Lionheart children's academy at grace church

Because Christians can put text on pictures too

2012.06.29 08:33 TheGreatSzalam Because Christians can put text on pictures too

Religious institutions are hilarious. Nobody knows that more than those of us who find ourselves IN them every week. Let's share our humor with others.

2023.06.10 00:08 StringfellowHawkes Her Card

I pulled her card from my lockbox today. I couldn’t bring myself to remove it from its wrapping though. I’ll explain the card in a little while. Even in just that briefest of moments though, the tears became too thick. I so wanted to see her name. Instead I decided to only go back to the memories. They bring enough tears. So I put the card back but need to tell my story of that memory. So thank you for your time in letting me indulge dear Reader. I know your time is precious and I am loquacious of a sort.
The place I used to work at a long, long time ago, Croc’s, was an odd duck. It was a Transformer of sorts. During the day and early evening it was a damn good Mexican restaurant. One of the best in town. Lunch was insane. Dinner was a respite. But on Friday, Saturdays, some Thursdays, and almost every holiday eve, it was… I don’t even have words. Nothing like what went on in those walls had been seen in Denver at the time. We had lines around blocks. The plural is not a mistake. On those nights, Croc’s was THE place to be in Denver. The owners got there before everyone else and had hit a jackpot with the place. The Rockies were starting over at Mile High and moving to LoDo soon. LoDo was booming and we were in the middle of it partying like no tomorrow every night.
But this isn’t about that amazing place, that’s for another day. Nope. This is about her, her son and I. Or rather, about loss and memories. But it all started at Croc’s and you needed to know what a breath of a moment in time we shared there. Not on one of those crazy nights but one lazy Sunday when we were pretty slow.
I mentioned the restaurant was an odd duck. See, it was designed so that from breakfast through dinner and into very early evening, it was a purposeful, full-fledged, extremely popular, and well reviewed dining establishment. But after that, it was designed so we could remove every table, chair, stool and booth. We essentially turned the whole restaurant into a giant dance floor with a bar that spanned half the distance of the long wall topped with massive tequila and booze pyramids. The wells were at either end with a plant potter behind them for storage. It was split level(ish) with a few VIP areas squirreled away. State of the art DJ booth on the south end of the bar. Oh and did I mention we had a 28 foot replica of a Nile croc suspended from the roof named “Hal”.
The owners were a group of friends who had grown up in the business. One of them was from the family that started Senior Frogs and the like down in Mexico. They had all met and worked at some of the hottest places in the state and been to some of the craziest places around the Americas. So when I say no one had seen anything like it, they hadn’t. We had a person that would blow tequila from a custom bong into a partier's mouth from 30 feet away. Our DJ’s were the best in town. We poached the absolute best in talent from every bar in a 4000 mile radius. That movie “Cocktail”? Yeah, that was this place on steroids. Hell, beside myself and 1 or 2 other guys, our security eventually turned into off duty SWAT cops. All these places around Denver and, hell, around the country you see now? Yeah these guys started it right there in LoDo.
It was the paper and crayons we would put on every table though where my memory begins.
There had been other places that had done what we did with the butcher block paper. It went on every table with crayons. It wasn’t the most innovative thing there but it was fun and the patrons enjoyed it. Many great artists out there! And of course the kids loved it. A lot of the folks who lived around there would bring their kids with them for lunch or dinner. I worked a lot of Sunday day shifts because a) everyone was hung over and never wanted to work and b) it was usually a nice bit of quiet after two nights that would make Caligula jealous. Plus the people who did come in were usually pretty cool and just out for a good meal. It was pretty chill after all that joyous chaos.
My section was usually the front lifted area just in front of the potters and a few tables in the middle. I was splitting with the other server that day since it was more dead than usual. A beautiful Colorado day back then. Blue sky with puffy clouds. Perfect temperature with no wind so the front doors to the small little patio were open. You could smell the flowers from across the street. The other server let me know she had sat a couple of people at one of my four tops. Sounded good so I headed out to say hello.
It was customary for us to write our name on the paper when we showed up. It was hokie but everyone loved it. It was our way of saying welcome and have fun! Some servers could do it upside down but I could never get the hang of that.
I headed down the bar toward the front, preoccupied with getting my marker out for the intro. I remember coming around the corner of the potter and just kind of coming to a juddering stop at the top step, tripping and almost falling on my face. Luckily she was a little preoccupied with her son and getting him situated so she missed seeing me make a gobsmacked fool out of myself.
I luckily regained what little balance I could alongside some composure quick enough to walk up and say hi. She said hi and then kind of waited. “Oh yeah dumbass” I said to myself as I told her, or rather flubbed, my name as I wrote it in the corner so they could read it right side up. She giggled a little bit as most people did with my nickname at the time. I hadn’t noticed but her son had been waiting the whole time for that moment. He grabbed his crayon and wrote his name and her name in front of them. “That’s a good name isn’t it?” I asked him. I told him it was the same as mine but the longer version. He was a little surprised by this as I went by “Scooter” back then. It took a second but he quickly realized it was a nickname. He had signed the long version of our name and said that’s what he liked. Right on man, you got it. Damn smart kid. You can tell, ya know?
After that briefest of moments, I shook myself a little and introduced myself for, I think the fourth time now. She tells me her name but it is instantly gone. Not only because of the effect this moment is having on me, but just because I am bad with names on the first go around. I don’t think we heard what either was saying anyway. Our eyes were locked and in that moment, it was all that mattered somehow. I can remember how deeply they shined. Her hair was a little damp and unkempt like someone in a hurry but has that respect for herself. Dark like her eyes but shining from the light outside. A simple blue/light purple and white striped shirt. Slightly damp around the shoulders. Worn jeans. Not the designer type but jeans aged with a good strong life. Blue canvas deck shoes with the white souls if I remember that part right. Maybe black canvas. I saw all this without ever breaking her gaze.
It was as if in the same moment we both realized we were in the same place together but not there alone. A moment later we both found ourselves apologizing for talking over the other. Sheepishly, like teens on their first date. Giggling a bit. Not knowing what was happening but knowing that something most definitely was. I apologized for the awkwardness and I think I cracked a joke or something but neither of us knew what to do. There was a calm panic and, I dare to say, a longing that was unknown?
It was her son who brought us both back to reality. He had asked if we had Coke or Pepsi. I shook myself internally again and told him we had Coke but could find some Pepsi if he really wanted it. Luckily he was not a Pepsi kid. I also told him that, yes, I would be happy to add a cherry to it. This time though when I met his eyes, I looked at myself when I was that age, as I answered that question. I hadn’t noticed it. Like a mirror as they say. Dark brown hair full of cowlicks. Round face with a big smile. Getting that cherry meant the world to him. I remembered that same feeling again through him. It was like looking at a version of myself I only saw in pictures.
At this very second in time I remember being terrified. Not “scared” terrified. It was more like, holy shite is this happening? What is going on? I wanted to turn and run and hide but somehow regained what little composure was left in that split second. I turned back to her and saw that she had just seen what I had seen. I could see wonder, joy, confusion, happiness, peace, thrill, fear and hope that I am sure were being reflected in my own eyes. We both needed a few minutes. We each could see it. It was overwhelming. Again, not a bad overwhelming but one of those moments where you need to put your hands on your knees and take some big, deep breaths.
The whole 3 or 4 minutes were surreal. And I will never forget them. I will fight as hard as I can to hold onto the others I have of both of them.
Somehow I managed to Charlie Chaplin myself away to get their drink order. I believe hers was a Sprite with a lemon. Normally I would go right around the corner of the plant potter and get the sodas from the guns there. Instead I went all the way to the back station. I needed to breathe. It seemed like an hour but I headed back. By this time the son was going to town. He had talent and it showed. It seemed like we had regained ourselves somewhat but the whole meal was kind of like an episode out of a teen comedy. We giggled, laughed, blushed, and did all the other things you would expect to see from two teenagers who discover they like each other. It wasn’t like I was trying to stay with them, or they tried to keep me there. It just kind of happened. I’d start to go away and she would ask me back for something simple. I would bring something I had forgotten in case they needed it. The whole meal went that way.
When they were done and ready to go, I was dreading it. Should I ask her out? She had mentioned she was single. It felt like I should ask her out. Like I said, the whole visit was surreal. There was no ring or even a suntan line of one (Don’t judge me, it was a different time). I wasn’t seeing anyone either. We seemed to get along amazingly, both her and her son. Even my fellow server noticed and was egging me on. It was obvious. Doing something like that with a client back then happened. Not usually in the first 30 seconds but you never know. I made up my mind to walk them out as I had no other tables and see what happened. I took the check to the table. She was packing her bag. I had gotten a refill for his togo cup and handed it to him. He said thank you and said he drew something for me. They had carefully torn it from the paper and he handed it to me. It was the three of us holding hands. How I held the tears then I do not know. I was a different person there at that precise point in time. At this moment those tears are here though.
I bent down to his level and thanked him sincerely. He said he was glad I liked it and he hugged me. I heard her try to stifle her gasp. Thank any or no gods or whoever for him. He let go, grabbed his Mom’s hand and said he was ready to go. As I stood up I could see tears welling in her eyes. He hadn’t done that to another man in, what she said, was a very long time she would tell me in a quiet voice as we started to walk toward the door. That was it. I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t even noticed that when we got to the big double doors, he had grabbed my hand. It just was there.
By this time I do not think either of us really knew what to do or what was going on. I mean, this was an impromptu outing to a place her son had liked because of the paper. It was a cheap and good lunch and then off to wherever for them and another table for me while I rolled silverware in the back or stocked the empty quicks from the previous night. But it seemed like it had been years together but only moments, if that makes sense? I certainly did not know what to do at this point. I think I mumbled what a delight it was to be able to spend time with them and I hoped they had enjoyed themselves or something like that. I honestly could not tell you. By this time she had regained herself somewhat. That girlishness turned into an elegance, beauty and strength that I had not seen before. But those same feelings exchanged in that momentary glance were still there. As was still a bit of moisture along the bottom of her eyes. We made a bit of small talk till he got a bit antsy and wanted to head off.
As we said our goodbyes that day, almost at the same time, we asked our questions. I asked if she would like to come by again soon with her son. His birthday was coming up I think and I could get the guys in back to make him something special. At least I think that was it. Her’s was if it would be ok if they came back soon. You know because the little guy liked drawing and the food. More childish giggling and laughing. And before she left she gave me her card and said to call if I was going to be working again on a Sunday or just whenever. As they walked together, hand in hand down and around the corner, I just stared at them and then the card over and over.
That very card I put back in a safe place tonight.
She was a designer as it turned out. I didn’t pry into her past as it sounded like it wasn’t all that great at times. She came by the restaurant a few more times after that. I then called once or twice to say hi and how they were doing and to let her know to come by. Eventually she asked me out. We spent some time together and it started to get a little more serious. She was a few years older but not by much. She was driven and forthright. Quick witted and compassionate. And such a good Mom with a massive heart. I was young then, somewhat good looking, fairly well paid and worked at the hottest spot in the state. And I had this woman I couldn’t get out of my head. Even my coworkers knew and could see what was going on whenever we were together. Either just the two of us or all three of us. Walking on clouds was an apt statement. At this point I want to point out that while I am no saint whatsoever, I do consider myself a decent person. At least I was back then and for the most part today. Things have changed as they always do but I digress.
Eventually the moment came. The serious date. She had a small but fantastic apartment downtown and wanted to make me dinner for once. I don’t think she was done asking before I said yes. We set a date for later that week. I remember it was a Saturday because me taking a night off from that place, with all its amazing moments each night to the amount of money you walked out with each night to leaving one of the other bouncers with one of the other guys he wasn’t used to, was a pretty big deal. Had to call in favors but everyone just said go. No one there batted an eye. They all seemed to know what a big deal this was somehow.
We set it for a little later in the evening so I could get things in proper working fashion up front of the house and then head over. Any of you who have worked in a restaurant know that smell you get. Kind of need to have worked in that environment to know I guess. So that night, I didn’t have time to head home then come back. So I had a change of clothes and a vanity bag so I could clean up in the back. Wouldn’t be the first time I got sprayed down by the dishwasher but probably a first for this reason. Cleaned up pretty well, freshly shaved and quaffed, walking so far above Cloud 9 I lost track of which one I was on. Headed out to put the work kit and bag in the truck. On the way out a few who knew what had been going on smiled or waved.
And off I went. I was a little late but she said she had expected it given the night of the week. Back then, downtown Denver was different. Colorado was different. I guess everywhere was different back then. But in this instance, I mean in an architectural way. You didn’t have the towers all around LoDo as you do now. From some rooftops you could still watch a sunset over the mountains. Say what you will, even I have to admit that a purple and orange sunset over the mountains is quite possibly the most beautiful natural thing I have seen. It is immense but oh so fleeting. Just like our lives I guess. You could still hear birds and bugs over cars at times. I wouldn’t say it was peaceful but it was at least calm?
She was lucky as her apartment, though smallish, came with a hidden bonus. Her window allowed her to access the roof on the next building. A part of it anyway. But this little slice of hidden wonder allowed a view down Market Street, across Spear, over Auraria and then the mountain view. It was stunning. Like the apartment, the space was just cozy enough for two to enjoy a little rooftop barbeque and dining. She gave me the quick tour and we poured some wine. She was going through the menu as we “headed outside”. The door was a small little window. I remember scratching my head and thinking I may not fit out there. She handled it with the grace of a ballerina and said I could do it. It took a minute or two but I contorted my clumsy self outside. And she was right. It was spectacular.
Not just the view but what she had done with her little corner of peace. She had talked with the building owner who agreed that she could use this space as he didn't even know about it. It was like something out of a commercial today. A nice little seating couch type niche. Well built trellis with some small Christmas lights for effect. A little brick grilling area with a hibachi going. I can still smell it. The table with candles and dinnerware. Decking. I was taken aback. The way it was situated insulated her from the sounds down below. You could hear them but it was almost like distant white noise. It was just peaceful. I remember remarking about this. She said she discovered it by accident when her son thought it might be a good play area.
Dinner was wonderful. The night went on. There wasn’t a sense of time. Just us there in that little part of the universe that was only hers. To this day I do not think I felt that safe before anywhere nor since. Someone was letting me into one of their most sacred spots. Literally and figuratively. I felt privileged. Almost as though I was treading somewhere I shouldn’t be. I think that thought was my downfall however. Don’t worry dear Reader, you will understand all that very soon. We watched that sunset. It was perfect. The right contrast of colors. Just the right amount of clouds to change those colors ever so slightly. A reminder of how something can change for the simplest of reasons.
As night grew darker it started to get cold. The goosebumps we were feeling on each other's skin holding hands and looking at the stars weren’t just from feelings. It was getting cool so we moved inside. After safely dousing the grill and making sure the coals were in their proper place, we cleaned up. Since it was easier, I stayed outside and handed them into the house to her. We figured it would be safer for the dishes. Giggled some more as we came to realize more and more things about each other at the same time. Finally the outside was clear. I stood outside for another minute to take in what was happening. I think that is then that little bit of fear weeded its way in without my realizing it. This was as close to perfect as I could ever dream I thought.
After squeezing back inside, assisted again but ok with that, we cleaned up the dishes and opened another bottle of wine. The inside was just as cozy. At some point she had lit some more candles and had some soft music going. Light jazz if I remember. Not loud at all. Again, there, just outside the periphery. Sitting on the couch I can feel her sitting next to me. We are close. Two people holding each other wanting to believe but not sure if this is real. There was almost a vibration. The constant goosebumps were not because of the cold anymore. Once we were both comfortable and we just talked. For hours and hours. There were the intimate moments but nothing scandalous. A tenuous kiss from one to the other.
We talked about what two people talk about who truly want to know the other. I believe we asked as many honest questions of ourselves as we did of the other. We really, truly, wholly wanted to know each other. And that is what we did. The more we talked the more comfortable we felt. Each of us had our scars that were not easily revealed. Nor did we reveal all of them that night and guarded them well. But we each wanted to know if the other was someone we could trust with those deepest places that we all hide in the darkest parts of our soul.
We talked a little about her son’s father but not in depth. It was easy to see that was one of the scars. We talked about her son. Why she was so astonished that first day. My heart wrenches this very moment dear Reader upon remembering that. Her hopes for him. His likes and his dislikes. Some of the stories parents tell others to embarrass their children later in life. We talked about what futures there could be not for us but for him and his world. He really was an amazing kid and I am sure has grown up to be someone she can be proud of. Time did not exist that night. Feelings and thoughts were exchanged that did not need to be said. We just knew each other that night.
We never did finish the second bottle if memory serves, we talked, laughed and sat together in peaceful comfort and gave no care about anything else. But tomorrow was coming as it always does and we had to leave each other. I remember the closeness as we held each other. The pressure of two bodies at that singular moment in time. That one instant that feels as though it could last through infinity. When two become one and feel the safety, love, compassion, trust and sameness that is rarely, if ever experienced.
Pardon me dear Reader but must ask a moment to compose myself. We are getting close to the end of my tale so also ask for just a bit more of your time. I know how so very precious it is. Thank you for allowing me to continue.
I do not know how long we held each other. To this day I wish it had been so much longer however. I do remember leaving. Working where I did, I was sadly but actively very familiar with many different levels and types of inebriation. That feeling that morning however was something that surpassed all that I had experienced in my life. I had never felt like this. I knew that the sun was starting to come up as I parked my car. I knew that I got through the door, downstairs and then fell asleep. I wasn’t drunk. It was pure. A pure love, happiness, joy and trust I had never felt from someone else. This feeling was so powerful it had knocked me for a loop that I just was not ready for.
I awoke later that day, thankful I didn’t have to work. It was late in the afternoon and I felt like I had been hit by a bus but didn’t care. I believe that the night before we both had excised many things that we had held inside for so long. I could (and can) still remember the whole night if not the words. I felt like one does after you give everything physically possible to something and have nothing left to give. But it felt right. Regardless of the ending, I do believe that, even though brief, that night, two people who had needed to find each other did. I think they needed to know that there was at least one person who understood, even if they hadn’t needed to actually say anything.
Now dear Reader I must ask you to remember that part about fear. Given my early life and life up to that point and to this day, I do find it very hard to trust. So this was something I had to confront. And so I started to. Instead of seeing what she saw in me, I saw the things I thought were ugly. I got scared that those scars would be peeled away and she would be repulsed. And these thoughts and fears grew. We still saw each other and talked for a while after that night. But my fear took over quickly. Before I knew it I had driven her away. There was no maliciousness about it. The thoughts that had ruled my life for so long before her and then after her, to this day, always got to the same thing. If you let her in, she will leave because of who you are. It was idiotic but it was ingrained at this point. I eventually told her I didn’t think it was going to work out. The truth was that I was scared. Scared to let her in. I hated myself for not being honest with her. She would have understood. Probably more than any other.
After that, I went on with my life as a young person does in that atmosphere. I saw her one time after that final talk. She waved as she and her son sat in a section away from mine. I waved back and remembered going out back and beating the hell out of our cooler there. I was so mad at myself then. While the anger passed as life threw one thing at me after another as it does until I find myself here today writing this, the pain of losing her has never healed. Nor do I want it to. That pain also brings memories that I so rarely experience anymore. I buried it for a long, long, long time but recently I find myself thinking about her and her son more and more. What would have been?
For you see dear Reader, that moment was my perfect chance. Not long ago in my life I was diagnosed with cancer. I eventually beat it but it has long since ruined my life. But that is not why I tell this tale. I ask for no sympathy. My life is where I am supposed to be. I have come to peace with that. To an extent I guess anyway. The reason it was my perfect chance is this. I was also diagnosed with a genetic defect which essentially makes me a cancer producer with no natural way to fight it. My mothers father died of colon and pancreatic cancer. My Mother has beaten 5 different bouts of cancer. I have been tested and confirmed. So if I had had a child, I would more than likely have passed that to them. After listening to what my mother watched her father go through. After watching my own Mother fight this monster 5 times and win each time. After all that I was horrified to learn that I could have passed this monster to someone I would have loved with all my heart.
I never married and never had a child. For most of my life I regretted that most of all to the point of shame. I am the last person in my familial lineage that will ever carry my name. My line dies with me. For the longest time that has been a great burden. However, after the geneticist confirmed me and a great deal of internal contemplation, with the aid of hindsight, part of me is glad that I never had a wife and child who would have to go through the horrors I have heard about, watched and gone through first hand and personally. That at least brings me a modicum of inner peace. Do not be fooled ever though. This monster is evil. It takes everything from all but the luckiest.
And I had my moment of perfect chance. Even though I did not know it at the time, I had an opportunity to spend the rest of my life with two someones who I truly believe to this day, loved me. Even if for so very briefly. I gave up the chance to be able to be a husband and care for someone I believe I loved and loved me. I had a chance to be the father I wanted to be without passing on my monster. To see a child grow into their best self. I get angry at times that I did this. Not necessarily my own selfish needs. I am also mad that this person trusted me and I couldn’t do the same in the end. That I let a child down who for his own reasons let me in when he shut others out. That we could have been the family we could have been. And I ran because I was scared. I can never forgive myself for doing that to them. This may sound selfish and perhaps it is but it is my history.
And now dear Reader we come to the end of my tale. Where it all began.
Her card.
I think you will understand why I put it away instead of taking it out after this. I mentioned that she was a designer. Her card is exquisite. I don’t need to see it to describe it. There is a silver cord ribbon wrapped around a waxed paper tied in a bow. It sparkles silver but is brittle after all the years. I can slide the card out carefully but don’t want to take a chance of damaging it. My hands aren’t the best anymore. The writing on the card is done with a most excellent penmanship in purple over white with black. The backing is white with the black used as border highlighting with purple as the border and main color. There is a bit of sparkle in one of the purples but not a garish amount. Just enough to catch the eye. The back is similar with details of her work at the time as well as some contact information. I don’t know if she did this on all of them, but there was a scent of her perfume that accompanied it for a while. It, like much else, has faded.
We all have a place to keep our most precious items. This one rarely leaves that place for me.
So in the really bad times dear Reader, I try to look at that card. I say try because it is very painful to try to do so. Today was one of those days and I wanted to share it. In the end I couldn’t get past the tears to look at it so returned it to its safety. Not really because of the pain. Believe me, the pain is there in vast amounts. But because of that first moment. I needed to remember what that feeling was like. I needed to remember what it is to look in another's eyes and see the whole universe and all its infinite possibilities. Some regrets, regardless of time, will always follow you. Be honest about that with yourself dear Reader. Today I needed to remember her and him. I needed that acceptance. That peace. That joy, That trust. That love.
This time however I needed to commit this to our history so that perhaps at least one other will read it and maybe it will impact somehow. This is not meant to be a moralistic tale. It is just a tale of love lost. A life that could have been different. I hope, dear Reader, that your life is filled with wonder and love. Do not miss a single chance in your life because of fear. Be cautious but be open. Your world is massive but also miniscule. The chances don’t happen often anymore so grab them and hold onto them when you can. Try to think of all possibilities and look through others' eyes. But most importantly. If you do find your perfect moment, do not let it go dear Reader. It may never come again.
That is the end of my tale. I thank you so much dear Reader. As I have said many times, your time is precious and I have taken enough. Safe journeys to you my friend.
submitted by StringfellowHawkes to lostlove [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 23:59 AshesThanDust48 MMIP - The Intersection Between Movement and Reality

I’ve just started sharing this openly, so I wanted to post it here. You all have been such a tremendous support for me!
Two years ago, I buried my niece barely 2 months past her 20th birthday. It was the first closed casket funeral I had ever attended and it broke me.
In my culture, one of the most important parts of the grieving process is viewing the body once the soul has left. This piece is so important that we schedule viewing time hours before the funeral, we walk in and move through the chapel clockwise (in the direction of the sun). Life is full circle.
My niece had been missing for a week. She and I had sat together at her grandpa’s funeral a couple weeks prior, and she had been partying since. Her going missing while partying had never happened before.
Rumors swirled- her bf at the time was heard calling her a heroin whore (he also brought his baby momma to her funeral and flirted with her the whole time). The law enforcement coordinator picked her up without cause that night and never filed a report on it (they were later fired when their background check came back). And, finally, that she did it herself. Her obituary was written from this perspective, and it still sits there. A constant reminder of how many of her own people were willing to believe that. (I did not, and was called a crazy lady for it- ostracized for distracting from “council business”)
Last summer, they arrested a council member’s brother. Apparently, he told his lady about some women he “made disappear”, she went to the cops, and a pattern of behavior emerged. They revisited my niece’s file and determined that actually it was a rape and murder. Forgive me, but whoever was responsible for making the decision to call it a “probable suicide” when their was evidence of SA (they gathered DNA!), I hope you rot in hell because that’s nicer than wishing this kind of loss and pain on anyone.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, how much you try to be there, get involved, ask the right questions, you realize that the obstacles placed in front of you are designed to prevent change and action. This script was already written.
The man who was arrested has been charged with 2 murders, neither my niece (or the other woman he “made disappear”). Exhuming a body requires full corporation support (I.e. a 100% yes vote), and they don’t have it. The sibling of this man is now president of the council.
So, here I am. A leader in the MMIP movement, struggling to find solace in a place devoid of any kind of justice. Struggling to find my voice again when screaming feels easier. Struggling to find peace, still, when the excuses of law enforcement and the justice system would try to fill my heart with hate. The violence and trauma inflicted upon my tribe is difficult to navigate, treacherous for our children.
People used to ask me why I was so involved, and I would talk about our suicide rate, how often we face police brutality, how law enforcement’s first responsibility should be to protect the tribal people of this land.
Smallpox, decimation of the land and ecosystems with unchecked over-hunting, railway expansion, forced relocation, slavery, boarding schools, government or church funded child trafficking, full-scale genocide. We are the descendants of those who survived despite repeated attempts at erasure. Our birthright is to stand tall, fist to the sky. 17,000 years of warriors on my back every time I do.
You will NOT erase my niece. She is right here, with me always. She is beautiful inside and out.
Now, when people ask about my involvement, I say “I am here because of love”. I smile. Few understand in the moment, other than those impacted. I am there for them as much as they are for me. Sometimes, it is just that simple.
Native woman, snow lioness, you are the rainbow in my retina. Auntie loves you so much, baby girl ❤️
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2023.06.09 23:45 next3days Weekend Rundown of Events for those in/near Blacksburg (June 9th - June 11th)

