The Problem of Pain

But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!    Matthew 6:23

Beauty Beyond Bones posted a podcast on May 4, 2017 entitled, “Permission to Let Go.” She also has it in writing at her WordPress blog site.  Click Beauty Beyond Bones to see her work at WordPress.

If you are not familiar with her, Caralyn has just celebrated her 10th anniversary of recovery from anorexia.  She has blogged about her recovery since 2015 and is inspirational.  25,000+ followers think so.  I wrote an article about her IN January 2016, Beauty and the (ED) Beast, in case you’d like a fuller description.  If you really want the full impact of her ministry, start at the beginning.

But let’s get to the point and start with her podcast itself:

PODCAST – Permission to Let Go

As I listened to this, I didn’t have an immediate response. I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a situation like what she describes, having a problem letting go of pain.  Or maybe I’m not self-aware enough!

After some time, an analogous situation came to mind. It was the opening scene from Star Trek: The Final Frontier.  Briefly, An alien man is digging holes in a windswept desert. He hears, then sees another man approaching on horseback. He runs for a gun of some sort, and faces the intruder, who we learn is a Vulcan named Sybok. Sybok dismounts and strides up to him and says he can’t believe the man would kill him over a field of empty holes. The pitiful answer comes: “It’s all I have!”

For Caralyn, and so many more, the pain is all they have. The pain is nothing more than a desert field, pockmarked with empty holes we keep drilling into it.  You might even say we are drilling those holes into our very selves.

We tend to be pretty tolerant folks, as was mentioned in America’s Declaration of independence:

“…experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

In other words, we’ll put up with pain so long as we perceive the cost of removing it is greater than the pain itself.

But what if the pain becomes our comfort?  What if, like a dog who lives most of his life in a kennel, we fear the open spaces and suffer voluntarily inside our cage?

Here is where the last part of that opening scene tells us so much, and yet so tragically misdirects us:

“Your pain runs deep. Let us explore it together.  Each man hides a secret pain.  It must be exposed and reckoned with.  It must be dragged from the darkness and forced into the light.  Share your pain.  Share your pain with me, and gain strength from the sharing.”

“Where did you get this power?”

“The power was within you.”

“The power was within you. You can save yourself.  You can do it.  You always could; I just showed you how.”

This happens so often in our modern culture. We are seduced by the pleasant-sounding reasoning which contains truth and yet uses it to support a lie.  The power to save us does not lie within us.  Eons of human history are ample proof of that.  We’ve found multiple ways to fly like birds, cross ground faster than a cheetah, harnessed the atom, and gone to the moon.  Several times.

You’d think that, somewhere in the last 6000 years, SOMEONE would have discovered the most elemental, simple answer to human misery: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.  And while you’re at it, love your neighbor as yourself.  Period.  That’s it.  No muss, no fuss, don’t even add water.

But we don’t love ourselves. No, indeed.  We find ourselves comfy in our muck of pain.  Or maybe we’re so blinded by it that we can’t see any way out if it and are resigned to our “fate.”

Jesus is the only One who has the power to remove pain…and the sin that ensnares us. Jesus is the only One who could live a perfect life, never sin, and offer Himself up to one of the most gruesome  deaths ever concocted by man; His back flogged down to the bone, and then hung naked on a cross to suffocate under his own weight.  He took our punishment for us, even complete separation from God, the ultimate punishment.

Sybok was spot on right up till the end: “Each man hides a secret pain. It must be exposed and reckoned with.  It must be dragged from the darkness and forced into the light.  Share your pain.  Share your pain with me…”  says Jesus.  “…and gain strength from Me in the sharing.  Confess your sins, and bring your darkness to be exposed and defeated by My light.”

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.    Matthew 4:16

Caralyn really is the Beauty Beyond those Bones. But her Beauty is not her own.  It is a Light that shines from within.  Even on the written page.  Her witness, her ministry point relentlessly to Jesus as the One who took away her pain after she held into it for so terribly long.  Literally with a death grip.  She was 78 pounds when admitted to recovery and was within hours of death, so close that the nurses kept her in their nurses’ station her first night instead of her room.

How many bloggers garner 25,000+ followers at all, let alone in such a short time? And the growth is not slowing down.  It’s happening because Jesus shines through everything she does.

I won’t tell you that accepting Jesus will get you a successful blog! I will tell you that accepting His forgiveness and light into your life will make you a light yourself.  The pain/sin that you cling to – or that clings to you – can be vanquished.  The power is within…Jesus!

