Monthly Archives: March 2015

Seven Minutes in Heaven

When I was in junior high, I had a friend who went to a church of a different denomination.  On the one hand she told us if we didn’t go to her church, we were going to hell, on the other hand she told us they played seven minutes in heaven at youth group.

I told myself not to go to her church.  I didn’t want to go into a closet with a boy and grope each others.  Even if it meant going to hell.

I don’t remember the whole story but I’m thinking the leaders weren’t involved.  I could be wrong.

Because I went to a youth retreat at my church and they had us play ‘Darling, I love you.’ We all sat in chairs in a circle.  One person was it.  They were to sit on someone’s lap and try to get that person to smile.

Both junior high and high school kids were there.  Being shy and nervous, of course I smiled when a boy sat on my lap.  I was highly embarrassed, I didn’t even know the boy and I didn’t want to sit on anyone’s lap.

However, being a rule follower, I played the game as best as I could.  Which was lousy.  I ended up sitting on every single boy’s lap, except for the one that was shyer than me.  He didn’t want to play so much that he folded over and hid his face.  Oh how I wish I had thought to do that!

Finally, they had mercy on me and asked a boy to volunteer.  For I wasn’t going to go around again!

Really, what did you teach me about heaven?!?! I stopped going to church not too long after that.

I would much rather be in the garden digging in the dirt, alone in my room playing the violin, or juggling in the park or library.   These are times and places I find heaven. I can spend more than seven minutes and don’t have to hide in a closet.

Where do you find heaven?

 

 

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What About the Taboo?

Last week a post on Facebook got my attention.  I am only reacting to the header.  I did not click on the full story, nor have I validated the truth of the matter.

However, things like this happen and that is what I am addressing. And my reaction.

The header reported a father filmed killing a pedophile that approached his daughter.

My heart went out to all involved.  There are studies that predators where at one time a victim. Where do these people get help?  In the 50’s two brave men got together to discuss their problem that was taboo.  And Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was born.  Many people and generations of lives have been bettered because these two men began to seek to help themselves and others out of a dark time and place.

Because of AA my dad was sober for 19 years when he died.  Other family members, myself included have a better life now because we were able to talk about this taboo topic and seek different choices than we had previously.

The father in the story has now done something that will take him away from his family.  How is he going to care for them as he prepares to defend his actions?  No matter what the outcome of the case, there will be time spent away from his family.

And the daughter. What has this taught her in her most formative years in learning to develop relationships with others?  Children usually take on the blame of what happens around them. Will she blame herself?  And from this self blame, what choices will she make?

As I said, my heart went out to all of them. For we as a society still shy away from the taboo topics of the day.  How does one love the person and not the ‘sin’?

How does one who has committed the ‘sin’ speak up and get forgiveness and help if society says, this is something that is so heinous it cannot be talked about, healed or forgiven?

 

 

The Power of Prayer and the Placebo Effect

I am curious why the power of prayer and the placebo effect are not being explored more fully. There are studies that show people in hospitals have better results when they are prayed for and / or believe the treatment they are receiving will help them.

Um, why would anyone want to pooh-pooh that? Especially without further research? I find it fascinating that someone somewhere can pray for people in the hospital and there be a result that wasn’t expected. If I were running a hospital, I’d do a study on the results if people were hired to pray made the same difference.

If hired prayers made the same or greater difference, I’d be the first hospital to do so.

And on the placebo effect, I would study how serious the condition vs the belief in the treatment. How far could we take the sugar pill? I’m not saying stop doing research on the medicines that do work. I’m saying study what the patient believes.

Does the patient have to know about the prayer to make a difference? And does the patient have to start with the belief in the treatment? Can doctors effect change the outcome if they change the outlook of the patent? Can their statement, “you are getting better.” make it true? Or truer?

When my ex-husband had his first heart attack, I met my daughter at the hospital. To tell you the truth, I went for her. He had made life so difficult for us that I wouldn’t have gone for him.

We sat in the waiting room, until he was out of surgery. They had put in a stint. It went well. Since I do believe in prayer, I prayed quietly. I had started praying as soon as I got the call. I have turned to prayer most of my life, especially when I don’t know what else to do. I feel like I’m doing something useful.

Before we left the hospital, we were able to see him. Several of his friends showed up and we all traipsed in, totally disregarding the rules. I figured I didn’t need to go in the room for there were too many people and as an ex, I might make things worse.

However, my daughter got mad that I would leave without saying good-bye. So I took my turn going into the room. The nurse was at his bedside, trying to do something. I couldn’t tell but I could tell our group had outgrown our welcome.

So I kept it short. Told him hello, and to get better. He replied and then shifted to get more comfortable. He seemed less agitated.

And as I left, I was less agitated. I think the power of prayer helps the pray-er as much as the pray-ee. We may never know. I’m not sure there’s a study on that.

A Piece of Heaven, Here, Now

Last Saturday, I was asked how sure was I of going to Heaven.  I’m pretty sure there is a Heaven.  I am going there one day.  I have a lot of loved ones waiting for me there.  What I want to do is be sure to be faithful while I’m here on this side.  Can I have a piece of Heaven, here, now?

This Lenten Season, I’ve been loving everyone.  Or trying to.  It hasn’t been easy.  There are jerks and rude people everywhere.

“Do I have to love them, too? ”

“Yes, them, too!”

or as Gpa would self-correct, “Yes, them, as well!”

As I ponder this thought, I see me reaching up and pulling a piece of Heaven down through the veil, experiencing just like Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is at hand.”

This world does not have to go to hell in a hand-basket. We, you and I, have the power to have Heaven, here, now, if we will love each other unconditionally. For sometimes you are rude and a jerk and sometimes I am.  Let’s forgive each other and have a Heaven filled day.

Lenten Love

Lent is a little more than half way done. I have chosen to love everyone. I plan to continue this exercise past Easter.

I will continue because I haven’t done a very good job of loving everyone. I still rant at other drivers. Really do you have to cut all the way across the highway, or merge in with inches between you and the other car.

Not surprised there are so many accidents on the highway. I am choosing not to drive on them  as much.  But city streets aren’t much better.

I find my self, ranting, then stopping and blessing the jerk.  Taking that moment to change my focus has been a good thing for me.

I can let the frustration go faster.  I don’t get to the point where I fall to the temptation to retaliate in my driving.  Letting myself get to that point isn’t good for anyone and could get me in an accident.

And when I bless the jerk and let the frustration go, I feel better about myself.  I get to my destination with a better journey than if I didn’t have the reminder to love even drivers.

Yesterday, it was a good thing my daughter in law was in the car.  She listened to me rant for a bit and then reminded me to love them.  I took a deep breath.  Smiled and agreed with her.

When I love the jerks out there, I can love the jerk I am.