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.

Running away from Sadness.

Continuing from my previous post…

Now that I have defined Joy and explained how we find it, I need to expound upon it.

This, more than any other topic, is a Church related one, because it’s in the Church that the word is mainly used; and many people are frustrated that they can’t find it.

If it were as simple as I made it sound, than more people would have joy. Because accepting sadness is totally simple…right?

Wrong is probably what you all thought, but actually, it is simple. It’s just not easy.

We run from sadness. From our own and other people’s.

I know people who will cry over nearly every movie they watch, but they don’t talk about what’s going on in their life so much.

I also know people who seem to be perpetually depressed, and by choice, not medical condition; it offends these people if you tell them to cheer up.

You know, Pollyanna actually had a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up, and in that sequel Pollyanna tells her friend Jimmy about a man she heard say that every time someone said to be glad, he just wanted to go out and shoot someone.

A rather extreme way of reacting, but how many of us have wanted to scream when someone makes light of our sorrow?

Which is the last thing I want to do, I’ve had sorrow too, and I’d be a horrid hypocrite if I pretended it was minor.

I handle sorrow in an unusual way, when I experience real loss, I am oddly unshaken by it. I am sad, but it is not crushing. I suppose it is because I have never lost anyone close to me. Another thing is I constantly hear false alarms, one side of my family is always having one problem or another health wise, but they get over it.

but when I have relational pain, it can be very depressing to me.

I think because all our self worth issues get mixed up in that sort of pain.

I won’t say either type of pain is less selfish, or better than the other, but it is true that the latter often makes us act very selfishly.

The worst is when we don’t feel the pain, but it remains there, undealt with, and affects all our behavior.

Which, if I go back to Inside Out, is what happens to Riley. Though she can’t feel her pain any more, it remains there, buried or lost in the subconscious.

Years of living like this are what make people develop neurosis and sometimes psychosis; it is also the source of anger issues, difficulty in committing, and submitting to abuse because one feel like they deserve it. Pain turned to hate against ourselves is lethal.

And it turns to self hate when we neglect is.

But there is hope. Through counseling, or our own personal journey, we can go back and grieve over what we have lost.

After that process, or even during it, comes the time to have joy again.

There is always a reason to be glad, no matter how bad things are, they are never without some silver lining, but it’s hard to find. Plus that is not exactly joy.

Joy is, as I said before, bittersweet, when it first starts. It begins as the feeling of peace after sorrow, or during sorrow. after you have stopped running from it and have chosen to embrace it.

But one cannot live in sorrow, Ecclesiastes says in chapter 3 that there is a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, there is a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to laugh and a time to weep.

I can’t really explain how you know when the time of mourning is over, I think it comes if you are waiting for it but not rushing it, you just know.

When this time comes, you put away your mourning clothes, so to speak, and you start enjoying things on purpose. You open your heart to new love, you might start a new hobby, or devote more time to an important person in your life. You move on.

It’s okay if it takes a year or two to completely move on, sometimes it takes longer, the idea is never to stay in one place too long, but to keep growing.

I think it has been said that the joy is in the journey, and I think that is true. Joy can be present when you stand still, but usually you need to be in motion.

That’s why joyful people dance, sing, paint, and write; or do whatever they do to express themselves, joy wants to be shared.

In fact if you are hogging your happiness, that’s a sure sign it’s not joy.

We will all run into sadness, but the key is to then run out of it, and leave it far behind. Though we will not forget, nor should we, because the sadness will eventually turn to joy if we are willing.

Those are my thoughts for now, stay joyful–Natasha.

Running after Joy.

I thought I’d do a different style of post today, I wouldn’t want to get entrenched in the same subjects all the time.

I want to talk about that elusive quality known as Joy.

I say known as, but if you google it, look it up in the dictionary or read about it, you’ll find that no two definitions of joy seem to be exactly the same.

C. S. Lewis thought Joy was a longing, or that a longing was how we experienced joy in this world.

Most people think of joy as some type of ecstasy.

The more practical of us think it is just another word for being contented with your life and your work and your family. (I am not using practical as a good thing in this instance.)