JUST SKIN AND DRONES

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.   Genesis 2:18

Robots could soon be covered in real human flesh, Oxford boffins claim. Grab your pitchforks, scientists want to coat robots in muscle fibers and tissue so they look just like us.

Just Skin and Drones

This has GOT to stop! I mean right now, not tomorrow. With all of the research and development going into robotics – and not a little of it toward perfecting sex-bots – things have already past the getting-out-of-hand stage.

Try the article SILICONCUBINES about sex-bots used for “therapy.”  I also recently saw an article on a company – I’m serious – that is developing child sex-bots.

Now they’re working on ways to make a robot almost indistinguishable from a live person. The article highlights how growing real skin and tendons on robot frames (think Terminator) will advance the search for replacement parts far beyond where we are now.  Those pieces of flesh will be more mechanically accurate in terms of how they move compared to what we get from God.

I am not necessarily against medical advances, unless it hurts someone else in the process, like harvesting stem cells from human embryos. While the intentions may be good, someone will highjack this for…other purposes.

Why else is there a picture in the article of inventor/researcher Ricky Ma with his Mark 1 life size robot? It takes a second glance to realize he is not really standing next to Scarlett Johansson.

This will be an advance past bio-bots “…made of living cells that can wriggle and walk.” See Franken-Robots.  So far, these bio-bots are under a centimeter in size, but “Last year the researchers were able to make bots powered by rat’s heart move.”

Here’s the thing; when God wanted Adam to have some company, he produced a living, flesh and blood woman. The deal was that it would be just those two together, making and raising a family.  No musical chairs with spouses, no swinger parties with those first people throwing their leaves on a coffee table.

If you really want to tick Him off, commit a sin involving sex. Someone else’s wife?  Very bad for you!  Homosexual playing around?  Worse for you!  Going animalistic?  You don’t want to know.  The most drastic punishments happen in the sex part of the laws.

Mating with a robot? That didn’t get covered, but I’m thinking He can’t be happy about it.

Find your life-long mate. Love him or her mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Make each other happy.  Make each other feel good and wanted.  That’s why God didn’t make robots.  He made us, beings that can choose!  He likes when we choose Him.  He likes when we treat each other as we were created to, choosing each other.

Robots don’t have a choice; they aren’t even alive. Yet.  We’ll save AI for maybe another time!

Enough

13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b] Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.                         Psalm 139:13-14

The Ivanka Trump effect: Women flock to plastic surgeons to copy blonde bombshell’s looks

ivanka-trump-at-new-york-ballet-2014-fall-gala-at-lincoln-center_1Love them or hate them, the Trumps are the First Family for Melania-Trumpat least the next four years. Regardless of what you might think of them politically or personally, Melania and Ivanka are gorgeous.

Yes, they have access to the most expensive styles. Yes, they had surgical help.  Blah, blah, blah…  That doesn’t change the fact that they could sell at least as many posters to teenage boys as Farrah Fawcett once did.

Maybe even to more than a few older men. I almost wrote “mature,” but I could see the ladies’ eyes rolling in my mind!

Would I like to be ripped like Arnold once was? Would I like to have been another Channing Tatum in my teens and twenties?  Oh, you betcha!  So I worked out, lifted weights, etc.  I never quite got there, but I made an honest effort.  And I was content with my results.

Channing-Tatum

“Missed it by THAT much…”

 

Women around the world want to look like Ivanks and Melania. So much so that a whole industry is gearing up to cash in on that desire.  In China –

Li Yunxing, from Foshan Yiwanka Medical Management, said young women are lusting over Ivanka’s features. She said: “Young women here want Ivanka’s big eyes, her pretty nose and lips and her flawless figure.

“Yiwanka” is the Chinese version of Ivanka, which they trade-marked before the election. They knew this would be big business; breasts, eyes, liposuctions, and noses galore to insert, round, and otherwise sculpt into the current beauty standard.

And don’t forget all of the retail products, including underwear, sanitary towels, and who knows what else?

I know; Chinese and Japanese folks can get really into this sort of thing. We’re not immune here either.

Women in America admitted to spending as much as $90,000 for cosmetic surgery to get the so-called Ivanka look.

But here’s the sad part. I’m betting most of the women who go under the knife to find happiness and love already are very attractive.  There is no, single “look” that defines beauty.  I know there are optimum proportions in structure, but even within that framework there is great variety.

Beauty is more than skin deep. Anyone, man or woman, is like a beautiful Tiffany lamp.  There’s all of the potential to be truly beautiful; it just needs a light inside to bring out the colors God gave us.  True beauty comes from inside, it comes from God making you complete with His Spirit.  Just ask BeautyBeyondBones.

Some people have deformities, and I don’t blame them for seeking emotional and/or physical relief. That’s not what’s on the plate tonight.

Let all things be done decently and in order.      1 Corinthians 14:40

People who are healthy and normal should not chase a current fad by surgical means. It’s like tattoos; it might seem like a good idea tonight, but what about later?  What if you put on a leisure suit in the ‘80’s and COULD NEVER TAKE IT OFF?disco-leisure-suit-costume

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:11-13

God made each and every one of us. Sin has caused some of us problems that medicine and surgery can help.  But still, God made you.  You are enough for Him.  Shouldn’t that be enough for you too?

God loves you

Live Fearlessly!

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.    1 John 4:18 [Full Chapter]

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.    Luke 12:7

I recently found it necessary to verbally slap a friend upside her pretty, little head. You see, she’s living in fear.  Mind you, she’s done some very brave things, battled some very real demons, but she’s gone timid as of late, and, well, it has to do with relationships and age.  That’s where we all fall down, right?

We all get scared when it comes to putting ourselves out there, whether it’s looking for love or a job. Job interviews give us the cold sweats.  Finding ourselves in the vicinity of a cute guy or girls give us a case of the heminah-heminahs.

That’s not how God intends us to live! Paul’s letter to Philemon is about doing the right things in life, both as regards God and people:

Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.    Philemon 1:21

Confidence! That’s how we need to live; confidently, fearlessly!

Job interviews: do you realize you are in the driver’s seat? The person interviewing you gets paid to make a tough, very expensive decision in hiring someone.  But your perfect love can cast out fear!  You are there to help that person!  Be nice, be sympathetic, be helpful.  Don’t be fearful!  And remember you are interviewing them too!  You BOTH need to make a good decision.  If the interviewer isn’t your cup of tea, you might not want to work for him or her.  Taking the job, even if offered, might be a bad idea!

Perfect love casts out fear. Love the other person, recognize their situation, and be the job candidate God would want you to be – your very best self!

Relationships. Hoo boy!  Here we go.  Do you understand that most everyone is just as afraid and nervous as you?  Are you checking someone out?  Maybe they are checking you out too.  But both scared, little mice scurry along, too afraid to take a chance.

OK, you might make a fool of yourself. It can happen.  But you’ll never see that person again anyway, so who really cares?

They might be nice and still say no, and that’s OK.

They might say yes. From there, maybe things will work out, maybe not.

Example: MANY years ago I had a gym membership and swam a one mile workout in the lap pool. Adjacent to that was a hot tub.  So I’d do my mile and then relax in the tub.  Once evening a nice young lady was in there too.  We chatted.  No ring.  I asked her out.  Well, she was married.  The ring was off so she wouldn’t lose it.  I could’ve felt foolish, but why?  I apologized.  She said no need.  Before she left, she thanked me!  It was nice to know she was attractive!

Love casts out fear. I was nice.  She was nice.  We both won that evening.  She got a great compliment.  I got a no that would’ve been a yes if she was single.  We both went home feeling good.

Believe it or not, I did that one or two other times too. Did I feel foolish?  Aw, heck no!  It was kinda funny every time, and she always left feeling desirable.

Love doesn’t have to be romantic and sexy. Love can be as simple as being nice to people.  It can be as simple as, “Hey, I’m looking for someone, and you seem nice.  How about we spend some time?”  For all you know, they wish they had the courage to do that.

Live fearlessly, my friends! Above are merely two examples to get you to a bigger idea – have confidence.  If you don’t’ have it, act like it.  The mind tends to follow the body.  Feeling down?  Smile.  Keep smiling.  Your mood will improve.

In other words – Fake It Till You Make It! Go forward with God’s peace in you.  Act like He’s got your back, because He does.  If you stumble, He’ll  help you back up.  You will find more success than failure!

Loneliness

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.   Genesis 2:18loneliness

There’s the old saying that idle hands are the devil’s tool. As if he’s only got one arrow in his quiver to shoot at mankind.

Loneliness is indeed a tool, an arrow Satan can use against us. We expect we’ll know when we’ve been hit, because we’ll feel that loneliness, that grief of having no one to share an experience, indeed, a life with.

