Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad

Here is an article about an ad that NBC rejected from airing that supports life. It uses Obama's life to support life.

New In Town! 2009

I already posted the trailer for this movie, but I just went to see it and loved it! Having been in comedy circles, and learned about the world of comedy, I know that it is harder for women to be funny. I know there have been funny women through the years, like Katherine Hepburn, but women have always had a harder time of making us laugh.

But Renee Zellweger is a funny lady! I am so excited about her success in this film.

It is close to my heart because it is about Minnesota, but I think it is universally enjoyable.

And there are surprises about this movie. It was written by a Christian and he is an African American, Ken Rance, who comes from Minnesota. I just think that is so cool.

He was inspired by the true story of a black woman who, like the woman in the movie, got transferred in her job to New Ulm. He thought it was a funny story and the source of a screenplay. He didn't want it to be about race.

He is so progressive. He can think outside the sphere of his own experience to write a touching story about people that he can imagine, even though they may not have been a part of his background. He can think progressively about the experiences of people in New Ulm, where he may never have found himself, and it's not about him being black. He's beyond that.

The Christian part of it is also cool. He puts just a light touch of a message in the film, but it is an effective message.

The movie rocks with laughter.

I think it would also be cool to make a movie, again about a small town in Minnesota, only this time it would be about race, but only for the comic effect. A movie about a black person being the only black person in town could be very funny. It could show how people aren't really racist, but they would stumble over saying the wrong things at the wrong times, things like that. They would welcome the person in.

This screenwriter is the stuff of which the future is made of. He is the kind of black person I believe in, far beyond Barack Obama - he is the true stuff of godliness and Christianity that makes a person reach across color lines and just love and create. Oh, I want to hug and kiss this guy!

Here is a video of him doing an interview.

Friday, January 30, 2009

God Is Doing Something!

I have been struggling with the un-forgiveness issue for a while now - praying for God to change me, taking communion over and over, confessing sin, going to other Christians for prayer, basically doing everything I know to do.

God is doing something. It's getting better. My heart is softening.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Stranger In Town

This is an email someone sent me. I know that my dad also met this same stranger, invited him in, and he never left to this day, to my own dismay.


A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our
small Texas town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this
enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The
stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young
mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary
instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.
But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound
for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he
always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even
seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major
league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger
never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing
each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the
kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the
stranger to leave.)


Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger
never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not
allowed in our home... Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our
longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my
ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit
the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on
a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes
distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His
comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally
embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced
strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my
parents, yet he was seldom rebuked.. And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our
family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he
was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you
would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to
listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name?.... .. .



We just call him 'TV.'

(Note: This should be required reading for every household in America!)


____________________________________________________________

Flywheel 2003

I just saw this movie last night and enjoyed it. It is so hard to give the message of salvation in Christ in a movie, but this movie carries it well. These are the same people who made the film "Facing The Giants."

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Hand Song - Nickel Creek


"The Hand Song"

The boy only wanting to give mother something,
And all of her roses had bloomed.

Looking at him as he came rushing in,
knowing her roses were doomed.

All she could see were some thorns buried deep,
And tears that he cried as she tended his wounds.

And she knew it was love, it was what she could understand.
He was showing his love and that's how he hurt his hands.

He still remembers that night as a child, on his mothers knee.
She held him close and she opened her Bible, and quietly started to read.

Then seeing a picture of Jesus, he cried out:
"Mama he's got some scars just like me!"

And he knew it was love, it was what he could understand.
He was showing his love, and that's how he hurt his hands.

[instrumental break]

Now the boy is grown and moved out on his own.
When Uncle Sam comes along.
A foreign affair, but our young men are there.
And luck had his number drawn.

It wasn't that long till our hero was gone, he gave to a friend what he learned from the cross.

But they knew it was love, it one they could understand.
He was showing his love, and that's how he hurt his hands.

It was one they could understand.

He was showing his love, and that's how he hurt his hands.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nina Larkin-Mateyuna Artwork

Nina wrote me about some caricatures she found on my blog when she Googled Obama caricatures. She thought the ones I posted were mine, so she emailed me, and then directed me to some artwork of hers. Her work is very nice, so I'm posting it here.

