Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cleanse the lepers

Okay, so Jesus gave us several evangelical commands. These commands are given to all Christian believers, and so all Christian believers have the authority to do them.

Preach the kingdom -- That Jesus Christ is Lord
Preach Salvation and baptize-- That Jesus Christ is saviour and that the believer has a new life because the believer has been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear son, that we are dead to this world, that the law (symbolized as a dead wife) is dead to us and we now have a new spouse.

Most mainstream evangelical missionaries nowadays preach salvation. They don't really preach the kingdom. Thus many people say that Jesus is their saviour but they don't really obey him. And even when they obey Jesus, they don't really understand the principles of the kingdom, the largest principle being that through the blood and righteousness of Jesus a Christian has authority over demons and sicknesses.

This is why the rest of the Great Commission is not generally done.

Heal the sick --
Cast out demons --
Raise the dead --
Cleanse the lepers --

Christians are given the authority to heal when they preach the gospel. Signs follow the testimony and preaching of Jesus. Like when Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal and when Moses challenged Pharoah's magicians. The authority to heal is not the same as the gift of healing or the gift of miracles. The charismatic gifts are given for use inside the church as God wills. The authority to heal is given to all believers. The authority to heal is always present and is a command and is for those outside the church. The gift of healing and when used with the Prayer of Faith is for healing those inside the church. So it looks as if healing a believer is more difficult than healing a non-believer. Why? Because God wants everyone healed and so his healing power is present when Jesus is preached. Because the sin of the unbelievers doesn't get in the way of their healing whereas those within the church might have sinned a sin unto death or might be under unforgiveness, which is a despising of the great blood and salvation of Jesus Christ. Because the believer is in a war between two kingdoms and the believer and the church will have to know how to fight the spiritual battle.

But even when folks know to speak the Prayer of Faith and command healing for the sick and to command the dead to be raised (only after praying to God to see what God wants, btw), or cast out demons....they don't really discuss the prayer of cleansing.

Of course there is a difference between praying to God for someone to be healed and commanding a person to be healed. Jesus didn't really tell anyone to pray for the sick. He seemed to have assumed that all the healing will be commands.

So the way Jesus said seems that praying for the sick is not the same as cleansing the lepers. When we pray for the sick, we say, "Be healed." The healing command can further be divided into

"Be made whole." and "Be Clean." But Jesus puts the cleansing prayer in its own category.

"Be healed" should be all-inclusive, shouldn't it?  But perhaps "be made whole" is a command that speaks to parts of the body -- seen and unseen-- that are not quite well-made or that have been damaged.

"Be Clean" -- in its own category-- seems to be about infection and contagion. True, the folks back in the day didn't understand germs and the mechanics of infection in the way we do, but they understood contagion, I think. People were not stupid. And although some like to think of it as a spiritual command (bringing the rejected leper into the fold, etc) I doubt it. After all the command is said to the body of the leper, not to the believers. It could also be combined with the prayer to cast out demons because demons are generally "unclean."

But I wonder... is there more to this cleansing command that needs to be studied? Although praying is about our relationship with God and not really about a methodology, some prayers require we be sticklers. For instance, Jesus said "Speak to the mountain." Most Christians do NOT speak to the mountain; they insist on asking God to move it.

So then:
Candida overgrowth, AIDS, Infectious disease, bacterial infection, viruses, amoebas, dysentery, cholera, stuff that run rampant through the human body but are not part of the body, things that the body needs to be cleaned of...uhm.

Should we be saying, "Be cleansed" ?????????

Anywhere With Jesus (Lyrics in Navajo)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Witchcraft Blaster Prayer 2.0

 This prayer was written by Rich Keltner:

  Right now, In the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the     power of His Blood, I ask the blood of Jesus cleanse any sin, transgression or iniquity in my life, I close any breech, and ask forgiveness for any openings in the spirit, that they would be covered in the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ! Amen.      

Right Now! By the power of the blood of Jesus Christ I break all curses and loose myself and any of my   Family members from all evil curses, incantations, chanting, whispering, charms,   crystals, hexes, vexes, voodoo, hoodoo, incense burning, candle   magick, sex magick, blood sacrifices, blood rituals, doll spells,   vexations, bottle curses, cutting of roots, curses from berries, curses     from powders, pipe smoke, tobacco, herbs, eggs, oil bewitchments, insect curses, army of insects, coral,     buried objects curses, hidden objects spells, jinxes, accidents, misfortune, poverty, potions, spells of Death, spells     of Destruction, Bones, Human Skulls, Animal Skulls, graveyard dirt, coffin wood, coffin nails, pins, needles,     pain, sickness, infirmity, evil disease, all bewitchments, meditations, Astral projectors, Lucid dreamers, imagined   evil, imagined anger, prayer chains, witchcraft or sorcery in any form   which may have been put upon me or my family line, from any witch,   warlock, covens, person or persons or from any occult or psychic source.     

I claim the Blood of Jesus upon each of these demonic powers, to negate and cancel them now! I also renounce all connected and related evil spirits! And in the Name of Jesus Christ, I command     Every curse, vex and spell with the evil spirits to go back to the senders SEVENFOLD, let the Angel of the Lord use a battering Ram on their walls, blow through their pentagrams, circles and through their walls of protection and let their evils be bound to them by the Blood of Jesus, that their own traps and pits   would become a blessing unto them, and that they would find the   salvation truth of Jesus Christ to set them free from their own snares,   Amen.   

Second Phase. Twisting the sword!   

In the Name of the Lord Jesus, I break any and all   curses placed against me by witchcraft, spells or enchantments and   command the curses and demons from them to return to the senders SEVENFOLD,     and I bind every wicked curse, all the demons and spells back to them by the Blood of Jesus according to (Psalms 109).  As they clothed themselves with cursing like as with their garment, let it come into their bowels as water and like oil into their bones. As they  remembered not to show mercy. Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Let the extortioner catch all that he hath Amen!     

