.Plus the kid sees me in my ratty nightgown with my large pendulous breast flapping around. All I think is that when this kid's healing manifests and he falls in love he'll bring home some woman with flapping breasts. Hey, that's gotta stop. We've got to start believing he's an adult and not a baby. The kid's 18, for heaven's sake!

So, am focusing on The Lord is Older and younger son's light, and he is their salvation. That is the word of God. HE gives light and understanding to the severely disabled and the mentally retarded. And he heals them. He gives light and understanding to annoying older know-it-all sons who believe only what their friends say. The carnal human part of me wants to give in sometimes, but my spirit and my mind will trust in the word of my lord and the power of Christ's blood. -C

Thursday, May 22, 2008

URGENT ACTION! Autism Treatment Coverage!

Got this in the email:

Today Congressman Sestak (D-PA) introduced an Amendment on the floor to HR 5658 National Defense Authorization Act '09 language which would increase the monthly cap of $2,500 to $5,000 on autism treatment for our military dependant children with autism.

Children with autism can and are recovering with intensive and structured behavior intervention based on the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which TRICARE, our military health insurance, covers. This Amendment is extremely important to support as the current monthly cap of $2,500 only covers roughly 20 hours per month of ABA; when the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Marine Corps, Army, and Navy Surgeon Generals all recommend 30 to 40 hours per week. Yes, you did read correctly; 20 hours per month "covered" versus the 120 to 160 hours per month recommended, and which has scientifically proven to significantly reduce autism symptoms and behaviors.

Your action on this is extremely important for the reasons listed:

Autism is an epidemic and while autism is a spectrum disorder; autism severly impacts 1 in every 67 children according to the Department of Education statistics (2006), and the numbers continue to grow every year.
You will be supporting autism coverage and treatment at the federal legislative level which will significantly help at the state level.
If children with autism do not receive the medically necessary treatment which results in recovery and typical functioning, our work force, and our military forces will be reduced by 1 in 67 adults in the next 10 to 15 years at a minimum, as the autism epidemic continues to grow every year. In Washington state alone we saw an 18% increase from 2006 to 2007.

All you have to do is go here
and type in a few pieces of information and a letter of support (there for you to read) will be automatically sent to your Representatives asking them to support Congressman Sestak's Amendment to HR 5658. If you would like to read more in depth about all of this, you may visit my blog

Congressman Sestak's Amendment will be voted on, on Thursday. Please take action right now!

Our children with autism thank you.
Angela Warner - Air Force wife and mom to four children (two with ASD)
A-CHAMP Member
Rescue Angel

fighting the good fight of faith

The good fight of faith is a big battle to be in. I think I would have preferred choosing my own battle. I could pick a faith project then work at believing on it. Alas, however, these battles for my son's miracle and my health were kinda thrust on me. Fibromyalgia and non-verbal Autism! Aaargh. And annoyingly, I have had to build my boat (or my house) in a storm.

Not that I didn't have faith before all this came down 21 years ago. But heck I was just a sweet little kid with an untried faith. Aaargh.

Jesus, St Paul, the apostles, the prophets, the patriarchs...everyone in the Bible and everyone who wrote the Bible....always spoke about the fact that the life of faith is not easy but it works. They tell us that perseverance works....and we see how it works. They show us how holding forth the word of God, walking by what one knows about God's love rather than walking by what one sees, relying on the spiritual to conquer the physical, living by faith....well, these all work. But aaaargh!!!! persevereance is a trip.

I remember an African minister talking about how healing began in his church. He had been ministering for years. Every day, every sunday, he would pray for people...for years, this went on....and then one day he prayed for this little girl and immediately she was healed. He said the weird thing was that it was a day like any other, nothing special had happened before. But the power of persevereance itself is rewarded.

Well, I am pretty convinced that I have learned a lot aboutu healing during the past 21 years. Each day I move closer and closer and put something aside that was blocking the healing. I now know, for instance, that when we pray God immediately answers the prayer. Immediately. We aren't praying and begging God to give. Or else we shouldn't be. God gives immediately, but what he gives he gives in the spiritual realm. He gives healing virtue like a seed, hidden in the ground. Planted. Unseen by human eyes. And it is up to us to water the seed and the word with thanksgiving until we SEE the blade. And to keep watering even after we see...with faith that we will get the fruit -- one fruit, thirty fold, hundred fold. That is a big thing to realize. For me, anyway. Because so much of the battle with some folks is believing God actually "will do it." But when one realizes that by Jesus wounds one was ALREADY healed....well, as ST Paul says, we rest in the finished word of God. We enter into God's rest because the word of God is active, powerful and working.

