Psalm 11 Meditation

1. How can You say,
“It’s closing time.”?

2. Are you aware of all
the stupid that’s going on?

3. Honor and life are disposable.
What has value anymore?

4. From your heavenly suite
You see
the externals and internals
of us all.

5. You consider all of us.
The plumb line on the righteous

For the evil ones,
You rummage in Your tool box.

6. You will wield your hammer
of justice.
Your breath on them
will be sweet
but sear their skin.

7. May we remember that
You will sort this all out
(despite our vain attempts
of correction)

It's not the way that you say it

Jesus asked, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”
Luke 10:26
(Based on this video)

We asked a beautiful woman,
"If you could make a new law,
what would it be?"

She answered,
"I think that any laws
(there are in Constitution or in life,)
are already made.

I think that we should have,
a straight way to go
in our similar
in our lives as is this.

For example, I'm a surfer,
and I think
that the best wave
that I can take
is the wave
that I wait for it.

So please do
our only law
that we can do.

Thank you Vegas!"

And Vegas
(and as well as ourselves)
we could enter
her mind
of endless summer.


Jesus Ruins Christmas!

David Wilcox 

Jesus ruins Christmas 
That's what the headlines said
"Jesus" in quotation marks
Cause then the man was dead

Jesus in the parking lot
talking to the poor
He gathered up a crowd of us
and he walked into that store

So Jesus stood in Bloomingdales
A rebel with a cause
He stepped up on the platform
Right next to Santa Claus

Jesus tore the wrappings
The presents on display
These boxes are all empty
They've always been that way

Now your eyes they can deceive you 
Let your soul look through this store
It's all shiny empty boxes
But I've come to bring you more

The presence that I offer is infinite joy
Free for the asking but you have to make your choice

Well, first came security
then came the police,
destroying private property,
disturbing the peace

They hauled him off in shackles
With billy clubs and guns
But when the cops saw the angry crowd
They said, "Let 'em have their fun"

They wrapped him up in ribbons
They dragged him through the mall
They lashed him to a Christmas tree
and they plugged it in the wall
With a strand of broken Christmas lights 
wrapped around his head

They had killed him off by Easter, but they could not keep him dead

Jesus Ruins Christmas, that's what the headlines said

Coming soon…

Every valley shall be raised up, 
every mountain and hill made low…
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed
Isaiah 40:4-5/Luke3:5-6

in a manger
in parables
in the Bread
and the Cup.

In a prayer
on the cross
an empty tomb.

Not exactly
what we were
after hearing
Advent announcement
coming attractions.


Getting Caught Up

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with ...the anxieties of life,”
 Luke 21:34a

I was gonna ask
a question.

And before
I knocked
on His door,
I picked
from the
welcome mat.

Started reading
about the
stuck in their
austerity pit.

The rich
on their private

And while
I was reading
a story
I felt a
hand on my

“What do you want?”
He asked.

“Believe it or not,
I was gonna
ask You
the same question.”


After reading the poem,
my fundamentalist friends
who have let
poetic licenses
years ago,
ask me
the same question:
“Tell me,
have the


To become a person

(Adapted from a prayer book)

To become a person
one must

the other.

If we cling to
inglorious madness.

If we insist on
pure self-sacrifice
glorious madness.

We must
equal measures
to discover
**Rufus Jones - 20th century Quaker

Silly Little Xmas Poem

Luke 2:1-21

Come to my party
behind the holiday inn.

We’re gonna  have

Come to my party
behind the holiday inn.

My mom
will tell you
the amazing story.

Come to my party
behind the holiday inn.

asking for the


What kind of actions of leaders do you think God blesses?

I suppose the answer is
an action
that serves
the common good
of all.

As the psalmist wrote:
“Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.”

But can a God
who is uncompromising
in His love
of the world
His expectation
of His people
to return His love
all their being
a political act
that requires a
dance of egos
the give and take of

As the psalmist wrote,
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.”

O Lord,
on the mount
You told us
who were
to be blessed.
The meek.
Those seeking righteousness.
The pure of heart.
The peacemakers
the persecuted.

Help me
the actions
of Your Kingdom.


The Bramble King

Parable of the Trees

The trees hoped
they could be
with honor
by the olive tree.

with the sweetness
of good times
by the fig tree.

the strength of
the vine.

But to
the olive tree,
the fig tree,
the vine,
the forest
beneath them.

It was
for them
to produce
the world wanted.

But to
deal with
their community
with its
petty squabbles,
they worried
it would
sap all
their strength.


after being rejected by
the olive tree,
the fig tree,
the vine,
the trees of the forest asked
the bramble
“Why should you be our leader?”

the bramble said,
the olive tree,
the fig tree
the vine,
I produce nothing.
I must rely on your support.

the olive tree,
the fig tree
the vine,
whose roots grow deep and stubborn,
my roots are shallow.
You must allow me to
so we can survive.”

“And finally,
the olive tree,
the fig tree
the vine,
you can
live under
my thorns.”

“And if push comes to shove,
let my branches
become the
to start
the fires of war.”

So began the reign
of the Bramble King.



Justice versus Mercy

2 Esdras 8:37-45 CEB
The angel said:
A farmer sows
many seeds
in the ground,
yet not all that
was sown
will take root
or be harvested.

So all that were
sown to the world
will not be saved.

Ezra replied:
If a seed does not come up
because of drought
or deluge
it perishes.

But Lord,
people are created by Your hands
and are made in Your image.

The question I ask is:
Have You made them
like the farmer’s seed?

Please, Lord!
Surely not!
Spare Your people!

Please have mercy
on Your own creation.


James, John and Bartimaeus

They drew close to Jesus
to make their request.

He shouted at Jesus
to make his request.

They drew close to Jesus
so the others couldn’t hear.

He shouted at Jesus
and didn’t care about those
trying to silence him.

They addressed Him
as Teacher.

He called Him
Son of David.

They asked their question
in confidence that it would be answered.

He asked only
to have mercy on him.

And Jesus asked the same question
to each of them:
“What do you want me to do for you?”

They asked for glory.
He asked for his sight.

Jesus answered James and John,
“Even though you will follow Me
till the end,
The greatest of you must be a slave.”

Jesus answered Bartimaeus,
(one of the least of the town)
“Through your faith
you will see.”

James and John endured
the others
giving them the business.

And the crowd
at Jericho
what kind of business
Jesus was in.


“What do you want me to do for you?”

2 Samuel 21:1-14

What do you want me to do for you?”,
David asked the Gibeonites.
“Saul who has destroyed our people,
has left us homeless in the midst of famine.”

“So, what do you want me to do for you?”,
David asked again.

“Give us seven of Saul’s descendants.
We will kill them and leave their bodies
in the sight of Saul’s God.”

And David selected the men
and allowed them to be killed
and to be left hanging on a cross.

the mother of two of the men,
came up the hill.
Spread out a sackcloth for herself
and protected all the bodies
from the birds of the air
and the beasts of the land.

And while the festival of harvest
was going on below,
God saw what was happening
on the hill
answered the prayer of land
by opening a cloud
of His tears.

“What do you want me to do for you?”,
Jesus answered their request.

“We want to be next to You
when You come in glory.”

“Can you follow the path
I AM going to take?”

“No problem.
So how about those seats in the suite?”

“You will follow Me
this is true.
However those places
have already been reserved.”
And before the rest
of the followers
could start speculating
on who would have
those great seats

The Master said,
“The weak that move against
the powerful
in their own small ways,
They will see the Kingdom of God.”

Learning How to Kneel

On my knees,
beads in hand
for the last six weeks
reciting the old prayers
of childhood.
remembering things
Recalling people
of the past.
meditating on the
of Jesus
and my life.

This should be
boring as hell,
repetitively stating
my status as a sinner.
Asking the Father
for my forgiveness
as well as others.
Requesting Mary
fifty-three times
to intercede for us sinners.

Instead when finished
I sense
an unrecognizable boredom,
not because I’ve practiced it
many times before,
because I haven’t;
not because it’s old hat,
but because it’s still too new.


Lot’s Daughters

Genesis 19:30-38(NIV)

If we could text,
We’re sure we would type:

If any of our friends,
were still alive.

Mom’s dead.
Dad didn’t like the new town.
Instead we
headed for the hills.
and are living in a cave.


And we’re wondering
about Dad’s uncle and aunt
Abram and Sarai.
It appears from here,
we three are the last of the tribe.


And remembering how they
went on and on
how our tribe was going be
as numerous as the
grains of sand
at the beach.
Yeah, sis.
As many as the
stars in the sky.


What were they thinking?
That Hagar scheme didn’t
work out at all.
And even though
Old Aunt Sarai is a hottie,
(Can’t imagine Abe pawning her off
to a king twice)
Two words: Ancient Sex

Eew! Eew! Eew!

So sis,
It looks like it’s up to us.
Good thing we grabbed
the bottle
from Mom’s purse.

The double neat for Dad
and small one for us
I’ll go first
and you can follow me.

No sloppy seconds for you!
You can have him tomorrow.

OK sis,
A toast before we start.
May the one God of
Great Uncle Abram
and Great Aunt Sarai
remember us
in His book of Life.


Caveat Emptor

God said,
“Eat from the tree and
you will be separated from Me.”

The serpent said,
“You and Him will not be strangers.
There is no danger.
Eat from the tree and
you will be an image of God.”

And the greatest con job on Man
was a done deal.

Selling to someone
a perfect, precious thing
that they already possessed.


God doesn’t do Legal

When creating our part of the universe,
You spoke and it appeared.

Except for us -
You personally formed
and breathed life into us
using Yourself as the blueprint.

Then what is so strange to some
You didn’t patent us.
You gave us the code.
An open source of
just four proteins -
A and T
C and G.

And we began
to recreate and multiply.
No one exactly like You.
No one exactly like anyone else.

So we copyrighted ourselves
into separate tribes, nations and religions.
And You were transformed into a legend.

So to erase the ©
from the end of Your name,
You sent your Son
to tell us to remove
the labels we place on
and to start living the abundant life
You always had wanted for us.


God Is In The Roses

Artist:  Rosanne Cash
Link to song
Album: Black Cadillac

God is in the roses
The petals and the thorns
Storms out on the oceans
The souls who will be born
And every drop of rain that falls
Falls for those who mourn
God is in the roses and the thorns

The sun is on the cemetery
Leaves are on the stones
There never was a place on earth
That felt so much like home
We're falling like the velvet petals
We're bleeding and we're torn
But God is in the roses and the thorns

I love you like a brother
A father and a son
It may not last forever and ever
But it never will be done
My whole world fits inside the moment
I saw you be reborn
God is in the roses
And that day was filled with roses
God is in the roses and the thorns

The Only Journey -M Morford

Sometimes I spend too much
And enjoy it too little,
And find myself with people
Who remind me who I never was
And I wonder what it takes
To find my own people
And walk my own way,
And I remember the term ‘spiritual path’
And wonder how I could ever believe
That I would walk a well-worn trail
And it would take me anywhere
Never explored, or left behind by others.
It’s a ‘spiritual journey’ I’m on
One never traveled before,
Never to be followed
And with an end beyond my knowing.

It’s a journey like no other;
With no final destination,
At least in the usual sense.
My guide posts may never be yours,
And your burdens might seem light,
Or unbearably heavy to me,
But they are never mine,
And I’ll never know the weight you carry in silence.

And our journeys end
With work undone,
Words unsaid,
And dreams abandoned
Like a stranger’s lost baggage.

We usually imagine
That the spiritual journey ends
When the physical one does
And it might,
But I’ve seen too many people
Stop growing in their souls.
Their spiritual vital signs flat-lined years ago,
But they keep breathing
And talk as if they have nothing left to learn
And I know there is nothing more dead
Than the one who keeps talking
When he has nothing left to say.


John 6:53-56
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat
the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me,
and I in them.

Isaiah 55:2 (KJV)
… [L]et your soul delight itself in fatness.

The meal of bread and wine
transformed into
His body and blood
which changes us
from sinners to saints.

And we wonder
which is the bigger miracle:
Eating the flesh of Christ?
The Fallen are redeemed?


Prayer of Ruth

In the midst of this ruthless world
we live in:

Help us bond with the disconsolate Naomi.

Hear our prayers for the homeward bound Orpah.

Bless today’s gleaning
so it is enough for our daily bread.

And may we never forget
our eternal kinsman-redeemer.

Like Father, Like Son (Family Tradition)

Exodus 16/John 6:1-15; 22-42

Just like His Dad did
in the wilderness,
Out of love and compassion
The Son fed the people.

And just like His Dad did
in the wilderness.
The food came out of nothing
and from nowhere.

In the wilderness,
The Father’s manna was only good
for the day.
And all that was left of the Son’s meal
were baskets of bones and crumbs.

And just like His Dad
The Son learned as well
Miracles don’t generate faith
They get requests for encores.

“More food!”
The Chosen complained.
“More miracles!”
The Gentiles pleaded.

So the holy kitchens shut their doors.
The Select wandered around
Searching for the Land of Milk and Honey.
And the World wonders about
the Bread which satisfies every hunger.

Ruth 3:5

All that thou sayest unto me I will do.
Ruth 3:5

The story's strange.
For once, God wasn't talking,
Busy with some sacrifice or slaughter
Somewhere else. No plague, cloud, gushing water,
Dream, omen, whirlwind. Just two women, walking
The dusty road from Moab to Judea,
One, the younger, having told the other
(Not her own, but her dead husband's mother)
That she would never leave her. But they flee a
Famine for what, at first, seems something worse:
To come as widows to a crowded city,
To men’s appraising stares, and women’s pity.
Ruth, the pagan, heard Naomi curse,
Cringed and scanned the sky. No fire or stone
Came crashing downward. They were on their own.
Catherine Tufariello’s No Angel

Boaz Asleep

Boaz, overcome with weariness, by torchlight
made his pallet on the threshing floor
where all day he had worked, and now he slept
among the bushels of threshed wheat.

The old man owned wheatfields and barley,
and though he was rich, he was still fair-minded.
No filth soured the sweetness of his well.
No hot iron of torture whitened in his forge.

His beard was silver as a brook in April.
He bound sheaves without the strain of hate
or envy. He saw gleaners pass, and said,
Let handfuls of the fat ears fall to them.

The man's mind, clear of untoward feeling,
clothed itself in candor. He wore clean robes.
His heaped granaries spilled over always
toward the poor, no less than public fountains.

Boaz did well by his workers and by kinsmen.
He was generous, and moderate. Women held him
worthier than younger men, for youth is handsome,
but to him in his old age came greatness.

An old man, nearing his first source, may find
the timelessness beyond times of trouble.
And though fire burned in young men's eyes,
to Ruth the eyes of Boaz shone clear light.
**Victor Hugo (translator unknown)

What a Wonderful World

(Genesis 1)

The noise of the animals is a low roar.
The waves continually kissing the shore.
The breezes making the trees dance.
The humans are inventing romance.
There’s no such thing as zombies.
Creation is a just a big ole party.

The light of the stars are set on low.
The night creatures come late to the show.
The birds are singing with Eve.
God looks at all He achieved.
That’s the first Saturday night story.
Creation is a just a big ole party.

Asher Yatzar / Blessing for the Body

(Blessing upon going to the bathroom.)

Blessed are You, Adonai, source of all being,
who formed the human body with wisdom
and created within us various openings and closings.

It is known before Your throne of glory
that if one of these were to be open where it should be closed,
or closed where it should be opened,
we would not be able to stand before You and offer praise.

Blessed are You, Adonai,
healer of all flesh and worker of miracles!

Found at: Velveteen Rabbi

Percy Speaks While I am Doing Taxes

First of all, I do not want to be doing this.

Second of all, Percy does not want me
to be doing this.

Hanging over my desk like a besieged person
with a dull pencil and innumerable lists of numbers.

Outside the water is blue, the sky is clear,
the tide rising.

Percy, I say, this has to be done. This is essential.
I'll be finished eventually.

Keep me in your thoughts, he replies.
Just because
I can't count to ten doesn't mean
I don't remember yesterday, or anticipate today.

I give you one more hour, then we step out
into the beautiful, money-deaf gift of the world
and run.

**Mary Oliver


By Susan Osborn

If I am deaf and cannot hear
And if I am blind and cannot see
If I am mute and cannot speak
If all of my senses are numb and dull
Will I be saved?

Is the soul impoverished in any way?
Or does the utter silence ring
with the Truth?
Does Love care
what the words are
that lead us home?

God retreats

In the beginning
it was sudden --
the world

that wasn't
all at once

out of formless void --

of the infinite
into pieces -- God

to make way
for perfect human


**Rachel Tzvia Back

I've looked at love from both sides now

(I really don't know love at all)

Love your neighbor
          Love your enemies 1

If you love those who love you, 2
           Any run-of-the-mill sinner can do that. 3

Anyone who loves their son or daughter
                     more than Me
                                 is not worthy of Me. 4

Whoever has been forgiven little
            loves little. 5

Anyone who loves Me
               will obey my teaching.
                           My Father will love them,
                                 and we will come to them
                                          and make our home with them.6
1- Matthew 5:43-44
2- Matthew 5:46
3- Matthew 5:47 (Message)
4- Matthew 10:37
5- Luke 7:47b
6- John 14:23

Sportscenter (At the Hunger Games)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
 faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23
Coming up on Sportscenter …..

Porn defeated love
Misery destroyed joy
War handed peace another loss
Rush to judgment shut down patience

Selfishness beat kindness
Evil had its way with goodness
Indifference upset faithfulness
Gentleness was manhandled by violence
And Decadence laughed self-control off the field.

Later, our panel will discuss the question:
“When will these fruit of the Spirit teams
mature into winners?”
It’s all coming up next.

