Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Wil and Werner met at my house today for lunch. We had a small prep. in review for the close of our art show at Fuller Seminary. We as a group have been invited to a festival called the festival of nations.

A friend stoped by and we made an agreement to work on some toutoring together.

Then this sucks... another friend had his truck towed from the neighborhood. It is amazing how vigilant the parking police are in this neighborhood. Jude and I end up paying $100.00+ a year here in parking tickets...and we are pretty careful... it does not give the police a good name her... when other realities show up and there is no one stoping the violence or the drug dealing going on.

Down loaded some Information for some accounting work. Life goes on.

For the last several year Prof. Avery Falkner
has spent a day with us during the summer helping LA Street Productions grow and learn as artists. Thank you for all the encouragement!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The Movie Scratch is a fascinating documentry about Hip Hop DJing which demonstrates how cultural learning happens...from discovery to new identity formation. Love to see it and discuss it with anyone...
Here is a partial Play list for the Hyperesthesai Show. Thank you Eric for Introducing me to a lot of this. Thank you Boy1 for the memories of the KRSOne Concert.

Too many fools going for the twisted
they have insisted to lead with out
knowing where they are going

the Blind lead the blind anyway
that is why I will stay with the righteous
Wisdom talking truth head rockers
And forget those fools out there just to be clocking dollars

Too many fools going for the twisted
they have insisted to lead with out
knowing where they are going

Love of the art starts with love in your heart
that is why I will stay with the righteous
Wisdom talking truth head rockers
And forget those fools out there just to be clocking dollars

Know love just don't speak it
experience peace throught the force of reconciliation,and restoration
Be the blessing yall... this is the testimony inwhich i am a part.

jaw 2003

Listen In 4:15 LPG
Star Gazer 4:20 LPG
Thinkin' out Loud 4:03 LPG
360 3:59 LPG
Stop the Music 4:10 New Breed
My People 4:39 New Breed
5 Minutes 5:12 Ambassador
Should I 4:08 Future Shock
Revolting 4:02 Future Shock
Lord live Within My Heart 3:23 KRS ONE Spiritual Minded
South Bronx 2002 4:27 KRS ONE Spiritual Minded
Never Give Up 3:17 KRS ONE Spiritual Minded
They All Fall Down 5:23 Grits
Track 10 4:26 Pigeon John We Are Hip Hope
Irene 4:13 TobyMac We Are Hip Hope
Verbal Junk 3:37 Man of War The Wages of Syntax
Deep 3:41 Man of War The Wages of Syntax
Track 07 4:06 We Are Hip Hope
Track 02 0:46 Scratch

Monday, April 28, 2003

Now for some pertsonal reflection...

I find it a sad fact that the stress of my environment may have had a price tag of hampering the ease with which I learn. (I love learning, but have never found the process easy.) I also am sad that the stressors of my environment are a common experience for many who live in our neighborhoods. My personality is much more "like a spunge" and so my sensitivity can be turned into an asset or a liability depending on how I learn to process my life experiences. Doing art is not an option for me...(and for some of my friends)... it is a survival necessity of life. I was also told that I need to come to terms with the reality of my personality. The will to do something does not mean the capacity to do it. So as I age I need to learn to say no more... and be more focussed on what I say yes to.

I have been told that it is a good thing that I have not learned how to detatch from the experience of violence; There is a neurological impact that violence and other stressors can cause.

I do need to learn how to retreat and reflect more. Then to pass on what I know to others so that my own scars and wounds can bennefit others.

InnerChange believes in and provides for this as I will be seeking to help interns and my neighbors both in growing as people inspite of the violence and ultimately to change the roots of violence at its source. May we truly be Peace Makers.

Here is a Partial list of the big stressors that I have shared in over the last 10 years... I want to stress that many of my friends who have less resouces available to them have gone through much more than I have. This does not change the fact that I have a sensitive soul and have been a witness to:

Peter's Death during a drive by.

A gun put to my own head.

Ministering to Sparky for several months after discovering him in a nursing home because of a gun shot wound.

Visiting several friends in the hospital after they had gotten shot.

Satoe's death / murder RIP who I and many others were very close to. He was a member of LA Street Productions.

911 -- I led a prayer service during what was suposed to be a vacation.

Rez's brother's death in which I had the privelege and the resposibility to help the family celebrate his God given life.

