Saturday, January 31, 2004

A copy post from Dry Bones.

Many discussions seem more like political battles for power than spiritual searches for truth. - Henri Nouwen

My thought to add to this... us humans tend to vote for and debate about politicians, but we tend to kill or follow prophets.

Martin Luther King's Rule of Life

I am studying Christian Spirituality at Fuller & It is Black history month. I just put out my rule of life... I thought it a joy and a source of humility to reflect on MLK's rule of life. Let me know if you develop a sense of what God might be calling you to.

MLK's Rule:

Meditate Daily on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Remember always that the nonviolent movement in Birmingham seeks justice and reconciliation.

Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

Pray daily to be used by God in order that all might be free.

Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all might be free.

Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

Seek to perform regular service for others and the world.

Refrain from violence of fist, tongue, or heart.

Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

Follow the directions of the movement and the captains of a demonstration.

SOUL FEAST: an invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life by Marjorie J. Thompson p.140

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A note about my links.

Behind each link is a person that I have met face to face. They are their own person... a connection in a growing web of relationships. Our lives are all connected in some way. This is my part of sharing on the web.

The class I am taking on Christian Spirituality reminded me...I wrote this poem after a community devotion / Lectio Divina on Luke 7 (VS.31-35)... we covered Lectio Devina and it's historical context within the four fold method of Bible reading.





Monday, January 26, 2004

Here is what I will be spinning tommorow on KR.

Tuesday 11:00 am- 1:00 pm

I am proclaiming on KR that even while we have our agendas for what we want the world to be... or not be... God is going to bring about a Kingdom of Justice and Righteousness. We can taste a small part of it here and now as we pray, "Thy Kingdom Come Thy Will Be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven". God's Kingdom is tangible and available to anyone who will truly love God with their whole being and Love their neighbor as themselves. Getting to this reality comes through grace...

So what do you want to Experience "The Kingdom of God" or "The American Dream"???
Are they one and the same???

I will be discussing this between tracks with some special guests.

Also here is a play list of the music I will spin:


1. Big Brother 4:12 AD - SEG

2. Fatherless Child 5:44 Mystic Cuts for Love Scars for Freedom

3. Track 20 5:39 KRS ONE

4. Everything is Broken 3:15 Bob Dylan Oh Mercy

5. Disease of Conciet 3:44 Bob Dylan Oh Mercy

6. Dot Com 2:36 Larea Raine Garretson

7. All the Lonely People 2:38 Aretha Franklin Best of Aretha Franklin

8. Track 01 3:53 Avril Lavigne Let Go

9. Say a Little Prayer For You 3:36 Aretha Franklin Best of Aretha Franklin

10. Resplendent 5:02 Bill Mallonee & Vigilantes of Love Audible Sigh

11. Zombie 5:07 Cranberries Best Of

12. Track 10 4:26 Pigeon John We Are Hip Hope

13. Womanology 2:01 KRS ONE Prophets Vs. Profits

14. Never Give Up 3:17 KRS ONE Spiritual Minded

15. Track 02 5:10 Lauryn Hill Un Plugged

16. Track 03 3:24

17. Salvation 2:24 Cranberries Best Of ...

18. I'm Gonna Live the Life 2:37 Mahalia Jackson The Greatest Gospel singer In the World

Friday, January 23, 2004

Dianna Hayes just finished visiting LA

Dianna Hayes is very generous with her words and surprised by the idea of her speaking directly on the net. She had a great visit and saw the beggings of a new chapter for us... a Chapter where we are coaching some of the local young adults who are in college... while they become Mentors for some of the younger youth. This is a dream we have had and it has been a long journey to get to this point.

Powered by audblogaudio post powered by audblog

My ramblings about droping Dianna off at LAX. Thank you for your encouragement for what I am doing with the arts.

Powered by audblogaudio post powered by audblog

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Homework due today for my Spirituality Class at Fuller

John Tiersma Watson Jaw1 “Rule of Life” 1/21/04
SP 508 Spiritual Disciplines

I was at first surprised about how difficult this exercise is for me. To begin I had to come to terms with why this was so. It is forcing me to realize that I have been avoiding some key disciplines that would force me to look at the pain in my heart. Upon reflection I found it interesting in the chart by Benedict Groeschel that you handed out in class that pain plays an important role in spiritual development. “Even Jesus learned obedience by what he suffered”. To write this I had to get back in touch with my pain.

