Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Dancing Trees Entry n OPAL ART SHOW

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.
-- Leonardo da VinciCategories: Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Thirsty Cat by LLOYE

Ebb Tide has left a new comment on your post "Thirsty Cat by LLOYE":

This is a creative & colorful catty painting. The style reminds me of Picasso's.
Thanks for dropping by my blog. Sorry I haven't visited yours. Been
very busy packing for our September trip. Will tour 7 countries. Looking forward to seeing many oroginal art works by Picasso in Barcelona, Spain. I will
still be home for a week & a half.

Posted by Ebb

Friday, August 19, 2011


This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
-- Dalai Lama XIVCategories: Dalai Lama XIV

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Prayer of Illumination: Startle us this morning, O God, with the truth of your love for us. Help us to hear your word in a new way that will give life

Prayer of Illumination: Startle us this morning, O God, with the truth of your love for us. Help us to hear your word in a new way that will give life to your body, made manifest in this place. AMEN

1 Corinthians 12: 12-26

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, “ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. Then you cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you,”
On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this.
But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

AMEN So ends the reading and may God add a blessing to our understanding.

You are the body of Christ. And each of you is important. If you weren’t part of the body, it wouldn’t be the same.

It is Father’s Day, and I promised my dad a shout-out in his honor. (I’ll email him a copy of this sermon later!) You see, my dad really gets the whole church as a body thing. He contributed his unique gifts to our local Congregational church for 50 years, serving as a trustee, chairing the stewardship committee, using his considerable creative talents to write music and text for church celebrations and anniversaries and most recently, spearheading a team to improve communication within the church. I tell you this, because my dad has always been a source of inspiration for me. Growing up, I, too, tried to contribute to the body in a variety of ways – helping in the nursery, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, working in the community. But when I went to college, I pursued other interests… preferring fraternity party life to life in the church. As an undergraduate I told my dad, “I am a good Christian. I can be a good Christian even if I am not a part of the church.” He looked at me and said, “Mary, that just isn’t how this whole thing works.”

My faith life was diminished because I wasn’t participating in the life of the church, and as awkward as it is to admit, the body of Christ missed me, too.

The apostle Paul is a master of metaphor, and I think the body is one of the best. It helps us see the church as a living organism, both strong and vulnerable. Paul doesn’t say, “You ought to be the body of Christ; or when you get better at what you do, then you will be the body of Christ,” he says, “You ARE the body of Christ.”

But the Corinthian church also had its share of divisive issues.

For example, some of the wealthy believers were taking their poorer brethren to court to settle disputes. Paul speaks out against this practice, arguing that judgment between church members should be handled within the community. The poorer in the church body were being taken advantage of by the richer members.

In chapter 11, Paul admonishes the wealthy for their practice at the Lord’s Supper. At that time, communion was practiced as a full blown meal complete with wine. Because the church met in homes, only those with large houses and staff could host the meal. The rich would arrive early, eating and drinking their fill and leaving little for the less fortunate church members to eat or drink. Ouch.

But in chapter 12, Paul addresses the misunderstanding surrounding the manifestation of God’s spirit among believers. He wants to encourage their unity as a church, a unity that doesn’t happen because folks are all the same, but the unity that lies in the diversity of uniquely given gifts. He expresses this brilliantly by talking about the hand, the foot, the eye and ears – different body parts.

And how does is the body created? We become the body through baptism – through our shared story of the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. The external stuff of our lives isn’t as important as our unity in the cleansing, initiating water of life. Imagine the radical nature of Paul’s words…Greeks, Jews, slaves, free -- people are made one in the One who saves. Made one in the mystery of the risen Christ…one in awe and wonder. No room to judge or feel superior. In contemporary language? We are members of the body of Christ – made one in baptism – regardless of gender, socioeconomic status political or sexual orientation, education level, nationality, skin color or any of the other things that separate us in today’s culture.

It is God’s spirit who gives us our gifts, God’s spirit who enlivens those gifts within us, and God’s spirit who uses those gifts to build up the body. We are given talent, passions, and skills to carry out our common mission in the world so that together we make a difference. Together, we are the church.

Remember that when the church was just getting started, it consisted of house churches – all independent from one another. In fact, as Stan Schade even pointed out in the Human Scene, the diversity among believers was tremendous. Today, our church organization looks quite different. When Paul was writing, he was telling each house church to envision themselves as fully functional, unified in the spirit to support one another and share the gospel. Today, we of the Riverside Presbyterian Church are an expression of that body. But we are also a part of the entire, global church body – both within the denomination and beyond. We all thirst for God. We all drink from the same spirit, as Paul says, though our differences are many. Can we ever say to our Catholic neighbors, “we broke away from you in the reformation, so we don’t need you.” Or to our Methodist friends, “John Wesley’s doctrine of sanctifying grace doesn’t square completely with reformed theology, so we don’t need you.” Or to our Baptist cousins, “We believe in infant baptism, so we don’t need you?”

How exciting that our church actively participates in work of the Riverside/North Riverside covenant of churches. The covenant is made up clergy and laity of many of the churches in this area, promoting peace and unity through a monthly prayers for peace service, weekly pastor’s Bible study, combined Vacation Bible School in July and, this year anyway, a joint Good Friday service.

And what of those less honorable, weaker, and less respectable parts of our body that Paul talks about?

It can be tough to admit our vulnerability and need for help and support from the community. Particularly if we are the ones who are used to giving, used to being relied upon for assistance. But the scripture and lived experience reveals that there is grace both in giving and in receiving.

Perhaps your world has been turned upside down by illness, job loss, depression, an accident – oh, any number of things that life brings. Because we are the body of Christ, we all are made to feel the suffering together – and together we seek wholeness. That could mean keeping a family close in prayer, or making a phone call, lining up legal assistance, starting a support group of giving a hug at church. And as we who are used to being thought of as strong, open ourselves to receiving from the community, we experience the church at its best. One body, each person living into the gifts that God gave them, together, sharing, struggling, growing, receiving, giving, and rejoicing.

Everyone has been gifted by God’s spirit. All are important and necessary to the body’s thriving. In these challenging times for main-line religion, there is no greater message of hope.

My friend Linda was a middle aged woman in one of my former churches. Linda married Barry when he was a young widower with two boys. She raised those boys as her own, had a daughter with Barry and created a loving home for them all. At church, Barry was one of those guys who was an “out front” person. He taught an active adult Sunday School class, preached occasionally, served on the church counsel and was prominent in the community. Linda, quiet by nature, worked behind the scenes, having an impact without lots of recognition. She served meals to the elderly, cooked for families in need, was a good listener, helped in the kitchen during pot-luck suppers, and created a small cottage industry making stuffed angels and crafts. (I have one she gave me here!) I met Linda when she arrived at our Bible study bearing a homemade applesauce cake garnished with sugared pansies from her garden. Linda was warm and generous, talented and hospitable. But because her talent and gifts weren’t as out in the open as her husband, Barry’s, because she didn’t teach or lead groups, Linda felt as though she had nothing worthwhile to offer. She shared this feeling of inadequacy one day while our group did a study on spiritual gifts. Linda was doing exactly what Paul cautioned the Corinthians not to do…looking at another person’s gifts and service and finding herself lacking.

It was only after learning that helping others is considered a legitimate gift, given by God for the purpose of glorifying God and lifting up others, that Linda knew her worth. Through tears, she acknowledged that she, too, was an integral and important part of Christ’s body, created with a purpose.

After nine months with all of you, I can state with certainty that God’s spirit moves powerfully within this place. I have witnessed gifts of compassion, hospitality, musical and artistic gifts; gifts of helping, woodworking, computer skills, and pure physical strength: gifts of conversation, healing, and teaching, cooking, baking, and dishwashing; gifts of friendship, organization, and proof-reading: gifts of wedding planning, editing, and sound system operation; gifts of communion preparation, work with youth, visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, and advocating for the poor.

You are the body of Christ and I thank you for opening your lives to me this year. AMEN

Tuesday, August 09, 2011



With the ability to reproduce art, it is available to the masses. No one needs to own a van Gogh original, they can paint their own. Van Gogh in a box, ladies, the newest form of mass distributed art: Paint by Numbers.

Look at what we have done to the man who refused to conform his ideals to popular tastes, who refused to compromise his integrity. We have put him in a tiny box and asked you to copy him

Saturday, August 06, 2011


A true Friend

When I accept your quietness and not assume it is because of me, when I can accept your anger and not react as if you are angry with me, when I can allow you to be indifferent and not take it as an insult, when I can be with you in company and not see your behavior as a reflection on me, when I can accept your swings of mood without needing to understand or control, when I can allow you to be you, I will be beyond ownership, then my dear friend, not only will you feel my love but I will truly have found freedom within me."

Wednesday, August 03, 2011



Lloyd Irvving Bradbury.....Here I stay

Here I stay

Cursed this way

To wander the wood

Excape if I could

No loved ones will cry

Here in Painting I Lie

If You see Ne with your eye

You will join me and Die

So I answered the cursed one…

In light all things thrive and bear fruit... In darkness they decay and die. That is why we must follow the teachings of the Lords of Light.
-- Dennis Wheatl

Monday, August 01, 2011


Lloyd Bradbury ..... Haunted

There are an infinite number of universes existing side by side and through which our consciousnesses constantly pass. In these universes, all possibilities exist. You are alive in some, long dead in others, and never existed in still others. Many of our "ghosts" could indeed be visions of people going about their business in a parallel universe or another time -- or both.


Hi Lloyd,

Thank you so much for coming out to the British Home and sharing your art and insights with our residents. What a wonderful program! The residents are still talking about it! You gave a lot of encouragement to those with impairments. Never give up. Keep painting.

The British Home

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