She reflects strong wholesome old-fashioned American values.

While I'm at it - the only artwork of mine is on my other blog, a few portraits here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Caption This Photo


I'm at a loss for a caption so I'm waiting for you....

The reason we look for the "no rbST" label on milk

Here is an article, I don't know when it was written, about the horrors of farmers injecting cows with growth hormones. It's basically about cruelty to animals in addition to unhealthy hormones being passed on to us. I think it was written before a lot was done to stop rbST use in cows in America, as I notice that a lot of milk has the label on it now that says this hormone is not being used.

Friday, January 23, 2009

FOCA correction from Snopes

The email I got according to Snopes has both correct and incorrect information regarding FOCA. It is very important not to overreact to this stuff, but this is the first time I'm doubting Snopes, and why I'll doubt Snopes from now on.

Many Christian sources have confirmed what the email says, and say that it is not exaggerated, even if Snopes says that it is. Oh well, have a look at what Snopes says anyway.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To All The Kids Who Survived

the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.



They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.



Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.




We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.




As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.




Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.



We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.




We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.




We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?



Because we were always outside playing...that's why!



We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.



No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times,we learned to solve the problem.




We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.




We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.



We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.



Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.


The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.




We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.




While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.




Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?



~

The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fire Rainbow


THIS PICTURE IS A FIRE RAINBOW -
THE RAREST OF ALL NATURALLY OCCURRING ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENA.
THE PICTURE WAS CAPTURED THIS WEEK ON
THE IDAHO / WASHINGTON BORDER.
THE EVENT LASTED ABOUT 1 HOUR.
CLOUDS HAVE TO BE CIRRUS, AT LEAST 20.000 FEET IN THE AIR, WITH JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF ICE CRYSTALS AND THE SUN HAS TO HIT THE CLOUDS AT PRECISELY 58 DEGREES.

Atheist Holy Day

FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLY DAY

In Florida, an atheist created a case against the Easter & Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews & observances of their holy days. The argument was, it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized day(s). The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer,the judge banged his gavel declaring, 'Case dismissed.'

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, 'Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter & others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur & Hanukkah. Yet my client & all other atheists have no such holidays.'

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, 'But you do. Your client,counsel, is woefully ignorant.'

The lawyer said, 'Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.'

The judge said, 'The calendar says April 1st is 'April Fools Day.' Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.

Learn From The British


This comes from my cousin, a staunch defender of the 2nd amendment.

Friday, January 16, 2009

An Echo In The Universe

Helen at Random Musings feels God is telling her to get away from so much blogging time. I'm thinking the same thing. My internet and blogging time have gotten a bit ridiculous. I am thinking about volunteering at a church so they can have more adults on staff Friday nights for their youth center. There has to be a certain number of adults or teens can't even be there. I would just hang out and supervise.

I also want to spend more time being outdoors skiing. God told me to get away and be with Him too. I don't exactly know how to do that, but I'll figure out a way. It just means I won't be so obsessively involved in my blog. I doubt that will impact the universe adversely.

I want to be the person my cat thinks I am


My cat, an orange tabby, starts to meow when he hears my car in the garage - so says my mom. Let's see - that means the sun rises and sets on when I come and go.

When I go upstairs, he follows me. When I go downstairs, down the stairs he goes. When I crawl in to bed after I've had breakfast, to read the bible and meditate, he crawls in with me and falls asleep.

When I go to the bathroom, he gets excited waiting for me to play with the toy that brushes under the space under the door while I'm in there with the door shut.

I keep him fed and watered and keep his litter box supplied and clean. I brush his fur. I play with him regularly.

I am his world. To him, I am quite flawless. If only.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Come Away My Beloved"

God has been speaking to me lately about drawing away to be with Him and hear Him tell me that He loves me. There is this one lady who was healed of manic depression years ago who runs a healing center with her husband that is a close friend. She has been telling me that God loves me and that I need to hear that from God and write it in a journal. Beth Moore talked about it in her study "breaking free," saying that we don't have love until God loves us first, but that we can ask God for the love that we we need, since it's according to His will.

