Posts Tagged ‘Story’


Many moons ago, with a Rosary in my weary end of night shift hand in the sanctuary of a Roman Catholic church awaiting the weekday Mass, the still small voice would whisper to me “build my church”, it was an echo sentiment from years before, in a United Church, where I cam back to church as adult with my Nan, after presiding over the Sunday Service, and greeting faith family afterwards, the still small voice would simply say, “you are called”… To scant months before in my first service, where after singing in pre-sing my Granddad’s favourite hymn, the voice, his voice, would simply say “it’ll be alright”, Each of these instances are a piece of book one of three for my life. The book of laying the foudnations and preparing. Experiencing what it means to build the church. That is simply, to create the courageous safe space of connection, purpose and belonging for the beautiful mosaic that is our neighbourhood (the Imageo Dei)

So many bumps along the road. Stories. Pieces of knowledge, ancient wisdom applied to the modern world, and modern wisdom working on the souls of many. Truly striving and stumbling to live out what home is, and having the true open door that I have been told has blessed many. But at my core, I am a simple story teller. That is the core of my parallel multi-career paths, and the core of the calling as book two opens…for what is the core of blessed community but the story of love and hope at its centre?

It is stories that have shaped my life, and still do. Many look at me weirdly in the academic, political and spiritual circles I exist in for the resonance I have to so many of our modern legends and mythologies. Not only the resonance, but how effectively they can be used as points of connection, intersection and discussion… so many ways to meet and understand neighbour. Whether it is the modern super hero stories (I am sure many know of the reflections shared around Spider-Man, X-Men, Batman, Superman, Flash, the list goes on and on) our modern pantheon of gods and demi-gods as found in anceint folklore and mythologies (which I also love). Or the more recent addition of Doctor Who? The Doctor an amazing story of constant curiousity, inspired problem solving, fun and, yes, new life (ah regeneration, since I went through my own health issues, and now into c-tine, it does so feel like a moment of regeneration?). To the inquisitive nature of Sherlock Holmes, the mysteries solved, and the importance of the right partners.

The Arthurian Legends, stories I so wanted to read as a child, and a system said I could not comprehend, and a Dad that said yes he can…and well, the copy of that hardcover from Smithbooks still resides on my bookshelf, never tell a child they can’t when an interest is shown. The wonder, magic and splendour of Camelot. The idea of quest, blessing, calling, and the connection/belonging of the Round Table. To the first movie I ever saw in theatres, Walt Disney’s Robin Hood, and the core truth that all have value, and every role in society is needed for us to be healthy, how easily power can corrupt (and I have seen it happen to far too many good people) for when power becomes the goal like with Prince John– well, the fact it is actually people involved is forgotten for the pursuit of gold (or is it oil?). When a season of life ended, I hope my team at that time understand the blessing of sharing that story book with each of them.

But a core story that has stayed with me throughout my life. From when there was the one night of the week as repeats aired on CBC, Star Trek. A true reflection for me, of what Brother Jesus taught our world was meant to be. Our universe, where all have equity, justice, equality, hope, can pursue who they are meant to be and we affirm the ideal you they are currently and are becoming. Where we aid others. Each of its iterations has brought a new era of story and contemplations into my life. From the Next Generation to Deep Space Nine to Voyager to Enterprise to (Kelvin) Star Trek movies to Discovery to Lower Decks to Picard…each piece introducing new characters, new allegories to our reality now and where we can be, what we can aspire to.

The re-connection to the stories, happened sharply over the last several years as I started to build myself back. As we unearthed, and healed the darkness, smudge and trauma that almost, yes, took my life, though it took me off of one path and opened up an epilogue/prologue upon a new path. A new story. My loving wife and kiddos that have journeyed through much, and we know eyes wide open what has been in all its diverse sorrows to joys, to what we know can be in a hope seen and soon to be lived.

