The Wisdom Book

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I’ve been listening to Pete Enns lately, and to most evangelicals, he is a heretic.

I like his thought process and his ideas. I think the idea of the bible NOT being a rule book and looking at the scriptures in the light they were written in, not trying to transform them into modern day laws.

I bought a Jewish Bible and a catholic bible and in the catholic bible is the Book of Wisdom

This is chapter 3:

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if to others, indeed, they seem punished,yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their judgment they shall shine and dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,and his care is with the elect.
But the wicked shall receive a punishment to match their thoughts, since they neglected righteousness and forsook the LORD.
For those who despise wisdom and instruction are doomed.
Vain is their hope, fruitless their labors, and worthless their works.

~~

This is part of Chapter 7, Wisdom is described as a she and is what all believers should strive to have.

NATURE AND INCOMPARABLE DIGNITY OF WISDOM

*For in her is a spirit

intelligent, holy, unique,

Manifold, subtle, agile,

clear, unstained, certain,

Never harmful, loving the good, keen,

unhampered, beneficent, kindly,

Firm, secure, tranquil,

all-powerful, all-seeing,

And pervading all spirits,

though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.

For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,

and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.

 For she is a breath of the might of God

and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;

therefore nothing defiled can enter into her.

For she is the reflection of eternal light,

the spotless mirror of the power of God,

the image of his goodness.

Although she is one, she can do all things,

and she renews everything while herself perduring; [remain in existence throughout a substantial period of time; endure.]

Passing into holy souls from age to age,

she produces friends of God and prophets.

For God loves nothing so much as the one who dwells with Wisdom.

For she is fairer than the sun

and surpasses every constellation of the stars.

Compared to light, she is found more radiant;

though night supplants light,

wickedness does not prevail over Wisdom.

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My Week At Sacred Road

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Sacred Road videos each summer week with the different team members [church groups] for the purpose of commemorating the weeks and to show others back home the need, the kids, the fun and the hard work.
Teams from Ohio, Edmonds, Issaquah and Puyallup were represented here.
~~
In the morning the teams go out to work sites to help the native community.
This week we all worked on tiny houses for Valley of Hope, a transitional housing program for getting out of homelessness. Converting a shed to a livable space for a family. Fencing for Ronny, native elder. A single mother got a whole renovation on her single wide trailer. A team member worked on the electrical for this house bus.
Sacred Road in continuously splitting firewood for community needs and anyone can come and get firewood. They have also built wood sheds in the past. Roberta and I and 4 youth from Ohio stained picnic tables for the local nursing home.
~~
Sacred Road/Hope Fellowship hosts a bible day camp for youth 6th grade and under. LabbeeMint, a mint growing company on the rez, invites the youth to swim at their own pool every week during the summer months. Most of the kids would never be able to experience swimming. Its a wonderful thing to see community, church and youth coming together in fellowship.
Tuesday night Hope Fellowship hosts BYGE, youth group for 6th grade to 12th grade youth. They do many fun activities and many of the older youth help on the work sites learning valuable skills.
~~
It is the most amazing, life changing week you will encounter. The rez will get into you, the poverty will haunt you, the kids need you. You will give. You will work, you will love, you will cry. You will learn so much about yourself and others. You will make everlasting friends and you will never forget. We need to love our first neighbors well and the Sacred Road team does just that. They pour their hearts, souls and lives into this community who once would have literally killed them, but now see the hope in these white men, and embrace them.
~~
Please share this video, please come and see. And most of all, pray for this community, these kids, and the staff at Sacred Road.

 

 

 

WATER BALLOONS ~ Free Knitted Reusable Water Balloon Pattern

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All I could find on the interwebs was a crochet version, so whilst I sat in a pew on a Sunday morning, I designed this knitted pattern.

 

Materials

size 11 needles, 16 inch circular or two straight

Needle for sewing in ends

Scissors

For the yarn, I used Caron Chunky Cakes in Mystic Chip because that is what I had.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the interwebs I have seen them made in chenille yarn.

You will need to use a chunky-type yarn and the correct size needles to get a tighter stitch/knit.

Cast on 10 stitches

KFB [knit front and back], K1,  repeat until the end, K1. 15 sts

Purl

K1, KFB, repeat to end, K1. 22 sts

Purl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockinette stitch for 8 rows [knit one row, purl one row, 4 times]

K2, K2tog, repeat to the end, K2. 17 stitches

Purl

K2, K2tog, to the end, K1. 13 stitches

P2, P2tog, to the end, P1. 10 stitches

Stockinette stitch for 4 rows [knit one row, purl one row, 2 times]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bind off the 10 stitches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mattress stitch the sides up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run the thread through the beginning stitches and pull tight. Tie off and thread ends in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word on the street is to soak them in a bucket of water and throw at your friend or enemy.

I have some kids testing them out this week.

Thanks for looking. This pattern is free. Enjoy making them.

 

 

 

 

 

This Cannot Be

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Ya know how your life is blessed and you pretty much have everything you could want,

but you still wake up sad every morning?

Ya know how you think things, places, people will make your life better,

but in your heart you know they won’t?

Ya know how you feel miserable in a given situation,

but the only thing that will change it is you?

Ya know how you want to run away,

but know that if you do, it will still be the same, because you are the same?

Ya know how you eat right, exercise and sleep ok,

but you’re tired… All. the. damn. time?

This can not be what life is like. It just can’t be.

 

There Once Was a Girl……

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There once was a girl who grew up normal. Public school, no abuse, no poverty. Small town middle class. She grew up in an era of changing times. Born in the 60’s, young in the 70’s, a teen in the 80’s. She never had religion and listened to what everyone else did about culture and how-to live life.

She ran off to Alaska as soon as she could. Same old story, small town girl running away from the life she knew, thinking the world was a much better and brighter place than at home. She thought, as all young people do, she had her life together, she had big plans and nothing will stop her.

She had a miscarriage in ’84. Didn’t think about it much. Having too much fun. She misses home, moved back in 87. Finds out she is pregnant by a married man in AK. Seeks help. She visits a christian ‘Care Net’ type place. She refuses the help, she already knows what she needs to do. This thing will not the stop the trajectory her life is headed. Her next stop, Planned Parenthood.

She works, she dates, she doesn’t think about her actions or her consequences. She meets and dates a guy who is abusive, but for some godforsaken reason she stays with him. For too long. She also kills 2 of his babies. She had her reasons. She wasn’t going to be ‘attached’ to him by any means and her life just didn’t have room for kids.

She had now officially graduated to using abortion as birth control.

In ’92 she meets a man, a man who she could see a future with. A good and kind man. She gets pregnant 3 months into the relationship. For some reason, she sees a future with a kid. With his kid. What made her change her mind about this one?

The pregnancy time was wrought with difficulties, lots of stress and being pregnant was not ideal for her. But she had the love and support of her family and man. Did she think of her other children? Did she wonder what life would be like if she had kept them?

Out came a healthy beautiful baby boy who quickly became the love of her life. And as parents know, she wondered what was that other life she had before him. She struggled with post partum depression and dabbled with alcohol abuse, she decided to ‘go it alone’. Her son was 4, it was ’97. She left the man for a time and sowed some wild oats. She got pregnant. By a man she had no intention of being with. She had no one to help. She asked her baby daddy to take her to the clinic. He did. He drove her there with her little son in the back. He picked her back up and took her to her apartment.

Heaven only knows what this man was thinking, but he loved her, so he helped her.

How could this woman, who had experienced a child moving in her womb, loved a child so much, how could she so callously kill another baby!

But she did. And she did with no less qualms than before. A few months later she gets back together with her man and they get married. The cutest little 5-year-old was the ring bearer.

God finds them. They find religion. They join a church. She learns of Jesus dying on the cross for all her sins. ALL her sins. She learns of forgiveness and lovingkindness. She dreams of one day seeing her children in heaven, standing there waiting for her, hugging her and telling her they love her.

She struggles with forgiving herself. She finally sees the gravity of things she has done. She is surrounded by christian women who have also done the same thing. She bonds with them. She does bible studies, post abortion healing studies, you name it, she studied it.  Has she ever forgiven herself? How can she claim to be a christian when she has done horrible things? She sits in silent shame every Sanctity of Life Sunday at church. She hears the pastor condemning remarks about people like her who kill. She feels like a monster.

She slowly does forgive herself, but the pain never goes away. She knows she took life. Precious life.

She learns more about her faith. Her church is of the reformed faith. They believe in, among other things, election. In simple terms it means God has foreordained every single human being to be ‘elect’, or God’s chosen, before they were formed in their mother’s womb. So, no matter what a person does, he or she is either God’s or not. Not based on anything they do or will do in life. So, to flesh that out, even babies, whether aborted or dying in infancy are either headed to heaven or hell. Based solely on Gods discretion.

She had a bit of a meltdown. She had always assumed she would get to see her children in heaven, to apologize, to hold them, to even worship the Lord together. Now she must deal with the knowledge she may never see them.

Fast forward to 2005. Her teenage son comes out as gay. She sees no grandchildren in her future. Her life is upended once again. She has gone through many crisis of faith in the past 13 years. She doesn’t understand how to reconcile much of what she has been taught about the Lord in regards to her real life situations. She struggles to make sense of it all. Life still moves forward.

 

How do you feel about this girl? Is she a monster? Do you think you could love her now, knowing what she has done and how she struggles with her faith?

Do you think if she just had more faith she would be fine? Do you, as a mere human, forgive her, her trespasses?

