One of the nicknames for Coyote is "God's Dog" - this is my collection of blogs in defense of Christianity...not that God needs an advocate but sometimes I need to put my position down on paper in order to remind myself.
Barking at Sheep -6/19/14
If you’ve read me more than once you are probably painfully aware there are more than a few things that tend to chap my pale hide. Since I’ve been on a “God,wut?” tangent over the past couple of posts, I may as well continue. Sheep can get complacent, muzzle down in the pasture. Sometimes a dog like me needs to sneak up behind one…and bark. So here’s the list in no particular order.
1. “I’ll pray for you.” Yeah, that little phrase isn’t worth the exhalation of Co2 it takes to say it if isn’t followed up with immediate action. Its right up there with the dreaded “How are you” greeting (the conjoined churchy twin of the “blessed and highly favored” response. For the love of corn flakes if we can’t be honest in church with each other, where then can we be? As if the Big guy doesn’t know your whole existence is circling the toilet as you speak.) If you’re going to pray – grab that person in front of you by the hand and actually do it. Agree with them right there for whatever it is – from heat rash to total devastation. If you’re not gonna do it, don’t say it.
2. Any cutesy talk about angels, from “God took your child because he needed another”, to “Here is an angel to protect you.” Like anyone’s life and death deliverance was facilitated by some ringlet coiffed, suspiciously large domed, lute strumming, diaper or cloth draped toddler with gnat wings. War isn’t cute. If you’re invoking the power of something mighty created by the Almighty then represent the truth truthfully. Otherwise, you’re just about as effective as a Facebook meme. “What kind of angel do you need? Oh a sparkly one. That’ll fix the mess I’m in. Oh yay. Click, share.
3. Defending your position with gore. In the age of graphic prime time fodder like “Bones” “The Walking Dead” and let’s not forget “Fox News” your dismembered, High Def horror is, no matter how personally wrenching and true, but mundane fare for the masses, especially if it’s already dead. Starving, mangled and or otherwise seriously compromised by this thing called planet earth roulette isn’t much better. I know that sounds harsh but most of your audience probably takes in multiple murders, crime reports, and stories of nature’s brutality in the 22 minute span it takes them to slurp a boxed dinner and stare sallow eyed at the nightly news report. Peppered and mixed as that report is with commercials for class action law suits against pharmaceutical companies, and sex/mood/life enhancing products pedaled by other pharmaceutical companies. Death without the promise of life is hopeless and your efforts, though well intended only promote hopeless. It will take more effort and you won’t get as many little likes on your interweb post but show the victory. Better yet, get out there yourself and feed the hungry, clothe the naked and offer real help to parents and children who face fear you cannot imagine. While you’re working, if you must share your Instagram moment – try doing so without including a selfie. It isn’t about YOU anyway. It’s about them.
4. “I don’t need church, church people are hypocrites. I just need nature. That’s my church.” Hello. You’re a human. If you were perfect, you probably wouldn’t be sitting under that tree somewhere because you’d be making billions of dollars, curing cancer, and coming up with classroom desks that repel gum because you are perfect. Since you aren’t doing that, and you are sitting under that tree, you obviously didn’t pay much attention to the Creator that created the creation you’re using to avoid the creatures the Creator created you to buddy up with. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying creation and finding evidence of God in it but faith is multifaceted. Submission to others, assembling with believers, forgiving etc. is all part of it. We are all hypocrites and we all are commanded to forgive and to love everyone. Even the church folk you’re trying to avoid by sitting under that tree. Make the effort, find a body of believers, be teachable and be usable. Otherwise you can sit under that happy tree and all you will be is fertilizer.
5. Fighting a social firestorm phenomenon with peashooter scripture tidbits. Yes, the Word of God on the tongue of His people is one of the most powerful weapons of mass destruction in the universe but wielded at a nonbeliever can be as effective as swatting a wasp nest with your Tinkerbell wand. If you are so consumed with passion that you MUST engage the minions with your defense of all that is good and true – go for the kill shot with a weapon they can’t block. Don’t take on De Grasse Tyson’s number one fan with your stock excerpt from Genesis. Do your homework. Find an expert. There is a dancing plethora of really smart Christians out there in every field from neurobiology to quantum physics. Educators and thesis brandishing peeps with doctorates. Scientists who love science and love God and can articulate a truth without flame wars or financial support from Kirk Cameron. Find one of them. Post a link. Walk away. You’d better serve creation by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and comforting the comfortless than by vehemently pontificating your position on creation, anyway.
6. Misrepresentation of God’s people by random acts of stupidity and or sheer ignorance. This includes those of you Taitboys bumping, ichthys flaunting, stick family sporting holy highway rollers who drive like you’re three laps back in the Indie 500. I bump Taitboys too. Often. I also pay attention in traffic. God gave you a big ole frontal lobe. Use it. This category also includes passionate peeps who suffer from all manner of lapses in things like proper spelling, wild swings in position “Oh glory I just love Jesus I am so blessed yada yada yada to I am just a miserable worm undeserving of existence.” Don’t ride the fence. Don’t be lukewarm and don’t be afraid to rejoice but wow. If your written skills are abysmal – stick to warm fuzzy memes, ok? Lolcatese is only cute-ish if plastered under the furry visage of some domestic feline. Paired with a human speaking of the most high God? No. God uses real people for real action and so does the enemy but sometimes we face plant all by our little selves because we don’t watch where we put our big flat feet. Unless you like the taste of toenails – you must employ smarter tactics than your adversary or at least engage your audience if that is your only goal.
Rest assured I’ve engaged in pretty much every lapse of reason, inadvertent display of character flaws and flat out stupidity induced myopia listed above and more. I’ve judged, I’ve ridiculed and I misrepresent – often. That’s why I come to you now – friend Christian. Take it from a girl who has “Epic fail” written in India ink on her forehead most days. Talking the talk is a waste of breath if you aren’t living the life. God is a gentleman. He won’t call you names. He won’t even send a sheep dog to nip your woolly errant hide. I do that of my own volition because I love you and I want you to succeed. You can’t be perfect – but we all can be better.
Some of you won't get this, and that's ok. Some of you read what I wrote yesterday, and didn't get it, and that's ok. Perhaps, some of you did. I don't know. But it is my nature to write honest, to write real, and to write in a manner that is understood as much as I can possibly make myself clear.
First, thank you if you read the poems yesterday for not voicing a position of offense. Truly that was not my intent to shock or offend anyone. I was simply in a dark place and I desperately needed out of it. Second, if you didn't read it, and you're on my friends list - if you go back - all the naughty words have been removed. No more "F" bombs. That may not make much sense right now but by the end of this post, perhaps you'll "get it."
Truth is, I've been struggling with several "inner demons" - call 'em what you want, lack of self worth, fear, depression, anger, jealousy, grief, regret...hopelessness....doubt all exacerbated by my work load, our house repairs and the coming holiday season. I knew I needed help and I simply reached out to people who, although they love me - just can't help me the way I want to be helped. And that only angered me more. I love my husband and my sons - but just like I don't get why they love to hunt and kill things - they don't get my need for certain types of encouragement. Doesn't make us brutish or stupid. Just makes us real. I know that, but I am hurting and I forgot who I was talking to...
You see, today I got a kiss. Totally unexpected and completely sublime. It was the type of kiss that went to my core. I didn't even comprehend it fully until I had walked away and then the love in that kiss just washed over me...it was indescribable. I wish I could articulate the depth of it all but I don't know if my words will convey it.
I was in prayer time this morning as I am every Sunday. We meet in a room prior to first service with the pastor's wife and we pray for the worshippers. Very simple. Open to everyone. I've been going for four years. Today Pastor was (pastor's wife is a pastor also) was talking about worship specifically worship music and my mind was full of this amazing concert we attended last night - my older spawn is in an a capella mens choir and they are phenomenal. And suddenly, Pastor looks at me and says: "Tammy is a writer. That is her gifting. She knows how to put words and thought on the page. Many of us would like that gift but she has it. Some of the things she writes are for her only....A kiss from God...and others are to be shared...."
Here's the lesson: Life isn't stopping and sometimes it feels like its running over you. The people around you that you think should be there to pick up the pieces, even though they are on your side, and really love you - they can't save you. They can't be "everything" to you. And because they are human, they will let you down. And that's ok. I so desperately needed to know - to have someone tell me - remind me - who and what I was. I believe God used my pastor to do that...My creator knows the deep ache in my heart. He knows what's been taken from me this year. And rather than jerking the whole world around - He simply reached out to me and gave me a kiss....He reminded me through someone I trust to speak God's truth always - that I am a writer....a capable writer...who recieves from my Creator. My pastor didn't have to do that. She had no clue what I was going through. She probably wouldn't even remember the statement if I asked her about it. But I will.
