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Politically Incorrect Answers to Mormon Questions

Published January 26, 2012 by blacknright
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Why aren’t women allowed to hold the priesthood?

Short answer: We don’t need it, men do.

Longer answer: Women already run the church as it is. We are in charge of the primary, Young Women‘s and Relief Society. We do visiting teaching. We make sure those families in need are taken care of. We also have our own families. Of course, many women work outside the home today as well. Therefore, you want women, to work their full time job, go home and take care of their family, do their Visiting Teaching and whatever other calling they may have, then on top of that  you want the women do all the missionary work, the baptisms, confirm people with the Holy Ghost, be the Bishop, the ward clerks, run the Elder Quorums, the Stake Presidencies and ever other male assigned function in the Church. When exactly would we breathe? Are you crazy? What are the men doing, while we are doing everything inside the home and church? Drinking Sprite and watching BYU football? I don’t think so! The men need to do their fair share as well. In our Church, the roles are assigned to all members, and each member has their own duties to perform. To dump more duties on women and less duties on men would be cruel. The women are an integral part of the Church and they have a significant say in the how things are done in the church. We don’t need the priesthood to get things done.

Secondly, women are already in tune with the Spirit alot more than

The Book of Mormon English Missionary Edition ...

men. We see this in the Book of Mormon when the Stripling warriors defend their families. In Alma 56:47-48 we read: Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the aliberty of their bfathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their cmothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.  48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their amothers, saying: We bdo not doubt our mothers knew it. It is not that the fathers are unimportant or are not spiritual, but mothers have historically been the spiritual teachers in the family.

I think we have a stronger connection to Heavenly Father because just as he is the Giver of Life, so are we. We understand Him on such a fundamentally different level than men. Men with the priesthood and who exercise it righteously are given a wider understanding of that connection to Heavenly Father, one that we have almost intrinsically. The priesthood is given to men because of the “errand of angels is given to women.” [Sisters in Zion]

 How come anyone cannot attend the temple?

Short answer: Anyone can attend the temple. All you need is a temple recommend.

Longer answer:  The temple is God’s house. Do you just allow anyone to come into your house? No, you only allow those you know to enter. God is no different, he only allows those he knows to enter. In this case, knows is in reference to, those he recognizes as being obedient to His word and the commandments He has set forth. He doesn’t wish to keep everyone out, but just wants them properly prepared before they enter.

What if we met and you wanted to come over to my house and I told you I live at 314? Well 314 what? I didn’t give you a street name, a city, nothing…just 314. Do you think you are going to make it to my house? Of course not, you don’t have enough information to go on.  Well, God has given us all the information we need to enter his house, all we need to do is follow those directions. What if I gave you my address and all the information you needed and told you to turn left on Alexandria, but you decided you knew better than me and turned right on Alexandria. Well you have no cause to get angry with me, I told you left. We often do things our own way and when it doesn’t turn out we blame God, but He made his directions explicitly clear and we decided to ignore them. Anybody can get to the temple. No one is barred from entering as long you have done the things needed to enter the temple. The temple is not meant to keep you from God but to help you get closer to God and all it takes are the right directions.

 How can you guys put yourself on the same level as Jesus Christ?

Short answer: We don’t, the Bible does. See Romans 8:16-17

Longer answer:  Here is the actual verse from the Bible: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

That being said, we also recognize that Christ is the only perfect one of us to ever live. It is our intention to be more like Christ and emulate his ways in all we say and do. We often fall short and thankfully, our perfect brother, paid the price for all his imperfect brothers and sisters. His Atonement makes it possible for us to return home to Heavenly Father. We only see ourselves as equal in terms of us being Heavenly Father’s children as well, beyond that we know Christ is the only way we will have salvation and that His grace is sufficient for all of us.

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The Things I Learned in 2010

Published December 30, 2010 by blacknright

This is really a continuation of my previous post. Whereas, the other post simply tells you what I accomplished in 2010, this post tells you what I learned this past year.  Therefore the titles come from my previous post.

THE YEAR OF MANY LANGUAGES:

LESSON LEARNED: Don’t doubt your own capabilities. We often can achieve  more than we think we can. So it doesn’t hurt to  try something new. I also learned there are some things I will never get no matter how hard I try-Math is one of those things.

