Sunday, February 29, 2004

Spring Cleaning

(Leap Day)

Well, of one picture at least. I have two good pics of me taken at Conference last summer. But I am wearing an ExWitch t-shirt in one of them, so I haven't been able to use the picture lately. IPhoto proved useless for remedying the problem. Finally, Brad was over here a couple weeks ago and we figured out how to use ClarisWorks to edit the photo. I was finally able to do that this morning. So I now have a picture of me wearing that shirt that no longer has the EW logo on it. You can't even tell it was edited without looking pretty closely. :) I wish forgiveness were so easy to do.

Friday, February 27, 2004

The Passion of the Christ


I really can't say anything else. WOW! That was truly an epic movie, as good as the Lord of the Rings movies (that's saying something!), though in a totally different way of course. Very graphic and bloody, but I suspect the real event was that way too. There is some artistic liberty, but it doesn't really take away from the message of the film. The matinee here was nearly empty - there are advantages to having Fridays off - but the night shows were sold out. I met a woman on the bus who was headed to Union City with her son because it was sold out.

It starts in the Garden of Gethsemane, and goes through His body being taken down from the cross. Then it fades out and there is a brief ressurection scene. I was greatful to see that. It completes the story.

James Caviezel is masterful in his performance of Jesus. The film is in Aramiac with subtitles, but so much takes places with image and music, so the actors' performance is paramount. The words take a back seat to that. It brought Jesus' sufferings to life. It brought the Bible to life.


See it! See it! See it!

And bring the tissues. I cried. To see the final hours of Jesus' life so close to the way it really

I do not understand love like Yours, Jesus. Thank You for becoming human, that You can truly understand us creatures. Thank You for Christmas and Easter and everything in between. Thank You for dying the death I deserved. Too see that today, in all its horror, really brings the whole thing home. Thank You, Lord.

official site

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Ashes to Ashes

Ash Wednesday

Short on time this morning, but it is Ash Wednesday and I am running off to church. I'm not giving anything up because God asks for the same thing every year - all of me. While I have been wearing a lot of black, today I did so on purpose. Ash Wednesday is about sorrow and repentance - we acknowledge that our sins put Jesus on the cross.

Mel Gibson's new movie, The Passion of the Christ, opens today. I'll be seeing it Friday. It's Rated R and from what I hear, quite gory.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Let's see. I'm been so busy editing my blog, I've fallen way behind on entries.

Last week on Wednesday I joined Curves, the fitness centers for women. I entered a drawing, and though I didn't win, they called everyone who had entered. So my initial intake interview was in the Laurel District, but I decided to join the one at Fruitvale because they are much easier for me to get to. Thursday was my first workout, and Monday of this week was my second. I am planning to go later today to my third. I like it. Now I just hope I can stick with it. Because the location is new I got $100 off on the registration, so it was $49 to register and $39 for the first month.

More updates later when I have time and inclination.

Saturday, February 21, 2004


Well, I am finally getting my blog back up. I have taken out just about every reference to ExWitch that could. There are still a few - some couldn't be avoided - but almost every reference to my casting away has been taken out. I still have the originals saved - it is a record of what happened to me and I have no reason to be ashamed. But God told me to take them out of public view and so I had to do what He said. He said vengeance is His and He will repay (or not), and I have to abide by that. I have done everything He said to, and the last thing - forgive - can only be done through prayer. All the work from here on out will be prayer work. I must learn to forgive, and, as the sermon was about today, love, even if those persons are my enemies. Oh God, please give me the mind of Christ because I cannot do these things in my own strength.

The short version...I was kicked out of EW both as a mod and a member on New Year's Day. Even though I repented of my sin, they did not consider me ready to come back, even just as a regular member. In my opinion, their treatment of me was poor, and if my church hadn't shown me mercy and grace I might have gone back to the goddess. She was sure gunning for me for 5 weeks and her voice was suductive. I finally got tired of her game, and, in a final attempt to remain Christian, prayed that God would protect me from her. Finally, God smacked her down the following week, on February 8, at City Church.

That week I also furfilled what He said to do - apologize for my part. Now I can walk away free. God also told me to massively edit the blog. The first edit wasn't enough for Him, so this is my second attempt and I trust it will be enough.

It was a mess, but thankfully it's over, and God has indeed opened a window in Cern's forum and Phil's listserve, Circle and Cross Talk. I think I am supposed to still be doing this kind of ministry. Sure the two new places aren't the same, but they are somewhat similar. I have to deal with M's presence at both places, but I pretend he isn't there. It's the best I can do.

Some lines from my poem "Soft Butterfly" come back to me:

Teach me to forgive,
As I have been forgiven,
For darkness has fluttered down,
Landing soft on my shoulders.

