Tuesday, December 25, 2007

One of the Best Christmas Presents ever...

...is one I won't be able to see until next August. Yep, I'm going to be a grandmother again! Yeah me! Yeah, Ben and Tonya!

The best part of being a grandmother is that you get all the pleasure of the baby and none of the work.

I'm going to post some adorable pictures of my youngest granddaughter soon. And if you are lucky, I'll post some pictures of me in the next month or so. My daughter, Trista, has become quite the photographer and I am having her do a photoshoot of me for my birthday.
Merry Christmas

I didn't think I would ever hear myself saying those words ever again, nor writing them either. Some would claim this as evidence of how far I have fallen from the "attainments" but I choose to see it more as a form of liberation from yet more rules that I was living under.

The assumption in the circles I once inhabited was that if you said the words, "Merry Christmas" that you were giving assent to the Roman Catholic church and all its doctrines, as well as corrupting the worship of God. However, now that I have had some time to sit down and think about it all away from the noise one of the things I have noticed is that no Christian I know of actually claims to worship God through the use of gifts, trees, tinsel, jolly elves, candles and all the other typical accoutrements of the season. In fact, most of the Christians I know do focus on the birth of Christ as the beginning of the work that Christ came to accomplish. These other things are rituals that may or may not be used to remind one of Christ, or else something good merely to be enjoyed for the pleasure they give, like the beautiful display of lights that some people indulge in.

Last night I went to the candlelight service at the Baptist church I now attend. What we had there was a focus on Scripture. I have to tell you that I can't ever think of the story of Christ's birth without being gripped at the heart level by what it all entailed. It is such a profound story how all the hopes and desires that Israel had been promised were finally seeing fulfillment in the tiny Lamb of God, born in Bethlehem, the city of David where the sacrificial lambs for the Temple in Jerusalem, five miles distant, were raised.

So many things come together in this story for me. The birth of Christ is a story of redemption in itself. One year I made a point of looking up all the people listed in the geneology found in Matthew. You have people who committed incest, a prostitute, a murderer and adulterer, idolaters, and other notable sinners. Yet all these sins were redeemed in the One who came from that lineage.

Then I am struck by how disruptive letting the Holiest of Holies into your life can be. Mary was without fault in the conception of the Holy One of Israel, yet she bore the infamy of being an unwed mother for years afterwards as her Son was taunted by Pharisees who knew that Abraham was their father, but who is YOURS? All His life, He did unexpected, "outside the box" things that upset and offended the conventions of the society He was born into, yet there were infallibly the right thing to do. Let this remind me that I will sometimes do unconventional things that will upset people yet still be right in God's eyes. To my own Master I stand or fall.

May this season be one where the Holy Spirit speaks to you anew of the redemption, hope, and joy to be found in Christ.
This one is for Chrysalis,

Chrysalis, you have always intrigued me. Please email me privately because I wouldn't mind corresponding with you in a less public setting. knoxknoxwhosthere@yahoo.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Everyone at some point in their lives, wakes up in the middle of the night with teh feeling that they are all alone in the world, and that nobody loves them, and that they will never have a decent night's sleep again and will spend their lives wandering blearily around a loveless landscape, hoping desperately that their circumstances will improve, but suspecting in their heart of hearts, that they will remain unloved forever. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to wake someone else up so that they can feel this way too.

Lemony Snicket Horseradish: Bittter Truths You Can't Avoid

And on a related thought -- When you think no one cares, try missing a payment.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More Wisdom from Lemony Snicket

Recess is part of the school day designed to give children a break from the more unpleasant aspects of the educational system, but so many school yards are full of villainous students that recess can often turn out to be the most unpleasant part of the day.
Labor Day is a holiday honoring those who work for a living. Laborious Day is a lesser known holiday honoring those who cannot stop talking about their work.

It is one of life's bitterest truths that bedtime so often arrives just when things are really getting interesting.
Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course. Piracy, for example, is a tradition that has been carried on for hundreds of years, but that doesn't mean we should all attack ships and steal their gold.

Lemony Snickett ~ Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter.

Lemony Snickett -- Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mad TV Bob Newhart Skit - Mo Collins - Stop it

Good sound advice on how to deal with your problems and issues...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Bitter Truth

Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the crimes, follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother's wombs, and then there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women.

Lemony Snickett Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Great Big Sea - Feel it Turn

A poignant song

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Mom Song

Thanks to Raging Calvinist for this.

When I Go Down

I'll tell you flat out
It hurts so much to think of this
So from my thoughts I will exclude
The very thing that
I hate more than everything is
The way I'm powerless
To dictate my own moods

I've thrown away
So many things that could've been much more
And I just pray
My problems go away if they're ignored
But that's not the way it works
No that's not the way it works

When I go down
I go down hard
And I take everything I've learned
And teach myself some disregaurd
When I go down
It hurts to hit the bottom
And of the things that got me there
I think, if only I had fought them

If and when I can
Clear myself of this clouded mind
I'll watch myself settle down
Into a place where Peace can search me out and find
That I'm so ready to be found

I've thrown away
The hope I had in friendships
I've thrown away
So many things that could have been much more
I've thrown away
The secret to find the end to this
And I just pray
My problems go away if they're ignored
But that's not the way it works
No that's not that way it works

When I go down
I go down hard
And I take everything I've learned
And teach myself some disregaurd
When I go down
It hurts to hit the bottom
And of the things that got me there
I think, if only I had fought them

Any control I thought I had just slipped through my hands
While my ever-present conscience shakes its head and reprimands me
Reprimands me
Then and there I confess
I'll blame all this on my selfishness
Yet You love me
And that consumes me
And I'll stand up again
And do so willingly

You give me hope, and hope it gives me life
You touch my heavy heart, and when you do You make it light
As I exhale I hear Your voice
And I answer You, though I hardly make a noise
And from my lips the words I choose to say
Seem pathetic, but it's a fallen man's praise
Cause I love You
Oh God, I love You

And life is now worth living
If only because of You
And when they say that I am dead and gone
It won't be further from the truth

When I go down
I lift my eyes to You
I won't look very far
Cause You'll be there
With open arms
To lift me up again
To lift me up again

Church Sign Smack Down

Click on the link above for something pretty funny.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given to you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to his service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to his father and saying, 'Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present.' Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries, God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins. The man is awake now..."

C.S. Lewis

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sorry this is so small. This is my youngest grandchild, Elora Ann and myself.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Summertime Friends...

Monday, September 03, 2007

My Grand-daughters (so far) Top -- Keiannah who is now 6, and beneath, Elora Ann, who is now eight months.

More Family Photos -- Top photo is the entire gang, including old ugly (and I don't mean me!). Next photo is of my grand-daughter Keiannah, and my grandson, Rogan. Next is a shot of my eldest, Trish, with her husband Codey, and daugher Elora whom we adora. Beneath is my eldest son, Nathanael, and his girl, Trinity. Another wedding of one of my offspring could be in the near future. Lastly, the day of Ben's wedding there was a train wreck. I think this is sort of a cool shot of the happy couple with the burning train engines in the background.

