Inner Demons


In the religious world, there is good and evil and both are always fighting against each other. The Christians are caught in the middle and we constantly struggle to do and focus on the things that are good. It is sometimes a daily struggle hence the reason the bible says pray without ceasing. If you have been in the religious world for a while, then you know there are some universally accepted rights and wrongs.

Christians always have a moralistic struggle at one or more times in their lives. It’s a fact and we run to comfort scriptures like Romans 12:12 “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulations, continuing instant in prayer.” I am usually deviant in my thoughts and behaviors so during my struggles, I run to scriptures like Romans 8:14-15 “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” For me, this is just a reminder of my human frailty.

This morning I scrolled through Facebook and someone liked a Christian inspiration testimony. Paraphrase: The lady noted her success in her life: married at a young age, kids and both her and spouse are completing higher ed degrees and she attributed it all to her faith, God’s timing and protection. Maybe it’s due to my line of work, but I read such inspirational posts with some cynicism and my thought is “good for them, you are the lucky ones.”

Lots of people do not have their blessings laid out so nicely and some have greater struggles than others (think Aleppo). While reading that post, I was thinking about two things: My current inner demons and that of a new behavioral health patient.  Patient X’s inner demons are a doozy which were created from childhood to experiencing a number of very traumatic events throughout X’s life. Patient X had held it together successfully for many years but the final trauma pushed X to the edge and X is starting to slowly fall apart at the seams. X engaged in self punishment of personal life and career. I do not compare my demons to X’s but if I did, then mine would pale significantly; actually most people’s worst would not measure up. The point is no matter the nature of the demons, each of us still have to face them and sometimes they seem greater than God’s promise of protection and strength “he will not give us more than we can manage.”

The mental battle is epic. I tell patients that doing the right thing always seem to be the hardest. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Ahhh… yes.. that peace that passes all understanding can be darn near elusive. However, when you do find it, life is wonderful but it does not always seem to stay too long. Life or the mind gets into a fight to hold onto the peace that is suppose to be so good for you. The constant battle of the inner demons gets tiresome. People fall away from God and decency because we want the battle to be over and we surrender to whatever we were fighting. The loss of hope and not finding even a glimmer of light from anywhere can be psychologically, emotionally and physically devastating. The battle takes a toll. It leaves behind distrust, despair, feeling defeated, emotionally broken and worst case turning to things that are not the best for us such as people, food, alcohol, drugs, sex and suicide.

Patient X is at the beginning of the battle. I would love to tell X that Jesus can make it better but that’s equivalent to telling someone with a gaping wound ‘let me kiss it and it will all go away.’ Unless God plans to do a divine intervention, Patient X has a major fight on hand. God does not take away our struggles or banish our demons- that would be way too easy. We have to make choices about how we will handle our demons. We have to use all the spiritual, cognitive and earthly supports in which we can get. We will make shitty choices ‘do the thing you should not do’ and we will make good choices. We will exhibit our human frailty in all it’s glory, we will get tired of the fight and we will want to roll over and play dead. I have heard enough patients say that they wish they just did not wake up. It’s not about suicide; it’s about wanting a little bit of peace and calmness of the mind. (Matrix fan) It’s sort of like that scene in the last Matrix when Trinity and Neo were fighting the machines and their ship went up above the darkness and clouds and she saw and felt the radiance of the sun and exclaimed “beautiful.”

You know your inner demons and you know the path you have to take or will be in search of the path you need to take. We can’t ignore them. There is no rule that says you have to get it right the first or even third time. The challenge will be to keep fighting until those demons do not have any power anymore.

What is the Purpose of Marriage?


Let me start off by saying Happy New Year to you all and many blessings for 2016. As always, I did not make resolutions but continue to live life as thrown my way and make adjustments accordingly.  I was motivated to attend a church service in the new year and will try to make more attempts to get back into church life – we will see how it goes.

So, I am privy to the workings of strangers’ private lives. As they seek behavioral health services, it is my job to ask various personal questions. While this is not new, in the last few months, I am more aware of how many couples underutilize the main reason for getting into a long term relationship-companionship.