Why I ache inside is easy enough to point at. Starting back in July of 2001 a friend of ours, Jose Barajas, was gunned down in our neighborhood. He was 10 weeks from graduating from Collins College of art and design. He was one of the founding members of an artist guild I help start called LA Street Productions. This event triggered some issues inside of me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I still on and off have trouble with the kind of concentration necessary for reading. I have overcome most of the struggle I was having about writing through starting an online journal :)
Since July of 2001 I have known over 20 other people who have died. Some have died suddenly, others from diseases, and a few from old age. The death since Jose’s passing that I struggle the most with is the sudden death of my friend and mentor Dr. James Loder. It is also still strange to me that my grandmother’s death about a year ago has been a large source of grace for me. I count myself fortunate to be part of an interdenominational missionary order among the poor called InnerChange:. Without this Spiritual Fellowship, and the support they have given me, I would be much worse off than I am now.

I have up to this point preferred the active work of mission to the exploring of the devotional life. (Even in prayer I have preferred intercession more than meditation or listening prayer.) Thankfully, others who have seen my need to root my soul in God, continue to encourage me surround me. It is because of their encouragement, in part, that I am taking this class at Fuller on Spiritual Disciplines.

I have also witnessed how my suffering has made it easier to understand many of my neighbors and the pain in their personal stories. I am grateful to be part of an intentional community that is not a stranger to suffering and loss, but rather we are a community of faith that makes friendship and solidarity with the poor a priority (Ecclesiastes 4, Isaiah 58, Matthew 25).

Here is my current rule of life. It is striking to me that I have never bothered to write it down until now.

I. Frequently
A prayer of the heart. This is a modified version of the “Jesus Prayer” taught to me by Mrs. Arlene Loder. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on me a sinner. Father I ask for Strength… Jesus I ask for your heart… Holy Spirit I ask for Power and Inspiration….”
To often quote and reflect on the fact that, “The quality and content of our lives is built on the quality and content of our relationships with God, ourselves, one another, and our environments”(a jaw1 proverb).
Reflecting on particular passages of scripture that I believe God has called me to make central to my life: II Peter 1:3-11, Isaiah 58, Ephesians 3:14-2.

II. Daily
Walking 1 or more miles a day (First Opportunity of the morning)
Listening to the Bible on CD About 5 Chapters a day . (Sometimes in my CD player while I walk) I have learned that I am an oral learner. I am joining a group in my church that has covenanted together to read the whole Bible this year.
Journaling & Prayer about the highs and lows of a given day or days. The forms here will vary (see weekly)
Spiritual Reading in Luke – this is a Lectio reading that is done by each member of the LA InnerChange team whenever we have first year apprentices. This I will often do at the end of the day.
Praying over the next calendar day noting anything that needs attention.
Sleep Mon.-Thurs. (in bed by 10:30 and lights out by 11:00). This is important to counteract my tendency to slip into a hyper-vigilant way of being that is connected to PTSD.

II. Weekly
Tuesday, InnerChange Intercessory prayer 8:00-9:00 AM
Wednesday, Class for continuing study. 6:30-9:00 PM
Thursday, Community Breakfast & Luke devotions – a community Lectio Divina reading covering the part of Luke we read throughout the week. 8:00-10:15 AM
Sunday, Worship once or twice depending on whether I bring a friend from the neighborhood to church with me for one of these services.
Journaling on line “Blogging” at least weekly
Journaling in a private journal
Journaling in a public scrapbook, which includes the scraps that I have collected that week that I want to keep.
Guided prayer or a Communion service with my current preference being an Online prayer guide.

III. Monthly
Meeting with a mentor
Visiting a Church in the Larger LA Area
“Holy Wandering”, or Pilgrimage

IV. Quarterly
Retreats for prayer, study and reflection

V. As Needed
Creating and/or paying attention to Poetry, Collage, Art, Street Art (especially Graffiti Art)/Folk Art/Outsider Art/performance Art and Photography

End Notes: Simply assessing where I currently stand has been a good exercise for me. The Items in italics I am going to pay special attention to during the class. My need to press more inward is not yet reflected in this document except that I will schedule a retreat this quarter and use some of the retreat time to reflect on this fact. Scheduling in time for study, hospitality, and celebration is also missing and finding ways to plan ahead may help in making sure that these vital realities are not neglected. I have used as an excuse up to this point that I have to stay flexible and available to those in my neighborhood who are not as time oriented as I am. In fact I have become the most event-oriented person in our Missional community. How I set time aside for the items that are not a daily routine is another area of needed growth.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Spinning on Kill Radio and musing fragments about the week

Today I played and discussed my favorite Online Prayer Guide. I used Marie Brennan to fill in the Gaps between the different steps. Then I closed out the show by listening to The 5 Blind Boys of Alabama. I just can't get enough of these guys and thier Soulish Gospel Blues.

I continue to celebrate that a friend of mine has gotten off Parole and came to church with me at the invitation of another friend. While I was not impressed with the sermon at Vision Christian Fellowship... something really touched my friends heart. I was impressed with the genuine human friendliness of the people. I was also told by others that the teaching of their Sr. Pastor is exceptional.

