Born in the USA

I used to think it was a blessing to live in America. That I was one of the luckiest citizens of the planet to be born in such a country. An almost pre-ordained, God-given birthright. That I was blessed. That our nation was blessed. But I am a product of this environment. What else would I believe? Almost a century of “work hard, buy a house, use credit.” But it doesn’t work for everyone.

And what does that get you? America has become the abhorrent opposite of Christianity. Christianity is about sharing, loving, caring for the least, the poor, the fatherless, the widows. America is about securing your own property and power. And the difference between poor and rich is growing out of control.

I don’t know what it’s like to be anywhere else. Rugged individualism is only a value if you are raised in such a world. I was shown the commercial for America. I believed it. “Shut up and take my money.” I believed it was the best because that’s what we tell the world. The ideal is to live here. Immigrants pouring across the border for safety and wealth.

I don’t want to trade places, but I don’t mind sharing. I need healthcare, clean water, access to schools and freedom to move. Protection for my child. So do they.

If we can’t evolve as a society/country to accommodate those in need, then we have no business to point to our manifest destiny. We have become corrupt and require modification. Our entire country was formed on the crushing of Native Americans. There is still sentiment in this country, of those in power, that we can take what we want, benefit ourselves in the present, with no concern for the future. That should change.

We need to move/evolve from deregulated capitalism to something towards socialism. Not socialism, but at least universal healthcare. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. First one is life.

I wish I knew what to do. I’m paying attention. I’m watching the money. I’m voting. I’m participating. It’s not clear that the Dems will do any better. God help us.

I love America. Mostly the people in it. But I am growing more and more discouraged by the few in power who abuse the poor.

Born in the USA

This is America


Also. When do we drop the American dream and start living as God intended? Without borders. Without walls. Loving and caring for the world. God doesn’t care if we are safe, air-conditioned and pampered. He doesn’t care how big our house is or what we have in the cupboards if any of his people are starving. He has asked us to move into an uncomfortable place. I am still content to be comfortable. When does that change? What’s the breaking point? To move from comfort with one’s life to fighting for change for others? He’s waiting for us to be the hands and feet of his body. That’s our earthly purpose. When do we embrace that?

I can’t let my family down. Run off to South America, risk life and limb, risk my daughter’s life. My husband and daughter are counting on me. What are the little things I can do for the least of these?

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Blessed

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”


It doesn’t say blessed are the poor in finance. It says poor in spirit.

Poor in spirit means that we ALL are spiritually bankrupt and are in need of spiritual currency. Not only bankrupt, because that would mean even, but DEEP in debt.
How many dollars have your parents given you to save your bacon before you could stand on your own two feet? Can you ever repay them?
That’s God’s love for us.
In Christianity, the currency is Jesus.
We all require Christ to know heaven. That’s what we believe.
All Christ means? All Christ stood for?
LOVE. Grace. Grace and love are the same thing.
Blessed are those who require LOVE, deal in LOVE, freely give LOVE. For they shall see heaven.
To forgive and be forgiven.
To live in peace.
We require grace because we continually get it wrong. Because we are human. Fallible.
We give grace because we want it and get it.
The whole of the law is LOVE.
I wanna be rich!

To Battle

I’m in The Grapes of Wrath right now and I wanted to look at this old song, Battle Hymn of the Republic. I mixed in some of my photography as well. Pictures from my home state, Missouri, and one from Amarillo, Texas! I’ll let you guess which one. 🙂


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.church
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
windmill-cropped
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
His day is marching on.
bw truck
I have read His fiery gospel writ in rows of burnished steel!
“As ye deal with my condemners, so with you My grace shall deal!
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, ”
Since God is marching on.
silo
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
country road
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!
While God is marching on.flowers
This song so perfectly sums up what Tom and the Joads are going through. I feel so honored, humbled and thankful to be able to tell this story. It truly is one of the most amazing experiences in theatre I’ve had. Already! We’re only one week into blocking.
The last show I did in Missouri, Women of Lockerbie, was amazing as well. I feel so lucky to be blessed with great actors, great direction and so much love and support. I don’t deserve such grace, but I’m over-the-moon to have it.trees fencetexassmall-e-cross

bw house
My mother’s Depression era home in Aullville, MO. The place she lived as a child. Still standing!
I don’t know that being in a play and being self-indulgent with acting is helping anyone. It certainly spurs me on to find ways to help others. It inspires me to keep going. It puts me in touch with my roots. It puts me in a caring community of strangers who have more love than I’ve seen in a while. Isn’t that a God thing?
I want to honor this very selfish, enjoyable experience by finding the depths of this character. It’s such a special opportunity. Plus, I want to take care of the people around me. Just like Ma. I want to be as generous as she was on and off stage.
I feel like I did when I used to act at church. Like I have a purpose and God-given usable talent. As sad as this play is, I’m having the time of my life.

Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom…”

I can’t have a bank account
From the First National Sermon on the Mount.
The beatitudes are all about attitude.
The first blessing that Christ’s addressing
Is the condition of my heart.

Do I understand
What God had planned?
Jesus bent for Hell and sent to tell
His sacrificial story of offered glory
For the entire planet.

Do I require
The rock that is higher?
The grace that I taste
Is paid by a price that is prised
By flesh.

The question is
Do I think I need it?

Poor in spirit
Refers to lack of wealth
Not in property or coins
But in spiritual health

The answer is:
Everyone’s sick.
Overcoming sin
Is more than just a trick.

No magic here.
Someone had to die.
Jesus was born
To bring King-dom nigh.

Accepting mercy
Is easy when I need it.
Giving up pride
Is hard when I feed it.

A beggar knows
Where his hope is born.
A sinner knows
How the curtain was torn.

A beggar asks
For what he needs to live.
The King with the riches
Is the one to give.

If I think I’m rich?
Never need excused?
Forgiveness is necessary.
All stand accused.

Coming to terms
With my own depravity
Is like an astronaut re-entering
Earthbound gravity.

All I have to lose
Is the illusion of control
I was never in charge
Of saving my own soul.

It’s really simple,
Not easily done.
Give up pretense.
In that, I’ve won.

There are no deposits.
I can’t act good.
I only withdraw
From the blood-soaked wood.

Thank God for His sacrifice.
Dying.
While we were still sinners.
The poor in spirit
Are the real winners
Of the kingdom.

If I’m on my knees, in dire need,
Then I appreciate the cost.
I can’t buy or bleed my way to heaven.
The price was paid for the lost
On the cross.

A poor man begs for help in street.
He knows he can’t stand on his own.
I wouldn’t want to kneel before God
Knowing I refused His loan.
I will show my receipt of divine restraint.

So. I’m poor. So poor.
In total need.
I have nothing to show.
Not one good deed.

So help me, God.
Send sweet Christ.
I accept and submit to
The Son Sacrificed.

Everyone is poor in SPIRIT before the throne of God.
All of us require the currency of Jesus.

options

Spittin’ mad rhymes
Collectin’ those crimes
You gonna drop those dimes
Or do hard times
In prison.

Not much you can do
Get shot comin’ thru
Ain’t nothin’ new
Y’all wish it wasn’t true
Somebody listen.

Poor people
Everywhere
Dyin’ in the streets
Dyin’ for care
God Bless America.

Where’s God in this?
Is He at the bottom line?
Did they leave Him out?
The last thing on their mind.
Is Charity.

Broken homes
Thrown stones
Bloody bones
Dead-eye drones
Killin’ us.

When you die
Is less of the concern
How you die
Is the screw they turn
Twisted.

Poison the water
Poison the food
Poison the thinking
And attitude
Of the very people you’re killin’.

Don’t play this game
Don’t hang that frame
Don’t take that name
Recalibrate your aim
Get out.

I did.