Friday, October 19, 2018

Two big WHAT IF's

One of many kiss and make up moments

What If the guardians of Christianity in our time have gotten it wrong. Again.

What if, like the Catholics before them, the reformers and their progeny stumbled as badly as their their legalist forebears?

This has proven true in my own experience: having tasted the exultant explosion of grace and forgiveness for sin at the age of 16, I lost my way and raised three children almost as if I had never left Catholicism: as a legalist.

So, coming rather late to the BEAT UP on The Duggars *Party (we have no TV; barely even knew who they were...) it is very clear to me that they made the same mistake that I made.

They thought they were "saved" by grace in order to show the world how perfect Christians can be.

WHAT IF they (and I) had "Got It" and lived like Paul, the author of the book of Romans in the Bible, who lived only to relay to a needful world just WHAT he had been saved from?  Romans 7:19

We, my hubs and I, always knew that the demon of pornography would be "The Enemy's" primary tool to take us down (his arsenal is vast and varied, of course). As we were dating, we talked openly with one another about our teenage experiences encountering the pervasive stuff:  I was shown a giant barn load of it in 5th grade by "Alan and Ritchie"; and my hubs had to learn to shove it off the coffee tables of his home after his salvation experience in 1977.

But rather than lead with the obvious, we followed the contemporary church's cue and hid our history. No one talked about it (The Promise Keepers conference guys were Hub's exception) so who were we to take it on?  Hid our story from the world and from our kids.

THEN, thanks to the internet, 
human sexuality was baptized in the waters of urgent transparancy** 

BUT IF the Duggars had any sense, they would've figured out that the entire purpose for their 10 minutes of fame existed ENTIRELY TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SEXUAL FAILURE and the roll it plays in everyone's lives.


THAT is why the Recovery Movement is now the only tenable evangelization tool left to the Christian Church.

No one wants to hear how perfect you think you are.  They'll only "get" the Gospel when you "get real" and make the connection between what you were saved from and how you gratefully walk in that salvation now.

The Duggars had their chance and they blew it. And what a high price their blindness has cost the Name of Christ.

Coming late to the party is my trademark.  But once there, I try to learn from those gathered and get to the good stuff so the conversation can really get flowing.

I love parties.
Even if it means I always have to clean up the mess.

The time I got so mad at him I took off my wedding ring "until further notice,"
nearly allowing myself to speak the "D" word

**  **  **  **

* "Exclusive: The Duggars open up about molestation allegations

Jun. 03, 2015 - 15:39 - Family recounts story on 'The Kelly File'"

** They're called "Family Secrets" and, according to Celebrate Recovery (C.R.) every family has one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back To School Nightmares

The talk show know-it-alls are at it again. 

This time, with California law set to force-vaccinate any and all wanting to avail themselves of a free government education (good luck with that, btw), the topic is more hot than ever.

Only, this morning, the conservatives on KRLA 870 AM were not so conservative.

So my plans to prune the last overgrown salvia of the season were postponed a few hours while I drafted and emailed my outrage.  Knowing the talk show host will dismiss my argument, the note stands here as per my usual back to school practice.

Note a correction below, made during lunch. (I finally made it outside, but that salvia's going to take a few more days. Oooo. What a dusty beast.)

+          ------          +
8:47 am
23 August, ‘16

To Ben Shapiro et al,

You might listen again to your caller @ 8:47am who made the point that a vaccinated student once-upon-a-time brought mumps to school. This still happens. And not from the vaccine being “active” or “live.” It happens that the vaccines are not a panacea, and children who have had their full panel of shots still get sick with illnesses they were vaccinated against.  There is no legislation forcing the CDC to appropriate this data. The good news is that the statistical incidence of complications or death from these illnesses was never very high, at 1% or so of infected individuals. 

Further, the well known good that smallpox and rubella, etc. vaccines are duly credited with is not at issue with the current state of affairs: children are being immunized with such a barrage of shots starting minutes after birth that their bodies are being asked to accommodate to an unprecedented number of challenges to their immune system. 

What once was an effectual medical practice has now become a medically harmful overreaction. An over-exhuberent scientific establishment heralding the theoretical good that vaccines once represented is now requiring something like 36** shots before age six, and no parent, knowing her family history of adverse reactions is allowed to personalize the demand schedule. She must offer up her child as an instrument of public health experimentation as if vaccines were some sort of magic bullet. 

Vaccines are not a magic bullet.

In 1995, through a “bad lot” of Connaught flu vaccine, I and many others suffered multiple negative side effects. One gentleman on the east coast suffered Guillain BarrĂ© syndrome from this lot. Some of my symptoms were similar to his, but without paralysis. My list of ailments were some ten in number, and when I presented them to the administering doctor, he ridiculed me. Shut me up. Five years of pursuing any form of attenuating aide left me with little confidence in the medical industry.

Whereas before this happened I was a staunch vaccine backer, after this, I stopped seeing vaccines as the be-all-end-all answer to all our problems. As well, you should too. Do not allow the boogy-man arguments in favor of the misguided myth of Herd Immunity to cloud your otherwise persuasive mental construct.  Don't wait until one of your children falls victim before you seriously look into this. 


VIN: Vaccine Information Network

Also, do talk to people whose children, like me, were forever altered after a vaccine.

~ N a m e   W i t h h e l d 

Your wife’s medical credentials notwithstanding, everyone has an agenda, and it is beyond well understood that the AMA methods of forcing groupthink are every bit as in-play within her world of “go along to get along” medicine as it is in the public schools, thanks to teacher’s unions, federal dollars and California’s liberal political machine.

** I have heard that some states require something like 65. 
Have also heard in CA the count is much higher.

See if my count is correct: 

(Included in the above vaccine schedule is a listing of symptoms that the vaccinations are meant to protect against.  This may as well be a compilation of complications known to have been suffered by some following their shot.  In the secular humanistic pro-Herd-Immunity medical world, these are the unfortunate "sacrificial lambs" who are merely genetically flawed individuals whose lot in life is to suffer a lifetime of consequence in the spirit of serving "The Greater Good." )

If you've explored, now skim Alexandre Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago. Find the part where sullen individuals presumed themselves similar "sacrificial lambs" unworthy of life: being victims of groupthink, they pretty much lowered their heads, put hands behind their backs to be handcuffed, and volunteered themselves up for destruction. Their crimes? Owning Bibles and/or teaching their children about Christianity during the Russian Revolution.

History really does repeat itself. I am sorry, Alexandre. You meant well by warning us, but we rather prefer TV to Tomes. We must be doomed.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

How Denial Works Exactly

"Woody Allen's movie says 
'reality is always a cheat,
a catastrophe; 
ready-made fantasy
doesn't let you down.' "

--New York Magazine,  3/11/85  (p. 97, Purple Rose of Cairo review)

       When we can admit just how immersed we all are in a lifestyle of lying to ourselves, we might just have a hope to really "know the Truth that sets us free."  But as a culture and as individuals, we are fatally ensconced by denial; so MARINATED IN IT by our preference to mistake imagination for reality, that we barely remember to care what truth is anymore.

    That's what the neighborhood Bible Study is for.  To invite a community of poser-believers (such as myself) to face off with LOGOS, the only source of truth that is True (and this Truth is a WHO, btw), and answer only one question: "Given this passage of scripture, WHERE have I lied to myself today?" Or, alternatively, "What am I consistently lying about to myself, and others, everyday?"

    Had the evangelicals of the last century practiced this one small feat of inconvenient "neighborhood organizing," there would be no Trump and there would be no Hillary.** We would have ALL OF US seen right through their fabrications and accommodations to, and preferences for, falsehood.

