The S-word.

First of all, let me apologize for not posting so consistently, my problem is partly not having access to a computer as much.

But today I figure I need to post, so let’s talk.

Yesterday I had a unique experience, I went to teen bible study that talked about 1Peter 3. A little context, on that chapter, it’s about submission, honoring your wife, faith, and Jesus’ victory over hell and the devil.

Where do you start?

But of all the subjects that are controversial in a youth group, or in church period, or in any culture ever, submission is one of the top 3 or 4.

Now you all know my stance on feminism, and it’s no surprise then that I don’t view submission as a bad thing, but…I confess I haven’t liked the idea in the past, and I’m still growing into it now.

My problem with submission goes back farther than I even can remember; and it’s the same for many women. But it always, always is about not trusting men.

Most girls who have no initial problem with submitting to men have had good male relationships in their lives, and like a lot of girls, I haven’t. Partly because my contact with guys has been extremely limited living at home with my mom and no brothers, and only male in the house, my dad.

Despite my trouble with submission, I have stood up for it in the past, and still will; because it’s in the Bible, and God commands it, and for me that has to come first, before my issues, my mistrust, and my fears.

And fears are a big part of this. I don’t care how strong she seems, any woman who hates men and hates submission is afraid, deep, deep, down; and she is afraid of being found out.

Many women have been abused, physically and emotionally. Nearly all of us have been yelled at, manipulated, misunderstood, or mocked, by men. I won’t say it doesn’t hurt me when men act like women’s feelings are too much to handle or not worthy of respect, and then they mock things we are interested in.

But… that’s not every man. There’s a good portion of nice, sensitive guys, or strong and brave ones, hopefully a mixture of both, who are out there, and they treat women with respect. It’s a rare breed of men who would meet my standard of Uncommon (hence the term) but there are plenty who aren’t bad guys, and don’t deserve the sort of disgust and contempt they are often treated with.

And for the record, there are not many women who are what I would call a real woman, either. It’s rare for both genders nowadays to really be what they are. But I’ve talked about this before, so let’s get back to the subject of submission.

Like I said, women are afraid. That chapter we studied, 1 Peter 3, actually is one of the only passages in the bile to address that issue as the root of our struggles. It’s a big problem for men too, but women have a different sort of fear then men, and it’s harder to pin point, which is probably why it’s not talked about enough.

But in a nutshell, we are afraid of rejection, just like anyone, and also of not being enough; and if we’ve been hurt before, we are afraid that if we are hurt again it will break us.

So we tend to harden our hearts to avoid this, and we resist authority, or if we are not the type to do that, we resist love. Or maybe we hide instead, a lot depends on the personality, but the root of it all is fear.

I have been afraid, but unwilling to show it, so I would be belligerent instead. I’d put  up a fight over something not that important because something important had not been fought for a long time ago, and I was upset about that.

But the thing was, God never said you can get out of submission if you’ve been burned, on the contrary, it’s even more important then, and here’s why:

It’s easy to submit when you’ve never been deeply hurt, but it takes a very tough woman to submit when she has been hurt, and even more so if she knows she will be hurt again, whether she submits or not. (By submitting I do not mean submitting to being hurt on purpose, only to the possibility of it, which is very different.)

Doing the right thing is always harder at first than doing the wrong thing, but this rebellion against men has hardly helped our case anyway, and it’s destroyed many relationships. Sometimes you have to do the right thing and trust that God will take care of you no matter what.

And that’s a difficult thing to do, but so, so necessary if you want to heal. I know personally.

A word to the men: I just want you to keep in mind that girls need understanding. We aren’t taught about this sort of thing, and it’s left a lot of us feeling clueless about how to treat the men in our lives. Also, men need help with this too, it’s not just about girl power, it’s about man power too. I personally regret that guys get so overlooked on this front and they deserve respect just as much as girls do,.

But we need to keep in mind that it takes a lot less to upset a girl than a guy, usually; and so all of us need to watch what we say to and about people of the opposite sex. Also, though not always, it’s our actions that say the most to men about how we feel around them. And how we interpret their actions.

But since I’ve never been in a romantic relationship, I wont’ say anything about that, it’s just a general rule in any relationship.

Some final advice:

Men, don’t be afraid to invest in the women around you. Even if they misinterpret it, even if they hate you for it, and even if you have no clue what you’re doing, you’ll get better. And please, do not take any crud from girls just because they are girls. Stand up for yourself, but do it in the right way.

Women, don’t be afraid of every man just because you have been hurt. Don’t date anyone you can’t trust (a general rule actually) and don’t marry anyone who doesn’t treat the women in his life well. But also, don’t put down men just because they fail. We all fail. Most of us don’t really now what we’re doing. We need to accept that and be willing to forgive.

But even more so if a man (or woman) has been cruel to you, and especially if he or she has done it on purpose, the strongest thing you can do is let it go. It only gives them power over you if you let what they did ruin the rest of your life. And this goes for any relationship.

Now, read my advice to each gender and flip it around to apply to the opposite, because the truth is, we all struggle with the same stuff, in different ways.

Okay, I’ll stop this here, until next time–Natasha.

National Women’s Day.

A while ago, the women here in America celebrated this “holiday” by boycotting work and going on marches.

And I didn’t even know there was a national holiday dedicated to women.

Of course, I didn’t celebrate, but I got to thinking, maybe a day to celebrate being a woman isn’t such a bad idea. Or a day to celebrate being a man.

But I’d do it a bit differently.

I think celebrating womanhood should look less like one big hate letter to the male population and more like one big love letter to the people around us.

On that day, a woman would make it a point to either dress up or dress down, depending on what makes her feel more comfortable with herself. (Personally, dressing up does that for me.) She’d either do her make up or not do it, whichever makes her feel confident and pretty.

A woman would spend the day, not protesting that she was a victim, but taking control of her time and spending it doing things that she feels really matter. Which could be hanging out with her kids, cleaning up a park, volunteering for a charitable organization, or visiting her family, or going out with her other female friends for a girls day.

Then she should do something fun, like go on a date, or if she’s single, do one of her favorite things.

The perfect day would include the kinds of talks that women love to have, and the kind of peace that they love feeling when they feel loved and cherished.

A strong woman does not need a man’s permission to be feminine; she would celebrate whether anyone else did or not.

I’d put hearing my favorite songs; eating assorted chocolates; watching a good movie or reading a god book; and hanging out with people I care about in a relaxing place; all on my list of things that make up a perfect day. Not to mention feeling close to God.

How men would treat women on this day would just be to say the things they should say all the time. To admit that they need women in their lives. And to be equally proud to be men.

Because when both men and women are glad to be what they are, it’s an irresistable combination. People like to see it.

Which is not to say all the problems between men and women would be fixed in one day, or even that everyone would celebrate. But the point is, if you will celebrate, really celebrate.

I just don’t see the joy in ranting and raving about injustice on the one day you get to be celebrated on. Which goes for any holiday. Who celebrates Christmas by protesting all the people who don’t get of give gifts? Or don’t go to church, or don’t celebrate at all, no one does that. (If they do I feel sorry for them.) What people do instead is they give to someone who has nothing, or they invite someone to go with them, and take someone in.

Celebration is about joy, and sharing that joy with other people. There will always be those who’d rather be miserable and gloomy, or who will focus on the wrong thing. but no one should pay them any mind except to help them.

That’s what I’d call celebrating my womanhood.

If nothing else, just taking a minute to be glad for what you have is celebration. We have so much in America, and if you’re reading this blog, you’ve got a lot more in your hands than many people will ever get to see in their lifetime.

Let’s not complain so much.

Until next post–Natasha.

Crossed wires.

“Though I may speak, some tongue of old; or even spit out some holy word;  I have no strength, with which to speak; when you sit me down and see I’m weak.”

These are the opening lyrics to a song from Brave, “Learn me right.” (Yes, it inspired the titles of my last two posts.)

It took me a while to even like this song, but I realized eventually that it was a description of how I felt about myself.

You see, like many Christians, I believe that God endows us with some of His power. (My faith gives me strength in other words.)

Like the song says, as much as I could quote the Bible or pray or even speak another language, (I actually speak three,) I lost it when it came to speaking up for myself.

I have no problem standing up for other people. I actually can be reckless in doing so and get myself into trouble; and I have no problem defending myself when I have done nothing wrong, but when it comes to explaining myself, there I have a problem.

A reoccurring scene in my life is one of having an older person take me aside, with one or two other adults, and explain to me how I’ve offended them with my behavior. (I have talked about this before, but I don’t remember how many people read that post, so I’m retelling it.) This has not happened recently…exactly, but it has happened a lot.

Anyway, once I realize what’s happening–again– I start to feel nervous, I freeze up. I have a hard time speaking.

I came to see that this bothers me so much because I feel weak. I can’t defend myself, and there is no one there to defend me. I also feel exposed, and not by my own choice.

I get angry very quickly when this happens, and though I don’t feel angry at the time, the feeling comes later. I can’t believe how I’ve been humiliated. And let me tell you, I’ve had some mortifying things said to me.

Honestly, when you don’t speak, people take that as an invitation to keep explaining your problem until you want to scream. Though I know I have done this to others too, so I can’t judge.

What has always insulted me the most is that people go behind my back and appeal to someone who has the authority to threaten me, punish me, and make me miserable at home; instead of coming to me first.

I know they meant well, but that is not the same as doing well.

I’ve been around the block now myself, I’ve been in a position of authority and had children misbehave and disrespect me. It is very annoying. A lot of the time it is also unintentional.

I can’t say I always handle it right either, but I do try to go directly tot he person who I have a problem with, and then to an authority if and only if that fails. you know what’s ironic though? Often the authority I go do doesn’t actually fix the problem by backing me up; they often throw it back on me.

I’m not saying all this to vent. I’ll bet you’ve had similar experiences.

But let’s talk about the most painful part, being misunderstood.

“I’m misunderstood,” can be used as an excuse nowadays. When it is used in that way, it’s probably not true. You may be perfectly understood to be a brat, or a wimp.

But, often the claim is made in frustration. Someone may have tried and tried to get their point across and found it was like they were speaking gibberish to the other party. That’s legitimate pain, and it’s happened all through history as well as our private lives.

If you’re like me, your personality may be so unconventional that people don’t know what box to put you into and so misunderstand your words, tones, and actions often. And sometimes, I actually deserve to be reprimanded, I’m not faultless.

Or you could be misunderstood because of crossed wires due to someone else’s accidental or sometimes intentional interference. That hurts a lot and you have my sympathies if that’s you.

Or, you like completely different things from the people around you and they think you’re a freak, or at the very least an oddball and they can’t connect with you.

whichever of these you are or have been, you’ve probably asked, along with me, what’s the solution?

Well, what’s not, is to do what a later verse of the song describes:

“So I had done wrong, to prove (put?) me right, my judgement burned in the black of night. When I gave less than I take, it is my fault, my own mistake.”

Two wrongs do not make a right. The worst thing for any of us to do would be to react poorly. Don’t retaliate. Don’t send a hate email or whatever. Don’t blast the person in question to you friends on social media.

Don’t judge too harshly,  remember the chances are you will do the same thing, we all have misunderstandings.

Also, and this is hard for me, don’t be afraid to look in the mirror. Make sure you were giving it your best effort, otherwise perhaps some of the criticisms or miscommunication is your own doing.

Give more than you take. Then, at the very least, you’ll be able to look back and say “I did my best, and I put the most effort into making this work. It was not for lack of trying.”

It rarely happens that the situation has changed drastically for me, but I have changed. I’ve gotten tougher, but also more willing to apologize, even if I believe I was in the right.

I’m still working on the right way to stand up for myself, but nine out of ten times, peace is better.

“We will run and scream, you will dance with me, we’ll fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free. We will be who we are, and now heal our scars, and this will be far away.”

–Natasha.

 

Learn me right–2

So, as I said at the end of y last post, no one can make you stop caring except you.

But what do teens care about? Is it really video games, and dating, and drugs, and pop starts.

Well, most of us do care about at least three of those, and often too much. But I think we choose to zero in on those things for a few specific reasons.

  1. We don’t listen to our parents.

I’m serious. Just about every parent I know thinks kids should not spend an excessive amount of time playing with a little screen in their hand. My parents would have never let me date till I was a reasonable age, which is not 13 or 14, like a lot of kids start now. And parents also disapprove of a lot of music and the behaviors of many celebrities.

If teens listened to their parents on this, being obsessed with that stuff would at least be harder, or more in check, then just having free reign over their choices.

2. Nobody stops us.

A lot of us are just dying for someone to keep us more in line, but we often end up being the more strong willed person in our interactions with authority figures. (Thanks due in part to the many unnecessary law suits over disciplinary actions.)

3. Perhaps most importantly, we aren’t given a reason to look beyond what’s right in front of us.

It really saddens me to think that by the time I have kids of my own, things like books, and manual driven cars may be close to being extinct. I miss letter writing or even email being a thing. And I miss people taking notes on real note paper instead of on an app on their electronic device.

Technology has its uses, the problem is we have this immense amount of power when it comes to information, yet we are not taught how to use it responsibly.

For my money, the experience of going on a field trip yourself beats any instructional video you can find on the internet. There’s no movie you can watch that make you actually be there, be breathing n a different culture or place. And nothing you see on a screen exercises your imagination like reading a page of  a book.

It’s fine to use a computer for things that aren’t super important, and won’t shape your character in a large way; but when that becomes our main mode of interaction, we fail to see anything beyond that.

I’m sure this is nothing you haven’t heard before, but though we talk about it, what do we do about it?

May young people who have ideals do not reach for them simply because they don’t know how. If fact, our technology may be the most contact we can have with something bigger than our own lives, which is very sad, but all too often the case. This is nothing new, teens have wanted to be part of something greater than their world for ages. Whether it was getting out of a small town or getting out of the city, or getting out of their country; they wanted more.

It’s my firm belief that we were all meant to have more. Way back in Genesis, God placed man and woman in a garden, but He told them to fill the earth and subdue it.

Think about that for a moment. A garden is a wonderful place, I’d gladly live there, but I would not stay there, and neither would you. A garden is a place to rest in and nurture, but we all want to expand, and we all want to go out and conqueor challenges. We are meant to.

I’d like to quote two characters from that old-ish show Kim Possible.

Both of them have something to say to this subject. The first one, Shego, my personal favorite, really won me over when she replied to her boss’s condescending suggestion that she spend more time on the internet “No thank you, I have a life.”

I cheered.

The other, Kim herself, once was summing up her accomplishments, and on top of saving the world, she added “And looked Josh Mankey straight in the eye.”

I thin Kim has a point here, not every thing has to be big and fame worthy to be important to you. And Shego at least understands that internet subsistence will leave you starving for real things.

Actually one of Shego’s better traits is to do things herself in the most efficient way she can, versus Kim who likes jumping over stuff, even when she could just walk through a door.

They are both right in a way though, it’s good to challenge yourself, but it’s also good to keep things in proportion. Which is why when we get bogged down in the everyday, like myself and my friends, we can lose track of the grand purpose of our lives.

I’ve never heard of someone being given an average destiny. God tells all his people that they are priests, and Paul tells all Christians that we will be rulers. There is no such thing as an average destiny.

Survival is really a myth. Human beings are not meant to survive, as a song I’ve heard says, we’re made to thrive.