My guess is most of us don’t think about it at all, or not frequently if we do. I myself don’t give it as much consideration as I could.

To many people e, and I have felt this myself, joy seems to be a joke. Something people talk about but no one has found. If anyone claims they have, they are delusional. Maybe, we think, joy is just a delusion. Which is worse than an illusion.

We think joy only comes when we can forget our troubles, which we can’t, and that it is fleeting. Maybe we felt it at one time. It’s odd how it is such a strong feeling while it lasts, but it is so easy to forget once it’s gone.

It’s not like we’re left alone once the euphoria we think of as joy dies away. Trouble inevitably comes.

Now if you’re a Disney fan, perhaps your mind immediately went to Inside Out when I brought up Joy. I watched that movie once or twice, I had to give it credit for doing a good job of explaining joy and sadness. I’m gong to reference it in a second.

If there was no trouble in the world, we suppose, perhaps everyone could be joyful. Or I could be, but who can be happy knowing there is so much wrong going on.

The truly sad thing is most of us aren’t unhappy because of the sufferings of others, but because of our own problems. We could ignore the rest of the world if our world was fine. But the rest of the world affects our own, whether we like it or not.

In A Walk to Remember, the movie, Landon, when still pessimistic and bitter over his dad leaving, tells Jamie he has no faith because “There’s too much bad — in this world.” Jamie replies “Without suffering there would be no compassion.” Landon says “Tell that to those who suffer.” Jamie looks away. We later find out Jamie suffers plenty, and tries to stay cheerful and kind despite that.

However, I’ve never really bought that line that we need suffering for compassion, or rather, that we need to have compassion anyway, because if no one suffered, compassion would be useless. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe compassion is very important, but it is the compensation for suffering, not the reason for it.

The reason I went off about suffering is because there will be no discussion of joy if suffering is not dealt with too, even if I tried to leave it out, everyone would think of it anyway.

As is pointed out in both the book and the movie Pollyanna, the Lord tells us to rejoice over 800 times in his word. It would be hard to find a book of the bile where rejoicing was not mentioned in some form.

It’s a saying in the Church, though no any I’ve been to in my memory, that God wants you happy.

Many people have attacked this phrase because it’s used as an excuse to do whatever stupid thing you want in the name of happiness. Which it shouldn’t be.

But though God does not always want you happy, in the way you think of it, He does always want you to rejoice. He says so.

This is where we get to the big difference between joy and happiness.

In Inside Out, Joy starts off as what I would call happiness, a positive attitude, fun loving, goofy character who keeps all other emotions in check. Joy also avoids Sadness like the plague and always feels like Sadness is intruding on her turf, and complicating things. Sadness feel bad, but can’t seem to help herself, she knows that Riley needs her, but she doesn’t know for what .

But after some really sad stuff happens to their kid, Riley, Joy finds it harder and harder to keep control, and eventually she ends up lost, along with Sadness. Sending Riley into a crisis.

The big moment at the end of the movie is where Joy finally feels sad, which seems oxymoronic, but it helps her to see what she needs to do. Sadness finally is able to help Riley, and a new kind of feeling if forged, the bittersweet sort, Joy and Sadness mingled.

Which is the type of feeling C. S. Lewis called Joy. A deep sadness that it is happy to feel. Another oxymoron.

True Joy comes only when happiness has been baptized in sadness. Bapitized is kind of a religious word, but it means a thing has to be purified, usually be dying to itself, and then being reborn as a newer, better version of itself. (Basically what the idea of reincarnation tries to accomplish and fails because it uses the wrong kind of dying and rebirth.)

In other words, you will not have joy until you have accepted sadness and grief and allowed them to make you a bigger, better, kinder person; because let’s be honest, we all know people who won’t ever cry or admit they’re not dong so hot, and they are often the least compassionate people of all.

Or we may be that person, and that’s what bothers us.

The heart of Joy is to overcome suffering. Not sorrow, which is where we get confused, sorrow is good in the right amounts, but suffering if only good when we treat it properly, and that involves pursuing joy even through suffering.

I can get more into this in my next post, until then–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.

Important or unimportant?