So the poems stay - edited so that they are tolerable - but not so watered down that they don't speak what is real. I'm a real person who goes through real things and I am still a bonehead about a lot of stuff. I will never be a perfect Christian this side of eternity. And that's ok. I am not ashamed of who I am. Today is better. I wasn't expecting any type of progress today but there it is. Yeah, I'm still ready to take a stick to the husband - but we've been married long enough that I know this too will pass. He's never going to tell me I'm "Hot" but right now he's out there in the cold, cuts and scrapes on his hands and arms and legs, trying to cut down the junk trees so we can prepare to put a roof on our house. He's loyal. He's a responsible, loving, present father. He has never raised a hand to me....and I'm guessing that if I came out in the living room nude the way God made me....he might put the Bible down on a Saturday morning.
It occured to me that it has been such a long time since I've crawled out from under my blanket of self pity and spouted off about something bigger than me. I truly believe a rant of epic proportions dancing around taboo subject matter is long overdue. And so I digress in a lather:
I ran across a link yesterday by our own Astra (click for the post) and just couldn't refrain from the debate that ensued. After hitting the page repeatedly for at least an hour and a half, I found myself all tingly and excited. I suppose I've missed a good verbal throwdown lately. And so I cut loose.
I'm not going to gun for a specific denomination, or alignment. You are what you are and I am what I am and I have no subversive agenda. But there are just certain assumptions that are like dumping nitrous in my fuel tank. They send me into overdrive.
So I'll just say it: religion is not equivalent to relationship. You can be the most pious pontificator on the planet and still go straight to Hell when you die. Totally your choice, by the way. Don't blame God for your own myopia if you choose to follow the bleating mimis right over the cliff - if you've never invested on iota of time in building a relationship with your Creator who are you to expect His mighty hand to reach down and pick you off the rocks before you smack down hard in the middle of your own personally designed destiny? That, my friend would be the utmost breach of your free will. Jump if you want but know that once you hit the ground - God's not going to scrape you off the stones and breathe life into you again. We all have the opportunity to go beyond the point of no return.
My second point of contention: any pastor worth his clerical salt will lead his flock by serving them. If your Man O' God is serving up slander like Fred Phelps "god hates fags dot com" website with happy abandon - chances are he doesn't have YOUR best interests at heart either. God doesn't HATE anybody. We were created for companionship. "Jesus, I made all these little two legged cockroaches so I could hate on them for all eternity" WHAT? No. People who spit DOCTRINE hate other people who are differnt than they are. God hates sin because it trips us up on our way to Him. "Ok my child. Come to me so I can shower you with affection. No, don't stop to beat the crap out of your brother when I have all these good things for you....you just wasted your time..." do you see? YOU are responsible for your relationship with God. You can't get someone else to marry your spouse and recieve the same benefit, don't expect your church and your pastor to play stand in for your relationship with your God and then bitch because you're miserable in your life.
Round three: Read your Bible yourself. You can't expect to garner the understanding of the text by osmosis. Sure, God can and does reach out to people through people (so much easier than dropping a holy rock on your head, don't you think) but there comes a time when you need to man up and read the Bible yourself. How do you know what it really says for your own personal situation if you don't personally sit down with it? If you think it tells you that women are ignant, you are a stupid sheep, and God wants everyone to be financially po' - again, you haven't bothered to pick it up - and I know that fo' sho'. I am not a cockroach. I am the righteousness of God. And so are you. ALL of you's. (and that's why - as much as some peeps torque my shorts I can't bust a cap in any of 'em) Be advised, you're not gonna "get" everything in the first or the second or the 33rd read - but keep reading. You'll get what you need - and the rest? Who are you to think you are so smart you need to know er'thing anyway? Seriously. If I knew everything - my head would explode.
Yes, I totally support and encourage affiliation with an organized church of your choosing. People, however flawed can benefit you in ways you cannot benefit yourself. And that is what God intended - that you have people in your life who are truly on your side and moving in the same direction you are. And that doesn't mean world supremecy or wiping out the Presbyterians because their choral music is conservative - it means again - love. When I was sick - people brought my men food. They sent them HOME from church to be with me. They called. They emailed. When I came back to church - they came up and hugged me (the pastor included) and asked me if we needed anything. My church truly supports my family. We are not outsiders. We have a "relationship"
Newsflash. No church is perfect - and no person is perfect. But that is no reason to toss the whole concept of relationship out the door. For me, the benefits completely eclipse the risk. If there is no God, and I die, and nothing happens? SO WHAT? Have I been a human who loved...that's the goal. Did I make it better for someone else? Or was a royal, maneating PIA? Honestly, bringing wholeness to a broken person gives me so much more happiness than obliterating their spirits from the vicinity. Perhaps, if someone had brought me wholeness sooner - I wouldn't have pulled some of the crap I pulled when I was younger because I thought I was "entitled" I'm not entitled to a bowl of steamy excrement. And yet, I am blessed.
So there. For me, its not about denominations. You know? If you're pagan, if you're aethist, I don't have my holy conversion ray aimed at your frontal lobe. I've been "there" and now I'm "here" and I'm happy here. If you're happy "there" then we can simply enjoy the ride....I'm not here to tell you where to go. You have to decide that one for yourself.
That being said. I do love to spar with Astra's clan. If I cannot articulate my position with clarity and without resorting to verbal flamethrowing - I don't deserve to keep my free multiply page, now do I?
Pentacostal Freak Speak
The word of the day is CARNAL - say it with me - you know like the Taco Bell commercial:
"No say it sexy like Ricardo Montalban, Carrrrrne" (God rest his Latino Soul)
Some a yas already got the mind in the basement but basically carnal just means flesh. it's no more NC17 than ordering a nice bowl of chile con carrrrne at your local mexican joint. It's meat, people...and you know we're all just walking sacks of meat, right?
So here's my bent, lathered up and foamy as only a Tam can make it with the usual constraints and audits and trippin' I do. It doesn't have to be a sin to be stupid. It doesn't have to have "HELLBOUND" stamped all over it to be a roaring waste of time we ain't got. Satan ain't blowin' up the asbestos lined floaties just for you every time you eep out an ooey gooey poem or launch a blogattack against the latest ousted official with the "HIT ME HERE" tat between his brows. It's not gonna make one bit of difference in the mighty scheme of things if you choose to piddle away your gifts by posting electronic eros on the bandwidth and certainly the Al to the my T Big Daddy J isn't gonna flash a gangsta symbol at the door and tell you to bounce on down south with your extra crispy self cuz you spent your days feeding your never sated ego....He's gonna open his arms and welcome you in...cuz that's how He rolls.
But get this: You may be prime rib today - but tomorrow you're corned beef hash and the next day Holy Bovines you just may be a happy can of KenLRation. God never changes but people are freaks. People are fickle. And people will leave your broke down ryhmes on the curb. God doesn't have to put this dog on a chain. I've dealt with enough JERKS to get the correction, si?
If you've got talent and you are even remotely tryna convince the OP's, the PTB's and anybodys baby anybody that you are even THINKIN' about representing God - then SPEAK IT. Don't waste your precious ink or your limited time stroking any part of the masses. That's noise. Write with integrity. Write something that won't rust. Write something that wouldn't make you power dive under the pew if it was crawling across the big screen on Sunday. Cuz baby, your words....they wait in your future...and they will help you, or hang you. Your choice. I know you're smart enough to know that nothing escapes God anyway. He knows what he gave you and the condition it was in when it was placed within....Pure, unblemished, beautiful, priceless....unique...yours....
Now if you're a pagan, an aethist, or just a stripey cat worshipper, do your thing....this doesn't apply to you.
I'm out. I got some floaties to blow up. Unlike God, my love and my time is limited and I don't have enough of either to waste. Peace. (2008)
T's Personal Ego Trip
So I'm sitting here like so many others who were passed up in the superior intellect, stunning beauty, amazing talent or just pure dumb luck that would have catapulted us into superstardom and or personal freedom to be that thing we wish we were and pretend we are when we think no one is looking or we've had too much Guinness to care...
The joy of seeing my book on a shelf in close proximity to The SHACK yesterday - and then seeing someone walk out with a fresh copy of BC tucked under her arm - someone I didn't even know....well it's fading as quickly as the sunrise is slipping over the east mountains...the harsh light revealing the mundane...the preplanned...the slow leak that is my desk job, my food ticket, my perpetual dumbing down...
I should be happy, I'm employed and while I appreciate that - I often wish I was one of those stupid, mindless Christians - you know the "let go and let God" kind instead of the bile coated, bug eyed waffle hearted chick I be...It's tiresome to have an independent thought. Even if it's only one....(I'm not an aging, premenopausal, personalityless accountant drone. I'm a creative, loving, published NOVELIST!) Yeah.
Anyway. I'm sitting here on the down side of a personal ego trip, resisting the urge to bawl like a baby and run screaming from the building. My mind flits from everything like why is my dear sister still in the hospital (for those of you who know Buffi/Bender, she's been in the hospital since Thursday night...) why did I dream THAT about Obama, what are we really going to do with all the prisoners in GITMO, waterboarding is torture if US soldiers do it to suspected terrorists but if those same suspects stone their little sisters in public for any number of prohibited behaviors its condoned by the same happy friendly "Cant we all just get along god' that sent the Holy Spirit to wreck my day back in 1981 by telling me - you can write, Tammy...so write.." (If I click my heels together and repeat...there's no place like home...there's no place like home, will it fade to black and white again? please?)
