All The Things I Want You To Know
January 31st, 2008 by Sonja

Or at least some of them.

Did you know that camels don’t really store water in their humps? It’s really fat. They store water in their bloodstream and can drink up to 50 gallons of water at once. They can go as many as 7 days between stops at a water hole. Here’s the real kicker: “The famous line … “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,” is possibly a mistranslation, where the original Aramaic word gamta ‘sturdy rope,’ was confused with gamla, ‘camel.'” (from p. 93 of The Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd & John Mitchinson) … now that makes more sense. As a quilter I know that putting a sturdy rope through the eye of needle is just about as impossible as a camel, but at least the analogy makes more sense. Or maybe Jesus was just being sarcastic.

I had my hair done today. It was long past due and I didn’t realize it was making me sort of insane. I love it again … it’s all stripey. My hairdresser called it tiramisu. I love my hairdresser. She’s fabulous. She’s also from Ghana. We get along like long lost best friends. We chatter away when I’m there. No one else talks. We talk about big things and little things. She regales me with tales of growing up the youngest of 19 children in Ghana. I love the stories. I tell her about growing up the oldest of 3 in Vermont. She loves those stories. Today we traded tales of uncomfortable clothing … I hated itchy wool and had to wear it all the time. She had over-protective older brothers who pegged rotten fruit at unwanted suitors. The suitors were unwanted by the brothers not by her.

We talked about the unrest (to put it mildly) in Kenya for a while. She called it a fire that will not go out for a long time to come. I think she said, “It’s been lit now and it will not go out.” She’s worried about her home country and whether or not this will spill over the borders to harm her people. She was mostly concerned about the influx of refugees. I asked why she wasn’t concerned about the government. Her response? All the politicians are supported by women. Apparently, in Ghana the money is held by women. I have to track that idea down. Next time I see her I also have to take her some tiramisu … she didn’t know it was a real dessert.

I found a way to give so it will help real Kenyans who are in need. This assistance will to go help feed, clothe and assist refugees directly displaced by the current unrest/coup d’etat. I’ve participated. If you feel called to participate, please also help. This will go directly to help out women and children and men who have lost everything to the politics of power:

Displaced KenyanIf you would like to help financially you can by sending a check payable to Soul Sanctuary and mail it to:
Soul Sanctuary
187 Henlow Bay
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3Y 1G4
****Mark on the check KENYA
Or you can use PayPal off our website

If you use PayPal, please email me ( ) with the amount so that our accountant will add the gift to “aid in Kenya.” ALL DONATIONS OVER $5 will be issued a tax reciept.

(ht: Bill Kinnon)

From the post at SoulPastor:

Again, thank you so much for your prayers. This country needs God’s help. As do we. Thank you!

Today ******* was quiet. We heard very few shots fired. There was one incident at night, but that was when the power suddenly went off at the police station and the refugees there thought the Kikuyu were coming to get them and everyone started screaming. The police shot into the air at that point but all then went quiet when they got the generator running.
The first time ******** ventured into town we were struck by the bizarre situation. The town appeared to be mostly back to normal. People were in the streets, the taxis were running again, the market was open, many shops were doing brisk business as people came into town to refresh their dwindling stock of supplies. Along the streets were some shops which had been broken open and all the personal effects burned outside: tables, chairs, even bicycles and refrigerator coolers. (They even burnt one …. woman’s expensive Toyota Landcruiser!) How would the displaced people feel – those whose lives have been threatened, who have lost everything, may even have had loved ones hacked to death – if they would see the other tribe members just getting on with their lives as though nothing had happened?

In one of the poorer areas of town we came across an unusual sight. Amongst the narrow trails between the houses there were many piles of burnt personal effects outside poor people’s houses. The paths had been cleared of the boulders but these were still strewn along the road side as though in preparation for the next wave of violence. But as we drove behind one house we saw on one pile of ash all kinds of furniture and other personal effects. You couldn’t help wondering why the things had not been burned. Did the youths run out of petrol? Or had they expended their hatred? Or did they maybe break into the wrong house?
We didn’t see the smoke clouds billowing up from the town neighbourhoods like yesterday. Only one huge plume of smoke was evident. But even that makes you wonder if something is about to blow up again. Everybody is very much on edge so the smallest thing is enough to make you wonder if the violence is about to start up all over again.

On another note … is it just me, or is anyone else sick and tired of Viola and Barna’s Pagan Christianity yet? It’s not even out and it’s been reviewed and discussed more than the proverbial dead horse. From what I can tell (no, I have not read it and with all the hoopla, I’m not likely to either), they’re not saying anything new here folks, so what’s the big deal? It’s just me, but I tend to run fast and far from books that get so popular.

Some things appear innocuous, even beautiful. But they are dangerous and deadly. We need to avoid those activities when made aware of them.

There’s a fairly amazing discussion going on over at Grace’s. It’s been happening for well over a week. It began in a fairly raucous manner, but the keel has been righted and redemption has reared it’s beautiful head. It’ll take some doing to wade through all of the comments. It all started when Grace pointed out a blog with some stringent commenting guidelines. You need to read her post and some of the following comments, then read this amazingly gracious and humble comment from the blogger she originally pointed to and read the continuing conversation from there.


Last, there’s a discussion going on in various places that I’m aware of in the blogosphere concerning standards for modesty. I had some things to say on the issue but they were edited out of recognition in one place because of the mores of the blogger. I won’t comment on that except to say that it’s a shame because that editing controlled the direction of the conversation. Here’s my take on modesty … unedited except by me … Standards of modesty are almost purely cultural. There have been times when a woman’s ankles were considered provocative. Other times when it was her forearms. During the Napoleonic era and AnteBellum era the breast was not nearly as sexually charged as it is now, so it was considered quite fashionable (and not a sexual statement) to wear very lowcut dresses, while the legs were completely covered up. This is why it was so provocative for dance hall girls to kick their legs and reveal them for brief moments of time. See? What is perceived as provocative and/or modest changes according to custom and culture across time. My point is that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we each are responsible to Her in how we present that temple to the world. We are not sex objects. We are not evangelism toys. We are temples. We are children of God. We are creations beautifully and wonderfully made. And I’m well and thoroughly fed up with being told I must dress to please anyone but Him. In the words of Beatrix Potter, “Please sir (or madam), I am no longer in the habit of being lectured to and thankfully I no longer require your approval or anyone else’s.” (ht Bobbie)

7 Responses  
  • David M Zuniga writes:
    January 31st, 200810:04 pmat

    Wow…so really? You run fast and far from books that get popular, even when you’ve never read them?

    Interesting take on literature, whatever you may think of Viola and Barna. But let me highly recommend the works of C.S. Lewis anyway; works that still sell in the millions of copies per year. Oh, and of course the one you must be really sprinting away from: the Holy Bible.

    It got pretty popular, last time I checked.

    Don’t worry; I’m just trying to disabuse you of that halo you were trying to put on my head for playing nice with my brethren and sistren over at Grace’s. I’m not as gracious or humble as you suggest.

    Nor is “Pagan Christianity” as bad a book as you suggest, before having read it. And if they aren’t saying anything new, then you and I have been living in different Americas.

    Other than that, I loved your post! :)

  • Sonja writes:
    January 31st, 200810:47 pmat

    hehehe, David, nice catch. I wasn’t exactly panning PC. I’m leery of books which gain popularity so quickly. From what I understand about PC they are asking questions about the Western church which have been asked for the last 5 years or so by many and have been answered in many other books and other venues. None of what I’ve read in any review has been any great revelation.

    I’ve read Lewis (and Tolkein 😉 ), but after they’ve stood the test of time.

  • Pistol Pete writes:
    February 1st, 200810:03 amat

    A friend of mine was a rather strange child. In Sunday School one week, the teacher asked the class to do a drawing based on the “camel/needle” parable. My friend, who became an Abstract artist actually drew a camel going through the eye of a needle. The teacher looked at it and said, “My! I think that camel’s going to make it.”

  • Patrick writes:
    February 1st, 20081:18 pmat

    I tend to run fast and far from books that get so popular.

    Well, that explains your support for my book. 😀

    And more on modesty? Sheesh. I’d join in, because of course I have opinions, but I have hit that topic hard in other forums and now I’m burnt out with it. My basic position is that there has been way too much historical emphasis on the woman in terms of sexuality, and while modesty is an important topic I think it is much, much more important to address the absolute shameful allowance Christianity has given to men and their apparently uncontrollable lust. The blame has been put on women, on the object, while all through the Bible the blame is put on the subject. The one sinning should be told to deal with their sin. We’ve given lust a way too strong license and women have suffered for it.

    David, as one who may have been dismissive at the Grace’s place let me say you have in fact been extraordinarily humble and gracious. Part of my issues have been past battles on that topic, and how entirely dismissive and ungracious many have been on this topic. Your attitude, your views, your comments might not seem big to you, but to me you’ve been above and beyond and if my comments anyway offended or too quickly dismissed you, then I offer my heartiest apologies.

  • Adam G. writes:
    February 1st, 200811:09 pmat

    Wow, that post was like an episode of the Simpsons, it started in one place and after a lot of twists ended up somewhere completely different.

    This is the first I’ve heard of “Pagan Christianity,” but then I apparently live under a rock….

  • Random Acts of Linkage #46 : Subversive Influence writes:
    February 2nd, 200810:57 amat

    […] in Monday for the start of “Pagan Week” — despite some people feeling a certain amount of pagan-fatigue over all the discussion of Frank Viola and George […]

  • Rob writes:
    February 5th, 200812:00 pmat

    Just a drive-by comment (I dropped through randomly from Jemila’s blog) on the camel/needle thing: from the textual evidence, it’s pretty clear that Jesus did in fact say “camel.” It’s also pretty unexceptionable–this was a pretty standard line for the rabbis to illustrate something impossible by human effort. (Apparently, further east, they talked about an elephant going through the eye of a needle instead of a camel; the idea is of course the same.) This isn’t a shot at rich folk, just a setup for the real point: “What is impossible for human beings is possible with God.”

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