Saturday, January 30, 2010

Job

As the door swung open to my touch it passed through my mind once again that perhaps this was not the best idea. Sure we needed the money but....Well a commitment was a commitment and the sooner started the sooner over. Entering the seemingly cheerful space the first thing I noticed was a smiling lady behind a desk, she was apologetic at being there, and informed me that it was just fine to work around her. Everything was just fine, but if this were an Alfred Hitchcock film... snap out of it! For pities sake your going to be fainting or wigging out here. But the very atmosphere breathed....something. Elusive, almost like one could hear the cries of what?

Moving quickly down the hall to the far room my compatriot and I removed the cleaning utensils from their storage areas, divided the chores between us and commenced to scour. As the trash cans were emptied there was a worrying amount of trash, where did it all come from? What were they doing? Wads of paper towels, surgical gloves....masks. Dark things were indeed afoot. Dashing sweat from my brow and muttering, "old wives tales, what they use to scare children, dentist aren't REAL" I scrubbed harder and faster, intent on escaping the doomed place as quickly as possible.

In one of the rooms I discovered a block of wood in the shape of a tooth. Who could mock the noble tooth in such a manner? Surely they knew they were walking the fine line of death for it? Gazing around at the strange instruments with so many hoses and odd chairs my toes began to shiver and it worked it's way up my body. These barbarians! Rushing through the building dragging the many trash bags I cried to my partner to hurry and finish. Crashing into the door that led to the last room, my hand scrabbled for the handle made slick with the tears that slid down my cheeks. Yanking it open the horror of what lay before us stayed our hands and feet.

Walls lined with teeth grinned at us like so many pearls. The floor covered in a fine grit made, we could only surmise, from pieces ground off other helpless teeth. Bluebeards chamber indeed. These teeth were obviously taken from patients who were wiggly or screamers, as we had heard they usually let the silent ones go. Clutching hands we moved in and surveyed the carnage, laying higgly piggly on the counter where more teeth and more dust. And from the walls the soundless cries came, "stay, do not enter here, flee, save your teeth, saveeee them".

So turning as one we walked in a deathly calm from the room hand in hand, never looking back.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life and Death

Did I post this already? Probably, but who is going to remember....

Philippians 1:21-22
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on
living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.”

This thought is mind boggling in its simplicity, it explains to us how we are to live....and die. The life I am living in this body is one that God has called me to live and it is for Christ
that every day I wake up, breath and work, doing fruitful labor for
him. But the day that I don't wake up and breath will be a day of
rejoicing, a day of gaining. In every aspect of our lives this thought should be present, that we
have nothing to fear from life or death. The life we live in the body is
for Christ. Every situation in the day, setting the table, cleaning
showers, working, reading and playing we are to live for
Christ doing fruitful labor for him. And in death we as Christians are
going to gain, because we are go to be with the one we love.
God desires us to live each day as though it was today that we are going
to die, this is our last day to share his love with those around us,
especially to those who are spiritually dying. We are not to fear death
but understand how close it is to us. And that thought should give us
a more powerful desire to do fruitful labor for Christ.

This quote from Amy Carmichael is rather thought provoking, " I would rather burn out (for Christ) then rust out". She said that when someone told her she needed to slow down or she was going to burn out. To me it speaks like Hebrews 12:1-3 "I would rather run the race, pick up my cross and burn out for Christ. Rather then go along sedately and safely and rust out".

Hebrews 12:1-3 says
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily
entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who
endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary
and lose heart”.

This is the key to how we are to live for Christ, throwing off
everything that hinders, fixing our eyes on Him, following in his
footsteps. Dying to self and our desires picking up our crosses and
following him. If we are running with perseverance then we won't have
time to be selfish, grow weary or lose heart. And He will give us the
strength that we need to throw off everything that hinders.

My question is "What is it in your life that hinders you"?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Zombies....

Don't even ask why I'm writing this.