This is my son Ben and his new bride, Tonya. Aren't they a nice looking couple?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

[.x.] good charlotte, emotionless [.x.]

This song is for the X.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Super Progress...

When I consider that I used to wear a size 20 and am now needing to buy size 10 in a lot of clothing, I think I have made super progress. Some day I'll post a before and after picture once I reach my goal weight and have firmed up a few remaining spots. In the meantime, I sure like having the problem of having to find a way to replace my over-sized wardrobe...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Am I A Feminist?

It appears that some confusion exists in the minds of some of my readers about where I am now compared to where I used to be philosophically. Recently someone asked if I was now a feminist who now hates marriage and children based on some of the things that have appeared on my blog in the last few months. I guess it depends on what you mean by feminism. If you are thinking the Betty Freidan style of feminism, the answer is no. If you mean the sort of liberal feministic egalitarianism that allows for women pastors/elders, etc., in the Church, the answer is no. If you mean the baby-hating, zero population growth, pro-abortion feminist, the answer is still no.

I'm anti-tyranny.

I'll try to explain. Remember the story of the Pharisees going after the disciples for rubbing grain through their hands on the Sabbath? Remember Jesus' response to them? He reminded them of the story of David and the shewbread and then stated that God desires mercy, and not sacrifice.

In certain circles people can get their heads all twisted up with propositions and principles and then start sacrificing people on the altar of those principles, forgetting mercy in the process. Case in point: being against child spacing or limiting a family's size and then requiring homeschooling of all the children even in situations where you know that the mother in the home is stretched to the limit and not receiving much, if any, help from her spouse, and then condemning her in the process for not living up to the ideal. This is a situation similar to that where Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for tying burdens on people's backs and then not lifting a finger to help them.

Love of propositions as opposed to love of God and people can have a very dehumanizing effect on the human soul. It will make you unyielding and unmerciful and all with the highest motivation.

I'm dealing with the fall out of a broken marriage and seven minor children that need to be looked after. I am having to work after 26 years as a full time housewife with all the qualifications for working in a donut shop, and the adjustment for everyone is huge. I am not only going to have to continue to provide for minor children into my 60's, I also have to plan for my own financial future. I could be a lot more specific about what is happening in my life, but one thing I have learned is that anything that I say can and will be used against me. One person in particular, who reads this blog, does not do so with my best interests at heart.

Am I against marriage? Not at all. The World's Shortest Fairytale tickled my funnybone, especially the part about not being farted on. There are worse things in this world than being single. If the chance to marry a Christian man who is kind, loving, and a partner comes along, not a "patriarch" who wants the prestige and honor of the position, but doesn't want to do the work, then I'm willing to consider it. I'm not having more children. At the age of 46 and after 12 children and 20 pregnancies, I think I have done my part in populating the world. I'm still doing babies and toddlers at the same time I am a grandmother and now have to work full time at something. Can you blame me for not wanting to add to what I am already carrying? Any man who wants me, had better want and accept me for who I am, and not for my ability to procreate. This doesn't make me anti child. It just means that I am finally giving myself a break from the unrealistic ideals I used to carry.

My own circumstances have forced me to look past principles into what happens to people when they are applied in a wooden and narrow way. It has forced me to look at others with more mercy and less of a desire to sacrifice them on the altar of my absolutes. The Bible was written, not just for people who do it all right and have the picture perfect marriage and a large brood of godly, obedient children. It was also written for the rest of us who don't match the picture on the cover of The Teaching Home magazine.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

World's Shortest Fairytale

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl, "Will you marry me?"
The girl said "No."

And so the girl lived happily ever after. She went shopping, drank margaritas with friends, always had a clean house, never had to cook, stayed slender, had a closet full of shoes, clothes and handbags, and was never farted on.

The End

Friday, June 29, 2007

Things I See Out My Window

So I am sitting in my office on the phone, looking out my window. I see a graceful white-tailed deer eating grass on my front lawn. All of a sudden the deer lifts its head in alarm and then bounds off into the woods -- pursued by a baby clad only in a diaper. James strikes again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On fiire - Switchfoot

For those tempted to cynicism because of experience with Christianity... This is where reality is found.

Switchfoot - This is your life

This is your life. Are you who you want to be?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jars Of Clay - I Need You (Live)

The words say it all...

A New Way to Post Lyrics

You just gotta love YouTube. Now I can not only post lyrics, I can also post the actual music video which makes the lyrics just that much more meaningful....

Relient K-Be My Escape


I think this is one of the most engaging pieces of music I've heard lately.

Monday, June 11, 2007

When I Go Down

Sung by Reliant K

I'll tell you flat out
it hurts so much to think of this
so from my thoughts I will exclude
the very thing that
I hate more than everything is
the way I'm powerless
to dictate my own moods

I've thrown away
so many things that could've been much more
and I just pray
my problems go
away if they're ignored
but that's not the way it works
no that's not the way it works

when I go down
I go down hard
and I take everything I've learned
and teach myself some disregard
when I go down
it hurts to hit the bottom
and of the things that got me there
I think, if only I had fought them

If and when I can clear myself
of this clouded mind
I'll watch myself settle down
into a place where peace can search me out and find
that I'm so ready to be found

I've thrown away
the hope I had in friendships
I've thrown away so many things
that could have been much more
I've thrown away the secret
to find an end to this
and I just pray
my problems go away if they're ignored
but that's not the way it works
no that's not the way it works

When I go down
I go down hard
and I take everything I've learned
and teach myself some disregard
When I go down
it hurts to hit the bottom
and of the things that got me there
I think if only I had fought them.

Any control I thought I had
just slips right through my hands
while my ever-present conscience
shakes its head and reprimands me
reprimands me then and
there I confess I'll blame all this
on my selfishness
yet you love me and that consumes me
and I'll stand up again and do so willingly

You give me hope,
and hope it gives me life
you touch my heavy heart,
and when you do you make it light
as I exhale I hear your voice
and I answer you,
though I hardly make a noise
and from my lips
the words I choose to say
seem pathetic,
but it's a fallen man's praise
because I love you
oh God, I love you

and life is now worth living
if only because of you
and when they say I'm dead and gone
it won't be further from the truth

When I go down
I life my eyes to you
I won't look very far
cause you'll be there
with open arms
to lift me up again
to lift me up again

Two Best Friends, Reprise

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"On Fire"
Song and lyrics by Daniel Victor and Jonathan Foreman of Switchfoot
They tell you where you need to go
They tell you when you'll need to leave
They tell you what you need to know
They tell you who you need to be
But everything inside you knowsT
here's more than what you've heard
There's so much more than empty conversations
Filled with empty words
And you're on fire
When He's near you
You're on fire
When He speaks
You're on fire
Burning at these mysteries
Give me one more time around
Give me one more chance to see
Give me everything You are
Give me one more chance to be... (near You)
Cause everything inside me looks like
Everything I hate
You are the hope I have for change
You are the only chance
I'll take
When I'm on fire
When You're near me
I'm on fire
When You speak
And I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries
These mysteries...
I'm standing on the edge of me [x3]
I'm standing on the edge of everything I've never been before.
And i've been standing on the edge of me
Standing on the edge
And I'm on fire
When You're near me
I'm on fireWhen You speak(Yea)
I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries... these mysteries... these mysteries
Ah you're the mystery
You're the mystery
Telling the Truth

There is much in relation to all the RPNA church crud that I have been holding back on my blog for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons was because there was one particular person who influenced me and who has a disdain for people who bare their hearts for the general public. For a number of years I felt like I had to keep this person pleased and happy with me in order to have their approval and good opinion and to keep them off my back. Well, that is yet another chain that has fallen from me in recent months.

