2/26/2006

Partial Birth Abortion

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am vehemently Pro-life. I've just recently decided to get more involved in justice for the oppressed and killed fetal population. I don't intend to destroy clinics or even get in peoples' faces, but I do intend to be a voter and have a voice. Even if democracy is an illusion, I was still given a voice and I intend to use it more.

Anyone who wants to get involved in a simple way, please sign this petition. I'm not a Pat Robertson fan at all (he's too starched and angry for me) but I've heard the ACLJ on the radio and they do a lot for Christians.
https://www.aclj.org/Petition/Default.aspx?SC=3140&AC=1

Any of my friends that are pro-choice, I don't want to know who you are. But if you are pro-life please give me a shout out and visit some of these other sites for more info on how to get involved.
http://www.all.org/
http://www.unitedforlife.org/
http://www.nrlc.org/
http://www.pldaily.com/

Abortion is the equivalent of people sacrificing their infants to gods of wood and stone. Only the god modern people sacrifice to is the god of the self. Being that this is a democracy, it is our job as the people to have a voice and use it. If we've done all we can to love our neighbor and defend the oppressed, then our consciences are clear.

If the mother's life is at risk from the fetus in her womb and the only way she will survive is to abort the child, that is a choice she will have to make. I can tell you with full truthfulness: if I am EVER faced with that choice, I would die rather than save myself at the expense of my child. If both of us die, then at least I didn't murder my own child to save myself.

Greater love has no woman than this, that she would lay down her life for her child's.

2/24/2006

3 Stooges of Sin

The World, The Flesh, & The Devil

Jesus was tempted by the three of Satan's stooges. "You hungry. Make stones to bread," said the Flesh, Jesus had the Flesh pretty much under His control after not eating for forty days and nights. Then the World stepped in and said, "You want? I give you. Have all kingdoms and bow to Devil." Jesus, being the Son of God wasn't about to sin against His own Father by bowing to someone else. Besides, He will reign soon anyways. Then the Devil played his cunning trick on Him by breaking out the scripture. The Flesh and the World may not know scripture, but the Devil does. He says, "You can fly! Throw you off this topmost place and Psalm 91 angels will catch you. Promise." Jesus knows better than to play miraculous bungee jumping by the Devil's prompting. "Do not tempt the Lord thy God," He says and stays put. Then the Psalm 91 angels do come down and comfort Him and nourish Him, but He didn't have to play birdie to get them to show up.

Where do the 3 stooges show up in my life? For me, the World is particularly damaging in the area of becoming a rockstar. It shows me admired musicians and tells me I could be all that and my life on Earth would be tolerable. But while it holds Chris Cornell's picture up in front of me I am not seeing the starving, dying children all over this planet who need me. Fame and worldly success robs those children of the help that they need, except when you are Bono or Angelina Jolie.

The Flesh is my biggest and burliest foe, at least right now. It's like the cave troll in Lord of the Rings swinging it's club and connecting with my head every time I try to deny it. Wham! I get hit with some major arrows through the Flesh as soon as I try to quit smoking, get off the couch on certain days, or play guitar for more than an hour. The Flesh says, "You so tired and you need food and cigarette. Nothing more important than you having nap, lunch, and smoke. Good human. pat pat." So I put everything off until I can satisfy my body unless something or someone happens to want my attention. Then I get mad at them for keeping me away from my duties to the Flesh. OH WRETCHED ME!!! What a mess...

The Devil just sucks. His little greasy minions are always lying to me and egging on my self-ambitious fantasies. I see how they use the World and the Flesh to gang up on me and hold my head under the tar pit until God's angels fly over and pull me out, set me back on the path. God is merciful and gracious to me. I could do nothing but thank and praise Him the rest of my life and it wouldn't be a wasted life. Hallalujah! I remember the victory I have in Jesus Christ, the Son. He took The 3 Stooges of Sin down into the grave with Him and they are finished! When I believe and stop wallowing in the mire of that dead old way, I remember that none of the darkness is real for me. I am encircled in light and protected on all sides. The more I kneel at the throne every moment and serve as Jesus served, the brighter the light becomes. Then I am convinced than neither death nor life nor angels nor the world, flesh, nor the devil could ever be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Those stooges can keep up their games and I will continue to be strengthened and protected by the portion of faith I am given in God's salvation. Always in prayer and always in the Word. Then I am convinced...

2/22/2006

The Importance of Perseverance

Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown it. Aim at Earth and you will get neither. -C.S. Lewis

God is teaching me perseverance. Well, He's teaching me the importance of perseverance. The actual work has to be my own choice. I never really saw the importance of persevering if we are just 'waiting' to go to Heaven. I think of the beauty of being in God's presence without this body to hinder me and it's all I want! But God, the Son says,

"If you love me, keep my commands."

