This is a 10 minute long video about forgiveness. It is very similar to the one my pastor, Bob Palumbo, gave a couple of Sundays ago. I have found forgiveness to be essential to my walk as a Christian and empowering at the same time. Rebecca breaks the process of forgiving into five steps the first is to acknowledge the hurt and the damage that has been done. The second step is to name that which you wish to be freed from. The third step is to not own the other person’s venim. You didn’t ask for abuse, you were not at fault. Sometimes, you need to give this process to God. Step four is giving your brain a chance to develop new pathways in which the old way of thinking is replaced with something healthier and finally, try to live a day continously forgivining. I recommend the video but not the self-loathing in the beginning. Girl, I am the queen of self-deprication and I see what you’re doing. Don’t. Remember whose you are.

The Upside Down World

‘K – something you need to know about me; I am freakishly un-photogenic. Seriously. Not that attractiveness is terribly important, but I am much better looking in person than on this video I’m going to share with y’all. Even my 13 y.o. when he was helping me format the video commented, “you don’t look anything like this in real life, mom. It’s really weird.”

Which is all cover to make myself feel better before coming out from behind the text and sharing my video with you. The video’s my top 5 strategies for forgiveness. Something which I have had my fair share of experience with. Ahem.

(If you were on facebook last night and saw me freaking out – this was what had me all in a tizzy. Thank you to all the peeps who gave me a boost. BTW, if you’re not following The Upside Down World on facebook

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Entropy and the Holy Spirit


The first time I heard about Newton’s Second Law of Thermodynamics was in chem. 104. Dr. Moran said something about things going from a state of order to a state of disorder and energy neither is created nor destroyed but changes form (Newton’s First Law.)

It was one of those moments where I was struck with the magnitude of such a thing and was without words (Yugen in Japanese) So, Dr. M., all energy ends up as heat energy dissipated throughout the cold vastness of empty space?

More or less, yes.

I was depressed. Things go from a state of order to a state of disorder unless work (energy provides the ability to do work) is put into the system? But it is true, it takes no effort for your room or your car or your transcripts to go from neat and ordered to a hot mess and everyone needs to work hard to keep the various elements of their lives in order.

It is no different in the spiritual realm.

Just before He went back to heaven, Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit to empower us and help us do the work that we were given to do.

This is the ubercool part: the Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove, tongues of fire, and wind. A bird in flight is very energetic, wind is caused by two different frontal systems and a lot of energy can be harnessed via windmills and fire is highly energetic but we need to constantly being filled (present tense) or we will start becoming disordered the mystery is the Holy Spirit is *God* and will never run out of power to do the work He purposes here in this as well as any parallel universes.

My Identity

garden in May 002My identity is in Christ

I am the first to admit I have gained an identity from certain qualities that I have either as personality traits or traits I developed over a lifetime of experience and hard lessons.
I feel myself slowly whittled away until the only thing that survives is my identity as a child of God trusting Jesus.
I suppose the last thing to go will be my sense of humor but that is almost extinguished by the process.
I had my first rejection and I am pretty convinced it is the first followed by the other four.
Harsh reality delivered by two mundane words; “Application Denied.” Just like that as though there was something deficient in me, not that they had so many qualified applicants and had to make difficult choices in this economy.
No ego-soothing, just denied.
I really wanted to go for my PhD but it seems as though that will be taken away. God has other plans for me. The words roll off the software and land on the word document looking shallow and contrived but I really do want to trust Him, and thus the battle between my ears begins in earnest.
God has other plans for me………rolling my eyes. What I’m actually thinking is yup, Deb will get the shitty end of the stick again.
I really need to trust God in this situation because He has been there for me up until now, His timing is exquisite, and He seems content to keep us guessing ‘till the last moment so I’ll hang on for dear life.
If I am completely rejected, I’ll find a job. Apparently, with my MS, I can make bank. I really don’t want to work for The Man and the last thing I need is to sell my soul to the corporate devil.
Although I would rather do meaningful research and make minimum wage just as long as I can pay off my loans.
Naturally, I’ll keep my readers updated.
Prayers and encouraging words are welcome.
Thanks ahead of time.
Everywhere and in all parallel realities, God is likely looking at me struggling in that temporal already but not yet paradox and I feel Him trying to tell me that it will be ok and I need to relax into it like I had to relax while I was in labor with my children and, since this is a realm outside of time-space, the manifestation of me that is already there is having a good laugh at my expense but she is welcome to the laugh because imagining that scene makes everything worth the trouble.

There is a word for this! Yugen

yugenI am often found in a state of childlike wonder at something in the Biological sciences. Whether I’m staring at the canopy of an old red oak or marveling that peptide chains fold into uniquely shaped proteins without added energy but using Van der Waals forces or hydrogen bonding (or disulfide bridges.) I feel a sense of wonder and natural enchantment that leaves me without words. I recently discovered there is a name for this. It is a japanese word, Yugen.

