Open Book Blog Hop -18th February   Leave a comment

Stevie Turner

This week the topic is ‘What was your best ‘drop the mic’ moment?’

I must admit, I had not heard that phrase here in East Anglia, UK.  I’ve heard of ‘Taking the Mick’, but not ‘Dropping the mic’.  However, my US blog-hopper friends quickly translated it for me as a kind of ‘glory’ moment that you experience when you know you’ve nailed it.

Okay, well… I had to wait a long time for my glory moment – I’d say about 20 years.  It all goes back to when my sons Leon and Marc were aged 16 and at the point of leaving school.  Neither of them wanted to go to university; in fact all Leon wanted to do was play computer games, and all Marc wanted to do was play his guitar in the garage along with several hirsute, unwashed musos that you’d never want to come across on a…

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Posted February 18, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Recovering Stone-Chucker   4 comments

Feb 18, 2019

What was your best drop the mic moment?

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I guess it depends on how you define a “mic drop moment.”

Those who have followed my discussions on Facebook know that I don’t advocate for shutting down conversations, so quite often, when I could have a “mic drop”, I choose to let it go. I think mic drops are (mostly) arrogantly executed by people who believe they’re right and are unwilling to hear any evidence to the contrary. That’s not me (most of the time). I do believe I know some things a lot of people don’t know (and, I’ve tested that theory a bunch, so I have evidence to support my suspicion I’m right), but I like seeing a broad range of discussions and points of view. Sometimes they change my mind, mostly I’m hoping I can change their minds. If I do a mic drop, I’m shutting down that conversation and that rarely, if ever, changes anyone’s mind.

But I do have them occasionally. Often it’s not intentional. I’m a quippy person in my everyday life and I’ve gotten into some verbal sword-play and I’ve said something that caused the other person to go – “hmm, I can’t think of a comeback”. Since it’s not intentional, I don’t keep track. I don’t glory in it. I kind of think it was a failure because it stopped the discussion. A few times, though, I’ve had that person come back to me and say “You had a point and I changed my mind.” Good, but half the time, I can’t even remember what I said.

I had one to share with people on gun control (it really was a glory moment), but I changed my mind this morning after my pastor’s sermon mic-dropped a bunch of people in the congregation and I thought, yeah, there’s my topic.

The Bible is unequivocally clear that Christians aren’t supposed to participate in sin and I try to live my life accordingly. It’s been 27 years ago in December since I’ve drunk alcohol – not because I have a problem with alcohol. I’ve always been able to stop at one beer, wine, whatever and I’ve never really needed it to have a good time. But I take seriously that if I cause my brother (or husband) to stumble, I am as guilty of his sin as he is, and so, I chose to give it up and I don’t regret that. I don’t judge anyone for their ability to handle an adult beverage or two, it’s just that someone in my household can’t, so I judge myself accordingly. It certainly wasn’t a sin when Jesus turned water in REALLY GOOD wine, but it would be a sin for me to drink it because it stands a good chance of dragging my husband into what is truly a sin for him.

I also don’t cheat on my husband and that includes reading (or writing) books that have detailed sexual encounters in them because I take seriously Jesus’ admonition that if you commit a sin in your head, you’re as guilty as if you committed it with your body. I don’t judge you if you can read (or write) such books and feel fine in your marriage. It would be a sin for me. It might not be a sin for you. If you’re worried about it, consult your Maker, not me.

Lest you think I’m as pure as the fresh-driven snow, I’m not, and I don’t pretend to be. I slammed a lot of caffeine before writing this article, for example, and my heartrate informs me that is not treating the temple of God (my body) with the respect it deserves. I also still have some weight I’m trying to lose and that too is a desolation of God’s temple (my body). My lack of self-control assures me I am a sinner just like everyone else. My sins are just more socially acceptable than some people’s sins, but God isn’t a socialite, so I am without excuse.

Romans 2:1-11 is an interesting passage – I won’t post the whole thing here because it’s long, but it basically says (after talking about non-Christians in Chapter 1) – “Christians, you are sinners too, and you have no excuse for judging those who are non-Christians because God doesn’t see shades of grey when it comes to sin. And you will be judged if you treat non-Christians as if you are better than them because you’re not.”

My overindulgence in caffeine is not better than my husband’s past overindulgence in alcohol … just as an example. The teller of “white lies” is as much a sinner as the murderer. In God’s eyes, we’re the same, sinners one and all. The only thing that separates Christian sinners from non-Christian sinners is that Christians have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf as salvation. He bought out our slave contract, in essence. WE didn’t do that. He did and He did it for the whole world, we’re just the ones who have accepted it. Anyone else wanting to join us is welcome … by me anways and certainly by Jesus … but more on that in subsequent paragraphs.

Now, understand, paired with other passages of the Bible, this passage is not saying Christians are supposed to join the non-Christians in their sin. No, we absolutely are called to be a counter-cultural movement within society. But we are absolutely wrong if we think that makes us better than those who compose the cultural tide we’re swimming against. We’re all wading through the same cesspool, it’s just Christians have heard that rescue is upstream, not down.

The mic drop here is that many many conservative Christians are judgmental stone-chuckers and I’m not really innocent of this charge. I’m a recovering stone-chucker. It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I can look at people who commit sins, clearly know that they are committing sins, commit to not joining them, and just say “Yeah, your choice, I’ll pray for you.” This doesn’t mean I condone their sins by any stretch of the imagination. Just as I am still working on learning not to make excuses for my own failures, I am not going to white-wash the world around me. There is a lot of crap in my culture that I know makes God’s heart bleed for my fellow humans and so I (try to) refrain from those activities because I don’t want to embarrass my Heavenly Father, but there were a lot of people in the congregation this morning who walked out trying to justify their own stone-chucker behavior. I could see it in their eyes. They were a little pissed at the pastor, but in reality, they were more than a little pissed at the word of God, and that’s on them – that’s their sin and I’m called to not join my fellow Christians in their immorality either.