So fighting the good fight of faith...and trusting God's word is even now working within younger son and me. God's word is truth. The Bible says "Let God be true and every man a liar." The word says Jesus blood healed me then and is healing me now. Am praising God for having healed me, even though these PHYSICAL eyes still have not SEEN the promise. I know my redeemer lives. I have two friends who died from auto-immune systems. They trusted in doctors ONLY and they mocked me about trusting God so much. They are dead. I am still alive. I look on God's promises, on the power of Jesus' blood. Not on my symptoms.

Oh thee that heareth prayer, unto thee shall all flesh comes! I love the Lord because He has heard my prayer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sex and Death

Okay, so there I was yesterday...going along with my life when the Holy Spirit tells me to put two things away from myself:

First, I have a bad habit of listening to true crime shows all day. So it's pretty schitzy here. One second I'm on sci-fi channel, the next I'm on christian music television or God-tV, the next moment I'm watching some romantic drama, and the next I'm watching a marathon of crime/forensics drama.

Now, notice that -- as yet, anyway-- I haven't been chided about love stories or SF/fantasy shows. But the holy spirit comes in with talk about me pervading my soul with all this blood. That's a bit on the tough side because I'm at home during the day. I like having the TV on as company. But I don't want to listen to the news. Don't even get me started on what I think of the media. So, will have to do a clean cut weaning from that one.

Then, second, the holy spirit told me to get rid of my tendency to admire beauty in men. It's a shallow habit, i know...and I will confess I think about beautiful men waaay too much.

So that's that. Hey, I'll do anything to get my son's healing to manifest. Have been singing and praising God every night and/or morning. So I suspect it's hard for the angels to bring healing into the room when all that lust and bloodlust is going on. Thank you holy spirit for guiding me. I will definitely commit to casting down wrong imaginations.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fears, doggie, wellness

Kitty is standing here looking totally wet, covered with doggy saliva. Doggy always to slobber all over her. Sometimes he gets her head in his mouth. He's like the bullying older brother. HE just annoys and threatens her....then kisses her. Can't quite figure him out. But I remember the first time they met. She was so terrified. Then for two days she was afraid of him. By the fourth day, she was fearless and swatting him.

I think about that a lot. Fear is an interesting thing. To lose fear in two days. It seemed like a deeply spiritual thing to me. We humans carry fear for so long. I know some animals who do that but on the whole they don't unless they've been abused. When I think of what fear and fearing has done to me, I think of my mother, my uncle, and my grandfather who pretty much terrified me. My mother was a nurse and an alarmist. Fear of disaster, fear of disease, on every side. They trained my heart to fear...and my soul never could trust in God or "rest" in him and his love. Isn't that pitiful?

I think of the verse in the Bible -- one of my favorites-- Hagar's "You God see me." What a wonderful phrase. So essential. That alone could be something one can build one's spirituality on. God--the omnipresent, omniscient, all-loving one-- sees/understands little old me. Isn't it sad that we humans should find it so hard to trust in God? How twisted and lost and confused the human soul is!

Anyway, am feeling better now. The past two months filled me with all kinds of terror, but the judges have been so kind. So I have faced fears and the judges have been merciful and to my son. So the fears are mostly subsided (still gotta fight against them, though) and I'm feeling better. Although I should have been feeling better simply by trusting God's word and not feel better simply because I "see" that life is better. Anyway, now that I'm better. Avoiding gluten, drinking tonna water, sitting in the sun -- reading-- to get my circadian rhythm together.

Am gonna ask my little friend -- actually, he's not that little anymore. I've known him since he was 13 and I was 26-- who is an artist and the son of a local chinese restaurant owner ....if he ever goes down to Chinatown. I have the address of a really good Chinese herbalist down old Chinese doctor from China who works in a Chinese health center down there near Canal street. My friend went there and he gave her some herbs that -- ready for this?-- made her fibroids fall out. The way she described it it was like passing liver. No, I won't go on and disgust you further. But I am so tired of western medicine and I need a doc who I really trust. It's just that the herbalist is very wary of giving certain herbs to non-Chinese folks. I figure if my friend goes down there to get stuff he can go with me. Will see.

In the meantime, I'll do what God and alternative folks have told me to do. God made us uncomplicated in many ways. It's amazing how many illnesses are rooted in one thing: fear, or dehydration or whatever. So....gotta drink my water, gotta stop fearing. Gotta rest in God's word. And why should I rest in God's word? Because the word of God is alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword?

Will be reading my concordance today. I love reading concordances.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Isaiah 40

Okay, it's gotten to the point where I either dream of the sermon the minister is gonna give or one of the Scriptures I happen to study during the week tend to be the ones the minister sermonizes on.

So I definitely feel God is with me and the holy spirit is touching me and teaching me.

This morning I got up and opened the Bible to Isaian 41. So I read Isaiah 40. Okay, I'll read Isaiah 41 later today. But I read chapter 40 because it's one of my absolute favorite chapters. The others are Isaiah chapter 6 and Isaiah chapter 53.

So there I am reading along and suddenly I had to stop at the end of verse 2.

Isaiah 40
Comfort for God's People
1 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD's hand
double for all her sins.

Now, is it me? Focus on the line "double for all her sins." Have we been reading this line to mean double punishment? Or does Isaiah mean it as pointing to grace? Does he mean double blessings for all her sins?

I'm one of those people who really dislikes assumptions. Especially assumptions made by those of us as we read the Bible. I'm the one who annoys ministers by saying, "Wait a second! That's an assumption! The Bible says the rich young ruler went away sorrowful because he had much riches. It doesn't say he went away NOT intending to follow Jesus. Maybe he was sorrowful because he WAS going to follow Jesus. We just don't know."

I'm the type to say, "Okay, where does it say Delilah was a harlot and evil and a Phillistine? She might've been a nice Jewish farm girl for all you know!" Or I'll say, "What're you talking about 'three wise men'? Where the heck does it say there was three of them?" I'm the type to say, "And why exactly do you think Gabriel is an archangel? Where does it say so?"

Yes, my friends, I am a pill even in church groups. I cannot tell you how many times I have annoyed the heck out of someone by saying, "Well, you're assuming that. And the church has assumed that for 2000 years. Could you be wrong?"

So here I am, pondering the word "double." Thinking about God's personality, I find myself thinking, "Would God actually be so apologetic as to say to sinful Israel, 'yeah, I punished you...more than you deserved. I'm kinda unfair like that'???" I think not.

Next, the line comes in a verse that is talking about God's comfort. Okay, we humans might comfort someone else by saying, "I am so wrong, I shouldn't have punished you so bad." But God isn't human.

Of coure I have to go study the line in the original Hebrew but I am suspecting that Isaiah is talking about the power of the gospel restoration. For our great sin, what has God done? He has graciously given us so much more good.

I totally believe that when one is reading the Bible and something jumps up in one's mind that one has never considered before that it's the wonderful sweet holy spirit talking to you and enlightening you. I think he wants me to ponder this verse today. Maybe my pastor will talk about restoration next sunday...who knows? maybe he'll talk about something that connects to another verse that will be brought to my mind in the next few days. In the meantime, gonna ponder how graciously our God restores us....and how he gives us so much more than what we have lost. We really must ponder the love of God more. St Paul warned the Corinthians against saying, "Oh, so God gives us so much good because we have sinned, let us sin even more so that even more grace can flow!" I can understand how, when one fully understands God's grace, one can think such a thing. But as St Paul said, "yes, God is loving and gracious...but God forbid that we should do such a thing!"

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I came upon this poem yesterday. What a lovely poem it is! And many of us know this particular feeling. In college, I had this boyfriend....well, let's just say it was like Fleetwod Mac's "Over my head." It was just horrible. When I got engaged to my husband, I met a lovely fellow -- a blonde god and I never really liked blondes but wow!-- and developed this intense crush on him. Luckily I was sane enough to see that whatever emotion I felt just wasn't enough. The guy was a bit of a loon and we argued over everything. He was not really pleased when I decided to go on with my marriage.

I don't know if those two examples were true renouncement, though. A true renouncement, like a true sacrifice, is about giving up what you really like and love and need...for a higher truer cause. People use the word "sacrifice" way too loosely nowadays. Sacrificing going to movies in order to buy a car? Nope. That's not sacrifice.

Anyway, check out the poem. It's lovely, lovely.

Renouncement by Alice Meynell. b. 1850

I MUST not think of thee; and, tired yet strong,
I shun the love that lurks in all delight—
The love of thee—and in the blue heaven's height,
And in the dearest passage of a song.
Oh, just beyond the sweetest thoughts that throng
This breast, the thought of thee waits hidden yet bright;
But it must never, never come in sight;
I must stop short of thee the whole day long.
But when sleep comes to close each difficult day,
When night gives pause to the long watch I keep,
And all my bonds I needs must loose apart,
Must doff my will as raiment laid away,—
With the first dream that comes with the first sleep
I run, I run, I am gather'd to thy heart.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Clives Staples nomination

The works that are eligible are Christian worldview science fiction/ fantasy/allegory/furturistic/supernatural novels published in English by a royalty paying press between January 2007 and December 2007.

