Posts Tagged ‘Pseudo-Paul’


20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

-Romans 1:20 (New Living Translation)

Okay before the slew of anger mail starts, I realize I have pointed out multiple ties that within the Christianities due to what is in and out of canon there is multiple bibles, but this goes beyond that discourse. This takes it to a higher level, and is an idiom of my Franciscan days:

Creation is the first bible which has been written over 13.7 billion years, and then the Hebrew Bible/Christian Testament began being written.

The point is simple and direct for us to remember in our communion/love of the Holy. That we are within the Holy, the Holy is within us, and everything happens resonates the same. Some may give a feeble Force analogy, and it is beyond that, it is not pantheism, but rather a devout understanding of Panentheism, and a connective understanding to the Cosmic Christ. As Pseudo-Paul writes (that is a writer/student shaped and discipled by the Apostle Paul) in support of Panentheism:

11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

-Colossians 3:11 (New International Version)

It also understands, as those who read my Mary theology, will begin to understand the brave teenage mum of Nazareth became the archetype for the “Goddess” “Divine Feminine” and (Lady) “Wisdom” (of the Hebrew Bible) within the non-Protestant churches that venerate her. The complete Imageo Dei that we seem to forget, both (or more precise– all genders, races, cultures, abilities, sexualities and other nuanced labels we attempt to use to segregate and disempower with in our religious discourse)–are created in the image of the Holy Mystery and called very blessed.

The question for us, is which Holy Scriptures do we experience and live in, and learn to love through? Is there a difference when one is in communion with Holy Love?

 

 


It is funny when I started this series on the Epistles. It was just a step of my recovery as I await the outcome of wait-lists for my specialists. It was to look specifically at James. It became a renewal of daily practice of sacred reading and mulling. Listening to the words through my heart lens. Some good things emerged, some not so good. Seizures happened, so did flashbacks. Mindfulness, focus, body scan, DBT and repeat. Why? It is essentially good for my healing. I am sitting to write the conclusion of my reflection on Ephesians, it leaves only 5 Epistles (1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans, Hebrews & Philippians) in the Christian Testament. I may or may not complete it– but the soul work up to this point has removed sludge and healed some of the soul in moments before the next reboot. Which is good.

We enter into Ephesians…

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Read 5:3-6:9)…

The writer brings familiar words. Words about relationships, intimacy, slavery, families. Words that are misinterpreted, misconstrued. Used today to support environments of hate, violence and pain. For it casts an authoritarian figurehead of a family that is the be all and end all. What they truly are is a rallying call to the community to step out of the commodity ran world where everyone is a number, a designation, a tax payer, a 1%, a debtor and debtee, where a label and a trick of birth sets your course for ever and ever amen.

It is the cry to remember that the gathering is not the usual run of the mill day to day, but something different. To step out of that hierarchical commodity system and into the world of BELONGING. Authentic, and true home with the true you.

To remind each person, and the community they are not alone. They are not ill-equipped, they have tools:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Epistle of Ephesians 6:10-20 (English Standard Version)

The allegories. The rallying metaphors of the battle cry. The weapons to be used in the political anti-imperial proclamation that is their Gospel. Stand against metaphoric and true demonic evils of world and self in what you have been equipped with during this pilgrimage to the Heart of the Sacred.

What? That’s right. You have been given gifts, talents, knowledge and using them to continue healthy momentum is holy wisdom. What are the gifts you have? Talents? Knowledge? What happens when you apply them in holy wisdom? What happens with your life? And yes, this includes the healthy-supportive professionals, and healthy social supports in your circles of support.

It is a journey. A daily practice. A renewal to enter into a deeper love of your inherent being, lived out. Spread hope.

Expand your soul (whole self).

So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brothers,[d] and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

-Epistle of Ephesians 6:21-24 (English Standard Version)

Peace be with you.

Take time for your soul work. What would a letter written to you and your community look like in the spirit of Ephesians? What soulpansion would you be called to? What would you be reminded of?

