Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Met God

I saw a man in a suit walking up to a street woman. He placed a bag next to her. She was nodding out, and so didn't notice him.

I approached him and asked, "I don't mean to disturb you, but she's my friend and I don't want her harmed. If you don't mind, what's in the bag?"

He said, "I don't mind. There's a few sandwiches in there, some candy bars, a warm coat, a Fred Meyer's card and a hundred dollars in an envelope marked 'for a hotel.'"

My eyes widened. "You're very generous. I just need to let you know that she's a heroin addict, so most of that money will go up her arm. She might use some of it for a motel so she could be safe for the night."

He shrugged, "Maybe so. What she does with it is her responsibility. But I lived on the street once, and I used. A man gave me a hundred dollars for Christmas once and I used it on drugs. When I recovered, I realized that he had given me love straight from God, and I wasted it. I wept for a day. From that point on, I made a decision that I would follow God's love. It took me a while, but I quit the drugs because I couldn't focus on God's love. I followed around a homeless advocate who was always feeding people and she showed me her work. Eventually, I helped her with her work, and she got me a job at a shelter.

"I realize that God's love is to just give freely. God gives sunshine to everyone-- it doesn't matter if they are on drugs or a banker or a cop or a priest. He doesn't play favorites. He gives life to us all. I want to reflect God's love.

"Perhaps she'll wake up, like I did, and realize that God's love has touched her. And she'll choose to follow that love, like I did."

As I watched him walk away, I realize that he was the embodiment of God. I don't know if God lives in him, or he is creating God out of the love he has. But the light in him is divine.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Love is not a still well, waiting for the thirsty to dip in and be quenched.

Love is a spring that flows into a stream, always emptied, always filled.

Should the emptying cease, the flowers would be flooded.

Should the filling cease, the land would be desert. 


Each of us seeking a life of love must recognize that we are not love.  Love flows through us. We must seek a source of love and an outlet of love.

Our source might be divine, it might be a community of support, it might be powerful writing, it might be meditation.  We must seek our source, or else our love will wither.  This source is Spirit, it is that outside of us which enlivens the best within ourselves.

At times our source will wither, and we receive nothing from our once-dependable flow of love. We must seek another.  We must not demand a source to continually provide us with love.  They gave us love as long as they had it.  A specific source must be allowed to be re-charged or, at times, to pass away.  Then we seek another source.


It is just as essential for us to find a place to give our love.  We must allow the love within us to be firmly attentive to others who need us as a source of love.  We give because we can give; we forgive because we wish to heal; we protect because we are family members.  Love is action that says, "Live! Live and thrive!"

It is in this giving that love flourishes. If we receive love in gallons, but offer it in thimblefuls, then we do not ever know we have love.  We are constantly feeling a lack, always seeking to be filled.  We must have a balance between receiving and giving.

To be a spring of love is to both receive and give, to be a container through which love passes.  We take from one source and so become a source to another container who then passes on to another.  True love is not a loving person, but a community of springs, all providing for one another.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Against Hate

It is not enough to be reactionary. 

Criticism, protest, satire points out what is wrong, but cannot, by itself, create what is right.

In order to make a better world, we must form community based on love.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


It is seeking refreshment
in an ocean of salt.

It is looking for truth
on a flat, black canvas.

It is lingering hope
in a hangman's knot.

It is piercing one's heart
and all pass by.

It is deep conversation
at a drive-thru speaker.

A life devoid of love
is less than a shadow in a mirror.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Good, the True and the Loving

We will disagree about what is good and what is true. There is only one best in a given situation, and only one truth, but our viewpoint on that changes somewhat from the perspective we look at it. To pursue the good or truth alone is to engage in endless arguments.
The closest to truth we will ever achieve to place love first in our lives. The closest to good we will ever see is allowing love to become more and more prevalent in our actions.
Pursue love, not truth.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Foundational Guide to the Books of the Hebrew Scriptures

Old TestamentThe previous agreement with God’s people. Stories and laws and sermons about and to the people of Israel before 400BC. 39 books.
A sh**ton of screwed up people listening to God

Beginnings—Latin. Beginnings of humanity and the people of God— Adam through Joseph.
When you ask people if they've read the Bible, this is actually the part they read.  Well, at least a few chapters.

Going out—Greek. The deliverance of God’s people from slavery in Egypt, the first commands and the building of the Tabernacle.
Great story... until you get past the ten commandments.  The second half of the book is all laws and a detailed description of the tabernacle.  Really?  Really?

Book of the Levites—Latin. Commands of the temple cult: sacrifices, priests, basic laws for all ethnic groups in God’s people.
It begins with butchering animals. It's only downhill from there.  Wait till you get to chapter 18.

 Census—English. Stories of the wanderings of the children of Israel in the wilderness for 40 years and sundry laws.
Look, just skip the counting of the tribes, unless you like reading lists of names that mean nothing to you. The good stuff begins at chapter 11.  Start there.

 Second law—Greek. The lectures of Moses to the children of Israel before they entered the promised land.
Moses whines like a old guy at McDonalds.  

Moses in the book of Deuteronomy

 Yahweh is salvation—Hebrew. Stories of the conquering of the promised land.
Gotta just love that genocide.

 God’s chosen leaders—English. Stories of the rebellion of God’s people and God’s salvation of his people through heroes.
I can't wait until someone does a movie on this book. NC-17 for sure.

 Friend—Hebrew. A story woman’s obstinate choice of Israel and Yahweh, an ancestor of David.
You really want to win your man?  Sleep with him.  He'll get the hint.

