Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2015

I have three entries that need posting. First up is concerning a post from last year. I have always enjoyed hearing the Cherokee story where the old man is telling his grandson about the two wolves inside who fight each other for domination of the person. The boy wants to know which one wins—the good one or bad one and the old man answers—the one you feed. 🙂

Black and white wolves from wikipedia

 

I love this story! It is so relevant even if you don’t subscribe to Native American folklore. When we choose to do good, we reap good things. When we choose to do bad, we reap bad things…simple to me but important.

 

I wrote a cryptic post when the leader of a certain church passed away last year. You know who I’m talking about. I didn’t want to bring attention to him so I just referenced his stance enough so people would understand. I wrote about love and hate.

 

He was so hateful and he spread seeds of hate, he nourished those seedlings until they bore more seeds and repeated the cycle. He believed he was speaking God’s word but he drove people away from the very thing he aimed to bring people to and I find that quite ironic. He drove some of his family away and it wasn’t because he was right. He fed the wrong wolf and hate consumed him.

 

My posting was about being careful to feed the good wolf. I had no idea that it could be called into question of what I was saying but I was harshly criticized and scripture was quoted… I know I have hit a nerve when scripture is quoted, lol. Listen, I grew up in a Disciples of Christ church but some of my ancestors had ties to the Baptist church and you haven’t lived until you listen to a true hellfire and brimstone sermon which I have had the “privilege” to experience time and time again, so… 😀 I have been around the block a few times and as a friend likes to say, “This ain’t my first rodeo.” 🙂

 

There have been times where I have not allowed certain comments when I think they are not helpful to the discussion at hand—as in they may do more harm than good. It doesn’t happen often but it has been maybe three or four comments that I have withheld. If you have been one of these—my apologies. It turns out that the person who criticized the wolf posting was the same person who criticized the love and marriage posting where I lost followers or readers (not as many as I thought I would) because they believe I am wrong about loving all people and wanting equality for all.

 

At the time of the post last year, I was still trying to avoid confrontation. I still would like to avoid confrontation but that isn’t going to happen and I cannot shrink in the corner anymore because I have a lot to say about treating others like we want to be treated. I’m not hiding and I’m not shrinking or avoiding these days. So, if anyone wants to hit at me—strike at me—make sure your aim is good. I may turn and offer the other cheek but I will not hold back of what I believe when people are being hurt.

 

So…to the person(s) who think like my harsh critic…yes…be careful of the wolf you feed. If you are reaping hate—you are feeding the wrong wolf. 🙂

 

Grow gardens of goodness and love rather than gardens of hate and contempt! – Thanks! Take care… Amy 🙂

Read Full Post »

I’m going to be quite honest. I’ve read some vile things—very nasty things—hateful—full of so much anger.. I cannot believe people talk this way toward others and about others—and they come from the mouths of people claiming to be Christian. The wrathful God is from the Old Testament, one filled with anger but the God of the New Testament is one of love and forgiveness—there is no wrath or vengeance from Jesus.

 

Everyone needs to quit thinking about what others do behind closed doors. See people as people and do not categorize them. How can we treat people so mean? Excuse me but I think people need to quit thinking about what happens with anyone especially related to sex. Treat others as you would like to be treated—period. Sex should be the last thing you think about or the body parts of someone else or even yourself. That’s personal. Someone just said how abhorrent it was for anyone to do “those things” but yet it’s fine to commit adultery, lust after another, covet, murder, steal, and so on.

 Mirrored Sunset

“Mirrored Sunset” by halfrain (link) via flickr

[Terms of Use – Creative Commons (link) – no changes]

 

Get a mirror and look in it. What do you see? Do you see a halo somewhere? A crown or something? If you do, you may have some delusions of grandeur you need to end. We aren’t perfect but we blame others for their choices or their differences. Race, religion, being vegetarian, not being vegetarian, eating chocolate–not eating chocolate, choosing to not drink alcohol or choosing to drink…it is all judgmental. People are different. Not all people believe the same way and it doesn’t make it wrong. There are personal choices.

 

Do you know what is worse than someone with no knowledge? Someone with partial knowledge and no wisdom.

Years ago, there was a phrase that became popular. I think it needs to be popular again. What would Jesus do—WWJD? Did Jesus throw anyone to the wolves or sentence them to hell while he walked the earth—humans? Was he ever mean to anyone that is recorded in the Bible? When people came to Jesus to be helped and healed, did Jesus first ask for payment? Did he judge? What’s the catch? Surely there is something that is not being told, right? (scratches head) Hmmm.

