Thursday, October 30, 2003

I want to recomend the musings of my friend Darren Darren's Blog. We all need an awareness of our roots and the process of changes that come over time.
Wednesday is usually our day off. After sleeping over and in a friends house in Santa Monica and having coffee in bed (Thanks!!!)... going out for an early dinner at Koo Koo Roo... and walking the Santa Monica Promenade with Jude... I tried to have an extended devotional time at a coffee shop. It felt at first rather dry and forced.

The whole of InnerChange goes through the book of Luke with any apprentices as part of our community life. Tomorrow we will reflect on Luke 2 together. (I find Luke 2 life affirming because all these people on the margins of their current society get the privilege of first hand revelation).

Since Luke didn't hit pay dirt very deeply I turned to the Journal of Francis Asbury. I've been reading through his journal slowly for the last 10 years. I also try to read any scripture that he refers to. This usually challenges my laziness. It also gets me out of the temptation of reading the passages I like to read. Today's journal entry said that he preached on I Peter 1 to about 30 people... that he felt that he wasn't very inspired today... and that latter that day he read the books Philippians, and Colossians. Nothing at first hit pay dirt. Then I realized that Philippians is a letter of gratitude Phil. 4:10-20.

I have been feeling gratitude to many in my life, but some of you wouldn't know it. That extra step of saying thanks has been missing... both in my relationships with friends and family and in my relationships with God. Insight... fuel for the soul... and so it goes...

Thanks for visiting my blog ;)
Peace and Grace
John TW

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Our friend Mona treated Jude and I to an amazing theator presentation of poetry called Def Poetry Jam . What I see in this is that there is a very deep search for inspiration. The world is turning to the easthetics of language and to easthetics in general to try to work out what reason seems to leave incomplete. The show was a wow. Maybe a taste of the best of what hiphop has to offer.

Jesus offers something quite radically more and different. More than most of us don't really want it (cause we like our self-centered worlds). I am glad that grace is larger than our ego's. The road to Emmaus in Luke 24 has become a parable for me. What is it like to be ripped out of our self-centered worlds and to be thrust into a world of God's design. Like Zachariah I find myself wanting a family and instead God wants to thrust me into Eternal History that matters from God's perspective. (I may never get to have "my own" children.)

A poet speaks from their soul to ours. I like this I am a poet too. This if done with authenticity is an amazing wow of a gift of communication.

A Prophet, a preacher, a pastor, a "servant of God" is called to speak something of the heart of God to those who will hear it.

Poetry is nice. It wows me.

Revelation is necessary. This keeps me on my knees.
Today I am spinning a KRS One Mix. I think that there is a lot to learn from his journey. Both his criticism of the church and his willingness to work with the church. He is a significant voice in HipHop culture which has gone world wide. If you had a chance to talk with him and share your faith and life journey with him what would you say??? What could you learn from him??? What would Jesus Do??? and would you walk away if he asked, "What the f@#$^^% is Jesus doing???"

It is going to take demonstration of life to be a witness in our times.
"Don't just tell me, Show me."

Jesus' teaching style could be described as show and tell. I am all for that... demonstration of life.

Peace out,

Monday, October 27, 2003

Christy of Dry Bones posted on her blog:

I got to see three friends from Chicago yesterday who were in town, as well as two LA people. I went to the City of Angels Film Festival, and saw Pulp Fiction for the first time. (Nope, hadn't seen it before - or any of Tarantino's other films.) I had hours of conversation yesterday about many topics. Now my brain is full and I can't decide which of the following topics to think about and write about first:
Pulp Fiction
The detrimental effect of feminism on black men
The feminine nature of the Holy Spirit
Why TV is just one big advertisement
New clients for Wedgies for Jesus
The interconnectedness of joy and grief

I must go muse on these things for a while. So, Ann & Brian - great to see you. And to the other Brian, Rikkell, and John - thanks for being the kind of people who make me think. And John - Not many people say things I haven't heard before. Even fewer will start freestyling at 2 am in the middle of Denny's. I need to know more people who do that sort of thing.

My Response to her Blog

It is a joy to hang with a sisters and brothers who can dialogue with such a wide range of realities quite easily. It is interesting what we remember... I could add:

The organic nature of Character/ fruit of the Spirit and the bankrupt nature of any institution the teaches love only as a command verses nurturing Love and other Positive Character traits as a fruit,

Following "Jesus" means following a person which implies communication... which many saints of the past declared that God is always speaking...and we are not use to really listening... also all those other people who get to have a relationship with GOD... but now I am supposed to settle for only ink on a page??? "And lo I will be with you always even to the end of the age...",

the theme of blood that ran through the evening -- no bloodless cross for me -- the danger of over sanitizing the Christian faith,

Sex /images/ Fear & repression, sexual scripts, intimate ties that transcend shallow scripts, and collage as a tool to regain power over images and what they mean -- the need for a more wholistic approach to human sexuality, physicality, and holiness.

West Hollywood Denny's as a fassion runway in the late night PM... with extreme fashions out for the show,

Institutions becoming disyfuncktioNaL over time when they simply try to repeat old successes over and over again ie. no need for God's guidance or the Holy Spirit... just do it like we always have,

Freestlying and learning to speak directly from the heart,

beoming the one unique creation God meant for us to be rather than a social xerox copy,

and more... I say we had a rich evening of conversation and it was a gift to share it with all.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

I had the privelege of hanging out with Dr. Gibbony's house last night with a group of health care professionals. We are dreaming and praying that God might lead us into how to best use our skills (including health care skills) to best glorify God in this city. There is certainly room for a Christian clinic in this city if all the details would come together. This would be a dream fullfilled for Kathy Henry. We all want to move with integrity... let us pray.
Dear Friends,

Let me know if I in my Imperfections have let you down.

Conviction from God is a good thing. It does not produce shame, but rather a new level of awareness. God has been pointing out to me the number of promises that I have made to friends that I have yet to come through on. They were all made with good intentions, but some have remained outstanding – some of them for years. Yesterday, for example, I took to the printers the set of collectable trading cards that LA Street Productions has sought to make on an annual basis. I am a year over due on this.

The call of the Holy Spirit is clear. God wants us to be a people of our word -- to keep our promises. Ever so gently God has told me to shut my mouth... to either come through on the promises made, or to apologize for not being able to come through on those promises. It is also clear that my memory is incomplete so I decided to share this with you. God is faithful and kind... he longs for us to be the same.

Yes there are reasons why my energies broke down for a while. It mostly has to do with learning about walking through grief and sorrow rather than around it. (reading Jerry Sittser’s book: A Grace Disguised.) God in his gentleness waited until I could see the other side of this before deeply impressing this new insight of truth on my heart and mind — to speak more slowly and to keep my word more faithfully. Except when God is seeking to get us to humble ourselves and submit ourselves to God’s love and care; God generally does not seek to overwhelm us with our human condition.

Some random notes on how to know the difference of the voice of God and other voices...

God will press us towards insight, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom (Luke 24:13-49 is a great example of this).

Accusation that puts us on the spot and causes shame is usually not from God. In Rev. 12:10&11. Satan is called the accuser.

God will usually provide guidance with conviction. That is a positive steps towards growth in character -- who we truly are on the inside grows.

The voices of socialization seek to control us from the outside in and usually have a fear element to them. Mom, dad, or some else will be angry or not pleased with me if I do this. Socialization is necessary for groups to function, but rarely do groups have the insight to transform themselves. Ultimately in following Christ we have to learn when and how to rise above the voices of socialization, because conformity buries our uniqueness as God intended us to be.

God will speak to us in line with the history of revelation that has already been passed on to us through the scriptures -- both Old and New Testament.

The quality of our relationships usually will improve as we respond to what God reveals to us. (I John 1:5-10).

I could say more but that is a good start for reflection for now.

Peace and Grace,

Thursday, October 23, 2003

This post was inspired by an Oct. 22nd post of "Dry Bones"

I have a friend who told me that God has only spoken to him directly 2 or 3 times. The last 2 times were several years ago when he was told to "Go visit prisoners in jail" "Pray more". It took him several years to do the prison thing... but when he did it changed his life. He says it may take him more time to pray more... but at this point he expects that only good will come of it.

God guides me in the weirdest ways. I am so book oriented that I had to read a book to accept the process of learning a new way to hear God. It is as if God keeps changing languages on me every 2 to 3 months... (this is the same God that gave me the "Gift of Toungues"... which I am reading a book about to better understand it cause I am stuck in the hyper analytical heritage of the town I grew up in... Princeton NJ.)

I will take out for dinner anyone willing to come to our LA neighborhood and willing to read the book, "The Transforming Momment: a study of convictional Knowldge" by Dr. James Loder

The book on Toungues is written by Morton Kelsey ... I forget the title...

My favorite Devotional right now is "Space for God" by Don Postema

My life is soooo different than it would have been if I had not run into the realities of God speaking to me personally.

I probably will never be rich... but I am free to learn to love... my wife, my neighbors, myself, mi Barrio, and my God. And so it goes....

Monday, October 20, 2003

During the The Hyperesthesia Show I hope to share a little from my reflections on Ps 23 that I had the privelege of preaching on this past Sunday. Thank you for all prayers. My voice lasted through both services and The Spirit of God encouraged the people greatly... I also felt an affirmation of my calling in a way that I have not felt for a long time.

1. Track 20 5:39 KRS ONE
2. All the Lonely People 2:38 Aretha Franklin Best of Aretha Franklin
3. Big Brother 4:12 AD - SEG
4. Resplendent5:02 Vigilantes of Love Audible Sigh
5. Fatherless Child 5:44 MysticCuts for Love Scars for Freedom
6. Track 01 4:02 Out of the Grey
7. Stand to the Glory 3:49 Ruth Naomi Floyd With New Eyes
8. Track 04 4:32 Blackalicious Arrow
9. So Free 4:51 Barry Taylor Love Songs for Underdogs
10. 920 5:53 Cauzin' Effekt Famlee Afair
11. Like a Tree 4:33 Beth Meres Tree
12. Chris Key And Friends 8:50
13. Track 14 5:27 Mahalia Jackson The Greatest Gospel singer In the World

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Fragments from today:

Natalie, the beautician who cuts my hair, said, "I know that God loves me because he keeps sending me people like you to me." Melanie, Rikkell, and I had an impromtu prayer time with Natalie along with two other friends of hers.

Someone lets me know that a relative of a friend of mine got stabbed today.

A young person asks me to listen to some Hiphop by Tupac. I try to explain that a thug life is not as good of a life as it is made out to be... KRS ONE and his Album "Spiritual Minded" helps some in making my point. Need more Good hiphop music folks...

I tell a young person that I am preaching tomorrow. He says "Cool"... meaning that is cool for you... even though I wouldn't think of going myself... I tell him maybe next time... and he considers it... maybe next time...

Cooked Omlets for the IC team this morning.

Loaning out games to neighbors decreases the boredom factor in the neighborhod... and we know that kids do stupid stuff when they are bored.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Joe gives a shout out to all those suffering because of the MTA strike. Got to work today and I have to struggle for tommorrow. I am trying to get from point A to point B... even though I have to committ myself to go to work... I hope the madness of this strike ends very soon... Joe's thought for the Day :) From black to white and black again... here is another containment unit I have to stuggle against.
This Sunday I will be preaching at both morning services, the 8:30am and the 11:00am at Central City Community Church of the Nazarene this Sunday. All are welcome to join us if you would like. Mere is a Map to the Church located at 419 E. 6th Street, LA CA 90013. Pray that I share the Word of God Boldly and Faithfully as I should. Also pray that my voice holds out for both services.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Dear Friends,

City of Angels Film Festival

I am interested in this annual film festival because of the conversation that is going on about film, media, Values, Pop Culture and the church.

Realistically this year I will only be able to attend one or two movies. The cost to go to just one showing is $8.00 ($6.00 for students). Seating is limited. I am most interested in seeing and hearing the discussion on the movie “Pulp Fiction” (rated R) On Saturday Evening at 9:15PM. Anyone else Interested???

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

PM of the MTA strike. A friend of mine just got a job 15 miles from where we live. With no car and very little family support he will probably loose a job that he would have been able to keep if our public transportation system was up and running. He got stranded today... so I picked him up.

If you have a van and want to make some cash... I bet at least in theory one could drive some of the bus routes and start your own temporary replacement of the MTA. And so it goes
Well I got caught by the MTA strike. The ride I got out to the Kill Radio Station turned out to be a oneway ride... and so it goes... I get to hike from Vermont & beverly... I wonder how many mile this will be????
I obviously did not get my play list up. I have been sick for almost a week. I am strong enough to work inspite of not feeling good. I have this gift called life to work out. I am greatful for today.

Yesterday some of the younger guys were flipping cards with me after dinner. It was nice to have some company after spending so much time cooped up. Jude teaches on Monday evenings this quarter... so it's a neighborhood game night at my house most of these Mondays...

Rikkell came by needing the computor... seeing the guests she almost caused a riot by her kindness. Heating up water and serving up Hot Chocolate for all of us. Small acts of kindness are big here and greatly appreciated -- thanks.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Kathy Henry organized a social gathering for Steve Scharf on Sunday Night. Over 20 people came out to hear how life has been for him ...and how the work in Venezuela is doing... good from what I heard... but I had to cut out early cause I have been sick.

(Won't make it to Luna Tierra Sol Tonight either.)

