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Archive for the ‘God.’ Category

Flea rocks. Seriously. If you came from her site, you know this already. If you don’t, get thee hence. Today she led me to the edge of the YouTube cliff and, without hesitating, pushed my butt OFF. Right over the edge. So thoughtful of her, doncha think?  I’m stealing her thunder by showing you where I landed. Heh. I love these guys, and we just met. Is that too needy?

Hmm. Apparently WordPress is going thru puberty, and is withholding the ability to embed until I bring it flowers or something. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeF0fNwCL04&NR=1

Go. You know you want to.

Funny, huh? OK, maybe not so much HAHA funny, but VERY TELLING. Click around and watch some of their other vids. They me want to be Baptist again, just so I can do stuff like this on Sundays. (Shhh… don’t tell my elders.)

BTW, If you’re not a Jesus person, it’s ok. Don’ be hatin’. Those of us who drank the tropical punch koolaid are ok with you wanting a less complicated flavor. Just come back another day if you don’t wanna read about it.  (If you wanna taste, it’s free… :D)

School starts for me Tuesday. (TOMORROW! ACK!!) I’m nervous, but the first day is always stressful. Tonight I have to finish my syllabus and get some sleep, so I can get the thing copied in the morning before blastoff. The butterflies are on crack, apparently, cuz I feel just a little nauseous. Or, it could be the bean dip. Whatever.

OK, then. I have to type. See you guys later!

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Every now and then, I get a glimpse of truth. Sometimes, it was not meant for me to see, and I have to be happy with that, content to not let on. That’s hard work for somebody who’s desperate for her friends to understand her. I got a taste of friendship a few times, and I mean the subtle kind, not the obvious stuff. I am ever so grateful for people who remember what my favorite flavor of ice cream is, or that I’d rather have a burger than ice cream in the first place. I thank God for those who put up with my crap and still love me, talk to me, laugh with me, and AT me. Those are obvious, though, and not the glimpsed.

I know, I sound like a fool, but here’s the thing. If it has to be coerced, if it’s a social convention, it can’t always be  trusted to be genuine. My broker sends me a birthday card, as does the pastor I had 5 years ago, simply because I am on a list. My local friends know I would be (stupidly) hurt if they didn’t say SOMETHING about it (even though I wish they wouldn’t waste money on me), so see? That’s emotional coersion. On the other hand, when I fell in the orchestra pit last year and broke my wrist, people mentioned one person who was upstairs in the balcony who took the stairs three at a time to get to me. I wasn’t supposed to know that. Another friend waits up for me when I am late getting home, even though she is 3000 miles away, because she apparently loves me. I am not supposed to read much into that, I guess, but I do, because she is the only person in my life who cares that I get home safely. That gives me comfort, and makes me want to BE careful for her.

Other small glimpses that are simply honest and innocent come from my babies: Tess meeting me at the truck, Harry’s little tail shooting straight up when he hears my voice, JP’s little stretches that would puncture me if I didn’t grab his feet and hold them, which he now expects. Other than those small things, I wonder sometimes why I am still here. I don’t seem to be fulfilling my destiny, if indeed I have one, even though it seems I make some things better for people. For instance, my church could certainly get along without me, but they don’t want to. Several admitted that when I almost left last fall for a new job, they were torn about how to pray: they didn’t want me to get the job because they wanted me to stay. That’s reassuring. Somebody recently reminded me not to count the misguided asininity (my word, not his) of a few people as the intent of the whole organization. I need to remember that the whole world does not hate me, and those who do can go eat the worms themselves.

I’ve gotten lots of advice from various sources lately about asking for what I want in my future. I’ve never been good at that, since God usually has other ideas. Christians, atheists, and blatant hedonists have all said, “ask for exactly what you want. The worst that can happen is He (God, the universe, whatever) will say no.” So. I decided, what the hey. Why not. Here’s what I want.

I want to write music. I want the energy and decisiveness to promote my songs, to send them to the right people in an endless stream of coolness. I want those songs to sell, and well enough that I can use the money for things other than survival. I want to have enough money to pay off my church’s building project and set them up with a nice little trust fund for missions support. I want to fund a few choice charities as well.

I want to be able to pay off my friends’ debts, and since I have few friends, that’s not a tall order. I want to build a no-kill rescue shelter for unwanted animals, and fund a program that would let people who couldn’t afford it otherwise get their pets spayed or neutered for free. I want to have enough money to send my cousins’ children to college, so they don’t end up like their parents. OK, that’s a little unfair. Most of my cousins with school-age children are the good ones. Still. College.

I want to put JJ (a free spirit and choreographer here in town whom I’ve known forever) in a house in a decent part of town, with a working car that has all its parts. I want to pay off his brain surgery bill, since he will never do that in his lifetime at the current pace. I want another one of my friends, who is so frightfully lost that I fear he will never be called back, to be called back (it’s a Jesus thing).