It is a good exercise for me to publically acknowledge pain. Learning to grive is part of the human journey towards maturity. To bless life Through the tears and to rediscover joy in spite of the embraced losses in life.
I find this interesting...Lost Boys
I went to visit a psyche professional today. To in part work at understanding better how my personality and the LA invironment together with stress has impacted my learning capacity and how to regain a sharper learning posture for the next phase of my life. "Everything we do in life is based on what we learn" jaw . It is interesting to reflect on how certain kinds of stress can impact learning. We as a culture need to wrestle with things like Garbarino's work on Children in danger, and raising children in a toxic environment...A link to some of his books on Amazon dot com.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Jawpoetrynow now has a listing of all the posts and some of the quotes that I am welcoming comments on... I have not figured out how to make the comment system work on my current page. Also I am sometimes leavign inspirational quotes only on the Jawpoetrynow Blog. Let me know if you start a blog...
Today I reconnected with an old friend.
Hung out some with the Barajas family... I've known them all the years i've been in this neighborhood.
Turned down an invitation to go to an OZOMATLI concert with Boy1 and Wil (thanks for the invite)
at the request of a neighbor I led my first "House Blessing" service for a family that just moved out of our building to a building next door...
and joined the carne asada house blessing / birthday party afterwards...
They say life is like a box of Chocolates
I wonder at the content and quality of this sort of life???

The victory of taste over faith and reason
Is as simple as a box of Chocolates

Without the insight and fortitude of Character
Indulgence wins every time

Now we have advertisements and marketing aimed at this
To entice you to buy more – even at the cost of Character.

The style of the enticement is so “cool” or funny
Commercials themselves have become
The object or our collective attention

Spirituality is about attention
If some form of Chocolates have the center of your attention
What will happen to the content and quality of your life,
and our life together

There is a sweeter center of life that is not bought nor sold
Rooted in giving and receiving God’s love
Rooted in the wisdom that will bless the generations

You can forget all of this for a Box of chocolates, a case of beer, a new play station game… a new car (and all the car payments) is what you need, can’t miss this movie, or that TV show, and

The monster of gluttony grows along with our greed
Life can be reduced to and so defined by one’s desires
One can forget who one is really; -- we call this addiction.

Consumption -- the chocolate factories, the cigarette companies, the Columbian cartel and our children’s favorite TV shows
Are all dependent at their current levels of consumption…
Dependent on our greed.

They say life is like a box of Chocolates
I wonder at the content and quality of this sort of life???

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Went to Savoy's to share Thai food with Jude, Boy1 and Laura while witnessing the third game of the Lakers and the Timberwolves. Boy is a big Lakers and Raiders fan. He shares the agony of defeat with the Lakers today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Jude and I are celebrating our 8th Anniversary together. (April 22, 1995 seems like a long time ago.) We went for an over night stay at a bed and breakfast in Playa Del Rey. We are having a very restful time. Watched our wedding vidoe together. It is amazing how much has happened in the last 8 years. I was reminded of friends and loved ones that I have not seen for a while. I was also reminded of the faithfulness of the many friends and loved ones that we do have. I am amazed at the quality of love that has been in our lives because of our families, friends, and neighbors; Thank you for your choice to love, to be a friend, to remeber us through the years.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

This Saturday I had the privelege of washing the feet of the "homeless and poor" on our "Skid Row" in LA. This is an event that is done twice a year by the LA mission... (for Easter and Thanksgiving)... I would like to take elements of it to the streets of my neighborhood in some way. On a street level I have noticed that if people have trouble with thier feet then they can be in very vulnerable situation...

It would be better if all people were connected to loving families with loving homes... somewhere on the journey the pain and suffering addictions and consumptions... human brokeness has led to a lack of trust and seperation; this is true for all of us but those on the streets live it at a much more profound level at times... The work of reconcilation still stands... Caring for one another's feet litterally and metaphorically seems one good place to start with those on the streets. We all need the strength to stand on our own two feet... Care, bless, connect, respect -- this can be communicated by our actions much more profoundly than our words. This is part of my growing edge.
Having a lot of fun today reading my poetry on line on "kill Radio". A very diffierent mix of Snoapoe's beats, Scriptures, JAW Poetry, and Tunes...

Sunday, April 20, 2003

I recently received this email about Barbara J. Buckland:

Buckland - Barbara J., August 2, 1942 ˆ April 14, 2003, died peacefully at
Surrey Memorial Hospital. Predeceased by her parents, she is survived by
her brothers, Don (and Sarah) and Richard (and Mary) and her aunts and
uncle, Mollie Sarvela, Kirstine Griffith and Sandy and Miram Buckland.

