Thursday, December 7, 2017

Light in the Darkness

Starting 2013,
I have been doing less posting on this blog,
and more at Light in the Darkness.

Please come check it out.

in Life, Wendy


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

We don't fit-in the world system - this is a blessing, though it sometimes feels like a curse

thanks for the cartoon www.nakedpastor.com


here is my riff on it:


The historical Jesus as God And man, doesn’t fit in the categories 
- he doesn’t FIT, like a round peg in square hole.

Jesus is fish AND fowl, 
and I can relate! 
Maybe you can too.

Many of us feel like we don’t fit.
And many of us feel alone in that.

I am blessed to be in a position to have deeply shared with hundreds of people in the last dozen years
- hearing their pain, struggle, and challenges
- and let me tell you...

if you feel like you don't fit-in, 
and you feel alone in that, 
you are actually in very good company! 
; )

For good reason:
Our society pushes us to want to fit in a box… 
of belief, of fitting-in, of looking-good, of being cool, of success…
according to some ideal.

But, just like the historical Jesus, 
we don’t fit into some model of how we should be.
We are not a cog.

For many of us, it can feel so hard, scary, painful, shameful, lonely - to not fit in…
in our family, in our neighborhood, in our work, in our church, even in our clubs and micro-identities...

Whether it seems like we are trying and failing, or trying and succeeding, in this world's game;
most of us find this game to be uncomfortable, at best.

.
But, this is not the end of the story.
Meanwhile…

We are the temple of the holy spirit, 
We are God's breath of life enlivening the dust of the ground.
We are the light, salt, glory, power, truth, love of God… in these earthen vessels.


And, each of us is completely unique in all the world.
There is no one else who is, was, or ever will be You 
and no one with the same calling as Yours.

We are beyond categorization.

And because of our precious uniqueness, 
we can make a difference in this world, 
that no one else can.

.
Jesus did as he spiritually saw Abba do, 
and said as he spiritually heard Abba say, 
in his own unique way,

And we also can learn to step-by-step dance with the Living God, in our own unique way.
Inch-by-inch bringing the reign/kingdom of God to earth, as in Heaven.
Not by striving, rather by resting in God as who we ARE.

.
So, when we look to the world for the way;
We meet the cookie cutter expectations of our culture 
- and whether we comply or resist - 
we are playing the world's game.

When we play the world's game, instead of our own, 
at Best, we we not comfortable
 - something is missing, something doesn't fit, something is wrong…

I believe this is a pervasive experience, 
Until we allow ourselves to rest in God, 
resting in who we really (already) are spiritually.

And from there playing our own game:
Learning to BE who we are, 
and then to DO who we are (organically, with ease and grace), 
in concert with God's orchestra.

So this is the good news 
- God, the reign/kingdom of heaven, spiritual reality, is right here spiritually, now coexistent with his physical reality
- and every moment, we have the chance, the choice to play our part in God's amazing orchestra (or not ;)

We can make a soul choice 
to play with God,
 to rest in God, 
to turn-around;
to look at God, not the world, for our leading, for our feeding, for our blessings, for our fitting-in, for our life…

Hooray!! Hooray!! 

.
… and if we really want this - not just dabbling - stopping there doesn't serve.
One soul choice - no matter how large that choice may be, doesn't shift our conscious experience.
We have too much momentum going the other way.

We are called to walk-out in the world, what we already spiritually own.
One soul choice is wonderful, and makes a spiritual difference. 
But, if we don't let God transform all of us, that choice will not change our life, or our world.

I believe, and experience that 
it serves to practice being who we already spiritually are 
out into the world.

In our conscious experience, body, soul, life 
- this takes TIME and SPACE, 
- this takes INTENTION and ATTENTION
to make Real.

This isn’t a matter of intellectual belief (that is a society lie).
This isn’t just taking a pill, it isn’t a silver bullet (that is a society lie).

These lies lead to sitting-around waiting for the heaven-train, 
instead of doing our calling: 
bringing to earth what is in heaven - in our experience of life and in the world around us.

.
We are called to walk-out in the world, what we already spiritually own.

This is not an intellectual process.
This is not about rules, or a set-pathway.
This is not about pleasing somebody - even if its our mother, or our pastor.

Going from eyes on society, on the world, trying to please the world (including our family, our neighbors, our religion...)
to 
Eyes on the Living God - who is active and dances with us in present time, 
allowing God to help us mature into who we really are, and what we can do in this world…

This isn’t trivial.
This is a process in itself.
This is a body, soul, mind, spirit, life transition.

Yes, we are already in God, spiritually.
We are already seated with Christ Jesus in Heavenly places.

But, we are called to make this REAL in our body, soul, life… 
continually diving deeper in God, consciously in this reality 
- bringing on Earth, what is in Heaven.

