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Standing in the way of worship – the Guitars Journey.

Do you believe in Love

Lifted from: Jeremy – Don’t Eat Trash

I remember sitting outside in the middle of the bush in north west Sydney. I was surrounded by people I loved who stood in a ring around a raging campfire. I was at a youth weekend. The same youth weekend I had attended since I was a teenager. We were singing loudly into the night, to a God we loved.

We sang the words – “There is a God, he is alive, in him we live and we survive.” Words I could’ve sang in my sleep, written backwards, and a melody I knew four part harmonies too. But did I really understand what I was singing? Did I understand what it meant to have a God who was alive?

There is a couple of traditions in the church that adhere to the idea that guitars are the devils instrument and shouldn’t be used in the church. A tiny part of that sect of thought have come to the conclusion that, there is no proof in the new testament that the early church used instruments, in fact some verses refer to the strings of our heart, so we should just sing. With our voices.

I have also stood in a circle of lovely people, a tight knit group, who, with only a guitar as accompaniment, awkwardly stood around. Kind of singing, kind of into it. But not really. I spoke later to one of them who confessed, they couldn’t get into worship unless the music was loud.

Somehow, the guitar stood in the way of worship. Either because it was considered of the devil, or without it, we are in shock.

Amongst all of this tho, I have stood in groups, passionately loving the lord through song in the midst of a huge, well orchestrated band, and I have stood around awkwardly looking at my feet singing accapella. So what are we missing? If it has nothing to do with the music, then it must have something to do with the lyrics.

Have you ever sang words in a song that your heart passionately belts out but your logical brain is just like …. “what does shekinah mean? What does hosanna mean again?” But your whole heart is in it. You know deep down that what you are singing is good, but you don’t know why. Do we need to know the why? If worship is just between me and God, and the depths of my soul knows I’m praising, then words are irrelevant. In the same way that tongues is our heart praying prayers that our brain doesn’t understand, can our souls not sing also?

But when we worship as a group, is it different? Or is it merely solo worship in a room of people? If you took most of my corporate worship sessions and putt them in a graph, 99 per cent of them would’ve looked no different had I been in a large room or my own bedroom by myself. And I feel there is a disconnect there. We are the community of God, and as echos of the trinity shouldn’t we be connecting together like the trinity?

I heard a one liner this week that made me stop and think – If in worship your not listening and hearing God and your only thinking and singing about and too God, then it is no longer a relationship but you are stalking God.

Let me reword that – If you don’t let God speak in worship you stalk him. Have you ever stopped in the middle of worship and just listened? And some songs are written from Gods perspective, so I suppose that counts. But sometimes I feel like we need to give God more room to move.

I tried to experiment with this once. We were camping, in the middle of the bush and we circled up. I started playing my guitar and then I stopped. “Today I’m going to just play a soundtrack.

I have songs to play, but I don’t need to play them. If God puts a song in your heart, if God prompts you to speak out to the group, if God wants you to pray over someone – DO IT. Irrelevant of what I’m doing, I play this guitar more as a back track to improvise off” The next 40 minutes God broke a lot of freedom over our group.

Some things were prayed and sung out that would echo powerfully through out the next 7 weeks and beyond. We gave God the room and he used it. We saw this again two weeks ago at our national leaders meeting. And again even more recently in a worship time on base. We gave God room to move and he did.

I feel like the guitar stands in the way of God moving. If worship isn’t about the music, and its not about the words (necessarily – tbc) then its about US and GOD. And us and God can relate off the back of anything. In Uganda they don’t have guitars as much, but they do have drums and amazing voices. So we would worship for ages on beats alone. In India it was synth, in Ukraine it was a mixture of Korean, Russian, English and Danish – we related amongst different language. But when we put stipulations on worship we limit God.

- It has to have guitar
-it has to have no instruments
-it has to be thee and thous
-it can’t have slang words.
-It has to be the lyrics of the people
-it can’t be too loud or too quiet
-it has to have flute.

My relationship with my father is liberated from stipulations. I love him, we converse a lot. And he doesn’t need to be playing guitar.

When we worship God, we unite with our brothers and sisters through a common wording of a song. And God uses ALL to speak words over each other.

So some questions –

could you passionately worship God in a room full of people you love without any music?

Could you passionately worship God with 6 people and a ukelele?

Could you passionately worship and converse with God to hymns? To New songs with only 8 words in it? Dancing, kneeling, with no words?

Can you give God space?

Or is the guitar a security blanket? Because if it is, maybe we should set them all on fire.

A thought before I end…

I have now been working with young people for two years directly discipling and empowering. And the amount of time I hear this statement is saddening “I can’t be a worship leader because I can’t play guitar”
#oneofthedevilsbiggestlies.

Stop believing in limitations that aren’t from God.
God frees us to be what HE CREATED.

GET OUT OF HIS WAY!


Belief, Kingship, Anarchy and Indifference

kneel

Anarchy and the kingdom of wisdom.

Lifted from: Don’t Eat Trash …

Some of us go to the kings throne point at him and say “Oh, your pretty alright, I like your crown, and this throne room is pretty dope.” And then we walk out ignoring the kings power and authority and start stealing and murdering and what have you. Then our roads start crumbling, our electricity is shut off, our crops fail and we think… what happened?

We want to live in the kingdom, but we don’t want to honour its king. We live in anarchy whilst dreaming of a just and democratic society. But justice has a rule book. So do good crops, and if kings don’t get honour, or if kings don’t get even co-operation, why should kings do anything for their people? Why repair roads if the people won’t pay for them, or help with their upkeep? Why should the king pay for our electricity?

One cannot expect to acknowledge a king without giving him kingship and have that king be king. One must acknowledge and give that king kingship to be king over their lives, do build roads, to give power, to love and adore the people.

