Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thinking of heaven again

Okay, I think of heaven a lot. I suspect Christian folks embattled by illness do that quite a bit. I've also read and listened to way too many testimonies about folks happy jaunt in heaven. (Before the evil annoying doctor whisked them back to their ailing bodies.) So, yeah, everyday heaven and death are on my mind. I don't mind death, actually. Although the process of dying makes me slightly nervous. I'm trusting I'll die healthily.

Anyway, the thing is it's occurring to me that although I have reached the point in life where I have more friends in heaven (or at least I hope they're in heaven) than I have on earth I am beginning to wonder if I'll actually be happy there. Why? you ask.

Honestly, I want God to put me in the flaky-side of heaven. Many of the Christian's I've met on earth have been lovely people but far far too many have been horrendous little cookie-cutters. True, an American Christian in heaven will most likely have lost all the American trappings of their spirituality but dang will they still be their unloving selves? I'm thinking of that phrase, "the spirits of just men made perfect." So yeah, it's possible that when we die God perfects our faith, hope, and love and we become quite decent people. And yet, in heaven I so want to be where the oddball Christians are.

Yeah, unfortunately, I am one of those Christians who find many American Christians unbearable, shallow, and judgemental. Okay, many folks of many religions and many atheist folks are unbearable, shallow and judgmental. But I'm talking about the folks I hang with -- Christians who should know better.

The Bible tells us to esteem each other more than ourselves. It tells us to be kindhearted to each other, and it tells us that Love is kind. Honestly, though, when was the last time you saw Christians who esteemed each other better than themselves? If a Christian meets another Christian who is dressed shabbily or whose house is a mess, that Christian is not going to assume well of the other Christian. More likely than not she will think the shabby house-messy Christian is unenlightened, lazy, etc. It will never ever ever occur to that judgmental Christian that perhaps there are health issues. No, the judgmental Christian will be stuck in her own I-am-better-than-this-person-who-I-am-judging-by-appearances. It happens all the time. And, bad enough I have to spend my time on earth avoiding such folks...will I have to do so in heaven? -C

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Active Sharing on Youtube

As I near my 49th birthday, I feel I'm becoming more and more myself. Whatever that means.

An example: I've been on active sharing on youtube for about two months now and let me tell you it's the most public conscientious activity I have ever done.
"Really?" you ask.
"Yes, really," I answer.

The trouble is I am what many Christians would consider a "carnal" Christian. Granted, I don't think I'm that carnal. At least I'm not carnal in the way St Paul meant it. When St Paul described carnal Christians in 1 Corinthians 3:3-4 and 2 Corinthians 10:4 and Hebrews 9:10 he was talking about the type of Christian who walks by sight, who actually believes in and fights about earthly stuff such as denominations, who actually think following external rules of eating drinking clothing etc are signs of holiness. That's not me. But most Christians will think I'm carnal because I do have that horrendous crush on Cloud from Final Fantasy and I actually listen to music and watch movies no Christian would be caught watching.

So here's the problem. When you do active sharing on youtube, ALL your youtube friends can see what it is you're actually watching. They see what you've rated, what you've favorited, what you've uploaded, etc.

So my youtube friends can see that I've favorited the (somewhat potty-mouthed) Canadian East-Indian comedian Russell Peters. And Chocolate News. And . . . well, everything I've done.

This wouldn't be so bad if I had only one kind of friends. If say, I had only secular non-believing friends, they'd see my proclivities and all the religious stuff I rate and favorite and think I'm odd but they'd probably not think I was being sinful.

But the problem is with my Christian friends. One of them is quite cool and easygoing. But the other...well, I like him but I find myself wondering. Okay, he's white Christian so he didn't vote for Obama. I see him rating and favoriting stuff against Obama, but do I care? No! I'm cool. I let things go. I don't think he's a racist. But what does this guy think when he sees the stuff I've been seeing? Lord knows. He hasn't been talking to me in a while. Hasn't returned my emails. Ahem. So. . .uhm. . .I shouldn't assume anything. He's probably just off on vacation. But my history with Christians make me worry that he saw one too many "Cloud is so sexy" video on my favorite list and dumped me.

Of course I had the choice of taking myself off active sharing. But I did not. Why? Because I am trying to be myself without fear. Yeah, stupid reason and stupid thing to do when you know how easily some Christians judge. But I put myself and my heart on my blog and I'm not going to start hiding aspects of myself. A true witness delivers souls, as the Proverbs say.

Saying Thank You is Healthy

Watch this video and take it to heart:

Saying Thank You is Healthy

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Borders 2008 Original Voices Awards

The nominees for the 2008 Original Voices Awards are:

-- "Dear American Airlines," by Jonathan Miles (Houghton Mifflin)
-- "The Cellist of Sarajevo," by Steven Galloway (Riverhead)
-- "The Good Thief," by Hannah Tinti (The Dial Press)
-- "The Lace Reader," by Brunonia Barry (William Morrow)
-- "The Somnambulist," by Jonathan Barnes (William Morrow)
-- "The White Tiger," by Aravind Adiga (Free Press)

-- "The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the
Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler,"
by Thomas Hager (Harmony)
-- "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese
Food," by Jennifer 8 Lee (Twelve)
-- "The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in
the World," by Eric Weiner (Twelve)
-- "The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood," by
Helene Cooper (Simon & Schuster)
-- "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a
Great Victorian Detective," by Kate Summerscale (Walker & Company)
-- "We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken
Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Change Their Lives Forever," by
Benjamin Mee (Weinstein Books)

Young Adult/Independent Reader
-- "Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go," by Dale Basye (Random House Books for
Young Readers)
-- "I Am Apache," by Tanya Landman (Candlewick)
-- "The Patron Saint of Butterflies," by Cecilia Galante (Bloomsbury USA
Children's Books)
-- "Tunnels," by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams (The Chicken House)
-- "Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines," by Nic Sheff (Ginee Seo Books)
-- "Wake," by Lisa McMann (Simon Pulse)

Children's Picture Books
-- "Do You Do a Didgeridoo?," written by Nick Page and illustrated by Sara
Baker (Make Believe Ideas)
-- "Ladybug Girl," written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman
-- "Little Bunny Kung Fu," written and illustrated by Regan Johnson
(Blooming Tree Press)
-- "Those Darn Squirrels!," written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by
Daniel Salmieri (Clarion Books)
-- "Wave," written and illustrated by Suzy Lee (Chronicle Books)
-- "What's Under The Bed?," written and illustrated by Joe Fenton (Simon &
Schuster Children's Publishing)

Henry Cho, Comedian

Henry Cho is a Korean-American comedian from Tennessee. He's also a Christian.

These youtube thingeys should be clickable but in case they aren't. Click on the youtube links.

A bit of Henry Cho's standup routine

Henry Cho radio appearance

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twisted Sister

Well, here I am pondering sexuality and eroticism. Dark Inheritance wants to be very dark. Very erotic. Very spiritual. Very demonic. All at the same time.

My question is this: If the story wants to be that way, what aspect of myself wants the story to be like that?

Some sexually wounded part of me? Some kinky part of me? I so wish I were saner -- sexually speaking. Then I could stand afar off and say, "Aha! This is how the story should be told." But alas, there are those sexual struggles and wounds and proclivities. What to do?

