Sage Fred R. Anderson: How could the lawful Pharisees not praise God for that? But still, they must keep their eye on Jesus, for his ways are not their own ways, nor those of John the Baptist and his disciples for that matter. Look at those with whom Jesus associates–fishermen, self-professed sinners, and now a toll collector.

 

 

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+joshua+5%3a9-12&qpvt=images+joshua+5%3a9-12&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=C42E754DE032A15DA5AF04FBE84F1CDD39356AA3&selectedIndex=16

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+2+corinthians+5%3a16-21&qpvt=images+2+corinthians+5%3a16-21&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=2F197CAAE728C6E7E71AD4D41113F794AA755710&selectedIndex=13

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+luke+5%3a27-39&qpvt=images+luke+5%3a27-39&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=087C677358982A5647C921FDE173BBE301274FDC&selectedIndex=25

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http://www.mapc.com/worship/sermons/2013/03/10/the-old-is-good

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The old is good? What in the world does Jesus mean? A series of controversies have begun to break out between the Pharisees and their scribes and Jesus. It began last week with, “Who is this that blasphemes and dares to forgive sins?” Now it is “Who is this that eats with sinners?” Yes, Jesus had healed the man with a word. The paralyzed man had stood up and walked through the door with his stretcher slung over his shoulder. How could they not praise God for that? But still, they must keep their eye on Jesus, for his ways are not their own ways, nor those of John the Baptist and his disciples for that matter. Look at those with whom Jesus associates–fishermen, self-professed sinners, and now a toll collector.1

Tax collectors, sometimes called “publicans,” were among the lowest of the low in Jesus’ day. They were the entrepreneurs of Roman culture who paid Rome a fee in advance for the right to collect its tolls. That meant that everything they collected was theirs–Rome had already received its share in their payment for the right to collect them. The system was rife with abuse and corruption. Tax collectors were known for their dishonesty and abuse of authority, regarded with disdain by Jew and Gentile alike, and so despised that no Roman and few Jews would do it.2 Now Jesus has called one of them to follow him, and Levi has stood up and done so.

The word “stood up,” by the way, is precisely the same one Luke used earlier to describe what the paralyzed man did. It carries with it the connotation of resurrection–having been raised to new life.3 Luke wants us to know that in standing up and following, Levi is rising to new life and leaving everything behind to follow Jesus, just as Peter, James and John had done. So now, among Jesus’ closest followers are these self-professed sinners and toll collectors. To make matters worse, Levi has now hosted an enormous banquet in Jesus’ honor, and invited a horde of his closest friends, themselves despised tax collectors. Is it any wonder the religious authorities are concerned? Look at how they are behaving. Banquets of the size of the one Levi has hosted were not private events. In that world they attracted all comers. So it is that even the Pharisees and their scribes are here, on the edge of things, checking out Jesus’ credentials.

Remember, Pharisees were considered the most religious people of their day. They were a holiness sect within Judaism, committed to extending the holiness required in the temple out into the wider world. They were preoccupied with all sorts of regulations. Food to be eaten must be ritually clean; so, too, for those with whom one shared that food.4 They were not only scrupulous about keeping Torah, but in addition they developed an oral tradition of holiness extrapolated from the law based on Leviticus, that said, “You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean.”5 They fasted twice a week, were deeply concerned about boundaries and worked to stay apart and separate from those who did not share their commitments to holiness. So, here they are, standing at the edge of the banquet crowd, not wanting to defile themselves, but eager to see what Jesus is doing. And when they see him reclining at table among Levi’s friends, they draw aside some of Jesus’ disciples and ask, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Notice that until now, Levi and his friends have simply been tax collectors. But to the Pharisees they are sinners, which, for them, meant anyone living outside the realm of God’s acceptance. Jesus is eating and drinking with those considered beyond the boundaries of acceptability to God.

Jesus overhears their question, looks up at the Pharisees and says, “Those who are well have no need of a physician.” Yes, those beyond the margin are sick. But as the physician that he is, where else should they expect to find him but among the spiritually sick? Jesus’ power for healing has to do with more than restoring physical health. He has come to restore those beyond the boundaries of acceptability back into relationship with God and God’s people. And the medicine he is using? Forgiveness! Jesus says, “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Now, at first, one would think the Pharisees would be overjoyed by the word that Jesus was calling sinners to repentance.6 But instead, the fact that he is offering God’s grace and forgiveness to this group of unrepentant ones is most troubling to them. What will it lead to next?

