Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What Would Jesus' Foreign Policy Be? (WWJFPB?)

"We need to fight THEM over there, before we have to fight them over here."

"We spend all this money on other countries, why don't we put America first for a change."

"Why should we have to abide by all these treaties (Kyoto) to do something about global warming? What about OTHER countries? Why should we cost our businesses so much and forfeit our sovereignty in the bargain? Nobody tell America what do do!"

"These bleeding-heart liberals want to give our money away and some of these people just want to live on off the dole. Welfare makes 'em lazy. If people are poor, it's their own fault, they should get a job and work to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps."

"Why don't we just nuke 'em (Iran) and have it over with. If we did, others would think twice before messing with us!"
-Common comments from the Right


"You have heard that it was said,

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
I say to you, do not resist an evildoer.
If anyone strikes you on the right cheek,
turn the other also;
and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat,
give your cloak as well;
and if anyone forces you to go one mile,
go also the second mile.
Give to everyone who begs from you,
and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you."
-Jesus (in Matthew 5:38-42)


I hope the Master's Word gives you food for thought.
Me ka pule,
Pirate Ted

Thursday, August 23, 2007

NPR.org - Even Mother Teresa Got the Blues

Pirate Ted thought you would be interested in this story: NPR : Even Mother Teresa Got the Blues
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13903581&sc=emaf

This message was included:

I thought this story was profound and important. A dear friend of mine taught me about such "times in the desert" or "dry times years ago.
Me ka pule,
Pirate Ted

*Listen to this story*
Please click on the headline to the story using a RealAudio or WindowsMedia player.
For players or technical support, please visit NPR's Audio Help page.
http://www.npr.org/help/index.html?showdiv=100.

*Order a text transcript of this story*
http://www.npr.org/transcripts/

NPR Shop: "Driveway Moments 5: All About Animals"
********************************************
A zoo of batty animal stories so compelling they won't let you go -- the newest "Driveway Moments" CD compilation from NPR.
Available Now: <http://shop.npr.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10051&storeId=10051&productId=23018&langId=-1&sc=npr-taf&cc=dwm5>

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mr. Mallory's Stuff



Mr. Mallory's Stuff
Here's a new website is intended to be a repository for links, assignments, and ideas for my students. If you have me for a class this year, check it out- you might just find something that you can use!

Friday, August 17, 2007

U.S. Air Force Vet reads the Bible differently than Bush

Here is a letter someone contributed to "The People's Email Network" http://www.usalone.com

Bush, Cheney & Gonzalez must go!


To our fellow senators and congressmen, the time has come that
punitive action must be initiated immediately against this
administration in Washington.

What more is it going to take, before the democrats and all clear
thinking Americans will stand up and say, enough?

This president has misled this nation for the last 6 years. We have
now lost over 3600 of our young American lives, untold thousands are
wounded and laid up for life to many, yet and still we have these
congressmen with limited vision, to stand-by whatever Bush says or
does.

It seems that Bush can always find just the right person with limited
vision, that will not dare look beyond whatever he does or says.

We know that Bush, and many of those that follow him, all claim to be
Christians. But my fellow citizens, we should be knowing something
about what The Word of God does say.

Bush has even said, he was inspired of God to invade Iraq. Can anyone
think of any reason that God would require the deaths and destruction
of so many, and the devastation of foreign lands, by our own
military, to the tune of billions from our treasury, for seemingly no
reason whatsoever?

God says I John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the
spirits; whether they are of God,: because many false prophets are
gone out into the world."

ARE WE FOLLOWING A FALSE PROPHET?

Even back in old testament days, God was warning about the self-made
false prophets.

Jeremiah 23:16, "Thus saith The Lord of hosts; Hearken not unto the
words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain:
they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of
God."

God further says Proverbs 16:7, "When a man's ways please The Lord,
He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."

So why Mr. Bush, are we bogged down in Iraq? You started this war,
and if God had been in it, it would not have happened.

