Sunday, December 26, 2010


I know Christmas is over.
But I leave Christmas decorations up until at least after the first of the year and dwell in the afterglow of Christmas for a bit after the 25th.

The Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah gets a lot of airplay this time of year. But I love his piece, "For Unto Us a Child Is Give" just as much as the famous chorus.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

Here is a Christmas light show to my daughter's favorite Christmas song.
Nothing spiritual about it. Just plain fun and amazement and wondering if some people have just a little too much spare time on their hands. :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wounded Healer in Early Myth

We're not finished with the Strength and Safety series, at least I hope not. But I wanted to take a break from it and direct your attention to a post by my friend Eleanor concerning the Wounded Healer in myth and earliest records.

Since I'm a baby in understanding the fullness of the Wounded Healer, I appreciate gleaning understanding from Eleanor's studies.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Strength and Safety, Part 3

My son and I watch a movie called Invictus.
Now, understand, this is not our usual fair. We generally like Science fiction, Action/Adventure, and even Post Apocalyptic films.
But we had just watched another film directed by Clint Eastwood and loved it. That, along with the fact that my son loves Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, influenced our decision to watch Invictus. It was not because we were interested in social justice and had never heard of sacred activism. We strictly watched it for entertainment reasons.
And we were not disappointed.
The film was well done and beautiful to watch.
But I sure did learn something.

Invictus, in case you didn't know, is about one aspect of the challenge Nelson Mandela faced when he became president of South Africa. He worked to balance "black aspirations with white fears."

The beauty of this film is it's portrayal of President Mandela's grace toward 'white fears'. From his place of strength and safety, he discouraged the 'scraping' of South Africa's Rugby team, which represented prejudice and Apartheid in the minds of blacks. He said something along the lines that doing so would prove to the whites that they had much to fear.
He invited the Rugby team captain over for "tea" which he described as one of the best things the English ever brought with them to South Africa. Then President Mandela shared a poem during that tea called "Invictus" which he used to think about when he was in prison. The word invictus translates as 'undefeated' or 'unconquered'.
It was a poem of victory in great odds. It was a poem of strength.
And from his place of safety, as president of South Africa, He shared this poem of strength, sharing his strength and support to those in the weakened position. The whites of South Africa and more specifically, the Rugby team.

I recommend the film to get the full impact of its message.
But I had to mention it here as another example of the power of grace and forgiveness when given from a place of strength and safety, once justice and equality has been reached.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Strength and Safety, Part 2

God has called us to a place of Strength and Safety. Even though there is much abuse in this world that undermines this, God's will is to set us securely on high. He says so several places in His Word.
David speaks specifically about God bringing him out of destruction and into a place of Strength and Safety.

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.
vs 2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay (mud of mire); And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
3 And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear, And will trust in the Lord.

It is out of the place of Strength and Safety that we are to function and operate. And it is in the place of Strength and Safety that we are best able to heal. It is very difficult for an individual to heal if they are still being wounded. It is also very difficult for a person to heal if they are not allowed to deal with the wounds. If they are not in a safe place where they can be honest about hurt and must always keep them under the cover of a 'holy' or 'perfect' facade then they cannot heal.
And if they feel that God requires them to keep their wounds buried, there is not hope for their healing at all.
Any teaching that refuses to deal with the wounding of the heart is a destructive teaching and opposed to the will of God.
God wants our hearts, all of our hearts, including aches, pains, and traumas. And He can be trusted with it even if no one else can.

Here is another verse that deals with God's heart concerning the broken, wounded, and captive. It is from Isaiah 61 and is what Jesus read in the temple at the start of His ministry declaring His heart for all people, male and female, for all time.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives, And freedom to prisoners;
Vs 2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
Vs 3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of the spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, plantings of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

God wants to bring us to the place of Strength and Safety, like mighty oaks, planted and secure, that will not be moved. The following also speaks of what God wants for those who belong to Him.

Psalm 1:3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

There are forces at work to keep this from happening both within and outside the church. And much of those forces are so 'in your face' it is easy to lose sight of God's heart on the matter.

There are more verse concerning this, and some specifically dealing with God's heart towards the feminine. But this has gotten long and we're not done dealing with examples like the elderly black woman in the last post who was able to act graciously from her place of strength. We will not be able to get to those in this post due to length. It will have to wait until the next one.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Strength and Safety

My new friend Eleanor found my blog because of her studies of the Wounded Healer motif. She has come and commented here and was surprised by the reaction of one of my regulars, an old friend, Jane.
Since I value the wisdom of both women, the natural thing for me to do is to reevaluate my own position and make sense of what each is saying. Because both make sense even though they appear to contradict at face value.

