Tuesday, January 23, 2007

what to do about economy?

I am on my roommate's computer, and there's all this sweet stuff I can do to my blog on this one. I thought websites were the same regardless of the type of computer. wierd..

In my policy and legislation class this morning we "discussed" the differences between conservatives and liberals. (Yes, I am entering the realm of politics today. I'm confused, that's my excuse.) In an ideal world, I would vote with conservatives on the side of economics. I hate the thought of giving the government more control than it already has. I love the idea of people taking care of one another.
One girl in the class said that if public schools (or education in general) were not mandatory, our society would go to ruin. I think that's true since we live in a country where minimum wage does not cut it and you can't get higher pay without a degree let alone a highschool diploma. I think it's already going to ruin though. As part of the discussion, to show the "conservative" (I don't think many conservatives actually think this way, but I could be wrong sadly), the professor took the role of a rich businessman with no kids. He complained about having to pay for education and other services when he himself did not use them.
That's why I think our society is headed to ruin. Self focus. Selfishness in general. A lack of concern for others. How can we possibly exist as a unified country full of self-serving people?

So I sat there wondering whether we are feeding this mentality by giving responsibility for the poor to the government. It becomes their responsibility. Out of sight, out of mind. Flagstaff has made it a crime to be homeless. We actually pay 3 times as much money to put them in jail as we would to put them in a hotel. That, or we simply load them onto a bus and cart them off to Tucson.
So, what do you think? (By the way, when I ask questions, I do really want answers, which I never really get on here... hint hint) Is it better to forget about ideals and go with reality? Should we keep giving the government control, thereby creating a standby effect among the people? Or, is it too late, and is government control not as bad as I think? Or is it an impossible situation? Maybe it is. Society never used to rely on the government for schools, charity, even police force. It used to be service given to people by the church and private charities. I think that is the only way we can help giving the governement more responsibility. The church has to follow the heart of our God. She has to, or nothing will ever change.

Welfare sets people up to fail, not always, but generally. Necessary evil? I am supported by the government. I have grant which enables me to go to school. I've been on access before, though I'm not currently. I'm not advocating no government involvement. It is necessary. I am advocating for the love of people by those called to it, namely those who call themselves followers of Jesus. So do I vote with conservative economists or liberal economists? Well, liberal. People need help. If people weren't sinful, I'd be a socialist. lol....

Hmm so God is good, snow is beautiful, and people are wonderful. I thought I'd end on a happier note. I really am happy, and I really love my class(es I have another facinating one on fundamentalism...) Sorry if my blogs are heavy!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Well, it seems like it's been a while since my last post. I've started classes since then. The weather has been frigid to say the least. Someone told me this morning that it's actually warmer in Alaska right now. Isn't it sad when you wish for 30 degree weather? It is when you live in Arizona. It has been below 0 in the mornings.. brrr!

Hey mom, here's that site I told you about for the Simpe Way.... http://www.thesimpleway.org/. For everyone else, the Simple Way is a community house/ministry in Philly. I learned about it in the book, the Irresistible Revolution, which is quite good. You should read it.

I'm taking a policy and legislation class for my major (social work), and it is surprisingly very interesting so far. I know, policy interesting? My prof also teaches religions classes (and he's a board member for one of our associations at work.. odd..), so he gives that perspective as well. He told us that many social work students come from evangelical christian backgrounds (which they do), and we all know that the majority of christian evangelicals in this country are right wing conservatives. This makes for a lot of conflict once you start to study social work, because most social workers are left wing liberals. I thought it interesting that he's talking about this, because I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

So, I hate the thought of giving the government more control than it already has, however, I think it's the only thing to do. it wasn't supposed to be that way. It's really the church's responsibility to take care of the poor and the oppressed. So the class is totally getting me fired up to go change the world. haha. I know, I can't change the world.. I can try though.

I don't remember what I was going to write about. that's probably good.. that means this is as long as it's going to get. I'm so tired... blehhhh.... ok have a good one...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Humiliated Grapes?

