Monday, October 5, 2015
This poem celebrates dancing as a metaphor for life
Put one foot forward,put the other to the left
Will I get the steps right?
woops stepped on Jenneifer's foot
there is a beauty to this
It brings rythym to the daily blues
to hear the music and do it randomly
this product of the muses
what beauty to it
One is bound to do it imperfectly
Is it really about the beat of the feeling of the beat?
this seems fun wait not yet I need more wine
Ok now it makes sense
to flourish in step what a rhapsody
Oh I lost a partner a new one much better latino
the dance continues
awaiting three more dances
One for matrimony
one for my child's matrimony
the last the last dance we all take
What a dance will I get right?what a life !!!
Sunday, October 4, 2015
"In the beginning of God's creating the heaven and the earth"-Genesis 1:1 NJPS
Torah Reading:Genesis 1:1-6:8
This weeks torah portion is special to me it is special to me because it celebrates the new creation and I am not talking just about the big bang but how we ourselves are created over and over again in life.Like the darkness before the creation our lives themselves are in darkness than The Eternal say's "Let there be light".
Have you ever had moments in your life and all seemed dark ?Well two months ago my life made sense at all it had been turned upside-down than like the creation read about in the portion life created itself day-by-day.
First of all I was in darkness I thought I had my place in the world figured I thought I would be traveling Friend among Friends boy was I wrong.I had this notion turned upside down ended not joining up not joining a Quaker but found myself drawn deeper into the life of a synagogue realizing in my disparity I reached for a Jewish prayerbook as well feeling most accepted as a person at a synagogue and the local Unitarian Universalist Church.They accepted me as I am didn't think I had any ulterior motives and trusted me as a person which I did not feel from neither my intentional community nor the Quaker meeting.It made no sense but I decided to join a synagogue and the church even though it made no logical sense.
Second a guy showed up on the scene,a boyfriend who challenged me on certain things who has ended up being a much better clearness committee than the one the meeting ever assigned to me he doesn't tell me what I want to hear and allows me to make my own choices for myself but I am finding after three months he is usually right in his opinions.Since being with him he has gave me clarity on a lot of things especially in regards to the community.Encouraged me to stand up for who I am and call out abuses even more openly.
Third I experienced Jewish High Holidays for the first time which struck a cord in the fabric of my being they challenged me to quit living for others as my boyfriend pointed out to me earlier and seek out my own happiness something I had so forgotten.I found myself again in the high holiday services
Myself through these things became recreated I realized even more so who I am for the last year I was told to not as the hard questions,to not do faux pas things,not stand up to those who are older than me to respect them for their age not their actions,to not stand up for those things I believed in,that my actions were not prophetic.In reviewing this I think people were totally wrong about me I do inspire others,I say things peope are afraid to say and the world needs people like me to exist.I accept this new creation of who I really I am can you?I look forward to the next year with hope a lot will change for the better I believe.
Some Questions to Ponder:
Why is it so hard to accept change?
Should a person be respected automatically for their age if they degrade and belittle your person showing you no mutual respect to the point of ordering you around?(Yes I asked thsi got you to think though)
Do you accept how are you being newly created?
Thursday, October 1, 2015
This is a poem that well kind of doubles as a prayer for work but also a poem of what I want to work for in life.
Give my Hands work,So that I may give more life
My hands need work oh Eternal One,
They need work not for an income but for as a ways to means,
They need work so that I may be educated more.
They need work so they can fund the fostering of greater love,
They need work so they can bring hope to others through philanthropy
As others in my generation struggle allow not my hands not to struggle so I may give more of my generation hope,
As poverty grows give me something that can bring others wealth,
As discrimination happens to me for me for my lack of give me the income so I may call this out more to others,
With work comes life a life not from the income but strengthened by it.so we all may become one and myself give happiness to others
Oh Eternal One give me work,So I may give others life.Amen
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
"It wasn't just a spur of the moment decision....It was thought out I sought God on it"-Kim Davis,Rowan County,Kentucky Clerk of Court
Kim Davis is somebody whose name is known throughout the world right now.She is the Kentucky clerk of courts that decided out of her own convictions after the supreme court ruling on marriage equality to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her county.Well I used to have something very much in common with Kim Davis that I cannot deny as a part of my life.That I must accept.I grew up in the same church Kim is a part up until the time I was eighteen I was an active member.
The Church Kim is a part of is a part of the Oneness Pentecostal movement.This not so well-known movement of Pentecostalism which I find very weird that nobody is talking about it all in this discussion over her.She is called anti-gay but nobody has explored what she actually believes only criticized for her acting on behalf of her belief.I think before judgment I think people should know what goes on in her faith.I see Kim Davis as a victim of a doctrine that limits her views of humanity.I say this speaking with the authority of knowing firsthand what individual members of this faith.
Here is what Kim Davis experiences from the pulpit of her church:
- The Pastor is the only avenue to God and the best discerning in all spheres of life
Oneness Pastors govern all parts of congregants from dress to way they wear their hair.Any advice given from the Pastor is to be seen as prophecy.To go against the Pastor is to go against the whole church.Some churches still ban watching the television.
- Public Shaming happens from the pulpit
You would you were back in the 1500s being at one of these churches.The Pastor will call people to the pulpit chastising them for a sin committed than asking the congregation to pray for them.This happened to me and my mom.
- Gender distinctions are enforced in horrible ways
Men and woman are to be kept in "traditional" gender roles.Men are expected to govern their households women are to listen to their husbands.Spousal abuse is promoted by some Pastors.Women are treated at times like property by their husbands.Men are expected to wear pants have their hair cut short,women are expected to grow their out,wear dresses only within the last few years some churches allowed skirts.Women are shamed for cutting their hair.
- Witch Hunts happen
If someone doesn't like someone they will speak bad about them.The minute someone crosses the threshold of the church the gossip begins where the gospel ended.Those with the most wealth in the church have the most weight in criticizing others in the church their word is considered truth and get away with anything in the church.
- Chosen people and Perfect
Each church believes it is "The only true Church" and the churches will compete for members.Each member will judge another pretty openly at times.Everyone is expected to be perfect in action and thought to the needs of the church.Members are exclusive.
In my last reflection I spoke of the good I found during my time among Mormons.I find it very hard to find good in the church I grew up in.It is oppressive despite all the jumping and holy rolling.It has deep underlying issues that are covered up in charisma coupled with experiences of temporary euphoria that ends up solving no problems.The church gave me some personal charisma I think,was the place I experienced religion but it was only the first step on my journey of faith.I was a victim to this for eighteen years of my life.I believe Kim Davis is a victim to it.Kim if you are out there I implore you to see the bigger picture going around you.You are being hurt.Your human dignity is not being respected.Come my sister take my hand and let's love our fellow human beings together.I pray for you.
Some Questions to Ponder
What do you think of Kim's stand of faith?
Do you see Kim as a victim of an oppressive faith as I do?
How can we better love Kim despite her views on her fellow beings that are guided under oppression?
The only time when freedom gets to be expressed is through worship.The music is awesome but the happiness and joy is only temporally expressed.Here is some music from my childhood church.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Some of the best advice I got about writing was from someone in a writers group I was a part of that just said"Let it flow" this poem celebrates the flow I feel when I write:
Let It flow
Let it flow,
Let those waters rush up from within,
Let the thoughts come out,
let them fall like a waterfall on the stones of others' lives
Let it flow,
Fear not the flow
stand not abashed by that revelation within
Let it flow
Let it flow
I write !!!
Sunday, August 30, 2015
I made this poem to celebrate those wonderful moments that make up the bundle of contradictions that our are human lives.
