Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pondering Christians who Reject

The christian world is rejecting and it should not be because we are the brothers of Christ, because all the world rejects in so many things. Race, Class, Beauty, Age, Money, Power, Status. The Christian world should not reject. I remember as a kid when I realized that I was one of the few Christian people in my world who actually thought A) Heaven was home B) we are all pilgrims so we should all love each other C) we are all to live by a high ethical and spiritual law D) we are all to live outside the herd.

It surprised me so much that so many Christians seem to be such a part of this world. Maybe one day I will see, really see -- WITHOUT PAIN-- the emptiness of those who have been taught by race, class, beauty, money to reject me and their Christian brothers.

Lord Jesus, you were despised and rejected of men. Yet you were filled with the oil of gladness above your brothers. Heal my heart, Lord. Help me to not be hurt by the world. I love and praise you, Lord Jesus. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

out women, writing, old age

I want to be loved by someone beautiful, asian, young and rich. I suspect I am somewhat in love with Kim Hyun Joong. (Not that he's rich...but really why am I falling in love with some pop star at my age?) But  Ben is such a healing force for me. 

If I can manage to put all that love into Ben's character, some part of me will be healed...although I've got to say that it does make me vulnerable to put all my love for Ben into the novel. But hey, that's what makes my novels work. My heart is there for all to see and mock or commiserate with.

Maybe all older women in the west are going through this phase. A coupla days ago I was so crushed. I felt very old, bvery black, very sickly, very ugly and kept thinking now I have moved out of beauty...because older women fall off the beauty bar...and older black women are not really considered beautiful anymore. We have to deal with that. It's partly because of society, and it's partly because of the media, and part of the male-run world which is based on male hormones. For whatever reason, God created a world where men can discard older women yet they themselves remain sexual so they can sow their wild oats (hence they need young women and are attracted to them, and to youthful women.) 

In just 20 years I have become an old woman. It is all very devastating.  
And I have not had the youth I should have had. 
To have lived the past 25
with grief, ill health, money issues .. old before my time one might say...
with no chance of restoration
even if i become very rich and famous now,
the joys i could have had..had i been able to sleep, had I been healthy, had I had money, had I had good friends, had I had fame. 
had i been healthy
Those days are gone
One can't conquer MT Everest when one is 79
so it's a kind of female mid life crisis
my mother died when she was 68 or so. How long do I have?

Funny thing is, I don't want to be madly-inlove with.
but something must be done,must be felt, to redeem this life that has been so hard, so lonely and so unloved.
And now to fall away from the definition of beauty because I've gotten old....well, i would so like to be loved by some good gorgeous guys 
(which is odd because we will all be gorgeous in heaven and we will all be individually and passionately loved by everyone.)

There is also that part of me that was rejected as a kid, rejected as an adult by the inlaws.
So some female part of me wants that love I should have had, and some womanly part of me so desires that part of me that was rejected by the in-law's family. All my writings are focused on healing those rejections. All these families formed inside longhouses, all these families formed inside and outside and beyond blood families.

I am very focused on the male characters in my book. Partly because women have wounded me so much. Partly because I have sons. Partly because male pain has always interested me (from seeing all those 60's and 70's movies by white male writers about white men and white boys.) I really suspect that watching Hamlet and Edmund  did more to affect my creative interest in writing about men than my own issues. Yet, my own issues are definitely in the mix.

A feminist white female writer friend thinks i need to focus more on strong women
A black male writer friend says that as well
but I want to show my own issues and the issues I've seen in the lives of other women.
A) how women are pulled along in men's wake
our desire is to our husband
how marriage pulls you into a lot of grief because of the in-laws and the family one has married into.

Oh sure one can have great feministy souls
who divorce their men or who don't get into these situations or who aren't affected by the clan they've married into
but this is rare even among feminists (Witness Simone and Camus.)
The plain truth is that the average women
have a life that feminists don't show
because feminists get so caught up in showing empowered women
but women around the world don't have all that western middle-class privilege

And for a black male writer to tell me my women are weak is also wrong. I simply do not care to show women with lances, shields, and hottie armor. I want to show normalcy. 
Even so, I think it's pretty feministy of me to want to show how badly women have it (but apparently i'm all wrong to do that.)