Justice, community, nation building, economics starts on the bottom. Or at least it should. By giving the righteous king his kingship. Anarchy will always breed confusion, instability and most likely corruption. But the uncorrupt king breeds love and belonging.

The lord by wisdom founded the earth
By wisdom he established the heavens.

There is a way to do things.
The king knows it.
Ask.

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I thought that I would not have anything to write for last night’s meeting, because the reading spoke of Anarchy, Democracy and Group Dynamics. I heard the reading and listened to folks share, but in the end I had nothing to say.

I did not stay for the business meeting because of people and personalities. I guess I am not yet over them. And Friday is the only meeting during the week where I Don’t have to do service.

Late last night I spoke to my sponsor about an issue on my heart. Something I thought was necessary seeing we are traveling to Vermont with people I have no respect or love for.

Living with AIDS/HIV has its perks and its drawbacks. I learned early on who to trust, who to love, and who to cut from my life on a dime. I learned to watch people intently. I learned to listen to them actively. And I’ve learned over the years that when people show you who they are, listen to them. Thanks Oprah.

I’ve told you of the two times I was told to go somewhere else to get sober. And those two events kind of define my life, in respect to who I associate with and who I will or won’t break bread with.

One of those men who were participant to one of those events is running in my social circle all of a sudden. He comes to the Tuesday meeting but still, today, won’t say my name in my presence. I’ve watched him over the past dozen or so years in the rooms. He has his issues, his anger and his perspective.

I may or may not agree with him, but I watch him nonetheless.

Speaking to my sponsor last night, I shared the event with him and spoke of who was present during the encounter. He was respectful that I could share intimate feelings of wrongdoing with him. I mean that’s what he is in my life for, to help me get better, get sober, in all facets of my life.

He listened while I talked, and did not interrupt me, and waited until I was finished speaking to give me his sage advice. He shared with me a story from his life in response to mine, to show me that he had shared my feelings that I was speaking of right then.

He told me to pray, and to meditate. And to send light to the man I feel animosity towards. I do what I am told. The best prayer I can offer in these terms is the resentment prayer …

“I wish you to have everything I want for myself and more.”

I did my prayers and meditation. During which I visit a friend who writes. He is a believer and a man I highly respect for his challenge to pray, work for justice and serve Christ as King, and God as Father.

And during my active meditation I came across something he wrote recently, and I posted it above for you to read for yourselves. It hit the nail right on the head.

I don’t speak enough of belief, or of the faith that I work on every day. Living side by side with death forces you to reckon with God. I’ve come to know God. I’ve learned how to seek and find Him. I know who God is and who God isn’t.

Faith takes daily work, daily prayer and daily meditation. I’ve learned how to do that. It is part of my daily ritual.

The past is the past. And the pain of the past has moved from a place of pain to a place of indifference. The past is there. I can look at it retrospectively. I no longer waste time reliving or fearing, or having bitterness towards that past.

I would be wasting precious time, pinning, or hurting incessantly.

It just doesn’t bother me any more. It happened, some of it hurt. But God has taken that pain and transformed it into Grace.

In the end I am indifferent to the men and women who maligned me. I don’t share space with them, nor would I ever break bread with them, ever.

So this man has reentered my life, and I have to share a car, space and meetings with him. And I have to be good about it. To be Christian in my love and respectful because that what God expects of us.

There is no amend to make. Just a movement towards respect. To see another human being, a flawed human being, trying to get better in his own way, and I must respect his process. And to learn from him, because he has more time than I do, but not as much time as my sponsor.

The whole point of this exercise is to one day be able to forgive.

Once you move from pain to indifference, And what once bothered you, doesn’t anymore, then I am ready to forgive.

Because it is always about me right? Wrong!

We are to forgive seventy times seven. And trust that God knows what He is doing.

And to remember that We are not GOD.

When life gets too hard to stand, kneel …

More to come, stay tuned …


Twas the Night Before Christmas

pope-francis-gives-first-angelus-20130317-094939-992 L'Osservatore Romano).

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis lauded Jesus’ humble beginning as a poor and vulnerable baby as he celebrated his first Christmas Eve Mass as pontiff Tuesday in St. Peter’s Basilica.

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Francis has dedicated much of his nine-month-old papacy to drawing attention to the plight of the poor, of children, and other vulnerable members of society.

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The bells of St. Peter’s rang as Francis, who turned 77 a week ago, walked briskly up the main aisle of the basilica for the ceremony, which began Tuesday 2 1/2 hours before midnight.
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Keeping with the theme of humility he has set for his new papacy, Francis carried the statue instead of an aide, and kissed a knee of the figure of the newly born Jesus.The occasional wail of babies in the basilica contrasted at times with the sweet voices of the choir.
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The Argentine-born pope has also encouraged his flock to be a joyful church, and he called Jesus’ “the light who brightens the darkness.”
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In the world’s history and our own personal history, Francis said, “there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. ” He added “if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us.”

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At the Vatican during the homily, Francis quoted the Apostle John, saying “‘whoever hates his brother is in the darkness”‘ and “‘does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”‘

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Wow, Pope Francis really knows how to hit it hard. I so needed to read this passage reported from his first Christmas Eve Mass.

“whoever hates his brother is in the darkness… Because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

So true So true…

It is the Holiday before the Holiday. And as usual, traveling in the night was problematic. There were more buses going East, than buses going West. So on the way out we waited and waited …

We sat a humble group of folks, who came out of respect for the meeting and also, just for the chance to spend time with each other, before we all wandered off to fulfill family obligations this Christmas Eve.

The chair double dipped tonight, on a topic that, for many, is on the front of many brains during these days, Anger and Resentment.

“Anger is the dubious luxury of normal men, but for us alcoholics it is poison.”

I have been a bit angry and resentful.

The one thing I pray for every year, has not come to pass for me, again this year. And they say that if you pray for something, you must take the next action, thereby giving God an IN to help along that which you pray for.

I opened the holidays with a great effort, out of kindness and love. I took great pains to act in kindness, and once again, it was ignored.

Fuck me …

With all that is going on in the world, the lack of respect of each other from certain celebrity and certain family and politicians, is unnerving and upsetting.

And this week I reached a tipping point.

I culled my twitter account, now only including a handful of folks I want to follow. It bothers me to high heaven, the lengths some will go to denigrate and disrespect other human beings just because we are gay.

I am sick to death of politics.

I am sick of reading, watching, and focusing on people who do nothing but drink, get drunk, and fall down. So I have culled all those folks off my social media platforms. Maybe I am getting old in sobriety, but I just can’t stomach folks who drink alcoholically. Over and Over and Over … And think it is good video to watch on a daily basis.

The same went for Facebook. The only reason I keep it open is to stay in touch with friends here and there. I have culled all that shit that has gone too far and makes we want to puke.

We are Here, We are Queer, Get Used to It.

For Fuck sake …

God damn the celebrity with vile and unacceptable word of condemnation. And fuck the politicians who support them, and the media who give them time on their front pages and on news casts.

God Damn them all to hell.

It’s Christmas for Fuck Sake. Can’t we all get along for one day?

No, that would be too fucking difficult.

Thank the Baby Jesus I live up here, above the Northern Border.

I don’t give a shit about U.S. politics, celebrity with foul mouths, and all those people who rent them free space, because of the First Amendment.

Bullshit … Take them fuckers off the air for good.

Read your God Damned Bibles and try for some compassion and love.

And Jesus Wept !!!

It was good to see my friends. It is the one space on a regular basis that I get to spend time with people I care about and who care about me.

Tomorrow is Christmas. We shall cook and serve others.

I was promised a good story to read after presents tomorrow, so YAY for that. Thanks to a good friend.

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas filled with Light, Joy and Love.

More to come, stay tuned …


Thursday – Eternal Values

tumblr_mqx1qm0e8G1qa0x1vo1_500 sdp

Courtesy: Summer Diary Project

The skies have been rumbling and grumbling over the past day or so. We get an odd rainfall and it passes. A thunderstorm passed through overnight, and it looked, earlier in the evening a little foreboding. It was a wise option to carry an umbrella just in case.

It didn’t rain on us tonight.

I did a little supermarket safari earlier in the day and the new grocery store is beginning to moderate their prices. The great opening sale is over. I also had to go by Provigo on the way out and they are matching some of the prices we saw over at the new store.

Needless to say, Adonis is taking traffic from the neighborhood staple stores.

We were out a bit early tonight and made a smooth transit from here to the Plateau. We hit a bus and two trains with little wait time on the way back.

The topic came from A.B.S.I. and Eternal Values:

Many people will have no truck at all with absolute spiritual values. Perfectionists, they say, are either full of conceit because they fancy they have reached some impossible goal, or else they are swamped in self-condemnation because they have not done so.

Yet I think that we should not hold this view. It is not the fault of great ideals they they are sometime misused and so become shallow excuses for guilt, rebellion, and pride. On the contrary, we cannot grow very much unless we constantly try to envision what the eternal spiritual values are.

“Day by day, we try to move a little towards God’s perfection. We we need not be consumed by maudlin guilt for failure to achieve His likeness and image by Thursday next. Progress is our aim, and His perfection is the beacon, light years away, that draws us on.”

The discussion went around and a few key words came up repeatedly.

One – that the book talks about spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Two – that who really knows what God’s perfection is, or what it looks like.

Three – that the universe is always changing, so with that posit, we are also always changing. It is up to us to figure out which way we are going to change, for the good or the bad.

Speaking of values. I could never, in my life, accept nor adopt the values that were taught in our home as I was growing up. They went against everything I believed. And I moved away from home, with some morality and set of values, however loose they were, I was too busy drinking and acting out to stop and think about them. But I had values. Who I hung around, who I dated and who I ultimately slept with.

That was then, this is now.

Ending up where I did at the end of my slip, in a big city I grew up in, I was in a hole, spiritually and emotionally. I was all alone, and you know, if I dropped off the face of the earth, then and there, nobody would have missed me or come looking for me. Because I was deemed pariah …

God, in his infinite wisdom began working in my life well before I began asking for help. It was an antecedent assistance.

I guess I recognized the almighty moving heaven and earth and I began to ask for certain things, that eventually came to fruition, just as I called them out and needed them.

I wanted change. Lies were told to me. And never lie to your children because eventually the truth will come out and it may not be a good end game.

I took a lie and I used it to my advantage. To finally get me out of a hole and into a life that was worthy of value and credence. When I came here, I had 36 years of living, knowledge and indoctrination.

The first two years were difficult as I experienced severe culture shock. Learning where my loyalties lay, and what values I would adopt coming to a new country and an entirely new life.

Which leads me to this proclamation to you folks South of the Border …

“Drop your beers and chips, get off the sofa and turn off the tv. Pack your bags, your children and whatever else you need and leave your homes and venture OUT into the world for ONE calendar year.”

Your life will change in ways you would never imagine. I guarantee you that.

Today my life has value. I have values. I hold certain beliefs and thoughts.

I don’t engage in maudlin guilt or depression. However it comes, that on the odd occasion I wax nostalgic and I remember all the men who went to their deaths so I could live. And yes, I have survivors guilt at times. Especially around anniversaries or specific death dates. But It comes and goes much quicker.

I am constantly learning about my feelings. I can count on one hand the times I have gotten really angry. And holding on to that anger comes and goes much quicker. H.A.L.T. is very useful. Letting Go, and Easy does it …

I will never see ultimate perfection, I am not Borg. The bible speaks of:

“Being perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.”

That is a daily job. Always striving to be better, not the best, because what is best?

I will close with scripture … Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

That is what we should do every day.

