Archive for April, 2005

Just Another Day

Thirty-five years ago, I sprang forth from my mother’s loins. This is a fact that I like to call and remind her about periodically, usually on Mother’s Day (because nothing makes for a better Mother’s Day card sentiment than discussion of her loins).

As a fitting birthday present, FLASH ME Magazine purchased a story from me for their e-zine that went live, ironically, today. It features a story of mine, Secret Garden, that I like quite a bit. It was my second attempt at doing a flash piece since I was accused (by a black female horror writer who shall remain nameless so that she can’t google her name and come here to mock me) of not being able to tell a story in under 7000 words due to me enjoying the pretentious sound of my own voice. Since I live to prove her wrong, I entered what historians will one day call my “flash period”.

Okay, everyone take a moment, indulge my ego, and take a brief dip in Lake Me.

(And don’t forget to tell your mothers how much you appreciate their loins! Trust me, they’ll love you for it.)

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My Family Bush

So I was over at my mother’s house the other day, and the topic of her family came up. Okay, that’s not a stretch: my mother’s Jamaican. Family comes up as soon as everyone’s awake. This time, however, we were reminiscing about her father. He died over ten years ago, but a guest didn’t believe any of the stories that we were telling (like the fact that, my mother says, that we are eleven generation descendants of Capt. Morgan. Yeah, the rum guy). So she whips out her father’s obituary:

Hubert Morgan
Late of Garland, St. James, born 7.10.1907, died 8.12.93 – leaving 49 children, 139 grandchildren, 59 great grandchildren, and 3 great, great grandchildren
.

No, those numbers aren’t typos. He had his last kid when he was 82. Look, I saw him in action. He was this doddering old man, frail and helpless, until a pretty, young woman walked by. Then he stood erect, insert joke here, would walk over to her, then start talking that talk. Yeah, he had his last kid at 82, the mother was 19. The man could talk. Okay, the fact that he held a lot of property helped.

In case you hadn’t figured it out, not all of his kids were with my grandmother. I believe that the official number that he had with her was 16. Then one day she says that she has to go to the grocery store for some bread. She leaves, gets on a plane, and goes to England. She came back for his funeral. All the other mothers were also in attendance; they also showed up for the reading of the will. Before the will was read, my grandmother turned around and said “we never divorced. You can all leave now.”

I love my family. You learn to embrace the weirdness.

Confused yet? Then comes my father’s side of the family. If you wonder why black people haven’t “gotten over” the whole slavery thing, keep this in mind: I found out that the reason my last name is Broaddus (with two Ds) instead of Broadus (with one ‘D’) is due to a spelling error on some transfer receipts. There’s nothing like trying to trace your family tree, then barely getting three generations before you have to start sifting through receipts.

This is a long way to answer the question that prompted this: how many brothers and sisters do I have? Between my mother and father, there are three of us, I’m the oldest, then my brother, then–after a nine year gap–my sister. We then adopted a female cousin about a year younger than my sister (she’s serving over in Iraq right now). I also have two other half-sisters, but since we don’t play the half/step game, I have two other sisters.

That’s my family bush.

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Nerds on Parade (Back Home Again in Indiana)

With all the stuff that was going on this past weekend, I haven’t had time to devote to mocking my city and state.

First, there was the traffic jam that started due to a truck overturning. It was carrying powdered cheese. Did I mention the freakish turn our weather took? Rain, then frigid temperatures. And powdered cheese. I can’t begin to describe to you what this looked like, though I suspect that you can imagine.

However, the biggest part of the weekend had to be the Star Wars Celebration III. Never heard of it? I’ve, obviously, had to suffer through three of these things. Of course they make the news when a battalion of stormtroopers march downtown.

Fans of “Star Wars,” dressed as their favorite characters in the science fiction epic series, waited in line Friday for the Celebration III costume pageant at the Indiana Convention Center. Celebration III was expected to draw about 28,000 people in its four-day run.

28,000 nerds in one place. I mock because I love. I don’t know if they hit those numbers, but the threat is bad enough. Thousands of cold, wet nerds. Um, it’s a tough love.

George Lucas, the master of all Jedi, was in town Saturday for Celebration III, and for about 10,000 soggy “Star Wars” fans at the Indiana Convention Center, it must have been akin to an audience with the pope of pop culture.

