"Wild Divine Creative Erotic:" What Does It All Mean?

Wildness, Divinity, Creation, and Eroticism all in their Glory.
(Image by Me taken January 6, 2020 at South Mountain Reservation in New Jersey)

Scripture reference: Job Chapters 38-41

If you’ve been reading this blog since October 2019, you notice I’ve changed some things about it. One major change is my referring to the “Wild Divine Creative Erotic.” Now I know folk out there may be scratching their heads wondering what does it all mean. Well friends, I will break it down for you.

My Scriptural text is Job Chapters 38-41 where God sets Job straight after Job and his buddies give their two cents on God. God breaks down His/Her creative and powerful majesty that shuts everyone in the place up. God gives Job a tour of His/Her power in all of Nature and in the galaxy. It’s a demonstration of God’s Wild, Divine, Creative, Erotic power. where God shows His/Her stuff. Read the text, it’s very cool!

Back to our topic, here’s what Wild Divine Creative Erotic means:

Wild: If anyone ever spent time in Nature, or studied the Universe, they will see God’s Wildness in action. From hurricanes, and wild horses, to gas giants and black holes we see God’s Wildness. In all of us is God’s Wildness, both the Wild Man and Wild Woman. I embrace that Wildness in my life and celebrate it. I will be wild in my life, not time to be sedate and “cordial”. Don’t worry, I know how to act at meetings and formal affairs. However, I am wild and free!

Divine: It’s Godliness in action in my life. It’s like Jesus, who said that he and the Father (or Mother) are one. It’s my connection to the Divine. It’s Love where I self-sacrifice for those who don’t deserve it and/or appreciate it. It’s forgiveness to those who may never apologize for what they did. It’s reaching out to the “other” with mercy and compassion. It’s calling for justice-be it legal or environmental. It’s living prophetically as a voice for the Divine to my world-even through this blog. It’s being mystical in my oneness with God and having that transcendent relationship that inspires awe and wonder.

Creative: God created us to be creative; and in creativity we emulate God. Like Job, I’m “full of words (and images)” that must be released. It’s birthing things to bless my world with. It’s a post on this blog. It’s creating photographic images. It’s bringing forth new ideas and concepts that challenge the status quo. It’s bringing things to life, just like God does every nanosecond. To create is to live, for it’s an expression of life. It’s also an expression of love.

Erotic: It’s the ardor and passion of life. Yes, it’s the sexual energy that flows though this Universe. It’s the Spiritual energy that give life and energizes everything. It’s that “vibe” that goes throughout all things. It’s the Divine Music that all of Creation dances to. It’s that energy that flows in me to live, not just exist. It’s my being in touch with the greater Life and All. It’s being linked up with everything. It’s living in the Divine Flow.

For some, this may be heretical. However, I’ve always welcomed and embraced heretics since they make us think. Plus, heretics make us uncomfortable which can be good. Also, this is the best I can describe me. I find that some things can’t be described in word; they must be lived. I hope to impart these parts of me into this blog. You can also look at past blogs from the “What I Believe” series.

This is a life that’s a work in progress. All of us in the Boardinghouse of Faith are a work in progress. I hope this will give you a glimpse into who I am and what I hold to. I also look to grow in this Wild Divine Creative Erotic spirit and be what God created me to be. Stay tuned!

You be blessed my friends! Peace!

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Valentine's Day Thoughts

Usually i would have a picture, however today I’m going to let you in mind provide your image of what Love is.

“To live with love is to live with courage; to live with courage is to live with love.”   Me

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31 (NIV)

Today is Valentine’s Day. Many of us are getting cards and candy, dinner and dance dates, and even intimate get-togethers.

And then there are those of us who are looking for love. The lonely-for whatever reason-are hoping to get lucky in love this day. There are those of us who’ve been hurt by those who said they love us, or never found love, hope this day passes quickly. And there are lovers separate in body, yet one in heart longing for each other, for them this day is emotionally trying.

However I want to give my two cents on this day dedicated to love with thoughts I put down several years ago.

Love’s the Force that flows from the Divine-Her life blood.  Love is far more than what our minds can comprehend. We can’t study it or put labels on it; it has to be lived in us and through us.

It’s Love that pours Loves self into the Universe.

Love is the courage to live, do, be and think above and beyond; asking nothing in return-especially if the recipient doesn’t appreciate it, doesn’t deserve it, even doesn’t care.  Love is self-sacrifice that makes us do the impossible.

Love is sometimes having to say “no”; and sometimes having to let go.

Love makes sacrifices.  Love protects; however will make itself vulnerable if need be.

Love is enduring.

The Love I believe in is not the romantic, sticky-sweet stuff you see in the media-especially today on Valentine’s Day.  It’s not the “what you do/buy/behave for me” variety that tragically is the basis-and death blow-of many a relationship. To me, it’s lip-service at best; hypocrisy at worst. Love is, regardless of gifts, sex, and romance; Love is.

There’s also the love of self. Not the narcissistic, ego-driven kind. What I mean is it’s the healthy and nourishing love and affirmation of oneself that flows out to others as Jesus spoke about in the above Scripture passage from Mark. When we love ourselves in a Divinely healthy way we’ll have no room for hatred in its many forms; and we’ll never be lacking for love.

The opposite of Love is not hate, but fear.  It’s fear that hinders Love. Hate is a byproduct of fear.  The cowardly, security-seeking ones are unable to feel and give Love due to their fears.  As is say in 1 John 4:18:

     There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Love is dangerous, not for the timid, fearful, or security-seeking.  Love calls for courage to do that which many would not. However, Love can make the cowardly courageous if they are truly serious.

Love can take what you truly believe in and make it alive for you.  Love can, and will, make you come alive-if you let it.

Those are my thoughts on this Valentine’s Day. Please remember that Love is in you and about you in its Divinity, so you are never alone. Plus, Love is EVERY day, not just on February 14th.

Peace and Love!

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

What Are We Hearing? Brooklyn, NY 2019.
(Image by Me)

Many among his disciples heard this and said, “This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow.”…After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him…. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”Peter replied, “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life.”
John 6:60,66-68 

You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (Both Verses from The Message)

It’s no secret that Jesus dropped a lot of dope shit while on planet Earth. More than once He laid down truths of the Divine Realm that could provoke, prick, and even push. In the first Scripture passage, Jesus was declaring His being the Bread of Life, and that we’re to ” eat of his flesh and drink of his blood” (figuratively of course) to have access to the Realm of Heaven. Obviously, this was what many of Jesus’s disciples didn’t want to hear; it was too hard for them to handle. As a result, many of Jesus’s disciples left him with only the twelve remaining.  Yet despite this mass desertion, and Jesus asking the twelve if they too wanted to book up, Peter gave a representative response. For Peter and the remaining disciples, Jesus spoke words that bring life-real and eternal-to those willing to hear.

As a piggyback to the first passage, we have the second Scripture passage where Paul was writing his second letter (or epistle) to his protege, Timothy. Paul warned Timothy about the situation we saw Jesus facing in John: people unable to stomach the pure straight dope of God. Instead, Paul warned, these will look for teachings that have no spiritual substance. Instead of the meat, potatoes and wine of the Divine, they’ll settle for the “Happy Meal” (with toy prize) if the world.

All too often we see in today’s Boardinghouse of Faith our developing “selective hearing” when it comes to teaching and doctrine (I’m referring to Spirit-led teaching and sound doctrine). We hear what we want to hear, instead of what we need to hear. We’ll listen to “feel good”, “blessed and highly favored and empowered to prosper”, and “Jesus is Love” preaching over listening to exhortations to live holy and to be “poor in spirit”, “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (ref. Matthew 5:3,6), and love for our enemy preaching. The list is endless.

And if the preaching is too stiff for us, we’ll shop around for a church who preaches what we like. We’ll gravitate to churches whose pastors give “motivational” sermons for “success” and financial workshops that both cater to our egos, over hearing messages about the life in Christ and laying up treasures in Heaven that put said egos in check.

To take a cue from 2 Timothy, we’ll end up filled with junk food yet never nourished. We’ll wander from teacher to teacher, looking for that one who will gratify our egos until we ultimately end up adrift and vulnerable to any crackpot doctrine out there.

We must be willing to listen to the truth of God even if it makes us uncomfortable. It’s these “hard sayings,” these “solid teachings” we’re called to bear up under that make us fortified for our Christian road trip. It’s these teachings of sound doctrine and Divine Wisdom that enable us to live the Abundant (Higher) Life in Christ. For the pure and straight dope of God brings real life to us right now, and will sustain us into eternity.

Do you hear what I hear? Let’s pray that it’s solid teachings that give life.

Peace.

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An Object Lesson Named Lot

The account of Lot. Genesis 13 and 19

One of the most tragic figures in the Bible is Lot, Abraham’s nephew. We first hear about Lot briefly in Genesis 12 when he accompanied Abraham (then Abram) our of Ur. We later hear about Lot in Genesis 13, when he chose to settle in the Plains of the Jordan. However it’s in Genesis 19 we get to see Lot for who he was.

Lot is an object lesion for many of us on the Christian road trip. I originally titled this “Don’t Look Back!” focusing on Lot’s wife. However, as I read the Genesis narrative I knew there was more we can cull out of this character’s life. I will attempt to be succinct with my points.

One first lesson is that we’re not to take things at face value. In Genesis 13 we see Abram and Lot separating after things got too crowded for their flocks, herds, and tents. At that time, Lot saw the Plain of Jordan towards Zoar with its lush vegetation and decided to pitch his tents there. Nice, however what was wrong with Lot’s choice? Well, on the Plain of Jordan were two little towns you probably heard of: Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot could have enquired of the Lord where to settle down, however he saw the lush region-despite its wicked inhabitants-and decided to settle down. As a footnote, Lot’s two daughters got engaged to two local men.

Second lesson is that if we’re not careful, environment can shape us. We come to Genesis 19 where Lot has moved from his tents into a house in the city of Sodom. Lot and family were now part of Sodom society. When the men of Sodom came to Lot’s house to rape his angelic visitors, Lot offer to give the men outside his two virgin daughters for their sexual devices instead of the two messengers-talk about twisted shit! It appears the wicked environment of Sodom rubbed off on Lot since no man in his right mind would give up his daughters to a pack of sexual wolves! It appeared that Lot traded in his values to appease the environment.

Third lesson ties into the second: we can actually love the place we’re in-even if it’s bad for us. After the incident with the men above, the messengers told Lot and family to leave right then and there. However, Lot procrastinated into the wee hours of the morning when the messengers had to physically remove Lot and family from Sodom to safety. I believe that Lot loved his life in Sodom and couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that the land he settled in was about to have a dramatic drop in real estate value.

Fourth, don’t look back! Lot and company were on the Plains of Zoar early in the morning God turned Sodom and Gomorrah into a parking lot. The angelic messengers warned Lot and company not to stop along the way, and don’t look back or they’ll die. Sadly, this message fell on Mrs. Lot’s deaf ears and you know the rest. Mrs. Lot looked back, turned into a pillar of salt, and died. I think girlfriend loved her former home and pined over it to the point she had to look back. We need to keep moving forward in our Christian road trip and never make the mistake of looking back. Looking back could just kill us.

And last, our bad choices can impact others negatively. Lot and his two daughters made it to the town of Zoar where they hung out for a spell. However, Lot was afraid to hang out in Zoar and took his daughters to a cave to live in. It was in this cave that Lot’s two daughters got him drunk and had sex with him to have sons to carry on their name. Now this is some sick shit! However, I believe that the wickedness of Sodom (and Gomorrah) rubbed off on these women, and instead of finding men in Zoar (or elsewhere) they decided to commit incest with dear ol’ dad. If Lot had made different-and God directed choices, he might not have wound up in this predicament. Plus Lot’s “grandsons” became the ancestors of the Moabites* and Ammonites-two enemy peoples of his uncle Abraham’s descendants, the Israelites.

What’s also sad about Lot is that we no longer hear about him after Genesis 19. Lot didn’t even make the “Hall of Faith” account in Hebrews 11. Lot’s actions in his life paved the way for tragedy in more ways than one.

The story of Lot serves as a warning to us. What happens when we take things at face value instead of enquiring of God about those things. When we allow our environment to shape us-no matter how bad. When we even love said environment-no matter how bad it is. That we should never look back. And last, how our choices can impact others. Lot wound up being a footnote in Scripture.

I hope this sheds some light on a tragic figure named Lot and how we can learn from his life. Let us be wise enough to seek God in our affairs and be spiritually aware. Then our lives will be richer and happier than Lot’s.

