Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I just want to worship you

Words and music by Howard Dobson. Stuart Menzies Farrant singing. This is dedicated to the voice of the martyrs and to those persecuted christians who are unable to worship the Lord.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

7th Element: All of My Days

I just loved this Christian band. Why did they disband?

My vid for them is over at youtube


In the Beginning

The Bible tells us "in the beginning, God created the heavens (plural) and the earth (singular)"

Many heavens, one earth.

One earth.

One earth. No other.

How unique we humans are! Whatever different kinds of creatures God made in the entire universe, only humans were god-breathed and made to "become like us" as the Godhead said when he created Adam.

Whether folks from another planet, or angels, or lions or tigers or bears...only humans were made to contain the fullness of God and in the end to "become like him because we will see Him as He is." Who knows what this means? And when St Paul says" great is the mystery of godliness: God was seen of angels" who knows what it means? What is this thing we know about God? Who knows? But it is a great glory we will understand in the fullness of time?

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:15-16

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:1-3

Monday, December 29, 2008

Watching While Christ Prays

Jesus said, "Sit ye here and watch while I pray." But later, "they fell asleep because of weariness."

The hardest thing about praying sometimes is to trust that Jesus is praying for us. He has asked us to trust that He is interceding for us. He has asked us to trust that his word is working mightily in our lives. He has asked us to believe in the efficacy of his blood.

But how difficult it is to watch while he prays for us! Like the disciples, we often fall asleep because of weariness and sorrow. Like the ten virgins, we fall asleep because the wait is so long. We stop dreaming, we stop hoping. We kinda go into a numb grief mode.

But awake o sleeper, and Christ will give you light. Let us live as folks who are awake...and keep our watchfulness for the full flower and the full harvest while Christ prays for us.

Numbers 22:19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more. Numbers 22:18-20 (in Context) Numbers 22 (Whole Chapter)

Matthew 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. Matthew 26:37-39 (in Context) Matthew 26 (Whole Chapter)

Mark 14:34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. Mark 14:33-35 (in Context) Mark 14 (Whole Chapter)

Weekend Movie Viewing

Some interesting flicks over the weekend:

10,000 million BC

-- okay, modern day time traveling scientists end up in the past. They accidentally leave the very hunky Chris Atkins character and some hot athletic girls behind. Sixty years pass by -- it's very hard to pin-point dates when one goes back in time to a specific time-- and the original scientist returns with the military to get his friends back. But there's a problem. Because of the singularity wormhole issues (yeah, i know the lingo cause i watched way too much stargate back when it hadn't gotten so complicated and weirdly theological) the scientist --who feels guilty for having left his friend back in the day-- has to stay behind and shut off the singularity or else...well, dinosaurs or whoever will be able to get through into modern time.

Not that it helps. Scientist nobly stays but alas, a dinosaur gets through the wormhole and follows the returning aforesaid hunky Chris Atkins character back to LA. Dinosaur creates havoc...but one of the returnees remembers the 3rd street tunnel and they decide to trap the dino there. BTW, one of the returnees has a son who was left behind and who is angry because of the loss of his father. So the prelibration is pretty much us wanting this dad and son to reunite and be healed.

Not bad...but well, scifi channel special effects are none-too-great. A lot more time spent in the BC time than in the LA time. So there's this feeling of more a back in time flick than a Godzilla messing up buildings. Also, much of the dino damage is done at night so most of LA is blissfully unaware of rampaging dino. There was an attempt to do little trick ending stuff with time as in Timecop but it kinda fell flat. On the whole a good movie.

It was basically reptilian weekend on scifi channel. The worst of the lot being MegaSnake...with a hero who was emotionally scarred from being raised in a snake handling cult. For the record: Jesus DID say if you handle dangerous snakes they won't harm you. But he didn't say go out and pick them up. After all, the devil told him to dive into supernatural danger by jumping off the temple and used Psalm 91 in his temptation but Jesus declined. Also, the ability not to be harmed by snakes could pretty much represent demons as well as physical snakes.

A Walk to Remember. Young girl -- minister's daughter-- is dying of cancer and falls in love with juvie kind-hearted hunk. Hence, she gets a little happiness before she dies. In this flick miracles are defined as the fact that she got to have some marital sex before she died. Sweet movie but because of my particular health issues and my son's I always get annoyed with stories that define miracles in such a wussy way. I'll agree that God blessed her with a husband before she died but I think A) he would've blessed her with a good husband anyway and B) I think he could have given her a true miraculous healing in addition to this sentimental thing they called healing. I just hate sentimentality when what I want is a true acknowledgment of divine miracles.

Momma's Boys. -- Okay, this wasn't a movie but a reality show I discovered on WE TV. It's like a dating show except the moms are there too, helping their sons pick the right girl. And the girls are of course trying to butter up the moms. Sweet Jewish, italian, and Russian-American moms. The guys were okay but didn't do much for me. A lot of black girls made the cut...and a lot didn't. ::raised eyebrows:: made me wonder why black women put themselves into these situations where guys pretty much are hooked on the blonde ideal. Will see what happens to them.

Valkyrie -- another not-movie. On History Channel. This was about the conspiracy plot to kill Hitler. I honestly didn't like this much. First, trailers for the Tom Cruise movie kept popping up during the commercials. Which made me think the docu had been made simply to sell the movie. But I also disliked it, secondly, because the take seemed to be that the poor German folks were hijacked and only the Nazis were racist. Hey, I'd like to believe that an entire people could be duped but I don't really believe the regular German person was so innocent. Thirdly, they mentioned the holocaust against the 6 million Jews but not against the gypsies. My friend Cora Schwartz is Jewish and works so hard to commemorate the memories of the death of the gypsies that I've turned into a stickler about it too. Gypsies died too. About 4-5 million. Fourthly, they listed some groups that hated Hitler and Nazism: the noble monarchists, the idealistic secularists, the religious community, the Catholic community. But they forgot the Jehovah's Witnesses (yeah, although most christians think they're a cult, the Witnesses are great at standing up to persecution.) and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Why didn't they mention these folks? On the whole, it was okay.

The weird thing is that as I watched it I realized that what the Nazis did in their literature about Jews was what many novels, news programs, etc, do with Christians. Very weird. It kinda scared me because I saw quite clearly how Christian fanatics are now the new boogeyman...and Christian evangelicals are subtly the Jews were blamed in Nazi germay. Trust me: I can totally see Christians being scapegoated and killed in a new government. There are very very very very few Christian fanatics in real life. And most of us -- I for one-- am very nice. But it made me see how close we are to being set up to being persecuted and destroyed. I mean, as I watched it, I could easily replace Jewish with Christian and see how hated we Christians now are. If I see one more book or read one more novel or hear one more newscast about evil Christians!

On the whole, not a bad weekend. But not a really great one. I think I'm gonna start watching Momma's boys. I really like the Jewish and Italian moms. -C

Easy Dismissal: human judgment

We humans have a very bad habit of easily dismissing other people. Everyone does this. Religious, non-religious. Christians, non-Christians. This is what Jesus calls Hardness of Heart. And it is possibly the worst of sins because it's a sin against Love. It's part of the human condition to judge others and dismiss their lives, pains, etc. We don't know...but we think we know. Because it's easier than to break up the fallow ground of our dry hearts.

We find other people over-emotional. Or we judge them as whiny. Or we judge them as weak. Or we judge them as cold. It doesn't matter. We just judge them. And we really don't know what it's like to walk in their shoes...but we think if we walk in those folks' shoes we would wear those shoes better. I cannot tell you the amount of folks who think that if they only slept one hour a night for 20 years...and was taking care of an autistic kid they would be so much better than I am. Oh really?

I notice this a lot in Christian sermons. Ministers always give illustrations as if if they were in a Bible character's position they would be so much better. I've heard people blame the brother that stayed at home (when the prodigal left) for not being more happy when his prodigal brother got home. As if they themselves would have behaved so much if they actually behave better. I've seen ministers blame if they know what it's like to be a slave woman. I've heard ministers blame Job's wife as if they wouldn't lose faith if all their children were killed in one night. I've heard people mock the disciples for having no faith and pick on Peter for running out on if they wouldn't have done it. Oh really?

I recently heard a white Christian guy on Christian TV talking about the bad habit black women of have being fat. His mouth fairly dropped scorn. Seems we black women just don't have any moral power to stop ourselves. Like the guy knows what it's like to deal with racist folks. Has anyone ever done a study on the effect of racism on black women? And how about those studies that say black folks don't have the enzymes to digest wheat and milk properly...besides our body was geared to store fat because so many of our ancestors lived in barren places? And how about the effects of stress and lack of sleeplessness on obesity? But no...folks like easy answers and so they come up with black folks eat too much and so are fat. Oh really?

Jesus tells us not to judge each other's sins. We believe we don't judge other folks' sins but judging what we consider other folks' failures, faults or also judging. Look: I'm not gonna judge a judgmental minister when he falls into sin. Remember, the Bible says judge not less ye be judged. And that judgement is often not the great throne judgment but being put in the same situation as the person you judged. I remember a friend picking on her sister-in-law. Her exact words were: "Look, she got so far taking chemotherapy. But look at me. I had cancer too. And I'm thin." I so wanted to sock this lady. Even in the same situation, she found a reason to judge another human being. We should have loving hearts.

I am totally sure I get on folks nerve and they think I'm a whiny blogger. But you know what? I feel God called me to be a world where so many Christians and so many Blacks are not honest because we care too much what other folks think about us. So if I whine because I feel sick or my son feels sick...just be happy that you aren't sick. Besides, I'm not judging you or your posts. I try my best to enter the life of another and see their life from their own point of view. I fail sometimes especially when someone seems healthy, beautiful, happy. A kind of annoyance and envy and judging them as if they don't know how crappy life can be. And although I know some folks don't have it nearly as bad as I do. I also know that A) some folks have it way worse than I do and B) I won't always be able to tell which of the beautiful blonde rich women I dislike are actually in great physical and emotional pain. So I too have to be careful.

I soooo know how --everyday, everyday, everyday...I just miss falling into some mega sin of judging others. But that's between me and God. And I've lived long enough to know how frail we humans are...and how hard life is...for EVERYONE.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Easy Dismissal: scientific hubris

If there's something that irks me it's when someone dismisses something out of hand without quite knowing the facts. It's kneejerk disdain, kneejerk arrogance. They think they have all the answers. I was listening to a scientist who said he questioned God's competence because the amount of junk DNA in our body just makes him know that if a perfect God had made us we wouldn't have all this silly unimportant stuff floating around in our bodies.

Oh really?

Oh really?

I'm no expert on DNA and I don't think the experts on DNA are experts either. God's wisdom is past finding out. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing and the glory of man to reveal it.

I've lived long enough to hear folks find a reason for the appendix and for tonsils. I have no doubt at all that one day we will find that all that junk DNA is quite useful to God's creations. I have no doubt that if a scientist tries to remove the junk DNA from someone or from someone's genetic line, we will end up with disaster. But the arrogance of people who think they know....

He who knows not and thinks he a fool.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Some unknown folks who knew stuff the disciples didn't

In Luke chapter 22 Jesus tells his servants to go into a town and a man with a pitcher will meet them.

In the feast at Simon's house, a woman comes in to prepare Jesus for his burial by anointing him with oil.

Jesus tells his disciples to go and get a colt upon which man never sat.

Now these folks are not regular disciples of Jesus. Imagine the man with the pitcher. We can assume that somehow Jesus got to this man somewhere --without any of the disciples present-- and told him to prepare this meal. I can't see that happening. What I'd like to imagine (and what I feel really happened) is: the man got up and had a feeling in his spirit that he should walk out with that pitcher. Even stranger, he had a feeling in his spirit that he should prepare an upper room for Jesus' last passover supper.

The same thing with the woman who anointed Jesus for his burial. I suspect the holy spirit (yes, the holy spirit was around...but not everywhere) came to her and she had this feeling that she should carry the oil to Jesus to anoint him for his burial. I suspect like Anna who prayed in the temple she was told Jesus would die. And it probably took a lot of faith for her to believe that he was going to die -- after all, she was probably hoping he would be the Messiah. But it took even more faith for her to buy this alabastar bottle of ointment and walk over to the house of a judgmental Pharisee and to throw it all over Jesus' feet. Yet she did it.

Think of the man whose colt was taken away. Did he get up that morning and hear within his spirit: "The Lord will have need of this colt?" Or even if Jesus asked him for the colt and said, "I'll need to sit on him." Imagine this man believing this colt will allow someone to sit on him! Colts that aren't trained to carry humans are not going to allow anyone -- except the Creator-- to sit on them.

The kingdom of God is a heart kingdom. Things are revealed in the heart. One hopes with the heart. One acts on decisions made in the heart.

Happy Anniversay to Me

Honestly, I am so blessed to have such a sweetie for a husband. I gained one hundred pounds on the guy, turned all sickly, and I am a bitch on wheels at time because sleepiness makes me nasty and frustrated...and he is so good to me. WE have had so many trials and tribulations. Sickness of wife, sickness of kid, money issues, in-law issues, forgiveness issues, sleep issues. And yet, we survived. Some folks have given up on their marriage for so much less, it makes me think: "God really has been with us."

Not that he wasn't with the other folks, but for some reason...hubby and I made it through so much and others -- in better situations than we-- just had marriages that fell apart.

Perhaps it's cause hubby and I are both so stubborn in our own way. We simply did not want the enemy to triumph over us. Psalm 24: 1-2

Friday, December 26, 2008


So the plumber came to work on the gas pipe and little kitty was way skittish. I suddenly saw a side of her I had never seen. (Even when she battles bully-ing older brother pit-bull.)

Often we forget that our friends have other personalities. Personalities we don't see because we only know one side of us. It's like me saying to someone, "Oh, no, my pit bull won't bite you. He's a sweetie." Well, he probably won't bite them, but who knows? He's my dog and my friend. Not theirs. Why should I expect him to treat them the way he treats me? Or when someone says, "X wouldn't do that. She's never done that to me." Well, duh, your friend treats you quite differently than she treats others. That's why she's your friend. Know your value and know what traits you enjoy in your friend's company that others will never enjoy because they don't share that friendship."

So it got me to thinking about Jesus, my friend, the friend of all those who dwell in Him. When Christians tell non-Christians that Jesus will do such and such for them, we really have to think about this. It's quite possible that Jesus will show them His universal love. But will He show them the sweet little idiosyncratic side of himself that he shows those who dwell in his secret place? I don't know. I've said to folks, "Ask Jesus to give you a dream or a godwink." Sometimes he amazes me by doing it. Sometimes he doesn't do it at all." Perhaps he wants them to befriend him by studying his word.

He is our friend and our saviour and there is peace between Christians and God. No more attempting to be good enough for him. But to others...especially in the end of time...he will come as a judge. And how surprised many will be to see their Friend ac ting so very strangely and harsh.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ugh, those Jesus movies

Okay, I'll say straight up that my favorite Jesus movie is Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to St Matthew. This director was an atheist and a Marxist and yet his rendition is the most faithful, the most clean, the most respectful of its source material. His "Jesus" is passionate, angry, pissed off at hypocrisy....utterly prophetic in his holiness and his disdain of human self-deception and worldly hypocrisy.

After that is Jesus, based on The gospel of John. Not a bad flick and it touches me. It has moments of interfering teacherliness but not as much as others. It touches the viewer.