Eleanor has written a review on Amazon for a book she likes by Andrew Harvey. You can read it here:

When you click onto the main page of this book the first review there is by a Brad Laughlin. The third paragraph into the review tells a story of a elderly black woman from South Africa. During Apartheid she witnessed the brutal murder of her husband and son by a white police officer. When this officer was being brought to justice, She hugged him as she was being led across the courtroom. The man fainted.

This is used as an example of sacred activism. It is a touching and powerful story, but I am compelled to point out something about it.

The reason this woman's act of forgiveness is so powerful and profound is because it took place when she was in the position of Strength and Safety. In that courtroom there was no chance that the former police officer could hurt her without serious repercussions. The man was caught, imprisoned, and being brought to justice. He could no longer control her, oppress her, or intimidate her in anyway. Granted, she suffered great loss, trauma, and grief. But this man could, in no way, continue his evil against her.

He was in the weak position. And she was in the strong position.
Yet she didn't use her strong position against him.

It is a very different circumstance from a situation where a victim is still being victimized and she kisses the feet of her oppressor because that is the only way to survive.
There is no power in that. None. Just more oppression and destroying of her spirit, soul, and body.

Now I understand that people like author Andrew Harvey and reviewer Brad Laughlin assume that these powerful actions of forgiveness come from a place of strength and safety. But to those still in the place of oppression and abuse, their words sound like further abuse. To those who have never had a position of strength and safety all it sounds like is letting the oppressor free to continue to oppress at will.

So how do those still in positions of oppression and abuse get out? Some are able to flee on their own to places of safety. But many of those that are able to flee don't know that they are able because of the mind control and indoctrination. And many who are trapped have no way of escape on their own at all. Those being trafficked come to mind. And my friend Jane has a heart for those.

So what do we expect of those still trapped?
Do we expect them to embrace their abusers who are still abusing them?
Absolutely not. That is just plain sick and smells like Stockholm Syndrome.
If people are trapped, how can we expect them to do anything except to survive until they are rescued?

But the real question is, what obligation do we have to the trapped, oppressed, and abused?

We are obligated to sound the alarm and to speak up for those who have no voice. We are to look for ways to rescue the downtrodden and find ways to stop the oppressor from oppressing and bring him to justice. Because only when he is brought to justice and to a place of weakness where he is no longer in control, only then will the forgiveness of those he oppressed have a chance to mean anything.

Remember the priest who was beaten by the man molested by him as a boy. That priest was never brought to justice. So there was never a real chance for him to face his sin and be forgiven. The Catholic Church protected him. And in so doing, robbed him of his chance for any redemption of any value.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tina Anderson Foundation

Thanks for the heads up from Lewis for this one.

I link it for two reasons.
One, for awareness of this going on. There are church groups actively teaching their daughters learned helplessness and false guilt and shame all under the guise of "Christianity". They are also covering for sex offenders in their churches.

The second reason is to raise awareness that there ARE groups out there wanting to combat this deep evil among fundamentalist groups.

Knowing the evil exists is heart rending.
Knowing individual and groups are rising up to combat the evil gives cause for some hope in the face of so much evil.

Thanks Lewis.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Wounded Healer

I wanted to get to this post a long time ago. But before I did, I felt the need to lay some groundwork in my previous three posts.
Matthew 18:7 Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks; for it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes.

I wanted to get to the point, "Stumbling blocks come." But I wanted to make sure that I made it clear that this does not give any of us an excuse to overlook our duties as parents because "woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes."

I do not take this admonition lightly. I keep in tune with my children and try to make sure that if I inadvertently offend them through either action or lack of action that we can deal with it.

Still. This world is not perfect. Stumbling blocks come. Even well-meaning parents with the best intentions can inadvertently wound their children through misunderstanding or because someone else has misguided them in the ways of truth.

And so the child is wounded.
Bless the child who turns to God, to Jesus the Healer of souls.
And bless the child who travels the road of healing holding the hand of her Savior.

Let us return to Herbert Gravitz book that I mentioned in the November 14th post, "The Hero's Journey."

Gravitz on page107:

"The motif of the 'wounded healer' is universal and appears in every culture. Recovering alcoholics and other addicts serve as wounded healers, calling others to a life of serenity. Those who face illness, catastrophe, and even death often report that the experience gave them renewed meaning and purpose."

When the wounded child grows up and receives healing from the Lord, she is able to turn and heal others. Because of her wounding and the healing that follows she can become a healer, a wounded healer.
I believe in children facing their heartaches head on and dealing with it rather than burying it. Burying it only causes the wound to fester and become putrid.

Woe to those who stand in the way of healing and woe to those who want to shame the child into keeping quiet and not facing her dragons. They don't know what they are doing. They don't understand how they heap insult on top of injury and the danger of sealing the lid shut on a pressure cooker that is ready to blow.

Here is a tragic example of an offended little one all grown up who never found the road to healing.

Word of advice to Patriarchy and Quiverfull.
Let the children heal. Don't stand in their way.
And further yet, start to face up to the fact that Patriarchy may, in fact, be wounding and offending your little ones.