Marriage is now easily disposable. People get married for various reasons but the underlying need is a desire to have a suitable companion. The problem I have been noticing for various couples, who are having minor to major marital difficulties, is they have either forgotten or did not establish solid reasons for getting married in the first place.

Here are some things I understand are the basic purposes for marriage: Companionship-to share your life with someone. Support-having someone there when needed and vice versa. Communication: Verbally sharing various aspects of one’s thoughts and experiences. Pleasure: Sex, intimacy and fun. Monogamy: The only. Cooperation: Working together to make each other’s lives easier and better. Understanding: You may differ on issues but are still able to show empathy. Trust: Closing ones eyes and fall backwards knowing your partner is there to catch you. Responsibility: 100/100. Communication: Learning and knowing how to talk to each other. Adapting and Growing: Learning to navigate the changes in life together. Commitment: It’s you and me baby.

As a lifelong bachelorette who is nearing 40, I am getting hit from all sides from married couples about my single status. However, as I look at their relationship lives, I amass even more reservations on joining their ranks. As a single, I make an effort to enjoy my life and as I look at theirs here are the recurring themes I see: Boring: They rarely make time to do fun things together.  Sex and intimacy have started to dwindle significantly. Lack of cooperation between each other creates frustration, pent up anger and isolation. Inability to communicate their stressors or needs with each other. One spouse takes on more responsibilities than the other which creates stress and resentment. Flirtatious behaviors with someone not their spouse. Inability to listen and understand the other person’s needs. Third Party Interference: Everything is more important than your spouse-kids, the game, the other’s selfishness. Complaining about everything. Physical Neglect: Spouses stop taking the time to look good for each other. Loss of affection because of ongoing separation. Blaming: Its the other person’s fault. Infidelity: The misconception that starting with someone new will solve your problems.

Marriage gives couples a built in purpose to enjoy life and share that with someone who is sleeping right beside you. However, most couples have loss the insight about their purpose of marriage and ignore their ill-behaviors towards each other. I have sat through conversations in which a spouse will use sex as a weapon, one partner spends money recklessly, child care is only expected of one partner while the other occasionally ‘babysits, couples’ idea of spending time together is completing chores around the house every weekend. Date night is something they have on Valentine’s and Birthdays. Feeling sexy and being sexy is only for single people in new relationships. Communication is “I just can’t talk to him/her.”

Most singles are looking for a date to try out a new restaurant but many married couples, who have a built in date partner, have not gone out together unless it’s to Chucky Cheese or stay at home to enjoy take-out. Singles are sexually frustrated from an absence of a partner while married people have someone sleeping beside them every night and most can’t readily think of the last time they had sex much less enjoyable sex (you know…the one that does not feel like an obligation). A romantic night for a single involves fun; a romantic night for a couple involves the television. A single will feel lonely but s/he is a single, however, a spouse can feel isolated and lonely while staring across a table at their partner.

I am not naïve to expect married life to be daily fun and excitement. However, the repeated dullness and the habit of taking each other for granted tend to build over time until the marriage is “like living with a room mate” or “we are only together for the kids.” You would be surprise how many times I have heard similar statements. Relationships die over time from neglect. As I listen to the patients and to some of my friends, I start to see the early warning signs of the reasons why relationships fall apart.

As a single, I have started to ‘keep out of their business’ because I recognize that most couples do not appreciate the observations from those who are not married. What they fail to realize is that being married does not put you in a special behavioral category that only certain married people can understand. Behaviors are behaviors and it does not take a genius to see certain red flags.

I will always be baffled as to why people are so eager to be married but once they are in that situation they easily lose sight of the reason why they wanted to be married. The laziness, complacency, taking their partners for granted and neglect in putting effort into the relationship usually ends in disaster. It’s like having a million dollars in the bank but if you never use that money to buy groceries, then you will always be starving.

If anyone has ever done relationship counseling, then you will know that one question from the therapist will always be “What made you fall in love/want to be with that person?” The reason for such a question is to remind the couple about the purpose of their relationship, then to re-establish those feelings and ideas, and help them to proceed forward with those foundations at the forefront of the marriage.

Is Jesus Enough?