And I get pretty slammed as well, I think, when I focus on
how men suffer at the hands of the male societal ideals.
Psal and Ephan in Constant Tower  and Loic in Wind Follower really have a tough time in the warrior world
so that should've pleased feminists because I was concerned with gender issues and male pain. 
I con't... I can't really write to preach
If I preach, my preaching is to show reality.
I can't write to "show" women what they should do or to show women as strong or christians or good or noble nubian warrior queens
I just can't do it
i seem called to sow reality
all this shoulda coulda idealism crap can get in the way

particularly when it prevents you from enjoying what you have
   or from showing the pain of a present situation.

And should I not write about black women's pain and weakness and sadness just because white women have done it all? And should I not write about weak sad black women because black men want Nubian well-adjusted warrior princes? 

Seriously, white women may find it old hat to have their vaginas praised and put on pedestals. The vaginas of black women my age were never praised. While white women were getting annoyed at having men hold doors for them and were tired of being enslaved to rich houses in the suburbs, we black women were not considered sexy or beautiful and were pictured as whores. And I?? What has happened to me? Old... old... and suddenly an old black woman in this sad world.  
Rant over. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Testimony Testimony

Just came back from walking. I think I walked for an hour. Not sure but it was very lovely. So while I'm walking on this little hill I suddenly remember a bit of deliverance God did for me. I was a kid when it happened and a thunderstorm suddenly popped up. My friend and I had been playing in the paddleball court and suddenly boom. We ran and ran trying to get home. So we're running and she is faster than I am and is ahead of me. 

I call out to her and am begging her to wait for me and reach out and suddenly a lightning bolt comes straight between us. She was about a foot in front of me and I was running into the lightning bolt. I had to hop and hop and hop on one of my feet in order not to run into the lightning bolt. It was so weird to me that I was not hit but this happened at a time when strange occurrences kept happening to me as if something in the universe was trying to kill me. It was a very weird time. Although this is not as dramatic as the angel stopping me from falling off Bear Mountain, it was pretty memorable. Yet I haven't really thought of it ..but I thought of it now.

So I'm coming home and I'm loving my town and looking at the little grouplets (always a black kid, a hispanic kid, and a white kid! I love this town!) 

So I come down one road and this blonde lady with a bag of garbage comes out of her house. She and her husband are putting garbage out on the street (which is none too bright because the wind is still blowing) and she looks at me and says, "Wow, did you see that tree just fall?"

I look behind me to where she is pointing. She says, "That tree was not down 20 minutes ago. You are lucky!"

So I say to myself: "Oh gee, I just remember my lightning bolt incident. I don't want to give luck the credit. But it'll sound really weird to bring God into this conversation."

So I smiled, we chatter and she says she's seen me and I say I've seen her playing with her son. I start walking home. She says again, "Be careful."

I say, "Oh, don't worry about that! God'll take care of me."

Then I walked on happily. I feel really glad that I was able to affirm God's miracle-keeping power instead of giving the glory to luck. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Healing Reawakening: Reclaiming Our Lost Inheritance

Healing Reawakening, The: Reclaiming Our Lost Inheritance 

Francis MacNutt

  • Paperback: 256 pages

  • Publisher: Chosen; Reprinted edition (September 1, 2006)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0800794141

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800794149

  • For the first three hundred years of Christian history, healing prayer was fundamental in the life of the church. It even proved the main method of converting the unbelievers of the day. Then began the long slide of healing prayer into near insignificance. Ironically, Christians themselves, by reserving healing prayer for the most "holy," were the ones who almost killed this mission so central to the gospel itself.

    The mystery of how this happened is described by Francis MacNutt in this fascinating history, which includes his own personal journey. MacNutt sees this loss as tragic and shows how necessary it is for us to rediscover healing prayer and once more embrace it, according to Christ's original mandate--with amazing results! Christian leaders and anyone involved in the healing ministry must read this book.

    From the Back Cover

    Reclaim the transforming power of healing!

    Although the main method leading to the conversion of the Roman Empire during the early years of Christianity lay in healing the sick and casting out evil spirits, belief in supernatural healing nearly disappeared from mainline churches during the following centuries. How did something so central to Jesus' own heart, something so essential to the spreading of the Gospel, nearly disappear? Join Francis MacNutt as he explores the fascinating disappearance and today's reawakening of healing ministry.

    Jesus has not stopped pouring out His blessings. Through The Healing Reawakening we can rediscover the empowerment that the early Church once experienced.