Blown by the Spirit… We Know Not Where

***Walter Brueggemann Prayers for a Privileged People

We hear the story of the wind at Pentecost,
Holy wind that dismantles what was,
Holy wind that evokes what is to be,
Holy wind that overrides barriers and causes communication,
Holy wind that signals your rule even among us.

We are dazzled, but then – reverting to type -
We wonder how to harness the wind,
how to manage the wind by our technology,
how to turn the wind to our usefulness,
how to make ourselves managers of the wind

Partly we do not believe such an odd tale
because we are not religious freaks;
Partly we resist such a story,
because it surges beyond our categories;
Partly we had imagined you to be more ordered
and reliable than that.

So we listen, depart, and return to our ordered existence:
we depart with only a little curiosity
But not yielding;
we return to how it was before,
unconvinced but wistful, slightly praying for wind,
craving for newness,
wishing to have it all available to us.
We pray toward the wind and wait, unconvinced but wistful.

An Anxious World

An anxious world seeks moments of happiness
instead of a life of joy.

An anxious world desires an understandable calm
instead of a peace that surpasses understanding.

An anxious world can’t wait for the next big thing
instead of patiently enduring the situation at hand

An anxious world wants to destroy those who disagree
instead of being kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (Luke 6:35)

An anxious world anticipates integrity to be corrupted
instead of goodness as our unblemished standard.

An anxious world searches everywhere for answers
instead of being true to the ones taught by the Master.

An anxious world believes might makes right
instead of a gentleness that brings righteousness.

An anxious world is chained in excess
instead of being free in disciplines
of prayer, charity and worship.

O anxious world!
Abandon what the world is selling.
Embrace what the Lord has given -
The Holy Spirit.


And after it rains
There's a rainbow
And all of the colors are black
It's not that the colors aren't there
It's just imagination they lack
Everything's the same
Back in my little town
**Paul Simon

Luke 4:16-30

Oh Jesus!
You can have a baptism.
like no other.
Deal with devil
on your terms.
Heal the
troubled, bleeding and hurting.

But back home
The carpenter’s kid.
The undiscipled Rabbi.
None of the other kids
are like You.

You became like the prodigal.
Left your town behind
began to reveal who God is.

Then came home
a people who
wanted to have a feast and celebrate.
Bring us the Lamb and kill it.
For His own good.
(and ours as well)


By Billy Collins
I have a feeling that it is much worse
than shopping for a mattress at a mall,
of greater duration without question,
and there is no random pitch forking here,
no licking flames to fear,
only this cavernous store with its maze of bedding.

Yet wandering past the jovial kings,
the more sensible queens,
and the cheerless singles
no scarlet sheet will ever cover,

I am thinking of a passage from the Inferno
which I could fully bring to mind
and recite in English or even Italian

if the salesman who has been following us—
a crumpled pack of Newports
visible in the pocket of his short sleeve shirt—
would stop insisting for a moment
that we test this one, then this softer one,

which we do by lying down side by side,
arms rigid, figures on a tomb,
powerless to imagine what it would be like
to sleep or love this way
under the punishing rows of fluorescent lights,
which Dante might have included
had he been able to lie on his back between us here today.

“If I confide my secrets to you in a bar…”

Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat (262)

If I confide my secrets
to you in a bar,
it is far better than to pray
without you in
a house of worship.

You are the alpha and omega;
without you everything is nothing.
If you wish, you can
sentence us to hell,
and if you wish, you can
decide to cherish us.

Translated by Juan Cole

Remove the chains

Set him free
from his madness.
Hear his plea.
Speak the word.
Remove the chains
set him free.
Set her free
from her disease.
Feel her faith,
Locate the touch.
Remove the chains
set her free.
I am so used to my chains.
Comfortable but binding.
I have no need to change.
There’s no reason to cry out in distress.
or care about anybody else’s shackles.
I don’t have to lunge
for the hem of His garment
here in the land of the free.

I Hear the Rolling Thunder

Mark 4:35-41

If it’s true that the gods do not sleep,
perhaps it was Jesus’ most fully human condition.

Remembering Eve, Abraham and Israel
Dreaming of angels, Abba and peace
A blessed rest after doing His Father’s will.
But in the midst of Nirvana
He was hijacked to
the world He created.
Drenched in water and the screams of
“Don’t you care if we drown?”

He thought
He was having His first nightmare.
So He played the hero.
He spoke to the cosmic snooze button.
Calmed the wind.
Stopped the waves.

And then
mumbled to the crew
before going back to sleep:
“Why so little faith,
when you’re traveling with the King?”