Outside the Left-Brain Safe Space: Unsettled Science, Mystery, Wonder and Mental Well-Being

 

“So the left hemisphere needs certainty and needs to be right. The right hemisphere makes it possible to hold several ambiguous possibilities in suspension together without premature closure on one outcome.” ― Iain McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary:  The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

~~~

To understand light as both particle and wave, one must “hold several ambiguous possibilities in suspension together without premature closure on one outcome.”

 

light-and-particle

“Light behaves both as a particle and as a wave. Since the days of Einstein, scientists have been trying to directly observe both of these aspects of light at the same time. Now, scientists at EPFL have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of this dual behavior. “ –The first ever photograph of light as both a particle and wave

 

 

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.” – Albert Einstein

“The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.” – Albert Einstein

einstein-quote

Islam, the “Lunatic Left” and Their Problem with Truth

 

“See here,” Jesus continued, “I’m sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves. So be shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew’s Gospel 10: 16

~~~

Clarion Words heard in Anne Marie Waters’ talk at “Dangerous Words 250” Free Speech conference, October 1, 2016

“…truth is now the enemy…”

“…but free speech matters so that we may tell the truth.”

“…Islam will not provide mutual respect…”

“…war on words, language neutralized, object reality is threatened…”

Sharia Watch U.K.

The “Jay Report” mentioned in the video: “Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, 1997-2013 – Alexis Jay OBE”
~~~

“The purpose of those who argue for cultural diversity is to impose ideological uniformity.” ― Theodore Dalrymple

 

“How can one respect people as members of the human race unless one holds them to a standard of conduct and truthfulness?”

― Theodore Dalrymple, Not With a Bang But a Whimper: The Politics & Culture of Decline

 

[Theodore] Dalrymple on Decadence, Europe, America and Islam:

PB: How do you explain that when society has problems with Islam it is mainly with the young men and not with the young women?

RD: I think the young women are not strongly Islamist on the whole. In fact, many of them are very anti-Islamic, or would be if they had the opportunity. I also believe that the main interest of Islam for young men in Western countries is the predominance that it gives them over women. I will give you the reasons why I have come to that conclusion, and I accept that they are not scientifically foolproof. There could be arguments against them.

On the Brink

 

On the Brink

 

“Why?” the child asks.

“Who says?” the youth asks.

“When can I?” the teenager asks.

“Why not?” the twenty-year old asks.

“Who are you?” the thirty-year old asks.

“Where are you?” the forty-year old asks.

“Who am I?” the fifty-year old asks.

“When can I?” the sixty-year old asks.

“What did you say?” the seventy-year old asks.

“Whatever.” the eighty-year old says.

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Ann Johnson, Kingdom Venturers

A Post in Times…

 

Let’s begin with a few quick scenarios – reflections on life in 2016 into 2017:

Scenario 1:

The mayor of a major city publicly welcomes illegal immigrant “dreamers,” under the rubric of not seeming unwelcoming. The mayor wants to appear humane and magnanimous as he freely gives out the keys to our city, much like German Chancellor Angela Merkel has done (to the regret of the women molested and raped by the welcomed immigrants). In so doing the mayor and the city council has and is welcoming into our city a group of people who are not all like Rahm Emanuel’s sentimental sop would have us believe:  parents and grandparents just like his or just plain students.  Rather those ‘welcomed” in our city include the likes of fleeing felons, ambitious drug dealers, hiding sexual predators, indoctrinated jihadists and territorial gang members. Included, also, are those with mental health issues.

What do you think these ‘dreamers’ dream of doing? And isn’t violence, not relationship building, their modus operandi? The mayor and the city council of Chicago have naively (?) welcomed in the lawless with their penchant for violence, including violence with stolen guns. It should be noted by all that those who would break the law do not register gun ownership as law-abiding citizens do. Those who would break the law do not want to be caught. This common-sense thinking is not something one finds in the ways and means of Chicago’s mayor or city council. Instead we find that nothing has changed except an increase of violence due to the promotion of the lawlessness of illegal immigration.

I see the local news every day. The news reports detail the fact that the south and west sides of Chicago are permeated with violent types. The news reports show mothers weeping over children being shot and killed. The news reports show community marches demanding the violence be stopped. Enter the gun control meme pushed by the media’s talking heads – “Gun Violence Erupts Over the Weekend.”

Nothing, of course, is said in the media about the kinds of people found on our city’s streets. Instead, the media’s headlines distract from the illegal immigrant problem and so many other inner city social issues such as mental health and the dehumanizing effects of being on welfare long-term. Often, idle hands do tend to the devil’s work.

The hyped solution for those in positions of political power: the promotion of “gun control” laws, including a gun registry rather than an illegal immigrant registry. Again, who signs up for a “gun registry”? Only those citizens who obey the law sign up. The bad guys ‘know’ better.

“Gun control” is the mayor’s and the city council’s ‘means’ to deal (read: redirect attention from their own actions and to pacify the crying mothers) with the unintended consequences of placing a “Welcoming City” banner over our city. It is now open season in Chicago. By the way, “Welcoming City” hokum is meant to maintain Federal government subsidies for a city and state struggling to make ends meet during the mass exodus of its citizens.

When a drunk driver kills someone, does the media call it “car violence”? No. Does the registration of all drivers and cars mean that drunk driving will not occur? The pols and media pick their opportunities to control the narrative surrounding their existence in a place of power.

Scenario 2:

Are you a libertarian who demands legalized drugs and the “right” to do drugs like marijuana, cocaine and even heroin but has no thought as to how in the future you or others will pay for and obtain those drugs without using violence once addicted? Are you a citizen who is OK with a citizenry addicted to drugs and that uses society via robbery and violence to feed addictions? Do you believe that taxpayers should subsidize your drug addiction?

Scenario 3:

Presented above are three real time scenarios. If you watch the news you are aware of what is going on and what is going on is much more than what I presented above.