Peace!

*A footnote of grace. On of Lot’s distant descendants was a Moabite woman named Ruth. Ruth, as we know, was the great-grandmother of King David (Ruth 4:18-22). And Ruth was the direct ancestress of Jesus.

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Cutting Back or Letting Go?

When you got to let it go.
Image by Me. 2020

Your proud boasting in this matter is terrible. Don’t you understand that the tiniest infraction can bring about an unwelcome chain of events? That just a little yeast causes all the dough to rise? Get rid of all the old yeast; then you’ll become new dough, just as you are already a people without sin’s leavening influence. You see, the Anointed One is our Passover lamb; He has been sacrificed for us.

1 Corinthians 5:6-7 (VOICE)

Today’s Scripture has an interesting backstory. In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul mentioned his discovery of one of the members having sex with his father’s wife. It’s not clear if Dad was alive or not.  I don’t know if the wife was the man’s stepmom, or worse, his own mom; either way MAJOR creep factor! And to make matters worse, the Corinthian congregation is like, “So what?” regarding this incestuous relationship instead of mourning over it!

Paul also levelled a dire warning: even the “littlest things” can have big consequences. Paul used the analogy of how a tiny bit of yeast can cause dough to rise. I’ve seen my Mother make Holiday rolls and how only a small amount of yeast generated the chemical process to create the right dough for rolls. Plus, anyone who bakes from scratch knows if your yeast is bad it’ll make the dough bad as well. In the above Scripture, this incestuous affair is warping the Corinthian congregation’s spiritual make up and negatively impacting the outer community. Paul calls for getting rid of the “old yeast” – the sin that can impact the community so that they can be “new dough” and live out the life reflective of Christ’s sacrifice.

Today, God calls for us to let go of things that hinder living the Abundant Life in Christ. For example…

We are called to stop seeing that person we’ve been intimate with despite the fact they and/or we are in a closed marriage with someone else. So far, we’ve managed to keep the affair under wraps. We’ve been seeing them every week, and instead of cutting them loose we see them every other week or once a month…

There’s that crowd we’ve been running with forever. These are cats so want nothing out of life and are usually into pursuits that keep us from living the higher life in Christ. These people are the proverbial “stuck on stupid,” with enough stinking thinking to rival an unkempt outhouse. They hang out in places where you cannot fully express the Christ in you.  Yet we say they’re our friends from yore and that they’re still good people. We’ll stop by every now and then to touch base instead of breaking ties as God calls us to do…

They say old habits die hard. There are certain habits we’ve been doing despite God telling us to stop altogether. We haven’t been caught and so far no one’s been hurt (or so we think); and we do these habits on a daily basis. So instead of stopping altogether, we just cut back…

When we cut back instead of letting go, we run the risk of catastrophe. Instead of ridding ourselves of spiritually unhealthy people, places and things we still hold on by cutting back. Guess what? Cutting back doesn’t help. We’re still in those sinful spots, and like the Corinthians we will develop a nonchalant attitude towards sin. We’ll even think we can get over on God with such an attitude…

Then the shit will hit the fan. Our walk with Christ will be compromised. Interpersonal relationships will be damaged-sometimes irreparably. We will lose sight of the Abundant Life, instead groveling in the muck of worldly things. Our integrity will ultimately be called into question as well as our faith. Not a pretty picture to say the least. We will end up like spoiled dough-good only for the garbage.

When God calls for us to let go of certain people, places and habits, He/She means it. There’s no room for “cutting back”. Cutting back is just as bad as not letting go altogether. For when we let go we’ll find we have the Peace of God that will fill those voids created by the absence of those things we let go of. We will find the joy in surrendering these things we let go of as we feel the Abundant Life in us. As we ascend to a higher way of living, we will be cognizant of sin and turn other issues over to God. We will live lives worthy of Christ and his sacrifice. And we may even avoid the fallout from cutting back, or the fallout won’t be as great as if we were to continue as before.

Cutting back or letting go. I believe we know what to do.

Peace.

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A Place of Pain

Reminds you of Your Pain?
(Image by Me. 2018)

Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”
The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.
”Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.