See, for me, as I reflect back on the journey, the long road of getting here. Some may look at the hiccups, the setbacks, the loss, and say, why bother? Or didn’t so and so ruin your life…No they did not. I still remember the day in the early part of my PNES where a congregational cycle of prayer had my son make that statement as I had stepped away a few times from church based ministry to protect him from their heresy & ableism, as with other members of my family at other moments. For me it is about living love, and it is truly about discerning if there is authentic misunderstanding, or simply a desire for a quick apology so one’s own hates are not revealed on the altar for all to see.

But I digress, see there is an understanding that it is not a pollyanic view, especially in our polarized world where many akin the word Christian or Pastor to some device of hatred and exclusion. Or like in Star Trek V when they finally gound “god” and it was revealed to be nothing more than a monster in godcloaking:

Yet, here we are, a long road, some wear and tear, great learnings, lovings, and discoveries.

As was revealed earlier in the movie with the discussion of pain, and the need for the pain to emerge into who we truly are. So it is with each aspect of our life, all the ups and downs, sorrows and joys, losses and wins…they have shaped us…to be with others. To hear the authentic quite voice once more on this journey, one that others have heard.

“it is time to answer hope’s call”

Taking a risk, at this stage of the emegent chapter one of book two, prepared and now stepping in to the uknown. Accepted back to seminary as a student to complete my Master of Divinity. Awaiting the links to open up to apply for funding. To grow my skills, for my writing, community building, and to step back into ministry within the church. And maybe, perhaps, once settled to finish the journey that started with my Psy.D. to finally get my Doctor of Ministry.

To once more, be a pastor.

To aid others in being authentic communities of hope.

To discover honestly, what the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit is whispering to each of us to live out and transform our world for the better.

And yeah, it is one of the scariest steps in my life I have taken.

But also fills me with simply being

content.

Saturday Morning Retro

Posted: November 18, 2018 by Ty in Musings
Tags: , , ,

It’s funny that this comes into one’s mind. Thoughts around cartoons. Yes, I still love them and enjoy them with my kids. There are those that are easy to enjoy- anything Disney, Disney-Pixar, Dreamworks (Shrek or Kung Fu Panda anyone?) and of course the grand Loony Tunes or other Hanna Barbera fun. As well as a nod to the greats of my Image result for hanna barbera characterschildhood, He-Man, She-ra, Thundercats, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gi Joe, etc. (with those fun PSA’s at the end to really hit home the message of the story). Or the real oldie but goodies like Zorro, Lone Ranger, Spider-Man and Star Trek.

There are some new ones you can easily say sarcastically “are of Satan” that being Peppa Pig, Max & Ruby or Caillou.  Then there are new ones that have ruined a franchise of my youth years worse than the New 52 reboot of the title (Teen Titans Go anyone???).

But then there is that which you want to hate. In the era of cable television not existing and streaming services. Where your children are enamoured, and have streamed over and over again.

When the title song plays and you cringe a little.

Image result for power rangers super megaforceYet a little you are drawn in. For new animation that sometimes lacks, it does produce a storyline with some character, and a moral/message. So yes, I have wanted to avoid and hate or at the very least not acknowledge it exists…but over the last few years it has become part of my daughter (and my son’s) life.

What is it?

For those who may not know its main characters are Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack and Spike. The basis is about kindness, compassion and friendship…sadly, it is My Little Pony.

But with some of the shows that just seem to have no random point, the fact my kids Image result for my little pony rainbow powergravitate towards MLP and Power Rangers (which teaches about team work, and helping others) there are worse things they could be streaming on binge.

(P.S. especially with the new Pony season eight on Netflix that very apptly deals with the concept of the harm/evil of Nationalism and White Supremacy through the concept of who can and cannot attend a school).


It may be a bit ranty. But as a geek I believe I have a right to be ranty. What the heck folks is up with the vulgar/bullying of “Fandom”? I know fan is short for fanatics (hence the growth of hooliganism in soccer). But geeks we were the place of hanging out and fun discussions? The mainlining of our world has created the hate line of social media.

