48. Still Learning. Still Breathing.

I finally figured out what happened to me back in school. You know, I was terrified when people told me that everything we go through is to toughen us up … make us stronger … like a muscle, that you break down and build up over and over. I was terrified because I was thinking, as I was getting beaten, pushed, spit on, mocked, and … well, it was kind of a game that they thought it was funny that I didn’t cry — I just took it. Took it all. They thought it was funny to see me break without breaking down. I thought, what is it that is coming… the Thing that I’m supposed to be stronger for, after having been ‘strengthened’ by all this ‘practice’. I didn’t want to know what was worse, what it was that made all this useful. Necessary.

ittookalongtimeWhen I got to college, I found there were a few people who called me out on my … demeanor. One, from NYC, told me he was going to keep sneaking up on me until I stopped flinching. One, a supervisor at one of my jobs, told me that I was an asset because of who I’d been. Where I’d been. People needed to know that someone understood — not just hear the words.

Until now, I thought that’s all that I was. A damaged, bruised, ball of worry and calcified bones. I tried practicing my social skills, and failed. And failed. And failed. But I did learn love. And I learned that I could hurt people without meaning to. I learned that people don’t only hurt people when they’re being bad. We are imperfect, and broken, even when we’re just living.

But what I’d learned back in high school, while I was getting pushed around, was the forgiveness that maybe I would have been too stubborn to allow for if I wasn’t broken down like that muscle. Over and over.

I forgave my father for being unprepared and unable, for not listening and not hugging me enough — though he really did try. I forgave my family for … well, a lot. I never did think about waiting for them to forgive me for anything; just assumed that would never come.

That’s what I’m processing now. That everyone, not just people I have reason to know, everyone is walking around, mad at someone. I can never see it coming. I can never see how broken people are… never see what they’re carrying around. I never know when they have horrible expectations of me because of their experience in life. I never know when I will never have a chance in their lives because their burdens are so great that I can’t make a difference.

I will never know how to be good enough to matter more to them than their wounds. That, and my failures that reinforce their illusions that no one… no one is ever worthy of their love. Their trust. ‘Everybody lies.’

I’m still learning patience. I’m waiting on my Lord to come back and fix this shit.

What does it mean to ‘Take God’s Name In Vain’? And why does God consider it as serious as Murder, Lying, and Thievery?

If you’re old enough, you may have been taught the Ten Commandments, as passed down in the Bible that most Christians aim to follow as their guidebook — or maybe you’re vaguely aware of them, but would find it difficult to pick them out of a hodgepodge of other old-fashion wisdom.

Let’s try a little quiz… pick out, from the following, the advice that comes from the Ten Commandments, and figure out which of the rest aren’t even from the Bible:

The-Ten-Commandments-600x310

  • Don’t kill.
  • Don’t murder.
  • Don’t lust after other people’s things.
  • Don’t take other people’s things.
  • Respect your parents.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • Don’t speak God’s name without reverence.
  • Go to church every Sunday.
  • Celebrate the birth of your Savior.
  • Sinning leads to everlasting torture.

How do you think you did?

Here are the answers:

  • Don’t kill: Nope. This bad translation is often held up by non-believers as a proof that the Bible is crap, what with all the God-commanded killing throughout the Old Testament. Try…
  • Don’t murder: YES… if you can’t understand the difference between killing and murder, you might be a vegetarian — or, if you realize that eating plants is also killing, you might actually have starved to death by now.
  • Don’t lust after other people’s things: YES, this is in the Ten Commandments.
  • Don’t take other people’s things: YES, this too, was one of the things God feels you shouldn’t do.
  • Respect your parents: YES, God wants us to understand that our elders are an important part of our identity, and our structure of behavior — as He has designed.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you: Close, though this one is actually in the Bible (Matthew 7:12), it’s not part of the Ten Commandments.
  • Don’t speak God’s name without reverence: YES, this is just as important to God as not murdering, et al.
  • Go to church every Sunday: Nope. Though the Ten Commandments do say to ‘remember the Sabbath Day’, most scholars (even in the Catholic Church, who created the “Lord’s Day” on Sunday but admit that it’s totally on them) understand this to be Saturday — and further, the Bible records no command to ‘religiously’ attend church services on that day, or any day. We are taught to learn together, pray together, congregate with others of similar beliefs, and the Old Testament traditions record many rules about what is and is not appropriate on the Sabbath — but these two points are clearly not from the Ten Commandments, or anywhere in the Bible.
  • Celebrate the birth of your Savior: This is where things get a little sticky — not only is this not commanded, quite the opposite is true… the only time Christmas is even vaguely mentioned is in Jeremiah 10. The custom of celebrating birthdays itself is from pagan origins… one of the things that the Bible as a whole consistently deems opposite God’s wishes.
  • Sinning leads to everlasting torture: Breaking one or more of the Ten Commandments will … to this day … make our Creator sad, angry, jealous, and justified in toasting your carcass in any manner He sees fit. BUT… the Hell ‘known’ to modern Christianity is from Catholic mythology, not the Bible. The Catholics liked to borrow beliefs from other cultures as a way of assimilating people who they wanted to dominate — the fear inspired by the idea of torture throughout eternity was just too tempting for the Catholic priesthood to leave alone — what better way to scare people into obeying? The Bible, however, describes a fire that is everlasting — not an everlasting torture. God does get angry, but the worst He would do to you is to separate you from Him for all eternity (if you choose not to live His way)… Satan has done a very good job at perverting Christians’ view of the nature of God by twisting this understanding. It’s to the Devil’s advantage that Christians believe God is willing to torture you forever while ‘claiming’ to love you.

