FREE POSTER: Scientists have narrowed down the origin of the COVFEFE-19 virus to either a raccoon virus or Oompa-Loompa virus

Please enjoy this FREE anti-Trump POSTER: Scientists have narrowed down the origin of the COVFEFE-19 virus to either a raccoon virus or Oompa-Loompa virus.

FREE POSTER: Scientists have narrowed down the origin of the COVFEFE-19 virus to either a raccoon virus or Oompa-Lompa virus

Trump Begs Forgiveness For Bungling COVID-19 Response

HAPPY April Fools Day!

Trump Begs Forgiveness For Bungling COVID-19 Response

POEM: What Cannot Be Forest Upon Mother Nature

What Cannot Be Forest Upon Mother Nature

As man expired
His last
Once agin
Mother Nature breathed in
A parent excrement
Concrete and steel
Leaving not
Even a scratch
In geologic time
Merely having caught a cold
Cold virus
Feverish bout
Something to sneeze about
Un-till returning
To natural appetites
Where awe is better than knew
In the tree of knowledge
With wisdom of what can and cannot be forest
Upon Mother Nature

Ultimately, this poem is a testament to the sustaining and healing power of Mother Nature. So many times I am struck by the unsustainable practices of so-called civilization. While I am not confident that humankind (unkind?) will be able to avert a monumental collapse of civilization as we know it today, I suspect that humans will survive in some form. Similarly, I strongly suspect than nature will survive. I suspect that humans are not smart enough, nor stupid enough, to end life on this planet. I suspect that humans are not strong enough, nor weak enough, to end life on this planet. While our blind greed is frighteningly persistent, this poem is one vision of Mother Nature, quite naturally, recovering from a virus and fever, and returning to health. May The Forest Be With You - POLITICAL BUTTONMother Nature is awesome and powerful. In this envisioned scenario, humans don’t make it, at least not in any form resembling our current civilization. In the first line of the poem, I reference the word “man” as expiring, that is, lowercase man, not humankind. I snuck this in as an opening to survive, if in fact, in the yin and yang of life, the patriarchal male force is brought into balance with the nurturing/healing female force. I don’t think that it is any accident that nature, Mother Nature, is typically viewed as female across many human cultures. If we don’t respect females, then we are doomed to an existence far short of our awesome potential, or, perhaps, simply doomed to extinction. May we as a species, one among many, find a balance befitting the awesome benevolence of Mother Nature.

Please enjoy these Mother Nature, environmental designs:

A Savage Is Not The One Who Lives In The Forest, But The One Who Destroys It POLITICAL BUTTONTrue Wealth Is Built on Environmental Stewardship POLITICAL BUTTONWhen there's a huge solar energy spill, it's just called a

What You Eat Impacts the World POLITICAL BUTTONOnly when the last tree has been felled, the last river poisoned and the last fish caught, man will know, that he cannot eat money. Cree Indian Prophecy quote POLITICAL BUTTONThere Are No Jobs On A Dead Planet POLITICAL BUTTON

The Environment Is Over-Raided - FUNNY POLITICAL BUTTONWhat Exactly Are Conservatives Conserving (Earth) POLITICAL BUTTONClean Up Your Mess, Love, Mom [Earth] POLITICAL BUTTON

Evolve Earth POLITICAL BUTTONHow About Securing This Homeland (Planet Earth) - POLITICAL BUTTONLOVE MOTHER Earth POLITICAL BUTTON

Environmental Justice NOW POLITICAL BUTTONSTOP Buying Crap (Planet Earth) - POLITICAL BUTTONStop Cutting Down Trees on My Property, signed God - POLITICAL BUTTON

Will Work For Mother Earth POLITICAL BUTTONGlobalize THIS - ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY [earth graphic] POLITICAL BUTTONIf you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money POLITICAL BUTTON

POEM: Neighboring Accountability

Neighboring Accountability

Several homes
Down
There is
A child molester
You can’t no
For sure
Buddies sow nice
Too those knew
Kids on the block
How could you
Warn up to him
Surly there are other neighbors
Axing the question
What shitty do
Especially iffing correct
The prize to be paid
From phallus testimony
And illicit probes
In the end
Assessing what is
Dear
In the light
Of what is
Dumb
Struck
Buy that veritable truth
It is awe
In the risk
And neighboring accountability

This poem is about the all-too-common tragic trauma that child sexual abuse wreaks on its victims, their families and the community. More specifically, this poem deals with the responsibility that we have toward one another, especially children as potential victims. Child molestation and sexual assault is perpetuated by silence. Perpetrators can only continue their crimes if targets or victims are silenced by threat or shame. Such silencing also depends on adults in a child’s community turning the other way when suspicions are raised. Also, a child’s community may not be supportive enough for the child to feel that they will be believed or feel safe in saying anything. This poem arose from a conversation with someone who found great difficulty in potentially wrongly accusing someone of something very serious. My perspective is that this is precisely why we need to deal decisively with any suspected child endangerment, because it is so serious. Such hesitation, which in my view quite reliably chooses doing too little, strikes me as far more dangerous than being a little too ardent in protecting children. Plus, in larger terms, perpetrators are typically also victims who end up perpetuating a cycle of abuse. Perpetrators also need a community that can hold them accountable and offer real help to them, not just enabling. May we act vigilantly to build supportive communities that are committed to protect children and provide compassionate care and healing for all victims.

POEM: Nobody Really No’s

Nobody Really No’s

The apple falls
The shoe drops
The plan it tracks
The gravity of such law as undisputed
You need not condone
Whatever weigh
You obey
Such gravity
Know more
Know less
Sow it is
With love
Know greater law

All You Need is Love--PEACE QUOTE BUTTONThis poem is about love, more specifically, the law of love. Few people would dare deny the law of gravity, and gravity will have its way with us regardless of what we do or believe. This poem is a call to recognize that the law of love is no less fundamental than recognized laws of physics. The law of love is a law of metaphysics. You don’t have to respect, obey, or even know the law of love in order for the law of love to operate. And just like the law of gravity, if you do not act in accordance with the law of love, then things gets busted up and people get hurt. May we harmonize ourselves with the law of love — know greater law.

Got Love SPIRITUAL BUTTONGlobalize THIS - LOVE [earth graphic] POLITICAL BUTTONLove Thy Neighbor, Thy Homeless Neighbor, Thy Muslim Neighbor, Thy Black neighbor, Thy Immigrant Neighbor, Thy Gay Neighbor, Thy Addicted Neighbor POLITICAL BUTTON

That 'Love Thy Neighbor' Thing, I Meant That -- God POLITICAL BUTTONPower at its best is love implementing the demands of justice--Martin Luther King, Jr. BUTTONLove Is Our Resistance POLITICAL BUTTON

LOVE > HATE SPIRITUAL BUTTONOne Love, Many Paths [religious symbols] SPIRITUAL BUTTONWhoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. (1 John 4:20) Bible quote SPIRITUAL BUTTON

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend--Martin Luther King, Jr. BUTTONrEVOLution is the Solution (LOVE) - POLITICAL BUTTONThe World Doesn't Want To Be Saved, It Wants To Be Loved -- and that's how you save it POLITICAL BUTTON

It Matters Not Who You Love, Where You Love, Why You Love, When You Love or How You Love, It Matters Only That You Love - John Lennon quote GAY BUTTONI love you and there is nothing you can do about it SPIRITUAL BUTTONUnarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word--Martin Luther King, Jr. BUTTON

Love Your Enemies - It Really Messes with Their Minds-PEACE BUTTONWhen Power of Love Overcomes Love of Power World Will Know Peace--PEACE QUOTE BUTTONPEACE QUOTE: Nonviolence is Organized Love--PEACE SIGN BUTTON

LOVE POEM: The Her and Now

The Her and Now

Her gentle generosity
Levels a see of petty lacks
Her abundant kindness
Overwhelms any insecurity
Her abiding faith
Shrinks fear two size
Her steadfast patience
Outlasts wistful worries
Her joy
Outshines any mourn
Her bounding gratitude
Is a magnet
For awe good things
Her’s is a perfect storm
Flooding my body and soul with love
Leaving no hope, nor desire, for escape
As I am
Only to be
Perpetually satisfied
With the her
And now

Since today is Valentine’s Day, please enjoy this love poem that I wrote for the love of my life. This one is for public consumption; however, most of the poetry that I write for her is for her eyes only…

LOVE POEM: Stolen Goods

Stolen Goods

In this world
Of confusion and doubt
I know one thing for sure
You are a thief
Having stolen my heart
My chest emptied
And never the less
A living pray
Bleeding hope
From the whole in my soul
That you will only
Follow the law
Of love
And forever repay me
With your consummate crime
In blessed possession
Of stolen goods

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow and ode to my sweetheart of 22 years, please enjoy this love poem. May you experience much love in your life.

POEM: Dyslexic Write Wringer

Dyslexic Write Wringer

In a whack and blight world
Any dyslexic can tell you
A right winger
Is a white ringer

Only as an adult did I realize that I am mildly dyslexic. I have to intentionally work every time to distinguish my right from my left, except in politics, of course. I had great difficulty learning how to read and still have some difficulty reading along while others read, since recovering from my word reversals is easier in my own head than when reading along while someone actually reads it correctly. I cannot reliably look at a phone number and walk across the room and dial it. Math, particularly algebra, was unduly difficult with numbers and terms not having the same internal context as words in a sentence, or letters in a word. Fortunately, all of this is only mildly annoying rather than significantly disabling. In fact, I see that my poetry style and sense of humor are rooted in this perpetual jumbling of words and even concepts and the training of reordering them into their original or intended meaning. Of course, along the way, I am struck with new and often funny relationships. Hopefully, I have raised this to an art form. In this case, I see my mild dyslexia as a gift, even a superpower in word play!

This poem is a signature combination of my dyslexic tendencies and my left wing, though typically right, politics. Beyond the churning alliterative construction is a scathing critique of right wing politics as inextricable linked to white supremacy. Whites in racial politics are frighteningly reliably ringers as the supremacy in white supremacy is so complete that us whites are routinely blind to this simple yet pervasive and pernicious fact.Will Work To End Racism POLITICAL BUTTON This blindness of racism seems to be a necessity for racism to persist century after century. Of course, as a white man, I speak from experience; I had to learn this for myself, much later than I would have liked. I am now trying to unlearn my racist heritage and presumptuous privilege, and overwhelm racism by me with anti-racism by me. I have learned that white supremacy and racism is a problem that white people are responsible for and must be responsible in ending. No doubt, this is difficult: the blind leading the blind. Though I have also learned that I can learn from people of color simply by paying attention, listening, and working as an accomplice in ending racism. Most importantly, I must do this work without placing the burden on people of color to enlighten me. This is my responsibility. May I live up to it.

END White Supremacy POLITICAL BUTTONWhite Silence is Violence POLITICAL BUTTONRacism Kills POLITICAL BUTTON

African, European, Asian, Racist [small racist brain] POLITICAL BUTTONDude, Racism Is Stupid.I Am Black. White, and Asian, But Everyone Loves Me. So Stop The Hate and Start the Love POLITICAL BUTTONGlobalize THIS - RACIAL EQUALITY [earth graphic] POLITICAL BUTTON

 

POEM: That Clarity Amidst Blood

That Clarity Amidst Blood

The tides of change are rising
From a tsunami of tears
The salt of the earth
Uniting with water
The solution that is life
That clarity amidst blood
And where souls hit the street
Awash with just us
And cleansing see

This poem is about protest and resistance where there is skin in the game and deep solidarity. Change, both personally and socially, often arises through pain and loss. Much pain in this world is caused by selfishness and the vanities of power, money and status. Unjust powers that be, while they may be deeply entrenched, are made vulnerable by their hypocrisy and cowardice, addicted to extracting value for themselves at undue cost to others. Oftentimes the antidote to such greed and vanity is found in community and shared struggles where the courage and resilience to endure additional costs can bring a harvest of justice and healing both personally and socially. In the crucible of change, there is a testing of won’s mettle when going that extra mile may actually be mile twenty. The authenticity generated by skin in the game, or street cred, can counterbalance great enemies to life, especially if harnessed in mass and interconnected with deep solidarity. May our tsunami of tears wash away injustice and bring healing to the land and its peoples.

Globalize THIS - RESISTANCE [earth graphic] POLITICAL BUTTONThey can cut all the flowers, but they can never stop the spring -- Pablo Neruda quote POLITICAL BUTTON	 If They Won't Let Us Dream, We Won't Let Them Sleep POLITICAL BUTTON

	 I Will Not Stay Silent So That You Can Stay Comfortable POLITICAL BUTTONNice Day For A Revolution POLITICAL BUTTONActivism Is My Rent For Living On This Planet -- Alice Walker quote POLITICAL BUTTON

	 I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject -- Henry David Thoreau quote POLITICAL BUTTONNever offend people with style when you can offend them with substance. Sam Brown quote POLITICAL BUTTONProtest beyond the law is not departure from democracy; it is essential to it -- Howard Zinn quote POLITICAL BUTTON

POEM: God’s Tell

God’s Tell

Is it just
Another day
Like any other
Inner changeable
Who could tell?
And there I was
Mining my own busyness
When it came to pass
God winked at me
I timidly wavered back
Yet setting off
A sparkle in my eye
Leaving me feeling
A little more catchy

Few people claim to literally hearing God speak, and the title of this poem, God’s Tell, is rather an allusion to a tell in poker, where a clue is revealed regarding what another player’s hand may be and how they might play it. Of course, for many people, poker is a serious matter, especially if discerning a tell is critical to a winning edge. I juxtaposed a wink as a playful and reassuring way of God communicating God’s hand and how God might play it. The chief complaint against God may be that God doesn’t implement justice in the way or timing that won might want. Perhaps the nature of spirit is more about playfulness and reassuring communication how we are “with” one another in whatever it is that they may be experiencing. The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings -- Albert Schweitzer quote POLITICAL BUTTONFor me, this can be an important insight into the nature of solidarity in justice work, standing with one another, though it highlights the process rather than simply just the outcome. Balancing our focus on the journey rather than simply the destination, may very well help us get there, and certainly offers a more pleasant option in enduring the many ups and downs in justice movements. Who knows, perhaps one of the main destinations, arrival points, is simply being with those around us on the journey.

More simply, this poem can be a serendipitous moment where we feel awe and are caught off-guard in the best of ways. May such moments be catchy!

 

FREE POSTER: T-rump, BIG MOUTH, tiny hands, Breaks Shit

I just had an urge to make Donald Trump a dinosaur, long overdo.

Please enjoy this free poster: T-rump, BIG MOUTH, tiny hands, Breaks Shit.

Donald Trump as T-rump: BIG MOUTH, tiny hand, Breaks Shit

UNIMPEACHABLE POEM: When Conspiracy Makes a Perfect Call

When Conspiracy Makes a Perfect Call

The Democrats made me
Due it
In the end only
Tempted bribery
In awe I did
In competence
My soul motive
Buy partisan ship
A condemn nation urned
As just US done
With all the fix ins
Sow what’s the big deal
Surely you don’t want
A nation of nancies
And immigrants
[insert off color joke hear]
Whatever
Accost

With the nearly seamless conspiracy and cover-up by senate Republicans, I feel that our nation is disabled and half of the country is making fun of it. Of course, Donald Trump, this half-ass satyr of a president, is leading the way by being the satire.

Free Political Poster: TRUMP SATIRE - Political Satyr is Often Half Right - The Horse's Ass Half

POEM: Goddest of Dreams

Goddest of Dreams

One serendipitous night
I stumbled up
On a most glorious site
An indescribable rite
When mortals have only their dreams
She would sow free
Pluck stars from the sky
Only to sprinkle them
On waking heads
And hearts afresh
As windows to the soul
Are with sunbeams awash
As darkness never remembered
In awe that is knew
In this day present

Got Dreams SPIRITUAL BUTTONThis whimsical poem is an ode to the mystery and rejuvenating powers of sleep that prepare us for a new day.

POEM: BS Meters

BS Meters

Sometimes you just
No
When the shit hits the fan
Or weather the biggest ass round
Goes Pompeii
And you can’t even make out
Your exquisitely crafted bullshit meter
Turning out
To be
Essentially needle-less
Butt as they say
You don’t need a weatherman
To let you no
Which way the wind blows

Bull Shit Meter - FUNNY POLITICAL BUTTONIn increasingly surreal times, my bullshit meter has been largely pinned out. I may need to calibrate some kind of logarithmic scale to differentiate escalating levels of flying bullshit. Of course, while exquisitely crafted and calibrated bullshit meters are nice, the old-fashioned smell test is often quite sufficient. And when that unmistakably distinctive wind blows, just say no.

POEM: Loyalty Oafs

Loyalty Oafs

Loyalty oafs
Would halve you
Believe
In idol vanity
Sowing their wiled oaths
AWOL keeping us a part
With litmus tests
In a whirled of acid
And base
Brands that burn
And scar us
In too submission
Not with standing
Be sides
Withal there is
An incalculably better weigh
Yes is yes
No is no
Each making us stronger
And unafraid
Of know boundaries

In a world with multiple, overlapping allegiances, loyalty can seem a highly partisan and intensely tribal battle for alleged hearts and minds. Commingle this with the purported virtue of compromise in the professed art of politics, and such “things” as values, boundaries and even ultimate concerns can easily be lost in the melee.

I am struck by the directness and simplicity of the biblical precept: “Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37) Given the contemporary situation of senators, specifically Republic senators, and more specifically, Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell, in the swearing in as jurors in an impeachment trial where you can confess that you aren’t impartial and then take an oath that you will be impartial. The above biblical precept is part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount concerning the law of solemn pledges:  “Again you have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago: Don’t make a false solemn pledge, but you should follow through on what you have pledged to the Lord. But I say to you that you must not pledge at all. You must not pledge by heaven, because it’s God’s throne. You must not pledge by the earth, because it’s God’s footstool. You must not pledge by Jerusalem, because it’s the city of the great king. And you must not pledge by your head, because you can’t turn one hair white or black. Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:33-37)  Of course, farcical Christians in a farcical Christian nation are well suited by swearing on a Bible that instructs them to forgo pledges.

May our values, boundaries and ultimate concerns be evidenced by our actions.

An Apparently Unimpeachable POEM: If Only It Were Just Bazaar

If Only It Were Just Bazaar

He ran
The whirled
Like a carny
King Con
A sideshow gone viral
Kicked off the island
No longer in realty
Passing bills ‘n washing ton
In the house of white he
Longs for the sweetness of cotton
‘n elephant ears long fore gotten
As he deafly rallies his confederates
As hole country goes south

Today, Senate Republicans, alleged jurors, may end the impeachment trial that may not really have been a trial. Won way or the other, this will be a new precedent in the regime of this unprecedented president, Donald Trump, aka, The Don.

END REX LEXBy the way, rex lex means the king is the law. Rex lex is the opposite of nobody is above the law, equal protection under the law, and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. END REX LEX!

POEM: Got Marxism?

Got Marxism?

“Are you a Marxist?” he asked
Well
Yes and know
I am
More of a Groucho Marxist
Than a Karl Marxist

This funny little poem is a bit Zen in that turns a serious question into a playful and more expansive answer — perhaps answering the question, perhaps razing more questions.

I'm a Marxist (Groucho) POLITICAL BUTTONLennon and Marx - What's The Big Deal? (John and Groucho) POLITICAL BUTTONLennon and Marx (John and Groucho) POLITICAL BUTTON

POEM: God’s Lazy As

God’s Lazy As

Thanks for nudging me
From oblivion
In too existence
A billion years
Of Sundays
Ought too due
Accept fore sustaining me
Every nanosecond
What have you
Done form me
Lately

I find a deep source of gratitude in that I won the existence lottery. Whatever complaints I may have about the nature of reality and my life seem petty when compared to the exquisite privilege of simply being alive. When I experience this perspective, I can tap into an unfathomably huge realm that I often take for granted — or, if you think that life is just complicated dirt: taken for granite. When I add to this perspective the notion that my sustained existence is also inexplicably miraculous, I can update my gratitude to the current moment, any given moment, any moment taken.

To love another person is to see the face of God. Victor Hugo, Les Miserables quoteThe title of this poem, God’s Lazy As, is a tip of the hat to the low-key role that God plays in awe of this. If this mystery of God seeming to hide out appears too baffling, or even insolvable, I find it helpful to consider the Victor Hugo quote from Les Miserables, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” This is the kind of in-your-face God that I love.

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL POEM: Constipated Just US

In loo of affront meant
And moral fiber privation
Gone to won’s head
A twitter tyrant
With a porcelain prosthesis
And aim peachable
Effaces madder of coarse push back
Trying to void
Being number two
Throne another election
That irony handed rule
All thumbs
Posedly made up
Buy ALL CAPS!!!
Building a wall
Surrounding himself
With sicko fans
Sandwiching partial jurors between
Sects with nondisclosure agreements

Just, a poem I had to write to burn off some of the shitty energy swirling around Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with The Don leading the way for his sycophants and partisan jurors. Will justice be had?

NOBODY is Above The Law

FREE POSTER: God is Love (with asterisk)

God is love. Period.

FREE POSTER: God is Love (with asterisk)

In case you were wondering what the fine print says: it’s the Sermon on the Mount (below). I wanted the primary meaning of this poster to address and challenge the notion that God’s love has a lot of caveats. I first thought to put up some random unreadable text, but quickly realized that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount says it better!

* Matthew 5: Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. 25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. 31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If
anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Chapter 6: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[m] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Chapter 7: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.