You will pay, America.

You do not have any business calling yourself a Christian if you are okay with what is going on with the detained children.

Watching Americans try to justify this clusterschmuck using the Bible has been one of the most offensive things I have ever seen. I can’t put my anger aside.

That is all I have for now.

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Argh…

So I have managed to lose the cord to my laptop and do not have a backup battery.

You know the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”?

Well, that applies to material things as well, apparently, because I am LOST without my laptop.

I do my blogging from there, research the random questions that inexplicably pop into my head, jot down my story ideas and work on them, use it for my Sunday school lessons. For most of those functions my phone just ain’t cutting it.

I’m going on a major hunt today!

God SAID what He SAID…

I said what I said

 

And He also warned us all NOT to add to or take away from what He said.

Whenever I see people who claim to be Christian putting words in God’s mouth so to speak, I question their salvation status. As I always say, I know it is not our job to judge that–a person’s salvation is between them and God–but I just cannot understand how anyone who believes in the God of the Bible and thus is aware of God’s power can so flippantly alter God’s Word to suit their agenda.

As the debate rages on about gun control, which apparently to some is a more abhorrent concept than the deaths of innocent children, I see more and more people ranting and raving about their “God-given right” to bear arms. I see more people claiming love of “God, guns and country”. Honestly I don’t even understand how people have rationalized this in their mind. Mind you, I generally don’t have a problem with handguns and guns for hunting. But civilians have no need for assault rifles or machine guns or any other weapon of war. And even though I don’t mind handguns or rifles, innocent lives should always take precedence over anything made by a man’s hand.

Revelation 22:18-19, the King James version, says this:

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

I think people are picking and choosing which Scriptures to take seriously according to what fits with their beliefs instead of the other way around. With this Scripture in particular, people may think that as long as they’re not writing and circulating a Bible or Bible-related material with false doctrine they’re okay. But in my humble opinion, when you even dare to utter a falsehood, whether or not it’s a bit of a falsehood or a total in-your-face falsehood and you do so in the name of  God, you have added to His Word. You are telling people who might not know otherwise that THUS sayeth the Lord. And some people who might not know otherwise might believe that.

I am not sure what is going on in America, but idol worship is rampant. Money, flags, songs and guns are more respected than the rights and feelings of actual people. Items created by man like the Golden Calf commanding more importance than people created by God. I will continue to speak to the mind-blowing hypocrisy of other Christians. I don’t expect for people who are not Christian to behave any other way than what they already do. If WE behaved better, maybe they’d be more interested in finding out what REALLY sayeth the Lord.

The Bible warns us those who read it that there will be plenty of false teachers out there. The problem is that the people who don’t read the Bible aren’t necessarily aware of that. They just assume that a person who says he is a Christian truly is one. Unfortunately the ignorant pseudo-Christians have become the mouthpiece of the faith and they are driving people away in droves. The rest of us HAVE to do better at holding those people accountable. God REALLY wants us to take care not to lead people astray. We have to carefully police our words AND actions to avoid doing so. For those of you who are claiming to be Christian but have no problem assigning God’s name to your bigoted, uneducated or uninformed opinion, I’d love to be a fly on the wall when your judgment time comes.

We’ll pay for failing our kids.

When I was fifteen, I was at an awkward stage, particularly in terms of my looks. Braces, glasses, acne, hair that was still sometimes a mystery… But I was pretty well-adjusted, especially considering how difficult it is to navigate a fledgling teenage identity.

My daily routine throughout the week when school was in was the same. Either I woke up with the aid of my alarm clock or my Dad did. Breakfast was usually a bowl of cereal or occasionally waffles and sausage. I got dressed, brushed my teeth, washed my face. Made sure my backpack was packed with everything I might need for the day… Homework, books, binders, pencils and pens, scrunchies, sports stuff it was basketball or softball season. Even though I hated getting up in the morning, I thawed out quickly as I headed to the bus stop where I rode the same bus as one of my close friends.

A lot of people grumble about high school, but I enjoyed it. Despite stupid fallings-out with people that were typically instigated by third parties, I’ve never had problems getting along with people. And I have always enjoyed learning. I loved socializing with my friends and for the most part I enjoyed my studies. Except math. Bleccch.

Think if you will back to when you were 14, 15, 16. For those of you who are around my age-36-remember how the world hadn’t corrupted you yet. At no point in time did we ever have to go to school and worry about school shooting drills, arming educators, or wearing bulletproof backpacks. We were able to go to school and do as kids should do… Learn, have fun, and grow into ourselves.

And now we have turned around and robbed our kids of that security.

We all ought to be outraged. When are we going to decide that they deserve better?

Reject AND CORRECT Christian propaganda

When we hear the word “propaganda” we often think of political information.  We probably also think of the word in a negative light, as we know that opposing political factions produce and promote propaganda to advance their own causes and beliefs at the expense of others. We also know that propaganda tends to contain exaggerations, omissions and outright falsehoods. It is obvious that there is a significant number of Americans who cannot tell the difference between political propaganda and actual facts. Whose responsibility is it to make the truth known? Those of us who can think critically enough to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. The same goes for Christians.

