Be still and know
that all is G_d.
Thoughts & Visions




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Thoughts & Visions


  Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Neither the hair shirt nor the soft berth will do. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

—Frederick Buechner

  Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Thank U

How bout getting off of these antibiotics
How bout stopping eating when I’m full up
How bout them transparent dangling carrots
How bout that ever elusive “could have”

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence

How bout me not blaming you for everything
How bout me enjoying the moment for once
How bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How bout grieving it all one at a time

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence

The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down

How bout no longer being masochistic
How bout remembering your divinity
How bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How bout not equating death with stopping

Thank you India
Thank you Providence,
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you thank you silence…

—Alanis Morissette


  Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Sardinian Pottery

Speaking of pottery means speaking of the ancient history of the land of Sardinia. Doubling as craftsmen and artists, Sardinian potters have always existed, from the pre-nuragic era to this day. Throughout history, the activity of pottery is intense: from the crude mixtures of clay dating back six or seven thousand years before Christ, to the unique and exceptional items used as interior decoration.

  Monday, September 28th, 2015

Learning that you can do without

Instead of suffering from the stress of looking and not finding, we take action, and these actions often lead to unexpected benefits. When we search for the content elsewhere, we may discover new information. When we contact a friend, we may deepen that relationship or he or she may introduce us to someone who is well versed in the field. Repeated experiences like these teach us that if we take action we will be able to obtain the necessary information if we need it. Life becomes far easier once you know that things will still work out even if you are lacking something.

—Marie Kondo

  Monday, September 28th, 2015

The Ninth Chapter of Mark

John said to Jesus, “Teacher we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.

  Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015


Frangipane is a filling made from or flavored with almonds. This filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries, such as the Jesuite. An alternative French spelling from a 1674 cookbook is franchipane with the earliest modern spelling coming from a 1732 confectioners’ dictionary. Originally designated as a custard tart flavored by almonds or pistachios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods. Frangipane is one of France’s many traditional foods associated with Christmas celebration. Today it is normally made of butter, sugar, eggs, and ground almonds.

In some anecdotes it was the kind of sweet that the noblewoman Jacopa da Settesoli brought to St. Francis of Assisi in 1226, when he was dying.

Frangipane/frangipani is derived from frangere il pane (Italian for “break the bread”), from which the noble Frangipani family of Rome derived its name in the 11th century. A certain Frangipane was perfumier to Louis XIII of France, hence the common name of the flowering tropical trees that are actually in the genus Plumeria. Other people believe it’s derived from St. Francis; pane is Italian for bread and Frangi would have been the cognomen of St. Francis.

  Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The Avowal

As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace.

—Denise Levertov


  Monday, September 21st, 2015

Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. The seeds are usually about 1 to 2 millimetres (0.039 to 0.079 in) in diameter and may be colored from yellowish white to black. They are important herbs in many regional foods and may come from one of three different plants: black mustard (Brassica nigra), brown Indian mustard (B. juncea), or white mustard (B. hirta/Sinapis alba).

When whole mustard seeds are wetted and crushed, an enzyme is activated that releases pungent sulphurous compounds; but they quickly evaporate. An acidic liquid, such as wine or vinegar, produces a longer-lasting paste. Mustard can last indefinitely without becoming inedible or harmful, though it may dry out, lose flavor, or brown from oxidation.

In the New Testament of the Judeo-Christian Bible, the mustard seed is used by Jesus in the parable of the mustard seed as a model for the kingdom of God which initially starts small, but grows to be the biggest of all garden plants. Faith is also spoken about in the context of a mustard seed.

The earliest reference to mustard is in India from a story of Gautama Buddha in the fifth century BC. Gautama Buddha told the story of the grieving mother and the mustard seed. When a mother loses her only son, she takes his body to the Buddha to find a cure. The Buddha asks her to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a family that has never lost a child, husband, parent, or friend. When the mother is unable to find such a house in her village, she realizes death is common to all, and she cannot be selfish in her grief.

Jewish texts compare the knowable universe to the size of a mustard seed to demonstrate the world’s insignificance and to teach humility. The Jewish philosopher Nahmanides mentions the universe expanded from the time of its creation, in which it was the size of a mustard seed.


  Friday, September 18th, 2015


Hummus or houmous is a Levantine and Egyptian food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Hummus is an Arabic word meaning “chickpeas,” and the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna, which means “chickpeas with tahini.” The earliest known recipes for a dish similar to hummus bi tahina are recorded in cookbooks published in Cairo in the 13th century.

As an appetizer and dip, hummus is scooped with flatbread, such as pita. It is also served as part of a meze or as an accompaniment to falafel, grilled chicken, fish or eggplant. Garnishes include chopped tomato, cucumber, coriander, parsley, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, whole chickpeas, olive oil, hard-boiled eggs, paprika, sumac, ful, olives, pickles and pine nuts. Outside the Middle East, it is sometimes served with tortilla chips or crackers.

Hummus is a common part of everyday meals in Israel. A significant reason for the popularity of hummus in Israel is that it is made from ingredients that, following Kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), can be combined with both meat and dairy meals. As a result of its popularity, Israelis elevated hummus to become a “national food symbol” and consume more than twice as much hummus as neighboring Arab countries. Many restaurants run by Mizrahi Jews and Arab citizens of Israel are dedicated to hot hummus, which may be served as chick peas softened with baking soda along with garlic, olive oil, cumin and tahini. One of the fancier hummus versions available is hummus masabacha, made with lemon-spiked tahini garnished with whole chick peas, a sprinkling of paprika and a drizzle of olive oil. Hummus is sold in restaurants, supermarkets and hummus-only shops (known in Hebrew as humusiot).

2015-09-15 12.31.04

  Friday, September 18th, 2015

Passion Flower

  Monday, September 14th, 2015

Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to the Jewish Community

In the long history of Christianity there exists no more tragic development than the treatment accorded the Jewish people on the part of Christian believers. Very few Christian communities of faith were able to escape the contagion of anti-Judaism and its modern successor, anti-Semitism. Lutherans belonging to the Lutheran World Federation and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America feel a special burden in this regard because of certain elements in the legacy of the reformer Martin Luther and the catastrophes, including the Holocaust of the twentieth century, suffered by Jews in places where the Lutheran churches were strongly represented.

The Lutheran communion of faith is linked by name and heritage to the memory of Martin Luther, teacher and reformer. Honoring his name in our own, we recall his bold stand for truth, his earthy and sublime words of wisdom, and above all his witness to God’s saving Word. Luther proclaimed a gospel for people as we really are, bidding us to trust a grace sufficient to reach our deepest shames and address the most tragic truths.

In the spirit of that truth-telling, we who bear his name and heritage must with pain acknowledge also Luther’s anti-Judaic diatribes and the violent recommendations of his later writings against the Jews. As did many of Luther’s own companions in the sixteenth century, we reject this violent invective, and yet more do we express our deep and abiding sorrow over its tragic effects on subsequent generations. In concert with the Lutheran World Federation, we particularly deplore the appropriation of Luther’s words by modern anti-Semites for the teaching of hatred toward Judaism or toward the Jewish people in our day.

Grieving the complicity of our own tradition within this history of hatred, moreover, we express our urgent desire to live out our faith in Jesus Christ with love and respect for the Jewish people. We recognize in anti-Semitism a contradiction and an affront to the Gospel, a violation of our hope and calling, and we pledge this church to oppose the deadly working of such bigotry, both within our own circles and in the society around us. Finally, we pray for the continued blessing of the Blessed One upon the increasing cooperation and understanding between Lutheran Christians and the Jewish community.

  Monday, September 14th, 2015

The Trinitarian Community

Since the whole nature of a Divine Person is love, the First Lover is bound to find that what the subjectivity of the Beloved is doing is loving, and so the First Lover’s love is realized only when joined to the Second Lover’s act of loving the Third Person.

It has to be a Third Person. It won’t do to join the Second Person in loving the First Person in return, because then the First Person’s love act would not be verified as ecstatic. There have to be at least three. When the first two in united love give themselves to the third, they join in what the third is doing. But this again is a self-giving love, since the third is also a Divine Person. Ecstasy goes out to another to unite with that one’s enstatic self-realization, which turns out to be another ecstatic self-gift to yet another. This could go on indefinitely, but beyond the Third Person the pattern simply repeats, so Three Persons are sufficient to express the whole movement.

The beauty of this model for the Paradigm Being, God, is (to my mind) that it establishes both unity and differentiation, or distinction, simultaneously and by the same active principle: self-donative love. Usually we have one principle to establish difference or distinction, and another principle to establish unity or sameness. But love has this unique property that it necessarily differentiates, because it consists of giving yourself to another (you can’t give yourself to yourself), and by the very same act unites what it differentiates, because the intention of love is to unite thoroughly with the beloved. Neither unity nor differentiation, neither sameness nor difference, neither the one nor the many has priority; and neither is reduced to the other. This seems to me to be what the great dogma of the Trinity teaches.

—Beatrice Bruteau

  Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

John 14

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

  Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Luke 9:57-58

And it occurred that as they were going along the road, a man said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.

And Jesus told him, Foxes have lurking holes and the birds of the air have roosts and nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.

  Saturday, September 5th, 2015

The Finite and the Infinite

With respect to all the dualities and dichotomies into which we had usefully divided the world of our experience, a mystic metaphysics refuses to take sides. Nobody denies that dividing, as a vehicle for better understanding, is useful. But along comes the mystic and puts the separated things together, and all the rational people cry Paradox! or worse, Heresy! From the mystic’s point of view, however, there is no paradox, nothing bewildering or mysterious.

The mystic sees very clearly on the basis of experience how the unity is there. The mystic claims that both elements of the paradox are simultaneously the case. The bush burns, and yet it is not consumed. Reality is both changing and unchanging. The myth reflects what happens historically, what happens in my life, and what is eternally so. Subject and object are merged in a single consciousness. One is both oneself and intimately united with all others. What one does is done by both oneself and the Supreme Being. You don’t have to choose between them. People sometimes say: I didn’t do that, God did it. But when one goes a little deeper, one finds that the action is both one’s own and God’s, a single act born of confluent energies.

So it no longer makes sense to say, as Philip said to Jesus at the Last Supper: “Yes, I do see you, but I want to see God, the Source and Origin of all.” For Jesus in substance replies: “Whoever sees anything at all is looking into the eyes of the Only One Who Is.” The Creator is fully present in the creature, because the creature is God’s act of creating, not some product left over after the act of creation is finished. And the act of creating is the active presence of the Creator.

That is why the image of Shiva Nataraja is so compelling. It’s very different from the potter and the pot. The potter makes the pot, then gets up and goes about his business while the pot still sits there totally divorced from its maker (though bearing, of course, the mark of its maker’s hand). But where the dance is concerned, you have the dance only as long as the dancer is dancing; the dance is the dancer in the act of dancing. The dancer transcends any particular dance or gesture, but all that the gesture is, is the dancer dancing. The dancer is thoroughly present in the gesture and the gesture cannot be separated from the dancer’s act. The image of Shiva as King of Dance says that God dances and the dancing is the world.

—Beatrice Bruteau