Friday, February 27, 2009

Okay, day 1 went well

Okay, spent the first day of fasting and listening to archived sid roth programs online. Was especially blessed by this Ricky Roberts interview. What a testimony.

I told the Lord that if there is food at the conference I'll probably eat it. He's ordered me not to eat corn, wheat, or processed meats. So if they have lasagna or any such thing I'll have to be obey.

God knows I'm obedient but I don't want to get all wobbly at a conference. Then will finish the fast on Monday. Sunday will be easy enough to stay in bed.

Small but powerful

So there I lay with hubby in bed at 2:00 in the morning. (Yeah, call me selfish but I'd been up since midnight and I allowed him his I figured I could wake him up.)

So there we were pondering God and we do and have done every night for 20 years (rolling eyes) <-- Is there an emoticon for rolling eyes?

And I got to thinking of the angel Gabriel. I like Gabriel a lot. Okay, he's probably liked by a whole lotta people. And I doubt I'll love him as much as I like my guardian angel who appeared to me when I was sixteen. (May God bless him, if we humans can ask blessings for those in heaven, the most blessed of places!) And when I get to heaven I'll probably like my guardian a lot more (but who knows? Does "degree" of love count in heaven? Don't we just all get overwhelmed with love for everyone equally?)

And I got to thinking about what the angels must think about we humans. Gabriel was around when God created the earth. He was around to talk with Daniel. He was around to talk with Mary. Like all angels -- and demons-- he's seen a hell of a lot. What must they think of us? They've seen humans in pain, humans in joy, noble faith-filled humans, evil humans who weren't aware their evil would send them to hell...and they've seen humans who made one simple wrong little choice in their life and suffered terribly for it.

As I was in one of my gloomy moods. (Which, yeah, is often. But dammit, when one cannot sleep one becomes quite gloomy and bitchy!)

So I thought of my mother's warning: "The saddest words are 'IF I HAD KNOWN'." My mom was a nurse and well...she'd seen a lot of stuff and heard a lot of bewailing from folks. She'd also had a terrible marriage to my selfish whoring father. But also, by a certain age you know how odd life is, that one's life turns on the smallest choices...sometimes choices so small one doesn't even know one is making them. A walk down the wrong block, picking up the wrong medication, etc. Scary.

Then I got to thinking of a poem which goes like this: "Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been." And I start getting all remorseful with If I had known such and such, then such and such. I'm lying there in the bed bewailing the past. Then hubby suddenly makes up this on the spot: "Of all great words that man can conceive, the greatest is 'All things are possible if you can believe."

Ah, I love this guy! Yeah, sometimes I want to choke him. Honestly. But sometimes when he opens his mouth...such priceless gems of wisdom and hope fall from his sweet sexy little mouth. -C

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Psalm 25

Psalm 25

My favorite verse is "Let not mine enemies triumph over me." Whatever those enemies are: sickness, despair, poverty, anger, lust.

If there is one thing I cannot stand it's someone triumphing over me. A minister's wife once said to me, "I noticed how you reacted to King Xerxes. You really have a problem with authority." (rolling eyes here; give me a break! The woman wanted me to kow-tow to her very odd pastor husband and was looking for something to pin on me. There are some very insecure folks out there who become pastors. And the more insecure some men are the more prone they are to wanting to force women to listen to them and obey them. But that's a two way street: men are supposed to sacrifice themselves for their wives as Christ did for the church, then a woman can submit to them. Why submit to a man or a pastor if he's a jerk? And mildly correcting a fool is not disobedience to authority, anyway. It's challenging his ego: quite a different thing. But that's all I'll say about that.) I had problem with the Esther story because folks are always talking about it as a great romance and ministers use it to show what a perfect wife should be. But nowhere in the story does it say Esther is happy to be married to a many with a zillion wives in his harem who sees her once every six weeks! MOVING ON!

Anyway, there is nothing more annoying to me than having to swallow my pride and squelch my spirit. I don't like giving in to arrogant men, to stupid people, to rich people, to pushy women, to demons. I like giving in to God but heck I hate doing that
through other people. I so do NOT like anyone triumphing over me. It hurts. And I am not going to tell anyone they have to obey anyone. We don't know how crushed their spirits are. . . and telling someone with a crushed spirit that they have to obey some cruel person doesn't cut it with me.

But there is a difference between humiliation and humility. When I first moved into my house, I dreamed of my old boss -- the one who gave me a stroke because he was such a bully. He said to me, "Humble and abase yourself under my hand and I will raise you up." I answered him, "Being humbled is one thing, being humiliated is another." That was 20 years of so ago and that has stayed with me.

The Bible says "wisdom is a defense and money is a defense, but the excellency of wisdom is that it gives life to those who have it." Money is a great defense against the troubles of life. Heck Luke writes "Blessed are the poor" and Matthew writes "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Same thing. The poor, the weak, the sickly, the outcast, have no defense against the troubles of life. It's a money thing, it's a power thing. Surely, Oprah doesn't suffer from being poor in spirit. How can she when she's got money and power and fame? (Not saying she doesn't suffer in her own way, though.) But there is a good way to handle humiliation which is a lot like humility. And last night the Lord reminded me that when I snapped at that *sshole of a bill collector yesterday I was well on the way to repeating the same thing I had done last year when I got into a fit of pique with my malicious gun-toting neighbor. I must learn to be quiet no matter who triumphs over me. Let God fight my fight and let God let me triumph.

1Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

2O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

3Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

4Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

6Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

7Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

8Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

9The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

10All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

12What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

13His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

15Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

16Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

17The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

18Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

19Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

20O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

22Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Pondering a Challenge

This weekend is the Whole Women Conference. A friend emailed me and asked if I wanted to go. Since I'm totally out of the loop of Anglo-speaking Church groups I didn't even know about this thing.

But honestly, I don't want to go. Fact is: I dread these Christian women things. I dread the sermons which are often simplistic and don't speak to my particular condition ("Well, sometimes we women are selfish and we must learn to do with less! There is much more to life than money." This once said by two women who went on annual trips to Cancun and China.) Or sermons which are nothing more than an oratory competition where lukewarm spiritual food are served in pretentious or fiery sermons. I'm also imagining touchy-feely stuff, stuff about submitting to husbands, stuff about a female's place in the home. In addition, I don't know if I can last through it. It's a bit of a chore sitting up in my own house for more than four hours...but this will mean aaargh, being in a strange church or hotel possibly feeling tired and sleepy and being stuck there until my friend Liz drives me home. But the thing is... I might genuinely be surprised.

But then I keep telling myself that God wants me to rise up in defiance of my problems. I try to wash the dishes although sometimes I'm so tired I think I'm going to faint. And I'm trying to trust church women again. ::rolling eyes:: which is so very hard sometimes because many of them say judgmental things or platitudes, or they are so much more into "normality" than I am.

But I feel God telling me to stop being so cynical. So maybe I'll go. My besetting sin is to be a recluse and to avoid the world. At the same time my other besetting sin is my terrible habit of befriending folks way too easily. (Ah, the oversensitive Christian woman! What to do!) So this'll be a bit of a test to see if I can actually learn to hope. Or at least I can learn to hang with regular Christian women and be happily dishonest and distance. Will see what I decide.

* Addendum --> Discovered the conference minister is speaking on "obedience." Aaargh. Now I don't mind something about obedience to God. But if she dares -- I mean DARES-- goes on one of those "women should obey their spouses" tropes...I'm honestly gonna puke!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Psalm 24

- Oh think of those everlasting doors! Doors that have forever been closed -- the gates of hell, the gates of incurable sickness!-- and someone has been found worthy to open them! He even commands them to be opened! Who is that? The one who is at last the perfect man! The new Adam! The one who is worthy to open the seals! He is the king of glory! The triumphant victor who has finally redeemed humans from sin, death, sickness and all that mocked us and triumphed over us. We are free. Whom the son has set free is free indeed!

if only we could see the majesty of this, what might we not believe!-C

Psalm 24

1The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

2For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

3Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

7Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

9Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prayer Request

Hi fellow Christians:

Could you put my son Gabriel on your prayer list for church? I would really appreciate it.

I definitely need prayer for the autism and for his muteness. But I also need prayer for healing of the various illnesses that accompany this illness: digestive issues, gum issues, sinus issues, allergies, and cognitive issues...especially cause and effect.

if he understood cause and effect, he would really be super-blessed. He's just always in pain, for 19 years. And it's hard playing diagnostician and taking him to doctors. Also very expensive. I just have to trust the body of Christ.-C

Authority and Like Passions

Okay, so this morning I had to argue with the electric company which is threatening to cut off my electricity. I ended up with this very patronizing guy in the credit department. He got me so annoyed that I said to him, "Okay, if you're telling me the truth, God bless you! But if you're lying, may you get cancer and die by the end of the year!" Yes, I know. Very nasty of me. Trust this to 8 days of an hour sleep every night. And I really meant it. Still kinda mean it. Yes, yes, I get very nasty with bill collectors because they're very nasty with folks.

But it got me thinking about two Bible scenes. The first is Elias who was a man of like passions as we are and who got so peeved he called down she-bears to kill children who mocked his bald head. The second is the Sons of Thunder -- James and John-- who once they understood the authority that God had given them ...wanted to call fire down upon their enemies. I mean, even Jesus got so peeved that in a fit of pique (caused by anger) he cursed a fig tree.

I suspect this is one of the tough things about authority: our easily hurt feelings and our tendency to be spiteful...overly-so if wounded in our pride or heart. No wonder God is wary of allowing folks so touchy, egoistic, and prone to angry mouthing off to really feel his power. Yep, am including me...but it also seems to be a reason why many folks don't have power.

It also seems to be the reason why black magic is so powerful. Satan doesn't care if we're nasty or hurt and want to lash back. In fact, he likes that. God on the other hand, refrains from giving his power to those who are unforgiving and who aren't full of his love. Aaargh, back to the drawing board.

Actually, now that I'm talking about black magic, white magic, authority, and the like I've got to say I've been listening to a lot of lovely sermons by some lovely folks. Most of these folks would be considered pentecostal flakes by mainstream Christians, and a couple might even seem flaky by evangelical standards. But I like them. I discovered William Branham's sermons when I got the word "Watchman, what of the night?" Instead of looking in my concordance and doing a word study, I plugged the phrase into google and next thing I knew found a sermon by him with that name and a trove of his sermons. So have been listening and growing my faith.

I googled him and wow, are folks divided about him. I'm pretty wary about false prophets and I like to think I have discernment but on the other hand I also let a lotta things go. Heck, Andrew Wommack has some theology that I consider a bit wrong. Creflo Dollar too. Heck, everyone. So I'm relatively easygoing.

But other Christian folks not so much. It amazes me that folks actually create sites to slam certain ministers, folks saying Benny Hinn is false, etc. (Okay, some folks are a bit way off the Peter Popoff) But Benny isn't "that" wrong in many things. A gift needs time to be perfected, and even teachers make crappy mistakes. But it annoys me that Christian ministries waste so much time looking inward inside Christendom and blaming each other over petty small differences when the world is going toward Wicca (largest growing religion in America), Islam, and Mormonism. Folks, learn to discern and do apologetics about those groups. Not to fight about stuff like days of worship, tithing, healing, the days of miracles, etc. Time is way too short.

That said: I still am wishing the bill collector learn about what it means to be needing mercy yet not to be able to get any. *sshole! -C

Monday, February 23, 2009

Psalm 23

Psalm 23

Lately, I've been thinking about the restoration of a soul. When my mother died, I dreamed I was sitting on a rock beside a stream. Then suddenly I started laughing.

The Bible tells us that a wounded spirit who can heal. I don't know when it happens and perhaps it happens at different times in some folks' lives, but there really is a time in some folks' soul when the spirit is so wounded that the health breaks, and life seems just prone to destruction, and all is grief.

God promised he would give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...that we might be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He might be glorified.

I want to believe in utter restoration. Of soul, of body, or mind, of joy, of livelihood. I want to have joy "more than when their wine increased." Although I sow in tears, I want to reap in joy. I know it's possible. The story of Joseph says it is. But it is high...can I attain to it?

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Friendships -- giving, receiving, beginning, ending

Friendship has two elements: The need to give admiration, love, kindness to someone AND the need to receive, admiration, love, kindness from someone.

Of course we humans are imperfect. So we don't give enough love and what our friends want...and we don't receive enough love and what we need.

When one is a Christian, these two elements become more complicated. Often we get care, kindness, admiration, and love from folks who aren't Christians. When this happens we have to make a decision: are we selling our souls in order to be friends with a non-Christian. For instance, if a druggie adulterous friend can always be depended on to understand our soul more than some of our Christian friend, that is a blessing. But what if the situation is that the adulterous druggie friend makes us lax on our own behavior?

And of course there is the aspect of our friendship that involves us giving to others. Especially to others who aren't of the same faith or beliefs as our own. Are we loving them as themselves? Are we loving them in order to change them? Are we loving them because we haven't found a Christian version of them? Uhm, thoughts I'm pondering...and to tell the truth...not really sure I want the answers or what I would have to do when the answers become clear.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The last suicidal friend I will ever have

Throughout my life, I have had the most profound bad luck of having suicidal folks befriend me. Honestly, honestly! What does one do with this kind of thing? Especially if one is needy one's self? After all, the needy are often called to help the needy.

But I really cannot take it anymore. May God forgive me. It isn't the strange phone calls in the night calling to say, "I'm in the middle of nowhere and blue cars are turning into yellow cars and the radio is talking to me" that bothers me.

It is not the two to three hours wasted every morning when one receives the daily "Please talk me out of my depression" phone call or the inability to write because one is comforting a depressed person who is alone and has no one else patient enough to accept their daily call.

It is the profound inability of many of these folks to accept other folks, even the person who is attempting to comfort them. It is the continuous belligerence and touchiness.

Okay, either I am utterly utterly mistaken about who I am and have been hurting people all along...and sincerely need a wake-up call to my own cruelty and self-delusions. Or this is yet another case of someone who simply cannot see kindness in another person and who has a deep core of distrust within them for people. When one of these suicidal folks come up to me with a long list of grudges against me, it is nothing short of terrifying to think that all this time they have been misunderstanding everything one says and judging one --adding pros and cons--, always suspecting me. I am so wounded I cannot tell you how much. It makes me fear humans and all relationships. I find myself becoming a recluse again. I don't want to deal with anyone else in the world again whenever this kind of thing happens. IT hurts me in the same way the Neth review (and his subsequent habit of talking about me all over the internet) hurts me. Because it seems to be founded on lies. Seems to be. Unless I am more cruel than I thought.

