JUST SAY KNOW!

JUST SAY KNOW.

Oh, how enticing. 

It looks so good.

It appears sweeter than honey.

It seems smoother than oil.

The end is disastrous.

I need to resist.

But the allures are seductive.

The allures lead to addiction.

My appetite can be high,

For all that is nutritionally empty.

The taste can seem so satisfying:

Like the sweetness of honey.

It can go down smoothly: like oil.

What must I do to change my diet?

I must become educated.

I must collect information.

I must become educated.

I must know what is nutritional.

I must become educated.

Then, I must become disciplined.

I must become educated.

I must know what is healthy.

I must become educated.

I must know what to no.

I must become educated.

I must adhere to a sound diet.

I must avoid empty calories.

I must become educated.

I need to have information.

I need to know more than no.

The more I know the more I can no.

No is not enough.

No increased my appetite.

I have dwelt on the no.

I have become preoccupied with the forbidden.

The “no” without the “know” failed me.

Do not dwell on the forbidden.

But, forbidden has filled my mind.

I must learn to fill my mind with know.

The choices I make will be better.

I know more and the choices are  better.

Know, know: such a better admonition.

No, no has been a greater enticement than deterrent.

Know, know has informed the no, no.

My diet is more substantive.

My body, mind, and soul are healthier.

Stay with the regimen.

Its benefits are conspicuous.

No to no only. Yes to know, always.

Do I “no” Him more than I “know” Him.

May I “know” Him vs. “no” Him.

Help me know YOU, the only true God and Jesus Christ who YOU sent.

Richard L. Brewer

September 18, 2020

John 17:3 (English Standard Version) “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

 1 Corinthians 13:9-12 (English Standard Version) “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

Be Owlish

Be Owlish

Say who?

Who, Who, Who, who.

Who is God.

Who is Jesus.

Who is the Holy Spirit.

who is me.

The first three Who is One WHO.

Only One.

Three in One.

The last who is me.

Who am I in relationship to the Great WHO?

The Great Who: The Great I am.

The Great Who God Who became the Great Who Jesus.

Who lives in the believer as The Great Who Holy Spirit.

Inside this lower-case who resides the WHO.

WHO would have thought it?

Only He.

The Great WHO.

And, the Great WHO did.

The Great WHO invited me, the small case who, to know HIM.

The Great WHO invited who. Yes, who.

who should think about that.

God created. God provided. God did it all.

Then, God invited me. WHO took the initiative.

How utterly incomprehensible.

He wants who to know Him.

Yes, WHO wants who to know Him.

The focus is WHO.

Yes, WHO.

The who can accept or reject the WHO.

The WHO takes the initiative.

The who must respond.

The who does not invite the WHO.

The WHO invites who.

Think about that.

Be owlish.

Richard L. Brewer

September 11, 2020

Cross-eyed

Cross-eyed

He held a plumb line and a level.

His hand was sure.

Truth was without question.

I am at least a half-a-bubble off plumb.

At least that and likely much more.

My plumb is cockeyed, too.

Thankfully, He holds the plumb and level.

There is not a bit of cockeyed or off plumb in Him.

He builds the house.

And, He provided the truth in Christ.

With His plumb and His level I can build in assurance.

Whether a castle of a tent.

The huff and puff of the wolf will not shake me.

His plumb and His level guide me.

Interesting how a Shepherd masters His tools.

His sheep pen is wolf proof.

Those who abide there come in and go out.

God levels with me. He is plumb good.

He speaks to me. I know His voice.

Help me avoid the thief who would fool me into thinking that cockeyed is plumb and a half-bubble-off- plumb is level.

Make my abode huff and puff proof. House or tent.

He tabernacles with me. Incredulous.

My abode cannot be blown down.

Stay near the door and its safety.

It is thief proof.

The wolf cannot huff and puff enough.

The builder is God. He set the vertical and horizontal.