This is much like the song that played during the credits of The Fellowship of the Ring. This is the chorus:

Mornie utúlië (darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantië (darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now

I don't know if all the accent marks will show up right.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

When Life is Soft Around the Edges

I have so much to say, I scarcely know where to start. All I can say is never underestimate the power of God.

K and I have been e-mailing back and forth the last several days in order to get the remaining articles on her site down. The exchange has only served to stir the hurt feelings that are still there. Church yesterday helped, but only a little.

This morning (Sunday) I got out of bed and somehow got dressed and on my way to City Church in San Francisco. I saw Janice, but she says she is now attending the early service, which I can't go to. Getting myself there between 11 and 11:30 is hard enough. 9:45 is nigh impossible. It's 90 minutes to the church by public transit, never mind how early I'd have to get up. Besides, from the second service I can leave directly for work; the timing is just better. I bet Carol is also attending the early service. So I will no longer see the only two people I know there. :(

However, I don't go to City Church for the fellowship. My home church fills that need. City gives me other things - upbeat music, good sermons, and communion nearly every week.

The service has changed a bit to add a bit more liturgy before the communion. It reminds me of the Episcopal church and so is quite welcome. They have also changed to "Guidelines for Reception of Communion", adding some things and changing the wording a bit. One of the additions hit me hard. Here are the guidelines, with the "ouch" part emphasized:

Communion, also called The Lord's Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation which proclaims the gospel, who are at peace with God and with their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ. If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer using the prayers provided below as guidelines. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with His people, the church.

Reading that hurt. I had read it before the service and thought about it throughout. I did take communion. I sense grace in it, and that is something I am thirsty for. But God had coalesced what He has been trying to say to me: I need to make peace with K and co. by apologizing in an e-mail without "buts" or accusations.

This doesn't mean I can work with them, that I've managed to forgive them or anything else. It just means that this is what God wants me to do. I've been sensing a tug from the Holy Spirit lately, and this is just a BIG sign saying that I need to say I'm sorry, ask forgiveness, and move on.

I nearly cried during communion. I sit in the front of the church and am therefore one of the first people to get the elements. I sat in my chair while everyone else went forward and was simply overcome. I have screwed up in so many ways the last 5 weeks, and the last 5 months. I gave up a sin and received forgiveness, then went back to it and now must receive forgiveness again. I have been mean and nasty to fellow Christians and spoken things that, while maybe being true, have not been Christlike.

And yet...He calls me to the table to receive grace and forgiveness and restoration with Him. It cost Him everything, but He loves me that much.

After the service was over, I descended on the pastor. Pastor Harrell is a wonderful person who works very hard for his church. He commands respect, and yet is approachable. I told him how much that one line in the Guidelines effected me, and gave an EXTREMELY brief overview that I had been kicked out of the ministry I had worked with. I had messed up, harsh words were spoken on all sides...just the basic basics.

And he offered to pray for me. I don't even remember what all he said, but the offer of prayer for me right then and there really touched me. He put his hand on my shoulder, and I remember him asking God to give me the words and phrases to say, and asking for eventual reconciliation. Until he mentioned that, it never really occurred to me that that might happen.

So I left church with a sense of life being soft around the edges. The problems are all still there, and I am the same person that somehow dragged herself out of bed this morning, but church helps more than I can say. Never underestimate the power of God.

I thought about the apology I'll need to make all the way to work. I kept circling back to one word, what will be required to be gotten rid of to do this apology the way God wants: PRIDE. He wants me to go against all my natural instincts, and say what needs to be said, even though it will make them feel good and happy and me feel horrible.

I got to work and I had a few minutes before I started, so I opened up my Bible and my devotional so everything will be all ready when I read the Bible and pray on my way home. The title of the devotional was innocuous enough: "Hearts Lifted Up." Then my eyes fell on the little pithy sentence at the end of the reading that sums up the lesson: "You won't get indigestion by swallowing your pride." *SMACK* Hit again by God's "clue by four"!

So that's where I am. I am NOT saying that I'll be back at EW anytime soon, or ever. I'm NOT saying they are 100% right and I'm 100% wrong. I'm not saying anything about them. God will deal with them; I just need to learn to let go and hand it over. I need to say I'm sorry for MY part in the mess, irregardless of what THEY do. THAT is God's way. Too many times I have tried to do the Holy Spirit's job for Him, by telling them where they have failed. I need to leave them to Him, and move on.

I wanted to add one other thing, and that is that K is right about the blog. I don't know what I'm going to do exactly yet, but I will need to do something to take the EW entries out of public view. What form that will take I don't know yet, but it seems God is saying to me to not talk about them as I have, even if it's true. Truthfulness isn't the issue; Christlikeness is.

I don't know yet what all of this means. I'm still basking in the glow as I type this and don't know how I will feel tomorrow or the next day or the next as reality comes crashing back in. I just need to hold onto what God taught me today, and let it permeate my life.