Continuing from my previous post about teens and fame and correction…

What does this pressure towards fame have to do with the correction thing I mentioned? Because we teens feel so important, we don’t need correction. That’s the obvious answer, right?

Wrong. I’m inclined to think it’s because teen feel so unimportant.

At some point, either during high school or college, we wake up to the fact that not everyone can be the best, like we were all told back in kindergarten.

Actually, back in kindergarten I was told we can please God by helping others, and years later I still believe that. Go figure.

I’m not dissing the message exactly, but we all feel disillusioned at some point. If you never have, good for you.

The fact is, this disillusionment proves nothing. As a boy C. S. Lewis felt even more disillusioned than some of us have. He never expected to become famous or even to be greatly important at all, from what I gather from his writings. And he stayed immensely humble even after he became famous.

Whether you feel great or not has little to do with whether you will be great. But I do know that the surest way to not be great is to strive after it in all the superficial forms.

Which to most teens seem unattainable, and so they give up thinking they are important.

Many of us come from broken homes and other bad situations, it may seem like no one ever thought we were important.

Personally my problem had always been being told I’m exceptional, but not being encouraged to be. People think I’m already on the right track so they need to focus on the people who really need help.

But no matter how smart I am, it doesn’t make me exceptional. Like I mentioned before, several years ago I found out that God wants us to accept correction. For a long time, I’d only accept His. IF it was in the Bible, fine; but if it wasn’t, what did anyone else know?

As stupid as that seems, I was 13. I’m just glad I had something I considered the infallible period. But since then I’ve learned to listen to other people more, and the downside can be you start questioning your infallible source.

I’m still convinced the Bible is always right. But I’ve had my moments. And if you have no such rock to hold onto, you’re bound to drift.

Honestly, I think I wouldn’t be sane if not for the Bible and my faith. Someone like me, left to her own devices as I often have been, could go very wrong. But I also could go very right with the proper direction.

That’s what God has given me. I had to be willing to learn from Him though.

I want to be clear, neither with God nor with anyone else should fear be your only motive or your central motive to learn from them.

I didn’t learn jack squat from anyone I was afraid of. In fact, once I was afraid of them, that pretty much cut off whatever good they had done; maybe you’ve been there. If God was not my safe place, and if I had not found other people who were also a safe haven,  I could not learn from them. You probably will not learn from anyone you don’t trust.

Once trust in established, its’ your choice. You can misuse this new confidence you have to get away with stuff you never would have dared to do otherwise, or you can get wise and listen up.

Sometimes you need to shut up, and sometimes you need to speak, but what people older than you, or more experienced, will teach you is when and how to do either.

The more times you shut up or speak at the right moment, the more other people will start to think you’re wise. And when people think that, they’ll trust you. That’s the main thing about true greatness, people know they can count on you to do the right thing, and to advise them to do the right thing. In that sense, you can be great on social media just as much as on TV. If it works.

One more thing:

“The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps. A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident.” Proverbs 14:15-16.

Consider the sources in your life now. If all you hear is rage, and at surrounded by people who do not consider these steps they are taking, then find some new sources. It’s okay to know people like this, we all do, but do not listen to them. This goes for you TV and movie influences as well. It’s okay to know what they say, but if they do not encourage departure from evil, and they do encourage you to believe their every word without questioning, then don’t heed them.

Fox news has a motto “We report, you decide.” You may not think they live up to it, and I admit, they are not perfect, who is? But that’s at least the right kind of thinking. You need to think for yourself.

But don’t be self-confident if you’re only thinking through your emotions. Wise people know not to act when they’re in a rage. Trust me, it always backfires.

But then again, feel free to question what I’m saying. I would not be a hypocrite. You can take my advise or leave it. But I will say, I need to take it myself.

So, hen you’re done with this post, take a minute to think about what I said. Maybe you disagree, maybe not. I don’t mind more imput.

Until next time–Natasha.

“Kid, you’re just getting started.”

Does anyone else here really hate criticism? Not giving it, but receiving it?

Personally, unless I asked for it, I get mad when people criticize me. I don’t know if this happens to you, but often people who have a problem with me do not go directly to me first, but to someone in authority over me. I then get the treat of at wo pronged attack when I’m confronted both by the person who can punish me and the person who I didn’t even know had a problem with me. Anyone relate?