    "This book is more than timely. It is avant-garde, a 'forerunner' statement among signals I sense the Spirit is sending the Church, saying, I'm ready to move again in earth-shaking revival power."--Jack W. Hayford, president, The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel; chancellor, The King's Seminary; founding pastor, The Church On The Way

    "A hard-hitting book that should be read by every Christian. I highly recommend it."--Vinson Synan, distinguished professor of Church history, dean emeritus, School of Divinity, Regent University

    "This is the book for the whole Church at this critical moment in her history. MacNutt diagnoses with theological and historical narrative both the loss and today's partial recovery."--Don Williams, Ph.D, author; Vineyard pastor

    "Destined to become required reading for all seekers of truth."--Barbara Shlemon Ryan, president, Beloved Ministry

    Francis MacNutt, Ph.D., is the author of the bestselling Healing, as well as Deliverance from Evil Spirits and other books on healing prayer. He and his wife, Judith, are the founders of Christian Healing Ministries.

    About the Author

    Francis MacNutt, Ph.D., who as a young Roman Catholic priest was prominent in the charismatic renewal in the 1960s, is the author of the best-selling Healing, as well as Deliverance from Evil Spirits and other books on healing prayer. He and his wife, Judith, also conduct an extensive teaching ministry through conferences, seminars, tapes, and speaking engagements. They are the founders of Christian Healing Ministries in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Vain Imaginations versus Productive Imaginations

    I waste so much of my time, of my life, imagining vain things. I've written posts about this before but I've got to get my mental act together again. Imagination is spiritual truth. It is what God sees when He looks at us. And when we have fruitful imaginations, our imagination becomes the substance of things hoped for.

    Where are my mental images of Gabe being healed? What images have I built and stored and given to God so He can cause them to come true? What images have I built in the chambers of my imagery to be substances faith can work on?

    I have wasted my nights and my mental daydreaming time. Instead of dreaming of young hottie Asian lover, I should imagining my new house. I should be imagining younger son talking. I should be seeing the days and mornings of his healed life.

    I should spend days in the sun imagining walking into a room and touching the sick and causing them to be healed. I should be imagining raising the dead and should be focusing on the dreams I had of raising the dead and delivering people from drugs. I should be musing and pondering the vision where God told me I would do six great works. I should be imagining and imaging my stories being shown on Korean and Japanese TV and movie screens.

    Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in your sight. Let it be grace in your sight. Help me to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Please, Lord, help me make it a habit to daydream about productive things and to create mental images of things you want me to bring forth in my life and in the world. Jesus you said, "When you pray, believe that you have received and you will receive it." Help me to see in my imagination and to live in my mind with the substances of things I hope for that I might see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.Amen.

    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5

    Psalm 51:6
    Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. 

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Isn't love enough? Why must I have beauty?

    Isn't love enough? Why must I have beauty?

    I love that quote but it's one of the few quotes whose author I can't remember. Weird too, because this is such an important question in my life. I have a very bad case of loving the creature more than the Creator. I am absolutely enthralled to male beauty. Oh my gosh! Now I'm in love with the Korean actor Kim Hyun Joong. And what makes it really bad is that he really seems like a perfect guy to have a crush on. Yep, the whole package: beauty, humor, kindness, compassion, and that "eternal youth" je-ne-sais-quoi. Now, whence this problem?

    But before I attempt to answer that, let me digress for a moment.

    One of my female feminist writer friends and (come to think of it) one of my male Black writer friends...okay, okay... they BOTH get irked at my female characters. In the great divide of whether a writer should about what is or what should be, I fall squarely into the camp of writing what IS. (At least where my female characters are concerned.)

    No super-human women characters for me. I want to write about women's life as I see it. The sorrow of it, the being dragged into situations because they are poor or married to the wrong guy or ugly or fat or emotionally off. I cannot write about female warriors conquering the world. It is important to me to talk about female sorrow. Not that my characters are all victims but they certainly have endurance down. I'm not going to be ashamed of showing their pain. People still need to see the pain of women.

    So then -- returning to my original question-- why, then, do I totally write about idealized male characters? (Of course all these idealized male characters help the woman characters. Sometimes they also hinder them but the woman's there through thick or thin, because in her position in society she has no choice but to rely on the guy....which is what most of the married women in normal life on earth do.

    But why must these characters be so beautiful? If I ponder and ponder this, I think there are a multitude of causes. First, I grew up with American TV...and I think that makes one love beauty. Perhaps a bit too much. (I don't know why specifically, the kind of male handsomeness I like is the very pretty kind but I'll have to sort that out.)