There is Franco Zefferelli's Jesus of Nazareth with the blue-eyed Robert Powell and the ultra blonde Michael York which has a very approachable Jesus. It's not Jesus as everyman, but Jesus is pretty human and yet manages to be holy at the same time. It's about eight hours if I recall. The problem with this one is that in order not to blame either the Jews or the Romans for the death of Jesus Zefferelli invents an evil Jewish bad guy out of whole cloth. Not necessary and it feels very odd.

There is The Passion of The Christ: It's pretty bloody. It didn't touch me because I pretty much knew it was bloody. Also, it is more Roman Catholic than Jewish. I would have much preferred seeing the Last Supper done as a Jewish Passover mean than to see it imitative of a Roman Catholic cleric. The Virgin Mary is also very Roman Catholic, her sexuality influenced more by St Augustine's issues than by Jewish sexual mores. So she is pretty virginal and untainted. And Jesus' brothers and sisters are nowhere in site. Like the rest of the Jesus films I'll describe it adds little bits to try to enlighten us but it's an interpretation that is sometimes iffy and a might sentimental and obvious. I mean: the depiction of Barrabas as a drivelling fool. What's that about? In the Bible Jesus Barabbas is a kind of proto-anti-christ figure: the one chosen because folks want strength, physical and worldly answer to their problems.

Among the worsts are The Greatest Story Ever Told. I totally don't know where to begin to disparage this ponderous boring monstrosity of pseudo-holiness. Okay, I watch it on the holidays. But that's because I like Jesus movies on the whole and in Christmas there is nary a word about Jesus in all these Christmas movies on cable... so better half a loaf than no bread. But the trouble with this is that it not only tries to teach people the meaning of everything Jesus says but that it truly gets some theology wrong. Jesus, for instance, preaches righteousness and is rather judgemental. It belabors certain points and brings in other sections from the Bible to teach flat-out homilies that just don't work. There is a kind of arrogance in the film where it's clear the screenwriter thinks it's best to replace the words of the gospel with his interpretation of the words. This is why I hate paraphrased Bibles: sometimes they totally change the message and the theology by their changing the words. So Jesus ends up saying pious comments that show that the screenplay doesn't understand the gospel of grace, or that he thinks the audience won't understand. And it is so obvious that Max Von Sydow doesn't "get" Jesus as a person but as a kind of walking pious spouter that one cringes. Not to mention the weird sub-plots they have to add. Okay, I won't even talk about the casting -- okay, I will: what's up with that black Simon of Cyrene? If having Sidney Poitier help to carry Jesus' cross is to say that we black folks are bearers of god's truth or some other civil rights aren't-they-a-holy-people-issue, honestly it just makes me cringe.

Okay, to mention weird sub-plots, the worst Jesus move has got to be King of Kings. I'm not saying all these stories don't have a moment where they touch me. But honestly, King of Kings is so utterly "creative" in its sixties adaptation/interpretation of the Bible that well, if it wasn't for Jeffrey Hunter's hotness I'd turn the channel. This is one seriously homoerotic Jesus, too, and it certainly makes a girl wonder what the heck was going on between those disciples. It's kind of like sword and sandal meets religion. Every time I see this one I want to get the DeMille silent version.

There is also the Passover Plot which is based on a book written by a Jewish writer who decided that Jesus planned a passover plot and well, the rest is history based on deception. I won't even go into the mechanics of what being crucified does to the body much less the idea that someone who has suffered blood loss and trauma is going to revive in a cold airless grave guarded by temple guards then have twelve of his disciples (and more if we include all the women) go to death and suffer being burned in oil rather than give away the secret.

Jesus of Montreal is utterly stupid and tries to show that Jesus was really the illegitimate son of Mary and a soldier named Panthera. Okay, it's an old insult against Mary that has been proven false. First: Panthera and Parthenos are words that sound alike. Parthenos means "the virgin" so with bad production or --purposeful snideness-- Jesus the son of the virgin easily becomes Jesus the son of Panthera. Second: We all know that when we want to belittle someone we get nasty. Instead of saying simply that Jesus was the biological son of his mother when she was married to her father, folks go out of their way to belittle his parentage by making his mother a whorish frolicker with a licentious roman soldier. Nasty. And I won't even go into the fact that he's depicted as vaguely mentally-disturbed.

Upshot? If you want to see a Jesus film and if you don't mind subtitles, seek out Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to Matthew. It's odd filmmaking and it's made by a Marxist atheist...but it's the purest depiction of Jesus ever made in a film. God's words, and only God's words. No prancing half-naked lusty women in beads for miles around. And yeah, one totally gets the feeling that Jesus rose from the dead. Unlike some of these other films which tend to spiritualize it or psychologize it or simply remove it from the context at all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Hubby and I were lying in bed discussing what it felt like to have a Creator. It was a real realization to him. Okay, the guy's relatively new at this Christianity thing so he was pretty amazed at the implications. To him, it meant being looked over and watched.

But for me, I've always been aware that I was made by a Creator and I've had a long time to think about it. I was always aware that the Creator made things for me: One tongue, so many taste buds that can detect between zillions of tastes. That's a god who wants us to enjoy things, definitely? A Creator who made so many lovely things for our eyes to feast on. Purely to delight the eyes! A Creator who made the act of procreation so much fun! A Creator who delights to work with His Creation and who genuinely loves the good things His creation makes. I have no doubt, for instance, that God loves movies...because it shows the ingenuity of His people.

But the most important thing of all that connects to me as a creation is that I am owned. I am not my own. I bear higher allegiance to something greater than myself..simply because that Something Greater created me.

As a Christian we are doubly-owned. One, because God made us and we are owned because our maker made us. Simple, and universal. Two, because we were bought back again by the Blood of Jesus. Now, this isn't totally universal because much of the world doesn't acknowledge this.

Then as a Christian married person, many of us are triply-owned. The Bible tells us that we are not our own but our body belongs to our spouse. My spouse can't go putting his you know what any old where because it belongs to me. Nor can I go off and do the same thing...however cute the stud might be. And as Christians we see that we are the Bride of Christ, another ownership issue between us and the Creator.

Oh sure, many folks in the rest of the world don't like the idea of being owned. They like being self-made or their own person. But Christians don't have that luxury...or rather, we shy away from that sin. We know to whom we belong. And belong is a word that doesn't offend us.

I'm glad I'm owned. Better than being made then discarded and left to rot and -- hubby would definitely ponder this part-- fend for myself.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

First and Second Coming

My friend's Christian spiritual group, The Chosen One.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sudden Realization

A couple of days ago I was in bed pondering an old memory. Two old memories, actually. They both happened on the same day. The weird thing is that these were old memories and I hadn't really thought of them in a while. Suddenly they popped up and I made a connection I hadn't made in the past.

Okay, the first memory: I was living in a house share with my friend, Tiina, and her cat became pregnant. The cat gave birth on either Friday the 13th of Saturday the 14th, Valentine's Day. The mommy cat was so needy she didn't want any of us to leave her but we had planned a valentine's day party. So Tiina ended up staying with the cat in her room and not attending much of the party. This was the party where I met my future hubby. Yep, I met him on Valentine's Day.

The second memory: The day before the party, or maybe the day of the party, Tiina and I were coming from the mall with party goods and we saw a school bus. When I walked past it I saw a hippie type young man, our age. I said, "Do you want to come to a party at our house?" He pointed to the back of the bus where a woman was in labor and said, "Could you allow us to park our bus in your backyard while my wife has the baby?" Talk about strange and put on the spot! I was willing to do it but Tiina said, "No! Don't get involved." So we went home. I felt so guilty, being so willing to invite them to a party but not able to let them come to my house and have the baby out of the privacy of the mall parking lot.

So I'm lying on the bed and suddenly it dawns on me: (I MEAN Suddenly, and I had never thought of it before) We were there for a cat to give birth and we weren't there to help the human woman give birth. ????? What's that about????? I hadn't seen the connection or the juxtaposition until two days ago. Why did I suddenly see it?