A poster asked the question? Is Jesus enough? If Jesus is enough, then why are Christians so eager to get married? My response is that Jesus is never enough. You may be aware of the saying that all you need is Jesus. However, if we are to be truly honest, then that statement gets thrown out with the bathwater.

So, let me start my ‘blasphemous’ observations. If you are on social media, it can become littered with good intentioned Christians who frequently post ‘all you need is Jesus’ or ‘leave it all up to Jesus’ inspirations. While I enjoy reading them and they serve as a great pick-me-up, they are lacking in the harsh reality of being a Christian. For example, someone posted an inspiration gone wrong stating “Somebody is in the hospital right now begging God for the opportunity you have. Don’t you dare go to bed depressed. Shake it off!” The response was overwhelmingly negative because there were a number of people who are suffering from clinically diagnosed depression who could not just “shake it off” in Jesus’ name. Interestingly, the poster did not clarify or addressed the backlash.

If Jesus or God was enough, then our lives would mirror those of monks, priests and the John the Baptists types. We would be like the ravens that do not worry for food, shelter, companionship or producing off-springs. We would be truly free from all the cares of the world and spending all our time in full and complete devotion to God and spreading his word. However, if you look at our lives we are so far from the “Jesus is enough” concept.

The truth is we like the idea of sprouting that phrase but in true reality we neither desire nor can live to that standard. Christians get married because they want to feel loved and share in companionship. Christians have children because they want to pass on their love, have a human to own and care for, to pass on their legacy and expand their family. Christians maintain close contact with family and friends to build support. Christians touch, hug and make physical contact with others to feel human interactions. Christian couples show intimacy just because it feels good. Christians work for and buy nice things to have a sense of accomplishment and enjoy various comforts from their labour. In other words, we have wants and needs that the love or belief in Jesus is not always able to fill and there is nothing wrong with accepting that fact. There is little that we do in our day to day lives that has anything to do with spreading Christianity and  belief in God.

Believing in God relates to a guideline on how we are to worship the creator and use of the Christian best practice guide in our daily lives. The Bible teachings of God was not meant to be a replacement of living in this world. It is to help us survive emotionally and spiritually in this world. Jesus will never be enough for majority of the people who believe in Christianity. Our human nature requires more than reading daily scriptures, having faith in the unseen, praying to a God we can’t see, feel, hear (his own voice) or touch, or going to church. Besides John the Baptist, none of the Bible characters went through their lives in complete religious isolation. They had families, friends, disciples, lives and a belief in God.

God should be a part of our lives not some improbable idea that he should be exclusive in our lives. If, as a Christian, that exclusivity is your calling, then God bless you. On the other hand, most of those ‘Jesus is all you need’ inspiration quotes are just empty gestures to make you feel good for a moment but not a realistic endeavor. We become so pious that we forget to make Christianity realistic to our every day stressors. Instead of some generic quote, how about a true testimony of one’s struggles and how the belief in God applies. Being a Christian is not a straightforward or smooth journey, some days you feel close to God as if he was there in person and other days you struggle to understand why you believe.

No, for me, Jesus is not enough while living on this earth. In the past, as preachers would emphasize this, I struggled greatly to live to that concept. There was a certain amount of guilt with not being able to fit neatly into this idea. I finally gave it up and accepted the fact that in my reality it does not work. As Christians, we sketch our own journey in life while holding on to a belief that there is a God who cares.

People in Relationships Overly Concerned With Singles


In case you did not know and the blog page did not tip you off, I am single actually terminally single. In my opinion that status is neither good nor bad but just is what it is. I feel a certain amount of comfort with that status and I see the green side of the grass as well as the brown side of the grass that comes with being single. So, why is it that couples/people in relationships, whether new or old, seem to have such a difficulty accepting and being comfortable with other’s single status particularly with single women? What is so threatening or frightening about being single? Let me compile a few things I have heard and noticed about couples’ behaviors towards singles.