I want to keep His commands and His Holy Spirit strengthens me and encourages me with comforting reminders of His love.

One thing I learned last night is this helpful saying: If I have Heaven to look forward to, I can put up with a little discomfort now.

I think it may just work! The whole nature of faith is looking forward to God's provisions. So we bet it all on God and He is faithful to provide! There's hardly any suspense to it, because He's told us time and again to trust Him. So when we truly trust Him, there is no anxiety. We aren't waiting by the t.v. screen with our lottery numbers after spending our savings buying tickets, sweating profusely. We are resting in the promise of His provision. Not after worshipping the lottery god, of course, but after offering our life as a living sacrifice. I am sure there is some suspense when we are unsure of His guidance, but He isn't cruel. He's not going to let us take the side road that leads to a cliff if our eyes are glued to Him; our heads turned so we can't even see where we are headed. He would say, "Don't go that way, little one." And we would comply because we know He wouldn't lie to us and our curiosity won't keep us walking toward the cliff's edge anymore. My curiosity has gotten me into trouble before. I would think, "It can't be all that bad." Over the side I went, knocking my head on a few outcroppings until I was nice and bruised. God's great hand swoops down to save me from shattering death on the ground below, places me atop again, and patches up my cuts and lets me heal. But no one likes to be disciplined, so my curiosity is dulled. When He says, "Not that way, Diana." I remember the horrible falls I've taken and say, "Whatever You say, Lord." And I don't second guess it...for my own good.

So, what's a little discomfort in a spiritually dried up land when I have baths of living water to look forward to? In the meantime I have access to the Spring to drink whenever I am thirsty! I have felt sorry for myself with thoughts like, "This isn't my home and I am miserable here. Why can't I just go home and live happily ever after, already? It's almost punishment staying here." Punishment? Now I see that I am full of it. How can it be punishment to shine bright in the darkness? It's an honor and privelage and a lot of young people would have loved to stay as long as I have, but they were called home younger than me. How dare I want to waste this time here when so many others don't even get 20 years let alone 27!

Forgive me, Father. I have been selfish and self-pitying but I have called it "enlightened". I have been so foolish. Please don't let me forget that my life and time are not my own, but Yours. Please help me to let go of this sinful desire to control my life and time here. I don't know what You have in store for me in the future, but I ask that You would give me another chance to truly LIVE for You HERE. I've been sitting in the dust on the road You set me upon, just waiting to die and go home. I've been like a stubborn donkey and a spoiled child. Forgive me and help me not to give in to that sickness again. How many years are gone because of it?? I don't even want to know what I missed. Thank You Father for showing me how I have been behaving. Your compassion and mercy is overwhelming. It's my honor to serve You and I am going to do the best I know how by the strength of Your Spirit and the armor You provide. In Jesus Holy name, AMEN.

2/21/2006

Gardening

Gardening: I wouldn't know the first thing about it. Sophia was trying to uproot a small tree last week and I just noticed it yesterday. I looked at the label that the previous owners kindly left and it said, "Mexican Orange Tree". That's special, we have Mexican oranges growing in our backyard. I also uprooted some rotting onions and tomatoes when we first got here. I want to start fresh and really learn how to plant stuff. Some of the things I want to grow are lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, peppers, herbs, carrots, potatoes, and whatever else would grow good in limited areas of the backyard. But I shouldn't get in over my head. Even though it rains a lot and gets an average amount of sunshine here, there are still bugs and birds and rodents...and dog. If I can keep them off (must buy bribing treats for Sophia by the crateful), then maybe I can think more about dirt and elements. There's a lot of details to gardening, it's an art.

I'm gonna get a book about it today. The library should have some great ones.

2/18/2006

The Bread of Idleness

Proverbs 31:27 (speaking of the woman of noble character) She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

It appears as though I have a craving for this diseased bread of idleness. It fills me up and throws me onto the soft couch where I take my unearned rest. All day long I sit. Sitting on the office chair, the dining chair, the driver's seat, the park bench, the carpet in front of the fireplace and the infamous leather couch. Everytime I sit, a loaf of stale bread is set before me and I begin picking at it, eating pinch after pinch like my hand is some mechanical bird. Even my dog begins to lick it and make her own soggy corner. She doesn't have a taste for it, but she licks it because she thinks that what we do in this pack. She truly just wants to please me. But I ignore her and become obsessed with the tiny crumbs on my fingers. When she sees that I'm not interested in her, she tries to bat away the loaf and wiggle her way into my face. Sometimes I am wrenched awake because of her persistance and I say, "You're right Sophia, this is boring." I take her to the dog park to distract and tire her while I pick at the bread in my pocket when she's not looking.