I break the power of any and all blood sacrifices and rituals invoked against me or   my family in the Name of Jesus Christ!. I proclaim the Blood of   Jesus upon any of my personal items that a worker of black magick   may have accumulated. I proclaim the Blood of Jesus upon these items, upon   my hair, my nails, perspiration, clothing, my blood, my saliva, my   urine or any other body fluid and upon my personal photos, my   families’ photos, my birthdate, scrolls, my written name, my signature,      Handwriting, any drawings or dolls created in my image, furthermore any   item that would be used as my image to invoke harm!  I negate, thwart and dissipate any hidden   embedded accursed items or objects on my body, on my clothing or placed in my   dwelling by proclaiming the blood of Jesus upon these items or objects right   now!  

I declare all of these curses null and void against me or my family, by the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ!   And command them to go back to the senders of these evils, SEVENFOLD! If an   evil spirit was outsourced by any other witch or warlock, and does not know the   name of the sender, let the Angel of the Lord tell the names to the demons as they go back right now! In the name of the Lord Christ!      Amen

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chambers of My Imagery

'Then said He unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery!  Ezekiel 8:12

May no one, no one, no one ever see what happens in the chambers of MY imagery. The angry vindictive wishes, the tawdry sexual fantasies, the morbid death-bed scenes!

My mother was a nurse and an alarmist. She filled our young heads with thoughts of suffering and lingering disease. So not good! And now... so much so much so much going on! The foreclosure and the losing of the house, the wondering about Gabe's health... and my not sleeping...aaargh... just hard. 

I do have moments where i wish i would die to be free from my mind but oh well still alive. I'd rather die suddenly in bed though than linger. And I suspect that if Jesus asked me when I arrived in heaven if I wanted to return to earth, I'd probably say "No, thank you!" 

But for constant tower and for onion... i live on

Dare I believe this mind can be repaired and freed from oppression, stress, false comforts?

The Bible says God has given us peace that passes all understanding. I shall have to affirm that and fight the good fight to push the negative thoughts from the chambers of my imagery.
St Paul says we have the mind of Christ! Yet, alongside this mind of Christ is the old man with its fears, anger, lusts, etc. I shall have to fill my mind with the word of God more and more.

Search me o God and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.!

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, o Lord, my strength and my redeemer!

Prepare in me a clean heart oh God!

Be the only thing I want, Lord! Be the only thing I desire Lord! Be the only thing I honor and worship, Lord!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To "like" or not to "like"

Ah the trials of we Christians! Talk about the day having enough troubles of its own. Every day when I'm on youtube I have some big choices to make. Choices that battle fear and shame. Choices that battle the fear of man.

Imagine looking at a religious video of the most Biblical sort. I mean, talk of hell, demons, and the like. Stuff even Christians might laugh at you about. Imagine having atheist youtube friends who see everything you "like" and who can look at every comment you make. Aaargh! Everyday, the temptation comes on me to simply not "like" the video. It's a very powerful temptation, I will say. But, I tell myself I gotta fight. So I "like."

This means that folks on twitter, and across my social network are all seeing that Carole McDonnell has liked a video which talks about hell, speaking in tongues, etc. Tyrant Shame (from Pilgrim's Progress) is a terrible thing but not enough to make me deny what I believe to be true. It's a small thing and the mind says... "ah come on, you're not denying... you're just not letting folks see what you're watching." Ah, slippery slope of shame. Ain't gonna do it. I won't deny the Bible or the Lord knowing a cloud of witness is looking on....not to mention my Lord himself.

The opposite problem also occurs. Imagine clicking "like" on a Harry Potter video when one knows Christians are watching. Or on a horror movie or even a vaguely sexy movie. Much the same. Ah well...but you gotta do what you gotta do... be yourself.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Power and Spirit reduced to mere doctrine

So I've been catching up on the Harry Potter films. And a college friend called me while I was watching Prisoner of Azkaban. She's a pagan and we got to talking about religion. Which is stressing because the idea she has about Christianity is that it's all about semantics/doctrine/a book of rules/ etc (Not to mention her idea that Christianity causes wars and destroy the freedom of the individual.)

The dryness, the doctrinal debates, the wallowing in discussions of sin that so many evangelical Christians delight in... can turn away true seekers. I know people will say that a true seeker will not be turned away by the gospel, that something within the truly seeking person will find Jesus. Nah!!! I don't think so. There is a beauty in Christianity that some Christian adherents destroy. 

Humans like symbols and symbolic action. We like rules and laws also but we tend to like only those rules we think we're good at. We like stories and myths of great heroes. We like power and the supernatural. We are born with an awe for it. All these are in Biblical Christianity of course but the way they are presented in the denominational church.

I'm not getting all Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopalian on folks because I don't believe that mere aesthetic sacramental church going is true worship. A lot of folks make that mistake. But there is something of the sacramental in the Biblical Church. 

The Baptist evangelical types shun the supernatural therefore anything "wonderful" (full of wonder and magic) or even seen as miraculous is suspect. So they consider the Shroud of Turin a demonic deception or speaking in tongues and discernment of spirits a fraud. St Paul declared that his preaching was not with mere words of power or reasoning debate but with power. Elijah had a showdown with the opposers of the true God that was not about semantics or debate but about showing the prophets of Baal that our God is supernaturally powerful, eternally present, easy to be entreated, and holy. Moses challenged the king's magicians through magic.

But nooooooo modern Christianity has been reduced to powerlessness. And even those sacraments and doctrines which have power are minimized. Who really believes nowadays that being baptized will cause demons to leave one's body? Few people, and so there is a spiritual work but no understanding of what the spiritual work is supposed to do. Same thing with communion. It is a healing thing. Continually taking communion while one is sick brings healing. Yet who avails himself of this? Few, because the believer's mind has been trained to not see the supernatural power of the sacrament. Do we really believe that when we praise God demons flee? And do people really believe that at communion we are joined to everyone in the Lord's body and with the Lord himself? If we did, wouldn't we love each other more? Do we really believe at confirmation that when the bishop/priest lays hand on us we receive the gifts Jesus dearly bought for his church: the ability to heal the sick, raised the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast our demons, do signs and wonders in evangelism through the gift of the holy spirit? No, we don't believe that. And even if we do believe that, we have enough doubt and unbelief simultaneously that we are double-minded. Our mind is not totally renewed by God's word because it has been brainwashed by denominational brainwashing?

