Tuesday, November 28, 2006

To All My Friends who are tempted to think with the wrong Head

To All My Friends who are tempted to think with the wrong Head... This is a letter 4 U.

History is in the making. Mothers and Fathers... Who will or will not have self-control. Children need Faithful Fathers and Mothers...

Choices and consequences. There is life after the big wow. A history to live with...

Porn feeds off of the lack of the real in terms of intimacy and relationship. It can also leads to a very lonely life... If one can not trust oneself... Why should anyone trust you??? No Trust = No real Intimacy.

I don't want to be pimped nor do I want to see my friends pimped... nor my family, nor my Culture.

As KRS One Says, There is no such thing as just making love, instead we should say... "making life"...
both history and the children that become part of it through our actions are real and can never be earased.

Fantasy is just that. There are no actions without consequences. Our thought life will lead to actions.

Like I have always said... God made us male and female and knows all about Sex... It was God's idea... God made what is good in Sex good. Then he gave us some guidance aboout what good looks like... If you ignore this advice and try to use Sex beyound what it intended for... you will suffer the consequences of your thoughts and actions.

Like in bowling there can be a significant time gap between a choice and the consequences. Sometimes a 9 month or more time gap...

Do not tell me I am against good sex. Have you ever read... "Song of Solomon"? Some of you will never know real romance because you became a slave to lust... and never learned what true love is about. Time to go back and learn before it is too late.

Real friends tell the truth to real friends. When they get burned they do not lie about it... Keep it real people.

Keep the Love Real,

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Teach the Real

Warning, "Jude says that this should be cut up into parts... that some will find these too much to digest in one sitting". So I am publishing it here with the hope of Each of these points will be a good beginning for future surmon topics... I would love to preach on these themes...

Things we Usually do not teach our Kin... and maybe we should:

1. "Lord teach us to Number OUR days". If you are 15 years Old... In 3 years you will be a "Legal Adult" making adult decisions that will set the course of the first part of your life... In 10 years you will have full adult responsibilities and will need to be able to lead others...(Possibly including your own children)... In 20 Years you will be shaping within the sphere of your influence "The Content and Quality of life" for both yourself and those within your sphere of influence... In 40 Years (which may seem a long ways away... but in truth will come sooner than most of us think...) Your Satisfaction will be based on the history you have made... both for yourself and those around you... In 80 Years the next generation will either bennefit from how you Lived or Not... They will have a reason to name you in hisotry with a sense of thanks and gratitude... or Not. Reguardless, Each of us will answer to God for the life that we have lived.

2. "Every Generation has to choose what is of value to pass on to the next Generation." This is not automatic. Whole civilizations rise and fall on the Content and Quality of What they pass on and what the present Generation learns and discovers rooted in their inheritance. See II Timothy 2:2

3. We Are born lost and not knowing our way into a world that is lost in both confusion and "Sin"... this is both personal and public.

The state of confussion is easy to see. We all struggle with it to some degree every day. Confussion simply is not knowing what we are doing and why we are doing it. Only by facing bravely this state of mind does one mature and rise above it... Sometimes for short momments... and sometimes for longer periods of time. (Humility is learned in this cloud of Unknowing when we can say we do not know... only then is discovery possible.) Groups only rise out of their own confusion when they can wrestle honestly with humility the real questions that impinge on life.

The reality of being stuck in Sin is hard for the modern/post-modern mind to see. And if the adults will not see it for what it is then that makes it even harder for the youth who are growing up to see what is going on. (Hebrew 3:12-13) Sin hides itself in our pride and without honesty it does us and the next generation real damage. The most productive word picture that I have found so far is "taking the trash to the trash can". I know in my head what I am doing. I do it any way. Much of what is in there is not good for the earth and will end up in this place called a landfill. Generations after me will suffer for and from my actions. It is really hard to stop... Recycling to the extent that I do it only eliminates some of it. Yet anything I do not address is toxic for the next generation.

(The reason why this generation finds the language of the church about sin hard to understand is because of the pride and arrogance of our times... We have spent far too much time accusing others of evil and sinfull acts while ignoring our involvement with sin ourselves... In contrast if God can through the Holy Spirit convict us daily of the sin in our own life... it will be natural that those around us will bennefit from our humility and find themselves also convicted by the same loving and gracious Holy Spirit. Currently we live in a world that wants justice done to somebody else... rather than the more hopeful view that Mercy can triumph over justice.)

4. Understanding our Times. Currently we live at a time where we are being consummed by consummerism. Materialism has lost any anchor to meaning and reason. Many desire to posses things and in turn secretely find themselves possed by them as a way of being "Cool", Comfortable, Entertained, or Significant. More simply put we know that we should love people and use things; Yet, the current dominant culture teaches us to love things and use people. In fact the way we use the worlds resources shows us to what extent we value power and things over the value of a life. Our times are very far away from the values lifted up by Jesus... who said, "Whatever you have done to the least of these my brothers you have done it to me." (Matthew 25)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

II Timothy 2:2

I am asking for prayer as I am glowing with a sense of joy mixed with sadness. My friend Roxy teaches 6th grade at a local grade school. She is having her baby dedicated to God this Sunday at our church. She took a personal day today to help a friend...

My Friend Chris has helped his wife Roxy get through school. Supported her all along the way. Now it is his turn to go back to school and get his education. He is a loving and tender father... Supportive of Roxy their baby and now Roxy's efforts to help her friend in this time of need.

When the family network fails to be the support network... Where can people turn... "Who is our Neighbor?"

Families... Valued or thrown away... Roxy's friend needs to escape an abusive addicted boyfriend/father who says he does not want or need her and their kids anymore. So her friend takes a step towards freedom and hope for her children without their father. Roxy's desire is that the love and life that has impacted her life will be passed on to others... A love rooted in God (Ephesians 3:14-21).

What we live and teach is intergenerational. It all is about the quality of lives we live. We need to entrust the best we have learned to those who will pass it on as a heritage -- II Timothy 2:2.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dreams and Jacob's Ladder

I am struck by how Jacob in Genesis 29 responds so profuondly to a dream. His world view connected what he dreamed to reality. This became a doorway for his relationship with God to grow.

These days I am staying up to late to dream... taking in too many images in the form of movies, TV, and Advertisments... Lacking the stillness to dream...

There is a connection to dreaming, hope, and praying. When our deepest desires get burried in the imeadiate we forget to pray. Satisfaction is so different than entertainment. Sifted desires... to be left to long for holy longings and then to pursue those longings -- this is the true fruit of prayer.

The integrity of my life is bound up with the integrity of my dreams and my prayers.

Dreams are only as reliable as the soul that has them. Initiative can come from God and even very tainted souls can be touched by the devine in their dreams. The integrity of our response.

Anywhere where we can dream is Holy ground.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Genesis 23

Today I have the joy to have my first full day of a two-week vacation. Jude and I are currently at her brother Peter’s house near Santa Barbara. The hospitality here is incredible because, Thea, Peter’s wife is so fond and gifted at hosting.

Tube… They have cable and by choice Jude and I do not… Last night I watched some of the history channel about the history of the Ottoman Empire, Some Japanese Animation, and the military channel on some of the history of tanks… plus the tail end of the godfather III…
This morning…
I Watched the US women’s soccer team play China… left off from that when they were winning 4 to 1… and watched Farscape flicking back and forth from these two programs. (This habit of channel flicking drives Jude crazy). Farscape left some very good questions about addictions. The best of fiction and the best of theology – as I see it -- raises the questions that matter about life and really living. Questions, not just to float with… but rather to press into the gift of life for what it is…

My Old Testament scripture for this day… Genesis 23 is sobering for me literally… having been intoxicated for a short time by the tube. Genesis 23 is about the death of Sarah and the work of honoring her life through burial… including purchasing a field with a cave for that purpose…

The existentialists are right a this point. Death forces us to consider the meaning of our life and the ways in which we spend it… Reading this encourages me to move away from the tube and to sit and enjoy the patio of my brother-in-laws house with Jude… To again appreciate her in life rather than staying self absorbed.

I could stay self absorbed and morbid. Since 2000 I know 26 people who have all gone to their grave. Visiting Gravesites of those whom I have loved has really begun to inform my soul not to take the times and days I have for granted. The gift of this space for reflection and prayer has also been more fruitful than I like to admit.

So much of our current culture ends in dissipation and various forms of “drunkenness”. Pain buried and sensitivity to joy diminished for the sake of ???

As a Christian, poet, and artist… I want to remain awake and alive… yet swim in the current culture.

I have started a myspace… / jawpoetry I find it quite a flesh market. It will take real accountability not to get sucked in. I have started this space at the request of various friends. If I have a burial site will it feed the souls of others the way visiting the burial site of Dr. James Loder has fed my soul? The unexamined life is not worth living or remembering… Maybe that is why those who are disconnected from hope and vision are so given over to addictions and dissipation?

