Sunday, October 3, 2010

Give My Regards to Blogspot. . .


As of 3:10 p.m. EDT on this day, Sunday, October 3, 2010, my blog, known as:

  Reflections From a Cloudy Mirror

has been completely and permanently relocated to WordPress!  The URL for my new site, while bearing the same name, is :

All of my previous posts have been transferred to that site, as well as the comments.  This move was necessitated by the large number of problems I started to experience with the Blogger domain, not the least of which was the inability of readers and followers from other domains to post their comments on the site.   I'm sure you all know by now that I love the comments and discussions from my readers as much as I love writing the blog in the first place!  If you are a follower or subscriber from the Blogger domain, please be sure to transfer your "membership" to my new digs.  I look forward to visiting with you all in my new home. You are welcome any time, and you don't have to come alone - bring your friends!  The larger the party, the better!

I offer you my love and especially my thanks for spending some of your time with me and sharing in my "Reflections." I have attempted to give you a "Paula's-Eye-View" of what I see - and the view is always changing!  You have always given back to me exactly what I have needed, and it is always, just exactly, enough. . .

Some Sinless Pleaasure for a Sunday Afternoon

I need only post this link:  Click here and enjoy!

Hope you all can get enough. . .

My Lazy, Stole-it-From-Cin, Sunday Morning, Before Church, Nerve-Calming, Too-Tired-To-Come-Up-With-Anything-Else Blog Post

     1. Where will you be in an hour? -  In the bathroom, getting ready for Church, fixing my hair, etc.
     2. Who will be your next kiss? - Probably our dog, Princess.
     3. Is there something purple within 10 feet of you? - Yes.  It's on my left arm.  A rather florid-looking painless bruise.
     4. Are you wearing socks right now? – No, I am barefoot.  (Me, too, Cin!)
     5. When was the last time you went out of state? – One of the last Sundays in August, we were in Athens, Tennessee; Ashley was a guest preacher at a church  we  served many years ago.
    6. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days? – No.  Ready to go anytime, though!
    7. What was the last thing you had to drink? – A sip of Coke Zero, (it was handy, and I was thirsty).
    8. What are you wearing right now? – Mismatched pajamas – flowered pink capri-length bottoms, and a pink Outer Banks T-Shirt on top.
     9. What was your last purchase? – Assorted items at “Wally-World” last night, including a few groceries.
   10. What’s the last thing you wrote down? –I scribbled down a few quick biographical notes on a character in a story I am writing:  “Coralee born when he was 30, disappeared when he was 48, day after her 18th birthday.”
    11. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? –Gerald Jacobson, who called for Hubs, and to whom I transferred the call.
   12. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week? – Yep!  Among the items purchased last night were a new bra and a package of panties.
   14. What’s the last sporting event you watched? –Ryder Cup golf this weekend.  (HEY CIN!  WHAT HAPPENED TO #13?)
   16. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be? – With my granddaughter, ZoĆ«, rockin’ away the morning!  (HEY, CIN!  WHAT HAPPENED TO #15?)
    17. What is the last thing you purchased online? – A wireless mouse and tote bag, both for my new computer, and some photo paper.
    18. One thing you hate about yourself? – My eagerness to answer quizzes like this instead of doing something truly productive.
    19. What’s your favorite soup? – At present, Tortilla, but ask me again tomorrow.  Soup is a favorite food, and I love all kinds!
   20. Do you miss anyone? – Yes. Many, many people. (And a few beloved pets!)
   21. Last play you saw? – “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”  Not sure if that’s the last, but it’s the first one to come to mind.
   22. What are your plans for tomorrow? – De-cluttering the house as prep work for housekeeper on Tuesday, and a Dr.’s appointment.
   23. Ever got to go camping? – Took a bunch of Jr. Girl Scouts once – we were completely rained out just after getting our tents up!
  24. What do you want right now? – My back to quit stabbing me in, well, my back!
  25. Were you an honor roll student in Elementary school? – Yes.
  26. What do you know about your future? – There will be sorrow, but mostly joy, and I will be happy.
  28. Where are your best friends located? – In my heart.  (HEY, CIN!  WHAT HAPPENED TO #27?)
  29. Do you have a tan? – Only the books by Amy Tan in my bookshelf.
  30. How old do you want to be when you have kids? – I was 26. (Even if I hadn’t been old enough then, I would’ve gotten there pretty fast after!)
  31. Last person who made you cry? – Rosemary Clooney, singing “Time Flies.”
 32. Do you have any tattoos or piercings? – Pierced ears.
 33. Have you ever sipped your soda through a straw? – Yes.
 34. How do you like your soda? – Preferably cold, but never with ice.
 35. Last time you took a shower? -  Friday.
 36. What is one thing you’re afraid of? – People finding out I didn’t shower yesterday.
 37. What is your mood right now? – Anticipating singing a solo in church this morning.
 38. Are you someone’s best friend? – I flatter myself by thinking I am.
 39. Do you have a crush on someone? – Other than Hubs, there are several actors I can think of right now. . .
 40. What are you doing right now? – Wasting time answering this quiz.  Now it’s your turn!
Thanks to theonlycin for her post this morning, and therefore mine!  Have a wonderful day, Gentle Readers!  May it be filled to overflowing with enough. . .

