Saturday, August 30, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14 KJV).
I was in
And I was there, for 5 of those nights and 5 of those days, when evil descended upon the Hill of Mexico. I sat there and watched as the principalities, the powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and the spiritual wickedness in high places took over
The AIDS 2008 was supposed to provide opportunities for the presentation of important new scientific research and for productive, structured dialogue on the major challenges facing the global response to AIDS. I was looking forward to attending a wide variety of session types that would enhance my understanding of the disease. Instead I was confronted with the basest of the ugliness of hearts of men who have gone berserk.
It’s over a week since I got back, yet the stench of the corruption still stings as I write this. It was such a putrefying sight. Word fails me in describing what I saw and heard in
The meeting was well underway by the time I got there. Like a blast of scalding steam blown into the face, I was welcomed to the meeting with a program booklet and a sachet of condoms. That was the first inkling that I was in for a ride of my life.
Why in the world would I need a sachet of condom at a scientific meeting? The answer would come soon enough.
You hear a lot about Harm Reduction in the field of HIV-AIDS these days. It is the prevalent thinking among most of the so-called experts. As a universal theme, it thread across the different talks and presentations given at the AIDS 2008 meeting.
In very recent past behavioral change was the gold-standard of HIV-AIDS Prevention efforts. It was packaged and pushed by all stakeholders. But now behavioral change has been jettisoned for reduction of harm.
The prostitutes – oops- sex workers for instance no longer want to be discouraged from selling their bodies for money. They instead are demanding full recognition of their “profession”. And they were given the platform at the meeting to spew their venomous ideas.
Take for instance the talk given by one Ms E.R., a prostitute from Argentina. Ms E.R., of the Argentina Association of Female Sex workers, issued a “stirring” call for the full recognition of sex workers’ rights and for the ability of sex worker organizations to develop and implement effective HIV/AIDS programs rooted in the realities of their lives. E.R. stated that evidence shows HIV prevalence has been lowered in regions such as
“We don’t want to cook. We don’t want to knit. We don’t want to bake. All we want to do is have sex!!!!”
I was dumbstruck to say the least. I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. But they were not done with me yet. Another session was dedicated to men who have sex with men (MSM).
The speaker at that session is another one of those experts in the field. Here was how they introduced him - well “her” really.
“…..a man of principal (sic) and actions, Dr. J.S. is a physician and a public health specialist. Dr. J.S. founded the first ambulatory HIV clinic in
Dr J.S. began his/her presentation this way:
“…….First let me start with a few definitions. MSM is a construct which tries to capture behavior in that tight entity. Sexual orientation includes homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual. MSM is a category that includes gay and non-gay identified men, bisexual situational sex between men, prisons, schools, militaries, male sex workers and some trans-gender persons. MSM includes a wide variety of traditional and local terms worldwide….”
From here the guy/gal went on and on and finally concluded with the following statements:
“……And, finally, yes, I am married, so I would like to thank my husband for his patience during all these weeks previous to the conference.”
The listening audience broke into wild applause. Yes they clapped for him and he seemed to love it. So he continued.
“Yes, I said husband. I did not make any language mistake. We got married where it is legal, almost four years ago. And of course, condoms and testing are part of our lives. Thank you very much.”
Now you know how that left me. Hollow and drained.
And then there was the global village. It was more like a global cesspool if you ask me. This was where participants from various countries and organizations displayed and showcased the activities and programs in which they are engaged. Like the leaves of the mustard tree where the birds of the air came and gathered, the global village was the focal point of evil. It was such a scary place. On display were the wares of MSMs, Transgenders, Drug Addicts, Pimps and Prostitutes.
They were all over the place with their haughty hearts. They walked with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes - walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet.
And what did I do about all of these? Nada…Nothing!!!
In my heart I asked,
“Where was the body of Christ when children of men sank into this perdition? Where was I? Where were you?”
At church, perhaps.
While we are busy with our countless church activities, the world slips further and further into damnation. In the midst of our arguments over the length of the beards of Aaron, hapless souls are heading straight to eternal damnation. While we are intellectually engaged in the deconstruction of the Holy Scriptures, the souls of men and women are bound for everlasting destruction.
Oh yes as we collect the tithes and offerings and build gorgeous edifices of worship, the edifices of salvation for the souls of men crumble all around us. As we obey our denominations’ bylaws and follow the meaningless sacraments, mindless ordinances, and man-made doctrines that our various parishes promote and practice, men, women, and children fall into Hades.
Alas brethren, we’ve got to stand up and fight the good fight of faith. It’s not enough to go to church, say our prayers, or read the scriptures. We’ve got to confront evil squarely.
We are light; we need to shine. We are a city on a hill; we’ve got to be seen. We are His voice; we must be heard.
People, we’ve got to,
“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, in order to harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12).
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5 KJV).
