Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2018

Vivid Ash

Canyon de Chelly was my mother’s favorite place. I don’t know why I’m thinking of her this morning, except that an enormous change has reached its culmination in my life recently. My mother’s name was Doris Ann and she was born in 1926 and died in 2003— 15 years ago. She was the most remarkable person I’ve ever known, and the wisest. I was looking for inspiration for my blog post because the Lectionary readings turned out to be pretty inert for me today. The only thing that struck me in the readings were these verses from Proverbs about Wisdom. I realized that they reminded me of my mother.


30 “I was with him as someone he could trust. For me, every day was pure delight,
as I played in his presence all the time, 31 playing everywhere on his earth,
and delighting to be with humankind.”


Anyway, I went looking for other sources of inspiration, and ended up reflecting on endings. My sister and I were with Mom when she died, and even at the time I felt it as a great grace and blessing. Now, al…

This Whole Mess

1 John 5:1-12
Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah has God as his father, and everyone who loves a father loves his offspring too. 2 Here is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God, we also do what he commands. 3 For loving God means obeying his commands. Moreover, his commands are not burdensome,because everything which has God as its Father overcomes the world. And this is what victoriously overcomes the world: our trust. Who does overcome the world if not the person who believes that Yeshua is the Son of God?


World — κόσμος (kosmos)
Strong: G2889 GK: G3180
“(1) pr. order, regular disposition; ornament, decoration, embellishment, 1 Pet. 3:3; (2) the world, the material universe, Mt. 13:35; the world, the aggregate of sensitive existence, 1 Cor. 4:9; the lower world, the earth, Mk. 16:15; the world, the aggregate of mankind, Mt. 5:14; the world, the public, Jn. 7:4; in NT the present order of things, the secular world, Jn. 18:36; the human race externa…

Shaken By The Wind

Proverbs 4:1-27
The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom!
And along with all your getting, get insight! (CJB)

At first, I thought it was a typo, and then I realized it was pretty darn Zen: “…along with all your ‘getting’, get insight!” It made me think of phrases like, “What do I get out of it?” and “Don’t you get it?” and “What you give is what you get.”
The beginning of wisdom is the intention to get wisdom. Alrighty then!


1 John 4:7-21
18 There is no fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love. (CJB)
The person who keeps on fearing……. Hoo, boy, do I know somebody like that! The thing is, when you go to practice loving-kindness toward such a person, it’s as if they are oblivious. There’s no space for anything but fear. In cases like that, the love circles aimlessly, like a bee around a silk flower. Nothing to be done.


Matthew 11:7-15
7…

Come Near

Proverbs 3:11-20
11 My son, don’t despise Adonai’s discipline or resent his reproof;
1 John 3:18-4:6
18 Children, let us love not with words and talk, but with actions and in reality!
19 Here is how we will know that we are from the truth and will set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 if our hearts know something against us, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God; (CJB)


19 “And on these grounds, we will know that we belong to the truth and will persuade our hearts in the presence of the Unchangeable: that if our hearts blame us, God is greater than our hearts and knows all. Beloveds, if our hearts don’t blame us we have the confidence to come near to God. (Derived from Mounce Interlinear)
Matthew 11:1-6
asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for someone else?” Yeshua answered, “Go and tell Yochanan what you are hearing and seeing(CJB)
asking, “Are y…

But by My Spirit

Zechariah 4:1-14
6—‘Not by force, and not by power, but by my Spirit,’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot.
Ephesians 4:17-32
17—do not live any longer as the pagans live, with their sterile ways of thinking.
22—you must strip off your old nature, because your old nature is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires23 and you must let your spirits and minds keep being renewed, —
30 Don’t cause grief to God’s Ruach HaKodesh, for he has stamped you as his property until the day of final redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness.
Matthew 9:1-8
2—When Yeshua saw their trust, he said to the paralyzed man, “Courage, son! Your sins are forgiven.”




—“by my Spirit”
—Names of God
—sterile ways of thinking
—deceptive desires
—let your spirits and minds keep being renewed
—saw their trust


There is a sort of numinous pattern that connects one understanding to another in my reflections, but I’m having a hard time articulating it today. The linear progres…

How Much Longer?

1 Samuel 16:1-13
“How much longer are you going to go on grieving for Sha’ul, now that I have rejected him as king over Isra’el?”
I took some time to look up something from another piece I wrote about the story of Samuel and Saul: the really bad thing that Saul did was to profit from the destruction of the Amalekites, by sparing the life of their king (not out of mercy, but out of expediency), and taking all their valuable goods. In doing so, Saul was revealing that he valued the lives of people less than the profit he could make, or the political advantage he might gain.” (The blog post is called “Until the Day of His Death” posted on 7-12-2017.) 
This story relates itself to my situation. Like Israel, we were faced with an absolute— something needed to be dissolved utterly— dismantled; ended. The circumstances called for dispassionate fairness and the administration of a quick and merciful death. That did not happen. Like King Agag of the Amalekites, I found myself facing a King Saul …

Rinse and Repeat

Numbers 11:16-17,24-29 (incl. 18-23)
All right, Adonai is going to give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You won’t eat it just one day, or two days, or five, or ten, or twenty days, 20 but a whole month! — until it comes out of your nose and you hate it!
You know, I always seem to find the best parts in the redacted verses. Here’s God manifesting through Moses’ exasperation. Moses reminds me of Paul. Or should it be, “Paul reminds me of Moses”?
Ephesians 2:11-22
14 For he himself is our shalom — he has made us both one and has broken down the m’chitzah* which divided us 15 by destroying in his own body the enmity occasioned by the Torah, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances.
(*a curtain or screen dividing the congregation in a synagogue; usually between men and women)
Alert! Alert! Radical Idea! —
Here’s a paraphrase to help us unhook from habitual and complacent ways of reading Scripture: ‘abolishing in his own body the antagonism caused by the Torah’s rigid regulations.’…

Be Still

Just last night I heard a song by a band called The Fray:
Be Still
The Fray
Be still and know that I'm with you
Be still and know that I am here
Be still and know that I'm with you
Be still, be still, and know

When darkness comes upon you
And colors you with fear and shame
Be still and know that I'm with you
And I will say your name

If terror falls upon your bed
And sleep no longer comes
Remember all the words I said
Be still, be still, and know

And when you go through the valley
And the shadow comes down from the hill
If morning never comes to be
Be still, be still, be still

If you forget the way to go
And lose where you came from
If no one is standing beside you
Be still and know I am

Be still and know that I'm with you
Be still and know I am

(Songwriters: ISAAC SLADE, JOSEPH KING, DAVID WELSH, BEN WYSOCKI)


I have to confess, I’m tired. Pitilessly tired.
My words have lost all their grace and liveliness, and now sit neglected in wheelchairs in the corners of my mind; wheels lo…