Friday, September 30, 2005

The End of Hollywood Presbyterian?

This statement was issued by "the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood" Sept. 30, 2005.

"We, the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, met with Rev. Dr. Meenan and Rev. Dr. Manock. We made the very difficult decision that returning the pastors is not in the best interest of the church, or the pastors. Therefore we asked for their resignations.
Our Session has called a Congregational Meeting on October 9th after services in the Sanctuary at 12:30 PM, for the purpose of at which time the A.C. will share it's research findings."

This statement shows the evil in the PCUSA. After a secret process, a predetermined decision by the "A.C.",(Administrative Commission) has been played out. This whole action by the Los Angeles, Presbytery of the Pacific stinks, a stench worthy of hell. Rather than honesty, this entire process has shown the worst of the leadership of the PCUSA. A secret predetermined decision that pretends to follow the BOO. This is just one more decision that shows the morally corrupt state of the PCUSA.

There has been manipulation of process to create a predetermined result. Supposedly the session voted to kick out the pastors, but a stacked deck was dealt. A small group of Hollywood Presbyterian members went to the Presbytery Committee on Ministry, to complain. Without providing the ministers and session a chance to respond, the Presbytery Committee on Ministry ordered the ministers to resign. When they refused, the committee on ministry went to the full Presbytery to have them removed. When the full Presbytery voted not to remove, but to establish an Administrative Commission to work for reconciliation; just after the presbytery meeting, at midnight, a lawyer for the "commission" ordered the ministers to clean out their offices and have no contact with anyone from the church. Clearly the commission had no authority to meet, or make any decisions until after the presbytery meeting. To have already retained a lawyer, and prepared any documents is clear evidence of a pre-determined result.

Since then, additional questionable actions have taken place. Evidence that the commission was not working for reconciliation, but simply to go through the motions in order to produce the desired result of removal of the ministers is shown by statements from elders who have resigned in protest of the commission's actions.

There has been a clear failure to follow the Book of Order. The clerk of the Presbytery, and Synod refused to accept an appeal of the actions of the commission, and the Presbytery delayed giving a list of those attending a presbytery meeting.

This is decision making in secret. This is the evil action of a dictatorship. Two wonderful men's lives are being destroyed. I suspect the PCUSA will lose two passionate pastors, men who have preached the Word. Their betrayers must know God is not mocked. They may think they have won. The devil thought he won on Golgatha, when our savior died. Remember what happened to Judas.

If the two pastors were so evil, why no trial? Why no evidence? If they have done wrong, why not reveal it in public. What this looks like is character assassination of the worst kind. A whispering campaign to discredit. A "meeting" of the session and pastors to make it look like it was the sessions' decision, and not a carefully orchestrated farce. Presbytery is the one that makes decisions about pastors. Not sessions. This "vote", is only a whitewashed tomb.

When I asked the moderator about Hollywood last Tuesday, he claimed not to know anything. He did go on at length trying to justify his Torrance "visit". Either he LIED, or a process that will cost Hollywood Presbyterian thousands of members hasn't been important enough to bother with. Neither alternative is acceptable. For a moderator who claims to care, this shows a callous disregard for the pain of the sheep in Hollywood's flock, who have been thrown to the wolves.

There is a war in the PCUSA. It has been a silent one, where forces of death who run this denomination, have been able to do their work ruining what should be a pillar of righteousness. I have not given up. I will continue to speak out against the evil being done in our name. To borrow a quote from some I don't normally support.


I call on all confessing churches, and others who still desire to call Jesus Lord, to withhold all per-capita, until the leadership of this demonination is replaced with those who actually know what the essentials of the Christian Faith are, and follow them. This will not be easy. The entire Synod of the Northeast is so corrupt, Abraham would not be able to find enough faithful churches to meet his bargain with God about Sodom and Gomorrah. Given the brazen election in Hudson River Presbytery, the rot, like a mold infected house in New Orleans, appears to require demolition.

The choice is clear. Who is on the Lord's side?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Strange Easter thoughts

So many come to church for what it can give them. They like the nice people. They like the socials. They like someone telling them they are good.

The truth, much sharper. The 25th chapter of Matthew is frightening. If we don't see ourselves standing there naked before God, without excuse, after all the times we failed to do what He wanted, we are fooling ourselves. Yet it is important to include with this all God's love, forgiveness, joy, and not act out of duty like the older brother, who couldn't come to the party.

Here is a strange Easter poem from 2001.

Easter Finery

You come
dressed so fine.
So clean
so neat.
looking so perfect
so fine
trying to impress.

Just who
do you think
to fool?
Man or Me?
You can’t
fool Me.
I see within.
I see your heart.

Black heart
stained by sin.
dying of sin.
You think you
must be perfect.
You must be good
to come to Me.

Come as sinner.
Come broken.
Confess your sin
to be healed.
Don’t lie
claim nothings wrong
as you stand
dressed so fine.

You try to
impress Me.
Nothing you do
on your own
is slightest good.
Nothing you do
on your own
will impress Me.

Admit you’re a thief
on your cross
humbly asking to
be remembered.
Accept My gift
die on My cross
to sin.
Luke 23: 39-43
© Presbypoet, May 15, 2001

What if you heard that preached as an Easter sermon?

We see the surface. We are impressed by the way people look.
God sees within.
What does God see within you?

Do you need to admit you're a thief
on your cross?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Why the PCUSA is in trouble

The problem is theological. Liberals who control the power in much of the demonination, are more concerned with using the power of the demoniations to support political causes than work for evangelism. Actually the difference between a liberal Christian and a Moslem is less than you would think. Both do not see Jesus as divine, Moslems treat Him as a prophet, liberals as a good man who taught some good things like pacifism, love everyone, tolerate everyone (except for those who are intolerant, which is everyone you disagree with), so you can see how the real split is between those of us who take the Bible seriously, and those using the demonination as a tool.

I find it fascinating liberals accuse "conservative, fundamentalist" Christians of perverting the gospel for political purposes, when they have been doing it for decades. Meeting with our demonination's moderator, it was interesting how most of his focus was on political issues, not spiritual. For example:
Opposition to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.
Helping illegal immigrants sneak into the U.S.
Opposition to Iraq war. He admitted that probably a majority of members disagreed with the churches position.
So it's not that they are opposed to using the church for politics, just for conservatives using it for political purposes.

The main theological question was how to change the church to meet the needs of the postmodern generation, which he described as doers, not joiners. Not so much a theological perception, but practical.

