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Posts Tagged ‘giving’

I’m having an issue—ok, issues. I’ve been stuck inside all weekend (rain and more rain) and that was after I had an awful migraine last week (sinus triggered) that lasted 4 days–never made it to the movie either. I’m going crazy and I am lonely. (sigh) I get down when I get like this…depressed a bit. I had gotten to a point where I’m usually ok with being by myself and all but I’m in need of some romance. Dang. I hate it when I get like this. There isn’t anything I can do. It just happens.

 

I have been dumped on so much for the past few weeks that I’m really feeling the effects. I like to celebrate Independence Day but with just me, I don’t get to do what I want these days. I’m feeling quite down about that too. I fight so hard at times and want to believe there is something better but I don’t see it. I don’t like the loneliness but here it is…still… I fight hard to be an optimist.

 

Over the weekend I was privileged to read about two ministers who I believe have been truly blessed. I write about these two but I know there are more out there. These are the people who should be speaking out for the world to hear—not the jokers that seem to have everyone’s attention and are center stage. They are the ones who have been called upon to serve—to be humble servants. Both ministers have felt that calling—to hear the needs of their parishioners…even their homosexual ones. While many a church believes that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, there are people rethinking this and what exactly the Bible says. I’m not going into what it says mainly because I cannot judge someone.

 

What I see is ministers who are actually walking the path of Jesus Christ and it makes me feel quite glad. One actually broke down and was humbled before God. People in his church came to him seeking guidance. He talked about how when one left, he could not get up but rather got down on his knees and prayed. His prayers were answered because he chose to ask God how to help these people and he did not judge them nor did he say they were not worthy. He treated them with respect. 🙂

 

Another minister felt the call that his church was not serving all those that were in need because their Book of Discipline forbid it. He felt that there was something more that they could do so he presented the challenge before his Sunday school class and they answered the call by seeking to become a reconciliation church. This is a big step in some churches. It is a way to show they are seeking a different path and acknowledging we are different. We can’t cast people out because of the differences and we cannot say they are not welcome. 🙂

 

These are challenges before churches—not just these few but all churches. It isn’t going away. You cannot shut the door on it. You cannot close people out. For the past few years I have talked about being inclusive rather than exclusive and that is my belief.

 

A certain infamous blog person has taken to the blogwaves of how his heterosexual marriage is being harmed by the same sex marriage decision handed down by the US Supreme Court. Ok. I don’t see it. Other people’s marriages shouldn’t affect yours. If they do, you have issues too and they are worse than mine. 😉

 

All of this is going on and I cannot help but feel those heartstrings pull at me again—some call it a minister’s calling but I cannot answer that call. However, I can continue to blog and that might be my true calling after all. 🙂

 

Remember to treat others with true respect and try to love all people. Happy Gardening! 😀

 

 

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We can choose to build fences and walls or we can choose to build gates, windows and doors. What are you building?

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One of the things I learned when growing up was how to swing a hammer and build ‘stuff.’ I can design things and build projects. I can draw plans and take it to fruition. If I can see it in my mind, I can build it. When you are exposed to so much, you can’t help but learn things. There were small projects to house additions and roofs, dog houses, shelving, cabinets, etc that I have helped with and as an adult, I have built my own projects that I have been happy with. It’s nice to have carpentry skills.

 

On the farm, we had enclosures for pigs and hogs—most were wooden fences. Funny thing about some animals, you must constantly keep a watch out for holes made by the animals either breaking through the fence or digging under it. The pigs were gone by the time I was old enough to repair fencing but there were other farms around. It’s always good to be proactive rather than reactionary. And, it’s no fun chasing down cows or pigs, horses and chickens…

 

Fences are good for keeping animals separated for whatever reason. Same thing for people. Walls are built to keep some people out and some people in. Doors are made to enter and exit but are those doors willing to allow all people entrance? You know what I am getting at. We can choose to allow people in or we choose to keep people out.

