East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"


Some Saturday Stuff- June 15th.

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My nephew Kymani enjoying the fruits of his parents' labor.

 

Happy Saturday, All. I had a kind of so-so week. Not horrible, but not great, either. My weekly IVIG sessions are becoming increasingly frustrating, what with my always tiny and weak veins collapsing more often than not. On Tuesday, when nurse Melissa came to administer the infusion, after five sticks, it was obvious my veins were not going to cooperate. So she came back Thursday, and the third time was the charm. Further annoying me, I can't seem to nail down an appointment to have a port put in, which would alleviate the need to be stuck like a pin cushion every week. It would also alleviate my hands and arms from the little purple knotty scars. I hate that I'm now pushing to have minor surgery to keep up the IVIG which, while extremely beneficial, is not really making me better. It's like I have an inflatable lifejacket. I'm not drowning, but...

 

Oh yeah, I finally tried Chick-Fil-A yesterday, for the first time. It was okay. It's funny that so many people I know act like it is chicken ordained by God or something. It's good, but it wasn't a Revelation. ;-)

 

The gorgeousness above is my 9 month old nephew Kymani, son of K's brother, K2. By the way, their dad is also a K. A whole lot of K-DEFs in the fam. Let's keep the cuteness rolling, shall we? From The Daily Mail:

 

Heart-warming pictures of the real life Mowgli, a girl who spent the first ten years of her life growing up in the African bush, have been released for the first time.

 

The magical images chronicle the life of Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degre, who was brought up with wild animals, just like Rudyard Kipling's hero did in The Jungle Book.

 

The images in 'Tippi: My Book of Africa' - now being published worldwide for the first time - show the young girl making friends with an elephant, who she calls her brother, and a leopard, her best friend.

 

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You can see more pictures by going here. Let's keep the picture show going with Likes list of 15 Products That Really Shouldn't Exist, such as Ghost Turds. Wow.
 
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Seriously, with a clever title you can make a fortune selling almost anything. Someone came up with the idea to sell 'ghost turds', which are packing peanuts. Six packing peanuts: $1.99. Pure genius?
 
Also, The Wine Rack:
 
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This is a bra that you can fill with wine. The long wait for an undergarment that can be filled with booze while at the same time accentuate your curves is over . . . If you wanted to be really meta you could fill it with milk.
 
To see thirteen more idiotic products, click here.
 
Sarah Over the Moon wrote this powerful piece on feeling very unwelcome at church:
 

It’s the cool thing in more progressive branches of Christianity now to talk about how EVERYONE is welcome at the communion table. I should be glad about that, I guess.

I mostly just serve communion to myself (sometimes a cat or two joins in) while locked in my bedroom nowadays. Not much of a “communion,” I know. I’m probably committing all sorts of blasphemy, but that’s the best I can do right now. Maybe if I swapped the leftover pizza that I use as the body of Christ for some Zoloft I’d be getting dressed for a “real” church instead of sitting here writing a blog post in my Mario Kart pajamas. Maybe going off my meds just made me paranoid. I don’t know.

 

But this trend in Christianity where EVERYONE is welcome scares me.

 

Maybe it’s because of the time when a former friend of Abe’s, who knew my back story, told Abe and I that we had to be grateful that Jesus forgives rapists. Who told us that because we could not see rapists as sinners just like us, we must not know Jesus like he does.

 

Or maybe it’s because of the people who cut off all ties to me because I’m not all that cheery and positive in my critiques of abusive systems and ideologies. Those same people who talk about how they long to sit down at the communion table with popular spiritually abusive leaders in a show of grace and forgiveness.

Or maybe it’s because of the way I see so-called progressive Christians in powerful positions react when my friends who are gay or trans* or disabled or people of color say, “Hey, this person/ideology is oppressing us.”

 

EVERYONE is welcome. But more and more it seems the “EVERYONE” that Christians are really going after is abusers.

 

Wow. It's scathing, but I notice this little trend, too. Like, "Look how awesomely amazing forgiving I, uh er, God is! So he abused the life out of his wife? God forgives, so do I! Now come on up for some Welches and Ritz!". Yes, God forgives, but there are still consequences to our actions. At least, there should be. By the way, as a disabled person (see opening paragraph), I often do feel marginalized in church/group settings. Like because I can't go out in the field and do stuff, or I'm not working and can't give much by way of offering, I'm some kind of second class member. It makes me want to go crawl into my bed and "do church".

 

For more Body of Christ blundering, Amy Thedinga, guest writing at The Nuance on "The Seduction Myth":

 

A while back my husband and I attended a marriage seminar. Toward the end, they had a panel of experts (made up of pastors) who fielded questions from the audience. Inevitably, the question of dealing with lust came up. The pastor who answered gave his advice that when an attractive woman speaks to him he stares at the ground or turns and walks away (especially if she’s single).

 

In an instant, a hundred attempted conversations with male authority figures played across the movie screen of my memory. I say attempted because they neither engaged nor conversed, but rather stared at the ground and squirmed until their first feasible opportunity to escape. And I felt the phantom pain of a hundred arrows in wounds I thought were healed.

 

I get the logic. With so many high profile moral failures, leaders should guard their purity at all costs right? But at what price? What about the woman? What does his refusal to look her in the eye – to connect with her – to engage – do to her perception of herself? And what does a faulty self-perception do to her ability to walk in her power? In her design? In her calling?

 

In what sort of a church culture is it acceptable for a male leader to dismiss a woman out of hand and actually advise members of the congregation to do the same – in the name of guarding their purity?

 

A culture in which the man has an important ministry and a woman’s dignity, her very self worth is an acceptable sacrifice on the altar of his moral high ground.

 

Growing up in the church, I received this message a thousand different ways. Messages of purity were delivered to mixed gendered audiences but aimed at women. The pastor who refuses eye contact sends a clear message. A version of which church culture has screamed at her since birth: “You are seductive. You are a sexual vortex that I may get sucked in to. The slippery slope of my lust is your problem. And my ministry is too valuable to allow the likes of you to trip me up.”

 

This is the seduction myth.

 

Great piece. Read the whole thing.

 

Hope you have a wonderful day (it's ridiculously beautiful today here; I think we've earned it), and the song for the day: "We Need A Resoultuion" by Aaliyah featuring Timbaland. Lord knows, I need a dang resolution regarding my health. And some prayer (with or without a deacon). I'll take a drink, too.

 

 

 

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