 

People came to Jesus all of the time wanting to touch his garment or to just be around him. They wanted him to come into their homes, eat with them, talk to them, heal them. He didn’t go around pronouncing sentence for their misdeeds and sins. He was a very laidback fellow in my opinion. Some people would argue that he didn’t have a regular job. He even lured some guys away from their jobs and he hung out with the wrong type of people—how dare he! (sarcasm 🙂 ) He expected others to provide for him—his food, his clothing, etc. To think that he was THAT TYPE OF PERSON! Oh my! He should have provided for himself and not depended on others to take care of him, right? Hmmmm. 🙂 Just trying to add some perspective to the mix… We cannot judge others.

 

People do not know Jesus. They say they do. They do not understand forgiveness. They say they do. They do not understand God. They say they do but they don’t. The Jews did not understand Jesus. They did not understand love. You cannot hold love in your hand. You cannot quantify love. They wanted rules to follow—a checklist of sorts. They wanted to go by the old law but the old law became out of date. Do you see any similarities to today? People want rules to follow and when they are not followed, they want punishment–they want retribution. History is repeating itself. We are doomed to repeat history when we do not learn from our mistakes.

 

Jesus said that love was the greatest commandment. If you love, you do not have to worry about anything else—true love—true compassion. You do not want to harm others or take advantage of people. You are not selfish. You do not want to deny people health care, basic human rights—clean water—food—love—compassion…  

 

WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED AT OURSELVES! We are not living the greatest commandment. People are protesting the federal government, the president, some people who have spoken out for those who have been hurt—there is even a protest this Saturday–people want to continue this hatred believing others are of lower stature. We need to take a good long look at ourselves—pull that plank out of our eye and learn what love is. Start by looking in our yard and quit looking in someone else’s. 🙂

 

Why do we wish bad things on people? We know better! We want a set of rules to live by because if we have only love we believe chaos will ensue. We fail to trust. We fail to believe. We refuse to let go of the rules. Rules give order and numbers where people rank. Ranking is important, right? 😀 LOL! Remember what Jesus said? The first will come last and the last will be first. This has to do with love and being humble.

 

Read the parable of the Prodigal’s Son (Luke 15 – link). YOU are the brother who remained at home. When you rejoice at your brother’s return and feel no animosity toward him because he took his inheritance and blew it and then returns home—do not judge him. When you reach this point where you feel only love for your brother who has come home, you are on your way to finding real love—to finding God—finding how to treat others—equally.

 

Unconditional love. It is what God offers. If you cannot give unconditional love to others, how do you accept it from God? You want forgiveness but you must forgive others and not judge them. You have to see them as people—people only. You are not God. You do not get to judge and hand down sentence and then be executioner. Is it tough to hear these words?  

 

If God was to ask you, “Did you love all? Did you do everything you could for all people?” what would your answer be? 🙂

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Empathy is not sympathy. It involves finding that part of ourselves that connects to others. It can be painful to find the connection but as you can see in the video it is so important to do so.

 

😀

I think this is very relevant today when we have difficulty stepping in the shoes of others. I love this video especially the part at 2:06–that’s just the best. 😀 There is a TED talk by Brené Brown that I watched some years ago. I may have shared it–I can’t remember but she is an excellent person who understands from various perspectives. Thanks to a friend who shared a blog post with a link to this video.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

Read Full Post »

021015

On Sunday, I turn 55 years of age—old to some and not old enough to others. Wisdom comes at different stages of life but none of us is as wise as we should be. If you were to ask me what I would desire from anyone, I would say respect. Love would be nice—you know, where one has compassion for another in the general sense of the word…the words of humility and selflessness come to mind. But respect is very special. 🙂

 

There is much I want to say. I am a post behind but I will catch up. There is a lot the Bible has to offer on these subjects such as love, humility, respect, grace, forgiveness, etc. and I think I have something to offer as well. I also have questions. I will conquer them as I go.

 

You may remember the story in the Bible (John 8, KJV if you will) about the woman who was said to have been caught in the act of adultery. The leaders and Pharisees brought her to Jesus and asked what the law said should be done with her…do you remember the story? They were trying to catch Jesus in a lie or to find he was not who he said he was–anything to trip him up. Very seldom–if ever–is the entire chapter of John preached in one sermon. Usually the top portion that I am referencing at the moment is used with other portions used for different sermons but the context in this particular instance is very important for the entire chapter. I urge to read the chapter especially if you are a Christian.

