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(Start Loving, the pka for James McGinley)

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6.02.2007

NEGLECT (CANCER, MASS MURDER) IS CHURCH/STATE PROTECTED

The opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is indifference or appathy. Rollo May

NEGLECT (CANCER, MASS MURDER) IS
CHURCH / STATE PROTECTED:

THE CHURCH & STATE WILL PUNISH YOU IF
YOU SPEAK OUT OR ACT. AT MINIMUM THEY WILL LET YOU STARVE.


Well, this is a problem. Archibishop Camara and others of the great Militants for Family written of by Guinan speak of this, but virtually no one else.

The great Mass Murder is not recognized as a crime - Neglect:

  • 18,000 children starve every day
  • 24,000 of all ages starve every day
  • Dafur is in its 5th year of genocide
  • Millions are needlessly dying of AIDS
  • Congo: 4 million have been murdered so our computers are cheap and no action to stop it.
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

This is a problem. What is the answer?

"Be the change you want to see in the world," Gandhi.

"Be evidence, be communication, be a shout about the problem of neglect," Start Loving.

"ANYWAY." Prayer of Teresa & Keith

Source

1. The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:
  • People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
  • If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
  • If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
  • If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
  • What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
  • If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
  • The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
  • Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
  • In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

2. The Original Version:
The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
  • People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.Love them anyway.
  • If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.Do good anyway.
  • If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.Succeed anyway.
  • The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.Do good anyway.
  • Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.Be honest and frank anyway.
  • The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.Think big anyway.
  • People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
  • What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.Build anyway.
  • People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.Help people anyway.
  • Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

I WILL STAND WITH TRUTH AS IT COSTS MY LIFE

"I'm deeply impressed by that moment when Christ stands alone before the world figured in Pilate. The truth is left alone, his own followers have been afraid. Truth is fearfully daring, and only heroes can follow the truth. So much so that Peter, who has said he will die if need be, flees like a coward and Christ stands alone." Oscar Romero

Start Loving, A WITNESS TO THE POWER AND JOY OF THE ALMIGHTY:

Of course I will not really know how long I'll do this, until my time is up!

But I am so "alone." For years now I am blessed with some occasional, and loving, supporters.

BUT I AM IN THE TRENCH, I AM IN THE "FOXHOLE" ALONE, FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. AND I HAVE NO INCLINATION TO STOP, THAT I MIGHT FIND "COMPANY." I HAVE EVERY INCLINATION TO CONTINUE TO STAND WITH THE TRUTH, ALONE, FOR AS LONG AS I HAVE "BREATH." I FIND THIS AMAZING - A TESTIMONY TO THE POWER, JOY AND ABUNDANT "LIFE" OF THE "ALMIGHTY.'

Oh, I want company! For selfish reasons. For reasons of successful Militant Brotherliness, my religion.

BUT, TRUTH = LIFE. STANDING WITH "TRUTH" IS BEING ALIVE. Yes, it may well cost "PULSE," a small price to pay.

"Abstract truth has no value unless it incarnates in human beings who represent it, by proving their readiness to die for it," Gandhi

"There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e., the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being," Gandhi

6.01.2007

SOLDIERS HAVE LOWER LIFE / HEALTH EXPECTANCY

If this does not hold true for a Soldier of the Almighty, then s/he is not really a soldier of the Almighty, not on such a suffering planet as this one.

"If men are not willing to practice the way of non-violence [Militant Global Brotherliness] with the same kind of commitment and recklessness of cost or con­sequences as they practice the way of war and as Communists work for Communism, clearly non-violence will not work." A. J. Muste

"Soldiers in the horror of battle offer solemn testimony that life is not a hunt for pleasure, but an engagement for service; that there are things more valuable than life; that the world is not a vacuum. Either we make it an altar for God or it is invaded by demons. There can be no neutrality. Either we are ministers of the sacred or slaves of evil. Let the blasphemy of our time not become an eternal scandal. Let future generations not loathe us for having failed to preserve what prophets and saints, martyrs and scholars have created in thousands of years. The apostles of force have shown that they are great in evil. Let us reveal that we can be as great in goodness. We will survive if we shall be as fine and sacrificial in our homes and offices, in our Congress and clubs, as our soldiers are on the fields of battle." Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel

5.31.2007

"SAVED" BY THE "TOXIC WASTE REFLEX"

Please think of it. Start Loving is pretty high on this finding and walking the Path thing. Yes.

Start Loving just hours ago wrote this confessional: SERVING FROM MY HEAD, LOST HEAVEN. And I've been writing a lot on similar topics. You would think this would be really helpful!

Start Loving, just moments after writing this confessional, and all these hopeful posts, including one's exactly on "Toxic Waste," Start Loving greedily continued the Error, the Sinning - eating like a pig, while my Darfur Family needs me starving to skeleton level. Hmmm.

Part of the problem is that I am physically in a Temptation rich environment - the Peace Center. I pick up and deliver delicious food, and I sit in a house full of it. You should see the cookies. The chocolate and ginger cookies are the most delicious I've ever tasted! And, after 90+ days of sever calorie limits, I'M HUNGRY!

So, Start Loving has plenty of excuses. But I don't want excuses. I want the Path. I want to be with the Almighty. I want to feel Clean. I want to feel what Heaven feels like - Pure, Peaceful, Loving, Connected, Live. I WANT THE GENOCIDE TO STOP, I WANT TO BE SALVATION TO THE WORLD... But, I want more cookies.

Hmmm. Although I've just been "writing" about "Toxic Waste", I've not brought into mind the "Toxic Waste Reflex," that I think we can learn to invoke. Our bodies have a quick "idea" shut-off mechanism.The most success I've had in 47 years with stopping my nail and cheek biting habit is for the last 14 weeks. Two reasons:

  1. I've been in a Temptation-Poor environment; marching all waking hours consumes the energy and postures that are conducive to these habits;
  2. I've been successfully invoking a "Toxic Waste Reflex." I thought of doing this when my brother got out of the hospital, having almost died from his smoking habit. I could see that his next cigarette could be his last. I thought to myself, "what if your next bit, of cheek or finger nail was your last?" There has been 99.999999% cessation ever since. Hmmmm.

Once the "Temptation" has more than a second's consideration in the brain, you are probably done for. The way to avoid death by "Toxic Waste" is to not let it in in the first place!

Well, after about three days of complete failure, Error, Sin... for the last hour, treating "Mental Temptation" like Toxic Waste - Instant Death [which it is] I am invoking the "Toxic Waste Reflex."

Will deliberate invocation of the "Toxic Waste Reflex" be enough to "Save" me? Hmmm. For the last hour it has.

SERVING FROM MY HEAD, LOST HEAVEN

Start Loving, reporting in.

I am a sinner. What a relief. How hopeful. It is just slight, but even so, more than previously I am glimpsing the value in recognizing my "sinful" nature. Why? Forewarned is forearmed! If don't feel license or allowance from this recognition, and I want NONE! But it is helpful, and hopeful for me to be more acutely aware that "gravity" will always have the tendency to pull me down, for me to "fall." Only through constant vigilance and effort can I hope to achieve and retain the "heights" of Heaven.

