Monday, January 31, 2011

A Heretic?

Is there such a thing as a "Christian universalist"? I just read a blog of someone who considers themselves that.

My first reaction, the gut one, the one I hesitated to think or say out loud: "You, my dear blogger, are a heretic."

God does want to save as many as possible. But He will not paint over disrespect or indifference. Not everyone will be saved, if not for the simple reason that not everyone asked to be saved or wants to be saved.

I would flee a church that did not preach that belief in Christ was essential to salvation both in this life (the infilling of the Holy Spirit, etc) and the next life (eternity with God).

2011 Resolution

From the sermon series just completed at church. They passed out window stickers with these words for your consideration.

In 2011, I will..
slow down
choose carefully
trust God
simplify my life

So that I might...
see clearly
listen carefully
think deeply
enjoy life fully
serve God effectively

It is going to snow, snow, snow tomorrow! I am ready. As long as the electricity stays on...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Still Stinks

I hate this about myself that I feel so crappy going home from church by myself every week.

It just hurts a little every time, like a little disappointment each time.

Then I pound myself. You don't do enough. You don't invite. You don't practice hospitality. You are too afraid of being rejected.

You are too self centered. God should be enough for you. You should look outward.

You are socially stupid. You can't read signs. You are too sensitive.

Blah. Blah. Blah.


I'd like to develop a system, not among strangers, but among a group of friends. One person or couple in a group of friends stops their self centered "Population: 1" lifestyle for one Sunday every month or couple weeks or however many brave people would sign up for such a thing. That designated person either opens up their home, or provided the focal point for a restaurant trip after service. No one has to come, but the door is always open. Now the person should not feel like they have to do something special at home unless they want to. In other words, they can put the word out, "Come fellowship with us, but bring your own grub." No hospitality pressure that everything has to be perfect. Planned spontaneousness is the idea.

It just annoys me that a group of people who come together to worship the living God can't make time for each other after the service, that there are people who go home lonely each and every Sunday. There has to be something that can be done about that.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Next Christian Festival

Ash Wednesday March 9th

Palm Sunday April 17th

Easter April 24th

and oh, yeah, not to be a kill joy but taxes are due April 18th.


MGE came and pulled the gas meter sometime yesterday, I think.

This shouldn't bother me, as I haven't had gas service for some time--almost two years--and all my gas appliances are crap. At least two of them will need to be replaced, and probably all three before the gas can be turned back on.

My hot water heater is shot and doesn't work.

My stove leaks gas--I noticed a decrease in headaches and weird feelings as soon as the gas was shut off that spring.

My furnace is a piece of crap. It does run, but is over 20 years old and doesn't ignite properly or correlate with the thermostat so it is ridiculously inefficient and doesn't get the house warm while burning prodigious and expensive amounts of gas.

That's why there is a bill that will have to be paid too, which is probably why they fetched the meter.

Even with all that, it bothers me that the meter was pulled. It makes the house look abandoned. I'll have to be sure to keep working on my clean ups, to keep codes from sniffing around.

There's a lot of broke stuff around here--including my wallet!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King: Not Perfect...But Used By God Anyway!

I was poking around on FB and noted that a dialog had started concerning the integrity of Dr. Martin Luther King. Many people freely acknowledge that Dr. King had had some marital infidelity issues--he did cheat on his wife. Many also know that the FBI started monitoring him with regard to communist sympathies--may have bugged rooms and followed him extensively.

A Facebook user took K-LOVE to task for putting up a quote of Dr. King's on today, the holiday around his birthday. Here are some of the things she wrote, in chronological order, from oldest to most recent:

A nationwide Christian radio station posting the words of an adulterous, whoremongering, plagiarizing Communist, who spoke AGAINST salvation through Christ...and the multitudes of Christians following in adoring this man.

Wow...what more proof do you need that we're living in the end times where we were warned that many would be led astray by false teachers with messages that tickle the ears.

I wonder what Jesus would have to say about a false teacher who spoke against the only true way to salvation with an anti-Christ message, led a sexually deviant lifestyle, and held to the same Communist ideals that led to the murderous destruction of over 50 million people in Russian, including 20 million Christians.


Would Jesus sweep that under the rug? Would he honor such a man with flowery and sappy words? Would he be "saddened" at people calling out this man's true identity?

Hmmm...if only we had some way of knowing how Jesus would handle it. If only...

Wait! We do! Read Matthew 23, Luke 11.

Galatians 5:11: Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

[Responding to someone who wrote that they would pray for this author]
You'll pray for me because I expose the work of darkness and those who preach an anti-Christ message against my Savior, while living a sexually deviant lifestyle and promoting Communism in my country founded upon freedom and liberty? Interesting. I'd love to know a Scriptural reference for that.

For the record, on Jan. 31, 1977, Coretta Scott King obtained a federal court order sealing for 50 years 845 pages of FBI records about her husband, "because its release would destroy his reputation!"


If you want to praise MLK so much, here's a speech for you. Maybe you can pull some inspiration quotes out of it as well...perhaps his praise of Margaret Sanger, or how unwanted children are an affliction, or how commiting the crime of murdering unwanted children "in the beginning" should be praised because it "enrich(ed) humanity".

“There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s [Planned Parenthood’s] early efforts. She, like we, saw the horrifying conditions of ghetto life.... Like we, she knew that all of society is poisoned by cancerous slums. Like we, she was a direct... actionist — a nonviolent resister. She was willing to accept scorn and abuse until the truth she saw was revealed to the millions. At the turn of the century she went into the slums and set up a birth control clinic, and for this deed she went to jail because she was violating an unjust law. Yet the years have justified her actions. She launched a movement which is obeying a higher law to preserve human life under humane conditions.

Margaret Sanger [Planned Parenthood] had to commit what was then called a crime in order to enrich humanity, and today we honor her courage and vision; for without them there would have been no beginning. Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by nonviolent direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her. Negroes have no mere academic nor ordinary interest in family planning. They have a special and urgent concern…The Negro constitutes half the poor of the nation. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control. There is scarcely anything more tragic in human life than a child who is not wanted. That which should be a blessing becomes a curse for parent and child. There is nothing inherent in the Negro mentality which creates this condition. Their poverty causes it. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control.“

~ MLK to Planned Parenthood, 1966

Again, I ask you...What do you think Jesus would say about this man? And what do you think he would say about Christians all over this nation praising this man with a murderous spirit towards the unborn?

It is this type of cold judgmental heart that so many have found unappealing about much of modern evangelical/conservative Christianity in America. It's a heart that is bound more by unforgiveness and rigidity than the love of Christ. Because Dr. King was killed, we will never know how his life might have continued. He may have had many things exposed that would have hurt him and the civil rights movement. He may have had to confess and step away from leadership in order to recommit and experience restoration so he can continue to be used by God.

I did look at her profile--some of her interests and such reminded me of the P#el%p$ clan of Topeka. (Stick that in your Google, Shirley!)

With regard to the speech on Margaret Sanger, Dr. King may not have known all the nuances of Ms. Sanger's position. He may have been looking at the idea of making birth control measures available to women without money--things that prevent contraception (remember, abortion was not even legal!). For a woman without means, the money to get even simple barrier methods may not have been available to her. That I believe was at the forefront of Dr. King's mind--abortion and post conception birth control is not even mentioned in the speech.

We are called to keep each other to account for our actions. Keep in mind though the church is a spiritual hospital, filled with the spiritually wounded in various states of healing and awareness. Some may still be in denial about aspects of their condition, needing the cleansing Holy Spirit to work in aspects of their life yet unconfessed. It is amazing--God will still allow imperfect trees to bear good spiritual fruit. Not forever, of course, but God is loving and forgiving. Finally, we don't know who was speaking into Dr. King's ear, calling him to repentance and confession, nor do we know what he may have done in the last weeks of his life. For all we know, he was planning to step away from the movement and tend to his spiritual life and his family after the events in Memphis.

I'll leave it to another FB'er to end this post, because I have to suppress the unChristian urge to tell this FB user to STFU:

Hebrews 11 ~ Look at the ones who are named, read their stories.....perfect people? No....but they lived by faith in God.
What moved them all was their faith in God....and the suffering they saw of others. They saw injustice and were motivated by love for others and faith in God.

Love mercy, live justly and walk humbly with your God.

The forgiven know they are sinners ~ who have turned to God by faith ~ And we know that we are saved from our sins by the Grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Who shall accuse and who shall condemn? The accuser always stands accusing, but he is thrown down.
Glory to God in The Highest and Peace and Good Will toward all men.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

3000 Messages

This is the most amazing picture, from the Adbusters folks. I'm going to put it on the mother ship but I wanted to test run it here, to get the correct size on the blog. Of course, clicky to embiggen--but you want the initial presentation big enough that people know what they are looking at.

Credit to Adbusters, an anarchy promoting provocative little rag out of Canada. On the web at

Implications for Christ followers? Hmm?

New Attitude

I always thought of myself as frugal, or at least "good with the money" (HA!) but I really haven't been. I'm not just talking about the IRS idiocy or why I had to buy my house with my stocks, I'm talking about stupid buying.

Buying for stimulation and soothing, that kind of buying.

Bad juju.

Adbusters always makes me think, but this is something that has been bopping around my head for a while, how many stupid purchases I've made and money I have wasted. Looking at Adbusters now in B & N.

