Monthly Archives: October 2016

Travelin’ Thru

Travelin’ Thru
Lyrics by Dolly Parton

Well I can’t tell you where I’m going, I’m not sure of where I’ve been
But I know I must keep travelin’ till my road comes to an end
I’m out here on my journey, trying to make the most of it
I’m a puzzle, I must figure out where all my pieces fit

Like a poor wayfaring stranger that they speak about in song
I’m just a weary pilgrim trying to find what feels like home
Where that is no one can tell me, am I doomed to ever roam
I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ on

Questions I have many, answers but a few
But we’re here to learn, the spirit burns, to know the greater truth
We’ve all been crucified and they nailed Jesus to the tree
And when I’m born again, you’re gonna see a change in me

God made me for a reason and nothing is in vain
Redemption comes in many shapes with many kinds of pain
Oh sweet Jesus if you’re listening, keep me ever close to you
As I’m stumblin’, tumblin’, wonderin’, as I’m travelin’ thru

I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ thru
I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ thru

Oh sometimes the road is rugged, and it’s hard to travel on
But holdin’ to each other, we don’t have to walk alone
When everything is broken, we can mend it if we try
We can make a world of difference, if we want to we can fly

Goodbye little children, goodnight you handsome men
Farewell to all you ladies and to all who knew me when
And I hope I’ll see you down the road, you meant more than I knew
As I was travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, travelin’ thru

I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’
Drifting like a floating boat and roaming like the wind
Oh give me some direction lord, let me lean on you
As I’m travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, thru

I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ thru
I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ thru

Like the poor wayfaring stranger that they speak about in song
I’m just a weary pilgrim trying to find my own way home
Oh sweet Jesus if you’re out there, keep me ever close to you
As I’m travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, as I’m travelin’ thru

When this posts, I will already be in the air and about to land at JFK Airport. I then fly from JFK to Long Beach, which is (by my best calculations, I’m not good with the time changes) a six hour flight. I’ll take my Xanax and be just fine, but ready, oh so ready, to land in Long Beach and get to my hotel.


Work and Politics

I’m working today, but I leave tomorrow for a week long conference. I’m looking forward to the conference but not the flight. I hate flying. It scares me to death. It’s also going to be a long flight, because I am flying to California. I’ve never been to California before, so I’m excited to be going. I wish this wasn’t a trip that I am going on alone, but I will make the best of it. I will be in Long Beach, California. If any of my followers are in that area, I’d love to try and schedule a time for a drink or something.

By the way, I watched the debate last night. Donald Trump is really hard to stomach and difficult to listen to. He’s such a despicable person. I honestly can’t understand how we got to the point where Donald Trump can be a legitimate candidate for a major party. Hillary came across as classy. Donald Trump came across as a petulant child. The second debate was one of the most painful things I’ve ever watched.


Traveling 

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD,
which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper:
the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out
and thy coming in from this time forth,
and even for evermore.
Psalm 121

We all travel at some points in our lives, and a prayer for when we travel is important to be sure God knows we want His hand in our vacation, trip or in any journey in which we travel. We all may be good enough in our driving, much aware that there are important travel safety tips we can follow to protect ourselves away from home, but one of the most important is to pray for God to be with us.

Life itself is often a challenging, dangerous journey, with no clear idea what is over the hill in front of you. You “lift your eyes unto the hills” and ask from where will help come. We will all need help and courage in getting over those hills and this can only be fulfilled with the grace of God.

Only The Lord can direct the steps and can provide peace throughout the trip. I know whenever I am away from home there are some people back home praying the whole time for my return. For all of my family members, relatives and friends I would express my humble thanks, and request to pray for my journey of life as well. One thing I have gotten to know is the point that no matter where you go and whatever you might experience, God is always their watching over you. May God watch over me this week, and may he watch over all of us in our travels through life.


Moment of Zen: Just Because 


Pick Up Lines

 I was playing on tumblr last night and came across a pretty funny pick up line:

Do you have pet insurance? (When they answer no) Too bad because your pussy is getting smashed tonight.

Here’s another one: you pick up a sugar packet and hand it to a guy and say, “You lost your name tag.”

One more: Did you sit in a pile of sugar? Because you have a pretty sweet ass.