Jude sits here reading The Chamber, by Grisham… good story plots she says… good vacation reading… Brueggemann says we live in a multi-storied universe. The existentialists say that it is the personal story that ultimately matters. I have come to believe it is what God would say about our story that really matters. Some lives deserve to be memorialized. Sarah has a sacred life and a sacred tomb. The scriptures choose a very different slice of humanity than what typical historians would choose… both to praise and to vilify. Don’t try to make Abraham and Sarah into super human people. Abraham questioned the promises of God at times and Sarah laughed… They schemed, lied, tried to figure things out their own way, and loved each other in their lifetime. What set them apart literally and figuratively is that when God asked them to go on an undefined journey they were willing to go…

So Sarah was buried in a foreign land away from much of her family and at a very high price… (Compare 400 shekels with 17 in Jeremiah 32:9…) Having Inter-generational hopes, visions, or dreams will mean that when we die some… if not many / or most of our hopes and dream may remain unfulfilled. Like MLK Jr’s, “I have a dream”. Tombs are meaningful when the hopes, visions, and dreams of those we visit have the power to continue to inspire us. Relevance comes from the choice of those who reference the past intermingled with the divine that anchors the past with sacred meaning.

LA is filled with a culture that works at forgetting and starting over. HipHop thrives on the triumph of the present moment. In contrast, Judeo Christian roots and the Scriptures as well as our history continues to give us a lot to reflect on and remember. This invites us to our own journey with God where ever it will lead.

I hope that either the core visions, hope, and dreams that I have will be lived out in my lifetime… or what is more likely the case… that it will be worth while for some living souls for me to have a tomb, gravesite or grave marker. Yes I crave significance… and the existentialists are partially right, “nothingness haunts being”. Yet the stories of the scripture are not a tease where only others get to have a relationship with God and we get to watch and read about it… In the midst of life we get to go on our own journey of faith, doubt, and laughter… until we too are gripped by dreams and visions that have intergenerational vision.

Jude reminds me that true meaning comes from our being part of God’s story and that gives us meaning in life… and that I like most of us forget that and get sucked into a more ego-centered perspectives.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Firsts and a reminder to pay attention!

Yesterday, for the very first time, I won a game of scrabble. I am at CRM's Missions conference that happens with staff once every 4 years. I don't play Scrabble very often. Spanish is the dominant language in Westlake - Pico Union Los Angeles neighborhood. They do not play scrabble... They do play soccer!!! Yet almost every week I do something new or have a first. It is the nature of being alive to God, to the city, and to my neighborhoods. I have forgotten to notice and take note. I want to get back to blogging again more often. Short is sweet. I will use firsts as another way to get me blogging more often. So if you are tired of not hearing from me... You can have hope that this will change.

My friend is free for now.

Free yet not free. Addiction creates blindness. If fines are not paid then it will mean another trip into the system. If community service is not served it means another trip into the system. It woulld be more helpful if real guidance was offered. If we have no self-control. We will have no control. The momentary desire to escape pain could rob my friend of life. Pray for grace in whatever form it may come.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Prayer for a Friend now down for the counts...

Today a friend of mine lost it in my nieghborhood. He got taken off the streets by the police... I hope I get to see the day when this will just be a bad memory or even better yet something to laugh about... Remeber that crazy day when...

Was it the size of the questions rolling through his mind?
Was it the need to be seen, heard, somehow noticed?
Was it the drugs that he had added to the mix?
Was it a cry for help deep within the soul?
Was it the deception of an evil spirit?

I saw a group of friends hanging together by the some steps. A bong set up ready to smoke... and the general uneasiness of those who are anticipating getting high when confronted with those who don't.

I invited everyone to the donut shop with us. They cleared out and followed a different direction... following the bong...

After hanging at the donut shop for a while...
Two of my friends, who I saw earlier, showed up and were headed to the local liquor store. I hoped they had come to join us. I called out and noticed that one of them seemed almost posessed by a spray can. He walked up to a parked van and spray painted a big bright orange "Why?" on the back of it. I tried to stop him and said', "Do you know what you are doing?" He said, "Yes, i know exactly what I am doing"....

He walked right into the liquor store, spray painted a name on the door and an F@#$^% on a sign, got a bottle of beer and tried to walk out of the store. I intervened and the owner fo the store got his bottle of beer back and while they left. I then helped the owner clean up the paint hoping that the police would not have to get involved. (I never know that WD-40 could clean up freshly painted spray paint). I did this to try to spare him from ending up in jail... but I had saved the beer bottle for the store owner, and failed to get the spray can.

I was shocked to see other cars marked with strange questions or tags... Why?, Really?, ___ Oner, an Anarchy sign,... etc.

When the police caught up with him his statements to them were not defiant but rather those of a soul trying to grasp at the last straws of reality: "It should not be like this... I have a right to exsist... We should all be family and love one another... Can I go home now or do I have to come with you... Ok let's go then... or let me go... then let's go then..."

The soul needs an anchor or it becomes lost. When family doesn't know how to help... Friends are not trying to help... and no one is going to acknowledge the deep scream for meaning, purpose, and identity...

Spray paint can make your neighbors hear you silently scream... until the police arrive to take you away.

If God anchors your soul... pray for us.