Monday, April 30, 2012

Oxymoron: Extra Grace Required

Jesus and I had a moment together in the Spirit this morning. was more like several moments...a spiritual staring contest where I raised a stern eyebrow in the direction of His church, and Jesus raised a gentle eyebrow back to my own heart. 

Clearly the whole matter was not resolved entirely for me, as here I am lingering in the implications, and still wondering what (if anything) He intends to do with my heart's pained indictments.

Why such a hard attitude?

I'd learned recently that around some ministries, wounded folks--people struggling to find peace and hope in the midst of messy life crises--are marked out amongst the leadership as "EGR"  - Extra Grace Required. 

My guts immediately seized in response.  How snarky! How utterly disrespectful, patronizing, and downright cruel to reduce people in the care of Christ's church to an acronym.

I grieved (and continue to grieve) that there are surely a few circumstances and ministries in which I have almost certainly been marked out by this reductionist, catch-all terminology. 

Here's the deal...

I wake each morning, just as everyone else, and I am set to the task of clinging to Christ for another 24 hours of navigating through a fallen world.  I am covered in the scars of vicious, soul-wounding abuses, and weighed by their traumatizing psychological, physical, and spiritual aftermath.  Seen in that light, I can say with a resounding "YES!" that I require extra grace on a nano-second by nano-second basis. This acknowledgement is the sort of daily revelation that my faith has taught my heart to celebrate with a beautiful humility.

Yet I have to wonder...Does anyone really see themselves any differently?  Is there anyone among us who doesn't operate under the expectation of "extra" grace as a requirement for daily living?  The whole point of least the grace in Christ that I that it is extra in every way.  It is above and beyond what we deserve.  Grace is one of the glorious extras given to us in lavish abundance through the supernatural (extra) power and manifestation of the risen Lord, the Holy Spirit.


It makes a gal bristle to imagine a group of folks, charged with the spiritual care and discipleship of others, labeling the more visibly wounded souls of this world as somehow more in need of God's grace than themselves.  That notion smacks of a kind of moral and spiritual superiority--a complete lack of UN-graciousness toward anyone who does not fit into a convenient mold, or follow like a lemming.

It would seem to me that the whole point of "extra" the degree that I even believe in the that the person on the receiving end is lifted up, treated with genuine gentleness and kindness, rather than passed along to successive ministries with a roll of the eyes and a huff at the difficulty involved in caring for such a one.  

Perhaps there is a universal rationing of grace that only those in high places know about...?

This view of grace troubles me deeply. I imagine it like the last drop of expensive perfume in a gaudy bottle...something that only the wealthiest have access to, and which they have determined to share sparingly with folks who don't smell quite so fine. 

If the old hymn holds any wisdom, and if there is truly grace that is greater than all my sin, then there surely has to be enough grace to cover my wounded self (and its consequent weaknesses) while still leaving more than enough to cover everyone else's.

And at these thoughts my heart dropped.  

How many times, I wondered, have I acted impoverished and put upon to serve as God's purveyor of grace?  How many times have I responded to others with an attitude of superiority and impatience, as if I were being asked to tap into MY special reserves of grace rather than the Father's?  No matter how many times I pluck logs out of my own eyes it still hurts like hell in my heart.

But my spirit lifts as that pain gives way to remembering how amazing grace saved a wretch like me.

I am reminded afresh today that grace is not mine to dispense on an ad hoc basis or with a heart filled with judgment.  The fractures and scars in this broken vessel of light known as me have been filled to overflowing with God's grace, which was purchased for a wretch like me upon the Cross.  His grace is not for me to portion out to others more difficult and pathetic than me, but to let flow freely from the never-ending source through me.

Extra Grace Required...?  Oh yes!  I could not live without it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Your Eyes Will Be Opened: Then you'll have...control

Man is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition of humanity, and yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another.  
~ Joseph Addison

I suppose there's a certain unavoidable reality in the fact that some people will always be awful..the Hitlers of the world.

But I can't even begin to wrap my head around what has to happen in a person's psyche to produce a beast like that.  Yeesh!

And I guess there is no getting around the fact that not every personality is companionable.