People in relationships think it is their God given right to “set you up” and get you coupled

People in relationships think that because you are single, then ANY other single person will make the best match for you

People in relationships think your life will be so much happier with someone/anyone

People in relationships suddenly know what’s best for your life

People in relationships “can’t understand why you are single because you are such a nice person”

People in relationships do not think singles will fit in with their family lifestyle and are excluded from social events

People in relationships assume singles are avid partiers and have wild random sex ie. promiscuous

People in relationships think that singles cannot possibly understand when they are having difficulties in their relationships

People in relationships think singles will feel bad/sad/sorry for themselves if they talk about their relationships in your presence; so they avoid sharing anything about their relationships

A person who is in a new/early relationship suddenly think singles will be jealous so they avoid discussing their relationships

People in relationships believe that their relationships are so unique that every single person wants what they have/admire their relationship

People in relationships believe that every conversation with you should center around solving your singleness

People in relationships assume that singles are not working hard enough to end their singleness

People in relationships assume that you cannot be genuinely happy for them in their relationships

People in relationships assume singles cannot be truly contented and are faking it until they find their own relationships

…and so on

The funny thing is if you are a Christian then you know that Jesus and most of his disciples were single. Actually the God-head is single. The reality is there are a lot of singles who are more comfortable as singles than what society wants everyone to believe. Happiness is not about being single or married because misery lives in both camps. What I find very interesting is these behaviors are not just confined to couples who have been together since puberty but new couples pick up those very nasty judgmental and exclusionary habits too.  In my personal experience, I try not to react negatively. However, what some of these couples do not realize is that while I am happy for them I do not want their relationships. NEWSFLASH Your life is NOT that special above my own. The ludicrous concept that my marital status is the only thing that puts me in a one-down position is more of a personal problem for others.

If I am going to be single until the day I die, then so be it. If I am to get married in the future, then so be it. These are all just one aspect of my life. God blessed me with one life to live and I will do the best that I can whether single or married. So, if you happen to be reading this, in a relationship and recognize that you are guilty of being a couple snob, please quit with your BS.

Abstinence In A Sexualized World


Surfed the internet lately? If yes, then you may have seen a few headlines relating to sex in the Christian community. First, there was the Duggar’s older son inappropriate sexual touching before he was married, Billy Graham’s grandson’s infidelity in a crumbling marriage, and Bristol Palin announcing her 2nd out-of-wedlock pregnancy despite being a public advocate for abstinence. In the old days, all these visible Christians would have been publicly shamed for the rest of their lives.

The reality is we are all sinners, prone to temptation, and each and every one of us have committed sins and will commit sins in our lives. Welcome to the reason why the Bible talks about redemption. Despite knowing that, I do get a sick pleasure when limelight Christians screw up. Why is that? Because it shows that no one is immune and we need to be careful of our actions when we decide to put ourselves in the forefront as perfect Christian leaders.

Let’s chat about abstinence . First, let me say that I do not believe in abstinence only education. Our society is not set up to re-enforce that concept. Second, abstinence does not address some important biological and situational nuances that typically lead to breaking that vow. Third, abstinence is a difficult practice to maintain especially the more sexually charged you are and the length of your intimate relationship.

I believe there are two kinds of abstinence: one is the letter of the law abstinence and the other is the spirit of the law abstinence. When people talk about abstinence they are referring to no sexual penetration using the male and female sex organs. Therefore, if two people in a relationship never have coitus, then they have fulfilled the letter of the abstinence law. This letter of the abstinence law is very important for virgins and those who want to remain “pure” until marriage. However, the spirit of the abstinence law is very different. This is in reference to ALL sexualized behaviors ie. mutual masturbation, over and under the clothes touching of breast and genitals, anal sex, oral sex, foreplay and everything that stops short of penetration. If Christians should be judge by the spirit of the abstinence law, then a great number would be found guilty.

I applaud the concept of no sex before marriage. It’s a great idea for a number of reasons; however, by the time most couples get to their wedding night they have already engaged in various sexualized behaviors “to take the edge off,” and the only thing left is the grand finale. True abstinence is not an easy feat. Christian couples engage in the same dating style such as spending quality and alone time with their partners. Like all relationships, the two people are instinctively and biologically sexually drawn to each other, and each intimate alone time breaks down the abstinence defenses.

When was the last time you went on a date with a chaperone? Do you always kiss your partner on the cheek with a side hug? When the phone conversation turns intimate do you stop and say “God would not approve because we are not married?” or have you instituted a rule that you don’t talk in the bedroom and not past a certain hour? When was the last time that the most intimate thing you did with your partner was holding hands for longer than 5 minutes?