 

I am going to paraphrase the story.

  • Someone reminds Jesus what the Mosaic law says about a woman caught in adultery–that she should be stoned and they ask what he says. What does Jesus do? Verse 6 says that Jesus stooped down and wrote in the ground. Jesus continued to write while they continued to ask. He looked up and said:  he that is without sin…cast the first stone. He returned to writing in the ground. After a while, Jesus gets up and looks around—he asks the woman where are her accusers. What did she say? She said no one was there to accuse her and Jesus said he didn’t either—to go and sin no more. (Not the end of the story.)

 

Why isn’t it recorded what Jesus wrote? Think about that. Why would it say that he wrote in the ground and yet not say what he wrote? Odd isn’t it? I think what he wrote was very important—important to the people in the story but not necessarily for us, the reader, because it would take away from the focus or possibly someone left it out. I don’t know. Some would have you focus on the sin in the story but what chapter 8 is about is not the sin but judging others.

 

  • The story continues with Jesus talking to the Pharisees. He told them who he was and his relationship with the Father. Verse 15 says that he judges no man but that they judge after the flesh. In verse 26, Jesus says that he has many things to say and to judge them. The conversation and teaching continue but is basically summed up that those that want to kill Jesus are clearly the ones who do not have love in their heart. They think they understand the law but Jesus tells them they do not because they are not of the Father. Clearly these individuals believed they were safe from God’s wrath whether they would be saved or spared from the depths of hell but Jesus is telling them that they believe falsely—that they are wrong.

 

This is important also because pride can bring you down. It is easy to do. I continue to read and hear people talk vile things against people. They are calling themselves Christians. I’m serious about this having hate in one’s heart—you cannot have love if you have hate. The Bible talks about serving two masters. Most people think it is good and evil—God and satan but it can be love and hate. You must choose which one you feed…love…or hate. It cannot be both. It is easy to talk about it. It isn’t so easy to follow through.

 

I know people think I have lost my mind but we cannot judge people—that’s not in the cards. Whatever you believe—in a god/God or no God…we just cannot hate on others. Why did the men leave and not stone the woman? Hmmm. I think it was what Jesus wrote. The Bible says it was their convictions that led them to leave. There is a thought that Jesus quoted scripture in the ground just like he always answered the rulers and Pharisees. He always fought fire with fire.

 

What about the second time he wrote? Well, it could be the names of the men or their sins. I go with either one of those or even both. There is a suggestion that Jesus possibly wrote about Hosea 4—specifically verse 14 but the whole chapter has significance.  I’m not saying this is what happened but it would make a lot of sense. Maybe one day I will elaborate but you can check out this website (link).

 

I have tried very hard not to hurt anyone by what I say or do. I have tried to respect people no matter what their belief. I have tried to live my life not judging others—it’s difficult to do when you aspire to a higher level but trying to be better is a personal goal and not a goal to compare everyone else to. Each of us walks this earth. Rather than kick a person when they are down or in a situation where they could use a hand…are you the good Samaritan? Or, do you pass by and ignore the person? Or, perhaps you walk over, kick them and then spit on them.

 

A person who calls himself or herself a Christian should be about Christ…he or she would be wanting to live a life loving others as he did–not only the lovable but the unlovable. And, for those who want to throw stones at me—there is a target at the top of this post you can print out and practice with. It was made by me with no intention of infringement. 

 

May your gardens be filled with love–always. 🙂

Read Full Post »

My last post was about love and a fellow blogger said ‘they’ could not believe anyone would have a problem with it, in fact they were shocked by the first comment I received. I wish I could say I was surprised at the opposition–and the people who disagreed with me..I heard those people loud and clear both with the comments and the lack of comments. Sometimes inaction speaks louder than action. I’m sure if there were such a thing as an anonymous dislike button, I would have gotten the most yesterday (maybe the most of anyone on wordpress) with the number of hits I had compared to the number of likes—funny about the internet. (notice lack of smiley face here)

 

Let me say this… I choose to speak for those who cannot speak and those who are disenfranchised—those who are victims—those who are survivors…I choose the underdog many times. I risk my reputation, and sometimes more, for those who are disliked, hated, mistreated, marginalized, and such. It’s my choice but it is because I know what it feels like to be a victim—to be a survivor—to be taken advantage of and even thrown away. I understand and I try my best to get people to think about things and perhaps one day they will they change their mind and accept others—to love them. I’m not after people to read my blog–I want people to realize we can do a lot better than what we do. To me, it’s not acceptable to treat others without respect and that is what people are doing across the globe–across the country. 