More to come, stay tuned …


Ode to Armageddon …

sts109-sinai-b

Sinai photographed from STS 109 – Shuttle Columbia March 1,2002 …

I’d imagine that if Armageddon was going to take place, this is the place we would imagine the first strike to take place, or the first event. It is 3:10 a.m. on Friday morning. Nothing happened, or should I say, nothing has happened

YET !!!

If you are a listener of Late Night Radio, ala Coast to Coast for any length of time you would know that all the crazies in the world listen to this show night after night. And we have been all through the list of crazies over the last year.

We have the ads for end of days Armageddon style food sales, you know, just for those moments when a disaster takes place and you need those ready to eat meals, They aren’t just for earthquakes and hurricanes Yall !!! If you have a spare couple of hundred dollars that you can plunk down for mass storage food stuffs, and you gotta have a place to put it all, and who has a spare bomb shelter in their property portfolio ???

I hear in UTAH that there are bunkers that have been prepared for today’s calamity to take place. I have also heard that the cleansing of the righteous from the non-righteous will take place today. That God is going to cleanse the earth of the sinful and errant peoples. That only the righteous will be saved from God’s judgment.

There is a town in Southern France that is supposed to be a vortex location and that when the earth meets its end, that the aliens are going to appear there and take away all those who fled to the safety of this mountain perch.

All over the tv tonight have been every kind of end of days programming. People trying to divine what the Mayans were trying to say and what that damned calendar and glyphs really have to say, since they are woefully incomplete, and the end story is all up to conjecture.

We’ve heard over the last year all those good preacher men who have foretold of the coming Apocalypse and twice they were wrong and God did not come screaming out of his heaven to take us all to heaven and send all the sinners to hell.

That would mean all of us LGBTQ folks. Because homosexuality is all so sinful and errant of God’s ways … Oh, I kid …

Did you partake in the hysteria of the end of days? Did you buy into the end of the world? Are you hoarding food, guns, ammunition and all kinds of food stuffs? Because you know, when the end comes later today it is going to be utter anarchy in the streets. People clawing and fighting for food and guns.

And those who are prepared for the end will be hunkered down in their bunkers and nuclear safe type hovels defending themselves from the marauding hordes of people who did not listen to the council of the folks who have spent the better part of the last year telling us all this it is coming and you’d better be prepared.

All this talk of financial ruin coming to the U.S. The wars over seas and the Arab spring running into Arab Winter. You never know if the Anti-Christ is going to rise from the desert sand of the Middle East somewhere like Iran or some other backwater Middle Eastern country. Because like I said above, if Armageddon was going to take place, you’d probably be looking over there for him.

I have read that the sun isn’t going to erupt in some hellish solar flare that is going to knock out the electrical and communications grids all over the world. And at this hour, I haven’t read of any earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions taking place anywhere in the world.

And when you wake and come upon this entry – having said your prayers to whatever God you pray to the night before, you will rise and the sunrise will be glorious – just like the day before.

And I am sure on Friday night on Coast to Coast they will be hosting a night of checking in with all those folks who have added to the mass hysteria that today is supposed to unleash on humankind.

Did the ancients get it right? Will we come to rise above ourselves and grow in spiritual awakening? Will we rise to the next level of humanity overnight? And what have we learn in this exercise of preparing ourselves for the end of the world. And what will we say to all those folks who are hiding in their bomb shelters as I write this.

Will we see a nuclear Armageddon from the East? Because if we do, for those of us who could not afford a bomb shelter – we are all goners … So I guess before I go to bed I should say my final prayers – kiss my ass goodbye and hope to wake up tomorrow morning.

Today my husband is traveling to Ottawa to see his family, and it may be his last meeting with them if we are to believe that something BIG will take place tomorrow some time. Who knows.

It’s the end of the world as we know it. And when you wake tomorrow – what kind of world will it be? And what will we say to all those crazies out there sitting in their bomb shelters and on mountain tops and those fleeing the big cities into the interior of the United States and Europe because the oceans are going to swell and swallow up all the coastal land. God forbid you know that volcano on the Canary Islands that is supposed to blow its peak and send a tsunami across the Atlantic and submerge the entire East Coast of the United States.

You are all FUCKED !!!

Shall we make a prediction of what all will happen the day after tomorrow?

Sit tight. I will report more as the day progresses.

More to come, stay tuned …


The Wounded Healer, Henri J.M. Nouwen

Courtesy: Pandora

I did not have anything prepared to write yesterday, hence my lack of posts. In my nightly reading before bed, I came across a reading that strikes me in a certain way so I thought I’d share it with you.

I have been reading Henri J.M. Nouwen’s book “The Wounded Healer” over the past few weeks. You read a little and let it sink in, and then read some more and repeat the process. Last night I read through the last chapter and it spoke to me.

Ministry comes in many forms, how we minister to people and on what level. The book is oriented towards the minister proper, but the themes and stories are universal in my opinion and can work in many an interaction model between any given people.

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The Wounded Healer, Henri J.M. Nouwen
Ministry in Contemporary Society

If ministry is meant to hold the promise of the messiah, then whatever we can learn of the Messiah’s coming will give us a deeper understanding of what is called for in ministry today.

How does our Liberator come? i found an old legend in the Talmud which may suggest to us the beginning of an answer:

Rabbi Yoshua ben Levi came upon Elijah the prophet
while he was standing at the entrance of Rabbi Simeron ben Yohai’s cave … He asked Elijah, “When will the Messiah come?”

Elijah replied, “Go and ask him yourself.”
“Where is he?”
“Sitting at the gate of the city.”

“How shall I know him?”

“He is sitting among the poor covered with wounds.
The others unbind all their wounds at the same time and
then bind them up again. But he unbinds one at a time and
binds it up again, saying to himself, ‘Perhaps I shall be
needed: if so I must be ready so as not to delay for a moment.’ “

Hospitality and community

Ministers who have come to terms with their own loneliness and are at home in their own houses are hosts who offer hospitality to their guests. They give them a friendly space, where they may feel free to come and go, to be close and be distant, to rest and to play, to talk and to be silent, to eat and to fast. The paradox indeed is that hospitality asks for the creation of an empty space, where the guests can find their own souls.

Why is this a healing ministry? it is healing because it takes away the false illusion that wholeness can be given by one to another. It is healing because it does not take away the loneliness and the pain of others, but invites them to recognize their loneliness on a level where it can be shared. Many people in this life suffer because they are anxiously searching for the man or woman, the event or encounter, which will take their loneliness away.

But when they enter a house with real hospitality they soon see that their own wounds must be understood, not as source of despair and bitterness, but as signs that they have to travel on in obedience to the calling sounds of those wounds…

… No minister can save anyone. We can only offer ourselves as guides for fearful people. Yet, paradoxically, it is precisely in this guidance that the first signs of hope become visible. This is so because a shared pain is no longer paralyzing, but mobilizing, when it is understood to be a way to liberation.

When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope.

Through this common search, hospitality becomes community. Hospitality becomes community as it creates a unity based upon the shared confession of our basic brokenness and upon a shared hope. This hope in turn leads us far beyond the boundaries of human togetherness to the One who calls all people away from the land of slavery to the land of freedom. It belongs to the central insight of the Judeo-Christian tradition – that it is the call of God that forms the people of God.

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I started this chapter with the story of Rabbi Yoshua ben Levi, who asked Elijah, “When will the Messiah come?” There is an important conclusion to this story. When Elijah had explained to him how he could find the Messiah sitting among the poor at the gates of the city, Rabbi Yoshua ben Levi went to the Messiah and said to him:

“Peace unto you, my master and teacher.”
The Messiah answered, “peace unto you, son of Levi.”
He asked, “When is the master coming?”
“Today,” he answered.
Rabbi Yoshua returned to Elijah, who asked,
“What did he tell you?”
“He indeed has deceived me, for he said ‘Today I am
coming’ and he has not come.”
Elijah said, “This is what he told you: ‘Today if you
would listen to his voice. ‘ “

Even when we know that we are called to be wounded healers, it is still very difficult to acknowledge that healing has to take place today, because we are living at a time when our wounds have become all too visible.

Our loneliness and isolation have become so much a part of our daily experience that we cry out for a Liberator who will take us away from our misery and bring us justice and peace.

To announce, however, that the Liberator is sitting among the poor and that the wounds are signs of hope and that today is the day of liberation, is a step very few can take. But this is exactly the announcement of the wounded healer: “The master is coming – not tomorrow, but today, not next year, but this year, not after our misery is passed, but in the middle of it, not in another place but right here, where we are standing.”

And with a challenging confrontation he says:

O that today you would listen to his voice!
Harden not your heart as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert
when they tried me, though they saw
my work. (Psalm 95:7)

If indeed we listen to the voice and believe that ministry is a sign of hope because it makes visible the first rays of light of the coming Messiah, we can make ourselves and others understand that we already carry in us the source of our own search.

Thus ministry can be a witness to the living truth that the wound, which causes us to suffer now, will be revealed to us later as the place where God intimated a new creation.

*** *** *** ***

This is who we are called to be …


Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

The Empty Tomb

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.  (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)  Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”  At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.


40 days and 40 nights

I was gonna wait to post this, but the spirit is moving me today, So here is one of my favorite pieces of writing. I wrote in a few years ago, and I repost it every year at the beginning of Lent. And since I don’t have anything fresh to offer you – you can read this and prepare for your journey … Enjoy..

And so it begins, the walk through the desert. God is moving tonight, I can feel it in my bones deep within my soul. I am in Preacher mode and the message is loud and clear…Write and share the journey.  Here is my Lenten exercise of the journey, it is called “Will you walk with me a step or two.”

One day the Lord spoke to them and they started walking through the desert. Men, women, children the elderly and the herds and flocks. Where they were going was not known, but it was apparent that they were going to get somewhere. If only they walked a step or two.

A young man spoke up and said “I will walk ahead of the tribes, I will lead them as the Lord leads me.” And the Lord asked the young boy, “are you ready to walk for the glory of God,” why “Yes,” the boy answered. So be it the Lord said, “now lead them, but take only that which you need and nothing more.” I will walk with You Lord, he said without a second thought.

The Lord said that the way will not be smooth and there are things you will see on the way that will test your faith, yet I the Lord will make the way straight and the path smooth, if you have faith in Me and the Glory of God the father. Yes, I have faith, the boy replied, so walk my son.

A few days into the journey the boy came across a woman with ragged hair and little clothing. She was elderly and needed some water. The boy was only carrying what he had, and he gave drink to the woman and quenched her thirst. She said to him, that she was lonely and afraid of the road, and the boy replied, woman, have no fear, for I will walk with you until nightfall and we will camp under the canopy of heaven. That day they walked together and the woman was grateful for the company and the water.

That night, they made camp, the tribes of the Lord.

The Angel of the Lord came down and struck the rock and water flowed. They all drew water from a spring that appeared and everyone’s thirst was satiated. And the animals were watered as well. Food was passed from group to group until every last one was fed. That night they sang the song of the Lord until everyone was sent to a sleep protected by the Lord himself.

The very next morning, rested and fed, the tribes packed up their wares and started the journey as they did the day prior. The sun hung low in the sky, and by high noon, sweat was pouring off the brows of the people. The young boy made his way in front of the pack, leading them as he was guided by the spirit of the lord. Soon after noon the boy came across an elderly man who was being carried by two men, visibly shaken and tired.

The boy looked up to the sky and said, what can I do Lord?

The answer came and the boy took the arm of the litter and helped carry the man for the rest of the day, until darkness fell and camp was set up for the night. Once again, the Angel of the Lord came down and struck the rock and from the rock a spring came up from the earth once again, the people and the animals were watered. The tables were set and the people were fed to their fill. Once again, they praised the God of Abraham and in the coolness of the night they slept under the canopy of the heavens.

On the third day they awoke to a cloudy day, grateful for the relief from the sun, they gathered up their wares and began to walk once again. Today the young man was tired. He had been leading this lot for days now, and yet the lord said, Keep walking. So he did.

On this day he came upon a young person drawn from travel, covered in dust from the desert. Visibly the boy had not eaten in days and was close to death.

The young man stopped and knelt down next to him and shared his water and some bread from his pack. He lifted the boy into his arms and carried him for the rest of the day. Hours passed and the boy was filled with faith and strength as he carried his charge on his back. That night at camp, the young boy gathered some bedding and laid his friend in a cool soft place.

That night the Angel of the Lord appeared and once again, struck the rock and water flowed. He bathed the young man whom he had carried all day, then they broke bread and shared living water from the earth. Miracle, you ask, quite possibly so.

That night all were fed and after the plates were cleared and all had been fed, they gathered before the fires and praised the God of Abraham. They rested beneath the canopy of heaven.

For 38 days and 38 nights, the boy walked with his people, helping each soul he encountered to the best of his ability as God had commanded him to do.

On the 39th day they awoke. The angel of the Lord was there at first light and he told them, the journey was almost over, walk on as the Lord commands.

That day was no different. On that day the young boy would meet his final “person.” She was laden with child, and was walking alone carrying everything that she needed. No man walked by her side, no assistance came to her. She was visibly close to giving birth, and the Boy took her hand

As night fell, the boy gathered the women together and they prepared the woman for birth. A call went out to the men and they gathered together some wood for someplace to keep the child. As was foretold, the Angel of the Lord appeared to them once again, and struck the rock and as happened each night before, water flowed.

That night the stars shone brightly, the heavens were alight with song. Something was about to happen. For after the meal, the woman called for the boy and he appeared by her side. The time had come and she wanted to share the birth of the child with him, for he walked with her a step or two. That night under the canopy of heaven a child was born and she asked the boy his name.

He answered, “My name is David.” She smiled at her son, and spoke to the heavens, May God in heaven be blessed and may he bless my son David, born this night. The heavens replied with a thousand shooting stars… What a glorious vision the host of angels come down from heaven to sing to David, the newest member of the tribes of Abraham. That night they rested and slept in peace.

On the 40th day the young boy awoke, there standing before him were 40 men, women and children. All of those whom David had walked with through the desert. At that moment an Elder man spoke to David and said follow me, there is someone who would like to see you David, HE has asked for you by name.

The people before him parted and through them David walked until he reached a hill that was green with foliage and there a spring bubbled up. “Take off your sandals David” a voice spoke to him. David did not skip a beat. As David looked up from undoing his shoes, There the Master sat on the rock before him.

David’s eye welled up with tears, he had done exactly as he was instructed, as the Lord had told him. He had led his people through the desert helping each soul he met on his path. The Master knew what was in his heart and soul. David was without words. The Master got up from where He sat and approached David and wrapped his arms around him, and said……..

“Well done good and faithful servant. In YOU I am well pleased.”

What for? David said, all I did was what you asked of me while I walked. And the Master replied, “you know David, each time you helped one of these souls on your journey, you helped ME.” “What the least of these you have done for my brothers and sisters you have done for me.”

The Master reached down into the pool of water and blessing the water he blessed and baptized David the Boy, and then David the infant. And for a moment the heavens opened up and God’s voice was heard, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

And from the sky a beam of light shone forth into the desert and the sands were parted and there in the swirl of dust a city appeared. It is there that the people made their homes. The journey had ended. And a placed blessed by God was theirs to live in.

So will you walk with me a step or two. The journey is long and the road may be rough, but as the Lord says “I will make the path straight and your burden will be light.” Take only that which you need. And if you meet someone of the road, stop and ask your questions, share your water and food, for you never know when the Master will reveal himself to you.

Are you ready to start walking !!!


On the Third Day …

John 20:1-18 – Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

The Empty Tomb

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ “

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

**************

Our service at Christ Church Cathedral was beautiful. Everyone gathered and sang songs and rang bells to announce the “Risen Christ.” Where ever you are I hope you have a great Easter celebration or what ever celebration you might have on this day.

Hubby will cook a tasty dinner for us tomorrow, and it will be grand.


Good Friday …

Matthew 20:17-19

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”


Are we there yet???

We are halfway through the weekend, and I am still hacking and coughing. This cold is not going without a fight. I’ve been warned by my medical team to keep an eye out for fever. Haven’t had any of that yet. Just a lot of headaches and chest congestion.

Today I worked on David and Samuel. I got 6 pages written for my presentation and I have one more text to go through. Writing on the two David and Saul stories is very interesting. Each of the texts I have so far written on share different takes on the stories. I am supposed to stick with the text itself and not go outside (diachronic), I have to maintain a (synchronic) vision of the text.

The relationship between David and Saul is troubling. They are running after each other through hills, caves and fields. Saul wants to capture and kill David, and his minions want to help Saul do the deed, yet David continues to escape him by mere seconds and definite divine intervention.

Saul, on the other hand falls into the hands of David, not once but twice. And David is loathe to kill him because Saul is king and God’s anointed. David’s men step up and offer to kill Saul, yet David cautions them not to. There are conversations between David and Saul. The use of covenant language are apparent. It is all very tasking. Saul knows that pursuing David is wrong even if he keep on hunting him down. Then they meet, and David makes his pronouncements to Saul about being “anointed and king” and Saul weeps and humbles himself and repents of his evil ways and speaks wondrous words about David and they go their separate ways.

Both men have issues. Neither are perfect in the sight of God. Both have done dastardly things throughout the books of Samuel. But David will be king eventually, he may not be a perfect king, but king nonetheless. I wanted to share one perspective on the stories with you from my research.

The Open Rupture Between David and Saul.
The Forms of the Old Testament Literature. Vol. VII.
Antony F. Campbell, S.J.

Saul’s return to fight the Philistines is one of the few points in these stories, apart from his death, where we see him fulfilling his royal function. It also gives a momentary pause in the narrative, before the episode at the cave, in the wilderness of Engedi.

Early in any discussion reflection on the relationship between chapters 24 (the “cave in the daytime” story) and chapter 26 (the “camp in the nighttime” story) is unavoidable. There is widespread agreement that one tradition is coming to expression in both stories. That one tradition is present seems clear. Saul, in pursuit of David, is found in David’s power and is spared by the man whose life he seeks; full-bodied reconciliation ensues. More and more, commentators are agreeing that the interpreters task is to find a meaning for these stories in their context, rather than to debate their mutual dependence and age.

The version in chapter 26 is ready-made for performance. It is night. David and Abishai penetrate Saul’s camp and stand over Saul’s sleeping body. One spear thrust will kill him. David takes the spear, disappears into the night, and cries out from across the intervening valley. The version in chapter 24 requires a lot more work on the part of the storyteller; there is not a close fit between the deed and the drama. Saul has three thousand men with him as he pops into the cave – surely in daytime.

Why use a cave if it was night? David emerges from the cave, a bit behind Saul, and cries out to him. the storyteller has to make two aspects plausible. Saul, in broad daylight, asks the nighttime question: “Is this your voice, my son David?”

David in broad daylight, is not seized by the three thousand who are out hunting for him. A storyteller would have to have David slip out of the cave unseen and gain a vantage point where he could not be trapped and would not be visible. After has Saul “blinded with tears” ; but in the text the weeping comes after wards, at the end of the verse, and the three thousand are still there to be dealt with. (Alter) wrestles with the three thousand earlier, the text does not attend to them. The biblical text reveals faithfully where it has come from; Alter reveals brilliantly where it might be taken.

Inside the cave, there is a pointer to the complexity in the telling that again leaves options open for the storyteller. David’s men in the rear of the cave, seeing Saul in the light at the mouth of the cave, urge David to seize this God-given opportunity to do to his enemy Saul as it seems good to David – in a word, kill him! According to the text, David crept up sneakily and “cut off a corner of Saul’s cloak” The next verse is odd: “Afterward David was stricken to the heart because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s cloak.”

This is stretching credulity a but far. The guerrilla chief has remorse over a bit of royal garment snipping. Appeal to royal mystique and the sacredness of all that is associated with the king is a distraction; the central issue is life or death, to kill or to spare. Later David will wave the corner of the cloak at Saul as proof of his goodness.

The remorse is badly out of place in this context. But worse is to come. Having spared Saul’s life and cut the corner of his cloak off instead, David is portrayed berating his men for their wickedness in wanting to attack Saul. If Joab were present with a speaking role in this story he might well have pointed out to David that the heroics were in place before the garment snipping; they were completely out of place after it. So there is more to this scene than meets the eye. Storytellers, start your imaginations! Was there a version with no incitement to kill expressed in the cave? Was the incitement to kill Saul an extra option offered by the text?

There is little point in looking for a relationship of dependence between the two tellings. It is enough that there are two tellings of one tradition, each quite capable of standing on its own. As will be emphasized under “meaning” the involvement of both traditions in this narrative heightens the intensity of Saul’s enmity toward David and maked David’s move into exile utterly inevitable.

Exile among the Philistines is dangerous for David’s reputation as a loyal Israelite. We will look at this in treating chapters 28-31. For Davidic supporters, it is important that David had absolutely no choice and was forced into this exile. Reconciliation with Saul could not be trusted.

As to the episode in the cave, it is storytelling and popular storytelling at that. Such storytelling requires plausibility; it is unlikely that a performance had all David’s band lurking in the cave or conducting a noisy debate followed by a voice vote on the issue of killing Saul or snipping his cloak. As noted above, the implausibility inside the cave lies with David’s reproach to his men after he himself has done the deed for which he later takes moral credit. Outside the cave, the storyteller has to deal with the major difficulty that David peaceably discourses with Saul as though the three thousand chosen troops had never been mobilized.

*************************

In chapter 24: As told, this story moves a stage beyond its predecessors. The introduction sets up the preliminaries. Brought information, Saul’s force camps in the area where David is reported to be (“on the hill of Hachilah,”) We do not know exactly where David was (“in the wilderness”) apparently David did not know exactly where Saul was, but he was aware of Saul’s arrival.

The story proper starts with David sending out spies, moving in on Saul’s camp, and even observing precisely where Saul was sleeping. This information was is repeated in vv.5 and 7; v.7 specifies that it was night and that Saul was asleep. A storyteller might stress that, before night fell, what David saw in v.5 was the layout of the camp, the “place” where Saul slept, with the army camped around him.

The story moves in two stages: inside Saul’s camp and outside it. The first allows for the demonstration of David’s refusal to kill the Lords anointed. The second allows for both an insistence on David’s innocence and for Saul;s final commendation and blessing of David.

The story holds a challenge for both its hearers or readers and for its storytellers. The parallel story in chapter 24 in quite different. There Saul walked in on David territory. There. following the present text, David’s men urged him against Saul. David approached Saul stealthily, and then David was stricken to the heart. The problem at issue were discussed in chapter 24 and need not be repeated here. That Saul walking in on David’s territory is unproblematic. That David was “stricken to the heart” is equally clear, but its context is quite uncertain. The present text says because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s cloak. The context suggests because he had entertained the thought of killing Saul.