Be the writer of your own wisdom genesis.

 


It may or may not be a spoiler at this moment in time for you, but so apropo. In the new Aquaman movie there is a scene where to save Mera and himself, Aquaman takes them into a whale saying “if it was good enough for Pinocchio.” Later in the movie Mera discovers it is a children’s story (or to Arthur a movie). Astounded that such wisdom could come from this source. But isn’t that the truth of stories in our lives? The ancient and living mythologies that speak into our values and characters? Allows us to understand our own selves.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”[a]

-Epistle of Ephesians 4:1-8 (English Standard Version)

The soul expansion the writer is calling the gathering too, is quite reminiscent in the moment Mera realizes that it is a story that has provided the knowledge to save their lives. The journey of the Aquaman movie (like Black Panther) is that of a person coming into their identity, disparate pieces of a whole breaking through the silos into a holistic self.

 

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?[b] 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[c] and teachers,[d] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[e] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

-Epistle of Ephesians 4:9-16 (English Standard Version)

Both these modern cinematic stories like a new age Hamlet, tell the story of coming into one’s own being. Stepping outside of what is known. The comfort of the old norms, beliefs and structures. One’s old anger and fears that are holding them back. Hearing the truth that is being spoken in love to become whole. Where faith and self connect. Where love and hope become one.
It is knowing that our gifts, talents and passions fit within a broader context. Each of us doing what is necessary, just like parts of the body to keep the world moving. Or on a smaller level the community, to the home to the self. Each part has its role, each role as necessary can be rediscovered or re-wired if needed. The highest good is being who you are, discovering in LOVE.

 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[f] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

-Epistle of Ephesians 4:17-32 (English Standard Version)

Don’t continue to walk in falsehood.

In the moment when the true self emerges. Embrace it. Love on you.

The gremlin-saboteurs have been turfed. The internal jihad won. Each day, is a renewal of your soul. Affirming who you are. In moments of stumbles, going back to basics to renew the soul. Do the soul work. Know who you truly are. Surround yourself with those that aid you to grow, not toxicity that sludge the soul. Take care of you.

Be the hero of the story. Aquaman- Black Panther. Emerge into your true self, the King/Queen of the monarchy that is you. And remember as verse 32 says:

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

And remember, you are included (and most important) in the one another.

 


Somewhere’s between 62 CE and 150 CE someone who may have been Paul or a Pauline disciple wrote to the gatherings in Ephesus.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful[a] in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Epistle of Ephesians 1:1-2 (English Standard Version)

The gatherings, young Timothy led for a time. The great port cities of the Empire in Asia Minor. When there was a rise and run of persecution executions, but mostly economic exclusions. It was not meant to address specific heresies or issues, but rather to expand the soul of the gathering in their faith lived.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us[b]for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known[c] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee[d] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,[e] to the praise of his glory.

-Epistle of Ephesians 1:3-14 (English Standard Version)

I love how many read these words of predestination and have shaped it into this understanding that even before creation some have been selected to paradise and others destruction. I mean slow down your heart and think of that for a moment. A resonating of hope and love, and then a Creator that would create just to torment?

Uhm, No.

What is being expanded here in the soul work is the understanding that all have been created to be their true self. Through our own world of the shadows, through the gremlins and saboteurs our subs-conscious, ego and others have built into us…we are unable to connect. This is the guarantee though that all are able, and all will at one point or another whether in this life or the next.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love[f] toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

-Epistle of Ephesians 1:15-23 (English Standard Version)

The life, death and rebirth of Brother Jesus becomes the allegory of the life of each of us. The symbol of Baptism (or other ritual honouring the end of the old, and beginning of the new) shows the path. That we are the new-old creation. The one meant to be. It is a shocking writing here, for it pushes through the exclusion attempting to overwrite itself on a religion struggling for survival. When in the darkness one has the drive to shutter away, whether it is grief, depression, anxiety or other even the ancients knew that you must find a safe place to step back into the light.