Of course it's part of life to suddenly understand something twenty or so years later but this was so weird.

Then I got to thinking that I failed that couple. (Okay, maybe it was best and maybe they should have or did end up at the local hospital but who knows?) But then I started thinking of other folks I've failed.

I remember walking in NYC and I saw a blonde frail looking young woman walking about in a daze. So, of course, I start talking to her. Turns out she was let out of the mental institution and put on the street. I wanted to take her home with us but my friend Tiina objected. Instead, I gave the girl a jacket... cause it was a cool night. But really, what good was that?

I also remembered another time I was about fifteen and passing an alleyway in NYC when a young well-dressed white fellow walked out looking dazed and staggering. He managed to stutter and to hold on to me and say, "Help me!" I was so stunned and surprised. I thought he must have been high on something and I scooted away from him. Later it dawned on me that perhaps he had been mugged and that was the reason he was dazed. Of course, I was entirely to blame for that.

Now, why the heck did I suddenly think of this? Is all this a result of my recent prayers: "Lord, deliver me from what I don't know. Deliver me from what I have gotten used to." ???? Is God showing me that in some ways I feel I don't deserve good because I have failed others? Is some kind of self-blame going on that is messing up my capacity to receive blessings from God?

Well, every day I'm praying that prayer...and I'll see what God unveils ---and sheds light on---the darkness.

There's a great Christian poem that goes:

I never cut my neighbor’s throat;
My neighbor’s gold I never stole;
I never spoiled his house and land,
But God have mercy on my soul!

For I am haunted night and day
By all the deeds I have not done;
O unattempted loveliness!
O costly valor never won!

I'll be clear though: I don't think God wants me to feel guilty. I think I feel guilty and he wanted to show me that I feel guilty and perhaps my feelings of guilt was getting in the way of my receiving healing because I don't believe I deserve it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Amos 1 redux

Amos 1
The words of Amos, who was a car mechanic in Hoboken, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Obama, president of the United States, and in the days of Vladmir Putim, president of Russia, two years before the earthquake.
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed the region with their weapons of steel and iron and sold weapons of mass destruction:
But I will send a fire into the house of their premier, which shall devour his palaces.
I will break also the bar of Iran, and cut off its inhabitant, and they who use Sharia law to destroy their poor women.
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the United States, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away slaves from Africa and continue to enslave throughout the whole world by use of their corporations for oil, wheat, and grain:
I will send a firestorm on your towers of your cities, and will devour your rich suburban mansions:
And I will cut off the inhabitants from the United States and him that holds the great eagle seal in Washington, and I will turn mine hand against the Pentagon: and the remnant of the multinationals and corporations shall perish shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Pakistan, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sell arms to militants and protect them and provide refuge for fleeing despots.
But I will send an earthquake against their nation, which shall break their nation asunder.
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the Palestinians, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they pursue their brother with the sword, and are relentless in their hatred of an Israeli homeland, and have retained the brotherly hatred perpetually and for ever:
But I will send an earthquake against the entire Middle East, which shall bring all nations down together.
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Sudan, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with children and sold people into slavery, that they might enlarge their border:
But I will send a famine on the land, and with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:
And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

one of the best prayers

It's a good idea to look at Paul's prayers for people and to study what it is he asks for. In Ephesians and Colossians we see several examples of his prayers.
In Ephesians 1:18 he prays to God that God's people may know what it is we really have inherited through Christ. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:17-19

In Ephesians 3:18 he once again asks God that we "May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height" Ephesians 3:17-19

So then, that should be our prayer. The Bible tells us that all things are ours. It tells us we have overcome the evil one. It tells us we have the mind of Christ. It tells us the same power that raises Christ from the dead lives in us. It says the same like faith that raised Christ from the dead is in us. It says we have the peace that passes all understanding.

We don't need anything else from God really. What we need is a true revelation of what it is Christ has given us. We need to believe and to know who we are, what we have, and the wisdom to use it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Move on up a little higher

I actually like Sister Rosetta Tharpe's version better than Mahalia's but..

My favorite Mahalia song

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What can stand against God's holiness?

F B Meyer was once walking past an old Scottish washer woman. Her clothes hung on the clothes line drying. Later, it began to snow and he said to her, "Your clothes don't look so white now against the snow?" The woman answered, "Who can stand against God's own white?"

I have a friend who often says she's a good person. I hear folks on TV saying they are good people. For heaven's sake! Who are they comparing themselves to?

Psalm 96

O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.
Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice
Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Throne Room Theophanies

1 Kings 22:19 Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD : I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 1 Kings 22:18-20

Isaiah 6:1-3 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Isaiah 6

Daniel 7:9 As I looked, "thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. Daniel 7:8-10

Revelation 4:4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. Revelation 4:3-5

Revelation 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. Revelation 20:10-12

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas posts around the net

Check out this review of a new Bible translation on Subversive Influences

Jason over at Spoiled for the Ordinary has been doing some posts on alternate Christmas gifts

Christianity Today's Top Ten Theological stories of 2008

Chris from Stuff as Dreams are Made On has a post on a Christmas book he read.

He also has another post on Christmas books and films

Scary Film Review is doing a search for scary Christmas Horror looks at the unknown meaning behind several famous Christmas hymns

Sci Fi Catholic has a Keep Mass in Christmas Campaign

The folks at A Book Inside have a list of writer freebies on the net

The African American fiction blog APOOO has tons of twelve days of Christmas giveaways.

Biology in Science Fiction has a list of bio science fact books on their Christmas list recommendations

Gospel Com is working on a mobile Bible gateway blackberry

The folks at Enduring Romance are doing lists of their top ten

Tracey Michae'l Lewis has a neat meme which might make us ponder what we have done with our lives already.

Ozark, Suz Elgin Haden the great linguist and scifi poet has a great Holiday poem up on her lingustics site over at live journal

White Readers Meet Black Authors has a post for recommendations on Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa books by Black writers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We who live at the end of time

I dreamed I was at church and singing Alia De Cilo when suddenly an alarm sounded in the sky all around. Everyone in the church looked up. And the front door suddenly clamped shut.

I don't know what Alia de Cilo is. I got the feeling of several Bible verses.

The doors being shut and those inside with the bridegroom, while those outside can't enter in.
Joel: "Sound an alarm in my holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble for the day of the lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand."

I know that Jesus is coming for an unspotted unblemished church and I know that we are told that true religion is to take care of the widows and orphans and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. But I find myself wondering what exactly unblemished means. It seems to me the church is pretty blemished right now so I don't know if Jesus could come now. I mean if we have a church in the united states that gets into fleshly discussions about doctrines and denominations or if we live in a country where most of the black churches voted for a black president while most of the white churches voted for the white presidential candidate. . . it seems we are too divided by race, class, etc.

Of course, there is always the invisible churches. There are tares among the wheat ...and maybe God's people are indeed unblemished. And maybe the only blemish right now that a Christian can have is to be self-righteous and to trust in her own works. Either way, Jesus knows who is his.

::worried look on face:: very scary, though to see the doors clamped shut in the dream. As if from that moment on, there would be no time for salvation. I know scientists have discovered that the universe is finite, that past a certain place, there is no longer time or space.. . and that the universe is no longer growing past a particular part. But as a Christian I always grew up with the idea that one could always go to God, that there was always time to seek for salvation. And to see the door shut -- the time of the end of God's working in earth or among the gentiles-- well, it was kinda terrifying. There are still so many people I've wanted to share the salvation message to.

Looked up alia on the internet:

Alia is a city built by Arabians in Spain.