Thinking of vertical and horizontal.

That makes the sign of the cross.

May I be cross-eyed and not cockeyed.

Richard L. Brewer

08/22/2020

“Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” John 10:7-10.

DOUBLE ENTENDRE

“I’ll be Damned”

Dead and buried.

They could barely wait for the stink of decay.

The grave was fortified.

“No one will steal this corpse.”

“No false conspiracies by its theft!”

An official seal.

A detachment of guards.

Secured.

Decay could provide evidence.

Religious establishment elated.

Civil uprising avoided.

At least some were content.

But, only for a while.

There would be no stench.

One could almost hear—

“Well, I’ll be damned.”

Richard L. Brewer

8/13/2020

Honey and Oil

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher, who laid the foundation for the modern theory of probabilities.

My good friend, Mark, recently sent me the following quote from Pascal with a question about “what do you think”. I “regurgitated” the response that I entitled Honey and Oil: Proverbs 5. I did not respond to the issue of pride because Mark solicited my “take” on the sensuality portion of Pascal’s quote. Perhaps another time, another regurgitation.

Richard

I just came across this by Pascal: “Your principal maladies are pride, which cuts you off from God, and sensuality, which binds you to the earth.”  What do you think Pascal is saying in the 2nd half?

Mark

Honey and Oil: Proverbs 5.

She, like glue, binds me to her.

I, the sucker, who continues to succumb to her pleasures.

Nothing sweeter than honey.

Nothing smoother than oil.

No satiation.

Temporary explosion.

Intoxication. 

Then addiction.

When can I get another hit?

Why do I continue to return?

Momentary intoxication.

So powerful.

I keep returning to it.

A cesspool.

But, I am attached.

Like glue, I am bound.

Who can save me from this body of death?

Oh, wretched man that I am.

And, then I remember.

When I was yet a sinner, Jesus died for me. 

To be attached to him.

Behold, He stands at the door and knocks.

Surely He doesn’t mean it.

Surely I am tainted beyond redemption.

So, I wallow in the “sweetness” of the honey.

And, the “smoothness” of the oil.

Devil disguised artificial sweeteners.

Devil disguised chemical lubricators.

Me, starving for substance.

And bound to earth.

Help me Jesus!

Perspective

Perspective.

Standing on the outside, looking in.

Not seeing everything.

Yet, seeing some things those inside do not see.

When I am wrong, help me see.

May I humbly accept the error.

Help me confront the wrong.

And offer what is helpful.

And, that, in the spirit of Christ.

Do I see through a glass darkly?

I desire to see face-to-face with Jesus.

Do I see my own reflection?

Do I see my reflection as in a carnival mirror?

Do I see projection in the mirror that reflects neither Christ nor truth.

Help me know when I am wrong in spite of my sincerity.

Help me see where I am an accomplice to oppression:

While thinking I am pointing out the oppression.

Help me accept that I need iron that sharpens iron.

May I not see myself as the lone honing stone.

Oppression. Suppression.

Choice. Compulsion.

Invitation. Repulsion.

Opportunity. Ultimatum.

Good intentions gone awry.

He stands at the door and knocks.

He offers an invitation.

May I do likewise.

May I stand at the door and wait for the door to be opened.

Not pounding and threatening, insisting I be allowed entry.

Lest I lose the trust and confidence from the one I seek to love.

Invitation and not ultimatum.

May I be like the Christ.

May my desire be to dine and learn.

May I not force and impose.

Spirit of sadness. I see in part. It is heavy.

Spirit of cutting. I see in part. It is heavy.

Help me understand them more fully.

The sadness and cutting.

How do I contribute to the sadness?

How do I contribute to the cutting?

Help me see if I am one who cuts.

Help me see the part I play in the oppression.

Help me not to pride myself on my personal piety.

Prevent me from running amok with well-intentioned, but errant ferver.

Help me not preen feathers that need to be humbled.