Small requests. All centered around finances, but the truth is, I don’t want to make those I love complacent, merely to free them from the crap they have to deal with just to make it day-to-day. I only have one request that is purely selfish. I want a swimming pool in a screen room, so I don’t have to fight mosquitoes. Of course, it needs to be totally private. I might actually get some exercise if I had that.

I might as well ask for the moon. But at least I can say I DID. ASK.

Have you made your wish list today?

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I have never wanted a magic wand more than I have recently. I know most people would wish a better life for their friends if they could, and if they were given three wishes and told to give one away, they would most likely wave it over the lives of those they love. I am no different, and have one particular family in my daily existence that I consider closer than blood.  If I were to list the things that have gone wrong for them in the last 12 months, I have no doubt you would find several on the list that apply to you, but I bet you’d be hard-pressed to claim them all.  With everything from major surgery to financial woes to the single most incredible run of bad luck by one human EVER (their son is a magnet for “not-my-fault” stuff), they have been smacked.  

The son… good grief. He lives 200 miles to the north, for reference purposes. Just this week, while his mother was having surgery and recuperating from it, he almost broke his ankle skateboarding, had his car damaged during a theft attempt, got lost going to his cousin’s wedding and missed it (she married Dr. Goodnight, an anesthesiologist. Can’t make that stuff up), and had the car towed when he parked for 20 minutes in part of a lot that had been re-zoned but hadn’t been marked yet. The security guard called the tow truck as soon as he got out, rather than yelling to him to move it. Then he lost his registration, and he couldn’t get the thing out of impound without it, leaving his mom and, well, me, to find it at home and fax it. Four days. All of that in 4 days, and that was just his short list. Back that up 6 months and it would fill a notebook. A year would take several, college-lined.

Bring on the holly with the unicorn core.

The one good thing that happened recently was a best-case-scenario with the wife’s surgery. I’d take a daily flat tire rather than have her receive a bad report.

We all need a little help. Some of us, myself at the top o’ the list, need a LOT of help. I’ve often wondered about ancient magic, how God said not to play with it. Thing is, it seemed to WORK. People could cast spells, good or bad, offer remedies and potions, and for the most part, it was used to improve life. I don’t know that for certain, not having lived in medieval England or having rubbed shoulders with the Celts, but I wonder, why the ban? Is it because the source of the power to do those things is inherently evil, and we as mere mortals could only see the good results rather than the underlying motives of the “being” providing it? That the same person who could give a love potion could cast a spell to cover one with warts would seem to prove that theory. Nothing like dichotomy. 

Is it that God didn’t want the competition, that we might figure out He’s not as omnipotent as He says He is (no, I don’t have the guts to believe that one)? Or is it simply that we don’t have a clue what we are getting ourselves into most of the time, and He knows our needs best? He would definitely take Curtain Number Three, Bob. We are all adolescents at heart, testing our boundaries. That answer takes away our control, though, doesn’t it? Telling us to do what He says, “Because I said so, and I’m the deity”? I think that’s a major problem for most people: they want to have a say in their own futures, even their post-mortem ones, and Christianity is a full-surrender operation. Whereas I think that fact makes it the best choice, others think that makes it a cheap, easy religion. I guess they should talk to the Guy who died because of it, in order to make it worthy, and get His point of view.

I’m just sayin’.

Yeah, I’m one of those Thomas types. Always gotta ask the questions, I do.

Meanwhile, if anybody runs across anything that’ll cure the “Job Complex,” lemme know. I have just the right candidates for it.

-Me 

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Once upon a time, a young princess came of age. She was given the most wonderful gift a girl of her standing could receive, a beautiful white stallion of purest blood. The two became fast friends, and the girl visited him and cared for him and talked to him every day, sometimes spending hours with him in the fields riding bareback.

As she grew, she spent less and less time with her friend. She felt guilty just thinking about her neglect, but time just slipped away from her. She vowed to visit and rebuild the relationship she once cherished, and when she finally made time, he greeted her as if she had never been gone. She was so ashamed of herself she could barely stand to be with him, but she finally understood he was just glad she was there. Things were not the same, however; she felt burdened and guilty, weary and distracted. Not until she went for a ride beside the still, clear waters of the lake on her parents’ estate did she understand why. She caught a glimpse of herself in the water, and was quite surprised to see that she was carrying a host of packages on her back. Each package was labeled: “who am I?” “career,” “school,” “family expectations,” “my faith.” Stunned, she sat and stared at her reflection. She reached behind her and grabbed the bundle of family obligations, and tossed it into the lake. She felt lighter already. She grabbed another: “grades,” and tossed that as well. One by one, she removed the burdens she carried, and with each lost weight, noticed a glow around her begin to grow. She was seeing herself in the radiance of the magnificent horse on which she sat, the beautiful creature who now glowed with a pure light that covered her in peaceful joy. Left only with the package containing her faith, she took that one and laid it at the feet of her stallion, who took it and transformed it into the breath of life itself.

