Monday, February 10, 2020

Blessings




“What if the beatitudes aren’t about a list of conditions we should try and meet to be blessed. What if these are not virtues we should aspire to but what if Jesus saying blessed are the meek is not instructive– what if it’s performative? …meaning the pronouncement of blessing is actually what confers the blessing itself. Maybe the sermon on the mount is all about Jesus’ seemingly lavish blessing of the world around him especially that which society doesn’t seem to have much time for, people in pain, people who work for peace instead of profit, people who exercise mercy instead of vengeance. So maybe Jesus is actually just blessing people, especially the people who never seem to receive blessings otherwise. I mean, come on, doesn’t that just sound like something Jesus would do? Extravagantly throwing around blessings as though they grew on trees?”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, ”Some Modern Beatitudes—A Sermon for All Saints Sunday” November 6, 2014

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Haiku and Tanka for Harriet Tubman BY SONIA SANCHEZ

Haiku and Tanka for Harriet Tubman

BY SONIA SANCHEZ
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1

Picture a woman
riding thunder on
the legs of slavery    ...    


2

Picture her kissing
our spines saying no to
the eyes of slavery    ...    


3

Picture her rotating
the earth into a shape
of lives becoming    ...    


4

Picture her leaning
into the eyes of our
birth clouds    ...    


5

Picture this woman
saying no to the constant
yes of slavery    ...    


6

Picture a woman
jumping rivers her
legs inhaling moons    ...    


7

Picture her ripe
with seasons of
legs    ...   running    ...    


8

Picture her tasting
the secret corners
of woods    ...   


9

Picture her saying:
You have within you the strength,
the patience, and the passion
to reach for the stars,
to change the world    ...    


10

Imagine her words:
Every great dream begins
with a dreamer    ...    


11

Imagine her saying:
I freed a thousand slaves,
could have freed
a thousand more if they
only knew they were slaves    ...    


12

Imagine her humming:
How many days we got
fore we taste freedom    ...    


13

Imagine a woman
asking: How many workers
for this freedom quilt    ...    


14

Picture her saying:
A live runaway could do
great harm by going back
but a dead runaway
could tell no secrets    ...    


15

Picture the daylight
bringing her to woods
full of birth moons    ...    


16

Picture John Brown
shaking her hands three times saying:
General Tubman. General Tubman. General Tubman.


17

Picture her words:
There’s two things I got a
right to: death or liberty    ...    


18

Picture her saying no
to a play called Uncle Tom’s Cabin:
I am the real thing    ...    


19

Picture a Black woman:
could not read or write
trailing freedom refrains    ...    


20

Picture her face
turning southward walking
down a Southern road    ...    


21

Picture this woman
freedom bound    ...    tasting a
people’s preserved breath    ...    


22

Picture this woman
of royalty    ...    wearing a crown
of morning air    ...    


23

Picture her walking,
running, reviving
a country’s breath    ...    


24

Picture black voices
leaving behind
lost tongues   ...
Source: Poetry (April 2018)

Friday, February 07, 2020

Bless the poets




Bless the poets, the workers for justice,
the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache,
the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh
meaning– We will all make it through,
despite politics and wars, despite failures
and misunderstandings. There is only love.
–Joy Harjo, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings,
opening dedication for Owen Chopoksa Sapulpa

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Seth Godin, "who's designing your system?"






Some of the greatest buildings of all time were created by unskilled craftsmen using cheap and readily available materials. McMansions, on the other hand, are often created by highly paid workers and endless supplies of expensive materials.

Caviar isn’t required to make a great meal… but a talented, thoughtful chef definitely makes a difference.

Who is designing your system? Who is putting in an unreasonable amount of effort to make sure it’s magical?

Monday, January 20, 2020

Martin Luther King, Jr.




“If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.
“I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr., from his Feb. 4, 1968 sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, exactly two months before his death

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A Visit from Saint Nicholas


A Visit from Saint Nicholas
Clement Clarke Moore


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Friday, December 13, 2019

The content of Christ’s Eucharist is love


“The Church, if it is to be the Church, must be the revelation
of that divine Love which God  'poured out into our hearts.' 
Without this love nothing is 'valid' in the Church
because nothing is possible. The content of Christ’s Eucharist is love,
 and only through love can we enter into it and be made its partakers.”


― Alexander Schmemann



Saturday, December 07, 2019

Water towers, Seth Godin

Image result for water tower on top of building"
Water towers, Seth Godin

On the top of many apartment buildings (and on a hill in many towns) you’ll find a water tower, a large wooden or metal container holding tons of water.

Why bother?

It turns out that a pump that slowly and consistently pumps water uphill is way more efficient than the high-powered, high-capacity pump you’d need to meet spikes in demand. By using gravity to assist during times of heavy load, the consistent and more efficient pump gets the job done by planning ahead.
We all need a water tower somewhere in our work.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving




The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Shepherd me, O God




Shepherd me, O God

Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life.
God is my shepherd, so nothing I shall want,
I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love,
I walk by the quiet waters of peace.
Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life.
Gently you raise me and heal my weary soul,
you lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth,
my spirit shall sing the music of your Name.
Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life.
Though I should wander the valley of death,
I fear no evil, for you are at my side,
your rod and your staff, my comfort and my hope.
Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life.
You have set me a banquet of love in the face of hatred,
crowning me with love beyond my pow'r to hold.
Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life.
Surely your kindness and mercy follow me all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of my God forevermore.
Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life.

 Marty Haugen