Christ did not say, My way, or the highway.

He invited and wooed.

He came not to judge.

May I be like Jesus.

Richard L. Brewer

July 18, 2020

“Perspective can change your opinions, but it can never alter truth. Truth remains steadfast and unwavering regardless of spin, manipulation, or culture” (https://medium.com/@chrisbehnke/perspective-can-change-your-opinions-but-it-can-never-alter-the-truth-7bc4b2c29005#:~:text=taken%2Dby%3Dchrisbehnke-,Perspective%20can%20change%20your%20opinions%2C%20but%20it%20can%20never%20alter,spin%2C%20manipulation%2C%20or%20culture ).

Reflections on the Fourth

United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

Inclusion. (1)

Exclusion. (2)

Infusion. (3)

I rather like the intention of infusion.

Such courage and risk.

“All for one and one for all.” (4)

Healthy, robust community.

Love, trust, and safety.

Just a Musketeer claim?

Merely a pipe-dream?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Declaration of Independence).

A radical declaration.

A declaration of treason.

Such aspiration!

The intention of the Declaration, still a work in progress.

My way is the right way.

Your way is the right way.

Easy to get along and include if you agree with me or I with you.

Exclusion, judgment, punishment if disagreement.

Where is civility?

Where is discourse?

Where is the love?

Infusion.

Might it work?

What are the costs?

What are the gains?

The agenda is supreme.

Yet, my and your agendas are certainly extreme and supreme.

With little wiggle room.

Acceptance without condoning?

Love without conditions?

The woman caught in adultery—in the very act.

Got her!

Stone her!

Some doodling in the sand.

No word spoken until the clincher.

“The one who has no sin.

That one cast the first stone.”

A bombardment of stones?

Nary a one.

Redemption?

Retribution?

Self-absorbed without compassion?

Radical infusion.

Self-righteousness propels the stones.

Love is radical and seems antithetical.

But, the Rabbi, demonstrated it.

On whose/what side are we?

Religion?

Politics?

Nationalism?

Just who is my brother and sister?

The Rabbi espoused the radical.

He said come follow Me.

Just who are we following?

And, Jesus wept.

Richard L. Brewer

7/5/20

(1). “The action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.”

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS882US882&sxsrf=ALeKk03NSnV3MK-d2ijLdoVGkhakz5ydTA%3A1593866373804&ei=hXgAX9vYMNSoytMPw5eP8As&q=inclusion+definition&oq=inclusion+definition&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIJCCMQJxBGEPkBMgIIADICCAAyBggAEAcQHjIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB4yBggAEAcQHjIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB4yBggAEAcQHjoECAAQQzoHCAAQFBCHAjoMCAAQsQMQQxBGEPkBOgQIABANUPSGAljcmgJg1Z8CaABwAHgAgAF6iAGbBpIBAzcuMpgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXo&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwibr574zrPqAhVUlHIEHcPLA74Q4dUDCAw&uact=5&safe=active&ssui=on

“Inclusion is a basic right of everyone and its objective should be to embrace everyone regardless of race, age, gender, disability, religious and cultural beliefs and sexual orientation. When we have true inclusion, it is when we have removed all barriers, discrimination and intolerance. When implemented properly, it should make everyone feel included and supported, whichever environment they are in.”

https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/what-inclusion-how-do-we-implement-it

(2). “The process or state of excluding or being excluded.”

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS882US882&sxsrf=ALeKk008Z8Mv-rL1onxdl5w2c8rVlydhMg%3A1593866093987&ei=bXcAX5X1O9utytMPxtyCgAY&q=exclusion+definition&oq=exclusion+definition&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIJCCMQJxBGEPkBMgYIABAHEB4yBggAEAcQHjICCAAyBggAEAcQHjIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB4yBggAEAcQHjIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB46BAgAEEc6BAgAEEM6BAgjECc6BQgAEJECOgcIABCxAxBDOgkIABBDEEYQ-QE6DAgjELACECcQRhD5AToECAAQDVCqjApYr6gKYO-0CmgAcAF4AIABcYgBvQeSAQQxMC4xmAEAoAEBqgEHZ3dzLXdpeg&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwjV3-fyzbPqAhXblnIEHUauAGAQ4dUDCAw&uact=5&safe=active&ssui=on

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269488992_Inclusion_A_Defining_Definition

(3). “The introduction of a new element or quality into something.”

