¨Deep Feelings¨ 4´x 5´ painting/mixed media, wood panel mounted on Cedar stretchbars...Polyurethane finish.
Colorful collections. Vivid varieties of Human Nature. Ageless and priceless witness, and plain old, ordinary, spontaneous wholesome fun.
Our Cantina (on wheels...although, I´m the designated driver since I don´t drink)
Today is Saturday. Another lovely Saturday in most often very lovely Central America. Today we visited friends who invited us and several other lively guests for what turned out to be a excellent lunch. Living abroad often sets the stage for interacting with a wide variety of OUR fellow human beings who are unexpectedly extra delightful and one might never know them at other venues. Life is a adventure around here and it´s fascinating to meet new people who spontaneously become new friends. It seems the World is filled with warm hearted/natured individuals with pleasant character and who appreciate the gift of their creation and share that gift so easily and readily with strangers...I am especially happy to be amongst NEW friends when I pay attention to them and when I´m not preoccupied with, the sometimes tiresome, antics of me,me,me.
A Room With A View (near Santiago, Lago Atitlan)
Today, again, I realized, again and again, that nobody I know is much interested in excluding fellow Christians/others at Church, Temple or anywhere else in society. Lunch today was a mix and match community and nobody is checking pedigree, color, sexual orientation or blood types. I live amongst many emotionally and spiritually healthy folks who often share of themselves, their talents, hospitality and their resources with others effortlessly...without prejudice, without hate, fear or greed.
Our Thanksgiving Party this past Thursday turned out to be a happy and great event. The Gallery/Sala of our home was filled with colorful folks of every age and description who were enjoying the wonderous experience of being glad, being well fed with a HUGE TURKEY and HAM and all the rest of the accompaning treats...it was one of the best and happiest Thanksgiving celebrations of my life...I´m still feeling the glow from the whipped Sweet Potatos with Volcanic like Marshmellows oozing over the top and later, that slice of homemade Cherry Pie.
Thanks be to God for ALL of the gleefilled living moments, sugar highs and fun events in REALITY that have occured abundantly around my life...all is well, very well, again today, and I realize I´m very lucky and blessed.
Thanks to Friends of ALL colors, sizes and shapes (religions, orientations, etc.) Thanks to Juan Carlos C. Fuentes for photos Thanks to Flickr Photo sharing
¨This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.¨
2 Corinthians 9.12
It’s Beyond Me!
God showers us with gifts so we can give to others, serving as channels for His goodness and love. His blessings cascade, flowing through us to those around us. When selfishness and insecurity convince us to cling to what we’ve received, we create bottlenecks. Our lives become less dynamic; our spirits sink into stagnation. More over, we impede the flow of His loving-kindness. It’s imperative we acknowledge God’s investment, involvement, and intervention in our circumstances. And it’s vital to our wellbeing that we always return to say “thank you.” Yet we can’t assume anything we’ve been given was meant for us alone. When we consider the richness He pours into us, our proper response is, “It’s beyond me!” Not only is His unfailing generosity more than we could ask or imagine, it’s more than we can contain. It goes beyond us, meeting others’ needs and generating thanks from them. “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD,” Psalm 92.1 (KJV) says. Hoarding our blessings instead of passing them on deprives other people’s chances to experience the goodness of God and the goodness of gratitude.
A Cheerful Giver
This concept arises in a bit of housekeeping Paul undertakes in 2 Corinthians 9. He writes ahead that he’s arriving with several Macedonians, whom he’s regaled about the Corinthians’ generosity. Yet he’s also wary of things going awry when he shows up. So he informs them he’s sending an advance team to ensure their gift is ready and befits their reputation. In verse 7, he stresses they should give what they’re willing and able, “not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” But if they give gladly, he says in verse 11, “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” Put another way, he tells them, “Happily pass your blessings to me and I’ll happily pass them along to others, who will benefit and be grateful by receiving them.” If you do this, he says, God will increase your abundance, enabling you to give all the more.