    Secondly, Beauty is an ideal. Beauty IS probably truth. In heaven, all things are beautiful. When one thinks about it, how can God not make anything beautiful? But earth is fallen and so what is common in heaven is  the exception on earth (something like beauty, for instance.) Oscar Wilde said something about the mystery of beauty once. (A quote I've forgotten but whose author I remember.)  To love the beautiful is to love God's perfection but...being on earth it becomes worship, I think. And that is why I must work against it.

    Thirdly, I like resting in beauty. When life becomes hard I daydream about another life with a rich wonderful carefree hottie. It's a false comfort and a habitual one.

    We are to yield the members of our body to God. Our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hearts. We are to let go of the worldly spiritual senses and to keep our eyes focused on heaven. All this is of course a problem for me emotionally and also spiritually. Because my heart tends to rest in these earthly beauties. I am to rest in God's yet unseen. God's beauty, which is so much more lovely than some Korean hottie. Oh Lord, fee my soul. Set it free to praise you and to admire and adore only you! What to do? God, free my soul. Let me worship you alone.

    Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.
     Take my eyes, Lord, and let them be consecrated, Lord, to thee. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Help me to take every thought captive and to push away vain imaginings. Let me love YOU, Lord. Let me develop a deep crush on YOU! Let your wit satisfy me! Let your beauty and intelligence and compassion satisfy me! Let me consider YOU worthy of my deep adoring crush! Let your own self be considered worthy in my heart of daydreams. Let me only consider YOUR wonderfulness, O Lord!  Amen.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    The Ultimate Treasure Hunt: A Guide to Supernatural Evangelism Through Supernatural Encounters

    The Ultimate Treasure Hunt: A Guide to Supernatural Evangelism Through Supernatural Encounters 

    Kevin Dedmon

  • Paperback: 219 pages

  • Publisher: Destiny Image (December 1, 2007)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0768426022

  • ISBN-13: 978-0768426021

  • The Ultimate Treasure Hunt leads believers into a supernatural lifestyle of Kingdom building. Author Kevin Dedmon captures the heart of witnessing and personal evangelism through his taking-it-to-the-streets ministry where healing, miracles, and deliverance are regular occurrences. Based on biblical principles and personal testimonies, you will learn how the simplicity of hearing a word of knowledge from God leads you to clues for the treasure hunt. Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Witnessing the love and saving grace of Jesus does not need to be invasive or argumentative; rather, it is a supernatural encounter when God reveals Himself in a specific way. The fun begins when you read the step-by-step guidelines for embarking on a successful, fulfilling treasure hunt.

    Kevin Dedmon has a traveling ministry focused on equipping, empowering, and activating the Church for supernatural evangelism through signs and wonders, healing, and the prophetic. He earned a Master's degree in church leadership from Vanguard University, and has been in full-time ministry for more than 25 years. He and his wife are part of Bethel Church staff in Redding, California.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Dark Parable: Two accusations, two reactions

    I dreamed I was in the kitchen when I heard something like someone falling. I glanced out the window and saw a kid lying diagonally his feet in the air near the handlebars, his head near the wheel on the ground. I figured he'd fallen but I said nothing. Two minutes or so later, I ran across the street somewhat agitatedly and said, something like, "What happened? Is everyone okay? I just heard a noise." The kid looked up at me and said, "You lied." Because I had obviously not heard the noise "just now." After that we became good friends and I could tell him anything. I invited him into my messy house, told him about Gabe and he watched while I made something for Gabe to eat. Then I looked out my window and saw an apartment or condo being billed across the street -- same area where the boy had been bicycling earlier. I watched as modular sections were put together and when it was finished I ran over there to explore one of the apartments in the complex. I entered one of the apartments. Two of the construction workers were sitting inside the living room but I saw enough of the place to see it would really suit our family. Other people were there too, other apartment-seekers and folks who had been involved in the real estate. The apartment had furniture in it and the construction workers were discussing among themselves whether the furniture came with the apartment or if stuff was just there to show folks what the apartment would look like furnished. I was going upstairs when I grabbed at the dresser at the bottom of the stairwell. It was so lightweight that it tumbled over and smashed to pieces. Two or three women were standing by. One woman said to me, "Well, I for one am not gonna accept blame for that." I walked over to her and I totally gave her a talking-to. I said, "First of all, I didn't ask you to accept any blame. Who are you that I should specifically point you out as the blame-taker? And why are you assuming I would shirk my responsibility? Why malign me by assumign such a thing?" I said a lot more. She might have been the owner or realestate property rep or something but I thought she was just being too rude.