For the last 5 days I have been largely away from the Sudan Embassy Vigil, covering for my sister Ellen while she is away. My primary use of time has been covering her food collection and distribution activities, and working on weeks worth of blogging backlog - Preaching the Almighty, Preaching the "Kingdom" on this site.

Pretty noble stuff, right? Heavenly, right? NOT FOR ME.

Not in this sense - I have fallen back out of Heaven!!!!

  1. I've allowed no time for Prayer,
  2. I've allotted massive time for "Head" work - the blogging,
  3. I'm in a safe, comfortable, resource rich environment - tons of comfort and food (I'm tasked by our Father with driving my weight to skeleton level.

I'VE BEEN EATING LIKE A PIG, DESPITE THAT DARFUR NEEDS ME ON A SEVERELY CALORIE REDUCED DIET! AND I'M HAPPY WITH MYSELF! AND I AM FEELING DIRTY, UNCLEAN, "FALLEN."

AM I EVIL? Hmmm. Maybe more than ever before I am finding some tiny sympathy with the prevailing "A Christian" notion that we are fallen and needy. In some sense I "AM" my body, more than I am my Spirit, the Almighty within us.

This, for me, points again to how enormously critical it is to manage our environments and to deliberately and carefully pay attention. "PAY ATTENTION" LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. Guidance for my young friends, of every age.

5.29.2007

Misc. Quotes

  1. "Dissent without resistance is consent." Henry David Thoreau
  2. "When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint, but when I ask why people should be hungry, they call me a communist." Brazilian Archbishop Dom Helder Camara
  3. "It is not how much you give, but how much you have left over after giving that God counts" Godwin Penrhyn-Lowe
  4. States are not moral agents; people are, and they can impose moral standards on powerful institutions. If they do not, the fine words will remain weapons. - Noam Chomsky, Rogue State.
  5. Generosity is not measured by how much you give. It's measured by how much you have left. - Bishop Fulton Sheen
  6. All who are not lunatics are agreed about certain things. That it is better to be alive than dead, better to be adequately fed than starved, better to be free than a slave. Many people desire those things only for themselves and their friends; they are quite content that their enemies should suffer. These people can be refuted by science: Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot insure our own prosperity except by insuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.
    - Bertrand Russell
  7. "What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life." - Henry Nouwen-In the Name of Jesus, 1989
  8. "The giving of love is an education in itself." Eleanor Roosevelt
  9. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” Edmund Burke
  10. There is but one unconditional commandment, which is that we should seek incessantly, with fear and trembling, so to vote and to act as to bring about the very largest total of good which we can see.
    -William James
    The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life
  11. "Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give." Eleanor Roosevelt
  12. "The mere sense of living is joy enough." Emily Dickinson
  13. "Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!" Friedrich Nietzsche
  14. "Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value." Albert Einstein
  15. "During [these] periods of relaxation after concentrated intellectual activity, the intuitive mind seems to take over and can produce the sudden clarifying insights which give so much joy and delight." Fritjof Capra, physicist
  16. "This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman, Epistle Dedicatory
  17. "The joy in life is to be used for a purpose. I want to be used up when I die." George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
  18. Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do. Gerry Sikorski
  19. If your capacity to acquire has outstripped your capacity to enjoy, you are on the way to the scrap-heap. Glen Buck
  20. While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. That is why I dance. Hans Bos
  21. We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world. Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)
  22. The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy. Henry Ward Beecher
  23. I have always said and felt that true enjoyment can not be described. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778)
  24. People who enjoy what they are doing invariably do it well. Joe Gibbs
    A joy that's shared is a joy made double. John Ray
  25. Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy. What you have to do, you do with play. I think a good way to conceive of sacred space is as a playground. If what you're doing seems like play, you are in it. But you can't play with my toys, you have to have your own. Your life should have yielded some. Older people play with life experiences and realizations or with thoughts they like to entertain. In my case, I have books I like to read that don't lead anywhere. Joseph Campbell, A Joseph Campbell Companion - Reflections on the Art of Living; selected and edited by Diane K. Osborn
  26. I've grown to realize the joy that comes from little victories is preferable to the fun that comes from ease and the pursuit of pleasure. Lawana Blackwell, The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter, 1998
  27. Joy fills the body and expands beyond its bounds.The intellect is quieted by joy.The body bridges to the spirit via joy.It's good stuff is joy! Leah Klein
  28. When people ponder 'the big questions' like 'who am I?' and 'what's the meaning of life' the answer rarely seems to be about joy. I know love seems to be the usual answer but that gets interpreted, misinterpreted, reinterpreted endlessly whereas joy seems a less confused feeling - pure essence, laughter, lightness, richness, playful, expansive, encompassing, boundless. Leah Klein
  29. Such is human psychology that if we don't express our joy, we soon cease to feel it. Lin Yutang
  30. I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy! Louise Bogan
  31. It is essential to our well-being, and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life. Marcia Wieder
  32. Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with. Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
    The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity. Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
  33. May your walls know joy; May every room hold laughter and every window open to great possibility. Maryanne Radmacher-Hershey, 1995
  34. Enjoy the journey, enjoy ever moment, and quit worrying about winning and losing. Matt Biondi
    The most profound joy has more of gravity than of gaiety in it. Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592)
  35. Never let anyone steal your joy. Mike Richards
    Joy is prayer - Joy is strength - Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997)
  36. The joy of a spirit is the measure of its power. Ninon de Lenclos (1620 - 1705)
    I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace - a connection to what matters. Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine
  37. There is an alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness. Pearl Buck (1892 - 1973)
  38. Winning is important to me, but what brings me real joy is the experience of being fully engaged in whatever I'm doing. Phil Jackson
  39. Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile. Pierre Coneille
  40. To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others. Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)
  41. The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. Richard Bach
  42. Joy is not in things; it is in us. Richard Wagner
    No joy can equal the joy of serving others. Sai Baba
  43. Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy. Sarah Ban Breathnach
  44. My mind to me a kingdom is,Such present joys therein I find,That it excels all other bliss. Sir Edward Dyer
  45. Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile. Sir Wilfred Grenfell (1865 - 1940)
  46. There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life. Sister Mary Rose McGeady
  47. When you jump for joy, beware that no one moves the ground from beneath your feet. Stanislaw J. Lec (1909 - 1966), "Unkempt Thoughts"
  48. Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time. T. S. Elliot
  49. Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. Thich Nhat Hanh
  50. Cease, every joy, to glimmer on my mind,But leave---oh! leave the light of Hope behind. Thomas Campbell (1777 - 1844)
  51. Joy comes from using your potential. Will Schultz
  52. Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing. William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), Troilus and Cressida, Act 1, Scene 2
  53. I wish you all the joy that you can wish. William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), (Merchant of Venice)
  54. You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. Ziggy, character in comic strip by Tom Wilson
  55. Joy is prayer - Joy is strength - Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997)
  56. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)
  57. The world is extremely interesting to a joyful soul.” Alexandra Stoddard (American philosopher and designer)
  58. The joy that isn't shared dies young. Anne Sexton
    I do it for the joy it brings, cause I'm a joyful girl. 'Cause the world owes us nothing, we owe each other the world. Ani Difranco (American Singer, Song Writer and Guitarist. b.1970)
  59. I asked God for all things, that I might enjoy life. God gave life, that I might enjoy all things. Anonymous Author
  60. Unless each day can be looked back upon by an individual as one in which he has had some fun, some joy, some real satisfaction, that day is a loss. Anonymous Author
  61. It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  62. A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live. Bertrand Russell
  63. The joyfulness of a man prolongeth his days. Bible: Ecclesiasticus. XXX. 22
  64. The only joy in the world is to begin. Cesare Pavese (1908 - 1950)
  65. Joy is but the sign that creative emotion is fulfilling its purpose. Charles Du Bos
  66. The enjoyment of life would be instantly gone if you removed the possibility of doing something. Chauncey Depew
  67. Do not judge men by mere appearances; for the light laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over the depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace and joy. E. H. Chapin
  68. When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. Cherokee Indian Saying
  69. One joy scatters a hundred griefs. Chinese Proverb
  70. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored. Earl Nightingale
  71. Give not over thy soul to sorrow; and afflict not thyself in thy own counsel. Gladness of heart is the life of man and the joyfulness of man is length of days. Ecclesiastes
  72. Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it. Eileen Caddy