    Oh, how the Old Deluder has won well the battle for preoccupied hearts and minds.

   Would that we take a look at this week's priorities and scribble onto our day planners:  "!Vacuum sofa; !buy printer paper; !make invitations; !pray for !truth! to encompass my neighborhood..."

and begin the work that is 100 years overdue.

Jeff Daniels in a better role:
clutching not at purple Egyptian roses; rather,
tilting at Don Quixote's windmills (HBO's The Newsroom, 2012)

    The what and how of denial explains perfectly how SURREAL the past political season went down.  We prefer to let family members, friends, businesses and political candidates create downy soft webs of untruth because when we look the other way, then, by social convention, they won't disturb the similar webs we've grown accustomed to in our own little orbs.

Wow. It's Nazi Germany in a nutshell, when the churches adjacent to railroad tracks
 just SANG A LITTLE LOUDER every time the trains rolled by 
enroute for concentration camps
 and packed to overflowing with tormented political prisoners.
  When the last wailing train car had passed,
 the songs could stop and the usual business of denial based Lutheranism could resume.

    And like today, you couldn't point a finger at the Lutherans back then, or ever, because they were only fearing for their own SS threatened lives. Today we fear the political correctness police ("haters gonna hate") who may ruin our private selfie-driven personae's & sour our world of personal branding and business prospects.

    Besides, who doesn't like a proven winner in High Office whose credentials at lying are so stellar that they only make us secretly envious?  Why, isn't that the definition of political success? To be as savvy as a serpent, crafty as a fox, and to lie with finesse on the world stage? Lying is what we all do all day anyway, so why hold our office holders to a higher standard than our own?


In the past 24 hours, I've thanked both Al Gore and Woody Allen. Because truth looks better dressed in political wigs and cinematic suspension of belief.  Besides, politicians run the oval office as if it's just some late night TV show.  And, as with all TV lobbed propaganda,  Bill Clinton proved that with a little swag and a flirty wink, you can make people believe anything. And if he can get away with it, anybody can get away with anything.

    So let's hear it for the candidate who wins the next presidential election,
and be it known henceforth
that s/he shall be known
 always and forevermore as 
Denier In Chief

May we all sleep better at night for having witnessed 
the culmination of the TV age where reality is fake 
and everything once true
 is now a lie. 

** post script: on balance, I'll take the sketchiness of Trump's "word salads" to the blatant misrepresentation, fiction and criminality uttered and engaged in by the average Democrat. May Trump see victory as he contests brazen ballot stuffing in 2020.

Living Contradictions


There's no other reason I'm typing this now but for a promise to myself that i would, sometime this summer, blog something.

It will be short, as I’m typing with a cast & that’s not as heroic as i'd imagined it might be; but any little ploy to upset my entitlement to self pity is a good ploy, and worth giving a "go."

The pity's not so much about the cast on my left arm, nor it's right handed mate on the corresponding bone exactly 375 days prior to this (yes, i said that right: two broken wrists a mere year apart.  Either I'm an unmitigated klutz, I've a trip and fall disorder, or, spooky powers from the dark side have conspired to see how easily I can stay COPEless and defeated.  (Pretty sure it's the first. My wise mother knew what she was doing when she signed me up for ballet at twelve. GRACE was not a word ever used to describe little ellie-the-elephant.)

[Wait. Admit it: some of the pity is over the not-too-distant memory of the rehab on last year's wrist, the cast being the easy part. Also easy, watching a trainee at Kaiser's ER jab and grind a needle full of lidocaine into the splintered bone --didn't feel A THING-- so they could pull the break apart and set the bone. All that was kind of amusing… esp the subtle masochistic way she seemed to enjoy it.

But bending, stretching, icing, heat wrapping, massaging, working and manhandling the broken area every day, starting the day the cast comes off?  OH-oh, no no nooo. That's stupefying; excruciating.

Waves of dread are pulsing daily.