~~~~~

As one walking around on resurrection ground in the Kingdom of God on earth, I have wrestled with the notion of owing and using a gun for self-defense. Here are some of my thoughts. You can share your thoughts in the comment section…

Recently, I listened to a discussion about guns on a Moody Radio program called Up for Debate. The title and bylines are as follows:

Should Churches Hire Armed Guards?

Violence is increasing not only on the streets but also in the sanctuary. We only have to look to the headlines of last year’s shooting of parishioners during a Bible study in Charleston and this summer’s slaying of a priest in France during church services. The violence has some in the clergy wondering whether they should arm their security teams. This Saturday, on Up For Debate, Julie Roys will explore this issue with Rev. Mark Woods, a pastor who believes that arming churches sanctifies violence and Carl Chinn a Christian security expert who believes churches and their parishioners are safer when their security team is armed.

You can listen to the program>>>

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Here are some questions that came to mind while listening to this “debate”:

Is it OK for a Christian to own a gun for sport and for protection?

Does arming a church “normalize and sanctify violence”?

Are you not trusting God for your safety with armed guards around?

Do we need a specific threat to arm ourselves or can we act preemptively?

What is the difference between local police protection provided by the state and armed and trained Christians being present?

Does the difference between local but not present police protection provided by the state and armed Christians being present matter in the moment of life and death circumstances?

Does “turn the other cheek” imply passivity or a type of non-retribution self-denial?

Is Christianity a “new ethic of non-violence”?

~~~

Due to the acted-out intent of evil doers such as gang members, drug traffickers and thieves, a constant scapegoating phrase is heard in Chicago’s media: “gun violence”.  To come to a Kingdom understanding about guns and their use and especially since the populace is constantly barraged by the media’s lockstep negative annotation of guns I believe that we need to separate those two words – “guns” and the ubiquitous media modifier “violence”.  I believe we also need to discuss the matter of guns outside of the political hothouse where opinion grows out of proportion to reality by constant emotive watering.

Consider the following from Morissette v. United States (1952): “The contention that an injury can amount to a crime only when inflicted by intention is no provincial or transient notion.””

The obvious:  Guns are inanimate objects.  Guns require intent to be used. A gun can be used as a weapon of violence when the user’s intent is to aggressively attack another with a self-serving purpose. The intent of such an aggressor is similar to another person who drives their truck into a crowd with the objective of running down people down. Intentionality aims and pulls the trigger or points the knife or the car or the…, whether for benign reasons or for malevolent reasons. The intent of a person using a knife may be to slice some bread for dinner or to deliver a death wound into someone’s gut (knife intifada).  Beyond an individual’s rationale, of course, some objects do reveal their intended use – a pipe bomb, for instance.  And, as you must know, the media reveal’s its own intent, its own agenda daily.

Our local media’s constant word association -“gun violence”- has, I believe, created a public fear of guns by projecting violent intent onto the object itself. Often, media reinforced fear-driven thinking is taken to the extreme.  The demand to ban all guns is pushed under the rubric of ‘we’ don’t know your what your intentions are” and “we are not that kind of people”- a hubristic mélange.

~~~

Does arming a church “normalize and sanctify violence”?  Maybe a better question is “Does disarming a church “normalize and sanctify violence”?” For those with evil intentions, disarming the public is an effective means to an evil end. “Gun free” signs give the public false assurances that someone with criminal intent will think twice and not enter a gun free zone.  Yet, don’t crimes of passion occur without a second thought?  Have we not see that terrorist acts occur with malice aforethought and without regard to a posted sign? Do not “Gun Free Zones” in effect “normalize and sanctify (to set apart) violence” as the unrestricted means for an aggressor?

Some general thoughts and questions:

This topic is not a black and white topic. Nor can this topic be confined to a short post. This topic requires knowledge and a lot of introspection about one’s intents. This topic opened up many avenues of thought for me (subject to modification) as you will read:

The spirit of fear

I hear some say that we should trust God and, in effect, do nothing to protect ourselves – God will intervene (or not, que sera sera).  There is a spirit of fatalism here and not of faith, it seems to me.

If a bear or a lion or a mentally unstable person attacked, would you not defend yourself and your child?  Or, do you accept the attack as God’s will and submit to it without resistance?  If a deadly virus was around do you take precautions? Do you vaccinate your child? Are taking precautions a lack of trust in God? Is defending yourself from imminent danger not trusting God? Is defending yourself against evil holding a gun not trusting God? And, isn’t learning the Scripture and walking in the Spirit proactively defending yourself against heresy?

We are told that we have not been given a spirit of fear and also to put on the whole armor of god. A sword is included in the list and in Hebrews 4:12. We are to arm ourselves:

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrew 4:12

This verse reminds us that thoughts and intentions matter. The weapon, the word of God, is used to bring out what is hidden beneath the surface by using its finely-honed razor sharp cutting edge. Jesus made sure that his disciples knew that his Kingdom was not about the violent over throw of the Romans. Rather, the world would learn that truth was more powerful than violence. Consider what happened to Ananias and Sapphira in an early church setting (Acts 5:1-11). Truth happened.

~~~

“Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was a pacifist”:

Do not put Jesus into your safe space. Put yourself into his ‘unsafe’ hands. To make a false understanding of Jesus (e.g., Jesus as an anti-war hippie guru) the lynch pin of anti-gun ethic is dangerous. As was said of Aslan:

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34-36

As the passage from Hebrews would later reinforce, Jesus said that he came with a sword, a divisor. Thoughts and intents would be exposed. Relationships would be severed because of him. There will be those who will reconciled to Him and to others and there will be those who will not reconcile at all. Those who do not want to be reconciled with others often use violence to obtain what could have been gained in relationship.

Jesus wants us to set his kingdom in motion with our peace-making forays before he comes to reign on earth as the Prince of Peace.

~~~

Jesus’ command to “love you neighbor as yourself” and to seek happiness in being a peacemaker means, in my estimation, seeking to be reconciled with your neighbor when there is a conflict. It also means to never seek revenge for a wrong done to you. Revenge is a common theme on cable TV and in the movies but it has no part in your Kingdom life. You turn the other cheek to say to your neighbor “the wrong you have done to me is already forgiven by me two-fold. Let us be reconciled.” Forgiveness is not passivity or pacifism.  Rather, forgiveness is an aggressive part of loving your neighbor.

Many today take umbrage at the slightest perceived offense. Then they proceed to slander, malign and mock their ‘offender’. Turning the other cheek says I know who I am and what I am about. Your words can come into either ear and do not change what I am hearing from the Lord.

Being a peacemaker: aren’t we told to meet our neighbor on the way to court so as to resolve matters with your neighbor instead of by a judges’ ruling? Aren’t we told not to sue each other in court?

Not once are we telling our neighbor “It is OK to do whatever you want to us.” We are saying, “Whatever evil you do to us breaks our relationship. I am willing to forgive to mend our relationship and to show you the full extent of love.”

I can read the same scripture as you:

Meet your accuser before going to court to settle matters

Seek peace and pursue it.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

As I read these passages I see in each of the statements an equation of relationships. Two or more parties are involved. And the Christian in that relationship is the one who proactively makes amends to resolve the conflict the other has with the Christian.

~~~

Violence – doing harm to the other with the purpose of “winning” or gain -is not the Kingdom way of living as taught by Jesus. Of, course doing violence to another also includes bearing false witness, gossip, stealing, adultery and murder with intent to deprive someone of life.  Violence done to others also includes abortion, a suctioning off of human life that is now called “a right”, while the right to own a gun is denigrated as violent intent.

~~~

What if you neighbor embraces evil?  We are told in Scripture to abhor evil and cling to what is good. We can never be reconciled with evil and should never try. This is a situation where the Scripture and the Holy Spirit must inform your decision to defend yourself. Maybe you move away. Maybe you surround yourself with Christian friends and prayer. Maybe you should buy a gun and learn to defend yourself. Maybe do all three. Evil knows no bounds; it knows no “Gun Free Zones”.

~~~

“Sell what you have and buy a sword”. I find it interesting that Jesus knew that Peter was armed – with a sword – when they were in the garden of Gethsemane praying.  Prior to Peter whipping out his sword to defend Jesus, we don’t hear Jesus ever telling Peter to get rid of that sword.  But once Peter pulls out that sword to harm another in an act of aggression (Peter’s intent was to keep Jesus safe for the Kingdom Peter so desired) then Jesus tells Peter to put away the sword because “those who live by the sword die by the sword.” This is no mystical saying.

Consider that if you use violence to get your way you can be sure that what goes around comes around. If your intent is to harm someone to ‘put things right’ then there will be no end to the violence. The other who is harmed will want to ‘put things right’ with violence. Jesus wants us to stop the cycle of violence. That is why seeking to reconcile and forgiving are imperative in his Kingdom.

~~~

I do not think for a moment that God intended us to lay down our lives for the sake of laying down our lives. That would be suicide. What is your intent? Hopefully your intent is to stay alive.

~~~

We live in a violent universe: Big Bang, Gamma Ray bursts, meteor strikes, floods, hurricanes,… How do we explain the Lord’s “Blessed are the peacemakers” to such a violent world?

~~~

Violence forces change through coercive power.  Love is not coercion but an offer to redeem and to be reconciled. When violence and love meet, they do not kiss like when justice and mercy meet. So be for-armed.

~~~

What is my relationship with guns?  After the age of eight-years-old I attended several different Christian camps over several years. These camps are where I first came into contact with an actual gun – a .22 gauge rifle.

At these camps I was shown how to load the rifle and how to aim and shoot at a target. And not only did we use guns, we also learned archery, horseback riding, swimming – all sorts of activities, some considered as “unsafe” by today’s hand wringers.

I now own several guns, a FOID card and a CC card.  Contrary to what is often implied in the media, to obtain these licenses my background had been extensively checked by federal and state authorities. To obtain my CC license I was required by the state to take 16 hours of classes: 8 hours of Illinois CC law and 8 hours of gun training. A written and target test were taken after the eight-hour sessions.

As a Christian, I enjoy target shooting at the range. I practice for accuracy. I hope I never have to shoot anyone in self-defense. If I do I hope to be able to shoot the aggressor so as to only disable him or her. God knows the intent of my heart.

 

As a Christian, I believe we can be ‘unsafe’ and good at the same time, like my King.

 

http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/12/mexican-official-immigrants-are-flocking-to-chicago-before-trumps-inauguration-because-its-a-sanctuary-city/

 

~~~

Shooting someone in self-defense is no small thing. It is traumatic and it may end up ruining your life with all of the legal ramifications. It is best to know the law and to not think you have any right whatsoever to shoot someone in self-defense. Know the law in your state.

A great legal resource:

The Law of Self-Defense, The Indispensable Guide for the Armed Citizen by attorney Andrew F. Branca target-practise

His website:  http://lawofselfdefense.com/

I’ve Been Happy in 2016. Happy New Year 2017

 

You make me happy! ©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers

You make me happy!
©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers

Looking at Life in All the Wrong Ways

 

“It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”

-Screwtape, a senior demon, writing to his nephew Wormwood, also his apprentice. From C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”

 

~~~

Foods for thought?

The package of corn chips found in the health foods aisle noted how not un-good the contents were to eat: “No Artificial Ingredients” “No Artificial Flavors” “No Preservatives” “Certified Gluten Free” “NON GMO Verified”.

The package of drama found on the cable channel noted how not inhuman the program was: “For Mature Audience” “Adult themes” “Adult Language” ….

~~~

“Fantasy covets the gross, the explicit, the no-holds barred display of the unobtainable; and in crisis of the display the unobtainable is vicariously obtained.

Hard-core pornography provides another instance. Indeed, modern society abounds in fantasy objects, since the realistic image, in photograph, cinema and the TV screen, offers surrogate fulfillment to all our forbidden desires, thereby permitting them…The ideal fantasy is perfectly realized, and perfectly unreal – an imaginary object which leaves nothing to the imagination.” – from Fantasy, Imagination and the Salesman, Roger Scruton’s “Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture”

~~~

The fantasy objects removing the sacred from our view? A short list:

Movies and cable TV programs showing ‘snuff films’, violence, mutilation, slaughter, wanton sex, promiscuous sex, misogyny, the profane.

Video games engaging you in violence, mutilation, slaughter, wanton sex, promiscuous sex, misogyny, the profane.

Movies which employ special effects to convey a larger than life experience titillation while offering nothing of value for real life.

Social media – each media element readily offered and responded to, and obtained remotely, removing one from true community towards self-isolation

Animation – the shadowland of phantom cels

Marriage as a secular convention to secure benefit from another up to and including the commodification of the partner’s wealth, insurance, emotional dependency and sexual organs.

Socialism as Utopia

The Social Justice Narrative of “Diversity” and it cognates, wrought by the iron fist of “equality”

Homosexuality, the phallic and misogynistic, and its associated bacchanalia (e.g., Gay pride parades)

~~~

Imagination gathers up the hard-won gold of reality, submits it to the refiner’s fire, allows it to be molded and then offers the higher karatage gold as sincere praise to God.

Fantasy gathers up the hard-won gold of reality for smelting and casting into the golden calf of ephemerality, of likeness, of certainty…

~~~

“The contrast here is between the active work of the imagination, which points to a God beyond the sensory world, and the passive force of fantasy, which creates its own god out of sensory desires…”

– from Fantasy, Imagination and the Salesman, Roger Scruton’s “Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture”

~~~

nicolas-poussin-the-adoration-of-the-golden-calf

The Adoration of the Golden Calf 1633-4, Nicolas Poussin

~~~

One wonders:   does the left brain seek certainty and see fantasy as that certainty while the right brain is dismissed as flaccid and unreliable?

 

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

 

“His first solo album, 1987’s “Faith,” sold more 20 million copies, and he enjoyed several hit singles including the raunchy “I Want Your Sex,” which was helped immeasurably by a provocative video that received wide air play on MTV.

The song was controversial not only because of its explicit nature, but also because it was seen as encouraging casual sex and promiscuity at a time when the AIDS epidemic was deepening. Michael and his management tried to tamp down this point of view by having the singer write “Explore Monogamy” on the leg and back of a model in the video.”

“”I wanted to be loved,” said Michael of his start in the music field. “It was an ego satisfaction thing” said Michael of his start in the music field.””

-above quotes from http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/12/26/former-wham-singer-george-michael-dead-at-53.html

~~~

Have you noticed that when someone dies, the reality of their life can’t be buried with them?

Reading the above article about the life and recent death of singer George Michael brought back a distinct memory…

 

In 2003 I went with a friend to an LGBT community support group meeting. My friend Sherry asked me to come along. Sherry was transitioning from male to female.  We had known each other for a long time before her transition.

The support group meeting was held on a Sunday afternoon in a community center of a northwestern suburb of Chicago. Sherry had heard about it from another friend. When Sherry mentioned the meeting to me I became curious about a side of life I hadn’t known about, a side of life that was constantly promoted as “gay and proud” in Chicago. In mentioning concern of my uneasiness about attending, Sherry was quick to point out Atticus’ advice to Scout:

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”– Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”

 

As a friend, I said “yes” to her request.

After attending church that Sunday morning and then eating lunch at home I went outside to wait for Sherry. The beautiful September day prompted second thoughts about going with her to a meeting. But soon Sherry came by and I decided to do my due diligence as a friend. Without saying so, I believe she was looking for another reference point.

 

Sherry drove us north where, after several times of stopping to ask for directions, we made it to the community center. We were the first ones there and still not sure if we were in the right place. There were no signs posted about the meeting.

After a short while someone came in the front door. I could tell that this was someone attending the meeting, so I asked about the room. Tracy led us to a meeting room and turned on the lights. We introduced ourselves to Tracy.

Tracy introduced herself as the president of the local chapter (not to be named). Tracy wore a thin floral dress over a boney masculine frame. Tracy’s legs were not shaved. We noticed this as she went around the room putting chairs in order around a long wide table. Soon others appeared and they took a seat at the table.

Tracy sat at the head of the table and to her right, as we learned, was Katherine, the group’s secretary. Surrounding Sherry and I were fifteen people, all “female” in appearance – the majority being cross dressers based on a quick look at the number of beards. Actually, I wasn’t sure who was transitioning and who was cross dressing and who was gay. I would find who was doing what after we were introduced to the group and the meeting got under way.

After Katherine read the minutes from the last meeting there was motion to approve them and it was seconded. New business was next.

New business included the day and time of the next meeting and the day and time and whereabouts of the next social. The members were all a twitter. After several minutes their conversations turned from making out in cars at the local forest preserve to “making sure to use condoms” – a community service message, said president Tracy.

Next up:  the topic of today’s meeting.

Because we were using a community building paid for with tax dollars, so Tracy told us, the support group must provide topics on informational health and welfare subjects and report back to the government on a regular basis. (That recollection is a paraphrase from memory of what Tracy said that day.) In other words, as I understood it, the government allowed them to meet there but they must be reminded to be good citizens.

Tracy introduced the speaker for the day’s topic – Randall M. (not his real name). How open-ended the topic and the speaker of this day were was something I would soon find out. As he stood before us the topic was generally described by Randall as “AIDS and protection.” At this point I thought this topic might be of value to everyone in the room.  Me being present with this group and hearing about this topic with them, in a vicarious way I felt that I had “climbed into their skin” as HIV AIDS is no respecter of persons.

Randall talked about his quasi-subject – “AIDS and protection” – autobiographically:  His father left his mother at the age of two; His mother raised him alone; as a young man he worked as a pipefitter; he left work behind and traveled to San Francisco; he became involved sexually with other men; he became addicted to alcohol, pain killers, amphetamines and cocaine; he returned to his mother’s house in Chicago and entered a clinic for his drug addiction; he spent a lot of time in the “Boy’s Town” area of Chicago; he frequented spas and bath houses; he returned to drugs and to multiple sex partners; at one point he was diagnosed with HIV AIDS; he began to take expensive medications to slow the effects of AIDS; he took more illegal drugs and stole to maintain his AIDS medication and his drug habit; he continued to have sex with other men in Chicago’s bath houses. After a hour of relating these things Randall reached the end of his talk.

I looked around me and saw blank faces at the table. Maybe the beards hid their expressions from view. None of us at the table had heard a word of caution or of protection or about taking care of oneself or of redemption. Someone then asked Randall if he knew that he was transmitting AIDS to someone else by having oral and anal sex with them. His reply was criminal and meant to absolve him of any personal responsibility:

“They know what they are doing. They know why they are there.” The breathing in the room stopped with a gasp.

I leaned over to the Tracy and said “Someone in this group needs to report this guy.” Tracy nodded and then asked for more questions.  But the room remained dead silent.  Looking back, I should have spoken up more. But I remember being in such shock and feeling unclean and feeling like a reptile had crawled up inside my skin. I wanted to run to a baptismal fount to have all of the vileness purged from me.

With no further question or comments from the members of the LGBT support group, Tracy called the meeting to a close. Tracy invited everyone to stay and chat with cheese and crackers and lemonade offered on the buffet table. I ended the meeting by leaving with Sherry and not looking back. I had climbed into their skin and they had climbed under mine and it felt inhuman.

~~~

This is a true story and one aspect of the LGBT community that you will never see depicted on Ellen or All That Jazz or “reality TV.” Instead, related to homosexuality, you will see and hear the words “equal rights” and “love” and sometimes, “I Want Your Sex.”

 

Now, there’s no telling what one will find scrawled on bathroom stalls. And, there’s no telling what one will find sprawled in bathroom stalls. But did you really think that you would find love here among the fetid? Amazing.

 

“I said celebrate the love of the one you’re with

 

As this life gets colder

And the devil inside

Tells you to give up.”

 

“Amazing” Songwriters: GEORGE MICHAEL, JONATHAN SIMON DOUGLAS

The Gift of Giving

 

Wow!  When you see, and hear someone doing the work of the kingdom of God, you take note…

A conversation with John Montgomery, Founder and CIO Bridgeway Capital Management:

 

Reference:

Bridgeway Capital Management (BCM): OUR COMMITMENT

“BCM’s articles of incorporation state that it will donate 50% of its profits to charitable causes. Over the years, BCM has granted tens of millions of dollars and time to more than 500 different nonprofits. Bridgeway includes all of its Partners (as permanent staff members are known) in the giving program.”

 

Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

De profundis

 

De profundis

 

So, she leapt through each night, to each waking dream saying,

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for the multitude of my sins”

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for the multitude of my sins”

 “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for the multitude of my sins”

In the morning, she headed out the door saying,

“I commit this day to you, O Lord, and the works of my hands”

“I commit this day to you, O Lord, and the works of my hands”

“I commit this day to you, O Lord, and the works of my hands”

She fell asleep saying,

“Thank you, O Lord, for your lovingkindness and tender mercies”

“Thank you, O Lord, for your lovingkindness and tender mercies”

 “Thank you, O Lord, for your lovingkindness and tender mercies”

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers

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Psalms 130. De profundis. OUT of the deep have I called unto thee, O LORD;  Lord, hear my voice. O let thine ears consider well  the voice of my complaint. If thou, LORD, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss,  O Lord, who may abide it?  For there is mercy with thee;  therefore shalt thou be feared.  I look for the LORD; my soul doth wait for him;  in his word is my trust.  My soul fleeth unto the Lord before the morning watch;  I say, before the morning watch.  O Israel, trust in the LORD; for with the LORD there is mercy,  and with him is plenteous redemption.  And he shall redeem Israel  from all his sins.

Horicon Marsh Montage – Part 2 of 2

 

Into the semi-wild…

 

Vacation

noun, often attributive va·ca·tion \vā-ˈkā-shən, və-\ a respite or a time of respite from something

Examples of vacation in a sentence:

A single woman, de-spoused and with grown kids out of the house and in need of respite from the ordinary, finds a spot on a map and a range of time where she could see more of the observable universe. She called this space-time continuum a vacation.

 

 

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Small Town Inn Mayville WI ©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers

 

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Entrance ©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers

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NOLA Restaurant ©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers

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Audubon Inn Lobby ©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers

 

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Sleeping in ©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers

 

 

Related Posts:

Horicon Marsh Montage – Monday Morning

For the Beauty of…Horicon Marsh

Horicon Marsh and the Landowner

Tuesday Morning at the Audubon

County Road TW

Backstreet Café, Monday, 5:00 am

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Elle est photographe ©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers