Monday 19 March 2012

My heroine - Inez Milholland

Inez Milholland is one of my inspirations, she is considered the first female martyr of the Women's Movement. She was beautiful and came from a privileged background but she gave everything for the sake of human rights for others and especially women. This is her at the Woman's Suffrage Parade - marching for the vote!

How are we free?

Are we free? Are we equals?
I am tired of hearing so-called religious people condemn the idea of freedom and equality. How are we free? The question deepens – how as women, are we free?
The reality of rape is our continual reality in this place we call home. And when I think about it, it sickens me. The fact that God made me a woman and gave me dominion over my own body and then somebody comes and takes that away. By force. Against the desire of the person being raped. Who gives someone else that right! No one. We are taught about the sanctity of intimacy and the sanctity of our womanhood and yet here someone filled with evil destroys something sacred, someone cherished, something that belongs to you or me. Does that make us free?
And then we scream from our pulpits our women are inferior and men superior. Theologians (and I have heard them with my own ears!) simply state again – that a woman’s body belongs to a man – her husband and that she needs to submit to him in all ways including sexually. That is her duty. So where then are we left? Where is a woman left? Where is her voice? Where are her needs or wants or desires? Where is her will? Where is she? It sickens me.
I met a woman who was sexually abused within her marriage for many years, when she approached the church they told her that within marriage there is no such thing as sexual abuse – because a woman must submit to a man! I do not know how these people understand God but it is not the same God that I know – that tells me I have freedom, I have freedom over my own body, over my own choices, over my life. With that freedom, the reality of responsibility but the responsibility should be mine and not someone else’s.
I grow weary of people sending out contradictory messages – we need to start opening up those closed eyes and realize that we are who we are. Accept it and do not hate the sister who speaks up for equality it is because of her voice that one day someone may reach out to you. We need to embrace one another as equals and not as inferior, as co-rulers and not as masters and subjects.

Thursday 1 March 2012

Encourage The Heart - Facing The Giants Death Crawl

Loss and grief

Isaiah 53:3 (He was) despised and rejected by men, a man of pains and knowing sickness.

There are different kinds of losses in the world today, there are Tangible losses - the death of a life partner, the loss of a limb, a stolen car, a house destroyed by a fire or natural disaster. Then there are symbolic losses, the loss of a job, the loss of a friendship, self esteem. There are also secondary losses, the loss of a mother or father, mentor, teacher, coach, a woman who has a mastectomy may feel like she has lost her sense of being a woman. Loss is complicated and it is complex and no one bears it exactly the same, because we are all different and that is perfectly fine.

I have come to learn through Gods wisdom that for some time, I have lost some people, some friendships and some realities that others take for granted. I did not realize my own grief at losing a close friend at her own choice, and then other realities; coupled with the death of a spiritual mom who will always be missed.
I lost the ability to buy food because I could not find a job, I lost my sense of being worthy and I lost the essence of being alive. It is okay. God was my biggest part of the journey - as I look over all these realities, I see now with deeper clarity how much I have changed through it all. My understanding and acceptance of people has grown, my willingness to be alongside those who suffer without fear of saying the wrong thing - has abated. And I have greater compassion - all because God was in it with me.

I often listen to people around me and cringe at their lack of sensitivity and plight of others. I cannot understand this. And I do not believe I needed to grieve in order to understand this. 10 years ago when I was first saved God told me - I am going to take out your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh - then begun the "transplant" process. As God gave me my heart transplant I begun to feel the pain of others and the sufferings of the world - so much so that I remember asking God many years ago to end it all! I felt powerless among the suffering, God allowed me to feel intense suffering and to see intense suffering, of the earth, the animals, of nature, creation and then mankind. I cannot relate this without crying, that was 10 years ago. I never cried, not even more then 5 times; before I was saved. God changed me, it was not within me but within Him.

As my vision grows clearer, I know that because God was in my suffering - I have changed.
And I am not writing this from a place of comfort and relief - in fact I am writing this from within a place of suffering, a place that has made no sense but I am here and God is with me and I with Him.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Hartley Coleridge......

Is love a fancy, or a feeling? No.
It is immortal as immaculate Truth,
'Tis not a blossom shed as soon as youth,
Drops from the stem of life--for it will grow,
In barren regions, where no waters flow,
Nor rays of promise cheats the pensive gloom.
A darkling fire, faint hovering o'er a tomb,
That but itself and darkness nought doth show,
It is my love's being yet it cannot die,
Nor will it change, though all be changed beside;
Though fairest beauty be no longer fair,
Though vows be false, and faith itself deny,
Though sharp enjoyment be a suicide,
And hope a spectre in a ruin bare.

Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 - one of my favourites!

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Thursday 12 January 2012

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
Albert Einstein 

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”
May Sarton 

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
Oscar Wilde

“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”
Marilyn Monroe 

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
Oscar Wilde

 “We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Anaïs Nin

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson 

“The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.”
Lily Tomlin

“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.”
Paulo Coelho

 “Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.”
Henry Miller

Thursday 5 January 2012

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

I love the way some people have a unique way of seeing things, as though they are able to see the truth that is so apparent and simple, but others around them cannot see the same thing.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr, made some profound statements that are universally true and I guess a few years ago seemed crazy but today through experience we can see the validity in some of what he said. For me it is not about black or white it is about equality for ALL PEOPLE, no matter who they are. When we can start to see people for who they are and not for the colour of their skin, we can start to see reality and what lies within them still to be lived out. I hope we will get there, to the place where we see into each others souls; deep within and then the hurt that I have, will be recognised as the same hurt you have - no matter how we look - and then we have something that connects us and we can help one another. I also pray that we will get to a day where we will also be able to see each other not through our genders but through our callings. In this way I relate to Dr King and I have the greatest respect for his vision. I add some of his quotes here that are most valuable and challenging to me, in terms of gender and race. I hope we live to see the day where all is erased. 

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. 

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' 
Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.
Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.


Monday 2 January 2012

My fav C.S Lewis quotes

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

We are what we believe we are.

What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.

There is, hidden or flaunted, a sword between the sexes till an entire marriage reconciles them.

 It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.

Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

 Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.

If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.