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(Start Loving, the pka for James McGinley)

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EFLIUS (Exploring For Life In US): here

2.09.2007

Our beloved Wiseguy left his body today

He was diagnosed yesterday with cancer. It was estimated he had one or two weeks to live.

He is a miraculous (sacred?) dog. Wiseguy was not in any pain, but he knew he was sick; for about a week now. A massive tumor in the stomach. You could almost literally see it grow in size.

I'm so sad. I'm so sad for Thomas; and Connie; and Ellen.

I've never seen such a one-person, totally committed and dedicated animal. Wiseguy is totally devoted to Thomas. He mourns when Thomas is out of his sight. Mourns! At the park when it is cold, and Thomas naps, Wiseguy lays down close to keep Thomas warm. For hours.

The tears. The sadness.

We've been so blessed by Wiseguy.

We all tried to make his last days with us a Joy.

Wiseguy made his exit while in Thomas's sleeping arms today. It was Divine. Wiseguy would follow Thomas EVERYWERE/ANYWHERE. But when Thomas invited him upstairs at about noon to nap with him, Wiseguy couldn't make it past the 3rd step. None of us could imagine he would go so quickly. So Thomas returned with him to the livingroom floor and took his nap with his arm wrapped around Wiseguy. I could see that Wiseguy didn't sleep. But he was completely at peace in his brother's arms, sharing with his partner Thomas some of the love he had so lavished on him every day. Seeing that everything was as it should be, and that there was no more for him to do to help us, Wiseguy quietly made his exit.

There is much for us to learn from Wiseguy and others of his higher species. They are higher than humans because they never learned not to care about the "other." They never learned to care more about themselves than about the other. They never suffered the "Fall." If we want to we can learn from them how to Love, how to Live.

Wiseguy exited his body but he can't exit this world. He has entered too many of our hearts/spirits/souls for that to happen. So actually, Wiseguy continues at his post showing us how to Live, how to Love. May we learn from Wiseguy. May we follow his lead. In time.

Thank you Wiseguy. Thank you.

Thank you. It has been an honor to know you.

Christian? Soldier. YOU take away the sins of the world.

Mop-up operations. Not in the usual military sense. But I can't escape the aptness of the term - MOP-UP OPERATIONS.

Jesus took away the sins of the world. "Love as I have loved." CHRISTIANS are to take away the sins of the world. We are to mop-up the sins with our bodies. Isn't that what Jesus did? He used his body to make visible, attract and absorb the sins of the world.

"The real food for the Spirit is the Flesh," said Jesus (Tolstoy translation of the Gospel.)

Jesus did it to spare us? Bull shit. Jesus MODELED it for us - HE SHOWED US WHAT TO DO, HOW TO LIVE AND LOVE IN A WORLD OF SUFFERING.
Christian? Soldier. YOU take away the sins of the world.

:-)

see also John Koffee in The Green Mile; Steve Beko in Cry Freedom....

2.08.2007

Christian? Leader.

If you are Christian (in Jesus eyes) then you are a leader, by definition, by function. Christian and Leader are inseparable.

You cannot be Christian (in Jesus eyes) and NOT be a leader - actually and consciously. Like everything that matters - this is not a "rule," it is how things work.

"Give us [all] this day our daily bread." This is an exhortation from Jesus to each of us to leadership. The "daily bread" is our clear understanding, individually, today, this instant of what our Father's will is for each of us individually. "Give us [all] this day..." is a clear exhortation to each individual Christian to lead "us all" (her/his brothers) to see our daily bread. Gandhi - "you must be the change you wish to see."

Tolstoy's translation of Jesus (Gospel in Brief), "...the fulfillment of the Father's will depends on each man's effort and striving to make people see that life is given, not for oneself personally, but for the fulfillment of the Father's will, which alone saves from death and gives life." Leadership. Leadership is how we make people see.

For my entire adult life I have felt called to leadership. I'm just now, with today's insight, with this post, I am understanding why this call has been so deep and so urgent for me, for all these decades.

No, unfortunately the models that abound in this world of "leader" are absolutely not what Jesus calls us to. Francis of Asisi said, "We must preach the Gospel all day long, and occasionally use words to do so." This kind of leadership. BE Good. DO Good. THAT is the kind of Leadership Jesus calls for. Life service, not Lip service. "They will know you by how you love one another." "Do unto others ALL that you would have them do unto you." Living these commandments is the leadership, the ONLY leadership.