But the problem goes even deeper. So much of my soul wants to talk about the cruelty in the world, especially the cruelty shown by religious people to other folks. Yeah, i know, it's old. But maybe that's why it's old, we really don't have religious writers dealing with it.

Anyway, what to do? I don't want my story to be full of bitterness. But perhaps some stuff has to be put into a story in order for a person to be healed. Must think.


PNCA: The Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) Art & Religion Collective 2008

National Day of Listening

is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening.
By recording the stories of our lives with the people we care about, we experience our history, hopes, and humanity. Since 2003, tens of thousands of everyday people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to take home and share, and is archived for generations to come at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to our award-winning broadcasts on public radio and the Internet. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, creating a growing portrait of who we really are as Americans.

It has recorded nearly 40,000 interviews since it began and has created the first-ever National Day of Listening (NDL), which will be held November 28.

Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, explains that the goal of NDL is to
"encourage, instruct, and inspire everyday people to start a new
holiday tradition: sit down with a loved one on the day after Thanksgiving and record a meaningful conversation to preserve for years to come. It's a chance to give the gift of listening, a priceless treasure that costs nothing but a little time."

National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the United States are promoting National Day of Listening. You can listen live on the Internet at the KWMU website

Monday, November 24, 2008

Let the Word of God Dwell in You Richly

Let's ponder that verse.

We are suppose to be in the vine. The word of God is suppose to dwell in us richly. That means our Bible study shouldn't be a little bit here and a little bit there.

I'm taking this to heart because lately I haven't been reading my Bible as long as I should. Yeah, those gorgeous Final Fantasy guys and all those horror flicks have taken away my attention. But I've got to commit.

For healing, for health, for wholeness, for growth.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

CFRB: Leaps of Faith

This month, CFRB presents Leaps of Faith, an anthology edited by Karina and Robert Fabian.

About the Book:
Believe in a future where science and faith live side-by-side? Leaps of Faith contains 15 stories exploring space, time and faith. Can an ancient religion bring hope to first-line explorers for whom each trip is potential suicide? What does it mean when a physicist finds God's face in the stars? Is there a "saint gene" and can it be reproduced to create miracles? What happens to your soul when your body is shattered into quantum elements and reassembled on another world? How will the Christian faith transform alien thoughts and traditions?

Read as time travelers seeking to change Biblical history and space travelers harvesting "angels" are brought to faith by their experiences. Experience tender romance and heart-pounding adventure. Laugh at the foilables of man.

A 2002 EPPIE finalist for Best Electronic Anthology, Leaps of Faith promises the best in Christian sci-fi.

Visit the Leaps of Faith Website.

Purchase Leaps of Faith at The Writer's Cafe Press.
Check out the YouTube Video.

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sin is no joke

The Bible tells us it's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God; our God is a consuming fire.

I think it's good that we Christians understand the Fatherhood of God so well. We understand his holiness so much that we alone think that no matter what holiness we do we can never be worthy of God.

And yet, this very understanding of love turns us into folks like Lamech Genesis 4
We constantly fall into presumptuous sins. We figure we won't go to hell, God loves us, God is our father, etc.

But in my life I have seen some serious stuff that makes me shake in my boots. Remember Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts.
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.

Acts 5:1-3

What did they do? All they did was lie and say they sold a piece of property for such and such a price. They pretended. That's really all they did. They were generous too. All they did was add a little lie to the gift. Let us seriously consider that.

This means that when God is among his people even a lie will cause death. That is how holy God is. Do we really want God working among us in power and glory? Can we really abide his holiness? And conversely, if we are lying or indulging in other sins (adultery, fornication, greed, unforgiveness) how can we say with a straight face that God is with us? Wouldn't God have done greater deeds in us if we were less selfish, less willful, less sinful?

The Bible tells us that it's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God. So is God still working among his people? When bad things happen, we have four choices: God caused it, the devil caused it, we caused it, it's the sin of the world and merely living on earth has caused this sorrow to come to us. When we ask God to repair some stuff in our lives and those things are not repaired we can say, God has not helped or guided us, the devil is preventing God's help from coming, we ourselves are preventing God's help from coming, or the ministers in our lives have not helped us.

Two true and scary stories. A minister in a local church in our town walked to the podium. After many years of telling people not to get divorced, he told everyone he was getting divorced because he wanted to be happy. Forget that his wife was really a good person. Upshot: he got divorced and married a cuter thing in the church. A year later he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Related? Perhaps. Another story. Another minister -- one I knew well-- was greedy, stealing money given to him by parishioners for his own pocket, a gossiper, a manipulator. Quite a good guy with a pastor's heart, mind you. But not having money he became a bit of a slave of mammon. Plus he had weird ideas of his own glory. I won't tell you how he died because it was terrible and if I describe it folks will know who I'm talking about.

Judgement begins at the house of God, and it often begins with ministers. Let us not forget what happened to Jimmy Swaggart and to other televangelists.

Okay, other folks sin and they don't get rebuked for sinning a sin unto death. So why did these guys get rebuked? Other folks don't die from their sins? Oh, that we don't know why other folks and ministers are allowed to live a long while while indulging in horrible sins. God chooses who to chastize and who not to. Oftentimes, as psalms 73 tells us he allows the worst of sinners to live. To save therm? To let them grow worse in their damnation? Who knows? St Paul talks about turning over certain folks to Satan so that their souls could be saved. Perhaps this is what happened to these pastors. Who knows? Many Christians die from sinning a sin unto death. The Preacher of Ecclesiastes states that because punishment for sins is delayed humans go on sinning. So who knows? It could be the person dying of some disease now began dying from a sin committed thirty years ago. Stress is behind much of disease. And Anger and unforgiveness is behind much of sin. Heart disease is stress-related but isn't that related to over-eating or to stress or to anger or to not learning how to rest once a week. We kill our immune system when we allow what comes from within us to defile the body. Sin is no joke.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wondering: anti-global warming

Hubby and I were pondering -- yep, while in bed-- why so many Christian evangelicals seem to want to not believe in the global warming.

One would think that with the book of Revelations we'd want to believe in GW. (No, not George W.) Is it because the idea of messing up the earth offends them because they don't want to believe man's stewardship can mess up the earth? Is it because global warming tends to blame United States for this problem and American Christians don't want to change their way of life or judge the United States?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wind Follower review

Well, I got a rejection about three weeks ago from a Christian publisher who thought my male female character was too vengeful -- among other things. I was utterly unable to write but then I got this review from a bunch of women devoted to feminism, and many of whom arenot Christians. I am feeling supremely blessed. Christians may not like my book but perhaps I am not made to write for non-Christians.

Plus I had an interview on booksbeyondtheboundaries

Funny but scary. Supposedly, the number one fear of Americans is having to speak in public. This is even bigger than the fear of dying? My friend Marvin told me a joke on this topic: The warden goes to the condemned man with bad news: “John, I’m sorry, but your execution date has been moved up to tomorrow.” To which John replies: “Oh, thank God. I was afraid you were going to ask me to speak in public.”

Anyways, here's the interview if you wish to listen.

