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    Poems Read at Synod School

    Fish When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. – John 21:9 Peter dives into the icy morning waters of Galilee,his broad sunburned chest so full of regret,he could not get to the shore fast enough. The ashen sky giving way to blue,when he finally reaches the shore,the sea weighing on his shirt and beard. Peter wipes the salt off his eyes and walksto the small fire waiting for himand when he sits he cannot remember  the words he rehearsed if given the chanceto set things right. How does one beginmaking amends with a friend you denied? He hears the…

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    Jesus, a Stand-Up Comedian

    “If God would stop telling jokes, I might act serious.”– Tukaram (Muslim poet) “My Lord told me a jokeAnd seeing him laugh had done more for methan any scripture I willever read”– Meister Eckhart (Christian mystic) I think Jesus is one of the top comedians of all time. He makes you laugh hard. You are slapping your thighs, jaws unhinged with laughter until you realize the joke is on you. For Jesus’ comedy has a sharp edge to it: It exposes your contradictions, and comedy’s oxygen for laughter is the exposing of contradictions. You can choose to laugh at yourself, which is the beginning of transformation because people who take…

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    Singing “Everyone’s Lonely” with my Korean Immigrant Mother

    At this past Louisville Waterfront Wednesday concert (sponsored by WFPK, a Louisville Free Public Media radio station on 6/26/2019 ), I experienced several firsts. A first: My wife performed live with a Rock band! This happened, as these things go, because she happened upon the right group of people—joined Louisville Civic Orchestra as 2nd violinist a year ago—who happened to have the right connection: the conductor, Jason Hart Raff, who happened to meet the lead singer of Jukebox the Ghost, Ben Thornewill, at a children’s party where they shared their childhood dream of putting together an orchestra and a rock band. That serendipitous spark took two years of conversation and hard…

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    Sexual Abuse & Ordination Exclusivity: Theology of Complementarianism is neither Theology nor Complementary

    On February 6th, Pope Francis confessed that clerics abused nuns as sexual slaves. On February 10th , J.D. Grear, the president of the Southern Baptist Church, said in response to a report of 380 Southern Baptists facing allegations of sexual abuse from 700 people, “the abuses described in the Houston Chronicle article are pure evil” and that “it’s time for pervasive change.”[1] As important as these confessions and commitment from the highest office, a true “pervasive change” won’t happen until they stop justifying male-only leadership. When Pope Francis praised his predecessor, Benedict, for closing an order where the nuns were abused as “sexual slaves,”[2] Pope Francis exposed his worldview still…

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    Death Silences All

    Poem written in memory of Mike Miller and Robina Winbush at the Service of Bereavement Death silences all.Even the most eloquent life falls at the end of a breath.Every sentence eventually arrives at a period. Stories have a deadline or run out of pages. The symphony plays its finale, the music can’t go on,and the vibration of the cello string fades.Death silences all.Death stuns us into silenceWhen a sentence midway in expression suddenly halts,When a line comes to an enjambmentWhen the light suddenly goes off And the musical  never gets to its denouement.These unsuspected stops stun us into silenceFor we come to realizeThat every life is a parenthesis.Death silences the…

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    FISH

    When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. – John 21:9 Peter dives into the icy morning waters of Galilee,his broad sunburned chest so full of regret,he could not get to the shore fast enough. The ashen sky giving way to blue,when he finally reaches the shore,the sea weighing on his shirt and beard. Peter wipes the salt off his eyes and walksto the small fire waiting for him and when he sits he cannot remember the words he rehearsed if given the chanceto set things right. But how does one beginmaking amends with a friend you denied? He hears…

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    SpiderVerse tells the Christmas Story better than the Church

    Into the Spiderverse, the newest Sony cartoon flick, “proclaims” anyone can be Spiderman; you don’t have to a man to be a Spiderman (say hello to the coolest ballet-inspired teenage girl, Spider-Gwen, and to inclusive language to fit this new reality) or American (Penni Parker is Japanese, fluent in Japanese, English and mech), or even a human being (ever heard of Peter Porker?). So, then it goes without saying that Spiderman doesn’t have to be White. How can you not root for Miles Davis, a mixed-race pre-teen whose voice cracks every three syllables, a product of Brooklyn, snacks on physics, a damn good graffiti artist, and whose adolesecent coming-of-age identity journey has been complicated with becoming…

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    Pilgrims, Turkey & Kimchee

    A year ago, I was going through my parents’ photo album to put together a digital slideshow for my mother’s 70th birthday bash. That’s when I happened upon this photo. This was our first thanksgiving in America. As you can tell from the photo, it was American through and through, from the 10-pound turkey in the center, to the basket of fruits stocked to teetering height. However, there is no kimchee (pickled cabbage) at this table. My youngest brother’s face is all smiles. Next to him is my younger brother, Daniel. Even at that age he was the most pious: Note the deep furrow creasing his youthful skin around his…

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    Enough

    After hearing Jazebel continuing on her state policy of murdering protesters of her injustices. Elijah sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” – 1 Kings 19:4 I have had enough! Enough of Bullets sprayed on Black bodies and Jewish bodies and any-body deemed a no-body Enough of Hatred spewed from pulpits and pundits Lies promulgated by preachers and presidents Enough of the Apotheosis of White America IT IS ENOUGH Enough of this world where you can get gunned down while shopping, this…

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    A Letter In Response to John MacArthur’s Statement against Social Justice

    To my brother John MacArthur, You recently wrote a post warning the selling out of the gospel for social justice fad. Like Paul did in Galatians, you warn us about this “different gospel.” I tried to keep my mouth shut because I didn’t want to fan the fire your post ignited. But like the jackass whose tongue was loosened by an angel and saved Balaam, I (yes, I’m comparing myself to an ass) can’t keep my jaws clamped. Corrected, Balaam turned a curse into a blessing — so you aren’t beyond meta-noia/repentance. I’m going to take your same no-nonsense approach and warn you that you might be the false prophet, the one…