A good way to understand the situation in the Presbyterian church is that the church buildings are owned by the demonination. If you try to leave, you may have to start over with no resources, or pay a big ransom. In Virginia in 2003, Rivermont Church left, but the presbytery demanded payment of 30% of the churches building's appraised value.

Other churches when they wanted to leave, had their pastors removed. In Findley Ohio, Maumee Presbyery appointed an administrative commission, which changed the locks, and forced the pastors to leave, even though the congregation voted 217 to 19 to leave. The Presbytery now runs a church with only 68 members, (up from less than 40). The old congregation is now over 700, with an ambitious building plan. (According to the local paper in 2004):

Money and power are why the liberal leadership doesn't want churches to leave. We are a colony they have exploited. We pay $24 per member each year, so it is a lot of money. The colonialists have permitted local evangelical churches to go about their work of saving souls, as long as they don't threaten to upset things. So is the smart thing to just keep your head down, and don't get involved? Or does Niemoeller's saying in the 30's apply.
"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me."

What would God have us do?

I suspect the message to Laodicea may apply here.

Message to Laodicea

So sure your wealth
will protect you.
You are wretched, pitiful
poor, blind & naked.

Come buy My gold
refined in the fire.
Wear My robe
to cover your nakedness.

Those I love I rebuke
& discipline.
I stand & knock.
Open the door.
(Revelation 3:14-22)
© Presbypoet, July 31, 2005

What will we do?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Meeting the Moderator of the PCUSA

One of the strangest things to every other denomination, must be our Presbyterian Polity. We have no leader. Well not exactly, we elect a "moderator". He has almost no power. His main job is to moderate (act as chairperson) the General Assembly when it meets, then until the next General Assembly, just wander around the world, being the public face of the denomination. No moderator ever gets reelected, he can do little to influence decisions at the GA. All in all, a very strange way to pick a leader. But very Presbyterian, (we are Calvinists, we know the utter depravity of "man", we are reluctant to give much power to one person).

Tonight, the moderator came to our neck of the woods, not that there are too many woods in Sunnyvale. About a hundred people, all Presbyterians, sat down, ate dinner, then spent about one and a half hours listening to the moderator speak, & ask him questions. Not too many soft balls. We live in a demonination that is seriously dysfunctional.

The moderator is a liberal. He still pines for the virtues of the Sandanistas in Nicaragua. He has been very active in efforts to smuggle illegal undocumented workers, & very concerned about the welfare of said human beings as they die in the desert. He spoke well of every hot button political issue of the left. He offers no credit to Bush for freeing 20,000,000 people, he is still sure the war was wrong. He defended the stupid anti-israel policy of the last GA, trying to sound conciliatory, but clearly happy at being awarded a prize from a Moslem group for "peace".

He is a good speaker. He handled himself well. He read from Exodus about the Israelites bickering. I could see he emphasizes with Moses, when the Israelites complained. This inspired the following poem, which also speaks to us today.
The question:
How do we know God's will?
We Ask:
Which Rock

Lord how do we
find the rock
you call us
to strike?

Which rock?
How do we know?
How do we hear
your command?
(Exodus 17:1-7)
Inspired by Rick Ufford-Chase, Moderator, PCUSA, September 27, 2005
© Presbypoet, September 27, 2005

God Responds:
Go Strike the Rock

Be not afraid.
I am with you.
Lead the elders
into the desert.
Trust Me.
I will provide.
Listen to Me.
Go to the rock
I will show you.
I will lead you
where I need you.
Go forth.
Inspired by Rick Ufford-Chase, Moderator, PCUSA, September 27, 2005
©Presbypoet, September 27, 2005

While he and I agree on little politically, we share the same deep roots in the PCUSA. For either of us to leave, would be painful. We represent the two main branches of this dysfunctional demonination. He calls for vision. He wants to lead us into the future. He talked about reaching the next generation. How painful it will be to change.

The real questions:
Is God speaking to both of us?
To one of us?
To none of us?
Going into the desert, it seems awfuly dry.
Where is that rock?

I know God is present.
Will we listen?

Monday, September 26, 2005


It can be so hard to keep up hope.
Time magazine's headline. "Is it still possible to win this war?" Is a perfect example. The true headline should be "is it still possible to lose this war?" Iraq may have come far enough that even if we were to leave now, democracy has actually take root, and the Iraqi people may stay free.

The danger of looking with negative eyes is that soon you no longer see. Katrina could have killed more than 100,000 given the incompetence of the Louisiana authorities response. Not using those buses left sitting under water might easily have led to the death of most of the over 100,000 who remained in the City. Instead, many were spared. People look at the 1,000 dead, and not the thousands saved, so it seems hopeless. The more I look at Katrina, how it moved so swiftly, how just before landfall it was a 5, ready to smash New Orleans, and see how many escaped, how many did get away. When you see how Houston with three more days to prepare than New Orleans, still had people stuck on the freeway, some of the anger I have felt at the authorities in Louisiana has gone away, when I realize just how difficult a job they had.

Living in the Bay Area, a member of an apostate denomination, I have learned to seek the truth outside normal channels. So when I hear the lies, I say what else is new?

Hope is essential.

Hope is simple. It is the knowledge it is possible.
Not that it is easy.
Not that it is guaranteed.
Not that you don't have to work hard.
Just knowing it is possible. The San Francisco Giants play San Diego tonight, four games back, seven to play. There still is hope. That is all we can ask in life. Hope.

Having a special needs son has taught me life is a marathon. Keep up hope. That is what we face. If in WWII, we had known all the horrors, some would have lost hope. But taking it one day at a time, not losing hope, we can persevere.

One thing that helps me, is to keep things in perspective. This morning, I heard two killed at a bus stop in Iraq. I said, if this is the best they can do, bomb at a bus stop, this is cause for celebration. Not for the bombing, but that what the enemy is able to do has been so reduced.

In WWII, the Japanese used suicide bombers, willing to die to sink American ships. This was not a sign of strength. This was a sign of weakness.

When we invaded Iraq, I told my wife it would take 5 years. We still have another 3 years to finish. We are ahead of my estimate.

Good things:
No Iraq civil war.
Free elections.
Free press.
No burning of oil wells.
Turkey didn't intervene in Northern Iraq.
Saddam is in jail and his sons dead.
Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon.
George Bush has guts & patience.
By November 2006, Iraq will be strong enough to defend itself.
No terrorist attacks in U.S. since 911.

We still have a long way to go.

Here is a poem of hope:

The last Chapter

Don’t be afraid
I know how it ends.
Read the last chapter
I win in the end.