And here is Stella's site

Wondering: Ghosts Versus Demons

Well, I am trying to figure out why so many Bible-believing Christians say that there are no such things as ghosts. Yes, yes, there is the bit about the Witch of Endor and some folks say it was a demon masquerading as Samuel, others say it was the real ghost of Samuel being allowed to come up. Some say the woman screamed because she was surprised because Samuel came up, and others say she screamed because she realized Saul was deceiving her.

Personal opinion: I like a good ghost story. But I tend to think that an evil unsaved person would probably be immediately put into hell after death. So if there is creepy ghostly stuff going on in a haunted house -- and I've lived in a couple weird houses-- then it's probably a demon associated with a person who died in that house.

So if a ghost is "good" it would have to be a demon pretending to be good, or pretending to be the person's departed soul, or if it is indeed the deceased person, then the deceased needs to know the gospel since he/she is stuck on earth for some reason. So really trying to figure out this stuff.

In addition, when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they thought it was a ghost and he didn't say, "Ghosts don't exist"; he said, "A ghost doesn't have flesh and blood as you see me have."
Anyways, all this is to say I think I have a really good ghost story in me but I want to be Biblically correct.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Well, yesterday my little son and I danced to the tune of Marc Antony's I Need You. We haven't done that in years, I think. Or at least a year. I was feeling soooo well. Praise God.

It's been the most restrictive diet lately. A diet of positive affirmation of gospel Scripture, a diet of no wheat, no corn, no meat and tons of water, a diet of singing praises.

Interesting this healing: There are moments when it seems as if the illness has come back with full force. I'm on the bed in horrible pain. But then I remember that we walk by faith not by our senses. So I start getting into the spirit and I give the illness a talking to and tell it that Jesus destroyed it on the cross. And after a while it subsides. Yes, resist the devil and he will flee. So am resisting. It's quite humorous -- although sometimes it's humor in pain. Sometimes I am in so much pain or am in a phase of four-day sleeplessness and I feel utterly weepy. But I force myself to sing psalms and I speak the word of God with passion and thrust them around me with great anger like a warrior slinging a great sword. And after a while the illness goes.

So that's my current restriction. Now, I have to move on with my restrictions. I have to resist negative passive imaginations. OR rather I should aim for Positive, sinless, active imagination. I've been battling my tendency to fall into daydreams. Sex or death, sex or death. Those seem to be my focus. Hey, it would be okay if the sexual fantasy was about hubby...but noooo!!! it's about folks like Viggo Mortenson or one of the characters in the book I'm writing. So there is hubby doing his passionate best and I'm in the arms of some warrior!

Or I hear some weird health thing on the news and the next thing you know I'm imagining my death. I so wish I had control of my mind. I've told God, "Okay, I have no control over these passive imaginations. They just take over. Childhood issues mixed with being a writer no doubt. And the imaginations that I'm active about well, if I spent as much mental energy imagining myself well as I do imagining myself in bed with Viggo, I'd be way healthier. But God is good. He's my help and my shield and will train my mind. Anyway, back to my very restrictive but way healthy life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eye-raising moments in Bible Study: navels

Okay, I know the navel is one of those "zones" that get folks all excited during sex but how fat does a woman have to be to have a navel that's a goblet? Song of Solomon 7:2 Sure it's intoxicating to make mad passionate love to one's OWN wife, but Solomon! And Holy Spirit, you make me smile.

Living by Spirit

Okay, so I dreamed my son told me how to speak to him. He said I must be more precise when I speak. I think he meant to stop using metaphors or exaggerations when I speak to him. Now this is the younger son who was diagnosed as PDD/NOS autistic. And of course I'm going to listen to him.

Yep, I totally believe he was communicating to me via a dream. About fifteen years ago, he came to my husband in a dream and said, "Sing!" He has always spoken to us like that.

Now whether it's actually his spirit speaking to us or his angel or the holy spirit is not the important thing. The important thing is that a helpful truth is being communicated.

Okay, some might think it's silly to live by hunches, and godwinks and by leadings and by still small voices. But that is how we are often asked to live. How many times have we gotten a call that we should call someone or tell someone something? Last week I called someone I hardly knew. But hey, I felt I should call. I didn't know what the heck to talk about. He started telling me about his newborn baby. Seems he has colic. Or rather HAD colic. Yours truly gave him some advice and now a week later the kid is doing way better. So God is good. Okay, sometimes we have it all wrong. But more often than not, we have heard some truth and we are right. How can we Christians who believe in the God within us not live by dreams, visions, and hunches?

Had to get that off my chest.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Biblical Numbers

Okay, so we understand that spiritual math is totally different from physical math. Although there are some times when they correlate.

The trinity: 1 x 1 x 1 <-- Multiplication

A Thousand years is as a day <-- Newton's time and space continuum and quantum physics about light and the eternal present.

I'm thinking about the effect of one.

In the Bible the works of one person has a lot of reverberation.

For instance, we're told, "One will put a thousand to flight. Two will put ten thousand to flight."
We're told that through one man's sin death entered the world causing all the world to die. Romans 5:12 (One man's sin, Paul tells us, didn't cause all the world to SIN because sin is not imputed where there is no law. Romans 5:13 And there was no law for many folks for quite a while. And even the folks who finally got the law didn't have the law all the time. So Death, not sin, ruled. Then the law came and brought sin in...which made folks not only dead to God but now unrighteous.)

Then Jesus came. One man. One man (Adam) caused all to die. One man (Jesus) caused all to be made alive. Just that. So all are not alive in some way. Romans 5:18-19 I'm not sure what the difference is between those who are alive and who don't know Christ AND those who are alive and are believers. But nevertheless, JEsus has brought life to the world. Behold all things are made new. By the work of one man.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Can forgiven folks still reap the fruits of sin

Can folks whom God has forgiven still reap the fruits of sin? I think so.

Look at Numbers 14:20 and Numbers 14:23 let's rightly divide the word of God. In the story we see that God forgives the spies who went to spy out the land. Yet they were still not allowed to go into the Promised Land. And even Moses was forgiven but not allowed to receive certain things in this world.

Okay, I know that we are in Christ and now we are accepted in the beloved. There is peace between us and God and some aspects of the old testament are not applicable to us. And yet, I still in many ways this wholes true. We sin often and God has forgiven us in Christ but we still have to deal with the fruits of our sins.

I'm thinking about this because I've been thinking of the rapture and the great tribulation. Whether or not we are raptured, we have to be afraid of the consequences of sin and we must shy away from provoking God. As I said, True he's our Father and we have passed from death to life. But there is still chastisement. Think of the many healers in the past century who died of the very things they were healing folks from or who came to a bad end. Why? Perhaps they didn't give God the glory. Perhaps they were presumptuous. Let us just try to be counted worthy and to be as good and as pure as we can be.

The biggest sin I have seen among Christians is rebellion against God by failure to believe. They have talents that they put in the ground. We are all given the gift of being able to heal when we witness. Signs are supposed to follow. But we don't step out in faith and try to heal anyone as proof that God still heals. If God has said we can do something: take a land, fight spiritual giants, heal the sick, raise the dead...then we should do it in the name of Jesus Christ.

