spirituality

adventures

Caged Love


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Spent the day walking around San Francisco, from the Wharfs to Mission District up to the twin peaks to catch the sunset.

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In my travels I noticed that a lot of the doorway entrances have a caged door as well…

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and then I noticed some churches do too…

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and then I noticed not just doorways but little enclaves & places of shelter were caged off…

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and then I found this man in an alleyway…

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and right across the road was this church…

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it had a large sheltered area that would be perfect for alley-man to sleep & shelter in.

 

It may even make a difference in whether he lives or dies tonight.

 

I want to ask a question, so I find an entrance. On the way I see the churches slogan on a big sign,

Relationship. Not Religion.

 

I ask, “why do I see so many areas caged off?”. The answer it seems is because homeless people would take up residence there. “Is this why you guys have a caged area too?”, He looks awkward, a lady pipes up, “You have to remember we have to keep it clean for Sunday”.

I ask her if she knows a homeless guy died from the cold the other night, that he is the 5th in the last 2 weeks. She tells me if they let a few homeless stay (in the courtyard) soon there would be lots & they have families that come on Sunday.

He tells me they’re busy & I have to go now, I thank them for their time, I’m just trying to make sense of it all…

Wouldn’t God be appalled if our courtyards were dirty.

Heaven forbid we became known as a church where the least & disadvantaged seek shelter, or where faith was raw & real for our families, rather than disinfected-white-washed-sanitised-sunday-school-lives.

Lets do some simple math. There are easily a 120+ people there, that would mean committing 1 day every 2 months where you & another person cleaned up & served the homeless that gathered in your courtyard…

 

who knows, maybe then the words of your slogan would come to life…

maybe then it would stop being religion,

and start being relationship.

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adventures, images

Mission District


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Mission District, in-between talking & walking.

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the spiritual…

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the struggle…

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the inspirational…

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social commentary…

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& dreams…

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adventures

Byodo-in 2


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I awake to the sound of rain. It’s pouring down.

Beautiful.

Eventually I get out of bed & during a break in the rain decide to head to Byodo- in temple (take 2), freshly armed with the exact bus route I head off. I reach my transfer point only to discover that as of a month ago my connecting bus no longer connects… guess the website updates are running on island time.

Not only that, but because it’s Sunday it’s hardly running, not wanting to miss another opportunity I grab a different bus to get me closer, then suck-it-up & take cab.

My driver, Ricky (most popular name on the island so far) is a Vietnam vet who moved here after the war, he has seen Honolulu go through a ton of change, single lane highways to 8 lanes etc. He cuts me a good price as he picks up  another job over that way, gives me an umbrella & wishes me well.

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Byodo-in Temple is at the back of this cemetery & it is in the most pristinely beautiful area, these photos dont do it justice. It begins rain heavily, driving the few remaining tourists away, I’m absolutely soaked, but it’s Hawaii so I’m warm.

 

 

 

I hangout til dusk.

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I’m dry by the time I get back to Waikiki, although I freeze with bus a/c.

Heading back I stop by a group of homeless people, I ask if I can do some time-lapse photography, I’m chatting away while I’m setting up. One of them gets into an argument with another, the cops are called, one says,

You’re only here because I allow it!

I’m sitting on the pavement with them & realise I fit in, until one of them notices the GoPro & I’m asked to move along. The petty crime, smoking, littering, urinating, searching through trash cans, and drinking doesn’t appear to be a problem. But scare the tourists, that’s another story.

I return a couple of hours later & make some new friends. Deciding to give photo’s a miss, I film, I ask questions, they talk BS, they share the heartfelt, their stories & I get a tour of Waikiki.

Here’s a little something I put together, when I get a chance I’ll do a more thorough edit. I imagine I’ll be spending some more time with “the houseless crew”.

 

New Experience: bending busses! hawaibus47

High: Chilling at Byodo-in & new friends.

Low:  It’s a toss up between really muggy nights & mosquito bites (if you go to Byodo- in, use bug spray. The mosquito’s are like ninjas, you don’t know they’ve been there til to late.

Biggest Surprise: It’s been 2 days & I haven’t been for a swim yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

quotes, Uncategorized

a day acceptable to the Lord


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I’m certain to fail certain “christianity” tests for not choosing a Jesus/cross or judgement text but this is my favourite chapter in the Bible, it has been for a number of years, thought I’d share it with you… emphasis added to the parts that ‘pop’ for me.

 

“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
 For day after day they seek me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
    as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near them.
 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter —
   when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
    and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
      then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

–  Isaiah 58

Uncategorized

Coffee


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“There’s two kinds of people in this world, when you boil it all down. You got your Talkers and your Doers. Most people are just Talkers, all they got is talk. But when it’s all said and done… it’s the Doers who change this world, and when they do that, they change us. And that’s why we never forget them. So which one are you? Do you just talk about it? Or do you stand up and do something about it? Because believe you me, all the rest of it is just coffee house bullsh!t.”

– Roco, Boondock Saints II.

 

I love coffee cake, coffee ice cream, coffee chocolate, coffee milk shakes, the smell of coffee beans, of coffee peculating. Yet for some reason I don’t like a hot coffee, I can count on my hand the number of times a year I have a coffee.

And I can’t stand bitter coffee.

 

If ‘Pills’ was an invitation to explore faith, God & beliefs, then ‘Coffee’ is what we do with it, what this blog is or isn’t about.

 

Are you a Talker or a Doer?

I like to talk, I love to listen to people share their beliefs & how it affects their lives, I love to hear about what fires people up & gives them a hunger for life.

I hope that this blog can be a place to facilitate some great discussion.

I hope this blog facilitates more than great discussion, but leads to some doing. Because at the end of the day I can “believe” in the Easter Bunny, but if it has no impact on how I live my life what’s the point? I can believe in a God who loves the poor, yet if I don’t go out of my way to walk with the poor then what’s the point?

 

If a value or belief doesn’t lead to action, do I truly Believe it?

Or do I just like the concept.

 

 

I hope this blog doesn’t facilitate Bitter Coffee.

Bitter Coffee is generally made by people who are dissatisfied with church, sometimes they meet with like minded people over coffee, sometimes that becomes their new church, sometimes all this new church becomes is dissatisfied people sitting around drinking coffee with an air of spiritual-elitists-arrogance, getting bitter….so bitter that it permeates the coffee.

Let me just make this clear, I’m all for house churches/organic church,

I have nothing against people being dissatisfied with church, I’m one of them. I’m dissatisfied with church, yet I love the Church & I can’t stand Bitter Coffee.

 

I believe that anything can be questioned & no question is off limits. There are practices and beliefs that are facilitated within church/Christianity which just make me cringe, that I believe don’t have any place in following Jesus, but have become so ingrained in Christian culture.

My criticism/questioning of them is not to make me feel like a better person or because I think I’m a better person, but to push for change.

It’s not because I don’t care about the state of Christianity, but because I do.

 

 

In the words of Roco, I don’t have time for bitter coffee house bullsh!t,

I do have time to be a Doer.