 

Several years ago I was the head of the evangelism committee which was supposed to bring people into the church. What do you do when you have a church where all people are not welcomed? People of color were not welcomed. Women who spoke up were not welcomed. A lot of sinners were not welcomed. So what do you do? I had been working on that idea and trying to change it from within for so long but people chose to judge others. New visitors were carefully scrutinized. Did they give enough? Were they good Christian people? Did they swear or drink? Could they bring more money into the church? It was a constant barrage of questions of whether people were good enough to be members like the church is only for the saintly, lol.

 

My idea was that everyone needed to become a missionary—an evangelist—because there was nothing to offer people unless we all got involved. The plan was working and then the minister’s little affairs came to light and things went downhill—fast. Things were tight and people began to be more critical. They didn’t seem to trust and have faith in what could be done. They scrutinized new attendees more closely. Where the congregation should have been welcoming, we didn’t allow people in. If you were homeless, forget it. Don’t attend or that was the mantra from the loudest peanut gallery. I was appalled. By this time I had started to lose hope and with my husband having his affairs, I just gave up. It was too much.

 

See how your actions affect others? You are an integral part of the puzzle. What you say and how you welcome other people into the fold makes a difference. You can build taller fences and more solid walls but in the end what matters is how many gates, doors, and windows there are and if they will allow people entry. Are people welcomed? If not in the church, do you welcome all people into your home?

 

If you think it doesn’t start with you then you might want to rethink. What are you building? Walls and fences, or gates, windows and doors? It matters.

 

Have a great week and may you always break down barriers wherever you go! 🙂

 

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An emotional day…rather than explain my day, this is my prayer that I posted for another blog…blessings and good tidings to you this Sunday… 🙂

Dear God, I cried today first because people called me awful names and told me terrible things after they told me to go to hell. But, those tears were nothing compared to the heartache I felt when I read that a certain minister has called for a boycott of any institution who will not stand against SSM. What would Jesus do? I ask myself that question. Would he turn away from people who need him? Would he judge others? Would he treat others as 3rd class citizens? No!!!

God, I cannot believe what I see each day…hatred for others and those who are hating are the ones who are saying they are being persecuted. What happened, Father? What went wrong? The moral decay is not coming from some sin that is preached about as an abomination. The moral decay has already taken place in the hearts and minds of Christians who believe the law says to build walls and fences to keep others out. Father, your son preached to the Pharisees but his words are more true today than they were 2000 years ago. There are Pharisees among us who would have us believe that Jesus would shun part of the world. I don’t believe that. He wouldn’t do such.

Father, you taught me to love all, to judge not, and to live by example. My tears are for those who have been marginalized and are told every day that they are going to hell. We sin, Father, when we take your place. My tears are for those who believe they have the right to dictate how others should live. It hurts me to know they do not understand love, the greatest commandment. I may not walk my path alone but sometimes it sure feels that way and yet, I know you are with me. 🙂 Never leave me…

I search for peace to build bridges so that we may all live in harmony…this I pray…

Amen.

 

My heart weighs heavy from what I have experienced today. No one should ever go through what I faced and if it wasn’t enough, I was mocked and made fun of. Do I question if I’m doing the right thing? Yes, I do question and the answer is yes–not because it is a trendy thing but because it is the answer to what would Jesus do? I believe there is a great divide about to come across this nation…there has been a swelling feeling of pride and arrogance and when we look at history, that arrogance is what brings down empires. Each of us has a choice to make. We can choose to bury our head in the sand or we can choose to love. Those are the only two choices that I see.

 

Also, I was preached to last night that I was going to die at the hands of my Muslim friends by having my head separated from my body (perhaps he has watched too much Highlander) because I will not fight against Islam. No, this person was not speaking about the fanatic group across the sea but that all Muslims want me dead. These are perilous times we are in, there is no doubt but to spread such hate and fear mongering is unfathomable. 

 

May your gardens grow with love abundant… 🙂

 

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Society is messed up. Rather than giving respect to each other, we sexualize individuals–men cat call women as they walk by and it is supposed to be ok. Married men ogle women (other than their wife) and think thoughts they shouldn’t but excuse it because they say it is natural. They think it is ok as long as they don’t act on those thoughts.

