Majority Racism.

I am in the midst of reading, “Freckled: A Memoir of Growing up Wild in Hawaii,” by T.W. Neal. (Toby) It is a fascinating story of a girl growing up with Hippie parents. (This takes place in the 1970s.) Her mother and father both love to surf; I should say they live to surf.

The parents moved from La Jolla, California to Hawaii in order to live their lives surfing and getting by on odd jobs and selling jewelry made out of seashells. They lived in their van or a shack near the beach.

What struck me most about this story was the racism enacted by native Hawaiians against them and all whites who moved there. I believe the native population despised the whites because they crowded their beaches with surfers, leaving them less room, and fished for food, which perhaps made an impact on their own fishing.

Toby’s family was threatened, called names and harassed. They tried to stay off the radar by not leaving their home except to buy groceries and go to the beaches. When Toby entered first grade, she was bullied and physically hurt constantly.

As I was reading this, I of course thought about the racism in North America against the black and brown population. I’ve read many books written by black authors and know a bit about what they have gone through. They have had to bear horrific, ugly, systemic racism since they were brought here from other countries.

Toby’s family was frightened, the police wouldn’t help whites. Sound familiar? And if you think it is better now, you are wrong. A co-worker of my husband went to Hawaii recently and he and his family were harassed by people in an all-Hawaiian town that was off the beaten track.

While sitting on my balcony, I heard some young men outside discussing racism after the death of George Floyd. They were all white. One of them said, “A black guy said to me, “You don’t understand racism.” I told him, “I grew up in India and was beaten every day going back and forth from school. I was the only white kid in the neighborhood. Don’t tell me I don’t know what racism is.”

I know someone who went to prison and found out the population there is separated into two classes: The Native Americans and the Whites. (We live in Canada.) The natives there outnumber the whites and harass them. During a riot, they hung some white and half-white men.

I have a family member who was not a racist at all. She once moved to North Carolina and had a great relationship with a black guy at her job. She said to him, “Let’s go for a beer after work.” He answered, “We can’t. If I go with you to a white bar, they will kill me. If I take you to a black bar, they will beat me up. She was stunned.

Later, when she moved to Florida, she moved into a black neighborhood and got a job cleaning apartments and houses. Men at her apartment building started threatening to hurt or rape her. Men at the building she cleaned did the same. She quit her job and moved to a white area.

So, people say, “The white people flee when black people move in.” Well, yes, but has anyone asked them why? I read about a white boy who was beaten by black boys every day walking to school, just like the white boy in India.

So today, after reading about Hawaii, I realized that racism is a sickness of the majority or dominant culture. Wherever you go, it will be the majority hating and harming the minority.

What’s the answer to this? A loving heart. How I wish I could open racists bodies up and shove a loving heart inside them. God can do that for each individual but only if that person asks him to do it. He never forces himself on anyone.

Some people say education will help eradicate racism. I   think it will help a bit, but I don’t believe racism will ever be overcome in this world. There is good and evil here, and evil will play out its nastiness until Jesus returns.

The Bible says God isn’t a racist. He doesn’t care about our race or gender. Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

I pray we all might see each person we meet as a brother or sister who needs our respect and love. I pray we might love our enemies, as Jesus told us to do. I pray we will try to understand people who are different from us. And I pray we will forgive.

God is Waiting on Us.

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“And yet will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious to you, and because of this he will be exalted. He longs to have mercy on you, for the Lord is a God of judgement. Blessed are all they who wait for him.”   Isaiah 30:18

In the book, “Waiting on God,” Andrew Murry points out that not only are we to wait patiently on God, but that God waits patiently on us.

Murray writes, “Look up and see the great God upon his throne. He is love…and has an inexpressible desire to communicate his goodness to all his creatures… He waits with all the longings of a father’s heart. And each time you come to wait upon him, or seek to maintain in daily life the habit of waiting, you may look up and see him ready to meet with you.”

There is a picture in the Bible of God waiting for us. It is in the story of the prodigal son, who left his father and home to go into the world to find happiness. The son finds fun, but no lasting happiness and decides to go home and ask to be a servant in his father’s house.

But the father is watching the road. He is waiting and hoping for his son to return. And when he sees him coming down the road, the father jumps up and runs; he runs until he is with his son and he hugs him and welcomes him with open arms.

This is a picture of God waiting for us. And even if we are Christians and have given our lives to God, he waits each day for us to come spend time with him – telling him about our thoughts and feelings. Asking him for wisdom, and reading in the Bible those things he would like us to do. He waits, and sometimes he waits all day for us to come give him some attention and we ignore him. He wants to share our lives with him. We need to share our lives with him.

If I had shared my deepest pain with him on a certain day, I wouldn’t have taken sleeping pills and passed out. He would have taken my pain and helped me through the problem of my aching heart. He would have shown me that he is bigger than any pain this world can give.