Bitter and male privilege

The word “Bitter” as used to dismiss women and advantage alpha males.

I highly admire Dee and Deb over at The Wartburg Watch and they generally allow a free flow of thought on their blog but they make a couple of rules to govern the general feel of the blog. As far as I know there is one word that is outright banned and it is, you guessed it, “Bitter.”

An excerpt of their rules

 “We believe certain words and phrases are overused and are intended to intimidate, dismiss, or diminish.(For example, “bitter”). They show a lack of original thinking and may be manifestations of brainwashing by certain abusive groups. In other words, they are BORING. There is a thesaurus function on your computer. Use it!”

Going to the thesaurus…..Skipping the words related to tasting…..Resentful (adj.) resentful embittered sulky cheated angry cynical indignant resigned (antonym) Moving to Unpleasant (adj.) Unpleasant acrimonious, nasty, vicious, hostile cordial (antonym) Very Cold (adj.) Skipping because this is an adj. for a brutally cold day such as we’re experiencing in the US Mid-Atlantic states as I type this post.

The following is an example of alpha males using the word dismissively (taken from TWW)

“Those most upset displayed to us anger or bitterness or hatred toward SGM and their former church leaders for events that took place ten to fifteen years ago. Some were so hurt or angry that they displayed tears, raised voices, clenched fists, and other physical demonstrations of anger. As we talked about bitterness or anger, several responded with raised or strained voices to our team members insisting that they were not angry or bitter.”

Ambassadors of Reconciliation Report (page 18)

Remember, these bitter people include people that were sexually abused or had children that were sexually abused whose cases were so poorly handled that there is a lawsuit against the people that *paid* the ambassadors of reconciliation to investigate the matter. (I would laugh if this wasn’t tragic.)

I generally love my husband but he has found his privileged male ass in hot water thrice over the use of the word Bitter as it relates to women who are aware of their mistreatment at the hands of the patriarchy.  The three times he stepped into the bitter quicksand are good illustrations of the nature of the way bitter is used by alpha males to dismiss a dissenting female voice and, therefore, I will relate his three bitter missteps.

The first incident relates to his grandmother who he regards (correctly so) as a “bitter old woman.” Did he ever wonder *why* Grandma Baker was a bitter old woman? Because her family paid for her sister’s college education and didn’t give her a penny toward anything and the sisters were both good students and both were worthy of extended education. Grandma Baker toiled away her entire life and worked her fingers to the bone to pave her three sons’ way to college. My father in law was Valedictorian of his graduating class and has his Masters degree.  Lets look at the thesaurus and behold, resentful (yes!) Embittered (shouldn’t be on the list) sulky (a tad), cheated (damn right), Angry (with good reason), cynical (perhaps) indignant (yup) and as for the antonym resigned (like a good submissive woman?) Hell no! She took all that pent up crap that was dumped on her and used the energy to help her boys get what was denied her! Viva la bitter!

The second incident was when I first told him of the lawsuit brought against various SGM leaders for their part (or neglect of) child molestation and child abuse cases.

His knee-jerk response was, “They’re (plaintiffs) being bitter, aren’t they.” Citing a Bible verse against lawsuits.

I was furious and didn’t hide it from him. I said, “Damn right they’re bitter over child MOLESTATIONS why should anyone not be bitter against people that had anything to do with the abuse of children.” He backed away and said, “I guess I don’t know enough about it to judge.” Spot on, but your knee jerk reaction was to suggest the people bringing about the lawsuit were bitter. THAT, my friends, is the privileged response of an alpha male that benefits from the patriarchy/complementarian paradigm.  (You don’t know how delighted I am that my spell check does not recognize the word, complementarian.) Note: He is disgusted by the abuse but some residual conditioning from that time period are still lurking in the marrow of his soul, I pray that it goes away completely.

The third incident was recent where he accused me of being bitter over a similar injustice. This was last week right after Dee and Deb banned the word from TWW. I told him that the word Bitter was a foul word that the alpha males of a fake Christian mindset use against those strong minded women that will not go down to subjugation without a fight (a fight to the bitter end, ha!) and that since it was a word used to demean others, is on top of my worst words list just like he hates the word, Fuck,  and forbids it from the household, Bitter (used in this context) is offensive to me so if he insists on calling me anything with bitter in it, I have some colorful adjectives that include the word, fuck.

I made my point and am not particularly worried about continued use of the word Bitter which is a much more satisfying and effective approach than being resigned to my fate.

We are all made of star stuff

galaxyLook into the night sky and see the farthest star that can be seen with the unaided eye.

All the atoms in all the cells in your eyes came from those stars.

All the heavier atoms (heavier than Iron) came from supernovas.

Look into the night sky and see the farthest stars and you go back in time because they are so far away it takes that long for their light to reach the rods and cones in your retinas.

The very light that is causing your retinas to send messages to your brain that interperates the information as seeing came from the stars that made the atoms that comprise the cells that enable us to see.

How can you not bask in the wonder of that?

john pavlovitz

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