Sunday, October 23, 2016

Because I serve

I am a believer in Jesus Christ.  I believe that my role as a Christian is to be a warrior.  And I believe that I will be called upon to serve in the eternal host's army.  I am not perfect, I have numerous enormous personal flaws.  This isn't a statement of greatness, but of duty.

I am often asked "What kind of Christian are you?".  I believe the question is meant to elicit an answer to discern whether I am a right wing, evangelical, Born Again sort, or a different sort. I welcome the questions, people have to live out their lives and serve whoever they serve.   I would suggest that while I am flawed, broken in many ways even, that trying to live a morally perfect life is close to impossible.  Therefore the guidelines of Christian life help me endure.  I don't translate my faith to politics, or, if I do, I am a monarchist.  It doesn't work well with democracy or voting.

So what kind of Christian am I?

I try to share when I have abundance.  I try to uplift and help others in areas I have the ability to do so.  I try to be a good citizen.  I believe in prayer.  I believe in being redeemed by the blood of the perfect sacrifice Jesus Christ.  I try, often failing, to forgive.  I try to be steadfast in faith, not solely resorting to God when I am desperate nor crowing about my faith when I am successful.  God calls on me to be fearless, and I only fear things that I cannot change.  But if my number is called and I am to die, I am in no way afraid of death.  I believe in an afterlife.  I do not know, however, how a number of things happened.  I trust that if God is great enough to create a world and cosmos, however things might have happened, it is by the hand of God.

My church experience is rather vast.  I was baptized a Lutheran, confirmed a Methodist, reawakened in a Charismatic non denomination Protestant church, I enjoy the ritual and beauty of Catholicism despite have certain issues.  If I am anything I am Christian.  Any further need to discern who I am can be understood from my work, and from my personal witness.

If I have failed to demonstrate by my life what I believe, then I believe you are hurt.  Therefore, I live as best I can with the world around me being witness to my loyalty and reason.  While I do not see myself as a "role-model" for anyone but my son, my son is a person with endless potential.  Therefore, that single person needing me to be a role model is a very important one.

CLICK Both images for larger/clearer view.

 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Party? PARTY! party.

Why I do not care about party distinctions...

One might believe in a political party, might give life and/or limb for it.  But the typical political party is a machine, driven by a desire for power.  It may well require humans to populate a party, a party needs individual sweat and labor to make a party work, but do not forget that a party is not there for you, you are there for it.

In the state of Minnesota a Republican is almost certainly a Democrat anywhere else.  In the state of Mississippi the reverse is true.  The convenience of location and who we are representing is a context which allows  people who would otherwise not be different, to choose sides in a morality affair.  But in the end, they almost certainly weren't affected by their vote or their support of a side of an argument.  In the end people who are otherwise indistinguishable have made a decision, and in the US the result is Majority rules with lip service to minority rights.    But it doesn't really play that easily.

But labels don't work anyway.  A Conservative Democrat or a Liberal Republican are no longer common.  The divisiveness of politics has made the center ground, the commons, an area where those who linger are called traitors.

Who are we as Americans?  Do we matter?  Have we passed the point of no return and we've fallen from sole super power to one of many great powers?    There are a great many people who believe that the United States ought to be concerned only for American issues.  But then, if everyone had that as their goal then there'd be no response to evil in many different cases.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A prophet is not a hometown hero

I write poems.  Mostly I write poems about the world we are creating, and have left to our children.  I write essays about the same.   I write about love, because it is a common, universal experience.  But mostly, I think about the future, and how humans have screwed this world.  When a pastor who has numerous books in print and a wide radio audience read my work he said that I was a prophet, my poetry is a calling to the heart of people.  And maybe I am, I guess I am uncertain.  But the truth about a prophet that remains true is: from Luke 4:24  "Truly I tell you," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown."  I have only the fewest but most loyal of friends.  The attempts to sell my work fall upon deaf ears, because no one listens to a prophet until it is too late.  And selling books of poetry is not an easy sale, and certainly beyond poetry, a poet who writes not for academia or the journals and coffee shops, that guy is not going to sell.  So I am a prophet I guess.  So are some other people who did better than I have, exponentially better.

For example, I don't believe that I'd like Pat Buchanan in person, nor do I agree with what I've read of his solutions to problems, nor his dislike of Jews. But he has a way, however dark his purpose, or his soul, of presenting the truth that is well laid out and often prescient.

In 1999 with His work A Republic, Not an Empire https://www.amazon.com/Republic-Not-Empire-Reclaiming-Americas/dp/0895261596 Before the 2000s had begun, takes three chapters and lays out the future wars in the world, and why, as well as how the world will fall apart over a desire by US notions of policing of the world state. He did not treat the GOP of GW Bush any better than the Democrats of the Clintons.

This was preceded by his roiling of the American society by the 1992 Culture war speech at the GOP convention. Was the stage set for a division of left and right? In his prescient view, it certainly was, and had been.

He is a flawed, entirely flawed messenger, and I am not offering him up for a leader. I am just saying that the world we live in now and are confused by and driven mad due to, was one that was predicted to the howls of protest of others. However right, or wrong morally his views, he rightly saw that the road was paved towards a fully divided society based upon the values of religious people and secular people, and the nether regions between.


 
But the most frightening of predictions, was how he looked at the fact that the world will turn to Russia for leadership after American offers of help end in failure. Unlike some people, Paul Erhlich for instance predicted a world of billions and billions of people before 2000 AD, Buchanan shredded the easier to accept pie in the sky without exaggerating. My reading of other than American interpretations of world affairs has revealed many different pieces of the puzzle. The current that is rising is captured in a phrase "Better Putin than Muslim".

Is that a world that we want?

Non constructive comments/debate here will be deleted, I am only offering this to suggest that the world is on fire, and sometimes we can't predict who the fireman will be who puts it out. I just know, if it doesn't get put out, it will burn every house, every apartment, and every building.

We are all divided, but these divisions are not according to merit, talent, intelligence. Every side of the debate needs to be fairly addressed. Because right now in America we have one side who hates the other and says blah blah and blah, and on the other side we have someone who hates the other and says blah blah blah or blah. Did you ever think, maybe that there just might be more sides to an issue, a complex issue of life and death, than yes or no?


Our divisions are real, but at one time they were two sides of the same coin.  Now we don't even use the same currency.



"Bushido is realized in the presence of death. This means choosing death whenever there
is a choice between life and death. There is no other reasoning." Tsunetomo Yamamoto

Monday, October 3, 2016

Thank the Greeks

Western civilization is different than the East, or any other sort of civilization.  The foundations of it were not originally upon the power of empires, and great and powerful states.  It became that, but, what was the seed that took root was the Polis, the Equality of the citizens, the need for all to defend the Polis, and the hard fought values that arose from that.  When Persia came to dominate the Greeks, although they were but small city states, who often fought amongst themselves, they gathered to fight.  Persia, a vast and powerful, monolithic and fascinating empire, was not prone to elections and listening to the will of the people.  It was led by Kings or Emperors, and they were autocrats.  The cause that was Greece, in the face of invading empires or terror from the seas, is that they were perhaps not friendly with each other state, but within their world, they were Greek, and that meant they fought, were educated, believed in certain things about their fellow Greeks that could not be extinguished by an enemy outside of themselves.  That remained true until one who saw himself as Greek finally became the leader who would allow them their laurels but only if they called him a Greek, as much as they.  Macedonians under Philip aspired to be seen as Greek, but while they were related, his son and successor  Alexander did think himself the blood relative of Heracles, Macedonia was little more than a dictatorship of the strong.

Today Greece is seen as the weak sister of Europe, but it remains the doorway of Europe through which comes much of the rest of the world.  How fitting that those who seek shelter come in first through the first truly European country.





Saturday, October 1, 2016

Reasons

I am waiting for someone to tell me that it was worth it.  But I am aware that life is completely without logic, without reason.  It is absurd.  What is there to reward life's work?

Is it money?  Well I've never been someone who, even in my personal poverty, valued money over my time.  A person once asked me for an hour of my time, in exchange for a raffle ticket that could win pie in the sky winnings, I wasn't interested.  He then promised me one of three prizes, 50 dollar gift card at restaurant, a big tv, or a entertainment center or some damn thing.  I told him, I value five minutes of my time far more than any of those things.  The sound of the other side of the phone was one of shock.  He said he'd given away so many 50 dollar gift cards and such just for a person's time, that he was shocked.  He asked again, this time saying, for a mere 30 minutes of your time I promise you can have a tv or spiffy entertainment center.  Now, if I was not moved for 5 minutes of my time, it would surely not happen for the 30 minute request.  He said sir, I beg you, tell me what you do that is so valuable?  I said, I value my time to read, sleep, talk to my wife, be with my cats more valuable than things.  The person on the other end of the phone said, there is first time for everything, and sir, you are easily someone I'd would say to be unique.  Maybe I am.  I don't really care.

Is it recognition?  Really not.  If I were desirous of recognition in poetry, I'd go through channels of academia and journals.  I'd submit repeatedly and ape their style and prompts.  If I were desirous of recognition in Christian life, I'd stop swearing, I'd start posting verse, I'd start addressing the world through the lens of a proper Christian.  But I am not one.  I believe in doing things properly.  But the journey to heaven is a narrow path.  I don't presume to teach, I don't presume to know more than others in the world of Christian theology.  I do know who I am, and that by my knowledge of and living in the ways of Christ, I will not be spat out like lukewarm water.  So my words are not pronouncements, they are reports from the frontline.  I try as a poet to be transparent and report truth.  As a person who is a Christian that means I am visible to everyone looking in, warts, failures and flaws inclusive.  I am made of meat.  My spirit will live, but meat will fade.



Is it stuff?  I waver here.  I collect books, comics and various hockey cards.  I kind of find my reward here.  However, if you ask my son, my best friend, or any of the people who received a shit load of my gifts, I am generous and not selfish.  So, yes I collect, and pursue, but never over the personal needs, or to the extreme of financial burden.  I know some wealthy people who look upon others who don't buy as much, or as well with disdain.  Well that is on them.  Not me.  I know some people who literally work harder to buy more stuff.  I never have done this.  I live within the limit of my extra finances.

So if not money, if not recognition or stuff, what is there?  I am a poet; the kisses of cats, the wind in my face that cools our bodies in summer, poetry, children giggling, beauty, hope, and joy are all the rewards of my life.  Everything else that exists is meant to teach me, or help me learn. Writing this I think I've figured out the reward.  Love.  It is all that matters.





You rebel you

I am often told that I think too much.  When in my mind people do not think enough.  I am told I feel too much.  When in my mind people d...