Missionary Positions – Round Two

Last night (1 December 2016) I treated myself to supper at the café in town. Richard had to go to Québec for a family matter, so I have been left again on my own.

I ordered soup with soy dumplings; interesting taste, but not something I would keep on my Favourite Food list. Whilst eating my soup I overheard two young women (mid-twenties?) discussing the power of the Lord. In Waldheim, that is not unusual. The conversation was loud, emotional, yet 110% positive, something that is also not unusual for Waldheim.

I had a shitty day yesterday, and honestly, the part of the conversation I heard last night made we ANGRY. One of the young girls, after having a massive Jesus moment (the breakdown happen in Laird, but Waldheim MB is her home church), declared she will be going on a worldwide Bible study. Basically, there is a program that lets participants learn about the places of the Bible in real time: Peter wrote a letter to the Corinthians, you can go to Corinth, Greece (it still exists). Jerusalem, Turkey, Ephesus (which, technically, is in Turkey) and the whatnot. Not knowing who this opportunity is through, I found a site offering the same travel experience: Bible Land Tours.

The squeaks of delight from the young lady geared up to go and her friend made me sense something was not right.

Funding for the trip. Yes, that is what I was thinking in the back of my cryptic crossword mind. It brought to mind a pamphlet Richard brought home this past Sunday. One of the locals is going on a mission trip to someplace that is home to some strange people (unbelievers, I think). As per the ritual, it began with an introduction of this young person’s lineage, the moment of blessed realisation, the plan, then ended off with the plea for spiritual and financial help.

The missionaries from Richard’s church all have the drive, but not so much the money. Richard, like this Sunday, refused to even consider giving money to this young man. “Who’s going to help us pay for the brakes on the car? The people at church?” We did not have to answer that. I bring this up every time this subject comes up, but the goodly church folk don’t get it, or don’t care. In fact, when the Missions Conference is held in the Town of Waldheim, Richard does not to go to church on those Sundays, out of pure protestation.

The group this chap is with has a “training” centre in Jamaica: YWAMDP. If you a choice between learning how to steer people to the Lord in a makeshift meeting hall on 20th Street, Saskatoon or a seaside hut in Jamaica, the choice is an easy one, especially when you are twenty. Do not get me wrong, there are young people willing to dispose of their selfishness and replace it with self-fullness through Christ, no doubt.

Not knowing the status or the purpose of this young man’s trip does not change the fact that asking for money in such a way undermines the purpose if the Great Commission:

 

Mark 6: 7-12

And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil[a] spirits. He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveller’s bag, no money.[b] He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes. 10 “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. 11 But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” 12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. (Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.)

Oh, you did not know this is part of the plan, did you? I called up the wrong quote. Well, Matthew was not the only one talking about letting it all go to spread the glory of the Lord.

Okay, this is 2016 and a person cannot enter a country willy-nilly and all that. Proper documents are needed, shots are required, language lessons may be necessary, and yes, money is now needed to get anywhere. I understand. A former co-worker quit his job and one Sunday spoke at Richard’s church outlining the monthly needs to keep his mission plan running and the amount of funds needed to support him, his wife and six children. Richard walked out. Though I was still attending church at this time, I did not go because the whole cast of MMFI were there to show support. I would have needed good dope to attend, just to kill the need to tell my former boss to f-off.

But, I digress.

You see, there are just too many missionaries. How many souls does God really need? How many points does a denomination get for each person “saved”? From my experience, letting someone know about God and Jesus through conversation can be enough to light a fire. I know there are groups in out local areas that are mission minded, Richard and I give graciously. You know I am no longer part of the Christian group, but money given from Richard comes from his pocket, money we could use to fix our house and fix our car. Local missionaries don’t seem to respect this.

Sorry young lady, I know you will be putting your plan through the churches in Waldheim and Laird, but guess what, you’re going to have to make due with help from others.

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Why am I Hanging On?

