Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas and Atheists

Ricky Gervais is currently on the cover of The New Humanist magazine, clad only in jeans and a crown of thorns.  Across his shoulders is a microphone and stand meant to stir images of the crucified Christ.  It doesn't surprise me to see Christians up in arms about this.

Gervais proudly proclaims he's an atheist and a few Christians on Twitter are a-twitter about the cover and the ensuing story.  Gervais is poking his non-believing finger into the pot occasionally, stirring 'em right up too.  And those Christians are drinking from that cup of nonsense like it's eggnog on Christmas Eve.

It's time to stop the longtime battle regarding atheists and their views.  They are as entitled to their views as we believe we are.

If we were to take down all the decorations and sayings, plaques and paintings, trees and nativity scenes that cause so much upset in the atheist community, it still wouldn't change anything;  one day, over 2000 years ago, God came to us in the humbled form of a baby born of a virgin.  He wasn't born in a palace and his birth wasn't heralded by the elite...angels announced his arrival to shepherds, the lowliest in society.

There weren't Christmas trees and families gathering over fancy meals and exchanging presents.  The caves surrounding His weren't adorned with lights synced to whatever song by the Trans Siberian Orchestra fit the mood. 

His mother and father weren't surrounded by a peaceful beautiful light and halos; they were in a cave used as a barn and as we all know, barns don't smell too good.

Neighbors didn't hit the last minute sales at Dillard's or the mall to get the baby Jesus a little sweater or rattle.  Chances are, they too were huddled close together for warmth and eating what meager scraps they could gather together for a small meal. Jesus was wrapped in rags and laying in a manger, which is a feeding trough.  The animals ate in the same place where Jesus was laid.

Atheists aren't suffering with what Christians suffer with today;the knowledge that that precious baby, God Himself in the form of man was sent here for one reason and one reason alone;  he was on earth to suffer and die on the cross.

It only stands to reason that Santa, caroling and even atheist nonsense from Ricky Gervais is overshadowed by the meaning of Christmas.  Christmas could be celebrated in June with none of the trappings and still have the same gravity that it holds on December 25th. 

Jesus's birth, no matter how celebrated (or not) still happened and whether or not there are believers, decorations, music and gifts, is meant to be remembered as the day our Savior was die.

Praise God  that He was raised three days later!  Enjoy the video tells the real reason Jesus was born.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Fall Part II

Laying in the now heated ambulance was almost more than I could take.  Tyler, my personal paramedic, worked hard to find a vein while I did my best to assure him that the pain was only excruciating.  I could tell he felt enormous pressure; with a patient in what is clearly a dead ambulance, it must have seemed a situation from his nightmares.

Within moments, I felt the small sting of the needle as he expertly slid it  into my arm.  Suddenly, I found myself struggling to breathe and the heat rising in the rescue vehicle wasn't helping matters.  Sensing my distress, Tyler gently touched my shoulder and said, "Give it a minute.  It's morphine."

I gave it a minute and then suddenly found my head floating above the house. 

I should mention the broken tile to the Bald Avenger when I get back to earth, I thought to myself, as if it was completely normal for me to be disembodied on a Tuesday in June.

When Tyler adjusted my leg on the stretcher, I felt myself pulled roughly back into the oven of an ambulance and immediately thought, Oh Father in heaven, please tell me I shaved my legs!

Attempting to reach down to check on the status of the fur on my legs, I realized suddenly that I couldn't move without mind-numbing pain.  I couldn't move my hips or my legs.  I could wiggle my toes which I did constantly to remind myself I wasn't paralyzed.  It helped but it didn't keep the fear totally at bay.

Feeling sloshy upstairs, I began to listen the Big Guy, who was standing outside the ambulance carrying on a conversation with the younger EMT. 

"Yeah, I just graduated from there.  Pretty happy to get out of high school.  Thinking about joining the Army," the Big Guy was saying.

"My mom works in the front office up there.  I bet our moms know each other," the blond  EMT responded.

Frick frick frick!  Somebody knows someone who might know me and right now, I'm drooling!

Thankfully, I heard the wail of the siren of the approaching ambulance on its way to replace the one I was currently boiling in.  Within moments, I was hurriedly being jostled from one vehicle to the next, clearly no longer floating but in that pleasant place between pain and oblivion.

Because my injury wasn't life threatening, I didn't get the sirens to the hospital.  I also found out later from the Butterbean, I didn't get lights either.  I was merely a passenger in a red and white van.  There was no special feeling beyond the one the morphine was providing on a drip-by-drip basis.

Arriving at the hospital, I was met by the Bald Avenger and the Butterbean, looking a bit panicked.  The Bald Avenger more so.  Later, when things calmed down and we were alone in the hallway my bed was left in (really), he leaned over with tears in his eyes and said, "Please, you've got to be more careful.  I don't know what I'd do if I lost you."

"You'd fix the tile on the roof over Butterbean's room," I drowsily replied.

Perplexed, he hugged me close and kissed my forehead.  

