This is a quote from the article on On Being with Krista Tippett (http://www.onbeing.org/blog/the-disease-of-being-busy/7023) The Disease of Being Busy by Omid Safi:

“Whatever happened to a world in which kids get muddy, get dirty, get messy, and heavens, get bored? Do we have to love our children so much that we overschedule them, making them stressed and busy — just like us?

What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?

How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?”

Exactly – what has happened about just being a kid? I have two great-nieces & two great nephews and I am praying that their moms and dads do not fall into this “disease”.  Mud, dirt, running, screaming at the top of their lungs in response of the ecstatic fun they are having. Watching such a sight brings a high to me that cannot be replicated by anything else.

So this is for you Parents – let your kids be kids. Have one extra-curricular activity. Every afternoon does not need to be filled with stuff. They actually need you – you to hang out with and have fun, their friends and the dog. Let them get messy, dirty and loud – maybe not in the house – in fact get them out of the house and you go outside with them. Housework can wait, work from the office, grading papers, fixing dinner – have mud pies, run, throw a ball, laugh out loud and have fun.

OK that’s all I got to say – I am headed outside –

WaterworksPark

Did anyone really win Nov 4, 2014?

Wow – good thing I try to follow a different policy: “When you do it to the least of these, you do it to me.”(Matt 25) Not easy to do but is doable.

There was a time when policy did not rule the conscious and we took care of each other, we made sure folk were fed, clothed and were given treatment when they were sick. I think it is called being a village, being neighbors,,, I guess our jobs, our money, our stuff is so much more important than the well being of people – unfortunately this is bipartisan – each party has done a dis-service to the people they were elected to “represent”.  I am not sure that we as a nation will last if we don’t changed our attitudes.

We do not have a two party system that adheres to different policies, philosophies, or agendas. They seem to be the same but using different jargon so the average citizen is taken in to their rhetoric and are not able to see through it. But what are we to do? How can we changed when we have a population of drones who are being manipulated by remote control issues that no one is whiling to risk- their jobs, families, and what little security they feel they have.

Of course, how can the populace make informed decisions when the tools to get that information is manipulative by news media who are also being backed by particular ideologies that keep the mantra going that our ideas, policies, way of thinking is the right way:

“We have the answers, we know what you need to hear, don’t think let us do it for you – make life simple, easy and totally controlled by a machine that would rather have you live exactly how we want you to live. Your children are being programed with the curriculum we know is best – forget that the teachers who spent thousands of dollars in order to make sure your child learns and can think for themselves – that we have made millions convincing legislators who have no idea how to teach, so your children will be the drone workforce we need to run this country as we see fit. American Dream? Are you kidding – we control the American Dream and it is not for the masses but to those who control how the machine works.  So forget trying to work your way out of debt or your kids being able to go to college without coming out owing enough to pay off the National Debt. So get ready folks we politicians have it under control – Democrats and Republicans both – let us handle it. We will make sure you have no way of achieving the American Dream until we say so.”

Until the entire population of this United States has had enough of everyone – nothing will change. The party in charge will change, but what they are doing will not. It will not change with having more political parties created to run against the machine.  Because some of these are just as bad or worse that what we already have.

So what are we to do? Good question – my gut knee jerk reaction is full revolution against all of this mess but that can’t happen without an organized hub that is looking to be part of a solution that is about the greater good and not about creating the same thing all over again but “different”.

Jesus was the only one who successfully did this but even what Jesus achieved has been twisted and turned into a political agenda and use more as a weapon than as a way of life. See that is the difference is that Jesus was not spouting off a new set of rules or policies that enslave a people but a way of life so we can live with the intention to take care of each other, make sure we all have what we need, become community again.

Until we change the way we treat our “possessions”, that what we have is not what we are and be honest when die – well duh – all of that is left and we become the dust we were created from in the beginning. So think about what is more important –

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William Stafford (1914–1993)

From http://www.journeywithjesus.net/PoemsAndPrayers/William_Stafford_The_Way_It_Is.shtml

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stafford_(poet): Stafford was a poet and pacifist. In 1970 he was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States. He kept a daily journal for 50 years, and composed nearly 22,000 poems, of which roughly 3,000 were published. In 1975, he was named Poet Laureate of Oregon. In 1980, he retired from Lewis and Clark College but continued to travel extensively and give public readings of his poetry. In 1992, he won the Western States Book Award for lifetime achievement in poetry. Stafford died of a heart attack in Lake Oswego, Oregon on August 28, 1993, having written a poem that morning containing the lines, “‘You don’t have to / prove anything,’ my mother said. ‘Just be ready / for what God sends.’

This really spoke to me today, especially the lines:

People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.

How do we explain about our thread when most of the time we are not so sure about it? My thread has brought me back to my hometown and a profession I didn’t really want to be back because of bureaucracy of paperwork that is seems to be more important than the actual education of students.

So I wait holding my thread and waiting for the tug of God to take me to the next place I am to serve. But til then I will serve at this point of my thread. -Peace

Is Paula Deen a Racist? Who isn’t?

I read this fantastic open letter this morning(http://afroculinaria.com/2013/06/25/an-open-letter-to-paula-deen/) from a share of a facebook friend and started a comment, which was really good til FB froze on me and I couldn’t post it and wondered if that was not the place since I began to go in another direction – but I stopped before I did. LOL

So I will try to recall most of what I began writing and since now I am on my blog extend it some – not a lot but some.

I have to admit that I was disappointed in what Paula Deen was accused of saying but why all the hype? Oh – a very powerful and successful white woman said it – what about all those powerful and successful white men who have said some of the worst racist things but were and have never had the balls to apologize for it?  They still have their jobs and networks and sponsorships!!! Why are we so focused on on this? IMO it is because we as a society have yet to admit we are all racists. We have made statements that are racist in nature and haven’t a clue they are. I have made them – not with the taboo words which make headlines but with nicer words and innuendos, body language which only other racists understand, eg “those people”, “them” and “you who I am talking about”(with a nod of the head).  These are worse for they are disguise and subversive.  As a white woman I am privileged, not in status or class but just by being a white woman. I do not come near to admitting what others have suffered because of their race and gender. What this world has put upon people of color(and of the LGTB community), I don’t have that in my life.

I have made statements that I immediately been appalled that they were actually a prejudice comment and cannot take it back – throwing a rock threw a glass windw!

But this stuff with Deen is outrageous – why does the media have to focus on this and not the larger picture of injustice toward the poor, hungry and displaced.  I always try to treat my sisters and brothers as Jesus would treat them, but I am human and I screw up. We all screw up. Get over it!  Improve yourself! Admit you made a mistake and work harder not to do it again and if so recognize it. 

There are some who have no idea that they make statements and gesture others preceive as racist.  And when we hear and see this happening, do we bring it to their attention?

The author of the letter writes from a culinary and Southern perspective – and beautifully conveys how jointly the Black and White, Slaves and Slave-Owners created the hospitality and food that makes up the South today. but we still have a long way to go. Rev Bruce Reyes-Chow has just published a book on race(I Don’t See You as Asian) and he shares the subversive nature of prejudice affected his lif and what the Church needs to be aware of in discussing openly this matter of race.  It is a part of our cultural – our race does define us but it should not be the barrier that keeps us apart.  God create all and we are mandated to serve all, not just those who are like us. 

So, I am going to finish reading Bruce’s book, make a copy of this letter by Michael Twitty, and lay my canon of Scripture beside them to create a study for my context – a community in the Delta of Arkansas that has lost its vision and hope to grow and is in a survival mode that is choking the life out of us.

So watch out FC City Council and Chamber of Commerce – you are about to hear from me and others!

I will keep you posted-

Ash Wednesday by TS Elliot

Ash Wednesday

T. S. Eliot

I

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is
  nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

II

Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree
In the cool of the day, having fed to sateity
On my legs my heart my liver and that which had been contained
In the hollow round of my skull. And God said
Shall these bones live? shall these
Bones live? And that which had been contained
In the bones (which were already dry) said chirping:
Because of the goodness of this Lady
And because of her loveliness, and because
She honours the Virgin in meditation,
We shine with brightness. And I who am here dissembled
Proffer my deeds to oblivion, and my love
To the posterity of the desert and the fruit of the gourd.
It is this which recovers
My guts the strings of my eyes and the indigestible portions
Which the leopards reject. The Lady is withdrawn
In a white gown, to contemplation, in a white gown.
Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness.
There is no life in them. As I am forgotten
And would be forgotten, so I would forget
Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper, saying

Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

Under a juniper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining
We are glad to be scattered, we did little good to each other,
Under a tree in the cool of day, with the blessing of sand,
Forgetting themselves and each other, united
In the quiet of the desert. This is the land which ye
Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity
Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance.

III

At the first turning of the second stair
I turned and saw below
The same shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapour in the fetid air
Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears
The deceitul face of hope and of despair.

At the second turning of the second stair
I left them twisting, turning below;
There were no more faces and the stair was dark,
Damp, jaggèd, like an old man’s mouth drivelling, beyond repair,
Or the toothed gullet of an agèd shark.

At the first turning of the third stair
Was a slotted window bellied like the figs’s fruit
And beyond the hawthorn blossom and a pasture scene
The broadbacked figure drest in blue and green
Enchanted the maytime with an antique flute.
Blown hair is sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown,
Lilac and brown hair;
Distraction, music of the flute, stops and steps of the mind
over the third stair,
Fading, fading; strength beyond hope and despair
Climbing the third stair.

Lord, I am not worthy
Lord, I am not worthy

                              but speak the word only.

IV

Who walked between the violet and the violet
Whe walked between
The various ranks of varied green
Going in white and blue, in Mary’s colour,
Talking of trivial things
In ignorance and knowledge of eternal dolour
Who moved among the others as they walked,
Who then made strong the fountains and made fresh the springs

Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand
In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary’s colour,
Sovegna vos

Here are the years that walk between, bearing
Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring
One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing

White light folded, sheathing about her, folded.
The new years walk, restoring
Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring
With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem
The time. Redeem
The unread vision in the higher dream
While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse.

The silent sister veiled in white and blue
Between the yews, behind the garden god,
Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke
  no word

But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down
Redeem the time, redeem the dream
The token of the word unheard, unspoken

Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew

And after this our exile

V

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.

    O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and
  deny the voice

Will the veiled sister pray for
Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee,
Those who are torn on the horn between season and season,
  time and time, between
Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait
In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray
For children at the gate
Who will not go away and cannot pray:
Pray for those who chose and oppose

    O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Will the veiled sister between the slender
Yew trees pray for those who offend her
And are terrified and cannot surrender
And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
In the last desert before the last blue rocks
The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.

    O my people.

VI

Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth

This is the time of tension between dying and birth
The place of solitude where three dreams cross
Between blue rocks
But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away
Let the other yew be shaken and reply.

Blessèd sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit
  of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

Ash Wednesday/Lent – Getting ready for a journey

This is from the blog from the Journey with Jesus Foundation.  Wanted to share for the upcoming Ash Wednesday and Lent Season. I am also going to use Scot Mcknight’s 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed. Have not read his orignal book but think this will be a great Lent study for me. If you would like to join me, can get the book for your Nook or Kindle, and those of you that have iPad also. Read introduction today and looking forward to beginning my journey.  Enjoy the poem and be inspired by the words of Walter Brueggemann (b. 1933)

Marked by Ashes

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.

 

This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.

 

We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.

 

On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.

We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

For over thirty years now, Walter Brueggemann (b. 1933) has combined the best of critical scholarship with love for the local church in service to the kingdom of God. Now a professor emeritus of Old Testament studies at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, Brueggemann has authored over seventy books. Taken from his Prayers for a Privileged People (Nashville: Abingdon, 2008), pp. 27-28.