How nice it would be to so easily cast aside our burdens! If only we could realize that nothing else matters except reflecting and basking in the light of our Creator, the One who loves us and joyfully welcomes us back when we return from self-exile. If only we could get a glimpse of the truth of our adoption, carried through life to our inheritance on the back of the Savior, that we were created to enjoy Him and His creation. If only.

Today I was given a tiny glimpse or two into  the truth of my personal existence. An older member of our church thanked me for telling her it was ok NOT to want to learn how to operate a computer beyond her email and grandkids’ pictures. She said I “freed” her from feeling guilty. I had to laugh a little at that, but the irony is that it is in her womens’ Bible study that I am learning to say no to the guilt that haunts ME. Things like, “you aren’t feminine enough, you don’t make casseroles, you don’t write cute cards and letters and do scrapbooking, and you couldn’t care less what color my baby poops.”

You think I’m kidding.  

Another friend let it slip that since I quit teaching, he doesn’t really care about staying much longer, either. Took the fun out of it for him, apparently. It does indeed feel good to know that I am missed, or at least appreciated. Another woman in my church admitted she felt a little sad that some people close to her were having babies, even though she has a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter at home. I realized then that we all share the same pain. It may take personally hellish forms for each of us, but underneath it all it comes down to being burdened with fear and guilt and disappointments over who we think we ought to be, or who we think the world wants us to be. When we accept who we are and who we AREN’T and toss those packages from our backs, then and only then will we truly be free.

I for one can’t wait to hand off that big one marked “chocolate.”

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Warning: this post is inflammatory. Don’t come after me if you don’t agree with it, ‘cuz you have been warned. If you want to have an intelligent discussion about it, cool.  

The problem with God is that He is supposed to honor US, not the other way around. That’s what the majority of humanity seems to think, at least. We blather on about bad things happening to good people and a God of love and all that garbage, when the truth of the matter is that the Bible doesn’t EVER say we are deserving of good things. In fact, it says just the opposite in Romans chapter 3:

9What then? Are we Jews[a] any better off?[b] No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10as it is written:

   “None is righteous, no, not one;
 11no one understands;
   no one seeks for God.

There are numerous Biblical references to the fact that even though we may THINK we are righteous, doing good deeds, trying to live “good” lives, we are in fact hopeless sinners whose motivations aren’t pure. We simply cannot accept that about ourselves. We don’t FEEL sinful, and frankly, it’s humiliating to even think about somebody telling us we are. Our pride swells, and we become indignant. Um, see how that works? Pride? There’s a blot on our righteousness right there, without even trying.

We must understand: if there is the TINIEST sin in our lives, we cannot stand before God. That is where the whole Jesus thing comes into play.  He stood between us and justice when He was crucified, and proved God is the supreme dungeon master when He was resurrected. Don’t take my word for it: read it for yourself. The story starts in Matthew 27.

Now, I say all that because of an article in the Washington Post by Harold Meyerson titled, “God and His Gays.” It describes how a prominent evangelist angered Christians by conceding that homosexuality may mave a genetic component. Here’s what prompted me to write this post.

But once you recognize homosexuality as a genetic reality, it does create a theological dilemma for the Mohlers among us, for it means that God is making people who, in the midst of what may otherwise be morally exemplary lives, have a special and inherent predisposition to sin. Mohler’s response is that since Adam’s fall, sin is the condition of all humankind. That sidesteps, however, the conundrum that a gay person may follow the same God-given instincts as a straight person — let’s assume fidelity and the desire for church sanctification in both cases — and end up damned while the straight person ends up saved. Indeed, it means that a gay person’s duty is to suppress his God-given instincts while a straight person’s duty is to fulfill his.

Man, there’s just so much to say here. Let me take this apart point-by-point.

1. Man’s purpose, his “duty,” if you will, is not to fulfill his instincts. The point of our existence, the reason we were created, is to glorify God and ENJOY HIM. That? is a tall order. I realize that. In the face of a world that increasingly sucks on a daily basis, it’s really hard to keep our eyes on Heaven rather than global warming and terrorism.

2. Mohler’s response is accurate, but the assumption that follows is not. Yes, homosexuality is mentioned as a biggie worthy of condemnation, but all sin condemns us, regardless of the perceived seriousness of it. The Bible mentions adultery in the same sentence, yet we glorify that on television every single day. I doubt you’ll see an article in ANY mainstream newspaper slamming Brangelina.

