Tuesday, November 23, 2010

News and some meme at the end

My oldest reader, not age wise but the guy who started reading this the earliest asked me how I was doing. I am doing well and was going to write a blog about racism in Finland but got involved in looking for a blog I thought I had posted on my old MySpace blog about the subject. Was thinking of reposting it on here first before writing my new blog. This blog seemed to be a figment of my imagination.

In other news I swallowed my pride and went to social services because we were out of money and the kotiutumistuki (homing aid) was not materializing. I went there yesterday and got the money in my account today. Now we eat FOOD, you know versus not food or something. We are moving to our new apartment Sunday. It will hopefully be warm, as this one has failed to be.

Just to be more fun, I found this thing on http://holynpoly.blogspot.com/2010/11/47-down.html and decided to do it for me.

"Here's a list that originally came from the BBC but I picked up from Ganching.
You copy the list and then bold the books you have read completely and italicize those that you have partly read or dipped into.

Apparently the average person has read 6 of these books. Yes six... frightening"

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo.

Okay, so not counting them, but I am patting myself in the back. No more memes I promise. I will get down to business and write about racism and all that soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Holy Spirit

"Same river different parts." Is what my husband says when talking about the way his Quaker beliefs see the holy spirit and the way my Pentecostal back ground sees it. Pentecostals focus on the strong events of encountering of the holy spirit, and from what I have seen the Quakers focus more on the quiet gentle, still small voice of daily guidance the holy spirit offers. We are swimming in the gently quiet shallows of the spiritual river basking in the love of God. The Pentecostals are in the rapids in their canoes wearing crash helmets and seem to be having a whole lot of crazy fun, WOOHOO!

I like the rapids, I do. I like strong tearing up shaking encounters with the spirit, I just cannot be sustained from day to day on them. I had a few good encounters like that as a child with God, when I was saved and when I received the holy spirit a different time some years later. These were wonderful experiences of closeness with God that probably resembled, in a small way what Moses felt when he saw the Lord pass by.

The danger of these experiences is sometimes you wish to "feel the presence of God" and forget that he is always present. He never leaves, you can always feel him, talk to him and listen to him with out crying screaming and begging for that next strong hit of the holy spirit, like a heroin addict begging for credit from his dealer. Christians, at least in America, often like to compare God to drugs. There is a song by a Christian alternative group, either Skillet or Thousand Foot Crutch, I forget which that is called "Better than Drugs". This is a cute, if over played metaphor many American Christians like to use but when Christians start acting like drug addicts it is no longer cute, it is alarming. It is alarming when a Christian cannot get by with out having a "profound spiritual experience" complete with crying, gnashing of teeth, writhing on the floor, passing out and spewing nonsense. I am not saying these things are somehow not true manifestations of the baptism in the holy spirit but what I am saying is that they are darn exhausting and alarming to the uninitiated, and even those who know what is going on and often indistinguishable from a classically demon possessed person. There is so much wrong when that high is all you are chasing and attaining it is about begging and pleading with God, like you are still a sinner, to come to you. What is wrong with shutting the frack up and listening for a change?

It works for me and when I stopped chasing that high and just listened and relaxed I started to feel and appreciate the daily presence of God more and I no longer felt unworthy because I had no apparent gifts. What God taught me in the silence is that I am good enough for him to love the way I am and there is no need to worry about any special gifts, just living my life for him is good enough. If I fail to enjoy his presence today, I can still do it tomorrow. He is always there for me and more like a warm cup of tea, a blanket and a hug from a loved one than a syringe full of whatever or a noseful of cocaine. Maybe I am just getting old and just no fun spiritually.