Sunday, August 3, 2008
"In promulgating your esoteric cogitations or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable, philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity. Let your conversational communications demonstrate a clarified conciseness, a compact comprehensibleness, no coalescent conglomerations of precious garrulity, jejune bafflement and asinine affectations. Let your extemporaneous verbal evaporations and expatriations have lucidity, intelligibility and veracious vivacity without rodomontade or Thespian bombast. Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous propensity, psittaceous vacuity, ventriloquial verbosity and vaniloquent vapidity. Shun double-entendres, obnoxious jocosity and pestiferous profanity, observable or apparent."
I love words.
Beautifully crafted and eloquently uttered words get me all juiced up.
As a 10 year old, my older cousin, who was then in college, made me memorized the above quote. I would recite it to him, like a chant, over and over again. He was teaching me how to impress the ladies. According to him, the best way to win a girl's heart, especially if you have a dough devoid wallet, is to have your vocabulary wallet all packed with big sounding words.
Hearing some of us preach the message of salvation, I'm reminded of my cousin.......enticing the sinner with our empty rhetorics.
Our extemporaneous verbal evaporations and expatriations lack lucidity, intelligibility and veracious vivacity and is thick with rodomontade and is bombastically Thespian.
Here is Paul to the Corinthians:
"When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit." (1 Corinthians 2:1 and 4)
In this day and age of heavy commercialization and showbiz, the very essence of the Gospel is lost in the midst of banal, trite, and stale remarks which are oppressively and unpleasantly dull and lifeless......platitudinous ponderosity.....lacking nothing but the most important thing, the demonstration of the awesome power of God.
Lost in the shuffle is the real meaning of Christianity, which is, purely and simply, LOVE. The crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord and Savior is reduced to mere church membership, church programs, and the ceaseless gyrations of religious exercises.
When Nicodemus came that night, Jesus told him very simply:
"Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
How did Jesus heal the blind guy by the Pool at Siloam? He spat on the ground, made mud of the spittle, applied it to the guy's eyes and told him to, "Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam."
The woman with the issue of blood simply touched the helm of His garment. And the man full of leprosy that asked him, "If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." He reached out His hand and touched him saying, "I will be thou clean." The leprosy left him immediately.
He gave no long sermons and had no need to "get the congregation in the spirit", with beautiful songs and slow playing piano, when He healed the man with palsy, let down through the rooftop. He saw their faith and told the man, "Man thy sins are forgiven thee."
And to dead Lazarus, He said, "Lazarus come forth."
No fanfare. No dramatization for full effects. No speaking of tongues, and no long prayers.
Lofty words and useless sacraments won't get us any closer to God. Love without dissimulation, is all He requires of us all.
Friday, August 1, 2008
People forgive in a variety of ways, from efforts that seem like two steps forward and one step back or all at once. How do you salvage the family and restore trust when issues of wrong doing, abuse, kidnapping, alcoholism, and so on have occurred?
Fuels for family feuds occur when there has been a violation of justice or fairness. Fairness of the give-and-take balance in relationships develops trust between people. Trustworthiness builds assurances that ones' needs will be met without manipulation or threats of retaliation. Hurts in families can last for years and even be passed on down through generations cutting both wide and deep. Perhaps you too are familiar with the "I haven't talked to my sister since I left home at 18." "No one invites Uncle Joe after he ran Dad's business into the ground 23 years ago."
Murray Bowen, M.D. coined the term "multi-generational transmission process" to describe how families pass on legacies from one generation to another. This famous saying describes the same idea: "The sins of the father are visited upon his sons." (Of course we know legacies are passed on down to daughters and from mothers too.) Individuals and families have been wounded by past events that range from mild to severe. Family members lack trust and feel a destructive sense of entitlement ("You owe me!"). " Not until she apologizes will I consider forgiving her." "Not until he admits what he did will I be OK, again." Feelings of both guilt and blame are clues to the need for forgiveness work.
One can either Exonerate or Forgive:
Exonerating work doesn't require contact with the family member (s). Three aspects of exonerating are:
1. The damaged person seeks to lift the load off of the longterm pain.
2. To do this the person needs to first identify what they must do to protect themselves from further hurt by this person. Also, they need to expand their understanding of the circumstances of the victimizer (their limitations, intent, personal and family history). Deeper understanding and possibly empathy of what their life was like at the time of the offense will be gained.
3. Exonerating a victimizer enables the victim to stop the damage from continuing to affect their lives so much. This frees up the victim to deal with healing some of the accumulated guilt and shame. It does not require further involvement between the victim and victimizer.
Forgiveness work involves resolving a relationship after damage has occurred and restoring the mutual respect balance. This involves some risk as the person can be hurt again. Forgiveness work involves setting realistic goals and making plans to build and test trustworthiness. The overt act of forgiving involves the victim allowing the victimizer to directly address the past damage and hurt. They accomplish the work of forgiveness through:
Past hurts and old wounds can restrict one's life in numerous ways. Exonerating can help free family members up from unnecessary burdens of past baggage. Forgiveness work can help families get fresh starts building trust with a balance.
Find Article here: http://www.allprodad.com/playbook/viewarticle.php?art=342