by baldilocks

The church I regularly attend is multi-racial, but I didn’t choose it because of that. I chose it because of other churches and other pastors. I chose it because of situations like the following.

From Lloyd Marcus:

My brother Jerry is a deacon in his all-black church. Jerry called to tell me he confronted his pastor, telling him it is unchristian to include a hateful rant against Trump in every sermon. His pastor firmly believes Trump is a rabid racist. I asked Jerry, “What was your pastor’s response?”

Jerry said his pastor gave him the same blank stare he always receives from fellow blacks when he states commonsense views that are contrary to Democrat lies believed by that most blacks. Condescendingly, Jerry’s pastor said he understood his concerns. Meanwhile, his attacks on Trump from the pulpit continue. Jerry said every guest speaker at his church includes trashing Trump in their sermon.

I want to be clear about this: it isn’t the bashing of Republicans or of Trump in particular that bothers me. It’s that is being done from the pulpit as a part of the sermon. A pastor’s job is to tend to the sheep: to lead them in their walk with and toward Christ. Any other purpose is leading the flock astray.

In fact, the church belongs to Christ, not to individual pastors/reverends/priests, etc.; it is entrusted to these individuals, but it’s not theirs. When these leaders stoke and provoke anger as opposed to faith and prayer about any person or any topic, they have become wolves in pastor’s clothing.

But we all know that, for many of these people, it’s about getting butts in the seats. And most people are comfortable with having their anger and victimhood nourished.

Meanwhile, who is exhorting these people to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?

The Bible says that we will all give account for our words and actions, but pastors, etc. have a special standard to meet. I don’t even want to think about what’s in store for these misleaders of God’s church if they don’t do a 180.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

by baldilocks

People hate it when you disagree with them.

No matter how reasonable they are, how willing to listen, nor how much they actively acknowledge the self-evident truth that each of us is different from every other in countless ways—even so-called identical twins—any given person’s first reaction to disagreement is anger.

That reaction many not even manifest itself, may last less than a second, and it may be so tamed or so dominant that is doesn’t even register to the person feeling the anger, but it exists for everyone who isn’t stunted emotionally. The person who has learned to tame his/her anger knows when it is appropriate and when it isn’t; that anger lasts but a second–if that long–and this process has become similar to an autonomic function. Like breathing.

The one whose anger is dominant is the problem, however. That anger can last indefinitely without the angry personangereven acknowledging it.  But, for sure, everyone who comes into contact with that person feels the fire, often because that fire is directed at them.

Those who have tamed their anger often learn to ask why other persons disagree. Such persons thoughtfully consider the other point of view if it is cogently explained and argued. The anger-dominated person never asks why, but simply goes into attack mode, and why not? Because, to her, you have initiated attack by disagreeing with her and all she is doing is responding in kind…or so she perceives. The anger dominated chick’s response has become autonomic also.

The angry seem to have reproduced like rabbits in highly trafficked online political comment sections of late, but they’ve always been around. Think about some family members we all have with whom we limit the topics of conversation. And let’s not even get started on the last four presidential elections—or the upcoming one.

Just remember that there are many people out there who view any deviation from their own opinion as an affront to their personhood, to their right to exist. Remember it and have sympathy for them. They have nothing else and many of them don’t want anything else.

DAY ELEVEN: Still not smoking. And my apartment is far more orderly than usual. Hurray for OCD!

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

by baldilocks

Most people are familiar with King Solomon’s observation that it is

Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

–Proverbs 25:24 (KJV)

Well, my personal observation is the flip side of that coin: it’s better for a woman to live alone that to live with a man who is indifferent to her feelings. And the two–love and respect–feed from each other; the same is true for contentiousness (anger) and indifference.

And both truths point to God’s recommendation that a husband should love his wife and that a wife should respect her husband.

Last week, it was report in the National Enquirer that the Obama marriage is deeply on the rocks.  The usual issues are reported to be factors—and I’m not saying that they aren’t—but exploring those things isn’t my purpose.

I’ve always had a certain amount of empathy for Michelle Obama. The similarities in age and background are part of it. Many of my decisions have been radically different from hers, however, and there are several she made which I wish I had made: finished my formal education, got married early, had children.

But there’s at least one decision I made that gives me peace: many years ago I divorced an uncaring man. Conversely and for many obvious reasons, Mrs. Obama chose to stay with her patently uncaring husband and, since she has been in the national spotlight, she has always behaved like a woman who has an unhappy home life.

MichellObamafrown1

MichellObamafrown4

 MichellObamafrown3

Many people don’t like her and that’s understandable. Unhappy people tend to be unlikable and say obnoxious things.

I’ve talked before about being grateful for the good things in one’s life and, aside from our diverging decisions, that’s where Mrs. Obama and I part company. Being content with decisions made in life—no matter how they turn out–is the key. Ingratitude and resentment nearly jump out of every photo of the woman. And in nearly every photo of her looking at her husband, her anger–hatred?–is etched on her face. (Yes, yes. I’d be mad, too, if I were married to him.)

If it’s true that the marriage has long been in trouble—and I think it is—then Mrs. Obama has to live with her decision to remain married to Barack Obama, make the best of it and count her blessings—and I can think of two of her blessings right off the top of my head.

Money, status, fame, clothing, vacations, high-end personal care—Mrs. Obama has all of those things. But none of them compensate for the absence of love in her home.

And, though it was her own decision to stay, I pity her.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel,Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in January 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!