Another reason was because I know that those still in the RPNA (General Meeting that Never Meets) make those of us who are disaffected brethren the topic of conversation after their society meetings. I have heard that some of them give one another "high fives" for not belonging to The Effort, which was an informal meeting of those of us who had questions about the way we were being governed, and that not belonging to The Effort or having those same questions has now become yet another unwritten term of communion for those who are still "in" or who want to be "in".

You can call it pride if you like, but I just didn't want to add fuel to the fires of "I told you so" that I know is circulating in that sphere. The prediction was made by one of the elders wives that those who were "excommunicated" by that phoney church court would end up all over the map in terms of what they were doing. IOW, none of us would hold to the "faithful" positions that the RPNA (GM) had taught us. Well thank God, many of us are being freed from all that mess, is all I can say. It may look like being all over the map to outsiders, but what I am seeing is that some of us are finding our way back to God and that the Lord is using a variety of methods to accomplish this.

So why have I decided to open up and share what I really think and feel? Well, I know that I am risking more of the same stupidity from the phony law advocate that I experienced recently. I am also making myself more of a target for those after society meeting conclaves and telephone conversations where the faithful gather around the elders and they all "tsk, tsk" together over the latest evidence of depravity and unfaithfulness on the part of the disaffected. However, I am not writing for that audience. Instead, I want to share what I am thinking/feeling because I know that I am not the only one who thinks/feels this way. One of the worst things that can happen in this sort of situation is to feel isolated and alone in what you are experiencing. By sharing my own angst, concerns, questions, and even triumphs, maybe someone out there will be encouraged to think that perhaps they aren't crazy or even "Thank God someone understands!"

I don't know if any of you are familiar with the concept of stages of grieving that have been identified by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, but don't be surprised if you find yourself experiencing this. I know that I have. In the past few months I have found myself swinging through most of the stages at one point or another. But as one friend told me, you can be completely self conscious about which stage you are in, but it doesn't do a thing to help you get through it any quicker or easier. Well yeah. The only thing I can recommend is that you just ride the waves knowing that at some point they will stop heaving and tossing you about.

Why grief? Many of us invested a lot of time and energy in this enterprise. There is the loss of years that went into this and the result is what? Being given over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh and classed with scandalous persons who make sin a way of life. This has the same feeling that you get when you find out that someone has slandered you and accused you of some serious sin. You feel guilty and slimed by it, even though it isn't true.

Then there is the grief over lost or divided relationships. In the RPNA they say they don't practice shunning, but what do you call it when one of the elders has nothing to do with members of his own family who don't agree with him on every jot and tittle of his own profession of faith? Now if you happen to be a child of this elder and you see what happens to other family members who don't toe the line, how much room does that leave you for being honest about what you really think or feel? And if you think that this sort of thing keeps them in line -- well guess again. Do we really want outward conformity at the expense of honesty and the means of getting to the heart of matters? Some people are experiencing divisions in their own families with husbands, and children being pitted against wives and mothers. If you don't think that this causes grief, guess again.

The elders' record for restoration of the lost is dismal. Just recently the elders sent out a rebuttal to The Effort's paper and they also wrote up a document on steps to repentance in order to effect reconciliation with the disaffected. But guess what? I don't know a single person who was excommunicated who received this document. I only found out about it when one of the insiders, who was subsequently excommunicated himself, sent it around. So who was the intended audience, I have to ask? Talk, and apparently writing, is cheap. These so called undershepherds take the example of the Great Shepherd, who left the 99 to seek the lost one and turn it on their heads. They strike the flock and scatter it instead of gathering it back in. Not that I want to be gathered back to this particular fold, mind you. But still, you get the point, right?

So the upshot of all this is to say that even though you and I might be happy and relieved to be out from under all the restrictions, guilt, and control we experienced there, you might also still be grieving. It may be a happy and advantageous release, but it is still like experiencing a death and grief is just a part of all that.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Where I Am At

I don't read a lot of fiction because I find most of it substandard. But I make an exception for Frank Perretti. Below is the autobiographical introduction to his novel, The Visitation. Aside from the obvious fact that I have never been in a charismatic church and have never aspired to full time ministry, he says what I have been feeling/thinking lately.

"I never thought I'd get sick of being a Christian. I was practically born a Christian, raised in a Christian home, nurtured in church and Sunday School. If there was anything going on at church -- special meetings, singspirations, Bible studies, vacation Bible School-- I was there. I read my Bible every day, prayed regularly, witnessed to others whenever I could, and knew all the hymns by heart. I was a youth pastor, an associate pastor, a teacher, a preacher, a public speaker. I was on the right road, had plenty of approval, and no plans to change course.

But no one to ld me I was still growing up and that the time would come when all the familiar trappings of the Christianity that I grew up with would no longer be comfortable. Like a child growing out of his clothes, I was having trouble getting things to fit -- except for one T-shirt that said, BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.

No, I wasn't backsliding. Satan wasn't tempting me. I wasn't even disillusioned -- well, not with God. Call it growing pains. I was beginning to feel the difference between religion and relationship. The more I longed to know God, the more fed up I got with all the Christian "stuff". Where was God really? Would I really find Him in all the religious trappings, my particular Christian culture that told me by word and example what a Christian ought to look like, act like, believe, and do? For most of my life I'd wrapped that world around me like a security blanket; I felt safe, like a child at home with loving parents.

But kids like us grow up and need our own relationship with God, forged in the heart through time and experience, not draped around us by the church we attend. We need to know God for ourselves, not secondhand.

Coming to that realization, that point of growth, can be a lonely time. You just feel so tired of everything: No, I didn't have my "quiet time" this morning, so arrest me. If I have to sing that chorus one more time I'll scream. Maybe I'll stay home from church this time just for some peace and quiet.

And you don't buy everything so readily. Maybe that was a prophecy to you, but to me it was bad acting. How do I know that God really said that to Pastor? I didn't hear anything. Are we really going to vanish in the twinkling of an eye?

And everyone has a cure for what ails you: You need to read your Bible and pray more. You need to come back to the Lord. These are the lies of the Enemy; speak in tongues and they'll go away.

Well, don't worry. I made it through. Jesus walked with me through every moment, and I could see Him so much more clearly on the other side. I have a wonderful church family, I like singing the choruses, and I still read my Bible and pray every day. But things look different now. My faith is my own, I like where the Lord has brought me, and I won't be going back."

I won't be going back.

