Times of Reconciliaton

  1. Forgetting:  People that have caused me hurt, most I have forgiven. It is through forgiveness that I’m able to live in peace.  Moreover, my act of forgiveness doesn’t suggest that I forgot the wrong doing,  but also affirms the impossiblities of becoming close friends.
  2. Bargaining:  Around two years ago, my car was hit by another car.  There was damage to one of the tires.  Moreover, an agreement was settled at the scene.  After leaving the scene, I felt that I was cheated.  I basically allowed the other party to make all the decision about my car repairs.  A few days later, I called them up stating that the deal was off.  They were not happy.  However, I was.
  3. Revenge:  I have a hard time with revenge.  The few times that I acted on revenge, I think it was more painful for me, than to the person I betrayed.
  4. Embracing Contradiction:  I don’t like to be wrong.  However, being told about a mistake, I don’t become very reactive like I used to.   The idea of no one is perfect makes better sense to me now, moreover, it allows me to make mistakes without becoming shameful.
  5. Honoring the Other:  The fact that I’m attending Loma Linda University is an honor. From extreme poverty, to injuries, to struggles, what can I say, “It’s an honor to be here”.
  6. Hospitality to a Stranger:  I always make a great effort to give money to the ladies (only the ladies) that stand on a street corner (sometimes in 110 degree weather) with a sign in their hands that states, “I’m hungry, I need money for food”.
  7. Courage to be surprised by Grace:  I was surprised that God’s grace healed my injury, instead of His miracle.  In my opinion, His Grace, His Miracle, is one in the same.
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Scriptures & Abuse

 

      It is said, “I’m being made perfect through suffering.  It is God’s will for my life”.  When I think about suffering, I relate it to men and women alike. Particularly, to the human condition; everyone suffers, including children.  However, through suffering, there is knowledge.  For example, if past behaviors cause me pain, then I know not to repeat them again.  I think Christian women that tolerate intimate violence based on this verse, lack knowledge, or in denial about verses that reflect kindness.  In Ephesians 5:28-29,” husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself”.  Therefore, injury not inflicted onto man, cannot be inflict onto woman.   That being said, anything beyond these boundaries is not love, but abuse.  

     It is also said, “God will take care of me.  I will just keep on praying and leave it in God’s hands.”  I believe that God’s help, or care doesn’t rest with prayer alone. Prayer affirms even more our distress to God; however, healing also requires effort on our part.  For example, God provides people with choices, or opportunities.  Therefore, a Christian woman who is in a violent relationship, most likely, was given opportunities to escape the harms of abuse. For example, there might have been an outpour of support from family and friends, an episode on TV, or other signs that where sent from God.  All in all, a Christian woman who remains in an abusive relationship based on this verse probably ignored God’s opportunities toward healing.

     Therefore, a Christian woman who justifies abusive relationships based on these verses is not thinking clearly. Something that is common in most abusive relationships. All in all, I would like to end with this poem:

The act of Love

is to say,

“I want you 

to be

who you are”.

The act of abuse

is to say,

“I want you

to be

who I want

you to be”.

It is

that simple.

By: James D. Gill

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Dealing with Death

My child once told me, “Mom, I never want you to die.”  Hearing those words for the first time, I knew my daughter had reach a level awareness about life,  which now included death.  Afterwards, I  seriously began to think about an answer.  For example, I thought about saying things such as: “Yes, one day I’m going to die”,  or  “No, I’m never going to die”.   Regardless of the multitude of possibilities, I knew I had to give my daughter an answer. 

I decided to answer this question in relation to my faith.  1. Thou shall not lie.  Therefore, I told my daughter the truth about death. My answer: no one is singled out when it comes to death, including children. 2.  Then I told my daughter about heaven.  In relation to Heaven,  I spoke about our soul, which never dies, and  that  one day our soul will rise up into heaven, where once again we would be reunited.  At the end of our conversation, my last remarks where, “Remember, even when I’m gone, I will always love you.”  

I felt that having a religious faith, the topic of death wasn’t that difficult for myself, or my daughter.  However, those without faith, what does a parent say to a child about death?  For example, my conversation about death with my child  didn’t create a state of panic, moreover, she was pleased know that one day we would be in heaven together.  However, if there is no God, or Heaven, then what does a parent say to a child cocerning death?

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Religion Video: The Power Within

 

My video is based on one of my passion.   Running!   In my community, to many strangers, I’m known as, “the girl that runs”.  Occasionally, a stranger on the streets, or at the supermarket will ask,”Are you still running”?  And then I’ll respond by saying,  “Yes”. 

 A friend once said that I give people hope by running.  I didn’t know what she meant by that, but I think she’s right!!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp5ZF3mWFho

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Healing: “My Grace is Sufficient”

I think some of the most notable stories in the bible on healing, come from  the paralyzed man, and the bleeding woman.  In the book of Matthew( 9:2), a paralyzed man is brought forth onto Jesus.  Suddenly, Jesus responds to the paralytic man, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”  Afterward, he said to the paralytic man, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”

 Another  notable act on healing, the bleeding woman.  Suddenly, a women who has bled for almost twelve years was at the presence of Jesus.  For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”  But then when Jesus saw her, He said,”Be of good cheer daughter, your faith has made you well”(Matthew 8:20-22).

These are some of the few stories or testimonies in the Bible, that justifies Jesus’ ability to heal the sick.  Knowing that Jesus can heal all, however, some people remain unhealed.  For example, in the Bible, a man named Paul, likely suffered agonizing pain, wasn’t instantly healed by Jesus.  In Paul’s own words, “I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me”.  But he said to me,”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”(2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

In looking at my own life, I remember a time (just like Paul) where I  pleaded with God, to take my pain away.  I had sustained an injury that caused pain to radiate around my torso.   A year had passed, and yet, I was in pain.  So, I began to plead with God.   Yet, another year had passed, and still, I was in pain.  By the end of the second year, I had lost hope.  I was convinced that God wasn’t going to take my pain away.  So, then I began to really look at Paul’s story, and what God had said to him.  He had said to Paul, “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).  In reading these words, it gave me  strength, and a new direction in life.  Even though there are reminants of the injury today, I have found healing through His grace.

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Schizophrenia & Religion

Have you ever wondered if someone with a mental disorder, experiences or relates to God? If so, how?  Moreover, does a relationship with God require a brain structure that is highly functional or stabilized?

By answering these questions, I’m going to explore a  mental disorder known as “Schizophrenia”.  Reportedly, under the DSM-IV-TR, schizophrenia is characterized as a psychotic disorder, associated with symptoms such as: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.  Based on these facts, therefore, is it possible to be in touch with society, or even yet, God?  As the daughter of a Schizophrenic mother, my answer would be yes, and no.  In relation to society, I think  much  awareness or even involvement  is lost, due to the overwhelming symptoms of delusions, and hallucinations.  Consequently, these symptoms, dictates much of their lives.   As a result, many of them are house bound, or institutionalized.  On the other hand, then is possible to have a relationship with God?  Yes!!!   Based on experience, I’ve witness my mother engage in prayer, moreover, she also maintains a strong connection with God.  Recently, based on curiosity, I asked my mother, “How many years do you think you are  going to live”? She replied not with a specific number, but instead, “It depends on God”.

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Religious Faiths & Evangelizism

Almost every morning, a white jeep Cherokee is stationed near a busy grocery store.  Inside the vehicle, are Jehovah Witnesses.  Patiently, they await for a perfect moment, upon which to share their religious beliefs.  Some bystanders welcome the Jehovah Witnesses with a smile, while others, with a look of distress.

The Mormons, especially the men,  dress in white, black, along with a tie, mounted on a bike heading towards a  possible  destination. Upon arrival, they step down from their bike, to spread their religious beliefs onto the world. 

These are my most prominent memories of religious faiths that I’ve encountered on the streets.  Not only do they serve as memories, but as an introduction to other religious faiths around the world. 

In comparison to all the religious faiths in the United States,  I think the “Jehovah Witnesses”, and “Mormons” have established a  notable, however, controversial to some, a distinct mark on evangelism.  Therefore, calling all Christians, Catholics, Buddhists, Hinduism, Jews, etc., what is your mark, or method of evangelism?  If not, or so evangelizing on the streets, therefore, where does one exist?  For many Christians,  in the “New King James Version”,  its calls for believers to spread the gospel to every creature in the world.  Moreover, the other religious faiths also contain forms of evangelism.  Therefore, knowing that most religious faiths evangelized, ironically, as an Apostolic Christian,  why do the “Jehovah Witnesses”, and “Mormons”stand out in my mind, as far as evangelizing is concern?

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