23 diciembre 2007

A Love Story

I) He

We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness
A Father of the fatherless, a defender of widows…
God sets the solitary in
Your righteousness is like the great mountains

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent;
A fire shall devour before Him,
And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him

“If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its

The Lord loves justice
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people

“See? I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.”
The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
He fashions their hearts individually

You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice…
You crown the year with Your goodness
Your paths drip with abundance
He has made everything beautiful in its time
Also, He has put eternity in the hearts of men

By You I have been upheld from birth

II) She

Our enemies laugh among themselves
We wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; we found no city to dwell in
Hungry & thirsty, our soul fainted in us
We sat in darkness & in the shadow of death, bound in affliction & irons-

… because we rebelled against the words of God & despised the counsel of the Most High

Fools! Because of our iniquities and transgressions- afflicted
By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, Yea, we wept

“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity…”

And look! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter-
On the side of their oppressors there is power, But we have no comforter

There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother

Yet there is no end to all his labors, nor is his eye satisfied with riches
The abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep
All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet his soul is not satisfied

Their land is also full of silver and gold …
Their land is also full of
People bow down, & each man humbles himself.
O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err!

These people: hearts dull, ears heavy, eyes shut
[I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You]

Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites!
Who among us shall dwell with the devouring Fire?
We look to the earth and see trouble

& darkness
& gloom of anguish…
& we are driven into


III) The One

The Lord stands up to plead
(for the redemption of their souls is costly)

A child is given… His name?

Mighty God.
Everlasting Father.
Prince of
(Him whom man despises, Him whom the nation abhors)


Comfort! Yes, comfort My people-
Behold: My servant…! My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
He will not fail
Nor be discouraged
Till He has established
JUSTICE in the earth

“Therefore I have set My face like a flint”
(His visage was marred more than any man)

He has no form or comeliness

“Come to Me,
all You who are weary
and heavy laden, and
I will give
And when we see Him,
(He looked on the multitudes and had compassion)
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
He is despised and rejected by men,

“O, Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
How often I wanted to gather your children
you were not willing.”

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief
“…But be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.”

Surely He has borne our griefs
(Jesus wept.)
… But He was wounded for our transgressions,
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’”
He was bruised for our iniquities
(He groaned in His spirit.)
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him
Having loved His own who were in the world,
And by His stripes we are healed.
He loved them to the end.

He poured out His soul unto death.
"That the world may know that I love the Father..."

“E l o i , E l o i !

L a m a

s a b a c h t h a n i . . .?!”

The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will perform this.

IV) An Announcement
(now on the first day of the week, while it was still dark,
the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

so they both ran together
outside the tomb, weeping
stooped down and looked
turned around and saw
did not know

“Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”


“Go to My brethren and say to them,
‘I am ascending to My Father and
YOUR Father,
and to My God and
YOUR God!’ ”

Be with you
Receive the Holy Spirit.

Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

V) This is Love

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who trusts in Him-
[For You have broken the yoke of our burden & the rod of our oppressor]
He brought us out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke our chains in pieces
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds

He restores my soul

They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed
So the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to
With singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness;
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

(Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray.)

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together!

11 diciembre 2007

" 'Malignant chaos' will need exorcising" ~Conn & Ortiz

thought one: from Conn & Ortiz (as highlighted by the Rev. G.S. Tebbe) in Urban Ministry

" ' Malignant chaos' will need exorcising as surely as an order chosen primarily because it is secure and comfortable. Is the manifestation of chaos truly disordered or only apparently so? Is the urban practitioner equipped emotionally and theologically to see chaos as an ingredient of harmony? [...] I think

What discernment gifts are needed to mete out order for those governed by chaos and offer some measure of appropriate disorder for those bound by exaggerated order?

Safety, after all, is not always salvific,

nor is security always sound.

Boundaries... are not always beneficial,

and surprises are not always subversive."

thought two:

so i think i have the seeing potential in chaos down pat... humans over tardy bells and all that rot. if i learned one thing in college, the worth of humans and their preeminence in priority is IT. what i lack is the exorcising of the malignant disorder...

can it be so hard? what's WRONG with me?!? besides laziness. and instant gratification. besides all that.

thought three: e. eliot. puts in her 2 cents

"The earlier the parents begin to make the laws of order and beauty and quietness comprehensible to their children, the sooner they will acquire good, strong notions of what is so basic to real godliness: self-denial.

A Christian home should be a place of peace, and there can be no peace where there is no self-denial."

The Kingdom in Chiapas

Believers in Santa Rita, Chiapas state, Mexico, have suffered increased persecution in recent months from caciques—powerful local leaders who are traditionalist Catholics—who oppose their Christian faith.

On September 15, caciques invaded the properties of 10 Christian families. They took over the farming plots in their backyards, denying the families access to their primary food source.

The caciques also forbade residents of Santa Rita to buy food from markets owned by Christians… or to hire Christian men to work as laborers or construction workers in the countryside.

