Saturday, March 21, 2009

Not Fun

I have been told that I am too serious and faulted for not being fun. It is true. I don't know how to have fun. My entire life has been full of serious pursuits. My work was serious ( 40 years of analyzing blood, bone marrow, tissues and body fluids in a clinical laboratory to provide diagnostic and treatment protocols for physicians). Being a chiropractic physician for a few years in the middle of all of that was serious. Raising children was serious. I guess some people have fun doing this, but I didn't know how to make that fun either. Being a Quaker has been a study of the serious for the past 25 years, reading the Bible, Quaker journals, articles and books. The title of my blog is serious (Holy Child of God). I chose it as a challenge both to myself as a reminder of its' truth and to others who only believe the misinterpretations in the KJV of "abomination".
When I retired almost three years ago, I had in mind that at some point I would do something useful for the world and volunteer either with hospice or as ombudsman for the state to monitor nursing homes. Again, serious pursuits. So far, I have not felt called to move in either of those directions. Now I am wondering if, in this part of my life, I should be pursuing joy or fun or whatever one calls it. It doesn't seem right when there is so much pain and suffering in the world to be pursuing joy instead of trying to relieve pain and suffering. It seems too selfish to me. On the other hand, I am sure that I am not lead in that direction at least for now, so maybe I need to be more open to joy, fun, etc. I just don't know where to begin. Maybe I could start with renaming my blog. Maybe call it In Pursuit of Joy and try to be more aware of possible openings for this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

FWCC Section of the Americas Annual Meeting

Friends World Committee for Consultation
Section of the Americas
Annual Meeting
19 - 22 March 2009
Canby Oregon 97013

Two Friends from Africa, one from India and one from Australia were hosted at 2 potlucks by Multnomah Monthly Meeting in Portland, Oregon. One on the evening of 17 Mar 2009 for the meeting as a whole, and one at noon 18 Mar 2009 for the monthly seniors' potluck. At the evening session the Friends from Africa spoke of the connections that FWCC had with the African Yearly Meetings and the responses of Quakers to the fighting that broke out last year in Kenya. A question and answer period followed the potluck. These Friends had travelled many miles through many time zones and were visibly exhausted. I feel that hospitality requires that travelling Friends' physical needs should come before the requests of hosting Friends to endlessly require answers to questions that could be addressed after Friends have rested.
One audience member in particular ( I had never seen this person before and don't know how familiar she is with Friends) kept asking one of the African Friends what her mission here was and what she was doing for world peace.
I felt like standing up and helping the Friend from Africa out, as she seemed to struggle for an answer. I am not good at Quakerly responses so said nothing. On the way home I railed that it is too bad that someone didn't ask her what she was doing for world peace and that it was not all up to the woman that she had put on the spot. See what I mean by not being very Quakerly.
Today it came to me that perhaps I could have explained simply that Friends from various parts of the world were coming together for a conference this weekend. Maybe she really did not know this.
At the noon session I sat beside the Friend from India and we struck up a general conversation about family. He asked if I lived alone and I told him that I lived with my partner. He did not ask and I did not explain further. I wanted to ask if he knew of any GLBTQ Friends in India, but was afraid of the possible response. I wonder if I will ever find my voice. Sometimes I feel like Gigot in the film of that name. He was mute and upon seeing a child in the river and being unable to speak to summon help, the child drowned. Gigot runs into the church, looks up at the cross and pounds his chest in a silent but profound questioning of God for his absence of the ability to speak. This was one of Jackie Gleason's greatest performances and has stayed with me for decades as it is so meaningful to me. I am so envious of people who are articulate and quick with their responses.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gifts of the Spirit

AIG Execs Who Ruined Company To Get $165 Million In Bonuses
AIG Execs Who Ruined Company To Get $165 Million In Bonuses - The Huffington Post

Does anyone else see this as I do as a misuse of the God given gift of Administration as listed in Luke 14:28-30; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Cor 12:25-31 ? The gift of Administration is described by C. Peter Wagner in his book Discover Your Spiritual Gifts as "...the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to understand clearly the immediate and long range goals of a particular unit of the Body and to devise and execute effective plans for the accomplishment of those goals." This gift is also defined by Kenneth Cain Kinghorn in his book Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts as "... a gift that enables one to provide leadership and guidance in matters of organization and administration. The administrator serves by recognizing and coordinating the abilities and gifts of other members of the group, institution, or church."
Of course it can be claimed that these spiritual gifts could be separated from human talents, but I believe that they are all God given and meant to be used for the common good of all and not for personal gain at the expense of others.

And this from William Penn:
Government seems to me a part of religion itself, a thing sacred in its institution and ends. ... And government is free to the people under it, whatever be the frame, where the laws rule and the people are a party to those laws; and more than this is tyranny, oligarchy, or confusion. ... As governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad. If it be ill, they will cure it. But if men be bad, let the government be ever so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn.
- William Penn, "First Frame of Government", 1682

Friday, March 6, 2009



Ken Starr
The dean of Pepperdine University's School of Law is arguing before the California Supreme Court in defense of Prop. 8.
Starr argues against gay families by claiming that there are "substantial adverse consequences for children that often flow from alternative household arrangements.

Isn't this a case of FALSE WITNESS against your neighbor? This was important enough to be among the ten commandments. Witness is very powerful and very difficult to defend against. False witness is what led to the crucifixion of Jesus.