Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Isolation. In what some dub, the before times, there would need to be a share of the statistical evidence to understand the disconnection that exists between neighbours in our highly cyber connected world. As we emerge from the restrictions in Alberta, and lockdowns almost in some areas of Canada, the known truth of isolation and that it can be complex simplicity that can solve it. Why complex simplicity? For isolation is disrupted by connection, but connection means letting others in, which comes at a risk but it is that risk of invitation inwards that the writer of the Gospel of Mark would pinpoint as the Kingdom being near. Vital relationships, a relational hub where you can meet and be, authentically who you are created to be. This has should be the journey church is on as Christendom gasps its last.

We need to develop and live into a new understanding of being relational hubs, that step beyond resourcing in a community hub, to the connection of people together and what happens there. But where to begin?

Is this possible? Can the church shift away from a command and control power base, to being what the earliest writers and livers of the Way were? An interdependent community? Sharing in common, speaking truth to justice. Acknowledging harm, repairing that harm done. For the key is the love triangle of God-Self-Neighbour, which rests in relationship.

The biggest challenge?

Surrendering the pride of institutions. Realizing that in the transfiguration, the brand/denomination on the building does not matter, rather it is the people and how they live out of the love of the Holy Mystery to be their truly created and called authentic selves for the betterment of the community.

Can we radically open ourselves up to do life together?

Some viewing to grow our understanding:

Archbishop Desmont Tutu on UBI

A brief video overview of The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s role in colonization and residential schools is now available to watch at…/20/video-residential-schools-pcc

This video presentation is intended as an educational tool to help people understand the ways in which racism and colonial attitudes shaped the church’s mission, with devastating consequences. (Image and text from Social Media Post, please note there are questions for group and/or self reflection while viewing the 30 minute video).

This coming Friday out of Costa Rica TEC Seminars:

This Friday July 23 at 6pm (Costa Rica / Mountain) MIT professor Dr. Jeff Hoffman will join us for a webinar about the MOXIE experiment. MOXIE will demonstrate a way that future explorers might produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere for propellant and for breathing.

Dr. Hoffman is a veteran of 5 Space Shuttle missions and logged more than 1,211 hours and 21.5 million miles in space.

The link to register is below.— with Daniel Francisco Pérez Murillo and Andrea Jimenez Fernandez.

Apostle Shuffle 3

Posted: December 4, 2018 by Ty in Brunch & Bible, Spirituality
Tags: , , ,

It is always a struggle as a reader and a teacher to hit an authentic letter from one of those that walked with Brother Jesus, that still has so much up front misogyny. I mean, let’s break it down, there was the inner 3, then the 12 disciples who were men; BUT there was also at least 7 women of the inner disciples named that worked and earned money to support the efforts of the community (which is always funny when Judas freaks about the woman wasting the perfume that could be sold, can you say toxic masculinity moment?).

This is what this looks like here with Peter’s writing in Rome. It is known that earliest converts were from what was deemed the outcasts, but there was also a strong vein of early feminists. It was a religion that gave them equality, and identity. It was confusing to the others around them, so Peter can be seen as laying out a path of survival for the women so they did not end up divorced, stoned, or cast outside the city gates (to become beggars, sex trade workers):

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

-Epistle of 1 Peter 3:1-6 (English Standard Version)

The first challenge is the materialism of the times, as a woman would be used as a possession to show the blessings of God or the gods, through adornment and finery. Peter is reminding them of the true beings they have found in themselves, that their worth does not come from another, and does not come from their spouse. It comes from the love that was breathed into them at creation, and then that love they are shining out to their neighbour as they love themselves as the image bearer. For those with Judaic roots Peter reminds them of the ancient story of Abraham and Sarah, not exactly a perfect relationship. The blessings that came were from mutual work together, and support. Each doing as they were guided to do in authenticity.

What Peter is doing, badly, is what Jesus did with the women that were viewed down upon by society- the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery (to name a few)- he was pointing out that in the midst of the struggle to live their beliefs, and keep safe, from the misogyny of the era. It again ties into the Christianity strain of James in Jerusalem, but also a very struggling Petrine Christianity as he attempts to hold to the old ways, but knows the new ways laid out by his friend, mentor and teacher, Jesus of Nazareth…even as the wolves descend upon the sheep.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you[a] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

-1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)

<cringe> Weaker vessel? I know some matriarchs in my family and heritage that would take a round out of you for such language. It is very much of the era, and sadly an era that many want to bring back. Where 51% of humanity was seen as less than, and in need of protecting. For an astute heart what is being seen is Peter reminding those that are in what would be termed a mixed relationship (part of the gathering and other). It is a staunch reminder that they are to live in an authentic loving way, not creating pain and loss by ending relationships. Where the wives were told to live the faith, the husbands were informed to remember the faith.

But it brings together the unity of the community.

 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For

“Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

18 For Christ also suffered[b] once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which[c] he went and proclaimed[d]to the spirits in prison, 20 because[e] they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

-1 Peter 3:8-22 (ESV)

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Do not swear by anything but your own word. Or something to that effect was Brother Jesus’ words on swearing oaths. Live a life of integrity. Moving beyond the misogyny in Peter’s attempt to teach like a travelling rabbi, we enter into the unity of the gathering or as Paul would phrase it, in Christ there is no male or female, etc etc. As Peter is directly addressing a human desire in response to evil done upon yourself.

Think it through, we still see it today within our justice systems. We miss the point that the term justice is the system of deciding guilt or innocence, then a restorative or punitive process of punishment. The human inclination when you look at things such as minimum sentencing, 3 strike laws and isolation is more punitive eye for eye type of revenge. Which does not show our psychological life span development, for eye for an eye was written to ancient tribal nations that would go to war and eliminate other whole tribes based simply on the smallest insults.

Peter was continuing Jesus’ work to move the people from mid-adolescence to late adolescence-early young adult hood. Reminding them that it is about the life lived for the better, and to hold to the knowledge that it is better to suffer for doing the right thing, than to gain wealth and power by doing what is wrong. At the same time, Peter is also continuing to promote the restorative justice process. It is through the ritual of cleansing, he points that baptism is about removing not just dirt, but the sludge and darkness that kept the light within buried. Symbolic mysticism of renewal and restoration.

What is an image bearer if they do not have their hope?

They are crafted by greed and gluttony…those that lead to the destruction the Empire is wrecking by seeing so many as nothing more than torture play things or possessions.

The community is something different. A place where actions in good conscience matter. Where mystical symbolism does change the person through ritual (much like destroying gremlins/saboteurs in life coaching today). It is a place where we work on ourselves, re-building our mind palaces and holistic selves to move beyond the desire for revenge. That is we do the soul work to heal from the pain, grief and loss.

The soul work so we can walk the talk of restorative justice for self, others and community.

That is we can rest our image bearing in the gift of HOPE.


Lived experience…

so we are told is the greatest school of learning

Yet even the struggle comes from within

to seek knowledge, live wisdom

to aid those called to help

what if…

the one called

is the one in need?

13.5 years

since the night of blackness

since a crutch was thrown away

a mental break with the anger that seized

drove to be soothed

through a warm…strong…amber…liquid…

no longer soothed

released in grief

yet this genie needs no bottle

it is a demon tearing at the soul,

rending and ripping

as the aromas of long ago soothings once more in the house




it is okay to cry,

true humanity embraces emotions,

lives into them

and out emerges a soul

that is ready for renewal…

But the struggle will always be

below the surface

for in all of us exists

the duel capacity of self—

love or destruction…

but one must choose…