OK, and sometimes folks do things without realizing that something unkind or cruel has transpired.

"Oops! Sorry!" isn't always a zero to "That's OK; you're forgiven" scenario, but who could go a lifetime without making mistakes that yield unintended negative effects?

Yet the cruelest things so often transpire between people who love each other, and it just seems so incomprehensible. How does someone who was once your best friend in life, or in marriage, or someone who is your close kin end up hurting you so badly?  

What is up with that?

An article in Psychology Today offers this tidbit of insight, saying "[t]he price of being able to to behave freely without having to consider every consequence of your deeds is saying and doing things that may hurt." 

And Bishop T.D. Jakes offers this relationship wisdom.

I believe much of what Bishop Jakes has to say about Confidants in particular.  

"Your Confidants are FOR YOU! They are into you...They come get you out the crack house. They will get in your business. They will tell you when you're wrong...Your Confidants will weep with you when you weep, and they will rejoice with you when you rejoice...They are FOR YOU!"

But just the same...sometimes your confidants will become purveyors of pain and cruelty...even betrayers. It happens. And the resulting hurt can be outrageous...leaving everyone rather stunned and wondering how it could have happened.

Personally, I can't help thinking that a lot of the cruel things we do to one another are really far more about what I think of as a gene...something in the DNA that is all about control. 

Wasn't it a control issue that ultimately raised Eve's hand and led her to take the bite of forbidden fruit?

4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

Thinking of the pain we cause one another in terms of control helps shine Light into the abyss of darkness that seeks to swallow up relationships from the inside out.

I suppose someone could argue that the cruelty we inflict upon one another...whether we are at the bottom wrung of the moral ladder (Hitler) or the friends and family who cherish one another (most of the rest of us) is unavoidable since we are inherently sinful.

But...Hmmm...I dunno...I smell copout.  Just sayin'.

Maybe that's a reasonable answer for folks who don't have a personal, saving relationship with Jesus, but for followers of Jesus...?  Really?  How do we take such a low road?

Jesus told the Pharisses that aside from loving God, the greatest commandment is to love one another as ourselves.  

So are we really willing to give ourselves permission to cave in to the control offered us by the serpent versus the commandment insisted upon by Jesus? 

Kinda lame, no? Very weak. Totally sinful. Again...just sayin'.

We don't always know right away when we have hurt someone, and we don't always realize when we have been cruel.  Sometimes we do, though.  But whatever the situation, here's the reality for those of us who care about living lives of intention for the glory of Jesus...

John 13:35

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Love is supposed to that others can see that we can see it. It's just that simple. Love has nothing whatsoever to do with control. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

When Nathan came to David and told the parable of the rich man who mistreated the poor man, David's heart was changed.  He wanted to make it right.  His heart changed.  David repented, took the Lord's discipline, and turned his life around. The Lord blessed him.

We look to the Lord for blessings day in and day out, but are we willing to relinquish the control that leads us into sin that hurts the ones we love...the ones we shouldn't hurt at all?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Caution: American Idol at Work

I wonder if there is a correlation between the golden days, when folks worked an entire career for the same company, and national prosperity. 

I also wonder if the skyrocketing number of people who are medicated through each day can be directly linked to the increasing "dazzle or die" corporate culture that seems to be the order of the day the the relationships.  

It just seems like people are under an awful lot of pressure, in more and more areas of life, to "Wow!" nonstop.  Everything is competition.  It's like living in a pressure chamber that insists upon a constant state of perfectly measured paradoxes.

You must be in a continually balanced state of humble, but bold; authentic, but popular; beautiful, but organic; motivated, but not bossy; sympathetic, but not emotional; available, but busy, willing to learn, but totally skilled; flexible, but firm...and it goes on and on.  And if you cannot sustain peak performance at this complex high temperature setting then...

And it doesn't just happen at work... 

We are pressured to perform, produce, and perfect in our friendships, marriages, business relationships, churches, children...even our pets. Perform or perish. Satisfy the order of the day, or get put on the watch list for ejection...or is it rejection?

In a world where people live longer and the pool of "applicants" for the rewards of time, attention, and compensation is larger and larger, I guess it's easy to keep demands high and treat everyone and everything as expendable.

A lot of leaders are celebrated for having the ability to make the tough decisions and "make changes to the organization" that involve letting people go.  But I wonder what our national economy and our national health would be like if leaders were celebrated for investing in people...for really mentoring the people under their authority...For finding ways to carry the weak during the tough times, and build them back up to health and productivity...

I haven't done the research, but I have a feeling the Perpetual Perfect Performance Productivity Pressure Pot is killing us all from the inside out. 

Take two and call me in the morning...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For that is very much better

Philippians 1:21-23

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
To Live Is Christ
 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 [a]But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know [b]which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;

Paul had it right. Why would anyone want to be away from Christ one moment longer than absolutely necessary? There are enjoyments and blessings here, but compared to eternity in tears, no pain, no death, no loss, no sickness, no betrayal, no suffering, no strife.  All love and worship and joy. No brainer.

I don't think Paul was knocking the blessings of this life, but he knew from rough experience that "to live is Christ" also means to live like Christ...suffering and serving. 

Love for the savior through the power of the Holy Spirit is what fills us with the love for Christ we need to serve...and suffer for...His people, His Name, His Glory. Paul would never say his ministry wasn't an honor or a blessing.  

But given the choice between blessings mixed with jail, hunger, beatings, arguing, rejection, poverty, abandonment...c'mon...

To be with Christ...THAT IS VERY MUCH BETTER...

Disposable Sheep and the Church Brand

These days, I think often about Luke 15:14 and Matthew 18:12.

If I am remembering the setting correctly, Jesus is having a meal at the home of a Pharisee. Luke tells us that the tax collectors and sinners drew near as Jesus offered parables to teach about God's grace and mercy...God's heart of redemption for the lost.

When I look closely at the ways Luke and Matthew describe the lost sheep in this parable, I notice a subtle distinction.  Luke describes the missing sheep only as lost. Matthew describes a sheep that has wandered astray. 

In other words, it doesn't matter whether we're talking about a sheep who has haphazardly, or even willingly gone astray. Lost is lost, and it's the shepherd's duty to take the risks and attempt the rescue.  

David, once the young shepherd of his father's fold, told King Saul about fighting off wild animals to protect, defend, and rescue the sheep. David talks about beasts that tried to snatch the sheep from his fold, and we might do well to understand David's anecdote as more than just a report, but also a metaphor that reminds us of the warning in 1 Peter 5:8

It may well be incumbent upon the sheep to beware and resist the lion, but in the end it is the shepherd's responsibility to ensure their safety in the fold.

Unblemished sheep...those without illness, weakness, or defect...were required for Old Testament sacrifices. Sick or wounded sheep were probably more of a burden than a value to the shepherd. 

Yet regardless of whether a sheep wandered off foolishly, or came to be lost as a consequence of weakness, the shepherd's duty was likely the same...restoration to the least that's what the illustration that immediately follows the Parable of the Lost Sheep sets out to teach us.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son makes it clear that the reasons for becoming "lost" are irrelevant. The lost are longed for in their absence and treasured in their restoration. No doubt that prodigal's father was ever in prayer, and ever watching the horizon for his boy to return. And that father was well-prepared to welcome his son with emotion, joy, celebration, and honor. 

What interests me in these two parables is their representation of God as savior and God as Father. 

The Good Shepherd goes after his lost sheep and carries them back to the fold on his own neck. He risks much...including his own life. 

God our Father loves us lavishly. It is His delight to do so. He waits with hope and is prepared to make much of our return. 

What troubles me is how often these verses are preached by pastors and valued by elders, who want us to understand God's sacrifice and love. But how often do we see such sacrifice and love exerted for people who fall from our church folds...or even from our Christian lives? Presumably the parables are more than metaphors for God and His people. We should also read these texts as models of human responsibility and care for God's people.

It's pretty sad that we don't usually act on what we read. 

A lost sheep is lost for a reason. A sheep well, or wise, or strong, or able enough to stay with the fold wouldn't need anyone to pursue it. And not all lost sheep are initially happy to be rescued. They may initially be fearful and uncooperative. They may be prone to wander again and again. 