In previous posts I have railed against the very notion and conduct of “evangelicals”. However, they are not the only ones who are responsible for the Christian propaganda floating around and accepted as actual doctrine today. Those of us who are Christians who don’t take an active role in refuting Christian propaganda are equally as guilty.

I’m not referring to what may just be misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the Scriptures. I mean willfully twisting basic Bible doctrine. I have found that an alarming number of people truly believe that drinking, gambling, committing sexual sins (and I don’t know if the evangelicals understand that premarital sex is considered a sin, and I’m sure most of them do it), doing drugs or the like immediately destroys a person’s chances of going to heaven. They are presented with this image of a wrathful God who is sitting up on a cloud just waiting on people to sin so he can send down his judgment. What is not widely circulated is that Jesus Christ is available to everyone no matter what they have done; that we are never expected to be perfect while we are on earth; and the gift of salvation is available to everyone DESPITE drinking, gambling, sexual sins, etc.  How often have you told someone that the only truly unforgivable sin that gets one a one-way ticket to Hell is denying Christ?

In my humble opinion, Christianity was never supposed to be divisive. It was always supposed to unite us around the Cross, but Christian propagandists looking to elevate themselves at the expense of others have damaged the potential unity. Christians are never supposed to be so quick to point fingers and condemn. Whenever I befriend someone, I am focusing on the good, and thinking of how God could use that. If that person is a saved person, it is left up to God to deal with that person however he sees fit, not me. Why would I focus on someone else’s sins when I have my own to contend with?

When people are confronted with the idea that they have to be perfect, of course they’re not going to be interested, because perfection is impossible. No one wants to deal with that type of pressure and ultimate defeat. We have to do better. Yes, God has rules on how we are to live, and he has them for a reason… Obviously he wants us to refrain from drinking and drugs for health reasons, for example. But is he going to send down a lightning bolt as soon as you have a sip of wine? No. Stop telling people that. Tell them what thus says the Lord, yes, but not in an attempt to condemn them. Make sure to repent of your own sins and flipping PRAY for people. I can’t believe how many hateful Christians I have the displeasure of coming into contact with. Every day I am given a visual aid as to why the world doesn’t like us. SMH.

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Times like these, I miss the “olden” days

I got my first job in the mid-90s. Back then, it was super easy to get a job. You either heard a job was hiring or you saw an ad in the newspaper, which was delivered every day, went to the place, filled out a paper application and, if you were particularly savvy, asked to speak to a manager right after you completed the application. Each time I was able to fill out an application on-site and speak to a manager right away, I got the job. Why? Because in addition to seeing my credentials on paper, they were able to see ME in person.

Sometimes that stupid paper doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about a potential applicant. Those managers who saw me right upon completion of the application could tell by the fact that I asked to speak to them right away that I was eager. They could see that I took the process seriously by the fact that I was professionally dressed, meaning I hadn’t just stumbled upon the job opportunity and came into the place right off the street–I had done some research and prepared myself for that important first presentation. When they saw ME, they were able to see a great smile, a warm attitude, and give me a mini-interview right then and there. I repeat: Each time I was able to do that, I got the job.

Not until everything got computerized did I start getting turned down for jobs I for which I have MORE than the minimum qualifications. And for the life of me, I wish I knew what some of these employers were looking for. Since I am stuck at home without a license, thanks to the state of Michigan thinking that suspending a person’s license for being unable to pay Driver Responsibility Fees will somehow help the person who can no longer drive to a job pay for said fees, I have been looking for remote positions that will allow me to make a little money to pay down some of my debts (including the stupid license fees, which they conveniently jack up despite any minimal payment I try to send them). Mind you, I have worked for Target for several years, wearing many hats: I was a cashier, worked the guest services desk, was a team trainer and overnight stocker, and sometimes worked the sales floor; I worked as a Flow Team manager at Wal-Mart supervising a crew of six pretty rowdy men; I have worked in health care facilities in a receptionist/patient services assistant capacity, which included working in a call center, sitting on my butt for hours at a time glued to a phone, scheduling appointments, using computers, etc. In the course of those experiences and the fact that I completed an entire grad program online, I figured I had enough experience to take a $9-an-hour remote reservations specialist position with Hilton.

I did my research, as usual. I looked up reviews from current and past employees. I already knew in my mind why I wanted Hilton: The work from home aspect was ideal since I don’t drive; I want to work for a company that I know has staying power so I have confidence that my job won’t just disappear; and it would be nice to have a discount at a hotel chain, as much as me and my family like to travel. I was very confident that I did well on my virtual interview and I was quite surprised when they turned me down.

Old Stephanie bristled at the notion that me with my dang near twenty years of experience dealing with customers; adapting to new work processes and technologies; securing positions of leadership in each job; AND having a Master’s degree wasn’t good enough to answer phones for the flipping Hilton and help people with reservations, and I was highly tempted to email them back and tell them F YOU. I seriously had to remove myself from the computer before I did just that–I got that angry.