If true abstinence is to be practiced, then the Christian couple has to become puritanical in every sense of the word. If you cannot do that, then it’s time to have the talk (You should have had this talk already if you decided to be in a long-term relationship). The talk should involve what to do if you can’t wait or the it-just-happened moment. It’s time to have the real sex talk and not the ignorant watered down ‘Christian’ version. The version in which birth control and pregnancy are a reality. The version in which when things go too far how do you work through it instead of being riddled with guilt, shame and sometimes blaming.

It’s obvious that Ms Palin, the abstinence advocate, found her own message difficult to uphold – twice. If it was not for the pregnancies, which is how most Christian couples are outed, she would have been able to hide the hypocrisy. I could take cheap shots at her; however, her failures show the holes in the modern-day abstinence message. I do believe that most Christians are very sincere when they take on the abstinence challenge. However, they fail to see and prepare for the inevitable obstacle which is to underestimate how strong one’s normal sexual desires can be in the presence of romantic partner.

For those who intend on practicing the abstinence spirit of the law, I wish you God speed because you will need it. I also wish that you put in place preventive methods instead of reactive measures. Abstinence in a relationship is a good thing; however, ignoring one’s natural sexual urges will make it a feat to truly accomplish in avoiding ALL forms of sexual activities before marriage.

Unstable and Accepting


Insight and introspection are the greatest gifts to one’s self. Due to certain career training, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I am forced to look inward and become aware of me. Sometimes I do not like what I see. I can have a vengeful heart; I am ready to cut people out of my life in an instant; I am ready to think the worst of people; I am very guarded, and I struggle to forget and most importantly, forgive.

On the other hand, there are lots of things I love about myself. I love my dry no nonsense personality, I love self-discovery, I love my independence and my ability to be resilient. I love that I am smart.  I love the fact that I can be compassionate and giving. While these do not cancel out the negative things, they give me reasons to be thankful to God.

Since I was young, there is one thing I know about myself and it is the excitement of being fluid whether with people, place, or thing. It yells freedom to me. In my adult years, I have come to accept that I can be “unstable.” Being in one place, accustomed to one thing, and routines become old. Even though I have tried to change (maybe somewhat tried), I have accepted that I really need change in my life even if it is small.

Of everyone that I know, unless you are military, most people strive to have consistency in where they live, their jobs, people in their lives and things in their lives. While I do not find that to be boring per say, I do get antsy with the thought of being stuck.

In the recent months, I have moved states, changed jobs, semi-resume my career, and now have a new agenda for my life. For most people, this seem like too much flurry of activities and this can create anxiety. However, for this unstable woman, it’s all a part of my life. The downside to being so unstable is that I lose the comfort of close family and friends. I have to start all over with bonding which is difficult for me. I had also accepted that this unstable view of life was the main reason for never wanting to get married since I was a child. I could not fathom being ‘stuck.’ While I am happy for those who embrace this way of life, at this moment, it does not seem to be written in my stars.

What does this mean for long term relationships. Only God knows🙂 . Really! only he knows. I have resolved to put relationship issues in God’s hands. While this might seem like a passive way of dealing with my relationship instability, it is the best option on the table. I know and accept that the problem is me. I have been told a number of times that once I find ‘the right person’ then I will change. Meh!! Que sera sera. The only thing I know is that God gave me life and as he continues to bless me with life, then I will continue to live it to the fullest (whatever that maybe for me).

If you are a planner, then plan. If you are a little freer, then go with it responsibly. There are a few things I truly want out of life-to enjoy God’s blessings and give thanks, health of my parents for many years to come, and trustworthy people around me who have my six and I have theirs.

God bless you all and enjoy the life He gave you.

 

I am a Sinner


I am a Sinner with a capital S. This is not a proud status but it certainly is a very real status. In my current state, I will not be one of the 144,000 mentioned in the Book of Revelation. In my current state, I will not be one of the righteous in the first resurrection. In my current state, I will more likely be in the group with the other people. You know, the group in which most religious people either do not mention or speak of badly.

