Taking Dominion: The Gmail Inbox

Gmail_image

Weeehooo! It’s taken me two months, but I’ve finally managed to take dominion over my Gmail inbox. The task, as I initially saw it, was nothing short of monumental. However, communication via email is necessary in my life and it’s been well worth the effort.

     In 1993, I got my first email address from AOL. Then, four years later, a colleague introduced me freedom of an email.com address and I gladly abandoned my AOL account. A few years later I got to know Eudora. Good things happened when I got my welcome letter from the Gmail team on March 23, 2005, and since then I’ve incorporated more than twelve different accounts into Gmail – from numerous providers. I still have my email.com address, though the customer service is deplorable and the cost of maintaining it is rising.

     Soooo…I know where to find stuff. Well, there are times when Gmail’s overzealous spam filters bury people in between hair loss remedies, medical miracle drugs, nursing school opportunities, and hey…I have friends in Kenya who want to borrow money. Nevertheless, I feel oddly comforted that something in my life is uncomplicated. And I’m thankful.

He Will Rule Over You

A brilliant little quote from Dr. Mimi Haddad from the article, “Fifty Shades of Grey: A Trilogy of Deceit, Collusion, and Domination.”

The collective suffering of women worldwide is the result of abuses of power, pervasive in many different cultures. Patriarchy–male dominance, is entrenched within the major faith traditions, including Christianity. The “he will rule over you” of Genesis 3:16 was one of the first consequences of sin in the garden. But unlike death, toil, and work, or even pain in child-birth–all the effects of sin–male rule has been elevated and advanced as a biblical ideal by Christian leaders throughout history. Christians resist death; we oppose the thorns and thistles of labor through technology and agriculture just as we work to improve the experiences of childbearing. Yet, male authority and rule receive an enduring endorsement from the church, making it harder to question and challenge without the fear of opposing God as well.

You can read the full article here.


Dr. Mimi Haddad is president of Christians for Biblical Equality. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. She holds a PhD in historical theology from the University of Durham, England. She and her husband, Dale, live in the Twin Cities. Follow her on Twitter @Mimi_CBE.

Little Bits and Pieces

I heard the Rabbi say, “Stop arguing on facebook.” I took him seriously.

I have a self-imposed ban in place to avoid reading blogs where the main purpose of the blog post is to sensationalize issues and thereby draw a great amount of attention to the author. Fame is one of those things that few are able to manage without a great deal of sin. It does things, creeps up on us slowly, and before we know it, we think more highly of ourselves than we should. The need to be greater and have power over others is a temptation few can pass up.

When an author adores the sight of his/her own words, rather than displaying a concern for the people s/he’s reaching with the words, it’s usually difficult for me to cut through all the crap to find a purpose in the post. The sharpness of his/her tongue (or in this case, fingers) and the little bits and pieces s/he leaves in place of a person, takes my breath away and leaves me speechless. What ensues, after the multi-paragraph rant, is usually a flood of comments from people who get caught up in the frenzy and lose their way and forget to love their neighbor. And I feel defeated and embarrassed, and even angry for letting my eyes and mind participate.

I heard the Rabbi say, “Love your neighbor.” That is proving to be a more difficult than I imagined. I took Him seriously.

No, I Am Your Father

My Mom called me. It was 5:15 am. Her voice was calm as she said, “I think he’s gone.” I drove as quickly as I could – a thousand thoughts racing through my mind. I expected the call so it wasn’t a surprise, but some moments just can’t be imagined. When I got to her house, I hugged my Mom close and tried to absorb her pain. I went in to my Dad and saw him laying there peacefully. I put my fingers to his neck and felt for a pulse. He was warm and I watched his chest, expecting it to rise and fall, but it didn’t. I gently held his wrist and checked for a pulse. His hands were cold. On September 23rd, 2014, my Dad left his earthly body and went to rest.

More Than Enough

This year is coming to an end and there’s a few details I need to wrap up. Before now, I couldn’t bring myself to do a “cancer” update. I wanted to make it through and, perhaps, even forget about it all. However, God has been faithful in so many ways and I realize I need to finish the chapter before I can move on. And, I recently learned that some friends were concerned I had died. So here goes…

The last three weeks of external radiation and chemo were difficult. When people ask me what I learned from all of it, I tell them I didn’t realize how much more I had to lose. Without going too much into the details, the two things I lost during my final weeks of treatment were my dignity and my value.

I went from eating “some” food to avoiding all food. I chewed for taste but then I lost the ability to taste. Gatorade turned against me and even water became an enemy. The diarrhea became severe and my potassium levels dropped significantly. I ended up getting several IV re-hydration treatments. At that point, I was totally unproductive and felt like I had nothing of value to offer the people around me. I stood in the margins and watched as they moved through their days. I needed to be there, to understand what it felt like to be in that place, and to be so loved by people around me that my soul found its way out before my body did.

And that’s one of the most important things I’ve learned. People get left in the margins because they don’t have anyone that holds on tight when things get messy, when life gets so complicated and there’s no hope of rebuilding, when the ladders you depended on no longer exist.

Which brings me to the last few weeks of internal radiation. I had five treatments – each one required an operating room and sedation. The actual treatments only took 15 minutes, but the preparation took hours. The IV needle became more and more difficult to insert because of the dehydration. I had one good vein left and lidocaine helped the needle make it through the scar tissue.

My champion, through internal radiation was my niece, Hannah. She hung on tightly and wouldn’t let me attempt the journey on my own. After the first treatment, I didn’t want to do anymore. I begged her to make an excuse so that we didn’t have to go back, but she insisted. And two treatments turned to four and then we had only one left. All those hours of staring at the ceiling and trying not to move began to fray the neatly tied strings holding me together. And then we were done. No evidence of disease. For now.

Some things I expected to happen…never happened. And some things were unexpected: The amount of time I’d need off work, the effects of radiation on my joints and muscles, the way I view God the Father, the mountain of bills left behind, the many people who love me. It was a journey I needed to take and I am thankful that His Grace was more than enough.

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