The fruit of the righteous----

You Mr President & Cheney came into office claiming to be going to
restore decency and honesty to the office of the presidency. But you
have done everything but that, and for that you will have to answer
to God. You went up to PA., to campaign for that adultery Don
Sherwood.

What good things can you say about a person like that? Your whole
administration is rife with crooks it seems.

Proverbs 11:30, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he
that winneth souls is wise."

How many souls have you tried to win over for The Lord, rather than
shipping them off to die?

FEAR, FEAR:

You all have tried to instill fear on top of fear under the guise
that only you all can protect this country.

God says Psalms 127:1, "Except The Lord build the house, they labour
in vain that build it; except The Lord keep the city, the watchman
waketh but in vain."

Galatians 6:7, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a
man soweth, that shall he also reap."

If we do not want the sins of Bush and Cheney upon us, we'd better
start proving to God Almighty, that we will go to the limit to get
them out.

And to my fellow democrats, and all clear thinking people of this
great country of ours, it would be better to stand up to them now,
strive to get them out, even if it would mean you will lose next
year, you stand proudly, for you will have done The Will of God.

And to the liberal soul;

Proverbs 11:25, "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that
watereth shall be watered also himself."

This wanton unrestrained spending and deaths cannot continue, I don't
think God will allow it for much longer.

Democrats unite and stand up, go out into the field and target people
like this McConnell, Boehner, Blunt, even this Amy Holmes, and others
the mouth pieces for people like Bush and them.

The neos have proven, they are willing to follow Bush on over the
cliff, and take even their own families with them. Matthew 15:14,
"Let them alone; they be blind leaders of the blind; And if the blind
lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."

And remember all, God has said, "Not one jot or one tittle of His
word shall fail."

God Bless All,

Over & Out, Tyree, Hillside, IL., U.S. Air Force Vet

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I am a Christian by Maya Angelou

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say.. "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Faith, Art, and Humor


Phoenix - Arts
Get shredded. So that’s the Bible [cut into strips] rolled into pill capsules one at a time. It actually was really a bizarre thing. I put it through a book guillotine. I was thinking a lot about “Bible as book” and how to deconstruct the text and sample the text so that you’re just getting soundbites. Because that’s how I feel people deal with the Bible. They don’t deal with it as a whole narrative. Yeah, cutting it was a really weird thing.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fwd: "Let Go of Disappointment!"

Are you weighed down by soul-cluttering baggage?

Shining Light Ministries
Angela Gulartie signsandwonders12@yahoo.com
August 10, 2007

"Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord
is risen upon you!" Is 60:1

"Let Go of Disappointment!"

Grace and peace to you this day!

When I first wake up in the morning and I'm laying in bed, before I start to plan my day and think about the multitude of things to be done, my soul is in a "default" mode. That's the time when I can take an accurate "spiritual temperature check" to see what my subconscious mind is holding on to.

Notice I said my soul, not my spirit.

My soul, like yours, is colored by the left-overs of unfinished business, my thoughts, my fears, my expectancies. These are all issues of the soul.

It's easy to spot the conscious thoughts, fears, expectancies and emotions. It's more important and somewhat harder to spot the unconscious ones. But first thing in the morning, before I've had time to "rev up" my mind with all my plans, the secret things and issues that my subconscious is carrying around rises to the surface for inspection.

To move out of the soul and into the spirit requires intelligent action. It doesn't just happen by accident. I have to practice re-training myself and I know that in time, the process will become more automatic. But right now, I am still learning. .

One of the disciplines Holy Spirit has been teaching me in this new season is to bring the Joy of the Lord in to flood me - spirit, soul and body- before I get out of bed in the morning. When the joy comes in, I have enough energy to get out of bed. And no wonder - the Word of the Lord promises this should be so:

Ne 8:10 "The joy of the Lord is your strength."

Today as I was practicing this discipline, I learned two things.