 

Some people declare that they love everyone but they turn around and hate on others. I don’t like it. If you are this type of person, I really hope you can learn to love people because that is my goal in life–to bring things up that need soul searching–problem solving..you get the idea. People love to hate–I don’t know why but that’s not good enough.

 

People are being hurt because of the hatred toward others. Don’t you see it? I try to treat others as I would want to be treated. I haven’t, to my knowledge, hurt anyone or threatened anyone or their way of life. I have pleaded for love for all.

I have a challenge and will post it later. Have a great day and may your gardens grow with kindness and love. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Over the past several years I have written quite a bit about love. This is the week of love…usually the romantic kind given that Valentine’s Day is almost here.

LOVE

 

It’s the first time that I feel free to be me without any ties to anyone. No one has a claim to me. My divorce isn’t finalized but I have moved on and am ok…except there isn’t anyone to open wine bottles (jokingly). I guess I don’t miss cleaning up after a man and making sure his laundry is done, meals are prepared, his bills are paid, and millions of other things. I rejoice in this freedom. I still want a partner—a lover if you will—but I’m not going to shrink and blow away if it doesn’t happen. But that’s me. I’m still interested in the opposite sex but I don’t like to be treated badly and I keep choosing guys who use me and abuse me. I suck in that department. I should have gone for an arranged marriage 😀 (just kidding).

 

  • Warning…I am going to lose some readers today and that is ok…not really but I can deal with it. The Christian Bible says quite a few things but the one thing Christians believe or should believe is what Jesus taught and that is to love.

 

Back to loving someone. Do we know what love is? Have you ever been in love—not sexual infatuation but love that will stand the test of time? If you find that person and love them and they love you, wouldn’t you want to be married? Don’t you want that for your children and grandchildren? Don’t you want them to be happy? I sure do. I want my children to be as happy as they can be and if they came to me and said they are in love with someone…and want to marry…I will give them my blessing and wish them the best no matter who they are. It can be someone who is the same nationality or another race…or of another faith. It is their life and choosing marriage means that they are willing to enter into a commitment with that other person and vice versa. And, I will do this even if it is a same sex individual…

 

Let me make that clear…if one (or both) of my children comes to me and says that they want to marry someone of the same sex, I will accept it and rejoice.

 

  • Have I lost my mind? No.
  • Does this go against my beliefs? No.
  • Does it go against the Christian Bible? Well, that’s where you need to read and pray and do quite a bit of real soul searching.

 

I used to believe that it was a sin to be gay…that was the way I was raised but did you know it is a sin to lie, murder, steal, cheat, and do so many things? So…if marriage is the sacrament of love…and Jesus endorsed marriage or that’s the way Christians look at it and that it is the union where two people pledge their hearts to each other and their lives to each other as the covenant with God and his love, don’t you think God would want people–no matter their racial or religious orientation or even their sexual orientation–to enter into a covenant with the person they love and with him? I do. 🙂

 

Think about it for a minute. I have just read comment after comment where people professing their belief in God saying that Alabama should deny same sex marriage… That in itself is one thing but I have read some awful and very hateful comments so bad that I have cried. It hurts dang it! ..to hear what people say about others… I can’t help but think what we do to others when we say things like that…why are we so dang mean? If you are a Christian, think about how you treat others. Is it loving in a way that Jesus loved or is it mean-spirited and hateful? I personally think that if Jesus were alive today, we would be very surprised–I really do. We are to love with no reservations. You cannot say I love so-and-so but I can’t love so-and-so because he or she is ‘gay.’ We cannot love others while dividing them and categorizing them. Can’t be done. It is all or nothing.

 

We don’t get to pick and choose who we love. We must love all—period! You may not agree—that’s your prerogative. I have watched people who say they are Christians and do everything in their power to push people out of the church because they were not clean enough or they were not rich enough or they were not intelligent enough…that they were the wrong color, from the wrong side of town, etc. I have watched as my church took women out of their positions because the men in power were sexist and would not let the women serve on Sunday morning. Women in the men’s opinion must do all of the work and be hidden…and this comes from a progressive faith that has a woman as its general minister. So, I have seen the worst of Christians who talk bad about other religions. While none of us is perfect, we must accept others as they are. We cannot change them to meet our expectations because we are all flawed.