Maybe I'm too much of an idealist or something, but I don't think the disposition of the sheep necessarily changes the shepherd's job description.

Last I checked pastoring and discipling aren't laid out in the scriptures as well-paying gigs with nice offices, good vacations, study times, free meals, and frequent flyer miles. 

Shepherding and fathering/discipling are two very difficult careers where the demands are high and a fruitful yield may be a long time coming. 

Souls not sales. 

If you come to the work saying it's your calling but working like it's a job at Corporate...I dunno...  

When I look around, talk to others, and reflect upon my own experiences as a sheep in the fold, I see a sorrowful trend toward disposable sheep. During my times of being wounded and lost at church, the number of pastorally-initiated calls I received to ensure my care and my restoration to the fold was precisely...ZERO.

No pastor called to ask what I needed, how they could pray for me, or offer me a clear path of restoration. No pastor sought me out, risked anything for me, or carried me to safety around their neck. No lions or bears were fought for me. 

No pastor watched the horizon for my return, or made me feel valuable when I tried to find my way back.

In fact, it seemed clear enough to me that I was not a priority, and not worth much to the fold in my wounded condition. 


Pastors are busy preparing the next sermon series, planning the next community initiative, and purchasing the next plot of land for a new church plant. There's not a lot of time for lost sheep...if the pastor even notices anyone is lost. 

The pastor assigned to care ministries is busy with weddings, funerals, and hospital visits. Lost sheep are sometimes passed off to an elder. Elders are concerned with church business and church doctrine. Lost sheep in need of shepherding and care are passed off to counseling centers or lay leaders...maybe. Progress reports may be given...or not. 


Is that the same thing as shepherding and fathering/discipling? Scratching my head on that one.

The contemporary church seems far more about branding sometimes than about shepherding and familying when the sheep have wounds requiring long-suffering for indefinite periods of time. 

Sad reality...

The contemporary church is ill-equipped to adopt special needs sheep/family members who may not, or cannot, best represent the marketing initiatives of the church brand

My take...

Sheep hear about the brand and wander into the fold, and church leaders endeavor to care for them through outreach, teaching, discipleship, and replication...ideally in an efficient, linear progression. Sounds like an interesting concept, but kinda...I dunno...more like an institutional program and less like the rough, earthy, dangerous, and dirty work of shepherding. 

Somewhere along the way church leaders lose focus...probably because they take on more than they can support as if each person were a treasured family member worthy of the shepherd's/father's personal attention. 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

God Said "Stop It!"

...and Elijah said, "OK."

1 Kings 19 has become one of my favorite Old Testament readings. I know it's a little small-minded of me, but it comforts me when I see spiritual heavy hitters like Elijah struggling with their faith and obedience like the rest of us slobs.

I have to confess up front, though, that I have a bad (quirky?) habit of cartoonizing certain Bible stories, and this is one 'em. (Sorry, Elijah.) Maybe if you've never been marked for dead by an evil queen it's tough to imagine a tale like Elijah's as entirely "real" instead of something from a fractured fairytale.

I sort of imagine Mel Brooks as Elijah and Cloris Leachman as Jezebel. Maybe Jack Black as the angel, and Bill Cosby as God.

Can't you just see and hear Elijah (complete with Brooklyn Jewish/Yiddish accent) saying, "Enough; now, O LORD, take my life!" and then collapsing into sleep, only to wake up and find a chubby, zany angel staring down at him?

Poor Elijah. He goes back to sleep and wakes to find the angel still hanging around.  

Desperate to find safety and sanity, Elijah heads for the hills, only to hear the voice of God booming down on him and asking, "Elijah what are you doing?" 

I can just see Elijah's face, half scared to death and half annoyed, as he looks up to Heaven as if to say, "You're kidding, right?"

But it must have been quite a dilemma for Elijah. 

On the one hand, if a murderous queen has signed your death warrant, you're probably pretty relieved if God Almighty shows up to rescue you. Yet, at the same time, you'd be kinda miffed that God wasn't up-to-date on your drama and was asking you to fill Him in. 

Still, it's God...your hero...your only chance, so if you're Elijah you just start pouring your heart out about how you were running for your life in the wake of dead prophets who weren't half as faithful. 

Filled with the terror of his own drama, Elijah tried to play on God's sympathies crying, "I alone am left!" But God's answer...? more contemporary terms...God just said...essentially...
"Stop it!" And Elijah must have been like, "Uhhh...what? What do you mean go climb a mountain???"  

But if you're Elijah, what are you gonna do?  

If God says go climb a go climb a mountain...and then stand out in a fiery, windy earthquake. Nice. But then God has the nerve to question Elijah again! 

“What are you doing here, Elijah?” (translation..."Stop it!")

If I'm Elijah in this situation, I'm gonna lose it.  I'm gonna start mouthing off like, "What? Are you INSANE???  YOU sent me here!!!"  

But, bless his heart, Elijah tries to explain it to God one more time...with feeling. 

Elijah cries out to God, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”  

In other words, "They're out to get me and I'm a sitting duck!"

But God, though patient and restrained, simply says, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness."  In other words...

"Stop it!"
S-T-O-P (new word) I-T

Elijah must have been so deflated, but from God's perspective the whole Jezebel situation was NBD...No. Big. Deal. And anyway, He had plans to use Elijah to forward His eternal agenda. Elijah's drama was insignificant by comparison. You don't read about God trying to comfort ya?

I think that's how it is with us too. We face a situation that threatens to wipe us out, but instead of getting to God quickly and approaching Him with the belief that he's already got us covered, we panic and fall off task. We run from our calling. We look too long at the situation and not long enough at Him, so we lose faith, and then finally lose courage.  

In His mercy, God just says, "Stop it!" and insists that we keep to our calling...doing His work to advance the kingdom...anointing and discipling those He has chosen to place in our path along the Way.

When God says, "Stop it," there's really only one answer..."OK."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Watching the Sky Today

I don't remember every detail of this day one year ago, but I remember the stunted breaths I was taking as I waited for the news that would come down, down like an anvil, on my heart...on many hearts.  

I remember the moment when I exhaled the tears of a profound sorrow on a long drive home. 

It was a crushing blow to the soul for the third time in less than 2 years.  But...mine "was not to reason why."

My long hug for an adopted sister will have to wait for its first warm delivery until I reach the gates of Heaven. E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come.

Somehow, I just know she will be right there to meet me, because the passage from suffering to glory...Heaven has revealed every morsel of love to her that ever was hers...hers even when she didn't know it. 

Her every moment in eternity is love, and no doubt she worships the One who is Love...carrying my prayers to our Father...presenting them to Him like incense in golden bowls.

Learning to joy over the reality that she no longer needs my prayers...though I surely need   s  l  o  w   work. But I honor her beautiful freedom each day, as I kneel before the Lord and receive the new mercies with a grateful heart...trusting Him to help me recognize them.

And as I take those first steps out of bed each morning, even with a heart that cannot help wishing to be where she Glory...I commit anew to Love.

I covenant again with the Father to feed His sheep, to love the outcasts, to let Him change me. comfort the broken in heart and reach out to the accept His allow His welcome His walk fearlessly into the pits of darkness and rejection in order to love and serve the enjoy being suffer long with the speak love to the angry...
to stand bold against the lies of the enemy...and ever care for and pray for her children and family...

all because of one precious
, now eternally glorious, beautiful, beautiful bird.

And so I breathe and vow...

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
- Emily Dickinson

I watch the sky for falling manna...breadcrumbs of grace.

Read Choosing to See
Mary Beth Chapman's book about
her grief journey after the death of her
daughter.  Here's one of Mary Beth's
bread crumbs of grace.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Permission Slips

Steve Brown has a new book in circulation.  It's called, Three Free Sins. I haven't read it, or even purchased it yet, but I will do both soon enough. For now, it's enough to say I like the idea of 3 free sins. I may not cash in on 'em all, but I'll surely consider the offer once I read the terms!

There does seem to be a season breaking out among Christian writers and scholars...a season that seeks to help folks get out from under the burden of trying to be a "Good Christian" by achieving a some arbitrary level of sanctification judged by inner and outer legions of Simon Cowells. 

You really CANNOT live like that! It's soul death. Spiritual suicide. Social poison. Prison.

But I cannot help wondering about how often I dole out forged permission slips to myself (and anyone I feel led to "bless" with my generosity <insert my rolling eyes here>) in the name of Grace.

You know...kinda like this...

I, Anne Bosworth, give myself permission to:

  • Be a total butt because I'm (choose all that apply) discontent, depressed, ill, unemployed, overworked, under-paid, under-valued, under-appreciated, PMS-ing, mourning, moving, entitled by Steve Brown's book, free in Christ, incapable of perfection, breathing, only human, a sinner saved by grace, ME, wounded, abused, healing, confused, misguided, misunderstood, unfortunate, broke, broken, the product of alcoholic parents, incapable of anything better, unschooled, unchurched, unloved, in transition, living as an alien prisoner... (you get the idea)
  • Only love and act kindly toward people I like today because (see above, add reasons as you are led)
  • Justify my bad behavior because (just stick in any reason since it's all about you, choose from the reasons above, whatever) and because I just feel like it.
  • Basically do whatever the heck I want without question, or accountability, or guff from (insert names of people, organizations, or government agencies here)

I could go on longer, but I think the point has generally been made. And it's not that I'm wanting to speak back to anyone out there who is preaching, teaching, advocating, or otherwise pleading for more grace in this world (for ourselves and others).  NOTHING could be further from the truth!

My problem is really with ME, and my sliding scale of sin Plank & Speck mentality. At what point do even my best reasons for being...well...a jerk warrant a revoked permission slip, and maybe even a serious dope slap?

I mean, at what point have I gone overboard on being generous and patient with myself and stepped into the matrix of dangerous narcissism? How many people am I allowed to offend, hurt, disappoint, betray, ignore, reject, abandon, dump on, abuse, walk over, stomp on, etc before it's my job to belly up to the responsibility bar and just...just...


Grace is good!  Grace is really, Really, REALLY, REALLY GOOD!!!  I want grace.  I need grace. I feel very much compelled and commanded to demonstrate grace early and often to as many folks as come my way in search of it...and maybe even people beyond that. I'm not suggesting that any of us should give up on giving (or receiving) grace. 

No. No! No!! NO!!! Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!!!

Of course we need to cut ourselves and others some slack.  This life ain't easy, and we sometimes fall apart as part of God's remodeling process at work in us. He tears us down to build us back up and make us stronger. For sure! Definitely! 

And undoubtedly some of that tearing down comes by way of letting us head plant into sin. I get that! I've been recently as 5 minutes ago!

But seriously...if I know I'm making a steady diet of spiritual Goober and Raisinets, or if I know that I'm convincing myself that it's actually a healthy, gracious diet of nuts and raisins...I mean...c'mon...really?

Surely there comes a point when I'm responsible for going Linda Richman on myself, realizing that I have schpilkas in my ginechtigazoink. I need to give myself a topic to tawk amongst myself. Discuss...

Goobers...Raisinets...they're neither healthy nor gracious...they're deer shit!

What I mean is that it's pretty lame (not to mention dangerous) to let the freedom I have to sin, or the weakness of my flesh, or the downright selfishness of my heart pose as grace incognito. It's bogus, and I know it.  I'm thinking ya can't use your "free sins" for that crap.

If I'm hurting people recklessly and I know it...I'm responsible for getting humble and making it right. If someone asks for me for grace, or help, or forgiveness and I'm withholding it...YIKES!

I really do hit rock bottom emotionally sometimes. People really do clean my clock with their needs, mistakes, sins, stuff, and betrayals. I truly need an injury timeout to get quiet and seek God for healing. But I have to do it...purposefully, actively.

And it's not an indefinite thing, or like I get to pull a mom card and go all "Because I said so!" on folks who ask me what's up with my drama. Ewww! That's not seeking healing. That's kinda...well...rogue rage. Just sayin'...

And the TV timeout gig? The one where I take a break to sell myself on the idea that I'm entitled to be a butthead? 

I dunno. I've certainly taken in more than my share of those cheap spiritual ad campaigns, be honest...

All those "TV Timeouts" ever did was delay the game...delay the grace...delay the growth...delay the giving...delay the receiving.  Again...just sayin'...