I went to a healing center recently (Christian) for prayer, and while I was there a lady had a "word" for me from God (prophetic.) She said that God loves me, and that I need to draw away with God and hear from Him that he loves me. Does anyone hear an echo?!

Hear God tell you that He loves you. Draw apart from man and get near God and find His love for you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

God's Healing Mandate

I've been reading the gospels out loud every night to my parents, because my dad can't read anymore. It's amazing to just read the bare New Testament - no commentaries, no prosperity ministers, no poverty ministers, just the word of God, and the words of Jesus.

We came to Luke 9, and that's where it is crystal clear. That's where God's healing mandate is spelled out. It is so simple.

Here it is:

Luke 9: 1-6

1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.
4 “Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”
6 So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

It's interesting that Jesus also talks about provision. He talks about having basic needs met. I see in the gospels that when it comes to healing, Jesus provides total restoration. When it comes to provision, He provides just what we need.

The reason I'm putting this emphasis on healing is that so many people are absolutely hung up on denying the importance of healing, and deny themselves the benefit of healing, even though Psalm 103 says, "forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases.."

And healing is so central to the gospel, that it went hand in hand with the gospel as Jesus commissioned His disciples, and it is our mandate as well.

In America, we are terribly impoverished in our thinking on this subject. We do not accept God's gift of healing. We accept suffering and disease. I was looking for funny things on the web related to cabin fever yesterday, and I found a trailer for the movie "Cabin Fever" and it said this:

"A group of five college graduates rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a horrifying flesh-eating virus, which attracts the unwanted attention of the homicidal locals."

Maybe a part of us takes some sick, perverse pleasure in sickness and death. It's ingrained in our American psyche.

Then I went further and found and another bad case of Cabin Fever depicted in the movie "The Shining." More sickness in the American psyche! Not too funny!

We have had material prosperity - more than we need, and we lack health - the opposite of what Jesus had in mind. Example: CEO of Apple who is now struggling with his health.

What's the answer? Draw near to God and He will draw near to us. See the problem and go to work on it. Find like minds and fellowship in the truth.

Interesting that my dad groans with pleasure at the thought of meeting Jesus in person and being touched by Him, when I read about His healing miracles. This means something when you read my testimony, which I recently tweaked.

Global Warming My Royal A__! Al Gore Oughta Be Hung By His Carbon Credits!

It was 18 below this morning!!!!!! 18 below! And this is more like a trend towards cold - don't tell me its some abnormal thing because of a warming trend! The earth is cooling, not warming. No Minnesotan is left believing in global warming, as far as I know!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cabin Fever

From Wikipedia:
Cabin fever is an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in, for an extended period. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, forgetfulness, laughter, and excessive sleeping.[1] The word is also used humorously to indicate simple boredom from being home alone.[2] The term was first recorded in 1918.

From my journal:
It’s about this time that Minnesotans get taken over by a plague known as “Cabin Fever.” We can hardly get out of the house because it’s so co-o-o-o-old. We’re sick to the death of each other,. We’ve been holed up with each other for days. Dad has been planting farts in easy chair and watching TV. Mom is chirping about taking down the Christmas tree ornaments and shoveling the walk. Your brain is pounding with every step walking on the floor above you. Every time someone opens a cupboard and it creaks, you shudder.

You head for the coffee shop with your computer.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

7 Weird Things About Me

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you're probably thinking "there's a few more things than 7...."

but seriously. I tagged myself. I found this over at Helen's blog and she didn't tag me (but I forgive her - ha! since I was away during that time, no, just kidding Helen)

Anyway, I had to think really hard, no, not really, I had to think of all the things I wasn't afraid to tell the general public is what it is!

1. I like to do things alone. I'm a lone wolf. I travel alone. I go to movies alone. I eat dinner in fancy restaurants alone. I guess I've learned the art of alone-ness. It's kind of because I've learned that Jesus is, indeed my best friend. I know that can sound corny and cliche, but it's just true.

Did you know that if you bowl alone it's great cardiovascular exercise?

2. I collected things like a pack rat over a period of time in the past, then all of the sudden, in one felt swoop, got rid of everything. I totally changed.

