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I want to eat like Jesus.
I want to drink like Jesus.
I want to smile like Jesus.
I want to share like Jesus.

I want to be like Jesus.

* * *

I want to walk like Jesus.
I want to talk like Jesus.
I want to touch like Jesus.
I want to heal like Jesus.

I want to be like Jesus.

* * *

I want to see like Jesus.
I want to hear like Jesus.
I want to smell like Jesus.
I want to feel like Jesus.

I want to be like Jesus.

* * *

I want to laugh like Jesus.
I want to weep like Jesus.
I want to rage like Jesus.
I want to pray like Jesus.

I want to be like Jesus.

* * *

I want to learn like Jesus.
I want to teach like Jesus.
I want to think like Jesus.
I want to preach like Jesus.

I want to be like Jesus.

* * *

I want to live like Jesus.
I want to love like Jesus.
I want to die like Jesus.
I want to live on like Jesus.

I want to be, like Jesus.

jesuspassover


A friend said on her Facebook page this morning:

    “Instead of wanting to take BACK our country, shouldn’t we be wanting to take FORWARD our country? Friends, like it or not, the past is past! We live in a global home now.”

Friends, my friend is right. The world never stops changing, evolving.

Technology has made the world a much smaller and better place.

Technology has made the world a wider and more dangerous place.

But we’re not going to advance it by finding the reincarnation of General George S. Patton to take over the world and make the U.S.A. as great as it was in the days of rotary phones.

(In terms of military power, I’d rather we find an Eisenhower and a Marshall anyway.)

We’ll move our country FORWARD by being strong and forceful–of course we will.

But we’ll advance it in the best way, and gain respect, by being realistic and smart about the world as it is in the here and now.

That calls for a lot of calming down and advancing faith over fear.

No good decision making ever came out of fierce anger and paranoia.

This just in to News Central: There's no going back to some time when the world stopped changing and evolving and presenting ever-new challenges to the USA. Some kind of General Patton incarnated is not going to make us any greater--and could make us worse.

This just in to News Central: There’s no going back to some time when the world stopped changing and evolving and presenting ever-new challenges to the USA. Some kind of General Patton incarnated is not going to make us any greater–and could make us worse.


Regarding Donald Trump’s Christianity . . .

I suppose I should be grateful that he’s promised to “protect Christianity.”

But–silly me–I think a man who has verily lusted over his own daughter’s “great body” (to Howard Stern among others) may not be the right guy to protect the faith tradition and the moral integrity of the USA.

I wish he’d make some effort to be Christian before he anoints himself as its Guardian-in-Chief.

Jesus warned us to beware the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

I’m of the belief that if a wolf says he’s a sheep, he’s a wolf. He’ll gladly don a sheep’s skin for his stealth advancement into the Shepherd’s pen.

Then he’ll fire the Shepherd.

I’ll swear, this is a guy who wants to be Christianity’s Boss Hawg.

He should be issuing red caps that say “TRUMP! MAKING CHRISTIANITY GREAT AGAIN!”

Improving on Christianity is a heavy duty but he’s out to do it and is very capable.

He’s built a great, great company, by God!

He’ll make Christianity a great company and protect its interests.

He’ll be God’s CEO! Assuming he doesn’t fire God in a hostile takeover!

Can I get an Amen! and a Merry Christmas!

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If Donald Trump is a Christian–and his being baptized entitles him to at least identify as one–he’s the Christian equivalent of a greedy, free-wheeling, irresponsible capitalist who knowingly dumps toxic chemicals into rivers and streams for his own gain.

Which is to say that Trump is polluting the Christian stream in order to gain the highest office in America, all the while purporting to be as pure in heart as the lamb of God.

He’s poisoning the baptismal Christian waters–the rivers and streams and the very wells from which all Christians drink. If he’s being a Christian–if he’s the best we have to “protect Christianity” (which somehow endured for 2,000 years without him) I’ll take my ticket back.

Agnus Zurbaran's "Lamb of God"'

Agnus Zurbaran’s “Lamb of God”‘

I know, I know! It’s bad Christian form to question or judge somebody else’s Christianity!

Unless it’s the Christianity of Barack Obama, a Christian who’s steeped in the theology of Reinhold Niebuhr, a 20th Century theologian and political philosopher whose many books are required reading at a seminary near you.

We all know Obama is, in truth, a Kenyan. This we know because Donald Trump has always told us so, and Donald Trump wouldn’t say anything if it weren’t the honest-to-God truth.

Donald in a seriously creepy photo with his famous, Playboy cover girl/daughter Ivanka and his famous gold parrots having sex.

Donald in a seriously creepy photo with his famous, Playboy cover girl/daughter Ivanka and his famous gold parrots having sex. He’s spoken often of her “great body” and noted he would maybe have dated her if he weren’t her father. This may not be the right person to “protect Christianity.”

Seriously, I’m still trying to get over his doing and saying this kind of ungodly stuff:

— insulting the entire nation of Mexico and the Mexican people with the caveat that “I assume that some of them are good people”;

— mocking a disabled man (somebody help me understand what kind of Christian gets a laugh trashing a disabled American, and then denies that he was mocking a disabled American, in spite of obvious evidence);

— characterizing an opponent as “a p-ssy” at a public event, complete with impressionable children watching mommy and daddy cheer him on (what do you suppose the gentleman Republican icon Ronald Reagan would think of this role model?);

— cracking about a news broadcaster’s period and fixating with hate on the broadcaster–a conservative newswoman, no less–ever since (though he assures us women love him, and the record shows that many have, inside and outside of marriage);

— ranting just the other day about a protester he so much wanted to punch in the face! (so much for the Christian ethic of turning the other cheek or loving your enemies; Mr. Trump is not one to dwell on the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount–he seems to want to conquer the Mount and re-do the Sermon);

— arousing a crowd by noting he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and would still be blessed by his followers, who obviously think he can do no wrong (what kind of Christian imagination imagines shooting somebody on 5th Avenue and being revered for it?);

“The Donald” told another respectable conservative news broadcaster recently that he will start acting presidential “at the appropriate time.”

I suppose that means he’ll stop conducting himself like a thug and start behaving something like a gentleman and a decent human being who likes people and brings leaders from around the world together to solve problems. Maybe that’s too much to ask for a President in a country where people are living in so much fear of each other and the world.

A country where Jerry Falwell Jr.–a self-anointed guardian of Christianity if ever there was one–brags about packing heat in the pulpit in case the Muslims storm the Falwell Empire that money-grubbing TV evangelism built.

But the question this delayed “presidential appropriateness” raises in my mind is: when exactly is an “appropriate time” to walk, talk and behave like a Christian?

Where in God’s name and Donald Trump’s Bible that he’s taken to waving at adoring masses does it say it’s OK to fudge on your Christian walk until such a time as it’s appropriate?

Why is it so hard for Bible-thumping Trump to at least begin to incarnate the most basic tenets of Christianity?

Such as:

— Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

— Love God with all your heart, mind, body and strength, and love others as you love yourself.

— Thou shalt not lie and commit adultery (and if one does, repent and seek forgiveness from God and others).

This is a man who lies hourly.

No, more like when those lips move, unceasingly.

The bizarre thing is, everybody knows it. And millions of Christians give him a pass on it.

I realize that lying blatantly or by omission, deception and attacking other people’s integrity and character–these are the unspoken tenets of politics.

But Trump’s the Grand Poobah of political deception.

He just yaps on and on and on.

And and his yap is usually something really, really bad about somebody he really, really doesn’t like, which is half the people in America, if not the world.

But now–with all that said–I don’t doubt that there is really, really a lot of good in Donald Trump’s heart. Obviously his family adores him and a lot of people–kinder, gentler people who’ve known him personally for a long time –speak well of him and his good side.

Putin, BTW, thinks highly of his strength and the Don met Putin in a TV Green Room once and likes Putin a lot and doubts that he ever poisoned any political rivals. He once trashed reporters because Putin’s never been adjudicated for killing anybody; how unfair can you get, librul media, and anyway, what kind of Russian Orthodox Christian would kill somebody?

And BTW, they’re indeed both baptized Christians and Putin has the blessings of Mother Russia’s church and Trump has the blessings of a Falwell and a lot of rich, high-living evangelists.

But–honestly–all this cynical snideness I keep lapsing into aside–I don’t doubt that he, Donald Trump, has a really good side.

And I mean that.

I’ve observed that when Donald Trump’s better angels bubble up into that weird imagination and he says he wants to provide equitable health care to all because “a lot of people have nothing at all” and “we can’t let them die in streets,” it has the ring of sincerity.

If I could have a minute or two with Donald Trump alone, I’d tell him I respect him for caring about the health of all Americans, for wanting to “take care of people” and their medical care and God bless him for it. Even though (call me hyper-critical and some do), wanting to “take care of people is a trifle paternalistic.

But then I’d plead with him to think about the damage he’s doing to the integrity of Christianity and ask him to remove the doubts I have about the sincerity of his Christian walk by asking all the masses of people he has hurt to forgive him.

I’d plead with him to repent and redirect himself toward the narrow gate, to build some kind of great big beautiful bridge, for once in his life, that brings people together in God’s grace.

I’d tell him nobody, above all God, needs him to protect God.

Then I’d grab him and say a quick prayer over him.

Then I’d run like hell lest he punched me in the face or called in the goon squad.

“What was said to the rose
that made it open
was said to me
here in my chest …

Whatever put eloquence in language
that’s happening here.”

— From the Persian mystic poet Rumi

"Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. ~Rumi

“Everything you see has its
roots in the unseen world.
~Rumi

The world’s most renowned scholar on Rumi, the Persian mystic who wrote love poetry as fresh today as it was eight centuries ago, is Coleman Barks.

Barks happens to have the greatest Southern drawl ever, but never mind that.

As an antidote to all the noisy, hateful buzz in our ears these days–to all the lack of eloquence in language–chill out with some love language for the ages.

Have a mellowing bottle of love and beauty from Rumi.

“He (Rumi) says fall in love in such a way that it frees you from any connecting. This is not about relationship. This is not country music–it’s not, ‘he left me, she left me, she came back, she left again.’ . . .

“It’s not Romeo and Juliet, where the power of connection and separation is the love story.

“With Rumi, the love he’s talking about is friendship, but it’s different. It’s a weather that you walk inside. It widens out to become a region that you live in . . . Everything is part of this love atmosphere so that the human beings in it become love.

“It’s difficult to talk about–you have to hear him to sense what he’s talking about.”

— Rumi scholar Coleman Barks

Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you. -- Rumi

Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you. — Rumi


Your Jitterbug Thought(s) for the day . . .

Break on through to the other side.

Break on through to the other side.

I live in the hustling, bustling go-go tourist town that is San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Belize, because I’m never far from the calming influence of living green trees and vegetation and streams of water and mostly gentle people who live close to the land.

I have precious little money but I’ve got God’s good green gifts close by.

So why do you live where you live?

Illustration by Maurice Sendak from Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss

Illustration by Maurice Sendak from Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss

By the Mopan River in Benque, BZ.

By the Mopan River in Benque, BZ.

Plus, I can swim at any resort pool in BZ I want to for a few dollars fee, like this one at the San Ignacio Inn--the resort hotel where common folks like Queen Elizabeth stayed.

Plus, I can swim at any resort pool in BZ I want to for a few dollars fee, like this one at the San Ignacio Inn–the resort hotel where common folks like Queen Elizabeth stayed. The difference is that she got treated like royalty and I got handed a towel.

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“If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

— From To Kill a Mockingbird

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2007 file photo, Pulitzer Prize-winning Alabama author, Harper Lee, appears at the Davis Theater in Montgomery, Ala., for a performance adaptation of her book "To Kill A Mockingbird," by Alabama high school students. Lee, the elusive author of best-seller "To Kill a Mockingbird," died Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, according to her publisher Harper Collins.  She was 89. (AP Photo/Kevin Glackmeyer, File)

FILE – In this Jan. 10, 2007 file photo, Pulitzer Prize-winning Alabama author, Harper Lee, appears at the Davis Theater in Montgomery, Ala., for a performance adaptation of her book “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Alabama high school students. Lee, the elusive author of best-seller “To Kill a Mockingbird,” died Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, according to her publisher Harper Collins. She was 89. (AP Photo/Kevin Glackmeyer, File)

I vividly remember being so moved by To Kill a Mockingbird that I couldn’t wait to give my book report on it in seventh grade. It definitely shaped my point of view (as did Twain’s provocative classic Huck Finn).

As United Methodist journalist Sam Hodges notes in an obituary of Harper Lee, the great American novelist “used the words ‘Methodist’ and ‘John Wesley’ in the first pages of her classic novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ and Methodism figured in her life as well as her fiction.”

Well, you just knew this United Methodist blogger was going to point out that Harper Lee’s point of view was informed by her faith and Wesleyan/Methodist theology.

More here on this quietly great American woman and may she rest in beautiful peace.


Love is grand. Happy Valentines Day.

Love is grand. Happy Valentines Day.

Leave it to Paul “Rhymin'” Simon to write and perform a perfect love song with an opener that goes right to the heart and calms you down the way love does:


“You got the cool water,

“When the fever runs high . . .”


More love songs I like and like a lot for you and your other half and you are welcome:

Sorry Adele–and sorry kids–but no one can touch this voice: