SOUL 005- POWER HOUR

CHECK OUT MY VIDEO LIVE FROM NICOLLET MALL!
 
 
THOUGHTS:
The world is taking steps to reactivate, and, with the expiration of the Stay At Home order in Minnesota, people may be inclined to rush back into life, and seek personal needs, wants , and gratifications that one has felt deprived of.  When we do this, it is easy to forget about how those things can negatively impact others.  
 
Please check out my Facebook post from this past week:
 
“Friends, please consider this, as changes to the MN orders happen over the next few weeks. Please resist the urge to treat it like the last day of school, the first day with your driver’s license, the night of your 21st birthday, etc., where it’s party time to do whatever you want. The changes are trusting the public to use what has been learned and communicated and to utilize the common sense that so many have said that people have.
 
The businesses that are opening are being trusted to be good partners in reducing opportunity for community spread of COVID. In turn, they are trusting that consumers will follow the rules established. They will be implementing strategies to maintain social; distancing and usage of masks, gloves, etc. And if you are in their store, that is private property. They can, and will, expect you to follow their rules. If you do not, they can ask you to leave, and you will have to. That is their right as business owners. And they do so, not just because they have been instructed to by a government entity, they do so, because they want to stay open. And the worst thing for them would be for them to have their working employees get sick or be shown as an epicenter for an outbreak, which may lead to them being shut down again.
 
So, please respect their space and policies, if you truly believe in the urgency of their economic well-being.”
 
 
SCRIPTURE:
What we do has a direct impact on those around us, as we are interwoven as part of a greater community Creation.  Here are some thoughts from Paul in his first letter to the people of Corinth:
 

18 Instead of that, God put all the different parts into one body on purpose. 19 If all the parts were alike, where would the body be? 20 They are, indeed, many different members but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” any more than the head can say to the feet, “I do not need you.” 22 And even those members of the body which seem less important are in fact indispensable. 23 We honor the members we consider less honorable by clothing them with greater care, thus bestowing on the less presentable a propriety 24 which the more presentable do not need. God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to the lowly members, 25 that there may be no dissension in the body, but that all the members may be concerned for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy.

– 1 Corinthians 12: 18-26

 
 
CHECK OUT “PATIENCE” by Guns and Roses
 


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SOUL 004- PRIVILEGE

WATCH THE VIDEO BLOG ABOVE
 
SCRIPTURE:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Creator.
Matthew 5: 38-45
 
THOUGHTS:
Dear friends who are white,
We have work to do.  There is violence befalling loved ones based on the color of their skin.  This is nothing new.  Far from it.  But it is happening.  And we have the “privilege” of choice.  I say “we”, not as some “enlightened” white person, but as someone who is in the midst of this work, myself.  We, I, have the “privilege” of making choices that others do not.    
 
Option 1- We can live into the “otherness” that this is happening to someone else, that each of these stories are isolated incidents and not part of a greater ongoing problem, or make excuses about why it is not our problem.  And we find some way to qualify or rationalize the devaluing of human life.  
 
Option 2- We can talk a good game about how awful it is, but still keep communities of color at arm’s length. We can even act in ways that are convenient and marginally impactful, but don’t make us feel guilty or defensive.
We can make a big scene about our commitment to social justice that looks good, but is really more about making ourselves feel good and righteous, but lacks real empathy or relationship.
 
 
Or we can choose to commit to a mindset shift in ways that challenge our paradigm.  We can recognize that the power systems that exist today are not that far removed from the segregated systems that were legal, less than a century ago.  And that proximity on the timeline of history means that there continue to be people in our midst that lived and developed their ideologies before the Civil Rights movement, which means they have taught and influenced, consciously or subconsciously, where we are today.  The mindset of “otherness”, or seeing persons of color as “less than” or even “the enemy” are ancient history and affect us still, today.
 
Our privilege is born out of our heritage, and many have rose against it over time.  We can do so, too.  It means committing our time, energy, resources, etc. to the benefit of those who have been victimized and oppressed for racial and ethnic reasons.  We take the time to learn history.  We listen instead of talk, we take on a humble heart and recognize  we have much to learn.  And we break down the walls of otherness and stop playing into generalizations that lead to negative stigmas that justify violence. 
 