To bring this back to my original point about young people and youth groups; my theory is, young people don’t truly want to survive. (Braveheart anyone?) They want to feel like they have an important role in life. But you can’t look at what everyone else is doing and figure out your role. Personally, I’ve realized I don’t want what everyone else has, I want, as Shawn Hunter from Girl Meets World said “What I’m supposed to have.”

I don’t think I’m alone in this either. We really need to listen to what teens actually are trying to tell us. And help them before they get caught in the web of survival.

Learn me right–1.

Today I started thinking about the years I spent sitting in Youth Group feeling frustrated.

I’ve started going to a new youth group by the way, which appears to be much better.

But I always wanted to know why youth don’t seem to take their faith or the bible seriously.

The conversations I’ve had with other teens about passages in the bible that aren’t often talked about, well their ignorance or indifference is surprising.

But over the years I’ve sat in Church services that talked to grown men and women pretty much how the youth leaders talk to their youth, only the adult services focus more on sin.

as any Christian teen over here can tell you, Youth Groups tend to cover purity, identity, and not behind addicted to technology by being a good example to your friends.

And all those are great messages, which I have needed and still need. The problem was, those messages should be seasonal, or every so often, but they made up the bulk of my youth group teaching.

As a homeschooler, I always felt like it was to easy for me. No one talked about books much, no one watched the same movies as I did, often enough; and no one expected me to retain much of what I heard, or to do the ridiculously easy assignments.

People could come to our youth leaders with their problems, but they couldn’t seem to actually follow their example. Why?

I don’t have a magic answer, but let me tell you about a contrasting experience I had.

When I went on my missions trip, the other teens were the most well-behaved, respectful bunch of peers I’ve probably ever been around. Except other homeschoolers. (Sorry, but it’s true.) We all wanted similar things, we all took pains to be nice to each other and to serve the people of Cambodia well. A lot of them also ate bugs, but hey, that’s normal in Asia. (And most other places except America.)

Phones were still a bit of an issue, but they at least kept it to a minimal. what made this group so different?

Well, the sad thing is, it didn’t stay that way entirely. Once we all go back, all of us hit some heavy obstacles in our everyday lives. Some of us floundered, others kept right on swimming. I admire one member of the group in particular for continuing to be of service to the people around them. I myself had to deal with a lot even the very day I came home.

I’ve never been common, and I don’t think anyone else would exactly fit the societal mode either, so what caused some of us to lose our grip?

My theory is it’s the same thing that plagues most other young people, here and in every place where kids have the opportunity to d more than survive.

You see, there’s a principle of life. Your situation is not what matters, it’s your outlook.

The fact is, no matter how hard our life is, we choose whether we live just for survival or not.

I have known plenty of people who are just trying to get through every day, whether its’ doing their school, their work, or possibly actually trying to keep food on their plate.

And like or not, when you live like the day-to-day challenges are the worst thing in your life, you have adopted an attitude of survival.

It’s not a good way to live, because it’s selfish, and it makes your vision very narrow.

They wonder why teens don’t care about church, it’s probably because they have learned to survive without it.

Personally, if I hadn’t found a good church to go to, I’d be at the end of my rope right now. I need the encouragement of being around other people who believe, people who I can sing to God with and they wont’ think I’m crazy. Non-believers take that kind of freedom for granted, I think. But it’s harder to find than it seems.

They say that the church is not relevent. That may true of some churches. But the ones I have gone to are usually quite relevant to some people. They feed the homeless, provide free childcare in a safe environment for busy parents. provide na alternative to secular culture; and give Christians a place to feel they are understood.

The church is much more than a safe haven of course, but the one problem is, very few teenagers appreciate having a safe haven unless they are in big trouble.

The teens I’ve known who came to church consistently were the ones with the most unstable lives, often enough. Sometimes they were more committed. Sometimes they were pastor’s kids and took more of an interest because of that. But I never heard any one of them say they came to church because it was a challenge, or because they felt it was dangerous.

That is, in my opinion, a huge percent of the problem.

we’ve taught kids that they can be anything, and prepared them for an adventure when they are young, but when they are teens, we start saying “Only a few more years of school.” There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, in other words. I don’t blame anyone for hating public school as I can’t imagine going to it myself, but church is treated the same way.

And I know you may not go to church and so may not care, but trust me, this is affecting you too. What do you get when a whole generation starts living just to survive. I almost prefer the past generations who lived for fun or to make a wealthy lifestyle, kids have grown up hearing that is not the most important thing, but they have no heard what is.

Or maybe they just don’t believe it anymore.

I am not letting teens off the hook. No one can make you stop caring except you.

But I’ll have to continue this in part two. Until then–Natasha.

Taboo–2

Depending on how part 1 was received, this may or may not be getting myself in deep.

But I’ve started now, so let’s continue.

I already talked about Taboo Topic #1, but there’s a bit more to say before I go to #2.

As I mentioned before, some people feel they were born homosexual. I say feel, because the fact of the matter is, no one is born any kind of sexual.

We all have a sex, yes; but some people never marry; some, like nuns and priests, remain celibate; most people marry the normal, traditional way; and some people choose a homosexual lifestyle. It is a choice.

But no one is born with a sexual preference. We all grow up and decide how we feel about it as we go, and our opinions change.

