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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Man Made Hell=Man Made Fear Part 3

 
continued...
The Blue Hair Church was the next church I attended. This is what my father referred to as a “bible banging” church. It was here where I first encountered all of these people who seemed to speak “Bible Lingo.” I found myself among this group, who at first seemed very friendly, sending sympathetic looks my way, as I had not learned their language. I was a Bible Lingo illiterate…you know those phrases like “If thou dost not” and “what has thou done?” followed very quickly by Isaiah this or second Timothy that. I, of course didn’t know who the first Timothy was let alone all of the others. And here I stood among tiny children skipping past me repeating verses upon verses as if they were singing Mary had a little lamb.
The Blue Haired Church encouraged their people to be in the church constantly… doing all kinds of good deeds and memorizing the book of rules. All this activity kept me away from my family and friends and it seemed that a new family replaced them. They were always talking about the pitfalls of displeasing God. It left me uncomfortable and anxious. A growing feeling that I wasn’t good enough was born—somehow, I was always a step behind and felt unworthy. I left this church the day I walked into their business meeting and overheard them discussing my husband, the father of my infant daughter. After a private tearful counseling session with my pastor, that I thought would be kept confidential, the congregation learned that my husband was having an affair with his secretary. I quietly walked into a church business meeting only to overhear The Blue Hairs discussing my marriage and how they needed to revoke my husband’s church membership. I quietly slipped out the door and into my divorce lawyer’s office.
Many years later, still not very trustful of any church, I felt an urging to teach my children about God and began attending the Q-Tip Church. Most looked like they had heads of white cotton swabs. They made weak attempts to include children with a 5-minute Greeting-of the-Children-Session. The preacher would ask the children if they had anything to say. My 3-year-old son’s hand always shot up as I slithered down in my seat, cringing, as he would recall something I said or did. The congregation counted him a favorite storyteller as he would stand and speak loudly… “Yesterday, when my mom was fighting with my sister I saw a bunny hop up on our porch.”
This experience didn’t last very long. The people believed children should be seen and not heard and as I looked around I realized there were more funerals then baby baptisms and so I took it as a sign to exit.
The Napoleon Church was an experience that still seems surreal to me. It was led by a guy who sought after fame while pretending to seek after God. It was a little church that always wanted to be bigger. I spoke out about the inconsistencies I saw and was told several times that women were not supposed to speak. I asked to lead a teen’s music program as they were seeking leaders to volunteer. I was told that I could hold a leading position that was unseen like video editing, but NOT where the people could witness a woman leading. I was actually sent (they jetted me from coast to coast) to attend a mega church that looked more like a Disney theme park than a sanctuary. Their congregation amounted to 13,000 people. I was asked to study their artwork as a model for classrooms. The mega church had a gift shop filled with media all authored by their leader. Napoleon the Preacher looked around and said this is exactly what he wanted.
I said “What rows and rows of books with your photo on the cover? I thought that God was supposed to be the center of attention.”
I was a member of the Napoleon Church’s version of a Christian rock band often singing lead vocals. I organized a group concert at a local baseball stadium joining together with 9 other Christian bands from area churches. The admission would benefit a local rescue mission helping the homeless. I spent many hours organizing this event as it was the first of its kind in our area. Some of the members in my band could not afford the admission price and the baseball stadium was firm... no ticket, no entry…and I was the organizer of the event! Each band was given 10 free tickets. I had 13 members in our band. I went to have a meeting with Napoleon himself over this dilemma and this was his reply.
“Those free tickets need to cover myself and my 3 children, and other members of our staff.”
“So…let me get this straight," I said, “the band has to pay to perform in a concert I organized to help for the homeless?”
People had no food or shelter. I tried to do what I thought God had called me to do and I was confused knowing the people of the Napoleon Church were truly missing the point. As I addressed this with others I was immediately ostracized and I left this bad dream and moved on.
...conclusion in the next blog
Yes, I took a slight detour from my meditation experiences, but since most of this writing came through while meditating I wanted to bring it into the light:)
To learn how you can meditate without any CD's or guides please read Meditate for FREE

Monday, January 16, 2012

Man Made Hell=Man Made Fear Part 2

 
A comic strip from 1989 that reminded me that often man is behind all of the fear.
Continued ...
The Big Hats and White Gloves Church was a few blocks from our home. My father only ever went there for weddings and funerals. My mother seemed to approach it anxiously and sporadically and I always got the impression it made her unhappy. I went to this church until I was seventeen. My favorite part about going was the juice and pretzels. They had sugary red kool-aid that stained your lips and long pretzel logs loaded with salt. I don’t remember a lot of what they taught me. I know I fidgeted a lot and skipped through puddles on my way home with my mind racing ahead to a day of no more school. As I grew into my teens my mother scolded me about the dresses I wore since short skirts and wearing pants apparently angered God, and since it was his house there was that constant threat of smiting and being struck by lightening.
The Pot Luck Dinner Church was the first time I ventured away from the place my parents sent me. I was living in the 70’s. I had escaped my unhappiness with myself and my home life with some help from my friends – Pot, Grass and Weed. Some shady characters seemed to linger on the outskirts and I felt it was only a matter of time when I would get caught. I’m not sure what I thought was worse – facing my mom’s wrath or God’s…so I said goodbye to my hazy days of marijuana and decided to face my misery straight. My parent’s seemed to fight constantly and I didn’t see anything good in my life. I was unhappy with my looks, I was a very poor student and now I was facing the real world with clear yet tearful eyes. I actually began to think of ways to end my life. Looking back I realize now I was a troubled teen who needed some intervention. But, I didn’t trust adults and so I shared my thoughts of suicide with a friend. I told him exactly how I would do it. I was going to climb to the highest point in my city. That was the top of the high school bleachers. I would sit facing the athletic field on the top edge and then when I was ready I would just let myself fall backward. This would be over quickly and all my troubles would be over.
“Wait” he said, throwing a monkey wrench into my plans. “What if you fall and become paralyzed and you can never take care of yourself and your stuck home forever with your parents?”
Oh geez…this would truly be worse than death I thought.
“I have a plan,” he said. “I know some people who can help you. Just trust me and I will take you to meet them.”
All the way there we rode in silence. I was miserable and I thought he had found some special people who could help me. He pulled into the parking lot of the Pot Luck Dinner Church and I was not happy. He silenced me with a look and led me to a seat among people who seemed to be smiling too hard. Who knows, I thought, maybe they had some underground runaway teen program that would help get me away from my parents. I decided to sit up straight and find out what this guy in the black robe had to say. This guy was what my father referred to as a “fire and brimstone” preacher. I had heard this expression, but I had never seen it in action. He gave a message that revolved around our being unhappy with our earthly parents. My ears perked up. He told a story of how God created a man named Adam and that because Adam ate from the fruit that was forbidden he brought sin into the world. Now all of the offspring from that point on all were born with sin covering them and would all go straight to hell and burn forever. Yeah, yeah…more burning…this was not new to me. He went on to say that God left a clause in the deal…he would send his son… and if you accepted him as your heavenly father then you would get a free ticket into heaven. Well, this seemed way too simple. But I liked the part about forgetting about the earthly father and concentrating on the heavenly invisible one. And so that’s when I said my prayer. It was later during milk and cookie time when the guy in the robe informed me that I was now a shoe-in for heaven. I didn’t realize when I said that prayer that my life would change so drastically…but it did. To be continued...Part 3

Yes, I took a slight detour from my meditation experiences, but since most of this writing came through while meditating I wanted to bring it into the light:)
To learn how you can meditate without any CD's or guides please read Meditate for FREE.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Man Made Hell = Man Made Fear Part 1

 Man has lived with fear throughout the centuries. He has walked the earth and created more men and each new generation teaches their children to fear. Fear is powerful and can be used as a tool to make man heed the action of his authority over him. The following is an example of my own life. Of how fear kept me in constant alert of a retribution that would surely be in my future. When would this future come? Ah, that was the very nurturing and kindle that kept the flame of fear alive in me. No one knew when this would come – not my parents, nor my teachers and especially not the church leaders. But, if I did not follow certain rules I would find myself in a place where I would burn continually…forever…for infinity. This is a very long time to burn…and I was kept in the dark by the world in which I found myself following a wobbly truth that somehow if I believed the rules placed upon me by generations which came lived and died before me – I might be spared the eternal spit and the punishing flames of hell. 

A comic strip from 1989 that reminded me that often man is behind all of the fear.
I was born into a family who called themselves Christians. It had something to do with Christmas so it felt safe to my young mind. I was too small to think of adult questions like how come we are called Christians? How come all the neighbors go by this name and why aren’t there any Un-Christians on our block? I remember however asking simple questions like:
Q: Who made dogs? A: God
Q: How come I don’t have grandfathers like other kids? A: They went to go be with God.
Q: Who is God? A: He is who made everything you see.
Q: When do I get to meet him if he’s with my grandfathers? A: When you die.
Q: I have to die to meet him? A: Well, you can always talk to him.
Q: How? A: When you say your prayers.
But my prayers are the ones you taught me.
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take


Q: So when I talk to him in my prayers it’s always about dying?
A: Well, I don’t have all the answers about God – that’s why we go to church.
Me: But you and dad don’t go.
A: We used to go, but now it’s time for you to go and learn. That’s why it’s called Sunday School. You must go there every Sunday and be good and quiet and listen to all you hear so when you die you can go to heaven and see God.
Me: More dying? You’d think God could come to earth and visit me and keep me around on all of this splendor he created.
And so at the age of 5, I began my years of attending a school where they taught me all the rules of a man who wasn’t a man…who wasn’t a woman either…who made everything…and would send me to hell to burn forever unless I believed the book some other people wrote to keep all the rules in order. To be continued... Part 2
Yes, I took a slight detour from my meditation experiences, but since most of this writing came through while meditating I wanted to bring it into the light:)
To learn how you can meditate without any CD's or guides please read Meditate for FREE