Today, on this Mother’s Day, grieve with a raw heart with Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, and remember Mamie Till Bradley, mother of Emmitt Till, a young man whose vile lynching was forced into the light of day by a mother with a commitment to justice, not just for her own child, but for all other children who may be so victimized, gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement and changed the lives of millions.  
 
PRAYER:
God of us all, may we be people of justice, and have the vision of your son, Jesus, that we see all as your Beloved and family members we are called to advocate for in the face of violence and oppression.  Amen
 
RESOURCES:
 
Please listen to the voice of Sterling Brown.  His message is more important than mine, and I invite you into FEELING.  Feel this pain.  Not as someone different, but as a human that grieves the egregious violence and disgusting disregard of the legal system with regard to the Ahmaud Arbery case:
 

Did this live and didn’t think I’d post, but a friend convinced me otherwise. So here it is. #Hewasjustjogging 🕉

Posted by Sterling K. Brown on Friday, May 8, 2020

 
 
 
My videos before and after my run.
 

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SOUL 003- “THE RIPPLE EFFECT”

 
 

Psalm 23

A psalm of David
1 God, you are my shepherd— I want nothing more. 2 You let me lie down in green meadows; you lead me beside still waters: 3 you refresh my soul. You guide me to lush pastures for the sake of your Name. 4 Even if I’m surrounded by shadows of Death, I fear no danger, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff— they give me courage. 5 You spread a table for mein the presence of my enemies, and you anoint my head with oil— my cup overflows! 6 Only goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in your house, Creator god, for days without end.

 

Ripple

Grateful Dead written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter

If my words did glow

with the gold of sunshine

And my tunes were played

on the harp unstrung

Would you hear my voice

come through the music

Would you hold it near

as it were your own?

 

It’s a hand-me-down,

the thoughts are broken

Perhaps they’re better left unsung

I don’t know, don’t really care

Let there be songs to fill the air

 

Ripple in still water

When there is no pebble tossed

Nor wind to blow

 

Reach out your hand

if your cup be empty

If your cup is full may it be again

 

 

Let it be known

there is a fountain

That was not made by the hands of men

There is a road,

no simple highway

Between the dawn and the dark of night

And if you go

no one may follow

That path is for your steps alone

 

Ripple in still water

When there is no pebble tossed

Nor wind to blow

 

You who choose

to lead must follow

But if you fall

you fall alone

If you should stand

then who’s to guide you?

If I knew the way

I would take you home


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SOUL 002- ON THE TURNING AWAY

Mark 12: 28-31 (inclusive version)
One of the religious scholars who had listened to them debating and had observed how well Jesus had answered them, now came up and put a question to him: “Which is the foremost of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “This is the foremost: ‘Hear, O Israel, God, our God, is one. You must love the Most High God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
 
Click here for Pastor Chris Carr’s Video Devotion
 
 
 

ON THE TURNING AWAY by Pink Floyd

written by David Gilmour and Anthony Moore

 

On the turning away

From the pale and downtrodden

And the words they say

Which we won’t understand

“Don’t accept that what’s happening

Is just a case of others’ suffering

Or you’ll find that you’re joining in

The turning away”

 

It’s a sin that somehow

Light is changing to shadow

And casting it’s shroud

Over all we have known

Unaware how the ranks have grown

Driven on by a heart of stone

We could find that we’re all alone

In the dream of the proud

 

On the wings of the night

As the daytime is stirring

Where the speechless unite

In a silent accord

Using words you will find are strange

And mesmerized as they light the flame

Feel the new wind of change

On the wings of the night

 

No more turning away

From the weak and the weary

No more turning away

From the coldness inside

Just a world that we all must share

It’s not enough just to stand and stare

 

Is it only a dream that there’ll be

No more turning away?


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SOUL 001- SPIRITUAL BENCHES

 
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Creator.

Matthew 5: 38-45

 
Click here for Pastor Chris Carr’s video devotion.

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THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Posted by Chris Carr on Wednesday, April 29, 2020


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