But several years ago I read the book of Proverbs and found out that being corrected was actually a good thing. Do I like it? No. Do I think the way I just mentioned is the right way to do it? No. But do I need it? Yes, like everybody, I am not perfect.

I have often wished people would just be more sensitive when they correct me. I don’t know what it is about me that makes people in authority be very blunt and sometimes harsh when I cross them, but I guess I inspire that reaction.

Oddly enough, I usually butt heads with the type of people who like to have control, who like to do things their way, and who don’t like to be questioned. I am one of those types of people. They say like forces repel.

I don’t even think its always okay when I act that way, but I also don’t think its’ always wrong. The problem usually is, I’m a teen, and people don’t like to be questioned by teenagers, above all others.

But on the flipside, many teens have chosen to flat out rebel as a way to deal with their emotions. It’s true often people don’t understand us, because we don’t even understand us, yet. But instead of developing patience, adults and teens can often take the easy way and grow apart.

I am no expert mind you, I’m still figuring this out myself, and I won’t be a teen for much longer. (Roughly a year and a half to go people, yea!) but here is what I do know.

Young people, teens and 20-30 years old alike, all feel enormous pressure to be world changers. At this time more than perhaps any other in history, because social media has made it possible to get the message to almost every country. We all want to change the world.

I’ve been doing some research on our founding fathers in America, and those great men all did remarkable things, but you know what their ambitions were after the war? All of them that I’ve studied, they said they just wanted to settle down with their families and live quiet lives for the rest of their days. Really, how can you think there’s not a God, up there laughing and shaking his head saying “Kid, you’re just getting started.”

Now those words are exactly what all of us hear as soon as we move out of one phase of life into the next. “Kid, you’re just getting started.” As soon as we go to middle school we hear this, when we go to high school we hear it, when we go to college and when we get out of college. But when does greatness catch up with us? It seems like we’re all just getting started on the ordinary work we have to do.

Our fathers may have wanted a quiet life and been given a busy one, but most of us want to do great things, and feel we are stuck in the ordinary. How many of us would trade with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, or George Washington in a heartbeat? “We’ll take the war, the inventing, the diplomacy, you take the school and the home life.”

I’m sure, whatever country you live in, you’ve heard that it’s not the people who want fame and power who actually deserve it– or can be trusted with it.

Is telling kids that they can all be the greatest really the best idea?

I don’t doubt that everyone can be great in some way, but not everyone can be famous. I read somewhere that people my age all feel they will be famous some day. But we don’t know how.

Some of us have good motives. We want to help our fellow man. We think the more people know us the more we can help. Others of us just want to be popular.

The hard fact is, we can’t all have that.

Some of us don’t really want it either, we just think we do. The spotlight would make a lot of us miserable. But, it’s usually the people who hate it the most who need to be in it. Not those who love it.

I’ll be honest and admit I’d still like to be well known. I do not want to have everyone all in my business, and scrutinizing my every move. I hope that my gifts and talents do help humanity, I really do. What are we here for if not to bring God pleasure and help each other to do the same?

But I recognize that if I ever am famous, it will have its pitfalls and drawbacks. A person needs to have a strong character to survive it. Look at all the poor teen celebrities who have let their lives go to pot because they can’t help it. I wonder if they are secretly relieved when they lose a lot of their fan base. I don’t judge them because I feel no teen should have that kind of pressure on their lives, and few teens could be expected to handle it.

However old you are, fame is not an easy thing to cope with. Unless it’s limited to a very small circle perhaps. But even then, you should see the lives of some pastors. One church has a lot of needs.

Maybe we should be grateful that things are quiet for now. But there’s more to this I think, so catch my next post–Natasha.


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.

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.)


Reach higher.

What is the meaning of Life?

I feel like I need to address this question.

(I actually already have in one of my Quest posts “Why am I here?” So you can check that out if you’re interested in further thoughts from me on the subject.)

I think when we ask “what is the meaning of life?” We are really asking “What is my place in this life?” Or possibly “Was all this an accident?”