How do I know that I am a sinner? The Bible of course. When Christians read the Bible, they do not imagine themselves being in the group of others. They imagine themselves sitting at the feet of God with a goofy smile in an all-white and bright paradise. If one listens very carefully, Christians will admit to being sinners but not really. They admit it only in the context in which the Bible says we are sinners and lost because of our human nature which was corrupted in the garden. There are other passages that noted we are born in sin and shaped in inequity or that section which reads not one is righteous except….

I can list all my sins to myself and God. I know when I am trying to justify something that is Biblically contradictory. I really do know but in order to stay out of the other group I lie to myself. Every now and then (actually a lot more than I want to admit), I am totally comfortable with lying to myself. I give it some time before I am slapped in the face with the Biblical truth and that becomes the ‘O shit, my bad” moment. You know, the log in the eye analogy. Yep, I can admit to having the log-in-my-eye infection (I guarantee that it comes without the fishy odour).

I am the antithesis of a true Christian believer and here are some of the reasons. If you missed most of my blog entries, I have been on church sabbatical for a few years with an occasional appearance. I cannot stand religious rhetoric (oddly I can manage other rhetoric but less tolerant when it comes to Christianity). If being a believer is a matter of life or death, then speak to me plainly in basic and raw human needs and I will understand and show more respect. There is a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to be highfalutin and there is a time to keep it simple stupid (KISS). I really detest majority Christian gatherings because there is a ridiculous and compulsive need to be the perfect Christian. It’s hard to see the real person. This is either a gift or curse but most often than not I am usually able to detect bullshit and can be easily repelled.

I am the antithesis of a true Christian believer because there are aspects of the Bible that does not ‘sit well’ with me. If I could get away with just doing ‘good deeds,’ and having my own private Father-daughter time with God, then I would be the best Christian ever. Do not be mistaken, there are amazing aspects to Christianity – the love from wonderful people, the caring for others, someone on high looking out for your best interest in the afterlife etc. If that was all there was to making it through the Pearly gates, then I would definitely be the first in line.

I am a defiant person who still believes in Christianity. I see the value and the benefit in having a belief in God; however, I am still defiant to certain things which therefore puts me in the group with the others. My sins are my own and I take full responsibility (as I should) for every single one of them. Even if I did get my act fully on God’s track, I would still not be a typical Christian. I know that I do not fit into that box. I am a sinner and not in that stupid religious cliché term. I am the real deal – you know, the ones that Jesus died for on the cross but too stubborn to get it right. I have no intentions of bullshitting anyone with a pretty picture of me. What you see and hear is exactly as is (I am still allowed to have my own personal secrets), take it or leave it because I may not be a proud sinner but I am certainly not hiding or pretending.

 

 

Declaring God Under Fire


I have been known to wake up from odd dreams every now and again. This morning was one such situation. Besides it being annoying to have my sleep disturbed, the dreams usually put me in a state of great contemplation about my life existence.

This dream in question had a religious focus. In the dream, I was in a bedroom with my older sister and we are awake in a dark room after hearing a noise. I move to lock two doors and we listen intently for something going on outside the bedroom. There is a sense of life threatening fear and in the dream, I realize that this threat was due to religion – more specifically it was our Christian belief. Apparently, we try to secure ourselves from Billy Graham who is wearing an old nazi era German uniform.

The scene jumps to me walking alone downhill on a long road and I pass an abandon car on the side with a man who looks like Denzel Washington slumped over the dash with a bullet in his head. I pass the vehicle only to see Denzel getting up to talk to me – he was pretending to be dead.  He is telling me that people were being separated and he made his escape. The dream implies Denzel and I share the same Christian belief. We see a group of 3 average women with rifles coming and we hide but not very well. The women ask us about the location of a specific person in which I vaguely answer and one woman informs us that we need to be careful and then I wake up.

My dreams are most often weird but I can usually remember a specific theme. In this dream, there is a religious persecution theme much like Hitler to the Jews. I typically wake up thinking about my spirituality and relationship with God. I could not help but think that if my life was in danger due to my belief would I deny God?