C.S. Lewis told a friend that after 30 years of praying, he had finally forgiven someone who had betrayed him. I think perhaps he meant he finally had the feeling of anger and hate gone towards that person. I think if we say, “I forgive this person,” then we have forgiven. Our feelings confuse us and lead us astray. But still, it took 30 years for his feelings to catch up with his wanting to forgive. So, this may be a kind of waiting on God. Waiting means staying with God and not giving up, like being tired of waiting in line at a store and finally giving up and leaving. No, we must stay in Jesus, because he is our only hope in this life.

Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”   John 15:4-6

Murry writes, “The giver is more than the gift; God is more than the blessings he gives. And our being kept waiting on him could be the only way for our learning to find our life and joy are in him himself. Oh, if only God’s children knew what a glorious God they have, and what a privilege it is to be linked in fellowship with him, then they would rejoice in Him!”

(I changed a few words when I was quoting Murry. He speaks in old English, so I cut a few words or changed them a bit. The book is well worth buying.)

What I Learned About Racism, Protests and Injustice When I was a Young Girl in the 1960s.

When I was a young teen I read, Gone with the Wind. I loved Scarlett O’Hara because she was nothing like me. She had spunk and let nothing stop her, whereas I was like a shadow in the corner of a house, observing but unheard. I wanted spunk.

One day, after I finished reading, I ran downstairs to my mother and said,Mom, It says in this book that slaves were happy. They didn’t want to be free!” She looked at me with pity and told me how evil slavery was and why. She encouraged me to study the subject.

On our next visit to the library, I took out the book called, “Black Boy,” by Richard Wright. I will never forget the impact that book had on me. I was horrified, sad and disgusted by what he had gone through. After that, I read many biographies on how black people had been treated by white people throughout their lives. I wish I could remember the names of the other books but one that I read recently, that was just wonderful is, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou.

I grew up in the 1950s and 60s and remember when Martin Luther King and his followers marched in a peaceful protest to Selma, Alabama. My parents subscribed to Life magazine and I poured over the pictures of snarling dogs and water hoses being turned on the protesters. I admired King so much, and even now, when I read a quote online attributed to him, my esteem grows larger.

When I went to high school, (Southern California) I noticed that white students hung around together and black kids and Hispanic kids did the same. It was puzzling to me because in the church school I had attended previously, I had black and Hispanic friends. Now I was in public school and it was certainly different. I will say though, I never heard any of my white friends say or do anything racist. In fact, later on, after I had left school, I met up with an old friend and she had married a black guy. I went to her place and met him and their new baby. The last year of high school my boyfriend was Hispanic. I was crazy about him. He was older than me and not in school anymore. A few of the rich girls at school did come up to me and ask if I was dating Bobby and I said I was. They didn’t say anything else, but I could see they were pretty surprised, not hateful, just surprised.

Now, since the terrible death of George Floyd, we are again having peaceful protests. Of course, there has been some acts of violence and looting, which has been the actions of only a few and some have been committed by white protesters. Whenever there is a movement or coalition of any kind there are good people, bad people and crazy people involved. I saw this in churches I attended. My mother noticed it in the feminist movement and the Author’s Association to which she belonged. And we cannot forget politicians. Yes, good, bad and crazy.

A lot of people can’t understand the slogan, “Black Lives Matter.” They say that every person’s life matters and they are right, but they can’t seem to see that when someone is hated and oppressed, it looks to them as if their lives don’t matter to other people. White people don’t generally feel that way. We expect the police and those in the medical field to care about our problems. When they don’t, we tell everyone we know about that policeman or doctor. We feel insulted, get angry and will sometimes complain to those who are in authority over these people.

But what if we knew police and doctors hated us? What if we knew they would get rid of all of us if they could? And what if we knew some of them would like to kill us? What would it be like to live with that all our lives?

I have a friend online who is black. She told me her beloved uncle was in the hospital and very ill. It was possible he could die. Yet she was afraid to go to the hospital and visit him. Why? Because of the way the white doctors and nurses talked to and treated her and her family. She went anyway. I felt so sad for her. It is hard to believe people can be so cruel, and for no reason in the world but their hatred of the color of a person’s skin.

I remember an old Star Trek episode where the crew of the Enterprise came to a world that was in the midst of a terrible civil war. Captain Kirk tried to intervene and bring peace and couldn’t understand the basis of the two sides hatred of each other. Near the very end of the show one man said to Kirk something like this, “Are you blind? Can’t you see? My skin is blue on the right side of my face and his skin is blue on the left side!”

That’s racism in a nutshell: utter stupidity. Victor Frankl once wrote, “There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man.” I believe this to be true.

(I began this blog post thinking I would write about what justice is according to God. But I got carried away with my feelings about what is happening right now. I’ll write the one on how God feels about justice next time. Hint: He feels very strongly about it.)

I Got The Message Bible.

I was reading something, can’t remember what, and the writer quoted from, The Message Bible. The words were so wonderful and alive that I kept reading those verses for days.

So, I looked up The Message Bible online and found out it was written by pastor Eugene Peterson, a scholar, theologian, poet and author, who reads Hebrew and Greek. This is what he said of his reason for writing The Message.