 

Guess what—it’s not ok. And, you know why, because we have been giving a pass and excusing that behavior for far too long. We accept it because we think men are different but they aren’t different—not that much anyway. Women have the same thoughts and desires that men do but we are taught to control our desires.

 

I don’t mean to overgeneralize but society is suffering and we are paying a high price. Why do you think there is so much divorce? I have had to explain what love is more times that I care to think about in the past few months so somewhere the message isn’t getting out. Too many men (sorry, those are the individuals I talk to the most) are after gratification of self and not interested in pleasing their partner first if at all. When I mention that they should desire to give and please the other, it is like a foreign language to them. We are flunking when teaching how to love in relationships.

 

Many people are not interested in a relationship. They would rather hook-up for a one-night stand and have no responsibilities and continue this type of hook-up. Don’t blame any one group because we are all to blame. Repressing sexual feelings isn’t the way to go either. We need to learn self-discipline and respect. I don’t want us to control morality per se but I wish people would quit being so selfish.

 

Love is something more than a sexual feeling. It is more than a fleeting moment. Someone told me this week that he had a girlfriend and that when she gained weight, he didn’t love her anymore. (eye roll) I told him that he didn’t love her to begin with if he didn’t love her after she gained the weight because looks do not define love. Again, it was as if I were speaking in another language with what seems to me as common sense.

 

There was a couple in the 1960s who loved each other and wanted to marry but they couldn’t because they were not of the same race. In Virginia, it wasn’t done—there was a law. They challenged the courts and won. I wrote about this earlier this year. (link)

 

Mixed race isn’t anything these days to most people but as luck would have it a woman on FB made a comment this week about interracial marriage—that it was wrong because in the Bible it says to keep the races pure—that is what she said. I kid you not. She really believes this but she also hates many groups of people…actually she hates everyone who is different from her. She doesn’t hide it.

 

Well, we are all going to hell if you believe this because we have been mixing races since the beginning of time… I no more believe this poppycock than believing I will have 4 wisdom teeth to show up this year—and I only had 2 to start with.

 

She believes in the Bible and she peddles her thoughts freely on FB. What can I say? She thinks that the children of a certain couple that consisted of a white man and black woman will be of a race God didn’t intend to exist. I hang my head in shame.

 

Race has no difference. We are not a different species…we are all humans. The differences we see come from the type of melanin in the pigment of skin. Science is showing us that we all originated on the African continent. I don’t want to be the one to tell this lady that but she wouldn’t believe me anyway. She denies so much. It isn’t good to hide your head in the sand.

 

All of this isn’t about one person and her views. Her argument was the same argument given in the lower courts for the Loving case that the US Supreme Court overturned in 1967. The judge said that God put races on different continents for a reason and they were to never mix. This is being taught in some churches today. This isn’t someone coming up with this on their own. I even heard it when I was growing up—some of the older people would say it—not in my family but older people in the community. This is a problem just like people not understanding what love is. These are societal problems. They are things that we can help improve.

 

We preoccupy ourselves with drama from other things in life but we don’t address the real problems. Why don’t people love others without condition? Why don’t we put our children first? Why don’t we care about one another?

 

These are the simple things I care about. Life is not complicated when you look at it through the eyes of love. Simple… We need to work on society.

 

Please get involved. Show what you are made of. Don’t hate and don’t judge. Just love others.

 

Happy Friday! 🙂

 

 

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My last blog post was not easy. Soon after I posted it, I was unfriended on facebook by someone I have called a friend for several years. No notice, no nothing. I assume the person took offense at what I said. That was not what I wanted. And here is where life gets difficult. I have to let it go. It was their choice. It’s hard—very difficult for me. I usually will approach the person and apologize even if I feel I have done nothing wrong but I must learn to let go because I know they believe I am wrong and nothing I say will change that. :/

 

I can choose to be quiet about what I believe or I can explain as best I can why I am on this journey, how far I have come, and what I have learned. You, the reader, can accept what I say or not accept it…that’s up to you—no disrespect intended. My journey…my eyes…my perspective. I believe I would be doing a great disservice to the world if I keep quiet.

