Friday, August 19, 2016

The Community of Saints

I was listening to a Focus on the Family podcast about perinatal hospice, and the struggle with the family's faith while they prepared for the death of their unborn child. And being a historian I thought about the countless stories in the past of stillborn and infant death and the families in the Anglo speaking world's (sticking with the material I know) pain, suffering and loss; a particular pain that is less felt among middle class Christians in America.

I love the community of saints, those throughout time and space who worship our G-d, who have suffered. Some suffering is unique to their particular place and time, as I doubt few people will have to go through what some of their early martyrs had to endure. But with demands of a bigger and more controlling government over everyday life, I can imagine it could return in another form.

The Christians of the past who maintained the faith provide me strength. So do the saints of the present who point to Christ and help me find my way to him also support my walk. It is not only in their success but mainly in their suffering. I think of Barbara, the mother of my husband's old landlord, who lost her sight after a stroke of some sort.  She accepted this with such grace, saying it wasn't what she wanted but what G-d willed. She remained cheerful and strong through the various other health challenges age brought her family.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Same G-d

In the Sunday Washington Post Magazine there was a piece about an African refugee camp where the residents are trying to escape the violence of the Sudan. One of the photographs was of a barn with benches, well a church, but it looked like a barn with benches. The caption said it was a Presbyterian church. Outside the church you could see children? other people through the wire "windows".

Sunday was my monthly obligation to attend my husband's suburban Presbyterian church.

So in my mind I was comparing the two. Not to go into too much detail and kill too much prose, we are in an earthly heaven. My husband and his fellow congregants don't and probably will not encounter some of the struggles as those Presbyterians in the camp. They both will struggle with sin, envy, adultery, idolatry, and the like. However it would probably express itself differently. Still sin, regardless of the quality of the water. Jesus died for all of us.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Foreign missionaries

I'm still waiting to see missionaries from Africa and Asia to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the heathen westerners.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Judgy Post- There is only one man who defines me and his name is Jesus

I have a small irritation with other women, it is those who define themselves by their romantic relationships. Or worse double down and move in/ shack up with some guy.

Yes, being single can suck. I was a 40 year old bride. I was single for at least 22 of my adult years. I never lived with a boyfriend, and did not date a lot (10 years not dating anyone), so I spent a lot of time not being in a romantic relationship. But on the plus side one of my needs for survival (shelter) was not wrapped up with another person who had no obligations to me. Thinking back to the number of times I broke up with Jochen, it was good that I could just cry about it in my own house, or the house I was sharing with roommates.

Even those not shacked up there is the constant serial monogamy. Just broke up? Find a new guy! The constant up and down roller coaster ride where she never gets off but just switches which car she's in. Yes, guys do it do, where they want you to judge them by the improvement in eye candy he has hanging from his arm. There might not be the same level of pressure to have someone around, so others can judge your worth.

The problem with being in constant relationship mode is you don't have time to really reflect who you really are when you're not trying to please, cajole, react to, placate, or consider a significant other. People are looking for their 'authentic' self, but how do you find that authentic person when you're not alone? How do you love yourself and learn to do so when you're constantly looking for others to do it for you; usually not you, but the idea of you.

I knew my worth, that I was loved and my G-d helped confirm it in the blood of his son. By the time it finally clicked and I understood that deep, deep love of Jesus, I was married..... which makes no sense.

I do love my husband. Trying to make him truly my other half has rubbed against my independent woman self. So independent woman gets the boot for the sake of marriage. But I see other women, not married, throwing their independent selves under the bus for some guy. The only man a woman should sacrifice her self, her life, is for Jesus, because he did it first, and better.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Thoughts about my gay catholic friends

Today we went to the funeral mass of a very beautiful man who even in hospice was full of life and faith. Anthony was 78 years old. With G-d's help he remained sober for 31 years. The same amount of time he had been with his same sex partner.
For the majority of the time I've been attending my church, he attended alone. After the cancer, again, when he began getting weaker, his partner John began showing up. Sitting at his side.
I sometimes joke, in my head, that I attend the "gay" mass, and you can't say that I left the Episcopal Church to get away from gays, because if that was so, I failed miserably. I appreciate their presence, because unlike some others who struggle with the Church, they are at least there. I heard a priest once say that you didn't have to agree with 100% of what the Church teaches but you have to be willing to listen to what she does teach.
Homosexuality is not a burden I bear. I have my own struggles and I try to hear what the Church has to tell me regarding my particular sins and troubles.
Anthony loved the Church, he loved Mother Mary. I believe the saints have a job and that is to point us to Christ, Anthony did that too. If you spoke with him, you'd know this.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pontius Pilot Bureaucrat

This is probably theologically wrong and I totally accept that.

Over the past few years I have heard the scriptures regarding Jesus' being brought before Pontius Pilate, the one the few humans mentioned in the Nicene Creed.  When I hear Luke 23 and my Lord being treated like a hot potato between Herod and Pilot I cannot but think of two bureaucratic systems doing what bureaucratic systems do, particularly when they have no interest in the person, issue or whatever they are shuffling around.

We probably should be thankful that Pilot and Herod didn't decide to just have my Lord rot in prison, claiming they lost the paper work and that they need to let investigations and processes work their way through the system and they'll get back to the screaming crowds when their main investigator comes back from leave. G-d's will was done. Jesus suffered at the hands of the Roman and local governments, was put to death by the state, so that he may redeem us all.

Federal or local government oppressing you and making you suffer? Our Lord knows your pain.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Segregated Churches Should Go the Way of the Dodo

I just got out of a meeting.
The meeting was hosted by the department of transportation and it was filled with a lot of angry old black people from the United House of Prayer and other black churches. They were there to protect the diagonal parking they have grown accustomed to having. They apparently also sent a letter to DDOT to say that taking away the diagonal parking was infringing on their religious liberties.
Bull crap.
Religious liberty does not extend to crap you don't own. Like the street. Driving and parking is not a tenet of faith, but then again, UHOP believes in firehose baptisms maybe parking on public city streets is part of it too......I consider them as Christian as Mormons and 7th day Adventists.
But there were members from Baptist churches too, there to support the Afro-centric United House of Prayer. And I was reminded of one of the reasons why I left the black church. My G-d is not my culture and the black church sometimes gets into the business of worshiping Black history. In this case mistaking the privilege to park in front of their church building with following Christ.
There was a claim that black churches were being driven out of the neighborhood and someone mentioned 10 black churches that were in the neighborhood are no longer there. Well, one "church" on my street died out  because everyone was over the age of 90.  Another church around the corner, the screaming ladies church, they sold their building because their crowd of screamy ladies was getting smaller. I attend one of the few desegregated churches in the neighborhood. Right now the demographic of the 5:30 mass is well, gay, and evenly black and white with a few asians and latinos sprinkled in.
The Help's church is also desegregated. Yes predominately white, but there are Africans, from Africa there. There are also South Asians from IDK Pakistan/India. A buncha Chinese people go there too.
You know what is great about a desegregated church? A wonderful reminder of heaven and the diversity of the body of Christ. Also we worship a triune god, not our culture as some ethnic churches may stray and do.
So yes, there are fewer black churches. Good. Lets have Christian churches instead.