I just want a day where I don't THINK! I want to be that corpulent, comatose, drone I see when I look in the mirror. I'm tired of banging my wings and beating my spirit against the meat cage. REALLY!
I hope that so many broken hopes are restored this week. We all need to hope even if it is in something that probably won't manifest as WE see it. I know in my heart we can't villify one man and sanctify another - and be completely right. Once the screaming and shouting abates, the government machine will lurch into gears that still don't move fast enough...there are rules, limitations, and the whole rest of a world that doesn't think we are the next best thing to instant oats....if only I could just jump up and down and party for a moment. But reality is a controlling jerk...you know?
Perhaps its because I've been let down SO many times - I feel this emotional constipation about everything from book sales to a biracial president - these things that should bring me joy instead leave me poised for the inevitable descent. Or maybe I'm just an ornery soul - yeah. That's probably closer to the truth. I'm lonely. I'm tired of 'hoping.' I'm American. I want all of it - and I want it now...and if I can't have it, I want to throw myself on the floor in the middle of the aisle and have a hissy fit.
Anyway. For those of you who are partying this week - good for you! You need it, you deserve it - its been too long coming - just be careful, ok? And for those of you who are freaking out and wringing your hands...chill. If you're under 30 - you haven't been around long enough to know real paranoia - and if you're over 40 - have you forgotten the Soviets? Fallout Shelters? The WALL?" Jimmy Carter for God's sake? Chillax, will you?
As for me, I've got ten companies to prepare for year end financials, and that's just the top of the pile...so much for that book in my head, and that other book, and the poems. They get no time. No voice. Not right now. As for Bethany, I'll be ordering a bunch of inventory this week - so if you still want that signed copy...I can oblige you...
Peace. Reality calls...and I must away...
Politics Religion and Hairballs
So the corporate portion of prayer and fasting ended a night early for me as the Bigspawn had to be taxied from AllState choir practice to church and I was still at work - the HOH left the mutated one at home for a "Bleach" (some inane anime japinimation eye candy found on line) fest and I hunkered down on my sofa after the trek home and watched mindless reruns of Friends and Supernatural. I shoulda gone to church. It was awesome....sigh.
All it means is all it ever means and that means that I can now do some of the things I'd been meaning to do if only I had the means, meaning: back to my life in overdrive. While not the prime directive I at least have the recurrent thought that blogging, while purposeless and sometimes incendiary is a distraction I currently crave enough that I feel the pull to post a plethora of posturing and pleasantries on my personal page. And so I shall in three, two, one...
I'll start by saying this once and only once - unless I exercise that right hardwired in the DNA of every female creature on the planet usually reserved to spurn the amorous advances of every male creature on the planet and that is - iffin I was to change my mind - I just put it out like so much wrinkled Christmas wrap and turkey carcasses....I don't like Obama. Don't care how smooth, how educated, and how deserving he may be. Don't care how ready or how over due or how amazing it may be that he will be in less than two weeks our officially elected official - I don't like him. Just like I don't like Wheaties, reality TV and the late John Lennon. I don't like a lot of things, but in true Tamster fashion - I flatly refuse to get my nylons in a knot over it. You see, and here I can only profess my personal position with the understanding that many of you see the human condition as equivalent to meatsacks with lips and that spark of semi intelligence emanating from our orifices is only the transient manifestation of chemical residue - I believe we are more than bologna, turkey and steak on a stick. We are spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. (hang on, I'm gittin' to ya.) Our souls, composed of our will, our intellect and our emotions - while often in the drivers' seat when the body is sated, simply weren't designed to rule the meatsack. Our spirit, our divine spark - our groundwire to the Creator - that is the designated driver...but we while in our skins - engage in this continual tug of war for SUPREME control....letting our emotions run the happy mess right off the road. If I - with my capricious emotions and even my limited intellect let my soul lead - putting the emotional girl out front - while the ride might be wild -eventually I'd be single, repeatedly pregnant, drunk, beat up, and possibly even dead by now....many times over. Emotions, while wonderful were never meant to determine our destiny. Intellect and will, while formidable are equally limited...it is only the source that can provide uninterrupted power...meat spoils....Spirits don't. That being said. It doesn't matter one rip of intestinal air who a Tam likes or dislikes. Am I a Spirit with a soul, in a body - or a walking chub of bologna?
The fact is, Obama will soon be Mr. President - a title to which I will defer the respect, the honor and the prayer to which it deserves - because I am more than a meatsack. I'll check my emotions at the door. I'll consider my intellect. I'll use my will to speak life, and not death. It won't be easy - but it is completely doable. And thus concludes the religion and politics portion of my ponderings.
Suffice it to say, anyone who has known me more than five moments knows I'd much rather barbeque my kids and bemoan my status as maligned, bean countin', hebrew slave than wander off into the deep end of the politics/religion pool....unfortunately, that's where all the cool kids are lately - so I feel compelled, follower that I am, to flail around miserably until I swallow enough ool (hoping there's no p in the ool) to leave me spitting and coughing and dragging my weary self back over to the mushroom waterfall, and the happy orange tortoise family. Admittedly, my recurrent issues of life as I know it aren't going to change the world - but I write what I know and what I know lately is - I seem to be sprouting more fuzz on my face than on my....um...well...I suppose some things even I shouldn't approach in a blog, now should I? I guess I'm just grateful that my hubby likes both peaches....and nectarines. And thus concludes the TMI portion of my blog. Speaking strictly - one meatsack to another - aging is a cruel master with a sick sense of humor. I'll adjust...it's only my pride.
Peace. I hope to start back on Ephesus Offense...and for those of you who might be curious, I finally recieved notification that my book order has been shipped. (I guess authors don't get equal treatment as customers who pay full price...aint that a trip)
I'll be back tomorrow...and I won't talk politics...I promise. Hairballs tho....they may come up...no pun intended
Why Yes I am...Just not yours
Oh yeah. As long as we're gut dumpin' I may as well hork all over my page. Yes, ma'am, the Tamster is wrankled. (that's with an A, people, not an I as in I oughta...) I can handle copious amounts of pressure, you know - year end financials for ten companies simultaneously, eatin a chili dog with extra onions in rush hour traffic, two teens and a AARP eligible male in the same bathroom while I'm blowin' the do dry...I gotcha covered...but holy bovines if those itty bitty irritations don't throw me into angsty overdrive. It's never the big sticker from the cactus that gets a girl....its all the little pricks around it....that fester....
So I'm feelin' a bit woeful and lonely - a bit put up on. I'm tired and cranky. In need of a pacifier and a blankie and what happens after a long day of dealing with the CPA, the bank, HR issues and jeans that won't stay up on my butt but the HOH:
"why didn't you pay the Town of Bernalillo."
"No - it says here we owe 56 bucks. I asked you to pay so we wouldn't have this problem"
and that's when the fight started...
I hauled out of my happy cushion depression and stomped over to the PC, pulled up the payment history for the past six months and told the husband in my loudest voice (lightly sprinkled with expletives) that I in fact DID pay the freakin' bill. We live in podunk on the RIo Grande. They have to get both donkeys galloping in tandem to generate enough juice to POST A TRANSACTION....GOOD GRIEF! I grow gray hairs faster than Coronado's jewel of the high desert updates an account. PA LEEZE! It was eight....I went to bed.
Never go to bed angry at a spouse. This morning - I'm a ball of cortisol and adrenalin - and the day has only begun. But truth, as I said yesterday...truth hurts. To be brutally honest, my passion for my life is long gone. The job, the house, the expansive girth of my midsection....they give me no pleasure. And what I LOVE to do...do to the job, the house, and the plethora of other obligations wrapped round that girth - well there is simply no time. And that's why I'm bitchy.
Writing isn't the issue. If afforded the precious time - I'd be writing my fair fanny off. But at the end of the day...after being everyone else's rock...I'm too toasted to emote. I have plenty of ideas...some of them even legal...but it's just a "hobby", a "diversion," a "waste of time,"
And this is why artists are crazy. They certainly don't start that way. The world with it's deadlines and expectations and bills to pay....it makes them foam at the mouth and bark at butterflies.
So that's the deal. I heard Andrew Wommack say on Sunday that if you're depressed, there's absolutely nothing wrong with you. Your emotions are working fine. If you're looking at your circumstances and all the stuff that's wrong in the world and you're depressed, it's not a chemical imbalance....why WOULDN'T you be depressed? He makes a solid arguement. When we are designed for one thing...hard wired for one thing...and stuffed like kippers into another container....headless and salted....what do you expect?
And then there's my Creator. I want out of my situation. I don't belong where I am...and still here I am with the giant "no comment" as if God is exercising His Holy right to remain silent. And so I stew...thickening....
Excuse me...I need a longer chain and a flea dip. Oh and one of those giant rawhide chews...some charcoal biscuits...a spare slipper...anything to divert the hackling howl forming in the back of my throat....
And so begins another day.
Perhaps it is the residual effect of little sleep that has my mind in an odd place this morning. As I sit here alone, part of the family out in the wild and the other part doing whatever odd things groups of teens do - my heart finds a moment to remind me of certain aches I usually keep numb with the business of each day. Unfortunately, I accumulate things under my skin that others so easily slough off. The detrius remnants clog my thoughts and I must purge them.
Admittedly, I am not adept at social graces and at times I suppose I come off quite cloddish, boring and in certain cases, mildly offensive. But at my core, I consider myself a normal member of society. I cannot help but wonder though at what the internal weirdometer tacks out at for some of my freakier friends here on the bandwidth. Tam almost never redlines, but some of you - it is the only color you know...Over time, the blatant insensitivities, the myopic point of view, and the all out FREAKISH tendencies serve no purpose other than to confuse and alienate those you may be trying to assist or perhaps just entertain. Like the poor creature pictured above - the remains of your words morph into monsters. Cybercryptids decomposing on the bandwidth in your wake identify you as a freak. An oddity. We have no other recourse but to relegate you to the virtual rubbish heap.
There is nothing wrong with passion, with intensity of vision, but in your fervor to change the world (or the opinions of the few readers you garner) incendiary remarks only serve to consume the ignitor. Consider your audience, for a moment. Approach your subject with compassion, integrity, and reason. Don't let your words necrotize into a bloated mass of unrecognisable rhetoric. Don't be "weird." Just be real so that we know the you behind the words. Perhaps those who know you can recognise you - but the carcass of that original intent washed up on my virtual beach only appears foreign, frightening, and after I stare in morbid fascination for a moment, I must dismiss it as the intolerable freak of nature it appears to be.
People, if you want to facilitate change, speak gently. Speak light, speak love. Otherwise, you will be inevitabily dismissed as one of these:
Provided we do not simply assume you are a monster. Words heal.....Words also kill.
The pictures in order from above are:
Montauk Monster - July 28 - probably a racoon (http://www.cryptomundo.com/)
Domestic Ass (yes, I have been one of these from time to time)
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the terminology as I was, cryptids are unidentifed or unproven creatures, Nessie, the Moth Man, The Dover Demon...etc
It disturbs me when personal vendettas are pursued on the bandwidth. It also causes me deep frustration when agendas are followed with no consideration for 'audience.' It is nothing more than cyber terrorism fueled by virtual stupidity. Sometimes I just want to reach through the screen, grab a neck and scream: why are you so WEIRD? Just be YOU! We'd probably listen if the real YOU spoke. Sheesh. SNAP OUT OF IT!
(permission granted to use this very post against me the next time I step up to the mic and start preaching.....)
The Truth About VELVEETA
Steps up to PC...taps on glass, "you readin' me?" Velveeta is not real cheese. Anything that melts that quickly when a little heat is applied - is not real (ooh I feel an ooey gooey moment forming up in here....)
For those of you who read yesterdays lathered, fumbling attempt at presenting a position - thank you. Sometimes things are so close to my core - I simply cannot articulate my heart. You see, like a block of processed Velveeta....sometimes I am close to my melting point.
What I am trying to convey with stunted words is that like with everything else that happens over a course of a lifetime, eventually one must reach a position of ownership over one's life. I own me. All the bad attitudes, all the awkwardness, all the simmering discontent - while I can blame the world, the traffic and the gangsta playing bust a cap in yo' (edited for your protection) music in the car beside me - my responses are my own. The ugliness that comes out wouldn't - if it wasn't already in my heart to begin with. I have to 'fess up to it and deal with it. I have to admit that I am naturally - if left to my own mindsets, mean spirited, thick headed, capable of cruelty. Otherwise, I am a perpetual victim for myself, and a liar in the eyes of others.
Sure, I get a bit amorphous and bubbly when someone pees in my Wheaties, but in the scheme of things - has my family been gathered up and gassed for our belief system? No. No. I am not a victim. I get frustrated....but I also "get" love. The world is full of people who desperately need to know that they are loved, that they have worth beyond what their situation or social position, or reflection in the mirror may tell them. This is the place where 'me and mine's' could be the biggest healing force on the planet. And it is where many of us become nasty ole processed cheese. We loose our solid position and are unable to simply give love.
I'm gonna shift a little and mention the other C word, so if you need to go get tea and come back - now would be a good time. The thing on this earth that should empower, equip, and protect people who consider themselves "Christians" is often the very thing that disables, condemns and kills their faith: the 'church.' The positional man made doctrine, the religious mindsets - they not only kill off well meaning believers - but they chase away people who are looking for the very things we are supposed to uphold and offer....Love. Healing. Wholeness. Belonging. Strength. Protection. That's the knife in my gut when someone says "I don't go to church because its full of hypocrites." OUCH. It simply shouldn't be that way, and wouldn't be that way if the 'church' would remember her position and her commission - her purpose on the planet if you will.
I am blessed to be in a 'church' that loves. I held on in a doctrinal religion for 15 years - I felt I never belonged there - because I didn't. Now I am where I belong. And because of the health of my 'church' I can try to live like I am supposed to live. Hopefully, I'm not too weird - cuz that's wrong too. God isn't "weird." God isn't "offensive." And I try to just be a normal member of the human race.
I really want to get it through to many of you - that I just love you. Whether you're a pentacostal freak, or a devout worshipper of Mr. Potato head - I am here for you - and I don't get gold stars on my report card for the amount of times I say "JEEEZUZZ" to you. If I offend you - tell me - we can always discuss it. I don't believe in "accidents." I believe there is an order and a purpose to life - to you and I am committed to being a source of friendship, light and love. I will screw up. But I will get back up....and we can go on from that point.
And now for my "once upon a Tammy time moment" :
When I was a teen - I wasn't the cutest mongrel in the burlap bag and I exuded an aura of ugliness that extended well beyond my physical awkwardness - especially with members of the opposite sex. I didn't date. I didn't socialize. I couldn't catch a ball....or a guy...I was incredibly sad, and lonely (you can say awww...if you want)
So my mom - being the liberated product of the 60's and 70's that she was looked at me one day and said "When are you going to get laid?" No pressure of course emanating from the source of all nurturing who ticked off men from her legal pad list like some people tick off cans of vegetables in the supermart. And now - 26 years later, my soul has scar tissue I carry into my marriage - from friendly contusions at the hands of my parents, as well as the regret I carry that the man I married was not the "only one." Yet what did I say to my oldest, good looking, and popular man child recently? "When are you going to get a girlfriend?" (slaps forehead) Last night I pulled him aside and I thanked him for being the the young man of integrity that he is. Yup. I am completely capable of doing the stupid thing. But I am also able to do the good things. And I believe everyone is capable of doing the good things. Its why I haven't given up...
snake kissing 101 090108
hope I wasn't too gruff last night. I just grow weary of the cruelty I see in cyberspace. As if a keyboard and screen give license to cause pain - or at least freedom to expose oneself for the closet prejudicial, myopic, beetlebrain one might be. If I offended, I do apologise.
It is part of my obligation as a 'Christian' to live by example. To admonish without judgment. To love without condition. Often - I find myself cussing and spitting and picking flies out of my teeth instead of spreading the love, and the light. I am a human. Just like you. I have my buttons, and at least one of them is being pushed at any given time of the day.
So many of you made valid comments yesterday and I consider them as I sit here this morning. I often don't have much time to just 'think' these days, so for now I am savoring the moment. In my heart the term 'Christian' will never be political. It is and always will be 'relational' Beyond that - consider the moment in which we live. No matter who wins, we make history: either with a female VP - or a biracial president. Significant blood has been shed to bring this to pass. In our own country there was a time when women, and blacks did not share the simple right to pull that lever...and look at us now. Amen. Yes, there is that seperation of Church and state - designed to give me the freedom to worship God, and you the freedom to worship Buddha...and some one else the freedom to go to synagogue without fear of persecution - and that is a blessing many of us cannot begin to truly understand. There are still countries where religion and politics blur, where women and minorities are subjagated, where if you do not ascribe to the national religion - you risk your very life...truly we are blessed to be who and where we are. I'm preachin. Forgive me.
I will say this about my poetry and poetry in general. I do not believe that any genre specific poetry is 'sinful' per se. The song of Solomon is some of the most beautiful erotic poetry I have ever read. And guess where it is? (the Bible) I personally don't write much erotic poetry. I never have. It's just not my nature to do so. But the exploration - the fixation on death was becoming a problem for me personally. I will still write it. But right now, most of my focus is on the upcoming novel and there is no room for that neurosis that was developing. I do believe that my Creator gave me a gentle directive to 'remove death' from my page. You see, it was longer cathartic. Yes, death is a natural part of our humanness. Coming to terms with it on paper can be a very healing exercise. But for me personally - it was becoming destructive. So you may see it ocassionally - but I really make a conscious effort not to 'go there.'
