Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Experimental Theology: Liturgies of Affection

Experimental Theology: Liturgies of Affection: In yesterday's post I talked about how we need liturgies of affection, habits and practices that help us to love others in the expansive...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

These Days

I haven't commented about the president 0r the state of civility in this country- or more to the point the state of my Republican friends that support the changes at hand on FACEBOOK.

To start at the beginning of the change: I suffered through George W Bush. He was our President during a difficult time after 911 and I tried to be a good citizen. I did make fun of him at times for some of the crazy things he said without thought.  But he was my President and the leader of the USA.

When Obama won and took office, I was pleased. He was the best available person for the job. But from the beginning the Republican  party openly said that they would fight against all of his ideas. And  they did!  I watched an 8 year ugly attack.  My friends said that he was not THEIR President because he was after their guns and their freedom.  It was stated freely that he was going to try to become an emperor and end democracy.  Many said that he was not legit since he was not born in the USA and they had Donald Trump to quote.  They said that he was not Christian and was Muslim.
The last 8 years of attacks were not based on facts.

Facts have become irrelevant in our new society. True is what I believe. Don't muddy it with facts.

I have 8 years of this.

Now to my great surprise Donald Trump is the President.  Funny thing is: Those that NEVER accepted Obama as President say well now we should all come together and support him. Anyone who does not is unpatriotic.  I am confused. I was taught by these people that facts don't matter and never mind that they did not support the president for eight years , its my job to do it.

Trump can joke about molesting women and I'm told "Boys will be boys" but my Facebook is filled today with photos that people are deriding President Clinton because they think he was gawking at Mrs. Trump?  Bad Guy!

Trump is my President. He Stole it fair and Square in the current "Facts". He didn't need help but if the Russians, the FBI director , and Wikileaks want to show themselves , OK.

He is my President but he has NOT earned my respect for him as a man or as a Christian.
I am frankly appalled at my Religious friends who believe that he was place their by GOD.

I know the scripture that says that God allows any ruler to govern.  He allowed Saul to be Kind even though David was his choice.  He told Samuel that the people wanting a King was there rejection of HIM- GOD.  He gave them what the wanted. The rest is History.

My point is that GOD doesn't see the world like you and I.  Donald Trump has proven his ignorance of scripture and shows no relationship with GOD.

Christians like him because he is against abortion and NOT supporting people on welfare. In their minds these items out weigh  Humble, Kind, Compassion, etc.

I enter this time with NO exceptions of a Government for the people. I hope that I am wrong, but so far I am not.

Yes, I would love to talk.

The Founder- Grinding it Out

In 1977 I read a book by Ray Kroc called "Grinding it Out" it was about the making of McDonalds.  I was amazed by it because of Kroc's ability to see an idea and look at the possibilities. Now a movie is out called "The Founder" telling the same story with additional items added.  The Movie matches the story in the book.  I would recommend these to anyone that owns a business or competes at a high level in business.

While I would never condone some of his actions, he was driven man. He was not someone you would contract with without a team of GOOD attorneys.  It does tell the story of how two brothers changed the fast food industry and how another man bought their idea and franchised it to the world.

The movie is well acted and well done.  Starring Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc (He's perfect for this) it has a great cast.

I give it **** 1/2 stars. 2017 Movie #6

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Live by Night


I read the series of book by Dennis Lehane about Joe Coughlin. The book was a great read and the movie followed it very close. Like "GodFather" this is a crime family movie with all the violence you would expect.  Ben Affleck directed, wrote the screen play and stars. I liked the book and the movie.

I give it ***stars. 2017 movie #5

Friday, January 13, 2017


Eagerly waited for "Lion" the rue story of a small boy lost in India who finds his mother 25 years later.  This is a tremendous story that is superbly told.  I was fortunate to see an interview with the actual people of the tale.  A five year year boy follows is brother to a train station where they searched under the seats of empty cars for loose change, etc. The boy falls asleep a wakes up 1,500 miles from home in a different country.  He next gets sent to Australia and as a 30 year old man decides to find is childhood home and family.

This is a great story of adoption and of life.  it is not lost on me that two of the first movies of the year dealt with the loss of a child only to be followed by a story of adoption.  My life.

Great movie and stay for the credits to see the real characters.

2017 Movie #4    It is ***** stars.

Showing Up 4

Think of the things that you and I need to show up for where words or deeds are extra.

Showing up when:

Our Kids or grandkids perform in sports, church or school

Our friends are in the hospital.

Our friends or family has a death.

We worship.

We vote.

Think of the many things were showing up is THE MAIN THING

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Showing Up 3

James Taylor says in The Secret of Life:  "The thing about time is that time isn't really real. It's all on your point of view. How does it feel for you?"

You and I say that we are so-o-o-o busy.  

I have a Christian brother who is a retired, emty-nest, no part time job guy who always says that he can't make meetings for his church family because he doesn't have time.

I hand out bulletins at our Church worship on Sunday.  I get there at 9:00am and worship begins at 9:30 am.  I have watched everyone's patterns (of current attenders). I quit passing out these programs at 9:45 am because about a third of our group gets there after 9:30!  The families that come late are consistently late at the same time each week.  They are NOT late! They attend when they want.
These include "leaders".

I went back and revisited Psalms 122 to verify that David did not say:

"Let us go up to the house of the LORD when we are good and damn ready!"

Psalms 121 "the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Showing Up, Part 2 Being There

Willie Nelson tells this story:

" I was in the Air Force a while and they had what they call "Policing the Area."  that's where you looked around and if there's anything wrong here, there or anywhere, you took care of your own area. And I think that's a pretty good thing to go by. If everyone just takes care of their own area then we won't have any problems.


And look around you and see what needs to be changed."

Showing Up Part 1

In the bog post that was republished below, Richard Beck makes this statement:

"The magic is found in simply showing up. Week after week, year after year.  It is hard and often tedious. You're frequently tired and have other things to do. It take discipline, commitment and sacrifice. It's a marathon, not a sprint. You just keep showing up. ..you show up and light a candle in the darkness. On the surface, the fidelity of simply showing up looks small and boring. But I've come to see it as powerful and revolutionary as mustard seed, to use Jesus' way of describing the kingdom of GOD."

For me this was heavy stuff.

In my local church we are always concerned about the lack of attendance for various events and classes that are created.  On Wednesday night's we even started preparing meals for those with kids  who are rushed to get to Bible classes.  We try to make things easy: so donuts and coffee on Sunday.

Mr Beck used the term Fidelity. I haven't used that word lately so to the dictionary I ran.

Yikes!  Fidelity is simply: "The quality of Faithfulness or Loyalty."

As a "progressive Christian" I remember almost laughing at my forefathers who considered a "Faithful Christian" one who attended all church services.  I was too enlightened for that because I thought to be faithful was much deeper.  I have been schooled.

The failure of our society that reflects in our church bodies is the absence of loyalty and faithfulness.

We are only loyal to self and when asked to participate we say, " WE will if we have time."  If I deem it important to me I will unless i find something I would like to do.

As Woody Allen once said,  "80% of success is  SHOWING UP"

I am embarking on a personal study of this subject because I need it.

Hillary Clinton said, "Showing up is not all of life but it accounts for a lot,"

Remember Moses at the Burning Bush. He had many reasons why he could not lead Israel. God basically said, YOU NEED TO SHOW UP. I WILL TEACH YOU WHAT TO SAY AND DO.


Experimental Theology: Prison Diary: Our Friday Series for 2017

Experimental Theology: Prison Diary: Our Friday Series for 2017: Over the last couple years I've done briefer, thematic posts on Fridays. I've blogged through the Rule of St. Benedict. We've re...

Hidden Figures

"Hidden Figures is simply a great movie.  I remember that time well and saw it through the eyes of my "Weekly Reader" at school. I was into the Space Race between the USA and Russia and kept up with all the launches. It was dis-concerting when our rockets would blow up when launched and the Russian were so successful. (WE never heard when they failed!). What I believed was that out German scientists were competing with the Russian's German scientists. We knew that the Germans had the rockets and after the war everyone tried to get them.  What I did not know is this story about the Human computers.  

I grew up in a segregated world and would not have believed that "Colored women" played such a vital role and the news papers would not have carried the story. I is wild that it took over 50 years for the world to know.  It is sad what these women faced but that just makes their achievement even greater.

The movie has great acting and directing. You owe it to yourself to see it.

2017 movie #3  I give it *****stars. It is Oscar season.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Collateral Beauty

Here is a story for you:  A Man's six year old Daughter dies and he has trouble focusing on life or work . His mental state worries his partners at work because the business is suffering without his input.  

But enough about my life, "Collateral Beauty" had the same story line so it had my full attention. The this movie season there has been "Manchester by the Sea" where a father lives without purpose after his children die in a house fire for which he was responsible. Collateral follows a similar line but in this case his daughter dies of a rare disease.  In both of  these movies divorce followed. As Collateral points out, 80% of marriages fail when a child dies.  But where Manchester was just a slice of life at a given time and without closure or change, Collateral studies the father coming to grips with it all.  This is a very creative spin on life. AND I might add very real. There are stories within the story with a great cast (possibly the best assembled this year.)  

It questions things like: 

Something bad has happened but do you stop you life?

Why do we shut people out who do not understand?  Why do your friends shut YOU out at the same time?

Do we actually see the collateral beauty that is all around us during times like this?  Watch the movie and consider the collateral beauty.

Our collateral beauty was finding Lindsey and making her part of us.

2017 Movie #2  It is *****stars out of five.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Sing in the New Year


Started off the new movie year with "Sing" the animated movie with voices of great actors and singers. This was  an excellent use of talent, animation and music.  It was fun to guess the actors. The movie is about an ill-fated talent contest with several small stories developing with every character. Enjoyable for the whole family and great music

2017 M0vie #1  I give it ****stars.