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Christ v. Christianity. . .and the Winner Is. . .*

"I like your Christ.  I do not like your Christians.  They are so unlike your Christ."  M. K. Ghandi
This quotation is surely one of the most haunting challenges to those who earnestly endeavor to live their lives according to the example set by Jesus Christ - those who choose to call themselves Christ's Disciples - in other words, those who are known by the dreaded "C" word:  Christian

Almost daily I am confronted with the reality that many people are completely turned off by the whole concept off Christianity because of the attitudes and behaviors of some of those who call themselves Christians that they have known or met or observed.  There are many people I know or have heard of who will not call identify themselves as Christian, because they are so offended by, and do not wish to be associated with, many of the people who do.  It is a hard thing to take from those that I love, because I feel that they are missing out on the greatest joys of living.  But becoming a Christian is most definitely a personal choice - and no one can be forced into it (not that throughout history it hasn't been tried, more's the pity!). 

Christians of late have suffered greatly from a very poor marketing campaign.  Efforts have been made by "believers" to gather converts by pushing their own agendas, and not living out the words and deeds of Christ.  Those agendas frequently include hatred, exclusion, division, hierarchies, and intolerance. While some of these ad campaigns sound "good" at first, by purporting to be  truly representing all that is good - "family values," "salvation," "freedom," "love," and "peace," etc. - a deeper look into their operating methods reveal some very disturbing truths.  There are too few people who, having ascribed to a particular brand of Christianity,  bother to measure the statutes of the institution against the stature of Christ.  Too many don't want to have to think for themselves.  They want to be told what to do, say, think, believe.  They want to feel "safe" and "saved," and that they have purchased their non-refundable and non-cancellable ticket to Heaven by simply singing "Hallelujah" on Sunday morning, repeating the Lord's Prayer with everybody else, and filling a church pew once or twice a week.  The saddest part of all this is that so many really mean well - at least on the surface.  But, in my estimation, they have failed to make the connection between what Christ asked of those who would follow Him and how they actually behave.  True discipleship requires a direct connection between what is required and what is attempted.

I began this post with high hopes of being able to articulate my passionate concern for the church of Jesus Christ - the "Body."  Generally when I begin one of my "rants" I have little trouble with the flow of my words and thoughts.  This time I kept hitting snags.  I wasn't sure exactly why until the day after I set aside what I managed to write above, thinking perhaps I just needed time.  What I needed, it turns out, is an "accidental" perusal through some papers on my desk that needed filing.  I happened upon a reprint of the article in the following link.  This "accident" was no accident.  In this article, Shane Claiborne manages to say, so much more eloquently and clear-headed than I, what is at stake in the battle of Christ v. "Christianity."  

My thanks to Shane for his message, for the wonderful work of healing he is facilitating wherever he goes, for his passion and dedication in a world that often does not want to listen, but surely does wish to see.

Here's the link:   
What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff?
The following few paragraphs (highlighted in green) are condensed from some information included in one of my pastor's, Dr. Chuck Wilson's, recent blogs:

By the way, did you know that in 1997, 12% of Americans believed that Noah's wife was Joan of Arc?  Surely we're better educated today, right? 
Perhaps not. George Barna describes the spirituality of today's young adult as "extremely wide, often shallow and always compelling." Consider the "extremely wide" category: 56% of those under the age of 25 believe that "the Bible, Quran and Book of Mormon are the same expression of truth." Heading the "often shallow" category, young adults view Paris Hilton more favorably than Billy Graham. Only 30% believe that the Bible is "accurate in the principles it teaches."

But there's good news in the "always compelling" category: according to Barna research, young adults "see spirituality as connected to all of their life, not a compartment within their life." They don't want to discuss spiritual ideas so much as they want to see spirituality lived in ways which make the world better.

I think Jesus would have agreed with them. His strongest sentiments were reserved for religious leaders who "... for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them" (Matthew 23:3-4). Early Christians lived their faith so practically and sacrificially that Tertullian (great Early Church father who died AD 220) could quote their enemies: "How they love each other."
Today's culture is remarkably similar to the first-century environment of early Christians. People in their day worshiped the emperor, the gods of Mt. Olympus, and the mystery cults; others followed neo-Platonists, Skeptics, Cynics, Stoics or Epicureans. Jews worshipped Yahweh; Christians worshipped Jesus.

Early believers showed people that their faith was right by showing that it was relevant. They couldn't outlaw slavery, so they purchased slaves and freed them. They couldn't make prostitution illegal, so they bought prostitutes, set them free, and gave them homes. They couldn't outlaw the abandonment of unwanted babies, so they rescued them and raised them as their own.

Our world today wants to know if Jesus is relevant to their lives and problems. Ken Medema says in one of his songs, "Don't tell me I have a friend in Jesus until you show me I have a friend in you." 

*  There really is no contest - and never a doubt as to Who the Winner was, is, and always will be.

Dear Gentle Readers, may your lives be filled with exactly enough. . .