Sunday, July 31, 2005

Advice?

I've reposted this message here so it wouldn't be missed.

Leah718 said...
Thank you to the woman who has been married to an OALCer for over 30yrs. The posting on this site and one other have helped me tremenously. I am a Chrisitan woman "of color" who has dated a man for two and a half years that belongs to this church. Many of the questions that have gone unanswered have now come to light. This explains the unusual coldness I have felt by the his friends and family that belong to the church. How could this have gone on so long? Because of our careers and lifesyles, it was once easy to live a life separate of that of the church.
I am saddened when I feel his pain. He is torn between family, the church and me. I don't feel it would be fair to ask him to leave the church; this is something that he needs to do on his own. He is a well educated man who has tasted life apart from the church for a while, and although he never discusses this with me, I know he has serious doubts about the church's claims.
Part of my role to him is the love that can exist outside the church; my biggest fear is that he will never leave the church. You are right in saying that attending church alone is very lonely, even if you are still single.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Leah, it is wise of you to consider these things seriously. Your guy is lucky to have you, because a lot of dates would run (fast) after seeing an OALC family up close. (Thank God my husband didn't.)

Even if your man leaves the church, he will never be completely free from it, socially or psychologically. It doesn't sound like he wants to be, though. If your biggest fear is that he won't leave the church, and he has yet to talk to you about his commitment to it, I think that's a big clue.

If you choose to have kids, your children will grow with a significant number of their relatives considering them "bad" or "unChristian" or worse. (Our six-year old is very sad that his grandparents and cousins never visit him.)

There is no appreciation of diversity, racial or otherwise, in the OALC. Why put yourself or your kids through that?

Leah, have the big conversation with him. Then "don't waste your pretty" if he can't make accommodations or understand your concerns. There are many wonderful men in the world.

Don't settle.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Married to the OALC

What is it like to be married to someone who is still in the OALC? No doubt it varies a lot. But my heart goes out to all those who are feeling the barbs and arrows of the OALC's unloving dogma. Read the comments
here
and also here (on the Left the OALC blog).

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

New Forum for Former Laestadians, XLLL

In response to the suggestions for a forum, I've started one over at Yahoo -- click above or the logo in the sidebar at right. When you subscribe to the forum (with a real or assumed name), you can choose to have your email address hidden. Please sign up and launch a topic.

Any Change Here?

Incredibly, this blog is almost a year old. It seems like just last week when I was wondering if anyone "out there" would find me. Well, you did and I'm glad. It is gratifying to know that I am not alone and that other folks are finding validation and information and support here. (As well as unsolicited prayers, hehe.)

Perhaps because I'm getting to know some of you, and because traffic is increasing (upwards of 60 hits a day, yikes), I feel newly motivated to improve this blog. Nothing major. I'm not THAT motivated and I have about two minutes a day I can spend on it. But! It would be nice to have categories for old posts, so if you want to look up the list of Sins, you don't have to search. And it would be helpful to have a "recent comments" section because y'all keep responding to stuff that is in the archives. These features are available with hosts other than Blogger (should I be whispering? Am I guilty of blog apostasy?!)

Oh, and what about the url? While "extoot" was kind of fun and insiderish -- "toot" was another term for bunner in my particular OALC milieu -- it is more confusing than descriptive.

Or should I leave well enough alone?

Help me out here, readers.

(No, that is not my photo and that pathetic person is not a relative. I'm pretty sure.)

Monday, July 25, 2005

New Link, Personal Post

Thanks to Exoalc, I've added a link to Spiritual Abuse Recovery Resources over in the right column.

Today under "A Lily Grows" there is a new note from Anonymous that reads:

I will continue to pray for you, as you still have a soul. A dying relative of yours told you repeatedly, "I love you". She is not alone in that thought. She loved all of you naturally and had a love and concern for your soul salvation. She was following Jesus own words when he said, "go out quickly, into the highways, hedges, streets, and lanes, and compell them to come in, that my house may be filled. We are still a house of the maimed, halt and blind.

Were these words intended for me? Or for Virginia?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

ALC History

Thanks to the reader who provided the link (above) to this book about ALC history. Anyone willing to read it and post a review?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Creeds

There are some intriguing new posts about Christian creeds (click on link above). Thank you, readers, for increasing my understanding of the Nicene Creed. Personally, I have problems with creeds of all kinds -- which are loyalty oaths, basically, engineered to encourage conformity -- yet I understand their importance in the history and their continuing function as foundations for action. I guess I consider religious creeds like marriage vows and your homeland's Pledge of Allegiance: they are pale, inadequate descriptions of true faith, fidelity and patriotism.

What is your experience? What do creeds do for you? Or what have they done for you lately? :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Knot, Seen


Wood Knot
Originally uploaded by Free2beme.
My husband took this photo of an interesting pattern in the deck of our Mendocino rental. He has an eye for detail and an appreciation for beauty in common things. I was extraordinarily jealous of that ability until I discovered it was contagious.

We can't see what we don't look at.
We don't know what we don't know.

Even now, years after un-put-up-withable cognitive dissonance compelled me to leave the OALC, I'm aware that my usual, my default mode of response is, as Tomte described it, binary. I am one big evaluating machine, judging thoughts, experiences, words, people, things, places, etc. as to their significance, utility, rightness or wrongness, up/down, place in the bigger scheme of things, etc, etc.

Isn't this what we all do? Well, yes and no.

There is bigger way, a deeper, more profound, more holistic way of experiencing life . . . and God.

Perhaps it is not only contagious (so it helps to hang out with folks who practice it) but a muscle you can exercise.

Like prayer.

When you are done reading this, close your eyes. Imagine that death will arrive in three minutes, and everything you ever needed to know, you know now. Nothing is left to be said or done. Put your arms around your body (it has carried you so far!), then open them wide. Just be.

Feel that perfect love.

Highway One


View from Hwy One
Originally uploaded by Free2beme.
It was the ideal road trip: four good friends, perfect weather, eye-popping scenery, good conversation, splendid music (including U2, ColdPlay and Phillip Glass, with frequent requests for "Puff the Magic Dragon" from our youngest rider). This photo was taken from Highway One north of Mendocino. If you've never taken this road before, put it on your lifetime to-do list.

And thank you, readers, for all the interesting posts.

Glass Beach


Glass Beach
Originally uploaded by Free2beme.
North of Mendocino -- where we spent a lazy week with morning fog, afternoon sunshine and velvety night skies -- there is a beach that is unmarked and unadvertised, perhaps because the local Chamber of Commerce can't quite find the right spin. Called Glass Beach by the locals, it is a treasure trove of glass pebbles, mostly clear and green but some brown and very rarely blue, mixed in with the sand and rocks, deposited there by the tide which continues to refine the detritus of previous residents. It used to be the town's garbage dump. Don't worry, I won't stretch for a metaphor here. I just wanted to share this photo with you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A Lily Grows in Battle Ground


Casablanca
Originally uploaded by Free2beme.
I took this photo in my sister's lush garden in BG, just before heading south to California for a week on the coast. I'm told the OALC has rented the fairgrounds for its summer meetings, and indeed I saw a sign nearby that said: "OALC Elders Meetings." On our way out of town, I saw a carload of long-haired girls at an intersection and had a strange feeling of looking into my own past, and felt so much gratitude for the roads I've travelled and the distance I've come.

I wondered if they were happy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Tell Truth to Power

There are new posts under Benefits of Leaving and Elders. I want to thank everyone who writes, and keeps this blog afloat.

I know it takes a measure of courage to put your thoughts out here, particularly if you've been warned not to "find fault." Let me assure you that telling truth to power is essential for living free lives . . . in every sphere.

Now, if you don't want your message to be buried in the archives, you can post it under the current topic -- don't worry it doesn't relate.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Rise Up

Just in cased you missed it:

Today, millions of people attended or watched the Live8 series of rock concerts in nine nations around the world. More than 26.4 million people from around the world have sent text messages in support of the Live8 campaign, a world record. The goal? To pressure world leaders at the G8 leaders' summit, taking place next Wednesday in Edinburgh, to agree to a package of aid, debt relief and trade reform to help lift African nations out of poverty. (Every single day, 30,000 children die, needlessly, of extreme poverty. Every three seconds is the death rate of African children.)

"So this is our moment. This is our time. This is our chance to stand up for what's right. We're not looking for charity, we're looking for justice. We cannot fix every problem, but the ones we can, we must." Bono

"Today we hold this truth to be self-evident: We are all in this together." Will Smith

"History and the generations to come will judge our leaders by the decisions they make in the coming week. I say to all those leaders: Do not look the other way, do not hesitate ... It is within your power to prevent a genocide." Nelson Mandela

"Sometimes it falls upon on a generation to be great. You be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom. Of course the task will not be easy. But not to do this would be a crime against humanity, against which I ask all humanity now to rise up." Nelson Mandela

"We can do this, and when we do it will be the best thing that humanity has ever done." Bill Gates

If you are compelled to add your voice, click on the title above to go to Live8's website.