So, I didn’t do that. It was done to me and to the people sitting around me by a man (our pastor) with an incredibly tender heart and a son sitting in SuperMax lockup. Do I think my pastor might be a recovering stone-chucker? Oh, yeah! And, I know people in my congregation who are WAY bigger stone-chuckers than I am (some of them have recently written letters to the editor so that we know how judgmental they are) — but God doesn’t see it that way. In His eyes, my little tiny pebbles of judgment are the same as the meteors some of my fellow church-goers hail down on secular society. There is a fine line between recognizing that something is a sin that Christians shouldn’t participate in (and choosing not to participate even when there are big consequences for our refusal to comply) and using that knowledge as a bludgeon against an unbelieving world. I AM CALLED to NOT PARTICIPATE in the world’s folly, but I am NOT called to try to make the world conform to my morality. I’m supposed to be a spiritual salmon, swimming upriver, but not trying to change the river’s course. Let the river go where it will. I know my destination.

So, the mic got dropped on me this morning and I am without excuse. And, as with all mic drops, now that I’ve been rendered without defense, I get to decide what I’m going to do about it. Not “What am I going to do to other people about it”. Judgment of others is always the temptation, right? No, I must decide “What am I myself going to do with this knowledge?”

Posted February 18, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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She’s No Hamilton   Leave a comment

by Randal OToole 02/15/2019

http://www.newgeography.com/content/006224-she-s-no-alexander-hamilton

The Antiplanner might be behind the times, but has anyone else noticed that it is the Democrats who are playing the role of Alexander Hamilton — the conservative who wanted to centralize government and concentrate power in New York banks — while the Republicans are playing the role of Thomas Jefferson — the civil libertarian who wanted to keep economic and political power decentralized? I always wondered why Lin-Manuel Miranda picked such a conservative historical figure to be the hero of his left-leaning musical.

Now we know. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is going to cost tens of trillions of dollars, but she just blithely says we’ll pay for it “the same way we paid for World War II”: “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit.”

The complete article is available at the link above.

Posted February 15, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide

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Open Book Blog Hop – February 11th   Leave a comment

Stevie Turner

Here’s this week’s blog topic:

Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and your pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be, and why?

That’s an easy one for me.  No, I wouldn’t save my computer, photos, books or papers.  Having suffered from thyroid cancer and had extensive treatment, I now have no working salivary glands.  So… I would save a lovely cold bottle of water from the fridge!  I have to sip, sip, sip water all the livelong day, otherwise much unpleasantness occurs, of which I’m sure you don’t want to know about.

Cheers!

water

But hey… it’s been two years now and I’m used to it.

Everywhere I go, my trusty bottle of water is with me.  Try carrying on a conversation with no working salivary glands, or even eating a sandwich. …

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Posted February 11, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Worth It   Leave a comment

Magical World Web

February 11, 2019  #OpenBook

Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and your pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

Yeah, I’m not going back in.  I’m clumsy enough when there’s no fire.  If everybody is safe, then I’m good.  If I went back in, then I would end up being pinned by a falling beam or something and ending up as story material for Grey’s Anatomy.  And I mean that in a dying way.

Speaking of that show, I used to watch it.  It came out when my first born was chillin’ in my stomach.  That’s a terrible time to start a show that’s 99% drama.  I was a teacher and my husband worked an afternoon/evening shift as a custodian for the school (because small towns rock and they found…

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Posted February 11, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

What Is Truly Important   5 comments

Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and your pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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The last few weeks’ topics have been hard, but this one is easy. There’s a lot of things I would regret losing in a fire, but I’d move on because those things don’t define my life, even though many of them are one-of-a-kind originals. I’d miss my daughter’s art and my mother’s furniture, the collectible jewelry and milk bottles. But I could live without them.

The one thing I would return for would be a table-top hope box that contains our archives. I’ve digitalized a lot of photos, even from my mother’s albums from the 1940s. Also in the box are my dad’s seaman’s papers (the only photo I have of him before he was 30, along with the only photos I have of my mother’s family (all six siblings and her parents) and Dad’s sister. My husband, who has a few family photos in there as well, included several of my old spiral-bound journals and there are discs of my writing. This winter, I finally got around to adding copies of our wills and important papers to the archives so that if something happens unexpectedly our son knows he can find the important stuff in the box. So, I would grab that because that’s our family history and my fictional worlds.

I’m thinking I might need a bigger box … or more digitalization.

 

Posted February 11, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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A Message to Atheists   Leave a comment

A blast from the past in which I got a lot of traffic from people who somehow thought they were going to change my mind by providing me with evidence of my OP.

aurorawatcherak

You may think I hate you, but I don’t. Your aggressive arrogance irritates the stuffing out of me, but that’s an inconvenience in my life and a huge cancer in yours.

The last think you want to do is admit that God exists or that you are not the highest form of intelligence in the universe. You tell yourself that atheism is just unbelief in a divinity and that your anger is motivated by Christian arrogance in refusing to accept your benighted wisdom. Hatred fills your heart at the very thought of Jesus and, you know what, it would fill my heart too if I didn’t know Him in a personal way.

There … you feel it. That anger is the fruit of your real problem which, at root, is hatred toward God. Yeah, yeah, you don’t believe in Him and … yada … yada … yada …. Why would…

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Posted February 5, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized