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A Book for you and other things!

Friday, October 13th, 2017

by: Marceline Donaldson

I just finished a book by Verna J. Dozier entitled “The Dream of God.”  It is published by Cowley Publications, if you are moved to buy the book.  I found mine at an estate sale and would not have picked it up otherwise.  Cowley Publications is in Cambridge, MA if you want to follow this through.

This is an amazing book.  Ms. Dozier dug deep to put out for the rest of us her wisdom and musings and prophetic voice.

I didn’t quite understand the title until I almost finished the book and then it hit like a storm.

I have always believed the Kingdom of God was all around us.  We were the ones inhibiting our ability to see, feel touch, live out and through this kingdom.  Maybe the terminology stopped me – but I am old and Kingdom of God is a traditional term we all think we understand, but really don’t.

She tears apart the concept of an institutional Church – corporate business structure – our need to institutionalize as a comfort zone which keeps us away from the Kingdom of God where there is freedom and keeps us tied to our institutions which we create because of their comfort and our need to be told what, how, when to do.  Kind of explains why some people move so far right to the threshold and into the “kingdom of authoritarianism’.  Why we look for a leader and allow that person to turn into a dictator over against all of us.

She outlines the several times she sees us as having fallen:  In the Garden of Eden when we discovered we were naked; during the time of Israel and the coming together of the Jewish people; and recently.  All times she sees an opening for us to be a part of, help bring about and live into the Dream of God and all times we let fear keep us away from such a magnificent concept.

She writes some incredible truths we don’t want to read – “nothing scares us more than freedom.  We are always afraid that freedom will degenerate into chaos – as it often does – so to escape chaos we flee to authority, which means authoritarianism.”

She sees our chosen purpose as one that calls us to be coworkers with our Creator so that the dream of God for a new creation may be realized.  “God has paid us the high compliment of calling us to be coworkers with our Creator, a compliment so awesome that we have fled from it and taken refuge in the church.  God does not need such an institution.  “‘Destroy this temple,’ Jesus said,’ and I will rebuild it in three days.’ ”

“Like Esau, we have surrendered our birthright.”

Institutional structure is where I have spent a lot of time, trying to understand what that means – how the structure affects the people living within its boundaries – what role does the institution play in moving us in the wrong directions we have taken trying to get to a good end.

Ms. Dozier says “The institution is the servant of the people, but it has presumed to become the master.

“We the people are responsible for what the institution has done.  We have allowed God’s gracious gift to us of order, continuity and memory to become a monster of control irrelevance and idolatry.”

In the beginning of “the Dream of God” Verna Dozier talks about the “free gift of God ” to be the new thing in the world.”a witness that all of life could be different for everybody – this gift was harnessed by an institution that established a hierarchy of those who “know’ above the great mass of those who must be told.”….”A veil was in the temple, a rood screen in the cathedrals.”

Some of her statements contain delayed power – “The people of the Torah made the gracious gift of the law into a system.  The people of the resurrection made the incomprehensible gift of grace into a structure.”

She carried me along in her book until the last few pages when she totally back tracks on everything she has said so far and done what she has called the rest of us to reject.  She  rationalizes the current structure and talks about how it can be effective, if only.

No matter your particular religious belief, this is an awesome book.  I have always had real problems with the worship of Jesus.  That seems to contradict everything Jesus was about.  She breaks into two 1) the worship of Jesus or 2) following in Jesus’ footsteps with your life choices.  but she clearly outlines how in taking on the institution Jesus lost the war, but gained the victory.

Turning the messenger into the message is idolatry to Ms. Dozier.  I can understand that.  It has been one of my long standing problems with the Church.  Worship the messenger and you don’t have to deal with the message.

Close the door to your reading room when you pick up this book and shut everything else out.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

 

Alan Powers – A Book Review

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

A member of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community, Alan Powers is Author, Astrophysicist, Professor and World Traveller.

His book that most intrigued me was  “Giordano Bruno” – the Man Galileo Plagiarized.  Just the sub-title was enough to get me to read the book.

Alan’s wife Susan, usually is the illustrator of his covers and inside art.  Together they produce very sensitive books which usually have a bit of a bite.

If you put his name in the search box you will find a video presentation of Alan giving a lecture on Giordano Bruno.  Bruno’sname is not as well known as Galileo, but being the one Galileo plagiarized, we think it is worth reading about and listening to.

Alan Power’s Biography “The only thing Alan W Powers shares with Dr. Seuss is their place of birth, Springfield MA. Powers has worked as a harmless drudge, a college teacher of composition and Shakespeare, in Minnesota and Massachusetts. He has written a guest Safire “Head over Googles,” and appeared in two poetry films, Keats and his Nightingale and A Loaded Gun. He has been interviewed on Italian TV and radio, and American radio. As a jazz trombonist on the bench, he wrote jazz tunes based on British and American birdsong, the subject of his first popular book. With the ears of a spy, he has written verse monologs based on scandalous overheard conversations. Despite several articles on Shakespeare (and law), his lifework turns out to be translations and a biography of Giordano Bruno, who was sent to the Inquisition by one bad student evaluation. A sceptic on education reform, he says, “Good teachers get fired; great teachers, killed–Socrates, Christ, Giordano Bruno.” “

Alan’s latest book is “Parodies Lost”.

In an email, Alan sent us a bit of information about this new book which we share with you:

“Susan Mohl Powers (google her art on wikipedia) has provided arresting covers and interior art for my new book, Parodies Lost, filled with parodies of famous poets like Ashbery, Angelou, Dickinson, R Wilbur, Dylan Thomas (and the other Dylan-Zimmerman), Robert Herrick and more. The story follows my brilliant Amherst College friend Tom Weiskel, Harold Bloom’s favorite student at Yale, and a Yale Asst Prof at 25, d. at 29. Back-cover blurbs from Ron Wallace (Poetry Editor at U WI), Margie Ferguson (UC-Davis, former head of MLA), and William Pritchard (Amherst College). Brief excerpts:

“He knew–from a picture of Rod McKuen–
of all his race, the poet makes
 the saddest face. And next to a hound,
 the saddest sound.”

Wordsworth, a reflective poet pup:
“Of many words I have no need
Like all those human lies—
Say, where they’ve been. With one stiff sniff
I know, the noser knows.”

After Dylan Thomas:
“Love burst firth, froth on the sea
Foams on the rolling, beating surf.
Life burst first from the edge of the sea,
Leapt spume over land,
Arched sparkling, fell seed into soil…”

Country Western:
“I’m only a Laborer
In the Factory of Love;
I been workin’ ev’ry night
And now the job is done.
My wife she made a baby,
But I have been the one
Workin’ in the Factoree of Luv.”

“Better a beetle in a pile of dung
Than anything in a Rapper’s song.”

https://www.amazon.com/Parodies-Lost-Alan-Powers/dp/1786975122/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

After presenting at Harvard Astrophysics in October, 2013, I spoke at U Notre Dame, London, and my second book on Giordano Bruno, his hilarious play Candelaio, was performed at the Bridewell Theatre, London (4 April 14). That book is now in a dozen world libraries, including the Royal Danish Library. My Worlds of Giordano Bruno is in three dozen, in eight countries.
My Ph.D. thesis, This Critical Age (on 17C English criticism in verse form), written under Bellow’s friend Leonard Unger, is now in two German libraries, recently added at Freien Universitadt Berlin, 35 years after its publication. Also, I currently edit the Shakespeare Series for Peter Lang Press.

To buy this book what follows is the information you will need –

Paperback: 106 pages
Publisher: FeedARead.com (November 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786975122
ISBN-13: 978-1786975126

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

Balm in Gilead

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

copyright Bettina Networi, inc. 2014

Who would have expected different guests, not previously known to one another,  pick up and read Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot’s book “Balm In Gilead” during their stay in a Bettina Home.

All of our homes have large quantities of books.  Host families generally buy them at Estate Sales for very little money so they are able to offer great reading materials to and  encourage guests to take a book home with them if they are in the process of reading it and would like to finish the book.

We have such responsible guests that they do take books home and when they return, they bring new books they have purchased the same way, giving them to the host family for other guests to discover.  What a lovely interlude!

Lightfoot’s book brought some wonderful reminiscences by the guests.  The first days conversation, one woman shared the book with the other guests and on the second day, all contributed because they found the book in their rooms and read it.  It was an unexpected gift for me because I knew the family and the southern United States that was under discussion.

Mostly, the book caused the women (no men present) to go over their history rather than critique the book.

One critique, however, was what one woman felt as the author’s anti-southern bias, which she said permeated the book.  It talked of relatives going South as a ‘missionary field’ to raise the educational standards of the poor Blacks in the South.  That caused a discussion of great emotion since racially the women at breakfast were a mixed group and all but one from the north.  That left the poor lone Southerner with only me as back-up and sometimes I can’t be trusted to be loyal.

The truth of life among Blacks in the South is very seldom portrayed accurately.  Just like those who most profited from slavery is often skewered with slavery’s  Northern interests very seldom revealed.

The Northern women – both Black and White – understood the books bias and didn’t see it as a bias, but as fact.  One small part of “Balm in Gilead” describes Margaret and Charles Lawrence, with their very substantial education at top schools not able to find a job in the north and so consequently going south to Fisk and Meharry.  The author (their daughter) didn’t seem to know why or rather described the Lawrences as not knowing why.  What most Southern Blacks would understand is that -in the day – when you had that top rated education you went South for a job because you were not hired in the North.  Black millionaires and other very financially substantial African Americans were Black Southerners or Black Northerners transplanted to the South because they had no place else to thrive.

A veery famous Black New England family moved to Alabama from Boston and worked there in substantial jobs until retirement when they returned to New England and took up their Yankee existence without missing a beat.  They moved to Alabama because even with a Harvard Doctorate there were no jobs for them in the North.

There was much talk about “Victory over trauma” – which was portrayed as one way African Americans can survive this society almost intact.  “Trauma and strength.”

One particular quote, read to us by one of the women was very poignant.  “In order to survive one must confront the deep wound, experience the knifelike pain, move through the zombielike period of ‘depersonalization’ speak about the event, act it out, cry over it, stomp on it and finally emerge from it – usually with a scar.”

“One must transcend.  Pain must not be the victor.”

In part of the conversation about Black Anger – “Anger nurtures until you can find more suitable vehicles out of which to act and to love.”

Black male sexism – “He did not denigrate my path, but he blocked it.”

“My mother gave me away to my grandmother.”  Since I was raised by my grandmother, when they gave that quote from the book as a way of describing the phenomena of grandparents raising their grandchildren tears flowed from a couple of us.

There was so much more.  To get the entire story you must read the book.  We recommend it heartily.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

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