A "CHRISTIAN" Presbyterian vision!!!

This is thrilling and exciting. Is it representitive of the real walk of these people? I pray that it is:

3/22/2007
No Pollyanna He: Following Jesus in a Time of Fear
Below is the sermon delivered by Rick Ufford-Chase following the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, given at New York Ave. Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C., on March 18th, 2007.

Isaiah 58: 6-9
Luke 6: 27-31

Everything I am going to share with you this morning is true, except for the part that hasn’t happened yet . . .

Once upon a time, not so very long ago,

The people of our churches across the United States were afraid. No one knew exactly where the fear had come from, for they knew that their churches had not always been held captive by their fear, but somehow they had grown more and more comfortable, and from comfort it had been a short jump to the sin of worshiping false gods - mostly the false gods of wealth and materialism and the capitulation to the seductions of over-consumption. As they grew increasingly attached to their belongings and to the illusion that they themselves had created their own good fortune, their comfort led them surely and inexorably down the slippery path to fear, for when we believe that our good fortune has been the result of our own efforts, when we slowly lose the certain knowledge that our help and our hope comes only in the Lord, the pressure to maintain our good fortune becomes almost unbearable, and we eventually dig ourselves into a pit of fear so deep that it is impossible to see God any longer.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that our people intentionally turned away from God. It’s more that the foundation of our faith changed in subtle and largely unnoticed ways. We still, many of us, anyway, went to church each week, but our services of worship in too many places became empty platitudes about our dependence on God that few of us actually believed.

As our worship and our preaching and our prayers became more and more disconnected from the growing reality that our lives were now dedicated to false gods and to the security offered by other gods, it became harder and harder to convince our children and our grandchildren that there was any need to go to church at all. “Of what use is a community of believers that lives in denial,” the next generations asked?

No one smells hypocrisy faster than a teenager or young adult, and in our most honest moments, most of us had to admit that our sanctuary had become havens of hypocrisy. Whatever the message about the foundations of our faith that we espoused from our pulpits, it had become clear that we were a people living far from the gospel values we espoused and that we had little intention of questioning our growing independence from God or challenging our obsession with securing our own safety.

Then, on September 11, 2001, the narcissism of our individual races to the illusion of security, and the empty promises of churches that no longer were filled with a people who needed God, were transformed into a national obsession with security for a people who lived in fear. Almost overnight, our fear as a people became our defining characteristic, and as it did so, we lost all sense of reason. Though our nation was, by any reasonable measure, the most powerful of power brokers in the world, our entire country fell captive to the most potent and frightening of combinations - we became a superpower that understood itself to be the victim.

Though I’m not trained as an historian, it does seem to me that such a combination has inevitably marked the beginning of the end for the great nations of the world throughout history. In the same way that a playground bully inevitably finds himself isolated, alone and spiraling into a life of self-destruction, a nation whose churches have lost the ability to correct the bullying characteristics of their own people also will eventually fall.

But then, one bitterly cold, rainy and snowy day in Washington, D.C. in the late winter of 2007, something happened that suggested to a few careful observers that things were beginning to change. It wasn’t a lone event, and those who had the good fortune to participate were not particularly special. It was more like a tipping point that U.S. Christians of future generations would look back on as a moment that marked a new day - a Boston Tea Party kind of moment whose very inevitableness gave it a special, maybe even an overblown kind of deeper meaning. Individual Christians had already been experiencing similar epiphanies for some time. What made this moment special was that it was such a powerful sign to the participants and to the world that this was a collective “gathering up” of the vision of the people of God.

That night - March 16th, 2007, in defiance of a valiant attempt by the weather to keep it from happening (some reflected that perhaps it was God’s way of trying to test the resolve of God’s people), almost four thousand Christians from across the United States gathered at the National Cathedral and New York Ave. Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. Simultaneously, thousands of others gathered at more than two hundred churches in communities across the country.

They heard the voice of a mother who had lost her son, a fallen soldier who was a member of the National Guard, and many wept as she expressed the anguish of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of mothers who have wept for the sons they have lost throughout the foolish course of the countless wars of human history.
Rev. Raphael Warnock rose that night to beg his church and his nation to give up their meaningless arguments about winning or losing the war on terror and instead to embrace the far more critical challenge of avoiding the loss of our nation’s soul.
Many other wonderful words were spoken that night as the National Cathedral was filled with candles and the congregation sang as if they genuinely believed that their song had the power to move the entire country to reclaim its foundational values.
I had the good fortune to be there that night. As I participated in that worship to reverse the Church’s obsession with fear - as I listened to the Rev. Jim Wallis shake the very walls of the Cathedral with his insistence that this worship would mark the beginning of the end of the war in Iraq - I had an overwhelming sense that we were reclaiming our very souls.

Later that night as the worship came to an end, three thousand people spilled out into the snow and the bitter wind to carry their candles - the light of the nonviolent Jesus - to the White House. And then, there was a small miracle - the sort of little miracle that has always appeared at critical moments to give hope to the people of God. Almost in a single instant, the wind ceased and the snow stopped falling and there was a dead calm. It reminded me of the story of the stormy sea crossing in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Mark.

Together, the three thousand people walked through the cold with their candles. They sang and they prayed and they held hands and the children ran on ahead and they lifted their candles high and they continued to reclaim their souls. When they arrived at the White House, they were met by more than six hundred sisters and brothers who had walked from New York Ave. Presbyterian Church and whose candles welcomed them to Lafeyette Park.

A short time later, most of those assembled carried their candles around the White House to encircle our President with light and to pray for a new kind of courage - the courage to stand against fear. Two hundred and twenty-two people crossed a police line that night and were arrested as they closed the circle of light around the White House, praying on the sidewalk in front of the White House until the last of them was arrested and taken away at about 2:30 in the morning on that bitterly cold night.

