Religion comes from the Latin: religio. It is a combination of re:about and legio:law. Back in Roman times a religion was the same as a “halakhah” which is Hebrew for “how you do the action of walking.” “Yelek” means to “do” and “melekhah” is the work of creating. Somewhere along the line somebody mixed the idea of kingdom into this a created a horrible misunderstanding of Daddy’s really cool way of managing the ongoing creation as He simultaneously restores, heals, redeems, atones, reconciles and frees us all. But that is Daddy’s work and not yours or mine.

The only time we get to work is when we come home and snuggle with Daddy. At that time He might give us a little something to do: bear a child, heart surgery, speak a kind word. We don’t -do. We are not the way. Christianity is not the way, either. Jesus is the way. Going to church, arching your eye-brows while singing christian songs, praying well or purely, these are not the way. Jesus is the way. The church is not the way, the pastor is not the way, the Pope is not the way and Buddha is not the way. The way is holekh, the halakhah.

So religion is nonsense. If I must worship according to a form, Jesus gave me a form. It begins: Our Father…Jesus says: when you worship do this–Our Father…

Read it for yourself…But that isn’t what saves you. Saying the Our Father doesn’t save me. It is only a form that makes sense in my expressing the worthiness of God. God saves me.

No longer a monastery chapel
no longer a chancel

Here and there

It is so very simple. Two places there are. Here and there. There is one here and many theres. I can reach a particular there, but it becomes here. I cannot reach certain theres. These theres are always there. The ones I can reach are not the essence of there. To reach the top dead center of there is something divine.
There is a far country. When I get there it is familiar because it has become here. There is a sky and when I fly in it there has become here and I look out the window down to there or across to there and what was familiar is now alien. There is space, which we call “up in” space and I don’t go there but people are there. I am not permitted there, but I see the videos and the pictures as if I were there, as if I were on Mars or Titan or the Pillars of Heaven. I can put myself there.
I found today that there are theres. I cannot imagine or see, but I know that concept. All the other wonderers about theres have spoken in tongues about them and were wrong. We cannot know.
Name is a there. It calls there something. We cannot know the Name except He reveals Himself, this Ha Shem. Shem is there. In English the word there is known in Hebrew as “shem.” What we call Heaven in English is called “more than one there” in Hebrew, “shemayyim.”
How can I know it? I’ve never been. Or do I know it because it is here?

Who(which) art in heaven is a classic Matthew phrase. It is only in Matthew. It calls back to Psalm 79. Something about God being there, in heaven, as a help. A desperate thought–God has to be there because I ain’t seeing no help here! If God is there then help can come. God is there, but so close He can help. Matthew holds the words that identify Him as other, as above here, as away from here, as higher than I.

It’s too much to think that God would be here always. What happens when I void, when I freak out, when I melt down. God can’t be with me in the toilet, or so think the Orthodox. God can’t be with me when I# or* or %@. God must be in heaven. That gives me a little space


I, Thou, Here, Now

The grace of God is sufficient for everything.  Unfortunately folks want to divide by zero.  Folks want to have an active God who is not an active God, or they want to have something which is not an active God, be an active God.  Anything but what works.  The proposal becomes “I want You to do it, but I want You to do it without You.”

Jesus isn’t real for us if we choose a Jesus who is not real to be our Jesus.  Mashiach has not come if we chose one who has not come to be Mashiach. (I like the thought but the syntax is very difficult.)

One kind of me:  I’m looking for my bus stop.  I worry that I might not stop at the right stop, so I get off the bus.  Now I am off the bus at the wrong stop.  So I don’t have to worry about missing my stop because I never got to my stop.  Stupid bus!!

For this me: Miracles don’t happen for me much.  I sit quietly and play computer games, waiting for miracles to happen and I never get any.  Must be no such thing as miracles…or, maybe, playing computer games means I am in a relationship with a computer game rather than a miracle worker.

