Monday, February 28, 2005

Thinking Alike

While in the process of writing my previous post I visited my mother's new blog. Imagine my surprise upon reading the opening paragraph of her latest post:

The first great commandment is to "love YHWH your Elohim (the LORD your God) with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might" and the second is like unto it "love your neighbor as yourself." This shows that Father's primary desire for man is good relationships - first, with Him and then with our brother or "neighbor."

It would seem our thoughts were on similar matters today.

Serious or Important?

A few days ago Vox made the following comment about Dr. Laura Schlessinger's The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands:

"Important, yes. Serious? No. It's a relationship how-to book, nothing more.
The Wealth of Nations is an serious book."


I disagree with this assertation. Perhaps the disagreement lies simply in the semantics. I believe that the subject of relationships is not simply important, but serious as well - more serious than economics.

My reasons lie within the pages of the Bible.

The two most important commandents that Father gave us were to love Him with all our heart, soul and might, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This tells me that Father places a very high priority on relationships - our relationship with Him, then our relationship with others. The subject of economics is addressed but has a fairly minor role, while found all throughout the Bible are instructions for how to build and maintain godly relationships, from that between husband and wife to that of master and slave. In fact, the Bible could be described as the ultimate 'relationship how-to book'.

It is my assertation that if people took Father's instructions on relationships seriously, there would be fewer economic concerns. After all, without people there are no nations or economies, and the relationships those people have with each other have a direct bearing on the economic health of their nation.

Anyone else care to share their thoughts on the subject?




Friday, February 18, 2005

Manly Men Cry

Bane and Nate's opposing views on men shedding tears have had me mulling over the subject. As with most subjects, scriptural examples came to mind, it's just the way my brain is wired.

King David

King David was a warrior, a poet and a ladies' man. As a shepherd he killed both a bear and a lion, then went on to gain the attention of his king and nation by slaying the Phillistine giant Goliath. This man was as close to fearless as they come. He unabashedly worshipped God. He fought in many battles, became king of Israel, married many women and begat many children. Yet this manly man was not afraid to cry. After he seduced and impregnated another man's wife, arranging for that man to be slain in battle, he was informed that the child he had sired would die. David didn't just cry about this - he fasted, prayed and wept for seven days!

Yeshua

Yeshua (Jesus) was God made flesh. He was a carpenter's son, strong enough physically to drive the money changers from the temple with a whip. His spiritual strength was even more impressive. You can't find a manlier man than Yeshua, whom all godly men strive to emulate. And he wept. He wept when Lazarus died, even though he then raised him from the dead.

If Yeshua could weep, who are we to sneer at men shedding tears?

(That being said, I'd look askance at a man that cried because his wife gave him the power tool he'd been wanting, or because his favorite team won the game.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Sweetest Name I Know

As a child I remember singing the song Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know and feeling slightly guilty because I thought the name Jesus was ugly, the syllables harsh. Much later I found out that the name Jesus is actually derived from Zeus. The actual English translation would have been closer to Joshua. Then I found that the Messianic movement used the name Yahshua or Yehoshua and I loved how melodic that was in comparison to Jesus. I use Yehoshua in my writing almost exclusively, though I still use Jesus in most of my everyday conversations so that the people I'm speaking with won't be confused.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Supernatural Malice

For those of you that treat any story like this as being an overactive imagination, that's fine. I have no physical proof of what occurred. I do have a very active imagination, which I exercise frequently as an aspiring writer. I will say this much though - I do not spook easily. I seldom have nightmares and when I do I usually laugh about them in the morning. Scary movies rarely bother me. But a night at the beach some two years ago scared me so badly that I still get goosebumps thinking about that night.

Three friends and I used to drive to a beach that was accessible all night. We preferred to go there between ten and midnight and spend an hour or three depending on our mood. Once there we would scatter for a little while, spending time by ourselves before meeting back up. This particular trip I ambled off towards one end of the beach, singing to myself as I fequently do. The song was Sarah McLachlan's Witness. I was in a mellow mood. As I walked farther from my friends I started to hear something. It sounded like footsteps, a few steps behind me and closer to the water, where the sand is wet from the incoming waves. I looked behind me - nothing there. I continued walking, glancing over my shoulder now and then. I was enjoying the sensation of being slightly spooked. My writer's imagination caught fire - I began weaving a story in which someone once was killed on this beach and how their angry spirit now entices people into the water and drowns them. It was around this time that an unpleasant thing happened - I got the distinct sensation that there was a presence in the water - not only that, but a very malicious, intelligent presence that actively wished to do me harm.