What took place that night as our people stood against our obsession with fear and reclaimed our souls reminded me of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., forty years and three weeks earlier, as he stood against the fear and the violence of war of his own time. Dr. King said that:

The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. How much longer must we play at deadly war games before we heed the plaintive pleas of the unnumbered dead and maimed of past wars? Why can’t we at long last grow up, and take off our blindfolds, chart new courses, put our hands to the rudder, and set sail for the distant destination, the port of peace?”

Dr. King went on to say:

We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say ‘we must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not only on the negative expulsion of war, but on the positive affirmation of peace.

My friends, what took place on that night was critically important as a collective sign that the participants made that things were beginning to change, but what mattered far, far more was what happened next . . .

As those Christians left that night and returned to their communities, they discovered many others like them who were on fire with the possibility of reclaiming their own biblical traditions and the words of the earliest prophets of the Old Testament, who called their people to account in similar moments of fear in their own time. They recalled the words of the prophet Isaiah, recorded in the 58th chapter of the book of Isaiah, in which he said:

Is not this the fast (the kind of sacrifice) I choose:
To loose the bonds of injustice,
To undo the thongs of the yoke,
To let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And bring the homeless poor into your house;
When you see the naked, to cover them,
And not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
And your healing shall spring up quickly;
Your vindicator shall go before you,
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry for help, and God will say, Here I am.

Together, Christians across the United States began opening their eyes to Isaiah’s call for justice for the poorest among us, and little by little, their churches and their communities were transformed as they recognized the fundamental truth of Isaiah’s words - that all people - all over the world - are in fact our family, and that any attempt to hide from them, or to abuse that core conviction, is deeply displeasing to our God.

They began re-reading the stories and the words of Jesus, among them those we read from the 6th chapter of the book of Luke this morning:

But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat, do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Together, in small groups at first - and then in larger and larger communities - they reclaimed the gospel and committed to stand against fear, to eschew the glittering illusions of security promised by the war on terror, to end the war in Iraq, and to stand firmly once again as communities of faith that functioned as resistance to the empty promises of the powers and the principalities of their time. Instead, they opted for the harder work - but surer bet - of safety that is built on community, on reaching out to those of whom we are most afraid, of following Jesus’ clear command to love our enemies and of building the real safety that is found only in the Isaiah notion of justice and in Jesus consistent insistence that our security is found only in right relationship.

You see, many in the church of that time still believed that Jesus was kind of a little bit Pollyanna - that he didn’t really mean what he said, or that his words were no longer really relevant. But let me share what took place because of that wonderful witness on a cold March night in Washington:

A reporter from Al Jazeera was present in the Cathedral that night, and the following day, a newspaper in Tehran picked up his story and ran a picture on the front page of the Tehran paper that showed Christians who were willing to risk arrest to stand against the war. A seed was planted among some Muslims in the Middle East who began to believe that there might be potential Christian partners with whom they could build relationships. Together, in the months that followed, Muslim and Christian moderates committed to stand together against the extremists in their own traditions who cloaked their violence in religious language. Their efforts eventually led to a global, interfaith movement to create a world of genuine security - a global community that would overcome the vagaries and abuses experienced by so many who were on the underside of the global economy.
A group of students had traveled by car from Whitworth College in Spokane, WA. When their car slid on the icy roads of the Pennsylvania turnpike and they collided with a tractor trailer and ended up unscathed but in a totaled car in the median, they left the car behind and hitchhiked the rest of the way to Washington to be at the Cathedral. Later that night they were arrested as they prayed and witnessed to their faith in front of the White House. Deeply moved by their experience, the students returned to their campus committed to creating a new definition of family - an “Isaiah 58″ notion of family. The students created alternative housing at Whitworth called an Isaiah 58 house in which the students committed to simple living and to specific peace and justice projects. When other students heard about it, they copied the model and the movement began to spread like wildfire to campuses all across the country. By March of 2012, there were tens of thousands of students on campuses across the United States and they were transforming the neighborhoods in which they lived. Few people realized that it had all started on that night in Washington with the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, but God knew.
There was a chaplain there that night who was deeply moved and inspired by Rev. Warnock’s call for a surge in God’s nonviolent army, and by the deep pastoral concern that the participants lifted up for U.S. soldiers and their families. On that night, he committed to work with groups like Christian Peacemaker Teams, Nonviolent Peaceforce, and the Presbyterian Church’s Colombia Accompaniment program to build what eventually became, by the year 2025, an international movement of more than 250,000 Christians deployed as nonviolent peacemakers in situations of conflict all over the world. Though it is clear in looking back that the movement took off as a direct result of that chaplain’s experience on the cold night, no one at that time would have guessed that God could make such a think happen.
In the months that followed the witness, a group of seminary students and faculty created a new religious order in an effort to hold themselves accountable to the transformation they experienced at that worship at the National Cathedral. They took vows to live lives of simplicity and to devote themselves in their ministry to the end of war, the creation of a just global community, and the deepest care for all of God’s creation. Eventually, that religious order, which crossed all denominational boundaries, grew to include more than 50,000 pastors, nuns, priests and lay people across the country and around the world, and it all started on March 16th, 2007.
The people of New York Ave. Presbyterian Church, having been inspired as they played host to thousands of Christians who came from across the country to witness to their faith, rededicated themselves to recovering their long history of being the voice for the voiceless, the strong prophetic voice calling for justice two blocks from the White House. Coming out of that weekend, a small group of members of the church dubbed themselves the “no more business as usual” committee and vowed that they would dedicate themselves to leading the way among historic, inner city churches were transformed to the work of peacemaking and justice across the country.
And what happened to the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and some thirty other partners who had come together to plan the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq during that amazing weekend in March of ‘07? They were transformed also, by the power of what had happened to them when they committed together to boldly and unapologetically proclaim the gospel of the Prince of Peace. They became the primary protagonists - the “outside agitators” - in a faith-based peace movement that swept across the country. Historians later looked back on that time as the next great awakening - a revival and renewal of faith that opened the path to genuine security that defined the global community by the end of the twenty-first century.
My friends, everything in this story is true, except for the part that hasn’t happened yet.

We have a choice. We can opt - on this morning - to continue to live into the bland and uninspiring work of institutional maintenance that characterizes so many of our churches today. We can choose to continue our commitment to place a theological veneer over a culture of emptiness, unfulfilled promises, and fear. We can choose, if we wish, to continue to create churches that bless our affluence and our power based on a corrupted reading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Or . . .

We can choose on this day to dedicate all of our lives to the creation of a new movement of followers of Jesus Christ who know that we are called to transform the world. Someday, this weekend could be understood to have been the tipping point. The choice is ours.

Amen.




I am indebted to peacemaker and storyteller John Paul Lederach for the central idea of the power of imagination in this sermon. All of the conjecture is entirely my own. I expect that God is capable of far more creative imagination than I am able to fathom.

Biblical references are from the New Revised Standard Version.

Dr. King’s words are taken from his speech against the War in Vietnam on February 25th, 1967. I encourage you to read the entire speech, which can easily be found by typing his name and the date into an internet search engine.

Rick Ufford-Chase

When is it OK to neglect an infant? LIFE IS SACRED

If we are to enter the Kingdom we must learn to remain attached to "the least of these my family."

When is it OK to neglect an infant? LIFE IS SACRED. This idea may help.

Kingdom "FUNDING" pays massive dividends

See "Thy Kingom [IS FUNDED] as thy will is done..."

Kingdom "FUNDING" pays massive dividends. There is a huge multiplier. Jesus had just one life but it has been paying dividends for thousands of years. Think of an important kindness that was done to you when you were a young child. Has it affected you just once? It has affected, encouraged, enlightened... you many times, and will continue to do so, right? And therefore you will "fund" the Kingdom for others and yourself much more, and many more times than if this original kindness were not done to you, right?

So, take heart! Keep on!

"Thy will [not "words"] be done..."

Never Again... ANY PERSONAL PRICE NOT PAID

The opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is indifference or appathy. Rollo May

"Thy Kingom [IS FUNDED] as thy will is done..."

The reality, the Truth is that the world is in extreme suffering and that our individual response needs to be extreme. "The question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice--or will we be extremists for the cause of justice," asked Dr. King.

However, by way of encouragement it was very helpful for me to realize the other day: "Thy Kingdom [IS FUNDED] as thy will is done..." Every Brotherliness is Brick in the Kingdom. Every time we do our Father's Will out of love we lay a Brick, we Fund the Kingdom for our Dearest, our Family, ourselves. Now, if the bridge must be completed for our Beloved to get to the hospital can we take much comfort in one brick? NO! But we can and should take come encouragement from that one brick.

ONE ACTION IS WORTH 1000 WORDS

"Preach the gospel at all time; when necessary, use words," St. Francis

"An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching." MK Gandhi

“One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons”. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Nonprofits / NGO's = MERCENARIES?

... and the new crop of student "activists" that are told that activism is doing something for which you get "credit," a "grade." Oh my God. We are ripping the Heart entirely out of these High School and College children.

There is an insideous disease that is destroying our humanity. The disease is in the form of a notion that we can "pay" "mercinaries" to take care of our human Family.

"In answer to the question, “What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence?" Lincoln replied: “It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, our army and our navy. These are not our reliance against tyranny. All of these may be turned against us without making us weaker for the struggle. . . . Our defense is in the spirit which prized liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere,"

Gandhi said, "Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living ?"

"PAYING THE PRICE" SETS THE PRICE / WORTH / VALUE

"PAYING THE PRICE" SETS THE PRICE / WORTH / VALUE.

Think about the importance of what you do, and do not do. Correctly, this principal underlies "free markets." The price, the value is what people pay! Everything else is illusory!

When we pay lip service - that sets the price.

When we "pay the price" with our lives like Beko, King, Gandhi, Teresa, Diane Wilson and others have done - THAT SETS THE PRICE.

OPINION LEADERS, PIONEERS SET THE PRICE THAT OTHERS THEN BEGIN TO PAY!

BROTHERLINESS = PAYING "THE PRICE" FOR OTHERS

BROTHERLINESS = PAYING "THE PRICE" FOR THE NEEDS OF OTHERS OR FOR THE MODEST AND NECESSARY NEEDS OF OURSELVES.

This is a monumentally important discovery for me. Is there anything else that needs to be said?

VIOLENCE = EXTORTING "THE PRICE" FROM OTHERS

VIOLENCE = EXTORTING "THE PRICE" FOR WHAT WE WANT FROM OTHERS.

This is a monumentally important discovery for me. Is there anything else that needs to be said?

"GOD BLESS YOU" is the salutation Start receives now

There is little that I have done in many months that is not just "surrender" to the Almighty as best I am able. This includes the tattoo on my forehead. Divine Inspiration is how I experience it.

Almost always when I encounter people face to face, if they engage me, somewhere in the dialog is the saluation, "God bless you." 99% of the time. It seems genuine. It seems deep. It seems comfortable. It seems spontaneous.

Hmmm. It seems that more than before I bring a sacred sense of God, of the Almighty to their Spirit. Hmmm. That is the entirety of what I want to do!

Thanks Father.

Quantum

Most of what Saves us is not just a little bit better. It is a quantum leap better, more pure, more of the Almighty:
  • Gandhi
  • Teresa
  • Diane Wilson
  • ML King
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Steve Beko
  • Etc.

In the most sacred of essays, Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel gives us a hint to this phenomenon:

"God will return to us when we shall be willing to let Him in into our banks and factories, into our Congress and clubs, into our courts and investigating committees, into our homes and theaters. For God is everywhere or nowhere, the Father of all men or no man, concerned about everything or nothing."

Tolstoy's life of DIVERSIONS was his DEATH

By his early 50's Tolstoy had written all his Novels, made a fortune, and lost the will to live.

Then he did his own translation of the Gospel and found 40 more years of life in poverty serving "the least of these my family."

HUMANKIND'S GREATS ESCAPED ENCULTURATION

Hmmm. Did we get our Greats from enculturating them: Jesus, Gandhi, King, Diane Wilson, William Thomas, Davinci, St. Francis, Teresa of Calcutta, Motzart....

  • In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made School Boards. Mark Twain
  • School-days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense and common decency. It doesn't take a reasonably bright boy long to discover that most of what is rammed into him is nonsense, and that no one really cares very much whether he learns it or not. H. L. Mencken
  • From my expereince of hundreds of children, I know that they have perhaps a finer sense of honour than you or I have. The greatest lessons in life, if we would but stoop and humble ourselves, we would learn not from grown-up learned men, but from the so-called ignorant children. MK Gandhi
  • To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. Theodore Roosevelt
  • A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education he may steal the whole railroad.
    Theodore Roosevelt
  • Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education. Bertrand Russell
  • I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. Mark Twain
  • The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education. Albert Einstein
  • My education was interrupted only by my schooling. Winston Churchill
  • "Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education." Bertrand Russell
  • "We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought." Bertrand Russell
  • Your learning is useless to you till you have lost your text-books, burnt your lecture notes, and forgotten the minutiae which you learnt by heart for the examination. Alfred North Whitehead
  • Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school. William Shakespeare
  • I think my deepest criticism of the educational system at that period [junior high and high school], and that also applies to other periods, is that it's all based upon a distrust of the student. Don't trust him to follow his own leads; guide him; tell him what to do; tell him what he should think; tell him what he should learn. Consequently at the very age when he should be developing adult characteristics of choice and decision making, when he should be trusted on some of those things, trusted to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes, he is, instead, regimented and shoved into a curriculum, whether it fits him or not. Carl Rogers
  • He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on. Benjamin Franklin
  • College isn't the place to go for ideas. Helen Keller
  • If the colleges were better, if they really had it, you would need to get the police at the gates to keep order in the inrushing multitude. See in college how we thwart the natural love of learning by leaving the natural method of teaching what each wishes to learn, and insisting that you shall learn what you have no taste or capacity for. The college, which should be a place of delightful labour, is made odious and unhealthy, and the young men are tempted to frivolous amusements to rally their jaded spirits. I would have the studies elective. Scholarship is to be created not by compulsion, but by awakening a pure interest in knowledge. The wise instructor accomplishes this by opening to his pupils precisely the attractions the study has for himself. The marking is a system for schools, not for the college; for boys, not for men; and it is an ungracious work to put on a professor. Ralf Waldo Emerson
  • You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves. St. Francis
  • A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education. George Bernard Shaw
  • It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry. Albert Einstein
  • It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry. Albert Einstein
  • The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Alvin Toffler
  • Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. Anne Frank
  • Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction. Annie Sullivan
  • If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning. Carl Rogers

THE INFANT IS "CREATION" AND "CREATOR"

Why are we so overwhelmingly drawn to the infant? THE INFANT IS "CREATION" AND "CREATOR." The infant is the closest we will ever come to encountering entirely The Almighty, The Creator.

We are neotenous creatures, among the only such creatures on the planet. Neotenous: Retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of a species.

We are to remain close approximations of the Creator. Jesus died to try to make this True for us.

Life happens at the "GROWTH TIP"

Growth tip:
  • Where it happens in plants
  • An extremely small part of the "whole"
  • Presumably "painful"
  • "Alien" from the mass
  • "Lonely"
  • Essential to life
  • "Leading"

JESUS FOLLOWERS FOLLOW THE "ALMIGHTY"

For that matter, The Almighty's followers follow the Almighty - Truth, Love, Life; just like Newton followed, was irrestably drawn by Gravity. No?

This explains all the prophets, Jesus, the Disciples, the Apostles.

The world continues to burn because we look beyond this simple truth for magic and mysticism so we can escape the implications:

We are all one Family; no double standards; Be Brotherly; GET ON WITH IT.

!!!!!! THE RICH YOUNG MAN IS ME AND YOU !!!!!!

You can forget everything else on this site if you want to. Don't even bother with it.

Just ponder this, and face the implications:

!!!!!! THE RICH YOUNG MAN IS ME AND YOU !!!!!!
?????Is this OK?????

Mark Chapter 10 "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? 3 No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: 'You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.'" 20
He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth." 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to (the) poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 22 At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Matthew 19 "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?" 17 He answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. 13 If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." 18 14 He asked him, "Which ones?" And Jesus replied, " 'You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; 19 honor your father and your mother'; and 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" 20 15 The young man said to him, "All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?" 21 Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, 16 go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22 When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 17 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

BLESSED UNREST

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.... You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."
~ Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille

"More!," as my friend says.

"All, Everything!," as the Almighty says.

"Groundhod Day" movie. "Life" looks like this.

I've admired this movie for so long, it is amazing to me that just within the last few days did it hit me, why!

Life, the Almighty, looks like this movie looks. Every day, every day Life, The Almighty improves, learns, grows.

Blessed Unrest!

NOT "COMMANDMENT!" JESUS GAVE THE "SOLUTION!!!"

Did Einstein give us "Commandments?"

Did Lister give us "Commandments?"

No, they gave us Solutions TO LIVE BY!

JESUS GAVE US THE SOLUTION TO LIFE! My goodness, how did I not see this until now. Tolstoy articulated exactly this in "The Kingdom of God is Within You." The following is NOT Tolstoy's articulation:

JESUS SOLUTION: WE ARE ALL ONE FAMILY. NO MORE DOUBLE STANDARDS. GET ON WITH IT!

  1. Love God (we have one Father)
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself (everyone is your neighbor, everyone is your brother; BE BROTHERLY. PERIOD.)

So, what do we get with this solution? With certainty, THE KINGDOM: E=MCsqd. "THY KINGDOM COMES AS THY WILL IS DONE..."

THE "PRICE" IS: EVERYTHING & NOTHING

Paying the Price is the central issue of our age. We learn to do so, we learn to do what needs to be done, what our Hearts would have us do, or technology and weapons will reduce all life on earth to hell. !!!!!! THE RICH YOUNG MAN IS ME AND YOU !!!!!!

Like "sacrifice," "suffer," "courage..." "PRICE," or "paying the price" is profoundly different for the onlooker than for the actor. The one "paying the price" if doing so out of Love, feels Joy centrally, and any sensation of "paying" is peripheral. Yes this is absolutely true in the extreme, for Jesus on the Cross, for Ganhi close to death in a Hunger Strike. "Don't you know I am never so Joyful as when I am suffering for my people," asked Gandhi? [paraphrase]

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman, Epistle Dedicatory

"A CHRISTIAN" VS "CHRISTIAN"

All the difference in the world:
  • Cancer vs Health
  • Death vs Life
  • Hell vs Heaven
  • Admiring & Exploiting Jesus vs Following & Serving Jesus
  • Flesh & Head vs Heart / Spirit
  • Crucifixion vs Resurrection

This is not a matter of malice, or even of choice. "Many are called but few are chosen." This is really, really cruel.

THE "PEARL" / "TREASURE" OF JESUS

Life.

I have just now glimpsed this!

I cannot prove this to you, but if you want, I can show you.

You are young parents in the first minutes of holding your first newborn. What is more valuable?

Now, imagine a Heart as expansive of that of Jesus, Teresa, Gandhi, King or any other uncrippled adult human. What is the "Pearl," the "Treasure" for which you would sell everything? The "Pearl," the "Treasure" for which you would sell everything is EVERY SINGLE, ANY SINGLE HUMAN LIFE.

WITHIN EVERY LIFE IS CREATION, AND THE CREATOR - THE ALMIGHTY. INFINITE WORTH. INFINITE VALUE. INFINITE BEAUTY AND WONDER.

Separating ALMIGHTY TRUTH from manmade "truth"

Who are you? What are you to become?

What if you and anyone on earth have never encountered a "Golden Retriever" baby puppy; or a tulip bulb?

How would you go about discovering what it was, its "nature?"
  • Patience
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • HUMILITY
  • Rigor....

The real point is that YOU would KNOW THAT IT HAD A "NATURE," unlike a piece of clay or Iron Ore that, although these two have a nature, they are inanimate and "invite" manipulation and forming. Alive "nature" invites discovery and nurture. Yes?

Human Beings provide an infinitely more complex problem due to their practically limitless capacity to be enculturated. Yet, imagine that you are a species from a distant planet, extremely "humane," and you encounter a human infant. What do you do? The above list, right?

The point is, humans have a "nature." By Jesus time we had lost much of our sense of this. With Judaism we were living as though we were weak clay that needed constant force to assume a shape pleasing to the Almighty.

Jesus saw the Truth. Our nature is Humane / Brotherly / Universal Family / Compassionate / Loving. He died to have us re-envision ourselves and to re-envision our relationships. He died to Lead us to Lead others to recreate ourselves and our culture - to Heaven on Earth.

We have been crucifying him ever since. Jesus has company that in more recent years have arrived at much his conclusions: Carl Rogers, Alfred Adler, Pitirim Sorokin, Victor Frankl, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Abraham Maslow. Those who are evidence that Jesus was correct in seeing the full "health" of a human include Gandhi, Teresa, King, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, Dietrich Bonhoeffer....

EVERY "BROTHERLINESS" IS A "BRICK" IN THE KINGDOM

Wow. This was a much needed bit of encouragement last week.

This was important clarity. We need Heaven constructed and a bridge for all of us to get to Heaven to be constructed. This is a HUGE JOB!