Here's this weekend's rundown of fun events you can enjoy in Blacksburg and throughout the surrounding areas within the New River Valley. There's quite a few annual events occurring this weekend such as the Pearisburg Festival in the Park and Claytor Lake Festival if you have a caride and feel adventurous.
Weekend Rundown for June 9th - June 11th: 1. A Night To Fight Alzheimer’s with Boxing Sparring Sessions Blacksburg Boxing and Fitness, Blacksburg Friday, June 9, 2023, 6:00 - 8:00 PM Advance Tickets: $15.00, At the Door: $20.00 Enjoy live, local boxing with sparring sessions with 100% of the proceeds benefitting The Alzheimer’s Association and The Longest Day to raise money for Alzheimer's research. Please note: These are not sanctioned fights. Instead, they are USA Boxing approved Sparring sessions lead by USA Boxing Certified Coaches, amongst USA Boxing athletes, using USA Boxing Sparring rules. The intent is to put on a show, raise money for a great cause, and keep all participants safe. There will also be raffle tickets to win sweet prizes from local companies. Link: 2. 2023 Relay for Life Annual Event (Montgomery County, VA) Christiansburg Middle School, Christiansburg Friday, June 9, 2023, 6:00 - 11:00 PM Admission: Free Join Relay for Life of Montgomery County for their annual Relay for Life event. Celebrate survivors, remember those we have lost and fight back as a community to give cancer the boot. Enjoy live entertainment, children's fun, food, arts & crafts and small business vendors, silent auction, 50/50 Raffle and more. The event is free to attend, but please plan to bring payment for any food and vendors you wish to purchase from. Link:
3. 2023 Pearisburg Festival in the Park Pearisburg Community & Recreation Center, Pearisburg Friday, June 9, 2023, 6:00 - 11:00 PM and Saturday, June 10, 2023, 9:30 AM - 11:00 PM Admission: Free The Pearisburg Festival in the Park celebrates its 38th anniversary in Giles County, Virginia. Enjoy carnival rides, two days of live entertainment, food vendors with all your favorite festival foods, special activities, vendors and crafters. Festival in the Park promises to be an awesome two days of community spirit, family fun, live music, and great food. There will be rides and games for the whole family. Friday is Unlimited Wristband night and Saturday features a full day of entertainment, the Cancer Kids and Christmas Car Show & Cruise along with headliner Chris Higbee and closing with a fireworks display. Link:
4. Root Down in Concert Rising Silo Farm Brewery, Blacksburg Friday, June 9, 2023, 6:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free Root Down is a jazz trio based in the New River Valley area featuring musicians Justin Craig, Doug Norton and Nick Romantini. Link:
5. MLB / USA Baseball: Danville Otterbots vs. Pulaski River Turtles (Star Wars Night and Fireworks) Calfee Park, Pulaski Friday, June 9, 2023, 7:00 - 10:00 PM General Admission: $5.00, Seniors Ages 65 & Older: $1.00, Kids 6 & Under: Free Grandstand: $11.00, Reserved Seating: $12.00, Party Zone: $12.00, Club Seating: $15.00 The Pulaski River Turtles MLB / USA Baseball's Appalachian League team hosts the Danville Otterbots as they continue their 2023 season with Star Wars Night. Several characters will be on-site throughout the game to interact with fans and take photos. In addition, every Friday night game will end with a fireworks show for the fans. Tickets can be purchased at the gates on game day or online. Link:
6. Ripejive in Concert Dogtown Roadhouse, Floyd Friday, June 9, 2023, 8:00 - 11:00 PM Admission: $8.00 Ripejive is a Blacksburg, Virginia based quartet that delivers original, hard-hitting funk. From retro grooves to jazz fusion, blazing guitar and soaring saxophone color tight pocket rhythms with sounds from New Orleans to New York that always bring a party. Link:
7. Summer Tea In Honor of Lucy Lancaster's Birthday (Reservation Deadline) Lancaster House, Blacksburg Saturday, June 17, 2023, 11:00 AM and 12:30 PM Registration Deadline: Saturday, June 10, 2023 Admission: $25.00 The YMCA at Virginia Tech presents their 1st Annual Summer Tea in Honor of Lucy Lancaster's Birthday with two seatings on 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM with a reservation deadline of Saturday, June 10, 2023. Located in the beautiful, historic Lancaster House, mark Lucy Lee Lancaster’s birthday by enjoying a deliciously decadent celebration featuring tea and delicious homemade delicacies. The Tea will be catered by Carolyn Ansley, famous for her authentic and delicious teas in past years in Blacksburg. Proceeds from the Tea will directly benefit the Y Community Programs such as Meals On Main, International Programming and After School care. Deadline to purchase tickets is Saturday, June 10th. Lucy Lee lived in the Lancaster House built in 1913 by her parents William and Lucy Lee Sibold Lancaster until her death in 1989. She left the house to the YMCA at Virginia Tech. Lee was one of the first five women admitted to Virginia Tech in 1925. She majored in biology and worked in the library which was housed at that time in what had been the campus chapel. Her work in the library led to her decision to become a librarian, and she attended Columbia University Library School where she received her Masters of Library Science degree. She returned to Blacksburg and worked in the university library until her retirement in 1970. Link:
8. 2023 Native Plant Sale Price House Nature Center, Blacksburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM Admission: Free The New River Valley Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society will hold its Fifth Annual Native Plant Sale. The Native Plant Sale includes perennials, trees, shrubs, ferns and more. All plants in the sale are native to Virginia and do not include cultivars. Most are pollinator friendly. The native plant sale only uses sustainable non-peat potting mix. All proceeds from the sale go to support the activities of the New River Valley Chapter, including public education and outreach, improving habitat at local parks, removing invasive species and awarding grants to area youth for native plant garden projects. In addition to the many plants for sale, there will be activities for adults and children. There will be booths where you can ask how to create a pollinator garden or which plants are exotic invasives which kill off natives which the wildlife need to survive on. Tree tubes to protect trees and shrubs from deer will also be sold. Storytime with Joelle for children begins at 12:30 PM. You can also visit the Price House Nature Center which will be open from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Parking is one block away in the Blacksburg United Methodist Church. Link:
9. 2023 Claytor Lake Festival Claytor Lake State Park, Dublin Saturday, June 10, 2023, 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM Parking is $20.00 per vehicle or $15.00 with five cans of food. The Claytor Lake Festival Committee presents the 24th Annual Claytor Lake Beach Festival. The festival kicks off the summer season at Claytor Lake State Park each year. Enjoy entertainment all day, fireworks at night, arts & crafts vendors, beach access included with admission, free children's activities, youth & adult fishing tournament, wine tasting and lots more. Registration for the annual Everett Lee Yearout, Jr. Adult and Youth Fishing Tournament will be held 7:00-10:00 AM. This year the tournament theme is "Fishing is the Best Hobby Because". The Car Show voting is done by the show participants who are completely registered by 10:30 AM. All entries will receive a dash plaque, goodie bag and category winners will receive trophies. There is no pre-registration fee. The fee is $20.00 to enter the car & motorcycle show and this is the only fee you pay to enter the festival. Swimming is included with admission. The event is rain or shine. Link:
10. Procession of Appalachian Species (Giant Puppet Parade) and Biodiversity Fair Warren G. Lineberry Memorial Park, Floyd Saturday, June 10, 2023, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Admission: Free Springhouse presents the Procession of Appalachian Species and Biodiversity Fair with events centered around Warren G. Lineberry Memorial Park. New River Valley residents are invited to participate in a giant puppet parade celebrating our region’s biodiversity. This event, dubbed, "The Procession of Appalachian Species," will start and end at Lineberry Park in downtown Floyd, VA. Participants are encouraged to bring homemade puppets and costumes that represent one of our region’s many spectacular species. Musicians and dancers are also encouraged to bring their crafts to this event. The parade starts at 11:00 AM. If you don't have a homemade puppet or costume please come and you can puppeteer one that we have made. After the parade, join the Biodiversity Fair featuring food, music and activities from 12:00-2:00 PM. Link:
11. June 2023 Used Book Sale Montgomery Museum of Art & History, Christiansburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Friday, June 9, 2023, 2:00 - 7:00 PM and Saturday, June 10, 2023, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Mass-Market Paperback Books: $0.50, Large-Format Paperbacks: $1.00, Hardback Books: $1.50, Children’s Books: $0.50-$1.00 The Montgomery Museum of Art and History will be holding a two-day Used Book Sale featuring thousands of books including children’s books, adult fiction, and non-fiction. Genres include mystery, romance, science fiction, cooking, history, crafts, religion, self-help, and much, much more. The book sale will also feature puzzles, magazines, comic books, audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs.. On Saturday, June 10th from 1:00-4:00 PM, bring your own bag for a bag sale. All books that can fit will be offered at a total of $10.00 per bag. Brown paper bags and tote bags are perfect for the bag sale. Please, no plastic trash bags. Proceeds will be used to help the museum in areas such as educational programming, collection care, and exhibit preparation. Link:
12. 2023 Two-Day Floyd Artisan Trail Annual Tour Downtown Floyd, Floyd Saturday, June 10, 2023 and Sunday, June 11, 2023, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Admission: Free The Floyd Center for the Arts hosts the 11th annual two-day Floyd Artisan Trail. Floyd County artisans, farms, galleries, and more will open their doors for this year’s Artisan Trail. Featuring over 30 different individuals and businesses, the Artisan Trail is a years-long tradition in Floyd to celebrate the abundant artistry available in this area. The Artisan Trail is a free to attend and invites locals and tourists alike to travel around the county to visit the open studios, see live demos, and purchase one-of-a-kind handmade art and goods in a self-guided tour across Floyd County, Virginia. The Trail happily hosts local farms and farm markets, offering tours and locally grown produce and farm goods. There may even be adorable farm animals to see. Maps and brochures with all participants’ information are available online and will be available at the Floyd Center for the Arts. Link:
13. Balance and Brews Iron Tree Brewing Company, Christiansburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 10:45 - 11:45 AM Admission: $20.00 Move through foundational yoga poses, gentle stretches, and experience the many restorative benefits that yoga has to offer. This one hour class is appropriate for all levels, including those who are totally new to yoga. The cost includes an Iron Tree beverage of your choice. No reservation required, just show up. Link:
14. Author Talk with Penny Blue Christiansburg Library, Christiansburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Admission: Free Christiansburg Library presents an Author Talk with Penny Blue about her first book "A Time to Protest: Leadership Lessons from My Father Who Survived the Segregated South for 99 Years". Historians have written about famous names in Black History, such as: Martin Luther King, Jr., Madam CJ Walker and Booker T. Washington. Penny Blue’s dad, Charles Edwards, Sr., is not famous, but the way he lived his life made an impact on his 10 children and the community in which he lived. The stories he told his children and grandchildren are the inspiration for Blue’s book. Penny says the main theme is standing up and speaking out for what is just and right. Books will be available for purchase for $25.00 through CashApp or with cash or check only. Link:
15. Sugar Magnolia 5th Anniversary Celebration Sugar Magnolia, Blacksburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM 25% Off Storewide, $2.00 Ice Cream Scoops Sugar Magnolia presents their 5th Anniversary Celebration at their original location in Blacksburg, VA. There will be face painting and a balloon artist in store from 12:00-2:00 PM. Guests can also enjoy: 25% off storewide all day, $2.00 ice cream scoops all day, tasting stations, raffles, gifts with purchase and more. Link:
16. Fourth Birthday Party Celebration with Music from Cinémathèque Eastern Divide Brewing, Blacksburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 12:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free Eastern Divide Brewing presents their Fourth Birthday Party Celebration with Music from Cinémathèque. Enjoy free ice cream and live music from 5:00-8:00 PM featuring the upbeat and unique rhythms of Cinematheque including surf rock, exotica, spaghetti westerns, Ethiopian jazz, and Afro-Beat. Eastern Divide will also have a vintage and artisan pop up market featuring Eden's Emporium, Broken Arrow Creations, Madigan Made and Tees Don't Grow on Trees. Link:
17. Music at the Villa with Parker's Pillbox Villa Appalaccia Winery, Floyd Saturday, June 10, 2023, 1:00 - 4:00 PM Admission: Free Relax and enjoy some great music along with great wine and food. Sprung from the western hills of Virginia, Parker's Pillbox is an on-the-rise power trio to watch. Parker's Pillbox is instantly recognizable by their unique, cohesive sound, which manages to be unto itself while drawing influences from a multitude of genres. Flavors of country, jazz, grunge, and good 'ol southern rock and roll blend together to create music which is truly an experience. Link:
18. Saturday Afternoon Music with Ball & Chain New River Vineyard & Winery, Fairlawn Saturday, June 10, 2023, 2:00 - 5:00 PM Admission: Free Join New River Vineyard & Winery on the patio for an afternoon enjoying their wine, frozen wine slushies, handcrafted beer and music from Ball & Chain. Ball & Chain is a stripped down acoustic rock duo. A girl from the mountains of Virginia and a boy from the Bronx. The regional musical influences of each coalesce into melodious tension. Passion, fun and sass pervades Jon & Lucinda’s blend of rock, R&B, and blues, resulting in vocals and harmonies that stroke your soul. Seating is first come, first served. Guests can bring a blanket and chair. Link:
19. Arc in the Park 2023 Nellie's Cave Park, Blacksburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 3:00 - 6:00 PM Admission: Free Enjoy the free food including an all-you-can-eat hot dog bar and pulled pork barbecue, outdoor field games, face painting, entertainment, snow cones and friendships. The Gift Card Raffle will help raise funds for the organization. Prizes include gift cards from Avellinos, PKs, The Maroon Door, Zeppoli’s, In Balance Yoga, The Cellar, The Lyric and lots more. Tickets are $5.00 each and can be purchased online or in person at the event. The prize drawing will be held at the event at 5:00 PM. Participants do not have to be there in person to win. The event is handicap accessible. The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. Link:
20. Rockin' Main Street Concert Series with Travis Reigh and The Jared Stout Band Downtown Christiansburg, Christiansburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 5:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free The Town of Christiansburg and the Christiansburg Parks & Rec continues their Rockin' Main Street Concert Series featuring music from The Jared Stout Band and Travis Reigh. Attendees can purchase food and drinks from a selection of food trucks and wine and beer vendors. Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to sit and enjoy the live performances. Travis Reigh is a singer-songwriter born and raised out of Southwest Virginia, bringing you original material with rock roots and a country sound that you don't want to miss. Get ready to experience the high-octane energy and soulful sound of the Jared Stout Band! This alt-country powerhouse hails from Southwestern Virginia and is known for their unique blend of Appalachian rhythm and blues. As runners-up for the "On-The-Rise" award at FloydFest 22, the Jared Stout Band delivers an unforgettable performance by bringing their own energetic and soulful original songs to the stage. Link:
21. Mount Tabor Ruritan Club June Fish Fry with The Blacksburg Community Band Slusser's Chapel Church of God, Blacksburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 5:00 - 7:00 PM Adults: $12.00 Children Ages 3-11: $6.00 Children Under 3: Free Carry-Outs: $12.00 The Mount Tabor Ruritan Club presents their June Fish Fry with the Blacksburg Community Band performing. Enjoy a serving fish, fries, slaw, homemade desserts and beverage. The Blacksburg Community Band, Inc. is an all-volunteer community organization formed in 1989 under the auspices of the Department of Parks and Recreation in the Town of Blacksburg, Virginia. This is a fundraiser for the Ruritan Club's community service projects and scholarships. Held rain or shine under the picnic shelter below the lower church parking lot. Link:
22. 2023 Music on the Lawn Concert Series with Virginia Hollow Christiansburg Library, Christiansburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 6:00 - 7:30 PM Admission: Free Virginia Hollow is a mixture of Americana, Bluegrass, Country, Indie, and Rock. A singer-songwriter band that performs songs written by lead singer Carrie Hinkley, along with an occasional handpicked cover or two. Virginia Hollow is a band and a sound born from the hills, valleys and mountains of Appalachia. Their performances and music take you on a journey fraught with raw emotions and stories of love, trust, betrayal and longing. Each month, one talented local band will play a concert on the library's lawn after hours. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for an evening under the stars. Feel free to bring a picnic as well. This concert is rain or shine. In case of rain, the concert will be moved inside. Link:
23. Slushie Saturday with Music from Furious Jones Moon Hollow Brewing, Blacksburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 6:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free Moon Hollow Brewing presents their first Slushie Saturday with Music from Furious Jones. This Summer every Saturday is now Slushie Saturday at Moon Hollow. This Saturday will have two slushies available one made with Ebb & Flow Prickly Pear and one non-alcoholic slushie, Prickly Pear Raspberry flavored. Singer and songwriter Furious Jones will perform a live acoustic solo show featuring Americana, Blues, Folk, and Rock with both originals and extensive covers. Link:
24. Mist on the Mountain in Concert Rising Silo Farm Brewery, Blacksburg Saturday, June 10, 2023, 6:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free Mist on the Mountain is an Irish Traditional Music group based in the New River Valley of southwest Virginia. From lively jigs and reels to heartbreaking laments and rollicking ballads. Link:
25. Dean Trimble in Concert Long Way Brewing, Radford Saturday, June 10, 2023, 6:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free Dean Trimble is a musician playing 70s and 80s classic soft rock and classic country and he is based in the New River Valley. Link:
26. Cary Wimbish Band in Concert Brick House Pizza, Radford Saturday, June 10, 2023, 7:00 - 10:00 PM Admission: Free The Cary Wimbish Band makes its debut performance at Brick House Pizza. Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Cary Wimbish has quickly earned a loyal following in the Richmond area since his debut in 2018. Combining powerful vocals with both acoustic and electric guitar, Cary’s repertoire includes covers of well known traditional country, bluegrass, classic rock and blues songs. Link:
27. June Blacksburg Vintage Market Market Square Park, Blacksburg Sunday, June 11, 2023, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Admission: Free The Blacksburg Vintage Market hosts their June Vintage Market. Vendors will be selling all things vintage from clothes, jewelry, vinyl records, and more. Link:
28. Sunday Mountain Music Series with Indian Run Stringband Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke Sunday, June 11, 2023, 4:00 - 6:00 PM Admission: Free The Indian Run Stringband plays fiddle and banjo foot stomping dance tunes and sings traditional songs with old time harmonies perfect for dancing the two step. From dance tunes to the blues, the Indian Run Stringband plays with love and abandon. They make old-time music fresh and new. Stop by Salt Pond Pub every Sunday starting Memorial Day weekend through August for live music and delicious food & drinks. Perfect for relaxing with the whole family (furry friends welcome too). Link:
29. Gearheads For A Cause for Ashley Ray Blue Ridge Church, Christiansburg Sunday, June 11, 2023, 5:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free Gearheads For A Cause is hosting a special cruise in in memory of Ashley Ray of Dublin, VA that was took from this world at the young age of 25. Ashley was a amazing mother of two sons and always happy and outgoing. The money raised will be for Ashley's family to help with her two boys and the family's needs. Vehicles of all type are invited to attend as well as spectators. Admission and entry are free. There will be a raffle, cake walk and vendors on site. Gearheads For a Cause hosts car shows to help raise spirits given all our community has undergone and bring together an otherwise separated community. Link:
30. Freddy Modad in Concert Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston Sunday, June 11, 2023, 5:00 - 7:30 PM Admission: Free Guitarist Freddie Modad performs classic rock and more. Reservations are not required, but recommended for dining area seating. Link:
31. MLB / USA Baseball: Burlington Sock Puppets vs. Pulaski River Turtles (Saddle-Up Sunday) Calfee Park, Pulaski Sunday, June 11, 2023, 7:00 - 10:00 PM General Admission: $5.00, Seniors Ages 65 & Older: $1.00, Kids 6 & Under: Free Grandstand: $11.00, Reserved Seating: $12.00, Party Zone: $12.00, Club Seating: $15.00 The Pulaski River Turtles MLB / USA Baseball's Appalachian League team hosts the Burlington Sock Puppets as they continue their 2023 season. Saddle-Up Sunday returns. Arrive early for free cowboy hat giveaways while supplies last and take a ride on the buckin’ mechanical bull. Rides are free of charge. It's also Sunday Savings featuring concession specials. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Link:
Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!
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2023.06.09 23:20 _Land_Rover_Series_3 Kate Bush Marathon Day #3 - Never For Ever