Yesterday was so nice! I have free afternoons this week as the shack (Single Speed) closed on Friday ( sad, yes.)

I checked my email after work at White Dove (signal still gone around the apartment), then drove a friend down to Sedona to pick up a car she bought. I drove back up through Oak Creek by myself with the windows down and silence mixed with Enter the Worship Circle. It was beautiful, it always is. There was still snow on the ground in some places. Maybe I’ll go back and take some pictures.

We went to the open mic night at Applesauce Teahouse. It’s always fun to go to. All the hippies hang out there, and there’s really a lot of talent. Some people read poetry, lots play instruments, mainly guitar. Every once in a while a folk band called the Family will play there. They’re really good, one of the girls plays a saw violin. So fun, if you’ve never seen one, it’s just a long saw that you wiggle back and forth while playing it with a violin stick (don’t know what they’re called…) Anyone’s allowed to join the band ☺.

This week there was a poet there who won 5th place at the national poetry slam. He said he’s from New York, and has been traveling since August. He was really good. His lyrics savored strongly of bitterness in my opinion though. He had a lot of good things to say, but it most of it was Christian bashing.

It is sad that the only view of God that he has had was through very judgmental, hateful people. Truth be told, he had a lot to say about God, but it wasn’t really about God since none of what he said about Him was true. Actually, and ironically, he’s a lot closer to God than he thinks. He was describing a god who hates gay people and “sent AIDS as a punishment” for various things. The god he was talking about, I wouldn’t want to know either. I hope he finds out who the real God is someday.

It may have been the first time I’ve felt hatred directed towards me, even though I don’t believe the things he was saying about “Christians”. I think if he actually read what Jesus said, he’d have nothing left to say. At least about God. I did feel very heavy in spirit while he was up. Not a good feeling. We left after him, Emily and James came over and we watched Benny and Joon.

Some people are a lot like the raisins. Humiliated grapes. Some people have turned a loving, forgiving God into a religious, ridiculous god. They used to be full of life, now they’re bone dry cannibals, eating one another up.

You like that analogy? If you didn’t understand, you need to watch the movie. Classic.

When the Church, the beautiful church, turns away from it’s purpose (ie love, compassion, sharing, community, taking care of the poor and defenseless, etc) the world sees it, recognizes it for the wrong it is, and becomes bitter.

Well mom, that was my day, I know you like to see what I’m doing. (Today I’m going looking for cheap books for classes…. Wish me luck!)

Monday, January 08, 2007


I rented a documentary done by HBO called Thin. It was very good. It was very sad. It was very hopeless. It was about four women who went to a reha center for eating disorders. One was a psychiatric nurse who weighed 82 pounds and was suicidal. She was about 25. Another was a 30 year old woman who had been there a few weeks and got up to 115 pounds. Another had had her disorder from the age of 8. When she came to the center, she was losing her hair and had liver damage. She was 15. Her mother also had a disorder. The last was a divorced mother of 2 children. She admitted herself for her children's sake.

Every single one of these women said they would do anything to be thin, whether they died in the process or not. They couldn't see themsleves the way they really were. One of the therapists had a woman draw a life size picture of herself-what she thought she looked like. Then the therapist traced the woman's outline inside the drawing she'd done of herself. The woman couldn't believe that it was really her outline on the paper. She hadn't been able to see herself the way she really was.

My roommate was watching it with me, and one thing she said she noticed was that other than what I just wrote, the doctors/nutritionists/therapists really didn't do much to help the girls' mental disorder. Their solution was all about eating and getting back to a healthy weight.

I think eating disorders are more of a psychological problem than anything else (and you're thinking well, ya think? but if it's so obvious, why aren't they treating it as a psychological disorder?).

An interesting thing to me, as a Social Work major, was that the workers there viewed the girls as patients. Maybe a better way to describe it would be to picture it as someone in Star Wars alking to the clones. They can understand, they think and function as normal humans, but they aren't individuals. They aren't capable of the things that make humans unique. The emotions, love, individual will.