Unfortunately, he’s much craftier than that. Do you think you could possibly be alone and lonely without ever really knowing it?  If you’re hesitating, let me just tell you that the correct answer is “Yes.”

Exhibit #1 –Anywhere, any time; people stare into their cell phones looking at who-knows-what, oblivious to everyone and everything around them.people-with-smartphones

We are so plugged in that we don’t even realize how cut off we are.  We don’t understand how lonely we are, because we are being filled with so much data; most of it useless.  Do you recall the short-lived challenges for people to put their phones down at a meal on a trial basis just to see what it would be like?  *sigh*

Exhibit 2 – Everyone’s favorite subject/temptation: SEX! We’ve been successfully weaned onto cell phones and video games.  The next step is to wean us further away from reality to literally start mating with our technology!  No, it is no longer enough to allow it to screw with our minds, if you’ll pardon the expression.  Satan is tricking us into the Full Monty as regards to whom…’scuse me…what we’re getting into bed with.

Let’s look at it in descending order, shall we?

London Daily Mail article – Inside the Creepy World of Web Cam Girls. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4076398/Inside-creepy-world-web-cam-girls-young-women-stripping-rooms-men-world-pays-better-working-shop.html

web_camera

This, my friends, is a twofer for ol’ pointytail. He’s convincing guys to satisfy themselves by paying young girls to strip and perform sexual acts via web-cam for cash.  One girl even has a whiteboard menu of what she charges for doing what.  Some are private sessions.  Some sound like a Pay-per-View boxing match where a girl can sell “tickets” to her online performance scheduled for (date & time).

This setup is a twofer in that the girl can “perform” in her own bedroom with no one physically present. There’s no disgust or shame for her in experiencing the leering, vulgar men.  And that’s much bigger than you might think.  I spoke with someone months ago who told me he would befriend the girls at a friend’s strip bar.  He’d check on them, try to give them a corset-wedding-dress-lingerie-pinterestfriendly ear, because they are all having or starting substance abuse problems generated by the disgust and guilt of their job! Doing the same things and more on the web seems to entail none of that.  However naked, however raunchy, it’s just a machine, a camera.  And the guys are still having their issues, satisfying needs with a flashing screen, not a real person.

Once this gets to be old hat, one needs something more…intense, more real. Enter…

SILICONCUBINES: Sex Robots Will Let Kinky Couples Enjoy Raunchy Threesomes WITHOUT Getting Jealous https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2311614/kinky-couples-will-be-able-to-enjoy-futurist-threesomes-without-getting-jealous-experts-claim/

sexbot

So says a leading sex therapist. See?  It’s a medical procedure, which legitimizes it and removes guilt!  Why am I suddenly thinking of medical marijuana being legalized followed shortly afterwards by legalized recreational use in some states?

“Yeah, Bob, I got me one of those Siliconcubines, but it’s for medicinal purposes only.  And I don’t even need an extra joint for her…um, it.”

(Ian) Kerner, who was writing for CNN, said: “The hypothetical applications of sex robots and related products, part of a field called technosexuality, seem endless.  (Oh.  Good.)

“I could see couples using them to enact fantasies, such as a threesome, that they might not feel comfortable trying with real people.

“If one partner has a higher libido, a robot could allow him or her to enjoy a fulfilling sex life without straying.

“Couples will have to assess how they define “cheating” for robot-involved threesomes to work,” Kerner added.

Sex therapist Heather McPherson said: “If you haven’t discussed it with your partner it’s cheating.”

Am I the only one here who is astounded by just how galactically insane that even sounds?!?  The one-liners trying to get out of my head are just killing me right now, which is a sure sign of just how bat-guano crazy this whole thing is getting!

God did not create something requiring D cell batteries or a step-down transformer to help the human race deal with loneliness. He created another person!  He created two very different types of human being, custom-made to mesh with and complete each other.  Let’s say it again – COMPLETE each other!  Through a complete lifetime!

o-happy-older-couple-facebook

St. Paul wrote that some people are celibate, because that is their calling, that is what their personal nature calls for. But, for the vast majority of humanity, each of us is only half, arguably less than half, of what God originally created us to be in tandem with our other, better half.wood

So, on this New Year’s Eve, are you lonely? Are you staring into a screen instead of your date’s eyes?  Is your date a potential mate or just a fill-in to keep your loneliness at bay?

Pray for God’s guidance and providence to lead you to your help meet or re-connect with whomever you’ve already been blessed with. Leave your computer and cell phones for spreadsheets, phone calls, research,…and blogging.