Thursday, 26 March 2015

LET'S NOT GET STUCK IN THE PAST

This line from an Elvis Costello song is applicable in so many situations. We all have incidents from years ago which still give us pain when we think about them. But must we carry these burdens for the rest of our lives?

At the risk of angering people, I can't help but notice that the groups which keep proclaiming their grievances seem not to notice that society is changing. For example, the racism of white Americans toward black folks is far less than it was fifty years ago. Yet certain individuals, who stand to benefit from the unrest going on, continue to claim that they're discriminated against.

Likewise, discrimination against native people has greatly decreased. But though wrongs are being apologized for by governments, particularly the Federal Government of Canada, the race card is still trotted out when native bands are criticized by the rest of society. The recent protests against bands having to report the incomes of their leaders is a case in point.

Life is much better for homosexuals too. What once would be punished with prison time is now tolerated by most of society. But it isn't enough for activists who want all the benefits of man-woman marriage. What some people call the Gaystapo is actively pursuing Christian businesses who refuse to give services and lend approval to same-sex couples desiring to be wed.

Women have it much better in first world countries. Many leadership roles are filled with talented women. Yet there a few strident voices who claim that men still hold too many positions of headship.

Even disability rights movements aren't immune to this trend. Things are so much better for blind, deaf, and other physically and mentally disabled folks. Yet a few still whine about perceived injustices.

I'm not saying people shouldn't improve their lot in life. What I am saying is that they should keep things in perspective. Society owes nobody a living. Accomplishments happen through the hard work of entrepreneurs who risk their finances to reap a harvest of profit. Why then should certain lazy people expect hand-outs as if they were an inherent right?

I earned the disability pension I'm on. But instead of lounging around, I wrote many freelance articles and three memoirs. I also hazarded my monthly income by self-publishing them. Read about the first two at the Bruce Atchison's books page. My third paperback is at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Books

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

HOW LONG DO RABBITS LIVE?

This is a question I'm often asked when I mention that I have a house rabbit. I usually say "Ten years on average." But I qualify that by saying that it depends on how healthy they are and how well they're cared for.

Like any other creature, genetics plays a part in rabbit longevity. For example, My departed Sierra only lived for about 4 years. She had some sort of seizure which left her paralyzed and her back legs quivered whenever I touched them. I realized that the kindest thing to do was to have her put down.

Neutrino was one rabbit who lived for ten years and a few months. His health was generally good, though he suffered from a chronic upper respiratory disease. He had some sort of seizure and died in his litter box.

I adopted a six-year-old bunny and named him Zachaeus, after the tax collector who  Jesus saw sitting and watching him up in a tree and who invited himself to dinner at the man's house. That rabbit developed a huge tumor in his belly and had to be put down. I only had the cute little guy for five months.

In all these cases, I fed my rabbits plenty of hay and alfalfa pellets. Though some of them had messy behinds after eating dandelions, I gave those weeds only to the bunnies who could digest them properly.

Additionally, I spent a lot of money on vet care for my long-eared friends. Veterinarians consider rabbits to be an exotic animal so owners need to find clinics specializing in the care of such creatures. Also beware of vets claiming to be able to treat rabbits. The local doctor did a poor job and treated my beloved bunnies roughly.

Amazing facts, like the ones I've described, are all in my debut paperback called When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living with Bunnies. I only have a few copies left so Contact me directly.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

TWENTY YEARS ON DISABILITY

Should I be proud or ashamed that I've spent the past twenty years on a disability pension? That all depends on your view of social issues. Thanks to my government job which I worked at for fourteen years, I have enough to live on and some money to spare. On the other hand, writing hasn't been profitable for me.

I'm proud of my pension because I worked for it. Unlike the Alberta's Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) pension, my federal disability pension isn't a gift from the government. Though I am searching for writing work, I can fall back on my right to what I've worked for.