3. The honest truth is, I don’t know why God makes people broken, but He does. Every one of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, has some pain we carry. I argue with Him on a regular basis about this, since my body is predisposed to store every calorie I even contemplate. If my “duty” is to follow my instincts, then bring on the cheeseburgers, dude! I marvel every time I see the kid in my church with Down’s dancing at the sound of the music we play, and I wonder why God makes people have to face the demons He supposedly allows to torment them daily – depression, loneliness, wallflowers, the odd personality that makes people uncomfortable with its awkwardness – when He has the power to wave His hand and fix it. See the movie Bruce Almighty for an interesting take on this thought. The only answer I am ever given is that sin caused the corruption in our genetic code, and that until sin is purged at the second coming of Christ, we will just have to deal with it. And yes, this means I believe children are sinners from birth. Anybody who has ever witnessed an infant throw a tantrum should recognize this.

DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME. I do not claim to comprehend God. That’s far beyond my brain’s meager capabilities. I wonder sometimes, just like the rest of you, if God is really a space alien, and our infantile way of dealing with Him is by couching Him in the deity we have created in the Christian faith, that maybe sin is relative, and we really are good inside. Then I remember all the “coincidences” in my life, how I found myself out of work just a few weeks before my mother was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, the voice that told me to “wait” instead of looking for a job. I was free to take care of her because I listened, and because He intervened. Why didn’t He heal her? I don’t know. I have my ideas, though, and none of them involve blaming Him for her disease.

When it comes down to it, I believe God is sovereign, which means I have to let Him do His thing without too much whining if I truly trust Him. In the end, the old saying holds true: if I am wrong, I have lost nothing. If I am right, a lot of newspaper reporters are in a boatload of trouble.

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Any Stargate fans out there? Huh? You know what I mean if you watch the show. If not, it’s a wonderful little gadget that can stun, kill, or disintegrate. I like that last one, myself. You have to shoot three times to do that: I would take great pleasure in pulling that trigger right now.

There are times when a boil on the butt of humanity needs to be lanced.

They went after me, and they won. Now they are after a friend, and I am out for blood. Stinking little fatherless dog. I say that in the singular because it’s really one little pissant that needs burning under a magnifying glass: he has too much power, too much vindictiveness, and he enjoys screwing people over WAYYYY too much. He’s a freaking liar. He needs to move to some nasty, hateful little place and be an a-hole there. We don’t need his kind in our little hometown.

Can you tell I am ANGRY?  I hatehateHATE to see people I care about getting treated like crap because some idiot who happens to have a bigger paycheck feels the need to whip it out and show everybody how long it is. I swear, and often. I know I profess to be a Christian. I know better than to carry this bitterness, I do. Really. I heard a great quote on the radio which may or may not be attributed to D.L. Moody: “I’m filled with the Holy Spirit, but I leak.” That’s my faith in a nutshell. I am, unfortunately, still human.

So. There is nothing I can do about this situation except pray. Funny how the prayer follows the word “except.” It makes it seem like an act of desperation, instead of the first step it should be. Too often it IS only after I exhaust myself worrying and whining that I pray, not even really thinking God will care because I waited so long. I put Him last. I hate that, too.

So. Still no shower, although we’re getting closer. Maybe by tomorrow night. Poor Churchboy has tried twice this week to get me out to dinner, and twice the promise of getting the shower done has left him to forage alone. We were just together on Friday, so I don’t know why he’s so determined to go out again so soon. I am ok with it either way, but it does feel mean to keep saying no. He will call again tomorrow, too. I would bet on it. And? He will hear NO for the 4th time.  I should just take our whatever-it-is at face value, but I can’t help wondering if somewhere down the road he’s my…well, my future. Of course, being down the road would MAKE it my future, kinda like, automatically. Shut up.

I found an old journal from 1998 last night. I was all aflutter over Goatboy then, stupid me. There was a quote in it that reminded me of some things, though. My pastor at the time got up to preach after an offertory I played before some soloist sang something. Who knows. Anyway, he said, “I often wish I could stand up here right after Zoe plays, so I could say, ‘thank you.’ There are some people who play the piano with a part of them in it. Zoe is one of those people, and she (blesses)(us).” That was a long time ago, but people still say those kinds of things about me here. I don’t say that to brag, but simply to share that I hear the nice things, but they really don’t get inside. I wish they could. I realize my only purpose on this earth may be to help other people worship. They seem to do that – at least, they SAY they do. I have had people just lie down and ask me to play for them, to help them relax. That has to be a good thing, right?

My existence is not about me, but sometimes I wish it were. Sometimes I want to be the center of my life, so I can feel justified in asking for a mate, a future, a plan beyond tomorrow. As it is, I don’t believe I can want any of those things and want the will of God at the same time. They don’t seem to to intersect.

I hate that, too.

Lest you think I hate everything, I love kittens, lizards, doing nice things for people in secret, and fixing things around the house. I love Grey’s Anatomy, being asked for my opinion, and cheese.

Surely I can find SOMETHING in there to help me sleep at night.

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