This is the part where skeptics will shrug it all off and believe that my overactive imagination was playing tricks on me. I say again, I do not spook easily. Nor have any of the other stories I've devised over the years spooked me, let alone scared me. Yet there I was, not only spooked but deeply afraid. I told myself that I was imagining things, attempted to laugh myself out of my fear - then ran wildly back towards my friends, still feeling as though there were something behind me.

My friends are much less skeptical than I am. They gave more credence to my story than I did. One of my friends wandered off towards that portion of the beach. She came back fairly quickly, confirming my belief that there was a presence there. Then the lone man of the group walked out that way. He said he hadn't noticed anything, but didn't suggest that we were imagining things. I was still thoroughly spooked over the incident, so much so that I actually had trouble falling asleep after getting home. I told my mom and step-dad about what happened and they were inclined to believe that I may have felt a demonic presence. I couldn't help but agree with their conclusion, because whatever was there was inhuman and full of malice.

At this point I should tell you that the two friends that walked down to that portion of the beach are both pagan and practice "white" witchcraft. I have since come to believe that the presence I felt is connected to one of them and that it is demonic. Practicing magic opens spiritual doors that should stay closed, even if it is so-called "white" magic.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Prayer Request

Should God impress it on your heart, please pray for me, and for my family. The spiritual oppression has been getting pretty thick lately and I'd love to see a break in the clouds.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I Hate the City

As I walk through the city, sometimes the streets feel like cement threads woven through my flesh and bones, binding me in a prison of ugliness. The neighborhood I've moved to is quiet, genteel and slightly shabby. The shabbiness is only caused by Florida's so-called winter. It strips the leaves from some of the trees and thins them elsewhere; it turns the lawns into patchy mosaics of dead browns and faded greens. Only the most anal lawn-care can prevent this.
Just a block or two beyond our new residence the street turns a corner and offers an unexpected glimpse of rural Florida. Two stolid, solid black bovines graze in their pasture. Houses with very large, fenced yards line the north side of the street. It is a tantalizing reminder of my country roots, slightly painful as well. It reminds me of how much I hate the city. This must be a little like how a bird feels, beating its wings frantically against the bars of a cage from which it cannot escape.
It becomes something of a game to me to spot the beauty in the midst of so much drab ugliness. The shimmering veins of silver trailed across the sidewalk by passing snails; the silhouette of winter-nude branches against a cerulean sky. I wish that I lived somewhere I wouldn't have to actively search for beauty. I want to live somewhere with large hills or mountains, where I could stand on the heights and see the land stretching for miles until it becomes lost in the hazy horizon. I want to live without the steady rumbling of car engines and the constant drone of machinery, where silence truly is golden; where the scents carried by the breeze are from flowers, grass and foliage, instead of oil-slicked pavement and decaying trash.
The idea that I may have years, decades, a lifetime of city living ahead of me is depressing. What comforts me is the knowledge that this mortal life is just a tiny fraction of my existence and that someday I will experience more beauty than I can possibly imagine.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Abominable Clothing

Elena said:

I get you on the Ladies Against Feminism link, but please tell me you don't wear T-shirt dresses.

Never! No offense to the ladies that wear them, but I find a t-shirt dress to be one of the most hideous things a woman can wear! Jean jumpers with a t-shirt underneath are also pretty dowdy.

A few months ago I was convicted about the immodesty of my wardrobe, so I stopped wearing the short skirts, shorts, sheer blouses and other provocative items. My wardrobe is much smaller now. I still wear khaki pants and t-shirts, which I find pretty unattractive, because otherwise I'd have to do laundry too frequently. I'm hoping that we'll have some extra cash before summer so I can find some items to add to my closet. My favorite color is black, which does not wear well in Florida's summers, so it's time to add some lighter colors.

I'm hoping, Lord willing, to eventually design my own clothes. I have hundreds of photos on my computer of vintage dresses from a wide range of fashion eras, along with photos of dresses from other countries, which serve as inspiration. I'm hoping to design some simple yet pretty dresses for housewear along with some fancier dresses for formal occasions or evenings out with my husband. I do not want to embarrass myself or my husband when appearing in public! If I ever get this dream off the ground, I will try to make it into a web business. There do not seem to be many sites that market modest but cute clothes.