A teaching of Jesus about money: don’t let it go to your heart!
I’ve created a video series to go with my book, The Inn of God’s Forgiveness. This five-minute video will tell you about the book, and the videos:
(I created these videos for a class I conducted as pastor of the Open Prairie United Church of Christ in Princeton, IL. All profits from the sales of the videos go to support the church.)
I’ve heard many sermons on the story of Doubting Thomas. Most of them have characterized Thomas as an example of inadequate faithsomeone we should try not to be like. I don’t think that’s quite right. Jesus loved Thomas, welcomed him, and gave him exactly what he needed. And I think Thomas the Twin is the man for our times.
(In this talk I address the importance of truth. So, naturally, you’ll hear me criticize President Trump. I’m sorrya little sorryto be so hard on him; he’s obviously not the only politician to stretch the truth to make himself look good. But he’s by far the most prolific of my lifetime.)
I dont want to alienate my politically conservative friends, God bless em. And Im a bit embarrassed to add any more political ranting to our overheated national discourse. But I do want to be honest in sharing my work here.
So heres fair warning: if youre tired of political rants, you might want to skip this one. Because its a song addressed to President Trump. Its called, Tired of You.”
P.S. This YouTube video is mostly a still image over the music, with only a little performance video at the end. If you’d just like the music, here it is:
P.P.S. I really had to work to edit this song down to a manageable length. There were, initially, a lot more words. Because I know words. I have the best words .
I’m feeling too sad to follow through with my plans for The Merry Mystic this week. My good old cat Justice got too sick over the last couple of days, and today we had to have him put to sleep.
Justice was an ordinary cat in many ways: he loved tuna, watched birds, didn’t like car travel. But one of his extraordinary qualities was his instinct for compassion. Whenever anyone in the family was feeling low or stressed out, Justice would find that person, snuggle down on his or her chest, and purr. He did it for me; I know that he did it for my wife, especially during her father’s final illness and death three years ago. I’ve had a number of cats before, each one special in its way, but I’ll always remember Justice for the comfort he gave to people in need. Well done, thou good and faithful cat-friend.
In his memory, I invite you to re-watch my cat video from last fall, Justice the Ranting Cat.
My seminary brother Rob Pierson offered a whole pamphlet in response to my Siphonophore message last week. His is a more positive metaphoric understanding of community not as a self-serving institutional organism, but as a relational expression of the mind of Christ. Rob has given me permission to share his pamphlet with you, so I’m attaching it below. Rob is a remarkable soul, and I recommend reading this, and anything else he writes. (I also recommend spending time with his photographic artwork, if you can find it. How’s that web site coming, Rob?)
The seminary Rob and I attended is the Earlham School of Religion. It’s a community rooted in the Quaker tradition, which is Rob’s faith family too, though not mine. A “pamphlet,” in that tradition, is a monograph inspired by the Spirit; it’s a time-honored medium for written ministry. In Rob’s pamphlet, you might find one or two terms that are used in unfamiliar, Quakerly ways: clearness committee, testimonies, business meeting, and so on. But his message is universal and accessible. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Have you ever asked God to tell you what to do? I have …
Leave a comment and tell us a story: have you ever received clear instructions from God? Did you ask for them?
P.S. — Here’s the text of that poem.
On Not Having Heard From God Recently I think that if I were King, I'd want a captain who doesn't keep asking, What should I do now? I'd want an agent who knows what I want, and does it, and rarely asks for advice or permission. I'd want an independent servant, someone I have to seek out to comfort from time to time. I'd find her in the field, at night, in the chapel there alone, with her weapons beside her. I'd sit down next to her, pray with her. After a while, just as dawn began to lighten the sky, I'd say: Hello, Captain. It's me. I just want you to know, I'm grateful for all you do. Anything I can do for you? Anything you need? And my captain would smile, maybe for the first time in days, and she'd say: No thanks, Boss. I've got it covered.
No school today on account of snow — in our local public schools, and at Central Michigan University as well. Reminds me of another of those songs we used to sing when I was a boy. This was a parody of an old vaudeville and music hall song:
Ta ra ra boom de ay
There is no school today
The teacher passed away
She died of tooth decay
We threw her in the bay
She scared the fish away
And when we took her out
She smelled like sauerkraut
Heartless little beasts, weren’t we?
This is a guided prayer practice using a happy food memory. Take ten minutes of quiet time and try it. I don’t appear in the video at all, but there’s a red-headed woodpecker that comes and goes.
What food memory did you use? How did that work for you?