The writer was reminding the gathering of this.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b] But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

-Epistle of Ephesians 2:1-10 (English Standard Version)

Showing that existence outside of the Source is about the compartmentalizing of one’s being. That is when we separate the spiritual, emotional, physical and mental from other pieces. When we approach ourselves this way it becomes easy to loop into despair, and spiral into darkness. It becomes easy to supplant care and treatment, with addiction. It becomes easier for others to see the addictive behaviour as the source not the symptom. These are fallacies we still fall into.

It is about diving deeper. For where love exists is first in ourselves and discovering that. Silencing the voices and sludge energy, purging it. So our love of self can be shaped for others. This is the root of hope. It brings peace to the holistic self. It allows one to feel authentic joy. It is a step of faith to first achieve self love.

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,[d] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by[e] the Spirit.

-Epistle of Ephesians 2:11-22 (English Standard Version)

Hitting home that if we continue out of fear, then the darkness buries the light (like under a bushel). We may have work (toil), we may have housing (shelter) but we do not have purpose, and we do not have a home. For a home is where there is no false divisions. The writer in discussing the legalism reminds the reader of Paul’s own journey of acceptance by the Way. The Apostles were fearful that one who had once hunted them was now trying to work with them. Could he be trusted? Was there a change? How would they know?

These are the questions of one emerging from the darkness. Whether it is illness, addiction or despair. From a life of crime or of trying to fit the usual. That is of being what you were not meant to be.

Stepping into who you are meant to be, is stepping into the labyrinth that daily will take you to your core- the love heart of the Holy Mystery.

 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is[a] that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in[b] God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

-Epistle of Ephesians 3:1-13 (English Standard Version)

It is a beautiful image for any who have struggled for change in the world. As I wrote in reflections on 2 Thessalonians. It is about hearing from the margins, those that are forgotten by society and what it means for them to belong. This is what the writer is reminding the hearers of. The times Paul was in prison, that others say he was suffering, he is pointing out that sometimes being locked away becomes the strongest message to the world. This was seen with Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and Martin Luther King Jr, with his writing from his own cell.

The jarring nature when others here what is happening. Especially with Paul being a once celebrated citizen of the Empire, it shows how much he believes in the cause of equality and universal love. That he is willing to put his own reputation and being on the line to ensure the message gets out.

It also is a metaphor for our own chains we wear before coming into our true being. How we allow the usual world to shackle us, and we accept it as it is. Without question. Then there comes that time in everyone’s life when,

a question arises.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[c] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

-Epistle of Ephesians 3:14-21 (English Standard Version)

As the writer illustrates with this chapter’s closing, when the question arises we have two choices: ignore it, or live into it. Whether it is through contemplation, mulling, journalling, art, dance, prayer, meditation, energy work- the soul work is living into the question.

As we enter into 2019, when the questions arise:

will you live into it?


When entering into any literary reading perspective and point of view are important. This Christmas one of my gifts was issue #128 of Philosophy Now, exploring Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Some will say, the name is the name of the Doctor, Victor Frankenstein, others state that the monster claims the name of his creator as the new Adam. It is a story of death and life, vengeance and reconciliation. Exploring the ethics of creation, life, and what it means to belong. To be whole. To be accepted.

It is intriguing reflections as we look at the Epistle of 2 Thessalonians. If you fall into the camp that holds it is truly Paul writing, then a scant 6 months has passed since the writing and sending of 1 Thessalonians (51-52 CE). If you hold to a Pauline authorship, then we are looking at between 85-115 CE, this is due to language used, formality and some concepts not visited within Paul’s authentic letters. It is one of the three ambiguous authored Pauline Epistles (including Colossians and Ephesians).

To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers,[a] as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from[b] the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

-Epistle of 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 (English Standard Version)

Akin to the last few chapters of 1 Thessalonians it appears to be discussing a rapture as many literal-fundamentalist 20th Century interpreters would have one believe. This concept of eternal damnation, versus eternal paradise. The idea that persecution will happen. Reality? Within this coastal town, yes there was isolation for the followers of the newly emerging spirituality. If it is a Pauline writer, it surely has more as it has been expelled from the Synagogues and the protection afforded it. There are those governors who have joyfully engaged in the encouraged persecution, molestation and execution following Nero’s whims since the mid-60’s CE.

The writer though is pointing out the internal purge that happens when we emerge into our true selves. The Cosmic Christ as Rev. Matthew Fox would write. The Holy in us, and us in the Holy Mystery. That which has separated us is destroyed. The idea of purgatory when life ends, in a blink everything that has kept us away from Nirvana is burned (purged) away.

The connection being about living out this new life. New Hope. New Love. In the here. Yet, in the last 100 or so years we have sunk into a dissonant money-control power grab across denominational and spiritual lines. Covering up a multi-billion dollar political industry in the guise of God. What the Empire was 2 Thessalonians came into. The Religious Right, and the Progressive Left, enjoy Rapture theology, for it is a swerve that can create an us-them divide.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,[a] not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness[b] is revealed, the son of destruction,[c] who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits[d] to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

-Epistle of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 (English Standard Version)

In exploring the philosophical outlook on Frankenstein it was an intriguing thought of point of view. One writer pointed out in the world it is seen as horror fiction, and on screen depicted as such. What Ms. Shelley had written though, was a bio-ethical debate. An original Jurassic Park if you will. In isolation, Victor Frankenstein creates life. He creates because he can. He never explores the should I question.

Can we? Should we? Can I? Should I? Ethical moral questions that strike to the heart of emerging and emerged values. Lived love and breathed hope.

It is the abandoned or criticized theologies that emerge from practical and indigenous wisdom. A seeking for application of knowledge. Whether it was suffragette; Jesuit, recovery; Feminist, Franciscan, Queer, African, Social Gospel, Indigenous, Celtic, Catholic Workers Movement, Liberation, Disabilities, Meta-physic, Spiritualist, to name but a few. In western academia sometimes termed the theology of the margins. For those whose voices are silenced due to the majority- the orthodox, the conservative, the progressive. In the moment though, voices are missing.

What is the strong delusion the writer states in these words? The ones, like in the debate over Frankenstein that get lost on whether it is the name of the doctor or the creature. The point is missed, it is about the inherent worth. The moral compass. What drives both in the isolation and loneliness. The overarching structures stipulating this and that are right, in black and white…but the massive governing institutions are missing something.

The theology of the margins are that in spirituality. They are not mainstream. They show the practical wisdom of…

Finally, brothers,[a] pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored,[b] as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.[c]And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.[d]

13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Verse 6 sums up what many have been speaking about in regards to life. Idleness of ease. When identity politics/religion overcome discourse and discovery. Learning, growing towards wholeness. Some would call the growth requires repentance on some things, others would say affirmation as well as denial. It is a journey, the entrenchment of simplistic black and white is not what we are called for.

We are life.

We are creation.

We breathe out hope.

We live out love.

We breathe in love.

We live into hope.

The theology of the margins are that in spirituality. They are not mainstream. They show the practical wisdom of…

The pilgrimage to our heart (of the Sacred)


The writer comes to the end of the discourse to Colossae. It is about hope, love. Moving away from being the frozen chosen. Knowing that life happens, and it is important to be apart of it. Yes there is scary stuff, yes there is times when we don’t know the outcome. Yes, icky awful things such as illness and death, being connected to another so that you hurt when they hurt. Trust me in my life I wish I had not been first responder to outbreaks of infestations, to remediation of living quarters, to deaths and attempted-completed suicides, to outbreaks of illnesses. Did not need the thrice exposure to chlorine gas, being a first responder to bear spray explosions (in the midst) or drive bys of it (and Mace and Pepper Spray) or black mould or spider-mice that scurry walls. It was messy, it was learn as you go in the community to discover new dynamics in crisis. Yet..

