Facebook likes are driving me bonkers

I really have only one issue most of the time with Facebook, and it’s not from a recent change. Still, it grows more and more annoying and as far as I can tell, there’s no way to turn it off.

It is the issue of Facebook sharing my “likes.” When I write a post, I expect it to go out over the net, to be shared with anyone. I have no problem with that.

But I have varied reasons to like someone’s post, and quite often, the posts I want to like are not things I would reshare, often because of the name of the original posting page and because several youths see the items I share.

Facebook has given me the ability to completely edit who has the ability to see my posts, from no one to everyone in the world, to any arrangement in between that I want to make. My posts I can control, even after I’ve made them. My likes, however, outside of the choice of whether to like a post or not, I have no other control over. Even just a flat “share all my likes” or “don’t share any of my likes” would be better than having no say in it at all outside of never liking a post.

Come on, light my fire

I love the stories of Elijah. He had to have been a character. His personality comes through even now.

Ahab had been killing all of God’s prophets and bringing in his own, who worshiped Baal. But there was one prophet that was really a troublemaker for him, and that was Elijah.

Every time Ahab thought he had him, Elijah would disappear. And then, Elijah appeared with a challenge for the people of Israel.

Elijah told the king to bring all 450 of Baal’s prophets and all 400 of Asherah’s and the people of Israel and meet him on Mt. Carmel.

The people of Israel weren’t sure who to serve. Sometimes they figured the king and his wife, Jezebel had it right, or at the least, they figured that was the safer options since Jezebel was a rather violent queen.

But many wanted to believe that the God they had heard of as little children was still Lord over Israel. But it takes faith to be willing to risk your life for your beliefs, and most didn’t have much faith – even if God was real, and they weren’t saying that He was, at least not where anyone could hear, but even if He was, He wasn’t showing up to help them, they were stuck with Ahab and Jezzy. And so they’d go back and forth, waivering unsteadily, never getting anywhere.

And that’s what Elijah told them when they gathered on Mount Carmel. “How long will you go back and forth, never committing to either choice? If God is real, choose Him. If the gods of Ahab are real, then by all means, choose them.”

But the people didn’t answer. They were as much sheeple as anyone who is ever called that today. So Elijah said, “Alrighty then, let’s have a test. I’m the only prophet of God left. But there are 450 prophets for Baal. So, bring two bulls, and Baal’s prophets can have first choice, take a bull, cut it into pieces, lay it on top of this dry wood, and do everything to create an offering to Baal except set it on fire. You pick – the best bull, the best wood, and get everything ready. I’ll take the other bull and the other pile of wood. Once it’s all ready, we’ll see whose God will light the fire.”

Well, there were 450 prophets of Baal, so that seemed like an easy task. They choose the best bull, they laid him out on the wood, they did whatever they needed to go to get a fire started, everything but light it. And then, 450 prophets started calling out to Baal, crying for him to start the fire. The sun rose higher, and I suspect that as the sun went up, their cries grew louder. At first, they probably thought this would be easy. I suspect each one knew that he didn’t really believe the he as an individual could convince Baal to do it, but there were 450 of them, so either Baal would be moved by the group crying out, or perhaps there were one or two favorites in the group and he’d do it for them. So they cried, and they shouted, and the sun rose higher and higher.
At noon, Elijah started to taunt them. “You’re not shouting loud enough. Perhaps he’s asleep. Or maybe he went for a trip and forgot to tell you that he’d gone. He’s a god though, so maybe if you shout loud enough, he can hear you.” And they shouted even more, and cut themselves with their swords and spears until their blood flowed, but they never got an answer.

Finally, Elijah turned to the people of Israel who were watching. “Come to me,” he said, and they came. He repaired the altar to the Lord that had been built there before and torn down. Then he took 12 stones, for the 12 tribes of Israel, and with the stones he built a new altar to the Lord of Israel. Then he dug a trench around the altar.

Finally, he arranged the wood on the stone altar, cut up the bull and put it on the wood, and then turned to the people who were watching. “Bring four large jars of water and pour it on the offering and wood.”

Three times he had them bring the jars full of water and pour it on the offering. They poured so much water that it ran off the alter and filled the pit that he’d dug. And then, finally, he stepped forward and prayed.

“Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let these people see You move today so that they know You are God. Let it be known that You are God here in Israel, and I am Your servant, and I’ve done these things because You commanded me to. Answer me, Lord, so that these people will know that they know that they know that You are God and turn their hearts back to you.”

And when he finished praying, the fire of the Lord came down and devoured the meat. It devoured the wood. It devoured the stones, the twelve stones that stood for the twelve tribes of Israel. It burned up the soil. And it licked up the water in the trench. And the people knew that God was among them, and they fell down and worshiped Him.

Thoughts

Right now, I’m really not writing this blog to attract readers, perhaps people will like it, but it’s mostly just a spot for me to start writing again, to share the many thoughts that come into my head throughout the day that I tuck aside and then forget because they’re not put into writing.

I would like to start writing again every day. I know that requires determination and setting aside time to write, but that’s not really what holds me back. I think I finally realized today, what holds me back is that many of my thoughts might be controversial – and although I love hearing from all sides, I detest drama. In fact, I even avoid reading and/or watching most dramas. I might watch a love story IFF (if and only if) it’s a romantic comedy or the love story really isn’t the main story line. I’ve been known to stop watching TV shows that used to be favorites because they turn them into dramas instead of the sci-fi, comedy, or mystery that the show used to focus on.

And yet, I do have things to say and I want to share. I don’t even mind disagreements, as long as the disagreer doesn’t attack the disagreeee (LOL I’m sure that’s not really a word, but it’s awfully fun to make up words). It’s when people start arguing that their view is right and you’re wrong for your view (or that you’re teaching the world the wrong way to think if you have a certain view), that I want to just call for a break. We all have different views – and the bigger the issue, the more divided our views are going to be. Including mine. Including yours. We might agree on one, and totally disagree on another, and that’s okay, if we can share peacefully without getting upset that we’re not sharing the same view.

Over the last few days I’ve been reading posts on Facebook and thinking about how we want the world to be a certain way. All of us do. Even if your way looks different than my way. And when we see something that agrees with the way we want the world to be, we take it to mean that we’re right and we share it – the world is getting better! But then something comes along that bothers our world view. Often it’s something horrible that isn’t perceived as horrible by some entity. And then we’re frustrated. Just when we thought things were getting better.

The thought that’s been coming into my head over the past few days is simply this – the world hasn’t changed. Not really, and probably not much since the beginning of the world. Oh sure, we have electronics and devices that let us keep up with people half a world away in a matter of microseconds instead of minutes or hours or days or months that it would have taken before, but that’s not real change, that’s external, like putting make-up on and saying that you’ve changed, or going on a diet and expecting to be a different person inside. On the outside, the world in some spots has covered itself in makeup and new clothes and perhaps even shed a pound or two. But on the inside, it’s still the same. Looking under the cover, you’ll find the same, dark, lost world that was there before. Perhaps here and there is a spot of light and although light can shine in the darkness and brighten up a wide area, from my house here in NY, I can’t see the light of someone in Wyoming shining at night. I can’t even see a light from the next town over. So it is with the world. Until we get better at sharing our light, not fighting, not trying to force people to become like us, but sharing the only thing I’ve found that can change anyone, sharing unconditional love with a world of people who aren’t even sure what love looks like; until then, how can we expect any real changes? It’s all on the surface.

I guess that’s my prayer today. I want to be better at sharing love with the world. And the only way I know to do that is to love individuals, and perhaps they can turn around and love others that I would never have the opportunity to reach out to. Eventually, I pray that the love each of us experiences will turn to peace and then who knows what could happen. 🙂

I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company

I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land

That’s the song I hear
Let the world sing today
A song of peace
That echoes on
And never goes away

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony

I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company

Is your child worth 100 Million Dollars?

Based off the question asked by Michael Lazerow here: Entrepreneur’s Choice: Is Your Kid Worth $100 Million? and then shared on Facebook by Dr. Mani, where I saw the post.

After I graduated from college and entered the workplace, I made a discovery. Somewhere along the way, people forgot how to enjoy learning for the sake of learning, how to think, how to be creative. I used to ask most people I met, “If you had unlimited time, energy, and money, what would you do?” I stopped asking because by and large, people couldn’t imagine much different than what they were doing now, even though for many, I had heard from their own mouths how much they disliked their jobs. I think somewhere in there I made the decision that whenever I had children, I would teach them to be themselves, rather than send them off to learn how to be like everyone else.

Is my child worth 100 million dollars? Yes, and much more. That was a decision I made years ago when I chose to homeschool my sons rather than send them off to public or even private school while I worked at a real job. My child is worth whatever it takes to nourish his mind as well as his body, to daily provide the tools he needs not just to learn what is required, but to learn to enjoy learning and to teach himself whatever subject interests him.

I know that not everyone can or is willing to make the choice that I did, some don’t have that option at all. I have friends who have chosen to homeschool their children while both parents work. It isn’t easy, but it was their $100 million decision. I have other friends who send their children to school but make sure that they are available whenever their children need them, whether it’s by volunteering as a school parent or by finding opportunities after school to be a part of their children’s lives.

My theory is that we raise our children to be the adult we want them to be (when they were younger, I was raising them to be the teenagers I wanted them to be). For my sons, this means more responsibilities than are the norm, and in some ways more freedoms – freedom to make mistakes and freedom to question are huge ones for me – I want them to make mistakes now, while the mistakes are small and we’re here to help, instead of later when the cost of a mistake can be hard to pay, and I want them to ask questions now, while my husband and I are around to help them learn how to find their own answers instead of later, when they may be influenced by people who seem to have answers, but are only hiding their own ignorance. For example, both of my sons know that it is okay to question our religious beliefs. In fact, they have both been told and have heard me share with others, that my hope for them is that they test what we believe, and through testing and questioning, develop their own beliefs that will carry them through life.

I remember meeting another mom at the bookstore one day, who commented on how at peace with himself my teenage son is. As we talked, I shared what I wrote in the previous paragraph with her. When I got to the part about questioning religious beliefs, her mouth fell open and she gaped at me, astounded that not only would I allow my children to do that, but I encourage them to. My own religious epiphany occurred in college. It was not an easy path, but a difficult one, that lead me to study many different religions and beliefs, even searching through old, mostly forgotten myths, to find the answers that spoke to me. Bit by bit, piece by piece, my beliefs took shape, only on the outside resembling the religion I had grown up with. Even now, although the core is sturdy, there are parts that are still evolving and changing. And it will probably always be like that, as I grow and learn, my understanding of who God is and what I believe changes to include my most recent experiences and what I’ve learned from them.

Journal Notes from 1/12/10

These verses are marked with my name and the date 3/2/ or 3/21 but no year. I love seeing what year verses apply to me, and if they still do.

Genesis 12:1 Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.

I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
{Side note: I want to be a blessing!}

I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Genesis 12:16 God used Abram’s deception (saying Sarai was his sister) for good.

Considering the Egyptian idea of beautiful (Nefertiti), does that give an idea of what Sarai looked like?

Genesis 13:3 Abram left Ai because there was a famine in the land. Although most of his travel is very clearly God’s leading, this one doesn’t say so.

So he goes into Egypt, is treated well because of Sarai, then kicked out after plagues attack Pharaoh’s household.

How long was he there?

How does Pharaoh know Sarai is Abram’s wife?

Abram gets sent away and ends up back at Ai.

How many times have I gone in circles because I’ve hit a hard spot?

When things seem hard, instead of trusting God to see it through, how often do I try to find my own way? And then, after a period of time, I end up back where I started.

When Abram left Egypt, he left with everything he had, but what did he lose by going his own way? What would God have done in that time?

Genesis 13:3-4 And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the alter which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord.

Does that mean he left God’s will to go to Egypt and only on returning to Ai did he return to God?

Journal Notes from January 11, 2010

Thoughts on the flood:

Are fish considered living beings? Genesis 7:22

Genesis 8:2 What are the windows of heaven?

The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained.

Then the ark restd in the seventh month – never caught the fact that it rested, or that it was in the 7th month before.

7th month – ark rested; 7th day – God rested.

Ever notice that certain numbers are special?

1 – One God3 – Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost)
7 – Rest
40 – It rained for 40 days, Jesus was in the wilderness 40 days, Israelites were lost for 40 years
12 – Disciples

They sat in the ark for 3 months after it landed on Ararat.

Genesis 8:6 More numbers:

It rained 40 days
Water was on the earth 150 days then it decreases
In the 7th month, 17th day, the ark rested on Ararat10th month, 1st day Mountain tops could be seen
After 40 days Noah sent out a raven and a dove.
7 days later the dove brought back an Olive leaf
7 more days, the dove sent out once more, and it doesn’t return
Noah’s 601st year, 1st month, 1st day, waters were dried and Noah removed the covering from the ark
2nd month, 27th day, the earth was dried.

The flood is fascinating to me, in part because the story of the flood is what convinced me that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the one true God.

Indian myths tell of the flood, as do Greek, Roman, Norse, and many other religions. In college, I was searching for what was real and the flood became the cornerstone because so many ancient histories tell of it happening.

Reading through the stories of the flood, there was only one that logically made sense as something that could have really happened – and that was the story in the Bible.

If I accept that the flood really happened, then I have to believe that someone survived it (all accounts that I’ve seen tell of at least 2 survivors). The idea of there only being 2 survivors begs the question, “Where did the other people come from?”

Regardless of what happened to the survivors (some accounts say that they lived forever, one says that they turned into trees when they died), how did the earth get repopulated?

The Bible was the only account of the flood and its aftermath that made sense to me. Noah and his wife lived and died. On the ark with them were their 3 sons and their wives, so that the earth could be repopulated without brother having to marry sister.

Genesis 8:20 How did Noah know which animals to bring more of, which ones were clean? Moses would later define which animals were clean, but how did Noah know?

Noah offered a sacrifice from every clean animal and every clean bird as a burnt offering.

Genesis 8:21 Burnt offering = soothing aroma

While the earth remainsSeedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.

Genesis 9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on every fish of the sea. They are given into your hand.

Were the animals not afraid before?

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things even as the green herbs.

Why could they eat everything when Noah knew which animals were clean?

Every moving thing and every herb for food. Why was everything acceptable until Moses and then acceptable again after Jesus?

Genesis 9:6 Whoever sheds man’s blood,By man his blood shall be shed;
For in the image of God
He made man.
And as for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Bring forth abundantly in the earth
And multiply in it.

Genesis 8:21 Just researched who wrote the Torah, and apparently there is some question, but it’s likely that Moses did.

Even so, I would suspect it was Moses. Not because of the laws given, but because who else would know God’s thoughts? Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.”

Time for a new post

I haven’t written in ages. Two weeks ago we were cleaning out our pool and as I headed down the steps to help, my feet slipped out from under me and I went up into the air, and came down hard on 2 of the metal steps, bruising my ribs and my hip in the process. So for the past 2 weeks, I have done a lot of sleeping and a lot of limping around on crutches, but not much writing or anything else.

At church, we just finished our annual At The Movies build, where we take a movie theme and remodel the church. Last year it was a baseball theme for Little Big League, this year we chose Wreck-It Ralph and the church is full of Mario and Pac-Man and all kinds of fun stuff. I didn’t get to participate much in the build this year, last year I was the photographer and got some good shots, but this year I only went for one day and took almost no pictures.

This year we had our first annual 4th of July party. The pool was open and the kids spent the day swimming, which brought back a lot of memories of other 4th of July shindigs in Marion, NC and even in Charlotte, NC where swimming always seemed to fit somewhere into the plans for the 4th.

Later on in the evening of the 4th, we were hanging out with friends and for some reason, I thought to grab my Bible study journals. I’ve meant to rewrite some of the notes online for a while, and rewriting something doesn’t really require a lot of brain power (so I can do it even if the pain pills have started kicking in). So I think I’ll start sharing some of my notes on here. Hope you enjoy them. 🙂