Seems to me, the holy nature of this piece of geography is the relationship of the people who happen to be on this geography with God and with each other.  The geography is beautiful, but not much different from California south of San Francisco, or the West Coast of Morocco.  The deep is deep, but so is Death Valley.  The high is high, but so is Denali.  The people washed back and forth across this land and they still do.  The shouts and songs of worship ring out in the cities and towns during the prayer hours as they did in past.  Sometimes you can hear those sounds in other places.  People make those sounds in other places.  But it happens more often here.  So why isn’t everything all better here?

Did God walk off?  Do we need to do something to boot Him up? Has God gone off line?

Or am I always in the habit of ignoring reality.

If one says, in reality there is no God, there should be no surprise that there is no God for them.  If I say there is a God, but that has no effect on me, who is out of relationship.

If one says, God was never here, in this land, what is all the fuss about?  If one says that it was all just a fake, a myth, what is all the fuss about?  If one says, I think God was here once, but not now, isn’t that like saying there is no God?  If one says, God is here but not in other places, is that not also saying there is no God?

But it is precisely that God was here so richly in the past, that God is so richly here now, and that God is also so richly everywhere else now.


Everybody’s talking about…

Let’s say everybody is talking about the Oscars, which they are not, but some of the media children want me to thinks so…

Well, let’s say everybody is talking about Donald Trump. Even he would find that upsetting. But let’s say everybody was talking about him. Which would mean that nobody is talking TO him. Just about him. That would be rude, White House staffers talking about the President, behind his back. Or in front of his back. Rude.

Goes along with the powerful statement, “Your Mother and I want you home at 11. ” Poor woman doesn’t even have a name. As a counselor I learned to hear when a woman referred to her husband as “he.” Never using their husband’s name, they would say “he.” I detected a matter of intimacy to be at hand.

Well, Daddy and I are here in Germany, huh, Daddy? And Daddy got me the best place to stay, right Daddy? And salad from Lidl as my daily bread, augmented with tortilla chips and fruit juice with vitamins, thank You very much Daddy. We saw people that didn’t even notice us, You, more than me, I am afraid to say…We were talking on the train all the way from Amersfoort, but we didn’t bother anybody because Your voice is so still and soft.

I’m just as bad as everybody else, always saying God this, and Your Father wants You to that, as if You couldn’t get Your message across. It’s really awkward to talk about this because You are all around us and in us, making the waves that create the force that makes the matter that builds the atoms, combined into molecules that are us. We refuse to notice that it is You, like all this stuff just happened. We refuse to hear Jeremiah, whom You sent to announce the curse of the famine of the Word which is starving us blind and deaf.

Would You quit warming this world so much if we respected Your creation and listened to You and did justice? I mean 57 degrees North and 62 degrees, we are all laughing and saying “Ain’t the weather great?” Hell no its not great, the promise You made to Noah is turning into a confused mess. It should be -1 celsius and snow here in northern Germany.

I’m sorry for always talking about You as if You aren’t standing right here with me.

Where Bunting Tea came from
Painted Lady


The response to a blog through comments is the true value of the process.

The Blogger must accept correction: The Dutch word in the last blog was incorrectly spelled. The spelling is “kweken” and the first person form is “kweek”. This leads us to hear, in English “quake” and adds insight to the term “quaking aspen.” The value of the descriptor “quaking” is that we advert to the shimmering of aspen leaves as their special formation responds to virtually no breeze at all. The trees look alive. This further leaves us to the insight that the will of God is truly alive. Alive and living in fact and deed. We name this will Jesus.

The Blogger must answer questions as others have searching insights. But the blogger must develop the question into its fascinating fullness: What is this growth of the will? Do we grow in Jesus or does Jesus grow in us? Since we discover that we don’t “do” the will of God, how do we grow, get better, more, richer, stronger? In a word, how do we “shalom?” Not such a simple question and the answer makes our brain balloon. Firstly, we call to a koan: Is the Buddha in the dog? The answer is “mu”, a word meaning “to reverse oneself out of the question. Then, secondly, and reversed out of the question: The will of God, constantly growing and transcendent, moves through us and sweeps us up like a flood, swamping us like a tsunami swamps a beachside hotel and carries us away. The outside observer is puzzled at the apparent disaster. We are made a new creation. Here short quotes inform us: “Unless the corn falls…; if anyone is in Christ…; It is harder for a rich man…”

The blogger has a tendency to want to chase rabbits of thought: A rich man can get into heaven and a camel can go through the eye of a needle but both a atomized and indelibly changed in the process.