The bread is dry and tasteless but it really becomes addicting after a while. And it never seems to run out. Some evil source is always baking it in my subconscious and singing with delight in hell's kitchen. This demonic cook dances and spins as it kneads and pounds the bread, never giving me a moment to think about anything else. I couldn't hear the subliminal message it sang until this morning. I only hummed the tune to myself when my stomach growled for the bread again. But, over the days I have had time to concentrate on understanding the words. So I perked up my ears and prayed to hear the truth about the song, "Wonderful bread, wonderful bread," sang the deceptively pretty voice, "you make these humans so wonderfully dead. They cannot know that what's filling their heads is my wonderful, wonderful BREAD!" I gasped at the thought. My brain was being replaced with the doughy bread of idleness?! No wonder I felt so lethargic and gray. I could almost feel the yeast expanding and the pressure behind my eyes. This bread didn't fill my stomach, but it has been filling my head and working it's way into my heart, numbing and deadening as it spreads! The more I eat, the more my MIND is heavy with bloating! How long before it would have wormed into my soul?

After realizing this, I had to write it down. Now the evil baker has stopped singing, but the kitchen stinks with the aroma of idleness. My house is covered with the evidence: dirty counters and dog-toy litter. How clever this evil is! Coming disguised as 'ownership of time'. Reading "The Screwtape Letters" clued me in. I have often listened to the thoughts that say, "My time is MINE!" With every moment I gripped for my own, I've been deceived. It is ridiculous to think that we can own our time here, or even our bodies! But, as Screwtape said, "Humans are obsessed with the illusion of ownership." We are like those seagulls in 'Finding Nemo', you know the ones: "Mine?! Mine?!" The truth is: we are, at best, stewards of what we have been given. I have been using the things I was given to sit on and enjoy while I stuff myself with handfuls of the bread of idleness. What a wretched man I am! Who will save me from the body of this death?

Heavenly Father, I'm sorry for this gluttony. Thank You for Your unending love and forgiveness. Thank You for showing me what spell I'd put myself under the influence of. Please equipt me to reverse the wrong I've done and teach me Your wisdom so I may not fall into that doughy, lazy trap again. My time is not my own, I work for You. You are the most gracious Employer and Father in the universe and I have been falling down on the job. The Family Business will be my focus and, though I'm not sure what my duties are, I will do my best to find out. I will go to the employee meetings (church), study the worker's manual daily, and wait until You think I am ready to be promoted. Thank You for giving me more chances than I can count. I pray to You in Your Son's holy name, without whom I could not have been hired to begin with. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

2/16/2006

Poor In Spirit

"He that is poor in spirit is lowly in heart. Rich men are commonly proud and scornful, but the poor are submissive. The poor in spirit roll themselves in the dust in the sense of their unworthiness. 'I abhor myself in dust' (Job 42:6). He that is poor in spirit looks at another's excellencies and his own infirmities. He denies not only his sins but his duties. The more grace he has, the more humble he is, because he now sees himself a greater debtor to God. If he can do any duty, he acknowledges it is Christ's strength more than his own. As the ship gets to the haven more by the benefit of the wind than the sail, so when a Christian makes swift progress, it is more by wind of God's Spirit than the sail of his own endeavour. The poor in spirit, when he acts most like a saint, confesses himself to be 'the chief of sinners'. He blushes more at the defect of his graces than others do at the excess of their sins. He dares not say he has prayed or wept. He lives, yet not he, but Christ lives in him. He labours, yet not he, but the grace of God." -Thomas Watson

"Not only a sense of this dependence upon Christ, and helplessness out of him is implied, but a willingness to have it so--a willingness to cleave to Christ in all his offices and relations, a setting aside self, a self-loathing, a self renunciation in all respects, a casting away all hope in ourselves, all dependence upon ourselves, all trust in our own wisdom or righteousness, or our efforts at sanctification, and every thing else which is our own. These things are implied in poverty of spirit in the text. In short it is a correct view of our utterly helpless state, a realizing sense of that fact, and a disposition of soul corresponding to such views." -Charles Finney

"All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is specially true of humility. Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, 'By jove! I’m being humble', and almost immediately pride—pride at his own humility—will appear.” -Screwtape, the demon

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I have never had too high of self-worth. I think I liked to use that for selfish purposes when I was younger. Not at the expense of others, usually. But I would provide what I could of myself until the half-ounce of survival instinct helped me crawl out of danger. If I didn't have such an active imagination and an appetite for terror (thanks to Stephen King helping to raise me as a teenager) I might have died ten years ago. The main thing that kept me alive was imagining my family identifying the body. One of my other strange needs has been to protect the hearts of others. Strangely, that made for short relationships with boys. Some would have called me a heartbreaker! But I believed I was saving them from an even greater destruction if they had gotten more attached. As it was, they were able to look back in bittersweet recollection; heart intact with only slight bruising.

