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To: My UMC; Some See...

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some see weeds in every field some see brave new pioneers
some see weeds in tended gardens some see free spirits and will
some see weeds in native habitats some see colonizers some see immigrants
some see weeds some see flowers some see tares some see people some see one way some see another
how can i presume to weed out weeds if weeds are any other plant to me unless of course thistles
i hate thistles...

tiwago


(photography by tiwago)

Braidwood Dunes

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God said, let it be so, and it was; And God saw that it was good, and it was very very good.






Wild Thing

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to many (too many) the Spirit is a wildflower joyous and surprising free growing where it will but unrefined but unrestrained but uncontrolled Jesus, spitting Jesus, making saliva mud Jesus, healing on the wrong day not a proper flower in a proper place wild wild wild
to many (too many) the Church is a rose by any other name
Tiwago

(Image: Hoary Puccoon; photography by tiwago)

Selah

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What is a wildflower, if not a psalm sung by Creation?
Dependent upon both fire and water - each in measure.
Dancing with the fickle wind, while kissing the light.
Growing from out of fertile death and decay's remains.
Chancing discovery and consumption; a revelation of glory.
What a weak and mighty entity, that works such miracles;
Bringing me forgotten hope and joy, out of my long winter.

Selah!

Tiwago

(photography by tiwago)

Valerian

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To some, a noble nobleman in an ignoble world - a Caesar;
Defender of Empire, a legislator passing laws, executing Christians.

A flower, a European colonial, invading our native woodlands;
Sometimes called Jacob's Ladder, connector of heaven and earth;
Pretty flower of many false hopes: healer of the trots and syphilis;
And of some toothy things: toothaches - animal bites - rabies.

In the good, there is always bad.
In the bad, there is often some good.
In the bad, there is the false promise of good,
And in the bad there is a true promise of good.
Maybe I, should then judge less -
Am I not Valerian too?


(image and poetry by tiwago)

How to Testify in the Court of Life - Being a Better Witness

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Lectionary reading reflection - 1 Peter 3:1-22


No one is going to bother someone with a reputation for being eager to good things for others. But if they do harm you for doing the right thing, you are really lucky! (Great salesmanship Pete.)

"Don't fear what 'they' fear..." Now we're talking! Don't fear what bad people fear (God, judgment, public opinion, your parents, paternity tests, etc.) because you don't need to fear if you've not done fearful things. Don't fear as your enemy fears - if you recognize that many bad things are done by good people out of fear, and if you don't fear the dark like fearful people, yours will be the advantage. Do not live life in fear as the world does; do not allow it to control your life as the nations do.

"...and don't let them intimidate you." Resist! Persist! Bad people will always try to get you to backdown, and make you question your values - question yourself. If you have sacrificed your c…

How to Disagree

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One of the Revised Common Lectionary readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter is Acts 17:22-31; but the reading as presented leaves out a preface and a postscript that are important to me personally. I was made fun of for being intellectual (aka nerdy geek, pencil-neck...), and American society seems to respect intelligence less and less all the time. Politicians and religious leaders strive to sow discord by creating a false dichotomy between faith and reason. When I read the chosen excerpt of the text, I at first see yet another "religious" person making fun of intellectuals.

"You are soooo religious. You even worship an Unknown God (just to be safe?). Well, you're in luck! I'm here to make the unknown known to you." (verse 23)

Now, if you wanted a law-and-order, don't-ask-questions, don't-trust-educated-people society, you didn't need to look any further than the Roman Empire. But this was Greece, where people actually could make a living thinki…

Love Actually

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Love is...
What happens when we take "Love" out of its context? It too easily becomes worldly greed and fleshy lust. We lose our way. yet, it is written that Love is a "more excellent way".
“But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal]. And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love].
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned,…

Keep Calm, and Believe (or Not)

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Chill...

"Take it easy on your hearts," Jesus told them. Fear-related bpm. Anger-induced BP. Stuff like that will kill you.

"Believe in God."

"Believe in me."

"I'm going to go open the house up for you. There is plenty of room for everyone; even you. I'll get your rooms ready for you. I will come and get you - gather you into me. Wherever I AM, you will be too. You know the Way!"

"Huh?" said Tom, "Show us the Way."

Jesus clarified: "I AM, the Way. I AM, the Truth. I AM, the Life. You can only approach Abba through His Son. If you know me, then you know Him. From this point forward, you do know and you do see."

"Huh?" asked Phil, "Show us the Father."

"It's clear as day, Phil. After all this time Phil, you still don't know me? You've seen me for a while - what do you mean 'show us'?

"Huh?" I say. Jesus tried again.

"Tim, I AM in Abba."

"I AM is in me,…

But, Filled With the Holy Spirit

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But, filled with the Holy Spirit... Jesus had told his followers that the Spirit would breathe the words they needed upon their crosses. So, through Stephen, the Spirit spoke of the Father and the Son to those who were killing him.

But, they covered their ears.

But, they shouted to drown out the voice.

But, they rushed to get it over with; before anyone could change their minds.

There is no one as a deaf as one who will not listen. And yet, the Spirit spoke. The Spirit can be ignored with effort, but it can not be silenced.

As Stephen was being stoned, Saul (who will be Paul) was watching over people's clothes. In the past, I read it as though those who were throwing the stones were shucking their clothes so they could throw harder; but I noticed this time that it was the "witnesses" who laid their garments before him. I don't know what difference it makes. I don't know what it means that he watched the stuff for the watchers. I envision a party atmosphere like a hang…

How Can I Recognize Jesus?

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The couple from Emmaus returned to their small group in Jerusalem and shared what had happened to them. They only recognized Jesus because he became their host: he  blessed the bread; he broke the bread; and he served the bread. 
At this point, Jesus appeared in the room with them - with the two. with the eleven, with the friends and families of the eleven. And his first words? "Shalom aleichem" (Peace be upon you)!
I personally love verse 41 which says that they did not believe Jesus was really there because they were so full of joy and amazement! They did not trust their own eyes, they did not trust that they were not seeing what they wanted to see. They were wise! Such wishful seeing is a trap all of us fall into, once in a while. Did Jesus make fun of them or chastise them for their lack of faith?
No. He joined them and ate some fish. Then they recognized him. Because he ate with them.
Where do you see Jesus in your life?
Where do you see Jesus within yourself?

ONE

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One.

One.

One.

One.

One.
The LORD, My GOD, He is ONE.
In mystery, Three; In heart, One.
The LORD, my GOD, Has One Body, But many Faces
The LORD, My GOD, She is INFINITE.

~ Tiwago




(photography by tiwago)

Snow

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Every snowflake was created unique. Every snowflake was modified by time and circumstances uniquely. Every snowflake looks fragile and weak. Every snowflake is beautiful.
A fellowship of snowflakes is a blessing to some, but a curse to others. A fellowship of snowflakes is a protective mantle. A fellowship of snowflakes is a blizzard. A fellowship of snowflakes levels the field.
                                                 ~ Tiwago

Things Built

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Things by the mind desired - Things built by human hands, Last but just an earthly while.
Things by the Spirit inspired - Things built by human souls. Abide for a heavenly while.
And the Maker of the cosmos All the while, all the while,  All the while...
                          Tiwago



(photography by tiwago)

The Twenty-third Psalm

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Jesus is my pastor; my vessel is full.
He created a pasture, and guides me over rapids.
He restores me wholly;   He leads me faithfully - for he is holy!
Tho I struggle in the night, I am not terrified - my shepherd is with me; urging and comforting me.
He prepared a bounty for me. He served it for all to see. He anointed me to a ministry. My cup is overflowing!
Certainly, goodness and mercy, will always be with me, As I live in my Abba's house.
                        Tiwago


(photography by tiwago)

Life Is an Endurance Sport

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It is to your credit if you endure unjustified abuse. So what if you can tough-it out to get through pain caused by your own actions, any thug can do that. - but, if you do what is good and right, and suffer unfairly as a result, the Father sees the Son in you! 

You have been called to a beatitudinal life, as was Christ. He allowed himself to be abused and murdered not as a victim, but as a condemnation of evil. He did not threaten revenge or curse his circumstances. He embraced the opportunity to do something pure and good, and he left you an example to help you along the Way.

Innocent, but treated as a criminal. Violated, though he violated no one. Tortured, he blessed and he forgave. He surrendered himself to judgment; Knowing who the only true Judge is. He accepted the cruel cross to free us, That we may live on as hope-bearers.
By his taking on our brokenness, we have been made whole. The sheep have been returned to the Shepherd.


(photography by tiwago)

First Church

Churching 101:

They persevered by devoting themselves to:
     1. listening to, learning from, being with, and emulating the Witnesses;
     2. breaking real bread together in agape, and sharing Living Bread together in communion; and
     3. praying together.

Think of it - the Apostle Witnesses were right there with them. If the Apostles played Kevin Bacon, they were just one degree separated from Christ! They were the Patient Zeros from which the Movement of the Way would spread across the globe. Is it any wonder that First Church lived in AWE (not just awe, but AWE)? How does one respond to AWE via living?

"All who relied upon Christ were together and had all things in common." Srsly?

How do you do "together"? They first cut their anchors, exorcized their demons, and threw off the chains of their idols by selling their real-estate, their inheritances, their stuff. Then, they pooled together the proceeds of the sales. The scripture does not say that the money was divide…

Sad

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My soul breaks for thee my friend; Through the cracks flow the tears. My beloved denomination spoke: Telling you my dear to fuck-off; To stop rocking their boat; To suck it up and comply; To circumcise your love!
You are of lesser worth... So, our hearts are not fully open. So, our minds are not fully open. So, our doors are not fully open.
What hope can I lend you but The grace and mercy of your God? Jesus loves you, this I know - Regardlessly, compassionately; Wholly and holy beloved. 
I am sorry. I AM sorrows.
What must we do? What would God have of us? Do we cleanse the Temple, or Is it time to tear it down again?  Do we stay or do we go now? What do we do when love is Proscribed, restricted, illegal? When being real, being God-formed, Being honest is heresy, then what? Now what?
~ Tiwago

Yet Unbroken

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Buffeted and battered am I -
Bowed by it but yet unbroken.

I am a man full of seasons, and
Stand less straight than once I did.

The steady prevailing winds,
The persistent acidic rains,
Have graced me with scars.

But in the background rises,
A steeple with its loud bell:
Tall and straight and strong.

Tiwago


(photography by tiwago)

Hope During the Apocalypse

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This morning, I finished the book that I have been using for my daily devotional: Ecotheology: Voices From South and North; David G. Hallman ed.; 1994. I posted a cursory review of the collection on Goodreads:
"Compiled in 1994, much of this collection is still fresh, relevant, and prophetic. An updated version would be greatly welcomed, one that should be required reading in seminary.

Ecotheology deals with being: God's caretakers; fighters for human justice and environmental justice; and participants in Jesus' healing ministry. It can not stand separate from secular ecological movements or in religious isolation. It borrows strongly from liberation and feminist theology as inter-related strands in the braid of a new theology of hope, love, and inclusiveness. Ecotheology brings together ecology and economy into an 'ecologic' of accountability."


The final chapter is entitled: Chosen Persons and the Green Response to the Population Apocalypse by Catherine Keller;…

Walking and Talking With a Stranger

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The couple were sadly plodding home to Emmaus, away from the recent tragic events in Jerusalem. They were Disciples of Jesus Christ. As they went, they tried to make sense of all that had happened - HOW COULD it happen? As they were deep in conversation, they did not at first notice that a Stranger had joined them.

Now, we observers know that the "Stranger" is their Teacher and Lord, but that God had placed blinding scales upon the eyes of their minds and spirits; a temporary prosopagnosia from on-high. They knew him not.

"What is it you are so hotly debating?", the hidden one asked. The question so astounded them, that they stopped dead in their tracks, right there, in the middle of the path.

The man named Cleopatros (the Glory of the Father, "but call me Cleopas") did not answer the Stranger's question, but rather, asked a question of his own: "Have you been on the Moon? How can you not know of what has been going on in Jerusalem these last days?&…

As Yourself

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Love the Other as the Self, taught the Teacher;
But love your Self first, say the Self-help gurus.

Is that selfish vanity of one un-crucified to Self?
It seems so wrong in many self-centered ways;
Am I the point upon which the cosmos pivots?

Narcissus sits self-absorbed besides the water;
A showy daffodil who found no greater love -
Trapped not by the love of Self, but by Self-lust.

Love your Self first, say the Self-help gurus?

We seek experts for our Self-help:
These merchants of insufficiency;
These capitalizers of inadequacy...

Love the Other as the Self, taught the Teacher?

Love is mutualism: comfort and trust and joy.
Love the God and the Other as you love Self.
Yet, we idolize the Self - love the Self as god! 

Be comfortable with and within your Self.
Trust your Self as one who seeks goodness.
Take joy in being with your Self as you are.

Then, love this way, the Other as the Self.
Then, love this way, the Lord God likewise.

Love the Self that you see there in Others.
Love the God that you see there …