Thursday, September 3, 2015

Who Does Jesus Like Best?

Sisters and brothers, can you show favoritism while saying that you "believe" in Christ? If a rich person visits your church, do you fawn all over them? Do you seek such people out to become new members so that they may help you meet your budget? If a poor person visits your church, do you also fawn over them? Do you seek such people out to become new members so that they may know love? Have you formed factions in your church? Do you sort and judge each other?

Sisters and brothers, listen to me. God has blessed the poor with the richest faith! They are beloved heirs of His kingdom.

But, you... You have mistreated the poor, just as the rich have mistreated you! Isn't it the greedy ones who abuse you? Isn't it the selfish who try to besmirch your faith? You would do well to obey the Royal Rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

But, if... If you continue to be partial, if you continue to court those who can help you, you shall be judged for your sin. You can not champion some parts of the Law, while willfully breaking other parts! Like a thief, do you say: "It's not like I killed somebody." Start speaking and acting like true Children of Liberty. Mercy trumps justice; but if you have been unjust, you forfeit mercy and will be accordingly judged.

Sisters and brothers, your faith is worthless if you do not actively do good! Faith unverified by acts is faithlessness. If you see someone in need and say "I'll pray for you" and do nothing to help them, you are part of the problem and not the solution.

Faith? Faith without hands and feet is dead.

(taken from James 2:1-17)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Comfort Them.

Talk to the fearful -
Give them strength:
Emanuel! Emanuel!

He comes to defend them,
He comes to save them.

Those who could not see,
Those who would not see,
Will be able to understand.

Those who could not hear,
Those who would not hear,
Will hear and learn to listen.

Those who could not walk,
Will leap in joyous agility;
And those without voice,
Will sing in ecstatic joy.

Water'll return to the deserts;
Forest fires will be quenched;
Parched earth shall be healed.

(from Isaiah 35:4-7 by Tiwago)

Monday, August 31, 2015

How Good is Your Name?

An honorable reputation,
Is a far greater treasure,
Than mere worldly wealth.

Rich and poor are the same -
The Lord God made them all.

Those who plant injustice,
Will soon know His Justice.

Those who are gracious,
Are a blessed blessing -
Bread to the breadless.

Stop taking advantage.
Of the poor to get richer,
And accumulate power!

They have an Advocate,
And you will get your due.

(fragments from Proverbs 22 by Tiwago; dedicated to D. Trump et al.)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Soiled People and Religion.

Naked thoughts on dirty hands.

Jesus and his students once ate with some holy people. They had just come in from working and their hands were dirty. To me, the fact that these mostly observant Jews ate with dirty hands implies that they were starving, and that their host did not offer them water, or offer to help them clean up. Was this a set up?
These holy-rollers asked Jesus, "Honored Rabbi, why do your students not follow God's will and eat with filthy hands?"
Jesus answered them, "You verbally honor me, but you don't at all understand me. Your intricate worship is in vain because you take human prescriptions and call them universal holy writ - you have abandoned God's true will, and replaced it with your own!" What does this inform us about the state of religion today? How many "sins" are our own invention? How many of our sacred cows are golden calves?
Jesus then called out to the people watching this interaction, "Pay attention to me. Get this right. There is no thing and no person external to you that can defile you - you soil yourselves with your thoughts and your words and your acts. You, not Satan, is the source of evil. When evil spews or oozes from you, then you become impure."

(taken from Mark 7)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Do Stuff!

(From James 1:17-27)
Every act of generosity is a transmission through you from God!
The Father of Light sheds no shadows. In fulfillment of Himself, He gave birth to us by the Pneuma of Truth, so we would be the first fruit among the creatures of Creation (editor's note, remember that the first fruit was set aside for sacrifice or service).
My beloved, you MUST understand:
1. Be first to listen.2. Be last to speak.3. Be last to become angry.4. Anger is spiritually unproductive.5. Weed the field of your soul.6. Welcome the seeds of grace.
Be doers instead of self-deceiving readers and consumers of scripture. If you're a listener and not a doer, you are like one who walks away from a mirror and immediately forgets what the saw! You do not truly understand what or who you saw. But, those who are not hearers who forget to do but are true doers will be blessed in their doing.
You will find many who claim to be religious. They allow their tongues too much control, and they fool even themselves as to their righteousness. I tell you right now: their religion is WORTHLESS!
True religion is pure and open before God. True religion is simply this: caring for those in need; and being in the world without drowning in it.