I have a reasonable certainty of knowing who the unChristian, sheep-baiting, "hit and run" cowardly retard is who sent me the letter below signed "Law Advocate." He has the unfortunate habit of writing parables. This man is a law unto himself and considers himself above the law and the rest of the sheep apparently. And so do his elders because I have yet to see them rein him in. For all I know, they applaud his savaging of the sheep. If he is smart, he will back off from this particular ewe because I am NOT IN THE MOOD FOR THIS SORT OF BALONEY. Any more of this, and I'll be consulting a real lawyer about harassment. And I am NOT kidding.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Well Gee, To Whom or to Which Organization Could This be Referring To?

I got the following in my inbox recently. I so like things like this. It brings back all the good times and memories of a certain organization I was in, and certain people I was associated with. Ah yes, the good old days. I feel so warm and fuzzy when I think of them. If this is coming from where I think it is coming from, it is further evidence that certain parties have not only taken leave of their teeny tiny minds, but also that they still delight in anonymous "hit and run" tactics, as well as persecution of the defectors from their little flock of "faithful" followers. How Christian of them. How faithful.

If anyone else out there (and you know who you are) has received something similar, I would appreciate it if you would contact me privately.

Please note the highlighted areas of the following:

May 14th, 2007
To Whom it may concern:

You have been identified as a person or organization that may be of interest in regards to the following matter under investigation. It has been brought to our attention by several private and aggrieved parties that the content of an Internet publication(s) that you either control, influence, or create or provide content for, allegedly contains that which is defamatory of specific persons and organizations expressly being named therein. You may have created or posted defamatory information, or facilitated its publication. These allegations pertain to the express use of names within this publication(s), and assert that the defamation is either of a direct nature (being derogatory predications or false information that is directly stated about such express names), or of an indirect nature (express names being implicated within a derogatory context), or by otherwise facilitating any such defamatory activity or content (allowing links to defamatory pages, failure to enforce conditions of use by moderators or owners, etc.).

The allegation further points out that the express and universally public employment of these express names on the Internet publication(s) in question is not occurring by the explicit consent of those being so named and allegedly defamed. Nor, the allegation also notes, are these names being used therein with any kind of implicit consent having otherwise been granted to you by the named persons, such as by way of any common and express membership with the named in any voluntary organization or special Internet group (wherein such names are used).

Furthermore, it is alleged that you may have also publicly disclosed that which was relatively private information belonging to an organization and those of its membership, without having either any right or permission to publicly publish such information beyond such boundaries; and, that you likely have done so with malice in order to defame or derogate. It is alleged, thereby, that you may have violated the rights not only of this organization as an organization, but also the privacy rights belonging to all of the persons named (or otherwise listed) in such publications as may have now been, by your unilateral and presumptive action(s), made universally public on the Internet.

Lastly, if such allegations are substantiated in a court of law, it appears that you may likely be found to have also violated the explicit terms of service (TOS) stipulated by your Internet service provider (or host, etc.), which terms you previously had contracted and covenanted to abide by. If this is the case, any secondary liability you may have to them arising from any legal action taken by others, is unknown.Request is hereby made that you immediately suspend and survey your Internet publication(s) and/or posts in order to arrest any ongoing defamation by forthwith removing any such defamatory content as you may be held directly or indirectly responsible for (including legacy threads and posts); and, in the future (when sites/pages are re-activated or posting is resumed), that you desist from engaging in any activity as is defamatory or in a violation of rights. There are not only moral implications to defamation, but there are also civil and legal consequences for defamation.

You do not have legal impunity or liberty to do ills that are unlawful, whether in Cyberspace or otherwise.The specific names and specific content that you are hereby being requested to remove or amend will not be provided to you for your direction in this matter: The moral and legal burden is upon you to publish only that which you know to be, in legal fact, not defamatory; and to publish only those names and that content for which you have either legal right or permission to so publicly make known.If any such defamatory content (or links to such) be allowed to persist on your Internet publication(s) or posts, or if you continue to create and/or publish other defamatory content, it should not be unexpected that full financial reparations for the same shall be sought for any and all direct or consequential losses to the earnings, reputations, or estates of those alleging defamation of their persons and names. This includes financial reparations for any and all hindrances or obstructions to their present or potential capital, employments, organizations, or business interests, and for all legal fees and costs in prosecuting a case relative to such damages, and for any and all possible punitive damages that might be recoverable by any and all legal theories that may be lawfully allowed in such a case.

It appears from the content of the Internet publication(s) in question, that you may likely make some claim to religion. It would seem to be good for you and for all concerned if you simply practice the ethical behavior and morals of the religion that you apparently claim that you have. It would seem that discussion of such religious topics might be engaged rationally in an honorable way, without defamation or without Internet publication of relatively private information without permission. If you are held legally liable in civil court, in accord with just laws, for doing otherwise, have no illusions as to that you are being persecuted for religion when you have rather, by lawless behavior, abandoned its very principles in these very things.

A simple and reasonable request is being made of you per the above, and only on behalf of private persons. No further notifications or requests will follow this first and final request that is here made to you. Your activity (or inactivity) on the Internet publication(s) in question will be monitored in accord with this request, and copied as requisite. The next contact you will receive, if any, will be by service of papers upon you, likely either at your residence or workplace, or wherever else the server might find convenient at that time. This will occur only if it is deemed necessary according to the results gathered by the aforesaid monitoring.This is not a threat, nor to be construed as a threat, but it is simply cautionary information that you are now being given the opportunity to consider and wisely use ahead of time. It is not the purpose of this cautionary information to judge any case, or to set forth the proofs to such an end. This shall be done, as necessary, in civil court. Please use common sense, basic civility, and good judgment by simply complying with this simple request as is now being gratuitously made available to you in advance.Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Law Advocate

Oh boy, am I ever going to have fun with this!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Sane View of Things....

From Credenda Agenda

Volume 18, Issue 4: Husbandry

Birth Control

Douglas Wilson

When a man and a woman come together in marriage sexually, much more should be involved than simply the procreation of children. At the same time, because our culture wants to make sexual activity almost purely recreational, Christians need to make sure we don't lose either part of the picture. The central biological purpose of sexual relations is the procreation of children, and we have to list this under the heading of "stubborn facts."

Of course, there are additional design purposes involved as well. In this way, it is comparable to food—the biological purpose of food is to nourish and strengthen the body. But God could have made food that was every bit as nutritious as food actually is, and have done so without the almost infinite range of tastes. What is the biological purpose of the taste of oranges, or watermelon, or beef gravy?

So, without losing our balance, what can we say about birth control? If the analogy above holds straight across, then is not the widespread use of contraceptives comparable to inventing and consuming calorie-free food? No, not quite. One place where the analogy breaks down is that food is necessary for individual survival. Were we to invent food that was absolutely nourishment-free, the end result would be that the eaters of it would starve to death. Fruitful sex is necessary to the survival of the human race, but it is not necessary to the survival of the individual. It is not necessary to the physical survival of a childless couple. The point of the illustration is to show how kind and liberal God is with His blessings. He layers them, stacking them on top of one another. When we discover that God has "this" purpose in something, it is wronging Him to simply assume that this is the end of the story.

Because Scripture says nothing about birth control in itself, we cannot conclude that it is a malum in se, an evil in itself. Doing so would take us well past what is written. Like everything else in this category, it would be sinful, or not, based on things like motive, context, method, and so on.

With regard to method, an obvious example would be the use of techniques that take the lives of unborn children. Abortion is considered by many to be a form of birth control, and so it is—a murderous form of birth control. In a similar way, bank robbery is "making a withdrawal from multiple accounts." But a guilty species does not become innocent by being a member of an innocent genus.

Motive and context would be defined by what Scripture says about faithful children generally. Everything else being equal, fruitfulness is a good thing. It is a blessing. So if a Christian couple have bought all the current propaganda, and they are diligently limiting themselves to 1.2 children, then they are allowing the current false assumptions of the world to dictate to them how the Bible is to be read. But if another couple know that children are a blessing, and they use birth control in order to "space" their seven children, I would be hard pressed to say that this was an example of some kind of compromise. A man can have a high view of apple trees and still not plant them a foot and a half apart in his orchard.

There is another consideration. The Bible teaches that it is not just a matter of having them. Bringing up a child involves a good twenty years or so. Having ten children means that you are dealing with a couple (overlapping) centuries of child-rearing. When this is done right, it is glorious. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. But when it is not done right, the results are correspondingly disastrous. Samuel would not have been more greatly blessed if he had had five sons taking bribes instead of two.

Looking around the secular world, there is plenty to react to. Looking around the conservative Christian world, there is plenty to react to. But we ought not to be reactionary. Children are a blessing, and if they are individually loved, nourished, read to, fed, and educated, they remain a blessing.

Scripture does not encourage us to think that wisdom and fecundity automatically go together. And at the same time, the Bible does not encourage us to seek out barrenness as though it were a blessing. It is not.

We are told that none of us should think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (Rom. 12:3). Before you build the tower, you ought to do some contingency planning (Luke 14:28). Sit down and count the cost. What are your likely financial boundaries? What is your health like? How old will you be when the youngest graduates from high school? Will you short-change your oldest daughters in their education by pressing them into service taking care of their younger siblings? Given how hard you will have to work to feed them all, will you have any time and energy left over to love them? Remember that children don't just need quality time; they need quantity time. What will the tuition payments to the Christian school be when all of them are enrolled? Are you equipped to homeschool so many children at so many different levels, or will things quickly deteriorate as they are left to instruct themselves or each other?

This is susceptible to misunderstandings, I know. But having answered all the questions above (and others like them) as honestly as you can, knowing what you can do, I would encourage you to have all the children you can.

But that can is much more than biological.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


"Repent is not a word we are terribly stoked about in our culture. It might be just one notch above STD or "You're fired"....

But what if Jesus said "repent" in a completely different way? For example, imagine that He is looking you in the eye right now and speaks the word.

"Repent," He says. He is smiling, confident.


His eys tell you that He knows you well. His tone of voice hints that one day you'll see that repenting was the best choice you ever made. His body language exudes so much positive energy that you get the sense that He mgith have come halfway around the world just to tell you the news -- "Repent."

If you head it like that , you would receive the word as a gift. It still might now sound like good news, but in the long run, you would find that it was.

To repent means to turn around, to stop what you're doing and do the opposite. To repent means to assume one thing was true, you now know it's wrong -- all wrong -- and you will now believe and act upon something totally different. Repent is a good strong word full of hope and new beginnings. In the context of Jesus' kingdom, repent is an invitation to another world, another life, a way of being that was supposed to be all along and can be now.

...Actually, we need to repent often. We need to repent, for example, of our convenient assumption that following Jesus and pursuing the American Dream are in complete harmony and will take us in pretty much the same direction. They won't. The reality of the kingdom is dangerous and beautiful and life altering.

We need to repent of smugly held beliefs, especially the "enlightened" ones that convince us we have no need to repent. We need to repent of our rightness, our arrogant belief that since we care about goodness -- that we, for example, see genocide as the evil it is -- then we'll see every evil for what it is, including the evil hiding in our own hearts.

Repentance means that we choose to agree only with God's perspective. That He alone is God and He alone can understand the blatant ways in which our own hearts deceive us. Evil that we will never notice exists in us and around us -- yet its' as obvious to God as genocide is to us.

To repent is to say to God: "I'm blind. I don't see, but I want to. Please show me Your heart in everything."

Excerpted from This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley
Best DUI Ever!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Why Some Women Become Feminists

Boy, is there ever a lot that I can relate to in this blogpost and some of Heart's comments further down the page.

Back in 1985 I read The Way Home by Mary Pride. Gary North has always reminded us that ideas have consequences. Sometimes you don't see the consequences, or logical fallout, of those ideas until years have passed and they have had time to come to fruition. Since I lived the lifestyle espoused in The Way Home, or attempted to, I have seen the results in my own life and in the lives of other women I know. A quiver full mentality combined with the belief that good Christians homeschool before all other options is a recipe for burning out women, particularly if the quiver becomes overly full. I know quite a few women who have fallen by the wayside in an attempt to be the homebirthing, home churching, gardening, home businesswomen, mothers of many married to men with a patriarchal bent. If the number of children is large enough, and if dad isn't helping out much, something will give -- the marriage, the health, the mental well being of the wife/mother or maybe all three can all be in jeopardy given enough time.

I've come to the opinion that partriarchalism is NOT Biblical. If you go back and read what Genesis 3:16 says, the desire of the woman for her husband's position and the fact that he will rule over her is a result of the Fall and part of the curse. Patriarchalism and power struggles are not what existed before the Fall. I like the way that Rushdoony portrayed the relationship that existed between Adam and Eve in their pre-Fall state of innocency: they were co-regents over creation. Sanctification is supposed to lead us back to that state, not away from it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Today's Words of Wisdom

"It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.

But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. "

taken from The Message paraphrase of Galatians 5:13-23

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Only For the Weak

sung by Avalon

Some say it's rules and regulations
And trying to always be right
No room for mistakes in the choices we make
For only the strong survive
But it's not about perfect performance
Or resolution of will
It's all about surrender
Giving up
Being still

Chorus: It's only for the weak
For the faint of heart
Those driven to their knees
Those who live with scars
There's power from beyond
We're certain where it's from
And that's our source of strength
Before we follow Christ
We need to be advised
It's only for the weak

He welcomes the worn and weary
All who are wounded by sin
And just as we are, we can fall in His arms
Rest and find shelter in Him
Seems like each day is a battle
With burdens and struggles to face
Only in our losing
Do we really see how much we've gained

Chorus: It's only for the weak
For the faint of heart
Those driven to their knees
Those who live with scars
There's power from beyond
We're certain where it's from
And that's our source of strength
Before we follow Christ
We need to be advised
It's only for the weak

The Father always starts
With a willing heart
Open to how
He moves
As His Spirit is poured
He will do so much more
Than we dreamed He could do

Chorus: It's only for the weak
For the faint of heart
Those driven to their knees
Those who live with scars
There's power from beyond
We're certain where it's from
And that's our source of strength
Before we follow Christ
We need to be advised
It's only for the weak

To all current and past members of the RPNA (GM) or (whatever you want to call it )-- I DO NOT want to have emails, phone calls, or contact concerning anything to do with the RPNA, your/their take on covenanter doctrines, more condemnation, more scolding, rebukes, recriminations, complaints, or being told that I and my children are given over to Satan and that we are all on our way to hell, and that I am an unfaithful wife, mother, Christian, human being. I have news for you --- we are all unfaithful. Salvation is based on grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone, not on your or my purported faithfulness, knowledge, doctrinal purity, church affiliation, method of baptism, etc., etc.,

There is nothing worse than Calvinists who don't get grace.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How to Sort

I may have mentioned recently that my friend Grant once told me that the trials and tribulations of life make a great filter for sorting out who your friends really are. You see me pictured here with one of my staunchest and dearest allies and my best friend who has survived the latest round of sorting. Willena has been keeping me company for over a month now and she plans to remain with me for at least another week or so. I owe her and her family a huge debt for allowing her to stay with me all this time. She has been a quiet and comfortable presence who has quite stolen my son James' heart with her winning ways. She is always good for a hug every night before bed, and often when I am feeling down for no particular reason. I also have hardly had to wash a single dish while she has been here. I think I am getting spoiled, and I don't know how I will be able to manage when she is gone. I think her family should be extra generous and let her live with me indefinitely. Okay???

A Rare Sighting...
If you look carefully, you will see my new sparkly nose stud. I recently scared my parents by thanking them for the birthday money they had sent and declaring I was planning to get my navel pierced. hehehe...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quote of the Day

"T.S. Eliot once observed that humans cannot bear very much reality. This has been taken very much to heart by our mothers, but re-written somewhat to perpetuate a common message: Men need protection from the truth about themselves. Or more simply, men cannot bear reality.

...The hardest thing for a man to do is to cope with feelings -- his, yours, or anyone else's -- so heaven forbid that you might confront him with the news that he's hurt you. If he's been hurt, let him sulk, rage, drink, or pout. And if he abuses you, verbally or physically, "it's one of the sacrifices you have to make for having a man." Keep the family strong and the marriage whole, the message goes, and do what you can, sacrifice yourself, to ensure that he doesn't find out the truth. Suffocate him with kindness, spare him grief, and be sure he doesn't learn about himself, stop needing you -- and leave!

...It seems that protecting a man from himself, not "calling him on some of his problems," gives him what he wants: a sense that he's right, wise, emotionally stable, too involved in important matters like work to be bothered with incdental issues like relationships; and the exhilarating illusion that he's in control. Protecting a man from understanding who he is leads to disenchantment, insoluble dilemmas, and in the most extreme cases, the fracturing of a marriage. The worst thing that can be said about helping a man not to help himself is that the woman suffers. And nothing is more futile than spending a lifetime grieving over how "he won't change," and making excuses for him at the same time.

... Who asks that the message's dictum be carried out -- you, your husband, or both of you? Is the message stated or merely implied that you will be his emotional protector? What is the mechanism that moves you to protect a man, even though you claim it makes you unhappy to do so?

...Some of us admit to the truth though: we say we're protecting him, but we're really protecting ourselves. We can exercise a discernible amount of control over a man when we treat him as if he were a hopelessly frightened child. We get accustomed to his failing and cooperate in blunting his emotional growth and development.

What stops us? Frankly, many women... are hesitant to take the chance to help their husbands become full partners in marriage. Stopping a discussion that is crucial to married life because it might upset him, or pretending something doesn't exist to keep him at a distance from the facts, keeps a man in an emotionally childlike position forever. And should you believe that one wrong move would destroy the relationship -- that is, telling the truth or confronting him -- you're better off without it! Marriage should be a friendship. In a friendship there may be words exchanged that are hurtful, but that doesn't mean there is no love in the relationship. If you live in fear of not protecting your husband, you're only hurting yourself."

from Men are Just Desserts by Sonya Friedman

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

From Nobody to Somebody

(Excerpts from Men are Just Desserts: How Learning to Be a Woman With a Life of Your Own Can Enrich the Life You Share with a Man by Sonya Friedman)

Who are the women who think of themselves as nobodies? How does a nobody behave?

A nobody is unable or afraid to say anything positive about herself.... A somebody would say: I did it! I got my license!" "I'm a good cook!"

A nobody cannot list her strengths. A somebody would say: "There are four qualities I know to be true about myself. I'm a good listener and a great friend. I'm reliable and I don't give away secrets."

A nobody advertises to others that she's needy for approval and would be willing to do anything to maintain a relationship... A somebody is aware of the difference between doing a favor for someone she cares about and enslaving herself to another's directives and approval. A somebody doesn't apologize for others' intended slights or oversights and would say: "You forgot my birthday and I'm a little hurt by it."

A nobody believes that because she's a woman any and every man is superior to her. She subscribes to fixed rules about what the sexes are "supposed" to be and do. These very narrow boundaries keep her in a subordinate position... Living under her husband's thumb, she diminishes the contributions she makes to the household and feel guilty if she wants more from life... A somebody recognizes that being a woman doesn't automatically label her as inferior. Nor does she feel that a man is doing her an inestimable favor by marrying her.

A nobody doesn't trust her judgements, values, or grasp of the facts. She gives over the authority to someone else... The nobody not only surrenders her position on judgements or information; more importantly, she hides the truth about her feelings. She never believes that what she's experiencing is true at all and is content with the alibis that others provide... A somebody has faith in her judgements and summons respect from others.

A nobody dislikes her own company and cannot entertain herself easily, have a laugh on her own, or go to a movie or dinner without someone by her side. Others validate her existence... A somebody knows that if she doesn't like being in her own presence, why should someone else? A somebody likes the respite that being alone provides and she is able to bring more of her real self to another -- not less.

A nobody makes no demands -- sexually, emotionally, or financially. Fearful that she'll be totally rejected if she asks for gratification of any sort, the nobody becomes accustomed to collecting the crumbs that others throw her... A somebody knows that she has the right to ask for what she thinks she deserves. She is willing to take a chance and ask, rather than be taken advantage of or taken for granted.

The nobody can't say no to anyone. She is always at another's beck and call, fearful that if she doesn't say yes, she will be punished by a withdrawal of love... A somebody sees the difference between asserting herself and subjugating herself to another.

A nobody can't be selective or turn anything down. A nobody is thrilled that she's had an an offer at all... Nobodies don't expect to matter, and they set up situations so they are proved right. A nobody makes a decision because she doesn't think she deserves any more. A nobldy will often select a man who mistreats her, because, she thinks, that man sees to her core of her soul and recognizes her lack of worth. And how smart of him! A man who would treat her well is a man who, in her estimation, doesn't have any sense at all!

A nobody has illusions that a man with a lot of confidence can fill that void in her -- and he'll have enough in store for the two of them. With a sigh of relief, the nobody murmurs, "Well, he's got it all. I don't have to worry about that now."

