Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vacation Stress and New Perspectives

It's vacation time! So many of us plan for it and hold it up like a trophy reward for making it through the daily mundane days in life: washing clothes, making egg salad sandwich or watching one more reality TV show.

But really, does it refresh you?

Do you long for more time when you are away?
Do you regret the time when you realize you spent more than planned?
Do you quickly forget what it felt like when you re-enter your home?

In my family, I have a quirky children do not want to be photographed. They dunk, hide, turn or firmly shut their eyes. Facebook and other computer photo pages have them horrified of getting a bad picture taken and plastered for everyone in the world to see.

I so long to have pictures to see, OK yes, I am getting older... I need pictures to remember. And then I wonder, is everyone else like me?

Do people need to see pictures to recall the memories or can they pull up images in their head? The images I see in my head are all kinda warped with new angles and scenes created by artistic cubist painter. My mental filing system is a little off.

Sometimes I wish I could live in a vacation mode... do you?

The morning after I arrived home from our wonderful vacation on the beach in Destin, FL I had a perfect dream to help me land back into reality of wife/mom/individual/etc:
I was in this hallway of doors.
I would open a door and be working on a big important project -- like doing surgery on some old guy or heading up a creative team with a project 2 weeks overdue or practicing a dress rehearsal for a big show or doing a layout on a magazine...
Everything had deadline, and it was pressing on
I would run from room to room doing about 5 minutes of work and dart out for the next room. Can you imagine leaving a patient after a few minutes to run to the next project? I was spinning, overwhelmed and guilt-ridden. And then the telephone began to ring. Really--in real life-- our phone rang and work me up.
But here is the wildest part, my husband started to speak and I told him to wait, I was still able to re-enter the dream. After a minute or so (I think my EMDR therapy helped me with the ability-awake dreaming), I was back in watching... half/half drowsy/awake. And then it came to me, the moral of the dream... I am doing too much!
Everything I do is important, urgent, special -- but because I do so many things I am never competing anything!!! After a few more minutes of trying to let the dream show me how to solve this problem, I had no success, so I woke up.
God was teaching a strong lesson. 

Finish a project before you look for or take on another one.

Where do I begin? I have a deadline on June 1st! I have an article to turn into a magazine editor. I will finish that article before I go looking for other things or digging into other piles.

Pray for me, I tend to get distracted and anything that looks interesting becomes "just what I have been waiting for" which ends up derailing me.

Seriously, I do need your prayers, so I will begin by praying to God for my focus and to guide my research to not lead me on any rabbit trails (if only I distasted research).

Here I go! (as soon as I find the perfect picture for this post and proof it and publish it).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Depression Glass

Colored glassware tumbles out of boxes,
Seemingly plentiful patterns, dancing everywhere.
Shoppers' gifts promote the local stores
A rainbow in the darkest days.

Can happiness be found
Through a rose colored glass?
Is suffering so easily forgotten
In simple kitchenware?

Stocks dropped, Investors fell
Both hit the bottom hard.
Run on the banks locked up the doors
Savings withered like never before.

Dinnerware turns up in bulk,
Replacing artisans crafting with a machine.
Lopsided vases cherished as 
A treasure for wildflowers.

Hearts broke, grown men cried
Hungry folks gather in lines
For a warm cup of soup
Unable to brighten burdened souls.

Packed in flour sacks, common in homes.
Filling up recently barren kitchen shelves.
Roughness in rims began to appear
Used and stacked over the years.

Soil tilted by calloused hands
Seeds of hope planted in everyone's land.
Lessons learned about trusting in coins.
God remains unchanged, but they wanted more.

Rare depression pieces regain their charm,
As we try to find our past, our way back home
We keep collecting things made long ago
But we miss the message of "Jesus alone".

Original poem written by Lindy Abbott 2012

Wisdom Wonders

Courage asks,
Pressing what is obvious.
Light bends naturally.
No one perceives;
They do not wonder.

Space-time splits.
Above velocity slows.
Clockworks losing minutes,
Warping concepts,
Stretching wise old minds.

Bravery seeks,
Breaking with all norms.
Dares laws--wants to know,
With faith of a child.

Original Poem by Lindy, May 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Help Me Understand - Obama's Citizenship Issue Regarding His Birth

A teenager asked this question: Can someone please help me understand? I agree that it is important for the president to be legally elected, but if President Obama's mother was a citizen at the time of his birth wouldn't he inherit his citizenship from her no matter where he was born? Is someone claiming that she was 
not a citizen at the time of his birth?

Here is my answer:

Well, the concern rests with the wording in the constitution for the requirement of President. 

The writers (George Washington being one) of the constitution were concerned that someone would come to the country, gain citizenship or be born to a non-citizen and have dual citizenship (a person born of parent who are from different nations is a usually a dual citizen) and thereby the person might not be loyal to America-alone. So an extra step to safeguard our nation from a takeover was made: to require a person be a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN in order to become President. (you have to be careful with the definition of NBC because many people have tried to change its meaning to weaken our Nation's Sovereignty and to exploit America to gain financial benefits.)

