Let’s talk bibles!

Let’s chat about bibles. The purpose of this post is NOT help you discern what translation is the best one because 1) My opinions are my own and; 2) Let’s be honest – the BEST bible translation is whichever one makes you pick up your bible, open it up, and start reading. Instead, I want to talk about bibles, in general. I have inadvertently started bible collection. It wasn’t on purpose, but I’ve discovered that I love exploring different translations and bibles that are focused on a specific topic.

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Crying out to a God that listens

I’ve been in painful health sojourn lately, and while it physically broke me, my cries to God were heard. Not in the way I hoped, but we don’t always get the answers to the questions we ask….

Backstory first, of course: I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, an auto-immune disorder, in January 2015. In the subsequent 7+ years, I have only been in a brief remission once, have damage in dozens (or even hundreds of joints), have failed off every medicine available out there, and have had my diagnosis changed to the following: Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Pseudo-RA, and Pseudo-Gout (only with calcium crystals instead of uric acid). 

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Coming clean

On this final day of 2021 (while mourning the loss of Betty White), I’m posting for the first time in months. Why? This is my post to finally “come clean.”

You see, we celebrated our first Christmas in six years just a few days ago. 

Our first Christmas tree in six years!
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Just what I needed

The mezuzah on the door post and Magen David hanging by our front door.

For the last couple of months, two ladies who are Jehovah’s Witnesses have been stopping by our house every third week or so. They are very aware of my status as a Jew because the posts by my front door make it clear where I land on matters of the spirit.

While I am firmly rooted in my “religion” (I put that word in quotes because Judaism is so much more to me than just a religious practice), I also believe in being kind.

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Waiting

My dad believed in visitors from the afterlife. He was also a man of stories, and one of his frequent stories was a memory from when his younger brother, John, died as a teenager in the early 70s. The story goes like this: John was in his hospital bed, comatose in the very last minutes of life. My dad had rushed to his bedside from several hours north, barely making it in time. Right before John succumbed to cancer and died, my dad looked up and saw, floating near the ceiling in the corner of that hospital room,  ethereal versions of his grandmother, grandfather, and an aunt. Dad said it was as if they were there to greet John’s spirit on the other side. Continue reading

Essay: Why I want to become Jewish

Note: As part of my conversion process, my rabbi requires that I write my religious autobiography, which is made up of a series of essays. I’m posting these essays here, as well, to share my journey. I’m nearing the end of this process and will soon meet the beit din (rabbinical court) who will decide my Jewish “fate.” If my request for conversion is approved, I’ll then enter the mikveh and, when I emerge, I do so as a Jew.

Here is my first essay in the series, which is all about what compelled me to make this decision.

When starting out on my faith journey in my early twenties, I carried with me the God of my youth. This God was one that, if my prayers were sincere enough, my heart true enough, and my deeds good enough, would grant whatever it was that I wanted. If my prayers weren’t answered, it was because I had sinned or had fallen short of God’s plan for me. God was like a magical ATM in the sky, dispensing money, happiness, and an occasional new car to those that were worthy and devout.

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Becoming Jewish: the Christmas conundrum

Me + Christmas tree, 1981

Me + Christmas tree, 1981

Lately, my conversations with my mom have gone a little like this:

Mom: “I sure would love to come out and visit again.”

Me: “I’d love for you to see western Washington in the fall.”

Mom: “I’d really love to come out and celebrate Christmas with you.”

Me: “No more Christmases for me, remember?”

Mom: *sounds of crying into her iPhone*

OR

Mom: “I saw the cutest thing I wanted to buy you for Christmas, and then I remembered that I couldn’t…”

Me: “Hanukkah starts on Christmas Eve this year, Mom. You can buy gifts if you want.”

Mom: *cheerfully* Okay!

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