First, there is no room for the Joy of the Lord to come in as long as my emotional space - my soul - is cluttered by soul baggage.

Second, joy is weightless. I can't receive it while I am weighted down by the disappointments of life that I have been carrying around with me as though they were valuable cargo. The truth is, disappointments are spiritual junk, a toxic form of spiritual pollution that gets in the way of my becoming the person the Lord has purposed me to be.

Disappointment. We each have a lifetime of disappointments of various shapes and sizes and emotional colors that we carry around with us. Some big, some little. Some old, some new. Some important, others insignificant. But all of them are spiritual poison.

Allow enough disappointment to cling to you, and it will be a dead weight that will pull you into the Sea of Despair, part of the torments of hell on earth concocted by our enemy the devil.

Why, you ask, would anyone go to the Sea of Despair? Because we don't realize that we are holding on to disappointments until it's too late and we've already been sucked in by the whirlpool in the waters of despair.

Disappointment has cumulative weight. Many little disappointments, if not properly disposed of, will weigh just as much as one big disappointment.

We remember our disappointments not just in our thoughts, but with our bodies. Memories and emotions store in flesh, causing cancer, paralysis, a withering of muscles, all sorts of horrible things.

Disappointment shows up in the stress lines of our faces ,and causes us to hold extra weight on our bodies.

Disappointment causes us to stop reaching for God's best and to view ourselves in the tarnished mirror of regret. We should be looking at ourselves in the reflection of God's light which is the brightest mirror of all.

God has told us what we are to do with the things that weigh us down.
He 12:1 "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."

So this morning as I lay in bed asking Holy Spirit to fill me with the Joy of the Lord - that is a joy that emanates from my relationship with Him, NOT a joy that derives from my emotions or pleasant circumstances around me! - I noticed after a while, that the joy didn't come.

I tried, and it didn't come. I tried again, and it didn't come. I continued to try, and it still didn't come. And finally, I got desperate and asked God, what was in the way? Why wasn't I filling up with His Joy?

See, accomplishing the transformation God wants for us takes commitment to seeing results, and continuing until we get them. There is no room for quitting, and when we don't see results, we must ask the Lord what is wrong.

Ps 42:5 "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God."

And at the moment that I asked God these questions, I realized I couldn't get sky-bound towards Heaven because I was grounded on earth. And the weight that was grounding me, weight I hadn't even realized I was carrying, was due to a lifetime of collected disappointments.

Hag 1:6 describes the life process of disappointments well: "Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put into a bag with holes."

It is as though we think we have a right to carry around the sufferings of the soul. We don't. Ps 25:1 "Unto thee O Lord, do I lift up my soul." Ps 35:9 "My soul shall be joyful in the Lord."

We are directed to "Serve him with all our heart and with all our soul." De 11:13. We cannot serve him with a disabled, disappointment-filled soul.

Our disappointments may be legitimate but that is not the issue. Whether our disappointments are valid or not, their combined weight will keep us from moving in to the mode where we are operating completely in the Spirit.

As soon as I saw that I just.....let go. An attitude adjustment shifting towards a mind-set of "release", and it was done.

And then the Joy came in. Not a flood today, but certainly more than a trickle. And behind the Joy, something else: A revelation of the Father's love for me. Je 31:3 tells us, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love!"

My anchor - God's love.

If we never "do" anything for God other than fill our tanks everymorning with the joy of the Spirit and minister that in our smiles and attitudes as we encounter people all day long, we will have achieved enough.

Joy is contagious in a world filled with despair. People are attracted to joy. They hunger and thirst for the joy of the Lord like a parched desert seeking rain in the dry season. Feed them enough of that joy, and like the desert after the rain, they will begin to bloom.

But you can't get that joy until you let go of your disappointments.

So I ask you again, what attitudes do you wake up with in the morning? And more importantly, do you keep them or do you replace them with the Joy of the Lord? You can choose the spiritual and emotional climate which lives in you. He will help restore our souls if we make right choice.