I Samuel
 Listen to God—Hebrew. Stories of God’s choices of Samuel, Saul and David to lead his people, to the death of Saul.
This book wants to be treated like it's own thing.  But it's really just the first half of the book of Samuel-- who dies a quarter through this book! Who is naming these books, anyway?

II Samuel
 Listen to God—Hebrew. Stories of the reign of David over God’s people.
David was awesome in the first half of the story-- you know, I Samuel.  Now he screws up.  Don't you love happy endings?

I Kings
 English. Stories of God’s call to his kings over his people, from Solomon to Elijah and the death of Ahab.
It's a bunch of sucky leaders until Elijah. Elijah is the best, though.  He even gets suicidal.  Elijah rocks.

II Kings
 English. Stories of God’s call to his kings over his people, from the death of Elijah to the exile of Judah.
Elisha, the sequel to Elijah.  You know he won't be as good.

I Chronicles
 English. A summary of God’s history, from Adam and focusing on the rule of David.
Wait.... Eleven chapters of names and then a story we already read?  What is this book even doing here?

II Chronicles
 English. A summary of God’s history, from the death of David to the end of Judah’s exile.
This book seems really familiar... oh yeah!  We already read it in Kings.
"Have you heard of  this before?"
"Seems familiar"

 Helper—Hebrew. Stories of the return from exile: rebuilding of the temple and the re-establishment of the Law.
Nothing like a Bible scholar to break up marriages.

 Sorrow of Yahweh—Hebrew. Stories of the Emperor’s cup-bearer building the walls of Jerusalem through turmoil.
The emperor's right hand man goes to his hometown to take over.

 Star—Persian. The story of the salvation of the Jews in exile.
She sleeps to the top and then topples a corrupt government.  Gotta love Jewish heroines.

 Enemy—Hebrew. An epic poem of a man in severe trial learning to trust in God’s justice.
The most depressed man in the Bible arguing with his stupid friends in Shakespearian. 

 Songs of praise—Greek. Songs to God.
Wow, that's long.  I mean, really long.  Do we have to read it all? Like reading the lyrics of Dylan.

I've only got thirty years to go...

 English. Wise epigrams, mostly by Solomon.
I think Solomon would be wiser with a few guitar riffs thrown in there.

 Sermons—Latin. Essays of wisdom, on the worthlessness of the world and of confidence in God.
Whenever I start feeling hopeful or happy about the state of the world, I go here.  Straightens me out immediately.  Like, by the first word.

Song of Solomon
 or, Song of Songs—English. A love poem.
The Bible to watch porn by.

 Yahweh will deliver—Hebrew. Prophecies, sermons and stories about the salvation of God, in two parts: a. God’s salvation during the time of Hezekiah (ch 1-39). B. God’s salvation after the time of exile (ch. 40-66)
Hey, I think I know a few of these!  I really got a Handel on Isaiah!

 Yahweh is on high—Hebrew. Prophecies and sermons and stories about God’s judgement of God’s people during the war and fall of Jerusalem and the restoration of God’s people.
Gotta appreciate a guy who stands face to face with God and says, "You're just wrong."

 Statements of lament—English. Jeremiah’s poems of sorrow at the fall of Jerusalem.
Okay, so you lost your hometown.  Saw it burn in front of you.  Watched women eat babies.  First world problems.

 God is strong—Hebrew. Visions of a wild prophet among the captives of Babylon during the siege of Jerusalem.
Whatever this guy is on, give me some so I can throw it in the toilet.

 God is my judge—Hebrew. Stories and visions of faith and the judgment of the nations by Daniel, a man in exile.
Chapters 1-6:Whoa, some really excellent stories.
Chapters 7-12: WTF?????

 Deliverance—Hebrew. Prophecies about God’s betrayal by his wife, Israel, and his plans to restore her.
And I thought Ezekiel had it bad.  God is never naming my kids.

 Yahweh is his God—Hebrew. Prophecies about the events of the Day of the Lord.
General gloom and doom.  Just another day for a prophet.

 A burden—Hebrew. Prophecies about injustice in the land of Judah.
Gotta appreciate a guy who stands before a king, talks about how all the enemy nations suck-- "But you know what?  You suck worse and let me tell you how."

 Servant of Yahweh—Hebrew. A prophecy about God’s judgment of Edom.
I love this book.  It's shorter than Danny DeVito. 

 Dove—Hebrew. A story about a prophet rebelling against the mercy of God against evil nations.
The only minor prophet anyone really reads.

 Who is like Yahweh?—Hebrew. Prophecies about the salvation of God.
The cliff notes of Isaiah.

 Consolation—Hebrew. A prophecy about the judgment of Nineveh.
Another book about Nineveh? I'm never visiting that town.  All punishment and repentance.

Embrace—Hebrew. Prophecies and a poem about the judgment of Israel and the judgment of Babylon and the faith of the prophet.
"God, your people suck!"  "Yeah, well, I'm going to punish them with Babylon."  "God, wait!  Babylon sucks worse!"

 Yahweh of darkness—Hebrew. Prophecies about the judgment of God on Judah for idolatry.
I know I read this book, like, five times, but I can't remember a thing about it.
I'm afflicted with CRS:
Can't Remember Sh**

 Festive—Hebrew. Prophecies about the rebuilding the temple after exile.
Haggai, you're boring.  Just dull.  Please, talk to your friend Zechariah.  He'll give you a few tips.

 Yahweh is remembered—Hebrew. Prophecies and visions of the present and future after the return from exile.
Zechariah, you are effed up in the head. You need to chill. Take a few tips from Haggai. 

 Messenger—Hebrew. Prophecies about the restoration of God’s justice through the Law.
A prophet who actually makes sense and says it like it is!  No poetry, no mysticism, just "I hate divorce! Where's my money!"  I get it.