I had friends down there. Strictly in an observing capacity, I’m told. They became a part of the nerd hierarchy: who knew that Star Wars fans looked down their noses at Star Trek fans?

This isn’t enough. The debates have been going on for weeks now, but Indiana might be on the verge of joining the rest of the country:

State lawmakers may vote as early as Tuesday on the controversial proposal to link Indiana with most of America in observing daylight-saving time.

Even if it passes, which I doubt because now we wear it as a badge of honor to be odd, we then have to decide (or have decided for us) whose time we’re going to be on. I watched part of the debates (hey, we don’t have cable at the moment. It was that or a Jerry Springer re-run. Yes, I recognize re-runs now.) A guy against DST made this brilliant argument: if we switch to daylight savings time, “there won’t be any evening activities because there won’t be any evenings.” Wasn’t the West Wing episode making fun of us because of this enough?

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Splits

One of the little known facts about churches, so I hear, is that every 20 years or so, a church congregation splits. Yeah, this is mostly a Protestant problem, but go with me. You have to wonder what kind of message it sends to people outside the church when they see Baptist church A two blocks down the street from Baptist church B.

But the sad reality is that people are people.

Even church folks. Especially church folks.

I once went to a church that split over the issue of baptism. A valid thing to disagree over, you say, after all, it was one of the sacraments that Christ handed down. You’d think that … if the debate was, say, whether or not we should do away with it. However, the debate was over whether or not you should be dipped one time or three. Seriously. There was a conservative and liberal position. The conservatives argued that the individual should be dipped three times and that if you were only dipped once, you had to be re-baptized to become a member. The liberals thought that if being dipped once was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for membership.

Here’s a shock: my stance was that this whole debate was rather silly. I figured that if this was what we were arguing about, no wonder the world was laughing at us. Yeah, I got “called into the principal’s office” on that one. I was accused of spreading “apathy” in the face of challenges to the inerrancy of God’s word. Two words: puh leeze.

Splits can be painful to watch, be a part of, or live through. And there is rarely any room for a view from the sidelines. Especially when you have a vested interests in both sides. It’d be easy if all the people you cared about were on the same side, but that rarely happens. People lined up on both sides of the argument arguing vociferously. It quickly became personal. Long time friendships became suspect or casualties.

Turns out that the baptism issue was the final straw or excuse that a faction needed to break away. The debate exposed a certain level of dissatisfaction within the ministry that the head pastor either didn’t see or thought that he could keep together long enough to weather the worst of the storm. Turns out that the liberals were mostly upset with the leadership style and ministry direction.

But it was hard to not feel hurt or betrayed no matter which side you fell on.

I suppose I should make allowances for the special dynamics of a message board. Like churches, they are fellowship communities, built around common beliefs or interests. A diverse group of personalities, political beliefs, races, sexual preferences (yes, I said it: even in churches). As much as we’d like to believe that the posters are a collection of 1s and 0s streaming across our screens, the fact is that we talk with them. We share with them. We call each other friends.

And people are people.

Splits happen.

Sometimes they can’t be helped. Sometimes no one’s at fault. Sometimes the relationship’s time has passed. Sometimes the people you love simply can’t get along anymore.

Every time … it hurts.

Good-bye MBOTD. You’ll be missed.

Blogging Adultery

Sorry for the lack of new blog entries this week. I’ve been busy committing blog adultery. Been posting reviews on my Hollywood Jesus. The HJ site has been wanting to get into comic book reviews, so, obvious spiritual nerd that I am, I was one of the people tapped.

Again, so that you aren’t confused, at HJ, we try and engage culture (as opposed to the all too often Christian stance of throwing stones at, and withdrawing from, it). You see, many Christians take the position to retreat from “the world” that way their spirituality won’t be corrupted by disparate elements. This is a by-product, I believe, of a highly individualized Gospel message that basically concerns itself with that individual getting their soul “saved”. A kind of “fire” insurance faith. But, that’s a different debate.

The goal of HJ is to apply our faith in such a way that it is culturally relevant. A friend of mine said that this is a perpetual challenge in any culture. The gospel must be culturally relevant or it will not gain a hearing. Since all cultures possess negative elements, the gospel must also challenge the culture. There is a fine-line between a culturally-captive and a culturally-relevant gospel.

