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Test and renew


Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I have been planning a series of items of doctrine I was taught and indoctrinated (not meant as pejorative) with that I have changed my mind about. None of the changes were based on a whim or a “feeling” but from study after praying for discernment to see the truth. In every case I began with the Truth of God’s love for his creation as is shown to us through Jesus. No doctrine that is not rooted in the Truth of God’s love (though through a mirror dimly) can be correct. No doctrine applied in condemnation or oppression is valid because it does not come from a spirit of God’s love. Any doctrine applied out of self-interest to gain or maintain power and/or material comfort is not from a love either our neighbor or God. A good picture of how love for others looks (besides the Cross) is I Corinthians 13.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

This will serve as the foundation of each subsequent topic along with a previous post, Love your neighbor. I’m not claiming to be 100% correct. None of us can make that claim. My motivation for studying the doctrines has been part of my deconstruction and rebuilding upon a solid foundation of love rather than fear. It has been helpful in rooting out my bias and prejudices, but also from “unpure” motive of a desire to “win” debate/arguments. My motives aren’t pure and I want to share that because we all have biases and many, most, or all are rooted in the particular culture we grew up in and later chose as adults when choice is an option. For myself, given the career field in which I plan to work, it is imperative that I identify my bias and prejudice because we can’t care for and help someone we don’t believe deserves help. If we don’t believe someone (individual or group) deserves help then we are not loving them and therefore do not love God with our whole being. Without a foundation of love of our neighbor — neighbor or friend — all of our doctrine and works are useless.

Post #1

New blog series #NaBloPoMo

I am considering a series for November for National Blog Posting Month (NoBloPoMo). Every November for the past few years I have said I’m going to blog every day in November and I never get beyond 5 days. This would also be the perfect time to work on my fiction that I just left hanging. But life happened, and then school happened. Now I’ve got bunch of papers and projects to do between now and semester’s end, so what better time than now to commit to something I probably won’t finish. Haha!

I’ve probably mentioned this before (possibly more than once), but over the past few years, I have spent a lot of time revisiting all the Christian doctrine I was taught. I was taught some contradictory stuff, though it wasn’t much and most of that was my parents teaching something different than the official doctrinal statement with the caveat, “It’s not a hill to die on.” I still find it out of character for my dad to have a point to argue about, but to not find it important enough to argue. Because he seemed to love to argue. But I digress. My point is, I had to own my faith as an adult by reevaluating what I believed by asking myself, “Do I believe this just because it’s what I was taught, or is this really what the bible teaches.”

But this series isn’t going to be me picking apart denominational doctrine. It’s going to be more cultural and political, but that many American Christians have conflated with the Gospel. I’m going to look at some issues from the standpoint of, “Where is Jesus in that.”

And maybe this will turn out to be more than just one post.

I am a writer

We’ll just go ahead and call this my official coming out. Since I’ve been blogging since 2004, it’s time to make it official. I have said so many times in the past year or 2, “I can write what I can’t say.” I also have a lot of stuff to get out because I have also been saying for a while, “You’re only as sick as your secrets.”

I was told a few years ago that I have a gift for writing. And I was told that again by a different friend within the last year. I suppose I should believe it given the way I managed to BS my way through AP English in high school. Part of that credit goes to Kim Dixon for actually doing the reading assignments and telling Kelly what the book was about. I listened very intently to her summaries. So on that note, thank you Kim for getting me through AP English, and for being one of my few regular readers. :)

I’ve done a lot of questioning of myself. Who am I? What do I want to do with my life? I’m doing a lot of figuring out what I like to do and what I’m good at and matching those up. Also I have been looking at how I have been mentored and directed throughout my life. Too long I have lived my life doing what I thought was expected of me without giving enough thought to what I want and like and am good at. Heck, it’s taken a lot just to accept that I am good at something.

The gift of sobriety has given me a chance to live. Really live. Not the going-through-the-motions life I’ve always done, but a life lived among other people. A life of sharing of experience, strength, and hope to quote a few 12 step programs. I have been given an immeasurable amount of grace, and I want to share that journey with others. Other people who are scared of feeling, scared of taking action, scared of facing the past, and scared of what the future holds.

I’ve wanted to write a book for a while. I have several ideas, so maybe I’ll write several books. Who knows what the future holds.

I’m going to try a little something #NaBloPoMo

Since I didn’t blog at all in October (I did do a lot of journaling), I thought I would give NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) at try and see if I can actually blog every single day in November. And to start it off, I’m going to recap October – mostly in pictures. ;)

My therapist told me I needed to get away an chill out because I was winding down September about to breakdown. So I spent the first weekend in October in and around Wilmington because what better way to chill out than on the beach!

Beach therapy. #beach #sand #ocean #sun

A photo posted by Martha (@dragonlady42) on

I hit a small beach at Ft Fisher, and there was hardly anyone down there but fishermen. That was fine as I wasn’t going in the water anyway because the red devil went with me to the beach. It was a good chance to relax, and had a friend tell me when I got back that I looked at lot better than I did before I left. I really enjoyed doing what I wanted when I wanted. I even enjoyed getting sunburned in October.

Um, ouch. #burn #worthit #yesiaminpajamasat5pm

A photo posted by Martha (@dragonlady42) on

Then I got called out by my daughter’s therapist for my avoidance, and after making a remark to Petra, she told me I needed to call my sponsor. Of course I didn’t. ;) But, I did make a plan to stop avoiding and had a family meeting and made Jamie get her learner’s permit.

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She also started crocheting again and I took this hat.

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Looks like I’m wearing my thug eyes.

