faith · Jewish Life · Judaism

Why a song about Jesus matters so much to this Jew (and not for the reason you think)

“The old familiar story told in different ways; Make the most of your own journey from the cradle to the grave; Dream your dreams tomorrow because today, life must go on

But there’s more to this life than living and dying, more than just trying to make it through the day; more to this life, more than these eyes alone can see, and there’s more than this life alone can be.”

The above lyrics are from Steven Curtis Chapman’s “More to This Life,” the title track to his 1989 album.

I discovered this song probably sometime in the mid-to-late 90s. I was heavily into contemporary Christian music then, and this song resonated with me. It remained in my top five favorite songs right up until I walked away from Christianity (and its music) more than five years ago.

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faith · Religion

Making peace with my former faith

I frequently refer to myself as a BEC (bitter ex-Christian), but I’m finding that this definition of myself is starting to change. I’ve now put enough time and space between my current faith and my former one to gain some perspective, and I’ve found myself assessing the lessons I learned over the decades I spent practicing the various forms of Christianity. I’ve learned lessons, some good and some bad, and I thought I’d share some of them here. I’m starting chronologically from my earliest participation until my last, and the approximate dates of where I was involved is included for context. I’ve also included links to places and people because, well, it was fun to walk down memory lane as I wrote this.

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Holidays

Grief and the holiday season (2020 edition)

Due to the fact that I’m a Jew, and I am still coping with grief, I have an incredibly complicated relationship with this time of year. Last year, the holiday season was horrible. I was bombarded with Christmas greetings and music and messages and, more than once, I ended up in a puddle of tears because of the memories of my childhood and the people – my brother, my father, my paternal grandparents, my mother-in-law – that have all died in the past four years. Add to that that I literally had a Salvation Army bell ringer yell at me because I didn’t wish her a “Merry Christmas” back, and I simply couldn’t handled it. I made a vow that in 2020, I would not be subjected to the onslaught of Christmas cheer and memories that were too painful to enjoy. For months now, I’ve been making plans to ensure that I didn’t have to get anywhere near a store between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

The thing I hadn’t planned on, though, was that in a year, I would change. I would heal. I would feel better.

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Obsessions

My top 5 fave YouTube channels

I don’t watch much TV these days. I haven’t really watched much TV in years. Currently, I don’t watch anything that airs on broadcast TV, and the only two shows I care about are Netflix’s Lucifer and Disney+’s The Mandalorian. I love everything about Lucifer, and of course I’m here for Baby Yoda!

What I love these days, and what entertains me, are YouTube channels. While I currently follow 131 channels, I thought I would share my top five favorite channels in case any of my readers are interested in more ways to fill their time during these long, cold days of both fall/winter plus pandemic quarantining.

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Family · The Pacific Northwest

Cabin in the Woods

Two weeks ago tonight, we had zero cell signal, dodgy Wi-Fi, the warmest, most snuggly mattress ever, and absolute serenity. There was nothing to greet us in the dark of night when we took Jaxx out to potty but the sound of the wind high in the evergreens. It was nothing short of magical, and I’ve thought of it frequently since we got back home.

We decided to get away for a couple of days and, instead of going to our travel trailer like usual, we headed to a rental cabin in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. I made the reservation back in July, the same week that Roxie died and that we adopted Jaxx. I knew then that we needed to get away, but we wanted to wait until Fall. We are Fall people. Summer and summer crowds are not for us.

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1940s stuff · History

Honoring Pete (And Dad)

While the events in this post happened at the end of 2019, I’m just now sharing them here on my blog.

Most people who knew my dad knew that he had a whole room in our old house in Hanover dedicated to his great uncle, Captain James “Pete” Stepro, who died in WWII in Africa in 1943. (I have previously blogged about Pete here.) Dad became the caretaker of many of Pete’s personal effects/letters/photos/pre-Army documentation from the late 30s/etc. in the early 80s, having received them from Pete’s widow. He then contacted as many people as he could who served with Pete and knew Pete in his Army days to gather as many stories as he could, and that resulted in Dad writing a book about him called Captain Pete.

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