Inter Alia: Latin: "among other things", "for example" or "including". Legal drafters would use it to precede a list of examples or samples covered by a more general descriptive statement. Sometimes they use an inter alia list to make absolutely sure that users of the document understand that the general description covers a certain element (which was covered in the general description anyway) without, in any way, restricting the scope of the general element to include other things that were not singled out in the inter alia list. It also means all.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Certainty of the Word

If there is one thing we Christians are aware of it's that to be certain about anything in this life is considered arrogant. Somehow if one is uncertain or mealy-mouthed it seems as if one isn't enlightened enough. A person is considered truly deep if they are uncertain about religion because well, supposedly who can knows these things? (Note: they mainly pick on Christians and on fundamental Jews in this regard. There's something in being Jewish and being Christian that makes folks have no patience with us. To be sure of one's wiccan religion is considered spiritual. To be sure of one's Islamic religion is never challenged because we don't want to seem anti-Muslim.)

So if one goes around being doubtful and skeptical and uncertain, one is considered a great seeker after truth and humble. If one even dares to believe in right or wrong, then folks remind you that those "concepts" are subjective. What is really right? what is really wrong?

Okay, some of this is inherited from Christianity itself which warns us not to judge our neighbors. But it never tells us that we can never know the truth.

Some of this is inherited from the world being at war with the Christian
God, the truth of the Bible, with Israel and the gospel. Heck, humans from the beginning of time have wanted to believe they can become gods and Christianity and Judaism speak against that.

Some of this comes from the western tradition which just loves the idea of philosophies and fairness to all.

But the thing is we Christians know the Word is true. But so many of us are wimps. We shrink in the face of trial or argument. Muslims honor their religion and stand up for it. Christians start giving in and being mealy-mouthed and wimpy. In my personal life, I'm pretty wimpy about arguing but if cornered, I'll stand up for my faith. I study a lot of apologetics and can probably enlighten or challenge a few folks about their own religion but arguing isn't going to win anyone over. Truth has to be learned by revelation in one's spirit, and truth has to be accepted as one finds it in the Bible. If someone isn't ready for truth, he isn't going to believe it even if Jesus comes to him in person.

But on a totally day-to-day level, I am certain of what the word of God tells me. I live my life by the Bible and trust it as God's word. So I know that one day my healing and Gabe's healing will manifest. The Bible tells us that if we call on the Lord we will be saved. So I'm doing it. The devil fights against the word in our lives. But we are told to resist him and one day -- however long it takes-- he will flee. We are told that in due time -- however long it takes-- we will reap. The devil's purpose is to wear us down and to make us give up the fight and quit the race. But am not gonna do that. I know that already Jesus has made us more than conquerors.

So, yeah, today, once again I get up and as usual put all the books on the shelves that younger son knocked to the ground. And once again I hang up all the clothes on hangers and return them to the closet that son continues every day to pull off the hangers. It's something I've gotten used to doing. It's tiring as heck when one is sleeping to always be in repair mode. But I know my redeemer lives. I know that one day there will be a new day...under the sun. I will see the goodness of the lord in the land of the living. My God is faithful. -C

The Word of God

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What we don't know, what we are used to

I think I had this dream in response to my whining to God about my dream about Logan and in response to my continued anger against sickness.

I dreamed I was told in a dream, "Ask God to be delivered from what you and Gabe do not know and from the evil Gabe and your family have gotten used to."

This brought me so much joy.

Praying for what we don't know:
We have prayed against viruses, fungi, and bacteria in the womb, perinatal, pre-natal, and post-natal injuries to Gabe, vaccines, forgiveness issues, dietary and nutritional issues, genetic issues, brain damage, cell damage, demonic interfereance. NADA. We don't know what it is we don't know. We don't know what it is we need to be delivered from. And we have done every medical, nutritional, alternative, and spiritual form of healing. Nada.

Praying for what Gabe doesn't know:
We have prayed for Gabe to understand normal stuff like directions "on, in, beside." We have prayed for him to understand pronouns, vocabulary, not to kick in the walls, not to pee in his clothes, that he would understand what a typical Christian teenager would know. The kid doesn't know what he doesn't know.

Praying to be delivered from what we have gotten used to:
The abnormal has become normal in my house. We have gotten used to picking up an eighteen year old off a school bus. We have gotten used to walls being kicked in. We have gotten used to sleeplessness and to continuous pain in Gabe's and my body. We've gotten used to no money and to pain and continuous torment and fatigue.

Praying for Gabe to be delivered from what he has gotten used to:
The kid doesn't know what he has gotten to. Oh sure, he's gotten the learned helplessness thing down and he's used to being friendless but he has gotten used to a bereft sort of life, just as we have gotten used to.

I feel, though, that now I know how to pray for this situation. And it gives me hope for a miracle for us.

Well, this dream made me very very hopeful. Very. Today I've just been praying to God to deliver me from what I don't know. To deliver Gabe from what he doesn't know. To deliver us from the evils we have gotten used to. To deliver Gabe from what he's gotten used to. That's what he told me to do. So I'll be doing that. I need not know, i think, what these things I don't know are. But I have to give permission to God to deliver me from them by asking Him to deliver me from them. I've seen so many instances where folks are not healed because they prayed the wrong prayer. Folks who ask for healing when they should have asked for miracles, and vice versa. I don't think God is like a computer who needs us to fit firmly into a computer mode. But I do think that we don't know what to ask for. and it's up to the Holy Spirit to pray for us or to tell us what to ask for.

Saturday, December 13, 2008



January Features:
· Sweet Georgia Brown by Cheryl Robinson (Fiction)
· Murder, Mayhem and a Fine Man by Claudia Mair Burney (Mystery)
· Passin’ by Karen E. Quinones Miller (Fiction)
· Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell (Speculative Fiction)
· Where I Want to Be by Maryam Diaab (Romance)

February Features:
· Not Even if You Begged by Francis Ray (Fiction)
· Hotlanta by Denene Millner & MItzi Miller (Young Adult Fiction)
· Even Numbers by Barbara Grovenor (Fiction)
· Interceptions by Staci Robinson (Fiction)
· Choices by Skyy (Fiction)

March Features:
· Jezebel by Jacquelin Thomas (Christian Fiction)
· Faith Under Fire: Betrayed By A Thing Called Love by LaJoyce Brookshire (Memoir)
· The Mpire: In Search of the Lost by T.L. James (Fiction)
· Them by Nathan McCall (Fiction)
· Three Wishes by Janice Sims (Romance)

April/May Features:
- Long, Hot Nights by Candice Poarch (Romance)
- Like Never Before by Sylvia Lett (Romance)
- The Trophy Wife by Ashley & JaQuavis (Street Fiction)
- Dynamic Diva Dollars: For Women Who Aren’t Afraid To Be Millionaires by Elon Bomani (Self-Help/Business)
- Naked Love by Darnella Ford (Fiction)
- Sacrifice: Demon Hunter Series Book 2 by T.L. Gardner (Paranormal)
- Deception’s Legacy by Jacqueline G. Randolph (Fiction)
- One Dead Lawyer by Tony Lindsay (Mystery)
- Sexcapades by HoneyB (Erotica)
- The Knees of Gullah Island by Dwight Fryer (Historical Fiction)

June/July Features:
- Ivy’s Twisted Vine by Latrivia S. Nelson (Fiction)
- Too Little, Too Late by Victoria Christopher Murray (Christian Fiction)
- Money Power Respect by Erick S. Gray (Street Fiction)
- Forever The Fat Kid by Michael Boyd (Memoir)
- Love Tornado by Mable John and David Ritz (Christian Fiction)

August Features:
- Motherless Child: Stories of A Life by Sarah Gordon Weathersby
- Just Too Good To Be True by E. Lynn Harris (Fiction)
- You Gotta Sin To Get Saved by J. D. Mason (Fiction)
- Shameless Hoodwives by Meesha Mink and De’Nesha Diamond (Street Fiction)
- Orange Mint & Honey by Carleen Brice (Fiction)