I’ll finish this off with Halloween. Chad was the Ultimate Warrior, and I failed to get a picture of him. Jamie was an Adventure Time character, but since I didn’t get a shot of Chad, I won’t post that one. I, however, decided to go as Stevie Nicks. The $6 Walmart wig doesn’t really capture her hair in any era, but the witch dress kind of hearkened back to the White Album/Rumours era when combined with the top hat.

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Warner Bros Records

Warner Bros Records

Ok, perhaps I didn’t pull it off. Oh, well. People just thought I was a witch, and that’s ok. One of the baristas asked me where my broomstick was. Haha! 12 hours was way too long to wear a wig and I had a splitting headache by the time I got home.

There was a lot in between the beach trip and Halloween, but that all went into my journal. And therapy sessions.

So we will see if I can pull off this whole blog post a day thing in November.

New babies

Since I haven’t been able to motivate myself to actually write anything, here are some cat pictures since Amber hatched again over the weekend.

Newborns:

She had one more after that:

And her remaining 2 from first litter just because:

Maniacal Monday #7

The whole blogging regularly thing hasn’t been working out like I had planned. That was the reasoning behind having “theme days” so I would have a direction to go in. Apparently, that really doesn’t help that much, sadly. But perhaps I can manage a random list post because the other alternative would be “real” and “confessional,” and I’m not really feeling publicly putting those kinds of issues out there. ;) I’m also going to attempt to avoid any talk of running and save that for tomorrow; you know, for Training Tuesday. haha

1. 2 weeks ago I mentioned having issues with putting the new belt on the mower deck. Well, that finally resulted in taking the deck off. Since it was off, the hubby was going to sharpen the blades, but when he looked at them, he decided replacing them was the more viable option. Getting the first one off was a major battle, but the second one was worse. Once we got the second one off, we discovered the teeth the blade fits onto were pretty much gone, and so we opted to just buy a new riding mower. *sigh* Oh, don’t get me wrong, the new mower is GREAT, but that was $$$$ I wasn’t up for spending.

2. Realized Friday night that I’m about to have 2 high school kids.

3. Still freaks out over speaking in front of people even if it’s only about 11, one of which is one of my children.

4. I haven’t had any caffeine in a week and a half, and did not get a caffeine withdrawl headache. Also, have not had a significant energy drain, and only had to take a nap once. Almost caved and got Starbucks this afternoon, but I think I will treat myself on Friday instead.

5. Seems to now be on a 14-day cycle. :-/

6. Eating a really craptastic salad as I type this. Yes, you all need to know that.

7. Found a kitten on the front porch Saturday afternoon. My first thought was that Petra had finally followed through on her threat to dump her kittens at my house, but upon closer examination (and the fact that it ran away instead of to me), it was not colored like her remaining kittens.

8. Speaking of Petra, she gave birth to an adorable baby girl last week.

9. Finally moved plants outside for the summer, and turns out I don’t have so many as I did that need to be out.

10. Has apparently plateaued at 20 pounds. Actually, I’ve been bouncing between 18 and 23. *sigh* Having to once again get my diet under control.

Regarding Angels…

So I made the decision to offer up authorship privilege to a couple of Angels this week. As it turns out, one of them still has her old blog. However, seeing as how my blog isn’t really getting updated regularly, I thought I would open up DragonLady’s World to guest bloggers. Registration is now open, but I am going to be very particular about who I grant authorship to. By that I mean I have to personally know you and/or have blog known you for a while. I don’t expect I will restrict any topic, but I will ask to limit profanity and sexual content as my kids and pastor have been known to read my blog. Plus, I have a bad blog reputation to overcome. LOL

I quit!

I wonder just how many drafts I have. Two show up in the dashboard. Looking at the dates I can only imagine what the one draft was supposed to be about. But it remains to be seen if this post will get posted or go into the drafts bucket.

Anyway, so if anyone is still reading you are probably wondering what I am quitting. I quit my job several times a day, or at least I tell people “I quit” several times a day. I think everyone thinks I am bluffing. I guess the fact that I have yet to clean out my desk and leave when I say “I quit” gives them that idea. LOL But, no, this isn’t about quitting my job.

I have considered shutting down the blog, but I keep thinking I might actually find the time to sit down and write again. Plus, I know how the 2 or 3 readers I have left love posts like this. HAHAHAHAHA

Nope, what I quit was the Facebook games. Maybe one day I will write up a post on the complete reason why, but for now, suffice to say they are taking up too much of my time. I also went through my Google reader and culled a bunch of blogs and stuff I had subscribed too. Pretty much same reason as the FB games, except I kept a few old buddies in to read even though you can’t tell because I rarely go to the blogs and read the full posts (for those of you who publish partial feed), and certainly only comment once in a blue moon.

Anywho, so I said before vacation that I would pick it back up after vacation and I’ve been back well over a week, so it’s time. It’s a post, and even a post that says nothing keeps the old blog active. LOL

No, really

I am going to start blogging again.

Eventually. :whistle:

Housekeeping begins

Beginning with the blogrolls. Wow. I went through my blogroll today to remove non-existing and non-updated for a year or more blogs from the roll. There was quite a bit of fond remembrance mixed in with several who/what was that for, and a couple of why was that blog on my roll moments. LOL Now I have some adding to do. For instance, Mel has had 2 blogs since I last updated the blogroll. But I have a few blogs to add.

I also have some general site cleanup to do, and I plan on bringing over some of the old posts from the archived site and then shutting it down completely.

And I plan to start blogging over at The Daily Brief again.