Now that you’ve waded through what many of you will deem ‘blasphemy’ (if it’s not what you know to be true, it must not be true), what was that thing about using God’s name improperly? What does it mean to use His name ‘in vain’?

Let’s pretend your name is ‘Bob’. And let’s pretend you have lots of children, whom you love dearly. But as they grow up, and their individual natures develop, you are dismayed to see that most everything that you have taught them they only make a token attempt at following — and take great pride in themselves when they get away with doing things opposite your teaching, without suffering any consequences.

After a while, they (and their friends) begin to get a little giddy that they’re so successful at avoiding your gaze, and your admonishment, and maybe even your punishment. Eventually, they even begin to mock you as young adults — at how you used to be important, but aren’t any more. You might say you’d feel a little upset… maybe even a little jealous of the respect that you should feel from them; but don’t.

Eventually, they take that mocking tone into their everyday language… they use your name as an expletive — like, “Wow, you really Bobbed that one!”. Or when injured, exclaim, “BOB THAT HURTS!”. The only time words leave their mouths that might be confused for respect are when they wish your anger would come down on someone they are upset at, “BOB DAMN YOU!”.

In no way are they actually talking about you, or to you, at this point. They’ve just reduced your name to one of the many dirty words they toss around in an effort to impress their friends that they follow no one’s standards — they obey no one’s rules.

Your name is no better than shit. Interchangeable, in many cases, with shit.

Is that the reverence that God deserves from His children? We can be sure that in the Old Testament, when the Ten Commandments were written in stone, this observed behavior was not new to Him. And no one spoke in surprise or confusion at this command — so the practice of abusing our Creator’s name was already a familiar behavior, thousands of years before we arrived to read it in the Bible.

So, we aren’t being ‘edgy’ when we misuse God’s name. In fact, it’s one of the earliest-recorded ways to hurt God’s feelings. Taking pride in this is a dismal, shameful, disrespectful tragedy of human frailty.

You probably weren’t thinking that you were showing off your frailty when you picked up this habit, were you? Using His name ‘in vain’, or for foolish, shallow reasons — was important enough that when God narrowed down ALL the things He could have chosen for His people to learn down to TEN ITEMS… this was among those few. Do you have a legitimate reason for putting it at a lower priority than He did?

Why does God allow Evil in the world?

Because He created us (Mankind) with Free Will.

Because we chose to live apart from God.

Because we have chosen Evil. For now, He is letting us.

In The Beginning… At first, we (humanity) were with God, and what was GOOD was what was of God. Good WAS God, and God WAS Good. Simple.

CastOutOfTheGardenThen Satan convinced Humanity that we could… even should… define Good on our own… how dare God claim the sole right to define Good vs. Evil? Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and were not given a giftthey were rather SEPARATED from reliance on God for the definition of Good. We are still separate.

We have a dim view into God’s presence through His written word, through preserved stories of His interactions with our ancestors, and in the life lessons left to us by His Son, who visited us just 33 short years. We have help in understanding, in a limited way, through the Holy Spirit which is a gift that leads… but it is not the same as living in a world that is ruled by our Creator. It’s not the same as Adam and Eve experienced in being able to converse with Him in any waking moment. We lost that when Adam and Eve made the decision to define Good and Evil without RELYING on God to do that for us.