When they are no longer there… but it is not a time to hide yourself away. It is a time to live into life, and be apart of it.

This is the message of the writer. For there is a big dream that is being dreamed, and it matters that hope is spread. Even more than that it matters that one connects with their neighbour:

tommy2Masters, treat your bondservants[a] justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant[b] in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.

10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers[c] at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

-Epistle of Colossians 4:1-18 (English Standard Version)

There it is. The writer reminding the gatherings in Colossae, they are not meant to be usual. They are not meant to fall into lock step with the Empire or the oppressive religious legalists. They are meant to be something different. A gathering where caste’s do not exist. Where physicians and slaves are brothers and equals. Where there is no circumcised and uncircumcised…where there is a true just society.

woodsworthYes it is a pocket. Yes it will be tough as you are looked at differently. In the end though, you are the pocket of hope in your community, city, world. Negativity and control may breed like cockroaches, but the slow growth of transfiguration through hope and love eventually goes from sporadic campfires…to a wildfire.

quoteAnd that is a movement that will not be stopped. We just need to light the first match.

See the other as neighbour.

Greet the divine in one another.

Live Hope.


Regular readers know I am a huge fan of Robert B. Parker’s worker, specifically his Jesse Stone series (movies and books). In one movie Jesse is attempting to mentor a teenager, and there is this great line in their conversation she states “Jesse you’re not usual.” I love that line, because it is not saying normal or typical. But rather there is ways folks are simply meant to be. Societal and group constructs, yet then there is those moments when one is not the usual.

This is what the writer is attempting to draw out in the frozen chosen of Colossae. So overwhelmed with not being usual, and the backlash from the usual…they have elected to just freeze. We start working backward in the writer’s chapter here, because the ending is rather familiar and just needs a glance:

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,[f] not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

-Epistle of Colossians 3:18-25 (English Standard Version)

I use a reflective method for sacred text exploration, what comes up as I read and reflect. Sometimes in a breath prayer, sometimes in a story read, or a historical-allegory or something akin to the Lectio Divina. In moments like these I remember how many times we have seen these words within Pauline Christianity. It is a “be contrary to usual” statement. Move out of the hierarchy of family where birth order matters, your wife (ves) is not property but a partner; if you have slaves, they are not slaves but household members and community. Yes there are societal pressures that you will observe, but you are not to be usual about it. Your life is supposed to shine a different example of hope and love.

That is what rings through over and over. Breaking that concept that the oppressive Empire and religions had foisted upon the people. It was being repeated again and again, because repetition helps to break down the self-imposed cultural barriers of usual we have created in ourselves:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d]with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,[e] free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

-Epistle of Colossians 3:1-17 (English Standard Version)

Hope. Peace. Joy. Faith. Love. These are the gifts of the community.

It is lived out in the world seeing that you are not usual.

 


tommy1It is easy to become the frozen chosen. To decide not to do anything when faced with the insurmountable that is our own inhumanity to our neighbour. When we realize that reaching out and connecting enters into the icky part of life. With those pesky emotions. It also creates fertile soil for quick fixes. Policies and solutions that fit within Twitterverse of 140-280 characters, and does not take the depth to understand humanity. It also allows for the insertion of hierarchy of humanity, that is it can become unmerciful, loss of hope, about hate. Where fear of other sinks in.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

-Epistle of Colossians 2:1-5 (English Standard Version)

It is easy when we are flooded with information, true or false, to drown in it. It is easier to do nothing in the results of critical processing or discernment. It becomes a norm to believe such lies as “illegal border crossers” or “they choose poverty” or “they are sick because they choose to be”. It sinks in and allows an opt out of doing anything.