Wow. We've got a lot of work to do.

If you are not being crucified...

... by the world, you are not following Jesus.

Yes, the point is NOT to go seek crucifixion. No! It doesn't work like that!

But, I can't think of any exceptions in my life - if I am on or near the path I am being crucified:
* Isolation
* Disdain
* Solitude
* Hunger
* Poverty
* Imprisonment
* divorce by/separation from people I love and need
* Derision
* Slander
* etc
* etc
* etc

Did Jesus exist?

Did Jesus exist? Does it matter? Does it matter if he is a fiction? Does it matter if he lived? Does it matter if he was the son of God? Does it matter if there is a God in fact? WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT IS LEFT US DIRECTLY AS HIS. What matters is if we use it.

Did Einstein exist? Does it matter? Does it matter if he is a fiction? Does it matter if he lived? Does it matter if he was the son of God? Does it matter if there is a God in fact? WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT IS LEFT US DIRECTLY AS HIS.

Did Newton exist? Does it matter? Does it matter if he is a fiction? Does it matter if he lived? Does it matter if he was the son of God? Does it matter if there is a God in fact? WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT IS LEFT US DIRECTLY AS HIS.

Did Lister exist? Does it matter? Does it matter if he is a fiction? Does it matter if he lived? Does it matter if he was the son of God? Does it matter if there is a God in fact? WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT IS LEFT US DIRECTLY AS HIS.

Did Columbus exist? Does it matter? Does it matter if he is a fiction? Does it matter if he lived? Does it matter if he was the son of God? Does it matter if there is a God in fact? WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT IS LEFT US DIRECTLY AS HIS.

"This has to stop...." Rachel Corrie; Christian Soldier

"This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore." Rachel Corrie

What makes a Marine? I think it is debatable, but for me the answer is heart. It is a certain type of heart that make a Marine. Some are born with it. Some strive with their entire being to achieve it. But striving, wanting, imagining, wishing, praying, talking... do not make a Marine. Achieving/having the HEART of a Marine makes a Marine.

It is a certain type of heart/spirit/Soul that makes one a disciple of Jesus. Off hand I don't think of anything that better captures that heart/Spirit/Soul than Rachel's words above. I don't think one is Christian if / when their heart is anything less than that.; not in this world of almost total misery and death. Were not those same words everpresent in Jesus breast? "There is no greater love than to lay down your life...." "Love as I have loved...." "The Good Shepherd (Christian) lays down his life for his sheep...."

We are not Living (we are not a Disciple) if we spend minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years/decades living divorceded/self-anesthetizeded/AMPUTATED from the agony of this world - Darfur, Manhattan, Congo, New Orleans, Hatai.... And if we are not amputated from, WE ARE SERVING THE NEED, "the least of these my family...."

Living = Christian. One body. ONE body, no amputation, no anesthesia.

2.06.2007

Following Jesus: Judging is the hardest, most important part

No! Contrary to popular teaching by today's Scribes and Pharasese - the "Church" - Judging is not forbidden, it is Jesus greatest requirement of us if we are to follow him:
* "Love as I have loved."
* "Do unto others all that you would have them do unto you."
* "They will know you by how you love one another."
These are NOTHING if not exhortations to scrupulously judge/evaluate ourselves and others.


YES, WE MUST NEVER "JUDGE" IN THE WAY OF PLACING OURSELVES OR OTHERS ABOVE OR BELOW OURSELVES OR OTHERS! But as the MD (Dr.) must "diagnose/judge" the condition of the patient, the disciple of Jesus must judge matters of the Spirit/Soul as a absolute requisite to service. Come on now, let's stop the idiotic, heretical disparagement of all "judging."

The hardest thing I do as a would-be disciple of Jesus is my attempts to adhere to this requirement - this necessary task of Judging. It would have been so much easier in so many ways to avoid judging my own life and how best I could serve and to:
* Stay in my half million dollar house.
* Keep my 20 year career.
* Be a "normal" father.
* Be a "normal" person.
* Stay with my wonderful adopted family in West Chester.
* Keep my comfortable management job.
* Stay with my new Washington DC adopted community....

"If you do not hate family... you cannot love me."

The "good" is the enemy of the "great."

There is no success on my journey of discipleship that has come without my adherence to this requirement to JUDGE. It is way hard. It is indispensable. Want to be "Christian?" JUDGE yourself and others with TOUGH LOVE.