I laughed,I cried I am Humanity
I laughed as an infant at the touch of my mother,I cried when I had to be taken off the bottle early
I laughed as a toddler when I found something to get into,I cried when it hurt me
I laughed as a child when I played outside with my little sister,I cried when my face met my stepfather's hand
I laughed as a teenager when I won Pokemon for the first time,I cried when my abuse went unnoticed
I laughed as a young adult when I realized I could stand up boldly for myself,I cried when I realized that my Mother chose not to protect
I laughed as an adult at the mysteries of life that unraveled before me,I cried in joy when I found love
I laughed as an Elder at the life I did not understand that made more sense now,I cried when I lost love
I laughed as I died because my life even with it's pain was well lived,I I cried because I had to say goodbye asking the question well my legacy live on?
I laughed,I cried in my life
I laughed,I cried in my joy
I laughed,I cried in my pain
I laughed,I cried in moments of peace
I laughed,I cred in moments of sorrow
I laughed,I cried at moments of birth
I laughed,I cried when those I loved died
I laughed,I cried at the accomplished goal
I laughed,I cried at the goal left behind
I laughed,I cried
I laughed,I cried
I laughed,I cried,I am humanity
"The ends of the Earth shall inquire about thy name(Joseph Smith),and fools shall have thee in derision ,and hell shall rage against thee;While the pure in heart,and the wise,and the noble,and the virtuous,shall seek counsel and authority,and blessings constantly from under thy hand."-Doctrines and Covenants 122:1-2,LDS Standard Works
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints(LDS) better known as the Mormons are known the world over both for their good which they do a lot of and their controversies which there a lot of those too.In my own religious seeking I spent some time among the Mormons my name is still within the church records meaning officially by the church's standards I'm still a member.A very inactive member but still a member of their church.I would say I have very few things in common with an active member of the church.I am a Gay man in a relationship not only that very pluralistic to the point of Humanism in my own religiosity.Nevertheless some teachings hold some meaning to me.I have redefined them considerably but there are some beliefs that strengthen me as a human being .I consider these beliefs the good I found within the church.
Here are the beliefs I hold beloved:
A Universal Family
"All Human beings-male and female-are created in the image of God.Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents,and as such ,each has a divine nature and destiny."-The Family :A Proclamation to the World,Statement made by Mormon Leadership,1995
The LDS Church believes that each and every person is a child of God.Even more so children of not only a Heavenly Father but a Heavenly Mother too.They believe we as a human family constitute one family for time and all eternity.We are all bound to each other not only by our human blood but a spiritual bond that transcends our humanity.The best statement I have seen on this belief is the statement I cited The Family:A proclamation to the World which can be found at this link(https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng)Is a good modern expression of this teaching.
My re-branding of this teaching in my own life is simply that we are all connected through whoever those prime parents were whether there names were Adam and Eve or some other people.Our common blood holds us together uniting us a one Universal Human Family.We are all brothers and sisters called to serve each other in that universal teaching of compassion.
"The Lord said unto Enoch:Behold these thy brethren;they are the workmanship of my own hands,and I gave unto them their knowledge,in the day I created them ;and in the garden of Eden,gave I unto man his agency"-Moses 7:32,The Pearl of Great Price,LDS Standard works
Mormons have a belief very similar to the Baptist belief of Soul Freedom that each human being have the liberty to make their own choices in life.The Divine is their to guide not to dictate one's choice.Actually in my experience of the church.I never had a church leader force me to do anything but act as they saw Christ in love when they felt something was best for me.I cannot deny this witness of their character they truly love people and want them to make sure they make their choices with their whole.A great motto that comes from a Mormon hymn LDS youth recite"Choose the Right".The best representation of this I've found in the LDS hymn Do what is Right found here(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-RRkWAtCw4)
I don't reform this teaching much at all.I believe we all have the liberty to choose and some"Spirit" guides us in making it a well-rounded choice.We must make our decisions for ourselves not to satisfy even our religious authorities.That Eternal Spirit guides not those who assume authority rests in them.That song "Do what is Right" is the momentum behind a lot of my own actions that are looked upon boldly.
"For I am the Lord thy God and will be with thee even unto the end of the world,and through all eternity for verily I seal upon you your exaltation,and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my father"-Doctrine and Covenants 139:49,LDS Standard Works
Probably the most well-known of Mormon Beliefs that being Eternal Progression.Eternal Progression simply is that the choices we make will determine after we are judged by God what kingdom we are in.These three kingdoms Telestial,Terrestial and Celestial based upon our actions.The Celestial Kingdom is the Kingdom where the godhead in it's fullness resides it also the place if you live your life right as a Mormon male you will be Exalted meaning you will become like God.Most apologetics that focus on this doctrine usually focus on this part but it not only involves are choices but how we ourselves learn in order to grow in order.To the Mormon our growth as a child of God from now until that possible exaltation.
The way I hold this belief is that I believe we as individuals if we choose to learn more,grow in common sense,and lift up our hand in help to another we help each other progress as a human family and this progression can be eternal together we will Exalt ourselves.
The Mormon church is not without it's controversy and I don't think it's right to share just the good I have found in the church beliefs without touching on the controversial things I find myself holding questions about that I feel should be answered by the leadership.
Here are some of them:
If Mormons are taught to 'Do what is Right" why not just be honest about the Church's past
There are written accounts of the polygamy that went on in the church by the women who experienced it firsthand you can read their diaries in this book found at this link(http://www.amazon.com/The-Polygamous-Wives-Writing-Club/dp/019934650X/?tag=saloncom08-20) these are women who were members who experienced it not the ones whom the church disfellowshipped.I think the old line that the men married them because they were all widows is a half-truth therefore a lie.If Brigham Young had fifty-five wives why did he marry young women?here is a link to an article on that by a historian who studied him deeply Harvard Educated too(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-g-turner/brigham-young-and-polygamy_b_1792555.html)
Besides the polygamy i think the scriptural racism should be answered to Official Declaration two which was made by the President-Prophet Spencer W.Kmball(Found at this link:https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/od/2)never became an official part of Doctrine and Covenants meaning it has no real force and can be easily over-turned not only that Canaan's blackness should be discussed more.What do these verses mean to Mormons today not pushed under the rug(Link found here to Canaan's curse https://www.lds.org/scriptures/search?lang=eng&type=verse&query=Blackness&testament=pgp).
Just because you believe you can become a God doesn't mean you can be an elitist
Sometimes when I read some Mormon leaders it seems like an ego trip.The Church has been blessed but when I think of a belief that tells me I can become like God i'm humbled not prideful in it.I think a belief that should cause the Romneys and Huntsman who are descendants of Brigham Young to not be so arrogant but humble in their actions and demeanor.I think it would be cool to bring back the United Order where members of the LDS surrendered their funds to a common purse.The church seems to be becoming about all about the money the people are cared for but it seems as their expected to look like these more elite members.It was founded by the Smith Family who were poor could that poverty be witnessed even in the clothe worn.
Let questions be asked that are uncomfortable
I think questions over homosexuality,women holding the priesthood should be talked about even if members disagree these are your brothers and sisters and they matter.The Church also believes in continuing revelation if God has not stopped speaking to the church I think the church should not stop asking God questions.Especially if you believe in the agency to do such.
The Mormon church not without it's faults and not without it's blessings.I have met man good people who are Mormon.I've grown concerned with modern society trying to enforce itself upon religious groups .Religion in it's beauty is different from society sometimes it offers society good sometimes bad.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has offered humanity both.It testifies to human ingenuity,human fear and human excess.In the LDS Church members share their testimony I guess that this my testimony that the Mormon church represents that good and bad found within all humanity.This is my Testimony in the name of that Christ within us all that reminds us we need each other.
Some Questions to Ponder
What do you learn from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints(Mormons)?
Do you find yourself judging the LDS church not recognizing their full humanity?
Do you believe in an Eternal Progression of sorts?
This song by William W. Phelps speaks of the Mormon Belief of Eternal Progression it is beautiful.I'd like you to affirm as you listen to it your own progress in life and what that means to you.