And what has brought about this new bit of drama in my life? I simply could not agree with this suicidal person that a third person meant him harm. That was my crime to which I have been cast off. Honestly, I find myself avoiding all communications with people now. In real life or web life.

Now, what are we to do with this? As a Christian I do not like to give up on people. And I know many Christians who are patient with certain kinds of people. May God forgive me! I can no longer do it. I can no longer bear to be the person who wastes my morning talking a suicidal person out of the daily depression. Let them find someone else. IF this is a closing of my heart, may God have mercy on my soul! It is all too wounding for me.

Psalm 22

A great prophetic psalm about our Lord. Whenever i feel put upon in the world...poor in spirit because I am poor, I remind myself of our Lord who was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. It's good to know that others have suffered as we have. The world is full of sick and poor and destroyed people. Somehow it makes us feel less singled out for bad luck and grief. But wow! to realize that the Creator of the Universe understands suffering and bore suffering...because the world is at war with him and could not receive his goodness. That heals the soul.

Psalm 22

1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
3But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
4Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
5They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
7All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
9But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
11Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
22I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.
29All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
30A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Psalm 21

I love stories of great kings who do heroic deeds! You ought to see my playlists of Final Fantasy videos on youtube. There are a lot of legends and myths on earth. Gilgamesh, King Arthur, Narnia, etc. We humans love noble people doing noble deeds. . . and we like drama. We want heroes who are handsome, who triumph, who bring great peace and joy to oppressed people! Even in "real life" we have heroes: Parnell, Gandhi, Luther.

But because we don't really understand spiritual matters, we often don't see Christ as a great knight who conquered evil enemies. And even if we understand that...we really don't see anything romantic about it. This king has "no beauty" in Him that we might adore him. His love interest -- The Church, New Jerusalem, The Elect of Israel-- isn't really the kind of flesh and blood woman princess we see... in these legends. Sure she needs rescuing, but we really can't picture her.

And the evil folks he triumphs over? Heck, we can't see the demonic as clearly as we should. And even if we concede that he conquers sin, we're not exactly hateful toward certain sins. Heck, I try my best to hate "lust" and it's tough to hate it.

It's just tough to have soulish folks fall in love with a hero who can only be truly appreciated by those who understand spirit. And yet, what a glorious story we have!

Psalm 21

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 O LORD, the king rejoices in your strength.
How great is his joy in the victories you give!
2 You have granted him the desire of his heart
and have not withheld the request of his lips.

3 You welcomed him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.

4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
length of days, for ever and ever.

5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.

6 Surely you have granted him eternal blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

7 For the king trusts in the LORD;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.

8 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
your right hand will seize your foes.

9 At the time of your appearing
you will make them like a fiery furnace.
In his wrath the LORD will swallow them up,
and his fire will consume them.

10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
their posterity from mankind.

11 Though they plot evil against you
and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed;

12 for you will make them turn their backs
when you aim at them with drawn bow.

13 Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength;
we will sing and praise your might.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Four worship songs from my church

Four songs from church worship. Yeah, I love my Ecuadorean church

Si tuvieras fe como grano de mostaza
Eso lo dice el Senor

Tu le dirias a la montana
Muevete, muevete
Esa montana se movera, se movera, se movera

Paroles :
Esta noche nos vamos a gozar
Con Jesús el Nazareno
Invitamos al Espíritu Santo
Para que el culto se ponga bueno
Si, si, nos vamos a gozar
Con Jesús el Nazareno

This is my favorite slow song


Uhm, I've really got to get a pic of my white pit bull Hemo and my gray kitty Sheba. If I can manage to get them together. They have a very odd relationship. Love-fear. He chases her relentlessly. When he finds her he licks her all over and pins her to the ground. She sleeps in places he can't reach -- top of my computer monitor, inside the glass shelf, on the cable box.

BUT... in the mornings, he comes to our bed and she arrives -- all this is in the dark, mind you-- and she kneads and massages him!!!!! Is she bribing him? Who knows? They seem to like each other -- he gets very upset when she's outside throwing herself at the door in order to be let in, and she always looks out the window at him when he goes outside-- but I guess she knows how to live with a bully.

Psalm 20

My favorite verse in this psalm is verse 7: Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

This is a lot like what I said yesterday about
There's a great verse in the Bible: Strengthen not yourself in the things of Egypt. Loose translation: Don't trust the false way to save you. When we get sick, instead of turning to the Bible we go to the internet to research our conditions and the world's (Egypt's) cures.

The name of the Lord is powerful. But truly, how many of God's people really trust in it?

Psalm 20

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.

3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.

6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

9 O LORD, save the king!
Answer [a] us when we call!


Psalm 20:9 Or save / O King, answer

An uncertain sound

The lord states, "If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?"

That's how it is with the idea of miracles, healing, and salvation in the modern Christian church. The church as a whole makes a lot of uncertain sounds. When you have some Christian churches saying it's too Christocentric to trust in Christ as the only savior of the world, or when you have some Christian churches saying the days of miracles are past, or when you have some Christian churches saying some particular sin is not really a sin but a genetic issue or even a "blessing" then how can folks battle?


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Watchman, what of the night?

Is there anything more perplexing than to wake up with a Bible phrase in one's mind out of the blue? I woke up with "Watchman, what of the night?"

So, here I sit, trying to figure out what the Holy Spirit is saying to me. I suppose I could go look at my concordance and spend the entire day looking up verses with watchmen, watchman, watchers. Or I could do an internet search. Dang! I'm so lazy today. But okay... maybe I'll do it.

Okay, here's something from PBMinistries The sermon is from 1750. One has to be in the mood for sermons like this...utterly different rhetorical style.

Then there's this

Then there's this interesting blog post on race and the elections

But the one I really liked is this, a sermon from 1958. Yeah, the best of sermons are eternal and universal.

Now, I have to go think what the heck I'm being told to do.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

But will God restore?

I hadn't really thought of God as a restorer until the health and financial issues started attacking our family. I know the Bible says He is a restorer. Now I'm in a place of really trying to believe it. The concept is overwhelming. One staggers under the weight of it? Will God restore? Health? Life? Joy? Money? Love? All?

Hubby and I have gone through the ringer. For us, life is a kind of holding on. Do I dare dream?

There are many Christians out there who will say things like, "Don't expect too much, though. God wants you to learn." These are not Christians I want near me. I know God wants me to learn. But these Christians who so readily tell me to hold on could not could not could not have gone through what hubby and I have gone through and what we go through daily daily daily. But they look at me as if I'm weak. Honestly, there marriages would have broken long ago under the strain of racist mother-in-law, financial debt, sickly continually weeping crying child (for 18 years), and sickly sleepless gone-to-fat wife. So when they come with their platitudes I just don't say anything.

There's a great verse in the Bible: Strengthen not yourself in the things of Egypt. Loose translation: Don't trust the false way to save you. When we get sick, instead of turning to the Bible we go to the internet to research our conditions and the world's (Egypt's) cures. With stuff like autism and sleep disorders, I can see why Jesus said "the gospel is preached to the poor." It's not just that one needs a heck of a lot of money but that one needs a heck of a lot of money to go to nutritionists, house repairers and mod removers (to get rid of the mold), immunologists, allergists, internists, MRI specialists, neurologists, (Yep, the body is complicated and it's never ever only one thing that goes wrong when the body suffers under the weight of the sin of the world), health food stores, specialized supplements...etc. So then we are left with so much to fix, and so little money to fix it with, and so much guesswork on the part of the fixers. Only God can restore. Only from him can the free gift of restoration of health and life come.

When John asked Jesus about another disciple's life, Jesus said to John, "What business if that of yours? Follow me." We are told often to look unto Jesus. That means not to think about how God works in other folks' lives to compare what may or may not happen in ours. I have watched too many Christian interviews (nonfiction) and secular movies (fiction) where I see folks trusting in God and God miserably disappointing them. I grew up on this stuff. How to trust God when this image works always in the mind, and even modern Christianity is prone to telling us that we probably won't get our answers because well God knows better or we don't have enough faith etc. (And, once again, it's the ministers who are supposed to be having faith, not the parishioners, but that's another post.)The Lord told us to take heed how we hear. I am trying so hard to uproot all the negative seeds this culture has taught me.

But dare I dream? Christianity over the ages has taught many of its adherents to edge their bets: they have taught us not to dream. They tell us suffering is good. I really don't want much. Just a kind of normal life with sleep at night -- am writing this while on a bout of 8 days with absolutely no sleep. Just a normal life with a child who isn't continually in pain. That's all I'm asking, Lord. Be a restorer unto me, my God, because I have loved you so very much...and never, ever, ever have I thought of leaving or forsaking you. Look on my tears o Lord and do not fail me, oh my God, my only God. Remember how much I have loved you and do not let my enemies -- sickness, despair, poverty, confusion-- triumph over me. -C

On Valentine's Day in 1981 I met my sweet husband

Happy Valentine's Day! I said this poem to my sweet wonderful hubby on our wedding day. And yeah, we met on Valentine's day 1981

Psalm 19

This is a great psalm. It echoes so many other passages of Scripture but it's really compact here. For instance, The Preacher writes in Ecclesiastes that the Lord has placed eternity in our hearts. And Paul writes in Romans, that man knows in his spirit that there is a God. We are told here that everything in Creation talks about God. Not just talk, mind you...but praises!

This means that the end of all knowledge will lead to God. Astronomers who know their stuff should end up knowing about God; same thing with those who speak the language of oceanography, biology, physics, chemistry, anatomy, etc.

All of Creation rejoices in the duties the Lord of the Universe has given it. Even the sun!

Then he talks about another way in which we can know God: God's word, the Bible, the law of God. This is a very succinct version of Psalm 119, a very long psalm which talks about the greatness of God's word.

My favorite verse in psalm 19 is the last one: It is one of my most heartfelt prayers. I want all my thoughts to be worthy of God -- to be about his love, his power, his faithfulness, his kindness, his holiness, his mercy. I want all my words to be like the rest of declare God's power and love in my life and to not speak as if God is not alive and working in our lives.

Psalm 19

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard. [a]

4 Their voice [b] goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.

11 By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.

13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer


Psalm 19:3 Or They have no speech, there are no words; / no sound is heard from them
Psalm 19:4 Septuagint, Jerome and Syriac; Hebrew line

Friday, February 13, 2009

Psalm of Life by Longfellow

Appropriate Responses

Okay, I'm actually getting better at speaking up. Yay!!!!!!

I actually had a little disagreement with my Arab friend about Jesus. Okay, I've known her for about 18 years and I finally manage to speak up...but better late than never. I didn't push it as far as she did. But I'm okay. I mean, when an Arab person says "there is no proof that Jesus rose from the dead," I should be bold enough to say, "There is no proof that all the nations that were Syria, Egypt, Arabia, Lybia who existed before Abraham, somehow all disappeared and now ALL the Arabs are descended from Abraham? What happened to all the non-Ishmaelite peoples of the mid-east?" I wanted to say, "The Bible says the world would be blessed through the Jews. Jews are 5% of 1% of the world's population yet 20% of the world's nobel prize winners are Jewish. We have Einstein, Schweitzer, even Marx (although he was a baddie) affecting the world because God has blessed the Jews as people who will bless the world. Where are the great Arab scientists who have blessed the world with medical science, etc? If you are God's chosen people, how have you blessed the world with your knowledge?" I wanted to say, "Since you believe that Allah rules all things, and all that happens is Allah's will, and the Jewish Bible and Christian Bible are all corrupted, why not accept the fact that Allah is working through Christians and Jews and Allah allowed the corruption...since he controls all?" But nooo, I was a wuss. I just hate treating nasty folks nastily and giving tit for tat. Dang, I hate arguing. And the only thing nastier and meaner than a Moslem out to mock a Christian is a Mormon out to mock a Christian. (Yeah, I know...two religions whose prophets who had angels give them the "real" uncorrupted books from heaven.")

Now, must move on to friend who keeps using the name of my beloved Lord as a curse word. "Jesus H Christ!" "Jesus F*cking Christ" etc. Okay, I've got to say something. Back in the day, about 22 years ago, a woman at St Peter's Episcopalian church -- a very sweet older welsh woman-- said that whenever someone uses our lord's name as a curse she gently bends toward them and says, "Oh, excuse me, are you praying?" Okay, even then I thought that was a great answer. And I've always thought I would use it. But, yeah, wuss that I am...I have never used it. Yep, I've allowed folks who know I'm a Christian to do this and I've not stepped up. But now that I've gotten all brave and all, maybe I'll step up. Note the word "maybe" (Yeah, I'm still a wuss.) I find myself thinking of their possible retorts/comebacks. I mean, if they look dumb-founded and vaguely guilty, then that's cool. I've escaped unscathed. But what if they say, "No, I'm not praying. I ain't religious and everyone uses Jesus' name as a curse name." Then what an I supposed to do, then? Do I say, "okay, then, I'll say F***ing Mohammed!" That would only get me clobbered. I could say, "Well, that's the name of someone I love very much. If you aren't praying to him, I'd prefer you not use it near me." I suppose I could say that...but I am such a wimp. Honestly, I can't see myself answering. Then I'd leave the situation feeling like a fool and telling myself it's all my fault for standing up in the first place.

I have had a minor victory, though. YAY!!!! An agnostic Australian friend asked me what sign I was. I responded, "It doesn't matter what sign I was born under; I was born again under the sign of the cross." IT went very well. She thought it was funny and said something like, "Oh, yeah, you're Christian."

So I'm not as wussy as I used to be. Never let the sun go down on your wrath. I can't do much about my extreme quietness in the past but I can at least step up. Even if I can't defend myself against jerks, I just don't want to let anyone insult my lord.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Intimate Issues Blog Tour

Intimate Issues answers the twenty-one questions about sex most frequently asked by Christian wives, as determined by a nationwide poll of over one thousand women. Written from the perspective of two mature Christian wives and Bible teachers–women who you’ll come to know as teachers and friends–Intimate Issues is biblical and informative: sometimes humorous, other times practical, but always honest. Through its solid teaching warm testimonials, scriptural insights, and experts’ advice, you’ll find resolution for your questions and fears, surprising insights about God’s perspective on sex, and a variety of practical and creative ideas for enhancing your physical relationship with the husband you love.