So do you know any funny pick up lines? Have you ever used a pick up line and what was it? Have you had someone use a pick up line on you? Are pick up lines ever successful?


My Health

Over the past couple of years I have been suffering from cluster headaches. At first they went undiagnosed, but a doctor diagnosed me with them about 18 months ago. I went through the treatment to stop their cycle and eventually it worked for a time. Then they came back, but not as strong as before I was put on a daily dose of a preventive medicine. About a month or so ago, I went to a neurologist. At first he did not believe I had cluster headaches or migraines. I have both. However, he decided he might as well try treating me for the cluster headaches since I have medicine that will stop the migraines.

The first thing he did was triple the dose of my medicine. I had been prescribed too low of a dose and he brought it up to the recommended level. Since then, I have been cluster headache free. When I went to see the neurologist yesterday, he finally agreed that I must have had cluster headaches since the treatment was working so well. I still have headaches, sinus headaches and the occasional migraine, but I no longer have the never ending pain of the chronic cluster headaches. The relief from the cluster headaches is tremendous, but even more so, I feel relief at knowing for sure what has been wrong with me the last several years.

My depression has also eased with an increased dosage of my antidepressant. I feel better right now then I have in years. The depression isn’t gone. I still have blue days here and there are moments of intense sadness, but it is not a constant state of sadness that I experienced before the increased antidepressant. I’ve also seen a drop in my anxiety. I don’t feel panicked all the time. I am calmer.

I tend to hide my pain very well. For the past year, especially the past ten months, I have been absolutely miserable. I was in constant pain, mentally and physically. Most people wouldn’t know it though because I hid it the best I could. Over the past month with changes to my medication, I feel better than I have in quite some time. Please pray for me that the pain will stay away. I realize that there will be periodic bouts of loneliness, fatigue, and depression, but they are no longer constant like they were. I hope and pray that my pain won’t be coming back any time soon.


Ugh!

I had a headache that started just before the VP debate last night. Watching the debate made it worse. I hate hearing people talk ove one another. I really like Tim Kaine, but I did not like his interruptions. However, I did not like anything that Mike Pence had to say, except when he agreed with Kaine. Pence is a failed governor and he needs to be a failed VP candidate.

The moderator did a good job of chastising the candidates when they needed it and of calling out the candidates (Pence, especially) in not answering her questions.

Overall, I think Kaine came out on top. Each candidate had a job to do: Kaine was to do no harm and Pence was to defend Trump. Kaine did his job. Pence failed in his.


For Joe

For Joe
By Sandra Simonds

Locked in the beauty of the pearl, far from frail,
these people who claim to love us still
they don’t give up much, do they, sealed? To eradicate class—
the looking glass of it, the complex glare: “Let me introduce
xxx, impoverished poet.” Winter let up
like a terrible religion. In its wake, a politics came,
profane. You were on a train
from Philly to Mass. Winter let up like bands and globes
and globules and I could feel the trade ships
in my bloodstream, the blood that made me,
and I wanted to kill it
really bad like a war path. They said my poems
were a mess. Well, if that’s the case, then, go ahead.
Strike one match and the mansion will go up in its own ash,
in its obsession with accumulation against the glint of trees.

About This Poem

“I was talking to my friend Joe on the phone one night (also a poet) and he told me that he was invited to give a poetry reading at a university by another poet and that poet introduced Joe to the audience as an ‘impoverished poet.’ It got me thinking about class consciousness/unconsciousness in poetry and about the class position of the poet who introduced Joe. How does hegemony assert itself both within the complex social relations of the poetry world and beyond, and how do we begin to call out and change these power structures?”
—Sandra Simonds


Why Coming Out Isn’t For Everyone 

Coming out is a powerful experience. It is a story that many people in the LGBTQ community have in common. Whether subtle or dramatic, disclosing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity is often met with celebration and praise. With the advent of inclusive religious institutions, scholars, and others who make a strong case of God’s love and intention behind creating queer people, it would seem that now is a better time than any to fling open the closet door.

Despite these many gains, we must exercise caution before encouraging others to come out of the closet.