Until the Evolution theory became popular sometime after the Civil War, there was little debate over the purposefulness of creation. Of course it was no accident.

But it might surprise you to know that even in ancient times, the theory of evolution existed. even the Greeks, famously polytheistic, had some traces of evolution in their mythology, I think I’ve heard the Egyptians did too.

It is probably not news to you that in recent decades evolution has taken some hard hits from Intelligent Design theorists, there’s a lot of evidence out there against evolution. Though many people still do not believe that, but there is.

This post is not about evolution, but it is part of my point. Only if we evolved does the question “Is life an accident?” even seem legitimate. And I don’t think we did.

So, I would say life is not accidental, but just because it’s not an accident that doesn’t mean it’s meaningful.

And what if life originally was not an accident, but now, because people have children often without meaning to, one could say they were an accident. Who gets to decide?

The government?

The parent?

It’s not the church anymore, though it has contributed.

It’s really quite simple, either we are born for a reason, and that means someone wanted us to be born; or, we aren’t. And then, there is nothing.

But there’s more to it. There are plenty of people who believe we are put here for a reason, yet still feel lost and often discouraged about their lives. I’m not immune to such feelings myself.

I’ve seen many people write that we can’ t know. There is no way of knowing. Or that maybe answers will come to us, but we can’t be sure they will. I remember one person said they accepted that life was a lie, and art was one of their only solaces.

I think that person missed something key there.

For one thing: Why are we even able to understand the concept of meaning, and purpose, if it does not exist?

Why do we make things to use them, if things don’t have use?

And if something like a toothpick or an eyebrow pencil still has its’ use, heck, if we can turn puked-up octopus into perfume, then why on earth would we amazing, complex, intelligent, human beings be without purpose?

I’m sorry, that is more mind-boggling than rocket science.

Really, we are such lost, damaged people; that we even have to wonder this stuff. We were never meant to.

Yes, meant to.

I say this with compassion, and empathy, because I’ve had my dark moments too.

You all know my answer: God. But let me take a slightly different tone. I often talk about my feelings about God, but I don’t want all you intellectuals out there to think I’ve never considered the scientific side to all this.

Actually, science fascinates me. I don’t claim to understand mcu of it, but what I do understand is jammed with wonder.

I understand that our brains are ever-changing, growing tools, that we can sharpen or dull by choice.

I understand that what activates our conscience is actually a mini sort-of brain in our chest, and that’s why our strongest feelings are there.

I understand that we cannot make our own heart beat.

I understand that our eyes pick up images upside down and our brain switches them around so that we don’ feel disoriented.

And all this is just the tip of the iceberg. And all of this has meaning. Just like the words I’m using have meaning to you because you speak English.

So, if life seems to have no meaning, if I may further use my own analogy, it is because we cannot speak the language of Life.

You think I am being metaphorical, but this is true.

We see meaning when we speak it, when we hear it. What we say about ourselves and about our surroundings affects our perceptions; and also what we’ve heard said about us.

I guarantee you, the idea that life has no meaning got started with words. And those words got repeated to people until there was a whole culture that believed it. And that affects each individual in that culture.

Of course, it would be stupid to say words alone are responsible.

But it’s science. Look it up, things, even inanimate objects, are affected by human speech.

But we, as beings who have choice, do have the option of not believing everything we hear. You may not believe what I am saying, and I can’t make you. I wouldn’t anyway. Or, you may believe it.

I had to choose.

But I was convinced by both what I could see of life, what I knew of it through science, and what I felt in my heart had to be true.

In a nutshell, I was convinced life is full of meaning. That it is there for

everyone who looks for it, that we naturally look for it as kids, but often turn ourselves off to it as adults and teens.

People say the answers might come, but if you ask me, they are there already. It’s we who shut our eyes and our minds to it, to what’s right in front of us. And I have too. I think everyone does at some point, but some of us wake up.

One more thing, art is full of meaning. An art lover is seeing meaning some where.

My NLT Bible says “He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos.” Isaih 45:18. That’s good enough for me. Because, the world in only chaotic where we have removed natural order, originally, it was designed for life. We know that.

I hope you enjoyed this post, until next time–Natasha.

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.