TIMECLOCK

I limped and struggled through it all

In an unforgiving, uncaring world

“Punch a time clock,” the world insisted

But I can’t even wake up, get out of bed

–I’ve slept my own weekends away—

What have I done to deserve this?

Punch a time clock

So I limped and struggled through it all

I had to

Some would say my work was half-assed

Not knowing, not caring about the extent of my effort to get out of bed

“I can’t see your bipolar disorder.”

Don’t care

Punch a time clock

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Music

When I last blogged about my new CD of original music, the disk was only available on CD Baby.  It is now available on most online venues: Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, CD Baby and others.  Music has been very much a part of my life, though I haven’t made a vocation of it.  Keeping music private means that I don’t have to follow the dictates of a music professor, I don’t need to follow popular taste;–I write what flows from my heart and delights my ear.  I hope it delights your ear, too, and moves your heart.  I have two songs from my CD uploaded in the music tab on my web page, with a slide show about Carol and me.  I invite you to check out these musical offerings.  And if you like what you hear, I invite you to visit my onepage:

revdavefekete.hearnow.com

From my heart to yours.

JUDGMENTS

Have you ever read people as a book?

Have you ever watched people as a screen—TV or computer?

Have you ever constructed theories about people?

Hated people?

Without ever interacting, talking with them?

IDENTITIES

We had been noticing them,

Carol and I

The regulars, but who seemed a little off

Dancing—

As if they were balancing on the edge of a cliff

Or swimming, teetering

Dancing in the same places on the floor

Night after night

We guessed about them,

But didn’t talk to them

 

And then I did.

Adoption, foster homes, homeless

High a lot

Flat affect, rarely smiling

Loving

Caring

Biblically literate

An artist

Single parent

Intelligence, intellect

Some talk of Swedenborg

 

I work so hard to attain

Degrees, my condo, car, career, my musical projects

Volunteer commitments

Affections for useful activities

Affections

Sobriety

Effort to learn right and wrong

True and false

And do

 

And yet . . .

The blues bar

Regulars

Night after night

A hang out

A home

Community

Church

Music and Mysticism

When I was young, and contemplating my career path, I was deeply involved in music.  My first inclination was to pursue a musical career.  But there was another Voice calling me.  Equally powerful as was music, I heard a call to professional ministry.  I talked with accomplished musicians who told me they, too, had considered priesthood or ministry.  Many other musicians I knew had mystical leanings.  Ultimately, I followed the Voice calling me to ministry, protecting my other love in my own private world.  I say that I protected my other love because I didn’t have to answer to anyone about my music–not music professors, not producers, not popular taste, no one could interfere with my artistic freedom.  Now, I’m making public my private world with a CD of my original compositions.  This disk brings to the public my private world, and echoes back to the road I didn’t take—at the time.

After five years of ecstasy, agony, anxiety, peace, conflict, community, connections, sadness, happiness, grief, joy, and money, my CD is ready!  Some of this city’s best musicians play on it.  It has vocals, horns, real strings, real rhythm section, me on keys and a vocal.  From my heart to yours:

http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/revdavefekete

I hope that you enjoy this work of soul.

BEYOND BLUES

It happened again

Then is it passion cancelled?

Avocation termination?

I once was a musician

Can I fight through

The shakes, the uncontrollable shakes

It isn’t just nerves

It started with

My psychotic break

Broken, I’ve lost my confidence

It hurts to perform, not to perform

It used to be such a thrill

They all said it sounded good tonight

My friend said he noticed me shake

Did the audience?

As I started the song I wanted to stop

Run away

But the show had to go on

The song I was in the middle of

So I shook through it

Agony

Do I continue to fight through it every time?

Or is it over?

A man’s complaint in

A universe

Sown in corruption

And what have I to do with thee?

It is my song

Solo

Lyrics carved in my regret

Beyond blues, I sing these words

Is Jesus’ Message Dead?

I can’t believe that Jesus’ message is dead.  I think that, rather, what Christian churches have done with it may be dead.  Churches and church services are not necessarily what Jesus’ message is all about.  I say this as a Christian minister.

I’ve recently been reading carefully the Gospel of Matthew, focusing on Jesus’ words.  Jesus is about looking at the heart.  Jesus is about spiritual values, not materialism.  Jesus is about forgiveness.  Jesus is about opening up to foreigners and outsiders.  Jesus is about helping those less fortunate.  Jesus is about healing.  Jesus is about love.  Jesus is about connection with God.  I can cite chapter and verse for these assertions.

Is our society opposed to these messages?  I don’t think so.  I think that society basically would agree with these ideas.

What kind of world would oppose ideas like this?  It would be, one by one, a society that doesn’t look at the heart, that only looks at outward acts, that wants only more and greater status symbols and material goods, that lives for revenge, that hates foreigners, that only cares about one’s friends and family and no one else, that cares nothing for the poor, weak, and orphaned, that hurts instead of healing, that hates, that disbelieves and cares only about self.  Is this the world we live in?  Maybe.  But I hope not.

It is true that the world sends us messages, largely through TV commercials that run counter to Jesus’ message.  Expensive car commercials show people who are superior to others, or are superior by some standards.  That is a dual message: 1) buy an expensive car; and 2) be better than everyone else.  There are many movies whose plots turn around revenge.  It’s not “good guys versus bad guys.”  Rather it’s more and more, “You killed a loved one so I’m going to get you.”  So there are messages in the world that run counter to Jesus’ message.

But driving around town, I see a lot of Hondas and Fords on the road, so it’s not true that the world is populated by ubermenschen driving expensive cars.  I think most of society is people living with a beloved partner, or a circle of friends, going to work and coming home and trying to do the right thing.  Then there’s the issue of God.

A lot of people, I think, don’t have much room for God.  It’s not that they disbelieve, it’s that they have no time for God, no need for God.  You can’t separate God from Jesus’ message.  Maybe that’s why it may look like Jesus’ message is dead.  It’s certainly true that self-sufficiency is a strong drug.  Making it on your own; self-made man or woman.  Top of the heap.  Number one.

Then there’s the issue of church.  I think about young people clubbing to those insipid songs with pounding rhythm, overpowering bass tones, monotonous melodies.  Then I think about the 17th and 19th century hymns that we typically sing on Sunday.  And the notion of sitting still for an hour listening to me pray, read from the Bible, and preach.  It’s not surprising that some people would have other things to do.  And none of that is a necessary part of the Jesus message.  It is true that Jesus taught in synagogues and read the Scriptures in them.  And I think that Biblical literacy is important.  But that doesn’t mean the traditional church services that have evolved over millennia.  Nor does Christianity mean the vocal, politically-motivated proselytizing, self-righteous right-wing form that seems to get all the attention and would define all Christianity by their own style.  Indeed, all religion.

I think that society has been shaped by Judeo-Christian values.  We think that soup kitchens, Habitat-for Humanity, health care, minimum wage, friendliness, doing a good turn daily are good things.  While there are counter-messages to the Jesus message, I think that a lot of people would be attracted to what Jesus says, if they read His words freshly and without the lens of tradition and church.  While some churches exclude unbelievers, Jesus included everyone He contacted.  He even dined with a Pharisee on at least one occasion.  While churches are dwindling, I still think that Jesus’ message lives.

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