Saturday, April 15, 2017

Forty Years and All I Got Was This Piece of Paper!

I haven’t posted much over the past three years. I have been working on completing a long time goal that consumed all of my free time. It was one of those things that started out as a path to a career but after so many years it became a bucket-list item – I just “needed” to finish this!

Forty years ago I graduated from High School and began studying at the local community college. My major at that time was Social Science with the ultimate goal of graduating from seminary and entering the Ministry, well as they say “life happens”. Now after many stops and starts, three different colleges, and a few program changes, I am able to announce (and not without some level embarrassment due to the extended time that it took to complete it) I have finally earned my Associates Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Human Services. Did I mention that I had a G.P.A. of 3.59 and graduated with Honors?

I don’t have any plans right now to start working on my B.A. and my youthful goal of entering the Ministry has also morphed - mostly because my evolving views on traditional forms of Church prevent me from accepting a position as a paid minister, but that is another series blog posts that is found here Simple Church.

I want to thank my loving and supportive wife for putting up with me, especially during the past three years that I was working so diligently to complete my Degree, I love her so much!

My current goals involve attending to some long neglected home repairs, going on vacation with the family, and getting back to promoting the Hippie Christian Way.

Peace, Love and Light!
Kevin (Cloud)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Make America Groovy Again!

 Here is my answer to all of the negativity that is spewing from the politicians and their supporters during the debates and at the conventions over the last few months.

"...And yet I show you a more excellent way ... Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 12:30 & 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV)

Peace, Love & Light!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

In Your Name

In my post CSN Live! I wrote about a fundraiser concert that I was fortunate enough to be able to attend featuring Crosby, Stills, and Nash. At that concert in 2008 I heard "In Your Name" by Graham Nash for the first time.

I commented that Nash's new song "was hauntingly beautiful and at the same time such a powerful and timely song. Graham's song is actually a prayer for peace and it nearly brought me to tears."

I have tried several times to find a video of In Your Name, and finally this morning I was successful.

In Your Name by Graham Nash

Lord, can you help me
Help me deal with this pain?
Can you stop all this killing in your name?

Lord, if you’re out there
You know the whole world is going insane
So can you stop all of this killing in your name?

Down through the ages we've all come to love
Wise men leading the way
So read all the pages in the books from above
But don't get led astray

And Lord, are you listening
To a prayer from a simple man?

And can you stop all the sadness?
Can you stop all of this madness?
Can you stop all of this killing?
In your name

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
~Jesus (Matthew 5:9)

Peace, Love, and Light!
Kevin (Cloud)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jesus Freak-Peacenik

Back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s I was going through a lot of  turmoil, not unlike most teens my age. Being involved with the Jesus Movement during that time gave me the inner peace that I was craving.

But, becoming a Christian also challenged two very important passions of mine, Science and the Anti-War Movement. In my earlier blog post, I'm Losing (And Finding) My Religion - Again, I wrote about my faith journey and my love of science and how I finally reconciled the two

Here, I want to tell the story of my other passion and how being involved with the Jesus Movement caused me to abandon the Anti-War Movement for a period of time.

During the Vietnam War I registered for the draft as a Consciences Objector. The Great Command to “love your neighbor as your self” along with the Great Commission to “go and make disciples” could not be reconciled in my mind with going to war. I would often make the point of how totally incompatible spreading the Gospel is with going to war by saying “Hello, I am a christian and I am here to let you know that Jesus loves you... BANG!”

On one hand I was hanging up anti-war posters while on the other hand I was passing out Gospel leaflets. At the height of the Jesus Movement a very popular and influential singer named Larry Norman wrote a song that prompted me to give up my anti-war activities. Larry’s song Right Here In America has a line that says:

“I'm not talking religion, I'm talking 'bout Jesus, Put all your plans on the shelf. Let's stop marching for peace, and start marching for Jesus, And peace will take care of itself.”

That is exactly what I did, I shelved my plans to help end the Vietnam War and literally marched for Jesus. I felt that investing time and energy on anything other than spreading the Gospel was sinful. I believed that if I could help convert the whole world to Christianity all wars would miraculously end.

About this same time John Lennon released his hit song Imagine. Imagine was so Anathema to my way of thinking. How could we do away with Heaven and Hell? How could I imagine no religion? I hated that song! I hated it while at the same time I was drawn towards it.

John Lennon’s song challenged me to think about religion in a new way. So many wars and conflicts, so much hatred and division - all in the name of Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Vishnu, or whatever deity gave someone the feeling that divine authority was granted to kill in the name of religion. I was beginning to understand why John Lennon wrote Imagine. It was not a song against religion, but a song against hatred in the name of religion.

I don’t think that John Lennon would imagine a world without Jesus’ teachings on Peace and Love. Jesus spoke out against hypocrisy and any religion that breeds hatred. Jesus taught that Peacemakers are blessed, he taught that we should love our enemies, reach out to the outcasts, and help the needy.

The eradication of all religion can no more bring about world peace than the conversion of the entire planet to Christianity would. A world totally void of religion or a completely Christian world are both utopian dreams without any basis in reality. With or without religion people still have to choose peace as a way of life, peace is not an automatic byproduct of either system.

I am no longer repulsed by John Lennon’s song Imagine. I came to believe that John was making the point that anything - be it possessions, politics, or religion - anything that causes hatred between people should be abandoned. Imagine is no longer Anathema to me, I now embrace it.

I am still talking about Jesus, but I am also speaking out against war again. I now am actively promoting peace with the full conviction that it is my Christian duty because Jesus said “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God”

"We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say "We must not wage war." It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but on the positive affirmation of peace."
~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Nobel Peace Prize Lecture December 11, 1964

Peace, Love, and Light!
Kevin (Cloud)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Peace Links

Over the last several years I have found some very important organizations working on peace, social justice, and nonviolence issues around the world.

The list has grown to the point that I felt it best to make a separate page just for these links. Two of them, The Fellowship of Reconciliation and The War Resisters League, both allow individual memberships.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation, founded in 1914, is the largest and oldest Interfaith Peace organization in the United States and is dedicated to the promotion of nonviolent conflict resolution.

The War Resisters League, founded in 1923, is the United States’ oldest secular pacifist organization resisting war at home and war abroad.

So, here is my "short list" of peace links. All of these organizations have great resources and information and every one of them is worth checking out. 

Fellowship of Reconciliation

War Resisters League

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft

National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth

Center on Conscience and War

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

The Peace Alliance

The World Peace Prayer Society

United States Institute of Peace

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." ~Jesus (Matthew 5:9)

Peace, Love, and Light!
Kevin (Cloud)