And dare I suggest?
Those still involved in Patriarchy and Quiverfull, consider leaving this hurtful movement and become agents of healing, that is, part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Repenting from Husbandolatry

My friend Charis (a.k.a Gem who comments here) has two posts I'd like to direct you to.
She, at one time, embraced the Patriarchy/Quiverfull teaching completely, submitting to it to her own hurt and the hurt of her children.

She has since repented and her blog, among other things, are her musings about the shift from patriarchy (husband/father worship) and back to a Christ-centered faith.

The first of the two posts of hers that I am linking addresses her response to the steadfast daughters site. She admonishes women to obey God rather than men.

The second link to her post is where she thanks God for her Quiverfull. She's proud of all her children and I believe their success can be attributed to their mother's humble willingness to repent of Patriarchy and to be conformed to the image of Christ. Her children will rise up and bless her because a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

Charis has been a good friend as we have worked out our salvations with fear and trembling and tried to make sense of a world that often makes not sense, including portions of so called "Christianity".

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Offending the Little Ones, part 2

Hello, my name is Mara and I'm an imperfect parent of four beautiful children.
In the past I have offended each one of them more than once and will most likely continue to do so until the day I die.

So how could I be so harsh, in my last post, against the teaching of Patriarchy when I'm an admitted child offender myself?
Well, let me tell you.

I used to home school. I never got involved with the Patriarchy or Quiverfull bunch because I already knew that getting my husband involved in homeschooling by putting him in charge was a bad idea. He already had problems with patience and thinking of himself as "chairman of the board" who liked to bark orders and complain about everything I did wrong concerning the house and the children. I didn't need any more of that than I already had.

But during those home school years, one lady gave me some really good insight. I already did it to a point, intuitively and due to past influences.
Anyway, she said that in order to teach your child, you need to be a 'student' of your child. I know something like that would make the Patriarchy crowd howl. How could I teach if I made myself the student? Well, here is what she meant. I needed to study my child and see what made him/her tick. I needed to find out what was important to each one. What were ways I could motivate them that was unique to their own person. And I needed to be flexible enough to use "teachable moments" catered to the child and the circumstance that they were going through at that time. The best time to learn something and retain it forever is when you need the information for your personal life.

Anyway, I said all this to set up one of my darkest moments as a parent.
I had mentioned my son before that I had concerns over in this post.

Well, this boy had a knack for pushing my buttons at the wrong time. Even though I am mostly a patience person, he found a way, whether he meant to or not, to push me past the edge.
One of our darkest moments was when he acted up royal on a day when I was still grieving the death of my in-laws and was wearing thin over my husband's unemployment and lack of motivation to get a new job. And I blew up at him and said some not very nice things to him.

The minute those things were out of my mouth I regretted it.
He fled the living room and hid in his bed.
I followed him, laid down next to him an apologized up one side and down the other trying as best I could to assure him that what I said and what I blamed on him was wrong, wrong, wrong. And I asked him, could he please forgive me?

What he said to me broke my heart.

He said, "I can forgive you. I can't forgive myself."

So I told him to please forgive himself and wouldn't leave him alone until he said he would try.
I still felt bad about the situation for days afterward.

But you know what?
My son learned from my imperfection and my owning up to sin. As I mentioned in the off-topic post about him. He has a temper. But he also knows how to walk away when he's angry and how to apologize when the wrong things come out of his mouth. He's twenty years old now, and a fine young man. Even though I have offended him on more than one occasion, I have always tried to stay in tune with him and his feelings and to try to go back and correct my errors and mistakes and to gently guide him on how to correct his errors and mistakes. I never needed to use the word sin. He knew when he did wrong and didn't need someone to rub his nose in it. He needed an example of how to correct it. I never felt compelled to view his outbursts as sinful attention seeking. He had emotional needs. And I, as his mother and primary caregiver, needed to assess the situation and meet those needs just as much as his physical needs like hunger and thirst.

Children don't come into this world knowing how to handle their emotions.
That is what parents are for. A parent who expects their child to respond as a grown-up before they have had the chance to develop emotionally fails to understand their job as a parent. And not understanding their job as a parent, they in turn fail as a parent.

Patriarchy and Quiverfull have forgotten what parenting is all about. In their zeal to produce as many children as possible, they fail the children they produce by not being available to guide the child along the difficult road to adulthood.
What good are all these children if their growth has been stunted due to emotional neglect?
God still loves them. And God wants to step in and Parent them where their own parents have failed. We are hearing of God doing this in many quivering daughters who have come out of the movement.
But what a sad testimony and state of affairs regarding the fruit of Patriarchy. Emotionally neglected and stunted children must escape patriarchy in order to mature to true adulthood.
Patriarchy and Quiverfull offends the little ones and refuses to admit and apologize for its sins against their own children