On the other hand, some folks think I just laze around all day. It would be enjoyable to do that rather than searching for writing opportunities and places to promote my three books but that's not the way it is. Canada Pension Plan expects me to be actively seeking gainful employment. It isn't like many welfare programs or AISH where people only need to report if they found work or not.

When I was laid off because of my eye operation, I saw it as my golden opportunity to be a writer. As a child, I loved entertaining girls at school and my sister with the silly tales I made up. Being able to write and search for opportunities all day appealed to me. I work too slowly at conventional tasks anyway so being able to work from home was a boon.

My golden opportunity hasn't provided me with the gold I had hoped for. Though I've written scores of articles and published three books, sales have been minimal. I plan on continuing with my writing career but I no longer harbour the idealistic expectation of hitting the big time. If I can stay on my pension for six and a half more years, I can retire knowing that I tried my best to get my writing in front of readers.

I wrote about my writing career in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity Check out my paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Books.



Tuesday, 17 March 2015

BUNNIES DO EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE

Here's something which cat and dog owners most likely don't know. The rabbit litter box is more than a place for them to relieve themselves.

Being grazing animals, rabbits like to eat and deficate at the same time. Placing a handful of hay at one end of the litter box will encourage bunnies to use it as a toilet. The hay is the bribe that lures rabbits in. Soon they become accustomed to eating and doing their business there. In fact, many bunnies become defensive of their litter boxes as it represents their domaine's marked place.

I've heard of some rabbit pairs or groups who share litter boxes. Others want their own. Whichever is the case, litters are more to a rabbit than a toilet is to us humans.

Rabbits are territorial creatures. They often will fight if not introduced properly. Like people, some fall in love instantly while others develop an instant dislike for one another. Then there are those who need to have time to bond with each other.

Some rabbits like to nap in their litter boxes. They feel either safe in there or they want to protect their marked space. Either way, it's a good idea to have several boxes available if the rabbits figure they'd rather sleep in one while using the other for a toilet.

In my many years of living with rabbits, I've found it fairly easy to litter train them. One instinct of bunnies is that they don't soil their warrens. This translates to keeping their sleeping and safe places clean. Rarely have I had rabbits mess in their hiding place boxes. There's often something wrong with them when they do that.

Having lived with rabbits as house pets, many being free range companions, I wrote a book called When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living With Bunnies It's a memoir of all the wonderful things I discovered about them as well as the mischief they got into. Find out more about this charming paperback at Bruce Atchison's books page.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

BEHOLD HOW THEY HATE ONE ANOTHER

Is it possible for the followers of Christ to debate vigorously but in a loving way? It doesn't always seem so to me. In my dealings with End Times proponents, I've encountered the most hateful attacks. I can expect that from militant atheists but friendly fire from those who claim the name of Christ wounds me deeply.

When I attended a spiritually incestuous house church, the leader taught the doctrine of the post-tribulation return of Christ.  We all believed that we would have to go through the great tribulation mentioned in Revelation. Anybody who taught that the rapture would come first was considered a heretic.

There was also a time when I believed that the rapture would happen, then there'd be seven years of Tribulation. Christ would come after that and set up a semi-golden age. Then there would be a worldwide rebellion which Christ would put down. Only after that would all the wicked people be consigned to hell forever.

There was also a time in my life where I gave up on Christianity in favour of science. I enjoyed the thought that my poor vision was merely a result of faulty genes and not some sort of punishment from an angry God. What I didn't consider is that survival of the fittest is a cruel and pitiless process. It gave the Nazis and Eugenics movement the justification to sterilize or eliminate the less fit individuals of society, even folks like myself.

Having gone through all these stages, I find the partial preterist position to be the most logical one, plus it corresponds with the historical view of the Bible. Scripture was written to those people to whom it was written, not to us as if we were any sort of special people. Therefore the prophecies of Daniel and other Old Testament prophets came to pass long before we arrived on the scene. Only The return of Christ has yet to happen.

