Shuck and Jive


Thursday, February 06, 2020

In Between

Here is the latest piece I wrote for the Beaverton Resource Guide.

In Between

There is a hauntingly beautiful song by Mary Gauthier called “Mercy Now” with lyrics that I think fit our time, the time of in-between.

Every living thing could use a little mercy now
Only the hand of grace can end the race towards another mushroom cloud
People in power, they'll do anything to keep their crown
I love life and life itself could use some mercy now 
Yeah, we all could use a little mercy now
I know we don't deserve it but we need it anyhow
We hang in the balance dangled 'tween hell and hallowed ground
And every single one of us could use some mercy now


Life is “hanging in the balance” and we dangle in-between. My personal life has changed and I am in between jobs, perhaps in between careers, even in between spiritual identities. One foot in a past existence and one in the next. Maybe you have been in a similar place or are there now.  Collectively, as a nation, as a world community, we are in-between as well.

As scary as it seems, the in-between is the place of mercy and grace. If we can accept this liminal place, this in-between that and the other and not attempt to force what is to come or hurriedly retreat to what was, we can find our truth. We can find ourselves and discover what is real and valuable and worthy of us.

The in-between is the space of our test. This is a place where we are given the opportunity to reveal who we really are. This is a place that invites the best in us to rise up and be beautiful, brave, generous, intelligent, creative and joyful. This is the place where we show the universe what it means to be human beings. This is where we prove that our appearance on this blue ball was not a mistake or a fluke but a planned gift.

This is where we put our opposable thumbs to good use and create homes and communities of justice and be a blessing to all living things. This is the in-between, the place of both meditation and action, where we discover that we are beloved, that we matter, and that come what may, we will be true to the better angels of our nature.

Let us not be afraid of the in-between nor fret over the “people in power.” They got nothing. For the “hand of grace” is indeed with us, now in the uncertainty, in the liminality, in the in-between. Let us trust that together, in time, we will reach that “hallowed ground.”

I have played this youtube of her song in church. Enjoy.



Sunday, January 26, 2020

How About We End it Here

How about we end it here.
Do something unexpected,
courageous and wise.

Let the US leave Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Saud, Israel
and every other country to themselves,
and let’s make for ourselves a nice home,
spending our money on health and education
and sustainable, just living with Earth and our neighbors.

Let us bring our troops and equipment from all over the world home.
Let us melt down the useless bombs.
We need no more than the poorest anywhere and then everyone,
everywhere will live rich in spirit,
each with one’s daily bread,

like the beloved of God.





My Country's Skies Are Bluer than the Ocean

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

I thought of one of my favorite peace hymns, "This Is My Song" (tune: Finlandia) when I saw a photograph of Tehran, Iran on Twitter yesterday. Press TV, an Iranian English-speaking news outlet posted the photo and caption, "Tehran's blue sky right now!"


I have no quarrel with anyone from Iran. Who does really? Only the elite who profit from war. It is time for human beings to take back our lands and sing with confidence a song of peace so the God of all the nations will believe that we really want it.

Here are the rest of the lyrics and a nice harmony on it from the Indigo Girls.

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is,
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.


Friday, January 10, 2020

Truth Jihad: A Conversation with Kevin Barrett


In March 2018 I had a live interview scheduled with Dr. Kevin Barrett on my monthly show, "The Beloved Community" on KBOO. Through a smear campaign led by Rose City Antifa complete with name-calling, character assassination, and a deluge of tweets and phone calls, the station staff and management were pressured to stop the interview and actually ban Kevin Barrett from being on the air. (Staff and management claim they were not pressured.) I appealed the decision but my appeal was never addressed. Dr. Barrett never had an opportunity to defend himself. Volunteers or the membership never had an opportunity to review this process.
On December 13th, 2019 I broadcast a pre-recorded show that included audio from the last sermon I gave to my church, an interview with Dr. David Ray Griffin and a speech Dr. Kevin Barrett delivered at a KBOO-sponsored event at Portland State in February 2018 about US-Saudi relations. Staff, in response to phone calls, stopped the broadcast in the midst of Dr. Barrett's speech and played Christmas music! In protest to this personal disrespect and censorship, I decided to take a sabbatical from my volunteer duties and support of KBOO and move my show to a platform that respects the spirit of the First Amendment. You can read my story here.
Over Christmas, Dr. Barrett interviewed me for his radio show, Truth Jihad, and gave me permission and encouragement to rebroadcast that interview on my program.


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