A lot of folks came through. Kathy Gable told me her Church -- Passadena Mennonite -- is planning an alternative Christmas sale on Nov. 16th. I hope to sell some of the good made by the women of House of Hope in Cambodia to support heir struggle through Hands of Hope. (See Link).

It was good to see Boy & Laura who are working towards getting married next year -- Lord willing. They have that Lovers glow about them... which is a good thing.

It was good to see Chris and Roxanna... Joe and Daniela... Glen, Lupita, and Carmen... Miguel and his sister... Norma Zelaya...Rikkell and others.

A Big Shout Out to Kathy Henry -- Thank you for your generous hospitality!!!.

And a Big Shout Out to Steve Scharf... We in LA miss you... KEEP THE FAITH!

My cough is keeping me up tonight. Strangely I feel happy otherwise. I guess it has been my contemplations on Psalm 23. I don't get why we so often read this at funerals. It is kind of like reading someone else’s testimony (David's in this case) to a bunch of grieving people who need to wrestle with life in front of them. Yes the God part of the testimony is comforting. Job would have written it differently... so would have Jacob, Paul, or John the Baptist.

I am going to preach on Psalm 23 at Central City Community Church on Sunday -- if I have the strength God provides. I am not going to tell them that if they turn to God everything will be immediately OK. I trust the Character of God. I know the Character of "Sheep"... that going astray part and going our own way part... (Isaiah 53 kinda costly part). Rather, what do we need to do in order to allow God to reorder our lives so that we have a testimony too? I like Zachariah's Testimony in Luke 1... Kinda shut's up the mouth a bit after so many years of struggling with faithfulness only to find oneself thrust into a history of God's making rather than your own. David anointed King -- for many years a fugitive -- was just that kind of person... so was many of my hero's of faith:

Desmond Tutu, Keith Green, Amy Carmichael, Juan Carlos Ortiz, Oscar Romero, Soren Kierkegaard, John Perkins, Dr. Martin Luther King, John Wesley, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dr. James Loder, Toyohiko Kagawa of Japan... and many others...

Reality has to go through a being turned inside out process... Who is in control of "my reality"... Like the Emmaus road in Luke 24... human pride has to hit the skids big time and fail... (facing this is what the best of the 12 Steps of AA and NA are all about).

So you want to be anointed like King David??? Psalm 23... Live into this: "The least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist" (Jesus). Cry out to God... We need the Spirit's anointing oil poured out on us... But don't think for a Momment that personal comfort is the end point to the journey. Only the very sick are comfortable with the brokeness of the world as it is... Ministry, Mission, Love Sweat and Tears awaits us all.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

My Cousin Caleb emailed me and wrote:

Hey John,

I appreciated your comments and your poetic way of
going about life. And your introduction of the Tale
of Two Cities definitely makes me want to read it. I
never had to read it in highschool and only have a
vague recollection of an old movie. I really like it
when someone recommends a book or a movie. It makes
it much more meaningful when you go to read the book
or see the movie to think that so-and-so really likes
this movie and took the time to recommend it to me.
If your just in the mood to see a movie and you go to
blockbuster unawares, there's about a nine out of ten
chance you'll pick up something you'll almost wish you
hadn't watched. Anyway, Thank you. Also Can you tell
me how one posts a message on your blog? I've have
tried unsuccesfully. Tell me how it's done and we can
communicate more freely in that way.

God bless you and keep. I love you.

love from


You are supposed to be able to double click on the comment section that is highlighted and fill out the form. I'll check and make sure on the service end that it is working... If you can get your feedback up that way just email me and I will post it like I have here. Thanks for the love... Keep the faith.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Upon reflection it is interesting that my grandparents on my mother’s side, my mom, Jude and I have all been influenced by the writings of Charles Dickens. Yesterday in the midst of being sick I finished listening to “A Tale of Two Cities” on our CD player. My Grandfather read this book to his children. I first read it in high school and it changed me forever. Dickens as an author seems to understand something about the human spirit and its struggles with the dark sides of life. He draws people into an examination of both the human soul and the soul of society in a manner that is healthy. In a manner that encourages Faith, Hope, and Charity.

I was recently told that three street in downtown LA use to be named Faith, Hope, and Charity. That Charity is now “Grand” and is near the center “Bunker Hill” of our financial district. Faith was changed to Figueroa or Flower (I do not remember which), and Hope still remains Hope, but is left alone without the symbolic support of Faith and Charity. Hope was divided to build our public library. (Our hope is in our current cultures are so rooted in what we think we know and what we think we can learn; I’ve never heard of a street named Humility) None of us make it through life without inner strength and external support. I wonder what Charles Dickens would write about such a change of landscape. I don’t think he would have missed their metaphorical nature.