After an X-Ray and several more hours of being ignored in the hallway, I was discharged with the diagnosis of a "bruised tailbone" and a couple of admonitions to take it easy for a couple of weeks.

We knew this wasn't the case but headed home hoping that maybe we were wrong.  We weren't.  

Another hospital visit the next day and finally, complications from medications sent me to the hospital two weeks later only to discover that I had actually fractured the T11 and T12 in my thoracic spine. In total, I would go on to fracture three more over the next couple of months.  

While I can find a considerable amount humor in my situation (now), a healthy vitamin D level could have prevented it all.  We as women are bombarded with information regarding the need for calcium, but we hear almost nothing about Vitamin D.  A healthy vitamin D level is usually between 22 and 50 (google this to make sure) and mine was 12.  Praise God I didn't break anything else that day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Raining, Where Did You Build Your House?

Recently, Tucson endured torrential rains, flash flooding, overflowing washes and damage to not only residences and businesses, but to the landscape where we live.

Many houses in the flood plains (actually dry washes) suffered serious damage when mountains of mud and debris suddenly filled living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms when natural sand barriers crumbled in the torrents.

Homes built on higher ground, on solid foundations, suffered little to no damage at all even though they endured the same storms.

How many of us have built our homes (lives) on sand and not rock?

For many years, my life was built around the notion that I was a good person. Sure, I had my faults, my foibles and even my sins. However, I was under the impression that since I asked Jesus into my heart at bible camp when I was 12, I was saved.

But, I still found myself constantly struggling in the quicksand of sin. Why?

I was and still am fluent in Christianese. I know Christian-speak and I know all the right cliche's about Christian behavior and how a Christian is supposed to act.

At least I thought I did.

In many churches today, a doctrine is being taught that is contrary to the word of God. What is so frightening is that I, like millions of other "Christians" in this country alone, bought into it, hook, line and sinker.

In a nutshell, this doctrine teaches us (and our children, if we let it) that Jesus is a sweet, sweet God that we can keep in our pockets.

Integrated into this doctrine is the New Age-get-enlightened-and-feel-good nonsense. We're made dizzy and full of ourselves on Sunday mornings and yet, on Sunday night, we're watching Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy.

Monday, we're listening to music that blatantly promotes sex outside of marriage. The number one and two songs on the charts this week are titled, "Unfaithful" and "Promiscuous Girl."

On Wednesday, we're scouring the tabloids in our haste to find out what celebrity cheated, nearly dropped her baby, broke up a marriage, got arrested for DUI or overdosed on drugs.

By Friday, we're gossiping about our coworkers, judging our friends and famiy members (not their behavior, them personally) and acting as if we would never do the things they do.


on Sunday morning, they we are in our finest clothes, sitting in the front pew, bowing our heads and thanking God that we are saved from the fiery pits of hell because we said a little prayer many years ago asking Jesus into our hearts.

To my Christian friends: Have you ever heard about being up a creek without a paddle?

We're deceiving ourselves. Jesus didn't teach about a sweet little prayer and salvation.

He taught repentance and salvation by grace through faith. If we aren't living a radically different life, repenting daily and obeying Christ, we're up that creek.

We can look the part, act the part, talk the part, read the part and yes, even write the part, but if we aren't in daily communication with our Savior through prayer, obedience and repentance, we won't even get a part in the kingdom of heaven.

By building our spiritual lives in dry washes and flood plains, we are easily manipulated into thinking that we're ok, you're ok, everyone is a-ok. But, when we profess to be Christians and share the God of love with the world but neglect to mention that this holy God despises sin, demands repentance and obedience, we're not sharing God at all!

We've built on sand!

What we're telling the world is that Jesus died in vain. "He died, thank you, Lord, but please don't ask me to do anything for you that might make people think I'm a religious fanatic. You only matter to me when a family member is sick, when I need help with my checkbook or on Mother's Day."

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, it was because it was the only way that man could be reconciled with God.

God gave His Son so that we might live if we turn from our sin, trust in Him and obey Him. All of our good deeds and works matter not if they aren't done with a repentant, grateful and obedient heart.

It matters not if we say we know Jesus.

What matters most is, does Jesus know you?

Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kindgom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?"

Then I will say to them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!" Matthew 7:21-23

It's raining, my friends. Where did you build your house?

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house ont he rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house and if fell with a great crash. Matthew 7:24-27

Originally written for ©The Peach Pages 2006
I dream of knitting, of making soft, comfy beanie hats for all of Tucson, even if I don't live there. 

And then, once I've made a million hats, I would find the tallest building there and toss them over like $100 bills, anticipating the people below running to and fro, collecting hat after hat and shrieking with joy. 

I would hope they would, simply because hats are the only things I know how to knit.

Monday, November 28, 2011


So far today I have removed from this animal's mouth:  a shoe, yarn, toilet paper roll, rock, clothes pen, macaroni and cheese box (?), carpet, a Christmas ornament, bubble wrap, a slipper, a blanket, a wrench left on the floor by the assembler of the Christmas tree, and an ice cube, which I gave back.

Puppies are fun.