Friday, July 29, 2016


Thursday, July 28, 2016

If I Could See

If I could see with the ears of a bat;
If I could see with the nose of a dog;
If I could see with the eyes of an eagle;
If I could see with the roots of a tree;
If I could see with the tongue of a snake; 
If, I could see...

~ Tiwago

(photography by tiwago)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


A faceless voice, in
A faceless crowd
Asked the Teacher
To make a brother
Share wealth with him -
Another prodigal son.

But the Teacher called
Him "Friend", and said:
"I'm not a small-claims judge!
Be ever vigilant my new friend
Of just such needs and greeds;
Your Life is not composed of
Hoarded stuff and shiny things.

Then the Teacher
Told a story about
A man of wealth
Who grew richer,
Whose giant home
Grew too small to
Showcase all of
His many things.
So he bought a
Newer mansion,
A bigger palace,
So he could buy
More cool stuff.

And he leaned back,
And put his feet up,
And said to himself:
"We so have it made!
Let us enjoy our leisure.
Let us enjoy fancy foods.
Let us drink fine wines.
Let us party all night, and
Let us sleep all the day."

He told himself so loudly
That he was happy, that
He couldn't hear God say:
"You shortsighted fool,
Tonight you shall die!
What is your mansion
Compared to mine?"

Those who store up
Treasures and loot
For themselves alone
Are poor.

~ Tiwago (from Luke 12)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Small Wonders

Monday, July 25, 2016


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer Wildflowers

Friday, July 22, 2016

Blackeyed Susan

Where Do I Find the DIY Prayers Books?

I don't always write my sermons down (well actually, hardly ever), but when I do, they look like this:

July 24, 2016; Mokena United Methodist Church


What is prayer?

"In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, the Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path - the path of those whom you have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked Your anger or of those who are astray." Surah 1:1-7 of the Koran

"May His great name be exalted and sanctified in the world which He created according to His will! May He establish His Kingdom and may His salvation blossom and His anointed be near..." Part of the Jewish Kaddish.


Takes place immediately after last week's reading, in "a certain place" - Bethany?
"Teach us to pray"? Magic words? Right way? Acceptable to God? Ease?
"Like John"?
     Some of Jesus' disciples had transferred from John. 
     Revival - Kaddish?
Jesus alters the Kaddish:
     The Kingdom is not a future hoped for event.
     Jesus is the fulfillment of the Kaddish - the "Anointed"
Read Luke 11:2-4 (Why I'm reading from The Message?)
John Wesley: "This prayer, uttered from the heart, and in its true and full meaning, is indeed the true badge of a real Christian."
     From "the heart" or from rote?
     "True and full meaning"? Do we study or do we recite?

Catholic funeral story...


The prayer is part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
Between warnings against showy religion and showy fasting - simplicity and humility.
Read Matthew 6:5-14
Missing verse?
     Parts of our current Bible are edits by scribes through time to clarify or  to make the Gospels more "synoptic".
     Usually something added
     End of the Gospel of Mark originally left us with the women running from the empty tomb in terror! Only later were the post-resurrection appearances added!
Earliest versions of Matthew included a doxology: "For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen."

Simple Prayer

My first prayer: "Now I lay me down to sleep - I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake - I pray the Lord my soul to take"!
Addams family?
"Rockabye baby in the tree-top, when the bough breaks..."
We want some magic words, words that are easy to say without thought, we want tokens and totems.

The Right Way?

We all know people who are afraid to pray in public, because they think they don't know the secret way to pray correctly. We don't know the words that will impress God with our theatre and our goodness. Prayer is hard work! Did I forget something? Chill out Martha!

Richard Foster, the founder of the Renovare church revival movement: "We will never have pure enough motives, or be good enough, or know enough to pray 'rightly'"!
     So why do we stress so?
     Prayer is not just Martha work, it is also Mary listening.

Jesus then tells a parable to move us away from the surficial "what to say", to the deeper "how to say it":
"Imagine you have a friend coming to visit, and you go to another friend for help..."
To me, this is talking about relationships, not supply and demand.
     Relationship with our brothers and sisters.
     Relationship with God.
We ask God to help someone else so that He and they may enter into a relationship.
     Richard Foster: When we pray for ourselves, we should always add "if it be Your will", but if we pray for another we should never add it. We have been granted the authority by Jesus to do that very thing, and so we weaken our prayers by being wishy-washy. We exhibit a lack of faith.
     Over and over again, the gospels tell us that before Jesus prayed for someone, he was "moved by compassion".

     In his "Celebration of Discipleship", Richard Foster says: "The courage to actually go and pray for a person is a sign of sufficient faith. Frequently our lack is not faith but compassion." It is hard to pray for a stranger, and harder still to pray for an enemy.

The parable moves on to talk about persistence.
     Praying for Steve Bryant example.
The parable also speaks of "good gifts" - "need" vs "wants".
Often, Jesus explains the teaching of the parable at the end.
     Like many a good sermon, the Good News is revealed at the end.
          What we seek to find is not forgiveness, but the Father!
          What we open the door to is not salvation, but the Son!
          What we ask for is not things, but the Spirit!
          The Good News is that God is love and generosity!

So, again I ask: "What is prayer?"

Foster: "To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. if we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives."
     Do we pray to invite change, or do we pray to prevent it?
     Is prayer part of our character, or are we just going through the motions?

Once more I ask: "What is prayer?"

Wesley preached: "As continually received by faith, so it is continually rendered back by love, by prayer, and praise, and thanksgiving - love and praise and prayer being the breath of every soul which is truly born of God. And by this new kind of spiritual respiration, spiritual life is not only sustained but increased day by day."

Thursday, July 21, 2016

wet heat

musk of cornsilk
cicada cacophany
summer deepens

~ tiwago

Don't Bother Me, I'm Busy

leaves me

~ tiwago 

(photography by tiwago)

Beneath Green Fronds

ripples in space and time
sapphire sheen of shadows
- living water

                 ~ tiwago

(photography by tiwago)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

cactus portrait


We asked him how we should pray -
We wanted "proper" words to use.
So the Word gave us useful words.

He taught us how to talk to God -
But we wanted words of power!
So the Son showed us the Door.

We won't find the door,
If we do not go in search.
We will not receive it,
If we do not ask for it.
The Door will not open,
If we do not knock on it.

If the rich and spoiled give,
Nice gifts to their children,
Wouldn't our loving Parent,
Give life in the Spirit,
To those who search;
To all those who ask;
To those who knock?

Tiwago (from Luke 11)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bird Haven Greenhouse

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Kolorful Koi

You Showed Me Fruit

God showed me a bowl of fruit, and
I knew the harvest was approaching.
The sacred hymns of all the churches
Shall be but loud wails of mourning.
Bodies shall litter the streets and fields,
Like used condoms and fast-food bags...

Hear this you who need the needy,
Listen up you who abuse the Earth,
Who decrease sizes and raise prices,
Who practice unethical commerce,
Who profit by the poverty of others,
Who treat the poor as expendables,
Who consume and use the powerless,
Who deal in brokenness and despair:
The Lord was once so proud of you,
But the time of forgiveness is passing.

The land shall rise and smoke and shake.
The sun shall darken and become cold.
Your parties shall be funerals, while
Your songs will become slow dirges.
Your clothes shall rot from your bodies,
And your hair shall fall from your heads.
You'll feel as though your only child died.

Famine's coming for the rich.
Not from the lack of bread, but
From the lack of Living Bread.

Thirst's coming for the mighty.
Not from the lack of water, but
From the lack of Living Water.

And it shall hence come about,
That they'll run here and there,
Searching in the four corners,
Seeking for the Living Word -
Finding only................ words.

~ Tiwago (from Amos)

Friday, July 15, 2016


bright yellow corn-chip
dips into a lavender sea
of pollen salsa

~ tiwago

(photography by tiwago)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Does the Rose

does the rose yearn
to fly away
with the bee?

~ tiwago

(photography by tiwago)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Garden Visitors

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Summer Ode

a soft wind soothes the  
hidden ghost of the sun
whispering in tall grass
sh... sh... sh...

~ tiwago

(photography by tiwago)

Monday, July 11, 2016


a puppy
white with
brown spots
(or maybe mud?)
smiles with
her stubby tail
a grin that
rocks her rear
until she falls
to give you
her tummy
to rub for
good luck

~ tiwago

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Fancy-pant peas, striving
Towards upward mobility;
With a conch-shell band
Playing Mood Indigo, but
Only the worts know how
To truly sing of the blues.


(photography by tiwago)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


amethyst by tiwago

Spiderwort flowers.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Small Creatures


through malachite rivulets
and schools of diamonds lie

                   ~ tiwago

(photography by tiwago)

Monday, July 4, 2016


soft defenses 
sharp defenses
bite or hide

~ tiwago

(photography by tiwago)

Saturday, July 2, 2016