Fred, a neighbor and friend invited me Sat. to come over and watch a movie The Underworld. It was a fun time of hanging and talking. The movie lends itself to talk about the power and damage of betrayal. The goth science fiction Matrix action film vibeis fun and it has a story line that it stays true to... along with this it has some important themes that we need to talk about in culture. There is no true "Good" or "Evil" in this film. Just the circumstances of Vampires and Werewolves being at endless war with each other for as long as people could remember. It is where (world view wise) and how some of my friends FEEL about their lives. To argue with this misses hearing them... and what is needed is empathy for the real pain that they feel... and not plattitudes. Fun flick but not for the faint at heart... predictable at parts if you have watched enough of this vibe of movies.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Is an Exodus our Only Option?

A friend came over yesterday evening. He has established a better life for himself. He is now working and renting an apartment in a "safer" neighborhood. We got into a heated discussion. We both have strong personalities. He thinks that, just as for himself and other members of his family that the only hope for those here in this neighborhood is to move out. At best a sort of Exodus out of bondage "out of the rat hole" if you will.

I tried to explain that we hope that there could be established a growing real hope for those in the neighborhood. That there are some that will for many different reasons either not be able to leave or want to leave.

He came back at me with the fact that he hasn't seen it in the 10 years we have lived here. That I have been here for 10 years and that all of our friends who Jude and I have helped that are doing well have moved out of this immediate neighborhood. I tried to point to the Cambria building on Union... and We both acknowledged that this was just the tip of the iceberg for so many and that it is still surrounded by some tuff street realities... and plus for my friend it is not actually directly in this neighborhood.

This is the first layer of challenge... Vision... and when the best of a neighborhood gets a Vision for a better life it sees it happening somewhere else. Not here. There is a deep unbelief that things could be better here.

There is a tension between the Biblical motif’s of Exodus, Wandering in the Wilderness, and A New Jerusalem. I have seen all of these lived out within various the church communities. I have to continue to be faithful to my call. I want to be a sign of the coming kingdom here even as my friend passionately seeks to aid himself and others by establishing an Exodus from here.

We can't force those with inner resources to spend those resources here. I wish it were easier to inspire a hope that was stronger than the struggle here. I still work to see this while I bless those who have chosen to work out their life somewhere else.

I am thankful for the conversation and the coffee... and the friendship that remains. I hope we continue to stretch each other's thinking.


Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Not a Surprise to me ; ) n Bumping at KR

I have always known that nothing is worth sacrificing one's call and purpose in life. "Good Religion" leads to this Faith expressing itself through love -- II Peter 1:3-11; Real Purpose in life. Now a study says it is a "good" way to live. A Blessed Life starts with Faith.

Don't substitue anything except the truth that truly burns in and through your soul. Jesus wants us to all be fruit inspectors starting with ourselves.

Today I am spinning The Cross Movement and Rick Wakeman. Two different vibes. Rythm and soul that points to God and art for the beauty and expierence of art itself. The bottom line is that I believe that our outragous capacity to dream and connect with the incredible -- Even God -- is not accidental. Wake up dreamer!!!

Monday, January 12, 2004

Fragments from the last couple days

Friday night LA Street Production had it's first monthly meeting. We among other things decided to give $100.00 to a teacher who has been influential in some of our lives to help her buy more art supplies for other students. We also had two visitors who might join the group. Chris (Wil's brother in-law who is looking for a group of men to grow with as a person), and Nate (Rikkell's freind from Mosaic... who is interested in animation and has just been accepted into an art school). We all acknowledged that this last year was a tough year for us and expressed our grattitude for the friendships in the group through it all. We have also begun planning for the year 2004


Friday night picked Rikkell up at the airport... and went with her and Nate to 24 hour Toffu House (Think Denny's except that all the food is Korean). Good food and good fellowship. All our apprentices are back in the mix from the holidays...

Saturday was a weird day. It started out with a large cockroach hanging on to our shower head being caught by a circle of water streaming out... The day ended with our block being taped off by the police for a reason that none of the neighbors seem to know. The police set up a temporary road block and stood around with semi-automatic weapons...this tends to make one not feel so comfortable and yet is so unbelievable that it feels like a movie set -- so all the neighbors come out to talk and watch. One poor drunk man tried to drive slowly through the barricade. He just was too drunk to get the fact that he couldn't go this way...and so he was arrested infront of our watching neighborhood. Nothing was normal about Saturday.

Sunday, Rikkell and Norma came to church with me. Marlene needed a ride after church. This led to the kind of traffic that you only find in LA where you can have traffic jams at any time of day almost anywhere. We took Norma home and picked up Rikkell's Bearded Dragon. (The kids in the neighborhood love this little beast.)