Now, we wait for Christ’s return… and it’s a long wait for us; but a short time for God. He is watching us learn how futile it is for us to live in peace and prosperity while being separate from Him.

We are living in Australia — the place that criminals were sent (Satan and a third of the angels who rebelled against God and were cast down), and are still in charge here. At Jesus Christ’s return (Second Coming), those criminals will no longer rule, and our environment will not belong to disrupters and those who thrive on Evil — but we will still have Free Will, as that is how God created us.

The difference will be that Good and God will no longer be separate, either. He will define what He wants for us, and only in communing with Him will we be capable of Peace.

We have had thousands of years to attempt to achieve it on our own… defining Good as anything else but ‘with God and of God‘ is futile. Bad things happen — wars, assaults, lying, pretense, famine, disease, hate, abuse, theft, loneliness and death — because since the time of Adam and Eve, we have been choosing (as a race) to define Good out of our own feeble minds and frail hearts.

This is not God’s doing — it is not His will. It is Satan’s world, and Satan’s will that we live apart from God, and suffer endlessly — as he knows we are to inherit a place with God that he forfeited long ago.

Happy Independence Day, America

There’s an old joke that goes like this:

QUESTION: “Do they have the Fourth of July in England?”

ANSWER: “Of course, they do, silly — it’s right after the Third of July and before the Fifth of July!”

We aren’t celebrating a date on the calendar. We’re celebrating the forming of a nation in a deliberate fashion — for which men died to make an attempt at righting wrongs and building something for the long haul.

Please share this with your friends and family as we enjoy this three-day weekend, most of us being too young or too detached to know the history, the lives, the hearts, the fervor, the blessings that made this country possible.

You may not pray; but you might still count yourself thankful that these men stood for a free world — and that, beginning with the formation of this free country, started a place where free men could raise their children, their ideals, and their hopes to spread from there to the rest of the world.

If you have been raised to believe that there is nothing ‘great’ about this country, it is a famine caused by broken hearts, not truth, that brings you that ideal.

This nation was born on the backs of good men, and has lasted this long on the dreams of generations who hope to see it continue. Those working so very hard to dismantle it are not working for Good — no matter how much they may grind to impress you that destroying it is a way ‪#‎Forward‬.






You are a highly-valued. By both Evil and Good.

I know marriages, and individuals, and church congregations who have spun in tight little circles for decades, toiling under the burdens that Satan laid on their shoulders — because they did not know how to put it all down, and rest, knowing that Jesus Christ has already paid off their debts. When sin continues, it does not fade away… it works its way into your daily purpose… that of hiding, lying, misguiding, mistreating — all in a vain attempt at self-preservation under the yoke of guilt.

Here’s a hot tip: You can’t save yourself. Under your own power, you can go nowhere but the grave.

But stop, and turn, and look into the eyes of Him who knows where you’ve been, who you are, and what you’ve done — and taken all of you in both His hands in an embrace stronger than your efforts to protest. You only have to give up… give in… give it all to Him… the burden that you aren’t, and can never be, perfect in your own eyes, in Satan’s, or in God’s. But you weren’t created to be perfect — you were created to be perfected by His Grace and Mercy; not by any want or action of your own.

You are a child of the Almighty Creator, and that specifically is all the reason that the Enemy needs to string you along with lies throughout your whole life. But your lineage is also all Jesus needs to take your name to His Father, and say with a smile, “Look at this little one, who is so frail and yet has so much potential, and is so in need of Our love…” Our hearts do not heal by being left alone — time does not heal all wounds. He does.

On Strippers and Whores in First Grade

LauraAnderson17There are religious extremists who are currently given shelter by today’s ‘smart people’ when they claim that they raped or killed someone because ‘they couldn’t help themselves’ when they saw too much exposed ankle. The school systems chronicled in the following stories are not only giving validity to that nonsense — they are TEACHING CHILDREN that these rapes and killings are the responsibility of the victims, rather than the ANIMALS who did it, and who will continue to do it, until enough of us stand up and slaughter the perpetrators in a very public way, over and over, to the point of impressing these indoctrinated human filth that they will not get away with the mindless slaughter of other humans at their whim.