So. Allow this short little "promise kept" of a post, to take my mind off a soon coming misery…]

The Primary Self Pity I’m battling is a haunting of thoughts that have been collecting since i burned my journals 3 yrs and 5 months ago, intending never to journal again. [Blog writing is not journaling. Blogs may be read by another soul somewhere, hence they must pretend to be civil. My journals were most uncivil. Hence the bonfire of the vanities as I prepared to leave our home of 25 yrs in search of a new, more civil existence one hour to the north.]

These Thoughts That Haunt really started much further back, on a day in 1988 when i announced to dear hubby that i'd officially succeeded in slowly weaning him off of caffeine.

I handed him his morning cup, except, on that day, it was finally 100% decaffeinated. He looked at me weirdly and said, "well i don't want to be decaffeinated. Here, you drink this. I'll go get some real coffee at McDonald's on my way to work."

Flummoxed. My exalted-health-nut tea drinking aspirations died in a sudden flash.

Been pondering and simmering ever since, asking myself How Many Ways Am I Like That? Knowing the right thing to do, but preferring the wrong instead?

‘Cause, i mean, really, when we're born, do we stare up at the crib mobile, pondering the many ways to become addicted to as many legal substances as possible? No. I don't think so.

Here's the truth of it. I regularly, almost routinely, violate my conscience in one way or another:

- I hate the taste of coffee, but i drink it anyway.
- Red wine puts me to sleep, but i drink it anyway.
- Beer makes me fat, but i drink it anyway.
- Alcohol dulls the HOLY SPIRIT, but the pastors and elders at church drink it, so it must be OK.
- Sugar is poison, but i binge on almond joy bars, layer cakes and cookies anyway
[…recall those six years bridging high school & college when I secretly purged the confections, launching my life long –yet sadly futile- search for a good counselor. Find the story of the Awesome Healing Moment somewhere prior.]
- I am lactose intolerant, but i pour half-n-half in my coffee everyday.
- Profanity makes me an outcast, but i swear anyway.
- TV makes you brain-dead, but I watch online movies, youtube how-to’s and documentaries everyday (proving that getting rid of the actual TV accomplishes little. “Thank you Al Gore, for inventing the internet.")
- Amazon is a porn purveyor, but rather than boycott the bas***ds, we purchase gifts from them all the time.
- I have lists of phone calls to make every week, but i ignore them until it's almost too late… especially the one to the lady who lives in her car down the street but who can't sleep in our spare room anymore because we moved. Come again? Yeah. I told her that her super trashed junky car would probably not be welcome in the new neighborhood, and she doesn’t want to leave it below and walk uphill this far.
- - - Worst of all, I KNOW w/o a doubt that I excel at life when I put prayer & Scripture reading first each day, yet I regularly put it off until 3:30pm or 4:00, or skip it altogether

If my journals were still here, I'd have more of these moral inconsistencies to muddle through. These violations of the spirit, contradictions of body, mind and soul have sapped my self respect.

In Celebrate Recovery, I learned that habitual trespasses have a beautiful name: DENIAL. And now I can appreciate the humor of those funny sharks in Finding Nemo. And I can say I'm clued in on why my prayer sessions just seem to take fOreveR… and why inventing the kneeling prayer pillow was a matter of dire arthritic necessity.

I don't miss the 30 volume set of marbleized, grammar school ruled Arrested Development that were my daily personal rants. It was getting inconvenient finding places where the kids’ nosey friends wouldn't find them. (The kids themselves were welcome to “read them and weep,” but they mostly chose to forego the pleasure. I saved a random one out for the daughter who read them the most.)

But I do wonder ... When will obedience to my conscience become effortless?

(And when will a short little post NOT go on and on for 20 sporadic paragraphs, cast or no cast?!

Probably not very soon.)

In other news,

I sprained my ankle this morning...

RECENT gag gift from a friend who could tell i still needed some daily introspection