In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death

Night has gnawed grey brittle bones
clean, bare and thin as grave clothes, shriv’n
of warmth, sheer worm-worn sheets like stones
as cold as mercy never given

and weary…in the fires and flame
of time’s compressing screeching keen
as red heart slows, constricts in shame,
wings tangled in the chancel screen

In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death

Feel Her presence there in echoes
of bones nigh breaking, at least kneeling
to the moment’s cadence, throes,
within the Delphic Sanctum reeling

For a breath without drinking smoke
and thirsting throat, a coal black caul,
a scarf of soot round necks to choke
a masquerade, a pallor, pall

In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death

The loss of life and stone stilled tongues
and this is real, is bitter tart
It’s in a face, laces the lungs
It’s breaking in and on the heart

that continues rustling rough beneath
those sheets, and fearful to the touch
that long slow wet grief’s glistening sheath
and trembly tears the only crutch

In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death

Whoever dares to come, show up
with tears impudent, bold, absurd
and brave enough to take her cup,
enough to quench flames shaken, stirred

and break her crumbly mouldy bread
and eat and drink the Overwhelm
in numb mute witness, slow soft dread,
in courage, waiting in this realm

In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death

Yet…beneath the brown and chuckly dark
a river runs, it’s clear and deep
like liquid stars, a crystal spark
flowing, a fount in this stark keep

Yet…all who partake of her sup
can find their certain path to drink
of living waters springing up
and resonating in the ink

In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death

A tide lived backwards in the crush
A tide rolled forward far and wide
A resonance of life-blood gush
Love’s unstoppable great glad tide

The crisis of this time is met
in intimate authentic breath
that fears no evil, dreads no debt
and singing rises from short death

In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death

Silence in the face of evil: learning from an obscure schoolteacher who urged Karl Barth and other theologians to stand in solidarity with the Jews in Nazi Germany 

ttaf supporter…how you sit in your ease…wrapped in your self…like nasty smelly old fart infested blankets.

I challenge you to challenge yourself to read this…and learn…to repent.

“…If I thought Nazi-era Germany was an aberration I could probably move on; but in Donald Trump’s America, who can think that? The Church of Jesus Christ is confronted by an anti-Gospel once again. The German Church never acknowledged her complicity with the National Socialists, and the white churches of America are equally resistant to truth…”

Source: Silence in the face of evil: learning from an obscure schoolteacher who urged Karl Barth and other theologians to stand in solidarity with the Jews in Nazi Germany – Baptist News Global

Home Birth and Citizenship…ttaf

So…ttaf supporter!  YES!  It is to you I am speaking.  You who listen to lies about this monster everyday, you who profane the “god” you claim to worship with your idolatry of the vain mouthpieces who soothsay for this animal in the Name of God Most High and Holy.

It is your support, your self-centered vain ease on the hills of Vashon that let this thing ascend into power…and the blood of innocents is on your head.

This person fits every category of “safety” that you claim your support of ttaf’s draconian policies is designed to uphold.

See…you are a blind fool, because you refuse the lessons of history which teach us that when those who crave power and control of other humans come into power, there is no stopping point…until every last tender throat is drained of its life blood.

You will be talking to Jesus about this…that is a promise.  Face to face.

OR…you could try a little repentance right now…and let it be known you are returning to your First Love and denouncing your addiction to ttaf and the release he gives to your tired muscles of self-righteousness.

Posted by Gwyneth Sigmon on Friday, June 15, 2018

Reclaiming Jesus

Please go to the link to read this whole thing if you fancy yourself a Christian and yet think that the absolute fucker is God’s Anointed.

He isn’t…and you’re worshipping a false god if you think he is.

Yes.  I am Charissa Grace White, and I approve this Message.

Do justice.  Love mercy.  Walk Humbly.

We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.

It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

When politics undermines our theology, we must examine that politics. The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”

It is often the duty of Christian leaders, especially elders, to speak the truth in love to our churches and to name and warn against temptations, racial and cultural captivities, false doctrines, and political idolatries—and even our complicity in them. We do so here with humility, prayer, and a deep dependency on the grace and Holy Spirit of God.

This letter comes from a retreat on Ash Wednesday, 2018. In this season of Lent, we feel deep lamentations for the state of our nation, and our own hearts are filled with confession for the sins we feel called to address. The true meaning of the word repentance is to turn around. It is time to lament, confess, repent, and turn. In times of crisis, the church has historically learned to return to Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Lord. That is our foundational confession. It was central for the early church and needs to again become central to us. If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar was not—nor any other political ruler since. If Jesus is Lord, no other authority is absolute. Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of God he announced, is the Christian’s first loyalty, above all others. We pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our faith is personal but never private, meant not only for heaven but for this earth.

The question we face is this: Who is Jesus Christ for us today? What does our loyalty to Christ, as disciples, require at this moment in our history? We believe it is time to renew our theology of public discipleship and witness. Applying what “Jesus is Lord” means today is the message we commend as elders to our churches.

What we believe leads us to what we must reject. Our “Yes” is the foundation for our “No.” What we confess as our faith leads to what we confront. Therefore, we offer the following six affirmations of what we believe, and the resulting rejections of practices and policies by political leaders which dangerously corrode the soul of the nation and deeply threaten the public integrity of our faith. We pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will find the depth of faith to match the danger of our political crisis.

I. WE BELIEVE each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). That image and likeness confers a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us as children of the one God who is the Creator of all things. Racial bigotry is a brutal denial of the image of God (the imago dei) in some of the children of God. Our participation in the global community of Christ absolutely prevents any toleration of racial bigotry. Racial justice and healing are biblical and theological issues for us, and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. We give thanks for the prophetic role of the historic black churches in America when they have called for a more faithful gospel.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. We, as followers of Jesus, must clearly reject the use of racial bigotry for political gain that we have seen. In the face of such bigotry, silence is complicity. In particular, we reject white supremacy and commit ourselves to help dismantle the systems and structures that perpetuate white preference and advantage. Further, any doctrines or political strategies that use racist resentments, fears, or language must be named as public sin—one that goes back to the foundation of our nation and lingers on. Racial bigotry must be antithetical for those belonging to the body of Christ, because it denies the truth of the gospel we profess.

II. WE BELIEVE we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28). The body of Christ, where those great human divisions are to be overcome, is meant to be an example for the rest of society. When we fail to overcome these oppressive obstacles, and even perpetuate them, we have failed in our vocation to the world—to proclaim and live the reconciling gospel of Christ.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God. We lament when such practices seem publicly ignored, and thus privately condoned, by those in high positions of leadership. We stand for the respect, protection, and affirmation of women in our families, communities, workplaces, politics, and churches. We support the courageous truth-telling voices of women, who have helped the nation recognize these abuses. We confess sexism as a sin, requiring our repentance and resistance.

III. WE BELIEVE how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. (Matthew 25: 31-46) “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are “oppressed,” “strangers,” “outsiders,” or otherwise considered “marginal” is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. Our proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake in our solidarity with the most vulnerable. If our gospel is not “good news to the poor,” it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18).

THEREFORE, WE REJECT the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God. We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the “strangers” among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34). We won’t accept the neglect of the well-being of low-income families and children, and we will resist repeated attempts to deny health care to those who most need it. We confess our growing national sin of putting the rich over the poor. We reject the immoral logic of cutting services and programs for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. Budgets are moral documents. We commit ourselves to opposing and reversing those policies and finding solutions that reflect the wisdom of people from different political parties and philosophies to seek the common good. Protecting the poor is a central commitment of Christian discipleship, to which 2,000 verses in the Bible attest.

IV. WE BELIEVE that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives. Truth-telling is central to the prophetic biblical tradition, whose vocation includes speaking the Word of God into their societies and speaking the truth to power. A commitment to speaking truth, the ninth commandment of the Decalogue, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16), is foundational to shared trust in society. Falsehood can enslave us, but Jesus promises, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). The search and respect for truth is crucial to anyone who follows Christ.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life. Politicians, like the rest of us, are human, fallible, sinful, and mortal. But when public lying becomes so persistent that it deliberately tries to change facts for ideological, political, or personal gain, the public accountability to truth is undermined. The regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders can change the moral expectations within a culture, the accountability for a civil society, and even the behavior of families and children. The normalization of lying presents a profound moral danger to the fabric of society. In the face of lies that bring darkness, Jesus is our truth and our light.

V. WE BELIEVE that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles (the world) lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26). We believe our elected officials are called to public service, not public tyranny, so we must protect the limits, checks, and balances of democracy and encourage humility and civility on the part of elected officials. We support democracy, not because we believe in human perfection, but because we do not. The authority of government is instituted by God to order an unredeemed society for the sake of justice and peace, but ultimate authority belongs only to God.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good—and we will resist it. Disrespect for the rule of law, not recognizing the equal importance of our three branches of government, and replacing civility with dehumanizing hostility toward opponents are of great concern to us. Neglecting the ethic of public service and accountability, in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance, are not just political issues for us. They raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority.

VI. WE BELIEVE Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18). Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries. The most well-known verse in the New Testament starts with “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We, in turn, should love and serve the world and all its inhabitants, rather than seek first narrow, nationalistic prerogatives.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. We reject domination rather than stewardship of the earth’s resources, toward genuine global development that brings human flourishing for all of God’s children. Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these.

WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED for the soul of our nation, but also for our churches and the integrity of our faith. The present crisis calls us to go deeper—deeper into our relationship to God; deeper into our relationships with each other, especially across racial, ethnic, and national lines; deeper into our relationships with the most vulnerable, who are at greatest risk.

The church is always subject to temptations to power, to cultural conformity, and to racial, class, and gender divides, as Galatians 3:28 teaches us. But our answer is to be “in Christ,” and to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)

The best response to our political, material, cultural, racial, or national idolatries is the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Jesus summarizes the Greatest Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:38). As to loving our neighbors, we would add “no exceptions.”

We commend this letter to pastors, local churches, and young people who are watching and waiting to see what the churches will say and do at such a time as this.