I have considered letting my blog page go for a while now. I paid my yearly subscription in September, so I have this domain for the next not-quite-a-year. I think I may stick with attempting to write stories with no endings (and some with no beginnings). I am losing the drive to do anything productive. I have crafting projects I need to finish, but after that, I think I’ll stick to being my old self – boring and lonely.

God, if you are really there, why could you not have made this place amazing? I was told God brought Richard and me to Waldheim, but why? 

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Progressive Waldheim Boots

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young minds

So many feelings here.

Life as a Widower

It’s funny how children tend to want to grow up quickly and be older than they actually are. Sometimes I think it’s as though their self worth is defined by the number of years and months that have passed since they first saw the light of day.

‘Well I’m six anyway,’ I’ll hear my son lord over his friend of five and three-quarters, apparently making him the instant victor of whatever little quarrel the two of them have got themselves into this time around.

Adults, on the other hand, often crave the simpler times they remember from when they were young.

‘Oh, to be that age again,’ you’ll here them say just after they’ve wished they still had a full head of hair, coloured by its own now expired natural pigmentation.

‘You don’t want to be an adult,’ they might add, ‘it’s much easier being a child.’

I’m not so sure, though.

Today marks the beginning…

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Progressive Church Boots

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Whoopsers!

How do I not be so upset over stuff I cannot handle? This past year I have come across a number of friends who, I think, care. I feel awful that they see my meltdowns. How do I let them know I am sorry?

I think the first step is to not apologise, or not all the time, at least. I can be a funny person, spending most of my day trying to be normal. Strange things happen to me in small doses. Unlike most of my friends, my outer scope is rather narrow. I do not have the travel experience or the broad local friendships they do. I do participate in Envy quite well, I must say.

I cannot stop people from voting for the Conservatives, the Saskatchewan Party, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Drake. I get emotionally tied to episodes in the news when I really should not. I feel pangs of guilt when I realise my friends and family read my outbursts. Then again, how do we encourage growth and uunderstanding if it is not first the frequent ramblings of a clausterfobic mind?

Writing helps. It works even better when words go in an order that does not sound like they were written by a walrus. I have promised to send copies of my work to my friends, but one of my stories disappeared into cyberspace. Or more like a subliminal disk space. I bloody well don’t have a clue!

Yes, writing helps. So does exercise. Richard and I have started back with the Wii. We may even get back to doing Just Dance and Zumba after watching a Suits marathon. I am still determined to beat 9000 on “Eye of the Tiger”.

One of my biggest problems is promising. I do not not do something, only my somethings end up being too much for my body to handle. The guilt of not getting something out in time, a delay due to funding, or three failed attempts at shipping breaks this girl’s heart. What do I do?

“Just be yourself,” I hear you say. This is me. I will try my hardest not to be so negative, but you do have to let me be bonkers every now and then.

The first thing I need to do is make sure I did not send my handwritten draft of my short story to recycling.

*Crossing fingers*

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Another Day in Paradise

I finally gathered up enough gumption to watch the church service the morning of the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, 12 June 2016. It was mentioned to me, through an argument, that there was a mention of the victims and a prayer for them and their families. Yeah, not really. The event itself was not mentioned by name and the victims were not mentioned as being part of the LGTBQ family. Lady, you downright fibbed to me. Here is the part she was talking about:

(1)

Yes, I only included the audio, as the video is not the best and we really don’t need to see what the pastor looks like. In all fairness, I listened and watched the service from the following week, but alas, there was nothing. Well, I should not be too upset, as the fires in Fort McMurray were still raging and it was Father’s Day. Then I remembered, some of the fathers of those killed will never see their children again. Some of the men at Pulse were fathers, they would never see their children again. Some of the women killed at Pulse may have had children. Though these women may not be fathers, the children are without mothers.

