Monthly Archives: November 2015

Hubris (Part One)

The first of three Posts: Hubris Part One, Part Two and Part Three describing the early years of my spiritual search and journey. The journey never ends in this life, but looking back from the age of seventy-eight, I can recognize developmental stages.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

A long time ago, when I was in my mid-twenties, I became disillusioned with religious institutions. Since I had been brought up in one that declared itself the infallible mouthpiece of God, I was also disillusioned with what had passed for God up to that point in my life.

My father’s premature death and the inequalities and suffering I saw in the world convinced me that if there was a God, I didn’t like him very much. Not liking God was uncomfortable, to say the least, since the feeling might well be mutual. It was easier to just not believe in one.

I simply abandoned God to a mental file labeled “Probably Not,” and proceeded to enjoy a reasonably affluent lifestyle of many delightful pleasures.  The problem with a life of pleasure is that it is addictive.  It took more and newer pleasures to keep my naturally questioning mind turned…

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Hubris (Part Two)

The second of three posts about the beginning of my spiritual journey.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

My father was a crusading newspaper editor in Houston, Texas. In the fifties, before the civil rights movement had begun to gain momentum, he publicly supported the first black to run for a position on the school board. This wasn’t about integration. It was just a matter of giving blacks some representation for their own schools. Late on the night of the election, someone set off a small, but potentially fatal bomb in the entrance hall to our apartment after ringing our doorbell. Though at that late hour I had enough sense to stop short of opening the door, I was close enough to recognize the danger and to feel the hatred it represented.
After marriage, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where I was part of a relatively affluent social group. One of my Candy Striper, hospital volunteer friends came to a party full of righteous indignation over being asked…

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Hubris Three : Unless You Come as a Child

Re posting this set of three posts: Hubris 1, 2 and 3 in response to some posts I read today that I liked.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

I have two previous posts titled Hubris One and Hubris Two. This one, Hubris Three, will make more sense, if the others are read first.
In Hubris One and Two I describe my spiritual journey during my twenties: of rejecting my childhood faith, a period of settling for pleasure in hedonism, an unsuccessful search for  God in Religious Institutions, a search for purpose and meaning through working for civil rights, and then seeking a way to change hearts and minds, not just laws, by getting a degree in psychology, then recognizing that psychology also had serious limits, since most people don’t admit they need to change.
About this time, one of the couples in our social group began to talk and act strangely. Judy and Earl began to drink less, dance with each other, and finally to our horror, would mention Jesus Christ, as if he were someone they knew…

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Does God Have a Weird Sense of Humor or What?

One of many prayer stories.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

This is a story from a member of a traveling Christian repertory theater ministry.

Sarah, a nineteen year old, made very little money in this ministry from September through May, so she spent the summers at home working as a temp  to supplement her meager income.

Since she had no car, she walked to and from work.  At the first of the summer, she found this a blessing of time spent in prayer and reflection.  As the temperatures rose it became less a blessing than an ordeal and she began to ask God to send her a ride somehow.  After asking everyday for a week to no avail,  as she was walking once again to work, she finally prayed,

“Lord, I can see that I might not find the time to spend with you, if I had a ride.  And the heat is only uncomfortable, not dangerous, so the walking…

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Friends, Family, and Countrymen Lend Me Your Ears!


I have much loved relatives and friends that think very differently than I do. That’s works for me.

However, when posts turn vicious and judgmental, I hide them.
If posts are logical explanations of a different view point, I read them, because I’m old enough now to know there are valid points on both sides of any issue.

I have come to believe that progress will be made toward bettering all of our lives, if we find ways to cling to our ideals while using practical solutions to minimize the negative fallout for the innocent everywhere.

To quote my best friend, “Be wise as serpents, gentle as doves.”

It takes the idealists to move us toward better ways of humanity surviving in this world together.

It takes the pragmatists to keep us from getting destroyed while trying to do that.

For the sake of our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren open your minds and hearts to work together.

He Who Began a Good Work in You, Will Be Faithful to Complete It.

The Spirituality of Old Age is a whole other ball game!