With warmth and wisdom, authors Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus speak woman to woman: examining the teachings of Scripture, exposing the lies of the world, and offering real hope that every woman’s marriage relationship can become all it was intended to be in God’s design.

Dang! I have to review this book for a tour and I find myself having a hard time reading it. Why? you may ask. Shouldn't I be totally happy that Christians are trying to tackle sex and marital issues surrounding sex? Well, honestly, I really have a tough time listening to Christians telling me advice on anything. Perhaps it's the know-it-all way many have, perhaps it's their way of generalizing and reducing everything to a sin, perhaps it's their American Christian way of thinking about stuff based on wrong interpretations. Perhaps I just have bitterness issues. But I'll be reading this book rolling my eyes and hoping to be pleasantly surprised. (Yeah, i know...i sound as if I hate Christians.) Truly, though, if I weren't a Christian and if it weren't for some of the nice Christians I've met, I wouldn't really deal with Christians. They scare me. Why?, you ask. Because there is an addiction to propriety and American standards and class behavior that they often mistake for Christianity. Okay, okay, another post. For the nonce, let me just think of this book.

I'll have the review for this up at blogcritics soon. Honestly, it takes a lot of energy for me to read Christian advice on sex. Yeah, i know... but ...well, I'll deal with it after I've read the book. Maybe it'll be nothing like what I fear it is.



So the big question: Does Christian fiction, fiction self-help books, Christian movies, Christian music equal cringeworthy? Unfortunately for me they do. Or maybe I'm just overly-prone to cringing. Will see.

More and more I find myself liking Asian Rock

I am so loving Jpop (Japanese pop) and Kpop (Korean pop)

Why can't so many Christian songs have this pain-filled longing? I mean I think of Evanescence and there's a longing there that doesn't sound pre-fab. It touches the soul and has the quality of a prayer...even if... That's how I feel about Kokia. As for DBSK...well they're a cute boy band. Nice song. Nice bodies.

The first is Chouwa Oto -- With Reflection by Kokia

Translated Lyrics and transliteration here

This is Kawaranai Koto -- since 1976

Daiji na mono wa mabuta no ura

Translation from jpop lyric translation

Order is original Japanese, romaji, and English.
Anata no mae ni nani ga mieru?
Irotoridori miryoku afureru sekai?
Daiji na mono wa mabuta no ura
Koushite tojireba mietekuru
What can you see in front of you?
A world overflowing with multicolored charms?
The most important things lie behind your eyelids.
Just close your eyes, and you will see.
大事なものは目蓋の裏から そうして大事に覚えてる
Tenmetsu shiteru hikari no naka demo anata dake wa kienakattta
Daiji na mono wa mabuta no ura kara, soushite daiji ni oboeteru
You, in the flashing light, were the only one who didn't disappear
The most important things lie behind your eyelids, remember that.
私はここよ ここに居るの
眠ってはだめ 眠ってはだめよ
虚ろな目がまばたきを始める  夢を見るにはまだ早いわ・・・
Watashi wa koko yo koko ni iru no
Atsui kumo ga sugu soko made kiteru wa
Nemutte wa dame nemutte wa dame yo
Utsuro na me ga mabataki wo hajimeru yume wo miru ni wa mada hayai wa. . .
I'm here, I'm here.
The warm clouds are coming closer
Don't sleep, don't sleep.
Your vacant eyes begin to twinkle it's still too early to dream. . .
結局全ては信じること 離れることで近くなった
絆も今ははっきり見える 私だけが知ってる場所がある
Kekkokyu subete wa shinjiru koto hanareru koto de chikaku natta
Kizuna mo ima wa hakkiri mieru watashi dake ga shitteru basho ga aru
Everything you believe in gets closer
I can see what holds me back clearly now there's a place only I know of
大事なものは目蓋の裏から 夢じゃない 今すぐに見つかる大事な場所
Daiji na mono wa mabuta no ura kara yume ja nai ima sugu ni mitsukaru daiji na basho
Because the most important things are behind your eyelids it's not a dream I've just found the most important place
私はここよ ここに居るの
黙ってはだめ 黙ってはだめよ
Watashi wa koko yo koko ni iru no
Ichiwa no tori ga ko wo egaite yuku wa
Damatte wa dame damatte wa dame yo
Yume no tsudzuki wa sono me de mireba ii
I'm here, I'm here.
A bird arcs across the sky.
Don't be quiet, don't be quiet!
Just watch the dream go on and on.
迷子の私は出口を捜して 我ム者ラに茨を歩く
Maigo no watashi wa deguchi wo sagashite gamushara ni ibara wo aruku
Nagareru kono chi wa afureta kanjou
Doushite konna ni asetteiru no?
I search, lost, for the exit I tread recklessly on thorns
The streaming blood is my overflowing emotions.
Why am I in such a hurry?
私はここよ ここに居るの
眠ってはだめ 眠ってはだめよ
Watashi wa koko yo koko ni iru no
Atsui kumo ga sugu soko made kiteru wa
Nemutte wa dame nemutte wa dame yo
Utsuro na me ga mabataki wo hajimeru yume wo miru ni wa mada hayai wa. . .
I'm here, I'm here.
The warm clouds are coming closer
Don't sleep, don't sleep.
Your vacant eyes begin to twinkle it's still too early to dream. . .
私はここよ ここに居るの
逝ってはダメよ 逝ってはダメよ
楽園なんてどこにもないわ 最後は目蓋を閉じる時・・・
Watashi wa koko yo koko ni iru no
Ichiwa no tori ga ko wo egaite yuku wa
Itte wa dame yo itte wa dame yo
Rakuen nante doko ni mo nai wa saigo wa mabuta wo tojiru toki. . .
I'm here, I'm here.
A bird arcs across the sky.
Don't die, don't die!
Paradise disappears when you close your eyes for the last time. . .
Gomen nante ayamaru watashi wo yurushite. . .shiawase ni ochiteyuku
Forgive me. . .and be happy

This is DBSK, a Korean boy band, singing Mirotic

This Noona, by Shine, a boy band

Translations for this are on the right column in youtube if you want to listen to it.
It begins like Noona you are so pretty,
Boys won't leave you alone
Honestly, I know your shaking feelings
To you I know this love is one moment, one feeling
But no matter what is said, this is my life's everything

Maybe you are worried about my young age
But look into my eyes, what is it telling you?
and I think I'm gonna hate it girl
if the end comes
Your heart will tell you, regardless of what others say

Say Not, "The Struggle Naught Availeth"

Psalm 18

Psalm 18

My favorite verse in this psalm is verse 19: He rescued me because he delighted in me. Wow, to think that God delights in one!

Okay, I think God delights in me. First, because he created me. I'm a creator in my own way. I write stories and create characters. I love those characters. They delight me. In their own way, they are alive to me...but they live in another world. Not the world of flesh, not the world of spirit. I delight in them. So he delights in me as an object of creation.

But I also think God delights in me in a special unique way, with a love he has only for me. I'm an oddball. He likes oddballs. I've been an outcast. The God of the Bible has a thing for outcasts. We're pals. I think he likes me because I choose to hang out with him a lot. (Okay, I don't hang out with him as much as I should...but it's something.)

Will he deliver me because he delights in me? I try to hope for that. It's a great promise...and I kinda fall into one part of the verse. Maybe I'll fall into the other.

For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn [a] of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

5 The cords of the grave [b] coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.

7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.

8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.

9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.

10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.

12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded. [c]

14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.

15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.

21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I have not done evil by turning from my God.

22 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.

23 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.

24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,

26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.

27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.

28 You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.

29 With your help I can advance against a troop [d] ;
with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.

31 For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God?

32 It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.

33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.

34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.

36 You broaden the path beneath me,
so that my ankles do not turn.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.

38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.

39 You armed me with strength for battle;
you made my adversaries bow at my feet.

40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.

41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the LORD, but he did not answer.

42 I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind;
I poured them out like mud in the streets.

43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations;
people I did not know are subject to me.

44 As soon as they hear me, they obey me;
foreigners cringe before me.

45 They all lose heart;
they come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!

47 He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,

48 who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from violent men you rescued me.

49 Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD;
I will sing praises to your name.

50 He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.


Psalm 18:2 Horn here symbolizes strength.
Psalm 18:5 Hebrew Sheol
Psalm 18:13 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 2 Samuel 22:14 most Hebrew manuscripts resounded, / amid hailstones and bolts of lightning
Psalm 18:29 Or can run through a barricade

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Leadings, but leading to what

Okay, so there I was in bed praying for younger son and my mind starts wandering. I always believe it's a good thing for the mind to wander in prayer. That is often how Holy Spirit talks to leading our minds to something.

So there I am praying away and affirming the word and praying in the spirit when suddenly someone I truly dislike appears SMASH in my mind. I truly dislike this girl. She has caused me a great deal of grief because she has a big mouth that always says what she thinks and I am very quiet. This kind of friendship is often dangerous because the talkative judgmental person talks and talks and is utterly unaware that her quiet friend is hurt and angry. So, for future reference, if you are a black woman with a big mouth and you have a quiet easygoing friend, never assume she isn't mad at you...even if she says so. Also, if you are a quiet person, for future reference, never befriend a talkative person who says everything that comes to her head. It might not work out.

So I say to God, "Lord, you have to be kidding! Why are you bringing this woman to my mind? I haven't seen her in about three years! I haven't thought about her in years! Do I have to forgive her? Do I have to pray for her?" NONE OF WHICH I ACTUALLY WANTED TO DO.

So I kinda do the big thing -- in my wimpy non-committed way-- and I say, "Well, if this woman is in any kind of trouble, Lord help her. And I forgive her --yet again!-- for her assholey behavior toward me. I'm sorry, Lord, but that's all I can do at the moment."

So this morning I'm walking around feeling furious cause I'm remembering all the things this woman said that I never challenged, and all the negative things she said. Gonna be spending the entire day attempting to forgive her. And also asking God to free me from all the negative stuff she tosses my way. People DO curse you. . . with their comments about your future and what will happen to you and it's very hard to deal with those types.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Discernment needed

Had a wonderful night two nights ago with the Lord. First the day started yesterday with my friend Jessica and me talking about Christian delusion. Then a blogger talking about Oprah and christian deception. Last night hubby comes to bed and talks about some Christian minister apologeticists who used to debate a moslem cleric and who converted to islam after they spoke to him. This moslem cleric died after being unable to speak for the last ten years of his life.

So we got to talking about Christian deception and how many deceptions there are in the world and that we live in a world where we have to be so careful. I mean... Mary Baker Eddy was sick and invalid. She read her Bible every day. (Good so far) Realized there was power in the word of God (Good so far) Realized there was power in the world of spirit (Good so far.) Got healed. (Good so far.) Then she started saying Matter didn't really exist. (Tumbled over into deception.) In these last days, and throughout history the gospels and Jesus Christ have been attacked through counterfeits because one only attacks the real thing. I mean, why is the name of Jesus used as a curse word when folks don't use Mohammed, Buddha, or Moses as a curse word? Because Jesus is the son of God and the world is at war with God.

So then I told hubby my dream about the words "Come Closer." And as we spoke about the dream, the Lord just entered the room. The holy spirit just totally took over. Even more than he usually does. The first dream is about my two churches. In my dream there was a feast and both churches were there but they wouldn't eat each other's food...only food they were used to. I'm a bit of an ambassadorial type so I always go to places where I'm the only black person or the only Christian or whatever. And said to hubby that I think God is telling me that that is why he wants me at that church to make these two churches come together. But even so, I do have my tendency to be reclusive. (Yeah, i know...counter-phobic personality. I'm a totally nervous person who tends to be shy but I always go to places where I feel isolated cause I'm the only one of my kind there.) I felt the lord was telling me that my tendency to not include myself in certain festivities isn't helping the purppose to which I'm called.

But then the lord showed me what the "Come Closer" portion of the dream means. And He used something happening in my life to show His point. I'm always complaining that older son has this tunnel vision about what he intends to do and I have so much to tell him. For instance, the latest disagreement with older son was about taxes. I said, "I want to show you how to do taxes so that even if you never again do taxes in the future you will understand what is behind it." HE said, "Please just do my taxes." I said, "No." Next thing you know, he took all his records and went off. I said, "IF you get a tax preparer to do it, you'll have to pay them our of your refund. Then if you have a rush to get your money back and ask for a prepayment card, what you're really doing is taking a loan from them on your extended return and giving them additional money." Did child listen to me?

I felt God saying to me, "This is the way it is with you and me. You see what you want, just as your son sees what he wants. You want healing for you and your son, your son wants his money fast for tuition or whatever. But you want to tell him about the world so he can handle the taxes better. I want to tell you about my purpose for your life -- after your son is healed, after you are healed, and about things you don't that the healed life will fall into my plan better. But you are so focused on what you need--and I know you need it, and I will give it to you-- that you don't see the whole picture."

It was totally wonderful. He keeps telling me he has a plan for my life that I don't really comprehend yet but like my son I am trying to use my limited knowledge. Which I shouldn't. As the Bible says, "It is not in man who walks to know his path." We need someone ahead, above. I can't explain how wonderful it all was. I mean, I know God is always with me...but sometimes it feels as if his glory is also present and in super-abundance... my entire body was on fire.

I told him I was open and he could tell me anything and everything because I am like a child, just like my son... I don't know as much about the world or the future as He does. -C

Psalm 17

Psalm 17

A prayer of David.

1 Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea;
listen to my cry.
Give ear to my prayer—
it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 May my vindication come from you;
may your eyes see what is right.

3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night,
though you test me, you will find nothing;
I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

4 As for the deeds of men—
by the word of your lips
I have kept myself
from the ways of the violent.

5 My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.

6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me;
give ear to me and hear my prayer.

7 Show the wonder of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.

8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings

9 from the wicked who assail me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.

10 They close up their callous hearts,
and their mouths speak with arrogance.

11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.

12 They are like a lion hungry for prey,
like a great lion crouching in cover.

13 Rise up, O LORD, confront them, bring them down;
rescue me from the wicked by your sword.

14 O LORD, by your hand save me from such men,
from men of this world whose reward is in this life.
You still the hunger of those you cherish;
their sons have plenty,
and they store up wealth for their children.

15 And I—in righteousness I will see your face;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Not something from nothing

I'm always whining about Christian misinformation, especially the stuff that is glibly tossed about.

Okay, latest whine...and although it seems like a small thing to whinge about, to me it's pretty big. And it's this: NOWHERE but NOWHERE in the Bible does it say that God creates something from nothing. I challenge any Christian to find anything like this in the Bible. So when some Christian comes and tells me "Don't worry, God can make something out of Nothing," I just want to scream.

The Bible tells us that God makes the visible from the invisible. Hebrews 11 He makes large trees from small seeds. Often large physical results from small spiritual seeds. But NEVER ever does he make something out of nothing.

This is an important point because it shows that pretty much folks simply do not believe or understand or work with the spiritual world. Would we really be so perplexed about certain Bible sections if we really understood that God is spirit, God works by and through spirit, God gives spirit. For instance, St Paul said, "we have the mind of Christ." We might say we don't have the mind of Christ. Or we might get all legalistic about showing others that we have the mind of Christ. But all that shows is that we don't get it. Same thing for God has given us authority and power. Same thing for "By his wounds we are healed." Same thing for a husband and wife are one in Christ. We simply don't understand spiritual things.

A seventh day adventist friend said to me once after my mother died, "your mother's dead. I mean, there's nothing left. She's dead." This is a very religious woman, mind you but she doesn't believe the spirit of my mother is in heaven. She believes that when my mother's body died, her spirit went to sleep and is pretty much non-existent. Come on! We are spirit. That is the primary part of us, that is what rules us. It's our spirit that comes first.

Many Christians really don't believe in the demonic, or in speaking to a sickness, or in the power of the Word of God. Why not? They don't understand spirit. But God says His word is living. Jesus said His words are spirit and they are life.

How can we fight the good fight of faith when faith deals with things of the spirit and we don't know what spirit is?

A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days

Here's the Blurb:

A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days (Book)
by Rabbi Jonathan Bernis
What if what you've been told about the Last Days is wrong?

The mark of the beast. Gog and Magog. 666. A confederation of ten nations. The antichrist's ascendancy to power. The abomination of desolation. Christians have become almost obsessed with trying to unravel the Bible's mysterious prophecies about such things.

Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Bernis brings fresh and extraordinary insight into Bible prophecy. in his brand new book, A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days! Through this book you will gain clear insight into the way Bible prophecies are being fulfilled in our day! You will explore the answers to these questions...

What is the surprising link between Israel, the Jewish people, and the return of the Messiah?
What is meant by "the fullness of the Gentiles?"
Why are "Replacement" and "Dual Covenant" theologies Satan's tools to disrupt the return of Messiah?
Why is Israel's salvation the Key to WORLD Redemption?
How can you fulfill your God-given Calling and Destiny in these "End Times?"
And more!

Most end-time Bible teachers forecast a future of DOOM and GLOOM! But this book declares that God's best is yet to come a time of supernatural healing, deliverance, miracles and Signs and Wonders!

It's also on CD

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Weekend Movie Viewing: Regained Innocence

So what did I watch over the weekend? Akeelah and the Bee and High School Fantasy! Don't laugh. Wow, they were innocent and sweet and fun. I had totally forgotten I had this incredibly cheesy side of me that loved stuff like this.

Akeelah is about a smart black elementary school kid with a hispanic kinda boyfriend (but they're kids so it's very sweet and innocent) and a tough semi-bitter worried mom. Akeelah has a gift for spelling but she's in Crenshaw -- the hood-- and well, yadda yadda. The thing is predictable as heck but nonetheless very nice and fits into the sports/underdog/my hometown believes in me kinda flick. The formula kinda got to me sometimes but on the whole i loved it.

Then there was High School Fantasy! I watched this because honestly Scifi channel has been repeating itself way too often. One would think the channel had money to buy more flicks. Or would schedule themselves better. In this one, jock hottie and geekie hottie-ess join together to sing with evil villainess teenaged brother and sisters fighting them. So sweet, this flick. And my fave song was Status Quo. I think I watched this also because I have seen so many parodies of that status quo dance scene that I figured I should just go ahead and watch the thing. Way neat.

Psalm 16

This is the first time we come to the word "miktam"
A miktam means something permanent, pictures that are steadfast and unmovable. It also means something made of gold, something hidden, or a great teaching. Wow, think about that. As a creative type I would so love to consider my works to be something golden, permanent, so classically true and well-wrought that it tells a permanent truth and is permanently in the canon.

When I read this psalm I connected it with David and therefore with the usual believer and his trials, but then the psalm turns into a prophetic statement spoken by God's chosen in that he declares his body will not see corruption.

My husband has been meditating on the beautiful verse, "I have a goodly inheritance." Sometimes we don't see that. But by faith we we can fight the good fight.

Psalm 16

A miktam of David. [a]

1 Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing."

3 As for the saints who are in the land,
they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight. [b]

4 The sorrows of those will increase
who run after other gods.
I will not pour out their libations of blood
or take up their names on my lips.

5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,

10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, [c]
nor will you let your Holy One [d] see decay.

11 You have made [e] known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


Psalm 16:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
Psalm 16:3 Or As for the pagan priests who are in the land / and the nobles in whom all delight, I said:
Psalm 16:10 Hebrew Sheol
Psalm 16:10 Or your faithful one
Psalm 16:11 Or You will make

Jericho and the Power of Sound Waves

Uhm, got to thinking about the walls of Jericho. Lord knows why. Unless God wants me to do a Jericho walk around the house.

But I often wonder about the science of sound and vibration. Is it possible that the footsteps of a million or so people walking around a city in silence for seven days, and then the seventh day walking around it seven times and then finally a loud shout and horns blowing...could so affect the foundations of a city? I mean...God knows the science and power of sound and vibrations, doesn't he? I mean, Faith and the invisible being the source of the visible is very quantum physics. So God knows that...

Why then shouldn't he know and understand sound waves and how to use them to level the foundation of a city? Just a thought.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

What if Starbucks marketed like a Church

Arrived at this video by way of Otium Sanctum

How To Hear God's Voice by Mark Virkler

How To Hear God's Voice by Mark Virkler

Here's the blurb:
How to Hear God's Voice is a practical book, clearly training Christians how to experience dialogue with God. Teaching the use of vision, intuitive heart flow and journaling, this book will bring you to the place where you can daily record what the Lord is saying to you.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Destiny Image Publishers (January 1, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 076842318X
ISBN-13: 978-0768423181

Here's a great article that synopsizes the book

Here is the amazon link

For the sake of balance, here is an article by a Christian guy against Mark's book. I don't much believe his take on this but hey... i'm being fair.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Psalm 15

In Psalm 14, we are told that the fool has said in his heart there is no God. We are further told that such people are corrupt. Strangely, my atheist friends tend to say they are good people and they don't need some supernatural being or some old book to make them good. Of course, just because one is a Christian doesn't make one good either. We are all corrupt. God is love and we are made in His image so we are love. And yet, we have perversions of love: elitism, clannishness, etc. God is just and we are made in His image so what do we do? We become vengeful, spiteful, judgmental toward others, excusing toward our own sins and the sins of our friends.

In Psalm 15 we are shown that God has standards. These are standards that few people, especially my atheist friends, can really live up to. I look at these sins and I feel relatively safe. St Paul tells us "if we are to judge ourselves, we will never be judged." So I look at these sins and if I look into the mirror of God's word I'll have to admit that my walk is not blameless. True, I don't slander on my tongue. At least I don't think I do. The word that trips me up here is the word "these." He who does "these things" will never be moved, will be able to ascend into God's holy hill. The implied word is "all." He who does "all these things" will be blameless before the Lord. So I can't get away with a half-baked holiness. It's all or nothing. As Isaiah says, "all our righteousness are as filthy rags!" The Lord is aware of our utter inability to be perfect. This is why he sent the Blameless One, Our Sweet Lord Jesus, to save us from our sins, to redeem our lives from destruction, to give us back the dominion, authority, and power that is truly the birthright of a Son (or Daughter) of Man.

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart

3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,

4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,

5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.

The Sacrifice of Praise

The Sacrifice of Praise

So there I was – or rather, here I am—three whole days and nights without sleep and feeling faint and nauseated. I know, I know…it really is all my fault. I went off my regimen and I wasn’t as good about water. And bingo! The thing comes back with a vengeance. And then there’s younger son who’s been battling an autism headache for about five weeks.

So I’m looking up at the ceiling of our bedroom wondering if I should wake the beloved for sex so I can get two minutes sleep. If that. Then I got to thinking. Which is always a bad idea. I think about stuff when I should be sleeping. And the mind just won’t stop. So I think about having two husbands and what that would imply. Cause I’m working on my present novel but also cause honestly, having two husbands would be kinda fun. Then I think about the difference between Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, and the Mormon Heavenly Father. So I start listing. Yahweh co-labors with his people. The Bible is a collaboration with man. God even allows man to use the street language of the Greek empire to write the New Testament and even uses Paul’s petulance. YHVH loves humans and allows all his prophets to be themselves. Heck he even allows himself to be made powerless in certain situations unless human faith is applied to the situation. And of course He says He is love and that He is our Father. Allah doesn’t call himself love. In fact Allah is offended if we try to anthropomorphize him because he is beyond all that petty small human stuff. And of course his book, the Koran, fell perfectly formed with all its errors (In some sections it seems as if Mohammed believes Mary/Miriam Jesus mother was the sister of Moses. And he states that Alexander the Great was a great holy man who lived a long life because he was blessed by Allah. Not to mention places where it contradicts itself.) Then there is Buddha. A rich prince who lives in wealth and peace then has a nervous breakdown when he realizes how crappy life is for everyone else. Then reaches enlightenment and learns to accept that sorrows exist in the world…while he continues his good life. To be fair, though, Buddha doesn’t go around saying he is Creator. Just enlightened. So he really should be compared to the Son of Man (although Jesus is also co-Creator). At least Jesus grew up poor and connects to the poor and develops a theology of conquering evil, sin, sickness, death, demons. As opposed to rich stressed prince who tells us to accept and submit to evil and to aim for inner purity because our next life will be better or we will disappear into nothingness so it doesn’t really matter. Mercifully, Jesus promises us that we will keep our personality, and all the wonderful things we love as humans. Then there is the Mormon Heavenly Father who was once a man on another planet and grew to godhead then had sex with Mary (okay, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and the oldtimey Mormons believed this). But honestly, Heavenly Father is a God who vacillates, changes his mind, and just plain changes.

So then I got to thinking about writing a children’s book about two princes or two boys who both grow up. One having a life like Jesus and the other having a life like Buddha. Maybe I’ll call it Joshua and Bodie. And all the while I’m sleepy and nauseated and just can’t sleep. And in between I’m thinking of having two husbands. And all the time I hear younger son crying in his room as he has cried for 18 years of his life.

Then the alarm goes off and younger son comes to our room but not before he kicks the walls and some more plaster falls off. There are portions to our house where all you see is the wooden slats and the studs because a certain person is in pain and aggressively has to kick something or someone. So husband and I get up and look at each other and there is this wink of joy to each other and we start smiling at each other. Smiling and somewhat on the verge of laughing!!!! Now, isn’t this the grace of God? Sometimes our life is so odd and so weird --and it has been like this for so long—that we just end up laughing. I tell the beloved, I am so glad you are the one who are my husband! Weird life as it is, stressing and sad as it is, it certainly is an interesting experience.

Then I force myself to get out of bed because younger son drags me out of bed and kicking me and beating me up…as if dragging me out of bed and kicking me is gonna cure that headache. I start whining and getting weepy and saying how crappy and nauseated I feel. And husband starts singing. So what do I do? I join in. We start singing. Marantha songs, old-timey campmeeting, Anglican hymns, songs we’ve made up over the years. Sick and crappy though I was I waltzed through the house singing. That’s what the Bible calls the sacrifice of praise. I sang about the blood of Jesus and his victory over death. And I meant it too!

I totally believe in the sacrifice of praise. When I had older son I got the worst case of post-partum depression. Just this overwhelming fear of death and panic. It was awful. But one day I got so tired of it I got up in the middle of the night feeling so fearful and anxious and I sang my little heart out. And the sorrow just left. It’s been a fun morning. I sang and I sang. I know something happened in the spiritual realm because of all that singing. God’s word, the Bible, says something happens when we give the sacrifice of praise. And I believe God. And again I say, if I had to live this weird kind of life, there is no husband who has been a better match for this unplanned journey than the beloved.

Great is the Lord who enables us to fight the fight one day at a time, one hour at a time. I love him sooo much. -C

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Weekend Movie Viewing: Reality TV shows and authority

I saw the latest episode of Confessions of a Teen Idol on VH1 and got really annoyed with Scott Baio's assessment that Eric went out into a world with an uncertain future because he couldn't deal with the requirements of fame. I thought, "Puhleze, Scott, stop the bullshit! The guy has integrity and maybe that's not his destiny to be famous!" It really annoyed me. He seemed so pretensious. I don't think I should watch this anymore.

Then saw COPs and as usual found myself more on the side of the criminals than on the side of the COPS. I just can't hate or mock or scorn these crack addicts or petty criminals. Life is hard and some cops have authority issues.

Actually, i think I spent much of the weekend really remembering my issues with authority. There was a marathon of a TV reality show called The Principal's office. So we meet kids and the principals and the troubles. Some of the principals were great, some annoyed the heck outta me. I truly believe that we should respect teachers. Cause I was a teaching assistant back in the day and I understand how rude kids can be. But honestly, after one has grown up one realizes that there are some very nutty folks out there who have become teachers. Folks with a desire to pick on others, folks with mental problems. And as I watched the show, all this anger came up against folks who had taken advantage of others through the use of their age, job, positions in life. And then the part of me who likes the under-dog, the broken hearted, etc.

I just got so annoyed. Hey, it'll help me understand and reconnect with Maharai and Psal. It's as if I'm finally realizing what I'm writing about. And the story is finally showing me what my own unhealed issues are.

Was it Ian Fleming who said if he hadn't invented James Bond he would've been a criminal? I think I wreite beause I'm a wimpy bitter revolutionary.

The prophets in the Bible care about the oppressed, the weak, the poor, the broken-hearted, those abused by power. I so wish Christianity had stayed with this instead of worshiping power and authority.

Luke 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. Luke 1:52-54 (in Context) Luke 1

Ecclesiastes 4:1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. Ecclesiastes 4:1-3 (in Context) Ecclesiastes 4 (Whole Chapter)

Isaiah 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. Isaiah 3:11-13 (in Context) Isaiah 3 (Whole Chapter)

Isaiah 14:2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors. Isaiah 14:1-3 (in Context) Isaiah 14 (Whole Chapter)

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