Correct Your Oppent with Gentleness – Defending My Faith

NOTE: I am deviating a bit from my usual posts to share something close to my heart. As a Christian, I have been a bit hurt by the recent social-media backlash against us following the Starbucks coffee cup nonsense and the tragic events in Paris. This is my reponse. If this kind of post is not your cup of tea, you don’t have to read it.

In 2015, it seems we have finally reached the point where we as American are offended by everything. We are drowning in a sea of political correctness, so afraid to offend someone, we won’t even say “Merry Christmas” for fear of offending a non-Christian.

While several news sources blew the red cup story out of proportion when they said a bunch of Christian groups and Evangelical Christians (essentially lumping all Christians into one group of “crazy people”) are boycotting Starbucks, the cups made INTERNATIONAL news. Really? It’s a cup, people. And trust me when I say that most Christians, myself included, really and truly don’t care and think this whole thing is ridiculous (here’s the link to the story about this). Unfortunately, despite that fact that many Christians don’t care about the red cups, they have received a lot of backlash on social media from non-Christians using this as a means of denouncing Christianity and religion in general. “This is why Christianity is bad!” or some variation of that.

I have also seen people use the attacks in Paris as a way of denouncing religion. “No one has ever blown themselves up in the name of atheism,” one post read. Another read something to the effect of, “Christians, remember that for several hundred years, you were considered terrorists.” The post included a painting of Christian crusaders. First of all, Christians are not the ones who terrorized innocent people in Paris. Secondly, will you please stop bringing up the Crusader argument? It happened a long time ago. Not all Christians are like that. Very few Christians go around killing people anymore. Let it go. Lastly, whatever opinion one Christian has about an issue that matters to you is NOT the opinion of every single Christian. Please stop assuming that it is. Gross overgeneralizations are petty and unfair.

Please explain to me how stereotyping Christians is different from stereotyping all Muslim as being the same as ISIS? Plenty of people are saying it’s not okay to lump Muslims in with ISIS, but where are the people saying it’s wrong to lump all Christians in with those who make a stink about Starbucks Cups or cry and moan about people not saying, “Merry Christmas”?

It is true that a small (as in, not ALL of us) group of Christians have made the rest of us look bad when they decide to make a huge viral stink about something they’ve been offended by. While we are biblically called to defend our faith (1 Timothy 4:1-22, Titus 1:9), we are told to do so with patience and love. This is especially clear in 2 Timothy 2:24, which states:

“And the Lord’s servantmust not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.” [Emphasis mine]

I think some Christians need to take a good hard look at themselves and the bible before they choose to raise a stink about the color of a coffee cup or any other issue. There are far better and more important issues that we as Christians should be dealing with. Besides, boycotting Starbucks and creating angry tweets or videos is not showing non-believers what it means to be a good Christian. It is not loving or kind or gentle. It is selfish and it is making good Christians who are truly living the Christian life look bad. If you’re trying to bring people back to the faith, you’re doing it wrong.

This holiday season, I think we Christians should all remember and take to heart Jesus’ greatest commandment from Matthew 22:37-39:

37 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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Hearing Aid Tips

I recently found an article on the Denver Post website listing tips for people who wear hearing aids, whether they’ve worn them for a long time or are just starting out.

I think one of the most important tips listed is the one about understanding expectations.  As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, hearing aids (or any kind of hearing device) do not cure hearing loss.  You will not be able to magically hear everything perfectly or hear everything you were missing before.  The article points out that

Your hearing system is stimulating nerves that may not have been stimulated in a long while; it takes time for your brain to adjust and organize the new sounds you’re hearing.

So, don’t get frustrated if you find yourself getting confused or your hearing aids aren’t working as quickly or as efficenlty as you’d like.  Be patient. Give yourself time to adjust. As I’ve learned, the best things in life take time.

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Happy 2015!


Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s 2015 already. How fast time goes. It seems like only yesterday that I graduated from high school. In fact, my first 10 year reunion is sometime this year.  Yeah, I’m getting old *laughs*.

I didn’t do much for New Years. My husband and I stayed up watching Robin Williams movies (The Birdcage and Good Morning, Vietnam) before watching the ball drop on TV. This was the first time in about 5 years that I’ve been able to stay up past midnight on New Years Eve.   We drank an entire bottle of sparkling cider and watched a bit of the festivities in Times Square before going to bed around 1 am and waking up at 10:30.

Celebrating New Years Eve gets a lot less crazy once you’re pushing 30 ;). I can hardly stay up past 9:30pm on a regular day. I get all sleepy-eyed at 9 haha.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas (or whatever holiday you may celebrate) and a great New Year!