That's how it seemed the workers were treating the women. I can't say I blame them. They were very nice. I know it has to be hard to view people as people after a while in that type of field. When you think of a person as a human being, you realize that they feel, and that they are hurting. You have to realize that they are capable of making their own decisions, and that no matter what you tell them, if they are not willing to be helped, you can't do anything to fix them. Not that we really can fix anyone anyways.

Anyways, I thought it was interesting that every single one of the women the documentary focused on went right back to their disorders when they left the treatment center. The mother, however, went back to the center a second time, and after that she was able to maintain a healthy weight.

The other women were only trying to get better for themselves. The mother, obviously, had her children to think about. I think that's why she was the only one to get at least somewhat better. If you re trying to get over something for no other person than yourself, I think it's next to imossible. Interesting.

Well it was a sad video to watch. I like to see the ways people try to deal with hard things in their lives though. I wish hard things didn't happen, but they do. Maybe it's a wierd interest to have, but there you have it. I saw We Are Marshall a couple nights ago, and that's a movie that's all about dealing with loss.

Some people fight it out, others escape. There's not one way for everyone. But not every way is right either.

You can hide grief. You can suppress it. It will come out though. At some point in time, in some way, it will force its way out.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Matthew 10

Laundry day again. Just ate a delicous hummus sandwich with a warm soy chai. Quite good. Church today was different. We were studying Matthew 10, and this week we all had questions. I like that we are free to ask questions, and i like even more that we try to find the answers, and I like the most that no one there knows everything.

Matthew 10 is the one where Jesus sends the disciples out to the towns to heal and love (in my words). I was wondering, when Jesus gives them the authority to heal, cast out evil, etc, was it just to them that he was speaking, or to all who follow after him? He says the same things to the 72 in Luke 10.

Also, he tells the men that when they enter a house they can give the people peace. If the people of the house are not kind, they can take their peace back. I foret the exact wording. That's the idea though. So I was wondering, are christians able to give peace to people? Like when the 72 come back from wherever they went, and they were amazed because they had power over the spirits. Is that it?

We also talked about ourselves some more as a church, and Treasure (isn't that a neat name? and I saw a little baby girl last night at church named Heiress) brought up our "motto" if you will. It's Following hard after Jesus. It made me think about what I follow hard after. I think I follow after Jesus, though not as hard as I should, and truth, and other things like that. I also follow after self image, comfort, and lots of things like that. What we follow after shapes us.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Day

Sitting in Macy's, checking email and blogs, drinking Naked juice.. no chai tonight, I just got off work and I'm wired enough..

New Year's in Williams was better than I expected. I had to prepare myself mentally to go there, I always do, but God wanted me to go and I think because I'm still processing through life there. If I don't visit occasionally, it gets pushed to the back of my mind, and even now I really don't have many memories of growing up there.

I thougt that forgetting about it was the answer, I can't separate sad things from good very well, and bad memories always effect the good ones, so I choose not t remember anything at all. That's not the answer. That's part of why I went to Williams for New Year's.

Going into Social Work, or even any field involving people, is hard. People aren't safe, kinda like God, only for different reasons. But pain is good for you, in my opinion. Evading (is that the right word?) pain is very bad. So it's time to stop evading. And that, mother, is why I don't like Williams. Well, not that I don't like it, but why it's a very hard place to be. It forces me to face who I've been, where I've been, and things I've been forgetting.

God has been telling me something, and I think it is that I need to go. So, Europe? maybe. He hasn't gotten that far with me yet. I would so much appreciate you guys (parents) praying about it for me.

We've moved into the other townhouse now, and I like being there :).. It's quite cozy, full of blankets and Julie's collection of things from her many travels round the world. And, we have an oven!!! And carpet :).

Well, here's to a new start, new things to learn, new friends to make, and old friends to love. May it be full of the Lord's movement and may we be part of it!