Inspired by Adolpho Moreno (translated by John Bueno) October 8, 2003 at Coalition Gathering in Portland Ore.
© Presbypoet, October 8, 2003

Saturday, September 24, 2005

God is in Charge

I am a confirmed Calvinist, utterly convinced it is nothing of mine that saves me. We must be very careful not to assume we know if someone is saved. We also have to be careful when those who we think lost, are simply going off in order to come back.

The story of Abram comes here. Isaac is the best thing Abraham has ever had happen. His firstborn son, miracle promised by God. The most important thing in his life. This is what God demands Abram be willing to sacrifice. It is "easy" to sacrifice our weaknesses. "Easy" to come to God and say, I can't do it on my own, I am in bondage to bondage, I look with lust in my heart. I have been known to get angry from time to time Lord, so could you help me deal with it. Billy Graham and his not being alone with women. Not allowing temptation. Those blind Pharisees who smashed into walls, so they would not look at a woman.

What is hard is to sacrifice like Abram, your strength. That thing you do better than anyone. The one thing you think God might be proud of you for. Your ability to comfort those in pain. Your ability to reach those no one else can reach. All those things we think are our greatest gifts....Gifts, you note, gifts given to us for a reason, all these threads all tie back in the parable of the prodigal. The father gives up his most prized possession, his son. His son to come back, must come back crawling on his belly, giving up his pride.

Where this all leads is that he lets us go, so we can come to him. Alice taught me a great deal in her life, and dying. One of the most important was that in order for someone to come to me, they must be free to go.
Free to go, to give up our strengths.

My most recent teacher on this subject is a crusty old cat named Ninja, so named because if anything does not suit him, his claws slash swifter than eye can see. This opinionated creature has learned to trust me, or rather, i have learned how to show him i am trustworthy. When Ninja comes and curls up next to me(never on my lap, he would have to trust too much), it is a wonderful sign of how we have developed a relationship. He even sticks his head around the corner of my office and meows "Mello (hello)." The other English word he says is "Mo,(No)." I see my relationship with God in this pattern. God ever so patient, waits for me to come curl up next to Him, and trust Him. He waits for all of us. In this patient waiting, God is fully in charge. He knows the start and end, for God, time is not linear.

For me, this crusty old Presbyterian, grieving for a demonination that seems headed for schism, I've learned I can trust Him, and curl up next to Him. Glad my salvation is up to Him, not up to me. Glad I don't have to rely on my church to save me. Glad that occasionally I hear his voice.

Here is a poem from 2002,
about how to live.

Be Whole and Holy

Be at peace
wherever I send.
Be humble
able to do My will.
Earnestly desire
to be My servant.
Don’t just know
but do My will.

Know Me.
Know My will.
Apply it
in your life.
Be holy.
At peace.
Doing My will.
(Ephesians 4:20-28)
© Presbypoet, September 15, 2002

Friday, September 23, 2005

Thoughts on Free Will

The question of free will seems one of the most difficult for Christians to understand. Is God in charge? Is it grace? How does my action fit in?

"Be careful what you pray for. Your prayer will be answered." What would you think if you heard that from God? Who is in charge? Is it me? Is it God? Or is it more like God's answer to the Israelites when they asked for a king. I'll give you what you ask for, but there are consequences. (1 Samuel 8:4-22)

The whole God is fully in charge/free will thing is a paradox. Both are true, but whatever your perspective, it is crucial to see the other perspective at the same time. Knowing God is in charge, He asks me to be obedient. Obedient, knowing I cannot know all I need to know.

There are two stories that help understand. When you understand their myth, you can understand the paradox of free will. The first is Peter in the boat. Jesus says: "Come." Peter steps from the boat into the storm. Peter on his own has no chance of walking on water, it is only when he keeps his eyes on Jesus he is able to perform this miracle. God is fully in charge. (Matthew 14:22-33)

God tells me: "Come." I step out into the storm, knowing it is not in my own strength. When my son calls at 3AM, talking of suicide, I listen to God, as I speak to my son, so God's power flows through me.

The second is the story of the prodigal. His father chose to give him the money, knowing full well the terrible danger he lets his son face alone. He lets him go. Yet he waits, searching, waiting. When the prodigal returns, he has nothing to offer his father. All he can think is to return as slave, but before he can speak, he is embraced. His father orders the fatted calf slaughtered, and they party. (Luke 15:11-32)

Like the prodigal, I have nothing to offer. My best, just filthy rags. Yet my Father embraces me, offers me the royal robe. All I have to do is accept. It is utter and complete grace.

God lets us go so we can come to Him. My first poem in December 1996, came from this understanding, when Alice died. The poem is posted August 10th, 2005 in the blog.

Here is another poem on what God demands;
related to walking on water.
Related to obedience.
Related to God being in charge.
Related to loaves and fishes.
The Loaves & Fish
You want bread.
You want healing
physical kind.
You come:
In pain.
In loss.
In confusion.
Asking for help.

You don’t understand.
You’re like My disciples
blind to what I said.
You don’t know
what the loaves & fish meant.
When I come to you
over the water.
You pull back in terror.

Like Herod & John
you’re interested
but puzzled.
You don’t understand
what the loaves & fish mean.
I didn’t come
for mere healing
or to answer your prayers.

My demand so much stronger
more dangerous
more impossible…
I demand you give up your life.
Like Peter step out
from seeming safe boat.
Join me
walking on water.
(Matthew 14:22-31, Mark 8:1-21)
© May 17th, 2001, Presbypoet

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Understanding the PCUSA

We live in interesting times.
My church is a member of a demonination that is a set of Siamese twins, one that is alive, connected to one who is dead. That may be the best way to understand our situation. We cannot live on our own, we are a tiny finger on the living body, will separation come in time for life? All we can do is pray, and work to keep the living body alive.
There are over 1300 confessing churches in the PCUSA. Enough to make a strong living denomination, a place where essentials would be followed, not buried.

The most important issue in understanding most mainline denominations is property. In the PCUSA, the local church does not own its property, or so the story goes. Section G-8.0201 of our Book of Order, says:
"All property held by a particular church…is held in trust nevertheless for the use and benefit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)." Most people, and the demonination leadership, has taken this to mean you can't leave the demonination with your property, it belongs to the demonination. There are some court cases coming up that indicate that California and other States courts may not agree. This is very important. If churches can leave with property intact, the PCUSA may soon implode.

Our Presbytery wants a copy of our Articles of Incorporation. When I asked the Presbytery Stated Clerk why, he indicated they wanted to prepare should anyone try to leave. When I asked the church secretary, she had no idea if we even had a copy. San Gabriel Presbytery has appointed a "task force" to go to each church and get copies. I wonder if that is the next step here?

