Friday, August 31, 2007

Upcoming Book Signing: September 8

I hate to post something so closely on the heels of Lori's great post (and thus pushing it down the page a little further), but I just discovered that I will be signing books in Downtown Long Beach on Saturday, September 8.

Every month, Long Beach does the "Second Saturday Art Walk" where artists of all types gather to show and sell their wares. The event takes place on Linden where it crosses Broadway. There's everything from painters and jewelry makers to musicians and writers. It sorta reminds me of the Creative Underground (those of you who ever listened to my now-defunct internet radio show and/or read my novel, "Chance for the Future" and its sequels will know what I'm talking about).

The event takes place between 4 pm and 10 pm and I will be there with plenty of copies of "One of the Girls." This is my first public signing since we've been back to California (school signings don't count as public). We're only gonna charge $8.00 (tax included) a book (nearly $1 off cover the price) and, of course, I'll sign whatever you buy. Naturally, I should point out that this Young Adult contemporary superhero fantasy with-a-twist would make a great holiday gift so come on out and snap up a dozen or so for all your friends and relations. Neither you nor they will be sorry.

Even if you already have a copy of "One of the Girls" or can't afford to throw down $8 right now, don't hesitate to swing by and say "hi." I'm sure I'm gonna have time to kill and I'd love some company (I'm sure Lori and Melody will be with me part of the time but I don't expect them to remain for the entire six hours).

And make sure you scroll down past this announcement to read Lori's post on the subject of Spiritual Bimbos as well as one who is decidedly not one.

More info on One of the Girls:

Thanks! See you there on the 8th!

- Paul

Mom Hedgpeth: No Spiritual Bimbo

You know, I always knew I had a good Mom. But it wasn't until I had to deal with women in the church that I came to understand what a good mother I had. My mother taught me to be kind to people. She taught me that it is not about what you can get from people but what you can give to them. My mother is a Proverbs 31 woman. So am I. But most women, Christian or not, choose to be contentious women because it is a easier walk.

Thanks for being the best Mom in the world! I am going to raise Melody the same way.

I was watching TV the other night and Pamela Anderson was being interviewed. She was talking about how hard she had to work at her Baywatch run.

I laughed. I said, "Really?" I thought back to all of my hard work.

Working seven minimum wage jobs while going to high school and graduating with a B.A. from CSULB. Then, going back for my teaching credential at UCLA. Teaching full time, going to school Tuesday and Thursday nights and all day on Saturdays. Having only enough time to sleep in some on Sundays (to be able to get through the next week), throw in a load of laundry, and go to church Sunday night.

Now I am a stay at home Mom, which is not only the most important job in the world but one of the toughest. Still, it is not as hard as working and going to school. But if anything convinced me to be a stay at home Mom, it was my teaching career. There is a whole generation of children who not only can't read, but who are not being taught the basic manners that my Mother taught me. When a student of mine would say something rude or act like a brat in my class, I would tell them that was not allowed. The number one response was, "But my Mom lets me say that at home!" And I would always respond, "This isn't your home. This is Miss Hedgpeth's room. Different rules here."

They would look at me in shock. They would look at me as if I was the meanest person in the world.

But you know what? Even my toughest kid wanted my approval. And not only did all my students love me for teaching them academics, they also loved me for teaching them manners. They craved discipline because they didn't have it in the home. Because love isn't just the warm fuzzies. It is the strictness as well.

My daughter Melody tests me all day long. She cries when I take privileges away. She'll cry for 10 minutes. She'll scream as if the world is coming to an end. But when it is over she comes to me, kisses me on my arms and says, "Mommy, I am going to be a good girl. Mommy, I am not going to be a brat."

Yeah, I am sure the Baywatch run was really difficult.

But you know, I can accept this "Bimbo" mentality because that is how she makes her money.

However, this same "Bimbo" mentality is sadly part of the American church. And it should not be.

For 37 years I have stood by and listened to church lady gossips speak as if they have wisdom when they have none. Wisdom comes from walking the walk. It doesn't come by sewing blankets and cooking. Spiritual Bimbos have been talking long enough. It is time for some women with wisdom to speak and speak truth, not lies.

There are a slew of young and old Church ladies that are guiding and teaching young women. They speak as if they have wisdom but they have not walked the walk it takes to have it.

In order to have wisdom as a woman of God, you have to not only continue to grow in the Word and worship, but you have to allow God to break you when trials come your way. It is through brokeness and crying that you mature. When you harden your heart and toughen up as a woman, you just become a "witch" and the only thing you are going to contribute to others is how to become a spoiled brat like you.

I was attending a local church where a Spiritual Bimbo didn't like me. She called me a freak, she kicked me in the leg in church. She lied and told people I said I was hearing voices. She and her same-sex lover used to make fun of the fact that I wanted to be a wife, a mother and a missionary. They didn't want to admit to their sin of gossip so they said I was hearing voices. I have never heard voices and I never said that I did. But they lied anyway. I was prettier than both of these women, more educated, a better baker, more talented, and I was reading God's word, worshiping, and walking the walk, Counting the cost. They were playing church. They were jealous. She wrote me a letter and left a message on my answering machine stating, "Don't fight us, you will lose." When my father addressed to the pastor that he wasn't aware that anyone in the kingdom of heaven "loses," the pastor didn't respond.

He, by the way, left the same message on my machine. And he claimed to have a pastor's heart. Whatever.

Spiritual Bimbos can be male too. I'm reminded of the time a pastor in a local church said to a young man during a sound check, "Do you like to be with boys? I love to be with boys! Why don't you come and be with me and all of my little boys?"

This same male bimbo left a message on my answering machine and wrote in a letter that I was going to hell. He refused to reinstate me into the choir (see below for more about that). The Bible says, "Restore a brother and sister in love, lest ye fall." He had a lover in the choir. I was a 33 year virgin on my wedding night. Whatever. I was walking the walk. He was playing church.

Another all-time classic was when another pastor said to me, "You know Lori, my wife said, 'I wish somebody would just marry that poor girl." I had to laugh. I had almost every man or woman in that church hit on me at one time or another. The reason I wasn't married wasn't because I couldn't get man. I could have had a man. I had a USC football player who was cuter than the average actor ask me out for a beer. I had a Baptist board member hit on me at the gas station. He was married with kids and commuted from LA to Riverside and wanted to set me up as his mistress in some apartment. Grooooosssss!!!!! I wasn't married because I was walking the walk, counting the cost. What these men were offering me was sex, not a marriage where I could raise my children. I was and am a beautiful, college educated, singer, piano player, and godly woman who has lived a life of integrity. I wasn't a poor girl. I was a good girl! And by the way, let's get over the Virgin Myth. The only diffence between a good girl and a bad girl is the wedding night.

A good reputation doesn't become bad because of couple of Spiritual Bimbos gossip about you.

A good reputation becomes bad when you fornicate in the house of God.

I wasn't opening my legs for every guy like all of the choir and the rest of the girls in the church who were getting married. God didn't give them a man. They were sleeping around.

Another good Spiritual Bimbo story was when I told a pastor that a married man in the church came up to me and asked me if I was a bad girl. The pastor looked me straight in the eye and said, "That man is a good man." In shock, I turned to look at his wife and she put her head down. Not what God meant by submission at all. God wants women to protect other women, not let men get away with things because they are men. Another man in the choir used to rub his hands on my back during worship time. I told the pastor about this and he said he would talk to him. He stopped for awhile and then one night during choir practice everyone was laughing and being lustful and he gave me a dirty look and rubbed his hands on my back as if to say, "Well, the pastor may have told me not to but I am still gonna do it."

I was kicked out of a church choir because I got angry in public. The choir director got angry every week at the choir. I was a virgin who didn't drink or smoke. I got kicked out of a Sunday school for saying someone was fat when those same people would gossip about me and called me a freak. The choir director asked of group of singers to sing with me and they refused to do so. One night when I was in the prayer room praying, I heard them all having sex in the church. Whatever.

By the way, until these two pastors restore my reputation to the choir and Sunday school and tell people the truth about me instead of the lies they spread to cover their own sin, they will not have peace in their life. They always reminded me of bratty first graders who never grew up. They were brats as children and nothing changed when they became adults. You can not do wrong by someone and be a pastor and get away with it. God will hold you to a higher accountability than others.

Another great Spiritual Bimbo moment was when this lady said to me, "Well, all the men in the church look at you!" She was jealous. But what was so stupid about that comment is that is doesn't matter how many men look at you because when you are a Christian woman you are only going to sleep with one man and not until your wedding night. This same bimbo, when I addressed her about gossiping said, "Well, everybody does it!" Wow. What a Godly example. This same woman told me that it was my "Last Chance" Really? That's funny because the Bible say two things:

"God's mercies are new every morning." And, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins."