I can understand this. I have walked into the shadows with many. I have been involved in the journey of grief and loss in community for 613, many whose life celebrations I held. I have given last rites, wrestled with bio-ethics with families, and patients. Walked the path of abstinence and harm reduction with many. Had four guns aimed at me, and been shot at twice. Gone through an altar, too many tables to count or been hit too many times. One does not want to know the bodily fluids spat on me in the course of my work. Identifying bodies, responding to medical emergencies, intervening on suicides, finding bodies, crawling into rough camps and under bridges. Stood my ground in fights within institutions that should be open and helping, to the point I have lost. Known far too many children who will not see adolescences. Held a mother to be in a public washroom as she miscarried. Been inside the vile depths of a child sex trick pad to bring healing and rescue. Seen the horrors of domestic violence. Overdoses before we had reversal agents. What happens when mental illness is not identified or treated. Students suing you because you fail them for plagiarism. Our neighbours with disabilities left in poverty. Our veterans lying on cardboard. Children in church basements wondering if Santa will see them as naughty or nice because they are homeless. Fighting with organizations to care for staff, proper debriefs and being ignored-even to the point of one’s employment being threatened. A back and shoulder never the same.

It becomes easy to sink into despair. To freeze. To decide it is best to simply do nothing. To believe the lie they deserve it because they did not have the good Protestant Work Ethic to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a]of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.[c]

-Epistle of Colossians 2:6-15 (English Standard Version)

Yes, do not be captured in the falsity that this darkness is normal. For if I lived into that, then there would be no ability to look beyond myself. To step into the wonders and the blessings. Seeing the light bulbs as youth and children see their own inherent worth and change direction making healthier choices. Celebrating sobriety birthdays. Family reconciliations. Survival. Celebrating baptisms and marriages. New life. Seeing one connect with their cultural roots. Moving forward and getting their children back. Celebrating birthdays of kids even on the streets, and seeing eyes light up with a new fire truck and ice cream sundaes. The moment when someone realizes they have housing. They no longer have to ask when to shower or when to eat. Watching as students discover what they are truly meant to do in life. Authentic, positive purpose being found for another. Holistic Health. Wholeness. The joy of the jingle of keys to a new home in someone’s shaking hand.

These simple pleasures of life, would be missed, if one lets themselves decide it is hopeless.

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings?23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

-Epistle of Colossians 2:16-23 (English Standard Version)

Yet when one has hope.

You see through the veil of falsity. The lies of identity politics and surrendering to ideology entrenchment.

Do not surrender to legalism. For it strips one of hope.

With hope. You become. When you become you are being. When you are being, you are in your inherent worth and you know you belong…because you are.

 

 

 


The old chestnut of a saying about some spiritual-religious types- they are so heavenly minded, they are no earthly good. This is the state of the city of Colossae. Or I should say the gatherings that Epaphras, a resident of the city and student of Paul were finding themselves in. Now, there is debate on whether or not Colossians is or is not a Pauline epistle (it is in the don’t know, but does it matter category) in which if Pauline is from the 50’s CE while he was wiling his time away in a Roman jail, if not it is from the late first to late second century CE. Some note that the ambivalence of authorship can be due to the fact that Timothy was a co-author with Paul:

 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers[a] in Christ at Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

-Epistle of Colossians 1:1-2 (English Standard Version)

Writing to the gathering to remind them of who they are. It was a device in greetings to outline who was writing, but also to point out the true character of the person being written today. Sadly, today we short hand it to any honourarium or designation before the person’s name (i.e. Dr., Lt.). Yet Paul was showing where their lives intersected in a positive way, and tangible.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.[b] He is a faithful minister of Christ on your[c] behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks[d] to the Father, who has qualified you[e] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

-Epistle of Colossians 1:3-14 (English Standard Version)

The heresy, as scholars, theologians and preachers phrase it is never explicitly cited by the writer. As we move through the letter he encourages, exhorts and corrects, but never truly outlines what is happening. Now the root of heresy is a choice. A firm, black and white choice. In which, as an ideology-identity develops there is a right or wrong side to be on. The writer is pointing out that the people were lost in the darkness, and found the light. He is using strong language to the saints about wisdom that is learned through application of knowledge to the life journey.