Every time I see an incident when a teacher or principle calls out a girl for wearing clothing that is completely ignored — ‘normal’ — when worn by a boy, I think the words ‘distracting’ and ‘inappropriate’ are actually code words for ‘This Faculty Member Stares Inappropriately At Your Child’.

GabiFinlaysonWhen I was 7 years old, it wasn’t bare shoulder (or bare anything) that made me twitterpated with an occassional classmate. It was because they were GIRLS, and not even a burqa would have changed that dynamic.

My older sister, on the other hand, was trained (both at school and at church) that sitting too close to a boy led to occasional physical contact, which led to holding hands, which led to shoulder-rubs, which led to pregnancy. When I had a girlfriend in California, I would put my arm around her shoulders in church (because she was cold), and my sister felt the need to tell me I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to do that and I was setting a bad example (for all the observant children who would now become pregnant as a result).

Ugh.

Look, I have a minor in theology and my Book says that God created sex, music, dancing and alcohol. I don’t see anything until the last few centuries that supports this madness… the New Thinking that we are all animals who can’t control ourselves. Saying people can’t control themselves is saying they don’t have a responsibility to control themselves. I do not find that ideology ‘enlightened’ at all.

LINK: Labrador school sends dozens of students home for exposing their shoulders and knees (nationalpost.com)
LINK: 10 Banned Vs. Approved Outfits That Show How Ridiculous School Dress Codes Really Are (seventeen.com)
LINK: Teen told bare shoulders inappropriate, forced to wear winter coat to dance (fox17online.com)
LINK: Draconian Dress Code Shames Public School Students In Kentucky (patheos.com)
LINK: Teen Girls Sent Home From High School For ‘Distracting’ Boys With Their Visible Bra Straps (thinkprogress.org)
LINK: Mother slams ‘ridiculous’ high school dress code after her daughter was sent home for showing her COLLARBONE in a long-sleeve top which teachers claimed could distract male students (dailymail.co.uk)
LINK: 15 Of The Most Unfair Dress Code Violation Stories Of 2015 (So Far) That Will Make You Furious (gurl.com)
LINK: High school students organize ‘show your shoulders’ protest against ‘sexist’ dress code which they claim makes boys see girls as nothing more than sexual objects (dailymail.co.uk)
LINK: Utah girl, 15, forced to wear a coat to school dance because teachers felt THIS dress was indecent for showing too much shoulder (dailymail.co.uk)
LINK: London high school students protest school dress code (lfpress.com)
LINK: Making you Even More Ashamed of God’s Creation… (wearethevoicesinyourhead.com)

Why do most Christians say ‘…in Jesus Christ’s name…’ when we pray?

Some new friends on Facebook chimed in with answers to this question, and I found it strange that no one seemed to know what I learned as a child… I guess there are a lot of Teachers out there who grasp the Core of the Gospel — but are missing out on much of the Bible because we now live in bite-size (140 characters at a time) increments… and the Bible is a daunting volume that few Believers of recent generations have fully consumed. What follows is my attempt to explain the answer as I know it — I’m sure I’m missing a few key points and have probably oversimplified things from a scholarly perspective — but I hope it made sense to those folks leaving comments on the original post. -Editor

In the Old Testament, the Israelites had an appointed and annointed priesthood, who were people trained and set aside to carry out the duties of bringing the prayers of the people to God. They were devoted to this task to the point that there were rituals of washing and purity that they had to carry out before they were ‘clean’ enough to approach God with their requests. They would sacrifice animals on an altar that were without flaw — because sin requires a penalty of blood, and this was the acceptable substitute — at the time — for the death of those people (everyone, really) who had sinned.

No one, other than the priesthood, were allowed to enter certain parts of the temple and speak directly to God.

When Jesus Christ was crucified, one of the events that happened simultaneously (but not at the same location as the Cross) was that the veil in the Temple — the place considered to be God’s ‘home’ among the Israelites — the veil which separated the most-sacred part of the Temple from the rest of the structure — the ‘Holy of Holies’ where ONLY the ‘head dude’ among the priesthood (the ‘High Priest’) was allowed to go — this large piece of fabric literally TORE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM … ALL BY ITSELF … as a sign that the people were no longer separated from their God. The human priests were ‘out of a job’.

Jesus lived (sinless) and paid the penalty for our sins with His death, and became the most perfect (unblemished and clean) sacrifice — replacing the former need for animal sacrifices (we don’t do that any more). He also replaced the High Priest’s role as the intercessor between us and God the Father. When we pray to the Father “in Jesus’ Name”, we are borrowing the authority of Jesus to approach the Father, as Jesus the Son of God recommended.