Paul’s transparency leaves no doubt he’s teaching, rather than issuing an ordinance that demands compliance. He’s capitalizing on the moment to offer useful information. To be sure, he’s basing his advice on Jesus’s sowing-reaping principle. But his objective is explaining the principle and what it produces in practice so the Corinthians will give gladly. Our takeaway from his lesson is straightforward. It’s as much about the giving as the gift. Should we pass our blessings along reluctantly or obligingly, their value to us erodes. If we give cheerfully, however, we please God and He returns our favor by entrusting us with more to give.
Repay It Forward
“How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?” asks Psalm 116.12. Paul’s lesson answers the question beautifully. God grants us His goodness so we can repay it forward. We receive His blessings, take what we need from them, express our gratitude, and then keep our hearts, eyes, and ears open to find another who needs what we’ve been given. There are always—and always will be—more blessings for us to enjoy.
Lamentations 3.22-23 tells us God’s mercies are new every morning. The more pleased we are to share all that we have with others—not just out of our pockets and off our shelves, but out of our hearts—the more He’s pleased. The more we pass along, the more He provides us to pass long. The more blessings we give, the more thanks He receives. Today and tomorrow, as we contemplate all we’ve been given, it’s not a bad idea to scan our list of blessings for those we cheerfully can pass along. What has God given us that someone else can be thankful for?
Thank you Tim for thinking of me and including me in this very kind and warm hearted tribute. As part of ¨being¨ a ¨Superior Scribbler¨ Award winner it is now my honor to recognize other Blogs and the BLOGGERS whom I think are BIEN NIFTY!
There are some guidelines as to how each ¨Scribbler¨ must, in turn, pass the Award on:
The Award may be passed on to FIVE deserving Bloggers (my choice).
Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post which explains The Award.
Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
My selections for The Superior Scribbler Award are the following:
Father Robert Thomas, in Alaska, who has a smile that somehow carries tens of thousands of miles around the World with REAL meaning as he delivers quotable, inspiring and often common sense messages to those of us who NEED THEM! Mil Gracias, Padre Roberto Musings of a Episcopal Padre, click here:
Doug, fabulous artist/painter, reinventer of images, feelings and passions...some, long past, but NONE are very far away...Doug is a overall master creator of colorful thoughts, crafter of NEW ideas and presenter of ongoing, and stark, value and HOPE. He reveals much that has been and much that REALLY IS on a day like today. Counterlight´s Peculiars, click here:
To ¨The Friends of Jake Blog¨ and Editor/Contributors Eileen, Ann, David, IT and Padre Mickey, of Panama. Padre Mickey is also the creator of the magical ¨Padre Mickey´s Dance Party¨ blog, click here: Many Episcopalians, Anglicans and our other collection of International friends met at a blog entitled Father Jake Stops The World earlier on. After Father Jake resumed being himself, Father Terry Martin, he moved away from ¨Jakes Place¨ and into his new home at Father Terry Listens To The World, click here:. We JAKEITES needed a new cyber home. As it was impossible for simply ONE PERSON to do what Jake did, a group from within the Jakes group took us to new place in a all new blog space. Thanks for the memories of Jakes and thanks for the HUNDREDS of Friends of Jake who still have a cyberspace to call HOME thanks to the Friends of Jake and our Editors Friends of Jake, click here:
Then there is dear James! James at The Three Legged Stool keeps a sacred sort of open space for many ¨progressive¨ Episcopalians who have been struggling, and continue to struggle, to save their spiritual/religious heritage and keep their ancestral home vibrant, welcoming and growing at The Anglican Communion. The Three Legged Stool, click here:
Imagined Fears and Hated Queers arriving by LAND!**
Americana Under Assault by Queer Special Forces*
Posted by KaityKat at 20:08
¨According to the new video being circulated by the AFA,¨Americana LGBT Assault¨ video, click here: yet another reactionary group on the religious wrong fringe, the queers have invaded quiet Eureka Springs, Arkansas and are using it as a forward operating base to expand our 'gay agenda' into the heartland of America. I came across this piece of news on Feministing. No longer content to remain in our liberal bastions of the Eastern Corridor and our beloved Left Coast, we are apparently aggressively attempting to undermine the very fabric of this ultra-conservative christian nation called 'Fly-over Land' or alternatively 'The United States of Jebus'.