See why it is good to read the Bible? Spiritual bimbos take things out of context because they are too busy working in the church instead of reading God's word. My Dad told me that when this woman sang, she not only sang off key but he could she demons manifesting. Kinda sad that the pastor and his wife promoted this woman. They did so because she went around and fixed the votes so they could have who they wanted on their board. And by doing this, secure their job so they could never be voted out of the church. Not everyone who is a pastor is there because of God. Many play politics to secure their job and they use whoever it takes to get there. Or they just inherit a church and it is a better gig then having to work at Wal-Mart.

Another one of my favorite spiritual bimbo moments was when the church treasurer told me I only tithed pennies. There were two things funny about this statement. First, according to the Bible, a widow's might is just as important to God as someone who gives a lot. Second, at the time for a single woman, I was making pretty good money. I not only tithed, but I gave extra to missions, supported a child in mexico, and payed for four years for a student to go to college in India. Besides her lack of spiritual wisdom, it is just plain tacky to tell someone that when you are the treasurer.

One time, a married woman in the church was ministering in music. This Spiritual Bimbo had an affair on her husband, shared it from the platform and then said, "Well, could you blame him?" Not only was it tacky and rude but it was totally an ungodly thing to do. You don't try to be a role model to young people by screwing up your life and then bragging about it. You are a role model to young people by walking the walk and counting the cost. By the way, you don't have to be pretty to have a husband or have an affair on him. You just have to be easy.

One of the cruelest Spiritual Bimbo stories was a time in my life when my mother was going through a very bad depression. I went into the women's restroom. This lady and her daughter were in there. The daughter says, "Mom, you are such a good Mom. Thank you for making cranberry cookies." And then she looked at me with this mean look and so did her mother as if to say "well your mom is sick so you don't have a good mother." What is funny about that is that my mom, even with her depression, was a better mother than hers because she would have never allowed me to be that cruel to a person. Plus, my Mom makes the BEST chocolate chip cookies I have ever had anywhere. Anal women bake cranberries and pound cake. Artistic women bake chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My last and final Spiritual Bimbo story involves women who get saved and think they are more mature than women who have been walking with the Lord all of their life. There was a woman in a church who had had four abortions, a child out of wedlock, and then hooked up with a guy and got married. I'd had one of the roughest weeks of my life. And prior to marrying my husband, I hadn't dated in six years. I lived by myself and desperately wanted to be married and have children. The pain was sometimes too much to bear. It was the hell of loniness that only a virgin would know. I had cried alot the night before but I put my make up on, dressed nice, and went to church. I was extremely broken. After the service I went to the restroom and washed my hands. While I was doing so, this woman, who wanted to be Miss Ministry and Miss Spiritually but hadn't walked the walk, says to me, "Lori, you should be more friendly. You are not friendly enough." I just looked at her and said, "Everybody is different. God created us to all be different or the world would be boring." And she said, "Well you could at least be friendly!" I just said, "Ugh." You see, she didn't have a clue what it was like to be alone or what kind of hell I was going through. She wanted to be in ministry but she hadn't walked the walk it takes to truly have compassion for people and realize what kind of pain they are going through.

You can't live your life anyway you want, come to God, and immediately expect to impart wisdom to other people. It is the blind leading the blind. If you want to impart wisdom to others, you have to count a cost, walk the walk. Any woman or man can be a Spiritual Bimbo. But I challenge you today to walk the walk, count the cost, and allow through your trials in life for God to break you. It is then and only then that God can truly use you in other people's lives. Don't get so busy with "church stuff" that you don't take time to read the word and worship God. That is where the growth is. Spiritual Bimbos are a dime a dozen, male and female. Choose today to be a man or woman of wisdom. Sharing your opinion is sharing your heart and confidence comes from living a life of integrity. Integrity is what you walk, not what people say about you. Gossips will speak well of a pastor even if he is living in sin. Gossips will speak bad about a virgin, even if she is living a pure life before God. But that's how they get the latest choir solo, even though they don't have a clue what singing for God is about.

Mom, thanks for being the best Mom in the world and one of my best friends. Your intelligence, Godly wisdom, and common sense are what made me a kind human being. And I am going to pass that down to Melody.

Thanks Mom!