So just try it. Tomorrow, before you get out of bed, take a spiritual temperature check. See what attitudes and emotions you've woken up with. Ask Him to show you what kind of disappointment you've been carrying around. And most importantly, ask Him to help you let go of it.

And then watch the Joy of the Lord come in.

Blessings to you this day,

Angela G.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Balance, mutual respect, reciprocity, openness

There is to be acceptance of people who come from very different places (using this metaphorically as well as literally). There is to be willingness to hear "reasonable criticisms or observations" and to learn from the example of others. ... In a world that builds barriers, puts up walls, keeps the other out, and is looking for certainty, we turn to the Rule [of Benedict] and find a man who insists on balance, mutual respect, reciprocity, openness. [Benedict] refused to live with a closed mind.
- Esther De Waal
from "A Life-Giving Way" quoted in Essential Monastic Wisdom: Writings on the Contemplative Life by Hugh Feiss

This quote really stuck me. Bush is known for not listening to anybody and not ever changing his mind. Many an evangelist stubbornly substitutes the error of relativism with the equally errant absolutism.

Not only in the areas of religion and theology, but I think especially in the secular areas of politics and social issues, what Americans really need is to be able to just TALK with each other, to share ideas openly. I am often amazed at how much more ready we were to listen to different ideas, and disagree and debate civilly and amiably at my tiny Missouri-Synod conservative Lutheran college, than pretty much anywhere else in my adult life, California, Nebraska, Arizona, Iowa, work, school or leisure.

Why? Do we have to "protect the truth?" Are we afraid that if we open our minds a little, something important will fall out? If we know anything about Jesus from Scripture, it is that He opposed smugness and hypocrisy, but He was fill of patience and grace, not impatience and judgment.

Just some food for thought,

Me ka pule,
Pirate Ted

Food for thought

These both came from Sojourner Magazine's 'Daily Verse & Voice.' I thought they were each interesting and made me reflect on how they apply in my life.

"For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peacable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits without a trace of partiality or hypocricy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace."

- James 3:16-18

Yike. I know that I'm sure a sinner and a hypocrite. As a liberal, I love to criticize the Bush administration for global warming and pollution. I look down my nose at people who drive around in huge HumVees. I get angry at supply-siders who cut taxes on the super-rich and tell us that it's not the government's job to help the poor. But I covet and covet and covet. I wish I could replace my beat-up 200,000 mile tiny little Chevy S-10 with a big huge new Silverado. I whine to my wife about how our 87 year old house only has one bathroom that needs new pipes and a new floor and I wish we could win the lottery and build something brand new. And I am so unyielding on SO many things, being indignant is one of my favorite moods.

"At our best, we become Sabbath for one another. We are the emptiness, the day of rest. We become space, that our loved ones, the lost and sorrowful, may find rest in us."
- Wayne Muller
From "Sabbath" quoted in How Shall We Live by Joan Chittister, OSB.

I have always believed that teachers need to strive to be this for our students. Our classrooms should be havens and refuges from the social and emotional pressures and gossip and bullying and drama, let alone academic stress that bombards kids all day long at school. If for just 50 minutes, they can feel safe and feel like they can be themselves and be accepted- then I have served a vital purpose in their lives. If I can actually teach them something, that's icing on the cake. If I can influence them positively in anyway whatsoever, thank God. If even for part of that time I somehow represent Jesus (even without crossing that line between Church and State and overtly proselytizing) then Amen and Hallelujah.

Deal Lord,

Please help me to be contented in plenty and in want
Please help me to seek first Your Kingdom and Your promises
Please help me to empty myself of self,
empty myself of my ambitions, my desires, my agendas
In short, may there be less of me and more of You, Lord
So that You can use me to be a Sabbath, a place of peace and calm and rest and sanity,
set aside by You for restoring and reconciling You children.

In Jesus Name,
Amen