September Features:
- Crown’s Jewel by Cynthia D. Toliver (Fiction)
- Seeds of Bible Study by Carol McDonnell (Non-Fiction/Religious)
- Three Doors Down by Michele Sudler (Romance)
- Taneesha: Never Disparaging by M. LaVora Perry (Young Adult)
- Broken by Robin “Robbie” Ayele (Mystery)

October Features:
- Sinful Too by Victor McGlothin (Fiction)
- Harriet Tubman: Imagining A Life by Beverly Lowry (Non-Fiction)
- Floss by Monica Marie Jones (Fiction)
- Lady Preacher by K. T. Richey (Christian Fiction)
- Charlemagne Mack: Rise of the Queen, Personal Journal #1 by Stephen M. Jones (Young Adult)

November Features:
- Uncle Otto: A Novel by Winifred Cook (Fiction)
- So Good It Hurts by Na’Kisha Crawford (Self-Help)
- Rhythms of Grace by Marilynn Griffith (Christian Fiction)
- In The Night of the Heat by Blair Underwood, Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due (Mystery)
- The Shadows by L.A. Banks (Paranormal)

December Features
- This Life Isn’t Perfect Holla by Sandra Foy (Romance)
- Ruby and the Booker Boys: Trivia Queen, 3rd Grade Supreme by Derrick Barnes (Young Adult)
- Reflections of A Mississippi Magnolia: A Life of Poems by Patricia Neely-Dorsey (Poetry)
- Blackbird, Farewell by Robert Greer (Mystery)
- Family Skeleton: A Brother and Sister’s Journey from Murder to Truth by Sabrina Carmichel-Yaw and Aurora (Memoir)
- Southside Nefertiti #3 by Mike Sales (Comic)

The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers (TRR) are the team of reviewers for RAWSISTAZ Literary Group ( and are committed to supporting and spreading the word about African-American titles. Since inception in January 2001, they have reviewed approximately 4,500 titles, been published in numerous print and online magazines, and provided online newsletters for book lovers worldwide.
For more information visit or

sweet dream

I dreamed my son somehow got free tickets to the Latin Grammy awards and was a VIP there. He and his friends were dressed in blue and white horizontal striped shirts. A big strong guardian was nearby to protect him. I said to my son, "You are very blessed. But you must remember to thank God for all your blessings." I also dreamed of planting a little seedling.

When I woke up I got sad. I have all these wonderful dreams about older son. Older son is a sweetie, mind you. But younger son is such a goodly child. When he was younger before the illness attacked him so badly, he was absolutely beautiful. Even when he was up to age 5, folks thought he was a girl. HE is so kind and good and has suffered so much.

I just said to God, "Why do you give me dreams about older son and yet you don't give me any dreams about younger son?"

I feel God doesn't really need to give us dreams about promises for healing because God has already promised healing to all his people in his word. And yet, it would've been soo good to dream more about younger son.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Anger, Anger

What to do with it?

Honestly, I could just choke certain people. Much of this anger is sane and has good reasoning behind it. Another part of it is just anger against the sin of the world! What to do with all this anger? Work on an anger scene in my novel? Pray against it? Will see.

They trouble with anger is that one has to figure out who is responsible for the anger...and to see if one can do anything about the anger.

In my case, the problem is an anger at my life. But I'm also angry at glib answers given to me by folks who don't know or understand fibromyalgia or autism. or what it's like living without sleep with a child who has autism. Consider being up all night (every day for 20 years) and finally falling asleep for one hour about five o'clock in the morning (again, this kind of thing happens every day) and then one's autistic child comes into one's room at five thirty (once again, this happens every night) and simply has to sleep in one's bed because he is crying about some particular pain that you cannot ever discover although you've been trying to discover it for 18 years. Consider waking up then having to bathe this 18 year old, make his specific food (because he's allergic to something else or simply refuses to eat anything else or has a dislike for everything else) and then having to dress and groom this 18 year old who is crying because he is in pain and you're on the verge of tears because you have a son who is always in pain. Consider going through the house cleaning up the same damage you cleaned up the day before because your child is in so much pain and because he doesn't talk because he is non-verbal he smashes everything and clears the table and bookshelves and kicks the plaster off the walls and breaks the door and the windows every day. You do this while you're in a state of sleeplessness and extreme fatigue because you yourself have slept for only one hour a night for twenty years.

Consider glib folks who do not understand what living sleeplessly is about telling you your house is messy when once again you have had to wash pee from mattresses and wipe prune juice (because your son is continually constipated) from the wall because he thew it there.

Consider annoying know-it-all Christians telling you that you would be healed if you had more faith but the fact is they aren't praying for you. Consider dealing with folks who think if they had walked in your shoes they'd be dancing instead of being angry or whining.

Consider enduring all this and having no money while enduring all this because since you don't work and since the son is always going to the doctor you are way in debt.

Consider dealing with idiots who tell you that perhaps your son should be hospitalized.

Consider silencing yourself because others simply do not understand yet insist on giving you stupid advice.

Well, got to go. As usual -- although I don't really say it-- son is beside me weeping about something I don't understand and cannot possibly help...while I endure something I don't understand and cannot possibly cure in myself.

Yeah, damn right I'm angry. And I'm angry at sickness and at the devil. Life shouldn't be like this.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


When we think of stuff we humans need, we often think of water, food, exercise, and of course love.

But this morning I found myself thinking of vindication. True, in a perfect world one wouldn't need it --- but . . .

So there am I thinking of vindication and how it pops up in the Bible so often. Sometimes it's phrased as "God, vindicate me," sometimes it's framed as "God, please avenge me," sometimes it's "God, plead my cause."

The Judeo-Christian God is very aware of this human need for vindication. So much so that he goes out of his way to tell his people: Vengeance is mine, I will repay it.

So then, what do we do with this revealed truth? I'm thinking we can simply use them as promises of God that we can hold on to.

The publishers of Wind Follower didn't expect to make a lot of money from it. Urban fantasy with vampires and werewolves are all the rage. May God vindicate me and cause this book to sell more than all their books combined. I'd feel vindicated about that.

Folks have made fun of me being religious and still trusting God to heal my son and me. May God vindicate my trust in him by letting his healing and blessing come into our family.

The human soul needs to feel justified in many ways. It needs to feel that others have seen the rightness of our cause or the wrongness of their judgments against us. Sad but true, certain things affect us. Joyful but true, God is aware of our human needs.

Okay, okay...some stoical Christian will come up and say, "You want vindication in the eyes of man? Sister, you aren't enlightened, you're weak. Be strong and allow yourself to suffer." Well, yes, we should learn to be strong. But Christianity isn't stoicism. We don't try to be strong because life is meaningless and emotions are bad things, we try to be strong because God is with us. God has told us to be joyful because HE is in charge and He has overcome the world. He knows our frame; He remembers we are dust." So, if a Christian comes to me with talk about me being immature because I want the world to see that God loves me, I'll say with Paul: "I will boast in the Lord. True, there is pie in the sky by and by and the sorrows of this life cannot be compared with the joys and glories to be revealed in us and in the universe but I expect to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. That's part of the Christian joy: good in this life."

1 Samuel 24:12 The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

2 Samuel 22:48 It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me. 2 Samuel 22:47-49

Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. Psalm 8:1-3

Psalm 18:47 It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. Psalm 18:46-48

Luke 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. Luke 18:2-4

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Romans 12:18-20

1 Thessalonians 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 1 Thessalonians 4:5-7

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ah denominations

Okay, Christianity has a whole lotta denominations and I for one think they have both good and bad. On the whole, most of them don't really teach the Way, which is the gospel Jesus gave His people. They tend to be very legalistic and folks still tend to think that their works will get them to heaven.