Then there are other stuff such as multiplying food, being translated from one place to another... ah, the possibilities are endless. If Jesus and the early apostles did it, we can do it. No preterist here.

So when I see Christian people loving the aesthetics of Asian martial arts, the spirituality of Buddhism, or Wicca, or some other more "powerful" spirituality or "peaceful" spirituality or "beautiful" spiritual or more "environmental" spiritually I feel sad. Not only because there are Christian equivalents of some of these  things. I mean why go to Buddhism when the Quakers are here. Okay, the Biblical Quakers are here. But even then.. so much is missing in even Biblical Quakerism that should be there. The early quakers did miracles, after all.

C S Lewis rediscovered all these glories in his conversion from atheistic pagan to Biblical Christian. He was accepted back then but now modern evangelical Christians slam him. So now I'm working on My Life as an Onion. The main character sees demons, but worse she has the gift of discerning of spirits. I really can just see all the evil comments coming to me from Christians telling me I'm using magic. Oh well. Will see. But I want to do a truly Christian book... a charismatic Christian fiction. Heaven help me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Christian Speculative Fiction Writing: Discerning of Spirits

Okay, so I've passed the first hurdle in Christian writing which is the need to sermonize. Yeah, a few preachy moments have slipped into some stories but no more than those that slip into regular stories by feminists, wiccans, environmentalists etc.

Now the second hurdle is upon me: how to show something I believe about Christianity which some evangelicals and southern Baptists (the largest denomination) do not believe and how not to get blasted for being an evil writer dragging folks into witchcraft. Yep, I'm writing a story about the discernment of spirits.

Discernment of spirits is a charismatic gift in which one is able to see/smell/hear/recognize demons so that one knows what kind of demons are operating in that situation. Although I have seen an angel and have seen and encountered several demons, I don't have this gift. But my character Denise in MY LIFE AS AN ONION has it. Hence the problem.

I have to somehow be able to distinguish that what happens with my character is not like what happens to mediums or characters like those in The Sight (with the great Cate Blanchett.) Now since many evangelicals and Southern Baptists see any kind of supernatural thing as evil, I can only trust and hope that my pentecostal friends will stand up to defend my book. I can already see Christians slamming the book. But yeah, I wanna do it.

And I want to not have to come right out and say that my character didn't get this gift through a family spirit but through God's holy spirit. Yet I want the reader to know it came from God without actually writing a sermon about it. Can I trust Christians and non-Christians to see with their soul without me giving them an explanatory three-point sermon.

Lord knows what idiot invented the three point sermon, a sermon which doesn't save anyone and only comforts or challenges those in the church, and only gives us the horrible weak unholy Christianity that we have nowadays. Such sermons speak to the human western mind but the Lord says it is with the heart that we believe. Not with the mind. The heart is more abstract than we know.

Jackie Pullinger did so much to save prostitutes and drug-addicts in Hong Kong and God saved them through the heart. The western human heart has an idea about what needs to be said to save a person. But God alone knows what each person needs to hear. Tell any story and every different person will be affected differently.
Jackie told the story about the pearl of great price found in the field to some new converts in Hong Kong and asked them, "What is the pearl?" And they ALL responded, "We are the pearl of great price and Christ gave all to save us." See how differently the Scriptures are interpreted to new believers by the Holy Spirit? The way I see it: You don't even know what you will be trying to preach if you do your story rationally. WRITE FROM THE HEART and if you're honest... whatever truth within the story will touch the reader. 

Even Jesus didn't tell the meaning of his sermons except to his disciples. Evangelical stories tend to just show american preoccupations and American christians live within a very odd box. They always think they're pushing the envelope when they are firmly sealed in it. 

We western Christians are not particularly deep. Nor do we deal with the reality of the spiritual in everyday life to the extent of some folks in Africa (or India or Asian or Latin America or Indonesia where folks go to witch doctors or shaman.) We don't understand the spirituality and the cultural issues of far-flung ethnic groups and we only barely know about the pop religion believed in my non-Christians or non-Biblical Christians. We aren't aware of what things are keeping people away from Christ. To write a story aimed at a specific mindset as if that mindset is the be-all and end-all of why people aren't Christians is a might on the arrogant side. We simply do not know enough to write with any specific slant or lesson in mind. Just write the story. 

As for  skill in being overt, you have to be really skilled in NOT being preachy. A little preachiness will seep through but that is allowable because so many stories have a spiritual side. Charmed, Witches, Ghost Whisperer. The problem is the Jesus thing. It can be done but avoid sentimentality and churchiness. I'm pentecostal and black so I get away with a lot. If I'm gonna go with it, I'll have to be totally free. A symbol does wonders, I should remember. Steven King once had a scene in his book where where everyone holed up in a theater ate a can of sardines and a coupla slices of bread. He didn't have to come out and say it was a communion.

I just want to show that we don't live in a closed universe..and that God's son, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave gifts to his people to help them in the war against these evil spirits. Will see. Ah me!!! Well, trusting God.

God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict

God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict

Greg Boyd

  • Paperback: 414 pages

  • Publisher: IVP Academic (September 12, 1997)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0830818855

  • ISBN-13: 978-0830818853

  • Product Description

    In this bold and compelling work, Gregory Boyd undertakes to reframe the central issues of Christian theodicy. By Boyd's estimate, theologians still draw too heavily on Augustine's response to the problem of evil, attributing pain and suffering to the mysterious "good" purposes of God. Accordingly, modern Christians are inclined not to expect evil and so are baffled but resigned when it occurs. New Testament writers, on the other hand, were inclined to expect evil and fight against it. Modern Christians attempt to intellectually understand evil, whereas New Testament writers grappled with overcoming evil. Through a close and sophisticated reading of both Old and New Testaments, Boyd argues that Satan has been in an age-long (but not eternal) battle against God, and that this conflict "is a major dimension of the ultimate canvas against which everything within the biblical narrative, from creation to the eschaton, is to be painted and therefore understood." No less edifying than it is provocative, God at War will reward the careful attention of scholars, pastors, students and educated laypersons alike.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Fave Japanese young actors

    I'm feeling old now. If I was younger, I could dream of going off to Japan and meeting one of these guys and falling madly passionately in an outrageous tabloid romance with one of these guys. But noooooooooo! Oh well. I honestly hope, though, that I will still like them when they get older. One can always tell if one liked an absolutely gorgeous actor as a person or as a thing to be lusted at if one still likes him when he's old gray and fat. Mercifully, I still have some fave  American actors whom I still love now...whom I loved when I was younger. So... I'm probably not as shallow as I think. 