It was in my New Testament Introduction course I believe at Alberta Bible College where we touched on what the heresy could be. I have short termed it to a glib saying, but truly it is the one seeking the short cut to success, inner-peace, to wholeness. Not looking for wholeness where one needs to find it, and do the soul work. But doing it through exterior praise, learning, and exerting of power. It is right and whole, because I say so type of mentality. Slipping back into the shadows.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

-Epistle of Colossians 1:15-23 (English Standard Version)

Reconciliation. Paul uses what he has learned, the knowledge of his fundamentalist religion, the Hebrew Testament, and his debating skills to shape an allegorical understanding of the ancient story. He shapes this allegory, this cosmic opera of creation and rebirth into the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. As the cosmos said n-uh to his death, so Paul reminds those in Colossae. It is not to worry about heaven tonight, for today and tomorrow we are called to be in the light.

The light can be a scary place, as it is a body where each of us has a different role. May not be the role we envisioned for ourselves, but a role where we find meaning and resonance. Paul lays it out, as head inquisitor, one with political power, a young dynamo of the religious sect of Judaism and a Roman Citizen, the last thing he wanted was for the Holy Mystery to appear before him, and blind him so that he could see.

To change his comfortable human trajectory.

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

-Epistle of Colossians 1:24-29 (English Standard Version)

Life is life.

Life has ups and downs.

Life has joys and suckiness.

Life is filled with hope and sorrow.

Life has a time for everything under the sun, and in the cosmos.

What season are you being called into?

What changes if you follow the path?

 

 


Ah a conclusion for this piece of the journey. The Pastoral Epistles close of with the Epistle of Titus chapter 3. It continues what it means to be a servant leader, as Pseudo-Paul attempts to guide in the Way, but at the same time trying to continue to distance Pauline Christianity from Petrine, James, or Johannine to name but a few. Yet still trying to keep the Pauline flavour of grace alone. But a stumbling block is hit, as the change of one’s heart, the falling away of the sludge; the light dispersing the Shadow Self. In other words, the personal Transfiguration leads to actions in alignment with the love being lived into and out of. The new hope of life.

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

-Epistle of Titus 3:1-11 (English Standard Version)

It does not mean there will not be conflict, heated discussion. What it means is at the core, as we explored last chapter, is the Holy Mystery. Due to this, the resonance of what is true reality…in other words avoiding the foolish controversies. Those stumbling blocks we create for ourselves simply because we are driven by love of ego, money, power and the list can go on. Those things that allow for a slippery slope into the corruption spoken of. Esteem, character being known only by who your ancestors or parents are or that you are responsible for their “sins” or debts…it does not matter.

Pseudo-Paul was trying to get through this wall.

Delving into the darkness. Centering yourself. As taught in mindfulness, those things that led Thomas Merton to leave his hermitage and live with Buddhists to rediscover the practice of mindfulness and meditation within the Christianities. It is the tools the Universe holds to discover the true self.

For every tool, there is a counter-measure that allows you to be warped, not who you are meant to be:

When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.

15 All who are with me send greetings to you.

Epistle of Titus 3: 12-15 (English Standard Version)

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A meme from Facebook that seemed fitting.

This is the key for leaders. It is not the responsibility of a leader to push, pull and by whatever means necessary to get the work done regardless of who is harmed, bullied, traumatized or burnt out along the way.  It is a leader’s heart to be the one coaching the community (staff) to their best possible selves. Stepping through and purging the gremlin-saboteurs; guiding to the right places that facilitate healing.

The goal is to aid in the holistic growth to make the community, team, and person better.

 

Greet those who love us in the faith.

Grace be with you all.

-Epistle of Titus 3: 15 (English Standard Version)

Join the pilgrimage to wholeness.

Aid others to discover the path.

Be who you truly are, not what the world makes you believe you can never be.

You are.