It is so easy to be a devoted Christian during times of peace. However, would that be the same if my life depended on it? Would I be one of those denying Christ just like Peter when I am under duress? We would all like to think we are the exception to the rule; however, I can truly say that I do not know what my answer would be if faced with religious persecution.

The idea of death can be very scary even for a devoted Christian. We value life so much despite having a steadfast belief that there are better things to embrace with God. I can admit to being a religious scaredy cat when it comes to death. I think the fear of death, even with a promise of paradise, comes from our value we place on this world. I think there is an underlying belief that if we are no longer present in the world we will be missing a whole lot of stuff.

The other side effect to the religious dreams is a quick overview of my daily value in life. While we still have to live in this world, the Bible does tell us to focus on things above. Such dreams usually call into question the frivolousness of my ‘important stuff’ that does not seem to have much value in comparison to what God is offering. The dreams are usually an intermittent reminder that there is a greater force in charge and I need to get my relationship with God in order.

For every one of my random religious dreams, there are many people in different parts of the world who are forced to choose due to their Christian allegiance. I do not know the true meaning of religious persecution; however, many others at this moment can attest to it or have lost their lives for it. I feel blessed to have religious liberty; however, it does behoove us to really ask ourselves the question of what would we do if our lives depend on acknowledging or deny our relationship with the Christian God.

God’s Plans Are His Not Mine


The Bible says very clearly that God has HIS plans for us. He is the author of HIS creation and therefore knows how it will all end. We are here to fall in line.

It amuses me when people testify that God answered their prayers or believers share an enthusiastic belief that God has great things planned for their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that in HIS great plan there are some people who are destined to play certain roles in this game of good vs. evil. God already knows the beginning from the end; He sees what’s in the heart; so it stands to humanly reason that our prayers (God knows what we want even before we ask) are mere ritualistic tribute.

Prayer is comforting. I still do it and it typically sounds more like a one sided conversation. I do not go into details about what I do/don’t want anymore because He already knows. He also knows whether he will give or not give it to me. He knows if he will give me something completely different from what I have been asking. He can even give me something I never thought about. The prayer is merely for my peace of mind and trying to keep some connection. I usually end my prayer with something like “well it’s all up to you” or “if it’s your will.” This is not a flippant ending but an acknowledgement that I do believe God is in charge of everything – whether I wake up in the morning, my next job, my family circumstances etc.

Since childhood, I have been given various images of God. The one image that still lasts even until today is very closely related to a depiction of Zeus with his lightening bolt. As I got older, God was simultaneous presented like a loving father as well. As much as I have tried, I never saw God as a father or at least not in the sense that the clergy wants us to see HIM. I have no face, no voice, no concrete personal experiences to which I can attribute a father role. All I was given are Bible stories. To me, God is the Creator who requires a level of obedience in order to be on his heaven list. I respect HIS intricate handiwork which can be magnificent – take a moment to look at a perfectly crafted baby or a sunset. I respect HIS desire for his human creations to show love to each other at all times. However, feeling a sense of emotional love, which is required, is difficult. It’s the equivalent of falling madly in love with some guy whom I have never seen or heard but only received letters about his life as inspired by others. Love in the face of pure absence is HIS plan not mine.

I do believe that we are either playing God’s game, the devil’s game or a mixture of both. If I had my say, then I would prefer just God’s game – the one where he wants all to experience no more tears or death. Unfortunately, there is a sourpuss running around mucking things up (Peter did say that the devil is like a roaring lion seeking those he can devour). There is no such thing as our game or true free will. We play a part that is already controlled by one party or the other (yikes, it’s starting to sound like the Matrix).

The world is chaotic which is nothing new and the Christians are still preaching the signs of the times. Actually, they have been preaching it since ages past. Everyone seem to think they have deciphered the mind of God. Each religion and each branch of every religion seem to believe they cornered God’s absolute truth. They are so sure they speak the will of God whether in showing kindness or atrocities. If you step back far enough, one can see that the same ‘play’ has been used over and over since the dawn of time. Its HIS plan not ours.

It is still HIS plan whether we like it or not. It is his plan whether we pray or not, whether we believe or not, and whether we are on the good or the bad side. Despite my tenuous relationship with God, I don’t ever forget that he exists (that is my faith) and I will certainly never forget that HE is in full control no matter what happens or what we think we want.