Imagined Fears and Hated Queers invading by Lake/Sea**
Imagined Fears and Hated Queers invading by Air**
I can almost see the AFA's collective nightmare of a sky-blue Blackhawk helicopter with Rainbow insignia inserting a Queer Agenda Special Operations A-team to taint the city's water supply with 'the gay'.
The ¨Defending of Heterosexuality and Straight Marriage¨ Brotherhood**
In order to ensure total compliance of the local heteronormative population, the Special Operations A-team will be supported by the 1st Transvestite Air Assault Battalion led by Eddie Izzard looking fabulous.
Stonewall Transvestite Air Assault Squadron taking shape, er, formation**
Meanwhile, back in reality....
The only real gay agenda is basic civil rights for every person regardless of sexual or gender identity or lack thereof.¨
Thanks to Queers United and ¨Shamelessly Self-Promoting¨ Thanks to A Truly Elegant Mess, ¨Americana under assault¨* Thanks to Feministing Blog Thanks to Father Geoff Farrow Thanks to The Reverend Göran Koch-Swahne Thanks to Flickr Photosharing** Thanks to YouTube
Not only do the 6 so called clobber verses not address GLBT or ”homosexuality” (a medical term from 1869, which has changed its meaning twice since then…) in any way (ancient, pre modern, Modern or late modern), as sometimes is claimed from Rome and American Political Calvinism in late modernity. For instance the Sodom story (Genesis 18-19) is about the Command to Hospitality towards “the Levite, the poor and the stranger”, as Deuteronomy says – a question of survival for those excluded from pre modern Societies). The Passages which really address GLBT-folks are quite different.
Furthermore, the distortion of the Sodom story as sexual comes, as D. S. Bailey showed 1955 in his Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (causing some 45 references in the Bible, some by Jesus himself like Matt 10:15, 11:24, to be re-directed in trans-lations after c:a 1960 from sexual to material) from 1st century Hellenist Popular Philosophical literature (incl. the Philosophical-ly challenged Philo of Alexandria (of the Museioon) and double traitor “Flavius” Josephus, né Levi (of 1st Jewish war fame, which caused the destruction of Jerusalem, for the infinitesimal time…) who never have been kosher in Judaism or Christianity, but were exceedingly admired by anti Modern academics.
Places which do talk of GLBT-folk are for instance Genesis 37 – 50 (Joseph in Egypt, particularly Potiphar’s wife’s failed attempt at seduction, Genesis 37:9), Ruth’s Book (it is Ruth who says to Naomi “until death do us part”, Ruth 1:16-17) and, of course, 1st Samuel 16 to 1st Kings 2, with the well-known story about David’s ascent to power and his love for Jonathan (e.g. 1st Samuel 18:1-3) and King Saul, and his daughters Merab (1st Samuel 18:21) and Mikal (1st Samuel 18:28), particularly the Partnership formula 1st Samuel 20:24 (binding the descendants!) and Saul’s jealousy (“Thou son of a Harlot” in 1st Samuel 20:30)…
More Eunuchs (cf hidjra in contemporary India) besides Joseph are found in Isaiah 56 (where the god-fearing eunuch and the stranger are praised), Daniel’s Book (Daniel and Aspenas, and others). In the New Testament there are for instance Matthew 19:11-12 (“there are some who by birth, from the mother's womb are such" - i.e. not suited to marry) Luke 7:1-9 and Matthew 8:5-13 (the Centurion’s servant – Mark! the stories in Luke and Matt are quite dissimilar), and Acts 8:26-39 (another eunuch).
“Joseph” is by the way an old byname for GLBT, “Oh, had I been in Joseph’s predicament, Oh! had I been in Joseph’s predicament – I know what I’d done!” Charles Michael Bellman says (Fredman’s Song Nr 38) or “Joseph ein Joseph war” as I read somewhere about his friend and collaborator (e.g. "Adieu my dear child!" about the death of his son Elis) Joseph Martin Kraus. Both referring to the episode with Potiphar’s wife…
And this is authentically Biblical. The anti Modern hysteria may be admired in the present Government Alliance's dithering (over the Pentecostal "Christian" Democrat Party's pains) over Marriage legislation being made Gender neutral in December this year.
Thanks to The Reverend Göran Koch-Swahne Thanks to The Reverend Elizabeth Keaton Thanks to Flickr Photosharing Thanks to Fred Schwartz, ¨REAL ANGLICANS¨ blog click here: and ¨Off Topic Allowed¨ blog click here:
When Brian Cook was in junior high, he was dragged around the auditorium theater stage with a rope around his neck for being different. People who watched didn’t stop this action. At that moment in his life, Cook had such a low opinion of himself that it didn’t matter what was done to him, he said, because it was still attention of some kind.
Looking back, he said a normal person would not have let that happen. Junior high and high school were tough times, he said, because he didn’t have many friends.
“It’s not that I didn’t want them, mind you, I just didn’t have many,” he said.
Although he was involved in school activities such as music and drama, there were few people who made him feel comfortable with who he was.
Cook didn’t fully realize in junior high why he was different. Today he knows. He is gay. Now he understands why he stood out so much and why he was ridiculed by his peers.
On Tuesday, Cook attended a documentary at Utah State University showing the controversy surrounding religion and gays. The presentation was for Diversity Week at the university.
Cook, a USU student, is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — an organization that supports Proposition 8, a recently passed California law that states marriage is only legal between a man and woman. For Cook, who goes to church and participates in LDS lifestyle and standards, being gay and being Mormon is hard to balance.
Attending the “For the Bible Tells Me So” movie presentation opened his eyes, Cook said.
The documentary, released in 2007, talks about the fear of homophobia throughout America, particularly in religious groups. The movie also explores the historical context of scriptures that condemn homosexuality and talks about several scriptures that discuss gender orientation. Drawing on experiences of religious families with gay or lesbian children, the movie sends a message to viewers that the condemning of homosexuality is damaging to all.
The Rev. Lawrence C. Keene, from Disciples of Christ, said, “When someone says to me, ‘This is what the Bible says,’ my response to them is ‘No, that’s what the Bible reads.’ It is the struggle to understand context and language and culture and customs that helps us understand the meaning or what it is saying.”
Using the term “abomination,” the documentary states, might not be translated the same in 2008 as it was in ancient times. The original definition wasn’t “sin” but was “against custom.” In this context, verses from the Bible that condemn homosexuality change traditional religious meaning by stating that homosexuality is against custom.
Keene also said, “When the term abomination is used in the Hebrew Bible, it is always used to address a ritual wrong. It never is used to refer to something innately immoral. Eating pork was not innately immoral for a Jew, but it was an abomination because it was a violation of a ritual requirement.”
Later, the documentary gives examples from the Bible that show it is an abomination to eat shrimp, to wear linen and wool together and to combine seeds for planting.
Cook said learning about the historical context helps him understand why scripture verses about homosexuality include the word abomination. The documentary, which was nominated for an award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, also looks at the definition of “natural” and “unnatural,” citing Bible verses that say homosexuality is unnatural.
Centuries ago, “natural” meant “customary” and “unnatural” meant “uncustomary.” Looking through this lens, Cook said things make more sense to him now.
Using a clip from the television drama “West Wing” that starred Martin Sheen, the documentary emphasizes the importance of historical context. In one scene, Sheen’s character comments on a woman who said homosexuality is an abomination. She quotes scriptures to back up her point.