If you know of any Christian book written by a minority, please nominate them. No, you don't have to nominate Wind Follower. It wasn't particularly well-known in the Christian community so I don't know if that matters. Popularity, craft, theology, are all in the mix for an award like this one would think. But if you can think of a Christian speculative book written by a minority and nominate it...that would help at least make the Christian community be aware of books written by minorities. Heavens, there's got to be more Christian minority writers out all the world.

Of course, if you've read one of these nominated books and like all means go ahead and nominate it. I know that Auralia's Colors and Legend of the Firefish were really good. So if no minority book ends up on the list, I'll vote for them. I might vote for The Book of Joby which was very good but am not sure if the author calls himself Christian. God's demon was also interesting, I hear. But I haven't read that. Not sure if author calls himself Christian either. And then there's Wind Follower -- ahem-- which was pretty good if i do say so myself.

Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook)
Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee (NavPress)
DragonFire by Donita K. Paul (Waterbrook)
Father of Dragons by L.B. Graham (P&R)
Fearless by Robin Parrish (Bethany House)
Flashpoint by Frank Creed (The Writers Cafe Press)
Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson (Thomas Nelson)
Landon Snow and the Volucer Dragon by Randy Mortenson (Barbour)
The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka (Harvest House)
The Restorer by Sharon Hinck (NavPress)
The Restorer’s Son by Sharon Hinck (NavPress)
Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead (Thomas Nelson)
A Wine Red Silence by George L. Duncan (Capstone Fiction)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

psalm 21 and 20

I read psalm 20 yesterday because, well, it's near psalm 21. Interesting. Pslam 20 seems to be asking for victory, and psalm 21 seems to be declaring it...although victory hasn't happened yet.

That got me to thinking about imagining victory. We christians don't usually do sermons on imagining good -- otherwise called hope, the things that are hoped for, the things unseen but wanted. But we often talk a lot about negative imaginations.

Last night I thought about what life will be like when younger son is miraculously healed. It was quite a mental foray. I spoke to my husband about what would happen, how the miracle would affect the neighbors, our family, etc. The muslim deli owners would rejoice -- hey he wouldn't be escaping the confines of our house and walking into their store and picking up cookies all the time. My atheist friends who don't believe in miracles will be amazed when we turn up at the door, younger son talking and being all normal. (Christian normal, I mean). All those who have never seen miracles -- from sainted church ladies to my older son's buddies-- will know of at least one moment when they see that Jesus is the living God. Yep, I imagined and chattered to hubby and talked to God and talked to the spiritual obstacle/mountain about what life will be like. And I praised and thanked God that he was doing it.

It was good to get my mind into that mode. I so often equate imagination with dread and fear.

God speaks about hope a lot...we have to learn to be conscious of what exactly we hope for, what we really would like to SEE happen in physical reality. And declare it. So, another move toward working on getting this kid's healing to manifest. Psalm 21 is a psalm about victory imagined, i think. -C

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Psalm 21 -- again

Well, am still studying Psalm 21. I gotta admit it doesn't really jump up as one of the big psalms but it definitely has a lot in it. Funny the way we know so many psalms and some we pretty much ignore. When I dreamt of it I woke up like, " does that psalm go again?" So, yeah, I was pretty much at a loss too.

So am introducing myself to it and meditating on it.

It's written in the pattern of an Assyrian royalty psalm and has a lot of the requisite blessings that popped up in poems for kings back in that time. But since it's a psalm of David we have to see that it also is God-breathed and is a great Messianic prophecy. It prophecies -- from what I can see in my study-- about the suffering messiah who is plotted against, about the triumphant messiah who escapes the harm plotted by his friends, about the hated King who becomes Victor, and it talks about a God who answers our requests. Definitely a lot going on there.

As a Christian writer, I think of David sitting there being influenced by the art around him and by the breathings of the holy spirit (God and man join) and managing to put his soul into a poem that shows the depth of his own soul while also speaking mysteries. Plus he's a king and he manages to speak from that aspect of his being. Wow, may we all be that inspired and that honest in our writings! In Wind Follower I managed to use historical stylings, managed to allow the holy spirit to help me write, and managed to speak from my own place as a black woman fed up with American history and racism. Will see if I can do it again with constant tower. Still reading Psalm 21 every day.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Psalm 21

Okay, so I get this dream last night: I'm in a clothing store and looking for a specific hat, a light blue pillbox type hat that I saw Snoop wearing. I go in the back and who do I see. Snoop. He picks up the hat I like and gives it to me. It says 21 inside...and I'm thinking..."Uhm, do I have $21 to pay for this thing?" Snoop says, "I want you to cover your head with this for the next few days." When I woke up, my gut feeling is that I should read Psalm 21 for the next few days and that Snoop represented an angel ("Fatherhood.") Hey, dreams do flaky things.

I hadn't read psalm 21 in years but wow, it was waaay appropriate. I don't even know where to start to tell you how appropriate it is. We went to a healing service yesterday...and healing services are affirmations of the power Jesus has given spite of out enemy. The symbolism of arrows in the Bible are often about the word of God or about the deceptions of the devil. And soo much is here about praising the Lord for what he has done. ALL the verses really spoke to me. I'll just bold those areas that rejoiced my heart.

For the music director; a psalm of David.

21:1 O Lord, the king rejoices in the strength you give;
he takes great delight in the deliverance you provide. THE JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH.

21:2 You grant him his heart’s desire;

21:3 For you bring him rich blessings;
you place a golden crown on his head. <-- WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH CHRIST

21:4 He asked you to sustain his life,
and you have granted him long life and an enduring dynasty. SOOOO TRUE.

21:5 Your deliverance brings him great honor;

21:6 For you grant him lasting blessings;
you give him great joy by allowing him into your presence. <-- THE HOLY SPIRIT SHOWS US GOD.

21:7 For the king trusts in the Lord,
and because of the sovereign Lord’s faithfulness he is not upended. YES, GOD IS FAITHFUL.

21:8 You prevail over all your enemies;
your power is too great for those who hate you. AGAIN, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH CHRIST.

21:9 You burn them up like a fiery furnace when you appear;
the Lord angrily devours them;
the fire consumes them.

21:10 You destroy their offspring FRUIT from the earth,

21:11 Yes, they intend to do you harm;

21:12 For you make them retreat
when you shoot your arrows at them. <-- THE ARROWS ARE THE WORD OF GOD, THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT.

21:13 Rise up, O Lord, in strength!
We will sing and praise your power! IN SINGING AND PRAISE, WE CONQUER.


Sunday, May 04, 2008


by William McGrath

Bill McGrath’s Asulon is the first book of a fantasy trilogy entitled The Sword of Fire. Aimed primarily at young adults, the book is written in such a way as to make biblical history and Christian morality exciting to a notoriously difficult group to reach.
The quest for The Sword of Fire. It began with a prophecy-

In fire's ring, where angels sing,
In holies’ home, sheathed in stone,
Where blood was spilt, one for all,
To make amends for the Fall.

The first of swords awaits the finding,
Of one whose oath, blood is binding,
Wisdom, strength, honor finding,
To whose arm the sword is binding.

Before the quest is over, kings shall fall, empires shall rise and one young man shall truly understand what it means to be a warrior.

You can check out the trailer also.

Book Two- ERETZEL Available Spring 2008Book Three- APOCALYPSE Available Spring 2009

Buy it on amazon or Barnes and Noble

For other reviews of this book, please go to the Christian Fiction Review Blog,, and

Saturday, May 03, 2008

African-Americans and Stokes

Strokes are the third leading cause of death among African Americans. The
American Stroke Association has released a downloadable kit to help African
Americans recognize the signs of a stroke and to help prevent one.
Download or read the kit here

Thursday, May 01, 2008

As he are we

Good verse to meditate on:

As Jesus is, so are we in this present world.
Not as Jesus was.
Not so will we be in heaven.
But we are like him, risen with the one who has been given the power over authorities and powers and has the key to hell and death.

Another verse to ponder:
Through one man death reigned, by one man we can reign.

Man has always wanted Dominion because we know it was originally given to us. Then the devil came, sin came, sickness came. Jesus has given us our dominion over sin, and sickness. He has destroyed death's power over us. Death was our last enemy. But n ow he has destroyed it. And he added even more...he gave us authority and power over all the powers of the enemy. If only all the children of God really knew what Christ has done for us...and what he has enabled us to do through His resurrection! Without Christ we are nothing....but we are never without Christ. We are something all right, powerful children of God! Oh for faith to show the world the goodness of God and the glory Jesus has returned to us!

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