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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Christianity: More Than a List of Dos and Don’ts

posted by Linda Mintle

My teens regularly ask me why we have rules about all kinds of things. When I answer, I try to speak to the heart of the matter. Rules are like protective boundaries but obedience comes out of a heart of love and gratefulness.

Reading the Old Testament, it is easy to see why Christianity is often viewed as a list of dos and don’ts. The Torah alone  (the first five books of the Old Testament) lists 613 “mitzvot” (commandments).  When you add to that total, centuries of rabbinical traditions that created another set of rules about how to keep the first rules…and then the traditions and customs well… you get my drift.

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Actually, God had a plan for these rules all along.

He purposefully created a set of rules that He knew we humans could not keep. An annual sacrifice of a pure and unmarked lamb to absolve the lot of our collective inabilities to keep His laws was the only solution to our failed obedience.

Then, in one amazing fell swoop, God sent a perfect replica of Himself. We Christians call Him Jesus, the God-man – to fill in for the annual lamb.  For 33 years, Jesus lived a 100% pure and perfect (read: sinless) life. He de-emphasized rules and got to the heart of matters. When he was murdered, he became the human version of the sacrificial lamb.  But this time, God was satisfied for all time.  And we, out of love, desire to keep God’s commandments and receive His blessings.

So now, we’re free from the list of dos and don’ts that handcuffed us all those years ago.  Now, loves compels us to follow God’s rules as a matter of choice.  Our choice.

Because Jesus’ choice was to buy our freedom, we am no longer slaves to the law.

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After Sandusky: What Survivors Face

posted by Linda Mintle

Jerry Sandusky was convicted of multiple counts of child abuse. But what about the victims who had to be so brave as to tell the story of their humiliation and victimization? Each one had to revisit the memory which could re-traumatize and reactivate symptoms depending on where they are on their healing journey.

They, hopefully, will continue to heal and recover. As I prepare to do a video shoot on sexual abuse, rape and incest, a few notes to come to mind:

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1) Every 2 minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted (RAINN)

2) Approximately 2/3rds of all sexual assaults are committed by someone who knows the victim

3) Healing usually follows four phases

a) Telling the story and reviewing how the victim responded during the attack- the victims had to do this during the trial.

b) Dealing with acute reactions like shock, mood changes, isolation, etc. Even though the abuse happened years ago, the symptoms associated can be intense and impairing.

c) Reorganization in which the victim tries to make sense of what happened and deals with intrusive symptoms like flashbacks.

d) Resolution and integration in which the victim takes action, processes the trauma and memory, and moves to a place where the perpetrator doesn’t have power over the victim any more.

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My prayer for each person who testified is that resolution and integration can finally take place. That each one will be free of nightmares, anger, fear, helplessness, depression, sleeping and eating disturbances,  and other fall outs from sexual abuse. That as they choose to forgive their abuser (the memory remains, but the power of the memory lessens when forgiveness is released) and let go of bitterness, resentment and anger, that they will see the gift they give themselves by forgiving. Forgiving doesn’t mean what Sandusky did was OK, it doesn’t mean his behavior in any way minimizes the damage and wounding, it doesn’t mean that his behavior is condoned in any way–it means that each individual can finally move on and release the burden. Healing is usually a process in which layers of hurt and violation are uncovered and worked through.

Let’s pray this court decision is part of a process that moves the victims closer to that healing.

 

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John Edwards and Reille Hunter Split Up: Why You Don’t Want to Read The Book

posted by Linda Mintle

John Edward’s girlfriend announced today on an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulis (Good Morning America) that she and Edwards split, they are no longer a couple.

Interestingly, this announcement comes on the heels of her new book release. When George tried to pry some understanding of what happened, she repeatedly said, “You’ll have to read the book.” At one point, she did say that she had to write it to tell the truth, that Edwards is not a demon, that she is not a home wrecker and Elizabeth was not a saint. Why is this the case? We have to read the book. Apparently we don’t understand that having an affair with a married man while his wife is battling cancer, can create problems and may even be wrong.  We have to read the book.

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But Hunter was adamant in her justification for loving Edwards, even though we have to read the book to understand it.

She also stated that the love is still flowing, but they are breaking up? Why? She wouldn’t say, if we read the book, maybe we can guess.

Stephanopoulis gave it the college try and tried to get something out of his interview with Hunter, Again, why did the couple break up? “It’s private,” she replied, and she wasn’t going to talk about it. So I am guessing we need to read the book, but we still won’t know, although she is tired of hiding and wants to tell the truth. Apparently all the truthful answers were absent in the interview–because you have to read the book.

Call me slow, but I am sensing a theme here!

After watching this interview, I for one, am not going to read the book!

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Why I Want to Be George Clooney’s Dog

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s the end of June and I am already tired of political ads (Can we really endure five more months of these?). We need a distraction.

Hollywood never lets me down when it comes to something meaningless to read. So today’s blog is my  summer break! I’m wishing for a dog’s life for a day or two. Not just any dog–George Clooney’s dog!

George Clooney is vacationing again at his Italian villa with his latest girlfriend, Stacy somebody (I can’t keep up) and his dog, Einsein! For Einstein, meeting George really did give him a dog’s life.

Einstein was a  dog that lived in a crowded dog run, was overweight with dry eye and an under active thyroid. An LA breeder rescued the dog that now lives the good life with Clooney. Einstein is a pleasant looking cocker spaniel that traveled to Italy with Clooney. Last week, Einstein visited an Italian pet grooming salon to enjoy a bath, haircut and of course, a massage. This would endear him to any owner, right? Turns out that a dog’s devotion is less about the memories owner and pet make together.

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Dogs can’t store memories like we can. So the luxury experience of Einstein at the spa faded for Einstein after about 5 to 15 minutes. Dogs, unlike humans, are rather stuck in time and live mostly in the moment. They can’t reflect on the spa experience and anticipate if for the future. But I could reflect and even blog on the experience. I would make a memory if sent to an Italian spa! Of course, I prefer the human kind.

Dogs do remember people and places based on associations. They do remember hand signals and signs for many years so don’t give up on the training.

So here’s the thing. George, invite me to the villa for a week and I promise, I won’t be stuck in time but able to anticipate the trip and recall every memory. I would remember that luxury.  I promise I will be appreciative. Unlike your dog, you don’t even need to associate yourself with me. Just send me the ticket, book the spa… and away I go!

Move over Einstein! It’s a dog’s world out there!

 

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