Will you come to her in love, if she confesses to you, she doesn’t know if she believes in God anymore? At least not the God of Calvin and Sproul?

Will you still be her friend if she lets you in on her secrets? Would you embrace her with all her scars?

 

 

 

How Many Times Can One Mother’s Heart Break?

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The answer is: many and often.

 

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2015/05/25/i-am-the-mother-of-a-gay-son-and-ive-taken-enough-from-you-good-people/?fbclid=IwAR1AA8iK3Nl_0aqQ3z4DK6Ev8HgOrdjlCRQdQv4fZDApoD-BOIK5kEuiYqA

A website, a letter to a newspaper. Heart broken.

excerpt:

Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I’ve taken enough from you good people.

I’m tired of your foolish rhetoric about the “homosexual agenda” and your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of the moral little thugs from your moral, upright families from the time he was in the first grade. He was physically and verbally abused from first grade straight through high school because he was perceived to be gay.

He never professed to be gay or had any association with anything gay, but he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the other boys. He was called “fag” incessantly, starting when he was 6.

In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age should be doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he just couldn’t bear to continue living any longer, that he didn’t want to be gay and that he couldn’t face a life without dignity.
You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair. I don’t know why my son is gay, but I do know that God didn’t put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it’s about time you started doing that.

At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the belief that this could never happen to you, that there is some kind of subculture out there that people have chosen to join. The fact is that if it can happen to my family, it can happen to yours, and you won’t get to choose. Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, I don’t know. I can only tell you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn.

If you want to tout your own morality, you’d best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did nothing to earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested in hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I received with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the very soul of me that nothing could ever change it. For those of you who reduce sexual orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or something that can be changed by a 10-step program, I’m puzzled. Are you saying that your own sexual orientation is nothing more than something you have chosen, that you could change it at will? If that’s not the case, then why would you suggest that someone else can?

A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has been infiltrated by outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I’ll thank you to stop saying that you are speaking for “true Vermonters.”

You invoke the memory of the brave people who have fought on the battlefield for this great country, saying that they didn’t give their lives so that the “homosexual agenda” could tear down the principles they died defending. My 83-year-old father fought in some of the most horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart.

He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to live. He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service was gay, and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out, it mattered not at all. That wasn’t the measure of the man.

You religious folk just can’t bear the thought that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood he might like to find a lifelong companion and have a measure of happiness. It offends your sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that companion in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from tax laws governing inheritance.

How dare he? you say. These outrageous requests would threaten the very existence of your family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage.

You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April 12 Valley News who lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about “those of us who have been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing” asks: “What ever happened to the idea of striving . . . to be better human beings than we are?”

Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that?

 

No one can know the extent of my boys bullying when he was younger. Not even his mother.

My son didn’t have mean bone in his body growing up. He was kind to everyone. He went to a christian school. He never acknowledged he was gay. But he knew gay was bad. And I’m sure when he realized that he was gay, he also knew he was bad.

This breaks my heart.

The bullies….were girls…they were bad, unremorseful and relentless. The school would do nothing. We took him out of one school into another christian school in 5th grade, only for it to get worse.

This broke my heart.

Our church took away all my sons ‘privileges’ when they found out about his struggle. And it was a struggle at the time. They took communion away. Piano playing and tried to foolhardly ‘counsel’ him. Counseling consisted of repeat the homosexual verses in the bible and asking son to repent. Over and over.

My heart broke.

I don’t know the depth of his pain as he contemplated suicide, but I do know it was often. And I thank god he never went through with it.

If he had. My life would have been over. Broken.

He has slowly walked away from faith, and quite frankly, I don’t blame him. I struggle with my faith. I struggle with things the god of the bible says about my son. I struggle more with the arrogant ignorant Christians who continue to vilify people not like them. I struggle with the parents who have the audacity to kick their own flesh and blood out after hearing they are gay.

My heart mourns for those children.

~~

Moving forward to today. My son send me a picture of him and his partner at his work, helping do valentine crafts with kids that live in shelters and group homes.

My heart bursts.

My son who works at a non-profit helping disadvantaged kids get a proper education. My son, who had been with his partner for 3 years, they live together. They are raising a cat and a dog together. My son, who has the biggest heart, who had overcome so many challenges, Who has more compassion in his pinky than most christians. Who has cried himself silently to sleep, laying there confused and scared, and his mother not knowing.

My heart breaks.

I struggle how to interpret the bible in this day and age. I struggle whether I should just leave the faith, because I don’t want this faith, this religion, this god, if my son can’t have it. If my son gets treated less-than by these same people I am supposed to call brothers and sisters. If there is a heaven, and my thoughtful, caring, compassionate son doesn’t get admitted because he was gay.

My heart yearns for wholeness.

As the woman who runs that website in the link, I say “I choose my son”.