3. I'm kinda psychic or prophetic. What are you thinking now? I have no idea. But the prophetic is real. You can get carried away with that. I was living off my prophetic powers for a while, during the period I was traveling around the United States. I was trusting in the prophetic to guide me - scary. Problem is, it worked a large part of the time, then I ended up having a manic episode at the tail end of it where all the colors bled into craziness, so I'm very cautious now about living by the prophetic.

If you are prophetic at all, you must use a great deal of wisdom. And when I say prophetic, of course I mean being prophetic by the Holy Spirit as a born again believer, bought by the blood of Jesus Christ. The prophetic can be a beautiful, helpful thing, in its place.

4. When I was struggling financially and had little money for anything else, I bought a pedicure. If you're from a third world country and are reading this, and you probably aren't, don't throw up.

5. I go up to perfect strangers and talk about practically anything practically anywhere. My sister, taking this into account, put me on the job when she wanted the help of some Spanish speaking people when we were having a picnic last summer. I don't speak Spanish, but she knew I'd know how to talk to them. We laughed.

6. I am blunt and forthright, sometimes possibly hurting people with the truth that I can't help blurting out. I have the need to confront people with the truth, even if it stings. I recently confronted my nephew when he was about to marry a non-believer, and he is a Christian. Oh did I get flack for that! I was made to apologize, but I am still undecided about what I said - was it too harsh, or was it right, or was he just not going to listen anyway since he married her anyway?

7. I'm not nostalgic about the past like some of my peers. No tears are shed for old romantic songs. There is no excitement over old rock songs. My taste runs with what is fresh and new. This is mostly true of music, since there are now movies that are getting to be older that remain my favorite, and there haven't been that many new ones to replace them in the favorite category lately.

An Email From God

Another one from the famous old lady who used to appear on cards. Do you know where these cards went? My family has been noticing that good (funny) cards have been harder to find lately.


One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the rascally behavior that was going on. So he called one of His angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time.

When he returned, he told God, 'Yes, it is bad on Earth; 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not.

God thought for a moment and said, 'Maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another opinion.'

So God called another angel and sent him to Earth for a time.

When the angel returned he went to God and said, 'Yes, it's true.The Earth is in decline; 95% are misbehaving, but 5% are being good.'

God was not pleased. So He decided to e-mail the 5% that were good, because he wanted to encourage them, and give them a little something to help them keep going.

Do you know what the e-mail said?.........


Okay, I was just wondering, because I didn't get one either.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why Did Jesus Fold The Napkin?

This was an email sent to me...

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? I never noticed this....

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, 'They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!'

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side.

Is that important? Absolutely!

Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, 'I'm done'.

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because..........

The folded napkin meant, 'I'm coming back!'
He is Coming Back!
Now everytime I use a cloth napkin after a meal I will think of this one.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm Back - and saying "NO!" to "Yes Man"


Turns out they got the data transferred early, and I'm sitting down with my new computer. It's amazing how our lives are almost centered around our computers. My files, my music and photos are all on my computer. My little laptop has so much of my life on it. It's my little friend. A big investment!

My cousin and I love Jim Carrey, being the Jerry Lewis of our generation (46 years old.) But this movie pushed the hippie philosophy of saying "yes" to everything, no matter if it's good or bad, right or wrong - you make no moral distinctions. It even lands him in bed with a grandmotherly type woman - ewww. It's supposed to be funny, but it's really not. And there's supposed to be this turning point in the film where the big guru who taught the philosophy tells him something "deep" that's supposed to inspire him, but it's really just stupid and shallow.

I realized that Carrey doesn't really represent any strong values in his films - he's just making money. Sigh.

Save your money.

We saw a preview for another film that looks funny - "New In Town," about a woman who is being transferred to Minnesota for her job. It's making fun of Minnesota's cold. She meets a cool guy while in Minnesota. I had more fun watching this preview than seeing the movie we came to see! It stars Renee Zellweger. Here's a clip.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Be Back Soon!

