Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Decolonizing God: The Bible in the Tides of Empire

Decolonizing God: The Bible in the Tides of Empire by Mark G. Brett
  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Sheffield Phoenix Press (31 Jul 2008)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1906055378
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906055370
Here's the blurb:
For centuries, the Bible has been used by colonial powers to undergird their imperial designs--an ironic situation when so much of the Bible was conceived by way of resistance to empires. In this thoughtful book, Mark Brett draws upon his experience of the colonial heritage in Australia to identify a remarkable range of areas where God needs to be decolonized--freed from the bonds of the colonial. Writing in a context where landmark legal cases have ruled that Indigenous (Aboriginal) rights have been 'washed away by the tide of history', Brett re-examines land rights in the biblical traditions, Deuteronomy's genocidal imagination, and other key topics in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament where the effects of colonialism can be traced. Drawing out the implications for theology and ethics, this book provides a comprehensive new proposal for addressing the legacies of colonialism. A ground-breaking work of scholarship that makes a major intervention into post-colonial studies. This book confirms the relevance of post-colonial theory to biblical scholarship and provides an exciting and original approach to biblical interpretation. Bill Ashcroft, University of Hong Kong and University of New South Wales; author of The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures (2002). Acutely sensitive to the historical as well as theological complexity of the Bible, Mark Brett's Decolonizing God brilliantly demonstrates the value of a critical assessment of the Bible as a tool for rethinking contemporary possibilities. The contribution of this book to ethical and theological discourse in a global perspective and to a politics of hope is immense. Tamara C. Eskenazi, Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles; editor of The Torah: A Women's Commentary (2007).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Look, Mom, a Nigger

Okay, so I'm lying awake in bed last night and I got to mentally tweaking My Life as an Onion -- cause as long as it isn't published, even though it's with the Delacorte editors awaiting the outcome, I can tweak away to my heart's content-- and it occurred to me that I really should slip in some little incident that deals with prejudice. Yes, the book is filled with my main character dealing with her prejudices but it's notoriously lacking in scenes where someone is mean to her because she's black and heck! in real life anti-Black prejudice is often subtly around.

So I got to remembering something that happened to older son. He was in Storm King NY near a deli and a bus stop (and take care to remember that upstate New York is often called upsouth New York) and he's kinda standing there waiting for something or other and a cute little tow-headed little girl -- about four or five, he remembers-- suddenly sees him and shouts to her mother, (while pointing at him), "Look, Mom, a Nigger."

Son kinda looked at her in mild surprise. Older son is a sweetie and way saner and less easily-hurt about stuff than I am so he kinda just rolled his eyes and moved on. He says the only thing he was thinking about was that it was a cute little kid and to hear such weirdness come out of the kid's mouth. Of course the mom looked all surprised and embarrassed... but heck kids say the darnedst things...especially if they've been hearing them from mom and dad.

So I'm thinking there has to be a little scenelet in Onion where out of the blue, apropos of nothing, someone says something really racist to my main character for no good reason. For that's the way it works. It could be a gentle kind of superiorness - the kind I've received in white churches-- or it could be harsher (like some white kids shouting Nigger from their Transam or Lexus as they whisk by main character on the highway. Or it could be pretty much the scene that happened to older son.

But the thing is: I don't want it to detract from the scene it's in. I just want it to slip in and slip out. Cause that's often how racism happens to black folks.

And why do I not want to write a scene that's about a black person dealing with racism? Because honestly, it's a big deal and it's not a big deal. That's how racism happens, subtly...and a person moves on. But I want to do it when the main character is already in a state. Cause that's also when racism happens. You're burying your mom and in grief as it is and then some racist (of whatever color but black) has to slip into the picture with some rude comment.)

The thing is I hate regurgitation. I hate showing a bad scene or something physically or emotionally upsetting in the exact way it happens. I've heard a few sermons which were nothing but thinly-disguised rants made by a preacher with a grudge. (Alas, I am way too discerning so I could see through it into the bitterness...and it often pissed me off to have had trudged myself to church to have to deal with some black or gay or feminist or whatever minister spilling out his/her agenda.) So, yeah, regurgitation is not in the picture. If I want to regurgitate and vomit all over people I generally do a really beautiful poignant essay (patting self on back.)

Kinda apropos: when I was about eleven, my half-sister (the same age) said to me "Daddy loves me more than you because I'm lighter." She doesn't remember this now, nor does she remember that she got a beating from my grandfather for that. But it's affected me all my life...a terrible kind of self-loathing which oppresses me sometimes I can't even move. To this day I don't know what I look like. I never look in the mirror. When I see myself on the back cover of my book or on facebook or on the internet, I cringe. It's that bad. When I die and am hovering over my bed, ready to transfer to the great beyond, it'll take me a while to recognize who that fat dead figure on the bed is.

But I never put that in my novels. Not the scene itself anyway. I have never written a scene where one sister says to the other, "Look, sis, you're a nigger." But I put it in Wind Follower subtly -- unregurgitated. Because storytelling is my most elegant use of my neurosis. I simply made Satha too dark and I made her unable to look in mirrors. (Of course if this ever becomes a movie (CGI please!) they'll probably make her lighter-skinned. Not a nigger like me.

Onto tweaking Onion and to slipping in the racial scenelet. I just feel -- as a black writer-- I shouldn't omit something that occurs fairly commonly in the lives of black folks. Onward.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Moses just can't seem to get over it

Okay, hubby and I are still in Deuteronomy. Just finished chapter six. And other than the other stuff Moses keeps reminding folks of...the main one is how often he reminds the people that because of their actions, the Lord didn't allow him to go into the promised land. He's almost obsessed with it. It's like every paragraph he mentions it. I feel so sad about it. To have journeyed around for 40 years in the wilderness -- and when you think of it, it's like he spent 80 years in the wilderness total-- and to not be allowed to gain the prize because of one stupid mistake. And God's merciless about it.

Then there's the section where the people say: Let not God speak with us.

A request made by the Jewish people for themselves and their descendants...and which God answered, but with a sad, "I wish they wanted to." As Moses says, no other nation in the rest of the world has ever heard God speak to them directly. And the nation to which He so wanted to show Himself to...just couldn't bear it. Sure it's terrifying...and it's safest for a sinful person living without the grace found in Christ to have prophets through whom God speaks to...but still, what a birthright to give up! Sad.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Okay, am in Deuteronomy

I love it that God tells Moses not to oppress the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites...because he also brought them up and blessed them with this land. Am wondering why Moses didn't tell these peoples what God had said about them. Maybe he didn't want them to know what God said about them. And yet, perhaps if he had told them what God had said about not touching them....maybe they would've let the children of Israel pass through their lands.

Okay, what's with the parenthesis. I always wonder about how the King James translators dealt with punctuation. Much of the messy translation in KJV comes from folks not quite knowing what the Greeks were doing with punctuation. For instance....the theology of if you can believe...check out the punctuation!

New International Version (©1984)
"'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
New Living Translation (©2007)
"What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes."

English Standard Version (©2001)
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
And Jesus said to him, "'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes."

International Standard Version (©2008)
Jesus said to him, "'If you are able?' Everything is possible for the person who believes!"

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Jesus said to him, "As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes."

King James Bible
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

American King James Version
Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.

American Standard Version
And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst! All things are possible to him that believeth.

Bible in Basic English
And Jesus said to him, If you are able! All things are possible to him who has faith.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Jesus saith to him: If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jesus said to him, The 'if thou couldst' is if thou couldst believe: all things are possible to him that believes.

English Revised Version
And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst! All things are possible to him that believeth.

Webster's Bible Translation
Jesus said to him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Weymouth New Testament
"'If I possibly can!'" replied Jesus; "why, everything is possible to him who believes."

World English Bible
Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."

