Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Be Like the Wise Men and Bring Gifts to All in Need--Through Mennonite Central Committee or World Vision

Follow in the long journey of the Wise men and bring gifts to those in need...
a goat, a fishing kit, clean water.

And bring deliverance from
disease, poverty, human rights violations,
exploitation, the ravages of current conflicts...

Through the peace-spreading of Mennonite Central Committee
and the poverty-ending of World Vision, or some other reliable,
world-changing nonprofit,
give hope.

Yes, be a human 'profit' for good change in the world today.

Do how Eashoa, the Chosen, said to act in his parable of the Good Samaritan.

Herald the Good News for all to all from the God of All Comfort.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Worst of Years and ONE again

The Worst of Years

Too long ago, back when we were hopeful teenagers, aspiring adolescents with the great world and the beckoning future before us all, and longed-for love in our hearts, a song came on the radio, one of impassioned reminisce, of missed regret, of measured pleasure, even past hope.

The popular tune wasn’t my style and the theme wasn’t Christ-like, but its haunting melody and a few lines did stick with many of us.

“When I was seventeen
It was a very good year
It was a very good year for small town girls…”*

Yes, I remember a few of my first dates, and a rural Nebraska girl:-).
Anyway the song’s chorus then says, “It was a very good year”
and the final lines end with “But now the days grow short in the autumn of the year…”

Not much like my life at all—not in its worldview, ethics, or ending.

But all in reverse…

This last year has been “It was a very sadistic year…” or “It was a very worst of years.”
Sometimes for most humans a year hurricanes in like that—a real lethal tsunami/tornado
or other natural disaster, a devastating death or grievous disease, a broken relationship,
lost communion, a descent into hades, tragic times where one reaches so low,
plummets to such an abyss, that an individual wishes he had never been born.*

George Fox experienced such a deep despair at one point of time in his life—called it the “ocean of darkness.”

We all (at least most of us, except the relentlessly ‘sunshine’ few) eventually face what Ecclesiastes says,
“…before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain,3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed,

4 and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low— 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man
is going to his eternal home,

and the mourners go about the streets— 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

8 ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Everything is meaningless!’"
Ecclesiastes 12

Not the most hopeful meditation is this during the Christmas season, is it?

No Yuletide cheer, that’s for sure.

But then the original Christmas was no summer picnic: A king slaughtering innocent infants, a baby being born
in an animal trough, living in an occupied country under ruthless soldiers, living below the poverty line…

Before we can consider any Good News, we do need to face the darkness of the ocean of existence.

Any thoughts on all that is wrong, tragic, senseless, meaningless, and damnable about this life?

Now that life’s been stated in all of its negativity, here is a poem on Jesus’ birth,
the hope in which many of us live to counter the overwhelming ocean of darkness:


So awe fulled the birthing
of God's presence, new cauled
in humble manger's destiny,

The base and apex of
a starred cave's presents
of all future festivals

Yet abandoned, forsaken to
the crowned world's nails,
every man's cursedness;

Farthest reach of faith
this Apocalypso dancer
crosses the Cosmos,

Morning us night-less;
he compassions Earth
ever peopling Heaven,

Emptying the pitiless bottom
zeroing Apollyon
into ever's Now

Beloved one, Isa, Eashoa, Jesus
child of the masses
point man for us all.

First published in The Green Silk Journal,
also in the book collections Psalms, Yawps, and Howls,
and selah river

*The American novelist John Steinbeck wrote he wished during all of his life that he “had never been born”!
Yes, really, he speaks of this in one of his writing notebooks.

When I first read his statement, at the age of about 47, I was flabbergasted. It’s true, by that time I had had some very bad tragic years, but I never ever wished I hadn’t ever been born. Later as I aged and went through the loss of all hope, I did at times “wish I had never been born.”
Very devastating hopeless outlook.

Thank God, for the hopefulness of some thinkers such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Howard Zinn.

