Tag Archives: Religion

How to Keep the Faith

How to keep the faith

after fundamentalism was revealed a power structure designed to subjugate,

raise money

raise structures

raise men

All in the name of Jesus

In the spirit of greed, shame, and tyranny.

To this day, it is no longer natural to say, “I believe in God” without wondering if that means I believe in

Systems of exclusion

Prayer for the purpose of imperialism

Worship of drawn boundaries

Spirituality of capitalism

Politicking pastors and priests

But faith must be deeper than the skin of religion or propositional truths of the West

II.

Do I believe in God?

Ask me while my wife is in labor, at the first breath of a new life

Ask me when my grandfather lay dying, pleading the words “I love you”

Ask me as I put a wooden paddle into the quiet waters of Cedar Lake

Ask me at the twilight call of a loon

Ask me when the homeless man tells me he prays every day, and he’ll pray for me

III.

I believe in the spark that lit this soul

In the very first seed

In whatever it is that binds me to you

In the mystery of prayer

In systems of inclusion

In a spirituality of wholeness, nourishment, and equality

In worship as action on behalf of the oppressed and suffering

which welcomes my own story of oppression and suffering

which will beat every gun into a garden shovel

which will turn every corporation into a co-operative

which will transform every church into a neighborhood pub

which will make fellow Pilgrims out of politicians and corporate executives, religious radicals and heretics, rich and poor,

you and me.

This is the place where I can quietly, contentedly say that, yes

I believe in God.

Planting for Rest

Heard the quiet wisdom whispering:

“I will give you rest.”

You are going to give me rest?

Well, what do I have to do to get it?

How much does it cost?

Will I have to use my PTO?

How long will it take?

Is there a book I could purchase on the subject?

The other day I had a really peaceful nap. Is that what you’re referring to?

I get pretty relaxed when I go to the beach!

But I’m on my way home and I’ve just got time for a quick drive through

Or a drive by

Whatever’s fastest

Just want to get it done.

Okay I’ll be serious

Gotta make this happen

Booked a weekend retreat at the trendy northwoods spa.

Now that felt good! For a while…

Came home and life clenched its fists with a one-two punch to the gut

Email box: full.

Voicemails: 11.

Even missed my sister’s birthday.

Heard the quiet wisdom whispering “cultivation-

Plant it here, plant it there and water it some.”

So I stopped. I took a breath.

I planted.

Gave it a drink, some light and some time.

That’s all a flower would ask for, and it’s really all that it needs.

Trinity Prayer

God For Us, we call You Father,

God Alongside Us, we call You Jesus,

God Within Us, we call You Holy Spirit.

 

You are the Eternal Mystery

That enables, enfolds, and enlivens all things,

Even us, and even me.

 

Every name falls short of your

Goodness and Greatness.

 

We can only see who You are in what is.

We ask for such perfect seeing.

 

As it was in the begining, is now,

and ever shall be. Amen.

 

A Common Treasury for All

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HOBT’s MayDay Parade, Ceremony, and Festival has always been rooted in two important traditional celebrations—the celebration of the “GREEN ROOT” of Earth’s green energy rising in Spring, and the “RED ROOT” of human work energy rising from mind, heart and hand.

Our theme this year celebrates the merging of the red and green energies of the world. We cheer on the great merging of the human social justice movements with the environmental movements to remember humans as responsible relatives of the earth.

As we experience the fall of our economic systems built on debt, consumer waste, the theft and sickening of earth resources, we gather to rebuild an economic system that protects and sustains our Earth as a “Common Treasury for All.”

In the Heart of the Beast Theater on their upcoming annual MayDay celebrations.

Parable as Threshold

Dave Johnson knocked it out of the park last Sunday as he began a new teaching series on the Parables of Jesus. He talked about the power of a parable to “knock us off our center and create sacred space” for introspection and transformation. Jesus’ parables–always subversive and challenging were meant to unmask the world around us and give us new eyes to see. Speaking of the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Dave noted that “it would be as if he told a story where all of us [speaking to a conservative congregation] were the bad guys and a Hindu or a Muslim were the good guys”. 

Furthermore, Dave pointed out that Jesus’ use of parable helps us embrace an “imperfect spirituality.” One where we see our failures, our shortcomings, and imperfections as the very path that will lead us to God. Quoting the Psalmist, “the stone that the builder rejected has become the cornerstone.”

It’s a sermon that will turn you upside down, and you can stream it online here.

The Recession Must Go On

I went to the bakery on

The wealthy side of town

The one where they put the french onion soup

In a sexy sourdough bread bowl

 

On my way out the door I saw a lady friend

Who had eaten her soup

But left the bowl made of bread

She then threw the whole

Bread bowl

Into the garbage

 

She threw the whole bread bowl into the garbage!

Sixty-two grams of carbohydrates

Three hundred and thirty two calories

Ten grams of protein

With a one way ticket to Gary, Indiana

And that is when I knew

The recession must continue

 

As long as we eat our soup out of a bowl made of bread

Only because its looks nice and is a bit trendy

As long as we possess the lack of conviction which allows us

To dump precious wheat which had been grown by the earth

Harvested by the farmer

Milled by the river

And kneaded by the baker

As long as we loose sight of those who hunger

While we feed our bread to our beloved ravenous dumpsters

The recession must go on

 

So lay your bed in the gutter, lady friend

Put your ear to the sewer

And learn the wisdom of the homeless man

Who has mastered contentment, simplicity, thrift, and stewardship

Who understands the law of abundance

And shares everything he has with others

Somehow trusting God to get him through each hour of the day

While he feasts on used sourdough bread bowls

Consuming our sin before it hits the garbage dump for good

 

Gods grace to those suffer in a recession

For those who are missing their meals

And forced from their homes

Gods grace to those who think they suffer in a recession

For those who are missing their double shot mocha lattes

And forced from their second-home high rise condos

And may each of us look the recession in the eye

And ask the dear friend, “What have you to teach me?”

 

 

*Bread bowl nutrition information courtesy of The Daily Plate.

He’s My Spiritual Son

An incredible Easter story, Mary Johnson shares of the experience of losing her son to murder and what it has meant forgive the man who took her son’s life. 

“I have claimed him as my spiritual son,” she said. “It’s not pardoning what he did, and it’s not reconciliation. It’s true forgiveness.”