Zombies *shudder* apparently are believed to be the reanimated dead or a mindless human being. Now if I was to write a post on the second definition it would have to propound that most teenagers are zombies. But I'm not so we'll leave the poor angsty teens alone, they're all huddled up in a corner mooning over Edward, or texting anyway.

Stories of zombies originated in the Afro-Caribbean spiritual belief system of Voduo, which told of the people being controlled as laborers by a powerful wizard or a bokor.

It also would appear that zombies main source of food is.. humans...oh my! Forget the dumb cougars (maybe in the city this isn't a fear, however up north it is something to be aware of) picking off the kids in the backyard, start checking for zombie tracks. Which probably look like normal human foot prints, just the staggering, mindless kind, with perhaps the odd body part laying along side. However now zombies are not depicted as thralls to masters, rather, modern zombies are portrayed in mobs, flocks or waves, seeking either flesh to eat or people to kill, and are typically rendered to exhibit signs of physical decomposition such as rotting flesh, discolored eyes, and open wounds, and moving with a slow, shambling gait. They are generally incapable of communication and show no signs of personality or rationality, though George Romero's zombies appear capable of learning and very basic levels of speech as seen in the films Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead (I'm sorry, but if you read the italicized portion carefully we appear to have a complete description of teens) so give up any idea you had of reasoning with them.

In my limited research there doesn't seem to be a set idea about how one would go about protecting ones self from a zombie. None of the normal deterrents were cited like salt, garlic or lanolin (really there was nary a mention of any of them). So I've come up with my own list.

Deep Zombie Off. I know this is out there, in some lab a geek has created a zombie spray.

Bazookas.

Tanks.

Turkeys. It is a little known fact that Zombies hate turkeys and will do anything to get away from them.

Last but not least.

The Atomic Bomb. This however might have the side effect of producing some other bizarre group of beings due to radiation....and I'm not even going to go there.

So are there really zombies? Do we have to be ready for ‘em? Well, actually I think you meet them every day. Repeatedly. That is if you are a Christian who is meeting people who are not in Christ Jesus. Because all who aren’t saved through His blood are lost, all who haven’t been raised to life are dead. Ergo the living dead.

They are moving about, but are spiritually dead, their souls are bound in the chains of sin, bound to a bokor and that bokor is Satan. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”. And no, salt, garlic and lanolin won’t help here either, but, the ministry of reconciliation will. In fact it will set them free. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them, And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

And again “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus”.

So watch for those zombies and take every opportunity to share the reconciliation of Jesus Christ with them.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

To Love......

"Compassion is love in action".

com.pas.sion sympathy, to feel pity, sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another or others, accompanied by an urge to help; deep sympathy; pity.

This little motto was on our fridge for years and I didn't really think much about it until I started working as a CNA. Then it came home with full force. Here you are doing for a human the most intimate things, the personal chores of every day that one normally takes for granted. Like brushing teeth and hair, bathing and going to the bathroom. But old age and disease make it imperative they have assistance, and some unknown person is there to help. But what if that person is thinking to much of themselves to really offer the help? Perhaps they're there doing the action but in their mind they are groaning over it, being grossed out by it, caught up in the job and not the person. So herein is where compassion comes into action and translates into love.

Actually working with the elderly gave me a glimmer of what Christ Jesus dealt with when he was on earth. Here is the elderly man or women the mind is breaking down therefore all the nasty angry things that are stored up in them are starting to come out. They don’t recognize you as helping them, they think you are trying to hurt them, so they bite at you, slap and pinch you, scream nasty things, throw tantrums and generally are hellions on wheel-chairs. Some are sweet, but that still never makes the job that wonderful to do. But to be of any real use to them you have to triumph over your reaction and be an ambassador of the love of Christ, expressed in kindness and gentle care that will perhaps break through the drug fog and old age.