God the Father wants us to be sinless and live His Way (‘Good’ is defined simply as ‘Godlike’ or ‘as God would prefer’) and when we sin we become unworthy to approach Him. But Jesus, the sacrifice for our sins and the payment of the penalty for our sins — and only Jesus — can go to His Father and say, “Dad, I know what this frail human has been through, and understand his pain and struggle in life, and I’m bringing his request to you humbly and ask that You hear him out.” He is our Mediator. He is our Intercessor. He is our Advocate. He is our new High Priest. He, and only He, can bring us into an audience with God the Father.

LINK: “Holy of Holies” (Wikipedia.org)
LINK: “What does it mean that Jesus is our High Priest?” (GotQuestions.org)
LINK: “Why Pray in Jesus’ Name?” (JW.org)
LINK: “Why Do We Pray In Jesus’ Name?” (BibleAnswers.ie)

Category: God

46

On this, Beethoven’s birthday and the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, I turn 46. I do not feel like it’s middle age… this feels more like I’ve passed 8 of my nine lives.

At half this age, I was directionless, broke, and humbled by my circumstance — now, I see that I hadn’t quite improved on that station at all, and am living mercy to mercy with every breath.

I see friends and family who are sick, dying, grieving and cannot help them.

I see children who have separated themselves from their betters in a farcical belief that their elders hold no wisdom worth seeking.

jesuswept

I see believers who choose Men’s wisdom over God’s.

I see scholars who teach that intellect comes from turning our backs against authority and order, and that chaos is a sign of an bettered mind.

I see families that split to the winds as a matter of generational tradition — and often, as the only one they honor.

I see good men struggle for Truth, and Evil ones re-write our books.

I find a tapestry of denial and deceit in the hearts of broken women and shattered dreams.

In these years of change, I am not lacking for Faith — it is my only refuge. But the God I’ve come to know weeps for us, as I do. And while we are apart from Him, we will find no end to this grief.

God Bless us. God Heal us. God be patient with us.

Learning from Jimmy Evans

I was searching for something completely unrelated today when I stumbled across the first of these videos… and kept clicking through as I learned something from each one; sometimes small, sometimes a bit bigger than I expected.

Hopefully, one or more of these will be a blessing to you, your spouse, and your marriage.

Intimacy without Fear

Harsh and Passive-Aggressive Communication

Resolving Bitterness, Wrath and Anger

Signs of an Emotional Affair

The Danger of Turning Your Heart Away

Parents and In-laws

Inner Vows

When You Reject Your Spouse

Communication Deceptions

God’s Role for Men

The Key to Your Spouse’s Heart

Dating and Courtships

Loss of Life

heldIn my life, I have lost.

I have lost the attention and respect of my now-teenage children.

I have lost the illusion that my wife married me for who I was.

I have lost all confidence I imagined as a provider.

I have lost the security of feeling loved.

I have lost friendships that I realize now were only in my mind.

I have lost reasons for rising in the morning, and for laying down at night.

I have lost memories now tainted with back-stories and realities that aren’t mine to retell.

I have lost respect for some I’ve bailed out and who have bailed me out many times over.

I have lost the music once felt with every inhaled breath.

And I have lost the glowing touch of life that renewed daily just from believing in another person.

My God has allowed me to lose these things, and without promise of replacing them, tells me that my needs do not include them.

He informs me that the Game was changed in my favor and that my station is risen though my eyes are cast down.

He reaches down to hold me in the way a parent comforts a truly helpless child and says I KNOW YOUR PAIN, AND I KNOW YOUR FUTURE, AND I AM THERE FOR BOTH.

But I have lost everything I know, except the frailty of being held down, held back, held up … held.

I look up and am blinded by hot tears or light — I’m not sure which.

I have not lost my Lord.

LINK: “Friday From My Heart: Held” (Living-The-Miracle.blogspot.com)

When the Empty Nest is barreling down the straightaway, right at your face…

Last summer, I came to the realization that I have failed as a parent. I haven’t been the Daddy that I owed my kids. I vowed to work toward becoming the man they needed me to be… and unsurprisingly, they would have none of it. So, it’s going to be a long, bitter road to changing their opinion of me. The good news is, that over the last year I have seen my kids really shine… you see, I have not been the only influence on them.

Thank You, God, for having the Patience and showing the Leadership that I did not achieve as a Daddy myself.

Thank You, God, for letting me be their Daddy for many years before my own problems clouded my judgement and diverted my focus from the responsibilities and gifts that are bundled into this thing we call Fatherhood.

Thank You, God, for showing me Your mercy in their little victories and sturdy character, in their beauty, in their budding wisdom, in their dreams, in their friendships, in those they choose as mentors.

Thank You, God, for letting me rock them to sleep and change all those diapers when they were little. And sing the songs and read the bedtime stories.

Thank You, most of all, God, for giving me an opportunity to see what if must be like for You to have, love and care for all the children You have Created.

Making you Even More Ashamed of God’s Creation…

Jessica Rey – The evolution of the swim suit

It’s an interesting video, because the narrative is believable, and and the presenter is engaging — she has a message and uses emotional imagery to evoke agreement with her cause (to garner potential customers of both her way of thinking and the swimsuits she hopes people she matches thinking styles with … will buy from her).

But, no need to break out the burqa just yet. Unfortunately for this young lady, the study she is referencing can actually be read, online (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3801174/pdf/nihms515324.pdf). And it doesn’t exactly come to the conclusions she wants you to get from it. Instead of saying that ‘more skin makes men more thuggish and stupid’ (my own paraphrase), the study actually shows that ‘thuggish and stupid men are affected by more skin’. Now, if you can’t see the difference between these two statements, you are a perfect candidate for her product (her brand of swimsuits, and her brand of modesty). If you CAN see the difference between these two statements, you may still be a perfect candidate for her swimsuits (they’re actually quite attractive), but may be holding your nose from the ‘marketing tactic’ she uses — lying.

There are people in this world who are so messed up in the head that if they see an ankle or a belly button, they claim that they cannot help themselves… they MUST RAPE that person — it’s just science! These people are to be avoided.

There are other people in this world who… for lack of a better vernacular… are led more by the Word than by religion — and find a balance in both modesty and appreciation for God’s creation (people in the Bible arrived completely NUDE!, by the way… and drank alcohol and … gasp … danced) that avoids being a stumbling block for others; but also acknowledges that at some point, the VIEWER is more responsible for their resulting behavior than the VIEWED.

bar990812clpWhen a religious zealot is so flummoxed by the appearance of skin that their mind instantly goes to, “AAAGH! I must either rape or poke my own eyes out!” — that is an example of where Satan has perverted what God has created. It is Satan’s goal to take what is Good (Genesis 1:31) and turn it inside out, upside down, backwards — to render the Good as ‘Bad’, and the Bad as ‘Good’.

The presenter in the video also makes mention of a ‘historical’ progression from ‘bathing houses’ to the dental floss sold as swimwear today… without acknowledging that the ‘history’ she relates only includes those societies who were led by very particular religious morals… notice I did not say Biblical morals. Many other places around the world place no such limits on nekkidity — and to go back through history you might be surprised to learn that an opposite (unclothed to clothed) progression is actually much more common around the world than in our own (western) experience.

So, here’s the thing. The swimsuit is not the thing. The thing is those people who are watching the swimsuit. As you get older, you may find it increasingly easier to avoid those thuggish meatheads who walk around with their tongue hanging out the side of their face. While you are younger, your goal may be to limit uncomfortable encounters with these ‘types’. But don’t confuse ‘coverage’ for ‘goodness’ or ‘skin’ for ‘evil’ — that is putting the responsibility for others’ thinking on your shoulders — where it doesn’t belong.

If you feel that what you wear wouldn’t make you go hide in a locker if Jesus showed up at your pool party… you’re doing just fine.

LINK: “Modesty: I Don’t Think it Means What You Think it Means” (QIdeas.org)
LINK: “My Daughter Talks to Her Dad About Modesty” (GaryThomas.com)
LINK: “When Suits Become a Stumbling Block: A Plea to My Brothers in Christ*” (TheSaltCollective.org)
LINK: “Three immodestly dressed women walk into a church…” (KimberleySuchta.com)
LINK: “From Agents to Objects: Sexist Attitudes and Neural Responses to Sexualized Targets” [PDF] (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
LINK: Genesis 1:31 (Biblia.com)
LINK: “Woman in Swimsuit + Hostilely Sexist Man = ‘Immodesty'” (WheatAndTares.org)
LINK: “ReySwimwear.com”
LINK: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)” (MeaningOfGenesis.com)
LINK: “Toplessness: Traditional societies” (Wikipedia.org)
LINK: “What is a good Christian to do when presented with something as amazing as this?” (StaceyReid.com)
LINK: “Power Morphicon 3 Interview – Jessica Rey” (YouTube.com)

If you see a ‘story’ going around that the Vatican has given up on waiting for Jesus’ second coming…

Folks, this story originated from a ‘satire’ or ‘spoof news’ site… and is being picked up by more ‘legitimate’ news feeds. Don’t feed the chaos; google up a story if it sounds too odd to be true… chances are, it’s just more guano con queso. Spreading things that may be a stumbling block to others, just because it’s ‘funny’, is not of God. It’s … of the ‘other guy’.

In the case of this particular site (which I’m not even going to link to here), if you step out one level to their home page, you’ll see that all the other articles are ALSO written with one objective in mind: To hurt someone’s feelings or at least mock someone’s ideology.

Do not cast pearls (your time, attention, worries) before the porcine variety of intarwebz trolls.

P.S.: I should offer my own disclaimer here… I do actually enjoy good satire. But to me, it has to be obvious that it’s not true, for it to be funny, and some of these sites are not playing off these stories in that way. Here’s one of my own, that may actually ruffle some feathers; but is obviously not intended to mislead people:IN CASE OF RAPTURE... BUMPER STICKER …which is a spoof of a very common bumper sticker that I have been seeing in the wild my entire life (so, I’m not actually mocking the idea of the Rapture, which wouldn’t make any sense unless I were a rude atheist, I guess; I’m mocking the original bumper sticker…):In case of rapture bumper stickers Rapture Bumper Sticker …AND, it appears that I’m not the only one with the same sideways glance at this meme:WARNING: IN CASE OF THE RAPTURE THIS CAR WILL B... BUMPER STICKER [I Thessalonians 4:16-17]
[Eschatology – ‘study of the end’]

Just Give The Order

timing“God please give me Patience, and give it to me NOW.” Yeah, it kind of feels like that. A lot.

But, I can’t trust in myself in any measure comparable to my Faith in Him.

My favorite scripture is the story of the Roman Centurion, who asked Jesus to heal someone close to him — and told him that he didn’t even need to see Jesus visit his friend in-person… just please GIVE THE ORDER, and the soldier knew it was as good as done.

That is the Faith that I have tried to model throughout my life; and though I can’t pretend that I never waver, I know that everything that is cataclysmic to us is but a breath to the Creator of the universe.

Luke Chapter 7:

When Jesus had finished these talks to the people, he came to Capernaum, where it happened that there was a man very seriously ill and in fact at the point of death. He was the slave of a centurion who thought very highly of him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him with the request that he would come and save his servant’s life. When they came to Jesus, they urged him strongly to grant this request, saying that the centurion deserved to have this done for him. “He loves our nation and has built us a synagogue out of his own pocket,” they said.

So Jesus went with them, but as he approached the house, the centurion sent some of his personal friends with the message, “Don’t trouble yourself, sir! I’m not important enough for you to come into my house—I didn’t think I was fit to come to you in person. Just give the order, please, and my servant will recover. I am used to working under orders, and I have soldiers under me. I can say to one, ‘Go’, and he goes, or I can say to another, ‘Come here’, and he comes; or I can say to my slave, ‘Do this job’, and he does it.”

These words amazed Jesus and he turned to the crowd who were following behind him, and said, “I have never found faith like this anywhere, even in Israel!”

Then those who had been sent by the centurion returned to the house and found the slave perfectly well.

Why I no longer look confused…

THERE IS ONLY ONE JUDGE (and you and I aren’t it).
THERE IS ONLY ONE FREEDOM (and you and I can’t demand it).
THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY (and you and I didn’t decide it).
THERE IS ONLY ONE LIFE (and you and I won’t improve upon it).
THERE IS ONLY ONE POWER (though you and I will hear otherwise).
THERE IS ONLY ONE PEACE (which you and I are offered freely).

Those who fight over Christianity, or against it, don’t grasp these things — because they have been TAUGHT to believe otherwise. They have been TAUGHT what is against God because the TEACHER of LIES is against God. Don’t hate them, fear them, or wish them ill; pray thankfully and with reverence that the Daddy of all is as merciful with them as with you.

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