    When I woke up, I realized the dream was about three different things:

    First: self-defense and self-defense. We shouldn't defend ourselves against the truth because God is greater than ourselves and He knows our hearts. The human heart wants to defend itself all the time and sometimes doesn't want to hear true Holy Spirit convictions. But we should listen to the Holy Spirit's convictions because then we have a true friend. But when the Accuser accuses us we should defend ourselves by using God's word of truth. We should not allow a lie or an implication to go un-answered. Silence gives consent, in natural law cases, in family situation, and in the spiritual world. A falsity should be challenged, and challenged violently. The violent take it by force.

    The second point of the dream was how to understand about different kinds of spiritual accusations. The straight-forward challenge from the boy brought friendship and honesty.  I realized he was right. I think this is the way God challenges us. It's not a cruel accusation but something that sets us on the right path. The way the women accused me is the way the "Accuser" does it; subtly, undermining, implying.

    The third aspect of the dream was: the power and use of the word. If we are to use God's words in such a way that angels, the laws of God, and demons respond...then we have to ALWAYS use words carefully. No exaggeration, no subtlety, no pretense...even small. Say something from one's heart or nothing at all.  If the spiritual world understands that we understand the power of words, then our words will be honored and feared. Demons won't be saying, "oh, some of her words fall flat. Oh, some of her words aren't to be taken seriously."

    We have to be so careful in our words. Something as simple as "Oh, everybody likes apple pie" just isn't gonna cut it. Using phrases like, "What a crappy day! It's only gonna get worse!" doesn't cut it. Saying stuff like "Cancer runs in my family" isn't the way to go. Stuff like "I hate Mondays; crappy stuff always happens on Mondays" is not the thing to do. No generalizations, whinings, exxagerations, dangerous jestings. Words are precious things. God used them to create the world. If we are to occupy the world and use the powers and authority of God's kingdom, we have to use words carefully.

    I suspect the construction workers are symbolic of angels. I'm always dreaming of workers. And the building is the implication that we are all working on a building. Glancing out the window could also mean looking one's eyes. The house is of course the mansion of the soul: our lives, our bodies. The windows being the eyegate of the soul.

    I don't know why the dream came up now. But I've been praying and praying and I think that in order to move into actual praying and speaking to the mountain, we have to really see the importance of our words. Like Isaiah whose mouth was purified when he was in the temple in heaven. The mouth is the most difficult thing to sanctify and to tame and out of the abundance of the heartthe mouth speaks. We have to be so careful.

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Three similar-but-unalike anthologies with stories by yours truly

    It's getting to be an interesting summer. I'm in three speculative fiction anthologies.
    The first two have come out and I'm waiting for the third. Patting myself on the back here: I like it that I'm in three different anthos with different audiences.

    The first is Christian speculative fiction, edited by Lyndon Perry of Residential Aliens over at Createspace.

    As a rule, although I write Christian spec-fic, I gotta say I tend to avoid it when it's written by Christians I don't know. I don't mind seeing Christian cosmology explored (And isn't speculative fiction another way of depicting cosmology?) but I do dislike and fear preachiness. I dislike Christians saying they're doing something different "pushing the envelop" and "outside the box" when they aren't really aware of how big the box is and what the internal and external dimensions of the envelope or box is and where exactly they are pushing the envelope to or from. I've been reading the stories and they are all great stories. My story is the least worthy to be there. It's not as full of gravitas as some of the stories here and it's not as regal as some of my Christian stories. But it is unique in one respect so I feel I've succeeded somewhat and that it's a good choice for that anthology. I was aiming for humor and I was aiming to put race into a Christian speculative fiction antho. As such, the story works.

    The second is African-themed speculative fiction -- Sword and Soul-- edited by Milton Davis and Charles Saunders

    Sword and Soul speculative fiction is a historical genre that is not as seen as often as say the Asian martial arts fantasies and the western historical fantasies such as gothic stories, elven lore, and regency vampires. I like the idea of "everybody gets to play" but when it comes to being cosmopolitan about fantasies, the bookworld has not allowed black fantasies into the game. When one goes to a book store, the literary conversation rarely has a black fantasy writer in the forefront. The great Charles Saunders is, of course, the originator and creator of Sword and Soul genres and I am so glad he liked my story and accepted it in this anthology. The book hasn't arrived yet but am waiting for it. Even more because when it comes to the spec-fic world, most of the writers I know are Christian and/or Black. I only know three people in the Christian anthology but I think I know of or am acquainted with or am friends with pretty much everyone in this anthology. So it'll be fun to read this one.

    My story, Changeling, is one of my favorite short stories. It isn't sorcery, at all, however so it isn't what anyone would consider speculative fiction. But it has an ancient folkloric feel to it and it really is a beautiful love story.

    The third is general speculative fiction, edited by Warren Lapine. It's called Fantastic Tales of the Imagination. The first person accepted into this anthology was Harlan Ellison. Wow!! The second person was equally great. I was the third accepted person. Can you believe that? I'm happy about this anthology because I really like the idea of being in a group that is precisely normal and all-American, generic fantastical. The writers in the other two anthologies have specific religious and racial concerns and their stories show their concerns in a safe setting. They are, so to speak, among friends. But this anthology is one that is aimed for the general fantasy audience. My story --A Cry for Hire-- has a black-heroine, has minority concerns, has female concerns, has health concerns, has religious concerns, and could only be written by someone who is not part of the majority spirituality, majority race. Most speculative fiction is written by men, white men, (okay some white women too), healthy white men, healthy white men who don't really think about Christian matters. My being included in thi s anthology makes me feel very ambassadorial. It makes me feel skilled at slipping into the majority world, being in and among and yet still my Black woman Christian emotionally-messed-up self. Although the story is religious, it manages to not be so steeped in religion that it can make it into this story. Although the story is about motherhood and about race, the story isn't gooey and it doesn't threaten white readers. So yeah, am glad for that. Waiting to see what the other stories will be ...and waiting to be liked by the authors in this general spec-fic antho.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Is God to Blame? Moving Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Suffering

    Is God to Blame? Moving Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Suffering

  • Paperback: 211 pages

  • Publisher: IVP Books (September 9, 2003)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0830823948

  • ISBN-13: 978-0830823949

  • Monday, August 08, 2011

    Dreams, Visions, Deja-vu and other strange occurrences

    My friend, Chazz, a very militant atheist recalled something that happened to him while he was in the service in the west on a Native American reservation:  He was in the middle of a desert in the middle of the night when he sees this strange creature. Humanoid but not really. It still perturbs him to this day. I suspect it was a shapeshifter because many folks have encountered shapeshifters on Native American reservations. Yet, demonic, naturalistic, human lost soul, or angelic, this visitation didn't make him believe in God. At best, he believes that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in humanist or Christian philosophy. He's not a Buddhist either, or the adherent to some New Age philosophy. So, yeah, an absolutely militant atheist who believes there are strange humanoid creatures other than man in the world.

    So what does it mean: seeing something weird and paranormal isn't gonna convince anyone about the supernatural. Or at least about the ultimate supernatural Good or the ultimate supernatural evil. We humans see a lot of things. Although, I gotta say that I always wonder why it is that so many atheists and agnostics have NOT seen angels, demons, or other supernatural things. I read a survey once that said many Americans had had supernatural experiences. Why haven't the atheists been so blessed? Or have they so steeled their minds against believing or seeing that -- even if something comes to them-- they are unable to see the kingdom of God?

    I think of the sweet, wonderful beautiful angel who appeared and smiled at me. I think of the vicious demon I saw in a vision underneath the earth (who saw me and hated me so much.) I think of the two deja-vu experiences in which time rolled back: the car accident where the windshield broke and glass splintered all over me. Then the windshield was suddenly not broken. Nope: I hadn't been confused in the accident. I did actually see the windshield break. Then I saw it utterly not broken. Very odd. In that other time-line, had I been so splintered that I would've ended up in the hospital?

    Then there was the time I was talking to a friend on the phone and suddenly time rolled back. I actually felt the reel of time roll back, as if I was a tape being put on rewind to just before the beginning of the phone call. Then when time started again, my friend telephoned again. I picked up the phone knowing it was she. (This was before the days when one had Caller ID) Then, in the middle of talking, I said: "Go finish cooking your soup." She responded, "How did you know I was cooking soup?" That's when I knew she hadn't noticed the time-looping.

    (Of course I have to laugh here: when folks talk about deja-vu they totally don't understand what it means to have a LITERAL deja-vu. They're talking about impressions -- which is weird and a strange enough occurrence -- maybe connected with a spirit from that place whispering to them or something) but it's not what I mean when I think of deja-vus. For me, deja-vu means realizing that an angel or God has literally rolled back time. After all, time is an earthly construct. Einstein proved that time/space/mind work a bit differently on earth than on any other place in the universe. After all, we should be able to see both sides of a coin at the same time, and time itself should be flowing in all directions not just one. The earth breaks a lot of rules.

    I've never been translated from one place to another in a matter of minutes but it's happened to other folks.

    The question remains, though: why is it that some folks see odd things in the world, but other folks claim they have NEVER had a supernatural occurrence? How can one live through life and not have an utterly strange occurrence one is floored by?

    Wednesday, August 03, 2011

    What's trope for the White female protag is not trope for the black female protag

    Someone reviewing my book stated that a fantasy story about a man in search of his lost stolen wife is old hat. Perhaps, but for me it isn't. He might think the trope of honorable men a bit old because there are countless stories about honorable white men in search of their lost white wives or beloveds. But in the west, there are few stories about black men searching for black wives or white men searching for black wives, or Asian men searching for their black wives. Heck, black women are rarely sought for. Which is kind weird considering A) the amount of black women who were stolen and raped by white slave owners in American history and B) the number of black women and young girls who go missing in contemporary times.

    So just because white women have had noble warriors searching for them doesn't mean my story in Wind Follower is old. And just because white women have had stories about great loving marriages doesn't mean black women shouldn't write about such marriages because it is "old." And just because white male characters married to white female characters have had to reject with white temptresses/seductresses doesn't mean that white male characters married to black female characters who reject white temptresses is old.

    Really, just because white folks have had a chance to be heroes and heroines in a particular situation, does that mean minorities should simply bypass that aspect of our literary existence? Is what's old to the white world also supposed to be old to the minority world?

    Heck, just because a white feminist is tired of men holding doors for them and helping them out of cars, should Black women be tired of such tropes as well? Heck, white women's vaginas  -- in literature and in society-- have been put on pedestals! Latino women's vaginas have been relegated to the exotic or fiery pedestals. But Black women have been shown as ugly, or in need of societal pity/help, or sexually-loose... and we didn't have any literature showing our vaginas as worthy of pedestals....or worthy to be searched for and honored.

    Then there was Neth. (Yeah, I'm still annoyed with the Neth review of Wind Follower.) He said nothing happened in the first 200 pages of my novel. For him -- a white man without heart and totally into his own cultural need for battles-- nothing happened. But for Black women that was the heart of the story: an interracial romance with a dark-skinned well-loved black woman was shown before their eyes.  For a Christian Black woman who likes romance, much happened. Because in Christian romance novels, we had a noble black woman oppressed by white Christian imperialism. (Not something one finds in Christian stories) And in for Black fantasy-lovers, we are given a view  (as John Ottinger says in his review -->) of a medieval Black/multicultural society. We are given sword and soul, according to Charles Saunders...instead of the usual impoverished Black culture which White Americans (Christian or not) assume about Africa.  We are given a great novel according to Chris Howard on Stuff as Dreams are Made On.

      Okay.... got that off my chest. For now!

    Tuesday, August 02, 2011

    Dark Parables: The violent take it by force

    I love dreams in which I get violent. But I really, really, really love dreams when hubby gets violent. In this small little dreamlet, he dreamed that he was in a car with a man and his wife in the front seat and in the back, my husband, the couple's small baby, and an evil man. The evil man hit the child once and the mother turned around and slapped the evil man hard. Some time went by and the evil man hit the child again. Again, the mother hit the evil man.

    The Bible tells us that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Several years ago, I began to understand the meaning of violence and fighting in dreams.

    In this dream, the interpretation is:

    We strike at the demonic or at the disease by the word of God. We fight and we take the kingdom by force. Evil and the demonic attempts to return and will not give in easily. Evil tries to return no matter what. But the woman hit the evil man whenever he hit her child.

    I wonder though. While it is better for the child that the mother is at least hitting the evil man, shouldn't both parents be hitting the evil man? Shouldn't the evil man be bound? And really, shouldn't the evil man be cast out of the car? 

    Dark Parable: The rejected countessa

    I dreamed of a beautiful party being given at the palazzo of a great lady. She might have been a countess or a duchess or just a high-born lady. The time was about turn of the century England and it was also a contemporary time. I generally don't mind time discrepancies in dreams because heaven is beyond time. All people to be who are going to be in heaven are already there now in the truest sense. And God is in all time so he is DAILY LIVING with the countess in her own time, so He is daily living with me in my won time now and simultaneously with me.

    The palazzo or manor was the place of an art festival. Artists of all kinds and sorts were there. I wanted to read some poetry and was getting dressed but had some trouble with the clothes and with the poem. I finally decided on black leather pants and jacket . Very hipster. But the poem I was supposed to read -- one that was so great that everyone likeed it and which I knew everyone would like-- was in different bits and in shredded pieces of paper. I had all these pieces of paper with the poem parts written on one side and other stuff written on the reverse. I kept all these in a little sandwich baggie but the papers kept being lost and I couldn't get all the pieces together to recreate the long poem. I began to realize I was in trouble.

    The art party/conference/festival group had divided itself  into two distinct groups, although other folks were milling around elsewhere. I left the large performance area in the living room and entered the dining room where another group was sitting at a large dining table with food. But it was also kind of a gaming table. Group of upper-class Englishmen --aristocratic youth-- entered or were already there. They intended to do gaming or to eat and basically to enjoy themselves. I realized the poem I had was pretty much useless and I hadn't memorized it but I still wanted to do a performance...or maybe I was signed up  ...whatever it was I had the diary of the countessa who was the owner of the house. IHow I had it I don't know but I managed to slip it under her pillow as if I had never had it. I pulled it out from the pillow in her sight so she thought I was just looking at it then. I asked her if I could read her journal to the young aristocratic men gathered. She said yes. Which was pretty brave of her but she was dying so she didn't care.

    Now this countess was dying and praying to die. Her name was Carole. She was very upset with her nurses and pretty indifferent to the revelers in her living room and dining room, and they were indifferent to her or to the fact that they were using her house for their revels. Some of them even hated her and judged her because of something outre she had done in the past.

    I took out .the diary and said to the elite aristocratic young men, "I want to read the countess' diary." They groaned dismissively that she was a woman with a bad reputation who had dome something unseemly in her youth and had been rejected ever since. I said, "So you come to her house to eat and play but you don't respect her enough to hear her life?" That convicted them although I could tell they weren't really trying to honor her. They were just ashamed and trying to do the "right" honorable thing. They were gonna listen then leave.

    So I started to read the diary to them. It started out very gently. I don't quite remember what. But she was talking about love, then her feelings of love and then her beau. I kept flipping the pages. Then I came to the entry where she told what happened, how her beloved seduced her one night and then the very next day he married another. The story was told crisply and succinctly but the power of the hurt and the grief and betrayal was evident. I looked up to see that of the eight or so men who had been there when i began reading -- and I hadn't read for so long-- only three remained. And those who had remained were truly touched by the writing. One of the men who had been the most dismissive of her -- he had dark curly hair and had said something snide and judgmental and snobbish against her-- was visibly shaken. It was as if he had been suddenly converted. That was the effect: a restoration of her honor and a telling of the true story. I don't know if the woman in the bed, the Countess named Carole, cared that her name was now cleared. But the reading affected those boys and me as well.

    I so hope I don't have a kind of idea in my mind that I will die and THEN folks will understand me. But whatever it  means... it would make a good little story.

    Interpretation from Deb McCallYou my love are hanging on to mistakes of your past. You have not forgiven yourself and fear that on your death bed no one will forgive you or ever know the real Carole, the redeemed Carole....Somewhere in your life you have been used by others blatantly... The grand party was maybe a pre-wake or funeral of sorts in your mind. So many people from all different walks of life, some came to "use" eat and be entertained, others came to speak in your honor. You are sifting through shreds of paper trying to put together a poem to read, but the poem is shredded and no longer complete because your life has been tumultuous , (they represent your life as YOU see it). God brings clarity to your MIND and you "read" (speak) from the diary, you are relieved that you remember certain things, hurtful as they may have been, but so important to you for others to know and hear...You are redeemed, forgiven after your life has been "read"...BUT, your true redeemer is not man, it is God. I think God was telling you in this dream that HE is all that matters, not the snobs and aristocrats or even the youth, yet there WILL be and there are people who admire and love you for who you are already, those are the ones who stayed and listened and were moved by your words...VERY much like life itself, right now. Keep writing, keep dreaming, keep loving, keep trusting and listening to the Lord Carole, He is trying so hard to reach out to You and grab that hand and never allow you to let go! xxoo

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