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS882US882&sxsrf=ALeKk01S31Ky4vPZjctBsEtKr3HHMzJq4Q%3A1593866041732&ei=OXcAX9qaLLSwytMPxZar4Ag&q=infusion+definition&oq=infusion&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQARgAMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHUABYAGCwfWgAcAF4AIABAIgBAJIBAJgBAKoBB2d3cy13aXo&sclient=psy-ab&safe=active&ssui=on

(4). All the members of a group support each of the individual members, and the individual members pledge to support the group.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/all-for-one-and-one-for-all

Go and Do Likewise

Go and do likewise.

Words matter.

Hearts matter.

Love matters.

Actions matter.

Love shatters apathy and hate.

Prejudice in all.

Not one exception.

No one to throw the first stone.

All stand deficient.

Yet, all seek to justify.

All claim sufficiency.

The man was beaten, robbed, and left for dead.

The priest walked by.

The Levite walked by.

The hated Samaritan came next.

And, he stopped.

He was a despised half-breed.

He stopped.

He bandaged the wounds.

He carried him to an inn.

He gave money and promised more.

What prompted such a display?

What was to be learned?

The attorney started it:

An expert in the law.

He asked a question.

“Which is the greatest law?”

The one probed, probed back.

“What say you?”

His answer was spot on.

Yet, he lacked insight, understanding, and application.

“Who is my neighbor?”

No direct answer, but a story.

A parable of the Samaritan.

The Good Samaritan.

A costly demonstration of unexpected love.

He paid whatever it cost.

“Who was the neighbor?”

Who showed love?

“The despised half-breed.”

“Go and do likewise.”

Richard L. Brewer

6/6/2020

To The Ones Who Suffer; I understand in part.

Morbidly, malignantly self-conscious. Condemned.

Who can rescue me from this body of death?!

I work so hard to keep others from knowing how terrible I really am.

And, I am fearful of others seeing me and condemning me.

Yet, I am so sure they know already and I am already damned.

I have standards that I do not understand.

I do not know where they came from.

I know some: but I am the one who is tormented by them.

Pain, grief, anxiety, sadness, guilt, shame…

And, the list could go on.

I condemn myself and am convinced that I am without value.

But, I try so hard and fall so short, and confused.

Others, I am sure, see the worst of me, which is all of me.

Those who treat me well and love me must be blind or delusional.

I am drawn to that which confirms my damning picture. Even to consider those things confirms I am without value and condemned.

Yet, I believe other things, too. I believe in God. I believe that God purchased my redemption.

Why do I have such turmoil?

My soul cries out.

My tears go unshed and build into mounds of oppression.

Yet, I keep up the smile lest I betray my darkness and let others see me.

I keep everyone from really knowing me, including myself.

Is there one who sees me objectively? God?

He must be embarrassed. He must want to thrash me. I sure do.

Yet, I hurt and I believe in Him, but it is not rock solid. It is like I depend on me vs. Him.

Oh, that it were rock solid. I could stand on the immovable.

I try to stand on myself, my perception of who I am.

That is only shifting sand and shadows. It does not work.

Oh, God, help me to experience you and know you more deeply.

Who you say you are; not what my morbid, malignant self-condemnation sees.

Lord, keep the thief from stealing, killing, and destroying. Protect what is yours.

And, help me to be your willing accomplice for good and healing.

Richard L. Brewer

05/03/2020