Soren Kierkegaard warned against a time when people’s greatest hope would be to somehow get more money. That people would console themselves with the idea if they only had enough money they would have been able to live the life that they really wanted to live. In contrast to this one third of John Wesley’s sermons in the last 5 years of his life was on the Christian uses of wealth.

If you want to get some strange looks. Try doing a public reading of Isaiah 58. I hope to do this on Monday night -- if I am well enough – at Luna Tierra Sol (not a “Christian” context). I hope to connect with those in this context that would be drawn to the truth expressed here.

While these thoughts are not poetry… I hope that they stir the pot of your imagination as you look out into the world. What are the realities that feed your soul?

Peace and Grace,
John Tw

Friday, October 10, 2003

I am hesitant to go to bed. Last night was a miserable night of sleep. I have heard of night sweats as a symptom of some colds and sicknesses... but I never remember having it like this. Still I pulled together a rough surmon outline for Sunday Oct. 19th. I will have the privilege of preaching at Central City Community Church. I will be sharing on Psalm 23 and what life is like for all of us when we go our own lost ways. Pray for this... That what is in God's heart will be carried to the people who come that Sunday.
I am sick today. Yesterday I was in denial about being sick. Today I have a temperature... and ache enough to know that I have to rest.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Today I had the privelege of introducing a young friend to a community of artists trying to restart an old art school -- Chouinard .

I have learned to do everything I can to encourage learning at any and every point in life. Living things grow. From my pastoral point of view Pride is one of the danger for the soul here at this point; ignorance and folly are far worse and still does not dent the temptation towards pride. And some might actually find true wisdom.

I am also glad to meet a goup of adults that think that advertisement need not be the ultimate niche for art.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Tommorrow I will be spinning tunes selected by a Glen, who is a youth in my neighborhood. His hunger for lots of drums and continuity of artists is obvious.

The Hyperesthesia Show 10/7/03

1. Surrender 5:00 Deliverance Live in the Studio
2. Stay of Execution 4:19 Deliverance Live in the Studio
3. Track 09 4:57 Deliverance Live in the Studio
4. Lift My Eyes Up 3:00 Miss Angie 100 Million Eyeballs
5. Free 4:14 Miss Angie 100 Million Eyeballs
6. Life, Life, Life 2:51 Miss Angie 100 Million Eyeballs
7. Bestia Ex MaChina 0:39 Ark Angel Ark Angel
8. To A Sleeping Infidel 3:22 Ark Angel Ark Angel
9. Waves 2:58 Rez XX
10. Military Man 3:37 Rez XX
11. Afrikaans 3:07 Rez XX
12. Colours 3:46 Rez XX
13. The Struggle 4:16 Rez XX
14. Alienated 2:17 Rez XX
15. Right On Time 5:14 Rez XX
16. When the Love Comes Down 3:28 Rez XX
17. Bargin 4:57 Rez XX
18. Track 26 4:53 Rez XX
19. Track 27 3:40 Rez XX
20. So Free 4:51 Barry Taylor Love Songs for Underdogs
21. Angel 3:14 Barry Taylor Love Songs for Underdogs

Sunday, October 05, 2003

The Yard sale Saturday was a great success. The best part of it for me is that a lot of the jounior high/high school youth hung out with us the whole afternoon. 2 of the junior high guys tried to sell some their own stuff. Pluss a couple of folks asked when we were going to do this again... with the hopes of possibly joining us... It was a great way for our new interns to meet in a humble manner many of our neighbors.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Today I am preparing for a Saturday Prayer breakfast at our house and a yard sale in our neighborhood. For the first time I used Power Point to make up the flyers that I am going to post up in the neighborhood. This is a fun way to hang in the neighborhood and connect with our neighbors. Some of our neighbors will join us in selling as well. This could turn into a real community event kind of happening.

Rikkell and Melanie are beginning to settle into life here in LA. Rikkell is still looking for work.

At 12:30Pm I get to meet with a friend and pastor for a couple of hours who is working on planting a church in this neighborhood. He wants me to possibly help with training some of the young people interested in helping with outreach.

Peace and Grace... Keep us in your prayers...
Today we went over to Chris and Roxy's house to celebrate Jude and Rikkell's birthdays -- which are both in Sept. Chris and I went for a long walk with their dog Russell. When we got back the gals were chatting about life and having a lot of fun. and so it goes...