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musings
A human awe-struck by his wife, daughter, stepkids, grandkids, family, people, wilderness, words, ideas, and their Source, dazzled with the promise of justice and peace.
Interests: Climbing hills to see and attempt to describe rich sunlight on stones, tapping on keyboards to see what is going on in my soul, spending time with family and friends to see what richness is to be found in their hearts.
Recent Activity
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Homage to Ferlinghetti February 2021 By Jim Burklo At 6th and Market The Greyhounds turned tail After discharging the human detritus Of America’s hinterlands At the Left Coast’s gate of gold: Head-bent, westbound, The leavers left the stickers From Ohiowa... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Musings
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This poem is holding all of us hostage. Over 400 parts per million of it Are infused into the air you are breathing. The only way to rid ourselves of this poem Is to do what it demands. So we... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Musings
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"Trust the science." It's a phrase on many lips these days, as the United States recovers from a presidency notorious for basing public policy and pandemic strategy on lies and hearsay. It is a huge relief to have national leadership... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2021 at Musings
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Are we "saved" together, or "saved" separately? It is certainly a living question for Christians to ponder, but it is worth asking in the context of other religions - or in that of no religion at all. Are we "all... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2021 at Musings
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Confronting and Contemplating Catastrophic Climate Change A spiritual practice for Lent You can “walk” these stations by practicing one station per day, from March 20 through Good Friday, April 2 – or at any other time or manner during Lent... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2021 at Musings
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At least half of what’s good in life is the result of just showing up. Which is what the three wise men did in Bethlehem According to an old non-biblical Christian tradition, the names of the three wise men who... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2021 at Musings
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Our granddaughter Rumi and I have a Christmas tradition of doing arty projects together. Among them are making Christmas crèches out of wood and tin. We put them on the fireplace mantel at Advent. Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels, and wise... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2021 at Musings
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Our outgoing president is handing out pardons to the denizens of the very “swamp” that he swore to empty in Washington. The list is a rogue’s gallery worth studying: it will erase any lingering doubt about the spectacular venality of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2020 at Musings
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Knock on wood, but it appears that democracy in the United States has survived one of its worst threats in its history. With the Electoral College vote, Donald Trump’s farcical coup attempt is all but ended. It’s appropriate for us... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2020 at Musings
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(Our friends Gumaro and Sharda and their baby, Adela, in front of the barn they just finished building for us in Ojai...) A mythic story of a true turning point In the natural history of consciousness, Celebrating the birth of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2020 at Musings
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In this bleak pandemic, lonely and afraid City streets are empty, gatherings delayed Snow has fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, Oh this bleak pandemic, how long will it stay? Once there was a stable, in a distant land... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2020 at Musings
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The ten commandments endure as a foundation for morality, after thousands of years. But just like the American Constitution, from time to time we need to add amendments to them. The ten commandments are a short list, and that is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at Musings
For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Paul, Ephesians 6:12) Since... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2020 at Musings
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"for every mile the feet go the heart goes nine" One of my favorite lines from ee cummings, that lowest-case of poets. If ever there was a time to let go of writing in capital letters - especially writing tweets... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2020 at Musings
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Years ago, my wife, Roberta, taught her daughter Josie how to cut fabric in a straight line. "Look where you want to go, and your scissors will follow." Don't watch your fingers working the scissors. Keep your eye on the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2020 at Musings
Defending the Democratic Process: A Faith Community Call to Awareness and Action Sign on HERE (Our country is facing unprecedented threats to the integrity of the upcoming election. This statement was drafted by myself, Rev Peter Laarman, retired Executive Director... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2020 at Musings
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(Do an online version of this ceremony: BLESSING THE HANDS THAT VOTE - in your congregation in upcoming Sundays! "With what hand will you be marking your ballot in the upcoming election? (show of hands on screen) - "May Love... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2020 at Musings
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To follow Jesus is to face the cross and aim our lives through and beyond it. As is the case with authoritarian regimes around the world today, Rome distrusted anyone who attracted a following that might turn into a rebellion.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2020 at Musings
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At the University of Southern California, I'm struck with how hungry students are for experiential Christianity. To the degree they have any experience with the faith at all, they're rapidly losing interest in its dogma and taking much more interest... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2020 at Musings
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The President of the United States thinks I'm a fool for following the way of Jesus. He thinks I'm an idiot for loving my enemies and for loving my neighbor as myself. He thinks I'm a schmuck for worshiping God... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2020 at Musings
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There are literally hundreds of compelling public-policy based reasons for voting for Joe Biden and the Democrats in the upcoming election. But there is one reason that stands out far, far beyond all others: Donald J. Trump is an existential... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2020 at Musings
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Myself, standing on the Youngstown and Southern tracks, Columbiana, Ohio, 1972 Dear Columbiana: Eight years ago, facing the Firestone Park pond on a cool, clear summer morning, I sat on a green wooden bench. The same one upon which I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2020 at Musings
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As fall approaches, it's time for churches to plan their program year. Here I offer resources for you to use freely in worship and other contexts in your congregation for 2020-21. All I ask is attribution! My BOOKS on Amazon... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2020 at Musings
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Most countries have some kind of focal point on their flags. But the American flag does not. It has an off-center beauty made up of multiple stars and stripes, none emphasized more than the others. Our flag models our nation.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2020 at Musings
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With a group of extended family members, all white, I’m in a book study group focused on “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla Saad. Together we’re reflecting on the ways we are personally implicated. It’s not a wallow in white... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2020 at Musings