...Instead of learning about confidence from a man and emulating this quality, the woman who thinks she is a nobody tends to draw inward. Why? Because such women need to look up to a man. Desperate not to be an equal partner, but to make the man the main course, the nobody can shrink to virtually nothing. But it's worth the price, the nobody says, because I can look up to him.

One of the truths we have to live with is that we may wind up alone because of death, divorce, or desertion. We have to prepare for it. If you can't prepare for it within the marriage, how will you face it if it should crop up? And if you live as a nobody, where will you be?

Every woman has a responsibility to make herself economically and emotionally independent before she chooses a mate or she will be a "child bride" for the rest of her life. One reason she will not grow is that she has relinquished all her options and let her husband direct her life. But the more you do for yourself, the more you become a "somebody" for yourself and other people. As you become autonomous, you can give up being a nobody -- inside or outside of marriage. When you experience autonomy, you can invite people into your life because they're not going to be a threat to you. You never have to worry that you'll become permanently attached to a man as if you were a living appendage...

...What do you want from marriage? To share your life with someone you care about deeply, or to be taken care of like a child? To develop common goals with someone you respect, or to marry the man you believe will reach goals for you? To develop as an adult within an intimate relationship, or to remain a child who must still fo llow someone else's rules and be judged by someone else's standards? Look and the process and content of marriage, not the longevity. You can be married for twenty-five years and still be miserable, lonely, alienated...

... The wisest move you can make is to start to become an individual. And you don't even have to deal with issues of the past; these only complicate matters. History is written and you can't undo it, but you can attempt to change for tomorrow by making a small effort.

You don't need to assume the role of a nobody so that HE can be somebody...

Yes, Sir! That's My (Grand) Baby!

My daughter carried on the fine naming tradition. First there was Constance Ann, my mother. Then there was me, Cheryl Ann. Next came Patricia Ann. Now we have Elora Ann, aka Mugsy, which falls under the "silly name for child" tradition. She's sweet though rather grumpy looking in this photo. I'm hoping to get up to see her in real life soon...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Joy! Joy! Joy!

It is always good to see good friends you haven't seen in a while. It is even better when they have managed to survive what could have been a fatal accident. My friend Grant, and Slav, his driver, hit a truck on their way north to PG from the Lower Mainland. Lest you think Slav is a poor driver, it was because of his quick thinking and quicker reflexes that they managed to survive. And it was totally the fault of the driver who was parked, not on the side of the road, but stopped dead in the middle of the lane without hazards on.

I didn't realize until today how upsetting I found the news of their near miss til I finally had a chance to see them both. Now I am thanking God for his mercies in allowing them to live to see another day.

Tomorrow night is a belated birthday celebration with Grant, Slav, and a few other kinesionics practitioners. I can hardly wait. They are such fun to be with and the camaraderie and shared inside jokes are precious. I have a babysitter lined up for Saturday so that I can spend a good deal of the day with them as well. We do a lot of collaboration, share notes, discuss different ways of approaching particular situations we have run into, and talk a lot of shop. We also practice on one another. It's like vacation and play for me to do this. Can you tell I love my work? I love my friends as well. May the Lord grant us many more opportunities to work together.
Still Struggling with "Perfection"

Seven days ago I contracted laryngitis and lost my voice. One of my male clients said I was now the "perfect" woman: attractive and silent. [makes wry face] Since that time, my voice has come and gone, but mostly been gone. This made for an interesting Monday. I had to speak at a local homeschool meeting that evening and had no voice for it. I used some of my energy stuff and did some tapping for it and managed to get enough of a voice to make it through the evening. Today I am breaking down and going to see a doctor for a round of antibiotics. When I start coughing up hard green chunks of goo from my voice box, it is time for drastic measures. In the meantime, I am making do with eye contact and body language. The children have discovered how much meaning can be packed into a single glance.
On Birthdays and Such

Yesterday I completed yet another trip around the sun. My life has undergone some rather profound changes in the past year -- things I didn't anticipate happening when the sun rose on my 45th birthday.

When you are young, life is mapped out before you in a sort of formula that is supposed to equal "happily ever after." Somewhere along the way things begin to go wrong. The road you set out on with such confidence, that appeared, from a distance, to have only a few gentle turns and smooth surfaces, appears upon closer inspection to be filled with potholes that could swallow transport trucks, u-turns, construction with long line -ups, and detour signs.

In the past year I've lost two more sons from home, lost my church, and lost my marriage. I think I am still reeling a bit from the drastic changes that have been taking place as a result of all that. It is with some surprise that I find myself still standing at the end of the day. God's mercies are there in that I have yet to spend a day in bed crying in my pillow in sheer self-pity or desperation. Some days putting one foot in front of the other in a rather robotic fashion is all that I can manage. Yet at least I am still moving.

It hasn't all been negative. I have a wonderful friend who lost his mobility 16 years ago due to an accident. He now spends his days in a wheelchair. One of the things he said to me recently was that the accident and resulting paralysis was an excellent filter for finding out who his real friends are. My recent excommunication and marriage breakdown are accomplishing the same for me. I am finding out who really loves me and who is really my friend. I have friends who call me almost daily or who write to me or check up on me to make sure that I am going to make it. Sometimes they deliver faithful wounds, but they are also quick to apply the salve and bandages and crutches necessary to get me up and hobbling again.

This is sort of like razing a house to the foundations and starting over again. I kind of figured that by the time I hit middle age I would have alot of stuff already figured out and would just spend the rest of my life touching up things here and there. Instead, I find myself going back to the basics yet again with regard to faith. Yeah, I know. At a time that I should be gobbling down and digesting meat, I find myself back on a diet of pablum and milk. But it is either that or just quit eating altogether. And some days anorexia is a real problem, figuratively speaking.

There are a lot of voices telling me one thing or telling me another. Do this, don't do that. God says this, God doesn't say that. And the information is conflicting but delivered with the strength of conviction and certainty that they hold the truth in righteousness. I want to put my fingers in my ears and shut them all out and run away. Tell me God -- directly -- what it is You want of me. And You better hurry, because I have all these kids I still have to raise with some semblance of having my act together and knowing what it is that I am doing.

Below are two of the musical offerings that offer a glimpse of the gritty reality of my life as a Christian. I don't know what the future holds for me or mine. I can only hope in the One who holds it for me.

Oh My God
by Jars of Clay

Oh my God, look around this place
Fingers reach around the bone
You set the break and set the tone
Flights of grace and future falls
in present pain
All fools say, "Oh my God."