Her many friends and relatives delighted in the joy and happiness she
brought to each day and will miss the courage and faith she showed in her
battle with cancer. A celebration and memorial of her life will be held at
the Church of the Epiphany at 10553 ˆ 148th Street, Surrey, BC, Canada at 12
noon on April 22, 2003. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the
charity of your choice.

A loss is felt personally when someone takes to heart your own journey in life and somehow becomes part of that journey. Barbara naturally did that by her courage to grow in love. (Gal 5:6b, II Peter 1:3-11)

I first met Barbara as a Fuller student in Jude Tiersma Watson’s class Introduction to urban Missions. I had brought two friends into Jude’s class to share a little of their life’s stories with the class. That evening she began to pray for Willie Hartsfield. The care in her heart for Willie continued for all the years she was at Fuller and long after she graduated and moved back to Canada. Willie soon after that class made choices that landed him in prison; Barbara continued to pray for him and corresponded with him regularly. Willie also began to entrust his own thoughts, cares, and concerns to her and began to pray for her when he discovered that she had cancer. She became one of the tangible evidences for Willie that Christians have learned something about the source of love rooted in God (Eph. 3:14-21).

Jude and I were also recipients of her letters. What we will miss is far beyond just the joy of getting mail; -- we will miss her voice and the kindness expressed in those letters. Willie will miss the mail even more than we will simply because she continued to remember him over these five years while he was in prison. And now he will not be able to thank her for her caring thoughts of him. Every sign of love makes a profound difference. She maintained correspondence across the miles with a good number of friends. I am wondering if there will be any effort to collect these letters and keep them for the sake of the church. So much of the wealth of souls living out of the heart that God gave them for the world in mission is meaningfully preserved for the rest of the church to reflect on by their collected letters and journals.

If anyone is inspired to write Willie at this time his address is (for the next year or so):

Willie Hartsfield D08585
450-2-60 Low
Avenal State Prison
PO Box #9
Avenal, CA. 93204

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Today a friend taught me about the value of cross cultural friendships... the work invovled in growing in understanding and respect... the ever present reality of blind spots... and the gift of humility that only comes through listening again and again.

We only grow beyound our own comfort zones when we are willing to step out of those comfort zones. There is a very great gift in friendship -- a trust large enough to see and forgive one's short comings without giving into to them.
A Musing about Life

Witness Life
Witness Death
Tell the truth with your song

Take time to bless
Be remembered as a blessing...
For It is better to offer our lives to the living
...and our souls to the living God

Ponder life
Stay amazed
Every moment of life we have is a gift
...share the gift

Witness life
Take time to bless
Ponder life
Worship God with gratitude...

Joy beyond what words can say
comes to those hearts that realize how to receive
every “good” of life as a gift

Humble gratitude
Child like in wonder... Yet submitted to God
Witness... Tell the truth with your song
...share the gift

Live Righteous
Witness... Tell the truth with your life the gift

Today was a day off. Two weeks appart and I still in some ways feel disconnected from Jude and myself. It is the myself part that is anoying me the most. I know that when i get like this that I need to be still before God. It is hard in this context to still one's soul... there are so many excuses to keep oneself busy...

Dinner out with Jude was a treat. Coffee at a local coffee shop ws good to... but the music that they were playing seemed to me to be so repetitive that it began getting on my last nerve. We spent most of the time at the coffee shop coordinating our calanders. Jude was tired so I went to an internet cafe to do some internet gaming... stayed longer than I intended... got home and decided to blog.

A young man in the neighborhood came by this afternoon with a handful of family photos. He wants me to get to know his family better. Jude and I were on our way out. It is a joy to be sought out as a friend... we plan to look at the photos Thurs. or Fri. afternoon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Well my blog is back up with the exception of the feedback function. I will keep the blog jawpoetrynow as a blog for sayings and poetry that I like and add it as a link on my links. You can give feedback personally to me by emailing me. I will keep this new llok for a season. I do not know if I will be able to reapply the feedback program I was using to this template. But since it is not broke I won't fix it for now...