Now that I have no money I can say no to marketing because, I HAVE NO MONEY FOR CRAP. I can only buy what I NEED. I buy nothing (well, almost--I have slipped up a few times, but I did it knowing what I was doing, not like a numb robot) that I don't need. Money now is seen in terms of gallons of gas or meals/food paid for. If a shirt costs $10 that's about 3.5 gallons of gas--which do I need more?

Now, when I get money, I can REALLY manage it and use it for good (i.e. real giving) and not bullshit myself.

However, the economy would fall apart if everyone only bought new stuff when there was a real need to buy new stuff. Real need to me would be: 1. The old one is broken and/or completely used up and cannot be repaired. 2. A technology advance has rendered the old one useless or next to useless for its intended purpose.

Our economy runs on people buying stuff, whether they need it or not.

Hmmm, real can of worms here...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back to Ordinary Time

Unplugged the Christmas lights today. There was a bit of snow, so I didn't take them up, but I reeled in the extension cord and put it in the garage. I got out the snow shovel.

The blog is green again, the Christmas season over.

Only 22 days left in January.

What Now?

Let me get this out of the way, because it is weighing on my heart.

Someone came to the door just as the Chiefs were finishing their losing effort against the Ravens today. I took my usual time answering the door--I have given up running to the door like a fool--and saw a Ford pick up going down towards Elmwood. He left some enormous foot prints in the half inch of snow on the ground.

I looked around to see if any neighbors had similar visitations--they had not.

My theory is that this was a process server, with some sort of legal papers coming against me.


Kansas Board of Nursing
Missouri Department of Revenue
Jackson County
City of Kansas City
Old debt from AT&T
Old debt from MGE

All people who want money from me...

It really scares me and is very demoralizing to me. I am tired of having to face this stuff alone. I know that it is all my fault for managing my life so badly, but the work to disentangle it, it's a lot of work in areas I am not very good at, and I'm scared and intimidated.

I am trying to remember that God and I can handle it. Really. That I can be disciplined enough and together enough to handle whatever might come my way.

I pray so. Some days this type of stuff looks 30 feet tall and totally unmanageable.

Lord, help my unbelief!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What Love Really Means

The first time I heard this song it brought me to tears. Jesus promise: "I will love you for you, not for what you have done or you will become."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Why Work In the ER?

A commenter posted this question on an ER Doctor's blog:

Question for ERP, and anyone else here who works in the ER. I’m not in a medical field. I’ve been reading this blog for a while now and wonder what it is about ER work that allows drs and nurses to keep doing it. From the blogs I read, it sounds like at least 80% of the people in the ER are abusing the system and a lot of them are drug seekers. What do the drs and nurses who stay in that type of work get out of it that makes it tolerable or enjoyable? Is it the life or death situations where you can really make a difference, or are there too few of those to outweigh the negatives? Is it the few patients who are reasonable and appreciative?

It's a really good question! Let me start trying to answer it by posing a negative question. What can wear away at the ER practitioner? What makes them want to up and quit?

The drunks and druggies definitely can cause a person to toss in the towel, especially if you keep seeing the same ones over and over. I think that is what got to at least one of my colleagues.

Bureaucratic bullshit getting in the way of patient care frustrates most ER people.

The stupidity factor can definitely be a drag. When you see someone who was just in the ER or at their doctor's office a few days ago for the same complaint, and they haven't filled their script or they've only taken it for a day or two, it can make you want to put your head on your keyboard.

Not having appropriate resources, or finding that others are making your life harder than it should be can take the joy out of ER work. Floors that obfuscate so they can delay taking an admission and on-call people (especially psych!) who never call and/or come in are examples.

Feeling unsafe is a big reason why some leave the ER. Psych patients and intoxicated patients can be violent. Some ERs leave their staffs out on an island, without enough physical reenforcements or authority to neutralize and/or remove physically threatening patients.
Some places leave their staff on a different kind of island. Expectations pile up and seldom is heard an encouraging word. It can be that feeling that if you ever make a mistake you will be left hanging out to dry, without anyone standing up for you. An atmosphere that punishes rather than teaches, evaluates and problem solves after things go awry for whatever reason is a difficult atmosphere to work in.

The space between patient autonomy and correct treatment can be frustrating. It can happen with any patient who is refusing treatment, but is most highlighted with psych patients. The most frustrating thing is trying to prevent someone who has expressed suicidal ideation but has not been legally put on a hold from leaving the ER, equipped only with non-touching means of physical restraint and verbal persuasion. You have no legal right to keep them from leaving, yet if they leave and hurt or kill themselves the family--and the lawyers--will be on your doorstep.

Wow, after making that list, who would want to work in emergency medicine?!