Oh my God, why are we so afraid?
We make it worse when we don't bleed
There is no cure for our disease
Turn a phrase and rise again
Or fake your death and only tell your closest friends
Oh my God

Oh my God, can I complain?
You take away my firm belief
And graft my soul upon Your grief
Weddings, boats and alibis
All drift away and a mother cries

Liars and fools, sons and failures
Theives will always say
Lost and found, ailing wanderers
Healers always say
Whores and angels, men with problems
Broken-hearted, separated
Orphans always say
War creators, racial haters
Preachers always say
Distant fathers, fallen warriors
Givers always say
Pilgrim saints, lonely widows
Users always say
Fearful mothers, watchful doubters
Saviours always say

Sometimes I cannot forgive
And these days mercy cuts so deep
If the world was how it should be
Maybe I could get some sleep
While I lay, I dream we're better
Scales were gone and faces lighter
When we wake, we hate our brother
We still move to hurt each other
Sometimes I can close my eyes
And all the fear that keeps me silent
Falls below my heavy breathing
What makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder
We all feel the need for wonder
We still want to be reminded
That the pain is worth the thunder

Sometimes when I lose my grip
I wonder what to make of Heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat
All the wounds that money causes
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children
This is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers
This is our greatest offence

Oh my God
Oh my God
Oh my God...
Dead Man
by Jars of Clay

January 1, I've got a lot of things on my mind
I'm looking at my body through a new spy satellite
Try to lift a finger, but I don't think I can make the call
So tell me if I move, 'cause I don't feel anything at all

So carry me
I'm just a dead man
Lying on the carpet
Can't find a heartbeat
Make me breathe
I want to be a ne man
Tired of the old one
Out with the old plan
I woke up from a dream about an empty funeral
But it was better than the party full of people I don't really know
They've got hearts to break and burn
Dirty hands to feel the earth
There's something in my veins
But I can't seem to make it work, it won't work
So carry me
I'm just a dead man
Lying on the carpet
Can't find a heartbeat
Make me breathe
I want to be a new man
Tired of the old one
Out with the old plan
Can you feel a beat inside of me?
Any pulse?
Getting worse?
Any pulse?
Getting worse?
Inside of me, can you find a beat?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Public Cross

Today the children and I listened to a sermon by Douglas Wilson entitled, "The Public Cross" based on I Corinthians 2: 1-10. As I listened, it occured to me how much my faith (and likely that of others) is often very mixed with unbelief. We take the words "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him" as permission to think that God really isn't going to do the things that He clearly says He is going to do in His Word. In other words, when the Bible speaks of the glory of the Lord filling the nations, and all nations worshipping him, we project this all into the future life as though it were an eschatological fairy tale for eternity after the end of the world, never thinking that it will actually occur in this life. It is precisely because it will occur that the rulers of the world would not have put Christ to death if they had known what would come of it. The death of Christ isn't merely about personal salvation. Where you spend eternity is not something that keeps your political rulers up late at night or causes them to break out in persecutions. Rather what gets their goat, and always has done, is the way the cross of Christ challenges them in their capacity as political leaders and threatens their power. That is why, from the very beginning, it was the political and ecclesiastical leaders who conspired to put Christ to death, who posted guards at the tomb, and who were the first ones to know that He had come back from the dead. They believed Christ's words about His coming resurrection where His own disciples did not.

It is so easy to get locked into a few specific aspects of the faith and totally miss or ignore others. Very often salvation is something that is talked of only in terms of the individual. Yet Scripture talks of salvation in terms of groups of people, like households, cities, and nations. Salvation comes not only to individuals, it comes to the collective -- the one and the many. Man is a social creature and as a social creature he is saved. We are saved not only as individuals, we are saved as a community -- the Church.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Kangaroos Continue to Hop

Last night word came that the boys in the RPNA (GM) "court" have spared no labor in excommunicating five more people for daring to question them. In their usual fashion, they have chosen to emphasize form and structure over substance and content. This benefits them greatly as it allows them to avoid all difficult questions and the accountability that come with it. I think it is quite telling that they are showing a decided reluctance to put anything down in writing when dealing with some of these brethren. After all, if you only say it and it isn't recorded anywhere, it is easy to say that someone has lied or misrepresented you and then it is their word against yours. However, if you have to commit your words to paper, well, your words can then be passed around and inspected, and maybe even come back to bite you.

This brings the total of people excommunicated in the last few months to 30. When you count the children in these homes, the number is closer to 90 something. We can congratulate the "court" on their efficiency in dealing so summarily with so many in so short a time!
Tee Hee...

I am now an official member of the "Cute Nose Club." Last week I went to a shop and got my nose pierced and a small shiny clear stone stud put in. When my nose has finished healing, my plan is to get myself a small sparkly little diamond as a replacement. Strategically placed glitz does a lot to lift a girl's spirits.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Kiss That Girl
Sung by Sheryl Crow
I woke up this mornin' with my makeup on
I've been fakin' it lately, but those days are gone
You look at me and wonder why
I got to cut these strings and learn to fly
But the girl is only in your mind
She's leavin' everything behind
She's not the girl that's gonna make it right
So you can kiss that girl goodbye
We're so glad you made it in this dead end town
Everybody's waiting for you to come down
You're gonna wake up from your dream
You're gonna find someone who looks like me
But the girl is only in your mind
She's leavin' everything behind
She's not the girl that's gonna make it right
So you can kiss that girl goodbye
You could look forever for someone like me
She's just a memory
So you can kiss the girl goodbye
Kiss that girl goodbye
So you can kiss the girl goodbye
So you can kiss this girl goodbye
PURE calls for New Pastors and Elders
from Reformation 21 Website
(with thanks to Joyce)

PURE Seeks the Rt. Rev. Sanc
Posted October 24, 2006

We would like to invite Rt. Rev. Sanc T. Monious to be our ruling elder. We had posted an advertisement and were hoping for a South African ruling elder, but the Rt. Rev. seems just the kind of man that is called for really, and no one from South Africa has actually come forward (though several have not).

I ought to say that in the past months the church has split, holding rival services across the living room in which they were meeting (in fact one of the members has threatened to burn the apostate’s podium but that would leave her without one also- of course she doesn’t speak in her own assembly: she just stands there) but they are hoping that a ruling elder can reunite the body.

Wanted: Ruling ElderTo head new micro-denomination.

Denomination consists of two members in good standing in Mexico City, Mexico.
Ruling Elder must subscribe to the Westminster Confession, and the original charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Preferably residing in South Africa, so that the denomination might be international, encompassing both oceans and extending over the whole face of the earth.
At present this little band of believers is the purest church in the world. Seeking an Elder to consolidate unity within the denomination, lead it forth as the flagship of the reformation, to administer the sacraments, and enforce church discipline.

(One of the members is involved in the open sin of thinking in her heart that perhaps the church’s policy on catabaptism is at odds with its firm belief in the nature of the pope as anti-Christ, in violation of the Westminster Confession -as well as the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony- and stands in possible need of excommunication. Though without an elder she is equally unable to communicate. This member has appealed to the general assembly, pending such a time as it exists.)

The name of the new denomination is the PURE — Presbyterian Uber-Reformed Evangelicals. We find that Scripture is insufficient without the original charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, to determine the nature of the true church and are, so far as we know, the only church in existence complying with that charter. The plight of man is serious indeed but God has not left himself without a remnant: two are better than one, and a threefold cord is not easily broken. God’s Kingdom is advancing on the enemy.

Join the two of us or get out of the way.