    Some of them are majorly hot and their hotness calls to something youthful in me. Dare I say lustful? But some just have a certain something, a sadness, a connection to the world... These guys are all about 24-26 and were originally musicians.... so there is that eternal youth thing happening in which their characters are so about youthfulness, youth issues, etc.

    I decided to keep a list of my favorites just in case anyone asks me who my faves are.

    I could list the older guys like Fukuyama Masaharu but I've decided this post is gonna be about the younger set.

    So now, in no particular order of preference.... my faves

    Aiba Masaki  Just a sweet regular guy. He starred in My Girl Asahi ( A Japanese drama not to be confused with a Korean drama) Just the kinda guy who would be one's next door neighbor. He also starred in Saigo no Yakusoku a nice little suspense thriller, with the rest of his band.

    Hayami Mokomichi  I'll admit I have only seen him in one movie, as far as I know. So maybe it's his character I liked and not really him. The movie was Zettai Kareshi (Absolute Boyfriend) and he played a robot designed to be a girl's absolute boyfriend. Yep, it's sad.

    Aiba Hiroki I liked him in Delicious Academy Delicious Gakuin a j-drama which was a food comedy. No one does food comedies so well or self-mockery about their extreme obsessive perfection as well as the Japanese and this one was just giddy. Some of the jokes worked, some fell flat but hey, you gotta love the wild attempts at flakiness.

    Ryunosuke Kamiki What a sweetie! What kindness and art in his acting. Try to see him in Kokoro no ito

    Takizawa Hideaki aka Takki... oh my heavens! Pardon me, while I drool. Intense? Angsty? wounded rebellious...sinful and or odball characters. If there is any story dealing with revenge, and Takki is in it... watch it. Check out his drama, Taizou no kisetsu and his movie Romeo and Juliet. Also Taiyo wa Shizumanai and Strawberry on Shortcake (not the best but quirky)  He also does a lot of period dramas. Such as An actor's revenge (Yukinojo Henge)

    Miura Hiruma. Probably one of the prettiest male actors around. And unfortunately he gets stuck in roles in which he is a heart-throb or a sainted but dead figure who did something noble and lives on in the hearts of those who knew him. Yeah, i know but ... what can i say? He is in Koizora, a school drama. He is in dramas such as Bloody Monday and Samurai High School. He might actually have it in him to be a good comedian. He tries to be and he succeeds sometimes. I just wish they would free him from the genius/saintly mode. When I watch his movies, I do wonder about myself having such a huge crush on this kid.

    Miura Ryusoke Oh my heavens! What a cutie! He's about my older son's age and I just want to take care of this kid. No lust here (as in Takki's case) but utter maternal love. He was in delicious Gakuin also. The show definitely had its hilarious moments.

    Kubozuka Yosuke. Another one who takes oddball films...about eccentric but not really angry folks. He's the one who is always in love with an older woman or who plays mentally disabled people. Try to see him in Long Love Letter aka floating classrom

    Kanata Hongo. What a sweetie!  Pouty fully lips, melancholy face. Very princely looking for some reason. He starred in my favorite male Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe (Now, Hiroshi is a guy I could fantasize about at my age!) in one of my favorite Japanese movies Aoi Tori (The Blue Bird)

    Yamashita "yamapi" Tomohisa   So beautiful, so good. Sweet, sweet, kind eyes. He was in Nobuta wo Produce and Long Love Letter aka Drifiting Classroom. He was also in Kurosagi (The Black Swindler) A hint of the rebel but not as woebegone as Takki. Cynical but...comes off as compassionate nevertheless (although all these guys come off as compassionate. Compassion sells, I am assumimg.)  

     Kazuya Kamenashi  Kinda rock-star hot but since I was never really into rock stars... he doesn't bowl me over, but he does make one think of the hottie rockstar popular guy in high school with the kind heart who didn't realize he was so gorgeous and always talked to ugly girls as if they were beautiful. (And he has gotten stuck with those roles several times. He stars in  Tatta Hitotsu no Koi  Nobuta wa Produce and  Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge In the last two, think... "Japanese version of She's All That."
    Ninomiya Kazunari is good as well. Not super-handsome but there's something about him. He was really good in Door to door  Saigo no Yakusoku   and  Ryusei no Kizuna

    Matsuda Shota is a good actor as well. I'm not sure what I think of him but he stays in my memory so I'll mention him here. Not really my type but a hottie nevertheless. He was in Liar Game as the genius who prevented the main female protag from being taken advantage of. 
    And then there is Amano Hironari  (recently changed his name to Amano Kousei) oh heavens!!!!! Simply the most gorgeous guy in the world! 

    oh gosh... but lust aside these young guys don't have the place in my heart that Hiroshi Abe does. :sighing and fanning myself::   But will save Hiroshi for another time when I list the older actors  Like  Shosuke Tanihara  (check out My Rainy Days..good flick!) Must go cool off. 

    Bible Personages I wanna meet in heaven

    Of course there is Jesus. I definitely want to meet him in all his glorious wonderfulness in heaven. The apostle Paul as well. I like the way he was so human and the way he whined in all his epistles. I like Daniel too. Daniel was so stalwart. And Moses. Moses is one of my absolute faves. I adore his patience, his writing style, his spiritual understanding that the blessing often goes to the one who doesn't deserve it. Also Samuel, who really is just unswerving (for the most part) and Elijah. Elijah's showdown with the prophets of Baal then his virtual nervous breakdown as he fled. Yeah, I love those guys.

    But I gotta say I also want to meet some folks other Christians might not want to meet.

    I want to meet Lot's wife. She had to flee her home and leave behind her married daughters and their husbands. Lot tarried, she tarried. Why did they tarry? The English Bible isn't clear. Either she had 4 daughters, -- two married and two unmarried-- or two betrothed daughters. The angels told them to take the "daughters who are with you in your house" and because someone was tarrying (Not only Lot and his wife), the angels had to drag Lot and his wife and two unmarried daughters out of town. After the destruction of Sodom Lot couldn't deal with it and drank to forget his sorrows. But Mrs Lot was probably luckier.. she died when she looked back. Christians like to think God was so angry with her he looked down specifically and spitefully turned her into a pillar of salt. The meaning of pillar of salt is disputed. For instance, it could mean the same as our word "petrified" to be turned to stone. Could she have lived any longer with the memory of dead children and possibly dead grandchildren? In the rapture, (if we're lucky enough to be removed from earth), how will we not be able to look back at unsaved children and grandchildren. Remember, Lot's wife. But why do we want to see her as looking back because she lusted for the evils of Sodom?

    I want to meet Michal. Caught between loyalty to a father she loved and a husband she loved. Then married off to a man who loved her while her husband picked up other wives along the way. Then yanked from that loving husband and brought back to be just one of many wives. Then spitefully not given children from her husband because she and he had marriage difficulties. Then having the seven sons she adopted and raised being killed by David.

    I want to meet Prince Shechem, who was more noble than all his people and who seduced a girl he loved and  -- unlike David's son, Amnon-- loved her even more after the seduction and got destroyed for that love. He and Absalom are prototypes of wonderful wounded princes... great characters, great noble lost princes.

    I want to meet Job's wife. Wives of prophets certainly have a tough time. God was gracious in killing Ezekiel's wife and sparing Ezekiel and his wife all sorts of grief...but Job's wife had to endure seeing her sons and daughters murdered, had to endure being comfortless while Job at least had his comforters, had to endure the parental loss of children and temptations to die.

    I want to meet Hagar. Who knows when she got stuck with lying Abraham and classist Sarah who refused to "have her son be equal to that of a slave woman"? I want to meet her son Ishmael (and his stepbrothers Midian et al) who was rejected and sent out into the wilderness by his father. What a devastation that is! Even if God has promised to help, there is the woundedness of rejection. No wonder the supposed decendants of Ishmael have such an issue with the descendants of Jacob. She's the first single mother in the Bible and God placed her there for a reason: so that abandoned single mothers will know that Thou God See me.

    I want to meet Saul. Because he was so pitifully weak and incapable of leaning on God. Because God put him in a position that God should not have put him in. Just like Jehu. Because all that power went to his head. Just like Jehu. How many preachers nowadays have been blessed with great ministries who should not have been so blessed? How many people have received great wealth who should not have received great wealth because it has destroyed them and their children!

    I want to meet Absalom. Seeing his sister raped and his father useless to do anything about it. I understand his bitterness. I understand how bitterness and hurt can take over a person and I won't be angry at Absalom for that. He lived in a time before the holy spirit worked in all men to heal them. But even now, Christians have to deal with injustice and fall into unforgiveness and bitterness.

    I have no doubt at all that these folks are all friends in heaven. Hagar, Keturah, and Sarah probably pal around together.  David and Michal probably have picnics every once in a while. But I'd like these scapegoated characters to include me in their little circle, knowing I was a friend to them even while they were dead for ages, that I wanted folks to honor their lives and not have kneejerk disdain toward them.

    I want to meet the Samaritan woman at the well who was so rejected she had to go to the well alone in the middle of the day, who was divorced five times -- why? because she was mouthy? because she couldn't have children? why? I want to meet her because even after she had brought Jesus to the people in her village, the people still had to put her in her place and say, "We believe not because you told us but because we see with our own eyes."

    I want to meet Demas who loved this present world and who forsook Paul. It didn't say he forsook the faith, but that he forsook Paul. Did he grieve after that? Or did he think he should have stayed in prison and accepted suffering for Christ? The third turncoat (after Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter) and we don't know what happened with him after. Did he come like Esau crying for his birthright?

    I want to meet Delilah, who loved her man and also her family and had to choose to save her family by betraying her man. Whether she is Israelite or Phillistine, I don't care. Such a threat, such a choice. It's difficult..and what would I have done if I were in her position?

    I want to meet Orpah, who turned back and didn't follow Naomi as Ruth did. Because she had little hope and didn't fully understand the blessing that could have come to her. I won't judge her for not having the light Ruth did. I like to believe that something of Israel's God remained with her when she returned to Moab, that in some ways she affected those around her.

    Yes, I want to meet Esau too. So many, so many.

    And I suspect God loves them as much as I do. We Christians are trained to think God hated and still hates them. So many Bible studies lacking in compassion where we are trained to hate Bible personages and to have no compassion for people like them in the real world. But how could a God who loves outcasts, the wounded, the rejected, not love these people we Christians are so trained to dislike?

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    The terrible devastation of an unhappy ending

    I recently cried at an unhappy ending in a Japanese Drama. Sure it was sad and i cry a lot when I watch these movies. But this was different. I can't describe it; it was a feeling of devastation, a feeling of being cruelly tricked by the screenwriter, cruelly manipulated to hope for good and suddenly a bad ending occurred.
    I wish I could describe this devastation.

    I cried, yes...for the characters for also for something else...something I can't quite explain. I cried for my own heart, that it was tricked and led and manipulated like that -- that it was UNNECESSARILY made sad. I cried perhaps because I suddenly realized I was probably dealing with a cultural spirit of grief and melancholy that forces itself into even their most joyous stories. I wish I could describe the pain of those tears. It's heart-rending sorrow for the characters, mixed with anger at the mindset that makes unnecessarily sad bitter endings the norm.

    How such a tiny country should have such a focus on family separation is beyond me! How such a competitive "winning" culture could have such an addition to the romance of death boggles the mind! It's almost as if stoicism nihilisim and sorrow have come together to create the perfect artform of cultural grief. I won't analyze it. I won't forgive it and I won't like it. It hurts my heart.

    I like dark stories but I will never ever ever ever write a story that does this kind of devastating cruelty to ANYONE. Now that I know how it feels to be so crushed, I will remember what G K Chesterton said,

    The popular preference for a story with "a happy ending" is not, or at least was not, a mere sweet-stuff optimism; it is the remains of the old idea of the triumph of the dragon-slayer, the ultimate apotheosis of the man beloved of heaven.— G. K. Chesterton

    (Of course, maybe it's not the sensitive story-lover in me that is so wounded. It could be my issues of separated children or separated siblings. I still have some wounds in that area...but still......)

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    The watch over the mouth and the cancer-phobia battle

    Last year this time I was getting a lump removed from my breast because my nipple was bleeding. It was one of the worst fear battles I have ever fought. Fear brings torment, the Bible says and the apostle was not kidding!

    The torment came in a slew of attacks against my carnal mind, with some few from the world, and from the devil. The news shows had stories about cancer on all the time. I kept hearing about people having cancer. And I kept having dreams. The dreams were interesting. Someone was always asking me how I felt and almost encouraging me to "talk about" my fears or whine about the pains. And always, always -- GOD IS FAITHFUL-- whenever I was about to launch into some comment and declare I had cancer, the dream would end before I said the word. I would get up in the morning with pains in my breasts exactly where some dream person had said I had cancer. Whatever the dream person said, whatever happened in waking life, I was determined not to speak this fear.

    Why? Because I did not want to speak the fear and empower the cancer spirit. Cancerphobia is part of American society and ....although not everyone with fear of cancer will get cancer... cancerphobia can definitely be used by a cancer spirit to cause one to curse one's self. Especially if there are immune system issues and stress and unforgiveness issues. Silly sounding, I know...but spiritual truths sound like foolishness to the rational man and I know whereof I speak.

    I totally believe this because six or so years ago I had a major night battle with bronchitis. For years, since maybe 1990, I would get a very nasty cold whenever I went outside in spring or fall without covering my neck. It would become a flu or a bronchitis or pneumonia and I'd be stuck in bed for about three weeks, plus would have a tough time walking around for three months after that until my bed was healed because bronchitis, like many disease, like returning back. One really has to fight against a disease even after it has left because disease and demons like coming back.

    Anyway, about six years ago, I did the stupid thing and opened the door without covering my neck. I lay in bed that night and felt a scratching in my nose, throat, and ears. I knew a cold was attempting to take me over and I knew the cold would become the usual bronchitis. I sat in bed afraid I would get sick then the Lord told me to fight. I decided to. The Bible has a verse: "The children of Ephraim, although armed and carrying swords, turned back in the day of battle. ...they limited the holy one of Israel."

    So I was armed. I was not ignorant of the devil's devices. I knew the spiritual weapons of my warfare. The main weapon was to not let my mouth be used by the devil to destroy me. The devil's power over us is often through our own mouths. It was a small but powerful and decisive and hard battle. EVERYTHING in me wanted to turn to my husband and say, "I think I'm getting a cold." That's really all I wanted to say. In my heart, I felt that the ability to complain and to announce the anticipating cold would be true relief. I know it sounds silly but there it was: I wanted to say, "Oh Gee I feel really crappy and I know it's a cold." But I was told by the Lord not to say it. Imagine being in terrible pain and feeling that the way to relieve the pain is to speak about it and say it. I don't know why but it seems to be part of the human spirit to go assessing things. One gets up in the morning and says, "I feel crappy." Or, "dammit, the bill collector. I just know yadda yadda." Really, the verbalization of a situation is not necessary but we are trained (by the devil and the world) to say it. And because life and death is in the power of the tongue -- and the only power the devil has is how he makes us use words against ourselves-- this is how we often destroy ourselves.

    Anyway, it was funny. I got very angry with God for making the spiritual laws of the world as He did. How dare He create spiritual laws about the use of the voice which prevented me from whining? It sounds silly now but really, I felt as if I would go insane if I couldn't breathe out, "I am getting a cold, I think." The burden and anger of  feeling I would go insane if I didn't declare such a small sentence (uhm... a sentence, a life sentence...interesting thing english) cannot be adequately described...It was so powerful I surmised my resolve had come up against some inner emotional issue or some external demon. At one point, the pain in my ears, throat, and nose got so scratchy, so itchy, I felt as if I had strep and I wanted to say, "Ouch!" I started saying, "Ouch" but caught myself in time and said, "Oh, Christ, my savior!" All night it went on like that. In the morning the itchiness, scratchy, burning, terrible discomfort was gone! Talk about working out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Since then, I have stood outside in absolute cold weather (with extremely chatty neighbor.) Twenty years of cruel bronchitis and chest pain and strep colds GONE forever. That situation taught me a lot about the power of the mouth.

    A church sister named Wendy was told by her doctor that her tests came back positive and that she had breast cancer. She said, "In the name of Jesus, there is no cancer." I suspect the doctor gave her a look and told her she was being odd. He repeated the doctor's report. She told him the doctor's report: By Jesus' name I WAS healed. I have no cancer." There are people who go around declaring that cancer runs in their family so they have to be careful...and when they get a positive report of cancer they say I'm glad I caught it in time or else I would've died like my mother and grandmother, etc. And now that it's taken out and I lost a breast, I'll be careful lest it come back again.... like it did with my etc.... Well, that is not the way to do it. The thing to do is to say to the doctor, "Do what you think is necessary but the Lord has said I shall not die but live and that by His wounds I was healed."