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Sign Language Restaurant in Toronto

My step-mother sent me this video in an email last night.  Apparently, there is a brand new restaurant in Toronto, Canada in which the staff uses American Sign Language and the guests are encouraged to order using sign language.  The restaurant is aptly named “Signs”.

Who else wants to go to Toronto with me?

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Marvel Creates a Hard-of-Hearing Superhero!

My best friend sent me this link in a Facebook message.   Essentially, Marvel Comics is creating a hard of hearing (they used “hearing disabled”) superhero called The Blue Ear. This is incredibly cool and so inspiring. I wish someone had thought of this when I was a kid.

Here is one of the covers for the comic book:

hard of hearing superhero

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10 Things You Should Know About Dating Some Who is Hard of Hearing

1. Be Patient with Us


We may need you to repeat yourself a few times before we fully understand what you’re trying to tell us.  We aren’t doing this to annoy you. We just really want to know what you’re saying.

2. We Aren’t Ignoring You. 


Remember that we can’t hear as well as you can.  If we don’t respond or react to something you said, it’s probably because we didn’t hear you. Try getting our attention by touching us, waving at us, or stomping lightly on the floor.

3. If We Need Help, We’ll Ask You for It.  


Most of us are pretty independent and can do things on our own.  Please don’t assume that you have to help us with everything because we’re hard of hearing. If we need your help, we’ll ask you for it.

4. It May Take Us a Little Longer to Get Ready. 


We have one or two extra things to put on every morning and take out every night. It doesn’t take too long to put hearing aids on, but please remember that hearing aids are an essential part of our ensemble. Please give us time.

5. Sometimes We May Not Say Something Correctly.  


Being hard of hearing often messes with our speech because we can’t hear words correctly. While most of us go through years of speech therapy, there will be times when we muddle up a word.  Some of us may even have a slight accent. Please be understanding and supportive. Laughing at us doesn’t help.

6. Loud Noises Can Be Painful. 


Yes, we cannot hear as well as you can, but that doesn’t mean that loud noises don’t hurt our ears.  Some hearing loss is caused by damaged hair follicles that would normally protect us from loud noises.  Because our hair follicles are damaged, loud noises can be pretty painful.

7. Don’t Assume We Can’t Do Something.

determined cat

While some things may be challenging for us, there are a lot of things that we can do.  Please don’t assume we can’t do something because we’re hard of hearing. We may need assistance or accommodations, but we can do things just as well as everyone else, and we may even do it better if given the chance.

8. Not All of Us Know Sign Language. 

signing cat

Not all hard of hearing or deaf people know sign language. This is a pretty common misconception. A lot of us learn to talk and never learn sign language. 

9. We Can Be Self-Conscious. 

shy cat

Having a disability is hard, especially one that makes you obviously different from everyone else. We can be rather self-conscious due to teasing and bullying we endured as children. Please don’t stare at our hearing devices or whisper about the way we talk. 

10. We Want to Be Loved. 

I love you too

We may be different, but we want to be loved just as much as everyone else.

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A Possible Cure for Deafness? Maybe!

inner ear

All my life, I have been told that my hearing loss is something that cannot be truly cured.  Hearing aids certainly help, but they don’t fix the problem.  However, recent studies have shown that we might be getting close to an actual cure for hearing loss.  

Researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School have demonstrated that hair cells can be regrown “using a drug to stimulate resident cells to become new hair cells, resulting in partial recovery of hearing in mouse ears damaged by noise trauma. This finding holds great potential for future therapeutic application that may someday reverse deafness in humans.”

This kind of research is extremely exciting for me.  I have damaged hair cells in my cochlea that prevent me from hearing normally. Given the location of these hair cells, I have always believed that I would be hard of hearing for the rest of my life. I mean, how could anyone fix damaged hair cells? Well, it seems they have figured it out.

The drug applied to the cochlea inhibited a signal generated by a protein called Notch on the surface of cells that surround hair cells. These supporting cells turned into new hair cells upon treatment with the drug. Replacing hair cells improved hearing in the mice, and the improved hearing could be traced to the areas in which supporting cells had become new hair cells.

I’m not sure what this drug is exactly, but it sounds amazing.  It regrows damaged hair cells and thus allows for improved hearing.  This is the first time in history that hair cell regeneration has worked in mammals (mice).  Hopefully one day we will be able to see successful hair cell regeneration in humans, which could lead to an actual cure for deafness. Though, I would like to know how they insert the drug into the cochlea. Would it be an invasive, painful procedure for humans?  It will be interesting to see how this research progresses.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to hear normally, but I find this kind of research fascinating and really exciting. Yes, I would probably be very uncomfortable with the level of noise, but I think I would get used to it.  Who knows? It might be nice to be able to hear the lyrics of songs and to not constantly have to ask people to repeat themselves.   

Here are some more articles on this topic:

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