Category Archives: Uncategorized

Homosexuality

This is one of the many times where peoples misunderstandings of context, history and culture, distort the word of God.

During war, brutal acts are levied upon each opposing side by their oppressors or perceived oppressors. In modern times, we blast rock music, drop bombs and utilize cyber attacks. In the past, and sometimes, sadly, in the present, rape is utilized as a method of degrading, humiliating and overpowering people.

It is inexcusable in war and out of war, and that is what God was referring to.

During the time of the Old Testament, horrible atrocities were committed against people. Some of these actions still occur in war torn countries.In Africa, some believe that by raping a child, male or female, the act will cure them of A.I.D.S. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/1362134/South-African-men-rape-babies-as-cure-for-Aids.html)

In 38 A.D., the Roman Governor Flaccus ordered thousands of Jews to be paraded naked through the street, to be raped and to be beaten and burned in bonfires. Yes, raped; Jewish men and women, ordered to be raped. (Brief Histories of Almost Anything: 50 Savvy Slices of our Global Past  edited by Chris Brazier)

This is what the Bible intended by saying for a man to not lie with another man, as if he were a woman. God was saying “Do not Rape!”.

In Genesis 19:4-11. The men at the door are not there for a tea party. They want to rape the Angels, and Lot, instead offers up his daughters to be raped, instead. It is because, at that time, women, were viewed as “things”, “possessions”. It had little to nothing, to do with sexuality but to do with the value placed upon different genders.

A daughter required a dowry, a daughter brought debt while a son, a male, brought value. A Dowry is the money or goods a woman brings to a marriage. Lot would have had to pay for his daughters to marry.

This is not just a story about rape, but bad parenting as well. What father could offer up his daughters to strangers, to rape, and instead protect male visitors. If the President of the United States visits your home, and some anti-President radicals are banging at your door, demanding that you surrender him so that they can rape him – would you offer up your daughters?

No matter what you think of the President, no human deserves to be raped, ever. It is a disgusting, evil, vile act and God agreed!

You can also see, that even though Lot had a very screwed up sense of value, God still loved him!

In Leviticus 20:13 it says “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

This does not say “If one man, falls in love with another man – kill him!”. The Bible is VERY clear about love, lust and everything in between. You will also notice that Leviticus admonishes about incest and bestiality. It says “Do not rape anyone, do not have sex with kin willingly or unwillingly and do not have sex with animals.”. All of these things in modern times will result in legal punishment, potentially even a death sentence.(http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/06/convicted-south-la-murderer-gets-death-sentence-.html)

Does God hate homosexuals? NO! God loves all of His children, equally. We, His children, do not love equally and that is part and parcel of our sinful nature.

 Please Father help me to be a good, loving Christian.  Help me to not judge others by my own fears, hurts, sins and past trauma. Help me to be one with Your world, and Your people. Help me Father, to be a loving child like your Son, who welcomed and loved all people from the leper to the lord. I want to be a symbol of Your love, Lord. I am not You, and it is not my place to judge – Please remind me of this and make me an example of Your unconditional positive regard. Amen.

Advertisements

The Christmas Birthday Debate; Missing the point.

I’ve been thinking about this for the past few months, and trying to find a logical method of explaining things.

Many of us, Christians, and non-Christians, celebrate Christmas. We buy gifts for loved ones, take time off to see family that we may rarely visit otherwise, and we try to treat co-workers & peers with extra amounts of respect.

We all take time out of our lives to share positive thoughts, positive feelings, and positive behaviors. We schedule this time.

Bickering over dates, and times, isn’t as relevant as us, mankind, behaving exactly as our heavenly Father, wants us to.  Even self professed “free thinkers”, atheists, participate in the positive behavior. 

Focus on the positive! 

Ephesians 4:31-32

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

 

My apologies

I don’t have anything brilliant to write today. My family has caught some sort of virus and my days have been spent washing laundry, steam cleaning floors and praying.

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
I know that God will sooth my soul, I know He is soothing my soul because how else could I realize that, although my family is sick, they are sick in an oceanfront apartment with six huge windows featuring nothing but waves. Oh, and the wash room is right across from my door, so I don’t have to go very far to freshen up their linens.

Lord, I am just very happy to have my family. Thank you Father for helping me to see. For being my light at the end of a dark tunnel. 

 

Depression, God and science.

As I explained in a previous post, I suffered a great deal from an experience with a rare personality type. I’m alive, thank God, but it’s been a very challenging, depressing and a unique situation. One of those “Murphys Law” moments, which unfortunately, even those who’s earthly jobs are to help us, to protect us, were (and are) overwhelmed and confused.

Essentially it was a “We’re so sorry, we know this is wrong but we have no idea how to help or how to stop it from happening”. I felt lost, hopeless, depressed. Every day became a struggle because the individual wasn’t just trying to hurt me, they were including my family in their attacks. They weren’t a friend, a lover, a relative. It was an almost complete stranger. We shared little in common except for utilizing the same building.

Every day, even now, is a struggle to see hope. Because, I’m that camel and every thing that is normally a mild stresser or annoyance has become the straw. God , I am learning, is the biggest portion of my support system and I have a very good support system (family, church, friends, legal, and medical) I think that we forget how important God is in our lives, especially at our weakest moments.

Sure, we give foxhole prayers but even then, we aren’t giving the whole of our self. When I finally broke down, when I was able to ask my church for prayer support, suddenly wonderful things began happening. My lawyer was suddenly able to get me a restraining order, my husband got a job in an oceanfront town and secured us a waterfront apartment at a shockingly low rate (in a nice area), and I began to slowly see a light as I was digging myself out of this hole. When I put my head in my hands, and broke down sobbing desperatly for God, like a child needing their parent, thats when the connection occurred. Thats when that door opened and I walked through.

I’ve prayed for years. I’ve studied the bible. I’ve been baptized twice and in two different denominations. I’ve even attended temple. Academically, I’m quite sound. My soul however was at the door, but never walking through. I was going through the motions and as smart as I would like to think that I am, I truly was an idiot.

When I broke down, I finally heard him. Psalm 13:4. Now, every day I do my devotionals. I look forward to it, I’m giddy about it. Today’s message, the day before we move to our new town, is one on depression.

I subscribe to a few different devotionals, including Bayless Conleys. Today his message was on Gods prescription for depression.

Isaiah 58:10-11 

10 Give your food to the hungry
    and care for the homeless.
Then your light will shine
    in the dark;
your darkest hour will be
    like the noonday sun.

11 The Lord will always guide you
and provide good things to eat
    when you are in the desert.
He will make you healthy.
You will be like a garden
    that has plenty of water
or like a stream
    that never runs dry.

Obviously this isn’t a dis to anyone who takes medication for medical issues. But, as I have learned, you need a holistic approach to dealing with depression. be it temporary, mild, severe, lifetime, from being a victim….etc

You need a good therapist, a good doctor, you need a supportive family, you need good trusted friends, you need hobbies, you need a great church and you need God. (maybe even a good lawyer and some great police officers.)

If you only have one, or a few of those parts, without the whole, you will not wholly heal. Helping others feels good and is a wonderful hobby. (and, it pleases God)

There is science in this. (I told you, there is a connection between science and God. The biggest connection, is in the social sciences.)

http://www.success.com/articles/1152-drs-oz-and-roizen-help-others-to-help-your-health

Dr. Oz, who at times I find annoying (forgive me God. Thats all me, not him.) claims that by helping others, you can help your health. God, in Isaiah said the same thing!

For those such as myself who expect a peer reviewed source, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH (*bangs table dramatically*) you have a Psychology professor at UC Riverside “After a rigorous review of research on the therapeutic benefits of positive emotion, Lyubomirsky said, she and her colleagues found widespread support for the notion that people with a tendency toward depression can help themselves by helping others or otherwise introducing positivity into their day-to-day lives.” (http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2012/01/02/with-depression-helping-others-may-in-turn-help-you?vwo=501cd)

This is “new” research, proving theories on “new” ideas, that as you can see, were also suggestions given by God, in the Bible.

And, on my part, this devotional is exactly what I needed today.

Thank You Father, for providing guidance in all aspects of my life. For knowing just what it is that I need, and for finding ways to remind me that I am valued by You. Amen

Hospitality

My church has several wonderful, fun, learning programs. Last night we were doing personality tests and spiritual gifts tests. Our Church’s manager made a very wonderful point, about how we should also pay attention to our lower numbers, and seek balance within our lives.

I was pretty thrilled that I came out as being creative, caring and wise. I glossed over the part where I sucked at hospitality. I skimmed over hospitality as being important until reading one of my devotionals for today.

I treat my relationship with the Lord, much the same as I do my education. It’s a never ending pursuit, and no matter how far I go, there is still more to learn.(I’m also happier than a pig in cold mud, on a hot summer day) I look forward to my daily devotionals. I get them via email and on my Iphone. I spread them out throughout the day to keep me positively motivated.

However, today I realized that I need to listen to the Lord and work on my hospitality. I don’t invite people over to my house because like most houses with toddlers, it only looks good at night. Sure, I bake awesome homemade bread, I make great meals and yet all these years I’ve brought these items to others who were far more hospitable than myself.

(http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/women/an-expanded-view-of-hospitality.html)

I realized by reading my devotional, although I am hospitable outside of my home. Although my body is a temple, and people do seem to like me (Im told that I am warm and people feel nurtured.) I’m terrible with house guests. I think I am not sending a good message to those that I care for when I dont invite them over to break bread (or tacos!)

Lord, with Your help, I will work through this personality flaw, this vanity, so that I can share Your love with others in my home (my home that looks like a toy store met a hurricane…).

 

Similarities between science and Christianity

I, like many others who enjoy technology, love to read discussions. I love to read about what others believe, why they believe it and how they react when encountering someone who believes differently.

Yes, part of that is because it’s an obvious train wreck. When you place a person in a situation where they have perceived anonymity, they can behave badly. While the internet facilitates better decimation of information, it allows us to seek free education but it also puts us into situations where the worst aspects of our personalities, the sinful aspects are heavily tempted. (http://gawker.com/5950981/unmasking-reddits-violentacrez-the-biggest-troll-on-the-web.)

Jeremiah 9:3 addresses this kind of behavior

They make ready their tongue
    like a bow, to shoot lies

Now, my point is that many of these discussions can become abusive, so I realize that what I believe might touch someone deeply, and it may evoke anger. I apologize for that. I want you here because you want to be, and because I care. If you believe in atoms, even if in your lifetime you have never witnessed nor will ever witness them, then I think you will get where I am going with this topic.

I believe that Science shares similarities to Christianity because Science is based on theories. When one conducts research, we argue that a point is valid because if tested under specific, arranged circumstances, it will elicit a specific response. Some theories, we can’t really test. A good example of this is Astronomy.

We don’t yet have the technology to fly to Neptune and take samples of the atmosphere. We make predictions based on things we study, things we analyze but we can’t 100% assume that it will occur, thus the “statistical significance”. That .01 of “oops.”. Yet, whether we understand statistics or not, we still believe what scientists tell us.

Anyone remember Y2K? Utter chaos was predicted based upon issues being displayed in computer systems. It was a theory, a belief. Currently there are issues being predicted for 2012, the alleged “end” of the Mayan calender, as well as NASA predicting a catastrophic event in 2013, due to solar flares. Governments believe these theories, and have created a global seed bank.

What goes up must come down! And, yet that theory doesn’t cover everything, nor explain everything – however, we believe it, we don’t question it. Even though there are scientific reports stating that in a portion of Canada, there is lower gravitational pull. (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11826-satellites-solve-mystery-of-low-gravity-over-canada.html)

Our belief in God, like science, is something that we feel, that we can theorize on, we can find analogical evidence to support these beliefs. For example, there are many historical battles quoted in the bible that modern archaeologists have been able to correlate to dig sites, to support portions of the Bible. (http://www.bible-history.com/bka/)

A few portions where science and Christians may dicker over is the time frame. As humans, we seem to want to box and label everything. In Genesis, many translations seem to reflect the world as we know it, was created in seven days. (http://godandscience.org/youngearth/yom_with_number.pdf)

The problem is that the word used was “Yom”. It was uniquely used in that book, and as such, doesn’t translate to days, or solar days but unique periods of time that for lack of a better word or statement, signify “in His time”.

If it makes us feel better, we can believe that it took 7 days, or 7 million years. In either direction it is still a miracle, and of course no where in the Bible does it chastise us for not understanding Hebrew or Aramaic. The point I think that we all tend to glaze over is that it allows for Science, for the possibility that things grow and change, things mutate. We might not be “made from monkeys” but like everything else on this planet, we share a connection.

Thats the point.  We can, and should, both believe that we are connected to each other, to this planet, and we can work together to inspire kindness. It doesn’t matter whether you are an Atheist, a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim or a Spaghettist – you are not alone!

So the next time you feel bitter, you feel angry, the next time your feathers are ruffled by some stranger over the internet who thinks that your choice for President is hog wash – look up and take a deep breath. This is your world, time is short, and there is much you haven’t seen. There are others out there who value your opinions, even if they differ, others who will embrace you in positivity!

Psalm 8:3-4

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

Psalm 104:24-25

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
    which teems with creatures innumerable,
    living things both small and great.

Lord, help me to not participate in negative behaviors on the internet. Help me to be a good, kind person both online and off. Help me to be consistent in my behaviors, and to always be moving forward. Help me to give unconditional positive regard for all of Your creations. Thank You Father for everything. Amen.

My story.

Over my lifetime, I have been a “nose in the book” academic and a tireless volunteer. I live to help others, be they people, plant or pet. However, I really was quite wishy washy when it came to religion. Oh, I studied and I figured a great many things out, but I didn’t feel. I studied, but I couldn’t relate. I was at His door, pressing the doorbell but always running away when He would answer.

After a terrible encounter with a rare type of personality. I was left broken of heart, and spirit; I was a terrified, anxiety filled soul. Doctors said that there is no pill to cure victimization. I was not mentally ill according to all of the tests, and sadly, other than offer me ideas on getting off the offenders radar, there was little else they could do.

It was terrible, painful and expensive. Being a victim of this encounter requires a special kind of Psychologist that insurance does not often cover. Being a victim required me to completely detach from the life that I had established, to begin anew in the hopes of being “safe”. Being a victim of this kind of personality, meant everyone I loved was equally at risk simply by being in my presence. Being well educated meant that I had calculated these risks, to the degree that the variable of death, seemed to be the only reasonable solution to ensuring the safety of my loved ones from this destructive person.

Somehow God didn’t let me get too deep into depression. After I sought professional help, He connected me with a newly formed church, where I enrolled in classes. (I am ever the academic – free classes are difficult to refuse.) I learned about commitment, to not just be committed to my family, or to my education but to also be sure to commit to God.

**My reasons for searching out a Church, was because I was working on establishing a new positive support system. I didn’t anticipate liking or connecting as quickly as I did. My Pastor also believes in peace and unconditional positive regard. **

This meant to have a successful relationship with God, I needed to set time aside for Him every day. Just like, I would set aside time for my loved ones. (Date night!) The day I began doing my devotionals, I had read a few different ones, and then prayed over it. In my prayer, I broke down crying about how hopeless and alone, I feel. I said “God, I’ve done everything I was supposed to do. I went to everyone from the police, to the FBI; we hired a lawyer and it feels like no one is listening.”

Now, I realize that I have bragged about being an academic and I probably sound like a putz. My specialty is understanding and connecting information, being able to break it down into layman’s terms.  However, I admit that I am not someone who has a Bible rolodex stored in their brain. So when I prayed, and felt the answer of “Psalms 13:4” – I, well, I made an odd face, rolled my eyes and googled it.

Psalms 13:4 – And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.

I cried and I rejoiced after reading it, because at that moment I realized He IS listening. He knows my pain. I rang His doorbell and this time, when He answered, I leaped through the doorway into His arms.

Now, it doesn’t mean that my troubles have ended, that my panic attacks will suddenly end or even that I am going to be safe forever from the person (No, sorry. You can’t smack me on the forehead and yell “you are healed!”).

This experience, to me, means that God was listening to me and He does care. That I have the choice to live in fear or move forward with hope. I’m on the path of healing, and I have all of my bases covered. I am also praying to be on the path of forgiveness because I believe in peace.

Heavenly Father, I ask that You help me to overcome my pain.  I am grateful for Your love and support. Guide me on the path of peace, the path that Your Son walked. Forgive me for my anger, and please help me to redirect it into something positive to help others. Help me to forget this pain, so that I can move on and forgive. Thank You for being there and for showing me that You are there. I am unworthy Lord, and I Love You. Thank You. Amen.