Now I have a lot more to live for, I mean a lot more people to keep from mourning. But after Jesus said, "blessed are the poor in spirit" He said, "blessed are those who mourn". So maybe I am staying alive for the wrong reasons.

3 ways to overcome the devil: 1. The blood of the Lamb; 2. The word of the testimony; 3. They loved not their lives so as to shrink away from death. Rev 12:11

Maybe what some psychologists would see as suicidal tendencies is actually a good thing for a Christian. I won't take my own life because I wouldn't be loving (see: obeying) God nor would I be loving others. I remain vigilant and as mindful as can be when I'm in dangerous situations because "Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God." and thinking, "Oh, His angel's will catch me, " is what the enemy wants me to think. My will to live is only in accordance with His will for me to live. He grants me every breath even when I ask Him not to. I don't know if that is so much 'poor in spirit', but He's got His eyes on me every millisecond. I just trust Him to guide me out of the dark.

2/13/2006

Just as I am now

God loves me now.
Smoking with bowels full of chili and stomach full of wine and chocolate.
Sitting with neck pushed forward against the back of the couch watching other people's lives and the parade of egos and dreams marching to the beat of fiction.
Crying in self defeat and begging for another change.
Raising my elbows up with fishing line, trying to hand Him the puppet strings.
With a pillow over my face, threatening to suffocate myself.
Wrestling with thoughts that project themselves onto my guitar neck and crawl up and down it like demonic spiders, distracting me from true melody.
Speaking frustrated words to my once neglected shelter dog, then giving in to her own frustrated sighs and heart-melting eyes.
God loves me now.

His ways are truly not my ways. I would have left me for dead a long time ago, "Abandon her to her ways! Leave her to disintegrate in a heap of neurosis and let the demons pounce on her to finish her off!"
His ways are truly not my ways.

He loves me just as I am now.
Maybe this cage is self-built and perhaps He handed me my own key to open it. Maybe He gave it to me a long time ago and I still sit, crooked and paralyzed as gravity pulls my spine over into an arch. Am I the fig tree that remains barren year after year? Or am I still a sapling slowly inching toward the sky? Fruit on me would be too small and sour to eat now. But a tree doesn't have self-awareness, it only knows how to suck in light and water. It doesn't know when it's old enough to bear fruit while its roots are worming deeper into the earth and its branches are recieving more light and requiring more water. One day fruit just appears. A tree doesn't sweat or labor. What makes fruit is the soil, the sun, the water, and the Gardener's attention. Am I a difficult adult tree or still a sapling? I pray that I'm just a kid, in spirit. Though I am 27, married, with dog. I am told to love God. That's how fruit is produced. Abide in the vine and remain in the soil under the care of the Gardener.
He loves me just as I am now.

2/01/2006

Lovin' Dog, Livin' Life

I am falling madly in love with my dog. I know this is normal but it's so great that I wanted to write about it. We cuddle and play all the time. She is starting to listen and she is willing to be taught. I taught her to lay down instead of jumping up. It will take time to teach her to listen to me when there are distractions around, but Monday we should get some sun and I'll take her to the dog park. She needs some serious "socializing". She was a maniac at the vet and almost tore off her leash when she saw a HUGE great dane. I was like, "You don't want a piece of that dog, Sophia." She was like, "Aaaah!!! I just wanna say HI!!!" She is very friendly and loves to jump on old, frail people. She needs a little work, but I have time right now. Thank the LORD!

Wouldn't it be great for me to start writing music again? Oh yeah, it would be. I have this little office space now and all I would need is a little sound-proofing, recording software, a couple good mics and blank cds to burn Of course, there is always the option of paying a professional to record and I can make the time in-studio go faster by practicing.

It is a big venture, but it's the adventure of my life. I will do it my own way and the Lord will strengthen me for it. The demon voices will fall on me like Oregon rain and try to wash away my hope. But I rest in the shelter of the Almighty and He covers me with His wings. I have been like a cowering pup quaking with my tail tucked. The Lord has been coaxing me out and showing me that I am safe. But just like Sophia was safe in the bathtub yesterday but could have sworn I meant to drown her, I am also going to take some convincing and comforting. Ultimately, it's her instinct that makes her trust me. It will be my love for God that will bring me into trusting Him more. Only by His strength will I do anything.