Jesus’ talk of sin has led the Pharisees to broach a subject important to them, one they think Jesus disregards: fasting and praying. Why is it that John and his disciples often fast and pray, as do the Pharisees and their disciples, but Jesus and his disciples eat and drink? Fasting, the intentional avoidance of food and drink, accompanied by prayer, was generally a penitential act, an expression of mourning one’s sin, required on the Day of Atonement as lamentation for one’s sin. But here is Jesus, claiming to call sinners to repentance, but rather than fast and pray as acts of penitence, they are eating and drinking in this lavish banquet. How can this be?

“It is simple,” says Jesus. “You cannot make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you?” There will be plenty of time to fast once he is taken away. But for now, he is here, among them. And with this answer, Jesus has just named himself God’s coming bridegroom, the messianic figure who will initiate an intimate and enduring relationship of marriage with God’s people. The bridegroom is among them in him; how can they not eat and drink, feast and celebrate his visitation, as they are now doing? Eating and drinking is what God’s people do in God’s presence–the messianic banquet! They should know this; it is as old as Torah itself. After all, who in their right mind would tear a piece of cloth out of a brand new garment in order to turn it into a patch for an old one? That would be crazy. Not only would it tear and ruin the new garment, it would be a poor and unsuitable patch for the old, standing out like a sore thumb. Further, who would be dumb enough to put new wine into old wineskins? When the new wine continues to age, the expansion of fermentation gases would burst and ruin the old skins, causing not only the loss of the skins, but the new wine as well. If you try to superimpose the new on the old, or fill the old with the new, you will ruin both.

But who, here, is advocating the new? Jesus or the Pharisees? Jesus has not been making up new rules; he has not been establishing new barriers. He has not been dividing up the sheep from the goats, the clean from the unclean. He has not been demanding repentance for acceptance. He has simply been announcing God’s old ways of steadfast love and redemption, demonstrating God’s grace, forgiveness, and compassion.7 Jesus is doing nothing more than bringing to fruition the ancient promises and purposes of God among his people.8

Is the old garment in need of repair? Yes, but tearing out a new patch from the cloth of the Pharisees will not do it. And pouring the new wine of their regulations into old wineskins will simply cause them to burst and be destroyed. Besides, everyone knows–old wine is better than new–the old is good.

The last thing Jesus is up to is something new. This is the old story of God coming to sinners where they are, relentless in his love, acceptance and forgiveness, until it leads to a repentance like that seen in Peter, James, John and now Levi. They have left everything behind to follow, and have found themselves in the fellowship of the bridegroom–those called to eat and drink with Jesus. Being his disciple is not about separating the world into the holy and the common, the clean and the unclean, the saved and the damned, but seeing all of it and everyone in it as the object of God’s redeeming love, and then acting like it. It is the old, old story of God’s unrelenting love, and like wine, the old is good.

The Word of the Lord; thanks be to God!

 

  1. The word is τελώνης telones often translated “tax collector” or “publican.” Luke Timothy Johnson prefers “tax agent,” as he notes that in this period in Palestine, they seemed to have been largely collectors of indirect taxes through tolls collected in τελώνιον telonion or tollbooths. I have chosen toll collector. Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke, Sacra Pagins, Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., Editor, (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1991), p. 65, note 12
  2. R. Alan Culpepper, “Luke,” The New Interpreter’s Bible, Volume IX, p. 127
  3. ἀνίστημι anistemi. And means to raise up, to rise
  4. Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, (Grand Rapids, MI: The William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997), p. 247
  5. Leviticus 10:10
  6. Culpepper, p. 128
  7. Exodus 34:6
  8. Green, p. 250

 

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/my-wish-for-christian-keenan-1-corinthians-1510-filled-with-grace-within/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=biblical+Paul+new+creation&qpvt=biblical+Paul+new+creation&FORM=IGRE&&id=C5379FB4CAFBCDFD7999EEF48A6AA3F2C3C297D7&selectedIndex=1#view=detail&id=C5379FB4CAFBCDFD7999EEF48A6AA3F2C3C297D7&selectedIndex=0

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Asking For Help

Mindfulness Benefits

Dreaming

Free Your Mind

Morning Mindfulness Practice

Emotional Health

Tibeten Buddhism

Meditation Tips

Christies In China

Uyuni Salt Flats

Life After Life Kate Atkinson

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When you know that a Christian is dead inside (e.g. needlessly suffering by being angry with the world),  then it’s time for Biblical Paul’s recitation on inner Grace – being regenerated, called, sanctified  —

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a new creation, baby!!   

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The heretofore unsearchable/unreachable solace of Christ

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Grace gives us the desire and the power from God to do His will  —

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to give life a chance, baby!!