Although there are great and amazing blessings inside ourselves and in our world, every step of the way;
This is not an easy or pain-free process.

Paul called it dying daily.

But at the same time, the fruit of this process is SO, SO good.
Life, Abundantly.

As we deepen in this process,
we start to experience that we are whole and complete,
we are love, and we are One,
we are precious, and we are gifted,
and we completely fit-in… in God

We start to experience, And others start to experience, 
that we are light, salt, glory, power, truth, love of God… in these earthen vessels.
and life is SO, SO good.

This is a huge blessing to us, and our world 
- if we let it be….
The Living, present-time Jesus can show us the way.

Like Jesus, 
we can hold being fish and fowl,
we can transcend the world's categories,
we can BE ourselves, and DO our thing:

to our own Joy, 
to the Blessing of those around us, 
to the transformation of our world, and
to the Glory of God.

The Living, present-time Jesus can show us the way.

I have some additions and addendum here, if interested:  Let's stop pretending we are focused on God, when we just want to fit-into our little corner of the WORLD

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Let's stop pretending we are focused on God, when we just want to fit-into our little corner of the WORLD

additions and addendum to:  We don't fit-in the world system - this is a blessing, though it sometimes feels like a curse


1)
It is very challenging to say al this without starting to sound like 'works'.
'works' is world-focused, i am speaking of spiritual focus.

What I am speaking-to has nothing to do with:
- striving to 'do-good',
- whether or not we are 'saved', 
- whether we are loved by God or going to Heaven.

We are already IN God, and IN Heaven, spiritually.

The question is:
do we want to bring this spiritual reality into this earth reality?
do we want to actively and consciously participate in bringing the reign/kingdom of God, on earth as it is is Heaven?

Do we choose to bring the love we are already IN spiritually, 
the reign/kingdom of Heaven we are already IN spiritually, 

into our everyday consciousness?
into our everyday experience?
into our everyday life?
into this reality, powerfully and transformatively?

Yes or No is great on this, 
whatever.
We are all one spiritually.
In the end, we all go to the seashore :)


2)
But I would prefer we stop pretending we are focused on God, and bringing in the Kingdom,
when we just want to fit-into our little corner of the WORLD:
- our little church community, 
- our little bible-study, 
- our little behavior-modification group, 
- our little judgment society...

This gives God, Jesus, the Bible, Christianity... 
a bad name.

More importantly, it gives most people a distraction 
- a dabbling, an idol - 
when they are desperately seeking and needing a true and loving and transformative connection with God, 
experientially healed and whole in the presence of the living God.

People get BS when they are looking for something spirutally Real, 
and they then believe spiritual reality is BS.

People come to church or some kind of spiritual belief-structure, they try it out...
then along the way they realize - oh, this is the same shit, dressed up in holy robes.

No, life IN God is SO NOT the same old shit.

I believe this is why Jesus spoke to the religious leaders so vociferously:
woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

The good news is
- God, the reign/kingdom of heaven, spiritual reality, is right here spiritually, now coexistent with his physical reality
- and every moment, we have the chance, the choice to play our part in God's amazing orchestra (or not ;)

When we Really want Life, Abundantly - living out this good news.
The Living, present-time Jesus can show us the way.

.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

“Transfigurations: Transgressing Gender in the Bible” :Salon: Gender, the Bible and Us, Sept 9th, 2017: 6:30-9pm, Freehold, NJ



Salon: Gender, the Bible and Us
Saturday evening, September 9th: 6:30-9pm, Joanie and Loni’s House in Freehold, NJ


Come enjoy this one-person performance and lecture DVD,
hang out together, have a nosh, chat about this subject…


Peterson Toscano in his one-person play: “Transfigurations: Transgressing Gender in the Bible”:
I asked: who in the text is transgressing and transcending gender? I was shocked to discover some of the most important people, in the most important Bible stories, are gender non-conforming.

I believe this is an important, and potentially useful conversation;
and I hope you find it interesting!


The DVD is focused on Gender, in a Judeo-Christian biblical context.
Meanwhile, I believe this underlying conversation effects all of us.  
Would you like to talk about these kinds of issues:
  • How we do or do not fit comfortably into our Society’s gender roles; and
  • How do we deal with that, for ourselves? with others?
  • How has/does our Culture bend, influence our Gender experience and expression?
  • How does/can our Gender experience and expression bend, influence our Culture?

SO, regardless if you
  • identify as Queer or Trans
  • see the Bible as relevant to your life, or not.
Please come, invite your friends.

Let us know you plan to come, so we can plan, and update you on any changes of plan: Say you are coming on Facebook and/or contact me via email: Wendy
(If you need the address, let me know ; )




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

{Guest Post} Just because someone considers them to be weeds, doesn't make them worthless

{Guest Post} Michael R. Wolf
Originally written to "SLUG (St. Luke's Urban Garden)" list

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Last night, 4 fires were set at accumulations of stuff along the Burke-Gilman trail. They appear to (to most people's eyes) to have been piles of trash, including parts of chop-shopped (purportedly stolen) bikes. To other eyes, they were the accumulated belongings of unsheltered (FKA homeless) people.

As I biked home from Wallingford about an hour ago, I chatted with
* a news crew from KOMO 4 preparing to do a live news report, and
* 2 members of the Seattle Police Bomb Squad doing a fire investigation.

I get both sides of the issue. (Well, there are more than 2 sides, but these are 2 of them):

[Here's where it starts getting long. You can stop here if all you want is the "what".]

- People (of the unsheltered variety), by definition, have no shelter to store their "junk", and even if it appears as junk to us, if we were honest with ourselves, we have *many* times that amount. It's just hidden from view so it doesn't occur to us (or our neighbors) as "trash".

- People (of the sheltered variety), are frustrated at the increasing ugliness of the trash (NOT in double quotes) that overpowers the treasures inside, and a feeling of helplessness to make a difference as these accumulations grew over weeks and weeks.

(Notice that I started both of these points with the noun "People", not the adjectives "sheltered" or "unsheltered". That was deliberate.)

Since I don't have a crystal ball, I'm must speculatin'. Jus' sayin'. But I've also got some insights into both sides.

When I shared this news with Cannon Britt, her first words were "That's evil". And I agree. And.... after some discussion, she also acknowledged that she, too, feels frustrated at many of the activities that happen on (or near) St Luke's property. And.... she also *welcomes* these unsheltered people. Her feelings are both frustration AND welcoming.

To wit, I was sitting on the floor with the (very cute) little kids on Sunday when her "Children's talk" when she asked me (as the purported expert gardener) the (trick) question of "Which of these plants are weeds?", and I replied "Well... that depends on context. Some people would call of the plants, but they are pretty, too, so depending on the context they may not be considered weeds". That was, in fact the point of the "kid sermon" -- Just because someone considers them to be weeds, doesn't make them worthless. They're just out of place, or out of context. Her summary -- It's not wrong that people are camping on St Luke's property. It's wrong that there are not enough beds." That's a message (or reframing) the kids could get.

What's this got to do with SLUG, you may ask? Well, we're a COMMUNITY garden, and the COMMUNITY is learning how to coexist with itself. And the garden is part of that learning experiment. As frustrations flare up (pun intended), let's be a model for a good balance.

Canon Britt is good at being able to both welcome folks, but also to draw boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. I am not so great at that (yet), but I'm sure glad that she's around to model that kind of balance in her role as vicar (meaning "bishop's assistant in charge of a church or mission' - http://www.dictionary.com/browse/vicar) She's got a tough job straddling the roles of spiritual head of a mission church, and of the physical steward of the church's property. Tough job -- heart and head! (BTW... She's doing a great job!!!).

See you in the garden, along the Burke-Gilman trail (including the soon-to-be-completed "Missing Link"), and in the neighborhood....

Michael

P.S. As you might expect, I welcome a discussion. This is not a simple issue, so I don't expect that everyone will see it identically to me. And... I respect a respectful discussion (even if it's heated, passionate, or) as we live and learn.

--
{Guest Post} Michael R. Wolf
MichaelRWolf@att.net - LinkedIn.com/in/MRWolf 
"All mammals learn by playing"






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Friday, June 9, 2017

Rest in God - a Meditation Workshop with Jesus - Wednesday, June 14, 2017; NJ Shore




In this Meditation Workshop, we will offer the opportunity to:

Say Hello to Jesus
  • Clear other's opinions about Jesus, get to know him deeper, in present time, for yourself.
  • Learn from Jesus spiritually, to shift into more Harmony with Jesus.  - some thoughts about Jesus here
Let Jesus lead you to Rest More Deeply in God 
Overall:
  • Learn and practice some basic meditation techniques.
  • Share your experience, if you choose, a couple times during this session.
  • Mostly, quietly enjoy sitting in a chair, letting go and experiencing your inner world. 

Details
  • 7:15 - 9:15pm 
  • Trinity Episcopal Church: 503 Asbury Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Is this workshop for you?
  • Jesus is available to you, regardless of your spiritual or religious background.
  • This workshop is targeted to folks from a Christian foundation, and ALL are welcome.
  • Whether this is your first or your millionth meditation, you can profit from this workshop.

Logistics
  • Space is limited. Please e-mail me that you are coming.
  • Freewill Donation - this workshop is usually $35, please give as you are led.  Half of all donations will to go to Trinity's Saturday Soup Program.  
  • Bring a snack to share if you would like - we will enjoy a break about half-way through the workshop.

    • You can come at 7:15 for workshop - come through parking lot, and enter silver and glass doors.  Come into hallway, turn left, room is on left.  I will arrive when Mass is over.
    • OR You can come at 6:30 for Worship/Mass (all are welcome) - come in main church (red) doors, to the chapel in the front right of church. 

