Archive for the ‘examined living’ Tag

The Most Schooled Generation in History Is Miserable | Zachary Slayback   Leave a comment

Millennials are stressed out because they’re bored

Source: The Most Schooled Generation in History Is Miserable | Zachary Slayback

 

Lela says – I’m a huge believer in the value of an education, but I also subscribe to a belief in self-education. I totally agreed with this Will Hunting quote –

“You blew 150k on an education you could have gotten in$1.50 in late fees from the library.”

Posted June 10, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in culture

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Make Your Choice Today!   Leave a comment

I wasn’t going to pursue Friday’s SCOTUS decision, but you’ve forced me to it —

Christians, why are you shocked that the secular temple has betrayed God’s law? Jesus told us that the world would hate us and reject what we believe. Don’t be shocked that it’s doing what Jesus predicted!

Did you honestly believe that you would never have to choose between the world and God? There was a time in this country when a majority of the people claimed a cultural Christianity that generally accepted Biblical principles as a good way of conducting society. Those were good times for Christians because we could be in the world and of it and not have to choose . That time is gone!

Get over it!

The world believes it has won a victory. “Love won.” Christians know the world is foolish and that sex is not love. God is still on His throne and sin is still sin. Despite what the priests of the secular temple have decided, Christians are still called to flee sexual immorality. Choose you this day whom you will serve.

 

The civil disobedience this decision is going to give rise to will be an opportunity for Christians to explain why we are willing to give up businesses, social standing, our wealth and maybe even our freedom to obey a standard the world mocks. That doesn’t mean we’re going to “win” those secular arguments. It merely means we’re going to bear testimony to how God wants us to be different from the world.

In giving that testimony, we become Paul before Caesar’s court, giving a reason for why he didn’t obey Roman law. Did you think you deserved better than what Paul received?

“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first.” (John 15 — Jesus)

Simplistic Thinking about Mass Shootings   4 comments

Perhaps it is human nature to blame something other than ourselves for the events we see in the world. The South Carolina church shooting shows that tendency in full view.

  • Guns caused the shooting. Their very existence demands that they be used for the mass killing of folks.

Do we really believe that? Certainly our president and some pundits say they believe that, but isn’t that the equivalent of saying “the devil made me do it?” I’ve been around guns my whole life. It’s stupid to go into the woods where there are bears, wolves and moose without a firearm. I shot a 22 when I was 7. I first handled my mom’s 357 when I was in junior high right after three soon-to-be rapists tried to break into our house and Mom (all 95 pounds of her) scared them away.

My guns have never whispered to me that I should go out and shoot up a church, a movie theater, a shopping center. Guns are inanimate objects. If there’s any whispering going on, it’s coming from the mind of the shooter, not the guns. Guns are simply a tool for keeping users safe. Make them illegal and it leaves law-abiding citizens at the mercy of law-breakers, because law-breakers won’t be obeying the gun laws.

  • Racism caused the shooting.

There may be some validity to this argument in the case of this particular church. It was a historically black church and the shooter seems to have had some racist beliefs. He was also high on drugs and may have been mentally ill. So is that racism or mental illness or some other problem not yet identified. The shooter spent an hour in that church during Bible study before he opened fire. If it were my church, I’d be asking “What happened during that hour that escalated rather than de-escalated his violence?” Maybe it was nothing. Maybe he was just bent on killing people and it took him an hour to get the courage, but … as I said, if it were MY church …. Is it possible they weren’t very welcoming to the weird white guy in their haven for the dark-skinned? If you think that’s a racist question, note the number of fingers pointing back at yourself before you pop off.

  • Mental illness caused the shooting. Lock up all mentally ill or make it illegal for them to have guns and all will be better.

I worked in the mental health field for 15 years. I’ve met some mentally ill people who would mow down a church group because the voices in their heads told them to do it. Not the gun, not racism — mental illness. But I’ve also met mentally ill folks who would never hurt anyone (except maybe themselves) and others who stay on their meds because they don’t want to ever hurt anyone else. Delusional disorders are not all the same and it’s wrong to treat some folks like criminals because they are ill.

  • Churches are at fault.

I actually heard this from an atheist neighbor this weekend. If churches weren’t these monolithic structures that judge people, he said, they wouldn’t become targets for crazy people. Do away with all churches and people would be free to love one another and violence would be reduced immeasurably. Wow, you just can’t make that up.

All of those simple causes are probably partially at fault. Churches ought to be more welcoming to those who are odd. Yes, that puts them more at risk. Jesus never said being His followers would be safe. There is a lovely man who occasionally comes through our church. We call him John the Baptist and I can’t say his real name because I signed agreements years ago. He is a Christian who is also bat-crazy with schizophrenia. Often when you talk to him, it’s like reading Alice in Wonderland on acid, but he also cuts right to the truth of the gospel in a way that sane people rarely do. He knows his Bible and his application is spot on. And (some people find this creepy), he seems to know things about you that he shouldn’t know, but he uses that knowledge to help the Christians he meets. I wonder if he’s not talking to angels, who are the demons who chose to obey God. Yeah, I worked in the mental health field for 15 years and I believe in demons. That’s another topic. Churches should be more welcoming to people who are not stereotypically “church” people.

Mental illness is a tough nut to crack. Europe and other nations handle it by doing what we used to do — locking folks up and forcing them to take their meds. There is a growing movement in this country by mental health advocates to never force anyone to take medication against their will. Did you know that? Yeah! So maybe there’s more to these mass shootings than just undiagnosed mental illness. But maybe in a country that prides itself on individual liberty, we really don’t have a right to force others to be medicated against their will. There are some folks who think we should treat mental illness like a crime. I don’t, but I also acknowledge that some people won’t stay on their meds and they aren’t John the Baptist motivated by God’s spirit to share the gospel. Some of them are scary scary people and we need to have a discussion about what to do with that. Currently, if you call for help because you think someone might be developing schizophrenia and about to harm someone, you have to show that they really are an imminent risk to themselves or others. In essence, they have to mow down a church group before the police will act.

Notice that I’m sitting on the fence with this because I’m an individualist who has experience with both good people who are mentally ill and scary people who are mentally ill. I’m not sure what the answer is here and I suspect there is no “good” solution.

Racism is a swinging door. The first time I ever saw racism directed at me was not because I’m an American Indian and white folks don’t like Indians. It was a black man who had decided I was white and he didn’t want me in his shop. Racism doesn’t have a color. A traditionally ethnic church of any stripe might think its meeting separately because that’s how white folks want it, but in reality, in this day and age, they are meeting separately because they feel most comfortable with that. Guaranteed, if a group of any ethnicity showed up at 90% of traditionally white churches, nobody would turn them away and most might not even notice the color of your skin. Racism and reverse racism are not excuses for mowing down a church group, but it is certainly something churches need to consider. And, not just churches. Society as a whole exhibits this problem. When you’re pointing a finger at someone else as a racist, pay attention to how many fingers are pointing back at you.

Guns do not kill anyone by themselves. They are simply a tool. If we didn’t have guns, mentally ill people and racists would find other ways to kill people. Knives, gasoline bombs, cars, baseball bats, bow-and-arrow, hammers …. As a small woman, I’m not going to go mana a mana with a man swinging a baseball bat or wielding a knife. With a gun, I become his equal and therefore, equally able to protect myself and those around me. If you disarm me, you relegate me to the role of victim, leading to my death.

I know we don’t want to hear this. We want simple causes and simple solutions, but we don’t have those and until we accept that the issues are more complicated than we want to believe, we can’t hope to solve the problems.

Civility not too much to ask: Comments a forum for discussion of issues, not abuse and threats – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Editorials   Leave a comment

There you go. Pretty much what needs to be said.

Civility not too much to ask: Comments a forum for discussion of issues, not abuse and threats – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Editorials.

Debate does not need to become a hate-filled shouting match. I will continue to post controversial ideas until such time as I am imprisoned or dead, because I believe people ought to THINK and entertain ideas contrary to the societal zeitgeist. You want to debate it? Good. If you want to use it as a forum to abuse others — you pretty much are making my points for me.

Who I Write For   Leave a comment

“If you write for God, you will reach many men and bring them joy. If you write for men, you may make some money and give someone a little joy, and make a noise in the world, for a little while. If you write for yourself, you can read what you yourself have written and after ten minutes be so disgusted you will wish you were dead.” Thomas Merton

 

I was trolling the web and came upon a popular writer’s site that suggested I put more me into my writing.

Wouldn’t that result in all my characters being me? Trust me! I’m not that interesting! When you read a villain in my books, I hope they’re polar opposites from my heroes, who may have a touch of me in them, but not so much that you hear an Alaska writer when you read them.

I think writing needs authenticity, not self-centeredness.

What do you think? #amwriting

Posted October 11, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Writing

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Tug of War   1 comment

Paul often described the Christian life as a tug of war between the desires of our flesh and the focus of the Spirit. Since the Fall, mankind has not been naturally desirous to follow God, but we all still feel the tension between what we were created to be (in fellowship with God) with what we have become (separated from God). Paul didn’t candy-coat the struggle. He dealt with it squarely. 

The works of the flesh are obvious:

Sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things.

Paul warned them, as he had warned them before, that those who practiced such behaviors will not inherit the kingdom of God. And, this is where it gets hard and where I say you should read Galatians and probably all of Paul’s writings to really understand what he’s talking about here.

Christianity is not about being moral. Avoiding these behaviors will not save you. That would be getting the cart before the horse. It only works one direction. Christians avoid these behaviors because they are already saved, because we let the Spirit of God work through us. It does not work in the other direction.

But it’s more than just avoiding behaviors that separate us from God. We are saved TO reflect God’s character, not just saved FROM the world’s degradation.

The fruit of the Spirit might be less obvious, but far more important because they are the evidence of God working through us:

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

God has made no law against these behaviors unlike the works of the flesh.

Those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, we behave in accordance with the Spirit and this is God working through us, not us doing and don’ting to please Him.

Paul then launched into how to form a Christian support network.

On Conformity   1 comment

Sometimes it hits you, as did the article I reposted a couple of minutes ago.

There are so many people who advocate for conformity and they do it with the best of intentions. Why shouldn’t the United States use the Celcius Scale or the metric system? Every other country in the world is on board with these systems. What is wrong with us?

I’m not disputing the arguments for adopting those system. I’m disputing the notion that conformity is good. It’s not! If everybody else is doing it, you should probably ask why and if maybe you should stop, go another way, avoid the unseen cliff the rest of society is rushing over.

 

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