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

A friend just got out of Jail and has made a jail house renewal of faith. Pray as he seeks to find a path that can help him live with a clear conscience.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Jude and I watch a little TV together Saturday night. We do not do this very often. TV has a negative effect on me. I get lost in it too easily. Still Funny home videos are worth a good laugh. I am usually disappointed when we watch the news on TV. Public radio seems to work better for us and Jude can get the weather on the internet. Videos and DVD’s are better than TV with commercials. I would rather read a book or write in my journal, but that requires a certain amount of inner stillness and focus. The path of least resistance is often not a friend to our souls.
Nikkei had her birthday party in the neighborhood. It was a big community gathering with over 50 people in attendance. I like how family oriented these gatherings can be. I wish that for the young men that drinking beer wouldn’t be the main pursuit. In these gatherings it is always striking to me how difficult it is for young men to find a healthy path.
Saturday was about visitation. What a privilege to go to people’s homes and seek to offer encouragement and insight. Hope is fuel for the soul. Hope in God roots us in this reality with the expectation that good can flow through our lives – even in crucifixion. Evil in itself is not good; we don’t “Do evil that good may come out of it”. Rather nothing is beyond God’s power to redeem (except the refusal to embrace redemption when it comes). What a privilege to speak into people’s lives the courage to live.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Today a friend from the neighborhood called in the AM and joined Jude and I at church... we enjoyed lunch together... He says he likes our church because the pastors speak clearly and plainly and that the people aren't judgemental. Late afternoon I played some cards with two young teens -- Jose and Jesus. Jude and I had a good walk... during the walk Boy paged me ... we decided to hang out at a local coffee shop in the ... I wrote some letters while he studied "The Rise of Western Civilization" for a history class.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Today has been about spending some time with Jude... Writing a friend in Jail... Giving out a few copies of my web based radio show to a few neighbors... Figuring out my taxes (Thank you Paul S. so much for your help!!!)... and long conversation with Werner Pastran (a good friend and one of the members of LA Street Productions).

It also has been about reflecting on the joy of friendship and the realities of pain.
Joy of seeing Jude smile in that special way that says without words -- I love you.
The Pain of seeing the Rockwood Street Gang and the 18th Street gang cross out each other's tags and the knowledge that violence and death can follow such markings on our public walls.
Joy in seeing Melanie in her role of serving Communidad Cambria... Showing us a little fruit of her labours on behalf of the building and the community that lives there...
Pain in listening to my friends discuss where to buy the most beer at the cheapest prices as they plan a far from sober weekend...
Joy in sharing a cup of coffee on our fire escape with Jude...
Pain in knowing that my friend Werner is planning to move to San Francisco -- I will miss you bro... Keep you focuss and keep the faith...
Joy as Paul describes his plans to get together with his love interest Ardith...
Pain as I write out a $900.00 check to the Federal Government as what I still owe in taxes...
fun... playing a few Daniel Amos songs on our car's CD player...
Tasty food brought home by Jude after meeting with Chris A. from Savoys... one of our favorite local Thia restaurants...

There is no greater Joy than to know the source of Love in this Universe and to discover that God wants to pour out that love into our hearts and through our hearts.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

I am very Glad to have Jude back from her travels to Cambodia. She was away for about 2 weeks. The flight itself took 17 hours. Her contribution to the conference that she spoke at was well recieved -- A view of life passages and it's impact on mission. She is now resting and will hopefully be back in the swing of life by Monday -- "Lord Willing".

I have heard from some of you that the Cambodia section of the InnerChange website isn't up and opperational. I will check on that. We have started a ministry to those who are living with HIV and AIDS in Cambodia. Anyone out there feeling called to a challenging compassionate ministry???

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Larae Screen is a friend of mine who is one of the most high strung naturally intense artists I know. She and I at times differ in the way we see the world. Her words are persuasive and she has often led me to new thoughts and insights. I am thankful for our friendship and conversations over the years. chek out her website!
I am at my Web Cast... Spinning Ad-Seg, Rez, The Cranberries, Mystic, Dylan, Barry Taylor, and more. The Show is dedicated to Rosa, Rez, and Gabe & Racheal (my brother and sister). I am reflecting on how we loose friends and loved ones to these mean streets. It is time to tell the truth about what is going on.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Matt Rundle reminded me of the basics of life... to love God and Peple and use things... rather than loving things and using people. This is upsidedown in a consummer oriented culture -- Keep the faith bro!!!
Today started for me with a communion service at the Vinyard West Side in Culver city (11:00am-12:30pm).

