Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sex Talk


Another salute to FAMILYLIFE.COM:

By definition, all marriages are broken, because every human institution suffers under the frail realities of The Fall; and how much more so in the age of the The Madonna/Miley Bra (or lack thereof), Victoria'sSecret assaults, and the Internet porn invasion, where both sexes are lured into the lurid on an hourly, if not minute by minute basis.

But it's finally getting easier to hear sound teaching on sex, to comprehend God's purpose for it, and to implement that understanding into our childrearing and marriages.  Between Focus on The Family (Jim Daley), My Family Talk (James Dobson) and Family Life Today (Dennis Rainey), my favorite is the latter, where I've heard more solid sex teaching in the last 2 years than in the previous two decades put together. Thank you, God, for good old radio talk show hosts who know how to let down their guard and posit good natured, jovial banter in the service of Christ and HIS Body.

Imagine the misery of raising kids in the hellish 60's-70's, before the advent of Bold Christian Radio offered seekers "Help For Today, Hope for Tomorrow..."

Worse yet, imagine my own poor children being raised in 90's by a mom who suffered to grow up in the miserable 60's and 70's. My Poooor Babies!

Never fear, HELP is near.

Look Up FamilyLife.com, and hear today and tomorrow's broadcast boil down the essentials of making peace in bed. . . and in my head.





twitter: @familylife
6/26 The Place of Your Pleasure - Sex and Money with on FamilyLife Today




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

BARCLAYS SETTLEMENT? SPANK HARDER!

- - OR, HOW I CAME TO BE AN L.A.TIMES BOOSTER


I STILL KEEP THIS 2008 FILE AS A REMINDER TO BEWARE BARCLAYS


OF COURSE my credit card beef with Barclay's was my fault. We should never have accrued an unpaid balance in the first place.  When this beef BLEW back in 2008, I hid the ugly battle from the innocence of children who, at the time, were all living at home and hearing the "debt free" mantra so loudly that our blatant contradiction had to be kept under wraps.  Why did Mr. Man use an Apple Juniper Credit Card to purchase our 2003 iMac? I do not know. For SHAME.

By January of 2008, there was another balance on that card, and minutes before the midnight payment deadline, I was skittering to pay by phone. Their system proved perplexing, as the automated voice at the Barclays end was incomprehensible, but happily, they offered a real person option to complete their electronic check procedure.

THE real person customer service agent was a clever "Michelle." Confident, emphatic, very reassuring. I believed her every word.  I explained that I feared I'd mistakenly entered the routing number of my check rather than my account number, but she assured me the payment had gone through, and that I had nothing to worry about.

Of course, it did not go through. To make matters worse, we did not have the internet at home, so when hubster tried to double check the account from his work Monday morning, their website for some strange reason would not allow access to our statement! He made a payment anyway, just in case, but it didn't matter. A fine was levied. It was a day late.

I PROTESTED. I filed appeals. I made calls and wrote letters.

What I did NOT DO was pay their fine.

I WAS adamant that I owed them nothing beyond my monthly payment and that they owed me an apology for the headache brought on by the Oh-So-Clever Michelle. Nevermind that I was too stupid to know the difference between an account number and a routing number. Such idiocy was unforgivable and they were incalcitrant. Stupid people unfortunate enough to fall into the lair of Michelle do not deserve mercy.

I folded my denied appeal letters into a manilla folder and stuffed it into the banking drawer of the file cabinet, trying not to spit whenever it crossed my path.  Then came a credit check during a 2012 home loan pre-approval process. It revealed that Barclays Bank had downgraded our nearly perfect credit rating due to a "pattern of late payments." Seriously.


L.A. TIMES TO THE RESCUE

THANK YOU Jim Puzzanghera. If not for your June 19, 2012 story detailing the process by which aggrieved bank customers can aire their fraud complaints, I would still be spitting nails when I do my monthly filing. I read his BUSINESS SECTION article, followed directions, and in less than a month,  received something CIVILIZED from Barclays. Barely.  They threw me a small bone, but it was SOMETHING.

Breathe. After four years of queasy spitting, I could finally BREATHE, even though all they agreed to do was reverse their credit ding. I didn't get my $35 back because "their records don't go back that far" and they couldn't prove I wasn't lying. Holy Sheissa. A credit card company's records don't go back four years? Someone tell the IRS.

WELL, Mr. Puzzanghera, if the Courts should find that my aggrieved state deserves a billion or two for pain and suffering out of all those zillion$ in fines flying around between aggrieved plaintiff governments of the western world [ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-10/u-s-energy-regulator-seeks-court-order-on-barclay-fine.html ] and Barclays (and JPMorgan, and Lehman Bros, and...!), I promise to share a few hundred million with you.  Even if you are a demon democrat. Oh crap. I didn't just say that. Oops. Yes I did. [ http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-03/barclays-ceo-quits-after-record-libor-rigging-fine ]

JOURNALISTS rock. Thank you, L.A. Times.

Signed,
A Humbled Republican... who's really more of an independent. Seriously.

EVEN IN DECEMBER 2011 THE BARCLAYS FILE
WAS LAYING AROUND, HAUNTING ME












Monday, July 22, 2013

News That Was Not News


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2059604-2,00.html *

It would seem that a movement bent upon earning the acceptance of the rest of the world would be monitored by that world, and irregular findings reported in upfront fashion. Kudos to Time Magazine, then, for plainly revealing the soul of sexual excess in this Dan Savage quote from an interview in 2011:

"We talk about love in a way that is very unrealistic: "If you're in love, you're not going to want to have sex with anyone else but that person." That's not true.  We need to acknowledge that truth so that people don't have to spend 40 years of marriage lying to and policing each other."

The facts have been on the table for decades that the hmsxl lifestyle is not about monogamy; rather, that it's plainly about camouflage.  Getting those facts officially recognized has proven impossible in a media driven culture.

Witness the day I phoned a radio talk show hosted by Larry Mantle of KPCC in Pasadena. I read from a report listing a litany of disease statistics exclusive to the hmsxl community revealing epidemic levels of hepatitis, STD's, intestinal diseases, mental illness, yadayada.

Mr. Mantle hung up on me.

I was not only cut off mid-sentence (that's typically called 'censorship,' yet, who am I to judge, being a biased witness...), but I'm pretty sure my phone # was blocked, as all subsequent attempts to phone in to Mr. Mantle's show proved unsuccessful; I mean, I didn't just get a busy signal, I got rolled over to a dial tone.

My point? The dusting of respectability given the hmsxl movement by our media gatekeepers is not evil simply because they're withholding truth. It is beyond evil because it promotes behaviour that is truly a medically established deathstyle.

I implore Mr. Mantle and the TV networks to report truthfully in future, to stop glamorizing a lifestyle that defies basic human biologic function, and "acknowledge truth" that, for the average hmsxl, in-your-face promiscuity is actually the norm, and monogamy is, for the most part, a charade.



The in-our-faces acknowledgment that monogamous man-woman marriage is "in peril" does not justify promoting the very behaviour that contributes to that peril. Normalizing sex outside the bounds of the marriage commitment does not a secure culture make. Does not a secure family make. Does not a sound man or woman make. Yet the fiscal lives of most media moguls depend upon that peril.

Where is media coverage of Marriage Encounter, Love Won Out  or  Family Life Today Seminars?

Our attendance at seminars by FamilyLife.com has made a good sized dent in my all-too-human propensity to live myopically for myself, and has guided my husband's determination to deny himself the sexual gratification served up by every F-ING network and cableTV outlet, magazine, catalog and department store advertisement EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY. My husband is my HERO for withstanding, mostly, such chronic onslaught. When his fight wavers, he has men in his life who hold him accountable; and we have methods in place whereby our marriage is guarded and my expectations are kept in check. Because we all agree, there is not one man on the planet for whom sexual temptation is not a daily reality.

FLT's marriage seminars affirm and encourage mature adult commitments based on self denial, and confront the hedonism of Mr. Savage's sex column and the hmsxl movement's mantra of feel-good impulsivity. They've REVISITED & UNVEILED THE OLD DEFINITION of manhood: one where sacrifice, self-discipline, the courage to say what no one else is saying, and a personal commitment to hammer out virtue over vice can win the day; where, in the battle of the mind, positing a Christ centered marriage can actually buffet the sex drive. A Real Man say's no to his sexual fantasies and honors his commitment to make his wife the sole object of his lifelong passions.

Once upon a time, it was the FCC's mandate to do guard our culture. How stupid was that. Never trust a government bureaucracy to do a Real Man - man's job.

I join Family Life Today in calling out REAL MEN who will defy the new "norm" and reject a culture of "go along to get along."  To step up and speak out against media trespasses.  And to teach their daughters and sons that the vices portrayed in nearly every music lyric and video come with an abhorrent deathstyle price tag.

Maybe the good folks at FLT.com are dreamers; but OH how good it feels to dream. Hope is born of such things.

And hope is just what we need most right now.



(*Were I not in the thick of battle with depression right now, I would stop and pray for Mr. Savage.  Maybe you who are reading this will help a lame blogger and do it for me.

I guess the need of the day is prayer for us all. Recognizing the terminal end of an entire culture because truth has been exchanged for lies doesn't permit me to minimize the dignity of every individual within that sphere.  Every friend I've known who lives out a cohabiting lifestyle or hmsxl world view has suffered indignity and shame at the hands of some.  For that I repent.  I appeal to my conservative world to give every individual the respect and honor due them as a child of God worthy of the grace and love we all crave at the foot of the cross, while still recognizing the boundaries of good judgement... )


Update: On tolerating intolerance - or, not:   Thurs. December 12, 2013/MyFamilyTalk.com

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/family-talk/listen/#Tolerating+the+Intolerable  



Friday, June 28, 2013

In Which I (not so) Cleverly Divest, Part II

- - Or - -
In Which I Refuse To Admit That "I Am Part Of The Problem"



All blood sport imagery aside (see last post RE: Hmsxl Marriage), I'm still interested in how Christianity didn't CARE to see this coming. Why pastors, church boards, the layity, the press,,, all engrossed themselves in DEFENSIVELY looking good to outsiders instead of grappling with tough issues in a systematic, methodical, OFFENSIVE way. Instead of living out life in a wartime mentality, the "faithful" felt The Call to play luxury cruise lotto.

"RESERVED for First Time Visitors Only" At the local First Presbyterian Church.
We've noticed these slots are never taken

And I so willingly played along.

Like the lazy church across our street, chiming away on the hour with a timer that's an hour off (I stopped in with flowers to inquire, and they claimed they hadn't noticed!), church going has served more as a recreational club than a cultural cornerstone.  IRS tax rules played a huge role, lulling stupid pastors into believing it was "unconstitutional" to take moral stands or back political candidates. Stupidstupidstupid. They thought it rather wise to trade paying property taxes for silence. 

Result?  A century of Flabby Finnegans reaping the benefits of two millennia of comfy consensus, more interested in their Sunday School donut options than remaining sharp and focused, consigning the nation to cultural chaos. "Christianity-as-Idea" is now synonymous with fitting-in hipsterism instead of the Josh McDowell/CS Lewis scholasticism it was meant to assume; rather with The Bells of St. Mary's than Ben Stein's Expelled.




Forget Stonewall. Forget the institutionalizing of pro homosexuality public opinion by the APA and AMA and network television. All this revolution needed was a nation of TV dependent, entertainment addicted lapdogs coming under the hypnotic influence of prime time. The once-a-week-on-Sundays Christian Sanctification plan never stood a chance.

Gone were the arguments in favor of biblio-centric thought and life, building up The Faithful like serious charges of a two thousand year old Order of St. Constantine, or a Crux-Croi version of Tai Chi, or at least some serious fraternal order of C.S. Lewis for goodness sake, tweed and tobacco pipes till blue in the face... Oh, no... Enter instead churches run by public opinion polls and mega pastors (and scads of local wanna-be mega pastors) plush with offices that look more Pottery Barn than war room (... tho they did settle for the movie room, reverencing Tolkein RINGS and prim little Narnia flicks all in the name of sound youth ministry).



I recall my own series of sorry-*** churches. After leaving Catholicism for "Bible believing" fellowships, there were four where I attended between high school and empty nesting for the better part of 35 years, none of which knew what to do with me. I'd probe and ask questions they didn't like, and generally make a nuisance of myself, each of us growing sick and tired of the other.  That's partly why I wanted to home educate our kids. The church wasn't assuming the role of Trainer of Souls nearly as much as public school options (and at least one sunday school classroom & retreat) were assuming the role of Tainter of Souls.

Thank God, then, for the work of courageous para-church ministries.



It is safe to say that all I ever learned about Power Topics which sharpened our family with teachings on sex, marriage, cultural controversies, and how to grow as a Christian woman (read "learning to be prayerful and forbearing to caustic pastors who deserve a good slap"), came not from my local church, but from Family Life Today and Focus On the Family, para-church ministries visited nearly every day through the airwaves.

My local protestant pastors were as yellow bellied and legalistic as any Catholic priest I ever wished to flee. Looking back on it now, I'm appalled that the bulk of our 10% tithe went to them instead of the above mentioned radio ministries doing all the actual work. 

Were I to do it over, I'd gift the Sunday morning pulpit with the paltry $40/month instead of the other way around.


Where that leaves Christianity is stupefying. The irrelevant, insipid, mediocre local church sits upon tax free street corners across 50 states, stoking their Vacation Bible School guest lists and excelling in summer "Missions" (read vacation trips) quotas, while these bold, outspoken radio personalities are on the hook, taking hits every day for sticking their necks out, fielding constant threats, even once getting shot at.*

Prepare now. We'll see polygamy accepted. We'll see the age of consent lowered to 12 yrs, or worse. We'll see sex toys sold at Walmart and the already mainstreamed Playboy replaced by mainstreamed homoerotica in grocery stores... and pointy Madonna bras for preschoolers.

No wonder then, why I've no stomach to walk across the street to "worship" on Sunday mornings. As a depressed and defeated skeptic (i.e. whiner and complainer), I actually went hiking last Lord's Day.  And I "can't stop" dropping the F-bomb.

Now that sucks.  How can i NOT now weep for the future? (as well as for the Presbyterians: Do PLEASE fix your clock tower already!)

When a depressed housewife gives away piles of
treasured books - - that's DeTocqueville there! - -
 it's a declaration of surrender
to cultural suicide



* August 15, 2012 - Family Research Council HQ 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

In Which I Cleverly Divest Myself Of Faith, Part I



The marriage mosh pit has begun. I've dreaded this day for over 20 years: the day when a Christ Follower must either put up or shut up on the issue of homosexuality. I know I've been a coward, leaving the hot-button issue alone because I hate pain, love blending in, and don't relish living out the lessons learned in Fox's Book of Martyrs.  Once devoured in the arena for brazenly challenging the Roman Pantheon's spirit of 1st century "social stability," we lazy ass Christians are now too soft to head anywhere lions might be found.

Lessons of history aside, I recall a lesson in social conformity, on a city bus ride in San Francisco, 1978, where we'd stopped during the shake-down cruise of my father's second sailboat.

We'd started out in Santa Monica four days prior, and our ultimate destination was Stockton; but inbetween, we berthed the boat at an affordable SanFran marina far from the Castro, and hopped a city bus to get a hot meal and see some sites.  Being a typical American teen, I was embarrassed to be seen riding on a bus, so while the driver parked to wait out his clock, I jumped off to grab a newspaper to hide my face in. Ahh. There's a nice one. I spotted The Guardian. Like Dad's Manchester Guardian, that bastion of British respectability that arrived each week by post in clean white tissue to save money coming all the way from England.  How noble of this great city to sport such continental fare in their coarse, dirty, urine sprayed newsstands.

Thought interrupted: why are all these painfully piercing eyes jabbing holes through my sea sprayed woolens as I strode confidently back to my seat, paper tucked jauntily under one arm, announcing to my approving Dad seated two rows away, and all the other riders, that I'd found a Guardian to read.  OH my lands. The shock to my virginal system to see splayed before me homosexual acts in ads and features that must've made my eyebrows stand on end. Then my quick recovery as I realized I was not in "Kansas" anymore, and must play along, turning pages slowly as if I, my Dad, his sailing buddies, and every local rider staring warily from the corners of their eyes must surely know that I read this filthy paper all the time...

Good God. Had I been an honest, bold, tutored follower of Christ, I would have jumped up from my seat, announced right there in the aisle for all to hear, that THIS IS NOT THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN, no, this is the most disgusting fare any city should EVER allow to be sold anywhere, most especially in newsstands freely available to both minors AND adults, especially out-of-towner Dorothy's & Toto's like myself.

Yes, some incensed diatribe was most definitely called for.

But, no. I just turned a few more hideous pages as non-challantly as I could, then just as non-challantly rolled it up before my father became curious, tucking it away in my backpack to die a death by trash can as soon as conveniently possible.  My accedence to that sh** was an advertisement to every person there that garbage must be tolerated, a lesson they obviously already knew, given looming conditions in that once great city: on every subsequent trip into that town, I recall stepping over human feces along many of my favourite streets, and I promised myself to never set foot in that swampland again.

So much for the old salt and light mandate from Scripture.  I acquiesced to the crowd, and Christianity-at-large did the same.  And as Christianity goes, so goes the culture; so, we deserve crap.

We liked cush more than crime fighting; consensus more than confrontation. And now we pay.

Anita Bryant, where was your wing man? Eating KFC out of the carton, watching the Marlins lose again.

I fear the next blood bath will be spectacular.














Sunday, June 9, 2013

NOW, NOW... "They" Aren't Spying, Really



OUT ON THIS LIMB,
YOU CAN RUN but you cannot hide

If I didn't already know the outcry over government spying on private web and phone users would sputter out with a whimper when the dust settles, I wouldn't have bothered posting my little warning on this blog's sidebar rather than burying it in an ethereal post back in 2011 (<-- b="" the="">Eagle Forum
ladies/gents had been hot on this issue for years prior).
If only the same public indignation (albeit shortlived...) extended all the way to the topic of PRIVATE online spying.

Who hasn't wondered how powerful Apple and Google (and now Disqus ) have become after years of tracking Who's-Who online, effortlessly singling out the evil conservatives from the magnanimous liberals; the pinheaded Christians (with whom I am known to cavort) from those all wise and ever enlightened agnostic secularists (with whom I am forever getting on the wrong side of)? There's unimaginable power there. I don't even want to elucidate, it is so frightening.

Who hasn't thought, with the same chill down the spine which came fifteen years ago over same sex marriage (adherents threw rocks and blockaded churches back then), that when the gloves come off of all the hyper-liberal internet providers' web bug/web widget metadata, the enemies of state will have suddenly become us: the 'little christian guy' who's just going-along-to-get-along, assuming the first amendment will be enough to prevent his daily torture by media lynch mobs, peer pressure, and << GASP >>  a barrage of UNLIKE's from Facebook Friends, Instagram Followers and the rest...

First Amendme-WhAt? Trust the Justice Departme-Who? Maybe Jay Sekulow??

WELL.


Good luck with that.






Monday, March 25, 2013

POE ‘EM FOR ADELE AND F.L.






Adele Laurie Blue Adkins and
Fraser Lance Thorneycroft-Smith
Set out one day to writ music
‘Bout rain‘n fire havin a rift;

But the clime was not rainy, no,
The sun shone full bore,
And the pair grieved a lack of
Inspired implore;

So they spun themselves round in playlists of seven
From Miss Etta James to Andre Previn,
Soaked in thrills from strumming waves of
Spelunking moods down mystic caves;

And up they came with angst galore,
Feast for heart sized ears and more;
Chilling, angry, frenzied pop
Abseiling rock faced charts to top.

So Fraser Lance Thorneycroft-Smith and
Adele came to drink from that gurgling
Wishing well, plumbed deep of granite songs, and sweet;
Fresh and clean, if bereft of meaning.

Which proves by rights, that men of plight and
Women of catchy tunes,
Will amount to nothing if ever their names
Aren’t hyphenated-elongated runes.


- - Penned whilst under influence of six weeks of coffee, Pandora, four hour's sleep, TSP, paint fumes and bloody finger tips ~ 2Feb-16Mar



Bathroom window I finally took out had to go back in.
And so it went,
from metal strips, vinyls and rugs, to support posts, flocked ceilings and 60's paint hues;
all that was old was new again at Hedge House.


~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ 

"There's asbestos under those 9" tiles"


Lesson learned: patch kitchen floor instead of replacing: $1,500 saved; patch roof instead of replacing: 7,000 saved; leave bathroom w/o window ventilation and leave bedroom sans new carpet and baseboard: 1,300 saved; understand when you rent out a house for $400 less than the going rate,  renters should just have to deal with worn interiors. 

NET EFFECT: WE NEVER LEARNED TO LEARN OUR LESSON before overspending $10,200. 
Damn.