But the pros and cons of certain denominations are:

Baptists love the Bible. They like reading it. But they also war against the holy spirit. They are the only denomination who make it a point to say that the holy spirit doesn't work the way he did back in the day. The only denomination to say that God is not the same yesterday, today, and forever and that God pretty much treats his people worst than he did before the days of the apostles. They are the only ones who call certain miraculous work of the holy spirit "sin" and "a work of the devil."

Catholics love, respect, and honor God much more than most other Christians. They are in awe of him. But many are so reverential that they don't really think of him as their Father. Very like Moslems who don't think of God as Father and are insulted at the idea. But unlike the Moslems, Catholics know that God is love. But very like the moslems many catholics do have the submission thing down too too much. In addition, they tend to divide the world into laity and clergy which is not what Christians are supposed to do. That was inherited from Constantine. The gospel states that we all have gifts and we use them when they are necessary. So the priest is not supposed to be all teacher/healer/exorcist/preist etc. This leads to a kind of belittling and rejection of regular folks. Catholics war against evil in the world. There's also the problem of acceptance of stuff that God has called us to challenge. When my good Catholic friend died, she was surrounded by folks NONE of whom said a prayer to God himself. They prayed to the saints or they waited for the priest to pray to the saint. And although many Catholics believe in miracles, they had a theology of acceptance of evil that made them not resist the sickness in a spiritual way. It was hard to get my friend to use the word of God to fight the illness cause she kept saying it was God's will. Yet, at the same time she went to all kinds of doctors. In addition, Catholics have that graven images thing. We simply are NOT supposed to have graven images, period. God allowed images of heavenly things in the creation of the temple but he stopped it short at images of himself. There is also the idea that there is a visible church and that that church is the Catholic church, but Christianity states that it's people who are saved, not denominations. And the Bible says twice that Peter was called to be the prophet to the Jews, not to the gentiles. They have a lot of traditions that make the word of God ineffective. The other thing with Catholics is the way they often wound the feelings of visitors. I can't tell you how many times I've been told by Catholics that non-Catholics aren't really saved. Yes, Christians say it of Catholics too. But there's nothing more annoying than being told you can't take communion because you aren't Catholic, or that you aren't saved because you aren't in The Faith.

Then there are Quakers. Originally, they were a people devoted to a living connection to the holy spirit above all else. But they got totally unmoored from the Bible. Whenever one goes to a Quaker meeting around here, one often meets folks who have never touched their Bible and who totally are more vague ethicists and New Age spiritual types than Christians. They do good and they have a tradition of helping folks but one never knows what religion a Quaker is.

Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and Episcopalians are pretty much non-Biblical and they go with whatever their leaders say. This can be scary. Catholics go with what the Pope says and the Pope pretty much sticks to Catholic tradition. But mainstream churches tend to be more affected by the world's wisdom and the world's culture. Many of them love Jesus very much but their Jesus is definitely watered down.

Seventh-Day Adventists are good folks but they also tend to think other folks from other denominations aren't saved. Pentecostals, like me, believe in the fiftieth day. In fact, in certain countries, Pentecostals are called fifty-day Christians. This means that we believe we live in the Jubilee of Christ. The Jubilee was the seventh of the seventh week, 49 days, and the day of the Penetecost is the fiftieth day, when all were freed. The fiftieth day is one day past the Sabbath. It is a new day, the day the Lord has made. The Lord's Day. (By the way, Pentecostals belong to all denominations. I, myself, am a Charismatic Episcopalian) Seventh Day Adventists are focused on the Sabbath. They have not entered into the Jubilee Rest of Pentecost.

Mormons consider themselves Christians. Except they believe in many Gods while Christians are monotheists. Their ideas are far from Christianity (and they think they are the only true interpreters of the Bible and the true followers of the faith.) They believe Heavenly Father slept with Mary to create Jesus. They believe the Bible is wrong (even going so far to say that even the Jewish Bible is wrongly preserved.) They believe in many gods and they believe God was born and created and that they themselves will be gods with their own planets one day. This infinite regression of Gods being created by previous Gods who were created by previous God's ad infinitum is a center of Mormon Spirituality. Yet Christians believe God has no beginning and no end. Christians believe that God IS. We don't believe God will be, or that God was. This means that God is as present now with our parents and grandparents when they ARE living on earth as he is with us and our descendants as they ARE living now on earth. God IS. He is over all and from everlasting to everlasting. He doesn't change because he lives in eternity beyond time and space. As Jesus said, Before Abraham was I AM. Anyone who becomes a God now cannot be over the past. But science has proven that the universe is finite. It has a beginning and an end, so there is no endless line of future gods or past gods. Time and space are earth constructs that don't apply in eternity or even beyond earth or the speed of light. For the most part, the Mormon theology of god-hood and spirit father is pretty much identical to the theologies being told to alien abductees by extra-terrestrials in UFO. They also believe in works and don't believe in the sufficiency of Jesus blood or grace.

Jehovah's Witnesses are good people. Very committed to God. But on the other hand, they often remind me of Mormons. Mormons look forward more to being Gods than to loving God eternally. Jehovah's witnesses seem more interested in the future life of a perfect redeemed earth than they are in actually loving God eternally. I suspect Jehovah's witnesses would readily die for the faith. More so than other denominations. But they pretty much deny the power of the blood of Jesus to make us be born again now.

There are other denominations but...those are the main ones.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Meaning Behind The Song

The twelve days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day, Dec. 25th and ends on Epiphany, Jan. 6th. Christmas was originally for the Jewish people. Only Jews and angels were around at Jesus' birth. Epiphany represents the day when the Wise Men arrive and the world gets to see the savior of the world.
Back in the days when the Catholic church was persecuting Protestants and didn't want them to read the Bible, Protestants made up this song to teach their children about the faith:

1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.
12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.

Read the full story here or anywhere over the internet:

Sunday, December 07, 2008

In Memoriam Louise Stewart 1933-2004

Yep, every year I remember her on her birthday.

I have to admit something. I used to hate mother's day in church. I don't know. I think it was because it was so dang sentimental. The giving of the flowers to the mothers, the corny sermons, etc. Whenever I realized that a sunday was going to be mother's day Sunday, I'd just avoid it and simply not turn up to church.

So yeah, I hated sentimentality. In the Bible we are told over and over to "remember when the lord did such and such." Remembering is a big thing in the Bible. In the world atheism is equated with being so intelligent and rationale and deep. In the Bible it is the "fool" who says in his heart that there is no God. And not believing is equated with not remembering. I think it was Psalm 73 --0r was it Psalm 78-- that we should remember. (actually it doesn't matter cause the Bible is full of all these admonitions to REMEMBER.) So the Bible even has David writing a book of remembrance.

To God, we start losing faith in God and the spiritual realm when we forget what God has done for us. Remember how the Lord they God did this great deed or delivered etc.

Well, thinking of my mother, I remember all the things she told me about what God did in my life as a kid...and what God did in her life. And isn't that what God tells us to do: we must tell our children and our children's children what God has done for us.

I suspect I didn't much like mother's day because I hadn't lost my mother. Yeah, yeah, the old thing about never appreciating until a person is dead. I look at my hubby and I appreciate him. I look at my friends and I appreciate them. So maybe I've gotten older. I suspect many kids might just have a problem appreciating what and who they have.

When my mother died, I was so distraught, I said to God, "If I had known, I would've tried to buy a new house so she could've lived with us. Oh, I didn't know she was so old. Not really. Oh, I wish I could have done so much for her to show her how much I love her." Know what God said? Yep, I heard it deeply and clearly as if He was standing beside me and saying it! I heard in my spirit: "Don't worry. In heaven you will have many days to do wonderful things for her."

