Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Education and Entrepreneurship

"So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father." (Heb. 2:11)

In addressing the Father in prayer, Jesus gave a direct communication:

“you love them as much as you love me”. (Jn. 17:23)

Gender and racial equality seems so obvious in scripture, yet some still struggle with it.

Men like Booker T. Washington, were heroes of faith, who lived as if no race is better or less than but all races are equal.  He is best known for a speech he gave called the  "Atlanta compromise, when he called for black progress through education and entrepreneurship, rather than trying to challenge directly the Jim Crow segregation and the disenfranchisement of black voters in the South.” (Wikipedia)

That is a great strategy for both gender and racial equality. 

What is so controversial about gender and racial equality?

A great example is Usain Bolt.  He not only is a great athlete, but he is also a great entrepreneur.  Forbes.com says he receives $30 million in endorsements a year.  The other night, it was amazing, as an American I found myself pulling for a non-American to win the 100-meter.  I wasn’t alone, as many reported the same phenomenon. 

Forced gender and/or racial equality aren’t working, but it can be given, feely, and willingly for it is heart issue.

Consider searching for a congregation that is free from the chaos of male dominance, and/or white supremacy.  Consider asking your pastor straight up, “what do you think about gender and racial equality?” (Especially if it a white male.) 

Why not engage in conversations with friends and family, and see what they believe about gender and racial equality?

It is a surprising and enlightening conversation.

We have tackled these conversations in our congregation and are aligning ourselves under scriptural authority, and would welcome you as equal brothers and sisters, whom the Heavenly Father loves just as much as the Father Loves Jesus (with or without education and entrepreneurship). 

Until the day dawns when all genders and races are granted equality at the heart level consider the pathway of higher education and financial entrepreneurship that Booker T. Washington proposed and Usain Bolt models.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Man and Woman are to be a "balanced pair".

1 Cor. 11: 10 is described as “a text so difficult that it has defied our best scholarly guesses over centuries” (Gordon Fee)

10For this reason, and because the angels are watching, a woman should wear a covering on her head to show she is under authority.

Here are some “scholarly guesses”.

All women have the freedom or right to choose who is the authority in their life. (She is the authority over her life.) 

No one is to be OVER her.

No one is to be between her and the Lord.

Man and Woman are to be a “balanced pair” (Fee).

There is a distinction of the genders. (We are not as the angels)

Angels do not lust over human women, with or without clothes, or a head covering. 

Whatever the head covering was, it could not be transferred, across the board in a multifaceted, multi cultural church.  It is therefore impossible to fully obey their custom, and consider it obedient to scripture.

A church can abuse women, when that church views them as a gender as less than the male. 

Both genders are equal in a balanced pair.  One isn’t given more weight in the relationship.

Here are a few of my questions on some interpreters of the passage who insist men have short hair and that women have their head covered with a shawl, and have long, uncut, and put up hair.

Why would a man with short hair be more righteous than a man with long hair?

At what point between haircuts does a male become unrighteous?

Why would a woman be more righteous with uncut, put up hair, than a woman with loosely flowing, styled hair?

Why would a woman going through chemotherapy and lose their hair, be less righteous than someone with hair.

Why would a woman need another mediator other than Jesus to be in right relationship with God?

I once had long hair, in an attempt to grow it long enough to donate so others would have a wig during chemotherapy. A visitor to our congregation told me he would come back and visit when I cut my hair.  (He hasn’t and I am glad.)

Which picture denotes more or less righteous?

Demanding that others conform to a one’s interpretation of scripture, especially when it is described as the one passage that is so difficult it has defied researches for centuries, is not a good way to go.

Sexual abuse and harassment is back in the public arena for discussion. 

Consider your own view of man and woman.  Anything other than a “balanced pair” opens the door for abuse and harassment.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Perfect Shoe Doesn’t Exist

I thought I had found the perfect shoe.  A highly technical computer program confirmed that the shoe was right for me, but after 75 miles it isn’t.

What is perfect for my left foot isn’t perfect for my right foot.  What is perfect for your foot isn’t for mine.  For me, it is an issue to be able to run injury free.  Now I have Achilles and Plantar Fasciitis issues with my right foot. 

Every person’s foot is different, unique and no two are alike.

To me this highlights how specialized one has to become to receive the “readiness that comes from the gospel”.  (Eph. 6:14,15)

The right shoe is a major part of the armor of God; yet, it is difficult to find the perfect system that readies a person with the gospel.

It is frustrating to start shopping for a shoe again, and similarly frustrating to start another readiness system, to prepare oneself with the gospel of peace.

What works for others, may not work for you.  Within a relationship with God, there exists the grace to ready oneself with the gospel, even when that process of readiness seems different than others.

Feel the freedom to experiment and even when you find the perfect system, after a few years or months it may need to be tweaked.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Resisting Dangerous Insects

Ticks, chiggers and mosquitos may be the most dangerous critters most of us will ever face.  Chigger’s are not dangerous, but can drive you into the danger zone, so they are included.

Experiences shape us and inform our future.  Outdoors experiences in the spring, summer and fall is an excellent time to prepare for the most dangerous of God’s creations.  Not lions, bears or snakes, but ticks, chiggers and mosquitos are very dangerous and are more likely to be encountered.  Small insects are VERY smart and adaptable.  First step is to respect these little critters. 

Develop the mindset of putting on armor similar to the full armor of God in Ephesians 6: 

13Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. 

If you neglect even a small piece of skin, the insect enemy will find it.

(I also have snake proof boots, and carry pepper spray for bears. Another story.)

Here is what I have found to work after having numerous encounters.

Wear clothing, including underwear that is treated with Permethrin.  It is found in outdoor stores as well as Amazon.  Here is but one product on Amazon.

Wikipedia has an article on it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permethrin

Another option is to buy clothing that is already treated.  Here is an example.

Here is a link for the top 10 pieces of clothing.  (They will be pricey)

I prefer long pants, long sleeve shirts, tall socks, etc.  Some say panty hose works.  I don’t know.

At minimum, treat three or four pair of long socks and underwear and designate them as your outdoor pairs.

So after treating your clothes, what to put on your skin?

I used a Deet product for years and some say, it isn’t an issue, but I have moved away from a Deet product and gone as natural as possible.

In a large spray bottle mix ½ distilled white vinegar and ½ water.  Add essential oils to your choosing.  I like citronella, peppermint, and Dotera has a product called Insect shield.  Some prefer apple cider vinegar. 

Here is the key to application.  You need to get into your birthday suit, and apply to EVERY place of skin and hair.  Consider it as a paint job to your skin.  Rub it in, and be liberal.  This is true for a lotion filled with Deet, or the spray bottle filled with solution.  An insect will keep crawling until it finds a place it can dig in.  They enjoy skin creases, so be extra vigilant on all.

You can do this by yourself.  Using the spray bottle, simply bend over and spray over your back, and let gravity work.  Then reach around as much as possible and rub it in.

Then dress with treated clothing, and if you don’t mind looking a little nerdy, tuck your pant leg into your socks.  If you do care, then wear very long soccer style socks and spray your clothing with the solution you have chosen.  I am not a fan of spraying permethrin on skin or clothes you are wearing, but the vinegar and water solution works.  Since it is fairly cheap, you can spray all over your clothing, and your hat, bandana etc.

Consider it arming yourself against the most dangerous of all of God’s creations.  They are smart, adaptable, and will find a way where there seems no way.

Even after doing all you know to do, be sure to do a complete tick check.

What also happens is they cling to your clothing, and for days, they can survive in a car or truck, and the next time you sit in your seat, they will be waiting.  I haven’t found a good way to kill them, once in the vehicle, except to park in the hot sun.  I have successfully been in the outdoors and not had one tick, only to drive in my car days later and get a tick. 

Ticks and chiggers will remain on your clothing so remove outside if possible and put in a separate bag.  Don’t bring indoors, until ready to wash.  Ticks can survive washing in hot water, but they cannot survive a dryer’s heat.  Some recommend drying them first to kill the ticks, then wash and dry.

I also received a Lyme disease vaccine.  Later in life I was diagnosed with Lymphoma and looking back, one of the side affects was lymphoma.  (I no longer recommend a Lyme disease vaccine.)

So, enjoy the great outdoors and put on the full armor of God, like insect repellant.