 

To those who are not Christian—of some other faith or of no faith—I hope you understand where I am coming from. And, to all…I have stepped back from my roots to see where I should be and I wasn’t happy with what I saw. I still believe in a creator—a God but the God I pray to is the same God I have always prayed to and he/she/it (I don’t believe God has a sex but we won’t go there) is more of a universal God. In other words, he/she/it is who we need ‘him’ to be. I don’t can’t believe that there is one religion that is right–I’m sorry but that is my conclusion from all of my studying and praying and everything…I just cannot believe anyone is right making everyone else wrong. Hey, if I’m wrong–so be it. I want everyone to have a voice and have the freedom to believe in the faith that is important to them. Spirituality is important to me. Discipline is important. There are things I like about various religions…the commonality of helping others, loving, being humble…all of these matter…respect for each other and respect for our Earth. 🙂

 

So, this long post is really about same-sex marriage. Don’t get me wrong, it’s kind of difficult to embrace but I just know that we cannot divide people according to what we believe or what we think we believe. We cannot deny others what most of us strive to have. This is not a recent revelation for me. I have been trying to write something about this for an awful long time. My holdback is mostly because we see things as a sexual nature. We are sexual animals at times and we really need to exercise some brain power and self-control.

 

Love isn’t about sex. Yeah, I know people who don’t believe that but it’s not. If you get married because of sex, there are going to be problems down the road. Our world is preoccupied with the subject. You can’t turn on a tv in the US and not see some type of sexual connotation whether it is advertisements or shows. It’s everywhere. Sexual intimacy isn’t bad. I don’t mean to make it the bad thing of this but when we are hooking up with others not because we love someone but just to satisfy our urges, then we have problems. Again, my opinion but it’s gotten out of hand.

 

Love is giving of oneself—it is unselfish—it is so much but when it becomes selfish and about self-gratification first and foremost, you need to do something to save your marriage if it’s possible.

 

I apologize that this was a rushed post but I feel compelled to say this. I know it is not a topic that you want to hear but it’s what needs to be said. Some will dismiss me and say that I am a lost sheep or that I am a wolf in sheep’s clothing or something. That’s fine. I accept it because I know people are not going to embrace this. Heck, it has taken losing my husband and watching him throw our marriage away and throw away a chance at making a family for his son with the son’s mother and so much more that I have experienced and witnessed in my journey. Peace is what we should be searching for and the only way to have peace is to have love. 🙂

 

May your gardens grow full of love yielding years of happiness! Wishing you much love… 🙂

Read Full Post »

My life is sometimes defined by the losses of people, friends, family that I have had to deal with along the way. With each loss, a part of me seems to disappear. I attempt to move on but there is always something missing because there is lack of closure…missed times and saying goodbyes. I miss some of these individuals every day and some I miss less often but it doesn’t mean that I miss them any less.

 

About 2 weeks ago I received a call about the farm…business stuff. It was a neighbor from my childhood…we grew up together and are distantly related. He was sending some paperwork to me and said he had a picture of his older brother taken with me in 1963—WOE! Most of my family pictures were destroyed. I have a few negatives but my mom didn’t keep the family pictures with her when she moved and people destroyed everything when they broke in and stole stuff. People have no conscience.

 

I was both excited to think about a photo I didn’t remember but I was also a bit torn as I anticipated seeing the brother. He died over 27 years ago. It is so sad—a bad car wreck. Senselessness. Memories—some are very painful ones—some are very playful ones but they still hurt. I don’t know what was with all of us…most of us that grew up together got married and then divorced not long after. In fact, there were only a handful of people that I grew up with who stayed married and even less stayed married AND happy. And, that is truly sad.

 020215

I didn’t mean to sound morbid. This was me at 3 years old. We were at the spring banquet for the Eastern Star. I remember we had to walk around together with a basket and give out gifts… 😀 …fun times. Later that year, in September, my paternal grandmother passed away and my family’s lives were forever changed. See how everything is sewn together with that thread that binds us. This is right before I began looking like a poster child for starving children because I was so sick. Pictures…memories… Oh the thoughts of good times and bad.

 

Have a great week! 🙂

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: