Saturday, October 30, 2010

Because all the other Hallow E'en posts are unremarkable.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Catholic priest once said during a sermon that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were not related by blood. He said they had a "loose affiliation." (Shocking!) Is there any truth to that statement that came from a seminary graduate?

Ishmael is Abraham & Hagar's son Gen 16:1-2
Issac is the Son of Sarai Gen 18:11-13 prophesy
Issac is born of Sarai to Abraham Gen 21:1-4

Now, perhaps this priest doesn't believe in miracles. He may think that Sarai had intercourse with some other man and thereby bore a son. But we definitely know from the Bible, if you choose to look at it as a historical document, that Ishmael is the genetic son of Abraham; and perhaps Issac. Yet, we know that Abraham called Issac his son, which meant everything.

Jacob is stated to be Issac's son, along with Esau, in Gen 25:19-21. perhaps the issue arises with the fact we haven't heard from the feminine viewpoint? There has arisen the idea that Biblical women figures hold something else. And this priest, whomever he may be (and he has plenty of company), may think that the women were with other men, and the women weren't so much sterile as the men had a low sperm count.

It's generally speculation on his part without knowing why he made such a statement without qualification. Next time don't be afraid to ask: "Can you back that up?" or "how does that work?"

Ask me anything

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ask me anything
Are some people only able to learn experientially?

---Post Edited 7:20pm October 29 ---

In looking at Jungian typology & the MBTI, I've noticed that there are people who cling to facts and figures, others to concepts and 'the principle of the matter,' and others yet to what they can get their hands on. Some people learn kinetically, visually, experientially, etc. So I had to wonder, after someone made an inane comment on Wednesday evening, if some people would have to be unfortunate enough to only really understand or 'get it' not by reading books or practicum but actual experience it in their own lives.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reflection on Prayer

When we wish to suggest our wants to persons of high station,
we do not presume to do so
except with humility and reverence.
How much the more, then,
are complete humility and pure devotion necessary
in supplication of the Lord who is God of the universe!
And let us be assured
that it is not in saying a great deal that we shall be heard (Matt 6:7),
but in purity of heart and in tears of compunction.
Our prayer, therefore, ought to be short and pure,
unless it happens to be prolonged
by an inspiration of divine grace.
In community, however, let prayer be very short,
and when the Superior gives the signal let all rise together.
Chapter 21 from Rule of Order, OSB

I receive daily excerpts from the Rule of St Benedict in my email; some days I delete them, others are very timely.

Prayer. It's not something that I have mastered at all, I fail each and every day at it. On top of that, I sure as hell cannot convince my confirmation kids that it's at all valuable.

We talk and talk to God all the time. We yell, laugh, cry, curse, &c at Him. Nothing happens. Not immediately. Sometimes not for years. I could point to Blessed Mother Teresa as an example of how she did not hear back from God after He told her to start a new order and a new convent. But how many people can relate to that? Perhaps things closer to home: a friend asks God for a job and he doesn't get one for 3 years; three years spent in unemployment and rejection letters. I joke with my friend, "Don't tell me that!" Or Johnny asked Jesus, through his devotion to the Sacred Heart, entrusted their first baby, only to miscarry.

God hears us, supposedly. He supposedly cares. So why doesn't He do something about what I'm going through? If I were truly a Child of God, would this have happened? Some God you are, never looking out for Your followers. What kind of Father are you? Not any kind of Father I know of! If this is what its like to be your child, I don't want anything to do with you or your wretched chosen ones*.

We are so damn narcissistic in our spiritual lives. It's all about us: me, me, me, ad nauseum. There is no room for the Other, or for other possibilities. Maybe God is creating the situation that will provide you with the answer that you are seeking? Perhaps there is some lesson you need to learn; who said that learning would be pain free? Have we learned to brush and floss because it is fun, or because drilling cavities hurts?

There's pain and frustration behind all the questions and prayers that we put forward to God. We are needy, and there is nothing wrong with that! He can handle the pain and the frustration. That Man has starved for 40 days! He has been under so much stress that the capillaries in his skin broke and he sweated blood! His closest friends betrayed him, denied that they ever knew him. How can you say that He does not understand the pain? Does not know the anger, frustration, anxiety, sorrow, &c?

We throw it all at Him, expect an instantaneous reaction, and leave Him as soon as it becomes clear that He's not responding in the way we would like. You gonna tell God how to respond?

How do we know if God has responded? How do we hear him? see him? know him? feel him? How do other people respond to you? Do they send you songs, poems and thoughts? Do they tell other friends to hang out with you, or direct you to others? Do they make suggestions that you brush off at first? Do they ask you to read something? To consider an alternative? Do they force you into something (i.e., counseling, roller coasters)? Do they let others speak on their behalf? Do you have to wait days for them to return calls or emails? Why can it not be the same with God; does every communication with you need to be an extraordinary measure? Will He never talk to you - no; when you get the chance to to hear His voice, theres' no doubt. When you get the chance to feel His love, you won't be able to mistake it for something else.

If you want a Scriptural basis; I won't list verses but mannerisms:

  • Nature (i.e., the fire versus the earthquake versus the small wind)
  • Prophets/other people (Isaiah, Habbakuk, Hosea)
  • Closed doors (obstacles)
  • Open windows (not the way out you wanted, but out nonetheless)
  • miracles
  • His voice
  • the Saints
  • Angels (St Luke's Gospel & Moses)
  • Demons (Job)
  • Dreams (Joseph: OT, NT)
Always remember, how He talks with you is different from others.

based on a question

*Monday, October 25, 2004. notebook journal

Ask me anything

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Revving up for NaNoWriMo 2010

Participating in NaNoWriMo last year for the first time I was very skeptical of anyone's ability to write 50,000 words in a single month. Looking back on last year I can see that if I had attended fewer birthday parties (November is popular for birthdays because February is 9 months before; but my own birthday in November does not correspond with that), I could reasonably achieved the 50,000 by November 30th. Instead I 'only' wrote 32,000 words in 3 weeks.

I spent this entire past year thinking about my NaNo 2009 novel which has a working title of "daimon hunting" & have fleshed out some of my characters but it still requires a lot of work. So much work, due to the fact that I have to rearrange chapters, get rid of certain distasteful characters, build others up, tear some of their egos down, etc. I have to completely re-write it. So I'm putting it on the cooling block while I rewrite a novel I started outside of NaNo.

In fact, I had started writing the KH novel about a year before I learned of NaNo, so in 2008 I had begun writing it. I did not have too much direction to the plot line and I was nearly writing a fan fiction piece and just rewriting the characters and the period. That was not working as it became a plot filled with scenes where I would just blow off steam. Its odd how much calmer I could get after killing off a character (and not in the way I had to kill off Cody in the NaNo 2009; that was cruel), these characters were bad and needed to go. Now, I'm reworking the plot, the characters, renaming them and such. I found out that my muse was writing herself into the novels and that had to stop: my nomme de plume is that of my muse and she's no longer allowed in the novels. Period.

The above is my working title and banner for NaNo 2010. Drawing from the forum, I'll just repost the synopsis. I've chosen, since the novel is dark*, to go under the genre of horror and the supernatural; I don't seem to play well with the other Christian writers.

Synopsis: Snowed Out
She is forced to leave all that is familiar to flee supernatural forces who oppose every good deed she does with increasingly dangerous consequences.
Excerpt: Snowed Out
The night hung heavy and the chill dug into the skin. If it had been any other evening, she probably would not have noticed, but the dampness caused her to stop and gaze up as fog rolled across her field of vision. Gazing back at the door she had just ran out of, the door that she had just slammed, the dark cold seemed to close in upon her. It hadn’t been hard, but when her heart broke it felt like she was walking barefooted on crystal shards. A whole world built carefully in love, faith and hope was gone; forever darkened. Helene’s vision darkly reverberated as a ripple emanated from the warmly lit house and slammed her into the lawn.

And yes, I cheated and wrote my opening paragraph ahead of time. Unlike last year, I don't have the same strings of unending time: I wasn't working and hadn't gotten any interviews all month and I was probably about 3-4 weeks into depression. This year, I'm determined not to do the depression thing, besides last years was spiritually oriented too. I've got classes and a few papers to write that are due December 1st or somewhere in the last week of November. The nerd in me is pressing me to write those papers already and get them done this week, along with my Halloween costume and the last dregs of research for the NaNo. It's part of the craziness that is NaNo.

And I just wrote my first most in-depth and lengthy post in months on writing. =)

* From 8th grade through my junior year in high school I wrote a serial murder story with input from my then-best friend. The characters were careful reconstructions of certain fellow students. That's probably not as bad as a fellow friend & later boyfriend who was found with a hit list in his locker. Also, I'm not known for chick lit or 'run in the meadow' or 'find prince charming' or what I like to call 'bubble gum perky'.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A little update

I'm busy studying to get my CAADAC certification, which will hopefully open up some employment opportunities for me.  Apparently it's unusual to have a MSW with CAADAC licensing.  Already I'm seeing some potential positions open up.  I'm hoping that the internships will be good; might take a class just for the heck of it.

I'm poking holes into my fingers, sewing the bodice and remaining details of my Renaissance Faire outfit which doubles as my Halloween costume. I will likely have to replace the bodice as I forgot to cut tabs.  Lesson learned, I also know how to get cheap 'boning' at $0.59  This time next week I should be able to post photos.

Between all this I'm looking for employment; still nothing in this department to report.  I figure that I have a 93% failure rate; seeing as how there are 6 rejection letters sitting on my desk and a rejection email, with what could easily be more than 100 jobs applied to in the past month.  100 applications and 7 interviews.  That's not too bad.

NaNoWriMo starts in 6 days; I'm fairly anxious to start.  I decided on my plot - and I've completely reworked the KH details and now have a working title.  Hopefully this will really turn into a manuscript.

That's about all in my little corner of the world