Present and Uncontained

It feels so fiercely good
to be free, to be found
in the reds and swirls
and sweats of my sisters
wise and strong
and wild and welded together
in the midst of bare trees
and empty pots
and dusty dirt.

We are living flesh,
we are alive and well!
We send the puppets of clay
back to the pile
from which they fell,
and now so impotently they yell.

My sisters strong
receive me, brood over me,
warm me, inspire and inform me,
challenge, elevate me!

in the dust
in the wind
present and uncontained
by anything
except living flesh.

Pastor, Be Brave.

This is, quite literally, the very best account and explanation of why I avoided paid ministry like the plague.

It also can really help you be more tender in your view and perception of christian leaders and pastors and help you get past shoulds and oughts into the world of IS.

Quite a bit of the awful gordian knot of church leadership and ministry could be disposed of if “lay christians” would take hold of the sword of the spirit and start swinging like Alexander the Great!

Cut that thing! Quit fiddling with it! Quit trying to pay others to walk your walk and talk your talk.

Get after it, the work of the ministry, in the simple, immediate and obvious ways.

Do justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly

john pavlovitz


Pastor, be brave.

Believe me, I know it isn’t easy.

I never wanted to be a pastor myself. Eighteen years ago I was drafted, pulled into ministry later in life while in the middle of a successful career as an Art Director. What started out as a few seemingly harmless hours a week volunteering with students has led to nearly two decades in full-time service in the Church.

I’ve been where you are. I’m still there now.

One of the things I remember early on, was how strange it felt the first time I got paid to be a pastor. It made me feel legitimized for sure and it was certainly greatly appreciated, but I also realized that things had changed. I was no longer a free-lance believer. I was no longer autonomous. My spiritual life had been leased out and appropriated by a crowd. There was now an ever-growing, ever-changing list…

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We Are Come At Last

Marshal your forces, you protectors of the crown,
send your dogs running, your dogs of dreams,
your dogs howling, full noses of my fur, my pelt!

Bring on your hunt, your horses in full gallop
and chase for all you’re worth, your lust and fear
of free blood running red, and full, liberty’s blood!

Your coats, scarlet!  Your smirks, affixed with tax,
and become terrible twisted rictus in your sweaty efforts
to hunt this free fox leaping, yipping, dancing on the dawn!
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They shall come to me, your dogs, and wriggle ‘neath my touch!
They shall hear my dog-whistle words, too high for your dull ears
but so keenly attuned and pitched to their own straining hearts!

And they shall call to their comrades, your horses, who will alert and thrill
and leap into the air to gallop freely there…and you unhorsed…you laying there
upon the blood-stained grass of yesteryear…

Your time is up, for we are come to hunt you down
and tear that red coat straight away right off your back
and tossed into the sky, our banner free unfurled and our war cry…

No Longer!  Not Anymore!
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Don’t Worry…

…in truth people are far too preoccupied with themselves to ever truly be interested to really know others.

Don’t let people know too much about you.”  (found online).

It is the rare human being who is free enough from self to even want to know the empathic experience of another’s life.

Just think:  so many ills that plague us would simply fall by the wayside…

Oh wait.  I guess there was a very wise and kind person who walked the planet a couple of eras ago who said that all the teachings and commandments of all the religions and all the prophets and laws were summed up thus:

“The greatest commandment is to love God, with all your heart and soul, strength and mind…and the second commandment is just like the first one.  Love your neighbor as yourself, and do to others only those things that you want others to do to you”.

Like I said…you don’t need to worry about letting people know too much about you…they are not really interested compared to how much they are focused and obsessed with themselves.