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  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_grace#Christianity

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/i-ask-myself-to-make-it-to-tomorrow-for-life-to-start-anew-i-need-to-move-beyond-todays-loss/

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http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/15-10.htm

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Rhema (inner voice) [pronounced “ray-ma”]  & life application  –

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/thriving-learning-having-wisdom-are-about-getting-up-each-morning-with-intention-clarity-commitment-to-seek-nurture-connection-along-lifes-healthy-healing-path-of-inner-nouris/

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http://blog.chron.com/lutherant/2012/11/global-child-poverty-changing-the-story/

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When it comes to helping people in need, one of the stories that should spark our imagination remains Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan

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The aspect of the parable I would point out here is its personal nature [very specific]

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To demonstrate how (and to whom) we ought to show compassion

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Jesus does not speak in generalities. 

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He gives a specific situation,

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where one individual (the Samaritan) must make a decision about how

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to treat another specific individual (the Jew set upon by robbers). 

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Christian mercy is not about generalized theories,

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but about specifics.

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Since Jesus lived in an oral culture,

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scholars expect that short, memorable stories or phrases

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as applications of Scripture

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are from Jesus.    

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For example, “love your enemies.”   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar#Criteria_for_authenticity

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Turning common-sense ideas upside down, confounding the expectations of His audience:

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He/Jesus preached of “Heaven’s imperial rule” [traditionally translated as “Kingdom of God“]

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as being already present but unseen;

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He depicts God as a loving father;

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He squares shoulders with outsiders

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and criticizes insiders.  

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Christ evokes not simply an apocalyptic eschatology/end-time,

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but more critically a sapiential eschatology,

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which encourages all of God’s children to repair the world  NOW.

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Not just the Parables but the Beatitudes/etc. feature the

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dramatic presentation and reversal of expectations that are characteristic of Jesus.

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Based on several important narrative parables [such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan],

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scholars decided that irony, reversal, and frustration of expectations were characteristic of Christ’s style.  

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Does a pericope/concise passage illustrate opposites or impossibilities? 

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If it does, it’s more likely to be authentic.

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One-third of the Bible consists of Parables/Pericopes/aphorisms.

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The poor are accepted as constituting the primary recipients of the Good News and, therefore,

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as having an inherent capacity of understanding it better than anyone else.    

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-james-martin-sj/glenn-beck-vs-christ-the-_b_698359.html

 

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That’s pretty threatening for any comfortable Christian.

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For not only do we have to help the poor, not only do we have to advocate on their behalf, we also have to see them as understanding God better than we do!

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But that’s not a new idea:

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It goes back to Jesus.

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The poor, the sick and the outcast “got” Him better than the wealthy did.

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Perhaps because there was less standing between the poor and God.

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Less stuff [pride].

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Maybe that’s why Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “You will have treasure in heaven, and follow me.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhema#Modern_usage 

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Rhema is the revealed word of God (revelation received from the Holy Spirit) when the Word/Logos is read, as an

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application/utterance/”unction”/anointment from God to the heart of the reader via the Holy Spirit, as in John 14:26    

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Again, application of Scripture to this world.

“… the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

In this usage Rhema refers to “a word that is spoken,” when the Holy Spirit delivers a message to the heart as in Romans 10:17:

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (rhematos Christou)”

and in the Matthew 4:4:

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word (rhema) that comes from the mouth of God”.

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Remarkable that one’s experiences span a century or more, if one is lucky enough to live into old age.       My uncle Masaaki 1903-1970 was 50 years older than me.    My grandson Silas is 50 years younger than me.    Uncle Masaaki is a century older than Silas.     My life experiences span a century between Uncle Masaaki and my grandson Silas.    Gatz!    Defy Father Time??

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Of course, one can stretch even longer life’s time span   –   my grandma [Uncle Masaaki’s & my dad’s mama] Tome was 70 years older than me.     I’m just short of age 60, so my lifeblood youngest progeny is my youngest grandchild, my granddaughter Maya, who is 59 years younger than me.     Not equidistant, but 130 years separate my grandma Tome from my granddaughter Maya.     

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Actor William Demarest 1892-1983 was 60 years older than me, thus meeting the equidistance measure, with my granddaughter Maya being 60 years younger than me — the total span being 120 years from William Demarest [or my uncle Bill Cappy Chun, also born in Demarest’s time] to my granddaughter Maya.      Here is prolific vaudeville/longtime character actor Demarest  –

William Demarest Picture

William Demarest(1892–1983)


Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, William Demarest was a prolific actor in movies and TV, making more than 140 films. Demarest started his acting career in vaudeville and made his way to Broadway. His most famous role was in My Three Sons, replacing a very sick William Frawley. Demarest was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting role in the real-life biography…See full bio »

Died:

