2008/11/24

Take Heed of the Ants

I'd like to give a big shout out to my good friends the Forelius ants which reside in the forests of Brazil. The reason I am such a fan of the Forelius is that they truly know what it means to give one's life for their friends. Each night, when all the Forelius' have snuggled down into their ant beds, a few of the worker Forelius ants remain outside the camp. They seal the enterance to the beds thus ensuring that their friends are safe for the night. The downside of this act of heroism is that the workers are doomed to certian death themselves. This is the first known case of "pre-emptive self-sactifice" among insects.*

See, God really is everywhere. If all we had was nature I think we could figure out how God wants us to live. I wasn't there, of course, when God put the stars on their courses or made the little flowers. But, I'm guessing those things aren't just by chance, nor are they just some divine hobby. Everything is important. Everything matters.

So let science and religion kiss one another. We all have so much to learn.

*Smithsonian Magazine, December 2008

2008/11/15

Saying A Good Prayer

Shabbat Shalom blog friends.

I don't know about you but sometimes I wonder if my prayers are getting through. And, if they are, why would God who knows everything anyway -- including what I am going to say next -- even listen? God must be up in Heaven rubbing his ancient chin and saying, "Yeah, I knew you were going to say that..." How boring for him.

But, let me tell you a little story I heard about that:

One Shabbat eve Congregation Shalom Beit was having services, everyone was going along chanting the ancient prayers in preparation for a joyous Shabbos.

But Aaron, a boy about eight years old, was simply shouting out letters of the aleph-bet. "Aleph, Bet, Gimmel, Dallet, Lammed, Mem, Nun, Tet, Hey..." Aaron didn't know all the letters and he didn't seem to have them in any order. Some of the people around him tried to shush him because he was not actually praying.

Finally the rabbi came down off the bema and said, "Aaron, my son, what are you doing?"

"Well," said Aaron, I don't know the prayers, and I am not too sure about the aleph-bet. But, I thought I would just shout up the letters and let HaShem put them in the order He wants."

And, as beautiful and soothing to me as the old prayers are, I think Aaron had the most authentic prayer. I think that wanting to pray is the key. If we can get there, and not be too concerned about anything beyond offering ourselves, God will take care of the rest.

Have a blessed Shabbos, remember your oneg, and don't worry too much if you don't quite meet the expectations of others.

2008/11/09

Being Lifted Up

I know that most of you read the Psalms every month. For me, it's about every month and a half. I get behind, I stop to think about them, I forget, I get busy... you know the list of reasons.

But, yesterday I finished for the month -- that's last month -- and I stopped to see what stood out for me in the Psalms this month and it seems like something worth thinking about for awhile.

Of course, this has always been there. But, what I've been thinking about is the number of times the writers of the Psalms tell us that God lifts up those who are fallen. And, often a better translation is those who are doubled over.

Sometimes it does say how it is that people happen to be down, or doubled over. Sometimes they get knocked over by enemies, often they are trapped or fall into a pit. But, it seems like more often they are just down. The writer is not specific about how they got there and that makes me think that maybe it doesn't matter much.

I like to think that God will lift me up because I am on the side of justice and truth, like Captain America. Or, that since I've endured humiliation with such grace God will surly want to lift me up. You know, I feel that I deserve to be lifted up. By the grace of God, of course.

But, maybe it's not like that. Maybe it's just the nature of God to lift up those who are down. I am starting to think that it doesn't even matter how they got there. It is even possible that God would lift up some people who don't particularly deserve it. And that is very good news for me, and probably for you too.

So, if you're down, don't worry;
You're sure to be lifted up.

If your enemies came along and knocked you over,
Or, worse, if it was a friend,
Don't worry. You're sure to be lifted up.

If you're bent over with worries or wracked with pain,
if circumstances conspire to keep you down,
Don't worry. You're sure to be lifted up.

If you've been exiled and rejected,
and even if your friends turn on you,
Don't worry. You're sure to be lifted up.

If you're fat and ugly, and people don't like you,
Get a dog and don't worry. You too are sure to be lifted up.

2008/11/05

I'm Mad At My Brother

My brother called me a fat lesbian on Sunday night. And, since it's true, I am not sure I should be all that offended. But, it was unexpected and it hurt me. Hurt my feelings. I didn't let him see me cry though. He shouldn't say stuff like that to me. Probably someone else could have gotten away with it. I might even have laughed if someone else had said it. But, sometimes I think that's all my brother knows about me. There is more to me than that, isn't there? I don't know... maybe that's all I am, just a big fat dopy lesbian. That's how I'm feeling.

I might read over my resume later. That always cheers me up. I may be an underachiever in my personal life, but get me to the office and see me shine.

I have an old prescription of Paxil which I stopped taking because of the fatigue. But, now I'm just giving myself a half dose to see if it will cheer me up a little and not tire me out so. I hate being tired. On the plus side, my insomnia is cured.

I feel badly about the Prop 8 thing. But, it doesn't really affect me. I feel badly for others, for their effort, and for how it must feel for them. We are all diminished by something like that. But, for me, it's all the same here in Texas. We don't have to worry about setbacks since there's never been any forward movement.

It's the thing with my brother that has me in such a funk. I think that most people around here... that's all they know about me. Oh, to be sure, they like me anyway. Love the sinner and all that. I am not feeling very good about things tonight.

Not good at all.

California Votes Yes on Hate... A Pictorial Tour

I thought you all might enjoy a little pictorial tour of HateLand. If our pal Fran were posting this it would be tagged "Jesus I'm sick of these people." I'm just blowing off steam with this one. I love my straight friends. I do. But, just to be honest, some of them I just want to walk up to and say, "What the fuck are you thinking about?" Not any of you guys. But, see below... you'll see what I mean.



This pretty heterosexual couple is feeling relieved and happy now that their marriage is secure.



These big strong straight men have succeeded in protecting their godly christian families from the clear and present danger of homosexuals.



This happy heterosexual couple dances for joy. Now that the homosexuals have been defeated they can look forward to many years of feeling superior to their lesbian neighbors.



Finally, these heterosexual couples are able to embrace one another in the sure knowledge that they really are superior to homosexuals, witches, and other evil doers.



These happy heterosexuals are saying a prayer to jesus to thank him for their heterosexuality and to give him thanks and praise that they are not like their nasty queer neighbors.



This dear lady is especially thankful. "Oh, thank you dear sweet lard geasus, thank you for my va-j-j and thank you for making me a woman of god." Because, as everyone knows, lesbians are not real women, and certainly not women of God. The other woman is wearing a cross pendant to show that she really does love jesus quite a lot.

Here ends the tour. All photos are nicked from the Orange County Register. They have a slidshow and everything. You'll be able to see that I took liberties with the photos. Some of these people are NO supporters, and Obama-types. But, they served a higher purpose here.