Archive | January, 2014

Giselle and the body of Jesus

31 Jan

At the Royal Opera House I saw the ballet ‘Giselle’ this week. This peasant girl worships her love with her dance, her body.
Jesus used his body, to worship, to dance, for His Gather God.
Giselle moves from human form to a ghostly supernatural form; Jesus choose to move from God to a human form while still remaining God. Both narratives are paradigms but in reverse of each other and both, each holds an elemental truth: love is worship.
Giselle dances to save her prince who rejected her; Jesus lives, dances to save us. We are His loves.
Everyone worships someone or something.
Praise my Saviour that he died, he danced and died for me. He still dances.

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Priscilla speaks on Lupus

28 Jan

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Rev. 12:11

> ‘They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony;they did not live their lives so much as to shrink from death.’

> Dear family, friends & readers,

As we come through January, we take a look back over the years with wonder and thank God for what He has done in spite of our enemies.

> In 1974, when I was diagnosed with Lupus, I felt my life was over. The hopes and dreams I had seemed to be lost and shattered. I had a disease, I was just 25 and the future losses seemed overwhelming, like the drizzly London weather splashing away my dreams,worn away more and more with each passing day, relentless losses and the pain of trying to recover, knowing full well the Lupus or Wolf was waiting around the next corner to devour, marriage, children and career. Gone.

> My Mom came faithfully to my bedside. We read a psalm a day and because of the overload of steroids and episodes of memory loss, all I could recall each day was the word of God written to me and read by my mother. How could I get out of this pit.

> Sounds so simple, just Gods word read and live out, loved and treasured by my Mom , family and friends. She left this world to be with Jesus about 10 or more years ago. She left me her Bible. He answered, first through His word; then through Charles; then through my children, Elizabeth, Sarah, Deardra and Joey. Now through my ‘grand’ children. And all ways through all of you who know me and read me and pray with me.

> I look now see  my Grandson Sam, his third birthday and a joy to us all. I thank God for his mighty power working in all of us who love him.

> Charlie while working for Stewardship U K worked on a book that I am reading now called “It’s a God thing ,when miracles happen to everyday people’ It is created by Don Jacobson and you can get it at Amazon. I am reading one story a night as I end my day,along with my bible. Stories, writing yourself into your story is what I am doing here.

> There is great peace in hearing the great cloud of witnesses sharing their stories here.

> All stories are about how God and his wonderful word is being worked in and lived in their lives. So my dear family and friends and readers when we look back together this January, may we find the blessed peace that God gives through our lives lived out in him. Remembering is good as God himself is. we are his story, his message, a letter, 2 Corinthinans 3: 3 ‘You yourselves are our letter…you are a letter from Christ.’

God bless you all. Priscilla

my story; priscilla’s story

27 Jan

When I ws 9 years of age, I discovered comic books. The Gravesend candy store had all the latest. But neither I or my family could afford comics, let alone books or music or TV. (Eventually, we obtained a black and white TV. It was lovely.) But I had to have these comics: DC? Then: Batman; Marvel? Then: Spiderman; Doctor Doom; the Thing; Hulk; Silver Surfer.

I stole them from the Gravesend candy store. Later the store went out of business. I am sure I moved them along with my actions to that cliff. I stole because I, as Thomas Harris has Hannibal say in ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ I coveted. My eyes saw; I stole.

My eyes still steal. I desire every kind of sight seen… ‘Produced in me me every kind of covetous desire.’ This was the one area of the law that Paul always failed in: coveting, the desiring of something, anything, that your eyes capture and that captures you.

Yesterday, I heard a story of a little girl, whom I will call ‘Priscilla’ who stole from a local store here in London. This lovely 5 year old stole!!! Got away with it!! And was happy. She was me. Me years ago; and me today. Her parents found out, and walked her back to the store to return the item of candy. Priscilla returned the candy and yesterday I saw her take dozens of book marks. She is still stealing. Me.

I know why: Priscilla you will still and always feel this way.
Feeling unloved? steal. Feeling under loved? steal. Rejected? steal.

Someone has to feed me; I will feed, touch, love myself. Forget others. Forget them. Steal.

Love yourself. But…but…
If I know, truly know that I am loved by a Saviour who walked the earth, who cried, who rested and was tired and dirty, then I can be ‘his letter’ (2 Corinthians 3:2), a ‘letter of Christ.’

I can be His comic book; His letter; His hero.
So can you Priscilla; so can you.

Struggling with all His power.
I am yours.

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together

23 Jan

together

a wedding feast, our wine

‘Quick’ the prodigal son

20 Jan

Luke 15:17-22 (NIV)

 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

For me, after many readings, prayings, and listenings, last night God spoke to me on this passage. He spoke through the word ‘Quick.’

The younger, prodigal son had practiced a speech to go to his father to ask for forgiveness. But…

But, before he can get to ‘… make me like one of the hired men.’ His father, our Father, rans to him; embraces him; kisses him. The father’s next word is to the servants, ‘Quick.’ Bring the best robe, a ring and sandals and the fattened calf.’ The father stops the son’s speech; no more need for shame; the past is behind; let’s enjoy the present, this moment.

His embrace is quick.

His love is quick.

His forgiveness, sure, complete. Quick.

That is how He wants me to be, quick in love, like him; slow in anger, like Him. Quick to forgive and embrace.

Lord make me such a man, such a father. Make me a prodigal father, with your love, with your abundance. Make me quick.

12 years a slave

13 Jan

Some art, some experiences change your words into silences. But, then, you have to speak, or die internally. Silence would be the loss of the moment, the experience. Seeing ’12 years a slave’ was and is such an experience for me. I felt a great, great loss. I speak not to lose more.
Now, to speak.
I had read the text, the book, in the past. Along with Julius Lester’s ‘To Be a Slave,’ the reading was life changing. Questions spring to mind:
How can people treat others as personal possessions?
Why not die in face of such suffering?
Why not drown Patsy as she asks?
How have I hurt, looked at others, as a possession?
Have I ever been an abuser of another? Of the other?

To a large degree I feel the film and word text is about another’s desire to transform not themselves, but others. It is about power and its abuses; it is about, loss, identity, a moment. It is about lost memories. Toni Morrison, in her epigram to the her novel ‘Beloved’ writes, “Sixty Million and more,” dedicated to the Africans and their descendants who died as a result of the Atlantic slave trade. Loss.
People, memories, gone. How? Through deaths and naming.
New names were beaten into the slaves, new idenitites were formed. The old self passes away, forgotten, transformed. A beautiful linen shirt, transfomed to a tattered, whipped cloth. What a wife gave and made… taken away. Away. Then, stolen, destroyed. No longer even a memory. Loss.
At the film’s opening moments, a female slave whose eyes rest on Solomon, rolls over to him; joins him. He gives willingly to her, but then, then she turns over. Away from Solomon. We thankfully do not see her face as she sobs. We only see her back; her tears, her identity gone, stolen.
At first I could not understand why she was crying, this unnnamed woman who desired Solomon. As the film moved forward, I knew why. I sadly knew why. She was crying at the lost of memory: the sexual act called up to her, her past love making with a lost one, a lost memory. Her tattered shirt.
This moment hints at, foreshadows, the film’s end when Solomon returns home to find his wife married to another. He can only ask for ‘forgiveness’ at that moment. Forgiveness, for his small part in the loss; forgiveness at losing his children, his wife, his life.
For Solomon, he failed them. They speak: there is no need for forgiveness.
But there is. That is why Solomon cries as he asks; his tears forming a stream with the unnamed woman who joins with him during the night in a public slave sleeping cabin. Their act together will yield only a memory of tears. This one moment is joined by the many other moments that were and are forgotten. Moments of sex, without love, moments of people being transformed into things. Beings without real names. Sex without a touch. Shirts torn and tattered and trashed.
12 years, eternities lost. Forgotten. Torn and tattered. Lost.60 million gone.

home in the UK,; born in brooklyn, usa

9 Jan

home
What is home? Well, Priscilla and I have been living in London for a little over a year. From 22 Dececember till yesterday, 8 January, we were in the US, visiting family and friends in NYC and Florida. Our time away from London, in NYC and then to Tampa, can be summed up in one word; a question and an adventure.

First, the question: Deardra, our Tampa daughter asked Priscilla (Not me) ‘Mom, if you could live anywhere, what would you choose? NYC, Florida, London? Where?’

Priscilla, sidetapped this question and did not give a resonse till pressed. Then she said, ‘Wherever God wants me.’ Deardra expected this response; but it was very unsatisfying. Now, Priscilla was sick and on NYC meds. But she wasn’t getting better. Time came to fly back to London. Now to the adventure.

Our adventure begins in Tampa. Due to the massive Midwest ice and snow storm our flight out of Tampa was delayed.The plane hadn’t arrived; it was stuck. We had to go to Chicago. Go into the heart of a blizzard? Sub zero weather? Why?
Because, as our agent in Tampa assured us, Chicago would have tons of people missing flights. We could get there and grab two seats to London. And they would confirm two seats for us on British Air. Go, said the agent. Yes, said Priscilla ‘Yes. Go.’ Why? She wanted to get back to London and she her doctor here. Here. She had lost confidence in US General Practioners. So off to the frozen tundra of Chicago. Off we went. It was a wrong choice. What happenned? We land in Chicago; and we did not have a confirmed flight. Why? Because Everyone was being advised to do what we did by other agents around the USA. Go to Chicago. Thus, multiple bookings were being given by different agents for the same seats all over the USA. We were now stranded in Chicago. But…
But, through ‘chance’ I spoke to an American Airlines agent, Sharon, and she got us two seats out of Chicago on American Airlines. Business class. Together. And no extra £££.

In closing, a word: home.
home (small-‘s’-) home has to be flexible, small, mutable, small, easy to carry with you. home is the people you are with; friends, new and old, who love you for a fresh moment or for happy, joyful years. home is people. mine and ours. peeps.
London is Priscilla’s home now; this is the place, the doctors she trusts. It is her destination. Where she wanted to end up in. My home?

With her. She is my ‘home.’

Chicago, below zero

8 Jan

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Priscilla and I have gone from Tampa, Florida to Chicago. Sunny and warm to zero. Will we get out of here tonight?
Our Lord knows.

But we have tired and done our best. I hope we fly to London as Chicago looks like a bomb hit it. Few planes leaving; ice everywhere .
Why did we leave Florida?
Priscilla wants to ‘go home to London!’ who would have thought it
He did

an American Brit in Tampa

6 Jan

Yesterday, on a beach road in Tampa Bay, Florida, I spotted a Red London phone booth.
A Brit pub and phone booth on a Florida Beach road. We stopped the car went out to look and two older very nice drunk Americans came out, ‘can we take your pictures?’ the pub: the Red Lion Inn.
Priscilla and I didn’t even have to ask, Boom! Happens. Two guys take a picture
It is all somewhat surreal
I have been slowly adjusting to the UK and now back in the USA, born in the USA, it is sooo different.
I don’t belong. But the sun!!
Nice !!!

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Florida family

4 Jan

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