 

Believe me, I have prayed about this often. I have meditated. I have questioned, read, and repeated. I didn’t get to this point simply by being dropped like a ‘google guy’ on a map. I worked hard to get here. I have paid a great price (too great to hide) and have asked God to help me tell the story because in truth, God put me on this journey—that’s what I believe.

 

My picture of God may not be the same as your picture and that’s what we need to let go of or rather embrace the differences rather than call attention to them. There are people who do not believe in God. That’s fine with me. I don’t look at them and say, “Hey, you are going to hell unless you repent and are baptized.” I used to think that way. I cannot put my faith on someone else and someone of my faith cannot tell me that I am wrong for not doing it. We have to let go if any faith is going to survive. I didn’t understand that at first but I do now.

 

My struggles, my pain…it’s all about the journey. There are people who have come into my life…and there are those who leave. It hurts—it hurts a lot. I never want that and I never want to say goodbye but if that is the way it must be for the other person to live/survive, then I must let go. Sounds awful doesn’t it?

 

Many of the people I talk to have lost a loved one(s)…the pain they carry…the pain that I hear in their words. Sometimes it is what they share and sometimes it is what is missing that tells the story. I feel that pain many times without knowing the details. I don’t know why. I’ve been this way all of my life. I joke that it is my overactive empathy gene but there is no such thing.

 

I believe women (and not only women) have a great capacity for love and understanding, compassion with passion so to say. I talk a lot about empathy…it’s a part of me that I can no more change than my height or eye color. An empath may sound like a mythological creature but I believe they are real and I believe each of us can use our empathy to reach out to others. I’m not talking witch mumbo jumbo or crazy stuff. I am speaking about what we call the heart…what we feel which is really in our brain.

 

I cannot tell you what will happen tomorrow. I can only tell you what I feel and what I feel from others. It’s a gift. Some may say it is a curse. It’s not special—no more than anyone else. Some will tell you that not everyone has this gift but I think we were all born with this gift. It’s up to us to use it, to help it grow, to understand it and to use it for good. It is our connection to each other. 🙂

 

There is a part two to the last post I made but please understand that I have no agenda except for loving my fellow man and woman and accepting them no matter who they are or what they have done or how they believe.

 

We are each on our own journey. I don’t believe we are supposed to be on the same path and I don’t believe our destination will be the same. You know how if you are around positive people and have positive energy then your life is so much better—you are happy and others are happy…that’s where we need to be. Tearing other people down with nasty remarks isn’t the way to be happy. There is no positive energy and no room for growth.

 

Have a great Thursday and Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

 

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When I was a little girl, I was a Brownie, part of the Girl Scouts and when my children were little, they were in Girl Scouts. I became a leader when my girls started school. I began as a troop leader, cookie mom, camp leader, and then went on to train Girl Scout leaders while still remaining a troop leader. I had to do several training sessions each year. It was fun working with girls and leaders, being cookie mom, all of it…I’m just a big child… 🙂

 

The idea behind Scouting is to teach the younger generation skills they need so they can become responsible and dedicated individuals so that they will mature into great leaders in their communities as adults. The organization is service related and it is a time for fun and learning. For me, it was a wonderful opportunity and it was loads of fun filled with lots of hard work.

 

Last week, the leader of the Boy Scouts of America said that it was time to allow gay scoutmasters to serve. I have listened to the outcry about it, how the BSA would go under and how churches will pull funding, etc. I am so angry. This is one of the things that is wrong with America. Something does not go your way and you become vehemently opposed to something so much that you are willing to destroy it. I cannot even use my usual we pronoun though I’m sure everyone who reads my blog does not cater to this idea of destroying the BSA if they allow gay scoutmasters–at least I hope not. The arrogance and hatred fill you so much that you are willing to sacrifice this one good thing to prove your point? No. It’s not right.