Jesus Christ had the same people to deal with except he could see not only the outside but the inside as well, see clearly that they were sin filled, bickering, angry humans. The days I’ve had to deal with one human who has no self restraint and lets all their sin come flowing out is a bad day, I feel like I’ve been scrubbed with sand paper and banged up and down on rocks for a while. And I would wonder what it was like for Christ, who day in and day out walked among those for whom he set aside his Godhood to help, with loving kindness he cared for his people who didn’t even recognize him as helping them. This sin, the disgusting, abhorrent, vile, depraved, ugly, sin, was lade bare before him, but he didn’t flinch or draw back, but went forward, loved, touched, and healed. Speaking gentle words and appt rebukes he has compassion on those he came to save. Such compassion that he goes to the cross, laying down his life, he took the sin that was not his own and bore it, so that in him we might have life!

So take this as an encouragement, the power of Christ in you is the same power that carried him to the cross and raised him to life. You too can rise up and have victory, you too can love and have gentle compassion on those whom there is not outside reason to love. And also as a rebuke (I speak to myself as much as anybody) don’t think more highly of yourself then others, don’t get caught up in the me-monster, lay down your life and take up your cross daily. Calling on Christ power to sustain you, so not by your strength but his, you gain the victory.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

DOWN WITH BOOKS!

For the love of &@#$ save our forests! It is just sickening watching majestic trees crash to the ground, to see their grand beauty twisted and smashed, and to know that their final destination is being turned into books.

Yes books! Ah but how can I, an avid bibliophile and pursuer, purchaser and gloating owner of books, propound an argument against my own true love? Well I’ll try and explain, perhaps I’ll do it with stammering fingers and little eloquence but hopefully with a touch of drama and sparkle.

TO BEGIN, DOWN WITH BOOKS THAT ARE:

TRASH: come off it, if I dumped a bag of six day old garbage on your floor, you would think I was a little strange. And if that was the ONLY thing I could think to bring you, you would think I was insane. Is trash writing the only thing YOU bring to the table?

POORLY WRITTEN: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

BOOKS LACKING IN ALL THAT MAKES A BOOK GOOD: That is pretty broad I know but there are not a few shining examples of such literature in our world. The Babysitters Club for one...*shudder*... or almost any of the “tweeny” or “teen” books out there, plus the greater part of the adult fiction as well. Plot lines that have been done a billion times before, cookie cutter characters, mutilated English....and so much more.

DRIVEL FILLED: This is huge in the “Christian” section. Sappy, ludicrous and down-right idiotic for the most part, this genre should quietly fade out of the picture, like an aging soap star. Actually the really ugly bit here is, Christians should be the ones writing wonderful, inspired and beautiful books, not just so much mush and poppycock.

OVER SEXED AND UTTERLY UNINTERESTING: I’ve thrown away two books this year for being this very thing. If an author has to revert to overt sex and “bribe” the reader into staying with the book that is a good sign that you should burn or chuck the book. Besides the glaring rule of “whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy think about such things...”. Not to mention usually those books are so boring they will constantly be suffering from water damage due to sleep induced drooling.

HISTORICAL FICTION THAT: Claims to speak, behave, think, relate and act as the person in their chosen time period would have, only to ignore completely all social norms and actions that character would have had. In short, superimposing a modern day mind set on them and forcing it to be a mouth piece for the authors chosen soap box.

These my friends are a few key problems with the books being written by my generation, in my not so humble opinion. And it really burns me up at the thought of all those poor trees pouring into mills to be turned into so much refuse, sadly it would be of more use to humanity if they were just turned into paper towels or something.

Just stalk into your local Mac-Bookstore, glance around, glistening and shiny covers gawp at you from ever shelf, ninety percent were written in a week and will be read and forgotten even faster, whole series that didn’t exist three days ago spring like cockroaches from the pens of would be authors. Each eager to out do the other in the baseness of material or characters there in. Quite frankly I can’t even NAME any of these books since.....I make it a point of never reading, buying or touching them.