light,

11 Aug

from Psalm 97:11, with footnote

I can’t stand that I have not saved

Light shines[a] on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.

  1. Psalm 97:11 One Hebrew manuscript and ancient versions (see also 112:4); most Hebrew manuscripts Light is sown

and, Psalm 112: 4 – 5

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice

The images here are all about light; light that dawns; light that sows, that plants, as heart enriching seeds. Light in these Psalms is something that holds and lifts.
It is a generous gift from the Lord. Light lives as one of his greatest gifts.

27 camels, a moment

5 Aug

On our trip to Israel and Palestine in 2016, Priscilla and I stopped outside a refugee camp by a Banks painting in Bethlehem proper.

Waiting by this wall painting for our friends an older Arabic man stopped by us an asked if we would like to buy postcards. We had no monies on us and said so.

Then, the man, with a front toothless smile, asked,

Can I buy your beautiful daughter? How much would you like for her?

What will be give me? What is on offer?

26 camels.

I pause here, looked at me wife, and said,

27 camels.

Shaking his head, the man walked away smiling.

Priscilla gifted this camel to me after,

She is worth many camels . Many.

moments 3, absences …

29 Jul

inspired by proverbs 18:1
18 ‘An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.’

My family did not always abandon. At times they tired to love: once, by buying NY Giant football tickets for two 13 year old brothers; then, a loan of two thousand dollars to close on a house, a first home; a night sleeping at home when my spouse left; babysitting for baby grandchildren; and a home to rest after an emergency operation.
And, most telling, the night my 89 year old father said he loved me.

Yes, there were momentary attempts to hold, to love.
And I am grateful for those moments. These adoption moments. But I write about abandonments because I am in process of attempting to understand my life and why I feel the call, the pull of abandonments so.
In truth, deep, deep down in my life story, I was left to my own devices by people who were self centred, selfish. From their actions and words I learned the foundation of abandonments: for me, they begin with quarrels that open with silences: eight years of no calls, letters, or touches from grandparents, brother or sister. Or even parents. Silences.

There were, are, more silences today. So, I write to speak, to destroy my silences.
It helps.

Abandonments, for me, then begin with silences, absences. Once, experienced, I write.

moments, a preface

24 Jul

I was abandoned at birth, a twin baby, they kept my brother with them. I went to an Aunt’s home. Aunt Terry.

As an adult all I have done consciously, and unconsciously, is try to adopt: an orphan, Joey; 30 years of high school students, and their parents. Their hurts. Lonely, hurting people I have tired to adopt, with varying degrees of success over the years; I called them ‘Osewalt daughters; Osewalt sons’ and causes- like abandoned animals. It is a lengthy and involved list- I am sure many have such lists. I won’t bore you with mine.

my Aunt Terry, 22 July 2020

But still, I make promises to hurting, and healthy peoples, spoken and  unspoken, that I could not, did not keep. Even, known and unknown to myself I make such promises. Especially, I think, believe, to myself. 

All my ‘adoptions’ are I see now were, are, my response to being abandoned. They come, in time, – these adoption attempts – after moments of abandoning: a young wife leaves; a son dies; a daughter chooses silence in my relationship to her ( as a sister confronted, when, as my abandoning parents die ). 

Pain; hurts; no sleep or peace. 

Yes, one adoption follows, calls up the other. And the other calls to the first. Abandonments and adoptions, adopting and a bonding together. Their order does not matter. They, for me, will always go together. 

So I reflect on them. I write, listen, reflect again. Again. 

The ‘moments’ shared in this series will be about such reflections, connections. I hope they drop as rain drops.

moments, ‘adopted, not abandoned’

11 Jul
a father, a mother

in the dark night, Sokol’s voice asked me to stop and pause; then as he invited us to be a part of his family, I thought…

an across the street neighbour, Sokol’s father and mother had the virus in 2020. His mother survived; the husband, Sokol’s father didn’t. It has been a year since the father passed. Every weekend this Albanian family goes to Woodlawn Cemetery. They go together. This is how they practice remembering. Now, a year past, they are planning a memorial dinner for family at a hotel in White Plains. A full overflowing dinner, with the whole family. Chicago, New York and Albania. All in. And they want Priscilla and I to attend. It is a week and bit from today, tonight, 17 May. Sokol waited by my porch till 9 pm to ask.

We will gather if I ‘would please come’ on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

the Greek word associated with this time of remembrance, this type of memorial is, ‘anamnesis’ – a definition,

Anamnesis is a Greek word that means “a calling to mind,” from the roots ana-, “back,” and mimneskesthai, “to recall” or “to cause to remember.” Definitions of anamnesis. the ability to recall past occurrences. synonyms: recollection, remembrance. type of: memory, retention, retentiveness, retentivity.

but, the Greek word Sokol and his family is asking me to sit with them, is, I believe, the word ‘Kainos’ and it comes from the ancient Greek, meaning of ‘new’ or ‘fresh.’ They want to keep the father ‘fresh’, alive, and not shrouded in grave clothes. They want me to be ‘fresh’ and alive with them to speak, hear, see and feel. They desire not silences, but songs; not an ending or a closure, but a newness, a beginning.

I, abandoned by my own family, over and over again. Shrouded in their silences and inactions through the last 50 years of my life, now I am adopted by the most unlikely, by aliens and strangers. Abandoned, once, twice, again, again – yet…

I am not, not forgotten. remembered and looked for, waited for on a May night. adopted, not abandoned.

adopted by an Albanian Muslim family. loved. Love.

safe. saved.

a thought, a word, from Peter

8 Jul

a pause to briefly consider 2nd Peter 3

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.’

an essential pause, what is ‘wholesome’ thinking?

For Peter and the young suffering Christian Church it has to be NOT living in present despairs, but ‘whole’ transformative thoughts/ long term meditations & reflections

and this type of thinking must involve an essential ‘command’ from the Word…

1 Peter 1 defines – I believe- this command,

22 ‘Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.’

the word, the truth, cleanses; deep, sincere struggling love heals

We are to love, from our hearts

love

goodbyes

29 Jun
our first grade Priscilla…
… and our to be five year old Liv

with our grandchildren in Tampa this last week of June 2021, I showed Priscilla’s picture above to grand daughter Liv. Her response these days,

‘Goodbye to by past self’ and Grandma’s Priscilla’s response to our Liv, ‘ goodbye to my present self.’

It is good, a good practice to say ‘goodbye’ – yes – to presents and pasts; to previous selfs and present, momentary ones.

It is good to say ‘goodbyes.’

so, I could not

23 Jun

speak at Harry Jones MBC NYCanointing as pastor; I was to be away with family, but yet, I sent this to him today..

Friends, family, brothers and sisters in Christ – All – Greetings this

Blessed day; a day of a new beginnings. For Manhattan Bible Church a home grown, a loved leader has been called to pastor this church. Harry Jones today is called by your, by my by all’s Master Shepherd. He is called by you; by his family and by his heart. He is called first, by his heart that has always been centred on Jesus. And, Yet, yet… he is yours and you are his by these heart callings. Harry Jones has especially been called by Jesus to shepherd here, here, at Manhattan Bible Church.

Harry’s qualifications and gifting to shepherd are numerous, and the closing of Psalm 78: verses 70 -72, a Maskil of Asaph describes the essential gifting of a shepherd,

70 

He chose David his servant

    and took him from the sheepfolds;

71 

from following the nursing ewes he brought him

    to shepherd Jacob his people,

    Israel his inheritance.

72 

With upright heart he shepherded them

    and guided them with his skilful hand.

As David, Harry Jones has performed the primary role of a shepherd, he was among the sheep. Harry has been alongside you all in the sheepfold. You know him: he knows you.

Second, next, Harry has been brought to this pastoring by Jesus. You are God’s people, his ewes, his inheritance . ( Think of this for a moment: we are God’s inheritance. Wow. ) And He has entrusted you to Harry. So … why?

Because of these next two qualities, these next two giftings:

Harry has a pure, an upright heart. A heart of integrity. This is how Harry sees and feels

He has a put, a loving heart. Harry feels for you, for me, for all. With humble empathy he loves. His love for Joveda, his four daughters, for the hurting and the joyful mirrors David’s shepherd’s heart. His work as an Elder, as a Bible teacher, as a youth leader illustrates his familia love.

Finally, Harry Jones has a ‘skillful hand.’ His two hands act as one: he holds; feels; clings and loves. Harry shows this quality by his love for teaching, holding and loving God’s word. His has put himself through seminary, has sat with elders and is sitting listening to the word.

Harry will not let go. He will not let go of the word or his church; his family or his friends; the saved and the hurting unsaved. Harry Jones is His shepherd for his inheritance, MBC. They will hold you, love and shepherd you. Harry and Jesus will hold.

He loves you. Pastor Harry has a love that will hold.

Bless the Lord.

cake, June 6th

6 Jun

priscilla’s 6 June b day

6 Jun
as a little girl
with her Matthew Bible study present
at ny botanical gardens ( with me )
with her friend, Matteo

Above are some images from Priscilla’s birthday ( more will follow )

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file:///var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments/99/09/E9440C20-FFEC-4237-A40B-0C039F84A53A/IMG_2989.HEIC