    Of course one can't go saying stuff like that if one doesn't believe it because it's with the heart one believes and with the mouth one confesses to deliverance. Some folks don't have the faith to believe they were healed on the cross. Some folks don't believe that death and life are in the power of the tongue. And some folks don't understand enduring patiently and triumphing until the healing grows from seed to plant to blossom. The doctor got annoyed but the next time she went back to him all signs of cancer had disappeared. If it hadn't disappeared, Wendy still would have continued to declare that Jesus is Lord and had healed her on the cross. She was prepared to endure.

    To this day I know that I would've gotten cancer if I hadn't fought against those dream-speakers. I wish I had known how to battle when my son was diagnosed and when I became sick. Then the illnesses would've have gotten so entrenched. But God is able...and I'm still trusting Him. It's a battle, friends. The Bible does not say we will "feel" healed, only that we are healed. And we must walk by faith in God's word, not by sight or by human prognostications.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Christian cosmology: God, gods, Lord

    Why do we call Jesus "Lord"?

    According to Christian cosmology, there are spiritual "principalities, powers, thrones, dominions"...all of which are or were ruled by God. But one of these principalities, the Prince of the Crescent Moon and the Morning Star, (whose name was translated as Lucifer in the Bible but ) the Prince who was the Covering Cherub in heaven, the Prince of Music,  rebelled against God. He indulged in a kind of whispering campaign against God in the Third (highest) heaven and in the rebellion one-third of the spirit beings angels sided against God. They lost and were cast out of heaven.

    Where were they sent?

    Not sure of where they went. They seemed to be homeless...but not in hell. We are told that God created hell for the devil and the devil's angels but we don't know when God created hell for them.

    In the beginning, God created the universe "but the earth has he given to the sons of men." The earth was a place where spirit and flesh met. God created a type of being called Man who were made in this three dimensional world and who would have a physicality made of the elements in this physical reality. He may have created other beings in other dimensions or out of other elements or in other universes but this particular being, Man, would be unique in all his creation because Man would be made in God's own image and likeness.  Of course, the angels were also created in God's own image but there was something about Man that could contain all of God so that God could live within them. It would truly fulfill something the angels could not.

    God also gave to this creation the power to decide what kind of creation it would be. They could become beings who could A) live without law, and choose life alone... and not die. Or B) they could understand good and evil, and live under a law. In heaven, there really is no "law." He gave them a hint, however by commanding them what not to do. He said Choose Life. He said there is no need for you to understand evil or what is evil. He said this because in heaven there is no evil, and no knowledge of evil. It's not that an angel cannot sin; it's more like if an angel sins God doesn't care. It is a world beyond the concept of sin-consciousness because all beings there understand that God's love and one's worth doesn't depend on one's goodness.

    Satan decided to attack this creation. When? Why? Perhaps because of jealousy, perhaps because of hatred. It looks as if the rebellion had already occurred when he attacked this creation.

    Anyway, the creation called Man was attacked subtly.  Satan, urged them to choose to be beings who would have a consciousness of sin. God had declared all things good but Satan pretended to be giving the Man true light by urging them to take of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Light-bringer who is also the adversary. The more Man understands of morality the greater the ability to be judged and condemned, and the farther we move from the idea of God's all-accepting love. When Man chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he chose to live in a world where Sin mattered in their relationship with God. Such religions as Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Hinduism, are all connected to the tree of knowledge: how man behaves, what man knows. But what God wants is for Man to simply accept His love.

    In the Psalms God said, "ye are gods." Jesus clarified this further by saying God called the people who had received the law "gods." Why? Because the law given to the Israelites was given as a way to counter the power of the tree of A) being a schoolmaster to show them they needed to trust God, the tree of life and B) being the earthly spouse...

    Jesus existed before.

    Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phillipians 2: 5-11 

    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

    But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law Gal 4:4

    The god of this world

    Paul calls Satan, "the god of this world." John declares that "the whole world lies under the power of the evil one." Why? Because the First Adam had given up all his authority and dominion over the world to Satan when Adam gave in to the temptation. As a co-rebel with Satan, Adam now had no power.

    Since Adam, the world had never had a perfect Man. He had tried to tempt this perfect Man in the wilderness. He said to Jesus, "All in this world is mine to give." Jesus did not dispute that but Jesus became the perfect human by never sinning against God. When Satan destroyed a perfect Son of Adam on the cross, he did something unlawful. For the first time, a perfect human had lived. Being sinless, He had the dominion given to Adam and he never lost it. The Pretender Prince  had come in contact with a True Man, the Second Adam.

    For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man  Romans 8:3

    Jesus destroyed the power of the principalities over Men. He spoiled principalities and gave gifts to men. He became Lord of this earth. Jesus then translated those who trust Him as Lord out from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear son. By accepting "grace" which is symbolized as the tree of life, these people have given up the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" and the idea of working for God's love.  There is no sin in the New Jerusalem and heaven because there is no law there. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is an earthly matter. Yes, the law endures forever, but those who belong to Christ are wedded to a new wife (unlike those who are wedded to the law) and are no longer under the rule of the schoolmaster.  (Not sure about those who are outside the gates of the New Jerusalem and the City of God.)

    He has not removed the seven seals on the scroll ownership of the world yet. Satan is still, "the god of this world."

    By becoming the second Adam and the New Man, he created a whole new kind of humanity . Now we are kings and priests. As Lord, He is our Spiritual head, and He has returned authority and dominion to the sons of God.

    For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit , the redemption of our body. Romans 8:19-23

    He has given us authority over the earth, the spoiled principalities, sin, sickness. Now we can say boldly, "Let God's will be done on Heaven as it is done on earth."

    For Christians, connection to God is not about being good in the world. It's about being translated out of this present evil world. In a very real way,  Christians are no longer of the old earth.

    Therefore when Christians say, Jesus is Lord, the implication is that Jesus has taken us out of the world, Jesus the Son of Man has become Lord over all lords (in addition to being Son of God.) At his knee, the demons must bow because a Man has regained and redeemed the World from out of the hand of the devil.

    Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
    Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.  Colossians 1: 13-19

     For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers Romans 8:29

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Dark Parables: Yet another apocalyptic dream

    All these dreams about deluges. What the heck is coming?

    I dreamed I and a janitor were cleaning the floors of an observatory. We seemed to be in the basement and we were pushing the cleaning materials ahead of us and through a hallway. I was barefoot (feet unshod?) when I saw the floor was strewed with thorns and splinters and I knew my feet would be really hurt when I stood on them. I complained about that and the janitor who was with me did something and the thorns disappeared. I went to the top floor and a great deluge was coming over the side of the observatory. People were screaming because they thought they were trapped with no way to get out. They feared they would all be drowned. But I went through some doors to the  other side of the observatory. It was strange but here the waters hadn't reached the top of the observatory on this side. It was as if all the waters had piled up on one side but somehow not on this side. I looked out and all I could see was  a field. Yet I knew the water from the other side of the observatory would come up and somehow we'd be deluged. I decided to escape. Some folks were on this side of the observatory as well. They tried to run with me but they couldn't. As they tried to walk, some invisible thing kept holding them back. They seemed to come up against an invisible wall. I escaped and ran into the field in the darkness. I don't remember how the dream ended but I knew I was escaping and that somehow it was strange that I had escaped.

    Got this interpretation from Rose-Marie and I think it totally works:

    i think it is about how perspective can trap people and that God will make a way for us to escape if we are willing. Hang in there and go with the flow.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    So why do I write?

    Every once in a while (actually way more often than a while) I ask myself if my work has affected anyone in anyway. Sometimes I lie in bed and think of certain chapters in my stories. Thinking about them has something of the virtue of a prayer. I meditate on my scenes and dialogs and imagine their effect on others. All the time it's really me wondering if my life is worthwhile and what my writing will accomplish for God....and if I am on the way to doing the 6 great works God promised I would do.

    I suspect I want Wind Follower to help folks see that marriage is a commitment. And for Black women to have a story where a guy sees them as beautiful. And for people to see the folkloric (in the truest sense) beauties of Christianity. The last reason is the most important. So many missionaries are so American/western in their ways. They go out with their Americanness to save tribes without understanding the power or the tradition of the myths these tribes believe in.

    What does A Cry for Hire accomplish? What do I hope for it to accomplish. It will show forgiveness. It will show the patience of a long-suffering wife. It will show an imperfect priest, a good thing I think. It will show maternal longing (not shown a lot in today's stories.) It will show the love affair of a middle-age couple. It shows Christians as normal people, a thing that's needed nowadays, I think. Oh, yes, and it's a good story as well.

    The Constant Tower is about child abuse at its core, and about a son wanting his father's love. It's about stasis and wanting to leave a place but being too powerless and too weak to do it. It's about princes who don't fit into the mold of what princes should be. It's about weakness, and disabilities. How will the story affect the world and its readers? Will it make someone understand weakness better? Will it make people read  Black women spec-fic writers? Will it make people believe Christian writers can write good spec-fic? Will it make people think about the silly conventions of fantasy and spec-fic? Sure, it's also about fantastical which resources are sorely needed and war is everywhere but that isn't important to me. Writing about war has never stopped warfare. Why do writers and other artists think that art can save the world? It doesn't. It saves certain parts of certain people's soul..but that's it, I think.

    In the very deepest part of my being, I'll say that I believe my writing is for countries such as Asia, India, Indonesia. Those are the places I believe God has appointed my writings to blossom. Will see, though.

    Practicing Computer Mode

    A while back I read the book "The gentle art of verbal self-defense." A good little book with some practical hints about how to avoid one's self when dealing with rude people. Author Suzette Haden Elgin. he has a little bit of the process here

    In a world of cruel people, one needs to know how to nip an answer in the bud. Weirdly, I read this book more than ten years ago and it's only in the mean cruel world of blogging and trolls and youtube where I have really had to use it.

    Being a Christian and being Black in a world of nasty folks... well, one has to be prepared. And I must say I am getting good at this.

    I recently told some anti-semitic folks to be more respectful about the death of a little Jewish boy. (Tons of mean anti-Jewish comments under the youtube news video just pissed me off.) Then I made the mistake of saying I was a Christian and it was the Christian anti-semites who really annoyed me.

    What did i get? A nasty crack from someone calling me a brainwashed retard, and someone saying Christianity was inherently anti-semitic.

    So I posted:

    WTF??? What is wrong with some of these commentors? This is the death of a little boy here! Quit the anti-semitism and grieve for the child. I'm a Christian and I find anti-semitism even more disturbing when it comes from Christians. Honestly, people!

    Then this comes up:

    • Fuck you brainwashed retard.
    • @falcon5956 The word "retarded" is a cruel hateful word and it offends many people who have been born with Down's syndrome -- and their families as well. This word "retard" falls easily from the lips of people who would never think of calling someone a fag, a nigger, a kike, a homo, a honky, or other names. Worse, it is often used against kind people who are not able to defend themselves. I suggest you find another word to insult people instead of maligning people with disabilities.
    • Then this:

      @scifiwritir1 xtianity is inherently antisemitic.
    • @BrooklynNotQueens The definition of "inherent" is an interesting one. One definition is: "Existing as an essential constituent or characteristic; intrinsic." I suggest you look up Art Katz's youtube video, "The Hebraic roots of the Faith" in addition to the writings of Sid Roth, Messianic Jewish groups, especially the thriving Jewish Christian groups in Israel, Jews who do not think Christianity is anti-semitism at all. Hope this helps.

    I used a kind of modified computer mode when dealing with the cruel comments. A bit of computer mode, and the Boring Baroque Response  with a touch of political correctness. Not sure how the political correctness thing works. ...or how well BBR and CM work online but I'm pretty proud of myself for at least attempting to follow the verbal recipe. Verbal self defense works if one is willing to go along with the game of appearing totally spacy and incapable of getting the point that someone wants to lead you into an argument. If they give up because they think you're a twit, it doesn't matter. But it seems that when I use it, I do behave in a bit of an "above-it-all" and "teacherly-correcting" mode. Oh, well, I'm just learning.... and I still want to win... even if I'm pretending I'm not actually in an argument.

    Of course I should just learn to ignore...but ...

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