It is true that young teens often have no wish to experience feelings, which they do experience, that tend toward what the world calls homosexual.

I think this term has been blown grossly out of proportion.

Not every desire for affection and for touch is a sexual desire; and people make this mistake  as often about heterosexual relationships as homosexual ones.

As I’ve said in “Are we starving?” Human beings need touch to show affection and feel loved, that’s from anyone, of any age group.

That said, it is true that some people develop those kinds of feelings.

However, some people enjoy hurting other people. Some people are addicted to substances. Some people develop a taste for porn.

I know, I am bringing up every controversial issue I possibly can, aren’t I? Sorry. (But uh, check the title of the post, people, what did you expect?)

My point is, human beings develop desires for many unhealthy things. Lust itself is unhealthy when it is out of marriage, and then it is not lust, but healthy desire.

Desire itself if no proof that anything is a good idea. When our emotions are screwed up, or just fluctuating, as any woman can tell you, we want to do crazy things. (Like binge on chocolate.) Not that these desires are on the same level, but it is clear then that not all desires are rational or good.

There’s a book written by a man who struggled with this issue, and he’ll probably go into better than I can, “A Strong Delusion.”

I’ll suffice it to say the Bible does deem some desires evil. And it tells you which ones.

Just to really entrench myself in this matter, I’ll address one more argument. The one that goes “people should be free to express themselves however they want.”

Let me go back to Romans for this, in chapter 1 verses 22-23 it says  “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man…”

Self has been made into a god in our culture, and we wonder why people are so selfish. It is good to express yourself, but it is never good to disobey God.

I might further point out, God has given us a whole planet full of things we can express ourselves in and with, and it’s harmless; it’s kind of silly to go to the very things he warns us are dangerous and say “I want to use my freedom of expression for this.”

But I’m aware none of this will fix the problem, because it goes deeper than that.

Not everyone cares what God thinks of them, and so preaching about it will not get one anywhere; but that will not change that fact that those who do claim to care, often ignore God as much as the others.

That’s really why I’m doing these posts, I don’t want to be intimidated by the culture into acting like this stuff is not real and deadly. And it is deadly.

It’s not the homosexual act itself that really is deadly, though it does affect people’s health, but it is the attitude we promote with it.

An attitude that is destructive because it is determined to ignore everything expect what it wants.

People are encouraged to think about what they want and think they need, not what is really best for them, their family, their friends, their children, or even their partner.

It used to be those relationships had some weight, and we were encouraged to be unselfish in them, but now we think it’s unhealthy to give way to other people and their needs.

I get that people have been hurt. Abortion, issue #2, is often justified because of rape, or incest; which are ugly, evil things. It is terrible when they happen. And they happen a lot.

I don’t live in a different world than you do, I know about this stuff. And to be honest, I have feared it too. What girl has not?

It’s easy to be afraid of other people and think they will hurt you. Some people do choose homosexuality after being hurt by the opposite sex. Some hate the opposite sex.

I can’t say we don’t give each other reasons to hate.

But now that I’ve admitted all this, how can I still call it wrong? Shouldn’t I have more compassion?

Well, I do have compassion. I don’t want to encourage people to do things I think are wrong, because to me, that is encouraging them to destroy their own lives.

That’s not a popular mindset, but all through history it has proven to be the correct one, people stand against the tide because they care about those who are caught up in it.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 4:12.)

The good news is that despite all the negativity of these two posts, I still have a hopeful attitude, because I still have faith. Knowing all this doesn’t change that. Christianity is actually the faith for those who live in a messed up, broken world. It really is in the definition.

I know blogs do not have a dislike button, so if anything I said offended you, you can’t mark your disapproval, but feel free to comment about whatever your thoughts were on the subject.

Until next time–Natasha.

Taboo–1

I think the word taboo is hilarious. We have made ourselves afraid to mention certain subjects to each other, it’s ridiculous.

It’s also funny how the things that are taboo change over the centuries. Sex used to be taboo, now it’s barely even taboo in PG movies. It used to be taboo to mention many parts of the body, that’s gone too. I’ll grant you some taboos are just silly, but I notice that among many people it is now taboo to talk about important issues.

I’ve been in a few different churches in my short time, and there are certain subjects that you can be sure will not be brought up very often, and when they are people react, and that scares the youth directors so much that they shun the topics after that.

It may not surprise you to know that I’ve never particularly cared about whether anyone wanted me to speak up about some issues, if they get brought up and I don’t hear anyone else saying what’s right, I go for it.

It’s not because I like making people angry at me, or enjoy making them uncomfortable, but I feel that it is lying to them to pretend that there’s not more to an issue than what they are saying or believing.

There are two or three main taboo subjects, and they are, possibly in this order, 1. Homosexuality; 2. abortion; 3. Politics.

Okay, at this point some people would be going “Oh she did not just bring up all three of those! This is going to mean war!”

And others would be going “Finally, something really relevant to talk about.”

At least this is what usually happens when this stuff gets brought up.

My opinions on all three subjects will surprise no one, but I think I should prelude by saying I’ve heard many different opinions on all subjects, and I think I know the opposition’s standpoint fairly well.

And honestly I have considered in the past that they may be right, but as I grow more, I get more convinced of the truth.