LIP SERVICE, Jesus taught, is the UNFORGIVABLE SIN

No? I just got this! I've hated lip service throughout my adult life, but just within the last 24 hours clarity has come to me that Jesus hated lip service the most! Why? Because when we engage in lip service we are the very least likely to get on the "path!" Why? Because with lip service we release the tension that conscience/good/Father/God exert within us, the TENSION that would otherwise save us!

Think about what He said about:
* The two sons. One said "I'll do it!" and DID NOT. LIP SERVICE. The other son said, "NO WAY!" and DID IT.
* The Unforgivable Sin is to deny the Spirit. LIP SERVICE! Yes, lip service acknowledges the Spirit, but TALK IS CHEAP. ACTION IS DEAR. LIP SERVICE, NON-ACTION IS TO DENY THE SPIRIT!
* Who did Jesus rail against?!??! THE HYPOCRITS! LIP SERVICE.

Lip service is the unforgivable sin, because it is the sin we are least likely to escape. Lip service will KEEP US OFF THE PATH.

THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENSIONS.
THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH LIP SERVICE.

Jesus/God/Good DO NOT PUNISH US. EVER!

...They simply WARN US where the PUNISHING CONSEQUENCES OF ERROR ARE! Just like a loving human parent frantically warns a child that a finger in the flame will result in great pain!

Being on the "path" is to be pain free psychologically and in "Heaven" (full joy, peace, love, Life!), although physically crucified/persecuted. Think of the mother bleeding, broken and bruised from a car wreck, running with her injured child in her arms. Is she in pain? Physically, yes. Psychologically? NO!

2.04.2007

Come on in!!!!! or don't :-(

In my youth I craved skiing. I almost always did so alone. With very little time on the slopes (I grew up in NJ!) I became very, very good. It was as though my entire being merged, or was trying to merge with the skis-boots-trails-mountains. It was day-long orgasm after day-long orgasm.... No, it was not specifically sexual in that sense, but it WAS that intense/overwhelming/awesome/excruciating/sacred. Pretty much.

Why did I ski alone? Hmmm. Well, it was not because I told others - GO AWAY! Oh, many moments/seconds I yearned so deeply for others to want to be with me in the experience.

Why did I ski alone? Because no one wanted to/could join me. Almost everyone else wanted to be with someone on the mountain. What I wanted was the reverse - I wanted to be with the mountain and have others experience that with me. No one else could imagine what I was experiencing - they couldn't see it for themselves; they couldn't see it in me. There were brief times when I was lonely, sometimes intensely lonely. But the loneliness never blurred the choice - or obscured the Pearl. No contest. Merging at the cellular level with the mountain - that always won out. Heavenly. Was God/Our Father/Humanity what I was merging with?

I wonder sometimes, idly, amusedly if anyone will be at my funeral (if there is one - CREMATION please, no plot!), whenever that happens in the next 50 years or so. My guess is, probably not. :-) Within any given week for this last month or so this realization comes to me - probably not. People don't stay with me, although they would say/perceive the reverse.

What I want to share this morning is - as absurd and contrary to how others would see it - I feel like my whole life I've been trying to be on or as close the "path" as I can. I've always been closer to the "path" than most. I really experience being ON the "path" now. Yes I am walking it ineptly. But I am walking it. IT IS HEAVEN.

What I want to share this morning is - COME ON IN, THE WATER IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But if you don't, I'm not coming out to be with you. The invitation will ALWAYS STAND, ALWAYS. I WILL ALWAYS MISS YOU, YEARN FOR YOU. But, if you won't come, I'm ok with that. Now, what I'll do is work as hard as I can to ENJOY the "path," THAT OTHERS MIGHT SEE. But if you don't choose to join, that is up to you. YES I CARE! I ACHE FOR YOU TO BE ON IT, AND WITH ME. But, if you don't, or, until you do, I'm staying in/on. This is a new sense of comfort for me. A new idea. I feel that everyway I can I've been an "invitation" and have spent great time and energy extending the invitation. I don't regret that, but I'm tired of doing it, and maybe it has been a disservice to you.

The Father of the prodigal son never left his estate. He stayed on the estate, building it, keeping it strong, maintianing the access roads so it would be ready! In God's time the son chose to return, and the Father was overjoyed!