I decided years ago that whenever I heard Christian speculative fiction writers say they couldn't help be published that I would simply believe and speak faith. I also decided years ago that whenever I heard Black speculative fiction writers say that they couldn't be published that I would simply believe and speak faith. And look, I a Christian Black speculative fiction writer was published by a secular traditional company. And I have no doubt that all my books will be published. When I hear Christians speak about impossibilities and speak doubt and despair, what can I do? They think they are being realistic. They say they trust and love God so much...and yet they indulge in the sin God hates most, the besetting sin for all humans: the sin of saying, "Has God said?"

And let us never rebel against God by being faithless. Numbers 14:9 and many passages in the Bible equate faithlessness with rebellion. Remember Psalm 78:41 "They turned back and tempted God and limited God." Psalm 78:32 I wish we could understand how sinful it is in God's eyes to walk around saying what God cannot do. . . especially if one has already seen God's power to deliver. And it is really fearful to contemplate what God does with those who do not believe. We can reap the fruits of many sins, the fruit of faithlessness is the harshest. Remember, we have a God who tells us that cowards are among those who do not enter heaven. A scary thing to ponder. Let us not hide our talents in the ground. And let us not be afraid of giants. We have already conquered them in Christ.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Self-Preservation Can two walk together

I have never been good at preserving myself. Preserving my heart from hurt, that kind of thing. If for instance, I'm walking down the street and I see someone whom I know has been gossiping about me, when we finally are face to face I will say "hello." Yes, hard to believe but hey, I'm a minister's grandkid. I just don't want to wound the Other, and I give the Other the benefit of the doubt even though I am aware that the other might be quite dangerous. That means for the moment it takes my subconscious and innate brainwashed habits to kick in, I will inevitably choose to risk being hurt rather than hurting the other person...even when I know the risk is quite great that I WILL be hurt.

It's a little like "wise as serpents, harmless as doves" added to weird childhood upbringing that makes me give weird folks the benefit of the doubt. It's not a particular way to be -- to always choose to risk hurt to the self rather than hurt the other-- but it's part of my personality. Or rather, it's been a part of my personality until now.

Case in point: we Christians know the verse: "Can two walk together unless they be agreed?"

God used it to speak to his people, and in all the places of the Bible there is this essential element of AGREEMENT. Sometimes it's just about likemindedness, sometimes it's about covenants. Whatever it is, the Bible makes a big thing about being in agreement with someone who is walking the same road with you.

Well, I had to part ways with someone. Honestly, there was just too much kneejerk disdain going on. Okay, I'm a Christian and she isn't. But she was downright relentless. I let it go for a long while. But it was as if she had this deep-down desire to see me -- and all Christians-- as shallow, hypocritical, judgmental. And not that I'm not some of those things. But dang, I'm not ALWAYS all of those things. And for the most part I do have a live and let live attitude towards folks -- Christians or otherwise. (Unless someone asks me a pointed question.) Honestly, my best friend is an Arab-American Muslim New Ager. My close friends are gay wiccans and gay secular Jews. I am pretty easy-going. I just didn't want to hurt this person who was always hurting me.

So yeah, a parting of the ways has resulted. Kinda upsetting because this person has become a good part of my life. And I'm not angry with her, just tired of being relentlessly targeted and analyzed. Nothing worse than saying something and someone thinking AND SAYING, "oh, you're being judgmental."

So what exactly was the final straw? I said, "Sarah Palin reminds me of the kind of peppy cheerleader type in high school that didn't have a lot of non-normal friends. She might not have been cruel to them but she would be hanging around with the sane types. John McCain reminds me of some aged bosses I had, folks who would always put an extra snap in their step so they could look virile and manly. Barack Obama reminds me of many rich educated blacks I've met who thought they were better than me."

So she slams me on the Obama thing. Hey, it's my experience. If we can't judge life on our experience, why did God give us memories? She doesn't mind me picking on Palin or McCain, though. Interesting, uh? So, because I'm a Christian she thinks I'll be horrible. Kinda like those folks who think an Arab American is just waiting to bomb the US. Why do we become friends when it's apparent certain friendships are going to be hard on us?

But politics aside, I think I've finally grown to understand self-preservation. I am hoping I don't swing to the other side of the pendulum and start becoming paranoid and hurting folks before they hurt me. But...hey, I'll be 49 in a couple of weeks, I have got to learn to make healthy choices. Not just in eating but in what I allow to eat me. <<-- oooh, i like that nice little word play. -C

PEN's Day of the imprisoned author

November 15th is PEN's Day of the imprisoned author.

Every year on November 15, PEN marks the Day of the Imprisoned Writer to honor the courage of all writers who stand up against repression and defend freedom of expression and the right to information. On this Day of the Imprisoned Writer, PEN is focusing on five cases—one from each world region and each illustrating the type of repression that is brought to bear every day against those who question, challenge or expose official lies or who paint portraits of everyday lives through their writings. PEN invites its members and friends around the world to send appeals on their behalf.

Check out the website to learn more.

While you're at it, check out Voices Against Torture: Writers and Lawyers on the Way Forward. On December 16th,
The American Constitution Society and PEN will host a panel featuring writers and lawyers discussing their work and its relationship to combating torture. With: Jane Mayer, Anouar Benmalek, Elisa Massimino, and Scott Horton; moderated by Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick. The discussion panel will be held in NYC
Check here on the PEN website for More

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dexter, Dexter, Dexter

Well, on HBO's Dexter -- Dexter is a serial killer who has managed to hold himself to killing only bad folks-- Dexter killed a Catholic woman who was dying and who needed euthanasia.

So then...
Oh brother, they are really fooling around with moral issues, uh? Slippery slope city. Remember the third aliens. All these issues pop up and one sees the need for moral relativity. Like when Ripley gets pregnant with the alien and has to abort herself. I'm wondering about the moral issue in the Dexter stories. First, can/should a serial killer kill other serial killers if that serial killer only kills bad folks and folks in need of death? Who knows?

Next, Catholic woman has been failed by her faith and finds a way out of the crisis put on her by her faith by getting someone else to kill her. No thought of maybe a miracle healing her because God is dead or at least seriously missing and the woman is following her religion's doctrine but it has betrayed her. Who knows? Very scary. Stuff for greater minds than mine to figure out. But it seems to be very well done. I've seen stories by moral folks which are so crappy that the moral or doctrine comes off preachy and doesn't exactly challenge the slippery slopes. Is there a stalwart type with black and white morality in Dexter? And -- probably, because it's hollywood-- I bet he's an asshole. Isn't it interesting when you find yourself totally disliking everything a character believes in but still liking a show or a character? It's such a moral quandary. Moral quandaries are good, I suspect because it shows that we are empathetic character and at the same time we want some standard of behavior. What to do?

The lady asked Dexter to kill her, out of desperation – she was in constant pain, and had been told by the doctors that her tumor had slowed its growth, so she was actually doomed to live and suffer even longer. And after asking him she regretted it, and apologized to Dexter. The regret and apology is all part of what's expected alas. She has asked and that is what matters. I always like seeing how these things are handled. We the audience think "pain is a terrible thing and yes, let's free her from her sorrows." Very difficult morally to disagree with empathizing with another person's pain.