December 28,     1983         (age 91) in        Palm Springs, California, USA

Still of Humphrey Bogart and William Demarest in All Through the NightStill of Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and William Demarest in All Through the Night
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Of course, this year’s 60th year Diamond Jubilee with majestic Queen Elizabeth had the most amazing aerial displays    –
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but let’s also  remember lusty [yes, con todo mi alma y corazon] Victoria‘s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 [my grandparents were hormonal teens bent on pioneering East to the Hawaiian islands of silk & honey][Victoria is current Queen Elizabeth’s great great grandmother][our greatest modern Hawaiian statesperson Pi’ehu Iaukea 1855-1940 pilgrimaged to England for this tremendous occasion — Pi’ehu was preceded in great diplomacy & leadership by Kamehameha III Kauikeaouli 1813-1854]

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Thence, my immigrant grandparents’ odyssey East transcended both Victoria’s & current Queen Elizabeth’s reigns –   my ojisans/obasans [tutus] experienced both divine queens in all their soulful reigns   – 115 years  [Victoria in 1897 & Elizabeth’s 2012 jubilee] spanning 3 centuries [1800s to 2000s]!!!    Wow!!

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I was 20 when my daughter was born, 40 when my oldest grandchild/mo’opuna kane was born, 50 when my middle grandson was born [among 5 grandchildren, 3 boys, 2 girls], and nearly 60 when my youngest grandchild/mo’opuna wahine was born.    

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My parents whom I worship and miss dearly were 40 years older than me.    My mature parents were tutus/grandparents to me in age chronology, & I am blessed by their mature wisdom/magnanimity & composure/equanimity.  

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My parents died 15 years ago 4 months apart [coincidence  — Mom died of a stroke/Dad died 4 months later from cancer].

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I felt like a grandchild blessed with the most loving & supportive tutus/grandparents in the world, though when I was a barefoot plantation toddler here in Wainaku [Ha’aheo Elem. School atop Kamehameha the Great’s most beautiful pu’u/hilltop]  — I felt terribly embarassed that my parents were fuddy-duddy oldsters vs. my village kid peers’ parents, and that my mom worked, so that I never came home to a homemaker mom who had cookies laid out for me on the kitchen table in our old plantation mill camp.    

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When my parents died 15 years ago, I suddenly crossed over to be a tutu/grandparent to my burgeoning mo’opuna/grandkids.     My grandparents 70 years older than me had died by the time I was born.

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I don’t remember being a child [in a most blessed sense], but undeniably I was blessed/gifted [of the spirits?  Cor./Romans/Ephesians/Peter/etc.] as a grandchild would be, with my dearest parents who were like grandparents to me in wisdom/countenance.    

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Nor do I remember being a parent [my daughter who is approaching middle age at 40  — laughingly tells me that I was a lousy party animal parent but above all else  — I loved my daughter more than anything/anyone in the whole wide world  — and this is the only thing which counted for my daughter, which is/means everything to her!!].    

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But now here I am as a grandparent [by default  — ha ha  ha — still a party animal], and wow, time flies, baby! !!

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And now I am by default/pied piper via hedonism/elan tutu again to 2 dearest “hanai”/emotional attachment — mo’opuna  — Colton age 27 & Jill age 22, grandkids to me in age chronology!   I ask Colton how may I be of service to him/Jill, & Colton shoots back, “Don’t!   Just be you!”    Gatz!   Who am I????   [ha ha    ;-)    ]   

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Foggy bottom, baby   — is my head — spinning like a top???!!    Ha ha!   Dig my hero George Harrison’s video   –   [40 years from age 20 to 60 for me  — go by in the blink of an eye!!][Maui resident Harrison died of cancer at age 58 after 9/11 & a year after this You Tube video was produced] 

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Yes, I hope to make it to age 80 & still feel like a passionate teenager in love!!   Ha ha ha!!        Enjoy [the treats below], baby!!!

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Age is a   figment of our imagination    — our core being is   ageless!       –

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See especially timeclock 4:19 to 5:05 of youtube below about Harrison’s opinion on aging as soulfully deepest youth enjoyed  –

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uVnKjv4fK0&feature=related

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/writing-and-eventually-dying-a-good-death-expressing-sharing-love-to-the-end/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/i-write-to-live-authentically-having-been-is-the-surest-kind-of-being-per-great-sage-viktor-frankl/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/sharing-grief-puts-a-healing-distance-between-us-and-the-pain-this-is-why-storytelling-matters/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/ambivalence-killed-jesus-the-people-waved-palm-branches-on-sunday-singing-hosanna-hey-come-friday-they-shouted-to-free-barabbas-same-crowd-when-you-stand-too-close-to-beautiful/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/acknowledging-ambivalence-is-best-way-to-cope-sage-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/i-will-die-a-good-death/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/because-in-the-end-great-journeys-of-integrity-are-walked-alone-sage-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/does-your-life-have-purpose/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/randy-pausch-steven-kalas-living-meaningfully/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/harriet-beecher-stowes-prophetic-engine-sage-joan-d-hedrick/

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