The constitution requires for the president to be a Natural Born Citizen, which means both parents must be citizens at the time of the birth of the child and that the child was not born outside of America and thereby obtaining citizenship of another nation. 

No one in our history has tried to become president that was not a Natural Born Citizen, so people have not really focused on this requirement since no person has tested its limit and pushed its meaning to the edge. The discussion gets muddy in the fact that there are a court few cases that Judges have carelessly used the term Natural Born Citizen in the writing of their judgement dealing with citizenship rights, like the right to vote for women. You do not have to be a natural born citizen to vote. You don't need to be a natural born citizen for anything else in America! There is only one legal Constitution time in all of American History of when and why you need to be specifically a natural born citizen and that is the higher standard used as a requirement for a person to become president. 

Since the Justices have carelessly declared people to be a Natural Born Citizen for a benefit or right in legal writings many people try use these cases as a legal precedent to define what a Natural Born Citizen is also for the requirements of becoming president, but it must be carefully noted that no justice has ever tried a case on whether a person is legally eligible under the Natural Born Citizenship requirement written in the Constitution regarding a president. This is a very specific measure and it is only meant for this single purpose. Simply because judges have used the wording inappropriately to apply to a judgement in a case to make it sound good does not change the Constitution meaning of the requirement for a person to become President or the intent for the precise wording used.

When America began, everyone here was not Natural born citizens - obviously - because we were not yet a nation able to give citizenship. People were citizens of Britain since we were a colony, after the revolutionary battle against Britain for so many years a loyalty was forged among most who were still in the country so anyone living in America at the time of the constitution's ratification were the original citizens and thereby eligible citizen for President (similar to what we legal call a grandfathering clause) but anyone after the writing of the Constitution and its ratification needed to be born of two American Citizens and to be born in America (military bases are considered American territory for this purpose).

There has been a great fight to lower the standard. For example, since we have so many people who get to claim to be citizens as anchor babies it is obvious that we would not want a child born of two mexican parents whose mother happen to have a baby while she was legally or illegally in America to be eligible to be president because there would be a danger that the child's loyalty would be with Mexico or at least influenced in a bias toward that other country. 

Another case is that many Arabs citizens comes to school in America for college. Countless of them marry an America girl and have a child simply to become an "American citizen" and to have a child with "American citizenship." I put it in quotes because of course you could see the problem with giving such a person the right to call themselves a natural born citizen. Most divorce and abandon with women and some even take the child after a year or so, but dangerously they and the child are citizens but thankful neither or Natural Born Citizens!

This is similar to what happen with Obama. His father was a citizen of Kenya which was a colony of Britain at that time, so his father was had British citizenship through Kenya (which later was released and able to give their own Kenyan citizenship so he was later a citizen of Kenya). His mother was under the legal age to have sex with an adult - legally she was a victim of 'statutory rape' because she was not married and she pregnant with an adult's child while she was a minor. (she later married him; we are told before the birth of the child). Obama Sr was never charged with statutory rape, but he could have been legally.

Obama's mother was not a very patriotic person, she was in fact anti-American and supported Communism during the height of Communism in the World--not that this effects HER legal citizenship, but it adds deeper concern to Obama's heritage and allegiance and citizenship. Of course the big question is made out to be where was Obama born. Frankly, it does not really matter because he is not a natural born citizen anyway - his father was British/Kenyan... (other interesting but not legal side notes: she lived in HI that had just become a State ... many people in HI did wanted to be a state of America but due to WWII there was such a military presence and it just seemed obvious to make the islands a State since it was a critical place to be attacked by larger aggressive countries.) 

But another legal citizenship concern is: His mom also left America and married an Indonesia man. By Indonesia law she would have to renounce her American citizenship to become an Indonesian wife and her children would also become Indonesian, and loose his citizenship. So again Obama, Jr's citizenship is in question because there is no record of him apply for citizenship after he returned to America years later. 

I know I answered much more than you asked but I hope this helps and give you information to maybe do your own further investigation.

Here is a previous post regarding Obama and His Birth Certificate. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Prophetic Word for the 2012 American Church

 We each are responsible to stand for Jesus if we are His believer. It has never been so true as it is today that just because you go to church it doesn't mean you are a Christian. Frankly, true believers no longer want to be called a Christian because they don't want to be lumped in with so many pretenders. All believers are gifted by God as He sees fit - we don't get to pick our own gifting. Some gifts are easier to operate in then others, but we each must be obedient and willing to use our God given spiritual gifts.

About 20 years ago, I confirmed in my heart that one of my gifts - probably my prominent gift is that  of prophecy. Prophecy in the New Testament area is not the ability to foretell the future -- the Prophets of old have spoken, and we are living in the midst of the Written Prophecies coming true. This is what it means to be able to read the times and signs.