The closest the series came to a stalwart type with black and white morality would be an FBI guy from last season but then there was the hanky-panky with someone under his command.

So no black and white types. I wonder if that's a good thing. I like varying shades of gray but I also like total black/immoral and total white/moral. The nearest thing we have to total black, it seems, are the baddies Dexter kills. Moral folks on TV tend to be really smarmy, though. Or innocently naive. Or idealistic and young. Or hypocritical. Or assholes. The trouble is that in real life the types who consider themselves moral are usually not so moral. Everytime I hear a right wing politician defend his views on abortion by saying they value the sanctity of life, I tell myself I would believe them if they weren't so keen on the death penalty and if they weren't so greedy or so imperialistic. Hey, I'm a pro-lifer but I'm pro-life all the way. And I don't go around pretending to be so holy and pious.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

America's next top preacher on chocolate news

Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense Post

Wow, I was so glad when I saw this.

If you have ever had to deal with verbal attacks, get the book The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense. But if you can't go to this site. Wow! A real trove. I have the book. Definitely helps on the human linguistic cruelty games and body language stuff. She also blogs about political linguistics. It's just really helpful...Now if I could only commit to actually being tough enough to use it when some person verbally attacks. -C

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Lately I've been feeling really well and my hope is definitely in place about both my son and I getting healed. <-- yeah, i know...wonky sentence.

But the upshot is My faith is really grown and my heart is fixed. So, what now?

I hear God telling me to build a good mental future, to learn to see a good life. After 21 years living day to day and saying, "I hope I'm healthy tomorrow," I now feel I have to actually start imagining what life I would want. Dare I believe?

The Bible tells us, "Without vision, people perish." So what kind of great dream can I dream for my life? Now that life is feeling more and more normal?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

RIP: Miriam Makeba


What it means to support our troops:

Great speech

I'm trying to figure out what i think of warriors. I think I like them. I like the foot soldier -- who really is not the old romanticized kind of warrior because they are more like pawns. But even so, they're brave pawns. I don't know if I like the generals though, or the war-lords. I guess there just hasn't been any great noble wars in my lifetime.

But there are spiritual warriors. So I'll think of them on this Veterans' Day. Martin Luther was pretty much a warrior. (But damn -- so anti-semitic in his later years!) There's Mother Theresa and her war against Rejection of the Dying. (I can't say the exact thing she was waging war against when she took all those dying folks off the streets and helped them to die in dignity. Maybe she was just a warrior for life.) I think of Martin Luther Kng's niece and her fight against abortion and its genocidal influence on the black community.

I think of unknown Christian warriors. The prayer warriors who pray all through the night for dying folks. I remember one little old neighborhood lady, a black lady who belongs to the group "Christ's prayer warriors." She prayed over a man who was hit by a car. As everyone waited for the ambulance, she commanded death not to touch the man. I also think of warriors who I really like who aren't what most Christians would like. For instance, my friend Mattilda over at Yeah, he's a sex worker but I consider him a warrior. He fights against injustices and he really cares about the outcasts. More than most American Christians, I think, who seem to be addicted to normalcy.

We all are put on earth to fight something? Cops fight injustice. Doctors fight diseases? Ministers fight humanity's estrangement from God. But we aren't supposed to fight each other. Just ignorance, just hatred, just the devil. And we are clothed with the whole armor of God if we stay in God's word.

I want to be a warrior too. Who knows? Maybe in some ways I already am. Fight the good fight of faith.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Side-stepping the Law

Verse: Genesis 4:19-24, Judges 17:1-18-7, The Book of Esther.

One underlying thread in Bible stories is humanity’s inability to obey God’s Law. From the beginning of time, we humans have been unable to understand either God’s lovingkindness or His righteous Law.

In the book of Genesis, God mercifully places a mark on Cain warning all would-be avengers not to hurt him even though he had murdered his brother and bringing a curse upon the ground. Cain’s descendant Lamech reacts to God’s graciousness to Cain by usurping it. When he murders a young man, Lamech immediately declares that since God was gracious to Cain, God would be even more gracious to him.

The book of Judges is about human reasoning: people did what they considered right in their own hearts. (Judges 21:25) The Israelites had received the Law from Moses but the Law spoke to external matters. The human heart needed a law of its own, and sometimes the human heart needed to do end-runs around the Law. In the Judges 17 incident, a man named Micah stole silver from his mother. When he confessed that he did it, she lovingly worked around the commandment by declaring that indeed he had not really stolen it because it was a gift from her to him in the first place.

The Bible is full of situations where people did work around the laws. The book of Esther speaks of two incidents when King Xerxes ran afoul of the Law of the Medes and the Persians, which could not be changed. The first when he regretted giving up Vashti as Queen, the second when he allowed Haman to declare a genocidal war against Israel. In both cases, he had to live with what was written in stone. In the first incident, the law forced him to seek a new Queen although he still loved Vashti. In the second incident, he allowed the Jews to sidestep the unchangeability of the law by signing another law which said they could defend themselves.

But the greatest work-around the law, the greatest act of Grace was the birth, life and death of our Savior Jesus Christ. Milton wrote of the Fall, “Oh happy sin, that showed so great and good a God!” It is true we do not know what human life would have been like had our First Parents not sinned. What manner of Creatures might we have been! But, we probably would have discovered the depth of God’s love in some other way. And yet, how lovely to know that He would come to earth and live and die as one of us!

But the weird thing about human nature is that even when we have reached perfection in our own eyes, we have not reached it in God's eyes. God's ways are not our ways. And often in our perfection, we become less than loving towards those we consider not as wise or not as loving and not as spiritual and not as good as we are. So our attained perfection leads to delusion about our own holiness. The Bible says, "the fool says he needs to understand wisdom so his heart may know itself." Hey, that's what super-spiritual folks say. But the Bible calls such folks "fools."

The Bible says, "All our righteousness is as filthy rags." And "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?" And "For they say, 'Come not near me for I am holier than thou." And, "Your ways are not God's ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts. For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are God's thoughts higher than man's thoughts." In short the person who considers himself most spiritual hardly knows what true spirituality is. "The Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom."

But the most important thing is this: no matter how good we become, we can never really measure up.
Moral: God knows how difficult it is to obey the Law. Even more difficult to actually have obeyed it. That’s why He sent His Son. To save us from our sins, and to save us from ourselves when we think we do not sin. -C

Sunday, November 09, 2008

So who is it for?

Okay, for the past week -- and I think it started around election day-- I've been happening upon the section in Kings where God asks Solomon, "Ask me what you will?" And Solomon asked for wisdom.

Solomon's wisdom aside -- actually, let me just talk about it for a second. Solomon asked for wisdom to rule the people. He didn't ask for wisdom to rule himself. Or else he wouldn't have gotten into betraying God and the religion of his fathers.

Okay, now we can move on. Solomon's wisdom aside. I found myself thinking, "What would I ask God for if God came to me and said, 'Ask what you will!' ?" Healing for my son? Healing for me? Flaky Christian friends? A new house (so I could have Bible studies for folks and help folks? Restoration of all things in my life?