Let’s start with the first one, why is this such a taboo subject? Really, think about it. On one side of the spectrum we have the people who encourage it, who are trying to get children in school to identify with it, (that is so freaking wrong, by the way, even if it was for hetero-sexualism, sex should not be brought up in elementary school, period.) At the other end we have people who think it is an abomination against nature, and in some religions it will get you killed.

So, I mean, why can’t we all just get along? This is no big deal? There’s right on both sides… right?

Obviously I’m being sarcastic, because I think it’s clear that with two such extremes, they cannot both be right.

I don’t favor killing anybody over this issue, I think that is wrong and taking it way too far, and I think that about any matter of belief. But my concern is that many people feel like their hands are tied when it comes to this taboo. If they are in favor of homosexuality, then they can have the honor of being like the majority of people in the public eye, but at least no one will accuse them of being a hater. If you speak against it, people get angry at you. I should know.

Interestingly, when people argue for it, they don’t usually tell me it’s right. They say something like “Well if two people love each other, then they should be together.” Or “I was born that way, God must have made me that way.” (This is in the church.) On the non-religious front, I hear things like “They should be able to express themselves however they want.” Or “There is no right answer.”

Okay, I can’t discuss all of these reasons in the same post, but I’ll address the first one because to me it seems one of the saddest.

Not that love has to be sad. But I find the reasoning faulty. We all know that sometimes people think they love someone and marry them, and then realize it was a mistake. Girls get pregnant out-of-wedlock because boys claim to love them. Women stay with abusive jerks because they love them. Men make mistakes because they think they are in love, they just aren’t talked about as often.

All these examples are sad, and they also prove that many human beings don’t really know what love is.

Yet you use it as a justification for such a major issue of morality?

The point is not to shame everyone who ever made a mistake about love, it’s better to error because of love than to never love and still error.

According to the Word, true love wants the best for the beloved. It rejoices not in sin, but rejoices in truth. It bears all things, believes the best, hopes for the best, and endures all things. Love does not demand its own way. It never fails.

When love is like that, then it might weigh in the balance, but statistically, homosexual love is no better than any other kind of human love when it comes to being unselfish. The couples don’t usually stay together. They, I would say, don’t show as much respect to other people.

Even if they were saints when it comes to loving each other, it still ignores one very important matter.

If you are a Christian  then you are bound to do what the Bible says; it goes with the turf. If you are not a Christian, then your choices are on your own head, but if you are one, can we really keep ignoring what both the Old Testament and the New Testament teach about the issue?

Romans 1:24-28 talks about how unnatural and ungodly the act of homosexuality is. I am merely quoting it. I did not come up with this idea myself.

But I have to challenge myself and every Christian with this question:

If we really believe that Jesus saved us, if we believe He is our lord; and that God is our Father; if we have His Word that we can reference in any moral dilemma; if we believe His word is alive, and is truth; if we believe He himself is truth; then can we afford to ignore Him?

Can we claim to believe his word if we disregard what it says even when believing it makes us unpopular?

This is no and, or, but, in this matter. This is a yes or no question.

People will always be furious when they are presented with this type of dilemma; we all like compromise better than black and white.

Sometimes there is no grey area.

So, comment if you want to, I’m going to pause this until part two–Natasha.

Personal Interpretation?

Have you ever watched a movie and thought that it was advertised all wrong? Or thought that what you heard people say about it was bogus? This also happens with books, to a lesser extent, because to be honest,  I rarely hear anyone talk about the last book they read. (The last one I finished was The Magician’s Nephew, those Narnia books never cease to be awesome.)

Movies, books, pictures, songs, as we all know, these things are what make up most of our cultures and every culture’s art. Except for movies, that’s not something every culture can afford to compete with the U.S. in.

There are a thousand different opinions about art, even about the same piece of art. So, it’s no surprise that what one person sees is not what another person sees. We’re not all looking for the same things.

But there is a point where I’d say personal interpretation goes too far.

I am getting heartily sick of reading or watching the most innocent of material, and then finding out somebody is pushing to get it acknowledged that there’s a homosexual character present in the said material.

People even did this with Frozen, to an extent that makes me sick, because what they were suggesting wasn’t okay even if one accepted homosexuality as normal. I really don’t want to repeat it, but you may have come across it yourself. If so, enough said.

And then there’s just the heterosexual remarks too. People do read way too much into some stuff.

However, even more common than both those unwholesome incidents is just misinterpreting what something really means.

What astonishes me is how often both authors and screenwriters do this with their own creations.

My siblings and I call it a lack of vision. What happens is someone creates a character that ends up catching the interest of a lot of people, and they develop the character enough to keep that interest, but then inexplicably, they just stop and leave it at that.

I know a couple of kids shows that young adults still watch because they’re actually good, and the shows make this same mistake. They build a character up and then they let you down.

I suppose to anyone not interest in the show or movie or book, it hardly matters; but interested or not, I do think such problems affect you more than you realize.

You see, history shows that it is art that inspires greatness, or imparts it, to other people. This is particularly true of the art of words. And it was the art that had something real and good to say to us, that caused us to become better people. that is still true.

Anytime an opportunity to make something like that is wasted, so is a chance to inspire kids and adults alike to be better people.

I have a case in point that should be harmless to give because the author is long gone.