AN HONORABLE YEAR

LESSON LEARNED:  I learned I can do the impossible, if I just get out of my own way. As a kid I wondered what it must be like  to be really smart like Laura (my sister) or Leonard (my brother). Jeff (my other brother) was smart too but he was more like me.  So we had the two geniuses-Laura and Leonard and then there was just us average Joes-Jeff and me. Little did I know that I had a Laura/Leonard in me all along.  That I could make the Dean’s List, that I could achieve and accomplish feats that always seemed out of my grasp. I often told myself I was smarter than what other people knew but for once it was nice to not have it be some state secret, to show the world that it had been there all along. Who knew? I learned that the only thing holding me back all these years was me and all I because it was easier for me to believe the lies told to me than to try to prove them wrong! Well no more!

NIGHT CLUBBING:

LESSON LEARNED: I learned that I do have leadership qualities. My friend, Carter Clews told me once: “You are going to be a leader of your people.” I thought he was just being sweet. But obviously there was something  in me that I wasn’t seeing myself. Something that he could.  Being a leader doensn’t mean bossing people around, it means being able to inspire and motivate them to do for themselves. It means uplifting your fellow man.  That’s the kind of leader I want to be anyway. Hopefully, that is the kind of leader  was in my club, if not then I will keep working on it. Progress not perfection, I keep reminding myself. I will get there one day.

SENATOR LEICHNITZ:

LESSON LEARNED:  I learned I am not a quitter (that was a shocker, let me tell you.), I always thought  I was. I learned I have more ambition than I ever thought I did. Ambition was always a dirty word to me.  I never really appreciated ambitious people. I always equated ambition with greed, being corrupt and ruthlessness. That was not me! Then I learned ambition and drive are good things and that one need not be a harbinger of evil to be ambitious. Now I can see a future where none existed before. Now I can see a fruitful and productive life where once it had been barren. Now I see what God saw all along-a beautiful but broken person who just needed a little love, a big push and a dream. Thank you God for giving me those things. Lastly, I learned that power is intoxicaiting-especially when it is power that comes from God.

FAITHFULLY YOURS:

LESSON LEARNED: Something I had leanred by joining the church was that God was not an absentee father. Though I already had knowledge of that, it really crystallized this past year. What I learned was how truly close he is to all of us. I learned while we need him, he also needs us. He needs us to serve one another, to love one another, to be each other’s rock. For he cannot achieve anything if we are unwilling to listen to him. This year I learned what  a wonderful father, Heavenly Father truly is. Our talks during the summer made me feel so much closer to him. I will always cherish that bond. It is the most valuable thing that I have.

IN THE YEAR OF THE LORD

LESSON LEARNED:  I learned Adonai grows more amazing every day. That I am lucky that God chose me to be his mother. I learned again..that there is no one more worth fighting for and no one I am more afraid of losing.  I learned that being a full time mother is the most difficult and the most rewarding thing in the world. Most of all, I learned patience is not the outward appearance of being “nice” that it is, however,  not giving up when everything inside of you is screaming so loud for you to do just that. I learned that I have a lot more patience than I ever thought I did. God bless my little man.

ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:

 LESSON LEARNED: I learned that success in other areas doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if you don’t have success in your personal life. I learned that if my situation is to change, I am going to have to have the same determination to alter it as I do the rest of my life. I have learned that love of  a child can save you, love of God can heal you, but neither replaces the love of one good man. I am intent on finding him.

WE ARE FAMILY…OR NOT!!!

LESSON LEARNED: Actually it was a lesson solidified more than learned.  I love my family dearly and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better but as a child I always wondered what it would be like to be with my biological family, you know the people who looked like me. The irony of the situation is  even if I would’ve stayed with my biological family, there still wouldn’t have been anyone who looked like me. So all that time spent wondering, all that time spent wishing was for naught! What I learned was how truly lucky I was all along. Of course, I knew that but now I truly knew that! Knowing where I came from has just made me love my real family even more! My real family is the Leichnitzes and they always will be!

The Leichnitz Chronicles: A Faith Odyssey

Published December 21, 2010 by blacknright
Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

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Okay so 2010 has come and gone and you may be wondering what has become of Dena and Adonai in 2010.  Or you may be thinking “Who in the heck is Dena and Adonai and why did you forward this email to me, I don’t know these people!” Either way you are about to find out (well if you didn’t delete the email that is)

THE YEAR OF MANY LANGUAGES

         This year was my year of languages. In the Spring of 2010, I took a semester of Spanish, (Amor es muy mal or Love Sucks!) I have sung the Spirit of God in Korean, I sung Silent Night in German (Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) I have tried to learn the language of Math (quadratic formula= -b to the square root of b squared minus 4ac divided by 2a. ) I am in my church choir and have attempted to learn the language of music. (the only thing I know for certain in that respect is that I am an alto) And in the fall of 2009, I took a business law class, so I know the basics of law (stare decisis-the doctrine of precedent. That cases that are decided in a court of law will be used as a basis for deciding cases in future litigation) and the most difficult of all these languages-Math-hands down!!!

AN HONORABLE YEAR

 This year I was bestowed with many honors. I made the Dean’s List-twice. I have made the Ralph Bunche Scholars Program. Ralph Bunche Scholars is an Honor’s program at Los Angeles City College (LACC) and UCLA is aligned with the program (in fact, they have a whole building named after him on their campus) so people who complete the program are pretty much guaranteed admission to UCLA. However, people have used the program to get into other UCs and private colleges including Occidental. [Given that Occidental helped produce Barack Obama, the most corrupt and vile human being to ever grace the White House, it makes wonder what they are teaching people there. Then again they also helped produce my
brother, so they must be doing something right.] I am a bit worried my Honor’s status might be compromise by Math 125 grade. I have never in life prayed so hard for a C. Stayed tune to see how that turns out.

NIGHT CLUBBING

         No, I am not some party girl dancing the night away at some disco with bad electronica music. This past semester I was elected the President of the Entertainment I.P., (Intellectual Property) Club. All of our meetings took place in the evening time, so that meant picking up Adonai from his school, going back to mine, attending the club meeting or getting things ready for an event and then going home, doing our homework, get ready for bed and start it all over again. It was not easy but we pulled it off.

          I was also a member of the Legal Association at LACC. My good friend, Andrea Bari, was the President. We worked together and put together some really good events. With our joint efforts we created the most successful semester for our clubs. Andrea was pivotal in getting the El Camino Theater for our last event which was a panel of entertainment lawyers. I was able to get two of the speakers to come and attend. I was able to get the funding for food, I was also the person responsible for collecting and asking the questions for our panelists. I couldn’t have done any of it without the help of Andrea, Karen Pinkston (EIP’s vice president) who helped in getting the questions passed out and collected and Sharon La Gue (EIP’ssecretary, and an awesome one at that!) who helped me with all last minute details. Sharon calculated we had about 130 people come to our event. It was a great success due to our team effort. It went so well that one of the panelists recommended me for an internship. I am waiting to hear back from that.

         Our club advisor, Wilheim I. Vargas, the Chair of the Law Department said it was the most successful semester that either club had ever had. It was great to be a part of it. I really enjoyed everything we did, including the UCLA tour which Karen put together.

SENATOR LEICHNITZ

         In 2009, I applied for a Senator position with the Associated Students’ Organization (ASO) the student government of LACC. I was denied because of my conservative views. Even though I had been promised a position, I was later told they were postponing it, only to have it go to someone else entirely due to the bigotry by the ASO president of the time. Given that I am Leichnitz though and we are not quitters, I came to the conclusion, if I didn’t try again, the bigot would win. He wasn’t going to win.  So I applied for another position. It was the Senator of Disabled Student Affairs.

         After I applied, I found out my friend, Sharon LaGue, was also applying for the same position.  So I was going to apply for the Senator at Large position instead because I felt Sharon would do a better job for the Disabled Students than I would. However, when she backed out, I decided to go for it after all. So I have my interview. I am told to come in the following Tuesday to see if I will get elected. I am asked what has been my greatest accomplishment so far and I tell of how I was held back during my K-12 academic career because no one ever believed I was smart enough to achieve anything. I further explain how I went from that place to being an Honor’s student here at LACC. I wasn’t too impressed with my speech but later Andrea would tell me how it touched him. He called it “sad but empowering.” That meant a lot. Mostly, because I still think I am such a lousy orator but maybe I have better oratory skills than I realize.

         I was confirmed a Senator for Disabled Student Affairs. I had overcome the bigot’s hatred! I had won! So I set out to do my job. I have devised a survey for disabled students to see what is needed for them, what LACC is doing well, what they are failing in. I am trying to come up with a fundraiser for the Office of Special Services (OSS) that will help with making sure disabled students have the services they need. So keep your calendars open during the last couple weeks of May because D-Day is coming!

         Don’t know if I will ever become a real Senator but being an ASO one (even for 2 weeks) has been interesting to say the least.

FAITHFULLY YOURS

         My faith in Jesus Christ has grown as well. During the summer I did 30 days with God on Facebook where for thirty days all my statuses were directed to God. I was not allowed to talk about anything that was not directly about my relationship with God. It was truly something. I also put responses from God as well, but they had to be what I really thought he would say in the situation. Doing this little experiment my love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ intensified. I could feel them really work within me.

         Also in 2010 I joined the Wilshire Ward choir. I also sang in the Stake Choir as well. I remember as I was singing the Spirit of God in Korean, I felt the Spirit so powerfully. It sounded ten times more beautiful than we had rehearsed it as if God and his angels themselves were singing along with us. It was awe-inspiring.

         I also taught a class at our ward. It was called “Preach My Gospel.” The class is based on our church manual by the same name. It is all about the Restoration of the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation. I really do love teaching and passing on the knowledge I have learned to others. I try to use humor in my lessons while putting everything in layman’s terms. I have been told by others that they like my teaching style and that they learn a lot from me in my class. I do think there is a teacher in me just dying to get out but considering I have already worked for LAUSD once, I don’t ever see that happening again. However, I did teach the Constitution online in 2009 and I think I will do that again. That was something I truly enjoyed. Given the state of our nation, it is going to be imperative that we all learn the Constitution, in order to restore our rights that are being stripped from us.

         Everything I have accomplished this past year has been because of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I couldn’t have done any of it without them. God has blessed me so much this past year that there were times I would look in the mirror and wouldn’t recognize the face looking back. Not in a bad way, but in a very amazing way. It is as if I was truly being sculpted in the image he had of me and it was more magnificent than even I could imagine. I began to see in me the things he always saw. My intelligence, my beauty, my heart (for others but especially him), my strength. Whereas, I always saw failure, he saw success and brought it forth. Whereas, I always saw my weaknesses, he saw my ability to overcome life’s obstacles and removed the hurdles from my path. Whereas I saw myself as never smart enough, he saw my thirst for learning and knowledge and then showed the world how wrong they had always been. My beauty, well that one I am still working on but I smile a lot more when I look at my reflection than I ever did before.

         2010 was definitely a journey I will not soon forget. I met many amazing people. People like Andrea, Karen, Sharon, Shanan Sung (from my English 102 class) and Diana Solis (from my Math 115 class). Of course, no one is more amazing than my little one, Adonai.

IN THE YEAR OF THE LORD

         Adonai and I have had a lot of ups and downs this year. The year started off rather turbulently but things have worked themselves out. Our bond has deepened over this last year. Academically, he has done tremendously well. At this stage, he is only supposed to read 56 words per minute, he reads at 136 words per minute. His comprehension is also high. He needs to work on his writing but even that has shown a marked improvement over the past year.

         He will be tested next year for the gifted program. He should be able to get into it. Of course none of this is a surprise to me. I knew at three months old, that my child was a genius. Everybody thought I was crazy because I said he showed advanced problem solving skills at that t ime [He learned how to hold his own bottle by then. Though he wasn’t strong enough to hold it in his hands, he figured out if he placed it on his wrist and then lifted his arm up to his mouth and if held the bottle with his other hand he could drink. Do you know any other 3 months old who can do that? I don’t think so!] , but I finally get to say, “See I told you so!” Now I got proof baby, that I was right all along!

         Sorry about that, just a mother’s pride talking there for a moment. Next year will be a big year for Adonai. He will turn eight and will be able to be baptized (we are still working on that) and will be able to join the Boys Scouts. He is growing up so fast. I am proud of my little man. He is growing into a wonderful, caring person.

ON THE PERSONAL SIDE

         There is not much to discuss on the personal side, actually it has been an utter failure. The closest thing I have had to a date is when Andrea and I went to the Mexican restaurant across the street from the school. It has sort of become our tradition, at the end of every semester we go to this little Mexican restaurant and celebrate being one semester closer to graduation.  

         Though I hate being alone, I am slowly becoming to accept this is my fate. That I will probably never be married. It is not an easy thing to come to terms with. Accepting I had cancer was a cakewalk compared to accepting that I may never find anyone who loves me. Well that is not exactly true, I have found someone who does love me, he just doesn’t want to marry me. His name is Kenny and we have known each other for years. He is a wonderful man and a great friend. In fact, he got me through a trial in my life this past year that I wouldn’t have survived without his support. When my life started falling apart around February, all I could think of at the time was that I needed to call Kenny.  I knew he would help me. He did. I think that trial deepened our relationship. He went from never even using the word love in regard to me to being the first one to say before hanging up. Of course, there were stages in between but I am wearing him down. LOL

Even so he is in New York, I’m out here and it would sure would be nice to have a date once in a while. Oh well, I have gone four years without one, I guess I can do five. Que sera sera.                                 

                 WE ARE FAMILY…OR NOT!!!

This summer proved to be a rather difficult one, after 40 years of wondering, after 40 years of not knowing, I found my biological family.  I met a woman on Facebook and when I found out she helped people to find their biological families, I asked her to find mine. She did. I found out my biological mother was still alive. I was one of 7 children. A lot of things matched up with what my adoptive mother told me.  Mom told me that my birth mother didn’t keep any of her children. My half brother would confirm that. My Mom told me of a story (which sort of clenched it for me) that my birth mother was adamant that I was Swedish or something. My birth mother was adamant that I was Silician. Anyway, I talked to my oldest brother and things seemed to go well until I sent him my picture, then I never heard from him again. As for my birth mother, she didn’t want me to contact her. Saw that coming from a mile away. Figured I didn’t really lose anything and this way I sort of know. Oh well, I already have the best family around doesn’t matter if these strangers don’t want to be my family. It is their loss, not mine.

A Month of God on Facebook

Published June 30, 2010 by blacknright

On my Facebook account, I have decided the next month will be dedicated to conversations between me and God. If I want to talk about a movie I saw I will do so to God. If I want to talk about the political situation I will do so with God but otherwise it will be just me and God chatting with one another.  Of course the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ will also be in the mix giving me a chance to talk to more than just Heavenly Father. But I am doing this experiment to have God be the center of my life, to have my focus be on Him and not the extraneous nonsense in the world.

I will still comment on other people status’ and I can post on other people’s walls, but my status has to be directed to God (or anyone in the Trinity) only. It is only day two and I am already wondering can I do this? Can I really not break the rules and just go into a rant about what is on my mind without directing it to God? I will also have his replies to me. Of course, I am trying to keep it in line with what I think God would really say in the situation but sometimes it is just me being a smart aleck.

Some of the posts already are funny, some are sad, some are happy, some are…well they’re just “are.”  July 29th will be my last official day with my month with God. But who knows it might go longer than that. But I think it is important to remember God is in control. That we are not down here alone, that we have each other and Heavenly Father,  Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to help us get through.

A month of God-will it change my life? Don’t know, but I think it will change how I see God.

Satan Lives At Union Station and Other Kid Wisdom

Published February 24, 2010 by blacknright

The older my son gets the more intrigued I get by the way he sees the world. While he does definitely have some of me in him, [“The bad guys are Democrats!” he will utter as he is playing his Nintendo DS for instance] there is also a lot of “wisdom” that is solely him and that I get a kick out of.  All mothers have stories like this. Your kid will say something and you will go, “Hmmm, that is a good point, I never thought of it that way.” So I am going to share some of my child’s wisdom with you.

Satan lives at Union Station

Since that is the title of this piece, let’s start there. Why does Adonai think Satan lives at Union Station?  Well it makes sense when you break it down. Hell is a place below us and Satan lives in Hell.  Union Station is also underground or below us and since Satan lives below us it must mean he lives at Union Station.  Given some of the characters I have run into at Union Station, he just might be right.

Liberals would

As I was walking my son to school one day, we saw a pair of pants in the middle of the street. Not on the sidewalk or near the curb but in the middle of the street. I thought it odd, I had never seen clothing  just lying in the middle of the street before like that.  So I asked rhetorically, of course, who would get naked in the middle of the street? His reply was “Liberals would.” I almost died laughing.  Again I had to agree with him. If anyone was going to get naked in the middle of the street, it would be a liberal.

Skeleskin

This is not so much “wisdom” but what he used to call our skeleton. Instead of skeleton, he called it skeleskin. Also when you break it down, it does make a lot more sense. Since the skeleton is beneath a layer of skin, it should be called skeleskin.  That is one of my favorite words he created. That and padwin for pattern. Okay padwin has no logic to it whatsoever but it sounds so cute!

We’re Being Read

This was probably the spookiest of them all.  One day, he couldn’t have been more than 2 years old, we were walking down the street and he told me. “Mommy, we’re being read.”  So I asked him what he meant by that. He went on to explain “We’re in a book and we’re being read.”  So I asked him who was reading us. He answered back, “God.”  Now I had never addressed the Book of Life with him and neither had anyone else in his life.  Yet here he was quoting scripture.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.                                                                   ~Rev. 3:5

Then again children intutively understand God alot more than adults do as they are much closer to him then we adults will ever be. We lose that intimate relationship as we age but as a child we have perfect faith in our Father in Heaven so it does not surprise he would use my son to quote scripture at me, even if he does not know it.  I don’t know what God wanted me to take from that, maybe that he is looking out for us and not to fret because we are always “being read.”

In any case, I just wanted to share my son’s wisdom with you. And I would love to her about your child sages as well. So fill me in.

March on Washington-2009

Published September 13, 2009 by blacknright

As any Black person worth their salt  knows back in 1963 on August 28th Dr. King led a “March on Washington” in which he spoke to an enraged citizenry about the  abuses of the government to keep Black people from enjoying the full rights of citizenship. He was there to hold the government accountable for its wrongful and shameful leadership.

Not much has changed in 46 years.  Yesterday exactly 46 years,  2 weeks and 1 day after Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his powerful “I Have a Dream” speech, Americans gathered once again at the Capitol to tell the government “We shall overcome!”  This time instead of racial prejudice against Blacks it was class hatred we were fighting. The politicians want to divide us-rich vs. poor, Black vs. White, women vs. men! Well yesterday in the great tradition of Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement that brought America freedom once upon a time, America stood up and said “We are not going to take it anymore!”

A new generation of America, some like me who weren’t even born during King’s speech, came out and stood with all the great leaders of the past and present and put the government on notice!  Some put the demonstration in the tens of thousands while other put it closer to 2 million people.  Those who couldn’t be there in DC held rallies close home. America was out in force yesterday and though I sadly couln’t attend any, I was with my brothers and sisters in spirt. I had to get home to teach the Constitution-so I was doing my part yesterday as people rallied and protested the government.

It is time we all do our part. It is time that people come together once more and let the government know, we won’t allow the continued enslavement of our brothers and sisters through welfare. That we will not stand by and let a President promote and “establish” Islam as America’s religion! That we will not allow the Federal Reserve Bank and the approval of Congress to keep printing monopoly money and then forcing us to recognize it as legitimate as they use our blood, sweat and tears to pay off their debts. They need to know we will not be broken, we will not be moved and we will continue to fight to restore our republic, to restore our freedoms and to have God and prosperity reign supreme once more!

WE SHALL OVERCOME!!!!

Everything I Know About Government, I Learned in a Girls’ Group Home

Published August 9, 2009 by blacknright

DenaLeichnitzAmosFrom the time I was seventeen until I was kicked out at eighteen, I lived in a girls’ group home and some of the governmental mess I see happening now was taking place on a smaller scale back then. When I first walked into Aviva Center back in 1987, it was run by a great woman named Lois Tandy. She had been in charge of Aviva pretty much forever. She knew all the girls. She cared about all the girls. People felt like she was their mother. If you had to be away from your own family at least Lois made the experience a little more bearable. Girls (now women) who had lived in Aviva twenty years prior still remembered Lois fondly. Lois was like early America. It had its bumps and everything wasn’t perfect, some of us even felt like slaves, but we had good leadership. There was someone in charge who cared about the “country” and ran it with discipline but love. But like all good leaders, Lois eventually retired and we got the worst possible person to take over! Enter the Barack era of Aviva Center.

Andrew Diamond was his name (and no the names haven’t been changedAviva Center to protect the guilty!) and he was a tall, arrogant man. He had no time for the girls. His door was not open to us like Lois’ had been. The first thing he did when he got into power was start taking away rights. Up to that point, girls were allowed to read the Bible with staff members, with other girls, etc. Now granted, I was not a big fan of God back then and I would read the Satanic Bible, carry around my books on Witchcraft and once in awhile freak the girls out with my Satanic sounding voice-when you are locked up you got to make your own fun! Even so, I would listen as the staff tried to slap the devil out of me-figuratively speaking-by sharing the word of God with me. They knew most of this was for show and that I was more angry than anything else. They knew there was a mustard seed of faith in there and they tried to save me. But Andrew in his infinite wisdom decided,no one could talk about religion with another girl or a staff member. I truthfully feel it was to punish me for freaking the girls out with my voice and talking about Lilith-the Jewish demonness-a bit too much. We could go to church, but we had to get there on our own and we couldn’t go together. If we wanted to read any kind of Scripture or religious text, it had to be done in our rooms! He was a tyrant and it was his way or the highway! Lois looked for solutions that worked for all involved. She would be the Constitution. Andrew was the Communist Manifesto. His only solution was what would make life easier for him.

LegislatureLike the healthcare fiasco today, Andrew rushed through “legislation” he often had to go back and retrack some of it because obviously his way was not working. He never took the time to sit and think, what would work best for these particular girls. He never asked our opinions on any of the changes. He never once had a “townhall” with us and let us know what was going on. He was a brute of man who would hide up in his office and rarely made an appearance. Truthfully, I couldn’t pick him out of a line-up today because I saw him so rarely back then. The staff didn’t much care for him either. He didn’t care about how difficult he made their jobs or our lives. While no one expected him to be Lois (or maybe we did who knows) we did expect him to treat us like human beings and not like trash. We were in there because we had been treated that way our whole lives and to put a man in charge who had no compassion for us at all was the height of cruelty.

I will give this to Andrew, he made cherish my religious liberty all the Emma Smithmore. I actually hungered to talk to someone about the Bible. When he said I couldn’t-that is when I wanted to the most. The staff were careful and would still speak to me about it, making sure no one was around to hear us talk about it. I have already lived an existence where religious liberty was non-existent, I don’t ever want to go back to that era. Andrew thought the way to not to offend anyone was to take it away altogether. Instead of coming to me and going, “Dena, you are scaring the girls with this Satanic /Witchcraft thing, what’s going on? Is this what you truly believe?” and really talking to me and seeing what kind of compromise we could work out. He thought it would be easier just to ban the Bible….all the Bibles…hint hint. But even then God found a way.

China's flagAndrew’s way was the socialist way. Lois’ way was the American way. She believed in freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom to choose your own way. Andrew thought he knew better than us stupid little girls and since he had the job of taking care of us, he was going to do it with an iron fist. Andrew was a dictator, Lois was a leader. We followed Lois because we wanted to, she made us believe in ourselves and so we willingly wanted to please her. All Andrew brought us was hatred for authority, rebellion and a fear of “getting caught.” After graduating high school in June I was still there. I knew I had to leave in January because I would be turning 19, so I was working on getting what I needed together to leave. In October, I was told I had 30 days to leave. Had Lois been around I would’ve had until January. So I ended up in a shelter for thirty days and then one to a board and care. Andrew has left nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth all these years. I just hope God touched his heart and he became less of a monster through the years after I left.

shacklesHowever, Andrew showed me just what it is like living without true liberty. Living without freedom of religion, living under the boot of someone else. It is the kind of government we have under Obama. The days of Lois are fast becoming a thing of the past. Just as we all wept when Lois left, so shall we weep, when the Andrews are in full control. Listen to my words and harken unto them, I was sent to live that life so you would not have to. I was sent to be denied my freedom, so you could always keep yours. I was sent to have everything taken from me, including my right to know and worship God, so you would always have him in your life. I am not just your warning but I am your perserver. I have come to rescue you from the evil that is socialism. Don’t take my words lightly, or think they are some amusing anecedote. I am God’s humble servant, his beloved daughter as all of you are also his children. He wants what is best for you, what is best for America as do I. I have lived the worst, please don’t live it too.

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