Wednesday, February 15, 2017

You Are the Light of the World



“You are the light of the world.”

That's what Jesus said.

He said that I am the light of the world!

The sort of light that makes people 
smile and whistle with delight, that
brightens the very fields of the earth
making the grass sing golden songs.

Jesus said that 
you and I 
are this beautiful
powerful
world-changing light...
 
a light like 
the very sun above us,
a light that can not be hidden or
turned off.

That's what Jesus said about us!

That's some kind of pressure...

but who are we to disagree?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Coffee House Celebration


My church has, for 25 years, hosted a monthly open mic coffee house called the Urban Goatwalker. The Goatwalker has been a safe place for members of the community to meet together to share songs, coffee, snacks and friendship. It has been a welcoming place for everyone, especially for our friends who too often find themselves on the margins of life. We celebrated the Goatwalker's 25th birthday last Saturday and it was a grand time. Many, many thanks to all who have made the Goatwalker the blessing that it is and has always been.

The video above has a few snippets from this week's coffeehouse.


Welcome

Welcome to strangers
to friends, old and new
welcome to travelers
and welcome to you

Welcome to fans of Tupac
And fans of Thoreau
Bienvenidos a mes amigos que habla espanol

Whether you like guitars or drums
Or poetry by Rambo
You are welcome here
Even if you like banjo!

Whether you walked here on foot
or rode in on wheels
We are so glad you're here
you're kind of a big deal

Your smile when you smile
makes our hearts swell
but your tears and your frowns
are welcome, as well

The thing is, we like you
you're great, without compare
and we are so glad that you
you specifically
Have made your way here

Friday, February 3, 2017

Worlds A-swirl



His hands were marked by chains
and memories
bitter as dirt
family disappeared
nephew killed
this refugee student
teaching through iron walls
thicker than blood
softer than driftwood



when worlds collide
we are sometimes
set
a-swirl.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Resist


I will find strength
where I have always found strength...

in the Community of those
committed to
Beauty and
Kindness and
Love.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

World Set Aright


Seeing the upside down world
in the drops hanging on the trees
I wonder - 


If I looked close enough
and tried hard enough
could I find a reflection of a water drop
reflected through a water drop
and find a world made right?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Data-Based Adulting


We need to come together as adults. We don't have any other reasonable option.

Look, I hope the GOP is able to come up with a better, cheaper version of healthcare that covers everyone, as much as possible. I hope they can fix the problems that do exist in the ACA as it exists. That would be nice.

But on what basis should anyone believe that they can do so?

Saying, "I really, really, REALLY hate Obamacare! It's a doodyhead plan!" is not the same as actually having a rational, well-thought-out, workable solution.

Basing a "plan" (in this case, repealing the ACA) on a hope and hatred of the old way is not a plan, it's silly, childish, wishful thinking.

Same for Trump and "Russia didn't do it! I don't believe the intelligence community and their data!"
That's fine for him to say it, but based on what? What research has he done? What operatives in the field studying data can he produce? He says he "knows things" but what? He isn't saying what he "knows..."

Saying, "I really, really, REALLY don't want to believe our intelligence community" is not the same
as having rational, well-researched, data-based opinions.

This is the problem with many in the modern GOP and, frankly, many in modern conservatism, unfortunately. They do not operate upon data and research, but on hatred of something based upon fake news and no news and wishful thinking.

It's childish and ridiculous and has no place in a rational government, flawed though it may be.
I say this not to insult all conservatives but to appeal to the best in all of us: We can't operate on wishful thinking and empty claims and fake news. Let us join together and insist upon not repealing one existing and working (if flawed) plan on the hope that maybe, somewhere out there, something might exist that is better. IF a better plan can be envisioned and spelled out and considered rationally, put it out there. But until such time as that happens, do not even speak of repealing what you have no plan to replace.

This is something that surely we all can agree with and rally around, yes?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Nearly Christmas



'Twas the night before Christmas
and all thru' the woods
all the creatures were dancing
like good creatures should

He Fox on drums and
She Fox on paws
were prancing and dancing
to Rabbit's applause


The Mice really boogied
while Squirrel only stood
and Thomas Tortoise cavorted
and was amazingly good!


This wild joyous romp
in the forest, Christmas eve
was chaperoned from above
by a crow named Ol' Steve

As for me? I saw it all
while out for a hike
which I recommend highly
if hiking, you like

For good Christmas hikes
are filled with wild choruses
when out for a ramble
through holiday forests-es

Monday, November 28, 2016

Stupid Lies


The difference between the two candidates for office is still visible, as is the problem with "President Trump" that remains and is deeply troubling.
 
What Trump says about the election results:
 
"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."
 
He made a specific and enumerated fact claim, that "millions" of people voted illegally.
 
1. There is zero evidence for this.
2. Trump has zero evidence for this.
3. Knowing that there is zero evidence for it, he made the claim anyway.
 
This is the exact sort of casual lying that should disqualify Trump from office. He has constantly and demonstrably made ridiculously false claim after absurd fact claim. Claims that are not supported by data. There are not just lies, they are stupid lies. They insult our intelligence, or should.
 
This is a problem and now it is our nation's problem. It's a problem because now, each and every time that "President Trump" makes a claim, we are obliged to treat it as a possible lie. If he claims that we "need" to bomb a city, how do we know we actually "need" to do so? Because so much of what he has said has been a stupidly false claim, we are obliged to treat everything he says as a false claim. We can't trust our own president (moreso than even normally!). The world can't trust the US.
 
This is why he should never have been elected in the first place.
 
THAT is what Trump says.
 
What the Green Party and Democrats/Clinton have said about the election, on the other hand:
From CNN:
 
"Wisconsin Green Party co-chairman George Martin said the party is seeking a "reconciliation of paper records" -- a request that could go further than a simple recount, possibly spurring an investigation into the integrity of Wisconsin's voting system. "This is a process, a first step to examine whether our electoral democracy is working," Martin said.
 
Both the Clinton campaign and the White House have said they see no evidence that any voting systems were hacked, although the Clinton campaign said Saturday it will take part in the recounts, joining with Stein, to ensure the recount is "fair to all sides.""
 
So, you can see, there are no irrational and sweeping false claims. There is a concern raised and, even though there appears to be no obvious hacking, because of concerns raised, they'd like to have a check to verify that the system is working.
 
That is how rational adults talk. That is how serious presidential contenders review data and make conclusions and act.
 
"Millions cheated!"
"Nu-uh! I'm not! YOU'RE a puppet!!"
"Crooked Hillary!" "Lyin' Ted!"
"I grab them by the p$%#y... I can't help myself."
 
This is how an ill-mannered, bullying, possibly mentally disturbed grade-school student talks.
 
He remains unfit for office.
 
One take-away from this, at least for now, is that all good citizens are obliged to treat each and every Trump claim as potentially false and in need of verification by responsible and moral adults.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Can't Take This Music From Me


A song written by the great guys in the Steel Wheels (check them out) and sung here at my church by some friends.
 
" Hymns from the loudest voice til quiet ones rejoice Your bitter silence tasted
And to all the beaten down in those forgotten towns Let no more time be wasted

There are no words to sing this little song I bring I come here empty handed
There is no day too bright no darken night  There are no wishes granted

Can't take this music from me
music from me
you can't take it from me..."

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

This Remains...


In our friends and family
we will find our strength.

And we may well need it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

escaping thoughts


   his thoughts had escaped
to dreams of woods and wild
                and an old Eden