There’s a book titled Miss Pettigrew lives for a day that was later made into a movie. I saw the movie first and liked it a lot. I was sure the book would be even better–it wasn’t. Mind you, I’ve only said this of maybe half a dozen books. Almost always the movie is inferior. (Just look at what they’ve done to The Chronicles of Narnia, even Disney sometimes disappoints me.)

The whole reason that the movie was better than the book was simply this: both portrayed two different outlooks, and two different lifestyles, but while the movie was honest about the pitfalls of both, the book very much leaned towards one (that I’d say was the worst of the two.) Plus, the book offered no real reflective moments in which the characters could see something new about life and themselves, whereas the movie had quite a few.

The difference was simply vision. The people who made the movie saw something in the story that they could speak to their audience about. the author of the book just wanted to impress upon them what kind of lifestyle was the more fun and free.

I am grateful to the people who really tried to say something good with their work. “Rise of the Guardians” is another example. The people behind it had something to show the kids and adults watching. It’s a great movie.

One of the reasons Moana originally was somewhat of a turn off to me was because I kept hearing that they were trying to make her the anti-Disney princess.  Presumably by giving her a different build, no lover interest, and her own adventure, they were accomplishing this.

First of all, Moana is not the first Disney girl to have no love interest and her own adventure, or a different build.

Second, if that’s what they think has captivated little girls, and even boys, for years about Disney Princesses, then they do not understand anything about making a quality character.

Children love Disney movies for a few simple reasons: One, there’s a clear hero and a clear villain. Two, they are animated nicely, (usually,) and so there is no problem with wanting to be a “part of that world.” Three, the music is often more unique and fun than you’ll find in other places, and what kids don’t like to sing and dance until they get old enough to be embarrassed about it?

But the last and most important reason that kids love Disney is because Disney tackles important subjects, and shows us things about real life, in a way kids can understand, and often adults still find profound.

The more we forget this and see Disney simply as a tool to teach kids to be as pluralistic as the rest of the culture, the less the movies will be good. Because the movies that promote that stuff are simply not good. How can they be? When to say that there is no right answer is to defeat the point of making a movie about it?

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

A real feminist.

It’s no secret that America has a large feminists movement, and we even had a march dedicated to it recently. Many women make it their life’s purpose to promote equality.

I know men and women alike also hate the movement’s guts, and I don’t blame them. It has grown to ridiculous proportions.

Not that the original idea is something I dislike. I don’t even dislike the mantra “HEre me roar.”  Nothing wrong with roaring.

What concerns me is how deeply selfish feminism has become.

Stay with me girls, I’m going to explain.

I’ve never really dealt with sexism from men, though I probably will at some point, because it is out there, but it’s not half so common as it’s cracked up to be. I have already encountered sexism from women.

At the very least, if we must be sexist, I wish it was to some purpose. This marching and telling the world what it would be like if women weren’t at the work place is at best flaunting a long past victory; at worst, it’s lunacy.

Because if anyone should not be complaining about that, it’s American women.

What we should be complaining about is how those girls in countries like India, Cambodia, and Greece, are tricked into being kidnapped and sex trafficked. Millions, every year.

We should be complaining about how women are kept ignorant and helpless in countries where the Taliban is in power.

WE should be complaining that women in African countries are starving and dying of water contamination and also watching their children do the same, and many of those women and girls are forced into sex trade too, as the only way to avoid starvation.

We should be complaining about the Jewish and Christian women who are slain along with their families or have to watch their families die, because of their faith.

We should not be marching the streets waving our angry signs, because we are allowed only to show up to work and get paid for it and take it home to our families, and don’t have to worry about being stopped on the street and asked why we are out without a man.

We should not be giving men the finger for handing over our rights decades ago instead of shooting us or beating us for raising our voices.

What is wrong with us?

Don’t misunderstand me. Any prejudice is wrong, even if it is smaller in our country, but I snot the point of having a voice and having a power so we can speak up for those who are still silenced? and protect those who are still defenseless?

I repeat, feminism is selfish. At least what it has morphed into.

And it is not fair when we tell our daughters they can be anything, but we tell our sons to get out of their way.

We teach boys to not think girls are lesser, but we don’t teach girls to show boys the proper respect.

It goes both ways. There’s a saying “If you would be loved, be lovely.” And it might just as well be “If you would be respected, be respectable and respectful.”

But more importantly, it is selfish to rant about our very few misfortunes, and say nothing about what is going on around the world. It affects us too, immigrants are bringing it into our country, and I know people from other countries than America read this blog, and I mean them too. It is coming into every country.

I have heard it remarked on that schools are now teaching kids to be citizens of the world, whether or not that is a good thing, I can’t say; but if they are citizens of the world they ought to be taught to view the suffering in the world as part of their lives too. Something they should allieviate if they can. I get letters every month telling me about suffering I could help stop if I had money, which I don’t currently, but while I did, I gave some. It’s not a big deal. Its’ what we all should do. It’s not like it has to be a lot, most places are thankful to get anything, even five bucks.

I don’t have any organizations of my own to beg for, so you know this is simply what I think is right.

If you would support women, then support the ones who need it most. I don’t think it’s really so complicated.