The story of chapter 26 is quite different. David intrudes on Saul’s territory, his camp. No mention whatsoever is made of David being repentant or “stricken to the heart.” The challenge of the story: Why did David risk his life penetrating Saul’s camp by night and putting himself at risk in the middle of Saul’s army? Certainly not with a view to killing Saul. That may have been Abishai’s intention; in the story, it certainly cannot be David’s, for two reasons.

First, the narrative so far has been insistent that Saul is the aggressor and David the innocent victim. Second, and paramount for the telling of the story, we know and all Israel knew that Saul died in a battle on Mount Gilboa. Why then did the story have David risk his life entering Saul’s camp at night? Certainly not to kill Saul. instead it has David risk his life to demonstrate his innocence and, within the story, to receive Saul’s blessing and commendation. The challenge of this story is to make this plausible.

In the context of Chapters 24 and 26, we need to recognize how inauspicious a start to royal reign it would have been to have killed a king who crept quietly into a cave, urged by a need of nature. How much more inauspicious to pin the sleeping monarch to the ground with his own spear in his own camp – not in battle but in bed. Neither matter, since Saul was to die on Mount Gilboa. Neither is likely to have been told at the royal court of Saul’s heir, King Ishbosheth (2 Sam 2:8-10a), or at the hearth of the last known claimant to Saul’s throne, the crippled Mephisbosheth (cf. 2Sam 9:16:3)

Oh Boy it’s 4 a.m. I’ve been typing for a long time…

More to come, stay tuned…


Samuel …

I turned in my bibliography for my final paper tonight. I am writing on 1 Samuel Chapters 24 and 26. The stories of the two times David and Saul meet and David spares the life of Saul. Hopefully the paper I turned in is acceptable to my prof. I am on track to completing this project, and I feel confident that I can write an acceptable paper. We have been parsing Samuel chapters 1 through 11 in class. It is very interesting looking at the Hebrew translations of the Old Testament and reading from our own texts to see how words and phrases are translated.

Just a short note for now, I will write more tomorrow. My day off… We will talk sobriety and recovery… until then … toodles…

1 Samuel 24 -
David Spares Saul’s Life

After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.

He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave.  The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’ ” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.  He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.”  With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.  He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’?  This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the LORD’s anointed.’  See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life.  May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.  As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,’ so my hand will not touch you.

“Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?  May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”

When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud.  “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.  You have just now told me of the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me.  When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today. I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. Now swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.”

So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.


Haiti, Pat Robertson, and the Devil: Father Matthew Presents

Haiti, Pat Robertson, and the Devil: Father Matthew Presents


Monday Thoughts …

Monday has been exciting … The mail woman brought me a HUGE box this morning and I was all excited. Who knew boots could be so big, yet feel so snuggly and warm.

I went to class tonight and we talked about Biblical History and we also talked about the book of Samuel. I have to get used to reading code and learning what all the biblical codes mean when reading source material and commentaries.

We took a look at the Periods in Biblical History:

  • Patriarchal Period – 1800 bce Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
  • Pre-Monarchic Period 1200 – 1000
  • United Kingdom (Monarchy) Whole of Israel N&S 1000-922
  • Divided Monarchy North falls South a Davidic Dynasty 922-721
  • Judah Alone – Babylonian conquer of Judah 721-587
  • Exilic Period – 587-540 (539) Cyrus the Great
  • Post Exilic Period – 539 – on Persians conquered by A. the Great

Some Manuscript Notes:

  • LXX – Septuagint
  • Q – QumRan
  • MS – Manuscript
  • MT – Masoretic Text
  • GR – Greek
  • Masoretic Texts – 1000 common era (most bibles come from here). 7th to 10th centuries Oldest MT 9th c.
  • Codex Vaticanus – LXX-b Greek 4c. common era Translation of Hebrew into Greek, unique manuscript, closer to old Greek tradition, escaped many revisions (haplographies are numerous)
  • Codex Alexandrius – LXX-a Evidence of systematic revisions, considered less value to Vaticanus
  • Lucianic Codex – LXX-l Close to Qumran Manuscriot 300 c.e. Old Greek manuscript, second strata worked into it. series of additions by Lucian and influenced by Josephus
  • Old Latin Translation – (OL) 2/3c. c.e. original readings from the old Greek, Proto-Lucianic second strata
  • Targum Jonathan – Aramaic version of the prophets. Middle ages
  • Syriac Versions – (Peshitta) 2c c.e. in Syriac close to MT translated from Hebrew. 250 manuscripts – Peshitta
  • Vulgate – Latin Translation by Jerome. Early 5c. close to MT. Proto-Masoretic text vowels not added yet.
  • QumRan – 3rd c. to 1c. Found 2 manuscripts of Samuel in the 4th cave 4QSamB – end of 3rd c. bce affinity to vulgate of old Greek translation into Hebrew. 4QSamA (B was studied before A) Close to MT – expansionist tendency affinities to Lucian codex
  • Quotes from Scripture – Josephus 1c. ce Textual tradition from 4QSamA this is not so reliable.

My prof is big on writing, she hopes that by writing I will memorize more.


Weekend Review

It is partly cloudy with a chance of smog today, as I look out of my living room windows the haze settles over the city from end to end, as is apt to happen during the winter with heaters, fireplaces and stove pipes smoking.

The weekend was uneventful – quiet as usual. We didn’t do much, I had done a little supermarket Safari on Friday so that I didn’t have to go out to get food over the weekend. Hubby is on his Bubbles DeVeer Diet so I am eating for one these days. [You’d need to know about Little Britain to get that reference].

Today my shipment from the US came in a HUGE box …

They are sweet to say the least.

I have class tonight, my seminar on Biblical History and the book of Samuel. We are reading about YHWH and an Overview of the Old Testament’s Statements about election. I am following along quietly. We’ll see what tonight’s class will bring. I am reading the Theology of Augustine for my Hermeneutics class on Wednesday nights. I have to write my critical assessment for Wednesday night’s class just yet.

That’s all for now…

More to come, stay tuned …


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