Hosea’s Lament

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To the tune of Psalm 22.

Oh Lord! How long must I wait? How kong will you leave me in dismay?

The one I love has turned against me. Her teeth rip into my skin. Hard sticks break my bones.


Lord, I am not innocent in your eyes. Who can stand before your perfect justice? Who can measure up to your standards of holiness?

But I have humbled myself before God and man — and woman! I have searched my heart and confessed my sins against those who have wronged me. I have repaid good for evil, and forgiven those who plotted against me.

Lord, look down with mercy upon your servant, who trusts in you. You alone are my hope and salvation. I am like one struck dumb. All my words are turned against me.

Save me O Lord. You are my only hope.

Reclaiming Eden, Part II: Adam’s Weakness

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Continued from Part I.

Man and Woman were walking by a range of hills. Suddenly, a gleam of light caught Woman’s eye.  She glanced up, and saw a beautiful blue sparkle high up on the side of a cliff.  “Oh my,” she said, “how lovely!  I wonder what that is?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Man ran over and started climbing.  Woman held her breath as his fingers and toes sought out tiny ledges to hold onto, and gasped once when he almost fell.  But before she knew it, he had retrieved his prize and was kneeling before her, holding up a nearly transparent rock that glittered with all the colors of the sun.

That night by the fire, while she was admiring her gift, she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “You were so brave, today.  I bet you aren’t scared to do anything!”

Man stiffened.  Without a word, he got up and walked away into the darkness. 

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Reclaiming Eden, Part I: Eve’s Triumph

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The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal GOD had made.

He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?”

The Woman smiled and said to the serpent, “Not at all. Actually, God did not tell me anything.”

The serpent was puzzled. “Wait, you mean you think you can eat from any tree in the garden?”

“Yes, that’s right,” she said, humming to herself as she sniffed a flower.

“This is too easy,” murmured the serpent. “Well then, have your tried the fruit from this tree here in the center? It is the best in the garden. In fact, it will make you smarter than your husband, as smart as God! You really need to experience it for yourself.”

The Woman saw that the tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that it would make her wise.

She half-reached an arm towards it…
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The San Jose Declaration: Ending the Abortion Wars

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April 1st, 2031 A.D.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the San Francisco Revival of the 2020s was an end to the politicization of abortion, in a way that seemed unimaginable to those who lived through the culture wars that peaked during the Trump presidency.  While extremists on both sides still refuse to make peace, the public debate has largely moved on.

The turning point was when two courageous women made a conscious choice to reject the dichotomy between honoring women and honoring the unborn, thus defusing the righteous indignation that had fueled both sides.

And it all began with a yoga class…

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Monk’s Redemption: A Psychological Allegory

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Inspired by the USA Network TV show, Dick Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems model, and a Dream and Vision I had.

Cast of Characters

In order of appearance

  1. Natalie Teeger, the Integrated Self (Spirit)
  2. Adrian Monk, the Manager
  3. Leland Stottlemeyer, the Protector
  4. Hope, the Exile

Also featuring:

  • The Light, Truth
  • The Key, Forgiveness

The Vision

I see a locked door. In a dark and scary place, like a monster movie. Big, iron, with crisscrossed chains and padlocks.

Natalie walks up holding a flashlight. Monk trails behind nervously.

Suddenly Stottlemeyer steps in front of them. His eyes are bloodshot, as if he has been drinking, crying, or not sleeping. Perhaps all three. He is holding his gun in two shaky hands. Pointed at them.

“I warned you not to come here,” he rasps in a hoarse voice.

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Cavern of the Bells: A Parable

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“The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface…” — Genesis 1:2 

At first, it seemed there was no sound or light of any kind. But as my senses adjusted, I heard a faint tinkling of bells. Straining my eyes, I saw tiny patches of light scattered around the walls of the cavern, flickering in and out.

I walked closer. I saw a rainbow of light erupt accompanied by a marvelous chorus of music. I watched breathlessly as the singing lights — perhaps fireflies or pixies — became caught up in some sort of eternal dance. I was speechless, wondering if the dance would become strong enough to finally push back the darkness…

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Fixing Saint Paul, Scene 1: Awakening Barnabas

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The Story

Acts 13:13

Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.

The Backstory

Scene 1: Awakening

“Barnabas? Are you awake?”

Barnabas rolled over on his cot to gaze at the younger man who had just walked in.  He smiled sadly, as he saw John Mark’s nervous face and guessed the errand that prompted his late night visit.

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Mrs. Charming’s Castle, Act I

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Dedicated to our wives, and The Church.

Act 1:  The War

Scene 1: The Gnomes

The gnomes invaded the continent almost exactly one year after Prince Kit Charming married Cinderella, now known as Princess Ella.

“My son,” said the King. “While I gladly gave you a year to enjoy life with your beautiful bride, It is now time for you to take on the duties of royalty.”

Oh no, thought Ella.  Will he send Kit away to the war?

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Falling Up

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I am falling, falling.

It is neither hot not cold, I feel nothing. I see nothing.

Just falling, falling. Down, down, down…

I wake up. I am lying on my back in a field of wild grass. The smell of earth fills my nostrils. The air is warm, springlike. The sun is up, but not too hot. I am alone.

I stand up and dust myself off. Expectant, but not impatient.

He comes. I do not see Him, but I feel His presence drawing near.  I wait.

The Voice speaks. “Welcome, my son.”

My mouth quirks. “Hello. Father.”

The Voice smiles, though I still see nothing.  “Yes, I am your father.  And many other things, including your enemy.  But above all else, your father.”

I say nothing. There has been no question.  There is nothing to say.

The Voice grins.  “Come”, He says, and gestures without hands.

***

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Wrestling with God

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Originally written 10:35 PM Friday, September 25th, 2009

Genesis 32 – Passage Lookup – New Century Version – BibleGateway.com

Joshua 5 – Passage Lookup – New King James Version – BibleGateway.com

[It is dark.  I am alone.  Everything I have and love has been sent ahead of me. In the morning, I will go Home.  I will face the Brother I betrayed, and the Father I abandoned. But for now, I am alone with my fears and my regrets. 

Or am I….]

Halt, who goes there? Are you for us or for our adversaries?

Neither, but I lead those who fight for He Who Is.

Who is what? Is for us, or is against us?

[One who looks like a man steps forward out of the shadows, into the starlit clearing.  Oddly, he shines as if standing in direct moonlight — though there is no moon.  He is tall, well-muscled, moving with an easy grace and supreme confidence.  He is dressed like me in a flowing tunic, but somehow on him they look almost regal.]

And who are you, that I should answer your questions?

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Redemption: A Vision in Many Pieces

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Redemption

A Vision in Many Pieces

Ernest Prabhakar

June 8th, 2001

“God, its too big for me to carry!”

“I know, my son.”

We sat at the bottom of my heart, facing the dark, concrete-like slab which was my need for love, my desire for human intimacy to the fill the void in my life and give me meaning. We had been doing some Spring Cleaning of my soul. It had been a while since I’d talked with God, and when I finally got around to it again I was surprised to discover lots of worries and fears weighing me down. The stuff on top was relatively easy – I handed over issues at work, my marriage, relations with family. But then we got down to things which had been undisturbed for years, maybe decades, and I realized I couldn’t move these myself.

“Will you carry it out?”

“Of course, but I will not do it alone. You must be a part of the process. It is yours, after all”



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Song: No Longer Alone

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This is a song I wrote back in 1996 in my post-college, pre-Apple days in Pasadena, California. It was for a girl I knew — heck, it fit pretty much all the girls I hung out with and/or was interested in during that decade.

I also sang it during a “Christian Connection” (online dating site) cruise back in 1999, just before I met Sandhya. By God’s grace I got to perform for the ship talent show. I said I was part of a Christian singles group with 80 women and 15 men — and I was having a *great* time! (as was reported almost daily on the ship’s TV :-).

“But being single wasn’t always fun and games — and that’s why I wrote this song.”
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Unforgiven: A Testimony in Three Persons

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I’m in the process of cleaning up my “personal” site on DrErnie.com, and as part of that I’m moving some of my earlier writings to this site.

To start with, I present “Unforgiven”, a more-or-less accurate transcript of the first time God really dealt with me about anger…

Unforgiven

A testimony in three persons

The stage appears empty except for a single chair, center, facing right. A man sits on it backwards, facing left, hugging the back of the chair. His expression is grim. A single spotlight shines down on him. Another man walk out from right, and stands looking at him from the semi-darkness. The first man speaks, but remains facing left.

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Good News for Modern Nerds

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The Nerd Bible (pdf) started with my sermon notes from 1985 at Park Street Church in Boston, where I was an MIT sophomore. Our college pastor Tony DeOrio used phrases like “integrating faith into our lives” and “love should differentiate Christians from the world.” Being intrinsically lazy — not to mention nerdly — I wrote those phrases down using calculus (#7 and #9).

When MIT made available a new-fangled Postscript printer capable of math symbols, I decided to learn the formatting language LaTeX to try it out. Just for the fun of it, I started with my sermon notes, then added other verses which used the different math functions available (#2, #3, #6 and #8). The Fourier transform (#6) is the only formula not recognizable by most first-year calculus students, but it makes such a beautiful mathematical/theological statement I feel it is worth the confusion it causes.

In the fall of 1986, I was studying cultural contextualization in the “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” missions class. I realized my equations formed something pretty close to a gospel outline in math. To fill in the holes, I came up with several theological and Christological statements (#1, #4,and #5). “Lamb’ de God” probably represents the pinnacle of my efforts at combining bad puns and good theology.

The final touch (#10) was based on a challenge my lab partner Scott Beasley issued after seeing my first draft. “Yeah, but could you ever represent the Song of Solomon in calculus?” You be the judge.

Update: Also available as a T-shirt.