NOTE: I did not add any scriptures because I do believe most Christians have scoured their Bibles and have read the references. However, if anyone do need chapter and verse, then I will be happy to supply.

Getting The Temple Into Shape


“…Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost….”1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6: 16 is a very well know verse in the Christian world. People tend to use this verse to rebuke things such as premarital sex, drinking, drugs, certain food etc. However, I thought a twist on this would help motivate the single men and women in waiting.

When I started blogging, I was in my early 30’s and as time passed, I have moved closer to my early 40’s. This aging process has taken its toll on my body. Being single, I do not have the luxury of ‘letting myself go’ in case I decide to do a late in life husband hunt. My metabolism have slowed significantly; the muffin top is not only here but expanding; I am noticing cellulite;  and the c-cup breasts are requiring very sturdy bras to keep them looking perky. I am watching my caloric intake more often than I desire and I am working out longer and more frequently than was needed prior to my 30’s.  Taking care of my physical sexiness has jumped steadily up my priority list because aging is not very kind to the body. What makes things worse are that these changes are so much more highlighted in this appearance-obsessed generation which makes people like myself a bit self-conscious. So, what’s an aging woman to do?

Exercising and eating right have not been a big emphasis in Christendom. Besides references to gluttony in Catholicism, many Christians do not spend enough time getting their temple into a fit and  healthy shape. In all my years, there have only been a handful of sermons that taught the followers of God to be mindful of what they eat or discussed the importance of consistent exercise.

Being single gives you more time to do nice things for yourself. What is better than getting healthy and turning that body into a good-looking temple? Please note that I did not say women should be thin or men should be muscular. I have admitted that the healthy in-shape body is attractive to me. If that is my preference, then I too need to make a good effort to maintain a healthy and in shape body.

In the US, consumption of food is no longer just for sustenance. Eating has become so out of control which has resulted in anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, emotional eating, and food obsession. There are low carbs, no carbs, low fat diets and every day someone discovers a super food or a new product/diet  that will help transform you into a runway model. The pathway to being healthy has nothing to do with being a bobble headed women on a stick body. The pathway to healthy is choosing a lifestyle that will benefit inside and out.

While I do support the big is beautiful campaign, there is a line that many women cross from being healthy to unhealthy. Years ago, I was walking behind a former coworker who could only fit in stretchy pants. I could not help but notice how much she waddled and her derriere was so large I knew that I could fit into one leg of her pants with room. It does both disgusts and saddens me to see men and women in this state. There are only a handful of people who can legitimately claim an illness for their current defilement of their temple.

Choosing the right foods, eating in moderation, and engaging in exercise takes motivation, work, time and energy. There are times when I am so lazy that weeks have passed without working out or I was not consistent with my exercise schedule. I do become bored with my routine-I have done kickboxing, zumba, spin, yoga, taebo, belly dancing, walking and other regiments in order to mix it up and keep it interesting. Like many people, I absolutely hate to exercise. However, while in my 20’s, I decided that I needed to start taking more interest in being healthy so it would be less hassle to stay in shape as I aged. This idea started a trend that involved incorporating mandatory exercise (gym or home) one specific day and time once a week into my normal routine. The rest of the week was flexible. This worked for many years until I became lazy within the last year. This idea ensured that at least one day out of the week, I focused at least 30+ minutes on my health.

Eating is something we have to do every day. The problems with eating are our food choices and portion size. I am a main course eater who likes larger portions. In times passed, I could afford to eat for two without weight gain; however, those days are gone. I have now incorporated words like ‘doggy bag’ and ‘salads’ into my vocabulary. I absolutely refuse to give up complex carbs and good tasting foods but I have learn to curb my appetite. While I am not a calorie counter, I am mindful of my consumption and accepting that there are times I will ‘fall off the wagon.’

All this attention is for me. This is not to conform to the outside pressures of physical beauty or mate attraction. It is all for me, myself and I. If I feel good about my temple, then I feel more confident. While society is more focused on the difference between size 4 and size 8, taking care of the temple is about healthy lifestyle choices. It’s about being the sexiest you can be with a healthy and beautiful body.