Never For Ever is an incredibly interesting album. It’s interesting because most people view it as a transitional album - bridging the gap between her earlier, more piano led work, and her later, more weird-in-the-best-fucking-way-possible work.
After relistening to it, I honestly disagree. I think Never For Ever is much more in line with The Dreaming or Hounds Of Love than it is The Kick Inside or Lionheart. The Fairlight is copiously used here, Kate’s writing is stranger (and better overall), the themes here are, in general, much darker as well.
It also happens to be her best album yet. And also nearly perfect, too.
You can immediately tell something’s changed when listening to the opener, Babooshka. As far as pure rock songs go, this is her best. It’s like Kate Bush artsiness meets the Piña Colada song, which is a compliment. Kate’s lyricism is also noticeably more mature here.
After the Fairlight derived glass smashing, we arrive at Delius. This song is so bizarre. However, it is emblematic of the change in her sound - with its electronic drumbeat, those absolutely hilarious male backing vocals (ta-ta-ta!), and the sort of spaced out, airy feel of the track. Good song.
Blow Away is pretty conventional as far as this album goes (not very), but it’s fantastic. It’s a genuinely lovely tribute to a lighting technician, Bill Duffield, who sadly died at the start of The Tour Of Life. It’s a really nice gesture from Kate, and a wonderful song, too.
Ah, I was wondering where that weirdness went. I read somewhere (on RYM I think) that All We Ever Look For sounds like it’s from a Final Fantasy game, which is terrifyingly accurate. The melody on the verses is wonderful. Lyrics are very interesting, too - they seem to be about parenting and the cycle of abuse… I think? Very underrated song in her catalogue.
Egypt is also very underrated. I love the atmosphere Kate creates in this song - those synth sounds create a real feel of mystique. This song also features the line “my pussy queen knows all my secrets” which makes it an instant 10.
I’ve been pretty positive about this album so far. The second side, however, is where the album truly hits its stride.
You know how I said earlier that Babooshka is Kate’s best rock song? I’m not really that confident in that claim, as The Wedding List exists. A wonderfully eccentric and catchy song about your husband being murdered in your wedding day, then going out and exacting revenge on the murderers by also murdering them. So relatable.
Next is the best song Kate Bush wrote about an instrument - it’s Violin. Now, picture in your head what a Kate Bush tribute to the violin would sound like. Maybe it prominently features the violin, a very graceful vocal performance from Kate, and some very elegant melodies?
No. It’s a hard rock song with wailing and screaming guitars, and Kate doing… whatever she’s doing.
WTF is this song? And why is it so good? What crazy form of illegal substance was Kate on when writing this?
The Infant Kiss is next. I’m pretty… meh on this one. It actually sounds like it could belong on The Kick Inside or Lionheart. It’s still a pretty good song, but the lyrics aren’t to my taste. I know it’s meant to be inspired by a movie, but the lyrics come across as really creepy to me (I’ve never fallen for / A little boy before).
Night Scented Stock. It’s a nice interlude. I always misread it as “Night Scented Sock”, which makes it sound like Kate wrote a song about someone’s wanksock.
This album really gets good at the end. Army Dreamers is one of the best anti-war songs ever written. The light and airy vocals and instrumentation really contrast to the heartbreakingly dark subject matter - about a young adult dying in war and not being able to live up to his potential. It’s a really interesting take on war.
Speaking of anti-war songs, to finish we have Breathing. It uses a baby in the womb of their smoking mother as a metaphor for nuclear war. In the current world we live in, this song becomes ever more horrendously relevant. I’m not the person to write about this song, but it’s terrifyingly post-apocalyptic and dark and it’s perfect.
Overall, Never For Ever is Kate’s most daring, interesting and bestestest record yet. I wonder if what she makes next will be this weird? I doubt it.
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2023.06.09 22:56 bigM337 My spouse wants a list of the issues that make my belief in the truth claims impossible

So I wrote this. Recycled ideas, but eventually all of this will be cited. It's basically my own CES Letter. The formatting is weird because this is coming over from Notion.
I had to write this out to start my own deconstruction anyway, but giving it to my spouse will be interesting. Read it if you want. Critique it if you want. I just had to get this out into the universe.

  1. The concept that the Church can lie to you
    1. Rather than being told the entire truth about Joseph Smith’s death, we are told that he is innocent of any crime and that he went to deliver himself up. The truth of the matter is, Joseph Smith was in jail for destroying the property of William Law, who was creating a newspaper called the Nauvoo Expositor. He ordered the printing press be destroyed and violated the first amendment, as well as destroying another’s property. The newspaper exposed polygamy and many of the other immoralities of the Church. On the surface, this lie doesn’t seem egregious, but D&C 135 section mentions that Joseph was a martyr for the religion, and I was always taught this. However, he didn’t deliver himself up to be killed and it wasn’t because he was a “mormon”; it was because he broke the law and had angered a mob. All of this was a direct result of him practicing polygamy and yielding so much power.
    2. The method of translating the Book of Mormon was largely misrepresented to me as a youth, missionary, and young adult. I was always taught, whether through art or articles, that Joseph used the Gold Plates to translate the Book of Mormon.
    3. However, upon widespread discovery of further quotes and scrutiny, in 2014 the Church admitted that the translation was done through a rock and a hat. This is justified by quoting the Book of Mormon where it talks about bringing forth a stone to shine forth in the darkness. (Alma 37:23-24). The methods of translation accounts differ from each other. Martin Harris saying they were done by sitting across the table. Oliver Cowdery saying it was done by the urim and thummim or two stones and spectacles. To be clear, I am okay with some ambiguity surrounding the translation, or it being by the power of God. What I’m not okay with is the church deceiving how it was done until the internet era forced them to release the Gospel Topic Essays on this subject.
    4. The implementation of polygamy. a. Left ambiguous for a reason. How Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Heber C. Kimball and many other high ranking church members took many wives including teenage wives. The church’s essay on this topic refers to Helen Mar Kimball, a 14 year old, as “several months before her 15th birthday.” In fact, they even say that Helen said it was for “eternity alone” but that is an out of context poem from Helen’s journal. There is no proof of sexual relations, but there are proof in many other relatoinships, including Fanny Alger, Joseph’s first “wife” that Oliver Cowdery called a filthy affair. He was excommunicated partly due to that statement. b. Joseph Smith wrote a letter to 19-year old Nancy Rigdon propositioning her to marry him after she denied his appeal in 1842. This letter is quoted in General Conference many times over the years, “Happiness is the object and design of our existence, and will be the end thereof if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.” He then goes on to tell her that we cannot obey the commandments if we don’t know them and what seems wrong, can actually be right in certain circumstances. He quotes the times God has contradicted Himself in the scriptures. This letter is gross. Note that it comes right before the plural marriage revelation D&C 132. c. Joseph claimed that an angel with a drawn sword made him marry Zina Huntington Jacobs, despite her engagement to Henry Jacobs. He sent Henry on missions. She did stay faithful and was eventually sealed to Brigham Young, who also subsequently sent Henry Jacobs on missions. d. This doesn’t even take into account the actions of preceeding prophets who were married to dozens of women, sealed to hundreds, and many of them were underage. Wilford Woodruff for instance sealed himself to a 6 year old girl who had passed away, inexplicably. Maybe he didn’t know? Maybe he did? Who knows.
    5. D&C 132- Joseph Smith was sealed to over 20 wives before being sealed to Emma. He denied being polygamous publicly multiple times and the relief society (of which, Emma was president) wrote a letter condemning polygamy, while one of the presidency members was sealed to Joseph.
      1. Law of Sarah was violated before it was ever implemented
      2. Joseph performing a second marriage to the Whitney sisters after Emma approved it.
      3. Women must be virgins, while Joseph was married to other married women (at least 2).
      4. Abraham was not commanded by God to practice plural marriage, he was asked by Sarah to marry Hagoth because Sarah was barren.
      5. Additionally, Jacob condemns polygamy in the Book of Mormon but then God okays it in the D&C 132, both of them specifically citing the examples of Soloman and David.
      6. Plural marriage is the “new and everlasting covenant” implying that plural marriage in the celestial kingdom will be the new and everlasting covenant and required.
      7. 5. Historicity of the Book of Abraham There is an entire Gospel Topics Essay on this but the background is as follows. A guy named Michael Chandler shows up in Kirland with mummies and a bunch of scrolls. They were unearthed by Napoleon’s raiding of the Egyptian catacombs. Joseph believes that they are scrolls that contained writings of Abraham. He begins translation in 1835 and publishes it in May of 1842. The odds that these mummies, coming from a salesman who had a lot to gain, containing the written word of Abraham has always seemed really fortunate. In the Pearl of Great Price, the heading says they are penned by “the hand of Abraham” but according to scholars in and out of the church, they were written much later. “These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived.” Not only is it not written by Abraham’s hand, it is also not anything to do with Abraham. In Joseph’s time, the Rosetta Stone had not been widely discovered. He began translating this book and now, experts know that these are standard funerary texts. The Facsimiles (pictures) have nothing to do with the sacrifice of Abraham. Everyone virtually agrees that what is on the remains of the scroll (most of which was lost in the Chicago fire but then recovered), is not what Joseph translated. This casts a large shadow of doubt on Joseph’s ability to translate. The Church is admitting that Joseph translated incorrectly. The only way to reconcile this is that Joseph used these scrolls to channel the Spirit to record what is in the Book of Abraham today. The doctrines in Abraham largely expand on the Genesis story but go deeper in doctrines about plurality of Gods and the creation of the universe and stars. Some of this goes against the Book of Mormon’s view of God. The Authenticity of the Book of Mormon
      8. This is arguably the largest domino that needs to stay in place. Here are a few quotes demonstrating the absolute necessity of the Book of Mormon being an authentic history of the peoples on this continent.
      9. The Book of Mormon is God’s compelling witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ, the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, and the absolute truth of this Church.” - Tad R. Callister
      10. The Book of Mormon is the most important religious text to be revealed from God to man ‘since the writings of the New Testament were compiled nearly two millennia ago.’ Joseph Smith declared the Book of Mormon to be “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion.” It is the only book that the Lord Himself has testified to be true.” - President Nelson
      11. I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies…and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,” a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work.” - Jeffrey R. Holland.
      12. "All that we have, all that we do hinge on the truth of that account of the boy Joseph Smith. If it is true, then everything that we have in this Church is true and is more precious and worth more than anything else on earth. If it is false, we are engaged in the greatest fraud that was ever perpetrated on earth.” - Gordon B Hinckley
      13. So with all that being said, this is my biggest stumbling block. I will begin with my own issues with the book that happened long before I was ever introduced to anything outside of approved Church material.
      14. The Sermon on the Mount given to the Nephites in 3 Nephi matches almost exactly to the one given in Matthew, with slight changes. He sets up a church similar to the one set up with Peter. But, the only issue is years later, Joseph Smith writes the JST and corrects different things in the Matthew version of the Sermon. But, if the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth, wouldn’t the writings have been exactly what the Savior meant?
      15. 2 Nephi 3 - Book of Mormon writes Joseph into the text relating a prophecy given to Joseph in Egypt, saying that a choice seer will be raised up and he will be named the Joseph after his father. 2 Nephi 3: 14-16
      16. There is a huge time lapse between Jarom and Omni to get us into Mosiah. 399 BC to 130 BC. The prophets basically write nothing and it seems like it’s just a transition to get to Mosiah.
      17. Ammon chopping off a ton of arms and all the people bring them to the king. The story of Ammon in general is crazy. The King is struck down for 3 days and his wife thinks he is dead. Then, Ammon converts this king who then goes and rescues Ammon’s brothers from another king.
      18. Other direct copies from the New Testament and Paul specifically found in the Book of Mormon. Moroni 7 is basically the same phrasing and concepts taught in 1 Corinthians 13. 2 Nephi 4:17 says “O wrteched man that I am” matches exactly to Romans 7:24.
      19. Alma the Younger’s story mirrors Paul the apostles history almost exactly. Both are destroying the church, get struck down by an Angel, go on to become amazing missionaries and even both appear before King’s and wicked people.
      20. The concepts taught in the Book of Mormon are basically christian. They are practicing Christianity as soon as middle of Mosiah, which is like 100BC. They are baptizing and confirming with the Holy Ghost. However, since Christ hadn’t fulfilled the law of Moses and they should’ve been practicing the Mosaic law. The book contains basically zero Mosaic and Hebrew traditions, which Lehi and his family would have been sharply familiar with. Instead, they practice Christianity before Jesus had even been born or practiced the Atonement.
      21. Joseph Smith almost never quotes from it. In fact, I’ve searched and searched and only found him reference it maybe once or twice. If this book is so important, shouldn’t it had been quoted from extensively. It doesn’t become a huge focus until basically the 1980s with Ezra Taft Benson started “flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon.” I’ve read Brigham Young’s entire Discourses of Brigham Young and he rarely mentions the Book of Mormon. While this proves very little, it just intensifies the idea to me that Joseph wrote it and did not consider it authentic scripture, even for himself.
      22. King Zedekiah Problem - The timeline of when Nephi left Jerusalem in the reign of King Zedekiah in preparation for the destruction of Jerusalem. But, King Nebuchednezzar had already invaded Judah twice by 599BC., two years prior to the Book of Mormon. He then Installed Zedekiah (formerly known as Mattaniah) as King of Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:11-18). So what does this mean?
      23. I will leave out the potential influences here because I do not think they are helpful nor likely to be true source material for the Book of Mormon. I think they are largely speculation and created just to create doubt without much validity or true sources. Do we know if Joseph accessed these works? Not really. But, it’s possible. There are a myriad of other problems with the Book of Mormon when examined scientifically, but that doesn’t really bother me so much. The church has an essay on DNA of Israelites not being in “Lamanite” or native american blood, despite many church leaders preaching that for years. It’s even included in the Book of Mormon title page until like 2006 or something. Additionally, Joseph Smith almost never quotes or teaches from the Book of Mormon. If it’s the most correct book of any on the earth, why is he not basing his sermons off these stories and scriptures?
      24. The Book of Mormon require that 3 key events from the Bible be literal events: a global flood in the times of Noah that covered the entire earth, Adam and Eve in the garden, and different languages occuring because God cursed people at the Tower of Babel.
      25. When I read the Book of Mormon, if I view it from a purely protestant view, it matches up doctrinally. In fact, it matches more purely with a presbyterian or methodist view of the atonement and doctrines (including the original trinitarian concepts taught in the Book before changes by Joseph Smith in 1837, eight years after the Book of Mormon was published and his first vision account that mentions God and Jesus being separate beings)
      26. The Charles Anthon Story is posed as a faith promoting story and prophecy fulfillment of Isaiah 29:11-12, where the learned wouldn’t be able to read a sealed book. So here’s the Church Narrative as found in JSH.
      27. Once i take off my believing member hat and look at this story objectively, it looks to me like complete and total BS. I am honestly insulted that this was taught and passed off to me as some amazing prophecy of Isaiah that was passed on to me.
Disavowed teachings and behavior of former prophets and leaders.
  1. Brigham Young
    1. Adam-God theory was taught in the temple and considered straight doctrine by the “prophet” Brigham Young.
    2. Blood Atonement was also taught in the early Utah days
    3. Brigham taught that no man can receive the highest exaltation without taking on extra wives.
    4. Brigham young definitely was in approval (either before or after) of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, which is the slaughtering of innocent immigrants heading west. They luckily spared the smallest children and raised them Mormon. He scapegoated John D Lee who suffered the death penalty, despite being rewarded with “wives” by Brigham Young prior to that. Hmmmm
  2. Blacks and the Priesthood
    1. So so so many quotes could go under here talking about how black people would never receive priesthood or temple covenants. The list could go on. I don’t need to repeat them all but in the Gospel Topics Essays, the Church disavows all racist teachings from the past.
    2. Book of Mormon and Abraham still talk about the curse of dark skin. The Lamanites are cursed but then will become “white and delightsome” as they repent (according to Spencer W. Kimball)
    3. How many prophets were completely wrong on this topic? Even after the Civil Rights movement which was going on 15 years earlier. The Church always seeems to be a step behind.
  3. Polygamy
    1. Again, I could write a book on how much early leaders emphasized the heavenly requirement for a man to have multiple wives.
    2. Wilford Woodruff was sealed to like a 200 something wives on his birthday, including a six year old who had passed away. This can be found on FamilySearch
    3. The leaders of the Church didn’t stop practicing polygamy until around 1910, which is 20 years after the Manifesto, forced upon them by the US Government. This policy change wasn’t inspiration — to was a matter of the Mormons keeping their stuff or not.
  4. Science
    1. Age of the Earth — Joseph Smith says that the earth has a temporal existence of 7,000 years before it will receive it’s eternal glory. This was a common thought back then and ties back into the Old Testament timeline. I was taught this in Seminary. Going back to Adam and Seth, then to Abraham and to modern day. It all lines up so that the Second Coming will be happening soon.
    2. Adam + Eve — This one is very hard for me to get past because the proof is indisputable: human life did not begin 6,000 years ago by two human beings. There was physical death long before it was introduced by the partaking of the forbidden fruit. It is fact. To deny it would be like denying that the Earth is round or orbits the Sun. So is this an allegory? Well Joseph Smith down to current general authorities have taught that this is LITERAL. The temple clearly emphasizes this. This is something BIG to get wrong. Considering Joseph Smith taught that it happened in the garden of Eden which was in Missouri.
    3. Noah’s Ark — This has to be literal as it is in the Book of Mormon as a fact. It’s also been “revealed” to have been a literal, global flood that covered the earth and cleansed the earth of all inhabitants. We also have doctrine in our church that says modern day revelation has confirmed this fact. But, this “story” is largely based on the Babylonian tale “The Epic of Gilgamesh.” It was recorded before the Hebrew Bible recorded the tale of Noah. The stories are earily similar and there are so many throughout other cultures of a great flood. Maybe that makes it more likely? Or maybe it was just a prevailing thought in that time period. Either way, scientific evidence knows that Noah’s Ark never happened because a huge flood never happened. And ask yourself, how in the world would they get all the animals on a boat? Is this really realistic?
    4. Tower of Babel — This is the genesis of the Jaredites. The Lord was confounding the language of the people, so the Brother of Jared goes and asks that they are spared. Eventually they are led to the Americas (which has a host of other problems). But, this story has to be literal because that’s exactly what’s happening in the Jaredite civilization to lead them to cross the ocean. But language evolved over tens of thousands of years and had nothing to do with a tower in around 2500 BC.
    5. Evolution — This fact goes along with Adam and Eve. Modern day prophets have disavowed this fact. In fact, Joseph Fielding Smit said “If evolution is true, the church is false” in Doctrines of Salvation, which was written while he was the prophet.

  1. Sexual Assault Cover Ups - This one is pretty self explanatory. There are hundreds of occasions and the most recent ones in the news are pretty disgusting. The fact that the Church didn’t report, and had systems in place to protect itself rather than the victims, makes me sick.
  2. First Vision Accounts - In many Church media films and the way I was taught at a young age, Joseph had the first vision and then was mocked by the people of Palmyra for believing in visions. I had not idea that this was not the case. In fact, Joseph never wrote anything down until 1832. The accounts from 1832, 1835, 1838, and 1842 paint a picture of someone who was expanding, molding, and letting this vision evolve. The reasons why he went out to pray in the trees changes. First, it’s to receive a remission of his sins. He also says in that account that he’s already concluded that the church’s of his day are fallen. Then it evolves. He also says the Lord appears. Then it’s angels. Then it’s the Lord and His Father. He mentions that it had never entered his heart that they were all wrong in the Canonized JSH we have in the Pearl of Great Price. But, then he says he already knew they were wrong in earlier versions? In fact, Asa Wild and Norris Stearns have visions in 1815 and 1823 in the same area as Joseph Smith and the verbiage used is similar. Norris Stearns says, “At length, as I lay apparently upon the brink of eternal woe, seeing nothing but death before me, suddenly there came a sweet flow of the love of God to my soul, which gradually increased. At the same time, there appeared a small gleam of light in the room, above the brightness of the sun, then at his meridian, which grew brighter and brighter: As this light and love increased, my sins began to separate, and the Mountain [of sin] removed towards the east. At length, being in an ecstasy of joy, I turned to the other side of the bed, (whether in the body or out I cannot tell, God knoweth) there I saw two spirits, which I knew at the first sight. But if I had the tongue of an Angel I could not describe their glory, for they brought the joys of heaven with them. One was God, my Maker, almost in bodily shape like a man. His face was, as it were a flame of Fire, and his body, as it had been a Pillar and a Cloud. In looking steadfastly to discern features, I could see none, but a small glimpse would appear in some other place. Below him stood Jesus Christ my Redeemer, in perfect shape like a man-His face was not ablaze, but had the countenance of fire, being bright and shining. His Father’s will appeared to be his! All was condescension, peace, and love!”
Ultimately, all of these issues paint a picture, right? The character flaws and mistranslations of Joseph Smith, along with the setting in which he was raised all take away from his prophetic ability. There are more issues that I haven’t even touched on. LGBT issues, the treatment of women, the kinderhook plates, etc. There are more issues touched on in the CES Letter. But, these are things that stick in my mind when I try to imagine believing the Church is true again.
I believe Joseph Smith started writing the Book of Mormon to make money. Then, when it got close to publishing, he decided to start a religion. With the help of Sidney Rigdon, the Church grew and he introduced different aspects of "the Restoration" and eventually the power went to his head.
Being "prophet" brought him three things key for cult leaders. Money. Sex. Power. He got his living taken care of and people built him a house. He had around 40 polygamous wives and preyed on underage girls. He was dubbed king of the world by the Council of the 50 and was Mayor of Nauvoo.
How can I conclude anything other than him being a cult leader? This barely even touches on Brigham and the subsequent prophets that made huge mistakes.
submitted by bigM337 to exmormon [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 22:49 SignificantAd2222 A question for all the lgbt in here.

Obligatory: I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with me!”
Sorry I’m in a fun mood today.
Now to business. So many posts I see here have to do with lgbt and affirming them and the evils of not. And I would like to ask some questions out of curiosity. Don’t get me wrong, I disagree with everything I’ve heard to date. But I have some questions it would be nice to have answered.
If this is too offensive for you understood. It’s not meant that way. My word on that. Downvote all you like. I see that as so childish. But I’d appreciate the responses.
  1. The Bible is explicit in its condemnation of lgbt. Think sodom and Gomorrah…
Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
Leviticus 18:22 ~ You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 ~ If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.
Jude 1:7 ~ Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Romans 1:26-28 ~ For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
Mark 10:6-9 ~ But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Quite simply it’s indisputable. These affirming churches heretical. You cannot change the truth. God’s word does not change no matter what society says and to what is being preached in some of the churches today.
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:18–19.)
The arguments I hear for such things hinge on god needs to be loving and affirming. It hinges on the personal desires cast onto the Bible. God is loving but no fool.
Revelation 21:8 ESV
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death
That is one aspect of God. The other is love and forgiveness
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
But many take that idea of love and take it to mean acceptance of anything. It doesn’t work like that. There are rules. Discipline. These things are real. The Bible tells Christian’s they will suffer. It is explicit in that.
1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
So my questions: I understand my experience isn’t universal but bear with me.
1.I have never seen an lgbt harassed in church. That is abominable to me. They are still gods creations. Christian’s should be loving showing them the godly path. Now lgbtis++%#?{£ says these things are innate. I disagree with but cannot disprove gay or lesbian claims. The rest my eyes, the Bible, and science tell me so. It’s immaterial. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the biblical response to it. Am I wrong? How so?
  1. Much of the sin in the world I see today is a product of a lack of structure and discipline. look at all the arguments being made. They boil down to I WANT regardless of consequences or wise precedent. I hear many former Christian’s say they were against a particular stance. They are rebelling. That appears to be the outward manifestation. A bucking of the rules? I do what I want? I and everyone else must affirm me?
  2. What good has the diminishing of the church done? I’m not blind to the evils within. That is the nature of man. Deserving of worldly punishment and if unrepentant gods. But the bitterness I see has mutilated a key institution of American society that at its core did much good
These are my curiosities. Once again yes they come from a place of disapproval but they are honest questions in and of themselves. I will honestly consider your answers.
I thank you for your time
God bless
submitted by SignificantAd2222 to Christianity [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 22:43 JoshAsdvgi THE SACRED PIPE OF THE T'SALAGI



Most all Nations have stories about the 'Sacred Pipe'.
What many people refer to it as The Peace Pipe.
Which is an incorrect Hollywood thought shown in the old west movies and cartoons.
The Sacred Pipe is to the Native Americans as the cross is to Christian cultures.

The pipe, in one form or another, has come to most cultures around the world.
Every group has used the pipe in one way or another and has stories of how they came to have it.
The Lakota tell the story of the White Buffalo woman and how she first brought the pipe to them.
Just as the T'salagi have this story.

It is not important how the pipe first arrived.
Or who it came to first as all nations see themselves as the first to have this gift from creator.
What is important is that the pipe is revered as a sacred item and also important is that it did come from The Creator.
What is most important is that pipe was brought to all men of this world, for we all must share this world......

Long ago, but not long after the world was new, a tribe of red skinned people came to live on the lands which are around The Blue Smoke Mountains.
At this time, the animals of the world still talked to men and taught them how to live on and care for the land.
These people were called "Ani Yun Wiya" or the One True People.
In this tribe lived a brave warrior woman.
She was called 'Arrow Woman'.
Arrow Woman was taught to use the bow, the spear and the knife.
Even though it was a man's job to hunt and fight,
Arrow Woman could shoot straighter with the bow than any man, she could throw the knife so as split a branch no bigger than your thumb and she could throw the spear into eye of a hawk in flight.
Because of all this, no man would tell her to be like a woman.
One day while on a hunt,
Arrow Woman came upon the tracks of Yona the bear.
She saw blood on the ground and knew him to be wounded so she followed his tracks.
High into the mountains she followed.
Soon she came to a place that she did not know.
It was in this place, a place known only to the animals that she finally saw Yona the bear.
He had a deep cut in his side and she saw him bowing down in prayer.
She saw him bowing toward a large field of tall grass and speaking words that she had not heard before.
Suddenly, the grass shimmered and became a lake.
Arrow Woman saw Yona dive into the water.
After a time he emerged from the water, his side was completely healed.
Yona then saw Arrow Woman and walked to her.
Yona told her, "this is the sacred lake of the animals.
It is called, 'Atagahi' and it's location is known only to the animals.
It is where we come for healing and strength.
You are the first human creature to see the sacred lake.
You must never tell your kind of it's location for it is the home of 'The Great Uktena'.
With these words Yona the Bear turned and walked into the woods and disappeared.
Arrow Woman was tired after following Yona all day so she decided to rest a while by this lake.
She built a small fire and sat down to eat a meal that she had brought with her.
She took a drink of the water from the lake and felt instantly refreshed.
She was amazed, she felt strong as Yan'si the Buffalo.
She felt as if she run faster than Coga the Raven could fly.
The woods were quiet, Unole the wind was sleeping, Nvda the sun was shining bright but was not hot, the surface of the lake was completely calm, Arrow Woman began to get sleepy.
It was at this time that she saw 'Uktena', she had been told of him when she was a child but no one in her tribe ever claimed to have seen him.
High above the water he raised his great serpent's head, the jewel in his forehead glistening.
He began to move toward her.
Arrow Woman grabbed up her spear and stood up to face the great creature coming to her, standing proud, showing no fear, the way any warrior should.
She raised her spear and prepared to strike the huge beast.
Uktena stopped a short distance from her.
He smiled, his mouth was larger than a man was tall and full of teeth longer than man's forearm.
He spoke to the brave woman on the bank of his lake.
To her he said, "Put down your weapons for I mean you no harm.
I come only to teach." Arrow Woman laid down her spear and began to relax, somehow knowing Uktena spoke truly.
Uktena told her to sit and to listen.
Uktena dipped his head below the surface and came back up a moment later.
In his mouth he had a strangely crooked stick and a leather pouch.
These things he laid on the ground in front of Arrow Woman.
Then the Great Uktena began to teach.
He said,"This that I have laid before you is the Sacred Pipe of The Creator."
He then told her to pick up the pipe.
"The bowl is of the same red clay The Creator used to make your kind.
The red clay is Woman kind and is from the Earth.
Just as a woman bears the children and brings forth life, the bowl bears the sacred tobacco (tsula) and brings forth smoke.
The stem is Man.
Rigid and strong the stem is from the plant kingdom and like a man it supports the bowl just as man supports his family."

Uktena then showed Arrow Woman how to join the bowl to the stem saying, "
Just as a man and a woman remain separate until joined in marriage so too are the bowl and stem separate.
Never to be joined unless the pipe is used."
Uktena then showed her how place the sacred tsula into the pipe and with an ember from the fire lit the tsula so it burned slightly.
He told her this, "The smoke is the breath of The Creator, When you draw the smoke into your body, you will be cleansed and made whole.
When the smoke leaves your mouth, it will rise to The Creator. Your prayers, your dreams, your hopes and desires will be taken to Him in the smoke.
Also the truth in your soul will be shown to Him when you smoke the pipe.
If you are not true, do not smoke the pipe.
If your spirit is bad and you seek to deceive, do not smoke the pipe."

Uktena continued his lesson well into the night teaching Arrow Woman all of the prayers used with the pipe and all of the reasons for using the pipe.
He finished just as the moon was beginning her nightly journey across the sky in search of her true love.
He told Arrow Woman to wrap the pipe in cloth, keeping the parts separate.
With this done He told her that she would never again be able to find this place but to remember all that she had learned. Uktena then returned to depths of the lake.
Arrow Woman saw the water shimmer and become again the field of grass.
She left, taking with her the pipe and her lessons and a wondrous tale.

Ever since that time,
The Ani Yun Wiya have used the sacred pipe and never again has any man seen the sacred lake of Uktena.
The pipe is not a symbol of things that are sacred.
The pipe itself is sacred.
Not everyone is called upon to be a pipe bearer.
The person who carries the pipe and practices the pipe ceremonies and traditions has a great responsibility to his brothers and sisters, his land and country and even to the Earth Mother.
The pipe bearer does not 'own' the pipe he carries.
He simply carries the pipe until the time comes for him to pass it to the next bearer.
The pipe bearer is given certain powers of sight from the pipe as well as an ability to heal and purify.
Should the bearer fall from grace and become a liar, thief, neglected his duties when asked, or become deceitful, the pipe would repossess these gifts and then the possibility of misfortune for the former bearer may exist.
One should be ready to accept the responsibility of the pipe for it may make demands upon you.
It will become your teacher and guide. It can also be your worst enemy if used wrongly. I leave it to you to decide if these words are truly said.

This is the way that I have learned.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 22:39 Mountain-Complex-417 Women's rights

[Question:] The UNO, America, Britain, in fact the entire western media accuse the Taliban of violating the rights of women; of banning them from jobs, of ordering them to observe 'Purdah'. The Taliban are also accused of depriving women of their right to education.
[Answer:] The basic question here is what are the rights of women and who will determine them.
If the women's rights have been determined and fixed by Allah Ta`ala, if these rights have been given to the women by Allah Ta`ala Himself, then what the Taliban are doing seems perfectly right. The rights granted by then are fully in accordance with the orders of Allah Ta`ala. On the other hand if women have been given their rights by the West, if the right to determine what these rights are lies with America, Europe, Britain, the United Nations then admittedly the Taliban are in the wrong.
Now we are Muslims. The Taliban are Muslims. The people of Afghanistan are Muslims. All of us firmly believe that neither do we acknowledge the rights given to women by the West, nor are we bound by them. People who agree to these rights are welcome to respect them. But people who do not acknowledge the western-bestowed rights at all, to force them into obeying them, to complain against their attitude, to accuse them of not giving these rights to their women, seems to be entirely absurd and stupid. Either that or it would be coercion, oppression in its basest form. It would be denial of their freedom denial of their religious rights. And this is in itself against the principles of the West.
An explanation of the sum and substance of all these allegations is that Islam has put all the responsibility of a woman's upkeep upon the man. If a man is not capable of paying a woman's 'Mahr', (dower), of bearing her expenses then his marriage is not valid. The course of his married life comes to an end. If the husband dies, the women has a right to remarry so that the new husband may bear her expenses, or she can go back to her parents who are responsible for her livelihood. Along with it Islam has made a woman heir of her parent's wealth, as well as heir to the estate of her husband. She is the heir to her children's property too. This has been done so to make ample provisions for a woman. Contrary to this the men in the West have made women an object of their lust and desires. They have used them how soever they pleased. When these slaves-of their-desires had to go to work, to offices and factories they dragged the women along with them too. Women were made to work in offices, restaurants, shops and factories for the gratification of their desires. In this way did the western man destroy the personality, position and identity of a woman.
In Thailand, Holland, Bangkok etc. women so unashamedly, with such pride solicit made attention in markets, in open public places, like men in Pakistan and Afghanistan sell their wares sitting by the roadside. Then the ignominy of it all is that at night these women ask each other how much they have "earned" during the day or night. The poor, wretched western house-wife is not sure whether her husband will return home to her or spend the night in another woman's arms.
The women in the West are labouring under a double burden. One, she is torn by anxiety as to who will look after her in case she remains unmarried, for her culture has deprived her of her right of a share in the property and wealth of her parents, nor is anyone else willing to take on her responsibility. She is thus forced to wander from door to door in search of security. Even in the matter of dress she is exploited. Men wear trousers which cover their ankles too while the women are forced to wear skirts with their legs bare in every kind of weather. In the scantiest of dresses-merely a sleeveless blouse and mini-skirt the western woman can be seen roaming in shops, air-ports, stations etc. She is an target for unscrupulous men who satisfy their lust with them, wherever, whenever, howsoever they please. She has become no less than a b[*]tch, chased by a dozen dogs in heat. If these are the rights of the western women then the West is welcome to them.
What about the eastern or rather the Muslim woman? A Muslim woman is the queen of her house, a princess of the society. Her role is that of a mother, sister, daughter, grandmother and aunt. A man with the sweat of his brow fulfils her needs of food and shelter. He fiercely protects her honour, dignity and chastity. A Muslim man firmly believes that a husband and wife's relation is a one to one relationship. One who interferes in it does so at the risk of his life, for he would be challenging the man's honour.
I ask the western people, specially the UN why, when their women enjoy all kinds of rights, every kind of freedom, do they stop them from going about in the nude in shopping places etc.? Why have they made it necessary for them to cover the upper and lower parts of their bodies with at least two pieces of cloth, as human dignity and civilization demand? This means that the West, the UN admit to code of at least one percent decency for men and women. Now if a nation, as a nation, as a Muslim nation believes in ninety-nine percent decency and honour of women then what right does the West have to criticize it? After all it admits to one percent decency too.
In the end I would like to make an entreaty to Europe too. I would like to ask the Europeans why they are bent upon making other people suffer from that which is the cause of their own suffering? The thing which has destroyed them why are they forcing it upon other people? Your Parliament passes a bill which makes it legal for a man to marry another man, for a son-in-law to marry his wife's mother, i.e. his mother-in-law. Why do you compel us to do the same?
As far as the question is concerned that the women in Kabul have been banned from jobs with no one to look after them, so how will they survive, the answer is that the Taliban have made provisions for them. They have told all women who were working in offices etc. to stay at home and they will receive their entire salary there. There is no need for them to work any longer. Their salaries will be continued. Now if in-spite of this someone creates an uproar that women's rights are being violated, he is actually trying to spread immorality. He is not concerned with the rights of women but wants to propagate prostitution in fact.
Then, who really are these working women and where have they come from? One must go and find out for, Afghani women do work in their own homes but not in offices. And another thing, an Afghani woman may belong to any area, Purdah is inherent in her nature. Purdah is a vital part of Afghan culture; it is its national identity. Now the woman who are demanding freedom from Purdah, right to employment, the women for whose rights the UNO is making such demand, they do not in fact belong to Afghanistan at all but have come from somewhere else. They belong to Tajikistan, Russia and Iran. They have some to Afghanistan with the specific purpose of destroying its environment. Under a well-thought out plan they are working upon undermining the influence of Islamic values.
Then, who really are these working women and where have they come from? One must go and find out for, Afghani women do work in their own homes but not in offices. And another thing, an Afghani woman may belong to any area, Purdah is inherent in her nature. Purdah is a vital part of Afghan culture; it is its national identity. Now the woman who are demanding freedom from Purdah, right to employment, the women for whose rights the UNO is making such demand, they do not in fact belong to Afghanistan at all but have come from somewhere else. They belong to Tajikistan, Russia and Iran. They have some to Afghanistan with the specific purpose of destroying its environment. Under a well-thought out plan they are working upon undermining the influence of Islamic values.
Then among these women demanding rights of employment, are those too who are linked with the Communists in Afghanistan. They went to Moscow, learned all the vices there ad came back, bent upon destroying the Islamic environment of Afghanistan. They were officially appointed for this work. If this is not so, then where are the widows of the 1.6 million Shuhada who died in the Jihaad against Russia? Out of the 1.6 million there must still be at least 0.3 million, alive. What happened to these women? Who is looking after them? Why didn't the UN raise its voice for their rights? Weren't they human beings? Or didn't they need food to stay alive?
The fact is that these widows were Muslims and Muslim men are taking care of them. Either they were given in second marriages or their parents brothers or relatives are looking after in accordance with the laws of Sharee`ah. Their lives are safe and so is their honour.
The women who were living in Kabul mostly belonged to Communists, Mulhideen, and heretics, who enjoyed the patronage of the UN. The leaders sent their husbands to the front, into the mouth of death. They then called these beautiful women and appointed them as, sweepresses in their offices and satisfied their lust with them. The fault thus lies with the UN itself. The rights it gave these women were those of sweeping the offices of lecherous officials. Their responsibility now totally lies with the UN whose charter it is to protect the rights of women in this degraded, shameful fashion.
As far as education is concerned, Islam has given women the right to acquire education and we will certainly give them this right. At present the Taliban are busy in fighting a war, a war demanding all their energies and resources. As soon as they war comes to an end they will make proper arrangements for the education of women. But it must be kept in mind that the Muslim girl will be educated in an Islamic Madrasah from which she will emerge as an epitome of honour and decency, grace and dignity personified.
The UN does not have the right to prescribe a course of studies for our women. The western world is welcome to provide its brand of education to its own women which casts their modesty out of the window, which fosters sexual relationship between men and women; an education in which are taught the etiquettes of drinking and dancing, of merry-making; an education which causes young girls to attain puberty well before their age, which bestows upon them the status of unmarried mothers well before they have completed their college education.
The saddest fact is that those professing to be highly civilized have they never pondered upon the meaning of "civilization"?
The British Parliament passes a law according to which 'gays' could marry each other, i.e. a man was allowed to marry another man. Next, another law was passed which allowed a man to marry his mother-in-law. He has in his marriage the daughter and the mother both! Curses be on such animals, damned be such swines. Whatever did happen to their humanity, to their sense of shame?
Copulation with dogs has become common in England. It is a usual custom to make dogs heirs to a legacy. It is said that the Satan Pope John Paul II wedded a man to a frog. Such dirty evil people then criticize the experts, the true followers of Islam-the Taliban!
"Ashamed of yourself, you aren't!" as the saying in Urdu goes.
submitted by Mountain-Complex-417 to TraditionalMuslims [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 22:21 obscuredbycrowds Phil Haming, a Republican running for District 8 has some interesting solutions to crime and homelessness

Phil Haming, a Republican running for District 8 has some interesting solutions to crime and homelessness submitted by obscuredbycrowds to Louisville [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 22:04 Budget_Helicopter_53 What is gender for an unbodied spirit?

"Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."
This is of course from the Proclamation on the Family. It is something consistently taught and promoted by Church leadership, and which many of us (edit: myself included) sincerely believe. But do we actually understand what it means?
(tl;dr idk maybe not?)
What is gender? President Oaks and the Handbook (38.6.23) say "the intended meaning of gender in the family proclamation and as used in Church statements and publications since that time is biological sex at birth".
So then, how is biological sex at birth determined? Through visual verification of either male or female genitals, or sometimes DNA testing for either XX or XY chromosomes (though it should be noted that both methods are occasionally ambiguous, such as with intersex individuals).
Using this approach, what does it mean for an unbodied spirit to have gender? Does a spirit have genitals? Does it exhibit secondary sex characteristics? Does a spirit have DNA and chromosomes? I don't know.
Of course there are alternative approaches to understanding what gender is. A quick Wikipedia search indicates that "Gender includes the social, psychological, cultural, and behavioral aspects of being a man, woman, or other gender identity. Depending on the context, this may include gender roles and gender expression." In other words, gender is how we self-identify and present ourselves based on socially-constructed groupings.
Using this approach, what does it mean for a spirit to have gender? What are the social, psychological, cultural, and behavioral aspects of being a man or woman in the spirit realm? Do male and female spirits speak differently? Do they emphasize different personality traits? Do they dress differently? Do they groom differently (such as hairstyle)? Do they participate in different stereotypical activities? Gender norms in mortality vary by culture and region and time period; are there consistent gender norms for all of Heavenly Father's children in the entire spirit realm? If so, are those norms simply observed in others and repeated like we do in mortality, or are they somehow innate? I don't know.
If you are like me, then when you picture spirits, you probably picture them as looking pretty much like mortal adults, except they are perfectly healthy (and perhaps they glow, and wear white robes, and have white hair, and are slightly transparent because, you know, ghosts). Knowing that spirits have gender, I also picture them as each appearing clearly male or female based on both body type (the general shape of a man or woman's body that I am accustomed to) and on gender norms in the culture I grew up in (such as how they talk, how long their hair is, and maybe what style of robes they wear). But I wonder if that image is based on assumptions about the meaning of gender and the nature of spirits that will be proven incorrect. I guess we'll see.
Happy Friday!
submitted by Budget_Helicopter_53 to latterdaysaints [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 21:47 AntonBrakhage States are beginning to remove statutes of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse to sue.
"PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Ann Allen loved going to church and the after-school social group led by a dynamic priest back in the 1960s.
The giggling fun with friends always ended with a game of hide and seek. Each week, the Rev. Lawrence Sabatino chose one girl to hide with him. Allen said when it was her turn, she was sexually assaulted, at age 7, in the recesses of St. Peter's Catholic Church.
"I don't remember how I got out of that cellar and I don't think I ever will. But I remember it like it's yesterday. I remember the smells. The sounds. I remember what he said, and what he did," she said.
Allen, 64, is one of more than two dozen people who have sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, over the past year, seeking delayed justice since lawmakers allowed lawsuits for abuse that happened long ago and can't be pursued in criminal courts either because of time limits or evidence diminishing over time.
More survivors are pursuing cases as states increasingly consider repealing time limits for child sex crime lawsuits. Vermont was the first state to remove the limits in 2019, followed by Maine in 2021 and Maryland this year.
Michigan, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are poised to take action before their legislative sessions end.
"The momentum is irreversible," said Marci Hamilton, CEO of CHILD USA, a think tank aiming to prevent child abuse and neglect.
In April, Maryland lifted time limits on child sexual abuse lawsuits against institutions less than a week after the attorney general detailed decades of abuse of more than 600 children by over 150 priests associated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Other states, meanwhile, have briefly removed the statute of limitations on lawsuits for childhood abuse. More than 10,000 lawsuits were filed when New York set aside time limits for two years.
Across the country, those lawsuits have targeted churches, summer camps, scout groups and other institutions accused of enabling pedophiles or turning a blind eye to wrongdoing.
More states eliminating the limits would help achieve justice and prevention, according to advocates who say survivors tend to keep the trauma to themselves, backed by new research suggesting survivors typically come forward in their 50s.
"More and more people come forward as they realize that they're not alone," said Michael Bigos, one of Allen's attorneys, whose law firm has brought 25 lawsuits since last June and is evaluating more than 100 additional potential cases, including about 65 targeting the Portland diocese.
In his law offices, Allen looked at a photo of herself at her first communion at St. Peter's, which serves what was once Portland's Little Italy neighborhood and hosts a popular street party each summer.
The photo was taken after the assault. Her joy and exuberance are gone. "When I look at it, I see a pretty damaged child," she said.
Sabatino quickly became part of the fabric of St. Peter's when he arrived in 1958 after leaving another church where parents reported to police that he had sexually abused their 6-year-old daughter. The priest was warned by the Diocese of Portland not to engage with children or play games, but was soon doing both.
Parishioners, including Ann Allen's family, invited him into their homes. He visited her family's beach house.
Allen thought she was lucky when she was selected to hide with him. But the abuse became a dark secret she carried for decades.
She never considered telling her parents. Allen said she didn't think anyone would believe her.
As a school principal in California, Allen was protective of children, especially those who reported abuse. She would try to help them and say the right things - things she wished had been done for her. Then, she went home to "curl up in a ball," she said.
But her secret came bubbling back when she returned to Maine and had to confront her past, she said.
Robert Dupuis tells a similar story.
He was 12 years old in 1961 when he was abused by the Rev. John Curran in Old Town, a riverside city in Maine. Decades later, he sought help from Alcoholic's Anonymous when his marriage was in jeopardy. He acknowledge the abuse in group therapy, at around age 55, and the revelation changed his life.
"It healed me and it freed me from holding back," the 74-year-old said.
His marriage and friendships have improved, he said. Now, he encourages others who have been abused to come forward.
Most of Maine's newly filed civil lawsuits target the Diocese of Portland, accusing leaders of ignoring accusations against priests like Sabatino and Curran, or simply moving them to new parishes, allowing the abuse to continue.
Diocese officials concluded that allegations against Sabatino and Curran were credible. Both have long since died.
Maine removed its time limits in 200o to sue over childhood sexual abuse, but not retroactively, leaving survivors without recourse for older cases. Changes in 2021 allowed previously expired civil claims. The Legislature also is considering easing the statute of limitations on criminal charges for sexual assaults of children.
The Portland diocese contends survivors had ample time to sue and it's unconstitutional to open the door to new litigation, which could lead to requests for damages of "tens of millions of dollars."
A judge rejected the arguments. The diocese has appealed to the state Supreme Court. An attorney and spokesperson for the dioceses both declined comment.
For Patricia Butkowski, it was 1958 when her family alerted police that she said Sabatino assaulted her at a parish in Lewiston. After the diocese transferred him to Portland, Allen and others became victims.
"I'm now at 70 feeling emotions and allowing myself to feel emotions that I never knew I had. Anger is at the top of it. I'm like a volcano spewing and there's just so many emotions, and anger at the church," she said.
Butkowski, who now lives in Oklahoma City, wants the church to apologize and acknowledge the wrongs done to her and others so she can "hopefully regain some sort of faith before I die," she said.
"What was done to me by the priest damaged my soul," she said. "I don't have a soul anymore. It's broken."
submitted by AntonBrakhage to DeppDelusion [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 21:35 Babilonia_C I hope this is the right place for a rant about Call Down the Hawk

I'll tag it as a spoiler even If I'm not sure about it, better safe than sorry anyway.
I really tried to like this first installment of the new series and now I just feel cheated, 'cause no amount of attention and care that I gave to the book made me actually appreciate it. I took notes and came out of the whole thing with the conclusion that this story is all over the place, and I don't see the purpose of it despite trying.
This book feels too long for what it was trying to say, the concept of moderators, Zeds and Visionaries is very simple, it doesn't need that big of a build-up nor that much of an explanation. The "magical", fantasy aspect of this book is quite intuitive, we don't need paragraphs and paragraphs of literal explanations on how stuff works. Leaving it completely in the soft magic system category wouldn't be bad, any kind of explanation feels just far-fetched.
Another problem that's tied to the first one: There's too much new characters here and they don't get any kind of development before disappearing/losing their relevance to the plot. Take Parsifal as an example, to me he might be the only knew character that seemed intriguing, and instead of focusing on him Maggy introduced YET ANOTHER visionary - Liliana in a way that I think is quite unappealing. Those fragmented, short scenes of Liliana traveling (three chapters told from the pov of completely unimportant characters) didn't lead to anything. We could as well be presented with Liliana in one, short scene after Parsifal's vision. That kind of strategy makes the story slow-paced and sluggish, you take more time to understand what's happening and when you get it you'll realize that HALF of the characters that you've been introduced to is just completely unnecessary. This dude that wrote books for children? He appeared ONCE, that woman with her kids who gave Liliana a lift, she appeared ONCE, that dude who closed Liliana in a freezer? You get what I'm saying, too many characters that just don't have any purpose in this story.
Not to mention I was losing my precious time reading about some dude that will never appear again only to realize that Adam was completely irrelevant in this whole story, only Decaln and Ronan sometimes thought about his existence but that's about it. He had the potential to be the saving grace of this book, he was clearly losing himself at Harvard, pretending to be someone he really wasn't, it would be fascinating to see him become yet another different version of himself...
Another thing that I found just tiresome is the fact I don't even know what the Adam/Ronan romance is supposed to mean, It feels like their relationship is just something that happens in one scene, outside of the plot, has no relevance and substance whatsoever. I don't even understand why these characters like each other, there's only one meaningful scene of both of them doing something together in the whole 375 pages long book (I suppose paperback is a bit longer than e-book but you know what I mean) Ronan happens to have like four or three moments when he realizes that he's in a relationship, there are approximately two sentences about Adam squeezed into his internal monologue and THAT'S IT.
Like... why bother starting this whole romance thing at all? Couldn't we just shorten the whole book and let it be just a good fantasy thriller? If you signal to your readers that you'll be writing romance, WRITE THAT ROMANCE PROPERLY, otherwise it's just annoying.
That's been bothering be since the Raven Cycle, really, 'cause it's not like Maggy is unable to write good romantic subplot and integrate it well into the main plot, see: Gansey/Blue.

I don't know what Call Dawn the Hawk was supposed to accomplish and in the exact moment that Hennesy and Ronan literally drew SWORDS I stopped understanding what I'm actually reading. This story just isn't contained in any kind of understandable confines, at this point brothers Lynch are the only thing that keeps the it all glued together.
All in all It felt surprisingly bland for the first installment of a series about the end of the world.
submitted by Babilonia_C to RavenBoys [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 21:34 AuthorDDLewis Prayer based on Revelation 10:1-7

Prayer based on Revelation 10:1-7
Chapters 10-11:14 is the second interlude (Revelation 7 being the first) before the seventh trumpet sounds. Two events must occur before God pours out His final and complete judgment. Chapters 12-18 describe God’s righteous judgments in great detail.
Father, we praise You for Your patience. You are graciously slow and perfect in carrying out Your righteous judgments.
John sees a mighty angel coming down from heaven, possibly Gabriel. He is the one who stood in the presence of God and gave a divine message to Zechariah, Daniel, and the virgin Mary. (Luke 1:19, Daniel 8:16, Luke 1:26) It seems fitting that God would send him before the final trumpet sounds. This angel represents the presence of God. He is wrapped in a cloud and has legs like pillars of fire. God’s presence was seen as a cloud by day and fire by night. (Exodus 13:21-22) His face was like the sun. There was a rainbow above his head: like the one in the throne room. (Revelation 4:3) This angel plants his feet on all God created. (the land and the sea) His voice is loud and powerful, like a roaring lion. He calls out, and the seven thunders answer. (possibly the complete details about the final judgment) John was about to write them down, but a voice from heaven told him not to. The angel raises his hand to heaven and swears by the Lamb, who lives forever. There will be no more delay after the sound of the seventh trumpet. God will remove His restraints and reveal the lawless one. (2Thesolonians 2:6-12) And the mystery of God will be fulfilled just as He declared to His servants and prophets.
Father, we thank You for Your restraining power working through the Holy Spirit in Your Church. May we tremble at the thought of where we would be apart from Your sustaining grace and rest securely in Your keeping as we joyfully await the return of Your Son. Amen.
Let us read and meditate on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 7:9-17.
Questions for reflection and meditation: 1. Why were some of God’s elected taken up to meet the Lord in the air? 2. Why were others that God also elected left on earth to go through the great tribulation? 3. What good will God accomplish through the coming tribulation?
submitted by AuthorDDLewis to TrueChristian [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 21:34 AuthorDDLewis Prayer based on Revelation 10:1-7

Prayer based on Revelation 10:1-7
Chapters 10-11:14 is the second interlude (Revelation 7 being the first) before the seventh trumpet sounds. Two events must occur before God pours out His final and complete judgment. Chapters 12-18 describe God’s righteous judgments in great detail.
Father, we praise You for Your patience. You are graciously slow and perfect in carrying out Your righteous judgments.
John sees a mighty angel coming down from heaven, possibly Gabriel. He is the one who stood in the presence of God and gave a divine message to Zechariah, Daniel, and the virgin Mary. (Luke 1:19, Daniel 8:16, Luke 1:26) It seems fitting that God would send him before the final trumpet sounds. This angel represents the presence of God. He is wrapped in a cloud and has legs like pillars of fire. God’s presence was seen as a cloud by day and fire by night. (Exodus 13:21-22) His face was like the sun. There was a rainbow above his head: like the one in the throne room. (Revelation 4:3) This angel plants his feet on all God created. (the land and the sea) His voice is loud and powerful, like a roaring lion. He calls out, and the seven thunders answer. (possibly the complete details about the final judgment) John was about to write them down, but a voice from heaven told him not to. The angel raises his hand to heaven and swears by the Lamb, who lives forever. There will be no more delay after the sound of the seventh trumpet. God will remove His restraints and reveal the lawless one. (2Thesolonians 2:6-12) And the mystery of God will be fulfilled just as He declared to His servants and prophets.
Father, we thank You for Your restraining power working through the Holy Spirit in Your Church. May we tremble at the thought of where we would be apart from Your sustaining grace and rest securely in Your keeping as we joyfully await the return of Your Son. Amen.
Let us read and meditate on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 7:9-17.
Questions for reflection and meditation: 1. Why were some of God’s elected taken up to meet the Lord in the air? 2. Why were others that God also elected left on earth to go through the great tribulation? 3. What good will God accomplish through the coming tribulation?
submitted by AuthorDDLewis to PrayerTeam_amen [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 21:32 AuthorDDLewis Prayer based on Revelation 10:1-7

Prayer based on Revelation 10:1-7
Chapters 10-11:14 is the second interlude (Revelation 7 being the first) before the seventh trumpet sounds. Two events must occur before God pours out His final and complete judgment. Chapters 12-18 describe God’s righteous judgments in great detail.
Father, we praise You for Your patience. You are graciously slow and perfect in carrying out Your righteous judgments.
John sees a mighty angel coming down from heaven, possibly Gabriel. He is the one who stood in the presence of God and gave a divine message to Zechariah, Daniel, and the virgin Mary. (Luke 1:19, Daniel 8:16, Luke 1:26) It seems fitting that God would send him before the final trumpet sounds. This angel represents the presence of God. He is wrapped in a cloud and has legs like pillars of fire. God’s presence was seen as a cloud by day and fire by night. (Exodus 13:21-22) His face was like the sun. There was a rainbow above his head: like the one in the throne room. (Revelation 4:3) This angel plants his feet on all God created. (the land and the sea) His voice is loud and powerful, like a roaring lion. He calls out, and the seven thunders answer. (possibly the complete details about the final judgment) John was about to write them down, but a voice from heaven told him not to. The angel raises his hand to heaven and swears by the Lamb, who lives forever. There will be no more delay after the sound of the seventh trumpet. God will remove His restraints and reveal the lawless one. (2Thesolonians 2:6-12) And the mystery of God will be fulfilled just as He declared to His servants and prophets.
Father, we thank You for Your restraining power working through the Holy Spirit in Your Church. May we tremble at the thought of where we would be apart from Your sustaining grace and rest securely in Your keeping as we joyfully await the return of Your Son. Amen.
Let us read and meditate on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 7:9-17.
Questions for reflection and meditation: 1. Why were some of God’s elected taken up to meet the Lord in the air? 2. Why were others that God also elected left on earth to go through the great tribulation? 3. What good will God accomplish through the coming tribulation?
submitted by AuthorDDLewis to Christians [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 21:32 AuthorDDLewis Prayer based on Revelation 10:1-7

Prayer based on Revelation 10:1-7
Chapters 10-11:14 is the second interlude (Revelation 7 being the first) before the seventh trumpet sounds. Two events must occur before God pours out His final and complete judgment. Chapters 12-18 describe God’s righteous judgments in great detail.
Father, we praise You for Your patience. You are graciously slow and perfect in carrying out Your righteous judgments.
John sees a mighty angel coming down from heaven, possibly Gabriel. He is the one who stood in the presence of God and gave a divine message to Zechariah, Daniel, and the virgin Mary. (Luke 1:19, Daniel 8:16, Luke 1:26) It seems fitting that God would send him before the final trumpet sounds. This angel represents the presence of God. He is wrapped in a cloud and has legs like pillars of fire. God’s presence was seen as a cloud by day and fire by night. (Exodus 13:21-22) His face was like the sun. There was a rainbow above his head: like the one in the throne room. (Revelation 4:3) This angel plants his feet on all God created. (the land and the sea) His voice is loud and powerful, like a roaring lion. He calls out, and the seven thunders answer. (possibly the complete details about the final judgment) John was about to write them down, but a voice from heaven told him not to. The angel raises his hand to heaven and swears by the Lamb, who lives forever. There will be no more delay after the sound of the seventh trumpet. God will remove His restraints and reveal the lawless one. (2Thesolonians 2:6-12) And the mystery of God will be fulfilled just as He declared to His servants and prophets.
Father, we thank You for Your restraining power working through the Holy Spirit in Your Church. May we tremble at the thought of where we would be apart from Your sustaining grace and rest securely in Your keeping as we joyfully await the return of Your Son. Amen.
Let us read and meditate on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 7:9-17.
Questions for reflection and meditation: 1. Why were some of God’s elected taken up to meet the Lord in the air? 2. Why were others that God also elected left on earth to go through the great tribulation? 3. What good will God accomplish through the coming tribulation?
submitted by AuthorDDLewis to Christianity [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 21:08 simbazil What does spirituality/religion look like for you now?

Very curious about what deconstruction has looked like for everyone here.
For my part, I was raised in the CoC, and both sets of grandparents and my parents met their future spouses at private Christian colleges associated with the CoC. For a long time, I doubted the existence of God, because I couldn't reconcile my natural inclination towards empathy and kindness with the belief in a punitive God who had no interest in extending mankind even a modicum of grace. There wasn't a great portrait painted of him by my preacher at ALL. Now I'd say I'm agnostic, and could potentially attend church again, albeit in a very different kind of environment.
Anecdotally, I've found that most people raised in the church typically go on to identify as:
1) atheist/agnostic 2) Catholic 3) Southern Baptist 4) Mega-church type non-denominational (e.g. Hillsong)
What are y'all's experiences? Have you kept up with any former members? My congregation was so deeply fundamentalist, most kids I knew are now either atheists or even more conservative than their parents were.
submitted by simbazil to excoc [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 20:55 JynxMama Karen vs Baby. Baby wins

This happened when our oldest (now in her 20s) was a baby.
I was laid off from my job 2 days before I gave birth to our first child. Believe me when I tell you, it was financially rough, but the five months that I head home with her were pretty awesome.
I breast-fed both of our children (this is not a pro or con breastfeeding post so don’t come for me) and felt that as long as I was covered, I could feed my child anywhere I wanted to. I breast-fed in malls, restaurants, church, doctors, offices, you name it. And yes, this is not the only Karen story I have about breast-feeding. But this is one of the funniest.
So picture it, it’s a beautiful fall afternoon and my daughter and I have headed to the park to go for a walk. But just as we arrive, my daughter decided that she was a little peckish. I pulled her out of her car seat, climbed into the passenger seat, roll down the windows, and started feeding my kid.
This wasn’t the first time I had found myself in the car feeding my kid so I had a stack of magazines that I would pull out to thumb through while my kid ate. I should mention that my kid was a sipper so breast-feeding took a minute.
Now I had parked my van so the front was facing a copse of trees. To see in my window, you had to walk over to the van. I was trying to be respectful and park in the shade. Okay, mostly the shade part.
We had been sitting there for awhile before I hear “ahem” outside my window. I look up and there is this stern woman glaring at us. The woman, let’s just call her Karen, proceeds to tell me that I am sexually assaulting my child by breast-feeding her. Say what now?
I was completely stunned, and as I was trying to come up with a response, DD pulls herself off of my breast and blows a raspberry at Karen. DD wasn’t making a comment. She was just trying to clean out the extra milk in her mouth, but it was funny as hell to see this woman shocked face when my kid can basically spit at her for insulting her mom. I don’t remember exactly what I said after that, it probably was something along the lines of what she said, but I do remember laughing my ass off as Karen walked away.
Don’t come for my kid, she’ll get you every time.
submitted by JynxMama to pettyrevenge [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 20:19 noyonseoexpert The Wonders of Cartoons

Since the early days of film, cartoons have been a popular form of entertainment. They are enjoyed by people of all ages and have become a global phenomenon. Cartoons are a unique form of art that combines elements of drawing, painting, and storytelling. They are often used to convey messages or tell stories in a humorous way. отзывы про мультфильмы are enjoyed by people all over the world and have been a part of our culture for many years. They are a fun and entertaining way to escape reality and experience something new.

The cartoon industry is one of the most fascinating aspects of the entertainment industry.

  1. The cartoon industry is one of the most fascinating aspects of the entertainment industry. The vast majority of people grew up watching cartoons and continue to do so as adults. What many people don't realize is that the cartoon industry is a multi-billion dollar industry which employs thousands of people all over the world. The history of cartoons is long and fascinating. The first cartoons were created in the late 1800s and were used primarily for advertising. It wasn't until the early 1900s that cartoons began to appear in newspapers. The first расскажем про мультфильмы to ever appear in a newspaper was published in 1902 and was called "The Lost Roller Skate". The first cartoons appeared on film in 1908. The first cartoon character to ever appear on film was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who appeared in a series of shorts produced by Universal Studios. The first cartoon to ever be nominated for an Academy Award was Disney's "The Three Little Pigs", which was nominated in 1932. Since the early days of cartoons, they have evolved considerably. The animation techniques that are used today are far more advanced than what was used in the early days of cartoons. The stories and characters have also become more complex. Some of the most popular cartoons today are "The Simpsons", " SpongeBob SquarePants", "The Flintstones", "Tom and Jerry", and "Looney Tunes". These cartoons are enjoyed by people of all ages and are shown in countries all over the world. The cartoon industry is a fascinating one that has a long and interesting history. It is an industry that employs thousands of people and is enjoyed by people of all ages.

The characters and stories created in cartoons are timeless and have appeal to multiple generations.

When you think of cartoons, what comes to mind? For some, it might be early morning Saturday hours spent glued to the television, watching their favorite characters come to life. For others, it might be an older memory of flipping through comic books, admiring the colorful artwork. Or, it might simply be a vivid imagination, dreaming up wacky scenarios and zany characters. Whatever the case may be, cartoons have a way of leaving a lasting impression. Part of what makes cartoons so timeless is the characters. They are often big and bold, with personality traits that are easy to identify with. In addition, they are often put in situations that are relatable, yet still offer a sense of escapism. For example, in the popular cartoon "SpongeBob SquarePants", the main character is faced with everyday problems such as holding down a job, maintaining friendships, and heading off jellyfish invasions. However, he does so in a unique underwater world that includes talking sea creatures and bubbly adventures. It is this combination of the familiar and the fantastical that makes cartoons so appealing. Another reason cartoons have such broad appeal is that they can be enjoyed by people of all ages. While younger viewers might be drawn in by the bright colors and simple humor, older viewers can appreciate the clever references and well-developed storylines. In fact, many successful cartoons are able to appeal to both children and adults, resulting in a devoted fan base that spans multiple generations. Whether you grew up watching cartoons or you enjoy them as an adult, it is easy to see why they are such a beloved part of popular culture. The characters and stories created in cartoons are timeless and have appeal to multiple generations. So next time you are looking for a bit of nostalgia or just want to have a good laugh, be sure to tune into your favorite cartoon.

The animation process is both intricate and demanding, requiring the skills of a wide range of artists and technicians.

The animation process is both intricate and demanding, requiring the skills of a wide range of artists and technicians. The first step is to create the storyboards, which are like a rough sketch of the entire film. The storyboards are then used to create the animatic, which is a more detailed version of the storyboard that includes the timing and dialogue of the film. After the animatic is approved, the next step is to actually animate the film. This is a complex process that involves drawing each frame by hand, and then photographing the drawings so they can be put together in sequence. The animation team works closely with the sound team to make sure the action on the screen is perfectly synchronized with the dialogue and sound effects. Once the animation is complete, the film is sent to the post-production team, who add the finishing touches, such as color correction and sound mixing. Finally, the film is ready to be released to the public. The animation process is both time-consuming and expensive, but the end result is always worth it. After all, there’s nothing quite like seeing your favorite characters come to life on the big screen.

The history of cartoons is rich and varied, with early examples dating back to the late 1800s.

Some of the earliest examples of cartoons can be found in late 1800s publications, such as Punch magazine. Cartoons were often used as a means of political commentary, and they remain a popular form of expression to this day. What we now know as cartoons first gained popularity in the early 20th century, thanks in part to the work of pioneers like Winsor McCay and Otto Messmer. McCay is credited with creating one of the first successful newspaper comics, Little Nemo in Slumberland, while Messmer is responsible for creating the iconic Felix the Cat character. Throughout the 20th century, cartoons continued to evolve and grow in popularity. In the 1930s, Bugs Bunny made his debut, quickly becoming one of the most recognisable cartoon characters of all time. And in the 1950s, Hanna-Barbera created some of the first ever primetime animated TV series, such as The Flintstones and The Jetsons. Today, cartoons are enjoyed by people of all ages and can be found in a variety of formats, from traditional hand-drawn animation to computer-generated images. There is no doubt that cartoons will continue to entertain and amuse us for many years to come.

The first successful animated feature film was Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", released in 1937.

Since the dawn of cinema, animation has been a popular genre. While early animation was mostly used for short films and commercials, the first successful animated feature film was Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", released in 1937. This breakthrough film not only proved that animation could be used to tell a full-length story, but that it could be done successfully. "Snow White" was a massive hit with both critics and audiences, and it cemented animation's place in the film industry. Since then, animation has come a long way. The art form has been used to tell all sorts of stories, for all sorts of audiences. Today, there are a wide variety of animated films being released every year, ranging from big-budget blockbusters to smaller, independent films. No matter what your taste, there's likely an animated film out there for you. What makes animation so special is its ability to bring to life any story or world that the creators can imagine. The sky is the limit when it comes to animation, and that is why it continues to be one of the most beloved genres of film.

Today, cartoons are enjoyed by people of all ages and remain an incredibly popular form of entertainment.

Father and son watching a cartoon together on TV; the son is laughing and the father is smiling. It's a moment of connection and shared enjoyment. It's also a testament to the power of cartoons. Today, cartoons are enjoyed by people of all ages and remain an incredibly popular form of entertainment. They can make us laugh, cry, think, and feel. They can take us on amazing adventures and introduce us to new worlds. Cartoons can be educational, helping us to learn about history, science, and other topics. They can also be used to teach important life lessons. And they can be simply entertaining, providing us with a much-needed escape from the everyday. No matter what we're looking for, chances are there's a cartoon out there that can provide it. That's why cartoons will always hold a special place in our hearts.


There are a wide variety of cartoons available, from traditional hand-drawn animation to computer-generated imagery (CGI). Each type has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Hand-drawn animation is the original form of animation and has been used since the early days of film. It is still used today, although it is increasingly being replaced by CGI. Hand-drawn animation is time-consuming and requires a lot of skill. Each frame is drawn by hand, so the quality of the animation can vary greatly depending on the artist. CGI is a relatively new form of animation that has only been used since the late 1990s. It is created using computers and special software. CGI is very versatile and can be used to create almost any kind of animation. The quality of CGI is very consistent, as each frame is generated by a computer. Both hand-drawn animation and CGI have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Hand-drawn animation is more traditional and has a more personal touch, while CGI is more versatile and can be used to create more realistic animations.
Overall, cartoons are a great way to entertain children and adults alike. They can be educational, funny, and even thought-provoking. With so many different types of cartoons available, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. So next time you’re looking for something to watch, consider exploring the world of cartoons. You just might be surprised at what you find.
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2023.06.09 19:28 larsie13 my experience at ALERT/STEP/Big Sandy as a non fundie lmao

Long post alert bc I watched SHP and have survivors guilt I guess! As more and more comes out about the ATI/IBLP programs I am so grateful that I had an adult in my life who protected me from the programs, and feel so sad for the other children that didn't. I went to the camp and left thinking "omg, that was a weird 1.5 months" but never had to hear about it again. The other kids were stuck in the cycle forever and went home to it. Breaks my heart :( SO I found my old diary I kept when I was at STEP, had two glasses of white wine and here you go:
I attended STEP+ some of STEP advanced, sometimes lumped with EXCEL. STEP was the summer-long girl's version of ALERT, at the IBLP/ATI campus in Big Sandy. I went just before the first bits of Duggar news broke, in 2014 if I remember correctly. My best friend at the time invited me to go, and it was presented as a regular "summer camp" to my mom. We had no idea what it was like. My mom was hesitant as there wasn't much info online but I begged to go and she allowed me. I was homeschooled but not fundie at all so it was an enormous culture shock. I was constantly told I was too headstrong, not meek and mild, and lacked "first time obedience". I was told I was "not a mercy-giver" as I wasn't helpful enough. They never said it in a mean way and were always very sweet as they said it.
At Big Sandy there was some effort to teach us real skills, like getting to rock climb, going on camp-outs, how to change a tire or do CPR and some fun kayaking and crafts but also lots of culty things. Most of the girls seemed to enjoy it, have signed up willingly, and viewed it as a fun summer camp/break from caring for their younger siblings, but there were some who were more rebellious and talked about running away, or who had come with friends and had no idea it would be like this. Michelle Duggar spoke briefly to us girls via video chat at one point before a sermon, with a long, boring story about how as a child she once stole $20 from a woman and how we all are sinful, even young people like us. They also came in their big white bus to pick up a Duggar boy (who shall not be named as they were exploited enough already)and we hid on the porch and watched his shoulders sag and say, "Y'all are sure?" when they told him they had come to surprise him and tell him they were expecting another baby. We did not interact with the boys at all except for kitchen duty, some guest speakers, and church, but I remember once in the kitchen he mentioned that he would rather be at ALERT than at home when some of us were talking about missing home. :'(.
The teen leaders (unpaid, mostly sweet, older teen girls, including some of the Bates girls) had us "confess" sins to each other and our leaders weekly. I don't blame the teen leaders as they were getting just as brainwashed as we were. Almost all of them were very kind but there were a few (not from the "famous fundie families")who took great pleasure in being "drill instructors" and waking us up/yelling at us/ being more like the ALERT leaders. I remember girls confessing very deep things that could have harmed themselves/others and no one being equipped to do anything about it/no mental health professionals. We did a "rapture" experience where we were woken up in the middle of the night, blindfolded with our hands on each other's shoulders and led through a dark room while people screamed at us and we were lightly hit with pool noodles which seemed scary when you can't see what's going on. I got in trouble for talking back and telling them to stop after a girl had a panic attack. I started yelling back and told them it was psychological warfare and that we were just kids and they said they were preparing us for the "real apocalypse war" which just scared everyone even more.
There were lots of lectures on how to be a a good help-meet, how to set a table, cook , sew, etc. We did also learn how to change tires, do basic drywall and plumbing, and pluck and clean chickens. The Alert boys killed goats, girls killed chickens. A girl cried and said she didn't want to do it and an Alert boy was screamed at by higher-ups for killing the chicken for her instead of making her do it. Most of these classes were taught by kids a little older than us that for some reason were working for ATI instead of in college. We had a lecture on dressing more feminine and were told long necklaces were a sin because they drew the eye to our chest. Eye-traps were a huge thing. I couldn't believe it when I heard that in the documentary again. When I told the other girls I regularly wore swimsuits and went swimming without t-shirts over them there was a collective gasp. When we played soccer they sent the ALERT boys inside so they wouldn't see us in exercise clothes. Just so much emphasis on keeping covered and hidden. My best friend and I got in trouble for talking about popular culture, especially popular music at the time like Justin Bieber and One Direction. During movie nights we only got to watch pre-approved, older movies usually with a patriotic/family theme or message. Follow Me Boys and episodes of the Andy Griffith Tv show were favorites. Writing letters to your future husband was another big "quiet time" activity. I wrote Dear Niall Horan and got yelled at. :)
Every day except Sunday we woke up at 4 am and read the Bible/did devotions, then ran two miles, did calisthenics, and obstacle courses. It wasn't as paramilitary as ALERT but we had room inspections, had KP and had to clean the IBLP campus ( the ALERT boys did help us). The kitchens were ran by older homeschooled girls, some of them from my circle, who had been sent there to work/board for free in the hopes of meeting and marrying an ALERT boy. The ALERT boys had it tougher than we did. I remember them working out a lot, having to "deploy" to find a lost elderly man in a town nearby, taking flight and diving lessons, and them just standing in formation and saluting Col. Tanner who ran ALERT and mainly just drove around in a Jeep. We had to fast on Sundays, which was a bad idea as myself and most of the girls were severely underweight, scrawny teens. We had a love/hate relationship with Sundays. No food until 5pm and all-day sermons on Sunday, but we loooved going to church because we got to see the QUEST and ALERT boys! sitting on the other side of the room. We really thought they were something in those dumb uniforms, y'all. If you've ever been to a homeschool conference and seen them smugly guarding the doors you know how funny it is.
The scary part is I started out thinking "this is insane, nothing like a summer camp, I should call Mom to come get me" but then I began to really believe them -that I WAS bad and rebellious, that I had been raised too secular, that I should be more submissive and meek, etc. Plus I felt guilty leaving my new friends that I had made.
My mom did some research on her own about the programs while I was there and freaked out after finding out about the Bill Gothard ties. This was just as things were beginning to come out online. She came to get me weeks early, saying I was never going back. I can remember her politely but firmly explaining to the employees and teen interns how bad the programs were and how their beliefs needed to be better advertised on the website so people wouldn't accidentally sign up thinking it was a "normal camp". She took me out of a church youth group when I said it was starting to sound similar to IBLP. She also removed me from the Before You Meet Prince Charming Bible study group all my homeschooled friends had signed up for, which is a very fundie "courtship based" group. I was a very young teen at the time and was totally brainwashed and so impressionable. I told my mom I wanted to start wearing skirts so I didn't distract guys, etc. I thought I was going to Hell for having read Wattpad and thinking Justin Bieber was cute. She instantly started working through this with me, offered to take me to therapy, and helped de-IBLP my faith. To think that all of this was fit into a two month summer camp (that I only went to a month and a half of ) is insane. I can only imagine how indoctrinated the poor kids that were raised in this program were.
Looking back I'm so thankful she realized how dangerous that ideology was. The Duggar news broke just a few months after that. After I left for college my mom joined a new supposedly non denom homeschool group with my younger siblings. Even then, around 2018, with the news about the Duggars fully out there, there were other homeschooling moms (one who y'all know well "m is for mildfundie") who reprimanded my mom for speaking out against harmful "just quietly endure suffering" beliefs that are so prevalent in homeschool Christian circles and for recommending therapy to ex-fundies.
Posting because I also feel a little bit of survivor's guilt I guess - out of all the girls in my "team" at STEP and the guys I knew that were sent to ALERT I am one of only 3 that "made it out" and went to college instead of instantly starting a very large family. It's all so clear now how dangerous the programs were but at the time I thought my mom was over-reacting. I can see how they prey on easily impressionable, uneducated adults and then groom children. It's horrifying.
Side note: most of the STEP staff moved over to P31/Uncommon Endeavors, which supposedly is less culty but who knows. I would hope that it's more focused on the camping and outdoors aspect and less on the "are you a giver? a prophet? a helpmeet?" type stuff.
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2023.06.09 19:10 danceswithturtles286 How can I salvage relationship with best friend with highly indulged toddler?

My best friend has a 3.5-year-old. He faces few to no consequences for undesired behavior and he pretty much runs the house. He throws tantrums that they give into and screams at them all day (I do know tantrums are normal for this age but the way they respond is reinforcing the behavior). Other people in her life have told her that he needs more boundaries but she and her husband just seem unable to enforce any. Recently, my best friend told me he “won’t go to daycare,” and I don’t understand that because he’s 3 and has no idea what is best for him. My best friend is extremely distraught over this because she needs some time to herself, as her husband works all day and so she is with him all day long. All she talks about lately is how terrible his behavior is and she kind of listens when I offer suggestions (I’m not a parent yet but have a degree in early childhood development and worked with children for 5 years), but she seems totally burnt out.
We live in different states and I think that may be our saving grace right now because I don’t have to see the kid all that often, as even though I love him, his behavior is terrible and they have established that they are the ones who will discipline him even though they never do.
I wanted to hear from other parents about if giving your kid a choice about going to daycare is normal, and maybe get some ideas as to how I can keep the friendship because I don’t know how to support someone who constantly complains about their kid’s behavior but who won’t enforce any boundaries. I do have other friends with toddlers who enforce boundaries and I love being around their kids
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2023.06.09 18:55 spookybitch666_ Religious neighbors…

I am dealing with a situation with neighbors that I’d love some advice on. We have lived next to a family for a few years now. We have very little in common but have always had a great relationship with kids around the same age. Recently, they’ve seemed to get extremely religious quickly which I completely respect. I, myself, am an atheist but obviously we don’t discuss our personal beliefs (well I don’t, she brings it up in passing conversation). My daughter has been getting closer to their children this summer and will go to their yard to hang out. I’m always supervising from my yard and it’s been great. But last night when I was watering my flowers, they had a woman over who was extremely loud in what she was saying and ended up catching my attention. She is a children’s pastor at their church and discussing the process of speaking in tongues over children to the point where the children were crying because they felt the spirit that strongly. Alarm bells started going off in my head ( I have some religious trauma which involves speaking in tongues). And now I’m very uncomfortable and unsure where to go with our children spending time together. I don’t want to create problems or be rude. And what they do with their kids is absolutely their business and I’m not judging (well trying not to)…but I looked more into their church last night and they have a lot of beliefs I am uncomfortable with. There’s no guarantee that they’ll push anything on my daughter but I never want them to try to influence her. I don’t know if I’m just being dramatic because of my past or I should just trust my gut. What would you do in this situation?
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