 

Shame on you if you feel this way. Out of all of the good that has come about because of Scouting, the only thing you can do is tear it down and destroy it. Shame on you or those who cannot accept people who may be different than you and again, this is only if you feel this way. Scouting and children have been a passion of mine for many years.

AND…

Shame on Franklin Graham for calling for his followers to support his stance against the BSA to the point of closing it down. I am ashamed to the bone. I can’t believe I read those words on his FB page…if you believe that Jesus wanted this, I do believe you are wrong. And to show you how loving Franklin Graham is on FB, this is a quote I copied and pasted and not from the comments but from one of his posts…[I actually could not believe I read this] 

 

“Can you believe these idiots?”

 

Now I ask you, would you read this in the Bible? Does God call his children IDIOTS? Does Jesus refer to people as IDIOTS? What happened to freewill and love and understanding? I will not follow someone who says this and spouts such bigotry and hatred and calls people IDIOTS…and this is clearly not what God called for. This is clearly not love and I am ashamed!

 

I am tired of the hate coming from people. I have been on a roller coaster lately…extremely up one minute and down the next. I was in the grocery store Friday night when I got a notice on FB from a college roommate. It made me chuckle so I texted her and we chatted for a while. It is nice to hear from someone who knows you from years ago and knows how you truly feel—that deep part of your soul.

 

She is a Christian by the way and I knew she supported gay marriage so I asked her how her friends deal with it. She said that some of them don’t. She said that sometimes she posts things and they unfriend her and she gave me examples. In our conversation she told me how she worked with individuals who had been diagnosed with AIDS in the early 1980s. Remember back to that time when we were just finding out about AIDS? There was so much fear. Well, she said the people she worked with were the nicest people she had ever met. That means a lot. 🙂

 

So you see, there is a human being behind all those hateful feelings you voice on the internet, on FB, on blogs, to your friends, to your neighbors, even people you don’t know…that hatred people keep talking about because of “these people who are going to hell due to an abomination” and you don’t approve.

 

Guess what…no one is seeking your approval. They don’t need it. Turn the shoe around and you are the one who is being talked about…the one who is shunned…how do you feel because people have ganged up against you and are saying you are going to hell? That angers me…that mob mentality. How can you do that to someone? And, then say it isn’t your choice but God’s? I don’t believe it and neither do other people who are seeing this play out in the public arena. When you hurt others, people notice.

 

My friend and I chatted some more. We talked about old times and recent times. I told her how I felt and that I couldn’t believe what I was hearing people say. We talked about what our world is facing right now with so many people being so uncompassionate. She told me that she knew I was progressive back in college—about 33 years ago in graduate school—I laughed. I didn’t think I was, but I guess it is true. I didn’t let things hold me back. I didn’t take no for an answer. I fought for those who were in need and if I saw a need that wasn’t being addressed–it didn’t matter what others thought–I didn’t stop to ask or was I concerned that I was doing the wrong thing–I would do whatever I could. I had passion. I was a leader. I spoke up and wasn’t afraid of the consequences. Later, when I had children, I became more conservative but my roommate reminded me that I was right—even way back then and she believes I am right now because Jesus was really the most liberal and most socialist individual there was…and guess what…

 

she is right.  He was and I think he still is. 🙂

 

I used to think this was supposed to be a Christian nation but it isn’t. When our ancestors came over…those of us who have European ancestors…they didn’t come because everyone believed in the same religion. Look how many religious groups there were…not all were Christian. When the founding fathers were drawing up our rule of law, they wanted it to be as fair and open-ended because they knew situations would arise they could not foresee. In fact, there is argument that many of the founding fathers were not faithful to one religion and no religion. They were not a fan of theocracy because that has led to many problems.

 

We don’t have to have a Christian nation because no religion should be supreme over any other religion and for those who do not believe, then that needs to be addressed too. How would you like it to have something pushed down your throat that you are not a fan of?