Young's Literal Translation
And Jesus said to him, 'If thou art able to believe! all things are possible to the one that is believing;'

loved this:
4But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.

5Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.

6Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.

7For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?

8And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

2And the LORD spake unto me, saying,

3Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.

4And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore:

5Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.

6Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.

7For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

8And when we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, through the way of the plain from Elath, and from Eziongaber, we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.

9And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.

10The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;

11Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites called them Emims.

12The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the LORD gave unto them.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

General Update

Okay, so am on a fast from television for Lent. I figured it'd be easier than avoiding a food and it'd help me control what comes into my mind. But aaargh, it's getting hard.

For one, I use TV as my comforter. It keeps me from getting too overwhelmed with my blues or whatever hits me. So now I have to face my weird issues and grief without cake to dull them (diet) and without the din. Whatever shall I do? I'm trusting that this will strengthen my soul, though. Each day I come downstairs and do NOT turn on the TV, is a strengthening of the soul.

Okay, Well, am stepping out in the belief that I am actually liked. Very hard to do after one has been clobbered by creepy people. (but I will not whine.)

Next.... trying to figure out if the ending of Constant Tower is right. Haven't reached the ending yet in my revisions...but ya know... a girl's got to think ahead. I think Ephan carries my grief at not belonging...and Psal carries my anger at the herd mind. And Maharai carries my need for the loving family and the devastation of the lost family. But honestly, is she vengeful? Would she bond with her new family and thus...not be able to kill them? Ah, it's all a blur right now. Am feeling that I'll be super-surprised at how this story comes out....yeah, cause I'm rethinking that ending. Thing is, though, I have to finish it by April. Cause by then the Delacorte contest will be over and I intend to have won I'll be working with the editors to perfect Onion for them. Positive speaking, uh?

Am realizing also that I would make a crappy feminist if I were one. As the mother of a son, I'm totally into seeing the troubles men have to deal with. A white feminist friend of mine asked why I made a non-black boy my main character...and alas, I had no real sound reason. I guess I could say that the "boy goes on a journey" theme is so with me that my mind is trapped within the paradigm and I can't get it out. But...who knows? Boys just come to my mind to tell their stories. They're rarely white, though...usually Native American or Asian. Although Psal is bi-racial: black and white.

What else? Well, it looks like younger son is finally going to school tomorrow. He's gone about fourteen days all semester...since September. But we went to his allergist -- whose existence I had all but forgotten until God reminded me-- and he's really on the ball and really has helped us with it.

In addition, we're reading the Bible out loud every day...from cover to cover. Am sure that's helping. Unemployment still around. Can't really see where money is coming from. But the Lord keeps telling me not to be afraid. And finally, I have some peace...and ability to trust. Just gotta find myself and my trust for CT.

That's about it. -C

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the deliberate dumbing down of america - A Chronological Paper Trail: A Chronological Paper Trail

the deliberate dumbing down of america - A Chronological Paper Trail: A Chronological Paper Trail

Charlotte Iserbyte
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

  • Paperback: 715 pages

  • Publisher: 3D Research; third edition (September 1, 1999)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0966707109

  • ISBN-13: 978-0966707106

  • Thursday, February 18, 2010

    WTF Moment in Bible Study: Aaron's Rod that Budded

    Numbers 17: The entire congregation of Israel didn't believe Moses was the chosen one when God opens up the earth and Korah et al are thrown into the fire....or when the plague attacks them from God....but they stop their rebellion when Aaron's rod buds?

    Uhm..... Why? Am thinking it's because the budding of Aaron's rod is life-affirming? Because the budding of Aaron's rod is a creative life-affirming godly act rather than a destructive act?

    It is the goodness of God that calls men to repentance, as the prophet says.

    Also, is this Korah episode the first mention of hell in Scripture?