The afternoon the mission team got together to pray over at Jenny's house -- a house blessing. It was clear how some visiting friends were touched deeply in their hearts... that the Holy Spirit was moving in unique way. When youg people who aren't use to lengthy times of prayer stay attentive for over 2 hours... God is doing something special (1-6pm).

Got together with Wil & Boy to prepare for our art show at Fuller Seminary starting tommorrow. (7-10pm)

Went to an intenet cafe' until midnight. (10:15-12:00pm)

Finishing my blog... (1:00am)

I want to Publically thank Cibby Orozco for helping me by translating for me during the recent memorial services that were held for Jorge Euphemia (may he rest in peace).

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Thank you for all of your prayers for this service and for the Family and Friends.

In Loving Memory of
Jorge Eufemia

August 27,1973 – March 25, 2003



LUKE 23:32-34a, 39-43






Jorge Eufemia

Born in Los Angles August 27th 1973
He went on to the Next life on March 25th 2003

He was born in LA
Moved to Houston Texas for a year when he was 3 years old.
Grew up into a strong young man in Manhattan New York (from 1979-1989).
He and his family returned to Los Angeles
In the summer of 1989.
He met Rosa, the love of his life on Maripossa Street in 1990.

He started High School in the Bronx New York
Went to High School at Hollywood High School
And latter about the age of 20 he finished and received his High School diploma through a program of self-study.

He was always a man of action
He loved sports: Hockey and Basketball, Riding BMX bikes and Skate Boarding.

He loved art and Music: He collected comic books, Japanese animation, and Science Fiction movies; He liked a wide range of Rock music from the Cranberries to Metalica to Mana

He was very skilled at drawing and painting. These gifts were respected and cherished by his family!!!
On some occasions he was employed to paint murals.

You would never question the strength of his mind if you had the chance to play chess with him.

He was clever, funny, and not afraid of expressing his love for his wife, his mother and family openly and often.

His precious life was cut short…
For this we cry out to God

And we commit ourselves to support his immediate family…

He is survived by:
Rosa his wife, their son Amadeo
Vivian his mother
Oscar his brother
Barbara his sister
And the rest of his family

And Friends.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also
internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you
refuse to hate him."

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we
arrive at that goal."

"Through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't murder murder.
Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth.
Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate. Darkness
cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that..."

"A time comes when silence is betrayal. Even when pressed by the demands of
inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their
government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit
move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought
within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world.... "Some of us who have
already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling
to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with
all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must
speak. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems
so close around us.... "We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence
or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. If we do
not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful
corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion,
might without morality, and strength without sight.
"Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves in the long and bitter,
but beautiful struggle for a new world...."

"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 merely on the negative expulsion
of war but the postive affirmation of peace. We must see that peace
represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the
dischords of war. Somehow, we must transform the dynamics of the world power
struggle from the negative nuclear arms race, which no one can win, to a
positive contest to harness humanity's creative genius for the purpose of
making peace and prosperity a reality for all the nations of the world. In
short, we must shift the arms race into a peace race. If we have a will- and
determination- to mount such a peace offensive, we will unlock hitherto
tightly sealed doors of hope and transform our imminent cosmic elegy into a
psalm of creative fulfillment."

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the
starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and
brotherhood can never become reality. I believe that unarmed truth and
unconditional love will have the final word."
Things you are missing out on by not living in our hood

1. Morning tamales, only $1.00 each, delivered right to the sidewalk.
“Tamales, de puerco, de pollo, champurrado…” imagine a deep, throaty voice, 6:30 AM…
2. 8 one dollar stores within walking distance. Hey, good stuff, you just gotta search for it
full moon rising above the skyscrapers downtown.
3. a neighbor kid buying us an ice cream from the nightly ice cream truck. – sometimes there are three!!
4. Antibiotics sold right on the street! IDs too.
5. No Telemarketing!!!
6. Seeing Chris bring/take Edison to church
7. Fresh Homemade Donuts and coffee available 4:00 am to 11:00 pm
8. Fresh Tortilla’s Available at the local Panaderia… you can even watch them being made from the corn… the 9. Flan they sell is very good too.
9. Thai food…right in the corner mini mall, cashew nut chicken, huge portion for 4.49. The cook is Thai, her husband Mexican.
I found in James H. Cone’ s book “The Spirituals and the Blues” an echo of part of my own heritage expressed in words that helped me identify the African--American part of me as what I’ve always called my existential view of life. “Truth is experience, and experience is the truth. If it is lived and encountered, then it is real…without any attempt to make philosophical distinctions between divine and human truth.” (pg. 106) Black music is a natural echo of life’s experience. Authenticity is simply a natural extention of this perspective. This I believe continues through all forms of music that can be identified as having black roots. KRS ONE accuses Nelly of being a “wack” rapper and a “house nigger” (ie. Not really black). And that he is voicing popular themes in a style that is detatched or disconected from the lived experience of black life and turning to the industries formula of Sex, Drugs, and Self- Promotion. NAS talks about many of the same themes but in a way that remembers his roots. What was said of Mahalia Jackson’s music is that, “Honesty of Emotion is Mahalia’s first concern; communication of emotion is second,” … this could be said in general about African—American music. This is a practical existentialism or “authenticity”. Cone argues that this authenticity is true for both Spirituals and the Blues. I say this is obvious from the inside because it comes from the same kind of “Black” soul.

I would add that Gospel is caught up with the experience of God revealing God’s self. The Blues caught up in the experience of the soul, (in the post slavery experience of having some measure of space for self-reflection). I think that the split between these two is a result of the influence of European culture. African culture is as I know it much more holistic.

I think that Cone underestimates the power experienced in spirituals as an actual in-breaking of the kingdom of God not yet realized. Gospel has its roots in the spirituals in this sense. On the back of a Mahalia Jackson Record album I have she is quoted as saying, “I knew the Blues, but there is despair in the blues; I sang God’s music because it gave me hope. I still need the hope and happiness God’s Music Brings. I find it a personal triumph over every handicap, a solution to every problem, a path to peace”. In terms of authenticity I would contend that the blues are at best an authentic assertion of being. Spirituals are at best an assertion of God’s kingdom being shared in as one living soul in the truth of that. For black people this did not necessarily make the songs other worldly. Rather it emboldened some to act against the odds and to escape to freedom. To not surrender the Ideal to the present real is for me the power of worship songs and “Spirituals”. They anticipate the “Future of God” where what is true to God stands. I believe that Gospel Music in this sense stands alongside the psalms and the prophets in their nature and intent. Not as Scripture, but as the human side of expressing theology (communicating about God) as experienced here and now. The music of the soul in this case is part of the communication. What is said through music is more than what can be said with just words -- this is true for all music.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Daily Meditation: April 3
by Henri Nouwen; from Bread for the Journey Harper Collins, New York, 1997

The Importance of Receiving

Receiving often is harder than giving. Giving is very important: giving insight, giving hope, giving courage, giving advice, giving support, giving money, and, most of all, giving ourselves. Without giving there is no brotherhood and sisterhood.

But receiving is just as important, because by receiving we reveal to the givers that they have gifts to offer. When we say, "Thank you, you gave me hope; thank you, you gave me a reason to live; thank you, you allowed me to realise my dream," we make givers aware of their unique and precious gifts. Sometimes it is only in the eyes of the receivers that givers discover their gifts.
My friend Fred Eichleman shared with me the following story in a email...

That was not the apologetic approach that I would have taken (nor I...JTW). Our
pluralistic Orthodox friend was confronting our atheist friend in
our living room because he was trying to teach Annie, our daughter,
that evolution was correct. He was saying that humans are monkeys.

She, our orthodox friend was exasperated in debating him and finally
resorted to calling him a monkey. He was hurt and called her
arrogant. It happened before we could stop it.

Afterwards, I warmly confronted my atheist friend on why he was
hurt. He had just said that humans were monkeys! That meant he was a
monkey! I told him he should be a proud monkey and not embarrassed
to be a monkey, IF that was what he really thought.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

LA ST Prod. has 10 pieces of art spread throughout the Fuller Seminary campus for an art show called LOOK Closer. I could arrange time for some personal tours... though many of the offices are open Mon.-Fri. 9 to 5 ish. Props to Werner and Wil who hung the art work.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Jude called me today from Cambodia. Just to hear her voice means the world to me... to feel that she misses me as well ... have we been Married for 8 years??? Almost and the wonder is that love keeps finding new ways to grow.
Heather (One of LA IC's Interns) and Greg have announced their intention to get married. Kim (Another intern) instigated an outing / Celebration for them today at the Oak Tree Inn chinese food restaurant. It was a great spot for food and dinner conversation. Thanks Kim!... even though you high jacked our Tues. Community reflection time to do it.
LA St Prod. will be on Fuller Semiary's Campus For thier Art Week. Check out our art Starting April 7th!!!

By Justin Bell

The inner city neighborhoods of Los Angeles. We see them on the news. We drive through them on our way to the airport. We may even do some casual ministry there. But do these neighborhoods mean anything tangible to us? Is the inner city a place that we can taste, touch, see, or breathe?
For most of us here at Fuller (myself included), lesser-resourced neighborhoods like Westlake (near Pico Union) are not a part of our daily experience. Though we do, indeed, sometimes experience moments of hope, sadness, and/or guilt regarding these areas of our city, these feelings are far too often vague and sporadic. I think this is due to the fact that we haven’t yet been saturated by the stories of the people out of the inner city. Indeed, we have looked at these stories before, but we haven’t taken the time or looked closely enough at them to allow them to speak over against us—to change our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors at the individual level.
On Monday, April 7, during the Community Arts Festival here at Fuller, we’re going to have an amazing opportunity to look closer at life in the heart of Los Angeles—an opportunity to have the inner city speak over against us. A guild of artists called LA Street Productions, from around Westlake, will be presenting a gallery of work from 12pm-1pm in the Travis Breezeway. Having already spent some time with these men, I can say that they are not only amazing artist, but they are also amazing individuals who have overcome countless obstacles to develop themselves both personally and professionally. They are painters, they are poets, they are sculptors, and they are architects. More than just an art group, they are friends—friends who are willing to sharpen each other and even die for each other if necessary.
Though they are closely linked by their passion for art, each of these artists’ works is unique in mode, theme, and expression. Wilburd Estrada, primarily a painter, has been influenced by David Alfaro Siqueiros and Van Gogh. His painting, For Caesar Chavez (pictured above), reinterprets Siqueiros’ commentary on industrialism in terms of the injustice Latino’s have received with American immigration laws. “Freedom in America is a limited freedom,” Estrada says, “many Latinos aren’t allowed to have it, and when they finally do get it, they become slaves to credit banks.”
Alberto Castenada focuses on written word. His poem Rush Hour describes the streets as “a catwalk for women dressed in luxurious lust.” Those who drive through his neighborhood in fear and disgust are “veiled by pride and satisfaction”. While their “tinted windows go up, a man’s value goes down.”
His works spanning the mediums of architecture, printmaking, and painting, Werner Pastran is a “jack-of-all-trades”. One particular painting of his, Defaced, draws upon techniques found in street tagging. Himself never a street tagger, Werner says that he had hoped, through using these techniques, to criticize the spirit of hate, anger, and disillusionment that he believes is so widespread in the graphitti community. As an alternative to much the negative art that he sees around him, Werner tries, with every piece, to communicate the values of love and humility.
LA Street Productions was founded in 1997 by John Tiersma Watson, an InnerChange LA staffperson and husband of Professor Judith Tiersma Watson in the School of World Mission. Primarily made up of “11/2ers”—Latinos raised in 1st generation American homes—the group submits their work to public, private, and church galleries throughout the year. To help buy art supplies, the guild originally created and sold affordable trading cards throughout their neighborhood. Today, LA Street Productions still supports itself on trading cards, but also accepts donations.
Please come to the gallery in the Travis Breezeway April 7 and meet the incredible artists that make up LA Street Productions and view their work. There is a lot we can learn from these guys! Also, comic book artist Jim Krueger and visual artists Macha Suzuki and Moto Okawa will be there as well. And don’t forget that there’s pizza!
To find out more about LA Street Productions, visit their webpage at
Hi I am in the studio with Kim & Miriam. We have the joy and privelege to think about, share, and dialogue about media... we even get to make our own... why not have your own Blog??? Check out Boy1... a big shout out to my friends... My mom has a web page... see the links... Wayne lytle has his own company... Check out Animusic... this is a social world where we get to wrestle with the content and quality of our lives... which is built on the content and quality of our relationships with God, Ourselves, One Another, and The Environment. Love...Love deeply... learn to connect with God the source of Love and discover where love will take us.
The Hyperesthesai Show will feature Daniel Amos's third Alarma series Albumn Vox Humana... Bob Dylan's Albumn, Slow Train Coming ... the single "Self Destruction"... Beats by Snapoe and more... I will get back to making a formal play list when the intensity of life slows down for me.