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Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Carnival

I went to the carnival today.
I’d never ridden a Ferris wheel before.

Being on the Ferris wheel reminded me of the first car I ever drove. Every time it stopped, it would shudder a little bit, like you’d given it some nasty-tasting medicine or something. And then when it started going again, it would shudder a little more as it began to slowly creep forward.

The Ferris wheel was definitely a lot better than the car was though. I loved being able to see everything from high above the ground. And there was a nice, cool breeze blowing. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Maybe my next adventure will be skydiving.

Or…. maybe not.

Or…. maybe…. Maybe my next adventure should be a helicopter ride.

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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Current Events

 

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A Book I Found Recently

I have a confession to make.

When I have a few extra dollars, I like to go on Amazon.com and browse the book section.

Recently, I was browsing and came across this.

I was intrigued more by the subtitle than anything else. “How to Find a Date Worth Keeping: Be Dating in Six Months or Your Money Back.”

I’m not as frugal as I used to be.

But, if you’re going to give me a challenge, I’m going to go for it.

Unless it’s something stupid. Like licking a metal pole during winter.

*****

When I came across this book, I thought, “Aha! Let’s just see if this works!”

It was very exciting.

Because, when you’re like…. 30…. and you’ve been dumped once (even though you’ve never even been on a date), a guarantee like that is about as exciting as…. I don’t know. Getting a new puppy?

*****

Then, I started reading it.

I don’t think I like it very much. It sounds like work.

It sounds like I might have to become someone I’m not.

It sounds like I’d definitely have to become someone that no one is used to.

And then I’d have to explain myself. And people would look at me. And they’d like…. I don’t know. Realize that I exist. And that would take a little getting used to.

We’ll see how this goes.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Current Events

 

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Victory

It’s a little funny how sometimes, my life just goes along and nothing particularly interesting happens. And then no blog posts get written. And my blog doesn’t get visited. And then I feel a little neglected.

Ok, so I’m not that narcissistic.

Bored is a better way to put it.

But then, just as quickly (and inconspicuously) as life flows into the mundane, beauty can flow into life. Sometimes I don’t even recognize it. Sometimes I’m too focused on the mundane to even notice the colors that are beginning to creep in. Sometimes I’m too scared to allow myself to see them. Sometimes I let my insecurities, my fear, my pain and my needs take precedence and then I see drama and heartache and pain flow into my life.

The past few days, I’ve been thinking about my issues and problems. I’ll spare you the details. But today, I got this revelation about how my personal issues affect people who aren’t even involved. If I do something out of insecurity or fear and it affects somebody else negatively, I’m making an innocent person a victim.

That is so not ok.

I don’t want to be that kind of person. I want to be the kind of person who brings joy and peace wherever I am. I want to bring life and beauty. I want my presence to be like the paint on a canvas — bringing meaning to something that was once dull and empty. I want my presence to be a delightful aroma.

II Corinthians 2:14 says “But thanks be to God who leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.”

I want to be that person. The one who, even though there are challenges and problems, (and even though it’s boring at times), lives in victory.

I’m really not very good a those things. But this is my prayer this week:
Let me be a person who, in spite of what is going on around me, is able to live in victory — and to bring others to a place of victory too.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Current Events

 

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Faith of a Child

My sweet niece, Bailey (9 months) is at the age where she’s getting really good at scooting around and she’s curious about everything. We had a bubble machine going tonight and she wasn’t enthralled with the bubbles so much as she was with the machine that was making them. At first, she watched the bubbles floating in the air, and then she reached up to touch them. But after watching a couple of bubbles pop, she was done. The machine had moving parts and it made noise. It must be explored!

Later in the evening, I was holding Miss Bailey and I thought it would be cool to see what she would do if I helped her stand up. We started out standing by the coffee table. She found something interesting on the table and was oblivious to the fact that I let go of her — and she stood on her own for quite a while. I was right behind her the whole time, but the second I looked at something else, a gust of wind blew at her (or she realized I wasn’t holding her anymore) and she fell.

She was more scared than hurt. She cried — the kind of cry where you don’t breathe for a dangerously…. long…. time…. and just as quickly as the tears came, the tears went.

When I left, I picked Miss Bailey up to tell her goodbye. She put her head on my shoulder and snuggled in.

Trusting.

Trusting that I wasn’t going to let anything happen to her.

Trusting that I love her.

Trusting that I believe in her.

Trusting that this was in the safest place she could possibly be.

It’s moments like those that make life a beautiful thing.

I love spending time with babies and toddlers because they are so innocent. They are so free from anger. Free from the emotional baggage that ties the rest of us down. They don’t make connections between what happened in the past and what could possibly happen in the future. They just trust. They just believe that they are loved, they are safe and they are provided for. They are free to receive everything you have to give them.