    Wednesday, February 17, 2010


    Would you believe I totally forgot that today was Gabe's birthday....until we were at his allergist's office. His allergist is a wonderful perfect doctor named Dr Wojcik. Almost eighty-five years old and in perfect health. I had totally forgotten about his existence and then last week it suddenly dawned on me: Nothing's helping Gabe: Call Dr Wojcik.

    It was like a shining beacon.

    So we went ...and voila, while the secretary is looking at his chart...she mentions the date and I'm like..."oh, my, oh, my! It's Gabe's birthday I think." What a brain!

    Anyway, I don't know what I'll do when Dr Wojcik retires. (By the way, by some odd coincidence his daughter-in-law (a really sweet Filipina woman) nursed my mother when she was dying at Mt Sinai. Weird, uh?

    Anyway, we have a new course of stuff and meds and advice and various things to do for Gabe and although Gabe's regular ped, Dr Schaff is a sweetie, he was out of his elements when it comes to flaky autism-allergy-immunology stuff. Of course all the advice and tests brought home yet again just how many things are wrong with Gabe, just how much money it'll take to fix them all (if they're fixable at all), and how overwhelming it all is. So I came home and spent much of the day walking around the house shouting, "AAAAHHH, GOD!!!! MERCY!!!" which is kinda pitiful and heart-breaking if one actually is in the house hearing me scream and cry like this all day.

    But then I got three emails from different folks all with the word "miracle" in them. What a blessing that was! I can only say that perhaps....God is encouraging me to, Like Abraham, hope against hope. Anyways, we just went out the house to get Gabe's birthday cake. I SOOO wish I had a normal life....but who knows? Still one's gotta hope.

    Bernice Johnson Reagon in conversation

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Ah, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers

    Hubby and I are now in Numbers - the book of wanderings, the book of the census of Israel.

    Gotta say that Exodus is totally fun. It's like a God production. Hey, God himself said so. This massive plague and destruction of Pharoah was made so that people would believe and talk about it forever. From God's show-down with Pharoah, to God presenting himself to his people (you can feel the excitement), to the directions to make the ark of the covenant, the altar and the tabernacle, to the total building up of them. Talk about organization! And then there's the culmination after the tabernacle is built and God enters the tabernacle to live with his people. WOW! Super-exciting!

    What really got me was the way God proclaimed himself! I am The Lord! Then he expands a bit. But yes! He seemed to be overjoyed at the prospect of meeting and living with his people. Also, before that --when he says to the children of Moses, "Your forefathers knew me as the Lord Almighty but now I tell you my name. It is The Lord. I am." Just very sweet. Also a favorite...when Moses saw the glory of God, seeing God's back parts -- wow, the glory of that. The cherubim go around the throne saying holy, holy, holy. What is God's part like? What other multiverses and aspects of his beings are there to see!

    Okay, so stuff that made me go....uhmmm

    Joseph had commanded his family to take up his body and bring it into the Joseph's body is being carried around by the people as well as the ark. Uhm... so there are the people carrying the ark and carrying a dead corpse as well -- cause they hadn't gone into the promised land yet.

    The list of sexual sins in Leviticus: I wonder when these laws began to take affect. The sin against marrying one's half-sister for instance. Abraham was married to his half-sister. So the law didn't grandfather all the way back. But among those 1.5 million folks travelling across the desert...I suspect some of these folks must've been married to folks they shouldn't have been. We don't hear anything about folks suddenly tossing their wife-sisters -- or tossing their father's widow-- when they heard Moses make this law. So maybe there was a cut-off line.

    The son of the the Egyptian who cursed God. I always wondered why this guy cursed God. Sure we get mad and have fights so I understand why he was fighting in the camp. But why curse God? Just a wild guess here but I suspect someone insulted him because he wasn't fully Israelite and he came back with "F*ck you and f*ck YHWH too." He probably was specifically mad at their God because the guy who was fighting with him had said something theological to annoy him. Just a thought.