Y’know what I like? Not worrying if the story is “canon” or how it fits with the last story arc or into the bigger universe. I enjoy good stories of the characters I love, stand alone or intertwined. I am sure if anyone who has followed my pulp writings for the past 32 years could see huge gaping holes in continuity a whole caravan could go through never mind a sub-atomic Ant-Man.

Why am I ranty? Because I love being in the room when my kids are reading a fav book or comic or watching a movie. I love watching them engage with it, whether it is their first or thousandth time. They will let us know if it is a sad part, a happy part, if the villain is being a jerk like villains should be, the jokes (they laugh out loud) and they cheer the heroes on… oh and guess what? Yes they know when watching Star Trek Scotty will figure it out, but my son still cheers the “miracle worker”. My daughter still cheers for the Quidditch matches in Harry Potter. They know who their favourite Doctor is, but still cheer on, or weep the stories/transitions.

Oh, and yes they love action and adventure, super hero movies. My son laughs out loud if Ant-man can escape Thomas the Tank; my daughter loves the “we have a Hulk” line. They laugh loudly re-watching cartoon movies (which even if I didn’t have kids I probably would still own)…and my son declares clearly even with his spastic speech in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 “Peter’s daddy’s a dick.” Yes son, yes he is.

Oh, and they still gasp in Empire Strikes back when Vader stretches out his hand to Luke and rasps “Luke I am your father.” and Cheer when the Millenium Falcon flies away or the Death Star explodes.  Get a bit weepy over Rory and Amy’s love with Doctor Fezzie’s seasons of Doctor Who (as my kids affectionately call Matt Smith’s Doctor). My son chuckles when Sisko punches Q; and cheers loudly when Rom (who he says is like him, also he claims Groot) finally gets to play Baseball.

The list can go on and on in everything they are in to. How they share their passions and joys with friends and family. How they always wonder, what if this happened with this character.

Y’know, when being a fan of pop culture was fun. Not being a regressive knuckle dragger. My hope is like with their Daddy, the wonder will always stay, and what happens is when a new story is told with their favourite characters they can see the joy in it, or that it was simply a miss and move on to the next (thank you Justice League for bringing back a true Superman– Daddy’s happy dance-).

As you enter the story, yes there is great commentary to be discussed in everything around social justice (as with any good writing), but also take time to simply be immersed in the story and enjoy the ride. You can have something function on two levels, and you don’t have to be a tool towards the creative forces if you disagree with the vision.

Watch or read it with a child’s wonder.

To paraphrase Yoda, “Be one with the story.”

Do or do not. There is no try.

-Yoda


It was a blessed time of discussion. Much like what can happen around a coffee or meal at my home. And yes, the crazy neurology kept at bay, the data banks were tested, and the memory was strong.

It was great to be on Light News Radio today, and for the Holy Week reflection series (yes even unannounced I am sure you noticed there was one happening). I thought I would share the discussion for all to hear.

Please feel free to share freely this post, so the talk can hopefully percolate other conversations as we strive to break down barriers, draw the circle wide, and allow for authentic belonging fully knowing and embracing the risks that takes:

https://www.spreaker.com/user/boldradiostation/the-distinction-between-inclusion-and-be?autoplay=true

(Also know, this was my first “public” speaking/teaching time on spirituality since my last sermon at Centennial Presbyterian 8 months after performing my Mum’s funeral…so that is since Stampede 2014. Another blessing my time away due to medical challenges has accomplished.).


poor

This past week’s of reflections from the Aquarian Gospel have wound around a similar theme of faith in action. That is actually living out that which we profess to live inwardly. In Franciscan Charism it is the sacred practice of open hand, knowing that which we are given is not ours, but we are stewards for a time until the true purpose comes to fruition.