 

If you are as Christian as you say you are for those who claim Christianity, you will embrace others who believe differently. We are holding on too tight. We must let go. If you have faith, you need to learn to walk with faith. If you cannot let go, I encourage you to study the words of Jesus. If you will, study the words of other faiths too. There are volumes out there that tell us how we should love…it comes from the heart. If you really profess to be a Christian, then you know the words are there and we just need to let go of the hate.

 

I believe the monster is in each of us and until we are of reasonable mind and logical understanding so that we can embrace others, then we are lost because I truly believe that we are supposed to get along with each other and love one another with nothing standing in the way. And yes, I believe there is no one that is not good enough to eat at the table. All of us are good enough.

 

Support Scouting.  Support children.

 

By the way, the GSA has already crossed this hurdle… 😉

 

Think about what it means to be kind to others…be humble…put others before yourself.

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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Words are used for many things but mostly we converse with words. Sometimes we use words for good but words are also used to hurt. It is unfortunate that we do such.

 

If I were to call you a liberal, would that offend you? What if I were to use the words…conservative, moderate, right-wing, evangelical? What about left-wing, spineless, weak, idiot? Well, what about feminist? 🙂 Why does anyone want to label another? I haven’t a clue actually other than to make someone feel inferior.

 

Today, I had the opportunity to give an account of some things that have happened in my life. It wasn’t planned. I don’t like to be called names. I think it devalues a person’s worth. Some people call me a feminist. Well, I guess I am to the extent that I advocate for women but I don’t see myself as one. I do have an advantage in that respect…I am a woman, lol. 😀

 

Story…Let’s say you have been raped and you tell someone but they don’t believe you. You tell someone else and they don’t believe you either. They say you are making it up…that you desire attention and just want to get someone in trouble. They ask for proof. You have none. They say, “No proof…then it didn’t happen.” Now, let’s say this event happened over 20 years ago. 

 

  • Does time erase the crime? Nope.
  • Does time make it so that it doesn’t exist? Nope.
  • People say that surely you are over it, right? You never get over something like that.
  • And, why wouldn’t you come forth when it happened? It doesn’t matter what your reason is.

 

For those of you who have never experienced rape, let me just say that for me, I felt devalued. I felt dirty, ashamed. I was told it was my fault by my attacker. Again, I know it wasn’t but rape doesn’t make sense. It is a power play and a control issue.

 

A certain writer did a piece about rape and the comments began. I could not believe the number of people (men) who judged the person that was being discussed saying that her story wasn’t credible. I found it credible but then again I have had weird things happen to me. The commenters made it sound like rape was nothing and that a man who has been falsely accused has a worse time than a woman who has been raped. I am not going to argue that false allegations do not happen. False allegations hurt everyone and I even said such but the words that came back…well, they cut like a knife. They were hurtful. The people were not interested in furthering the discussion or finding a solution or making the problem better. They just wanted to show their power. Gag me. Yuck.

 

Some guy told me that we should arm women on campus to stop rape—I rolled my eyes and asked if he really thought arming everyone was the answer. Another person mentioned the Duke Lacrosse allegations and how that played out. Another belittled me and told me I shouldn’t write on the subject after he decried several instances of blaming women, said some nasty things and then called me name (eye roll).

 

In the end, the writer thanked me for my thoughtful contributions. The person knew it was a bit rough for me. One of my comments was featured with the article which means a lot to me. I was advocating for respect of all people and to discuss and not tear at each other. Oh, btw, the writer is a man. 😉

 

Sometimes it takes courage to speak up for the injustices in the world but it also takes wisdom to know how to control one’s feelings and not lash out so that people will understand the true message. Something I didn’t consider at the time was the people who read the comments and don’t say anything…those who have suffered and cannot speak out. The writer brought that up when we talked and that is why I blog and work so hard in making my views known because deep down I know I’m not alone in what I have experienced nor in what I believe. We need to remember to extend a hand and show love and compassion and for goodness sakes, quit calling people names.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

 

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