Though I hold this position, I don't condemn those who believe differently. After all, we all believe that Christ will return as the angels at his ascension proclaimed. Sadly, such condescension hasn't always been shown to me. In my e-mail box have come some of the worst vitriolic attacks I've ever experienced. Can't we Christians agree to disagree agreeably?

Because I believe in understanding the scriptures, I've written a book about how I was first misled and then guided to the truth. How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Books.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

HOW THE TRUST THIEF STOLE MY CONFIDENCE

One trait  of mine is that I'm too trusting. I have the nasty habit, if you want to call it that, of believing folks and giving them the benefit of the doubt. This has led me into many situations where wicked people abused my trusting nature.

When I was in public school, other children would try to steal things from me to see if I'd notice. I've also had them deny that my possessions had been taken by them. I was fortunate whenever teachers caught the thieves with my things.

Even my parents betrayed my trust. I didn't realize that I'd be stuck in a boarding school for months at a stretch when Mom told me I'd be going to a new school in Vancouver. I had no idea that British Columbia's west coast was five-hundred miles away and I don't remember being told how long I'd be there.

An even worse abuse of my trust happened a few years after I gave my life over to Christ. Having no discernment skills, I ended up in a cultic house church. They taught me many blasphemous doctrines and claimed they were advanced truths which few churches knew.

The worst abuse was the constant nagging by elders to keep my faith up so I'd be healed of my poor vision. Many people laid hands on me and prayed in tongues during the fifteen years I attended that pseudo-church, yet my vision only grew worse.

It was that lie which angered me so much that I rejected God for nine years. I finally came to realize that what those people taught me about God was absolutely wrong. He doesn't set impossible faith goals for us to reach, Neither is he limited by our doubts.

I see now that the Devil uses ignorant Christians to shipwreck the faith of people such as myself. I was so eager to be healed but those cruel congregants condemned me for lacking faith, having hidden sin, lusting for sight, and having ancestral sin blocking my healing. In truth, I did my best to believe but the Lord decided to work through my disability for his glory. John 9:3 is now my life verse because I know the real character of the Heavenly Father.

I called my most recent book
How I Was Razed because those tools of Satan razed me but God raised me out of that iniquitous cult. Read more about this glorious testimony at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Books.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

BLACK RABBIT WITH ATTITUDE.

Why does Easter make me feel sad? Many adults buy bunnies for their children for Easter without realizing what they're getting into.  Most likely, many once-loved bunnies will be surrendered to animal shelters or cruelly dumped outdoors to fend for themselves. Some will be "loved" to death while others will end up exiled to a lonely cage in the back yard.

With resources such as The House Rabbit Society website, people lack the excuse that they couldn't find information on house rabbits. In fact, many folks believe they don't need to learn anything about how to care for these mentally-complex creatures.

As I found out, bunnies are like other pets. They get into mischief and some have attitudes. In When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies), I wrote about one little Netherland Dwarf with a big ego.

Because he was small and black, I named him Neutrino. It was partly because he was so hard to see in semi-darkness but also because of my favourite Klaatu song, The Little Neutrino

My little fur friend had a stubborn streak. One of his bad habits was to pee in front of places he thought needed marking. Though Neutrino had been neutered, he still defied the usual bunny stereotype of being perfectly litter trained. When I placed litter boxes where he wet, he nosed them aside and peed on the same spot. No amount of cleaning and spraying with strong-smelling cologne detered him.

I should add that most rabbits are better behaved than Neutrino was. Even so, some are strong-willed and, as a result, are surrendered to shelters or dumped outside. Many otherwise-loveable bunnies die or are euthanized as a result of feckless humans who should have done their homework.

When a Man Loves a Rabbit is filled with many more fascinating stories of life with house bunnies. These vignettes range from the tragic to the hilarious. Please click on the link to my books for details about both of my paperbacks. You're also welcome to contact me directly for more information.