This Facebook meme I posted three years ago screamed this, and came to mind as I re-read Levi’s re-imagining of these teachings have remained true to the way presented in Canonical Gospels found in the Aquarian Gospel 142 It is the wealthy asking what more they must do than follow rules and profess creeds. To which Jesus aptly replies:

22. The young man asked, To which commands did he refer?
23. And Jesus said, You shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not do adulterous things; you shall not falsely testify;
24. and you shall love your God with all your heart, and you shall love your neighbour as yourself.
25. The man replied, These things I have observed from youth; what lack I yet?
26. And Jesus said, One thing you lack; your heart is fixed on things of earth; you are not free.
27. Go forth and sell all that you have, and give your money to the poor, and come follow me, and you shall have eternal life.
28. The man was grieved at what the master said; for he was rich; he hid his face and went in sorrow on his way.
29. And Jesus looked upon the sorrowing man and said, It is so hard for men with hoarded wealth to enter through the door into the kingdom of the soul.

-Aquarian Gospel 142:22-29

The wealth wasn’t the challenge for being in unity. Look at the word: HOARD. That is keeping things beyond logic and reason, beyond usefulness simply for having. That is what wealth had become, something that must be so held on to it could no longer be used for its intended purpose.

Saint Paul writes to Timothy as tradition teaches:

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

-1 Timothy 6:10 (New Living Translation)

So then what is the purpose of wealth?

To spend, to help, to grow, to live, to build—

to

L-O-V-E.

So this ruler was unwilling to let that which held his soul in EGO to be released so he could finally have freedom and understand what are tools, and what is unity. He had made his tools his Holy Mystery, and for that he was truly drowning in this life.

Are we ready to rediscover what is the true rhythm of life?

Where do we travel?

Are we the Rich Man or are we Lazarus?

35. A rich man lived in splendid state; he wore the finest garments men could make; his boards were loaded with the costliest viands of the land.
36. A beggar, blind and lame, whose name was Lazarus, was wont to sit beside the waste gate of this home that he might share with dogs the refuse from the rich man’s board.
37. It came to pass that Lazarus died, and angels carried him away unto the bosom of our father Abraham.
38. The rich man also died, and he was buried in a costly tomb; but in the purifying fires he opened up his eyes dissatisfied.
39. He looked and saw the beggar resting peacefully in the bosom of his father Abraham, and in the bitterness of his soul he cried,
40. My father Abraham, look down in mercy on your son; I am tormented in these flames.
41. Send Lazarus, I beseech, that he may give me just a sup of water to cool my parched tongue.
42. But Abraham replied, My son, in mortal life, you had the best things of the earth and Lazarus had the worst, and you would not give him a cup of water there, but drove him from your door.
43. The law must be fulfilled, and Lazarus now is comforted, and you are paying what you owe.
44. Besides, there is a great gulf fixed between your zone and us, and if I would I could not send Lazarus to you, and you cannot come up to us till you have paid your debts.
45. Again the man in anguish said, O father Abraham, I pray, send Lazarus back to earth, and to my father’s house, that he may tell my brothers who are yet in life, for I have five of them, about the horrors of this place, lest they come down to me and not to you.
46. And Abraham replied, They have the words of Moses and the seers, let them hear them.
47. The man replied, They will not hearken to the written word; bit if a man would go up from the grave they might believe.
48. But Abraham replied, If they hear not the words of Moses and the seers they would not be persuaded even though one from the dead stood in their midst.

-Aquarian Gospel 142:35-48

St. Francis of Assisi has been derided as non-scholarly for many a century, in comparison to other monastic movements ala Jesuits that focused more on scholarship. But what Francis taught was that each gospel story need not be only understood, but internalized, and then externally lived out through almost muscle memory before moving onto the next. For he knew the story is more than the words spoken or on the page. The story is life. And life lived is how we connect-unify with the Holy, and nieghbour, as the Shema tells us through Love that resonates from self.

So where does this lead us? You? Me?

To simply answer a question, what does it mean to internalize and externalize this story for us, here and now?

Are we ready for such a leap from page to life?