I am tired of the rat-race of finding a job, and I reminded myself of a promise I made myself awhile ago–to not go and beg ANYBODY for a job for this very reason alone. But I need some way to dig myself out of the hole I’m currently in, and that is why I’m willing to downgrade MYSELF. I would much rather get my real estate license and sell homes, but can’t do that WITHOUT A LICENSE to get to the homes. I’m trying to get ahead, but it seems like no one will let me, and for that I am extraordinarily angry. I don’t want anyone to give me anything, but then no one wants to let me earn it. In the past five years I’ve been turned down for hundreds of jobs. I’m sure there are people more qualified than me, but good God how am I supposed to get ahead when I can’t even get a START?

I’ve noticed a lot of articles that made me even angrier about this whole job search thing. At one point in time, it was considered courteous to send thank-you notes after an interview. That’s what I was taught to do. Now I read that HR professionals view them as desperate and tacky. Interviewers also judge you based on whether or not your handshake is firm–what if with my health problems I can’t firmly grip your hand? Does that mean I’m automatically disqualified from a job??? I also saw that some interviewers don’t like for a candidate to display too much confidence… but that confuses me as well. If I am trying to sell myself, shouldn’t I do so with confidence??? What the heck do these people really want?

I wonder if my honesty gets me in trouble. One of the Hilton questions asked if I’d had a job where I was required to meet certain metrics and if I did so. I answered honestly using an example from my most recent job as a medical receptionist. Our goal as receptionists was to answer each call before it rang three times at least 80% of the time. I did not always meet that goal. But should I have also said that I was supposed to get that phone in addition to checking patients in and out, scheduling appointments, and helping coworkers? I pride myself on being truthful in interviews, on my resume and applications. And I kind of think that’s where I’m going wrong.

In order to quench my anger, I had to go to God. Again I’m trying to figure out what it is that He is trying to teach me or prepare me for. Why is it that He is allowing me to go through these financial troubles when He sees me trying to find ways to dig myself out? Honestly I’m not sure what His answer is at that point. Part of me wants to believe that the lesson here is that I should stop limiting myself to jobs that are–yes, HILTON–a DOWNGRADE on my experience, skills and education. Maybe I shouldn’t have reneged on my promise to find a way to make my own job, a promise I made myself at the receptionist job when my so-called manager LIED on my performance review and denied me a raise. So now I am even more focused on getting this book finished and submitted, and perfecting these cheesecake recipes.

I will admit that I am still angry. More than that, my feelings are hurt by people continuing to use a piece of paper and few barebones questions to decide I am not good enough for their organization as hard as I have worked to make myself marketable.  I’ll pray some more and just try to remind myself of a few facts: I have always been confident in my own abilities whereas my confidence has to be rooted in God, so maybe this is a humbling experience; when something doesn’t go my way, there’s always a reason, and per my past experience it is because God has something better in store; and in the meantime I need to make use of this valuable time (I would love to do more volunteer work if I could DRIVE) and be patient.

Only problem: Patience is not now and never has been my strong suit. 🙂

job frustration

Stop calling the U.S. a Christian nation.

We do not deserve to wear such an esteemed title.

Not when poor patients are dumped out of hospitals in cold conditions wearing only nightgowns, such as what happened recently in Baltimore.

Not when we determine whether or not another human being is worthy of being able to afford health care based on a socioeconomic status that may be out of his control.

Not when we are silent when the healthcare funding for millions of low-income children has expired and no one is in a rush to fix it.

Not when we are too busy squabbling over whether kids going to schools with no heat was caused by the failings of a Democrat or a Republican as opposed to fixing it.

Not when the majority benefits from an unfairly applied justice system and is no hurry to change it.

Not when young people with big dreams and even bigger aspirations find themselves forever indebted to predatory student loan companies because they dared to take steps to become productive American citizens.

Not when the very people we elect through supposedly democratic means to represent our best interests instead use their positions to line their pockets and feed us propaganda to keep us divided.

And definitely not when we turn our backs on the very concept of what has made America what it is–the diversity–when we have a so-called “president” who is so cold-blooded as to refer to countries that house brown people (who he despises, no one can tell me otherwise) as “s—holes”, completely disregarding the fact that a lot of the times countries are unstable the United States has played a role in their destabilization, and disregarding the fact that despite the standing of those countries (and the continent of Africa. I don’t think he knows Africa is a continent), there are hard-working, innocent people there, people worthy of our help, people who can, as have immigrants from many nations throughout the years, come to America and contribute to the betterment of our nation.

I am ashamed to call this man our president, and ashamed that so-called Christians continue to stand behind him. Regardless of whether or not you view his comments about Haiti and African countries as the racist dogwhistles they were, the fact that these utterings came from the lips of a world leader is reprehensible and so are the people defending it. I am sick of this mess.

statue of liberty inscription