While coming out can be an empowering and life-defining experience, the blinding light of excitement around the event must not obscure the danger that exists for many should such personal information become known. Disclosure of one’s sexual and/or gender identity is intensely personal, and motivated by many factors.

As vital as one’s sexual identity or gender expression is, there are other aspects of life that need to be taken into account if they are to assume the risk of disclosure.

Personal acceptance, emotional and financial independence, and safe distance from harm are only a few of the realities to consider when an individual decides to come out. If any one of these factors are not in the person’s favor, then disclosure may actually impact their ability to have basic necessities met.

Bringing up this reality might seem negative, given the current status of our religious world.

While many churches still adhere to anti-LGBTQ theology and doctrine, there is a significant challenge to that status quo. Campaigns such as It Gets Better offers advice, encouragement, and hope for those who are struggling with their identity. Groups such as The Gay Christian Network and queer clergy of all sorts of religious practices are stepping up to aid in this process.

This issue is not that these advances in the public conversations are wrong, or even that they are not evidence of progress. Rather, the concern is that these joyful accounts are often elevated at the expense of the harsh realities that LGBTQ people still have to endure.

For some, it gets better. For many others, coming out makes things worse.

At least one trans woman was murdered each month this year.

And in early June, the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando provided a harsh reminder that even our “safe places” are not truly safe from violence. Rates of homelessness among LGBTQ youth are through the roof—often the result of religious parents. Having a public gay or trans identity still puts one at risk for unemployment or employment discrimination across much of the United States.

All of these incidents are far more likely to impact queer people who are also people of color. It is a fact that coming out can lead to people coming to their end.

It is a victory to stand publicly in one’s truth. It is also true that a healthier way to honor that significant event is to make the world a safer place for people to be who they are without fear of starvation, homelessness, and death. It is important to remember that people have to “come out” because of society’s deep, unfair assumptions about who people are and how they should exist in the world.

It is not queer people who should be pushed out of closets; it should be society that is forced out of its hatred.

Coming out should continue to be celebrated. With that celebration should come the acknowledgement that it is still not safe for many to do so. The work to make the world safer for all—and to eliminate the need for “coming out” altogether—must continue.

From: Believe Out Loud (http://www.believeoutloud.com/latest/not-coming-out-gay-queer)


Rule of Law

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. – Romans 13:1-5

When the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was legal throughout the United States, Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore sent out a directive to Alabama’s 67 probate judges to not issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Moore claimed that Alabama law superseded a federal court ruling. Luckily most of Alabama’s probate judges ignored Moore.

Moore and his supporters said, “If it’s not God’s law, it’s not law.” This does not follow what the Bible tells us. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” I believe that most of America’s laws are inspired by God. I certainly believe that the Obergefell decision was based on love and the freedom to love. And remember that God is Love.

The United States remains a country founded on the principle of freedom, a place where my God can be a whole lot more tolerant than the damning deity depicted on signs in front of the Alabama Judicial Building this week.

In America, the rule of law is the Great Commandment. Without it we are lost, a lawless land controlled by the tribe with the biggest band and the biggest stick. That’s not America. It’s ISIS.

Moore’s supporters on Wednesday said they couldn’t understand why the chief justice was even on trial before the court of the judiciary. They argued that a charge against Moore is an attack on God and an assault on religion itself.

Which is as absurd. It is a protection of religion.

Moore, the top judge on the highest court in all of Alabama, was on trial for flouting the Rule of Law, for putting his own beliefs – again – above the decisions of the United States Supreme Court.

Moore was accused of ordering Alabama probate judges to deny marriage licenses to gay couples, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that essentially made gay marriage legal in all states. Moore argued Wednesday his order was just a suggestion – even if it did say “ordered and directed” right there before his signature.

“I would not defy a federal court order,” Moore testified – even though he was kicked out of the same office in 2003 for defying a federal court order. His follow-up was closer to the truth.

“I don’t defy federal court orders when they are within the law,” he said.

Within his version of the law.

The Court of the Judiciary stood for the Rule of Law this week, unanimously finding that Moore should be suspended without pay for the rest of his term for putting himself before his duty.

It had little choice.

Because Moore, again, put his own beliefs and his own flavor of religion above his duty, his country and his oath. He violated the one thing he was sworn to uphold.