    The Levites -- I think I finally figured out why God chose them as the holy tribe. From what I saw about Levi in Genesis he was a murderer (the murder of prince Shechem) and Jacob had cursed him. But he might have had a relationship with God that we don't see. After all, when Moses called people to his side -- after he saw the partying after the Golden Calf etc-- it was the Levites who came to his side. Of course they might have gone to his side because Moses was from their tribe. But I suspect Levi had taught them something very deep that had stayed with them throughout the generation.

    Numbers -- Yes, the Baalam story. Christians get worked up about God supposedly changing his mind by telling Baalam not to go to the prince then supposedly "changing his mind" and telling him to the princes. (Not really worked up about the horse, though.) But to me this is a theological problem caused by bad translating. In most Bibles around the world, God says to Balaam "IF the princes of Moab call you, THEN go." And the next morning Baalam rose up. And the princes of Moab hadn't come and called him. But Christians have pet theologies and common sense and obvious Biblical exegesis won't get in the way.


    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Decision Made

    Okay, the decision is made. If Constant Tower wants to have a religious element or religious parallels...then I'll let it. There's a peace about it. Heck, Carole McDonnell (moi) is a writer of religious novels -- spec-fic, racial, or whatever...that's what my fans will expect.

    So, after this Peace Child thing pops up in CT and pondering Don Richardson's Peace Child....then what else can I do?

    I guess the best way to explain all this is to get into some C S Lewis quotes:

    First, because Psal is not made for his world. This the story becomes either religious or political. A political story attacks a system and thinks if the system changes or if people are educated enough, then all will be well. A religious story says that no matter what the system...people will be fairly creepy and main character wouldn't be happy in the world no matter what politics or system he encountered. Thus, it's above any kind of feminist view of the world-- even though the world in the story is basically ruled by men.

    "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world."
    — C.S. Lewis

    Secondly, there's Psal's deep ability to love. I can't very well show it as a merely erotic or friendly attachment. Psal's too committed to the object of his love for that.

    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained."
    — C.S. Lewis

    Thirdly, there is the whole impermanence of the world Psal inhabits.
    "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...Come further up, come further in!"
    — C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle)

    And lastly (there are tons of other reasons in between) there is the plain creative fact that this is where the story wants to go.

    So there.

    "The value of myth is that it takes all the things you know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity."
    — C.S. Lewis

    An outcast Peace Child is born.

    Tuesday, February 09, 2010

    One Church Many Tribes, by Native American pastor, Richard Twiss

    One Church Many Tribes - Following Jesus The Way God Made You by Richard Twiss Our Price: $11.75 On Sale: $9.99 READ SHPPING POLICY Here's his statement on the website
    Our Vision: To live meaningful lives as followers of Jesus and encourage others in their journey toward healthy relationships with God, community, other ethnic groups, and creation. Our Aspirations: In the spirit of Jesus to assist indigenous peoples in walking with Creator that results in wholeness and health in every sphere of human activity. To network with Native and non-Native leaders to develop culturally appropriate approaches to living out a biblical faith while honoring the cultural expressions of First Nations peoples. To see Indigenous traditions and worldview values embraced as a vital influence in shaping Christendom throughout the Americas. To serve the global community of God as a bridge builder and consulting resource for developing genuine community, unity, consciousness of social justice, creation stewardship and mutuality among diverse peoples. Our Intentions: To develop biblical education models, materials, national seminars and learning centers to provide indigenous people with a biblical framework that resonates with the global conversation around discovering a post-colonial theology that incorporate the values and structures of Native people throughout North, Central South America and beyond. To organize and lead international Native Dance and Performing Arts Team(s), to share the beauty of our cultures, tribal and personal stories to build bridges of peace and understanding in the global community. To encourage, promote, and facilitate the producing of praise & worship music that utilizes traditional Native sounds and styles. Our Biblical Values: We believe that Creator exists within himself as community; God-the-Father, God-the-the Son, and God-the-Holy Spirit. God is Author, Creator, and Sustainer of all human and non-human creation. We believe the Biblical story is God's self-revelation to humankind and that it is for all peoples and all languages everywhere as the sacred writings of God. We believe that humankind was created in the image of God, but because of pride and rebellion, rejected the Creator’s path of beauty, wandering in darkness and alienation from God. Jesus performed the "once and for all ceremony" through His death on a cross, and resurrection from the dead. By this He defeated the power of death and made a way for all tribes and nations to return to a loving relationship within the community of Heaven. Wiconi International PO Box 5246 Vancouver, WA 98668
    "we-cho-nee" Lakota/Sioux language meaning "Life" HECEL LENA OYATE KIN NIPI KTE “THAT THESE PEOPLE MAY LIVE” The thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 These words of Jesus, the Waymaker, convey the heart and passion of Katherine and I, and the entire staff of Wiconi International. Our First Nations people know what it means to suffer the loss of land, dignity, self-respect, life and a way of living. Though this has sadly become the normal every day reality for our people, our aim is help make a positive difference for future generations of Native people. Jesus brings power and hope for a better tomorrow. He does not bring religion, legalism, shame, oppression or paternalism, though sadly, Christianity often does. Our prayer is that people may live, and live in abundance, spirit, soul and body! In the spirit of Jesus we want to assist people in experiencing ultimate freedom, and deliverance from the powers of darkness that still prevail in our lands and communities; this evil is seen in the alcohol and drug abuse, incest, suicide, poverty and despair. There are dark and evil spirits that are stealing, killing and destroying our people every day. In addition, there are oppressive and unjust economic and political systems that continue to prolong dependency and control. At Wiconi International, we are working and praying to find better ways to support and empower people to find true genuine, hope and confidence for a better tomorrow. It is a freedom that affirms, embraces and respects the unique and God-given cultural realities of our people, not rejecting or demonizing them. We hope to inspire people with a fresh vision about the possibilities that exist to make a dynamic positive contribution for Christ by walking among our people “in a good way.” We can proudly say that on our site you will find some of the best resources available for those interested in walking among Native people in a good way that reflects the life of Jesus in a culturally relevant and contextual way. At our "Resources" page you can read descriptions of each book, cassette tape, video, CD, VBS curriculum workbook and children's books. Pilamaya yelo - thank you – Richard & Katherine Twiss, Rosebud Lakota/Sioux President & Vice-president, Wiconi International
    I totally totally LOOOOOVE Pastor Twiss. I DEFINITELY recommend going to the site. I've seen white folks cringe when he gives sermons on TBN. He'll say things like "Do you think I wanted to get involved with the God who had sent white people to 'the promised land' to destroy my people? Hey, when I read the Bible I'm aware that we are the Amorites and the canaanites and all those people who were not the "imperialist nations." He is sooo good. Very Christian, very honest. Not bitter but he tells it like it is. He has a newsletter called Smoke signals. And a youtube channel Here's a great vid of him He's totally totally a Bible believer, though. But he understands stuff from the position of the oppressed not from the side of the oppressor. And he and wiconi do a lot of christian pow wows. They're part of the world christian gathering of indigenous people. Christianity lived through the culture of indigenous peoples, not through western cultures. He always says, "The white man came to our culture and said, 'your culture is the devil's culture. You must get rid of it and your language.' But why should I give up my tainted culture to take on the tainted culture of the white man?" I just love him.

    Monday, February 08, 2010

    Sunday, February 07, 2010

    Divorce dreams, child of divorce issues looking up from my editing to actually post something here....

    I dreamed -- second time in two weeks-- that my husband Luke was leaving me for another woman. Last week I dreamed I nagged him and suddenly he decided he had had enough of my nagging and in the middle of my nagging he just up and left. I had taken that as a sign to stop planting seeds of divorce and negativity and whining. So all week I've really stopped the whining and complaining. But last night up comes this dream. I spent the dream begging and crying and pleading for him to stay but he was very cold. The woman's name was Kathy Conklin. Yeah, I know....we both dreamed of folks with christian and surnames. Very strange. I showed him our 5 kids and said, "Is happiness with this one woman worth ruining the lives of our kids and me?" (Older son was in the NBA in the dream.) It was so felt so real that when I woke up to find Luke beside me I was totally overjoyed. But then I got to wondering WHY???? At first I thought it was prophetic...that I had spent so many years planting seeds of divorce in our family that the seed had grown. So I rebuked and uprooted the seed. Then I got to thinking that maybe God is dealing with my absolutely irrational fear and hatred for divorce. It's so bad I still haven't seen movies like Kramer v Kramer. I generally don't watch any movies with divorce. I can't bear the pain. And if some real life woman kills her philandering husband I generally have no problem with it. (I'm way more lenient about women killing husbands than vice versa.) It's so bad that I can't read the story of Jacob and Leah or the story of Ishmael and Isaac. Or Hagar and Sarah. Not really divorce stories but they are stories about love being rationed...and folks being categorized. Hubby and I are reading through the Bible together. 3 chapters or so in the morning. One or two in the afternoon. And some more at bedtime. And I know the word of God is alive. It's possible that God is healing me of this woundedness -- being a child of divorce whose father said we were no longer his real children. Cause the upshot of all of this pain is that I also get mad at God for allowing that unfairness. And really God is gracious. So the human idea of fairness shouldn't matter. Interestingly, this makes me read the Bible with more compassion for characters such as Hagar, Ishmael, Esau, Michal, Potiphar's wife, Absalom, Prince Shechem, than the typical Christian has. I dislike Bible study folks having sacred cows and scapegoats in the Bible-- folks I SHOULD hate or folks I SHOULD like. You can always tell how loving or cold-hearted or unthinking a minister is when he seeks to find a reason to hate Esau, Michal, Shechem et al. It's like they say: "we're supposed to hate these folks because they're bad." And they forget that EVERYONE in the Bible is bad except for Jesus. And when they start hating on some Bible person like Esau or Absalom or whoever I just see their narrow-mindedness and their searching for sins. Anyway, am rambling. I feel God's word is working within me and healing me of this stuff....and my feeling that God is unfair (hey, it's not him who's interpreting the Bible so unlovingly; it's his people.)

    Then I dreamed of someone from my hispanic church saying, "So you're coming back to church now?" It seems I was...and I was going to continue going there and not leave again. Will see if that happens. They have church at night...and that plays havoc with sleep issues.


    Friday, February 05, 2010

    Made it through the Abraham story

    Won't say much except
    1) Hadn't really felt til this reading the extent of the deep love between Abraham and Lot. Lot followed Abraham's vision as much as Abraham did. They never argued except that their servants was what caused them to part.
    2) Hadn't realized that Sarai's sister (Nahor's wife) also was blessed in her old age with children. Must think of this.
    3) Still can't figure out the spiritual significance of why the story about Hagar not seeing the well is also in the same chapter as Abraham and Abimelech's servants fighting over a well.
    4) Can't figure out why Abraham took gifts of Pharoah and of Abimelech when he sinned against them but felt he had to pay for the cave to bury Sarah in.

    Also, something interesting about Job:
    We don't hear of the faith of Job. We hear about the patience of Job. So Job isn't listed in Hebrews 11, faith hall of fame. If faith doesn't let you win the battle...persevereance will. Faith and/or patience (endurance) is what the saint of God needs when fighting the devil.

    Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    My Saviour My God by Aaron Shust


    Jesus is the great Amen. Imagine that all of our prayers are yes and amen in Christ.

    Jesus said "If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." So... It's the truth we know that saves us. Not merely the truth itself.

    Jesus said storms come but the one who weathers the storm and survives is the one whose life is built on the rock of his word. So it's not hearing the word alone, but doing it...and living on it.

    Be ye not mere hearers of the word ...but doers as well... And we will see the AMEN to our prayers.

    Amen means SO BE IT! and we should trust that.

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