Sunday after church I hung out with two of the youth for a few hours. One of them is going to move to go live with his dad... which I think will be a good thing for him. He was on the edge of the local gang and this might keep him from choosing that path. He likes his dad and wants to be a cook like his dad... I am glad that he will be going to live with his role model... every young man needs a father.

Now it is Monday morning... and I am going to work on catching up on my Bible reading... I plan to read through the Bible in about a year -- our church has set up a web based network to encourage us to do this... Then I plan to spend some time praying...and so it goes... I have my first scheuled meeting at lunch time... and so it goes.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Domestic Violence Presentation -- my gut response

Our friend Cindy Speakman gave a talk at the monthly meeting for Christian's for Biblical Equality about Domestic Violence. She did a great job and recomended this web site: She also lead us into a moving reflection on Psalm 55:4-8, 12-14, 20-21... noting that these verses capture some of the most common feelings about abuse.

The statistcis alone made me ever so greatful for the Old Testament and the Bible.

Throughout the Bible is a constant willingness to expose the darkest tendencies of human nature. I wish we would dare to be this honest about ourselves and our collective histories. We who are pastors need to draw on the Biblical Naratives to invite our communities to wrestle with the twisted realities in and around us. We won't build Biblical fellowships with out this kind of honesty (I John 1). The Bible tlaks about rape, violence, murder, betrayal, deception, etc. in the most unflattering terms. It does not hesitate to expose human brokeness in even the most prominent leaders. It also offers a vision for redemption and transformation... and it encourages a lifestyle of accountability.

They say that history is written by those in power to make those in power look good. This is not what the Biblical narrative gives us.

Why do I connect the reality of domestic violence with this kind of truth telling??? Because unless the silence is broken the cycles of denial and pain continue. Is there a prophet in the house and are we willing not to kill our prophets???

Friday, January 09, 2004

A shout out!!!

Happy Birthday to LAURA!!!

Laura and Boy1 came by to visit me early this afternoon. We caught up a bit. Had lemon tea together. I gave Boy1 two copies of my internet radio shows... one on the 5 Blind Boys of Alabama, and the other on Mahalia Jackson, considered by some to be, "The Greatest Gospel Singer of All time".

Boy1 wants me to read Dantes Inferno. It is a sobering dark truth that judgement is God's right and that wrath can and will be poured out... but I am not sure that Dante has an accurate vision for what that will look like. Boy likes Dante as a poet who is thick with rich language. I wish others in the neighborhood had your passions and sensibilities.

What's been Up

I had the privelege of Representing CRM / InnerChange at Urbana '03. My responsibility was to lead a collective mural project encouraging students to reflect on and express what God was calling the to "Release" to God, or what God was calling them to "Embrace". The effect was kinda like visual Jazz... as students began to dare to bare their soul through art... this created an atmosphere of hospitality at our both... and it became a place not just to come to but to visit and bring friends to...

Yesterday I gave my first ever power point presentation describing my role on the recruiting team. We really felt called of God to be pastors available to serve and pray with students rather than "recruiters". God blessed us anyway with over 200 solid contacts to follow up on. Pray for us... there is almost no context where we are invloved that the need for more partners in ministry is not felt.

Today I am signing up for a class at Fuller Seminary on the Spiritual Disciplines. It requires going on a full day silent retreat... a good challenge for the extrovert that I am.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Spinning on my Radio Show

Our friend Kathy gave us THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA for Christmas. Thanks!!! I would have never bought the album myself... because of the groups name... It sounds patronizing... but they is southern soul Gospel Blues at its best. Their album Spirit of the Century has been steeming up our CD player for the last 2 weeks and encouraging my soul.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Missing person Report from the Erno-Pearces

Jim,Julianna, Lorriann and her father were visiting her brother's over the Christmas holidays in San Luis Obispo California (Central Coast). Lorriann's father Vern Erno, had gone to a coffee shop with her brother. They stopped at a gas station when Vern disappeared. Vern is 82 and is in good health, except that he has Alzheimers. He has been missing for 6 days, the police and the community are looking for him. Jim is still down in San. Luis Obispo helping to look for Vern. Please pray that Vern will be found soon and that the Lord will protect him.


Jim and Lorriann were part of our work in LA before they went out to serve in Ecuador. We are still close friends. Currently they live in Washington State.

Friday, January 02, 2004

flying back to LA today.

Urbana was incredible.

A big shout out to Chris and Nita for their hospitality and taking care of us in IL and IN.

Powered by audblogaudio post powered by audblog

Chris and Jude both had a hand in the Book God so Loved the City. Jude got to be a seminar speaker at Urbana and Chris and Nita were invited as guests. We all want to see a real deep relational love be rooted in God and God's love in all of what we might call mission -- Ephesians 3:14-21.

Happy New years to everyone.

"The Content and Quality of our lives is built on the Content and Quality of our Relationships with God, Ourselves, One Another, and the Environment."