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

In old age, the life question, “Why am I here?” becomes, “Why am I still here?”
In the past fifteen years scientists have discovered that the natural human life span
may be one hundred and twenty years or more. I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news!
Does the Gospel message have any good news for the challenges of later life?
Many people have conscientiously lived the Gospel message, that it is better to give than to
receive all their lives, so they find it difficult to figure out how to answer the call, “Come, follow
me,” when they are flat on their back, stuck in a wheelchair, in pain, and dependent on family
or nursing home care.
I’ve become convinced that following Jesus in our later years is a completely different
call. Jesus does not limit the “Come Follow Me” to his years of healing the…

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The Gifts of Age: Part Five: If Old Age is Better than the Alternative, We Are All in Deep Doggie Doo

Re-posting just for the fun of it.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

People talk about the stress of being a working mom, as if stress ends when either or both jobs stop.  Who are they trying to kid?

Old lady stress is 24/7.

Little Old Lady Stress
Second Stand-Up Gig

At night, as soon as you get your pillow nest all arranged to support aching backs and knees and burrow gratefully into it, doubt enters the room.  Did I lock the doors?  Did I turn off the stove?  Did I switch the wet wash to the dryer? Did I take my pills? Yes, I think I did all that tonight. No, that was last night. Oh hell, I better go check.

Then, because your bladder is your only body part that’s gotten more active with age, there are at least three trips to the john every night.  And since your early warning system is now deceased, these are made at warp speed, even on a walker. Panic is a…

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A Change in Priorities

A timely subject as I do some soul searching on accepting some new limits as I age.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

A joke about seniors illustrates very clearly how our priorities change as we age. Since I am currently re-evaluating what priorities are still within my skill set, this seemed like a timely re-post. 🙂

A senior citizen, who normally rode the Senior Center Bus on their outings, hadn’t shown up for several months.  Then, one morning he showed up again.

Sam, his co-bus rider and pool playing buddy at the center, after being assured that Jim hadn’t been ill or out of town, asked him why he hadn’t been around lately.

“Well, I’ve met a lady at church and we’re going to get married. I came today to ask you to be my best man.”

“My goodness, sure I will. That’s great news. Tell me about her. Is she good looking?”  Sam asked excitedly.

“Um, well, no, not really,” Jim replied hesitantly.

“Well, at our age that’s not as important as it…

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The Trap of Depression

I am officiallt taking a nervous slow down for a while, to avoid my annual Christmas one or two day nervous breakdown where I yell at everyone and announce that I hate Christmas. Right after I decided to do this, I ran across this older blog and it spoke volumes!!

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

I need to start with a disclaimer. My struggle with depression and the things that have helped me may not help anyone else. And there may be things that would have helped me more. I also believe that we are born with different chemical balances and that stages of life like puberty, pregnancy, and change of life can cause balances to get more out of whack for some people.(How’s that for medical terminology.)
Also, when the chips are down, I do believe deeply that I am loved, just as I am, by the only One who actually makes much difference at my stage of life and that means I know I am not alone when down in the pit of despair.

Depression is the emotional equivalent of an abscessed tooth. Self-hatred is a judgement and judgment is like cement that sets emotion into stone.The one thing about emotions is they…

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What Number Spells Success?

Creative people often fall short in the area of persevering. I think  we fear if we finish something and put it out there for acceptance and it’s rejected, we will have to face our greatest fear: “We are not good enough.”

The truth is no one is “good” enough for everyone. Flannery O’Conner and Margaret Atwood depress me. But the popular romance novelists bore me.

I’m having to face that I am not a great significant writer, but unfortunately I’m not superficial enough to be popular either. And I don’t have a tiny fraction of the talent of my favorite writer, Anne Lamott.

Although I would certainly love to make some money and I would greatly enjoy feeling successful, the truth is what I mostly want is to share what I’ve learned in seventy-eight years that I value deeply.

And there have been times when I’ve gotten feedback that I blogged or shared something that I’ve written that has spoken to someone else’s condition. It didn’t save them from pain or ever making mistakes or change the direction of their life, but for a moment in time they either didn’t feel alone or they saw something in a new way that was meaningful for them. I do think there are probably others out there that I will never know about that respond to what I share.

The question for me then is: How many people does it take to make it worth the struggle and time spent writing and risking being told that I am not good enough?

Dear fellow writers, the answer both scares and frees me.

I’m pretty sure the person I most try to follow would say. “One.”