I bought a new computer and the data is being transferred from my old computer. I will be without a computer til Saturday or Sunday! I feel naked! Can I make it til Sunday?!!!!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

One True God - Mark Harris


This is the song I was talking about a while back saying the song close to my heart was by 4Him. Well, Mark Harris, formerly of 4Him is now on his own - it's his song. I had to wait for someone to post it on YoutTube! Ha! I don't know how to make my own video of the song. Once again, just take some time to worship - He remains the One True God!

Worship!

Lately, we've been snowed in from church, and I've missed church for about three weeks. The effects of no church fellowship and no worship are incredible! Seeing my need for going into the sanctuary and worshiping God and enjoying His presence, and not knowing how to get it any other way, I plugged in my computer and speakers and put on worship music last night.

Amazing!

Worshiping God changes you. It lifts you out of yourself and the petty things of life. It helps you to cope with the harder issues you are facing. It helps you to deal with difficult people.

The song running through my head last night and this morning is "Jesus Messiah" by Chris Tomlin. Just listen and let it lift you!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

False Memoir of Holocaust Canceled

Peter Kubicek just emailed me this story. The story about the apples over the fence has been canceled. The movie will still be made as a fictional story.

New Blogs on my blogroll

First there's Helen. Helen is so sensitive, and I believe she's a very loyal type of person. Her blog is random musings. Then there's Stacy, who is often featured at Stuff Christians like, and gets a little sarcastic, but can be so darn funny. Her blog is Stacy of Louisville.

Then there's HIS Daughter and her blog A View From The Mountaintop. She just writes about her life, and she's interesting and amazing, made obvious by the people drawn to her.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Personal Testimony

January 10, 2009

My own testimony begins with talking about my father, because my journey has had so much to do with him.

How do I best describe what he has done, what he has been like? He didn’t rape me. He’s not that type of man. That would be too simple, and hating him, then, would be too easy.

When I was in my junior year of High School I was a flutist in the marching band. One night, while I was marching, our school beat the state champions in football. We were ecstatic and I took the marching band bus so I could be with my peers and celebrate.

Now I know that jealousy had a lot to do with this. My dad thought that he was supposed to give me a ride home from the game. He had been at the game, and waited for me there, but I had gone home on the marching band bus. When he got home and I got home, he was so angry with me that he came to my room and beat me.

It was nothing new. Because he would get angry with me for no good reason, punishing me for things that were not actual wrongdoings, I was afraid to be spontaneous and happy. That was a significant night that I don’t forget. That night was one of the happiest nights of my life that turned into one of the unhappiest. I didn’t dare be happy because I was afraid that my happiness would be spoiled.

I felt unloved and unlovely. I felt that the opposite sex couldn’t love me. I was a beautiful girl by most standards, but I had no confidence.

How could he waste my beauty and talent? I had mountains of talent. By Junior High I was already a self-taught artist. I was drawing and painting and had mastered the art of drawing portraits of people that looked just like the person. I could sing and play flute and piano. By 8 years old I already composed my own music, but my parents took no special notice of it, nor tried to impose any special discipline to develop my musical talent.

In Senior High School I wrote for the school paper and helped make costumes for school plays. I directed a children’s play and did a little acting myself. I was in the Select Choir and did gymnastics. I did everything. I made my own clothes, even changing patterns –designing clothes for myself. I was a dancer – I loved to dance. But my parents were bound by legalism - they didn't believe in dancing.

My father was obtuse regarding the value that I had. I understand now that he was this way towards my siblings as well. My older brother describes the distance that he feels regarding his relationship to his father. My younger sister expresses the hurt she feels regarding his same lack of appreciation for her.

Because my mother would not defend me against my father’s attacks, I harbored bitterness towards her for years. I only recently resolved the bitterness I had towards her. I understand her now so it’s easy to forgive her – her undying loyalty and her meekness. I understand how good people get taken over by bad people. OK, he’s not a “bad” person, but he’s the disobedient one.

But my father… The problem I have with him is that he is still getting angry so many years later, and this poses a huge challenge for me: to be able to forgive someone who has apologized to me at one point in time, but continues to inflict the wounds – now mostly on my mother.