Then I got to thinking....umh... what if all this is about Barack and not about me? Maybe all these coincidences having to do with Solomon's dream is God hinting that I pray and ask God to give President Obama wisdom. Uhm....I'm telling you folks! The coincidences have been overwhelming when it comes to this verse. I read the passage. Then I happen to turn on the radio (or was it the TV) and someone's preaching on it. Or I pick up a Bible on tape cassette casually --without even looking, mind you-- and where are we? With God and Solomon in the dream.

So...what to do? How to tell if the dream is for me or for the president? Uhm, wouldn't hurt to do both, i think. To behave as if the dream is mine, and to also believe that the dream is God telling me to pray for Barack. Might as well. When undecided, do both. -C

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The foolishness of the worldly-wise

So there I was listening to Steven Pinkser from Harvard, a cognitive scientist. He was talking on CSPAN's Book-TV about how the brain and mind works, linguistics, etc. So then the time came to take calls. A caller calls up and asks him how such matters as telepathy, coincidence, mutual attraction, out-of-body experiences, etc work within his scheme of thinking. And what does the guy say? "Well, such things don't exist. Physics and Biology show that they don't."

Grooooan. First of all I wanted to say, "Quantum physics prove a lotta stuff, fella. And you obviously don't know much about sound and light and how they create matter and link separate particles together in complex organized patterns."

But I was pretty much annoyed. First of all, we who have had coincidence and mega-flaky incidents happen to us know that stuff does exist. And the arrogance of scientists who have never experienced or never acknowledged the mysteries of the flakier inexplicable side of the universe...well, it just amazes me. Not that I think we should go trying for telepathy ( who wants to be able to read minds and to know the sorrows and griefs of everyone around them?) or try for out-of-body experiences. So it's not as if I was specifically for the woman's New Agey spirituality. But I was kinda on the same spiritual team with her.

Anyway, the guy had said all these other wise stuff but I simply flicked the channel. Wisdom from someone who doesn't understand God or spiritual things -- even if it's wisdom in some specialized area-- should always be suspect. I could no longer totally accept everything he said after that. Yes, it sounds as if I'm saying that people who don't believe in God shouldn't be trusted to know everything -- even in areas that have nothing to do with spirituality. I know it sounds as if that's what I'm saying. I probably wouldn't be so harsh...but I'd pretty much not take everything they say as "gospel." Since they are missing the key issue: God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And "God takes the wisdom in their craftiness." And "The Lord uses the foolish things of the world to make the wise look ridiculous."

Friday, November 07, 2008

evangelist, teacher, pastor, apostle

Okay, I'm getting annoyed with all these folks who call themselves apostle this and apostle that. Folks, please do not call yourself an apostle if you aren't.

The signs of an apostle are signs, wonders, mighty deeds, miracles. If you don't do them, you are not an apostle. Plain and simple. Human arrogance!

2 Corinthians 12:12 "
Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds."
St Paul lists the signs of an apostle and the holy spirit records these signs. But most of the folks who claim to be apostles are too busy stirring up people to respect their title to stir up the gift that is in them.

God gives to all folks all the gifts...and when a articular gift needs to be used, it should come to the front for God's people to use it. Of course there are folks with special giftings but we all prophesy in part. And we can all teach the gospel although there are some folks with special gifts of teaching. Hey, the gifts work even when we don't have the doctrine right. As in the case of folks who heal and yet don't quite have the gospel right. And as in the case of folks like Apollos who teach wonderfully yet are working from the baptism of john, the water baptism of repentance ...instead of the baptism of fire. And most of the church knows only the baptism of repentance. But we also have the holy spirit within us...if we stir up the gifts given to us instead of merely using the titles to be praised among men.

I know the church does things way differently than God tells us. Yep, even those churches that think they are Biblical. Because they don't know how subtly strange traditions come in. I also know that God isn't so much of a semanticist to get all worked up about the actual names of stuff . . . if apostling is going on. But the arrogance of some folks bug me.

Folks with ministries of deliverance! of official Catholic Exorcists. There is NO such thing. We're all supposed to be getting rid of demons IF we bump into one and IF God tells us to expel them. Remember, even Paul didn't go chasing demons. That girl with the spirit of divination bugged him three whole days and he didn't exorcize the demon who bothered her. Why not? Because if one exorcizes a demon, according to Jesus, one better be sure it won't return with seven worse.

And what's with all these evangelists? Actually the only person actually called an evangelist in the Bible is Philip. And from what I see what we call a missionary is kinda what Paul calls an evangelist. (I suspect Paul is one too.) Except that missionaries live with the people they intend to preach to. Philip went to people from tons of different cultures.

Then there are pastors. From what the Bible tells us a pastor was one who took care of a home church, and a bishop was one who oversaw all those home churches.

And as for teachers. The Bible tells us to "be not many teachers" because of the dangers one can get into by teaching wrong doctrine. The teaching of wrong doctrine is excusable now and then. After all, teachers -- like prophets and like healers-- have to grow in proportion to their faith. But all these folks who go about teaching about faith and the gospel. Well, they remind me of Apollos. They have the baptism of John (the baptism of repentance) but they don't have (and many don't believe or know about in the holy spirit baptism of fire from above) so they preach wonderful sermons about the word but there is something lacking and they need to be shown the way more perfectly. Paul talks about these folks and often says that while they should be teaching and eating meat, they are still in the need of more growth and are still drinking spiritual milk. Like I said, these folks are allowed to be ignorant for a while. But as Paul said, "I will not have you be ignorant." (He's gentle about it.) They must grow. And that means they must not think they already know everything.

How many ministers are humble and want to learn? Not many. Then they create congregations who don't know much either. -C

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Building your boat in a storm

The new year is fast approaching. As humans we know that we don’t know what the future holds. But as Bible-believing Christians we know that

God has planned good things for us,
that we have sowed good seed which, through the watering of praise, will bring future fruit
that God has made us more than conquerors and we will triumph in whatever comes to us.

I’m forty-seven years old now and as I grow older I discover that each year brings sorrow and the possibility of triumph. I say “possibility” because very often we do not triumph over the emotional, financial, spiritual and physical sorrows in our lives. It is not God’s fault that we fail. God loves us. But as a good soldier must learn how to triumph, Christians must also learn how to triumph.

There’s an old saying: It’s hard to build your boat in a storm. This is a good saying, and as Paul would say, it’s worthy of all acceptation.

The Lord Jesus told us that we must build our house upon rock and not upon sand because the storms of life will come.

But many Christians either don’t know how to build their house or don’t build it at all. When the rains come and the harsh winds blow, they find themselves at a loss. They lose financially, spiritually, psychologically. Some even lose their faith.

As the new year comes, let us determine in our hearts to build our boats now. Let us study to make sure that we are indeed building our houses upon rock. Those of us who are mothers must also teach our children how to build their own houses.

I am no expert in boat-building. I’m only just learning – and yes, I had to learn to build my boat in a storm, but I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve learned in this building process.