But a Jesus Prophet (an A.D. believer), forth-tells a word for this present day. A prophet is gifted with the Holy Spirit to see clearly what is taking place and is then to speak about what God shows them. It is not an easy job in the Kingdom, Jesus Himself said a prophet is never welcome in his hometown. Often a prophet says the truth, pulls back the sheet off of Oz, and exposes lies. I have learned to speak and duck, because whatever is thrown back toward me I want people to know they are throwing it at God  and He has my back.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Will the REAL Church Please Stand Up

Warning: This is a potentially dangerous article because posting it on my church's women's Facebook page led to me being removed and blocked by leadership in ministry. While I did not state the name of a specific church or call out any particular person, it was found to be critical of the church and leadership. Either I am sinful in asking questions and discussing the conclusion I am seeing in the church in general or I have been silenced from the body. Of course, it stings, but I am trying to seek God, hear counsel, and do what is right according to the Bible. (P.S. I am not perfect yet... just a fellow Christian sojourner that shares her opinions, thoughts and feelings... always knowing that I could be misguided or not seeing the whole picture.)

What is the Church? Literally it is the 'called out body' or 'the assembly' of believers of Jesus Christ trusting in Him alone as their Lord and Savior.

Well, that includes a whole lot of people, doesn't it?

I am not sure. How many are pretenders?

No one can see someone's heart and no can know for a fact a decision in the soul is made by a person. We can:
  • hear their personal testimony of being a believer, but more powerful
  • we can witness their daily walk.
One truth that we can look for is a person who is alive spiritually, having the indwelling presence of God living within their human body, will be changed; and because God said, "He who began a good work is faithful to complete it", we are guaranteed by God to see Him do a good work faithfully completing a person who is truly a follower of Jesus to be transformed progressively into Christlikeness.

What we see of a person is what a person allows to show. Some people are very private; some people are very public. Some people only show their "good" behavior but behind close doors--in the privacy of their home--or when they think no one is looking, they display their "bad" behavior. A person is not always what they seem - the Bible says the heart is deceitful. And clearly most people try to cover up anything they do wrong.

So what is my point? Does what people see and experience really who the church is? And why does it matter?

The church we see on Sunday is the SHOW CHURCH! It is the very day of the week that people of the church, members (leaders), display the very best outward show of how they want to be perceived by the public (visitors) and weekly attenders. Of course, this is most natural if the focus of the day is visitors and the lost. 

We all know what it is like when visitors are coming to our home. We run around removing what might be embarrassing, cleaning, replacing and preparing the home. We are usually exhausted by the time the visitors arrive, but with a smile on our face, a sweat tea to offer in our hand, we graciously welcome them. And without missing a beat, we sit down and chat like everything is pleasant all the time.

(Of course, some people, homes and churches are exceptions, but you get my point.)

But when is CHURCH REAL? When are we real?

Isn't it during 'family only' times when we think no one is listening or looking? When do we let down our pretense and gather as brothers and sisters in Christ gracefully accepting each? 

The problem is the Sabbath, the Biblical day of resting with God, the one formal day of the week believers assemble IS God's children's FAMILY TIME! So who are we pretending for and trying to impress? If visitors come don't we want them to see who we really are... with our frailties and not yet perfected parts. And if we are doing so much to be appealing and comfortable, what does this mean for believers who don't fit the image? Do we hide them in the closet or the least visible pews? This must be a major problem and head ache for the church.

Could this be why certain people are frequently selected to highly visible areas and other people are regulated to behind the scenes? Does church put its 'best' members forward? 

I am not even sure it is intentional, but for the most part the majority of churches do. The leadership would stutter around and shift uncomfortably at this statement denying it's possible, but when is the last time they looked through the eyes of 'the least of these' in the family of God? the awkward believers? the big sinner believers? the not-so-right believers? the loud-mouths believers or the blunt believers...the ones that will blurt out in childlike innocence 'the emperor has no clothes on'?

Truly, it breaks my heart that messy believers, often the most needy of fellowship and experiencing acceptance, following a troubled life of repetitive abuse, trauma and personal injury by those they should be able to trust... are not wanted. Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for staff/leaders to suggest to such believing members to leave and find another church ... one that will be a better fit.

What are we--the believers of Christ--afraid of in the mainstream churches?

I long for God's church to function as the church - really representing the love of Christ in the body of believers who are in Christ, and at every/any present moment of time in the process of being molded into Christlikeness! Don't you?

For the sake of Jesus, we need to be REAL in order for people to grow in grace and experience Him, and no one is fooled by the counterfeit but those who are part of it. And most of all, the lost often want to stay lost because too many Christians and churches have not been examples of grace and love to all.

A Critical Heart  is an article written previously on a related topic.