Sunday, July 28, 2013


 I was thinking today about what it would have been like to go to ancient Israel. I guess many of us who were born and raised "Christian" have thought about it. My way of looking at reality has changed and evolved over the years. But, I  can't help but wonder, what if I really could?

 The road is dusty and it's summer. I'm from Alabama so it's not bad on me. Ala-what? I'm from no-place and everyplace. I"m here. I hear somebody laughing and there appears to be singing. Those people? Who are they? What are they doing at that little lake? I didn't think I'd see that in a dry and rocky land. Well, it's not the Coosa River but it's water. :-)

He doesn't look very sorrowful today. Not a very card board cut out either. No staff and no long beard. No blue piercing eyes either. They look hazel, and full of laughter. Although there's something in the way he looks over their shoulders that gives me pause as I approach him.

I didn't know he actually "put you under the water himself." WOW!

Questions? Oh yeah, I said I would ask the big ones. But, .....well. I think I'm supposed to, that is I think I can listen. Just listen for a little while.

the dance begins:
 Wake up to light and sound and emotion and expectations and. Big people with smiles or frowns , hugs or hits. Fathers become god's and mothers are oracles. Listen: it's us vs them. authority vs desires. need vs truth. Listen.
Touch: warmth? if you deserve it. Withhold it if you don't. love if you are worthy apathy or worse if your not.
See: who is like "us" you have a scar. He is not clean. She is trash. They are not worthy and here is the truth.

Speak: Be careful what you say. This one will be angry. That one will hurt you. how dare you. You may speak, but speak correctly.

You are not clean. they are not cleaned but you are  "loved" if you comply.
life: It's ours. Good of our nation. War:  God's will be done and they must be stopped. Never, ever defile the womb. But they are not our responsibility. The bombs will kill the "leader" the children will go to heaven anyway and the others hate us. They hate our science, prosperity. "They" are enemies of God. 
 Listen: We are right, and hope is only our right and inheritance.

Death: will happen to them. we will live. If you die then your are just gone and we will evolve.

Love: There is a river. The way is not blocked. The water is cold and the yet I am elated.
 The body "dies" yet my fear turns to "unspeakable" "joy' "life."

You? You have followed me to the pits and to the heights. Are you?  I Am. I didn't realize that they were still precious. They mocked me you know, and caused me great pain. I tried to see you in them but I was afraid.

The sights went so fast. Time is just illusion. I woke up and breathed and then It was done. I still don't understand it. Why am I here? I think I remember, yes. I've missed you and I missed her and him and them.

Laughter: It's time to go back. I'll forget where I've been. I'll struggle and prospser and die and then:
Wake up:

light, sound, smiles and frowns, where am I gong ? where have I been?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Short, crazy dream.

  I was reading the news this morning when I remembered a "crazy dream" I had. In the dream I remember people wanted justice and truth to triumph. It didn't matter if a republican or democrat was talking. It didn't matter if a person was black or white or male or female. Rich or poor. Everybody was accountable for their actions. The politicians had tried to separate folks but the rich and mighty and influential decided that everybody was equal and deserved dignity under the law. Black people decided that white people getting killed was just as much of a hate crime as black people getting killed. White people decided that young black people dying in the streets was just as much of a tragedy as white people getting killed in an accident or being murdered.

I know, crazy huhh? Also, people decided that just because somebody didn't have proper grammar or couldn't read or write that didn't mean that they were evil or wrong for speaking up about what they saw or heard. It even meant that just because somebody wore a hood or smoked a joint it didn't mean you had the right to chase them down and kill them. Wow, it meant the person who was actually "on trial" had to stand or fall on the facts and not on the white vs black demographic. Unreal, I know!

Then in this "Krazy Dream" people stopped demonizing other people for who they decided to marry or leave their worldly goods to or put on their insurance at work. People decided that the church and religious people had a perfect right to their belief system without being called idiots and bigots and unfairly depicted as fools. Also, people decided that putting a "price" on the welfare of a human life for insurance purposes was not only immoral and heartless but also "Anti-Christian." People decided that their leaders could no longer talk about "serving." At least not while they were earning pensions and insurance and living in mansions provided by the people.

Anyway, then I woke up and read the news and decided that I must have been crazy to have dreamed such a foolish dream.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Coffee, Ipods, and "I Am"

First let me say this. This is how I release some of the day to day "chatter" that goes on in my world. This is not a claim that the eternal source "God" of all life actually has spoken the literal words I attribute to "him" in the following exchange. I hope some of it is "inspired" of honesty and maybe even actual understanding. But, I make no claim that you will find the "truth" of all life or the "one way" in the following.

  I forgot my Ipod this morning! There I was counting my change that I had scattered around my truck so I could stop bye Panera Bread and get some coffee and play the aging "yuppie" is that still a term these days? By hopping on the internet with my Ipod and watching Laurel and Hardy on Youtube or Madmen on Netflix or reading Page Six on the New York Post. But, I had walked out without the Ipod. Now what?

Well I ended up doing what I often do when I'm without any other course of distraction. I had to "think" and meditate and talk to God a little bit. Here's how that went:

Me: You know I've been doing this for 56 years now. I've talked to you as my savior who actually walked the roads of the Middle East around/over 2000 years ago.

God: Yeah, that's true and I've given you an anchor when things seemed wierded out on you.

Me: Then again I've talked to you as if you were an angry old "Zeuss" type figure ready to strike me down for the sins of my "thoughts and deeds."

God: Well, you know even that had some positive things..not that it was or is true literally. But, it did give you a certain sense of boundaries in the time of youth and experimentation with the world.

Me: Hmmm, yes it did at that. Ya know I also have talked to you as the "Holy Ghost" who was really, really sensitive and easily offended and I worried that one "out of place" word would condemn my immortal soul to eternal hell.

God: Well, ya know it's all part of the journey and at least you didn't forget completely who I really am.

Me: I also have talked to you the way I do now. As "Holy Spirit." It works better for me. It has a better sound to it and sounds more "intellectual" than Holy Ghost.

God: Well, that's not actually the best or even a good reason to use the name now is it?

Me: It has (for me) evolved into the way you have presented yourself in my life. Not as an angry old man in the sky, or a angry "ghost" but as my ultimate and eternal source and reason for being.

God: Now that's better.

Me: Oh look! Isn't she pretty? If I were 25 and single instead of 56 but there's no harm in looking.

God: Focus!

Me: Oh, sorry. I have a hard time in this world focusing on my prayer life and my inner life. I am so taken up by the day to day stress and who likes me and who hates me and what about that bill collector and that debt?

God: Yes,. There is a place for taking care of day to day things. You do it day to day and moment by moment. But, not in one big anxious gasp and grab.

Me: Help me to listen. It's hard to hear sometime and it's hard to trust.

God: Just "BE" and take a breath once in a little while and I"ll be there. Not, as Cosmic Santa but as peace.

Me: You know, the road in front of me is shorter than the road behind me.

God: It is! But, on the other hand remember what Jesus said. The kingdom isn't out there somewhere. The kingdom is always within and is here now.

Me: Thank you Father.

There was more to it and it's still ongoing. But, a wise woman once said to me: Steve, don't tell anybody but God everything. Peace. :-)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Wild God!

 I'm now going into or am already into my later 50's. Some memories and some of the journey sticks or makes an imprint and this term has certainly stuck with me over the years. "The Wild God," I was reading my hometown newspaper "The Gadsden Times" which I would devour for the comics and the sports section. But they would also have a column or article on religion or "This Strange World" or something like that. :-) Anyway, the title of the article was "The Wild God."  I was a kid raised in the Bible Belt and I was a voracious reader. I still don't really understand how a human being can develop a worldview without reading. Now, don't get me wrong. Just because a word is on a page and bound in a book doesn't mean it's "right." for instance if you are reading Richard Dawkins to discover the worth of spirituality you need to stop or at least understand the "agenda" behind what you are reading. If you are reading Pat Robertson to find out the wisdom of the Buddha then you need to stop! Or at least understand the worldview and motive that the writer is coming from. Now that doesn't mean that if you read  something or believe in something that you should constantly go back and forth between two extremes debunking one and proving the other. that could go on forever. But, you should think and understand where somebody or something is coming from that claims any kind of authority in your life or makes any kind of demand on who you are as a person.

Anyway, I thought I knew who God was and he certainly wasn't "wild." He was securely between the covers of the King James Bible and the hyms of Cherry Street Baptist Church or The Church of God of Prophecy. I went to Cherry Street on the church bus that would come through my neighborhood of Walnut Park. I went to the Church of God of Prophecy with my grandmother who truly lived the teachings and believed absolutely in her faith and the religion of the church. So, God couldn't be wild! He was who the preacher said he was on Sunday. He was my sky daddy and he was also angry at my "sins." I had a lot of sins. :-) I read books with monsters and ghost in them. I loved comic books. Raquel Welch and others made my "body" feel funny. I thought of "bad words" in my head. So, I had no room for a "wild god" since I was already trying to tread water with the love/wrath of the God of church.

 Now, don't get me wrong. I remember my baptism at Cherry Street and the warmth and wonder that I felt when I came up out of the water. I remember praying and feeling a peace and a protection many times in my youth and even now in my life. It wasn't all fire and brimstone and guilt. I thank my grandmother for the gift of prayer that has steadied me all the years of my life. So, this isn't a brick through the window of the "church" or a rant on the faith of my youth.

 I did however, lose my dogma as I got older. It wasn't the hypocritical actions of church members. I didn't lose my faith because a preacher slept with a woman or a church member went to the beer store. I lost my faith because the dogma just stopped making sense to me. I read some of the history of how the cannon of the bible was approved. I also used my own mind and some of the bible just didn't make sense to me. Still, the thought that every thing we are or have done is just an accident and we are nothing but brain chemicals didn't make sense to me or give me any hope.

The term "The Wild God" stayed with me. What if God really was able to draw all things unto him/her/universal self? What if love really was true? What if we were really the only ones who are responsible for what  and who and the way we react to the journey? Also, what about the prayers I had prayed the dreams I had/have and the relationship I have with my source. With the "Holy Spirit."

No, I couldn't believe and don't believe that "love" could ever order the slaughter of all the women and children in a village/camp. No, I could never believe that a "man of God" could ever dash a baby against a stone. No, I can't believe that wearing a wool shirt and a silk scarf could be an abomination to the Lord. :-) But, I could believe and do believe in a "God" who would come and take part in the human condition.

I've said it before and I'll say it now. To go up to a burning building with a fire hose and put out a fire and rescue a human or even a pet is a wonderful thing to do. It's heroic and it's admirable. But, love real "Love" doesn't just pull you out of the fire. Real love sees you in the fire and comes and sits down beside you. Real love isn't just being strong enough to pull you to physical safety. Real love is saying if you are going to go through the fire then I'm going though with you.

That's why I still call myself a Christian. Not because the bible says it and I believe it. Not because of virgin births and talking donkeys and bodies coming out of tombs. I still relate to Christ because he sits down with me and waits with me. I'll never be the fire and brimstone Christian of my youth again. I'll never be able to relate to the old time religion and the absolute "word" again. But, I do know that I have a "Journey Securely Bound." That's enough for now. It's all I know.

Note: The Journey Securely Bound is from a wonderful lady I knew back in the Gadsden Vinyard named Debbie Handy. The thoughts and words I have written are my own and they are not the blame of anybody else. But, that beautiful title "A Journey Securely Bound" belongs to Debbie and a book she put together of poems and writings many years ago and shared with the church. My theology isn't her theology. So, if anybody thinks this is heretical that's fine. It's the way I feel at this point in my journey.