Friends, Family Gather to Mourn Orlando Shooting Victims (2)

I forced myself to watch this commentary after listening to Nadia Bolz-Weber’s book Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint. I read the book last year and was mesmerised, so I decided to listen to Ms Bolz-Weber’s narration on the trip to Vancouver. I was still going to church at this time I read the book and discovered a strong urge to kick love back into the church I was going to; the one this audio quote comes from. Hearing the blasé attitude, but genuine condolence, I was reminded there is such a long way to go for acceptance. I mentioned on Facebook (after posting a story about the limited acceptance of LGBTQ people in the “church”) that if it were up to one of the pastors in town, I would not be allowed to enter the building in which he preaches. The clip I have posted here alludes to my point. I had to edit some parts of the sermon, as they were rambly; bigly. The whole thing is also twenty-eight minutes long. (Reference to 1 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.c]”>[c] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

(3)

There was a rebuttal the next week, but in allness, the damage was already done. When this was preached 12 October 2014, I was still grasping at what I was all about. I came out as bisexual the day of the shootings in Orlando, one year and eight months after this speech was given. I was fuming. My heart ached with the realisation the kids and adults who are silently identifying as lesbian, or gay, or bisexual, or transgender, or questioning, would not be welcomed in this place. They are to be turned away for the sake of the “church”. Do they turn away those who have been divorced? Do they turn away those who watch pornography? According to the sermon by this pastor, the church should be empty.

Maybe I am still looking for a reason for God? Then again, I will still find the same thing. People like me are not welcome here. I have found an ally; however, she is in a difficult place as well. We cannot talk to each other about our situations over a cup of coffee at the café. She says people here are scared. Scared of what? I know most of the people in Waldheim are not scared of Halloween, but they have an annoying habit of starting their candy hunt at three bloody thirty in the afternoon.

I am wailing over the same thing, and I am guessing you are getting tired of it. Lately, everything I read, see and listen to reminds me of the element I am missing. God is still here, only I need to look again.The other side of my brain says “no, Wendy, it is a creation by humans in order to explain the unexplainable.” You should be in the same room when I have this “discussion”, it is rather sad. I accept others and their beliefs in a deity, as my husband is a believer. There are progressive churches in Saskatoon and Regina, I know there are. Mennonite Central – the Saskatchewan version – is not quite ready. There was a gay couple married in the Osler Mennonite Church, so there is a hope, there is a light. I don’t want to say this, but Waldheim needs a good ol’ Enlightenment.

I will get right on that after I get my crafting table put together. I am tired and the town is tired. Mind you, it may be worth having another conversation with those who make the deals with God.

By the way Halloweeners, we don’t get home until 6.00pm, and don’t bother to sit on the front step when we get home; there will be nothing here for you.

 

(1) Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church, 12 Jun. 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
(2) Campo-Flores, Arian. “Friends, Family Gather to Mourn Orlando Shooting Victims.” WSJ. Wsj.com, 19 June 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
(3) “How to Deal with Problems” Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church. 12 Oct. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.

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Listen again: 6 September 2016

'London's premier LGBT radio show' - Diva

threadsMatt Williams speaks over the phone to poet and comedian Jackie Hagan ahead of her appearance at Queer’Say at Rich Mix on 9 September. Jackie lost her leg a couple of years ago and tours an award-winning solo show featuring her stump dressed as various celebrities.

Matt also reviews Theo & Hugo, winner of this year’s Teddy Award at Berlin’s International Film Festival.

Nathan Evans talks about his poetry collection Threads, which he presents at Gay’s the Word on 22 September and is published by Inkandescent. He also tells us what it was like being part of BBC 4’s All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge with the London Gay Symphonic Orchestra. The LGSO can be heard live again on 16 October 2016 at St Sepulchre Without Newgate. The concert includes Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes – parts of the piece also feature in Britten in Brooklyn, which runs at Wilton’s Music Hall…

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Musicating, Part Two

Here is my latest Classical music mix. Take a listen!

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Progressive Rubber Boots and Stufficating

Here is my latest vlog post. Oy, this is getting more weirder every time!

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