Our urgent need, in a time of moral and political crisis, is to recover the power of confessing our faith. Lament, repent, and then repair. If Jesus is Lord, there is always space for grace. We believe it is time to speak and to act in faith and conscience, not because of politics, but because we are disciples of Jesus Christ—to whom be all authority, honor, and glory. It is time for a fresh confession of faith. Jesus is Lord. He is the light in our darkness. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Source: Reclaiming Jesus

Repost of A Call To Repent

From 2016…my thoughts on the popular evangelical christian “shotgun passages” they use to blanket condemn anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual.  I am reposting this because I sense that there are many readers from the past, several of whom have issued blanket condemnation of me and others like me…and who I have not seen or exchanged a single word with for many years…and yet they somehow know the state of my eternal destiny and current connection with God…

It makes me so sad…but not for me, actually!  For THEM!  So cocksure, so sage and sad, caressing their chins ever so mournfully and yet so piously, rubbing their beards…and wallowing in their own human pride and selfish piousness.  People who claim titles like apostle and prophet, pastor and teacher…

people who Lord it over one another and practice a spirituality that is actually “homo-sect-uality”, and in fact the epitome of that abuse of power that Paul describes in the 1 Cor 6 passage, wherein an older powerful man exploits a younger and vulnerable boy…

I have seen (and experienced) that very exploitation myself.

It is my true hope that scales would fall off their eyes, as they did my own…where I discovered that the REAL transition of my life was transition from a self-righteous pit of death and striving towards a humble and broken compassionate vessel of the Love and Generosity of God.

There is also a link to a blog post by John Pavlovitz, and his listening experience to true christians who have been condemned by others…

“…Now, let’s see: I spot behaviors in this passage, behaviors that all focus on choices of the will…choices to commit various sexual sins (still not talking about orientations), choices to break commitments made to God and to other human beings (adultery and idolatry, which is a VERY tricky and subtle fault), choices to be envious that result in theft and coveting other people’s possessions, choices to become drunk and pursue a lifestyle of choice to indulge escaping from mature and fruitful living, choices to speak with anger and intense hatred in bitter speech to other human beings (yunno, like the comment section of articles), choices to THREATEN PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO…like the shunning that YOU REGULARLY DO to those whose ORIENTATIONS are imagined by you to be behavioral choices…

and yet somehow, ALL of the above choices you extend Grace and Mercy to, and almost all of those choices you have almost certainly been blood-guilty of yourself!! But you sit cheek and jowl in the pew with your fellow “unrighteous” and allow for yourselves and your cohorts in unrighteousness to participate in the Righteousness of Jesus and thus not only be forgiven, but in your mind EXCUSED from scrutiny…and you are content with the understanding that each person must scrutinize themselves with God (oh wait: Paul said that he did not judge even himself, for God is Judge)…”

Source: Love Wins (at John Pavlovitz’s blog) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am reposting this prose essay that I wrote in 2015.  Based on current readership, I think it might hit some hearts that are perhaps now harrowed by grief and plowed by sorrow, and tender, softened by trial to receive seeds of humility that may grow and blossom into the fruits of compassion.

At least…I hope so.

May we all find the grace to become as Bartimaeus.

It is clumsy and has arthritic hands when it speaks and cannot hold small fine brushes or move with nuance, and so it paints with a broad brush in generalizations and caricatures…it is cartoonish, buffoonish…it is guffawing and backslapping……and the absolute worst is that it advocates the very hatred and othering and policing against others that has wounded and killed so many in LGTBQ circles.

Somehow, hatred and othering is okay because “they have it coming”.

I would say that I am embarrassed for the individuals to whom I refer, except that I am so deeply dismayed embarrassment is too embarrassed to show her face.  I think it is clear that hatred is a human heart problem…and will never ever be conquered by more hatred…ever.  Hatred can only be driven out by love, and when love is met with more hatred, the only secret weapon it has in its employ is grace, as displayed by forgiveness and then more love.

Constance:  if you fail to grasp this essential truth, then you will be doomed to circle the constellations in this galaxy of ideas and ideologies that provide us with cosmic meaning and orientation, and you will dwell in one thinking it is finally the one with no idiots or haters present inside it…until you hear the voice of hate and bigotry emanating from within the very halls you hallow and inhabit!

Source: Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Political Dealing: The Crisis of Evangelicalism | Fuller Seminary

This post goes out to any reader who claims to love God in the “traditional, evangelical sense”…who believes in the Apostles Creed, who believes that the Great Commission means that your life as a christian is defined by how much you witness, how often you go to the building referred to as “the church”, and who sees themselves as “one of the saved” regardless of anything else because of a sinner’s prayer prayed in the past.

Jesus said that there would be deception so great that even the elect would be deceived, and He told a story about how the sorting of the saved will take place:  who and what people were doing with “the least of these” being the winnowing fork.

If this fits you, then you turn from reading this article at your peril.

What I have posted below is an excerpt.  I recommend clicking here and getting to the speech directly.

May you be awakened from your anti-christ position and support of ttaf (that stands for Trump The Absolute Fucker)…and may you find the grace to return to your first Love, and actions befitting its expressions.

This speech was given by Dr. Labberton at a private meeting of evangelical leaders held at Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, on April 16, 2018. The following has been edited from his notes for clarity and to give context to excerpts that have been disseminated elsewhere.

“…this is not a time of pressing on. I feel a personal urgency to stop, to pray, to listen, to confess, and to repent and want to call us to do the same.  Only the Spirit “who is in the world to convict us of sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8) can bring us to clarity about the crisis we face.

“…As I have sought that conviction, here is what I have come to believe: The central crisis facing us is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been betrayed and shamed by an evangelicalism that has violated its own moral and spiritual integrity.

“This is not a crisis imposed from outside the household of faith, but from within.  The core of the crisis is not specifically about Trump, or Hillary, or Obama, or the electoral college, or Comey, or Mueller, or abortion, or LGBTQIA+ debates, or Supreme Court appointees.

“Instead the crisis is caused by the way a toxic evangelicalism has engaged with these issues in such a way as to turn the gospel into Good News that is fake.

“Now on public display is an indisputable collusion between prominent evangelicalism and many forms of insidious racist, misogynistic, materialistic, and political power.

“The wind and the rain and the floods have come, and, as Jesus said, they will reveal our foundation.  In this moment for evangelicalism, what the storms have exposed is a foundation not of solid rock but of sand.

“This is not a crisis taking place at the level of language. This is not about who owns or defines the term “evangelical,” and whether one does—or does not—choose to identify as such.

“It is legitimate and important to debate if and how the term “evangelical” can currently be used in the United States to mean anything more than white, theologically and politically conservative. But that is not itself the crisis.

The crisis is not at the level of our lexicon, but of our lives and a failure to embody the gospel we preach.

“We may debate whether the word “evangelical” can or should be redeemed. But what we must deal with is the current bankruptcy many associate with evangelical life.

“This is not a crisis unfolding at the level of group allegiance, denomination, or affiliation.  The varied reality that is American evangelicalism is evidenced in this room.

“We have no formal hierarchy, leadership, or structure and form no single organization, but are sorted and divided today as we have been—for better and worse—for much of our history.

“This is not a recent crisis but a historic one.  We face a haunting specter with a shadow that reaches back further than the 2016 election—a history that helps define the depth of the sorrow, fear, anger, anxiety, and injustice around us.

“Today’s egregious collusion between evangelicals and worldly power is problematic enough: more painful and revealing is that such collusion has been our historic habit…

“Today’s collusion bears astonishing—and tragic—continuity with the past.

“Right alongside the rich history of gospel faithfulness that evangelicalism has affirmed, there lies a destructive complicity with dominant cultural and racial power.

“Despite deep gospel confidence and rhetoric, evangelicalism has been long-wedded to a devastating social self-interest that defends the dominant culture over and against that of the gospel’s command to love the “other” as ourselves.

“We are not naïve in our doctrine of sin that prefers self over all, but we have failed to recognize our own guilt in it.

“Our professed trust in Jesus has not led evangelicals to die to ourselves, but often to justify our own self-assertion—even when that means complicity in the suffering and death of others.

“The scandal associated today with the evangelical gospel is not the scandal of the Cross of Christ, crucified for the salvation of the world.

“…it is the scandal of our own arrogance, unconfessed before the Cross, revealing a hypocritical superiority that we dare to associate with the God who died to save the weak and the lost…”

 

Source: Political Dealing: The Crisis of Evangelicalism | Fuller Seminary

Those Awful Contradictions

This graphic simplifies a complex issue down pretty well…that of how nearly all evangelical christians are so blind to their own internal contradictions that do not follow in the slightest their own dogma that masquerades as “God’s Will”.

Look, it is no secret that in the days of Caterpillar Dude, I was right there in the bunch (at least, I was dogma-wise and mentality wise:  I taught the typical reflex on these issues and I made jokes and comments that were horribly evil and wrong, homophobic and transphobic and terrible…thank God I can say in all truth that when I spoke with actual humans who struggled with these issues I was compassionate and merciful in interaction…I was not able to go all the way and actually STAND with them, but at least they could regularly talk with me and I shared their burden)…

but after CD (Caterpillar Dude) entered the Chrysalis I was born…and in order to be born I had to confront my internalized transphobia and assumption that being transgender was the same thing as being a cross-dresser (which was assumed to be evil), or being a transvestite (which has LAYERS of assumption that had to be confronted)…

and as I studied the Bible, I utilized my grid of wisdom that I have come up with over the years with the multitude of issues that confront us in a modern world complex beyond the wildest dream of any single person whose words or writings contributed to the documents that are now held as sacred writing and containing God’s Word.

I start off with asking the question:  “Is this forbidden or spoken against by Jesus in explicit terms?”  Next I broaden the question to “Is this forbidden by the Epistles?”  Lastly, I go to the Old Testament and ask the same thing, but with a much different standard with OT writings…they are but the shadow of the NT…they are not authoritative ever again as far as being a prescriptive behavior standard!  They simply are not.  If one comes under the Law for ANY point then one has denied the efficacy of The Sacrifice of the Incarnate One…in EVERY point.

After doing due diligence here with the Bible (and using all tools I have available) and making every effort to be true, I can move to the next question:  Is this wise, practical, etc…does it fit with seeking first the Kingdom of God, with serving others, those sorts of things?

Next, I look at what the collected wisdom of humanity has to say about it, things like how other cultures and peoples have viewed this thing, how views have evolved in our own culture (and why), what the latest science shows us, what technology is revealing, etc.  An example of this would be how epilepsy evolved from being thought to be demon possession just a few hundred years ago and is now understood to be a simple issue of brain chemistry…and there are countless other such examples which each one demonstrate how superstitious and fearful the so-called elect of God are on a continual basis!

Next, I move to the circle of trusted people in my life:  what do they think?  And this one was very difficult in terms of trans-issues because of the depth of internalized transphobia and assumption that it was rare that anyone made it past the “of COURSE this is evil” to “what does the Word actually say?”  This is a perilous stage, because on the one hand you can deny the wisdom of counsel…and on the other hand you can deny the truth due to the fear of humans…it is my current view that it comes out in the wash, and only Jesus is capable of judging and knowing.

It is interesting how vindictive so-called friends and “brothers and sisters” are in this stage…when a friend of over 30 years tells me our friendship is over and never speaks to me again (all because he “loves me” of course…cus that is how you show love to a person…GAH!)…when another friend of 25 years never talks to me or contacts me even though I walked with him thru the darkness of panic attacks, the pain of doing deep inner wound work, stood by his wife as a friend to her and was told by her that I was “different than other men” and that my “leadership style” was different, and received…

how others from the past check in at Grace Notes like it is a soap opera (or are they like Nicodemus, wanting to approach but only under cover of night)…

and it completely and utterly confounds me how they all can “just know” that I am cursed to hell without even exchanging a word with me or seeing what work God has done!!  Like…it shows the depth of hypocrisy!

Finally I look at the feasibility of some decision personally, at the very end of the process mentioned above…and at that point I take stock, make my move, and live it out.

As I did this with the issue of gender, I inevitably had to examine my assumptions and convictions regarding sexual orientation and expression…which I followed the same pattern…the big difference being that I looked at more sources and commentaries and points of view when it comes to the NT aspect of the subject.

Jesus said nothing about it.  Period.
Paul lists off a particular expression of a relationship that was a power-abuse relationship that took form in a homosexual relationship between a powerful older man and a vulnerable younger man…and that expression is buried in amongst a number of other power-abuse acts that humans engage in.

I have written about this at length previously and you would be best served to look there for my deeper thoughts and discoveries…

And I came to understand that in the same way that something happened to me as I grew and I was just become at birth as I am, so too this happened/happens to people in regards to sexual orientation and that my understanding of The Gospel and of Love and most importantly Humility had to change, to grow and shrink!

So here is the problem, evangelical christian:  your contradiction is showing SO HUGE!!  Because on the one hand, you defend ttaf, offering him what you understand to be forgiveness and he understands to be a free pass to be a monster…yet on the other hand you deny that same pass to LGTBQIA people…

…and again, remember that I find your stance problematic on theological grounds as well as consistency grounds…both

I have not witnessed in my lifetime a deeper depth of debasement and hypocrisy by christan people than that which has been surfaced by the appearance of ttaf…the same people who pledge fidelity to him as “God’s anointed” would weep and wail and gnash their teeth if every single thing charged about ttaf were exactly the same, but Hillary Clinton’s name was there instead.

Try it.

Step out of your bubble of fear which imprisons you to Fox News and ONLY Fox News (even though you ignore the massive defections going on there by people of true integrity and courage who recognize ttaf is a monster)…and pull up any summary of the allegations/charges/actual true things that ttaf has done and is accused of…and have your own “refutation sources” ready…and then just simply exchange the names:  Clinton for ttaf…

what do you think now?

See what you have swallowed, what you have become?  And that you are aged and sick and tired and want to hold close the lies and deceptions to preserve a sense of honor for yourself makes it all the worse, having run strong this far only to at the end bend over and kiss the boot of the tyrant and honor satan with your acceptance of lies!

See…any application you seek to make that condemns the LGTBQIA people to hell a priori is also an indictment against ttaf…and any sop you offer to condone and expiate ttaf must also be offered to LGTBQIA people in toto!!

It hurts me in my deepest hurt as I imagine you taking stock of your capitulation when you are leaving this world, knowing that you sided with evil at the end…

“…and in those days even the elect will be deceived…”

This is far more you than me right now.

God grant my eyes stay open and my heart tender…and that I err on the side of the weak and broken and that I resist Empire.

 

The Fog Like Still Joy | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This, another poem from last year, comments on life like a vapor, yet must be captured within you, there in your body…

the fog gathers, nesting
over the deep quiet glen
dialing down sunlight
damping every sound

in this gloam my supple soul
nestles in, gives up control
and ceases struggle to be good,
or important, or subtle…

Source: The Fog Like Still Joy | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Situla (Sans Images)

I admit I am surprised that there has not been more interest in my recent poem “Situla“.  Perhaps it was layout?
Situla means “a bucket for Holy Water” by the way…Here is the poem, laid out without any images…

 

Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I wait
ajar
a jar
of costly
perfume

I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed

hushed beneath
frost crystals clasping
roses’ leaves…

I rise and
wait, hushed and
clutching me

my
alabaster
jar

this
empty
situla

still reeking
of sorrow and nard
of fragrance and tears
and deep joy too.

I guess the guests
are still around
the table, I think

the gusty crowd
is still sitting in
the dark and staring
(eyes shut)
at the inside
of the veil…

as I travail
in silence,
as I writhe
in ecstasy

and groan

for separation
to give way
to liberation
and this coming
fragrant day.

The frost
gives way
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
the edges,
as the roses
are anointed
and

the alabaster jar
breaks open
yet again

and I
pour
out my
soul

Her
situla

Situla

Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I wait
ajar
a jar
of costly
perfume

I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed

hushed beneath
frost crystals clasping
roses’ leaves…

I rise and wait,
hushed and clutching

me
my
alabaster
jar
this
empty
situla

still reeking
of sorrow and nard
of fragrance and tears
and deep joy too.

I guess the guests
are still around
the table, I think
the gusty crowd
is still sitting in
the dark and staring
Image 004
(eyes shut)

at the inside
of the veil…
as I travail
in silence,
as I writhe
in ecstasy

and groan

for separation
to give way
to liberation
and this coming
fragrant day.

The frost
surrenders
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
the edges,
as the roses
are anointed
and

the alabaster jar
breaks open
yet again

and I
pour
out my
soul

Her
situla

A Look Back That Inspires

Something happened today which prompted me to want to repost something that I wrote in January of 2014…so long ago, and yet only 4 years…

In order to understand where I am at emotionally and spiritually in light of the event which transpired today, you need a bit of a refresher…an understanding that the repost at the bottom of the page was written BEFORE so much took place:

I wrote the words I am reposting before I wrote about the beginning of the shunning from the spiritual culture as defined by the vast majority of Christian Evangelicalism…these words, which talk about the nearly total experience I have had with Christians from my past (there is one…ONE person who has verbally, physically, emotionally and spiritually received me who is from my past.  She did so with tears of joy and literal kisses all over my cheeks and forehead, and was stricken as she thought back to the prison I was in and she was amazed that God had loosed this captive so wonderfully).
I wrote them before I wrote about a baby step of coming out that was looming…and ended up being a devastating attack and shunning by the time it played out.

I wrote them before I wrote about the shunning that happened on a monolithic totality in regards to every single friendship from the past which happened when I came out…I received a letter from a person that I had known for 30 years…a person that I had worshiped beside, shared many meals with…a person who had lived in our home…a person who I had walked alongside as they sojourned thru the valley of the shadow of an addiction which nearly destroyed family and self…a letter that shunned me in the Name of Jesus, The One Being who welcomes me constantly and says that His Blood is enough and more than enough for me…

I wrote them before I wrote of the public shunning that happened, when it was the searing abandonment in public circles.

I wrote it before the 21 Gun Salute took place, that professional execution I endured…that death, and the subsequent resurrection from those Phoenix Ashes…

I wrote about it before the horrid attacks coming from supposed Christians which were filled with literal perversions, profanities, and exhortations to kill myself…all given in the name of Jesus of course.

Yes.  That literally happened.

So what happened today that precipitated this reminiscence?

This:  there is a man from my past, a person that I met in the late 80s and who I was in close proximity with until the year 2005…this man operated (and perhaps still does?  I really do not know.  Lord knows that I have grown up, been pruned back, become more and become less, been adjusted, and healed of terrible blindnesses…so I do leave room for the possibility that this has happened with him as well.  But I do not hold out a shred of hope, or a scintilla of expectation that this has happened, for the need of those who are deeply in thrall to a certain assumption and paradigm to punish me and punish me utterly is far greater than the ability to actually live out the sacrificial Love of Christ that went straight for every single person who was “yet dead in sin”…and not just to the so-called righteous)…

This man operated under a deep orientation that assumed all the doctrines related to “submission”, and truly felt it was the loving thing to enforce that notion…I have many many hurtful memories of those years, from the comments regarding my supposed “cheesy grin” that I supposedly wore (likely, it was whatever mask was on me during the deep dissociation of living trans in a male role and carrying the burden of remembering every detail so I could forget that I was a woman, and thus related to the fracturing events of early childhood) to the interactions which accused me of seeking to utilize my role as a worship leader on Sunday morning in service of self, to the utterly devastating final blow given in such “sad sorrowful tones” which said that my father was suffering and dying in the way he was because I was not properly submitted to “the leader” of this group…

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that every single one of these actions was done from true conviction that it was the right and loving thing to do, based on the paradigm in which he (we) swam…indeed, I myself interacted with people who approached me for help and counsel as they struggled with their sexual orientations in light of the teaching assumptions we were under…and I gave the “answers” I had learned…and I grieve over that…so deeply…

I myself bought into attitudes and distortions of good teachings that I sincerely and 100% believed, and I thought those with other understandings to simply be sinners who were seeking to justify remaining in sin yet still retaining connection to God, and I simply…well, I simply did not have an ounce of compassion…

I shared the privileged view of the privileged…and had NO CONCEPT of the Other…

And it wasn’t until I was no longer “one of them”, not because I resigned membership in privilege, but because when I transitioned I was executed swiftly…

In the personal-relational realm
In the spiritual-religious realm
In the professional-economic realm…

So I know that the intention of those times was, within his own heart and self, “good”…

We also shared many other times too…good times where somehow who was submitted to who wasn’t that important and was never even thought of…such as working on each other’s houses…putting out a fire that started on a hill and nearly burned the entire area down…eating meals together…

Those years…I believe it was about 17 years…during those years I did a lot of dying, and had a lot to die to…and that place was the crucible of purification, in which I gained much wisdom thru death to self.  I was so fractured…so young…and so deeply in the grip of dysphoria and dissociation which was the hidden reef under everything in my life.

He did not know anything about this…neither did I.  And looking back, sooo many things just SHOUT it out so loudly, and while it is occasion of grief and mourning looking back, it also is comforting to know that at least there was a reason for it!

Well…Charissa’s Grace Notes is a public blog.  And this man is a reader…regularly…how frequently, I really could not say, but based on my own internal tools I have as the creator, I suspect it is fairly regularly.

How did he even know I had a blog?  I have not exchanged a word with this man for years…a good 7 years before I even transitioned, and certainly not a word since transition….God forbid!  I am pretty sure he would not, and I KNOW I would not because I decided in 2014 that I would never again submit myself to spiritual abuse and attack from anyone to whom I was a priori a demon-possessed hell-bound apostate.

It is obvi that he found out about my blog via word of mouth…because it is funny:  the biggest evils that scripture has volumes of teaching about (the tongue, the heart) are so easily ignored in Christendom in order to condemn the phantom evils which scripture never even speaks about (gender variance and orientation)…and wowsa did the word spread like fire!!

In fact, the person mentioned here even swore to me that he considered it his spiritual service and duty to God to out me to every single person he met, lest he be tainted by my “sin” of intentional self-deception and thus have my blood on his head.  Yes…these sorts believe this:  “If you see your brother approaching destruction and you do not restrain them, their blood is on your head”.  They interpret this old Proverb as the license to attack anyone doing anything that is to them “a sin.”  He told me that he needed to warn every single person he could that I was anathema and not to be received among “the brethren”…

try and imagine how this felt, and feels…

So anyway, I know that the man I am writing about this morning found my blog fairly easily, but after hearing the words of the tale-bearers, those morsels of gossip that go down so sweet and titillating…

But he has stuck around…and has been reading…for a long time, if I am guessing right…and because I am made who I am, and because of my heart towards God and understanding that I have been made thusly to break down walls and uproot lies and then to plant and build true kingdom attitudes, I have held out hope…a very very teeny tiny shred of hope…

…that maybe he has done the work, read the research…maybe he has examined the scriptures and his own assumptions…maybe he has the courage to know that in spite of anything he might believe about gender variance, the person he knew was truly a child of God and is still one now…that maybe he has met other transhumans…

I am not optimistic about this, or myopic…the odds are VERY slim.

But this man has done something, not once, but twice.

He has contributed money to my transition fund, each time choosing an amount which is significant to me as the number of my name.

But I am leery.  It is not inconsistent with the old assumptions of that paradigm to do acts of charity or service for those considered lost and perishing.  It is thought of as heaping coals of fire upon the head…it is thought of as setting an example…and sometimes it is flat out a genuine expression of God’s heart of love.

How do I know this?  Because I have been there, done that…myself.  Previously.

I am also skeptical and very wary because one of those donations referenced my children…and there is a huge assumption in play in those circles that a righteous relationship with God is able to be detected in the condition of relationship with one’s children and other family.

(Remember the remark about my dad suffering because I was “not submitted” and “rebellious”?)

It is not by any means whatsoever a stretch to see that particular donation coupled with that particular remark about my children as the “coin of unsanctified pity” and ultimately as a dig, a cut, an arrow shot in hopes of providing a wound that cleanses and restores…and if it was that, it was an arrow that shot and wounded and brought death because there literally is not a cleansing and restoring relatable to gender variance and orientation.

God knows there are plenty of areas in my heart that need adjusting and cleansing…it just so happens that being a woman who was assigned male at birth is not one of those areas, anymore than anyone need repent of their gender orientation, or their hair color, or leg length.

So I am very wary.  (Oh yes:  the donation this morning simply said “thinking of you”…and that was both a very simple comment and a very pregnant comment.)

The first time it happened, I accepted the donation, spent it on my legal costs in fact…yeah, dude…you helped me change my birth certificate, a great day in my life!!  LOL!!!!  But I did not reply or interact with the person, because I do not expect that interaction to be life giving and healing, but rather to be a battle and ordeal.

And then it happened again, this morning, and this one is significant to me…

…you see, just before the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve morning in the early morning, I dreamed about this person!  In the dream, Jane and I had a place we were building up in the hills.  We went up there one day to do some work in our structure, which was framed and roofed and wired and plumbed, but lacked sheetrock or siding and finish work trimming…and when we got there, we were shocked to discover that the entire area around us had been developed and had structures on it of various states of completion…all told, the area had around 30 houses, where there had just been ours and a lot of wild land.

We looked around a bit, confused and concerned, when who should approach us but this man who donated to me this morning!  He walked up to us and called out to us…and looked me full in the eyes and greeted me with “Hello, Charissa, may I walk close to you?”  I was very taken aback that he used my true name rather than my dead name and that he knew he needed to ask permission before moving close to me!!!

I said yes, and watched as he approached, and saw tears in his eyes.  He extended his hand to shake hands, and I impulsively brushed his hand aside, greeted him by name, and gave him a hug.  He did not shy away from the hug OR from the double reminders of who I truly am…and then he broke the embrace and held my by my shoulders at arms length and said that it was really good to seem me, Charissa…and his tears were streaming down his face.

I motioned around me and said “So what is happening here, and why are you up here?”  Meaning the development and his presence where there had been nothing but our house and no one but us.

He looked down in what appeared to be sorrow or shame or conviction or regret, I really couldn’t get a good read on it…and then he looked up and said to us “I am so sorry, and I have been wrong.  God has been working in my heart…in our hearts…and we wanted to learn.”  I said “Who is the we you refer to and what are you sorry for?”

He said he was sorry for all the same things that I sorrowed over about what I used to think regarding LGTBQIA issues and Christian teaching, he was sorry about the same things I sorrowed about in terms of the expression of God’s heart in such a cancerous and poisonous way that evangelicalism has become…and that most of all he was sorry that he had automatically condemned transgender people to the label of (fill in your favorite slur, I am not using it today)…

and he said that the “we” he referred to were all people from this little group that grew up, insular and inbred, from a “school” that he helped to start and keep going…that around 30 people all had this deep repentance and wanted to walk away from that old set of beliefs, and that he had bought all the property around us, in order to live close to us and learn from us…

…and would we please teach him, teach them?

Well, Jane and I looked at each other, shocked, suspicious, wary, and on the verge of running.

(Credit: Tyrus Wong
Tyrus Wong, Bambi (visual development), 1942. Watercolor on paper)

But one this is so clear to me…more clear to me than nearly anything I have ever heard from God:  It is completely and utterly inviolate to me that God Themself planned and intended to create me as I am from the start:  A Transsexual Woman, who would grow up wounded and fractured and driven to God as my only hope of salvation from despair and ruination…and that it was a very sobering thing to Them to do this, for They knew full well the horror and pain this would be to me…and each of Them stepped forward and said “I am enough for her”…and the reason for this is that They had assigned my life destiny to be a prophetess to the people of God who forgot the Heart of God…to speak to them of God’s Heart for the ones who are slaughtered in every realm and sacrificed on the altar of gender…

and that it should be easy for those people to receive me and God’s message, for in those old days I doubt any of them would have thought I was hell-bound, and in those days virtually all of them thought that I heard from God regularly…even though “there is so much wrong” with me LOL!

And so because of that mission, that quest…and yes, the desire to set them free of their blindness and prejudice and hatred, we did not run…but stayed…and said that we would consider it, but had many things to be worked out, many boundaries to be defined…

The man was joyous in our response and agreed to this…

and then I woke up.

Of course, since this was a dream, I interpret the details and events symbolically. I got up from bed and sat and thought and prayed for awhile, wondering what in the world I was dreaming about that dude for!!!???  I had not even thought about him for a couple of years.  Jane held similar puzzlement about it…and we both thought that it was talking about “a neighborhood of understanding/teaching/thinking/transformation” rather than an actual sub-division, and we saw both the man and the people he referenced as symbolic of that whole group of “white, cis-gendered, straight, evangelical Christian conservative” human beings who literally have NO IDEA how much they are bequeathed things on the basis of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender purity, and their religious understandings.

So we said a quick prayer…and I promptly forgot about it.

Until this morning.

Here is this comment “Thinking of you” and this monetary amount…and the dream rushed back…along with all the wariness, suspicion and other emotions which come from the experienced trauma and trial of those years.

The crucial thing to know is this:  a bell, once rung, cannot be unrung.  A woman who gives birth is always a mother, even if the child dies.  There is no “going back” because there is no back to go to.

It is this way with me:  I will never go back.  He is dead, Caterpillar Dude…he is no more.  He is the “back” and is gone.  So there is no “going back”.

Any “kind indulgence” will not “induce to repentance” because there is nothing to be repented of in terms of my transition!  As to repentance of any kind?  Oh yes…the continual joy of beholding Jesus and being transformed by degrees from the glory of the letter which kills to the glory of the Spirit which is life…yunno…the same repentance we share in common.

I am not sure what I will spend this amount on…probably on my HRT, and this is a valued and well received gift.

I am always open to the generosity of heart and spirit that flows in God’s economy from they that have abundance to they that have need…and would always in that spirit welcome such donations/gifts…other gifts I have actually passed on to others in far greater need than I.

But if the spirit and intention of the gift is anything related to “getting me to go back”?  To “repent” of “gender heresy” and “assume my old name and role?”

There is not a chance.

Those things are further from me than East is from West.

And if that spirit and intention is thus impure, then I consider the donation to be “the spoils of Egypt” and still put it to good use.

Wow…what a ramble, eh?  If any are still with me, thanks for reading patiently.

Blessings to you today from our wonderful counselor and our comforter and the lover of our souls,

Charissa Grace White
God’s Graceful Gleam

 

via Updates about my life

When Christians Defend Predators (By John Pavlovitz)

“Yet as ugly as followers of Jesus creating distance from him is, it’s a far more vile act, when in depravity they claim proximity; when they stand proudly in the world and commit the greatest of atrocities upon humanity—and contend that Jesus consents to it all.

It’s hard to imagine a greater illustration of Christians losing the plot than when they defend predators. There are few bastardizations of the life and the message of Jesus, as complete and grievous as taking the side of rapists and pedophiles and genitalia grabbers—but this is where we are now.

“With the Evangelicals embracing Donald Trump and with those now rallying to the defense of Roy Moore, this is what we’re watching in America: the least of these being thrown to the wolves by the supposed shepherds…”

https://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/11/18/christians-defend-predators/

Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

People…CONSTANCE!!! (“Constance” is a moniker for “Constant Reader”, btw…)

So what is UP??  Why is this gem getting so little attention?  Is it because I use Pig as a metaphor for Someone?  Is this a bridge too far??  HAHAHAHAHA!!!  If that is true, it misses the heart of both the pig and the Someone.

Give it a go…I rather love this poem, with its little oinky rhythm and pace…
It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)…

Source: Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Things Trump-Supporting Christians Can Pray About In Church This Sunday

Another great challenge to Christians who are still convinced that ttaf is a servant of God.

To argue that, you have to argue that whoever and whatever is a servant of God, because God uses all things…which is ridiculous.

ttaf is no more God’s servant than Hitler was…and yet we know that God will triumph, even over the deception that those who take Their Name in vain are currently mired.

“And yes, pray about this President.

“Ask God specifically how his life and body of work align with the Jesus you’ve known all your life; the one you find hope and joy in, the one you read about in the Gospels, the one whose voice you recognize as peacemaker, forgiver, lover, healer, helper.

“Ask God if his vile words about women, his cruelty toward those suffering, his vicious social media tirades, his neglect of hurricane victims, his siphoning of funding from public school students and healthcare from cancer patients—if any of it feels at all like the Jesus who talked of loving the least, of caring for the poor, of loving their neighbors as they love God, of the last being first, of the righteous turning their cheeks, of the meek inheriting the earth, of the good Samaritan showing mercy.

“Ask Jesus if this President is someone worth a follower of Christ emulating, celebrating, empowering, amen-ing—if he is someone living in that image.

“Ask Jesus about saying that the way we treat the lowest and the vulnerable is the way we treat him—and how this President is treating him.

“Ask Jesus what the world is learning about his heart for the world, his character, his compassion, his gentleness by the man you elevated to our highest human platform.

“Ask Jesus about the kind of world he was trying to usher in when his feet were on the planet—and how this President is doing anything to make it a reality in these days.

“And if you can walk out of that worship gathering into another Sunday afternoon, completely unchanged and without sensing the slightest conflict between Jesus Christ of Nazareth and Donald Trump of DC, and without a trace of discomfort at the disconnect between your inner convictions and his tangible actions—pray for yourself, because you have clearly lost the plot of the one who brought the world a Good News that is now completely inaudible in these days because of this man and because of a Church that refuses to stand against him.”

Source: Things Trump-Supporting Christians Can Pray About In Church This Sunday

Going Out Weeping, Returning Rejoicing

Yesterday…it felt like a dream.  I was thinking of that beautiful Psalm

“When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream! Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongue with singing! Then they said among the nations that the Lord has done GREAT things for them.

“The Lord has done great things for me…

“She who sows in tears shall reap in joy. She who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing her sheaves with her.”

It was like a dream to me…or rather, it was like waking up.
I think that is what death will be like…we shall fall asleep, and when we wake, we are shocked and stunned at the THICKNESS OF REALITY that we are swimming in!! What we shall see…what we shall hear…what we shall taste…

…talk about #SOULSTROLLING !!!!!! Kayce Stevens Hughlett !!!

But yesterday…the children are seeing me, and it is spreading like a case of holy measles or chicken pox lol!! My lil shadow cadre is growing…and I have spotted some little torn ones and sent them the message without words that they can talk to me with words or with eyes…and that is a good and sacred Mama thing of which I think I will not speak…but it is VERY good.
Let’s see…what did I do? Well, I am working for a brilliant young teacher who frankly has a chance to really make a mark in teaching should she discover this as a life long and intense passion. The fact of her name is also a promise to me…of this I maybe can write about later.

This teacher is giving me permission to help, truly help and I lack the words to say how this feels, after being in a place where it seemed that other agendas dominated the subtext.

At recess, I played soccer, I told stories…oh by the way, I am WAAAAYYY OLDER than a thousand years old!! I am so old that I know the stories of every single tree around our playground, and I know how to hear the language of all the little grasses and bushes that the trees protect…but I am NOT a MILLION years old because then I would be a dinosaur!!! (Yes, I did say all that, and I DID turn into a dinosaur, but very briefly…I quickly was me again laughing and joying!)…

I taught them how to walk on this little divider/container that looked like a balance beam, and soon I had 20 plus kids walking this little balance beam that probably was a good 200 feet or even MORE, all around the play structures…and OH MY GOD!!! It was soooo fun…
They were using gross motor skills, FINE motor skills, and in their minds???

Sometimes we were on a high wire at the circus…sometimes we were suspended over a pit of ALLIGATORS…sometimes we were suspended over a pit of PUPPIES wanting to lick our faces…sometimes there were people watching ready to give us medals if we stayed on…it was truly fun. Truly. FUN!
Did you have any fun yesterday? Like…FUN? Did you play yesterday?

Human beings need to play…every single day.

Staff is genuinely warm, welcoming…all things are going well.

It is only two days in…and these two days feel like waking from a dream…waking from the captivity of purification.

It’s always worth it, friends…the purification…so much so that you can even seek it out, if you are a Fool like me LOL! You can intention for purity…do something that is a ritual for you…it really doesn’t matter what it is, because it is the intentionality of your being which attracts Mama’s Eye and Heart…

I used to burn incense…but as my asthma got worse, I once asked Mama if I had to do that and She suggested that it was the incense of my Song She loved the most…and BOOM!!

Now I just burn me…

It is important for you to know that as I write these things, I sit in stunned wonder and actually laugh out loud at the ABSURDITY of it all!!

I GET TO PLAY…and I GET TO LOVE…and I GET TO TEACH…and I GET TO BE…

and in the moments, yunno the ones…when a little is flummoxed or triggered, or their lil brains have flipped and they cannot process the rationality of things…and you just sit there and say “omg Mama wtf am I gunna do???”

And She drops something down like a feather…or it PLOPS up from the soul-geyser and splats into your mind…or you sniff the inner breezes and smell Her near…or you notice some lil cue…

IT IS HER!! ANYONE CAN DO THIS!!!

Mama says this morning “Whosoever will, let her come to Me and come quickly, for it is your DESIRE that determines your DESTINY! Desire will determine which path your foot finds, and once you find that path it will pull you along, push you along, draw you in and up and IN AND UP…until…”

…until you laugh like Charissa.

I am like one who dreams.

Oh, one last word…yunno those verses I quoted above? Those are saying something very important.

She who goes forth weeping, sowing in tears, sowing her seed? This speaks of a very important principle in farming and also spiritually…

See, Mama and Jesus and Father (insert your own name(s) for Divine God here) give us food yes…They give us bread. BUT THEY WANT MATURE WHOLE FRIENDS TO WALK WITH!! Because Their Love and Joy is Great, and They LOVE to share that. Each person who comes merely multiplies EXPONENTIALLY the available Love and Joy to be shared…so yes, They feed us…but more importantly They TEACH us and DEVELOP us…just like I am teaching Their jewels.

And so here is the key: Besides the bread, They give us SEED too!! We generally finish the bread…quickly. And when our tummies rumble like Pooh Bear, we nibble a kernel of grain…and WTF that is YUK!! Tasteless, toothy-breaky…what do we do with THAT!!

And we toss it away and sit, feeling forlorn and lost and abandoned and have ourselves a pity party and invite our friends over and have P when we should be having T (make the joke in your mind)…

But after awhile we notice that those seeds we tossed away are growing!!! And Mama instructs us in the lessons of seeds…

Jump FORWARD…and NOW look at she who walks, weeping…and yet sowing seed!! She has learned that she cannot discard the seed corn!! She has to keep it, and she has to walk, weeping to water what she is sowing.

Did you know you have to water your dreams with the tears of your broken heart? Water what seeds you have with tears, copious and wept unafraid and unashamed…you can FLY at Mama with tears, of rage, of fear, of sorrow, of grief, of pity-party-ing, of whatever…

Just.
Weep.
Them.
As.
You.
Sow.
Your.
Seed…

and behold…you shall DOUBTLESS come again, REJOICING, and bringing in your sheaves behind you.

Your sheaves are NOT stalks or wheat or ears of corn…your sheaves are your OWN littles (mine are these jewels of Mama)…yours are…well…

What ARE your sheaves? Only one way to find out: go forth with your tears into those barren fields!! Your tears shall wash away the salting of the enemy and purify the dirt…EARTH…and behold, your seed will fall from your broken hands which feel as if they shall never again hold joy in them…

but I promise that you will, as you weeping walk and sow…and sow…and sow…and just when your bag is empty you shall be back where you began…but at a DIFFERENT PLACE ON THE SPIRAL!! (you DO realize that history does NOT repeat, but rather it spirals?? And in your personal history, you revisit places over and over and over…except that you are “higher” or perhaps “lower” or perhaps “deeper” or perhaps “on dry land” or perhaps at last “swimming or flying” or…you get the drift)…

If your hands are full…start tossing seed…it is your promise of future harvest but MUST be sown in order to yield to you the fullness of your dreams…and weep…weep…weep…

And if your hands are empty…then dry your eyes, square your shoulders and look again…and again…and again…peer into the darkness intently…

and when you get discouraged, think of Silly Charissa…and be encouraged, for I tell you truly: If They will do it for ME???? I freaking GUARANTEE to you that They will INDEED do it for YOU, because I am truly the least…the very least of the baubles in Their Treasure House.

Love to you all this morning…LOVE to you in thick creamy schmears!!!!

Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This was written the same day as “For JD” which I just told of my horrified discovery regarding how it was defiled and twisted.

Catch the irony that on the same day that I wrote that poem, I also wrote this one, which describes the very deepest desire of my heart.

and i must find the courage
to smear me on the world
like oranges on the morning
smeared on the fingertips
that pry with nails sharp

i must be resolved
to be spread thick and creamy
on hearts so dry and crumbly
and tasteless in their leaven
like butter sweet and salty

Source: Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

After More Than 20 Years as Conservative Leader, Paul Williams Comes Out as Transwoman

This story is very parallel to my own.
I encourage reading it, especially for the understanding
of a Gospel of Incarnation rather than a Gospel of Law.
“Transgender teens with unsupportive parents have a suicide rate 13 times higher than their peers. They are the most at risk group in the nation. Most of those unsupportive parents are Evangelicals.

“I have been in personal contact with thousands of LGBTQ individuals and their families from seven countries on four continents. Almost without exception these souls are Christians who have been ostracized from their churches and/or families. They always ask the same painful question, ‘What do I do now?’ I feel the weight of the responsibility.

“In my previous work, I hoped to save people from spiritual suffering. In my current work, I hope to save people from dying.”

Paula went on to state: “I do not care about their (evangelicals’) brand of orthodoxy.””I have no interest in debating it. It is of little interest to me.

However, I do care about their orthopraxy, how they practice the Christian faith. I find it lacking. I find any religion lacking that leads with judgment instead of leading with acceptance and love.”

Source: After More Than 20 Years as Conservative Leader, Paul Williams Comes Out as Transwoman

Reaching People Who No Longer Value the Truth

POWERFUL essay by my friend John Pavlovitz…

trump supporter who also claims allegiance to Jesus Christ:  this is you.

“In the turbulent days in which we find ourselves, our most formidable adversary is not the one who is most intelligent, cunning, or even immoral—it is the person who no longer has need of the truth; who ceases to be burdened by the existence or veracity of data in order to believe what they believe.

When someone has reached this place of delusion, their only pressing commitment is preserving the myth they’ve told themselves—and so their minds for all practical purposes are rendered nearly unchangeable. To reach a different conclusion would involve them rewriting the false story they’ve already convinced themselves of and vigorously defended, sometimes for years. To consider another alternative becomes a threat to their very identity—and so rather than arguing with one’s own mind, the much less complicated or time-consuming task is to simply tell it what it wants to hear regardless of whether or not it is real.”

Source: Reaching People Who No Longer Value the Truth

Living Origami | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A poem about the fingers of God inside the fears and frailties of a woman.  And yes, I am cognizant of the implications, and wonder why this is not more commonly experienced by others…the touch of God is so very intimate…
I feel your fingers
in my folds and
my fine feathers
ruffling, riffing

sometimes ripping
for your pleasure
folding me and
creasing me

until I do not
recognize
the shape
I’m in.

Turning this way…

Source: Living Origami | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Why American Christians Should Condemn “Religious Liberty” Legislation | john pavlovitz

One of the few true voices left, calling us to repentance as christians.


“When religious liberty is used as justification for discrimination or when it impedes the daily life of those who don’t share our convictions, we move from merely having freedom, to demanding that others adopt our beliefs and adapt to our prejudices. We become a theocracy—and Christians, we cannot become a theocracy because Jesus would have had nothing to do with such things.

“He rejected privilege and dominance with every second of his humble existence, and he would be horrified by the bullying being done in his name under the guise of spirituality. It is the very kind of domineering religious shakedown that he repeatedly condemned in the Scriptures from the both the Jewish religious leaders and the Romans.

“And when such religious manipulation targets those already among the most marginalized and at-risk (as it does the LGBTQ and Muslim-American communities), it runs in direct opposition to the core of our faith, which seeks to protect and shelter those that the powerful would swallow up.

“Legislation like this transforms us into the very thing Jesus was pushing hard against.”

Source: Why American Christians Should Condemn “Religious Liberty” Legislation | john pavlovitz

National Day of Prayer: Donald Trump White House Dinner | Time.com

I draw attention to this because every single one of these people at this dinner thinks that transgender people are anywhere on the continuum from “insane and mentally ill” all the way to “demon possessed”.

Each of these people supports discrimination against LGTBQIA people.  Every Single One.

These shills are there with trump the absolute fucker telling him that he is God’s Servant when he is carrying forward towards  becoming law actual statutes that are the equivalent of death warrants for people as they lose their access to medical services and will simply die.

In the guise of “religious liberty”.

The list in 1 Corinthians 6 that is used as the cudgel against LGTBQIA individuals contains many things, ALL of which refer to behavioral expressions of basic violations of human beings by the exercise of power over one another.  The list is not a prohibition of actual things (such as speaking, such as sexual activity of any orientation, such as possession of property), but rather condemns forms of each of the things I mentioned (adultery, theft, lying, malice (which is hatred), and a specific form of homosexual activity that is widely held by all serious scholars to be condemning a specific homosexual relationship that involved the subjugation and oppression of one of the participants in a power dynamic that was akin to sexual slavery)…

Why do I mention this?  Because it is this list that is cited to oppress LGTBQIA human beings…while the same people who do this willingly serve people who lie, steal, cheat, run around on their wives…essentially ANYTHING that cannot be seen or is not admitted to!

But let someone be open about their sexual orientation or gender orientation and they are ostracized, shunned, and often literally physically assaulted.

This is who you have become, evangelical christendom (I will not shit on the word “Church” by letting it apply to you).

In this passage from Isaiah 10, we discover why these actions are a stench to God:

Isaiah 10   New King James Version (NKJV)

“Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.

What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar?  To whom will you flee for help?  And where will you leave your glory?

Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners, and they shall fall among the slain.

For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.”

Did you know that if the current proposed health care roll backs become law that it will result in a transfer of wealth of 300 billion dollars to the people in the country who make more than $250,000?  Yes that is correct:  the top 1% are going to get even richer…

These things matter in concrete terms of life and death…but they also matter in that the hypocrisy of these people at this dinner and every single person who supports these people is now on prominent display…the party of the goats who wail “Lord Lord when did we see You hungry or sick or naked or in jail” is forming up fast.

This is your chance to turn from your lazy, mindless, sinful supporting of an evil evil party and an amoral greedy titular head of that party…and return to your first love.

The book of James says this about “true religion”:
 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Not the flocking to the side of a man who is willing to do your bidding to make it possible for you to literally hurt, destroy and murder the oppressed and the defenseless.

I will not associate or participate with anyone who actively supports these individuals and their leader, trump the absolute fucker.


The day before he signs an executive order on religious liberty.

Source: National Day of Prayer: Donald Trump White House Dinner | Time.com

Good Friday 2017

everyone denied it.

that He was killed
that He was alive
that there was a Door
that the Door was closed

everyone denied it.

that there was it.
that it was.
that she was dressed
that she was it.

She knew better
because dawn had done
and blue was shining
in her golden hope

She knew open and empty
were Something.

Our Sacred Desert Story

We set out on tender feet
and tender hearts to match
and faces become flint as we
determined that we would not faint.

When our sojourn was hip deep in heat
and we were well and away, out to sea
she told me of the heartbreak and the horror
and there how we did rain our tears…

We took turns (while we wiled the desert paths away)
swimming away from the ship of us…naked, vulnerable
and healing in the slick water…further and further
and then return and up and back into our desert ship.

It was in the sunset wrought with haze from distant destinations
that make you think about fire, and about what might have been.
We, perched on that rock solid emanating heat and spitting healing
while the sky, bruised by our advances, turned purple in our song.

It was just Day Umpteen Kazillion in our great traverse of deserts,
we walking, swimming straight by myth and extraterrestrial,
feeding on lizards, trilobites, and our sacred Stories our Communion shared
and we, oh so close to our arriving, our becoming, our sacred Desert Story.

 

Let’s Stop Pretending Christianity is Actually Relevant, Okay?

Irrelevant
A recent Barna survey reports only 18% of Millennials find Christianity relevant to their lives. That’s not surprising if we’re honest. After the Supreme Court decision regarding the ruling on gay marriage things got really weird.

“Some Christians put up “straight pride” profile pictures on social media and reminded people of what the Bible teaches (which, just for clarification, the church is currently split over because of how they view the interpretation). It’s a strange practice to ask people who don’t hold the same beliefs as you to conform to your morals because you quoted a book they don’t read.

“My friends that aren’t Christians have never tried to force their morality on me, so this is an odd practice in Christendom. Even Jesus didn’t blame pagans for acting like pagans. Yet, many Christians insist their beliefs apply to the culture at large even though most don’t share the same beliefs. With the Supreme Court ruling in Oklahoma, Christians raged about how the government was “forcing their beliefs on them and how they were no longer allowed to have theirs anymore.”

“Well, no, it was Christians who forced their views in the public forum by putting the 10 Commandments there first (if we look at it objectively). And never mind that as of late, many evangelical Christians care more about keeping refugees out of the U.S. despite what their sacred literature teaches.

“What we need to face is that public perception has shifted. We live in post-Christian America where we’re no longer relevant to the culture at large.”

Source: Let’s Stop Pretending Christianity is Actually Relevant, Okay?

Today, Outside the Church Building by John Pavlovitz

“You see friend, if what happens in that building doesn’t renovate what happens outside that building, you’ve failed. If your church were to close down today and the neighborhood around you wouldn’t profoundly feel the loss, you need to change how you do what you do in that building. If the only people who would grieve your absence are the people already in that building, you’re not doing what you’re called to do. You are hoarding blessings from people who need and deserve to be blessed.

“Worship is not really what happens in that building. That is just songs and words and stories and prayers. It is religious activity, well-meaning and helpful as it may be. Worship, is a life lived changed by faith in God and burdened to reflect the character of that God to others. If the songs and the words and the stories and the prayers today don’t move you out of the building and into the paths of hurting people in a way that alters those paths—it’s all been wasted time.”Source:  Today, Outside the Church Building MARCH 19, 2017 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ

A Meditation About Toilets

Yunno…toilets are sort of important.  Life has improved SO MUCH since their invention and use…

Sometimes the greatest service a person can be to another person is to be a toilet…and the most immediate act of forgiveness is to flush it down.

I had an experience like that this week…and am working on the things I wrote about in the picture…

by being a toilet that flushes, and not one that is stoppered up and back-flows shit everywhere.

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Source: The Suffering of Forgiveness

The Naked Hypocrisy of a Christian Disney Boycott | john pavlovitz

John P says it all…let the tombs of whitewash open their eyes!!


Conservative Christians have crawled out of the church pew woodwork to rend their garments and beat their breasts, at word that Disney’s live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast will fe…

Source: The Naked Hypocrisy of a Christian Disney Boycott | john pavlovitz

My Exodus

Reposting a poem from last year…any good poem applies at a number of different levels, some known and some unknown and waiting to be discovered…

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I moved away while you weren’t watching
(it was easier than I thought it would be,
escaping past your X-Ray eyes
that look for flesh and blood
and thus missed my exodus)

I live by the sea, now…

Source: My Exodus

Sonnet Of The Phoenix (For JD)

Oh Holy Lightning Strike like Griffin Swift
upon this yearning heart in desperate need
of Your Mercy Severe, Your Holy Gift
Give us Grace to Find the Phoenix-Way!

To rise in faith from Ashes and from death
to self and self reliance, come what may!
On resurrection wings and Spirit’s breath
alive again and all is well this night

that breaks and shatters with the rising dawn…
and not a single fire road in sight,
and what will be well it shall simply be
and what will not be well it will be gone!
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Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,

“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”

Dread and Presences

I am reblogging this poem from 2 years ago…here is the key passage:

“I step to the rail and look back
peering intently into the fog
thick and lingering,
but 2014 is shrouded, hidden
and if I hadn’t lived it
I wouldn’t have believed it
was anything more
than a dream.

It was a year that hollowed out
thinned out, emptied out
but never declared its intention.
I don’t think it ever knew
or if it even could…”

Charissa's Grace Notes

Dread.

I feel it still.
Laying at the base of my throat and throbbing
dully, quietly slumbering with one leering eye
cocked open always and leaning towards my heart.

My heart…
chipped and worked, touched and chilled
by the frozen fingers of dread

and shards of it lay scattered at my feet
clear, jagged glimmering
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I step to the rail and look back
peering intently into the fog thick and lingering,
but 2014 is shrouded, hidden
and if I hadn’t lived it I wouldn’t have believed it
was anything more than a dream.

It was a year that hollowed out
thinned out, emptied out
but never declared its intention.
I don’t think it ever knew or if it even could.

It was a year without windows
but many doors
and ladies
and tigers.

There is more to life than meets the eye,
more than can be measured by the senses or a census
but this morning there is just the fog behind
and…

View original post 115 more words

This Brilliant Indifference


I am a childe of dark, a childe of light.
I was born beneath the shining moon but just outside it’s golden touch there, on dim green meadows blanketing the warm red earth
in comfort midst the…

Source: This Brilliant Indifference

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Introduction)

Advent:
the short period
during which all
the years of groaning,
from that first fatal blow dealt
by selfish egocentricity to the
entirety of creation…

which turned off the Divine Light,
are compacted into one designated

thick period…

not “long”, but “longish”
and full of longing.

Thick.
Packed.
Full.
Stacked.
Designated…

to wait.
Wait.

WAIT
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Waiting for the most part is experienced as obdurate dull hunkering down and drinking from the cracked teacups of platitudes…ingesting such sops as “everything happens for a reason” and “this too shall pass”…yeah no…those things will not cut it, to get us thru this night, this absence of Divine Light that lays over all things, this utter darkness of the ego dictatorship.

Waiting…true waiting is become for us an empowered marking of events as they flow, infused by a knowing confidence that we wait for something certain and substantial…we wait for something coming and yet already here…we wait for the joy that veritably strains at the gates of birth to come forth!

We wait for someone…Someone…and every year that Someone comes fresh and new…and full of the very Presence that fits the absence of our existence like a Hand in a glove, like a key in a lock.
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The Ultimate Mystery of Existence is the Incarnation:  that joining of Creator and Creation into one full and harmonious miracle of Being…a joining that was planned and executed before even the foundations of the earth were laid, long ago sometime in eternity past when God in communion with God manifested the Eternal Sacred Heart in Passion Absolute and took up residence forever at the crux and core of all things, all rays, all paths and promises…that begotten presence which chose to be called Son climbed that tree and hung…hung…hangs…and hangs…

behind, beneath, above, within.

In every single cry of horror the cross is at the center.
In every single laugh of promise the cross is at the center.
In every single expression of wonder, every single nightmare of despair

the cross
at the center

And in the most central and deepest Intention is that Union, at the center of which the cross veritably pulsates!!
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It is the Mystery of the Incarnation…which is spoken of most plainly in the lowly caterpillar…or is it spoken of most darkly in the mystery of the Chrysalis? Wait…it is spoken of most clearly in the emergence of the butterfly.

We are that caterpillar, our lives a Holy Chrysalis of Dark Promise, and our becoming the butterfly whose wings we feel pulsating within our breast, that activity of Wonder which flutters in heaving convulsing implications that there must be Something!!

And so this morning, I wanna talk about that…the activity.

The activity of the Incarnation.

During Advent, we can look at the various “actors” in the Christmas Story to take our cues and understand our path forward, onward, higher/deeper, inward/outward…
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Part Two:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-two/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Part One)

Let us start with Mary.
She is the type for each and every one of us.

Each of us is a potential “Mother of God”,
a “blessed among all women”,
a chosen and fit vessel to carry the Child of Promise, the Messiah!

And Mama hovers, draws near, and watches…She waits too!

Did you know that God waits?
That every single day of time is God’s Advent waiting?

But back to Mother Mary…back to you…who if you will, can choose to “be” Mother Mary.  She said to God “Be it unto me according to Your Will”, and “my soul does indeed magnify God”!

OH!  The shockwaves of that declaration continue to ripple still!  And she did indeed receive the Child into her inmost self, and God took up residence there and joined Themself to humanity forever and always, and the butterfly was born…the God-human, the human-God…that indescribable uncanny union of the Divine and the human, which is spoken of as “the new creation”.

And Mary brought forth that Child…after a 9 month Advent of gestation…and that Child is the Deliverer of Creation.
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And this is the first phase of Advent Activity…and your first task.  Make room within your being for the Child to come and be implanted within…and bring forth that Incarnation of human/Divine life into this world in everything you do and say and think and are…you yourself in a very real sense “Mother” God…birth God…and it is your divine calling…no…your Divine RIGHT to birth God this Christmas, this year.

And what exactly would that look like, to bring forth God in your life?

Well…who is it that you want God to be for you?

That is who you must bring forth to the world.

It is the activity of Advent as an individual to birth and bring forth the Divine presence that only you can bring forth.

Oh Chosen Mary, blessed among all humans…search yourself, and make room…for the Incarnation within to come forth…
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Part Three:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-three/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Advent (Conclusion)

You must find the way that the Child calls you to live a life distinguished, transformed…changed after your encounter with the Incarnate One…

Encountering Emmanuel first within yourself, and bringing Him forth in the manger of your life…
Encountering Emmanuel next within others…and telling those who still languish in darkness that Emmanuel has come…
Encountering Emmanuel then in the World…and living in a way distinguished and different, resulting in the establishment of His Kingdom, the government on His shoulders, and His never-ending rule of Justice and Mercy Kissing…

This is the lesson and activity of Advent for us…may it be Living Bread for us.
Amen.
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Advent Poem: The Season of Enough

My Favorite Advent Poem!  From 2014


It’s the season to journey
to places we know so well
but haven’t been to…
and now it is time
in this never enough world
to declare the season has come:
it’s the season of enough!

ENOUGH!

Enough of the certified baby so boring,
our “gentle Lord Jesus so timid, meek and mild”,
enough of the muffled mage soft-spoken and sage
who wouldn’t say shit even if He’d a mouthful!…

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Enough

Advent Poem: The Season of Hope


I set off on this journey full of hope.
And wrapped in splendours of belonging here…
or there…it doesn’t really matter there or here
which far exceeds being nothing nowhere

But a…

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Hope

Advent Poem: Away With The Gimmicks (echoing ‘Away In A Manger’)

away with the gimmicks
we’re done with your crap
the lies that you laid down
the manger a trap

we want a tradition
that’s living and free
and songs of thanksgiving
and fresh liturgy
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that’s ancient and yet new
and still relevant
so profound, so simple
so “un-sycophant”

Entrance, proclamation,
the Eucharist true,
sending out, gathering,
preaching Good News
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Restore the New Baby
the Time Bomb in time
the Bread come from Heaven
the Living New Wine

away with the gimmicks
the scripts and the lies
So faith, hope and love can
come open our eyes.
New Covenant

A Rain So Red And Warm (Transgender Remembrance Day 2016)

“April is the cruellest month…”
T.S. Eliot said…
he simply wasn’t paying
the steep cost of attention.

It’s in the brown pits of November,
when we lie in hopeless wait,
in limbo stuck there in between
the stupid and sublime…
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stuck in that old and barren hollow,
wedged between a grease congealed
KFC bucket called Autumn
laying in dead crackly leaves

and its winter-shadow-self
approaching in uneven shambling
gait with cutting winds, harbingers
lurking in its fraying heart.
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I listen hard, I strain my soul
in this insensate endless month
for a song, a sound…anything?
maybe a last, desperate word

of Release?
Real-ease?
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Reeling, I go through the gates
of death that loom large in the night
aware that I may well be robbed
of all this nothing left to me,

of all the rest of my short years
aware the grave cannot give praise,
that death cannot sing elegy
and I know, finally, that we
large (3)
are sick for life, and desperate cling
to this nameless shining thing,
a fountain sealed, we drift toward
our edges, there below revealed

Image created and belonging to Kathie Whitesel. You can find her marvelous work at https://www.etsy.com/listing/196654382/religious-art-abstract-painting-of-jesus

Image created by and belonging to Kathie Whitesel. You can find her marvelous work at https://www.etsy.com/listing/196654382/religious-art-abstract-painting-of-jesus

in such familiar frightening
familiar numb-ed anguished sting
shared just by one Incarnate One
a weak and beaten broken man,

a God defeated, crying in
the quiet weeping freezing rain
falling slowly in the black
and cloying plummeting sloe dark

that’s darker than our darkened world
blacker than all blackened loss
blinder than all senseless hate
and bleak as splintery bloody cross
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and it is there our questions cold
fall limp…just like the rain itself
and like His sadly dripping tears
(Himself a rain so red and warm)

and here His tears mingle our own
and here His blood flows from His side
and there the final faint quick spark
flickers within His ruined hide
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His broken heart amidst the dreck
of our lives brutally played out
in this tragic blind senseless wreck
where light lays down, and breathes its last

and mourns all dreams of futures past.
our only hope a hang-ed man
become the lowest of the low
embodying every despair,
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He gives a cross to cling to, know
a hang-ed man, His own self there
insistent Incarnation fair
drinking the deep cup of despair

and promises that it is Done.
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(Many thanks to Kathie Whitesel for her amazing piece used above, and her generous allowance of her art to be matched with my poem…it is the perfect image for that part of the poem.  Kathie I am so grateful!! ❤ )

Bones

I hear those glowy bones glowing,
those bones of mystery-menace bright
so dark inside their red cocoon
but white unto themselves alone
and full of lively light.
Incarnate Dead
The blood of bones in oceans vast,
the breathing moon’s silent contrast,
earth sweats her dew cooling and sweet,
rising to meet all thirsty feet
and bones stirring at last…
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To taste again of Love’s Birthright
and resurrection echoes loud
and everything restored, made new
from glowy bones Faithful and True
Bones blazing, Bones of Light
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So On The Mend (For Jae)

and you just let that anger
fall out of your sky so deep
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meteors, comets, hurtling
heating, skizzing in
and crash landing

on your fiercely beating heart
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so never giving up
so never giving in
so keeping keeping on

and now so on the mend
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I Am Charissa Grace

I am Charissa Grace
and not your dumb head case
I’ll muss your hair, throw off your pace
and maybe even kiss your face
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I overflow permitted banks
and needle apoplectic cranks
cus I unsettle everything
I am wild WILD WILD thus I sing
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of mountains dancing, winds untamed
and my heart free in Mama’s Name

 

To All From My Past Who Read Here

Hi.

If you are someone from my past and you read here, I want you to know something.

You are welcome to read here.
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If you are someone from my past, and you are genuinely open to learning new things, updated understandings of the ways that technology has revealed realities regarding gender and DNA…if you are willing to meet me…Charissa Grace White…and truly receive me as you would any human being you had met and were getting to know, then you are welcome to be in contact with me.

But know that my choice to transition is not up for debate…it is made and done.  To debate that with you would be as silly as debating with you whether or not it was the right thing to marry the person I chose.  So I will not allow this…I will not put myself at the end of your firing range to become your scapegoat for the social ills you so deeply dread.
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And finally…if you are someone who reads here while thinking of me as that freak who is a “man” but is deceived and deluded by the devil and is now under demonic influence for thinking “he is a woman”, then just GTFU…ur dum.  Holding this position is like boasting about how stupid, intractable and ignorant you are of the incredible body of literature on the subject.  You ought to be asking yourself why you are so deeply upset over this!  Why does it bug you so much?

I am by far a better person than I ever was before…more of what people have always loved about me and less of what people have always despised about me.

Just go away if you are in that latter category…I don’t care how long I have known you.  The length of time you have known me is directly proportional to the ought you are obligated to in connection with me!  You ought to be more compelled to read the literature…you ought to be more compelled to know the open flower and stop worshipping the tightly closed bud.
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There is a male who flat out broke off a relationship that was over 3 decades old, because I “had crossed a river he would not cross”.  He has had zero contact with me since.  This in spite of how his actions violate the very gospel he claims to love.  This in spite of the countless hours we spent together, the countless actions of service and love and support, the walking thru darkness on his behalf…

…clearly the issue is on him.

But I bring him up to tell you that his is the party you want to go join if you are in that latter category.

I am me…free…and flying.  You can fly too, if you would actually take responsibility for your choices and your failures to choose…your fate is in your choice, and may you find surrender to Love as you choose…
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That Eye Unblinking (A Holden Lament)


Last year a wolverine broke loose, came slashing and gashing, ran up and down
canyons and cliffs and crittering quick up tree-trunks with such fierce red claws…
Snarling and yowling the haunting roar raged, moaned and cursed with such
hunger, such fury, that flurry of wood-thirsty teeth insatiable, free from hiatus and

running heart birthed straight from Their Great Altar There which purifies
all things with Holy Fire so freeing, so cleansing…wafting austere like pure Incense
arising, in billows and plumes and ash, ASH, everywhere and in perpetual
Wednesday, marking the Cross on all things there…within.

the fire had time to make up…
One Hundred and Fifty years to turn…and it was said to be
A Great Mosaic Burn.

At last to feed its need to cleanse a forest fat with care, beneath the watchful eye of
Moses there, beneath his rod extended, as if the sun stood still again, and trees grew
up and great in grit and girth like Children of the sun, see how fat they had
become…See them, their indifferent eyes unblinking, safe, satisfied and

self-centered and all together, such a stand of forest land, secure, untouched…
so sleepy, nodding off with rusty Time’s tock-ticking Heartbeat softly crooning
to ossified great forest stands so very grand that didn’t know they needed
Severe Mercies to come with fire and hot kisses from the Phoenix.

It had not chosen cleansing
It did not know it’s need
for resurrection, for refining

For fire comes to cleanse and make new everything it can consume and challenge all
it cannot touch to understand that TRANSFORMATION’s the destiny
of every-thing with the courage to crawl out from underneath the letter and run
from the rod and leave behind the tyranny of the typical to the flames…

and walk away from Moses, into freedom in liquid-gold fireworks,
free from the cares of the world that cling so fierce and so easily entangle us,
choke our lives in hoary growth and lullabies lulling us fast to sleep,
a Sleeping Beauty Bride on her bower of soft and easy privilege.

She like an eye unblinking
safe in her cloister so fair
deaf to Her loud Divine Dare.tumblr_nfiksuYzYz1twolrlo1_500
And (just like that forest or Sleeping Bride), there amidst that red hot bloody conflagration set another eye, a forest eye, unblinking sightless eye and
woke up wide awake in terror tribulation, hushed in dread anticipation and fear and with helpless petitions arising, not like incense but like signals…smoke signals…

to Moses?  To God?  To the Universe Fire come down to feed?  Protected by roads
cut with care and foresight, that Eye Unblinking sat there in fright…
and Holden its breath and leaning against a wolverine dread come at last to
consume the dead, to rip that forest wide open and slash the woods to crimson rags

dripping bloody with flame and red flurries…
wrapped in silver sheets reflective, shiny
(or were they merely space age burial shrouds?)

It never blinked, that Eye, and all was shrouded safe, cocooned within
and underneath the rod and the Letter, striding secure thru the Red Sea Fire
escaping the sharp teeth of wolverine the Eye remained preserved amidst
a work that renovates the face and gives a skin-deep makeover, but leaves

the sleepy years untouched and undisturbed on laurels long gone brown
with age and loss of life though all appearances would say that Holden is
alive and well and safe from that destructive hell of fire and fear…yet
none could name that something still so desperately needed a root canal of flame!

for all the Who’s in Holden sigh
for yesteryear, forgetting that it’s
the thief that steals tomorrow.

And this year, one year later in the same Unblinking Eye I rolled in on the waves
and wind (Charissa, meaning “Grace” but named “Char”-issa, “Ashy-one”) seeking
to drink of the life that flows through a village untouched by anything that fell
outside the Mosaic burn and no longer shrouded outside but just maybe mummy

rags still wrapped so tightly around a heart perhaps long grown so slack, so sleek
and oh so fat just like that forest was last year before God gave a wolverine to rage and feed, and cleanse, renew…I saw History on display and windfall fruit rife
on the ground and satisfaction ruled the day, and familiarity won the race

and wore her shiny tangy plumy purple tinsel crown…
Golden Apples, everywhere and casual and everyone was on the in,
societal, and fire roads cut secure and ohh soo straight.

So I said Hi and reached with blinking eyes that squint into the light,
oft times in fright of storms and lightning flashing forth…and found
my blinking words rebuffed by cool and hooded eyes that had seen it all,
eyes satisfied and cynical cus been there done that, ho-hum…done much worse

I ran aground on fire roads and that Moses curse of long ago still Holden Court
over long hearts that found consuming fire fearful, dreadful and to be avoided
at all costs by any means…and thus She stands this very day…Holden Village
on cusp of…petrification?…or on that hot edge of the Phoenix Way!

Holden, Eye Unblinking, ensconsed
in the forest, last year just as this one,
in a forest cleansed to living bone, and Holden?

I heard the Spirit resounding The Word that Fire must fall upon a village that mirrors the forest that kneels all around…She said that She has a fiery crown and Holden is that forest fat and ready for the Refiner’s Fire, the Cleansing Burn that
resurrects those vital dry bones waiting…but She must choose that fate and blink…

Yes, we must welcome Fire Fate from God and let the dead wood burn,
and blaze, and feed Mosaic Ways to the flame and trust the Good God of the Fire
to keep her safe underneath Their Name and resurrected, cleansed, renewed
and ever delivered from stain and shame!

Let the rod be cast into the fire hot and be consumed!
For Moses died on Southside, short of Zion is his tomb!
And find us Lovely on the Northside, once again the Spirit’s womb!

Letter cannot take us there, nor blaze of past great glory fair
We must eradicate those roads of preservation that we wear!
They trap and capture us and cut us off from Grace unhindered
so we, like the forest, turn dull and dry, reduced to deadwood’s kindred!

I see Holden cleansed by Fire, and crying Holy tears when Holy
Spirit has free reign again to fall in fires that restore
and interrupt Sleeping Beauty’s snore and dead trees gone,
that speck removed and blinking eyes await the Dawn!

And animals can come again now welcomed
and bathe released in Grace and Precious Holden,
His Eye now blinking free and shining fair in Jesus’ Face.

Oh Holy Lightning Strike like Griffin Swift
upon this yearning heart in desperate need
of Your Mercy Severe, Your Holy Gift
Give us Grace to Find the Phoenix-Way!

To rise in faith from Ashes and from death
to self and self reliance, come what may!
On resurrection wings and Spirit’s breath
alive again and all is well this night

that breaks and shatters with the rising dawn…
and not a single fire road in sight,
and what will be well it shall simply be
and what will not be well it will be gone!
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Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,

“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”

The Best Gifts In The World

I find this quote significant for me on this day.  Thanks to the best gifts in the world:  the soul friends who have joined my journey…Gifts of Healing Presence from God to cleanse and heal the horrors of abandonment by unfaithful and fearful humans who even after 3 decades did not have the wherewithal to go the distance.

There are several significant people who walk with me, both in person and online…both groups are not large but wow are they substantive…and yes, KS, friend…all of our time talking in GR and EE…thank you for walking me into me.  ❤

July 13, 2016
“The tradition of soul friend reinforces the communal and corporate nature of Celtic spirituality and the dangers of traveling the spiritual path alone. A soul friend helps to offer us the courage needed to say yes to the big dreams being birthed in us. They help us to gain clarity over places of self-deception and denial.”

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD
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