Monthly Archives: April 2016

Vitamins and Sunny Sonshine

I’ve been tired, cold, achy, and generally miserable off and on throughout my entire life. I go to the doctor’s office, they run the tests, and nothing shows up. With this last spell, though, after years of “perfect” blood work, my provider decided to look at vitamin levels in my blood. Turns out, my Vitamin D was too low.

This makes sense. I don’t tolerate much that isn’t natural, so sunshine is my only option. The more sun I get, the happier and healthier I feel.

These last few weeks have been horrific. It might be my perception, but with the exception of a day or two, it’s been dreadfully cold for my tastes. It’s also been hazy, dreary, damp, dank, and dark.

So my body crashes while we see what other vital minerals I can’t use because D is too low. And we wait for a supplement to come in for me to try.

This situation set my mind reeling on another level. I wonder how many of us are missing the Vitamin Love produced by standing in the Sonshine?

*Yes, I can see your confused look*

Are you feeling bored? Struggling to fight sin? Wrestling with gossip, slander, and malice? Is worship, prayer, and Bible study dry and difficult?

Maybe you need a little Sonshine. Pray with other believers. Listen to the Word as it’s preached. Use worship tunes as the soundtrack for your life.

Over time, this will produce the Vitamin Love in your life, resulting in other vital spiritual minerals like charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All these are heartily recommended by the Great Physician.

These vital spiritual minerals can then result in fruitful evangelism, prophecy, words of wisdom and knowledge, teaching, miracles, discerning of spirits, and messages from Lord via tongues and tongues interpretation. It can also result in effective ministry, service, counsel, generosity, mercy and leadership and administration.

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It’s Time to Act!

It’s twilight. You’re out walking, maybe it’s a park or maybe it’s a concert or maybe it’s a football game. You catch a little scuffle out of the corner of your eye, but you’re not sure what happened so you keep moving.

The next day, you hear the news. You didn’t know what you didn’t know, and now someone has been hurt because you didn’t act.

Never again! All it takes for evil to win is for good people to do nothing.

You have to get involved when you see something happen. Maybe you saw some teens putting down or verbally intimidating another teen. Maybe you heard a friend say something degrading behind the back of a female friend. Maybe you saw a male friend get too physically intimate with a female friend who looked uncomfortable. Maybe you saw a friend spike the drink of a stranger in the hopes of having a good time.

Bullying, sexual assault, domestic violence, and rape all happen every day in every community. However, statistics show that the vast majority of instances are never reported. Victims don’t seek help, or authorities blame the victim in a way that makes the victim give up. Even when victims are believed and taken seriously, the perpetrators are rarely caught.

Our culture likes to promote independence and keeping to ourselves as critical values to support. This makes education, prevention, and even intervention in the moment difficult. But it doesn’t have to be.

If we opened our eyes to see each person as someone we love–our mothers, brothers, cousins, sisters, BFFs–the courage and strength will rise up and give us power to act.

If something looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Said another way outside the trite colloquialism, if something looks wrong, it probably is.

Get involved. Ask questions. Act like the victim’s friend. Act like a crazy bag lady. If you don’t feel comfortable, find someone who will.

If you speak up, you are not a wet blanket, zero wannabe hero, killjoy, buzzkill, or a different derogatory term. You are showing the victim or potential victim that you see them, that they are real, that they are not alone, and that you care.

It’s time to stand for those who cannot speak for themselves in a moment of need. Because next time, it could be someone you love who needs help in your absence.


 

Author’s Note: April is not only for autism awareness; it is also for sexual assault awareness and child abuse awareness.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (site at http://www.nsvrc.org/about/national-sexual-violence-resource-center) has excellent information related to sexual assault awareness (yes, I did use the letter to the editor as a springboard to this post).

The US Department of Health and Human Services also has a subsite (at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/) with information related to child abuse prevention.

This piece is dedicated to:

  • The 44% of survivors under 18
  • The 30% of survivors under 30
  • The new survivor every 107 seconds
  • The 293,000 survivors every year
  • The 68% of survivors who never report
  • The 98% of survivors whose perpetrators never serve human justice

 

A Poet’s Self-Portrait

Golden tresses with a touch of frost
Fall in cascading curls
Around a young-old face.

Laugh lines and worry lines
Write the story
Of unwise choices and consequences
Flowing into restoration of joy and blessing.

Blue eyes turn green
With health and joy
Twinkling about life and light.

A sturdy, solid frame
Belies hidden weakness and pain.

Sometimes hobbling, sometimes dancing,
Perpetual motion gets the job done
Until exhausted fatigue forces rest.

Nerves of steel and cool composure
Cover a woman-child
Loving people but misunderstanding life.

Calm, quiet courtesy
Allows spirited rage to hide.

Her moments lacking mercy and grace
Hide in a tabernacle of the Precious Blood
That announces the presence
Of a pure princess of light and grace.

Changing Seasons

Author’s Note: Not one of my best nine fold, so I’m going to tag but not link back. I struggled with the division among physical, emotional, and spiritual–which is probably a sign I need more emotional processing time. 🙂

Stacks of papers scattered on the desk–
Deadlines with pressure loom and strangle–
Nausea swells as the time flies by.

Agitation mounts as drive goes up.
Cognitive dissonance starts to swell.
Despair swallows hope as gladness flees.

Endless victory wrestles defeat
As I seek a prize that earth can’t beat.
Guard my soul; guide my restless heartache.

Pushing the Past Away

Bitter tears fall
As I stumble
Over past mistakes again

Face down in the mud
Past requested help refused
Pushed muck in my mouth

The broken vessel
Waits for binding
It’s done yet undone

The pieces of my heart
Scattered on the ground
Still beat trying for His rhythm

Help me–
I can’t do this any more.

**********

Tears end.
I push up.
It is what it is.
Life goes on.

Recipe for Rotten Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • One part of a wild life and free sex
  • Touch of impurity
  • Equal parts witchcraft and manipulation of others’ feelings and decisions
  • Slice of idolatry
  • Three parts hatred and trouble-making
  • Seed of anger
  • Sprinkle of selfishness
  • Hint of division and giving and taking offense
  • Another part drunkeness and wild parties
  • A wallop of waste
  • Two parts envy

Instructions

  1. Take a heart not filled with God’s Spirit
  2. Place human outside of sound teaching that won’t tickle the ears
  3. Fill with all ingredients above
  4. Allow to ferment for a season in the absence of true surrender

Yield

One tutti-frutti lukewarm life outside God’s faithful flock with a soul in danger of losing eternity

Recipe for (Spiritual) Indigestion

Ingredients

  • Two parts impatience and mean-spiritedness
  • One part jealousy
  • One part braggadocio
  • A heap of pride
  • Two parts each impoliteness, selfishness, and rapid anger
  • A complete history of every mistake
  • Pleasure in doing and seeing wrong
  • A pinch more impatience
  • A handful of lies and half-truths
  • A root of rejection
  • Sprinkles of mistrust, despair, and caving

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into old wineskin of an unrenewed mind
  2. Set the human heart to lukewarm
  3. Surround the human with hellfire and brimstone (alternatively, you may use comfort and pleasant circumstances)
  4. Wait until the human no longer hears the voice of the Holy Spirit

Yield

Seared conscience is served lukewarm!