Today he suffers from a stroke and from the effects of shingles. He needs physical healing and the only way to it is to surrender to the Holy Spirit and to repent of his sin. We are praying, with very little hope and faith for him to still surrender and recognize the sin that holds him in bondage – to get the forgiveness that could heal him. He has some dementia now, so that slows down the mental processes.

He has been watching Christian television lately, where they talk about healing, and he seems very open, and that he is hoping for healing. I'm also reading the gospels to him and he talks longingly about Jesus' miracles. This could be a beginning.

In the midst of all the things I was doing in High School, I had rejected God. I had become an atheist. I decided that the easiest thing was to disassociate myself from the God that my parents believed in, because he was nothing but disappointment. My dad was the sorriest example of that God – a pastor who lacked understanding.

In addition to not appreciating me and his children, he couldn’t appreciate so many artistic things that the culture was producing – things like the acoustic guitar music of the early 70’s that was coming out. No, his favorite music was church organ music – yuck. He liked “old church” – crusty old church. What a personality conflict.

As a pastor, he was involved with evangelical life in the church until he got into midlife – his forties. Then he shut down, and closed his heart on the Holy Spirit.

And people in general would get on his nerves. When he got in line at the grocery store or the drug store, he would get angry at people who made him wait.

And later on in life, little did I know that I would come up against him when my heart became open with a passion to the Holy Spirit. Then I would find that he, in fact, has a rebellion against the Holy Spirit, against God!

So, all along, when I thought I was rebelling against God, I was actually rebelling against a man who was in rebellion against God, the giver of life, a man who was not open to life and the things of life.

He has always had an opposition to the charismatic movement – the Catholic one, the Lutheran one, any one.

He has been afraid of the work of the Holy Spirit. When he was head of the Lutheran Evangelistic Movement, he would try to stand in the way of people who wanted the things of God to happen in meetings.

Later on, when I got really filled with The Spirit, he got angry with me once when I said that I was going to go to visit a church in California that has a reputation for miracles and restoration from mental illness and things like that – a spirit filled church. He has been an enemy of God in my life at times.

After all this rebellion against my dad, and a flurry of intense creativity in High School where I flourished, at the end of my senior year, I noticed something wrong with my mind. Something weird was happening to me.

Through the summer after High School I wrote in a journal hate-filled and angry words and was unproductive. I enrolled in college in the fall and took just a couple of classes. I was becoming really wild.

My dad didn’t particularly like works done by black people, like jazz, so maybe this is why I liked it. I was playing jazz and all sorts of African American music – Marvin Gaye and other artists who were coming out. I was immersed in that kind of music. Black people were being immortalized and worshiped suddenly – it was very hip. Unfortunately, my dad lacked the ability to see the good things, and maybe he saw the bad things too – some of the rebellious elements.

But I just hated his lack of appreciation for all things black. And so I fueled my own love of things black all the more. It went so far that I fell in love with black men. Couple that with the fact that I was becoming mentally ill. I started to pursue men promiscuously, just briefly. I had been completely frigid and afraid of boys, and of sex. Suddenly I was wild and unafraid because of mental illness. (This is typical of mania!) Because I was having this fixation on black men, I started to pursue black men for about six months. I threw away my innocence.

By spring of the next year, something terrible happened. I had a full-blown manic episode. I had no idea what was happening. It was like the worst LSD trip you can imagine. It was the worst nightmare you can imagine. It was like a journey into Hell.

Because things started to get weird, I went to my mother and asked Jesus to come into my heart. Funny how you know to go to God when things get like that.

It was after that things got worse.

My mom knew about a charismatic group that lived in a huge mansion and ministered deliverance to people. She brought me there and they kept me there for several days. It was there that I experienced the worse Hell trip. Only occasionally was I aware that I was in the hands of caring people. Otherwise it was absolutely bizarre.

After it was over, I realized that Jesus had saved me, and there was this beautiful peace in my life. I also discovered that in the process, I had been “baptized in the Holy Spirit” and was praying in tongues.

Unfortunately, as life often goes, my nightmare didn’t end there.

