Can People Be Toxic?

Advice to My Son
Peter Meinke
The trick is, to live your days
as if each one may be your last
(for they go fast, and young men lose their lives
in strange and unimaginable ways)
but at the same time, plan long range
(for they go slow; if you survive
the shattered windshield and the bursting shell
you will arrive
at our approximation here below
of heaven or hell).
To be specific, between the peony and the rose
plant squash and spinach, turnips and tomatoes;
beauty is nectar
and nectar, in a desert, saves,
but the stomach craves stronger sustenance
than the honied vine.
Therefore, marry a pretty girl
after seeing her mother;
Show your soul to one man,
work with another;
and always serve bread with your wine.
But son, always serve wine.

I too have survived “the shattered windshield and the bursting shell” and a whole host of other traps and pitfalls.   I am sure many of you have as well.  Looking back through my life, though, the encounters I have survived with the most “scars” have involved crossing paths with toxic people.  The idea itself, of someone being “toxic”, is a relatively new concept for a lot of us.  Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I never heard that term applied to a person.  We would describe someone as a “weirdo” or use another slang expression.  But, “toxic” was never related to a person or their actions.

In my later years, as my eyes opened to God’s Torah and all that it reveals, I found much self examination to do.   I started to see myself quite differently regarding what God requires of me as a created human being, and became more aware of how God’s perspective is so different from our own.  Many of my behaviors had to go, along with their intricate and complicated drivers.  My awareness of “self”, the impact others have had on me, and the true nature of people, began to come into sharper focus.

While listening to a Tom Bradford teaching, I felt prompted to study the attributes and characteristics of Satan.  Shortly afterwards, an article on narcissism caught my attention.  The article not only explained the origins of the term itself (the Greek mythology character Narcissus), but also its current use in describing a person with certain “toxic” personality traits.  Having the Satanic attributes study fresh in mind, the article on narcissism really resonated.  It appeared to point to the same list of character traits.  The more I looked into it, the more I realized this was no mere coincidence.

This is the 2nd in a series written by Dear Hubby…

Homestead Word of the Week: Cultivate

CULTIVATE:  This basic homestead term refers to preparing and using land for crops or gardens.  It implies tilling, plowing or otherwise breaking up the soil to improve it for planting.  Cultivation may also include fertilizing.  At its core, this word involves nurturing and helping something grow.

Swappin’ Seeds

The last Saturday in January is designated as National Seed Swap Day.  While we don’t condone pursuing such things on Shabbat, it is a great concept to embrace the other days of the week!  For most of human history, seeds have been exchanged, shared and highly valued.  In modern culture, it is a wonderful form of recycling.  So, talk with your neighbors or local gardeners to see if there’s an avenue for seed sharing in your area.  Even your local library may have a “seed exchange” program; it’s a service some of them offer.  If there isn’t something established in your community, consider starting a swap yourself!  Then get planting!

Graphic from pinterest dot com

Not of This Spirit, But of Another…

The shadow of our Messiah Yeshua.  All that He is.  All that is declared and made known of Him throughout scripture, is still being revealed to many of us who have come out of “organized religion”.  And many of us are still coming to terms with how we should respond to this revealing.  Along with the Truth sent by the Father through Messiah Yeshua, there is a darker shadow also being exposed.  This darkness has been here from the beginning as well; possibly, as Yeshua was, from before the foundations of the earth were laid.

As we come to know Yeshua, we learn of the desirable attributes He possesses and wants reflected through us as we grow in Him; traits such as love, joy, peace / shalom, kindness, goodness and humility as well as many others.  But, other traits exist as well.  Traits born out of darkness that remain in the darkness.  Traits many of us have turned away from and repented of.  These darker traits, their foundations, effects on relationships and their connection to things seen and unseen will be discussed in future blog posts, encapsulated by the term “Spiritual Narcissism”.

This is the first in a series of posts written by Dear Hubby…

Homestead Word of the Week: Broiler

BROILER:  These are “meat chickens” – young chickens that have been raised specifically for meat and are normally ready to be processed from one to three months of age depending on the bird’s breed.  Typically, farmers will focus either on egg-producing chickens or broilers.  Birds used for egg laying may certainly be eaten themselves, but broilers are bred for that purpose.