      • Can’t make this?  Please join my infrequent newsletter, and I will invite you to future workshops in NJ and online.
      • Please invite your friends for this sweet and nourishing opportunity.
      • Plan ahead - check address, if you have questions or need assistance, contact me ASAP - I am not available after 6pm on Wednesday, I will be in church and then in the workshop.

      in Life, Wendy


      If you are not familiar with my ministry, here is a little info:


      Come unto me, all ye labouring and burdened ones, and I will give you rest, take up my yoke upon you, and learn from me, because I am meek and humble in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls, for my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.’ - Matthew 11:28-30





      .

      Tuesday, April 18, 2017

      Let It BE: Powerfully Being-with What IS, with Mother Mary - NJ Shore Meditation Workshop


      Meditation Workshop - Wednesday, April 19th - 7:15 - 9:15pm
      at Trinity Episcopal Church: 503 Asbury Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712


       
      Say Hello to Mother Mary
      • Clear your own and other’s opinions; get to know Mary deeper, in present time, for yourself - as a friend, a guide, a model.
      • Learn from Mary spiritually: to REST and organically SHIFT into more Harmony with God, and who we are IN God.
      • Let Mary spiritually show us how to more easily Let Go, Let God, and BE with what IS:
        • * Experiencing the Reality of the Wholeness that we Are in God (which is a deep healing for us).
        • * Inviting blessings/gifts/fruit such as: Truth/Validation, Trust, Gratefulness, Forgiveness, Acceptance, Faith, True Certainty.

      In this Meditation, you will have the opportunity to:
      • Learn and practice some basic meditation techniques.
      • Share your experience, if you choose, a couple times during this session.
      • Mostly, quietly enjoy letting go and experiencing your inner world.


      Is this workshop for you?
      • This workshop is targeted to folks from a Christian foundation, and ALL are welcome.
      • Whether this is your first or your millionth meditation, you can profit from this workshop.

      Logistics
      • Space is limited. Please register on Facebook, or PM me that you are coming.
      • Freewill Donation - this workshop is usually $35, please give as you are led.  All donations will to go to Trinity's Saturday Soup Program.  (Cash or a check made out to Trinity Church)
      • Bring a snack to share if you would like - we will enjoy a break about half-way through the workshop.

      • You can come at 7:15 for workshop - come through parking lot, and enter silver and glass doors.  Come into hallway, turn left, room is on left.  I will arrive when Mass is over.
      • OR You can come at 6:30 for Worship/Mass (all are welcome) - come in main church (red) doors, to the chapel in the front right of church. 

      • Can’t make this?  Please join my infrequent newsletter, and I will invite you to future workshops in NJ and online.
      • Please invite your friends for this sweet and nourishing opportunity.
      • Plan ahead - check address, if you have questions or need assistance, contact me ASAP - I am not available after 6pm on Wednesday, I will be in church and then in the workshop.

      in Life, Wendy

      If you are not familiar with me and my ministry, here is a little info:
      • After a similar workshop: "This was my first real encounter with Mary and it was encouraging. I’m amazed and delighted that I can actually visit with her.” - Lisa Agard, Seattle
      • Many years ago, I wrote this in my Christian-focused blog, a similar theme to this coming workshop: Forgiveness: Not by might nor by power, but by Spirit
      • Today, before I knew the theme for this workshop, I wrote in my blog for the general public: True Certainty and Humility as Friends


      .

      Friday, September 2, 2016

      Powerful theme of the Gospel of John: Jesus Sees Father doing and he does, Jesus Hears Father saying and he says


      Jesus says to them, My food is that I should do the will of him that has sent me, and that I should finish his work.
       John 4:34



      Jesus therefore answered and said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself save whatever he sees the Father doing: for whatever things he does, these things also the Son does in like manner. John 5:19


      I am able to do nothing of Myself. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My will, but the will of the One having sent Me. John 5:30


      because I have come down out of the heaven, not that I may do my will, but the will of Him who sent me. John 6:38


      So Jesus told them, "My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me..." John 7:16


      I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but he that has sent me is true, and I, what I have heard from him, these things I say to the worldThey knew not that he spoke to them of the Father.  Jesus therefore said to them, When ye shall have lifted up the Son of man, then ye shall know that I am [he], and [that] I do nothing of myself, but as the Father has taught me I speak these things.  And he that has sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, because I do always the things that are pleasing to him.  John 8:26-29


      I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.” John12:49-50


      Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
      Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.
      “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father..." John 14:8-12


      He that loves me not does not keep my words; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but [that] of the Father who has sent me. John 14:24 


      "... But that the world may know that I love my Father, and just as my Father has taught me, so I have done. Rise up, let us depart from here.” John 14:31