A year later, around the same time of year as the episode had begun the first time, I had another manic episode. This time my mother tried taking me to a hospital. They put me on drugs but those were ineffective. The only antidote to the negative problems was taking me to a faith healer. This resolved the negative symptoms. I was immediately released through prayer.

The next year, again, the episode started. Again, this happened the next year. Each year this happened for four years. Each time, the answer always came through going to a person of God, even if initially I was taken to a health professional. The answer was always prayer. I came out of the episode through deliverance. We saw a miracle each time.

The last year we went to a powerful man of God who is now residing in a nursing home, named Prang. His ministry was amazing. He administered deliverance and I was immediately released from the episode, and all the symptoms. I walked away from the episode and didn’t have another episode for eleven years.

Part of the reason I didn’t have any more illness is that I moved out of my parents’ house. I discovered that just leaving their house enabled me to live free from episodes. When I tried to move back in years later, I almost had another episode. I narrowly escaped that.

During those eleven years I didn’t have an episode but I strayed from God. The reason is that I didn’t understand what had happened to me. I was discouraged from believing in God because of the mental illness I had experienced instead of believing in Him because of the healing I had received – dumb.

At the end of the eleven years, seeing how I still had some residual depression and some weird symptoms that still occurred every spring, I went to a psychiatrist instead of God and got on psychotropic drugs. This became my nemesis.

I soon found that the drugs were causing bad side effects and I wanted off of them. But I couldn’t get off. If I went off the drugs, then I had an episode. This has been the story since, that I have been sensitive to the need for drugs.

I started to search for God again because of this problem. I wanted to get off medication, so I sought God for healing.

I also sought God because of the loss of a man in my life that I was in love with. I was 33 and this was the love of my life and maybe my last chance to have marriage and family. It was a big deal. I sought God because of absolute brokenness.

So, that’s where I’ve been ever since – pursuing God fervently. But I need to add something else.

Finding a love relationship with God. At about 40 years of age, I was wasted. I had lost everything. Mental illness had destroyed the ability to do every single thing that my creative abilities carved out the will to do. Every dream was crushed. And every relational desire had been ruined by the bad relationship with my father, and with my parents in general and my family. I was broken down, and had returned to God and to going to church and being in fellowship. The healing had begun. But now something very special was about to enter my life.

I went to the church in Toronto called the “Toronto Blessing” not expecting too much. When I got there I knew it was special. The church touched my life in a profound way. My encounters with God there touched and healed my life. I’m not saying I don’t still need work, but the work that was done there transformed my life. They believe in “soaking in the presence of God” and I did a lot of that. They also talk a lot about forgiveness, and I am still learning that.

The most important thing that happened is that I experienced a love affair with God that I have never known – a passionate experience of relating to God that is unlike anything else in life. It teaches you that God is enough to be your father in place of an earthly father.

Now, in the wake of that experience, a lot of healing has taken place. I have moved back into my parents’ house, and can live with them free of mental turmoil. My relationship to my family has been healed and I enjoy many events with them. I’ve done a lot of forgiving which has gotten me this far, even though I’m seeking to do more. I’m helping take care of my dad so that he doesn’t have to live in a nursing home.

I want to go beyond granting forgiveness to my dad and others – I want a heart that truly loves. My dad did say something that I will never forget. He said that he believes I will end up being the “most blessed” of all the siblings in my family. I can’t say he hasn’t done anything to mend the breach.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dick Clark, Clintons and Old Things


We were just trying to bring in 2009 last night at my cousin's house, so we turned on the TV - me and my cousin both people who have soured on watching TV, but we wanted to celebrate.

There's Bill and Hillary, and my cousin is almost vomiting and says he doesn't even want to watch. I said we should just watch a little while the ball drops in Times Square. Then we see Dick Clark and my cousin is shocked - he looks so old. Man, people love to hang on to their old, dead idols. I mean, it could be a good thing - revering someone even if he's old. But I can't help but think that people are just regressive, when I see the Clintons and old Dick Clark, who can hardly talk - it's like we're going backwards in time! Man, why can't we be fresh and move on? But that's not to mention the old, dead things that the Clintons represent! Bringing back to life the evils of the Clinton era! That just reminds me that Obama is not change, but more of the same old corruption.