Which brings up my final thought for the day. There are some misunderstandings about certain branches of my faith - specifically the charismatic types to whom I am affiliated these days. So often we just come off as weird when we make statements like 'God told me to remove the death from my page.' At best it sounds haughty and at worst it just sounds....weird. And it's stuff like that that causes a Tammy to dance haltingly around on her page...picking her way carefully around the exposed toes....unwilling to plant a size eight stilleto through anyone's dermis.
So that's my story. I believe that I was instructed to pull some things down. And when I was obedient, a few more doors opened. Not like me and God sit down to tea every day so it must have been vital to my growth as a Christian and a writer to behave....While I know a person can hear directly from God every day - I don't. When I do - I need to move on it.
I want to make something clear to my friends who are not Christian. Know that I love you. Know that you're welcome here. Know that my discourse on my faith is only put here to give you more knowledge and understanding about me. I'm a writer, not a missionary or an evangelist. You're safe here.
Snake kissing. When I was looking for a church after fifteen years of being a Missouri Synod Lutheran - I made a comment about not kissing a snake. That was the extent of my understanding of pentacostal and charismatic churches. God has a sense of humor. I've learned that charismatics would never kiss a snake in church to 'test God' - and anyone who does....is weird....plain weird.
the religious right 083008
I have been a regular blogger since 2005, and beyond the connection with a few 'real' friends who know me in person - and the support and encouragement of a few writers' groups and other dear people I've come to know on the band with - I have never had any type of 'subversive' or 'covert' agenda. I'm not looking convert the masses, defy the norm, or even chap a hide or two. On the contrary, when presenting subject matter like religion or politics I have warned first and made every effort to choose my words carefully, and gently. Until now. From this point forward - I will no longer apologize for who and what I am.
There is a catch phrase flying around the bandwidth these days. In the wake of postmodern ideas, feel good teaching and the all roads lead to Jesus or whatever your concept of Heaven might be - those conservative few amongst us are often slapped with the banner 'religious right' and consigned to the back pew beside Falwell, and Roberts and all the other Televangelists who many assume represent the old school, bible thumping, money sucking, backwards mindset plethora of 'christian values' deemed ignorant, intolerant and totally unecessary on the path to total enlightenment or at least that feel good haze we desire. If this is what you assume when you click on my page, then you are way past due for correction. And perhaps even more importantly - so am I.
Rest assured my dear friends, the term 'religious right' is purely political. A term used to swing the votes of those who might identify themselves as Christians as well as those who bristle at the thought of any power higher than the remote control on the coffee table. The political machine is oiled by the blood, sweat and emotion of the American voter, primed by words like "Koran...Abortion....Gun Control....Taxes....health care." None of which is bigger, more relevant, or more life changing than my relationship with my Creator. And it is THIS relationship above all else that will determine not only my vote - but life itself on the planet for every single one of us. My God is bigger than any politician, any position, any government and I do not fear my future. I do not worry that if McCain is elected and his health fails in office that a female VP with a special needs child will not be fully equipped to do the job she is trained to do. I do not worry about my freedom to practice my faith will be compromised by Obama's relative youth and supposed familial ties to Islam. I do not worry that BIG OIL will preclude my ability to feed my family contingent on the name of the president in 2009. I will not allow myself to be manipulated by spin doctors and incendiary diatribes. When I place my vote for the leader of my government I will do so prayerfully, with as much real knowledge I can glean from reputable sources and without the rampant emotion that plagues the bandwidth like a bad rash. I will not cater too, entertain or even continue to give attention to slander against either candidate. Decisions made on pure emotion are rarely profitable. It's time we put on our big panties and acted like grown men and women. Villifying the very foundation of our nation benefits no one. I am a Christian. I will not pass judgement on any person....And I won't give voice to devisive subject matter.
Yes, issues are important. Educate yourself on ALL the issues. Don't hinge your vote on one or two because it makes you 'feel good.' Meth makes people 'feel good.' and Meth kills. I am a Christian. I know the truth. And if you are a Christian, then you need to stop the bickering and get on your knees regarding this election. The 'Christian right' is a devisive tactic and a gross misrepresentation of what and who real Christians are. Don't fall for it. And don't believe for one moment that anyone professing to be a Christian who is slandering a brother - or a sister is representing his or her relationship with God the way God would want it to be represented.
Whatever happens in November, I am not afraid. Ultimately, ANY heart can be changed. It is our directive, those of us who call ourselves Christians to stand in love, in faith and live as an example....even if we don't get a guest shot on Oprah...
A few months ago, after prayer and much consideration, I pulled all dark poetry and stories from my page. While it was difficult at first, and I lost 'readers' - I know that I cannot speak life, and write death. To do so makes me a liar, and a hypocrit. I now realize I can no longer support hatred and division - and represent love. I will probably lose more readers....but love releases, love does not harm. (I have archived them here. I know it seems odd...but I have my reasons)
Don't worry. I still have no agenda - I'm not changing up my page. I have no desire to start penning political posts...or even sermons for that matter. But I am only human - and sometimes I have to take correction too....
My Truth, Can Ya Handle It?
Most days I'd rather curl up in a ball and suck my big toe than have one nanosecond of confrontation with anyone especially those quicker on the draw than me with respect to deeper issues like is Velveeta really cheese and what is the meaning of life? But I'm no different than the next rat behind the plexiglass. Poke me enough and eventually I'm biting your stick. Keep doing it and I may use my rat powers to jump and bite your hand. If I'm just a rat in your sick experiment any way - I may as well attack the source of my frustration, right?
I am an average chick with average brain cells and an average life. I have no agenda for world domination or achieving nirvana or discovering the cure for terminal stupidity. Most days I just want to get through the day without breaking anything or being broken. I've been married to the same guy for 18 years. My kids are clean and sober. I've almost always been employed. I pay my bills. I don't have cable or GPS or a spa membership. I believe in God, even when I'm crying in my shower and terrified that the latest symptom in my body is the start of my personal end. And I try to respond logically and gently in any situation. But I'm not Jesus. I never said I was, and I never said I would be. So sometimes - you're gonna get Tammy when you get in my face.
Bottom line. I'm a Christian. I am not afraid to answer the hard questions about my personal faith - but if I choose to refrain, choose to remain silent, choose to crack a smile and a silly comment it is ONLY because I choose not to HARM someone who may be near and dear to me who is not ready for MY PERSONAL TRUTH. I can't fix ANYONE. If I could - my mom wouldn't call me a Holy Roller and my dad wouldn't call me an APOSTATE.
I am not going to hyperspiritualize it. Its not a religion. Its a relationship. And with any relationship - there is hard work, and in the case of God there's one GIANT learning curve I won't conquer this side of planet earth. In its simplest form Jesus is the ONLY way - not BUDDHA, not oh Im a good person, (cuz ain't none of us born as little angels) not we can do whatever junk we please and grace is sufficient - no - very easy. Jesus is the only way. Why? Again, its easy. LOVE. We were hardwired to be in a loving relationship. We were made for God and for LOVE. If you don't believe it, cut all ties with humanity - move to an atoll in the middle of the Pacific and do your thing. Somebody will surely miss you but HEY you were created to be your own critter so what do you care?
Yes, hypocrits happen and it simply stinks. Good people suffer and die and I don't have all the answers - even though since I sometimes crack open my Bible and I am COMMANDED to love everyone by my Creator even when I really don't like everyone and I am EXPECTED to DEFEND my FAITH just because I dropped the C word and the G word - you know what? I'm not God. I never will be. But I am standing up for my belief system because I know if I relied on myself to get it right - I'd be just like the rest of my family that slept around, beat each other, stole, abused chemicals, and hated anyone who wasn't the same color - the same nationality and the same religion. Why should I perpetuate the confusion when I can simply believe and work on walking in LOVE? Why is that unfashionable?
If you simply MUST talk about SIN and BAD BEHAVIOR - be very careful that you don't name names because unless you can prove to me that YOU are in fact JESUS - you probably aren't sinless - and therefore you may be very close to JUDGEMENT. To me - your dirt simply does not matter because If I attempt even on the simplest level to see you as God sees you - then I MUST see you in love. And LOVE DOES NOT HARM!
So if you personally have some problem - and you want a relationship with God, you know what? I'm here to listen. And if you want an honest answer to a hard question. I'll try to help you find it. I still carry my own loads of dirt - and my dirt ain't any dirtier or cleaner than yours. But I am DONE defending my FAITH. If you have a vendetta against Christians - you take it up with God. I'm not his administrative assistant. I'm only his daughter. Blessed with a home, a family, a job, life, friends - things I thought I would never have...and when the rubber hits the road, my ONLY wish for you - is that you know love.
* This isn't aimed at anyone in particular. Its my blog, and sometimes I need to vent. In a world where the fabric of the family is being systematically shredded, where people are frantic, where I can't pray out loud in a restaurant with out a dirty look but if I said a cuss word and threw my food, I'd get a standing O - if I say God without following it with an expletive I'm labeled a "FREAK" - I have to apologize for being an AMERICAN - I can't say things like my son is sixteen and isn't dating because he wants to wait for the RIGHT girl - Why is it wrong to just be gentle....I don't get it.
PS - if you're just here for the nachos and a good laugh? That's ok too. If you're on my list, you're my friend. And if you're my friend, this blog is not about you. And if you're just visiting...I'm TOTALLY HARMLESS. I just rant sometimes.
meat glue 071108
When I was a kidlet I had a fascination for a series of books by L. Frank Baum, many of you have heard perhaps of the Wizard of Oz? The first in a 14 book series - I read cover to cover, frequently (I still have them) I think it was in the book dedicated to the tin woodman (Nick Chopper) where I first learned of a magical substance called 'meat glue' which did exactly what it stated. It glued meat together...random body parts held together by a special concoction....
So last night while attending our monthly healing service, pastor mentioned a protein (I believe its a protein, I'm not a biologist....) called laminin, which is essentially - our meat glue...holding our bodies together at a cellular level. To the right is a schematic that looks quite similar to something else that holds the 'body' together....I'll let you ponder, its early and I'm only on the first cup of coffee. Yes....I thought it was way cool, as I have always appreciated the appearance of the divine amongst the natural order of things.
You can snope it if you want, its in their infamous glurge section....where they politely poo poo it rendering it no more than a happy urban legend....but in my eyes, I choose to see what I see.
That wasn't all that happened - and this one - I welcome the statisticans from snopes to congregate with mad abandon on my virtual doorstep. Before prayer, pastor mentioned a key verse that had been on his heart. (pausing so one of you can shiver...because YOU KNOW already...) Funny, this very verse was given to me by one of you yesterday who couldn't possibly have had any contact with my pastor (who couldn't possibly have read my locked down post....) Matthew 11:28....a common verse, yes. But never spoken over THIS chick...until twice yesterday...you can dismiss it. I choose to embrace it.
That thing that holds us together, whether magical meat glue or something divine in substance resonates in my soul today...I need to pull away from the random yo yo mentality - and be steady...sane...'together' if you will instead of the sprawling emotional fiasco I've been the past year or so....
I'm not much for prayer lines, but I went up yesterday after some serious personal prayer and gentle admonishion from pastor to not exclude oneself from what God has to offer, and I was told a few more things that are affirmative...Time for Tamster to get her happy head out of her hiney and simply listen..
So I am. And I hope you hear the gentle voice today as well.
I got a clear schedule saturday. I'll be curling up with a good book...LOL!
what if you could? 061208
If only I had a bit of silver for every time my thoughtless verbal sludge came circling in eddies around my ankles - some of you would be published and my company would be clicking along...(I must pause to contemplate the heady scent of fresh ink on paper...ah)
I will tell you politely over a Starbucks mocha and scone that I am certainly not a Bible Thumping, Snake Kissing, Jesus Freak who quivers and salivates whilst nightly praying loudly in tongues in the back yard. Certainly the ghost of my Lutheran great grandmother - if ghosts could breath must exhale knowing that Luther's teachings are ingrained in the DNA of my ancestors....but there is the whisper - barely audible at the center of my soul that repeats...what if you could....?
Tonight at our church we are holding what is being called a 'healing night.' And the whisper grows...What if you could....sigh....You see it is part of my core to want to see people whole - mind, body and spirit. And I firmly believe that is possible - without foaming at the mouth and kissing snakes. I also believe that God uses people to work through to bring wholeness. Sometimes it happens over time - with the aide of medicine, counseling, doctors...and sometimes it happens spontaneously...this I do believe. There are a few of you out there - even as wimpy as I am - I would be dragging you in the building tonight but you are miles away so I will have to carry you in my heart instead.
So here's the question - what if you could - what if you could believe enough for a miracle..what would it be? Do you even believe that miracles happen...maybe you have witnessed a miracle....the blog page is open for discussion. And I promise there are absolutely no snakes on my page.
if you're easily offended - Don't Read
Come back tomorrow....You've been gently warned....From here on out - IT'S ON!
So I am sitting at my desk taking a break from the daily drain of numbers and calculations and all the little dry things that crisp my dendrites into an indistinguishable mass at the back of my brain and there it is - yet another nail biting lamentation tossed up on my bandwidth like so much ticker tape from Macy's windows....Muslims now outnumber Catholics oh the UNSPEAKABLE HORROR OF IT ALL....(you still have time to leave the page...)
Oh by all that is good and true in my happy unicorn rainbow room GIMME A BREAK (too late, you stayed on the page. Now you're in for it) Lets just stir the pot till the happy spoon melts shall we?
First - I should have taken it as one more solid reason not to bother reading most 'newsworthy' items because all the shlock mongers do is present that which will titillate, torment and often terrify the average Joe/JoAnne or J....thus creating that symbiotic, parasitic relationship of public to predator to prey, and there we are in the headlights of the machine bearing down on our paralized little souls.
Second - It occured to me somewhere between 'disbelief' and 'rashy irritation' that those who are disturbed at the slanted - noose shaped information slathered all over the bandwidth in bright colors, pretty pictures and bold text - if fear is your position - then your position rarely includes PEW TIME. In other words - for those of you who are ADD ADHD or just plain incapable of finishing anything - use that to your advantage. Turn off the machine - get thee to church and crack open that pretty little table top Bible that you dust ever so lovingly right before your monster in law comes for the obligatory visit. (for those of you who DO occupy pew space, you can turn away now and mutter amongst yourselfs regarding my sanity. Just don't MURMER....cuz you know that ain't right)
This is by no means an anti muslim rant. I'm just tired of the 'muslim this' and 'islam that' and jihad this as if Madonna has traded in her cute little red bracelet for a Koran and a trendy burka. Islam is not in fact the 'flavor of the day' although you'd think...Nope, this is a happy old fashioned Christians get your head out of your armpits, Tamster rant oldschool and with an extra dollop of ooey gooey angst. Served hot off my PC to yours.
In the words of the indomitable Charlie Brown: "GOOD GRIEF" if we ever stop fighting amongst ourselves those 17.9 percent of newly displaced from the top rung Catholics would turn to their hand wavin' bretheren and sisteren and say hmm...33 percent of humanity is still God fearin', Jesus lovin', powerful people put on this earth to do ONE THING...and that is LOVE. SO CHILL OUT!
It ain't about the rosary or the blue hymnal or whether or not you wear that dang hat I can't see Pastor over - its about the LOVE. Not the wishy washy, felt Joseph and Mary stick on stuff from Sunday school rooms with metal chairs - but the REAL THING. The thing that forgives others for the same stuff you just did in traffic when you were late to work and all the lights were red. The same stuff that gives time, talent and yes MONEY when ever and where ever needed in any amount needed to complete the task - yes LOVE is what makes us all equal, all forgiven, all whole - whether servant or free, male or female, Catholic or Pentacostal (or yup you gotta love the WHOLE world - Islam, Hindu, Taoist, pagan stripey cat worshiper...) DUH - again I say, quit letting your kids write their names in the dust on that Bible and CRACK IT OPEN....I'm not telling you anything new. And I don't care what 'Religion' you are because at the end of the day I am commanded to LOVE YOU with every thing I have. Doesn't mean I like your little altar out back - and I'm wondering why my neighborhood no longer has any doves...and I keep smelling strawberry incense...but I still love you. So I am not worried about your altar, or your penchant for pink tutus on your head (because pink realigns the flux of atoms or whatever) Am I making myself clear?
Ok the page is now open for spit wads and villification - but please consider LOVE as a viable option...Promote that - instead of chaos...and just see what happens. (its way cooler, trust me)
tam steps down from podium...trips over microphone stand, blushes...scurries away)
*no religious affiliates of any denomination or doctrinal position were harmed in the posting of this piece.
WOV 101107 Divine Dissatisfaction
WOV - 100707
WOV - good things
WOV - sand in my eyes 100506
The exercise is to procure and keep a journal daily. As with many forms of exercise I hedge at the prospect of daily virtual sweat and suffering - even though I know it is good for my mental muscles and I truly love writing. But how? How will this benefit the tumultuous relationship I have - tenuous at best and fractured at worst with the Holy Spirit? Can I hear in the clamor of the day to day drain that has become my life? The myriad small problems circling my soul like so much sand in the bathwater drain. Even tiny grains of sand become relative when the aggregate flow of my living water between the small stones is clogged and murky with the sediment of sin. Of shallowness. Of worry. Will God bless my effort? As I contemplate the tasks of the day. The mechanical entries that comprise my position and qualify my pay. I know my "boss" is not responsible for my income. Yet I hear no chorus of angels whispering with heady voices and eiderdown wings that pinion aloft in sunburst skies..."Fly, Tammy. You are more than the numbers on your paycheck...the sum of your moments. You are a child of the Divine. A beautiful creation. A spinning snowflake shifting in the prismatic colors of an ethereal rainbow. Unique and wondrous yet not readily visible to the human descent caught by myopic eyes on a frigid night. I don't hear it. I don't feel it. The shelter of agape love. I've been told its not a feeling. But for this girl covered in freckled skin - some days the wind burns and the rain stings and the sand...the sand of my life gets in my eyes - blocking that divine vision of You, Lord.
Try the Fish 03/2006
So this is not a tirade against Lent - I have Catholic friends who would flagellate me severly - so I won't go there but I have a question for you blogpeeps this morning. What does the whole church year thing mean to you? Are you a casual observer or an active participant? Does the structure add to your communion with God - or impede your growth? (If you are pagan - you have a whole 'nother year - and if you want to comment on how it works for you - feel free - its still a spiritual thing)
I was Lutheran for about 15 years - kids born into it as was the hubby - so I went along for the ride. Advent, Lent, Epiphany - my participation was somewhat erratic. I showed up - but wasn't always "there" - and sometimes when I was told "we omit the Halleluja verse during the season of Lent" I thought - why? Why do we do that? I never got a good answer. So this year, since we are now attending a non denominational church - I have given up Lent for Lent. (BTW - what is up with KFC and a fish snacker - or is that SONIC - hey guys - fish have eyes, spines and therefore - flesh which makes 'em animals - so what are we really giving up here and for who?) where was I?
I am thinking of two things here - cuz I'm a girl and we do that. First thing, if you observe the whole church year - or any form of structure, it should benefit - not stifle. And I wonder if there are times when the structure defeats the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life. For example. You have a good friend who really needs intercession and wants to come to church and your next "jesus meetin'" is the "tenebrae service" yeah - that's not the one I would invite my buddies to... well I was thinking of two things - but forgot the other so lets continue please...I just believe that relationships are relationships and schedules - well they're just schedules - and can become blind rituals if our relationship is not nurtured. So while I am cool with not observing Lent this year - I defer to my buddies who do with this caveat - be a participant - an active participant. You answer to God - not your calendar.
Martin Luther never wanted to be a Lutheran...he just wanted changes in the Catholic church. And the human powers that were kicked his lil monk butt to the curb. Now we have "Lutheran dirges" at Lent and a lot of suffering people in church who may not even grasp the FREEDOM that comes with Christ's sacrifice - because hand clapping is disrespectful...do you see where I am going with this? Cool cuz I am just gettin' muddier and muddier.
Its a faith/religion thing for sure. And its a human nature thing as well. But please, during this season of introspection and mourning - remember to consider the rest of the world - there is still work to do, right? Let your heart guide you in your walk with your HP - not the day on your calendar...Ok done now - its all yours - fire away - virtual tomatoes, cyber eggs, inappropriate use of the "F" word - gimme whatcha got. The worms are wiggling all over the page.
On a lighter note, thank you for your kind thoughts yesterday...we all have our moments when our past impedes on our future and our mind uses guilt against us...I love you people.
who am I 022306
Depends on who you ask - and when y0u ask them I suppose. I'm on this tangent because - well maybe its hormones, or a planetary alignment, or maybe I'm just full. The thing that rings in my head is that I am not 20 anymore. And now that I know about the compression of time - and the reason for "being" I want to "DO" something. I don't want to sit here and be a sponge and soak up all the empathy and knowledge (although its wonderful to be cared for and nurtured) I want to move forward. I often feel like that dog at the end of the leash - and that dang mailman is only inches away....grrrrr....and if I apply constistent pressure to that leash - I will either strangle, or it will snap and I can eat the mailman. I just hate wasting time on things that don't matter - and my job - sure it puts money in the bank - but to me - any monkey could do my job. Really. And I just feel like - bring on the monkey and let me go do something that really facilitates change.
So here is who I am. I am a child of the Creator, with a purpose as unique as a fingerprint. And in my current state - I AM WEARING A GLOVE OVER MY HEAD! I don't believe for one nano second that you should spend days, months, years doing something you despise while the real fruit of your soul rots on its vine. And that is where I am at. I am doing something I am beginning to despise because there is no end to its chaos. And by the time I have time to do the things - nurture the seeds in my heart - I am so tired - and out of time - I cannot do it. I know my Christian friends would say "patience" and they're probably right -but dudes and dudettes - hello! I'm forty. Yeah. I don't want to waste twenty more years.
In short - I deeply desire to quit my day job and join a rock band - no wait - write full time. So that is the prayer going up today. I was never destined to be an accountant and I am certainly not a corporate girl and all this stuff is getting on my nerves. So - I still say - if you have a dream - if you know who you are - pursue it. Don't wait until all you have is a drawer full of pictures and the scars of regret crisscrossing your heart. Do your thing. Shake a chickeny tailfeather. Flap your lil wings. I am smart enough to know that I can't just quit my day job NOW - but I am still enough of a dreamer to know that this 8 to 5 stuff is not me, never was me, and is a slow death. So that's kinda what I was getting at about with my last post - for both of you who read it and commented. I believe we have multiple purposes. We are who and what we are to others, we are who and what we are to ourselves - and we are who and what our Creator made us to be - which IMHO is normally so much more than what we see or recognise in the mirror. So - look at your mirror again and look with the eyes of your Creator. See yourself as your Higher Power sees you....and don't live your life in fear.
And yes, Bumbles do bounce. I just hit the ground hard yesterday so now I am expecting that uptake that we make....its coming....I'm not flat like a deflated basketball yet. Peace
Who are you and why are you here? The question for the day I suppose. We talked about it last night in "class" (we get together with a small group of great people and discuss our faith, our walk - the Bible - that kind of thing - more discussion than teaching and its very cool) and that question came up. Christian or non Christian - that is a thematic question for a lot of us - applicable to our familial position, our work - but most of all for me - its a Spirit/soul question. Who the heck AM I? And why? I don't believe any person on this planet is an accident. EVER. You may walk into walls - and spill food - but please believe - you have an intended purpose - a higher level of living - something that calls to you. I believe its the voice of Creator God - you may call it a Higher Power, the Cosmic Energy - (that burrito you had last night from Taco Bell - I don't know) but I don't believe we are all on auto pilot all the time. I can't subscribe to the theory of cosmic goo, and a bazillion years later - we are self aware. So I guess the question is - if you want to share - WHO ARE YOU? And why are you here? I'm still working on that whole process so I will save my answer for later - cuz right now I am a lot closer to feelin' like 'cosmic goo' than a supernova...
Welcome Twilight and Skye today and Stormee - you guys see a pattern there in those names? I do - pretty cool huh. I hope you know you are among friends and that you are uplifted every time you open your eyes and face the day.
As a side moment? Have you ever looked at your friends list and just sat stunned? I actually cried this morning when I saw two more invites in my mail. I thought - who am I that these people would want to see what I have to say? It amazes me to have 51 people "connected" and I wonder how those of you with 100 - 200 people - I wonder how you do it? Don't discount those who listen to you...Each person is a soul...each person is purpose filled.
So now I go to Monday Hell at the office. God, free me from the mundane...quickly (I am issuous about that whole patience thing.) peace
I'd call this blog "Lamentations" but that book is already written...so I hope by the time I am done I will think up a pithy title. I guess I am feeling down today. Actually its that all or nothing mentality I have and I am in the black hole - the place where no light can penetrate - or escape. I get there sometimes...More often than I want. Sometimes I just wake up and even though I see light through the windows, my heart is cold and dark. To be honest..I can't tell if its sadness or jealousy.
Its part of my mentality that I am unable to compartmentalize so everything is about everything all of the time so problems come in threes fours and twenties. I guess it spilled out this week at work. I feel often that my career has been a fear walk and my dreams of writing - that's where the faith step should have happened. So now I am so far down the road I am in the next state - and I don't know how to turn around and get back on the path God intended me to take - yet I would tell a friend in my situation that one can always get back on the path. I am blessed and cursed at the same time. I have a job that pays well but its morphed into this chaotic monster that eats my energy. I have dreams that fit each other but require fuel to run. I tire of wasting my time operating in survival mode. I want to thrive. To expand outward. To bless others. To be the girl God created. Not this thing that gets all bent out of shape almost daily...Do you ever get tired of your own inability to move forward in faith? I am approaching critical mass.
And now on to the second source of sadness. Last night my son - my baby - went out on his first "dance date". The girl already has a boyfriend but it was a girl ask guy thing and her beau was grounded. So she asked Fred. There's my 14 year old, black tux, new hair cut, polished shoes, out with this girl and her girl pal...Dancing. I know - I have always known that he will grow up and away because that is what men do...And while I am so happy that girls can look at him and squeal about his new hair cut (in their slinky black dresses with all that teen leg hangin' out) he is my child and he is testing those wings. And unlike his mom - my son has big strong wings...graceful, sound...that cleave the air...he was built to fly...away. And there he goes. That little voice inside - its jealous. I was never asked to dance. I never had that opportunity - and now - my child gets the very thing I prayed he would get...and I sat alone on my couch and I cried...why can I not simply enjoy the moment without the pain?
So - are any of you like that? Or maybe you can send me a brick so I can smack myself with it. SNAP OUT OF IT. yeah fo real. Be Blessed - all of you because you bless me.
Its not that I am at a lost for a post today because - well my mom used to say that my mouth ran like a whiporwills ass in mulberry time - so silence from my corner of the known universe means I'm sleeping or dead. I just felt like saying a thing or two to the random visitors, the few sisters, and the great friends who bless me today.
Yesterday I picked one of the granddaddy taboo subjects and opened the floor. And you awesome people. You were so kind. No body called me a freak, a geek, a ninny or a dumbass - and I really appreciated it. I learned from all of you. Thank you for that.
I am not a "nice girl" If left alone long enough - I am just like that potato in the bottom of your sack. I will get nasty and smelly and rotten to my core. I am capable of so many base emotions, jealousy, distrust, fear, cowardice - all under my skin waiting to pop out like so much unwanted facial hair. That's part of why I do attend regular worship, pray daily, study my Bible and check my bad ass at the front door - because the world does not need another butthole. (ooh Tammy said butthole...lol) I tell my hubby often that if he had not met me when he did - who knows what kind of ground hugging reptile I would be by now. I'd probably be drunk on my couch - remote and chips at my side, in my three day old stained sweatshirt, watching Jerry Springer reruns. So - if I do get on my lil collar and cross, just tell me gently as you have been all along (HEY! GET OUTTA THE PULPIT) and I will step down from whatever Jesus Freak rant I am on. I so appreciate the fact that no one fell over dead or spontaneously combusted yesterday while reading my blogs. I know that happens sometimes. You say something - just in passing on your blog - and it gets blown up beyond belief and you find yourself defending a simple statement - and you are frustrated. You have never done that to me and I thank you for that.
So just one more statement. I never went to church as a child. I barely got taken for my kiddie shots (lol) and if we hadn't found the current house of worship, I probably would have eventually vanished from the old denominational place where we used to go. Many of you were right on by saying that many churches are full of gossipers, politics and things that work against the God/Child relationship. Yes - the church is only a building and we -we are the bearers of light - of the message. Dear ones - I always believed that faith - real faith - is the fingerprint of your soul. You affirmed it yesterday. Peace
I wanted to share a poem with you. I have so many monsters, but this poem is for someone dear to me. My daddy's mom...I miss her. I always will miss her. I wrote this for her but the family would not let me read it to her while she was sick - they said it would upset her. So it was read at her memorial service. Afterward, even though my dad is her first born - friends of the step family did not know who I was - and since I could not be there in person - I guess they still don't. Its a fractured family now - she was the last bit of glue. Peace
Javelle had me thinking yesterday with her statement "I don't go to church everytime the door opens." If you know Javelle - she is a woman of grace, displaying the light of God. I really see that in her. I'm not gonna spin off into a soapbox discourse this morning - but I do go everytime the door opens - and here's the reason - as best I can explain it before coffee. Put simply - a person like Javelle doesn't need to - and a person like me - does. I do believe there is a huge difference between faith and religion - to do something religiously can be hypocritical but if you are walking in faith - you are on the right path. That path may be defined by your church affiliation and that's ok - but if you are just going through the motions cuz that's what you were born into - that's not ok. I spent 15 years in a denomination - and I never 'fit'. I did not belong there and even God told me that. I just didn't know where else to go. Now I 'fit' where I am - I love it. I go as often as I can. And since I am conflicted when I try to compartmentalize my life, my faith is now spilling over, which is a very good thing. It is so easy for me to step off into doubt, fear, anger - all those emotions and actions - and I need the discipline - and the love I get from regular attendance in a house of worship. I really believe some people are more settled - and can "skip a day" without damaging their relationship with God. I may reach that point myself.
So I have a few questions, just for thought here - questions like - are you able to compartmentalize? Do you leave work at work and home at home? While I do adhere to a schedule - I do things like pray at work, and pray at home about work, I write at work and at home - there is little 'seperation' for me...Do you have a strong faith where you can 'skip a day' and not fall into the old crap that used to be your life - or do you need that daily dose of God/Bible/Affirmation...
Let me say this also - "religious" people bug the crap out of me. They do. The "Jesus Loves You" people who are really thinkin like that bumper sticker "...but everyone else thinks you're a jerk" yeah - you may know the type. Or the "better than you because" people. Let me say this if I may. I do believe God loves everyone...but I am tangible. I am right here. And I can come to a hurting person - extend my hand and say "I am here. I love you. I will help you. What do you need." I believe that is what God's people must strive to do. God meets people where they are at in life, and I am learning to do the same thing. Here I am and there you are - and we are drawn together for a reason - and its not just to say "Jesus loves you - don't you feel better" its to BE for each other.
I do love my "church" and I believe its ok to love your church - but the focus needs to be outward. Thats my belief. And I know that there are all different denominations and non denominations with both hypocrites and saints operating in them. Like I said, its not so much about religious affiliation as it is about faith, and how you respond - whether in love or in judgement. So that's the rant for the day...What are your thoughts? Peace
Also I welcome Susy Homemaker, Lu Lu, Lisa S, JJ and Tammy (ooh there's another one of us out there) to my circle of very cool and wonderful blessings in my life. Check 'em out - I am off to read all the things that you write - and the recommendation is of course Javelles blog from yesterday (thanks for the inspiration) and Paper Paladin - after yesterday I am tempted to put my pencil down and give up writing altogether - Paper is a very powerful voice...Peace
A Matter of Faith 021306
I have a couple of dear friends and today while reading thier blogs I find them at opposite ends of the faith fence. As happens with some of you - I was led to introspection of my own walk with God, my faith, my identity - my core values.
I was raised without God. Sure I had a Grandma who sent two dollars and a religous Christmas card every year, talked about her church and pissed my mom off when the family "took over" her dream wedding - making her carry a Bible down the aisle and talking about her in Norwegian. Her only goal and I quote was to "Get down and worship the meat god" The mom/daughter relationship needs to be saved for another day, but I saw Jesus as distant, God as Old Testament and the Bible as a collection of boring stories. I prayed, but it was more beggin and it was resultless.
When I finally met my hubby he came from a solid denominational family - the same "religion" as my Dad's family - and after two years of living together, we decided to have a church wedding. We spent 14 years or so in that church - going through the motions. Trying to be cookie cutter Christians in a chaotic world. Thousands of dollars in debt, distant from each other, friendless, alone - I made a stand to stand by my husband - and I asked for a way out. I watched as my young son spiraled out of control - unable to determine anything scientific - struggling and unhappy...
At the end of the school year last year - Eric was asked not to come back to the only school he had ever known. The only church I and my boys had ever known. I told my husband - I cannot stay where my child is unwelcome. I felt at the lowest point in my life.
A week later through a series of events I know were orchestrated by God - my husband and I are standing in a non denominational church, singing, worshipping and tears were flowing down our faces. From that moment forward - things have changed. Principle teachings we never could have embraced are now matters of reality. We tithe. We read our Bibles daily. We spend time in devotion. My children have a prayer language. My husband has walked away from habits he had since he was an early teen and has not looked back. Sure we aren't perfect. But we know the LOVE of God. Its not about protocol, or religious doctrine. It is a relationship. It changes and grows over time. Two years ago - if you had told me I would witness the laying on of hands and healing - I would have laughed outright and made a comment about kissing snakes. But I have physical proof. Verified scientific proof of reversals of illness in my own life and the life of my family as a direct result of intercessory prayer.
While I will tell you I am a New Testament Christian - I read the Old Testament and it still is valid as a means to educate, admonish and affirm Christians. If you are not connected to the Father as Your Personal Father - you can read the Bible cover to cover - and you won't get it. Christ starts in the heart, then you see with your eyes and comprehend with your brain.
I am an educated woman (BS Business Accounting) I have studied several mythologies, including the Bible as mythology. I aced statistics, did well in college Latin. I clear over 40k per year in salary. And this is only the beginning. Since I started in my new church home - my wages have increased by 5.00 per hour in less than one year. I cannot explain that type of increase on my own merit or structure of the company for which I work. That's only one area of change.
The infilling of the Holy Spirit has been not just a religion but a life change. Today - during prayer at church - I recieved a complete prayer language. I cannot explain that with my logic. I can only accept the gift and use it as God intends. As for evolution - consider the theory of Intelligent Design...Consider the recent evidence that in fact the Grand Canyon may have been formed in hours, not thousands of years. I am not preaching. I am telling you where I am at - in my life. And one of the most amazing things is the heart change. The ability to accept the differences in people that I thought I would abhore if I was trying to walk as a Christian. I am learning to love. And on my own with all my skills, my intelligence, my logic - I would be faced with the mirror, my mortality and the burden of my genetic heredity - which includes drug and alchohol addiction, incest, mental and physical gross malformations, and more than one set of "religious doctrine" So that is where I am. This is where I speak from when I say with all certainty - if you need prayer - I know where you can recieve it. It doesn't make me better - it just means I am on a different road right now - but always always ready to come along side you, walk with you and do what it takes to help you - even if - like it will mean with one dear friend - to walk in silence...Peace. (Yes, tell me where you are if you want to...This is a public blog.)