The faith of a child.

I believe that God wants us to be like little Bailey. He wants us to not let past pain weaken our faith. He wants us to not let bitterness or anger poison our faith. He wants us to simply rest. Just believe that He has it all covered.

That is the faith of a child.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Current Events

 

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Onward, Christian Soldiers

I’m sure you’ve heard today’s biggest news on religion in the U.S. military.

I, myself, have heard several versions of this story from several sources, some of which said this was now a law and some of which credited President Obama for coming up with this new “law.” I found this article very informative.

The following paragraph from the article explains why the people who came up with this idea think it is necessary:
“Leaders at all levels,” the document says, “must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.” It even suggested that noncompliance could result in court-martial.

Is this not the case in just about every civilian job there is? If I were to force my beliefs on someone at my job, I’d be fired.

This article also discusses fundamentalist “Christian” zealots who go around saying things like “You’re going to hell” or one of my personal favorites, “God loves dead soldiers.” (Ok, so you’re probably not going to hear that from a military person, but I just wanted to give an example of fundie thought processes.) I want to point out that there is a vast difference between fundamentalist “Christians” and people who truly love Jesus and want to serve Him. Fundamentalist “Christians” don’t understand the concept of speaking in love, nor do they understand that their personal calling is NOT to be the Holy Spirit. They feel that their faith gives them the freedom to hate. What they don’t understand is that if you’re going to be a TRUE Christian, you MUST lay down your right to offense. You must behave and speak in loving ways. You must follow the example of Jesus if you’re going to call yourself a Christian.

I believe that the military is beginning to understand the link between fundamentalism and hatred and destruction — both when it comes to people who call themselves “Christians” and subscribe to a hateful theology, AND when it comes to radical Muslims — or any other religious group for that matter.
Please understand that I say this out of my own experience with fundamentalism and radical religious ideas. I know for a fact that fundamentalist groups of “Christian” people use fear to manipulate and control people. They spread lies and rumors. Their aim is to destroy. They may not physically harm someone, but they mentally and emotionally torture those who don’t agree with them, with the intent to break people of their ability to reason. They may not physically kill another person, but the ideas they present — and the ways they present them — can lead to such confusion and pain that it is possible that a victim of such torture could find comfort only in their own death.

How do I know this? Because I’ve experienced it. I know the pain these radical “Christian” people can inflict. I know the lies that are spoken. I know the ways they manipulate. I know the drastic consequences of their actions.

But, fortunately for me, I also know the Truth. I know Jesus. The difference is that I’ve taken the time to really read the New Testament. I’ve let it soak in. I’ve studied Jesus. I’ve studied the verbs of Jesus. I’ve taken the time to figure out what Jesus is all about. The operative word for a true Christian is love. Absolutely everything a true Christian says and does should be said or done out of a spirit of love. When the fundie zealots of the day brought a prostitute to Jesus, He spoke authoritatively — yet kindly. He saw her as a person. He saw her apart from her sin. Even though Jesus is God (and therefore, completely free to judge the sin), He chose to see, instead, a person. He chose to see a woman. A woman who had sinned, but who had sinned because of things she didn’t have much control over. He chose to see a human — one who was plagued by her humanness, just as every other human throughout time has been plagued. He chose to look on her with compassion because He saw that she was merely human. And He asked her accusers to compare themselves to her. He was saying, “Wait a minute. Think about it. Which one of you is TRULY more righteous than she? Which one of you is completely without sin? Which one of you is qualified to make that judgement?” They couldn’t answer. Only HE had the right to judge her — and yet He chose not to.

THAT is the essence of what it is to be a Christian. That is the fragrance Christians are to spread. That is the grace we’ve been given, and that is the grace we ought to extend to those who don’t agree with us.

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who behaves like Jesus did will be perfectly safe from the threat of court martial.

I say, Onward, Christian soldiers! Keep fighting the good fight. Keep loving the brothers and sisters in your company. Keep being Jesus to the people around you.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Current Events

 

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Worth It All

I’ll get more into the background of this story later, but I wanted to take a moment for this:

I was at my friend’s house this evening and while I was putting my shoes on, her little girl was off in another room, probably in another world — one where there’s Little Ponies, Barbies, princesses and Kipper the Dog. I turned to open the door and the little munchkin streaked through the house hollering “Mari! I need a kiss!” as she threw herself at me.

Wow girl….

After I picked myself up off the floor….

(Ok, so that statement was slightly exaggerated.)

…..this thought went through my mind:

It’s moments like this that make everything I’ve experienced trying to help her stay healthy and safe worth it.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Current Events

 

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