We should learn to judge everything by the word of God. This means that when doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc tell us how the way the world works, we must have so trained ourselves to understand God’s word that we trust God’s promises explicitly. If they hear that they have cancer, or are incapable of succeeding in some enterprise, many Christians trust the professionals more than they trust God’s word. It’s a hard thing to learn to trust God’s word when one is in dire straits. One has to learn how to build one’s entire life around it before the storms come. This means that when one hears any bit of “truth” from some television personality or from one’s doctor or from one’s son’s negative teacher, that one must learn how to counteract it with the word of God. For instance, the Bible tells us that “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” If we believe this, we will eat properly but we won’t become paranoid slaves to healthy eating gurus. As Christians, we are called to prove God’s love and power in this world. Christ has made us more than conquerors.

The writers in the Bible tell us many things about the tongue. In order to build our boat before the storm hits, we must learn that the tongue is indeed the rudder of our live and that death and life are in the power of the tongue. We must learn to control our tongues and to speak only blessings over our lives. We must pray in the spirit, and sing praises even when we think there is nothing to sing praises about.

This is a truth taught by Jesus. We walk by faith, not by sight. Our weapons are not carnal but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. When we praise we must believe that something is happening in spite of what we see. God is spirit and we must learn to “see” the kingdom of God. Most of us have been taught by the world that when we pray, we should look for the manifestation of the answer to the prayer. If someone lays hand on us for the healing of a bad back, we often walk away checking to see if we have any pain in our back. But this is not the way we have been taught by Jesus. Jesus taught us that God works through seedtime and harvest. In answer to our prayer, God gives spiritual power, God gives seed. God’s promises are seeds. That’s God’s part. Our part is to continue in prayer with thanksgiving, believing that God has answered our prayers even if we don’t see the answer. After we water the word by our praises, we bring forth fruit. First the blade, then the full stalk, then the flowers. When faced with a bad situation, we must learn to stop seeing the pathological truth and to see the Biblical truth. We must call those things that are not as though they are, and we must “rest” in the knowledge that God’s word is working in our lives.


Jesus told us to take heed what we hear. James told us we must not be doubleminded. This means that as Christians we must understand the spirit realm in which God exists and to trust that the spirit realm is more powerful, and more real than the earthly, material things we see. This doesn’t mean that the material world isn’t real. It does mean, however, that God’s word and God’s promises are our armor. To become pure in heart we must learn not to be doubleminded. This means that we must understand that spiritual warfare is usually about not feeding our unbelief. When we listen to human reasoning, we must discern what it is we are hearing. This means that no matter how entertaining a television show is, we must learn to challenge the world’s liesif something spiritually untrue is being said. For instance, it’s fine to watch a time travel movie. That’s just entertainment. But if you’re watching a movie where someone casually says that God doesn’t answer prayer or some such untruth, then it would be best to click to another channel.


The Bible says we must cast all our care upon God because He cares for us. This means we must make it a habit to speak to God about everything in our lives. Our joys, our sorrows, our decisions, everything. By doing this, we learn to love God at all times and we learn to see how He really does love us. We learn how to hear from him for ourselves, and we get to understand His personality and character. In short, we become God’s friend and we understand this friend who sticks closer than a brother. We get to know what God is like by what He does in our life and also by what He does in the Bible. We will not be confused by what other people say about our Divine Friend.


The Bible tells us many truths about friendships. Jesus spoke often on the need to forgive. He also told us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The Proverbs tell us what kind of friends to have. Love is the most excellent way to grow in spiritual matters. It is often hard to love people because people can be cruel, judgmental, and plain unloving but Jesus said, “when you stand praying, forgive.” Forgiveness, faith, and meditating on the word of God are the most important ways to getting one’s prayer answered. As Christians, we must pray for the needs of others. We must truly love those around us. This doesn’t mean a small little prayer casually tossed off before bedtime; this means... striving to pray for others in the same way we pray for ourselves. In addition, we must not harm anyone.

Every Christian needs a backbone. It’s good to be part of a group but we must also learn to stand alone. We will be in situations where people will insult Jesus or the Bible and we must gently defend Him. If we deny Jesus on earth, He will deny us in heaven.

The Bible tells us to meditate on God’s word. This is not so hard to do, really. Often people think that it will take a big slice out of their day to meditate on God’s word. Meditation is nothing more than pondering. We’re always pondering negative things. We see someone on television talking about cancer, diabetes, avian flu, and we spend the rest of our year fearing and worrying. But just as we meditate on the latest disease scare, we can meditate on what God wants us to meditate on. When we hear fearful talk, we must pick up the Bible, look at a psalm – psalm 91 for instance– and decide that for the rest of the week we will think about that psalm. We can also meditate by listening to sermons or the Bible on tape before we go to bed. Our spiritual growth depends on church but we must also do our part during the week. There are sermons available for download all over the internet. Local ministers also tape their sermons. Your friends have tapes they bought at Christian conferences. Study. Read up on healing, miracles, heaven, evangelism. Study missionary stories. Read testimonies.

This is a tough one. We rarely walk in the spirit, but we must learn to do so. This means that we should listen to Jesus’s commands about what to do to heal the sick, love God, etc. And we must also study everything Jesus did. Meditate on his actions and see why He did them. This does not mean slavishly following Jesus without comprehending the reason for His actions. Why did Jesus choose to heal one man in one way and another man in another way? Because Jesus was listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Imagine being buffeted and tossed by the winds and waves of life on some ricketty old unfinished dinghy. Preparedness is a valuable virtue. Who wouldn’t want to have a sleek stalwart vessel when the storms of life hit?

Let us be wise and build our house on a solid foundation.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Who am I? Myself

Well, the election is over. Mercifully! I suppose I'm glad Obama won (as opposed to the other one). It's historic. It's good for the African-American soul.

But I was for Nader. I'm always for Nader. Hence my problem. I am also so myself, always have been, and yet I've never been at peace being myself.

The last two years have been interesting and burdensome. My Christian evangelical friends -- mostly the white and hispanic ones-- kept expecting Christians to vote for McCain. Good lord, the way they were acting it was as if Obama was the anti-christ himself. In fact, I remember getting an email to the effect that someone had dreamt that Obama was indeed the anti-christ. Nah, I don't think so. (Of course I could be wrong, but who knows?) I just think Obama wouldn't like me as a friend. I think he'd think he was better than me. I think he'd scorn me -- in much the same way atheists scorn me.

Then there were my black friends. Whether Democrat or Republicans, most of them assumed I would vote for Obama. But why exactly should I vote for him?

Honestly, I'm 48 -- soon to be 49. I've spent a great deal of my life being treated badly by Christian and atheist whites and by rich and poor blacks. I could tell you stories but I won't go on. I tend to go through life on the borderline. The way I figure it, I live in God's kingdom. To the white christians, America is an extension of that kingdom. And to the black christians Obama's success is some kind of joyous enthronement of good.

A part of my problem is that I've been so wounded by every side that I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. I just don't give much of a damn about what certain herds to which I ostensibly belong do or have or praise. Besides, as I have said, I don't really believe Obama would include me in his herd. But the other part of it is that I always think that Ralph Nader speaks deeply on the issues. When I say this, folks say, "You're throwing away your vote!" So? If my integrity says to do something I do it. My integrity is not dependent on who will win. I'm a Christian, after all. If I knew Jesus would have been crucified I still would follow him. I have no great need to win. Besides, voting for Nader helps the guy pay for his campaign and helps to establish the third party system.

In the meantime, I have returned to myself. And I am brave enough to say it here. Hopefully this bravery will help remove the woundedness I often feel when I get rejections from those who think I should be more herdlike. Truly for someone who walks the borderlands and who has integrity I care way too much what people think of me. And that isn't good for one's health. But at least I'm being a tiny little bit brave. On this day after the historic election, I dare to say that I voted for Nader. Life's fine. And perhaps I'm learning not to care what either of my herd thinks.

Part of the situation is this: I have never been able to be swept away or carried away by anything earthly or human. It's probably not exactly the best of traits but alas that's the way I am. I didn't get all swoony when Mel Gibson created The Passion. I don't go into paroxysms of grief when some great leader of the black or Christian or whatever community dies. And if I get all carried away about anything or anyone, it's usually about someone no one else in the world would have liked or thought twice about. And it's often about someone the world has hated. In short I save my extreme joy and my extreme grief for God and for those very like Jesus. I don't try to do it. That's just the way I am. It takes a lot to rock me; what can I say?

Wow!!! Mattilda also posted on not being too excited about Obama. Nice. We folks who battle fibromyalgia are definitely fighters against the norm...even when we seem to be fighting those normal expectations of those who are supposedly on our side.

Magnifying God

The Bible tells us that the traditions of men have made the word of God of none effect. It says we are often taught the doctrine of men instead of God's truth. It says Behold all things are become new! It says Wisdom is justified of her children. It says The Lord is the restorer.It says not to limit the holy one of Israel.

We live in a world of deception. The deception I battle many times is the deception of despair. Grief over things I have done, grief over things I should not have done, grief over horrible people I befriended, grief over horrible mother-in-law. What I have to do is to reach that place in my spirit where I no longer limit God's ability to repair these griefs and restore my life.

I must believe that the word of God is powerful. Therefore I must guard my heart with all diligence and stop allowing the traditions of men and doctrines taught by men to shrink God's ability to save the rest of my life, heal my wounded heart, and restore all that the cankerworm, crawling worm, little foxes, giants have destroyed. I must believe what the Bible says that God's truth is proven when we follow it. God's Wisdom proves itself to be the truth and the help and the hope and the restorer when its believers act on it, when its children drink the milk of this wisdom. It's a committment but yes, I will hold tight to the word of God.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

my times are in God's hands

So many times, times without number, God has done these sweet little godwinks to make me know he's looking over my shoulder. So I totally believe that as long as one is in the word of God and staying in the vine God leads us, even if we aren't aware that he is.

LAtest stuff that my lovely sweet Lord has done.

After wondering when I should leave the house I walked outside and downtown. Bumped into a fellow I've seen --often drunk. I said, "How're you doing?"

He said, "Don't ask me or I'll tell you."

I said, "I care, you can tell me."

He proceeded to tell me about his friend -- a drinking buddy-- who died in his arms. He had known this friend for 40 or more years. I didn't know what to say but I HATE platitudes. I said, "May God comfort you!" and I gave him a hug. Not much, no attempt to explain the world to him or give him a platitude or a sermon. But he looked so happy. As if that was enough. At least for that moment. Perhaps that is what he needed, a Christian who wasn't a Ms-fix-it know-it-all. And I said a prayer for him later but didn't burden him by some obvious prayer "on the street corner."

I continued walking and bumped into a friend who had been in town for only about two days. Perfect timing! We both touched the store door at the same time.

Then I was walking downtown because I feel the Lord wants me to walk. I walked a long while and began walking down a block. But then I stopped and turned around and began retracing my steps. I generally don't do this. As I was walking I bumped into a fellow I had met in my courtroom trial days (against annoying gun-toting neighbor). This was the man who had accidentally killed his father by leaving him in the car. I recognized him and said "I know you. May God bless and comfort you." Again, no big speech, no intent on trying to save him. Just a loving thought. And a loving prayer said in the form of a wish. And a loving smile. I really think it touched his soul. And I knew God made me bump into him.

Illegitimate: How a Loving God Rescued a Son of Polygamy

Illegitimate: How a Loving God Rescued a Son of Polygamy
By: Brian J. Mackert, Susan Martins Miller
320 pages
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 1434766918
ISBN-13: 9781434766915

Here's the blurb:
Brian J. Mackert was raised in a splinter group of the LDS church that endorsed polygamy. He later embraced a true relationship with Christ and became a licensed Baptist minister. In addition to his profession as a telecom engineer, Brian regularly speaks to church groups about the realities of radical Mormonism. In Illegitimate, Brian Mackert shares his testimony of growing up on a Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Utah. As a son in a family of one father, four wives and 31 children, Mackert experienced firsthand the devastating realities of polygamous cults. He reveals a world of loving mothers and abusive fathers, deceptive religion and the truth that he eventually found in Jesus Christ. His amazing story of healing and redemption demonstrates the incredible love of God, and His ability to bring light into the darkest of places.

Here is the youtube video

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Revelation: what the Bible writers didn't know

Okay, so Job is the oldest book of the Bible. (Genesis notwithstanding.)

I was pondering the idea of spiritual revelation of truth, as it occurs in the Bible.
What are we to make of this? We can be simplistic and say that if we take the books chronologically, then each book of the Bible adds some new revelation that the ones previous to it (in chronological order) did not add. In this way we would be assuming that if the author doesn't mention something then he doesn't know about it. I'm not sure if this is true or is even the right way to go about it. But hey, I'm lazy. I can't argue from omission pro or con anything.

After all, the writer of Job (some say the writer is Moses but that's neither here nor there) doesn't mention that the universe was made in six days or that God rested on the seventh day, but he does go on a great description about the imagination, uniqueness, and strangeness of creation. (Did you give the tail to the peacock?, etc) And Job -- (the first book, mind you ... a book about an Edomite (descendant or Esau, descendant of Isaac, descendant of Abraham but not a descendant of Israel) mentions the need for a God-man who will be able to put one hand on God and one hand on man and be equal friends to both. So who knows, what the writer of Job knew?

Well, let's guess. He apparently knew about Satan. And he also knew that Satan was once a son of God who also came to the court whenever he wished. He knew that Satan was an adversary and judge and trier of man. Note: The writer of Job knew this. By REVELATION. But I don't think Job knew this. Job and his wife thought all the bad stuff that happened to them came directly from God. In all Job's weeping, he pretty much thought it was God who gave good and brought evil. Which, come to think of it, is what many Christians and many Muslims and many Hindus (although they call it karmic debt) believe. When something bad happens to a Christian, we often say, "Nothing happens except God allows it." Or "He wouldn't have been born this way (or died this way) if God hadn't planned it." So we still have that idea, the same idea Job has.

Tomorrow, let's see what revelation we find in Genesis.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Anointed to preach to the poor

Uhm... a thought: Jesus said he was anointed to preach to the poor? So... he wasn't anointed to preach to the rich? No wonder the rich don't "get" him.
He said he came to lead the sinners and not the righteous. No wonder the righteous don't "get" him.
He said those who are sick need a physician, a healthy person doesn't need a physician. No wonder the healthy don't "get" him.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. The poor in spirit are often poor (Luke's sermon on the mount seems to equate the two), sick, or aware of their sinfulness. -C

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