During the weekend, I had a media student contact me about whether she could interview me and hear my story of being a male victim of domestic abuse by a female. For the most part, I always agree to these interviews, and this one was no different. I have had a number of newspaper and television reporters interview me as part of a greater story, and sadly, few of those stories are ever allowed to go to print or to air. I was talking to a worker at our local community centre yesterday – during our morning BBQ and I shared some of my story with her – telling her how hurtful and frustrating the brochures on abuse which say that “Women, Children and others can be victims of abuse.”
I asked her what that sentence meant, and who were the others. I was astounded. Actually it was more than that. I was totally gob smacked, when she said, “The others can include the family pets, or other animals.” In her capacity as a community worker and her social ideology – she had no functioning capacity or reasoning to see how something was wrong in not including men in that equation. I started trembling inside. Deep painful emotions from my past started their upward spiral where every part of me went into flight mode. And I quietly and quickly organised someone to ensure the packing and cleaning up of the breakfast was facilitated and went home.
This afternoon, the student interviewed me over the phone, and shared my story (or some of it anyways ) with her. I also sent her the address for the blog I wrote called “Men Can Be Abused Also, through hell and back“ where I have written my story, though I rarely blog there now. I shared with her in passing the encounter I had had yesterday, and she too was gobsmacked by that comment. To tell the truth, I am still shaken by it, and have made the decision to pull back for a while, from what I have been doing there.
However, on another note. I have been busy helping a mate set up his aquaponics system as well as setting my own up. I will post some photos soon. I’m hoping ours may be up and running by Christmas, though, the reality is that it will most likely be by February. A work colleague of my wife – offered me some fire wood, from a tree he had cut down, and so this morning I spent a couple of hours loading my ute with some timber, which may be ready for next year, though, its most likely need to be stored for the following winter.
Proverbs 18:10 says that “The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous man runs into it, and is safe. What a relief and reality this verse has been for me the last few days. Actually, its been much longer than that. When the Lord keeps us safe – it doesn’t mean he keeps us free from the debilitating effects of painful experiences and the emotions they produce. What it does mean is that we can come to him as we are. We can tell him our fears, our hurts, about our pain. And when the pain of life becomes so great that we can’t even voice that pain – we can still come to him with our groanings which God totally hears and understands. I am on a journey of discovery of what it means to truly rest in God. What it means to truly rest in God. I think I know a little more about this resting – but, I have a long way to go in truly understanding and practicing this resting in God.
This I know, despite my shortcomings – there is a peace beyond all comprehension that we can experience in the midst of turmoil and strife when we put our total trust in Jesus.
M8 I can C how this can take off. Wats ur thoughts?
Originally posted on Εις Δοξαν:
I was flipping through the eight edition of Turabian’s style guide and something caught my eye. I flipped back and I had seen it. There, listed in the index, was the section number for how to cite a text message. A text message! I couldn’t imagine what sort of paper wherein a text message would qualify as a reference, but Turabian has it listed under the section concerning interviews and personal communications, so I guess it’s not too unusual. So, should you ever need to cite a text message and do so to conform to Turban style, they’ve got it covered. Signs of the times in the technological age.
Αυτω η δοξα
I receive a regular email from a minister who ministers in the city, where many of the residents suffer from mental illness. In the email he shared how someone came up to him and shared the following joke.
“Hey” rev, he was asked. “Whats the difference between God and me?” “God never imagines he is me!” he continued with the answer.
At first I laughed about this joke. Thinking of the times I had placed myself above God through my own actions, thoughts and words. While it wasn’t deliberate, in a subconscious way I had elevated myself above God and imagined I was God. Then I started to reflect more on the answer. And I came to the conclusion that God has indeed imagined himself to be me. And he has imagined himself to be you. And our families. And our neighbors. And he imagined himself to be everyone in the world.
He imagined the fullness of the destructiveness of our sinfulness. And he did this way before the creation of the world. And imagination that knew, the world needed Christ. An imagination so intense – one that was saturated in perfect love. One that was so left or right field – no one in their right mind (human that is) would have dared to imagine this for themselves. He planned from the beginning his son to be the answer. He planned Jesus to be God made flesh. The same flesh and blood that you, I and all of humanity share in.
God didn’t have to imagine what it was like to be you and me. He knew what it was like to be you and me. He experienced what it was like to be you and me. And so he knows what it is like to be you and me. And humanity did the unimaginable- they took God’s word made flesh, whipped him, tortured him and executed him on a cross. And towards the end of his life; he took a deep breathe and said, “Father, forgive them for what they have done, they have no idea what they are doing!”
The good news is, that God knew exactly what he was doing. He already knew what humanity was going to do to Jesus. And so he planned for his son to take the full brunt of our sin, onto himself. But, he didn’t finish there. His plans were to raise Jesus from the dead three days later. Because, death could not hold him.
Death could not hold him because he was and is the author of life. And in him, we have the promise of life. Abundant life. A life that we could never imagine. And we can receive this life – because God, dared to imagine, what it would be like, to be one of us.
We have had a real cold snap. which took place after a few weeks of warm to hot weather. Actually it was more of a hurricane that whacked Sydney last night. So I had to cut some wood and light the fire tonight. I couldn’t find the matches and so I raided my camping kit for my flint, knife and cotton wool. Cotton wool makes the best tinder to catch the spark. Some people use a bit of Vaseline on theirs to make it burn longer- but, I have never bothered with it.
I have been watching a few television series lately called Doomsday Preppers, The Colony and some other apocalyptic type shows. They all have a theme of preparing for and or surviving an apocalyptic disaster of some kind. Those disasters could be anything from a national disaster such as hurricane, viral outbreak, nuclear disaster, civil war, solar flare causing the electricity grid to go down, major fuel shortages and many others.
For the most part, I think these guys are nuts. Most of the shows are American based – and most of the prepping activity has been based around the storage of large numbers of guns, ammunition and preparing for self defense when society breaks down. As well as long term storage of food and water.
But, they do make some sense also – for instance, if a solar flare was to take place and shut down the electricity grid, chaos could easily reign. Generally speaking, we wouldn’t be able to access any banking facilities to get our cash. We wouldn’t be able to purchase fuel, water and grocery supplies and chaos could easily take place. The recent outbreak of Ebola in Africa, and the fear that it can easily sweep through our own nations is a very real possibility. During the medieval era, the Black Plague decimated between 30% – 60% of the population in Europe.
In Australia, recently the government issued a high alert for terrorism. My wife and I were amazed when we went to the supermarket that evening and found they were out of a lot of stock. The check out staff told us it had been nuts all day. Researchers say that if something happened to the supply chain, most supermarkets would be out of stock within three days.
So I did some digging around on the internet and researched government sites. I looked at FEMA which is a U.S.A government site, and our own Federal and State governments for Australia. though it took some looking, I was surprised to find that indeed those governments, encourage civilians to store as a bare minimum, 3 days supply of food, water, medications and the equipment to cook and prepare in case of an emergency situation. In Australia some of the government sites encouraged people to have a minimum of a 14 day supply.
In many ways, it would appear that some form of prepping isn’t the nutty idea that I initially thought it was. From a Christian perspective, I have no qualms about the philosophy of being prepared for an emergency / national disaster. The Bible has many stories of people and nations preparing for national disaster. Indeed here in Australia, an old Estonian Christian told me the story of their church receiving a prophetic word about a long term drought coming; and a large number of them, who owned chicken farms, stocked up on large supplies of bagged wheat and barley to feed his chickens. They took the word so seriously, that the old farmer I was talking too, filled his spare bedrooms, and back room with bagged wheat. And he told me that the big drought did hit, and they had bird seed to get them through the drought for the few years it lasted.
However, the issue of national emergency / national disaster has raised some deeper ethical questions about the Christian ethic and lifestyle. While we may prepare – what are we to do about those who don’t? Three days. Fourteen days. Three months of supplies for each member of the family will quickly be diminished for every person you help who isn’t prepared.
From my own research- it appears that there is very little Christian thought gone into the subject. As a bare minimum, I would suggest that you prepare to be hospitable towards others.