But it doesn’t have to start with money. If you want to promote women’s rights, start by treating the women around you right. If girls tear each other down, or compete with each other in unhealthy ways, that is as  anti feminine as anything a man could do.

One more thing, when girls are angry, there is usually a deeper issue. I’ve had rape used as an argument against doing right by men, more than once. I can’t pretend to understand the effects of such assaults, but I do know that whatever someone else does to you, it doesn’t change what you need to do yourself.

Being angry against everyone will not help, and ignoring the fact that things like that happen daily to girls around the world is still selfish, because no one should want others to suffer a horror they’ve been through themselves. But I am not unsympathetic, and if I could offer personal advice, I would, but I suggest seeking more professional help if that is you case.

But hopefully it is not; and the rest of us have no excuse at all.

Whew! This is some heavy stuff. I just hope I’ve done justice to it.

What I really want to do is to wncourage girls and women to be more than that. To do greater things than they’ve seen demonstrated, and to think of other people besides themselves. i want to encourge men to do the same.Thsiis jsut a humn thing,not a gender thing, and we need to stop making it into that. That, I suppose, was my main point.

Until next time–Natasha.

“If there ever comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.”–Matthew Arnold. (Emphathis mine.)

SAMSUNG CSC

Reach higher.

Perception vs. Reality

A lot more depends on our perception than we realize. Our perceptions are not truth, but they enable, or disenable, us to recognize it. Ask any Christian who used to be something else, and they’ll tell you they had a shift in perception. And ask any atheist or deist who used to be Christian, and they’ll tell you the same things. But we all could guess as much without being told.

I don’t glorify Men’s opinions. but  I know they are still very powerful in of themselves. I think one of the greatest disservices we can do each other is to teach each other to have the wrong opinions. Which sound loony to our culturally tuned ears, but that won’t change the facts. Opinions were supposed to be, once upon a time, fixed in the truth about life, but now they are fixed in our personal preference.

Of course you’re bound to offend people if they think what they want should dictate someone else’s convictions. And that is what has happened.

Case in point, I was recently watching a movie review in which two guys were talking about a controversial issue in a kids movie, and they concluded by telling the people who would be bothered by it that they shouldn’t be, because there’s no right or wrong answer. Now these two guys are fairly sensible most of the time, but they are unfortunately very culturally influenced. I’m well aware my view of the whole thing isn’t even popular among a lot of fellow Christians, but I’ll say it anyway: Poppycock.

Look, everyone chooses what they believe, or say they believe, but to tell people who have convictions that differ from your own that they need to change to accommodate controversy….that is flat out disrespectful.

It demonstrates that instead of being tolerant of peoples’ beliefs, you are actually contemptuous of them. Which, if you are, I’d sooner you admitted it out right.

I have been quite pleased with my own followers who have not given me hate for expressing my own beliefs, I’m not afraid to be hated, but it’s nice to know people can still be above that.

However, it is not for my own benefit I raise the issue of tolerance, I know what I think, but my concern is many people don’t really understand what tolerance is.

I hate the word myself, because it is so misconstrued, but to tolerate another person’s belief is to let them believe it without threatening them or arresting them or fining them. they are free to believe it.

They are not free to never be argued with, and to never be subject to change. In fact, if these people will not change their opinions even when they are proved wrong, they are in error. That is actually wrong.

But so long as no one forces them at gun point to change, or something like that, they are being tolerated.

This ridiculous demand that spoiled young people make now that they should be allowed to be idiots in the name of tolerance, that is dangerous.

I have never in my life considered burning down someone’s property to protest something, nor do I go on the internet and blast people personally just because I disagree with them. I don’t mind standing up to someone, but that is not intolerance.

I am not the only role model here, of course, but I can see clearly how insane it would be to do such things, or at the very least, unkind.

I know so many people who buy into this fake tolerance thing. It has really crippled the Church’s ability to teach the truth.

Oh, let me pause here. It is generally assumed that people who go to church are too weak minded to think for themselves, and will go with whatever their pastors say.

But a funny thing about the church itself, as I know, is that they often feel people think too much for themselves, not healthily, but to the point where they will not change their minds, even if the Bible says to, and the Bible is the only thing that should change our convictions.

It may be some people let the church think for them, thought I have yet to meet any personally that I can be sure of, but they would not be the majority now.

But the problem of people being more swayed by the culture than by the church is very real. I don’t expect anyone who is  a non-churchgoer to think this is a bad thing, but can we look at the bigger picture here?

Unless you’re living in your own bubble of unconsciousness, you must have noticed that that the world has not improved over the past three decades. There are many alternative explanations for why, and the fact that I think the decrease of devout teaching is the cause may be laughed at, but still. Look around.

We have turned our back on God, but we complain that our people lack qualities that believing in God would produce, like feeling they have a purpose, feeling accountable for their actions, respecting authority.

I know it is an old topic, but it is getting more apparent all the time that we have lost something. Be it faith or hope or love, but likely all three.

But I am not a naysayer. I still hold out hope that we can change. That young people will not repeat the mistakes of the past generations. It would have to start with us waking up from this haze of tolerance, and self gratification.

The song of that siren, as Patrick Henry would say, will only lead to our own demise.

Only you can choose to open your eyes, no one else will do it for you.

I’ve said enough, so until next time–Natasha.

 

Different perspectives.