*"It Was a Very Good Year" lyrics by songwriter Ervin Drake

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Let Us 'Wrestle' with Scripture: Psalms 3:7-8 versus Matthew 5:38-39, 43-48

Psalm 3 sounds like a shocking contradiction to Jesus' ethical guidance in the Sermon on the Mount, or rather vice versa. Jesus seems to contradict the psalmist's call for violent revenge.

In verse 7, the psalmist calls God to attack his enemies: “Arise, O Yahweh, Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek: You break the teeth of the ungodly.”

In drastic contrast in Matthew 5: 38-39, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye in exchange for an eye, and a tooth in exchange for a tooth.’
“But I am saying to you, you shall not rise up against an evil person, but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him also the other."

And then Jesus says we are to "turn the other cheek...love our enemies" because that is how God loves, loving even the unjust! Jesus says that in so doing, we are to become perfect like 'our Father in Heaven!'

43 "You have heard that it was said, ‘Show kindness to your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and bless the one who curses you, and do what is beautiful to the one who hates you, and pray over those who take you by force and persecute you. 45 So that you will become the children of your Father who is in Heaven, for his sun rises on the good and upon the evil and his rain descends on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if you love those who love you, what benefit is it to you? Behold, do not even the Tax Collectors the same thing? 47 And if you pray for the peace of your brethren only, what excellent thing are you doing? Behold, are not even the Tax Collectors doing the same thing? 48 Be therefore perfect, just as your Father who is in Heaven is perfect.”

What thinkest thou?

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Albion's Seed, an Historical Analysis of the Ways of Quakers, Cavaliers, and Puritans in the New World

Interested how early Friends (such as William Penn) lived out their spiritual, social, and cultural lives in the American colonies?

How the Quakers' lived-out faith differed drastically from other British immigrants--the Cavaliers and Puritans?

Then read Hackett's profound study, a very detailed analysis of daily life based in 4 contrary worldviews which immigrated to the colonies and brought drastic changes that we affect us today.

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer
Published by Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford

David Hackett Fischer is currently University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University. He received a B.A. from Princeton University in 1958 and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1962.

Here is a book of the kind that comes once or twice in a generation, one that is a decisive, seminal work of historical scholarship! Besides breaking new ground in interpretation, Fischer has a prose style and “voice” that is intriguing, inviting, fascinating, and positive even when dealing with the negatives of history.

Never boring, (though a few of the sociological charts made my study eyes glaze over--glad I didn't have to assemble all those minute historical details on which Hackett based his historical conclusions:-)

Did I say this book is amazing?

There are so many new views and facts of American and British history, contrary interpretations of the Christian religion, and how all of those factors play out and shape culture and society, and how these influences carry over for generations, indeed for centuries up to and including our present day.

Read and gain new insight.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

3 Sons Fight--Muslim, Jew, and Christian

Three Sons Fight

Disking the rock strewn
Objected earth near Bet Shean,
Underneath the Middle Eastern sky
Rows of mean earth riven by the blades,
We cut away our anger, hate, and pride,
Stopping to drink, not from the liquor
Of fanatic corruption but from
The precious water welling up,
Our oasis of Jacob'd sharing,
In this Hanukkah season
Of Christ's mass after


We three sons of Abraham,
Muslim, Jew, and Christian,
Fight the true battle
Not each other but
To be found worthy
In compassion
And purity--
The true
To God


First published in
Rubber Lemon,
Knot Middle Eastern Magazine,
and the book collection
selah river

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, December 5, 2013

4-Letter Praise

4-Letter Praise

While the high tech media, low-minded men
Cuss you out
In 4-letters,
Let us sing to you God of All Becoming
Beyond all temporary selfishness
Higher above than the highest high
Born a despised infant in a barn trough
A reviled criminal executed and buried
So many tragic events and centuries past
One now present in all beings and things
Finite, erring beings so ever inadequate yet
But not scientifically evident
Incarnated in men’s spiritual acts
Giving, peaceful, patient, joyous

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

First published in The Mindful Word,
and in the 3rd book collection
of published poetry selah river