“While I was teaching a class on Galatians, I began to realize that the adults in my class weren’t feeling the vitality and directness that I sensed as I read and studied the New Testament in its original Greek. Writing straight from the original text, I began to attempt to bring into English the rhythms and idioms of the original language. I knew that the early readers of the New Testament were captured and engaged by these writings and I wanted my congregation to be impacted in the same way. I hoped to bring the New Testament to life for two different types of people: those who hadn’t read the Bible because it seemed too distant and irrelevant and those who had read the Bible so much that it had become ‘old hat.’”  Eugene Peterson.

Vitality and directness,” that is what I have found in reading The Message.

“For more than two years, Eugene Peterson devoted all his efforts to The Message® New Testament. His primary goal was to capture the tone of the text and the original conversational feel of the Greek, in contemporary English.” : https://www.biblestudytools.com/msg/

I had read his translation was idiomatic. I looked for descriptions of that and found this at:

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/idiom.html

Idioms exist in every language. They are words or phrases that aren’t meant to be taken literally. For example, if you say someone has “cold feet,” it doesn’t mean their toes are actually cold. Rather, it means they’re nervous about something.

Idioms can’t be deduced merely by studying the words in the phrase. If taken literally, you would think that someone with cold feet has… cold feet. But, after living with a certain group of people for a period of time, you’ll start to pick up their expressions. Let’s explore some idiom examples in American everyday language, international language, and the language of the arts.

The examples below demonstrate how you can’t really deduce the meaning of these expressions without knowing what they mean. The next time someone says they’re feeling “under the weather,” you’ll know it has nothing to do with weather patterns, but rather that they’re feeling quite ill.”

  • Getting fired turned out to be a blessing in disguise. – Getting fired (normally a negative event) turned out to be a good thing.
  • These red poppies are a dime a dozen. – These red poppies are very common.
  • Don’t beat around the bush. – Just say what you really mean.

I guess this is going to be a long post.

 I’ve been walking with God for 50 years. Of course, my walk looks like this:

 –__–__**–__==–__***####++___—***–

God’s walk looks like this: ********************

 Still, that’s okay. He’s beside me all the way. When I read The Message’s story of creation I thought, “This is the God I know!”

I’ll share some of the verses from The Message and you can see what you think.

Genesis 1:2-15

God spoke: “Light!”
        And light appeared.
    God saw that light was good
        and separated light from dark.
    God named the light Day,
        he named the dark Night.
    It was evening, it was morning—
    Day One
.

6-8 God spoke: “Sky! In the middle of the waters;
        separate water from water!”
    God made sky.
    He separated the water under sky
        from the water above sky.
    And there it was:
        he named sky the Heavens;
    It was evening, it was morning—
    Day Two.

9-10 God spoke: “Separate!
        Water-beneath-Heaven, gather into one place;
    Land, appear!”
        And there it was.
    God named the land Earth.
        He named the pooled water Ocean.
    God saw that it was good.

11-13 God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties
        of seed-bearing plants,
    Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.”
        And there it was.
    Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
        all varieties,
    And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
        God saw that it was good.
    It was evening, it was morning—
    Day Three.

14-15 God spoke: “Lights! Come out!
        Shine in Heaven’s sky!
    Separate Day from Night.
        Mark seasons and days and years,
    Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.”
        And there it was.

The creation verses go on longer, but I’m just showing an example. For me, this translation shows God’s strength. I don’t know why, but the regular translations of, “And God said, “Let there be light,” seem passive.

I’ll show you the beginning of the Beatitudes from, The Message. Matthew 1:3-16

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Salt and Light

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Where I Buy My Books.

ereader2

Hello Everyone, 

I wanted to share with you where I get the books I read. I don’t have enough money to go to a Christian book store and buy those lovely books I write about.

When e-books first came out, they were cheaper than paperbacks or hardcovers. That made sense, because with e-books the publisher has little cost involved in putting it on the internet. No paper, no binding etc.  But as with a lot of products, e-books were cheap at first and then went up and up. I decided not to buy them anymore because of this. I went back to buying used books, either at a book store or online.

But then I joined BookBub. It is a place where you can get books at very low prices, or sometimes just borrow and read. I also joined, at $10 per month, Kindle Unlimited at Amazon. Kindle books can now be downloaded to any device you have by using their free app. I have found many Christian books there that are wonderful. I love memoirs, and Kindle has a lot of memoirs to choose from.

I think most cities have e-libraries. I used to borrow from our local library through the internet. When the due date comes around, the book just disappears from your computer. All you need is a library card number.

I also get free books from Project Gutenberg.  (www.gutenberg.org)  They let you download any books for free; they do ask for donations, if you can do it. They deal in old books that have no copyright any longer. There are books of sermons that I enjoyed very much.

There is a wonderful book store online called, Abe Books.  (abebooks.com)  They deal in used books and ship free. The books themselves cost anywhere from $1 and up. The books I order from them are usually $4 – $6. That is a terrific price for a book. It works very well and it is pretty exciting to get a book in the mailbox. They ship all over the world. Most of my books come from England.

So, these are the places I buy Christian books. I just wanted to help some of you out in case you didn’t know about these places.