On a practical level, this means that we accept the general conceit to try and find God in all things. You see, I don’t like to live my life in some sort of schizophrenic, dualistic hell: this stuff over here is holy vs. this stuff over there is “worldly”. I prefer to live with an “all things can be redeemed” mentality. When it comes to art, my belief starts with the fact that all people are created in God’s image. All people have what’s been called a “God sized hole” within them that causes them to wrestle with certain ideas and questions. And as they seek to answer these questions or respond to these ideas, it comes out in their art. I try to pick up on that thread.

Plus, I love story. In loving story, I’ve started to read the Bible as story and I’ve come to appreciate how so many stories seem to echo the story of Christ. like people and their God-sized hole. I try to pick up on that thread and use it as a conversation starter. It’s a kind of spiritual exercise for me: I treat art like I do people. I accept it where it is and how it is (spiritually as well as for what it is trying to do) and then try to make a bridge to connect it to Christ.

As you can imagine, this has mixed results. For daring to call Constantine “theologically rich” (which once again, I’ll say is different than “theologically accurate”), I got letters; the ever popular, and not-as-oxymoronic-as-I’d-like-to-believe, Christian hate mail.

So you can only guess what the letters were like when I compared Marv to Christ in my Sin City review (which is not to say that Christ’s message was “repent or I’ll tear off your testicles”). Whenever someone points to a character as a Christ figure, we aren’t saying that the character models Christ (even close to) perfectly. Most times, the only comparison is that a character sacrifices themselves for another. Finding Christ in strange places is what I like to do. Because I think that Christ isn’t just in the places we “expect” him to be. And that spiritual walks can take a variety of different paths and look entirely different than we expect them.

This is a long way to go just to say that I have three new reviews up. Identity Crisis, and the mini-series Green Lantern: Rebirth.

And that’s what (and where) I’ve been blogging.

Green Lantern: Rebirth

written by Geoff Johns
art by Ethan Van Sciver
published by DC Comics

Click to enlargeThere are times when it’s hard to find spiritual connections with whatever media that I am dealing with. Let’s face it, some things make it difficult to find God (maybe that’s the point) or at least don’t easily lend themselves to pointing to Christ. That is not the case with Green Lantern: Rebirth. Rebirth is literally the story of redemption.

First, let me tell you a story. There was once a hero named Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, a member of an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps. In the DC universe (the home of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and the Justice League), next to Superman, he was the hero most admired. For decades he was a beacon of light.

He knew no fear.

Then, a terrible tragedy struck. He was unable to prevent a villain from destroying his home city. This senseless tragedy drove him quite mad. He even took to calling himself Parallax and tried to re-write history to his will. Eventually, he ends up sacrificing himself in the comic book cross-over “event”, Final Night.

Click to enlargeSince part of the super-hero credo says that dying means never having to say good-bye, Hal Jordan returned. His soul was merged, read: trapped inside, the “hero” called the Spectre, God’s spirit of vengeance.

[Look, a Green Lantern movie is in the works, so pay attention.]

This, by the way, is the trouble with comics: I have to explain nearly a decade’s worth of continuity in order for you to understand/appreciate this storyline. It makes it hard for new readers to jump aboard. However, that’s what this series is about: addressing the entire history of this character in order to give it a fresh start.

Two sentence review: Geoff Johns is in peak form and this makes me wish I had more money to spend on collecting the other books that he writes. The art is spectacular.

Click to enlargeThere are so many spiritual connections in this book it was hard to choose a focus. By one view of redemption, Hal Jordan starts off as a Christ figure. He sacrificed himself to save the cosmos (in Final Night) and then bore the brunt of God’s wrath (as the Spectre). And that’s before issue one even starts. Green Lantern: Rebirth is definitely one of those “event” books that explores the inner demons of the character and explores what really makes him a hero. Literally, the character’s inner demons as all of the Green Lantern’s, past and present, engage in a battle against the enemy within. An impurity of men’s souls that calls itself Parallax, the living fear. This corrupting nature brings with it a cycle of destruction, warping man’s sense of right and wrong, and spirals into a pattern of fear, violence, and death. This taint leaves men vulnerable to the Spectre (the embodiment of God’s wrath). The need to deal with this taint is one view of how redemption works.

Click to enlargeYou see, there is an inherent problem with that view of redemption. It is a very individualized view of how redemption works. In that view, the individual has to realize their taint and do something about it or face God’s retribution (and the Spectre is about retribution, not redemption). It leads to a shallow reason to seek redemption and find faith: they become about getting said individual’s own butt into heaven. There is a broader way to view redemption, also presented in this comic book.

Hal Jordan faces that very choice of redemption schemes, and basically goes through a re-thinking of his faith. He has the chance to get his butt into heaven (by going towards the light as he nears death). Instead, he is literally “born again.” Better put, he is made whole. He joins in God’s mission to be a blessing to the world. That is what redemption is all about.

Hal Jordan finds redemption in Green Lantern: Rebirth. He is restored, but that doesn’t mean that his sins have been forgotten. Explained? Yes. Forgotten? No. He has a lot to prove, to regain the trust (even the admiration) of his peers. However, being made whole again, he has the opportunity, a lifetime, to live and work out his newfound faith.

Identity Crisis

(Issues #1-7, available in trade paperback)
written by Brad Meltzer
art by Rags Morales
published by DC Comics

Identity Crisis was DC Comics 2004’s big “event” comic, one that promised to have lasting effects ripple through the entire cast of the heroes of DC comics. [The DC Universe is home to Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, and the Justice League (*sigh* the Super Friends, if you must).]

Murder mystery scribe, Brad Meltzer, opens the series with the words of Dr. Fate “Life is a mystery.” In this case, it is a murder mystery built around the conceit that someone is going after the significant others in the lives of the community of super-heroes. Tragedy befalls one of the few happy couples in comics. As the Elongated Man, the character who bears the brunt of the tragedy, says: “anyone who puts on a costume paints a bull’s-eye on his family’s chests.” Though extremely dramatic and an absorbing read, there is something about the story that leaves a pall over the work. I think it boils down to the fact that there are lines not worth crossing, taboos not worth breaking, memories not worth tainting; not even for the sake of a riveting read (see Amazing Spider-Man review).

“An era can said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted.”
-Arthur Miller (quoted in issue #7 of Identity Crisis)

As comic book afficionados were well aware, event comics are cross-over series with ramifications that spread through the other titles of the comic book company. Whereas once they were harmless marketing ploys–used as excuses to have a majority of the heroes gather together in one place–the big events took increasingly darker turns. These events were punctuated by death, as the medium entered this age of realism. Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Final Night, each brought their share of deaths, sometimes to beloved characters. Granted, this being comic books, it depended on what your definition of “dead” is, but for the most part, (for death to have any meaning) many of the characters have remained dead.

There’s nothing like the reality of death to make one examine their lives, especially their pasts. “Even godless physicists can appreciate the past.” (The Atom). Identity Crisis, in a fit of fanboy mania, re-visits the more innocent age of comics in order to reveal that they weren’t so innocent. Our heroes have their silver age morality is questioned.

You see, part of this era of being real and dark involves the deconstruction of the myth of the iconic hero. We love heroes, but we hate the example they set so we have to prove that they are no better than us. We seem to constantly compare ourselves to one another, as if we are trying to find a kind of redemption by trying to find our self-worth through others. Not wanting to have to live up to too high an ideal, this leads to an obsession with proving that our heroes have feet of clay.

In a nutshell, Identity Crisis is a well-plotted series developed from an oddly gratuitous feeling circumstance. The storyline, with its pot boiler whodunnit trappings, is thick with implications because of the series of escalations: grand fight scenes; one-time silly villains deepened and darkened; friendships betrayed; and a slow unraveling of the tapestry of the vanguard fighting team, the Justice League. It is filled with cool scenes and powerful images, if not a cohesive unifying thread. For such a cornerstone series, it can’t resolve the emotional issues at play. Its rushed resolution ends up feeling like the 30 minute sitcom wrap up of a “very special episode”.

The conclusion, at first pass, proves oddly unsatisfying and anti-climatic. That is, until you realize that at its core, Identity Crisis is a story about relationships and our desperate need for them. Identity Crisis ends up offering a better answer than Dr. Fate’s bit of wisdom. Life is about relationships; the deeply personal nature of, and the ties that bind, relationships. Parent and child. (Ex) wife and (ex) husband. Colleagues. We were created as relational beings. We are defined by relationships and we are vulnerable through them. It sounds weak, codependent in therapy parlance, but we aren’t meant to be alone.

A human being is defined by who loves them. Loved by God, we have our identity; defined by that relationship we find our self-worth. Love is risk, but we’re wired to be a part of a community. In that way we are fulfilled.

One could forgive the flaws to make the meticulously constructed mystery work. The series both highlights and humanizes the heroes of the DC universe while at the same time exposing their flaws in a deeply personal story. However, that doesn’t negate the solution to the heroes’ identity crisis. It could be best summed up with this quote from Doc Childre: “Our true identity is to love without fear or insecurity. Our higher potential finds us when we set our course in that direction. The power of love and compassion transforms insecurity.”

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Rent a Brotha

I’ve been in singles ministry for over 15 years now. I know the ups and downs, the heartaches and the pains that come with being a single person, especially as one gets to be older. Some of the most devastating comments come from some of the most well-intentioned sources. Questions from family members like “why hasn’t someone snatched you off the market?” (implying that you’re defective in some way) or “aren’t you seeing anyone yet?” (only barely leaving off the other half of the sentiment: “you poor, poor dear”).

I know that in this PC age of ours, my new business venture may leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths, but, well, I’m over it. At the moment, I minister to a mostly white singles group, and in the spirit of racial (dis) harmony, I’m starting a new ministry for the ladies of my group: Rent a Brotha.

Tired of dreading family meals or get-together filled with mom’s intrusive questions or your aunt’s intrusive meddling? Well guess who’s coming to dinner! Yes, we at “rent a brotha” will quickly put an end to the constant pushing for a relationship or inquiries into when you’ll be having kids. You’ll find comments quickly shifting from “when will you be getting married” to “it’s important to be friends for a long, long, long time”. Testing has shown that it only takes one visit from a representative of the “Rent a Brotha” offices to still the topic of your personal life to “don’t ask, don’t tell” levels.

Franchising opportunities available. Hmm, maybe this would only work here in Indiana. So only “limited franchising” available.

[I’m not forgetting about the single men in my group. I am starting a sister company: Rent a Baby. Because nothing is more attractive to women than seeing men with a baby.]

I’m so brill.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

“Sins Past” (issues #509-514)
written by J. Michael Straczynski
art by Mike Deodato
published by Marvel Comics

If you are unfamiliar with modern day comic books, you need to realize that these aren’t your father’s “funny books.” It’s high time that we started reviewing comic books since they have been the source material for many of our most popular movies and televison shows. Despite their decreased sales numbers, comic books still impact our culture (though, in Japan, the number one market on the planet, comic books have significantly higher sales and cultural impact).

It’s important to remember what got us hooked on comics in the first place: Larger than life heroes and villains in action/adventure serials; simple morality plays where good was good and bad was bad. These days, good isn’t as good as it seems and bad is a lot worse than it once was, but we still have to muddle through.

You see, the typical age of American comic book readers is 20+ , not 8+ like they were back in the day. Fanboys have grown up alongside the medium. Thus, the books have become increasingly sophisticated. Unfortunately, “sophisticated” usually means darker and harsher. This rush to insert realism has had the analogous effect of retroactively robbing us longtime fans of the medium of our fond memories of childhood.

However, there are lines not worth crossing, taboos not worth breaking, memories not worth tainting, not even for the sake of a riveting tale. That is the feeling that I was left with after reading J. Michael Straczynski’s pivotal story arc, “Sins Past.” In this storyline, JMS retroactively taints our memory of an innocent love and time.

Most of what the average person knows of Spider-Man is from the movies. For those who have followed the comics from early on, Peter Parker, “Spider-Man’s alter ego, “had a true, pure love before Mary Jane Watson. Her name was Gwen Stacy. However, she was lost to him when he was unable to save her during a battle with the Green Goblin (the first Spider-Man movie plays on this tale by having MJ, in the Gwen Stacy role, being tossed from the bridge. In the comics, unlike the movie, Spider-Man is unable to save her).

In this storyline, JMS fills in a bit of a continuity gap in the comics, explaining why Gwen Stacy jetted off to Europe for a time. Apparently, she had an affair with Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, then went to Europe to have her babies, twins Gabriel and Sarah. The twins were raised believing Norman Osborn to be the saint who took them in and raised them while blaming Peter Parker, whom they believe to be their real father, for abandoning them. So, now grown up, they wish to kill Peter Parker and avenge their mother’s death, which they believe happened at his hands.

Yes, it is a complicated soap opera-esque story that is personal and engaging with flashes of his trademark sense of humor that characterized JMS’s Babylon 5.

At first I thought the spiritual connection that I was going to make was coming from the kids relationship with their father and their struggle against their own natures. They had been corrupted, due to their bodies’ fallen condition, by the blood of their father. Tainted by his sinful legacy, as it were. “The truth is in the blood,” Gabriel proclaims. The storyline paints an intriguing image of these lost, desperate souls attempting to find wholeness and salvation from death, by either embracing or rejecting their father. But that’s not the spiritual connection that I was left with.

After I was finished reading the story, I couldn’t help wondering about Gwen. In some ways, this changed my image of her. Hey, I grew up with these characters, so cut me some slack. In JMS’s hands, the reader is lead to feel Peter’s conflicted emotions, the sense of betrayal, the hurt, the tacit forgiveness and unquenchable love. It reminded me of the story of Jesus and the woman at the well as recounted by Michael Yaconelli in Messy Spirituality: “Looking at her long string of bad choices, many would consider her unredeemable, unsalvageable, unteachable, and beyond help. She hasn’t just made a few mistakes; she has lived a lifetime of mistakes, enough to cause most to conclude her life is scarred beyond hope. She comes to the well at the middle of the day because respectable women come in the morning and she understands that she is no respectable woman.

“But Jesus respects her.

“Jesus doesn’t see what everyone else sees.

“As far as Jesus is concerned, this woman is salvageable, teachable and redeemable. As far as Jesus is concerned, the woman with no future has a future; the woman with a string of failures is about to have the string broken. Jesus sees her present desire, which makes her past irrelevant.

“You don’t suppose, do you, the same could be true for you and me? Our mistakes, our strings of failures, and what everyone else labels unredeemable may actually be redeemable? You don’t suppose the mess we’ve made of our lives can be the place where we meet Jesus?”

We all have sins. Things in our past that we’ve done, or had done to us, to make us feel unworthy of ever being loved or clean again. But we can be loved where we are, in the middle of our messy lives. Loved, forgiven, and made whole. “The truth is in the blood.”

The Church and the HWA: Part II

Continuing my Horror Writer’s Association as metaphor rant, I sympathize with the president of the HWA.

-The moment you announce that you’re running, you have an enemies list. Maybe enemies is too strong a word, but at least people with competing agendas or positioning themselves in (and counter to) your administration.

-Friends you think you can trust–even just to vent to–use your words against you or in other ways leave you with a dull throb of pain in your back. You have to deal with people you like and/or highly respect leave either because of you or because of something (or someone) you have little control over. Especially if you have to make concessions in order to make sure the institution is as open to new people as possible.

-People who have “concerns” about you or your leadership direction, rather than bring them directly to you, instead spread their gripes to everyone else, stirring up dissent in their wake. Conversations become exercises of constant nit-picking and sentence parsing.

-Facing the reality that it only takes one or two (loud) troublemakers to change the tone of the group or otherwise derail your mission entirely.

-Serving alongside a board that you have to lead as well as be accountable to. A board whose members may be building support and power bases or otherwise wield increasing influence.

-Then there are your own insecurities. “I’m under qualified.” “What have I accomplished, especially compared to so-and-so who also wanted this position?” Little experience or name recognition outside of a few circles. Having your character, beliefs, and doctrines critiqued, examined, and questioned at every turn.

-Everyday waking up and asking yourself “Why am I doing this again?” “Is it worth it?”

-However, you try and remember that (you and) they are only human. People are people, no matter their level of … professionalism. As such, they have apparently taken most of their social cues from junior high school. These are also the same people who care passionately about the institution. They believe they have its best interests at heart.

Yeah, I sympathize.

Before you ask, I’m only an affiliate member of the HWA and have no specific knowledge of anything. I’m only guessing from the fact that “people are people”. I do know that it’s been a non-stop laugh riot out here on the ministry front, and we haven’t even had our first service yet.

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