But make no mistake, think about your own experience.

What is YOUR bridge toward Heaven so far. Is it no made up of acts of Love / courage / Heroism / Altruism ... bricks made and laid by people directly and indirectly in your life?
  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Sister
  • Brother
  • Teacher
  • Historic characters
  • Strangers
  • Fiction characters
  • Jesus
  • etc
  • etc

Every act of Love / Family / Brotherliness / Kindness / Humanity / Altrusm... is a brick.

Take heart! Get on with it!

JESUS SAID THERE WOULD BE A "PRICE TO PAY"

So far for me it has been exactly as Jesus said:

MarkChapter 8 "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel 9 will save it. 36 What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? 37 What could one give in exchange for his life? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

Mark Chapter 10 28 Peter began to say to him, "We have given up everything and followed you." 29 Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 30
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.

Matthew 19 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.

ALTERNATIVE LANGUAGE FOR "NONVIOLENCE"

Who could be satisfied with the term "nonviolence?" It so defines itself in terms of what it wants NOT to be. The reverse should be true.

Potential alternatives include:
  1. Militant Brotherliness
  2. Militant Family
  3. Militant Loving
  4. Militant Love
  5. Militant Nonviolence
  6. Militant PeaceMaking
  7. Brotherliness
  8. Revolutionary Brotherliness
  9. Tough Brotherliness
  10. Tough Loving
  11. Universal Family
  12. PeaceMaking
  13. ?
  14. ?

Thine is the... "Glory"

Oh my. What a tragedy that people like me were never taught how to be prayed by this prayer, the Our Father! Year after recent year I find this a perfect prayer, the perfect prayer for developing me as a disciple, for making me Christian.

My experience with the last three phrases is the newest. I expect to spend many hundreds of hours, if granted by the Almighty, being pondered by "For Thine is the Glory." In my experience so far, what is as glorious as:
  • The Love that your caregivers provided as you grew
  • The Love of your best teachers
  • The self-sacrificial Love of histories Heroes
  • The way Truth wins out ... in the end
  • The wonder of Life in an infant
  • Etc
  • Etc

Thine is the "Kingdom"

Oh my. What a tragedy that people like me were never taught how to be prayed by this prayer, the Our Father! Year after recent year I find this a perfect prayer, the perfect prayer for developing me as a disciple, for making me Christian.

My experience with the last three phrases is the newest. I expect to spend many hundreds of hours, if granted by the Almighty, being pondered by "For Thine is the Kingdom." In my experience so far:
  • Yes! Thine is the ONLY KINGDOM in which anyone that had experienced it would want to live!
  • Thy Kingdom is the only one with the power of the Almighty!
  • Thy Kingdom is the one WITH the Almighty - that you can reside with Love, Life, Truth.
  • Thy Kingdom is the one that is Heaven on Earth, including for those most dear to us.

It is really important to intimately envision the Kingdom:

  1. To know where we need to be.
  2. To know where we WANT to be.
  3. To know what to try and build.
  4. To know where we need to lead others.
  5. For the motivation that comes from seeing the prize.

Thine is the... "Power"

Oh my. What a tragedy that people like me were never taught how to be prayed by this prayer, the Our Father! Year after recent year I find this a perfect prayer, the perfect prayer for developing me as a disciple, for making me Christian.

My experience with the last three phrases is the newest. I expect to spend many hundreds of hours, if granted by the Almighty, being pondered by "For Thine is the Power," THE ALMIGHTY! In my experience so far:
  • Napoleon: "Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit."
  • Not Gandhi, but he as an instrument of the Almighty.
  • Not King, but he as an instrument of the Almighty.
  • Not Jesus, but the Almighty Power for two hundred years, and vague recollection that will not fully die for 2000 years.
  • Etc.

What has brought "Heaven" into your life?

Have you any glimpses into heaven? Of course you do.

For me the examples are endless, however I wish there were a million times as many:
  1. My father's joy at given me a motor bike, something he never could have afforded as a child;
  2. Bev writing me of her love after years of putting up with me;
  3. Dicken's writing - "A Christmas Carol," etc.
  4. The book "Endurance" as a child,
  5. The movie "Captains Courageous" as a child,
  6. My sister Marcia's undying love and kindness to me as a child,
  7. The million things my mom did for us kids,
  8. Soldiers giving their lives for us,
  9. Gandhi's example,
  10. JESUS' EXAMPLE,
  11. Msgr. Ryan at the Catholic Church when I was little - his unending warmth and kindness,
  12. Etc.
  13. Etc......

Every one of these is a brick toward the Kingdom!!!!!!!!

Every kindness we do is a brick toward the Kingdom!!!!!!

Obstructions to "paying the price" for Heaven on Earth

  1. MODEL-POOR / EXAMPLE-POOR ENVIRONMENT. Imagine a near perfect community as probably existed in certain American Indian tribes and among the early Christians. Someone in such a tribe would require much, much imagination to Err / Sin.
  2. TEMPTATION-RICH ENVIRONMENTS. Western, free-market, consumer capitalism INTENDS TO BE THE MOST TEMPTATION-RICH ENVIRONMENT EVER CONCEIVED!!!!!!!!!!
  3. PERVERSION / POLUTION / DISGUISE / DISTORTION / MUTILATION OF JESUS "GOSPEL" AS SUCCESSFULLY AND TOTALLY ACHIEVED BY THE "CHURCH" FOR 1800 YEARS!!!!!!!
  4. LACK OF PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE.

Darfur Vigil Goal: Post-it Note Darfuries to the Hearts

As what is written in the title of this post came to me in the last two weeks it has been enormously useful to me staying on the path, Joyful, and Serving out of Solidarity from my Soul.

I think that is an almost perfect example of what the life of a Disciple does: Works to connect "the least of these my family" to the Hearts of all people - to "Save" them from thinking about themselves and "their family."

In front of the Sudan Embassy I am trying to live my life in such a way as to post-it note Darfuries to the Hearts of those that pass by every day. I have no doubt that to some degree this is happening.

The "Our Father" saved me again, and again...

My early May traumatic divergence from the "Path" has been written of extensively in following posts. "PAY ATTENTION" LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. Guidance for my young friends, of every age. I've neglected there to mention that the "OUR FATHER..." has once again been instrumental in regaining the Path despite great odds.

No, I do not mean "reciting" the Our Father for some "magic" effect. I mean having the "OUR FATHER..." work my nervous system for hours, to hammer me back into shape, back into a Follower, a Disciple.

Walking the path: weed or cultivate? WEED BARRIER

Where are we best to focus our time?

  1. WEED: Do I spend my time finding my Errors and working on them?
  2. CULTIVATE: Do I spend my time growing within myself Love-in-Action for "the least of these my family?"

Gandhi seemed to say, WEED. Gandhi was obsessed with finding the errors in his life and weeding them out.

Gandhi seemed to say, CULTIVATE. TRUTH IS GOD. Gandhi relentlessly pursued Truth.

Jesus said CULTIVATE! No? The religion He replaced was Judaism which was obsessed with "laws" that were for the minute dealing with weeds. Jesus said No! CULTIVATE. "Follow me." Just Do It!

Both Weeding and Cultivation are necessary, but the emphasis, the strong emphasis needs to be on CULTIVATE, in my experience and practice. Weeding is too much of a "Brain," "Thinking" function. We need to stop "Thinking" and Start Loving. The Heart is the only thing strong enough, wise enough, and visionary enough to get us to Heaven.

The best defense is a good offense: "Love thy neighbor as thyself." "Do unto others ALL that you would have them do unto you.? "As you do unto the least of these my family you do unto me."

JESUS' TWO SOLUTIONS ARE "CULTIVATE:"

  1. "Love [the Almighty - Truth, Love, Life] with your whole Heart, your whole soul, and your whole mind."
  2. "You shall love your neighbor ["the least of these my family"] as yourself."

Or, WEED BARRIER!!?!??!!!!!!!!

5.28.2007

Leo Tolstoy Quotations

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.

All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

All surrounding interests, such as the peace and safety of my family, my property, and myself were based on the law that was rejected by Christ – on the law of a ‘tooth for a tooth.’

All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.

All His first disciples obeyed the same law of the non-resistance of evil [to not return evil for evil], and passed their lives in disability and persecution.

And all people live, Not by reason of any care they have for themselves, But by the love for them that is in other people.

And I understood from where my error arose. It arose from my professing Christ in words and denying Him in deed.

And Levin, a happy father and a man in perfect health, was several times so near suicide that he hid the cord, lest he be tempted to hang himself, and was afraid to go out with his gun, for fear of shooting himself. But Levin did not shoot himself, and did not hang himself; he went on living.

Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.

Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.

Boredom: the desire for desires.

But the peasants - how do the peasants die?

Christ does not require us to turn the other cheek, and to give away our cloak, in order to make us suffer; but He teaches us not to resist evil [to not return evil for evil], and warns us that doing so may involve personal suffering. Does a father, on seeing his son set out on a long journey, tell him to pass sleepless nights, to eat little, to get wet through, or to freeze? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Go, and if on the road you are cold or hungry, do not be discouraged but go on’?

‘Do not resist evil’ means never to resist evil, i.e., never offer violence to anyone. If a man reviles you, do not revile him in return; suffer, but do no violence.

Ecclesiastical teachers told me that the doctrine of Christ was divine, but that its observance was impossible on account of the weakness of human nature.

Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which man does not destroy himself, but continues to live on. It is the force whereby we live.

Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.

He never chooses an opinion; he just wears whatever happens to be in style.

Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.

Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised.

I did not carry out that teaching in deed [to not return evil for evil], for I admitted and respected the unchristian institutions that surrounded me.

I did not see that it was impossible to admit the Godhead of Christ – the basis of whose teaching is non-resistance of evil – and, at the same time, to work consciously and calmly for the institutions of property, courts of law, kingdoms, the army, and so on.

I imbibed such a notion of the practical impossibility of following the divine doctrine gradually and almost imperceptibly. I was so accustomed to it, it coincided so well with all my animal feelings, that I had never observed the contradiction in which I lived.

I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back.

I was taught from my childhood that Christ is God and that His teaching is divine and authoritative; while, on the other hand, I was also told to respect those institutions that, by means of violence, secured my safety from evil; I was taught to honor those institutions as being sacred. I was taught to resist evil; and it was instilled into me that it was humiliating and dishonorable to submit to evil and to suffer from it; and that it was praiseworthy to resist evil. I was taught to condemn and to execute. I was taught to make war, i.e., to resist evil by murder. The army, a member of which I was, was called a ‘Christ-loving’[1] army, and the Church consecrated its mission. I was taught to resist an offender by violence and to avenge a private insult, or one against my native land, by violence. All this was never regarded as wrong, but, on the contrary, I was told that it was perfectly right and in no way contrary to Christ’s doctrine.

If a man were to set all the faculties of his mind to the annulling of a given law, what more forcible argument could he use for its suppression than that it was an impracticable law, and that the legislator’s own opinion of it was that it could not be kept without supernatural aid? And yet, this was exactly what I had thought about the commandment ‘not to resist evil.’ I tried to remember when and how the strange idea had first come into my mind, that the doctrine of Christ was divine in authority but impossible in practice. On reviewing my past life, I discovered that this idea had never been transmitted to me in all its nakedness, for then it would have repelled me; but that I had imperceptibly imbibed it from my earliest childhood, and that the associations of my life had confirmed some strange error.



If so many men, so many minds, certainly so many hearts, so many kinds of love.

If there existed no external means for dimming their consciences, one-half of the men would at once shoot themselves, because to live contrary to one's reason is a most intolerable state, and all men of our time are in such a state.

If you want to be happy, be.

If you deal carelessly with bees you will injure them,and will yourself be injured. And so with men. It cannot be otherwise, because natural love is the fundamental law of human life.

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.

In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.

It did not then occur to me, as it does now, that it would be much simpler to regulate our lives according to the doctrine of Christ; and then, if courts of law, executions, and war were found to be indispensably necessary for our welfare, we might pray to have them too.

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.

It was only after losing all faith in the explanations of learned theology and criticism, and after laying them all aside in obedience to the words of Christ (Mark 10:15), that I began to understand what had until then seemed incomprehensible to me. It was not by deep thought, or by skillfully comparing or commenting on the texts of the gospel, that I came to understand the doctrine. On the contrary, all grew clear to me for the very reason that I had ceased to rest on mere interpretations.

Judgment sins by punishing for crime, and all judgment is annihilated by the law of God – mercy.

Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.

Love is invincible.

Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.

Love is the unity of souls

Man lives consciously for himself, but is an unconscious instrument in the attainment of the historic, universal, aims of humanity.

Music is the shorthand of emotion.

My faith in these ‘toga,’ in these empty idols, hid the truth from my eyes. In my way to Him these ‘toga,’ which I did not have the strength to renounce, stood before me, obscuring His light.

Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal.

One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken.

Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature. Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself.

The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience
not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.

The chief difference between words and deeds is that words are always intended for men for their approbation, but deeds can be done only for God.


The greater the state, the more wrong and cruel its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of suffering upon which its power is founded.


The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people.

The law condemns and punishes only actions within certain definite and narrow limits; it thereby justifies, in a way, all similar actions that lie outside those limits.

The law of God - mercy.

The only significance of life consists in helping to establish the kingdom of God; and this can be done only by means of the acknowledgment and profession of the truth by each one of us.

The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.


The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.

The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people.


There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.

To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.

Truth is communicated to men only by deeds of truth.

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.

War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves.

War on the other hand is such a terrible thing, that no man, especially a Christian man, has the right to assume the responsibility of starting it.

We lost because we told ourselves we lost.

We must not only cease our present desire for the growth of the state, but we must desire its decrease, its weakening.

We were taught that it was possible to be a Christian without fulfilling His law not to resist evil.

What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.

What an immense mass of evil must result... from allowing men to assume the right of anticipating what may happen.

Why should Christ have given to us such clear and good precepts, applicable to us all, if He knew beforehand that the keeping of them was impossible by man in his own unaided strength?

Without knowing what I am and why I am here, life is impossible.