The latest attacks have been a harsh blow for the Christian families who are already struggling financially.

Most of the families are from Jesus is the Way church, affiliated with Assemblies of God. They have endured many years of persecution for their refusal to participate in pagan rituals. This persecution has included being denied access to drinking water and electricity.

Despite continuing harassment, believers in Santa Rita remain firm in their faith, and people in the village are slowly being influenced by their example. Several traditionalist Catholics have commented, “How do they have so much strength to resist persecution? We want to be like them.”

Open Doors provides encouragement and support for believers who suffer for their faith in Chiapas. Please continue to pray for the church in Chiapas, and particularly for the believers in Santa Rita at this difficult time.
© Copyright 2007 Open Doors USA

07 diciembre 2007

of the gods and subsidies

so, from here and there i've gotten the idea that religion evolved from agricultural needs. back in the day, everybody farmed and they NEEDED the environment to do certain things and NOT do other certain things. unfortunately, man can't enforce his needs in this sphere. thusly, they offered "sacrifices" and devotion to the Powers/Forces-that-be so everything would come out capitally.

not thinking of making any sort of analogy, but think of that juxtaposed with this, from Acton.org:

"The $291 billion farm bill currently up for debate in the U.S. Senate offers
more of the same, discredited thinking on subsidies that ultimately harm, not
help, American agriculture.

While there are some proposed measures to limit subsidies to farmers who derive two-thirds of their income from farming -- and perhaps to set some income limits in the $200,000 to $300,000 range -- no consensus has yet been reached. Yet total farm income in the United States is expected to rise 44 percent this year to $73 billion. Regardless of the reforms proposed or defeated, farm subsidies will remain the largest corporate welfare program in the country.

Subsidies foster dependence for farmers to stay in unproductive and saturated markets. A Heritage Foundation study published in June notes, “Farm subsidies are intended to raise farmer incomes by remedying low crop prices. Instead, they promote overproduction and therefore lower prices further. Expensive programs to restrict plantings are then implemented to raise prices back up.


But what distinguishes a farmer who looks to the government in a time of need from one who takes it upon himself to think of new and innovative solutions to the old problem of poverty? Morgan says, “The amazing part of it is, this state has almost ignored some of the resources that we have available. These resources are eventually going to create jobs if we are smart enough to utilize them.”

What the Dutch theologian and statesman Abraham Kuyper said of the manual laborers of the nineteenth century is equally true of agricultural workers in the twenty-first. “Unless you wish to undermine the position of the laboring class and destroy its natural resilience,” he warned, “the material assistance of the state should be confined to an absolute minimum. The continuing welfare of people and nation, including labor, lies only in powerful individual initiative.”

An argument:

"Are you even aware of the reason that government subsidies exist?? You do
realize that we receive extra support because so many of our competitiors across the globe are heavily subsidized by their governments in order to hold their prices below average world prices, therefore making their commodities cheaper than ours.

Therefore, we have to receive some amount of subsidies in order to be competitive with our exports. Without these subsidies, American agricuture would
be so unprofitable that the remaining 1.7% of us that are growing your NEXT MEAL
would be forced to go out of business, and your food would be coming from
overseas. If you like being dependent on foreign oil, you will LOVE being
dependent on foreign food
. As far as reaping what you have sown, keep in mind
that the American consumer has reaped the benefits for more than two centuries
now of farmers being able to stay in business despite ever increasing costs
amidst a continuing spiral in the profitability of American agriculture.

Instead, why don't we talk about the old saying of "Biting the hand that feeds
you." If it is initiative you want, you better be careful what you wish for,
because one day, farmers here may just decided that they can think of a more
profitable line of work to be in. Then you would be able to take great pride in
being independent from the meager cost of our subsidies - which take up less
than 1% of the total federal budget ["The 2002 Farm Bill has cost the average family of four only 35 cents per day. Of this amount, 25 cents go to the Nutrition title of the Farm Bill - which funds WELFARE programs, such as the Women, Children, and Infant programs (WIC), school lunches, etc. Therefore, YOU as a a consumer are only paying 10 cents per day to ensure your enjoyment of the safest, most affordable, most ABUNDANT food supply anywhere in the world."]- while being totally dependent on foreign soil for your every meal. Was that the initiative you were after?"


"The original purpose of farm subsidies was to smooth out market price
variations, and hence the shortages such variations can potentially cause. It
was a form of price insurance to make sure there is always food available. It's a good policy to make up for a clear market flaw relating to necessities like food.

That said, paying agribusiness is another matter and the subsidies should
favor smaller farms whose production is more sensitive to price variations.I
guess I find this kind of idolatry toward unregulated markets rather distasteful. Markets have flaws in relationship to the larger goals of society (like consistent affordable food). The Acton Institute has made an idol of a particular market model and thus lost track of the fact that economies are there to serve people, not the other way around. "

very interesting...