Sheen’s character then asks her, “I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7 ... what would a good price for her be?”
He then quotes another scripture from the Bible saying, “My chief of staff insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or should I call the cops?”
The Bible has been misused toward groups and minorities for many centuries, according to the documentary.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, said, “I can’t, for the life of me, imagine that God would say, ‘I will punish you because you are black — you should have been white. I will punish you because you are a woman — you should have been a man. I punish you because you are homosexual — you ought to have been heterosexual.’ I can’t, for the life of me, believe that is how God sees things.
Chase Skidmore, a member of USU’s student activities group, helped set up the documentary presentation. Skidmore said Diversity Week needs to represent the colors and ethnicities of different people but should include things such as economic status, language and gender orientation to be true to the word “diversity.”
This is the first year USU’s Gay and Lesbian Student Resource Center has been included in Diversity Week. ASUSU viewed the documentary before showing it to USU students.
Before Cook went on a two-year LDS mission, he said he fell into a deep depression and almost committed suicide because he didn’t think he could “fix” his homosexuality “problem.” Now he’s a different person, he said, because he’s happier accepting who he is. Being open about his homosexuality makes him happy, especially after being able to tell his family and friends.
The next step is his religion. Cook said he doesn’t know what will happen in terms of acceptance there. He has a great love for his religion, he said. But it’s not easy to be Mormon and be gay.
“It’s been recently that I’ve made the decision to not reject myself,” Cook said. “I don’t intend on lying. If it gets me removed (from my religion) it happens. It doesn’t make me happy, mind you, it’s a sad thought.”
Thanks to Brian Cook Thanks to The Reverend Jerry Maneker Thanks to Brittny Goodsell Jones Thanks to Christian GLBT Rights (at the side bar) Thanks to Archbishop Desmond Tutu Thanks to Chase Skidmore Thanks to Reverend Lawrence C. Keene Thanks to Flickr Photosharing
President-elect Obama promises to back gay rights legislation
By Tony Grew • November 19, 2008 - 14:03
¨The next President of the United States has published a comprehensive list of action he will take on gay rights.
In a statement published on the Presidential transition website, Barack Obama and the Vice President-elect, Joe Biden, committed themselves to strengthening federal hate crimes protection by passing the Matthew Shepard* Act.
*Episcopalian Matthew Shepard, murder victim, a crime of hate directed against him and LGBT people, Wyoming, U.S.A.
The President-elect also committed to support civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples.
"Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples," the statement read.
"Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognised unions.
"These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights."
President-elect Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
"While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy," the statement read.
"Obama also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."
The President-elect said he would oppose a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and the prohibition on openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving in the US Armed Forces.
"Barack Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve.
"Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation.
"Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic.
"Obama will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defence goals."
President-elect Obama said he believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation.
"A child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not," the statement read.
The new administration will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies within 12 months of taking office.
"The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities," the statement read.
"Obama will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system.
"Obama also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users.
"Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma — too often tied to homophobia — that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. He will continue to speak out on this issue as President.
The statement quotes a speech President-elect Obama gave in June 2007:
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do.
"Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans.
"It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
Barack Obama will take office on January 20th after a lavish Inauguration ceremony in Washington DC.¨
*Alex J. Hart , the final family owner of Hart's Department Stores , died peacefully on Aug. 8 in Saratoga, one month and a day shy of...
REAL HERO/REAL LIFE: Bishop John Shelby Spong
“I was simply interpreting a rising consciousness,” he said. “Whether it was race or women or homosexual people, the issue was always the same: fighting against anything that dehumanizes a child of God on the basis of an external characteristic.” Bishop John Shelby Spong (click on his photo)
IT GETS BETTER--Archbishop Desmond Tutu supports LGBT full acceptance and inclusion too!
¨Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical, the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act - the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reason have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?¨ Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The No Anglican Covenant Coalition -- COMPREHENSIVE UNITY
A VERY UN-ANGLICAN COVENANT (click on logo)
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