John 5:1-9 (The Message)

Pain is the worst place to be regardless of what type: physical, emotional, spiritual, whatever. Even worse is chronic pain: a medical condition that requires the use of potent painkiller medication and constant pain management with a medical professional. I personally know people who are in such pain that it makes it hard for them to get out of bed in the morning, function through the day, and even try to sleep at night-things you and I take for granted. These brave souls do their best to make it though their day and God bless them with His/Her healing power.

Yes, pain can also be a warning system that tells us that something is out of whack in our bodies (or lives). At times pain can strengthen our resolve as in physical exercise, or some challenging life situations. Lest we also forget childbirth, the trip to the dentist, and physical therapy. However these pains are usually temporary. And unless you’re a stone-cold masochist, you don’t relish this pain on a day to day.

Tonight’s Scripture is a well-known one. Jesus and his posse were at the Pool of Bethesda* near the Sheep Gate where the sick come to get healed. Jesus and company come upon a man at the pool that was paralyzed for 38 years. Jesus asked the man if he wanted to get well. Now you think the man would say “Yes!” and it would be a wrap. However, the man gave a weird reply: he complained that there was no one to take him to the water and that someone would beat him to the healing. This man was so living from the pain of his paralysis (and around other sick folk) he could not see that healing was available to him. Yet when Jesus told the man to pick up his bedroll and walk, immediately Divine healing flowed through the man’s body and gave him to power to rise up and walk.

Before we criticize the man in the story, we need to understand that we are that man-you and I. Many of us live from places the perpetual pain of loss, shame, abuse, regret, anger, feeling unworthy or unforgiven, etc.. This emotional and spiritual pain aches in our hearts and minds; and we live from this pain every day for years on end. This pain disables us from living the Abundant Life that God has for us. In fact, the pain gets to be part and parcel of our lives; and the pain will run our lives for us. We act, do, feel, relate from a place of deep pain. All we will see is pain to the point we’ll seek out others in pain in our own “Pool of Bethesda” and get so comfortable in our pain we never see anything else but pain winding up paralyzed. We never realize that Divine healing is right before our very eyes; but instead seek addictive “painkillers” that only provide temporary escape (food, drink, sex, drugs, etc.).

Like a person with physical pain, it’s time for us to get healing. We don’t need a doctor or any costly prescription. We can bring our pain to God for Divine healing. God is still asking us today, “Do you want to get well?” We have to trust God like the man in the story where we will pick up our “bed” and walk. God calls us out of our places of pain into the healing He/She still offers today. We need to look for people God puts in our lives who have been healed to help guide us out of our pain and into healing through prayer, encouragement, and love. There’s more to life than living from a place of pain folks. Let’s get healed so we can get hold of the Abundant Life God offers even now!

Let’s trust God and leave that place of pain. Healing is right before our eyes: will we have the faith to take advantage of it?

Peace.

*A lil’ historical FYI. The Pool of Bethesda was near the Sheep Gate on the north end of the Temple Mount. The Sheep Gate was where sheep were led inside to the Temple for slaughter. The Pool was where the sheep were washed before sacrifice. The Pool was fed by an underground spring, thus the “stirring” of the water in John’s account. The Sheep Gate was first mentioned in Nehemiah 3:1 during the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall.

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Cast Off

Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? Psalm 88:14 (KJV)

Today at worship I feel cut off from everyone and everything. I feel dead inside and feel like grabbing my son, Carrington and go home. My participation in the service feels mechanical.

Moments ago, our dance ministry ministered to us about God breaking us for our own good. Afterwards we had a praise break where the Spirit had His/Her way. The song resonates with me as I sit in my pew.

God is showing me existence without that Divine connection. No, God is not casting me off; He/She is revealing to me a life that is attached to the things I’ve clinged to and need to let go of. To let go of old sickening angry thoughts that festered in my soul for years. To let go of looking for non-existent love from others.

God break me into pieces; shatter me that all these attachments will break away from me. I surrender all of the shit that I don’t want to surrender, yet I must in order to be free in Christ. Help me God so I can live the Abundant Life of higher things, Heavenly things. As I sit here in worship oh God, I pray that you move me out of what I’m dealing with so I can be what you created me to be. Let this time be one of Divine transitioning so I can grow into that you desire for me. In Your Name, Amen.

Peace.

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