That made me so happy. To think! In heaven we will not only be receiving God's love...and my mother is not only receiving God's love now. . . but we will be able to surprise those we love with wonderful gestures of love and giving!!! Our God truly knows how to comfort. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that in heaven I'll be able to do so much good for my mother. Giving is a keep part of appreciation and it's good to know that in heaven --although God is the ultimate giver-- we can still give to those we love. Magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His Name together. -C

Friday, December 05, 2008

Wheat and Tares

In the parable of the wheat and tares, Matthew 13:24-26 Jesus gives us a view of Satan as a counterfeiter. He has told us that Satan comes to kill, to steal, and to destroy John 10:9-11 and that Satan is the father of lies and deception. We have other instances in the Bible where folks are deceived. Peter was deceived when he spoke positively saying, "This will not happen to you, Jesus. You will not die." Mark 8:32-34 Positive affirmation at the wrong time. The ancient prophets also had to battle false prophets who spoke positive things. Nicodemus was religious and very good but he was deceived by the goodness of his life: Jesus told him he must be born again. Many people in the Bible were deceived by supernatural actions done by evil priests (the Egyptian priests who challenged Moses for instance.)

But here he shows us an example of a deception.

On a totally communal level, the parable of the wheat and the tares is about the inability to differentiate between the good seed and the bad seed. Some Christian cults seem pretty good but they lead to death. Some Christian ministers in born again circles seem to be telling the truth yet, they are deceived deceivers. 2 Timothy 3:5-7

Satan is sneaky. Jesus says we are not ignorant of his devices. But you know... I think we often are. We realize he uses strife and lust but how often are we aware that he uses pity, human reasoning, expedience to fulfill his will to get our eyes off God's word?

We can't go heresy-hunting because it is often hard to distinguish but in our lives we must be careful we aren't being deceived

Happy Birthday to me

On this day I complete my 49th year. So as the beginning of my 50th winds up, I find myself thinking of the four times in my life when I was truly, amazingly, surprised.

The first was when I was reunited with my mother in New York after she finally brought us up from Jamaica. I didn't recognize her. Totally didn't.

The second was when my German-Jewish friend Terry -- of fond and loving and wonderful memory-- who was gay and who at age 27 had gone gray from the debauched drug-taking partying life he was living showed me in a very strange and beautiful way that he had been in love with me for the four yeas we were in college together.

The third was when I was given the diagnosis for our second son of autism. Talk about life as an unplanned journey.

And the fourth surprise is that I have lived to see 49 years.

All is well here, don't get me wrong. God is good. Trying to stick to a very rigid diet. Aaaargh. But I sleep better when I do. Much mid-life crisis regret about health, life, child's health, but I feel God is telling me to endure and to expect great things. So am trying to understand Jesus and God as restorers. . . that perhaps life for me in my latter end will be better than it's been the past 49 years. Tough to learn to look at hope when life has been such a trial for so long. But I'm growing in my knowledge of how truly great and loving God is. I hope to have a fifth surprise: to live to age 115. Healthy, happy, wealthy, wise. Will see. -C

Thursday, December 04, 2008

a very present help in trouble

What a great and loving and intimate God we have!

I'm not going to go into why some folks feel so distant from God. But honestly, he says if you draw near to him, he will draw near to you. So if you feel you're drawing near to God and nothing is happening, then you probably aren't drawing near to him. And the only way to draw near to him and feel his presence is by reading his word, the Bible. The more one reads it, the flakier one's life becomes. Weird coincidences and stuff start happening. Honestly. But you have to read it or at least listen to it a whole lot. Let the word of God dwell in you richly.

Anyways, here I am trying to wait patiently (without whining) for my healing and Gabe's healing to manifest. It's been tough. But God has been there all the time.

Imagine: angels coming to you in your dreams to tell you what to eat. And they just don't do this once in a while. They are always there!!!!! So I manage to fall asleep at nine last night and I wake up at midnight. Generally, I wake up hubby for sex so I can get some sleep. Honestly sex changes when you're in a relationship with a sick person. Someone ought to do an anthology on that. Sex as medicine, sex as sleeping pill, sex as comfort. Upshot we have sex every yours truly can sleep. Sometimes it works and I sleep. Sometimes, not.

But often in the middle of all this sleeplessness I manage to fall asleep for a small snippet of dream. Sometimes it's a very intense symbolic dream that encourages me. Sometimes it's advice. But always, always, I know God is there. So what do I get last night? An angel holding up some orange juice and saying to me, "You must remember to take your magnesium."

I wake up and order hubby to go to the deli to get me some nuts and some orange juice. I go to the internet and what do I see? Plantains are full of magnesium. Now I didn't know that. And yet, for some reason I had gone out and bought a lot of them. Beans also have magnesium. And for some reason I had been beaning. What a loving mighty God we serve! He guides us even when we aren't aware of it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Angelia Vernon Menchan: Author

Schae's Story
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: acVernon Menchan (December 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0978783557
ISBN-13: 978-0978783556

Here's the blurb:

In SCHAE'S STORY: A Woman's Transformation, readers will see the unveiling of a woman everyone thought they knew. We will be exposed to how difficult it is for the people around us to accept our desire to change. Also, that while many people preach that God will change someone’s life they really do not believe it to be true. Schae’s Story will also expose the many ways in which love manifests itself in a woman’s life, family love, community-love and most importantly the reciprocal love of God.

SCHAE’S STORY: A Woman’s Transformation….NOW AVAILABLE on amazon

Signed copies at

Angelia Vernon is also the author of IS NO NOT CLEAR ENOUGH FOR YOU
Is No Not Clear Enough for you tells the story of a young, spiritual emerging woman who knows at sixteen how important it is to own herself. Malaaka Green is spiritual, young, smart and beautiful. And one thing she knows for sure is that she is not going to do anything for or with anyone that is in conflict with her spirit or her future. Surrounded by a supporting cast of family, friends and foes, we get to see what the possibilities can be when a young woman owns her own destiny.

180 pages
Publisher: acVernon Menchan (December 1, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0978783530
ISBN-13: 978-0978783532
Angelia blogs at

Lending and Ministers

Okay, in my near fifty years on earth, there is one thing I have come to really believe. Never ever ever give any DVDs or CD's or tape or religious book to a minister in the hood. First of all, so many of these folks think they have arrived. They don't really want to learn anything new.

Second, they lose stuff. They totally don't see the good in any gift given to them. So they kinda just put the tape you're really excited about (and loaned to them) on the side and then they forget that you gave it to them. They then tell you you never gave it to them or you misplaced it.

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened. Now part of this is that maybe some folks in the hood just don't value education and they don't want to learn anymore. They think they know all there is to learn so they just don't read. But there's also the basic problem of people not knowing how to deal with stuff that is loaned to them. It does make me wonder how they can forget they have someone's stuff. One woman minister I know actually kept a book I gave her for seven years.

Upshot: do not lend anything to any Christian minister. Even if they ask for it. And if they really really really beg for it, don't give it to them if it's one of your favorites. Upshot, stealing (forgetting you have been loaned something) is rife in ministerial communities. Yeah, I'll say it. Ministers don't realize it but they steal. Or they belittle what you give to them. Hey, if it was money, they wouldn't have forgotten where they put it? Folks mislay only what they don't respect.

Anyways, I go upstairs after writing this post and because I'm alone in the house with ye mighty pit bull I leave TV's on upstairs and downstairs. So what do I catch on a religious station? Some religious kid show in which a girl --looking all cutesy good-- is telling kids they should be cheerful givers. So a part of me says, "oh, maybe you're being cynical. Folks will think you're picking on Christians!" But then the other part of me says, "Hell, no! They ought to teach kids the difference between sacrificial giving, stupid giving, and masochism. All that talk to kids about giving screw up a lotta sweet kids and make us give good things to folks who don't honor the gift...and they we walk around feeling guilty and unchristian for being hurt. Hell no, no easy cheerful giving sermons for me."

Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. Proverbs 3:12-14

Proverbs 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Proverbs 4:4-6

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:6-8

Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! Proverbs 16:15-17

Proverbs 17:16 Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

Blog Archive

Popular Posts