Is this schism?

We live in interesting times.

Pray for those Hurricane Rita is about to visit.
As a Calvinist, I know God is in charge. Maybe the question should be: Is he trying to get our attention?

Read Judges 2:14-15.

There are about 40 major U.S. cities vulnerable to various "acts of God".

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What Will You Do When the Storm Hits?

There has been a lot of news about the high crime rate in New Orleans by those familiar with it. Louisiana corruption is well known, (that is what helped wreck the San Francisco 49'rs when Eddie fell afoul of the plot to get the ex Louisiana gov).

I wonder if the New Orleans police had an attitude of:
Don't get involved.
Don't go after gangs.
Don't go after corruption.
Maybe anyone who worked "too hard", got canned. So you have a department that was selected for inaction, and looking away. I don't know enough to know if this is true, but I wonder if it had an effect. If you have developed a pattern of not noticing, not being involved, it is hard to change.

It is something I see in the PCUSA. Local evangelical churches pretend not to notice what is going on in the wider church, so they don't have to fight it. When the storm comes, they may just run away like some New Orleans police.

In our Presbytery, those who get appointed to leadership are those who "don't notice", the apostasy. Those who are "tolerant". Those who are willing to go along. When the storm comes...

A Message From God

In your trials you search for Me.
You seek subtle signs of my will.
As though I was some idol
who answers thru rotting entrails.

When will you learn to trust Me?
Be not afraid, know I will provide.
Remember Elijah headed for Zarephath.
The woman awaited with her jar of oil.

I note the sparrow's fall.
Are you not of more value?
You keep trying to provide
for yourself and not rely on Me.

Come to Me in your poverty.
Come to Me naked.
Let Me wrap you
in My purple robe.

(1st Kings 17:7-12)
© Presbypoet, May 7, 2005

I love the story of Elijah at Zarephath. He has run out of food and water, and God sends him to this little town. Elijah has been told by God to look for this woman he has never met, and tell her to bake him a cake. All this woman has is enough oil and flour for one last meal. Talk about relying on God.

What would you do if you were down to your last meal, and some wild eyed guy knocks on your door, and says God sent him? Would you trust him? How do you know it's God you hear? How do we learn to trust Him? How do we develop faith?

If you are interested in answers; many of these poems are about;
learning to trust God.
Learning He loves you.
Learning He will provide.
Learning He wants to use you.
Getting to know Him.

Now if I can just learn how to live these poems.
Discernment is easy, its obedience that is hard.
I think that's why they call it "The Way".

My Call To You

I reveal Myself to you
through the Holy Spirit.
You feel unworthy
unable to do
My command.
You quake in fear.

I’ve stretched you
beyond your own power.
You challenge Me.
“You want me to do what!?”
You explain to Me. “This is impossible!”
“I am not worthy. I am sinful.”

In your humble state I reveal My power.
Like the overwhelming catch of fish
I gave to Peter, James and John.
I ask. Who shall we send?
Will you respond like Isaiah?
Here I am. Send me.

Will you go speak My word
to a world lost in sin?
Will you join Peter and Paul
and become fishers of men?
Listen to Me
in your silence.
(Luke 5:1-11)
inspired by Fr. Ted R., February 8, 2004
©Presbypoet, February 8, 2004

Do you know God is calling to you? Will you answer.
"Here I am. Send me." Will you?

Will you listen?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Why You hear Me

As a poet, who seems to speak for God (note the blog title). There is a very important detail. God wants us to listen to Him. Not to the Bible, not to a minister or priest (or priestess), but to Him. Many people know the Bible, but don't know God. They can tell you all about Jesus, give you all the facts, quote scripture, have 500 verses for every occasion, yet not understand what the scripture means. What I find interesting about liberal christianity, is how it is focused on following the teachings of Jesus, not on following Jesus.

Back in November 2003, this poem came unasked very early one morning as I awoke and wrote.

Why You Hear Me

Your wisdom
is foolishness.
You don’t impress Me
with what you know.

You think you
understand Me.
You have no way
to comprehend My plan.

Yet the simplest of fools
with nothing to offer
can hear Me
and obey Me.

Don’t be so proud
I speak to you.
I speak to all.
Only a few listen.
Isaiah 29:14, Matthew 11:25, Luke 10:21, First Corinthians 1:18-25
© Presbypoet, November 29, 2003, Heard at 5:45 AM

I'm not speaking for God, but hearing Him, and trying to be obedient. Then asking forgiveness for sins of omission and commission. You want humbling, try waking up hearing those words. (I added the Bible verses that seemed related).
I posted this February 4th, but it seems important as an explanation of why and what happens from time to time. The next poem came about an hour later, as I was trying to understand the first.

How Do You Know It’s Me you Hear

How do you know
It’s Me you hear?
The voice that Mohammed
and Joseph Smith heard
was dark angel.
Not Me.

To know it’s Me you hear.
Read My word.
Get to know Me.
Be still.
Then listen.
Hear Me in the silence.

© Presbypoet, November 29, 2003, heard at 6:45 AM

Simple, just read the scripture and be still.
I still have a long way to go.
Yet all I have to do is listen.
Then speak.

I would like to thank my beautiful wife for helping me learn how to listen.
She will tell you I still have a long way to go.
That is why they call it "The Way".

Monday, September 19, 2005

The coming Disaster

As one who lives in an area subject to the other great killer, earthquakes, it is so hard to get people to prepare. So hard for people to understand what they must do.

When it happens, and it will, when one of the big four hits, it will be just has hard to get supplies in, communications will be just as difficult, and if a Republican is President, she will be blamed.

(The big four are Cascadia, an earthquake the size of the Indian Ocean quake along the entire coast of the Pacific Northwest, Salt Lake City, the New Madrid, that will destroy from St. Louis to Memphis, and Los Angeles, either an 8 on the San Andreas which will smash the eastern cities of Riverside & San Berdo, or a 7.5 in downtown L.A.)

People think you can prepare. You can't, all you can do is have your supplies, and prepare mentally. When the world series earthquake hit the bay area, I knew it was bad almost as soon as it started, so I started to move as soon as the shaking stopped. It was interesting to see as I drove along, people just standing in their front yards, not moving, in shock.

Whatever major disaster your area is subject to, you must have thought about it, so when it happens you have prepared your reptile brain to respond.

Water & batteries, the two essentials.

Are you ready?

A short poem on being prepared.

The next crisis

Be ready.
After David slew Goliath
Four stones remained
ready for the Giant’s brothers.

Inspired by Adolpho Moreno (translated by John Bueno)
October 8, 2003 at Coalition Gathering in Portland Ore.
© Presbypoet, October 8, 2003

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Newsletter from the dishonorable Mike Honda

I have the misfortune of being represented by the worst congresscritter, Mike Honda. He sent the attached email scapegoating Brown et all.

This cries out for a fisking.

The difficulty of trying to focus on religion is, life keeps intruding. There is evil in addition to suffering. They are not the same.
When I get time, i will prepare a response to the dishonorable honda.

Here is Honda's screed.
September 14, 2005
Congressman Mike Honda - Fifteenth District of California

Dear ,

My deepest condolences go to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, many of whom lost their lives, their homes and their livelihoods. Many of you have contacted my office, concerned about the well-being of your relatives, friends and communities from the Gulf Coast region. Please rest assured that I will continue to help you locate them and identify appropriate federal assistance programs.

The American spirit of generosity will be evident in the days to come, as communities in the afflicted areas come together and our American family offers assistance. The Santa Clara County Red Cross has arranged for many brave volunteers from the South Bay area to travel to Louisiana and neighboring states to help with relief efforts.
In this newsletter:

Congressional efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina

Federal response begs tough questions

Risks remain for California and the rest of the country

The Red Cross Website has more information on relief efforts, including the efforts of ordinary citizens. Relatives and loved ones who are struggling to cope with the disaster may also contact the Santa Clara County Red Cross to speak with a disaster mental health volunteer.


I would like to take this opportunity to update you on several steps Congress is taking to respond to Hurricane Katrina. Congress is moving aggressively to help the victims of the hurricane, but Congress must also demonstrate true leadership by investigating the federal government’s abysmal response to this disaster and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Congressional Efforts to Help the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

Last week, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi publicly called for a special session of Congress to send immediate relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina. In response, the Congress quickly passed an emergency funding measure that will deliver more than $10 billion for the people suffering in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and in temporary shelters all across the country.

This week the House also passed an additional $51.8 billion of aid to support the relief effort. The vast majority of this money will be given to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and a small portion will be used to fund the disaster relief work of the Department of Defense and Homeland Security. In addition, Congress approved emergency funds for individuals participating in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program (H.R. 3672) and a bill to help students who were enrolled in colleges in the afflicted region (H.R. 3668).

Passage of these bills sends a strong bipartisan signal to the victims of this natural disaster that their welfare is a top national priority. The Congress must provide leadership in helping those displaced by the hurricane to rebuild their lives and communities out of the wreckage left in Katrina’s wake. In the weeks and months ahead, Congress will consider additional spending measures to aid victims of the hurricane. I will work to make sure that these bills provide clear and effective assistance at levels commensurate the challenges faced by the Gulf Coast region.

The indirect effects of this hurricane will become truly apparent in the days and weeks to come. Businesses will not re-open. Schools will need to be rebuilt. Parents have been left destitute with their jobs and their homes washed away by the flood. Families have lost access to critical records and documents. It is the responsibility of our government to help the survivors of this disaster to rebuild their lives after this catastrophe. It is critical that we develop a comprehensive program of job retraining and economic incentives for rebuilding to help reconstruct the affected area. Through governmental efforts in conjunction with non-governmental organizations, we must provide assistance to the men, women and children whose lives were disrupted by this terrible tragedy.

Federal Response Begs Tough Questions

Next week, Congress will begin hearings on the woefully inadequate federal response to Hurricane Katrina. While our priority right now lies in helping the people of the region, it is critical that we reflect on what went wrong.

On August 27th, two days before Katrina hit, President Bush established federal control over the disaster reponse by declaring a State of Emergency in Louisiana. The President’s declaration authorized the Department of Homeland Security and its Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

FEMA moved slowly, failing to understand the gravity of the situation and to allocate the resources necessary to rescue victims and provide the essentials of survival. FEMA’s chief, Under Secretary Michael Brown, has come under particular criticism. The Under Secretary, who was appointed by the President, had no previous experience in disaster management before being named FEMA’s general counsel in 2001. Less than two years later, he was promoted to become the head of the agency.

FEMA's slow response has proven to be tragic for the hundreds, if not thousands, of lives that may have been saved had FEMA performed more effectively. FEMA refused pre-storm offers by aid from government officials and organizations across the country, including New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and the American Ambulance Association. Newly released documents indicate that FEMA did not place a request for Homeland Security employees to travel to the hurricane afflicated areas until five hours after Katrina hit land and then gave these reinforcements two days to get to the region. In interviews, the FEMA Chief admitted that he knew nothing of the thousands of New Orleans residents that had gathered at the convention center for food, water and evacuation.

The American people deserve a well-qualified leader for FEMA. As you know, Under Secretary Brown has resigned from his position and has been replaced by David Paulison. I hope and expect that Acting Under Secretary Paulison will offer the strong leadership that FEMA lacked under his predecessor. He must be ready to make needed reforms within the agency and communicate to Congress and the President the tools and resources he needs to, once again, make FEMA a trusted and exemplary federal agency. In the meantime, I will continue to advocate for effective and unwavering Congressional oversight to ensure that future disasters are minimized and responded to successfully.

Congress should also explore other policy issues that may have contributed to this disaster and the lackluster federal response, including:

Cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers – The budget proposals which the President has submitted to Congress over the last five years have consistently requested cuts to the budget for the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for work on the levees that have protected New Orleans for so long. Unfortunately, President Bush’s proposed budget requested reduced funding allocations to the Army Corps of Engineers, including cuts to the work on these Gulf Coast levees. The Congress should explore what impact these cuts had on the failure of these levees.
FEMA Moved to the Department of Homeland Security - I joined with many Democrats to fight Republican proposals to move FEMA and the Coast Guard to the newly-created Department of Homeland Security (DHS). I believed that such a shift would compromise the non-security related duties of both agencies. FEMA has gone from being an independent Cabinet-level agency to an underfunded, isolated piece of the sprawling Department of Homeland Security. With DHS emphasizing terrorism at the expense of other threats, FEMA has suffered. FEMA’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina proves my worst fears. I recently cosponsored legislation that would make FEMA independent once again.
Allocating Appropriate Resources – Congress must provide as much funding as necessary to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Non-emergency relief should be part of a comprehensive package of aid that helps provide new opportunities to low-income Americans and impoverished regions.

Risks Remain for California and the Rest of the Country

Our country remains at risk from further natural catastrophes, as well as terrorist attacks. We must make sure that our response to future disasters is better than the lackluster response which followed Hurricane Katrina. Our own region, in fact, faces the potential of a similar disaster, and I demand that the government adequately prepare for this possibility.

In early 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. The list has proven almost eerily prophetic, and so I am working with my colleagues to ensure that the Bay Area is prepared. In the wake of the levee breaches in New Orleans, one key area that we are looking at is the levee system in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. A UC Davis study has predicted a 2-in-3 chance that a major earthquake or storm would cause widespread levee failures in the next 50 years. A major breach in the levees could imperil hundreds of thousands of people and endanger most of our state's water supply. A pending Energy and Water Appropriations bill includes $900,000 that could help fund a comprehensive review of levee risks and repairs.

As we respond to this tragedy, I will continue working with my colleagues to provide needed federal assistance to the people harmed by this disaster. As Americans, we have pulled together through tragedies in the past, and I am confident that we will demonstrate that same unity in overcoming the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.


Mike Honda

Please answer the following questions so that I can learn how our district feels about these issues. If you'd like to receive my weekly newsletter, you may check the box below.

Do you think that the federal response to Hurricane Katrina should be investigated in a Congressional Inquiry?



Are you satisfied with the current state of emergency preparedness in our district and California in general?



Contact Information
Washington, DC Address:
The Honorable Michael Honda
1713 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2631
Fax: (202) 225-2699 District Office:
The Honorable Michael Honda
1999 South Bascom Ave - Suite 815
Campbell, CA 95008
Phone: (408) 558-8085
Fax: (408) 558-8086

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sailing cross Galilee

We sailed
cross Galilee
Toward distant shore
destination unknown.
Jesus in the stern asleep.
Truly asleep
yet aware
of all our weakness.

Storm struck.
Danger loomed.
Disaster threatened.
Death came swiftly.
We in fear
ask Him why
He doesn’t care
if we drown.

He stands
calmly asks:
Why have we
so little faith?
As though
we could do
anything about
crashing storm.

He turns
quietly says shalom.
Waves flatten.
Storm vanishes.
What manner of man
is this?
Even the storms
obey Him.

We in terror
cower in fear.
Prayer answered
not way we sought.
He seems to say
this you can do
if you only
have faith.

How can He
demand that we
do this
impossible thing?
Calm the storm
oh so strong
trained fishermen
quake in terror.

We ask him:
Rescue us
in our fear
& terror.
He demands:
Step out
into the storm
in utter trust & faith.

how can it be
we may do
such things?
We have no power
nor strength.
We can do nothing
on our own.

You ask:
Do you trust Me?
Will you rely
on Me?
Lord we trust.
Give us strength
strength to do
Your will.

Help us trust You
hear Your voice.
Even in
Help us step
into the storm
keeping our eyes
on You.

(Matt.8:23-27,14:22-33,Mark 4:36-4: 40, Luke 8: 15=22
©Presbypoet, July 19, 2001

Like Jesus' disciples, we cry out to God to save us.
He seems to demand of us much more than we think is possible.
He expects us to heal. He expects us to show His love to others.
To calm impossible storms.

Is there a strom in your life? Do you cry out for help?
What is He asking you to do?

It isn't easy, yet His yoke is light.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Learning from our Mistakes

Wretchard on Belmont Club was talking about how we learn from our mistakes. That is most certainly true. His idea that we learn from our mistakes certainly was the case in WWII. From torpedoes that ran too deep, or didn't explode when they hit ships, a rescue effort to save Wake Island that would be a comedy of errors, if it hadn't led to the horror of brave Marine defenders of Wake, suffering 4 years in Japanese prisons, (those who survived). WWII is full of our mistakes.

To read the history of our efforts in WWII, is to wonder how we had a chance. Invading Guadalcanal, the Navy commander bugs out, after the most incompetent guard duty ever performed by any military force, in the battle of Savo Island.

We had U.S. tanks that were no match for Nazi tanks they faced. The first major battle in Tunisia, the German Army whipped the green Americans at Kasserine.

There were American towns that refused to turn their lights out, while Nazi subs used them to help sink American tankers sailing unprotected along the coast.

The useless invasion of Peleliu, where victory added nothing to the war effort, except add 10,000 American casualties, and 14,000 dead Japanese, surely qualifies as a mistake.

I could go on for pages, true screw-ups that killed thousands. Today, each would be a headline of "American Military mistakes".

Those mistakes taught us. Mistakes at Wake taught us, mistakes at Coral Sea taught us, and helped us win the battle of Midway, we learned from our mistakes. By Okinawa, they were the best.

We make mistakes today. The more you attempt, the more mistakes you will make. A coward never rises to speak, so he never makes a mistake. The brave man opens his mouth in the face of the mob, knowing his words cannot be prefect, but willing to try. Teddy Roosevelt's comments about the man in the arena are appropriate.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
You find the entire speech,(given April 23,1910 in France!)at:

Today, in response to the horrors of the hurricane, the battle in Iraq, it seems so easy for so many to simply criticize, without even offering evidence that it was possible to do more. A category 5 hurricane was going to do major damage. It offered little time to prepare, it is so easy to criticize, I ask forgiveness if in my ignorance, I criticize rather than try to help.

War kills people. It is so easy to simply say, don't fight, but it takes two to make a peace. Only one to make a war. The people of Poland in 1939, wanted peace, Hitler gave them war. In 1914, and again in 1940, peaceful Belgium had war thrust upon it, it didn't ask for it, it came unasked.

I thank those willing to fight not just those who use terror, but all who would prevent people from being free. Like the heroes of flight 93, sometime you have to fight evil. They too didn't look for a fight, but they were prepared when evil boarded the plane with them.

Heroes of Flight 93

Brave Men
we honor your courage
that dark 9-1-1
when blackness came
unwanted & unexpected.
We honor you
men who’d never met
never planned to be heroes.

We know not what you did
but know what you did.
you found much to live for.
You show us
to truly live
you must be prepared
to die.

We honor your courage.
You stepped out in faith
knowing you faced death.
You stood up for right
shed chains of fear.
No longer victims
but conquerors
of evil.

You fought for freedom.
Fought to save
those you never knew.
We honor you.
We give you praise.
No marble monument adequate
to demonstrate
our gratitude.

Help us honor
your courage
your action.
May we too
stand up to evil.
Prepared to sacrifice all.
May we honor your courage
with our lives.

© Presbypoet, September 13, 2001

I just finished watching on TV "The Flight that Fought Back". It brought those heros who started the day, just getting on a plane, into focus. This poem is inadequate to show how much I appreciate what they did.

In their story is so much hope. No matter how bleak it seems, you can still do what is right. Never give up hope.

May we be inspired in our lives to do what is right. To stand up to evil. May we honor their courage with our lives.
-Presbypoet, September 11, 2005

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Another September Morning

Another September morning, with thousands missing from our lives.

Another September mourning, full of grief for those we've lost.

Another September morning, time to be grateful for those who serve.

Another September mourning, a day to remember, yet go forward through the pain.

Do you remember - Presbypoet September 10, 2005

Suffering, God's Gift

I offer gift to you
suffering, pain & woe.
All stronger than you
can stand or endure.

Will you trust Me
when I offer this gift?
Will you still follow
as you bear your cross.

Cross too heavy
to carry on your own.
Will you join martyrs
ready to die for Me?

In midst of senseless death.
Death of innocents
death unexplained
pain to no purpose.

Will you seek My purpose?
Will you follow Me?
Will you drink My cup
offered James & John?

Will you find joy
in midst of suffering?
Feel My love
in midst of tears?

© 1: 15 PM, September 11, 2001, still in shock at unknown, awful, pain and loss.

Loss that served no good purpose, yet death planned by unknown killers.

Lord, help us see you in this pain.

Help us see you in such awful death.

Help us say, forgive them, they know not what they do.

September 10,2005
Soon it will be four years since that day. Today we are suffering again, loss almost beyond comprehension, wondering again if we can find someone to blame to make it go away. Pain too intense to endure.

God still asks the simple questions:
Will you find joy in midst of suffering?
Feel my love in midst of tears?

This isn't easy. It doesn't get easier. It gets harder.
Do you know about the cup offered James & John? Do you understand?
Can you drink from it? Are you willing to drink it to the dregs?

What is your answer?

May you find joy in the midst of your suffering.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Answer to the Paradox Demanded the Woman

You ask about the paradox
My demand to the woman
found in adultery.
Such a simple thing.
Just that I don’t condemn
yet require that you don’t sin.

The simple answer is this
to just do both.
To understand that while I offer you forgiveness
I cannot tolerate sin.
Without My forgiveness
I could not tolerate you.

Do you know I love you?
Do you understand this?
Read the story of the prodigal
and how his father rejoices.
You don’t understand My love.
Unless you understand his.

You don’t understand why
I forgive.
You seem to think
you are in control.
You are sinners hanging over hell
in the hands of an angry God.

Dangling by a slender thread
thinner than you can imagine.
In such peril beyond comprehension.
Eternity in a lake of fire pales by comparison.
Do you know how to fear Me?
Do you know Me?

I know My sheep.
Are you one of My sheep?
Do you know for sure?
Is your faith secure?
Do you know where you will go
when you die?

© Presbypoet, March 15, 2004
The end of the poems about the woman taken in adultery.
Or is it the end?
What do you think happened to her after she left Jesus?
Did she know she was forgiven?
Did she go and sin no more?
Do you understand what she was offered?
Do you understand you are offered the same?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Woman Taken

They dragged her half naked body
through dusty streets.
She stood before you
to be judged.
Already guilty in their eyes
with no one to protect her.

She waited for her death.
Not quick easy death
but slow painful torment
sport for malicious male mob.
Exposed to vile cruelty
she saw them pick up stones
eager to violate her body.
Eager to throw the first stone.

You calmly sat
judging their accusation
"Moses commanded us to stone such.
What do you say?"
You quietly bent down
and wrote in the dust
then stood tall and said
"Let he without sin cast the first stone."

She stood there in the dust waiting…
for the first stone to break bone.
for excruciating pain.
for suffering and dying.
After an eternity spent waiting
for the first stone
she opened her eyes
and saw she was alone with you.

She stood before you.
"Has no one condemned?" You asked.
Hope was born as she cried
"No one Lord."
You offer her paradox
with your words of life.
"I don’t condemn you.
Go and sin no more."

We don’t understand.
You offer forgiveness
but don’t tolerate sin.
Fully aware of our guilt
your demand is impossible.
Yet you offer us gift
of life and transformation.
Lord how can both be true?
John 8:2-11
© Presbypoet, March 10, 2004
(one of the woman taken in adultery poems)

Do you understand the answer to the paradox?

Prime Paradox

To know I am unknowable

and know you can know Me.

This is the heart of…

the essence of… Truth.

Not to know of My great love.

But to know My great love for you.

Such great love that gifts you with pain

to burn away all illusion.

To know without question

in the dark night of your soul.

There is pattern in chaos.

There is true hope for you.

In midst of uncertainty.

In the waves of life’s storms

Hear Me and know Me

in the silence of doubt.

© Presbypoet, November 16, 2003 heard at 6:30 AM

This is the simple answer. Do you understand?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Crowd Demands an Answer

We sat in the temple court
listening to the teacher.
His words so hard to understand.
He demands marriage requirements
much harder than Moses’ commands.
Looking with lust the same as adultery?
His words hurt to think about.
His words trouble the soul.

How can he expect anyone
to follow his demands?
Where does he imagine
He will find anyone capable?
We sit there listening
to His teaching.
Sitting there puzzled.
Not understanding.

Suddenly voices interrupt.
A group of Pharisees leads in
a half naked women.
What a strange sight is this
intrusion into the temple court.
They escort her to us.
She stands before the teacher.
He sits in silent judgement.

They tell him she was caught in adultery.
They ask for his guidance.
"Moses told us to stone such"
What would you have us do?"
He doesn’t seem to answer.
Is this question too hard?
Have they finally stumped Him?
What will He say?
(John 8:2-11)
© Presbypoet, March 27, 2004
(one of the woman taken in adultery series)
Can you imagine what it would be like to have lived in Jerusalem when Jesus taught there?
Why do you think he drew such crowds? Was it his message? Was it his healing?
Was he entertainment? Their version of the tonight show? Would you have come curious, wondering what was going to happen?
If you had been in that crowd on the day they brought the woman into the temple court, what would you have thought?
Would you have been offended? Would you have been scared? Would you have picked up a stone, anticipating some "fun"?
What would you have done? How would you have thought he was going to answer?
Do you want to meet Jesus?
Do you want to be healed?
Do you want to be forgiven?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Using Her as a Weapon

It’s such a brilliant idea
bringing him one we’ve
caught in adultery
and making him choose
between his love of sinners
and the law of Moses.
It’s not so easy to find someone
to use as a weapon.

You need someone who is guilty
of adulterous sin
who won’t be missed.
Who doesn’t have a protector.
Who is conveniently located.
Someone who trusts one of us.
It’s not so easy to find someone
to use as a weapon.

You can’t just stop a stranger
on the road.
You can’t just tap someone
on the shoulder
and tell them
you want to kill them.
It’s not so easy to find someone
to use as a weapon.

I didn’t want to betray her.
I didn’t want to use her
but she was of no value.
Her life was worthless.
She had no husband.
She had no children.
It can be so easy to find someone
to use as a weapon.
John 8:2-11
© Presbypoet, March 15, 2004
This is a poem about the woman taken in adultery.
The man who has used her & betrayed her, just as guilty as her, stands there. He contemplates what they have done, as he waits to stone her. He tries not to look guilty. He tries to convince himself that she is guilty, it is all right to use her as a weapon to get to Jesus. That it was hard to find someone, and she fit the profile. He didn't have anything against her, but they needed to find someone. It was such a wonderful idea, all they needed was find someone to use as a weapon.

We all use others, in various ways. Some we convince ourselves are acceptable. Convinced he was acting for a higher cause, he excuses his actions. Are some of your actions like his? Have you used others? Do you need to confess, in order to be healed?

Do you think he feels guilty? Do you feel guilty for something you've done? Someone you've used, someone you hurt.

He sees her as a tool. Not a person. Just a tool to use. Nothing personal. Have you used someone like a tool? At work, taken advantage of someone? Used someone's body for gratification, without seeing the person you're using?

So easy, isn't it.

What do you think?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

What She Sees While Waiting for Death

I saw the man sent
to seduce me.
He shiftily stands
trying to look
like he’s just one
of the boys.
He tries to pretend
he is without sin.

He refuses to look
in my eyes.
Afraid his guilt
he will see.
When I am dead
my face smashed to bits
he won’t have to see
his guilt in my eyes.
(John 8:2-11)
© Presbypoet, March 18, 2004
(One of the Woman Taken in Adultery poems)
We try to pretend we aren’t guilty. If we can find someone to blame, we don't have to worry.
As she stands, facing death, she sees the one just as guilty as her, pretending to be blameless.
As he stood there, surely holding a rock, like the others, it would have been impossible for him to look at her.
If he did, he would have to face his own guilt.

We use others all the time. Perhaps not quite as directly, nor as lethally as he used her, but we, like him, try to pretend we are innocent. We may even pick up a rock, so we don't stand out, and throw stones.
Is there someone you are afraid to look in their eyes? Are you pretending they are the only guilty one?
Are you willing to accept forgiveness? Are you willing to ask for forgiveness?
Who do you see?
Is it someone who has betrayed you?
Who stands in the crowd, pretending he is innocent.
Do you know Jesus is here?
Do you know you are not alone?

This is one of a series of poems written from different perspectives about a woman brought to Jesus. She has been accused of adultery, and those who brought her stand ready to stone her. They ask Jesus what they should do. This poem is from her perspective, as she looks out, and sees the one who betrayed her.
Presbypoet, September 3, 2005

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The woman taken in Adultery 2

Her version of the rest of the story:

He had come again in the dark night to satisfy his urges.
He always complained to me.
"My wife didn’t let me do what I wanted."
I was always available to fill the hole.

My husband died leaving me without child.
Alone in Jerusalem without a man to protect me
the only way I can live is to offer myself.
They offer so little in return.

This night is different.
He seems in a hurry. He acts guilty.
He seems to be looking for someone else to come.
I tell him not to worry. "I’m not expecting anyone."

As we lay together he acted nervous and distracted.
"Is something wrong?" I ask.
He in response only mumbled unintelligible words.
Typical male response.

He has so much trouble getting started.
So much worse than his usual male softness.
I told him it was all right he didn’t need to rush.
I would help him. (I almost care for him).

Suddenly the door
crashes in.
Men rush in.
and seize me.

No one cares
about noises here
they are too used to them.
They will not intervene.

My arms
each held
by men
stronger than ropes.

I can do nothing to cover myself.
They drag me through early dawn
to the temple.
My half naked body exposed.

The one who leads them
slaps me and spits:
"You temptress.
You deserve to die."

Suddenly I know
what they intend.
I am to be sacrifice
for their sin.

We burst into a Temple court.
A crowd is seated on the ground.
They listen to a rabbi
also seated on the ground.

They drag me in front of him.
I stand exposed in my sin.
His eyes like none I’ve ever seen
pierce me to my soul.

My captors explain I've been
taken in adultery.
"Moses told us to stone
such as these."

They ask him.
"What should we do."
They gather stones
and wait.
John 8:2-11
© Presbypoet, March 15, 2004

As she waits, she remembers.
It may not have happened exactly this way, but close.
Now you know the rest of the story?
More tomorrow.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Her Resurrection (part one)

The Rabbi sits in front of me.
His eyes pierce my soul.
I wait for hell
held by my accusers.

Stones ready to smash.
Death lurks nearby.
He sees my sin deserves death.
He knows I’m guilty.

My body sold so I can live.
Men’s weakness used to tempt them.
My feminine wiles seduce them
and give them what they want.

Lust for my body
is familiar sight
in my "lovers" eyes.
Never do I see love for me.

In His eyes is something different.
I see He cares for me.
Tenderly His eyes caress my soul.
I see He loves me.

I feel at peace.
He offers hope.
He offers life to me
in midst of dark despair.
(John 8:2-11)
© Presbypoet, March 18, 2004
(One of a series of poems about the Woman Taken in Adultery)

This poem takes place on a dusty street in the First Century. Religious leaders have brought a woman they "caught" in adultery before Jesus to try and trick him.
This poem is spoken from the perspective of the woman, as she stands before Jesus, knowing she is about to be killed in the most terrible way, death by stoning.

It is a poem about both grace and love. A hint of just how much Jesus loves us. (My feeble words are utterly incapable of expressing the awesome nature of Jesus love for us). The tender way his eyes caress our souls.

It is a poem of hope. Yet hope with no promise of escape from a death sentence. Why is there hope? How is it possible?

Have you ever felt hopeless like her?
Do you know Jesus loves you?
Do you want His hope?
Do you know he offers hope in the midst of dark despair?
True hope.
Do you know He offers life?
Today we see far too much of the evil men are prone to so awfully exposed, as well as the hope offered by Jesus and those who follow Him.
I offer that hope to all.
Hope. Joy & Love.

May you be filled with joy.


You should be able to know Christians because we are joyful. Joy & Love are both infinite. You can always be more joyful or more loving. They are not limited by circumstances.