The blogger wants to fluff out his feathers and preen. He must be reminded that he is a blind guide and blind spirit, but we all, having one mind together, are the ongoing creation of all that is good.

not photoshopped
Gemeentehuis in the background
All this at the edge of a pocket forest of beech, yew, chestnut and holly

Quick question…

I was at a point in Dutch language study when we discussed very briefly “natural foods.” This is known in the EU as BIO, pronounced B-O. BIO is stuff that is produced outside of the bio-industry. The bio-industry is agri-business, except that agri-business includes large scale producers of “natural foods”, “organic foods” and foods from happy animals. Bio-industry does not do that.

Anyway, apparently a Dutch company is producing BIO vegetables in Morocco. The word used for this production is “kwekken”. I was struggling with the familiarity of the word, which I understood without having been told what it meant. Lots of American expressions come to us through early-modern Dutch or English. By early modern I mean 16th century. In the 16th century quick didn’t mean fast. It meant growing, like the quick of ones fingernail. So, to kwekken something is to grow it from seed, with emphasis on the early stages of the plant.

Perhaps one of my downfalls as a horseshoer is that I desperately did not want to “quick” a horse. When one “quicks” a horse the nail is driven into live or “quick” flesh, blood comes out and the horse behaves less than happy. It distressed me when I took too much off the bottom of the hoof or when I had blood appear around the nail hole. I cared more about how the horse felt than how the owner felt the horse should look. I would match my shoe to the horses foot, rather than shape the foot to the shape of the shoe.

In Ranger School we were taught there were two kinds of bayonet fighters, the “quick” and the dead. This is an adaptation of a passage out of the King James translation, “quick” meaning alive. If the translators could get one instance correctly they should be able to get the others correct as well. If, however, one accounts for all the many translators (no, Virginia, King James did not write the bible) one translator used the word “quick” and another used the word “done.” Then whoever chose the words for the Gospel of Luke version of the Lord’s Prayer followed the Matthew version.

Our renditions of the Lord’s Prayer follow an early inappropriate word selection. Done instead of quickened. The Aramaic reads “quickened.” The Greek uses “quickened,” through the form “genomai”.

This discovery should stop a whole lot of people running around “doing” God’s will. It won’t, because people are easy forgetters and slow learners. Once this tare is in the wheat field the angels can’t sort it out.

We pray that God plant His will, cultivate His will, fertilize His will, “quicken” his will. The angels announced to the shepherds when this crop got seeded. Jesus told teachings about this “quickening” in terms of seeds, shoots from dying stumps, a harvest ready. Meanwhile folks are off across the countryside “doing.”

Can’t be done. Wrong paradigm. Religion took a turn away from God and the whole congregation followed after.

Your whole problem is not that you don’t do God’s will. Your problem is that you think you should. That you think you can…

God’s will is Jesus. You can’t do that. You can pray for Jesus to grow. You can pray for a quickening of Jesus in the dust, red clay, Adam, that is you. Such a thing has a chance. It also makes sense. It also follows Jesus’ original words.

Quick Daffodils February 16th

Quick Crocus Valentines Day 52 degrees North


Revisiting the issue of the failed translation of MLK:

At Rembrandtkapel yesterday the Domine spoke of Jesus’ and the young lawyer. Jesus is quoted as saying: You are not far from the kingdom of God.

Correct that to read: You are not far from the creative work of God.

The first translation means that, being in Tiberius, the Kingdom of God was in Capernaum or Kiryat Shmonim. As if the Kingdom of God was in Farmville or Baarn or Springfield.

Rather, the translation should indicate a blessing: The young man is soon to be transformed into a new creation by the creative work of God.

Remember: The first usage of this terminology is in the creation story, early in Genesis.

Further, all the translations away from this first understanding lie plainly in the climate of secularization of the Israeli governance.

Baby bikes