Friday, May 28, 2010


bethel center building

Joel David Trout used to pastor North Park Apostolic Church, where I heard his dynamic exposition of 2 Kings 2. The particular topic of Bethel related well to Maundy Thursday as it eased into extremely early Good Friday when I started this blog post eight weeks back; the tripartite triduum liturgy had begun a few hours prior to then—here's Bethel, extrapolated and interpreted for here and now.

So you've (we've, I've) just been to Gilgal, the place of rolling away doubts, pasts, fears, transgressions, regrets and anything else that's been getting in the way. But now we need (I need, you need) to get to God's House, to Beth-El! During my undergrad years I was involved in a church that was part of an urban homeland mission and we met in a building called Bethel, though the congregation itself had a different name. During January I blogged some reasons for taking your offspring to the services of God's house; they equally apply to everyone, every age and every circumstance. At church we hear, learn and begin living the story and the stories of the covenanted people of God; we start making the old stories our stories and practice telling the stories.

At the services of God's House we celebrate and participate in the Eucharist, God's eschatological feast of justice, reconciliation, forgiveness and inclusion for all creation. This is God's manner of making new beginnings that's also a living sign of God's promised end, the welcome table of "go and do likewise." We learn to be prepared to forgive and to be forgiven... learning to live every moment "wet behind the ears" again with baptismal water, committed again to Good Friday and to Easter, constantly recovering in Walter Brueggemann's words, "...the focal drama of baptism, which is a subversive act of renunciation and embrace summoning us 'From our several enslavements ... to a common, liberated obedience.'" Something expressed so well bears repeating often!

But what else happened at Bethel for me? I began learning how to take care of the neighborhood's people and infrastructure with political action and community organizing. I enjoyed reading some Paul Tillich and Thomas Merton, although Paul of Tarsus and especially Romans overwhelmed me. We worshiped together and studied scripture and theology alongside each other. We shared meals—part of our general economic style included barter and exchange. I did homework on the roof with friends while we listened to the radio and talked; I did some art, some music and a little writing; during the summer I loved driving friends to beaches along the north shore and sometimes down route 3 to the south shore.

leaving bethel
After a season at Bethel, learning the joy and craziness of community along with its shared tasks, frustrations, anxieties and sometimes surprising hope, it's time to move on. After Bethel we need to reach Jericho, the place of radical, unquestioning, liberating obedience that continues preparing us for a together (in more than one sense) future.

(This image of the street alongside the Bethel Center in my old neighborhood shows how it is, as the street curves away from the ethnic, student, yuppy semi-ghetto – remembering "nothing much goes in or out of it that wasn't there the day before" to explain ghetto – toward commercial financial downtown City of History, but back in my days, if you didn't take the underpass walkway between the mainly residential neighborhood and downtown, you'd walk right into the central artery that now is way far gone, the result of an extravagantly expansive and $14,600,000,000 worth of "expensive" public works project, The Big Dig.)

And after Jericho? Going to Jordan... the place of boundaries between old and new, borders between strange and known, stranger and friend, barriers between where we are and where we need to be, what we have and what we want. Going to Jordan, the place of baptism for Jesus and the paradigmatic location of our baptism, too.

From Gilgal to Bethel into Jericho, all of us take along stuff – goods, bads and some indifferents – from previous locations. At Jericho we're in the place of often counter-cultural, counter-intuitive obedience and radical trust to the point of not daring question or ask a "why" out loud. At Jericho we're preparing for Jordan, for "...the focal drama of baptism, which is a subversive act of renunciation and embrace summoning us 'from our several enslavements ... to a common, liberated obedience.'"

From Gilgal to Bethel, to Jericho, to Jordan... and then to?

life stuff button

Harvesting the Fruits

Harvesting the Fruits: Aspects of Christian Faith in Ecumenical Dialogue by Walter Cardinal Kasper

Product information includes: Publisher, Continuum (December 14, 2009); ISBN-10 - 1441162720 and an updated ISBN-13 - 978-1441162724

Harvesting the Fruits"Harvesting the Fruits" references Galatians 6:9, "So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up." As the title of the book and the featured scripture imply, this is not a season of frustration or discouragement in ecumenical relations, we are not in an ecumenical winter, but "rich fruits" already have been harvested from these and other dialogues.

Writing about "ecumenical consensus, convergences and differences" over the biblical number of the past 40 years, Walter Cardinal Kasper brings us an easily readable, very useful overview of formal, bilateral conversations between worldwide organizational expressions of Christianity: Lutherans and Catholics / Methodists and Catholics from 1967 through the publication date of 2009; Reformed and Catholics / Anglicans and Catholics from 1970 through 2009. These dialogues were grounded in "Catholic understanding of ecumenical dialogue" and ecumenical principles stated in Vatican 2 documents Unitatis redintegratio and Lumen gentium and as Cardinal Kasper notes, they reflect multilateral interrelationships amongst the various expressions of Christianity that participated. The book is comfortable to hold, has an easily readable type face (style and point size) and includes a near-comprehensive list of abbreviations from each phase or period of each formal dialogue, one of several features that make it a wonderful reference book. The author attempts to outline where we are at this present time as well as where we in the churches can move ahead and should move ahead in the quest for common unity. Cardinal Kasper uses the traditional, 2-millennia-long theological "Father, Son, Spirit" theological vocabulary without equivocation or apology.

Harvesting the Fruits is logically organized into an introduction, four chapters and preliminary conclusions (at the end). Chapter subjects are:
1. Jesus Christ and the Trinity; 2. Salvation, justification, sanctification; 3. The Church - Nature and mission; Sources of authority; Ministry - "whole people of God" and "ordained"; Episcope / oversight - of both local church and Universal Church; 4. [dominical] Sacraments - baptism and Eucharist
Particularly beginning with the Vatican 2 Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis redintegration in 1964, the See of Rome has considered restoration of unity in the Church a primary concern; Jesus Christ founded one Church, and only one. This particular book does not include Easter or Orthodox expressions of the Church (Cardinal Kasper refers to those as "Churches" but calls other non-Roman Catholics ecclesial communities). Except for those of Wesleyan heritage the Pentecostal churches do not participate in ecumenical activities and except when one includes the highly ecumenical Disciples of Christ (in the USA) in that category, church bodies that evolved from the various restoration movements in the 19th Century are not inclined toward ecumenism, either.

For these discussions a "common confession of the Trinity and of Jesus Christ" was the starting point. The ultimate goal of ecumenical dialogue and other shared activities includes "full visible communion in faith, sacramental life, apostolic ministry and mission" alongside the invariable and necessary differences in culture, styles of liturgy, hymnody and worship, as well as differing emphases in all the above... All of the ecumenical partners hold a fundamental common understanding of the Gospel including: creedal faith; Trinitarian conviction; and salvific action of the persons of the Trinity. Despite the basic need for more conversation and consensus, "What we share in faith is therefore much more than what divides us."

my amazon review: a healthy yield with more to come

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pentecost 2010

This is the text I wrote 3 years ago for the back of the bulletin cover I designed for the Day of Pentecost, 2007; I'm reposting for this year's Season of Pentecost.

In the Bible and in Christian tradition, there is no narrative or legend about the creation of fire, but there are abundant experiences of evidence of the Divine Presence in some form of fire. From the desert of the Exodus through Isaiah's vision in the temple, to Malachi and to John the Baptizer's promise of One who will baptize not only with water, but with Spirit and with Fire, a strand of purifying, redemptive heat weaves through the witness of scripture. Luke begins the Acts of the Apostles with the risen Christ promising the apostles' forthcoming baptism with the Holy Spirit; in the next chapter, we hear about the Spirit given to individuals gathered in community.

The Spirit of Life that raised Jesus from the dead calls us from wherever we are, and gathers us into an assembly that in baptism already has experienced its first death and its second birth. The Holy Spirit of God and of the Christ shapes and forms us into the people of God, a gathering of the ordinary that daily walks the extraordinary Way of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, living as an alternative community to those under the reign of death.

Like the apostles of Jesus Christ two thousand years ago, we live baptized into the cross of Calvary, into the empty grave of Easter dawn, and into the freedom and fire of Pentecost. When our friends and neighbors meet us, like Jesus' disciples of old, may they also become witnesses to the Risen Christ!

Friday, May 21, 2010

discipline(d) 5

disciplines Friday 5; Jan hosts today.

For today's free-floating 5 Jan explains:
I so often think I have little "discipline" in my life, but there has to be a certain amount to survive and accomplish anything. Think about the various disciplines you routinely (or semi-regularly) participate in—or formerly practiced. Tell us about five in any (one or more) category(ies) that you feel like discussing.
I'm going with 5 of Jan's example suggestion categories and [originally, that is] blogging in Pentecostal Red.

1. prayer book for remembering the womenfor morning prayer I like to begin with something in print, like A Prayer Book for Remembering the Women or Morning or Evening Prayer from the BCP and then segue into some scripture (I especially love deutero-Paul in the morning) and then into free prayer. I'd like to do something similar in the evening but generally my brain is tireder than my body, so I typically end the day with prayers for every person and every cause I can think of at the time.

2. In terms of food "disciplines(?)," I always always eat something for breakfast, though I'm not hungry enough for much until mid-morning. Breakfast is just about my favorite meal to eat out in a restaurant, but when that happens it has to be brunch time so I can do justice to the offerings.

3. When I have an upcoming music gig I practice like crazy, though never even think of touching a piano or organ when I'm not scheduled to play somewhere; I'm simply not interested. However, despite having said that, I've practiced and learning to public performance level 27 of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, but I've done that anticipating opps to play them somewhere. some time. BTW, an audience brings me to life! I tell people I "crave an audience the way an addict craves cocaine."

4. I wish I were more disciplined at practicing drawing, because that's a major way you learn to see. When I've taken formal drawing classes the teachers always have requested we spend at least 25 hours a day drawing, though I never have. But for the limited time I've spent I've done very well.

5. Back in the day I was far more disciplined at working out and would like to be again.

Thanks, Jan! This would be an excellent one to journal more thoroughly and track my progress and continued discipline.

life stuff button

Thursday, May 20, 2010

oil and water: deepwater horizon

"Water is life," they insist. Digital, print and electronic news media have been filled with more and more devastating reports about the "Deepwater Horizon incident" oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April. BP, the petroleum mega-giant whose equipment failure (malfunction?) caused the disaster has been filling their website with more and more unconvincing explanations and defenses.

In my recent blog, Where Can Red-Winged Blackbirds Live?, I observed
Despite current interest in ecological theology emphasizing the redemption and integrity of all creation – not solely human creatures – a lot of teaching and preaching in the Church still focuses on humanity, which in some ways may not be all that "off," given that so much of the rest of creation is in need of restoration, revitalization and resurrection from death primarily because of human sin and failure to steward creation (which naturally results in failure to take proper care of human needs).
Water, the primordial substance of the world, existed before anything else in creation; in Genesis 1 we read:
1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
From the New Century Hymnal, a version of the
Thanksgiving and Blessing over the Baptismal Water:

We thank you, God, for the gift of creation called forth by your saving Word.

Before the world had shape and form, your Spirit moved over the waters.
Out of the waters of the deep, you formed the firmament and brought forth earth to sustain life.

In the time of Noah,
you washed the earth with the waters of the flood,
and your ark of salvation bore a new beginning.

In the time of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam,
your people Israel passed through the Red Sea waters
from slavery to freedom and crossed the flowing Jordan
to enter the promised land.

In the fullness of time, you sent Jesus Christ,
who was nurtured in the water of Mary's womb.
Jesus was baptized by John in the water of the Jordan,
became living water to a woman at the Samaritan well,
washed the feet of the disciples,
and sent them forth to baptize all nations by water and the Holy Spirit.

Bless by your Holy Spirit, gracious God, this water.
By your Holy Spirit save those who confess the name of Jesus Christ
that sin may have no power over them.
Create new life in those baptized this day
that they may rise in Christ.
Glory to you, eternal God,
the one who was, and is, and shall always be,
world without end. Amen!
Scripture and Church have made water and the creative word central signs of new birth in baptism and signs of the reign of heaven on earth. Studying the witness and examples in scripture, during the imperial reign of King Solomon, depletion of creation and misuse of natural resources had become the habit and the rule because of human imaginings they were the center of everything and so concomitant desires of the rich and famous for a high-end, unsustainable deluxe lifestyle could be met; that era brought the earliest biblical creation account from the writer we now refer to as the Yahwist: Genesis 2:4-25. In some ways the easy conversational intimacy between human and Creator does reflect the reality of Divine care and concern for all, but the text also exposes human arrogance and a not unusual human trait of attempting to contain, control and domesticate the elusive wildness of the God of the Bible. Remember how Israel's plea for a temple and a king partly was an attempt to become "like other nations" rather than a faithful desire to live in risk and dependence on one another as Yahweh's peculiar people? Toward the end of Solomon's rule, Jeremiah the prophet implores, "O land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord!" (Jeremiah 22:29)

After the fall of Solomon's empire, in the creation account placed first in the biblical canon, the exilic (or possibly post-exilic, since dating is a bit confounded) Priestly Pentateuch source, Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 recognized creation as orderly, the Creator God as one who acts not randomly but systematically and does not place humanity at the center or the apex of the rest of creation, but rather gives human creatures a place within the order and a call to steward, maintain, treasure and support the rest of creation. Yes, one well may argue that part of the purpose of the Priestly scribe was to grant legitimacy to an organized ecclesiastical hierarchy and given that written and orally transmitted texts are cultural artifacts likely that was a factor, but not incidentally the text carries along with it an integrated, sustainable worldview and practice rather than one subject to disintegration. Through its witness, scripture brings humanity a call to help initiate justice and redemption for all creation and an ultimate vision of the eschatological feast in which the entire earth is healthy and restored, living in mutual dependence and covenant. Without water, that dream cannot be realized.

"You choose to be made at one with the earth," sings the activist hymn written by Fred Kaan. The God outside space and outside time, God who created everything from nothing, chose decayable human flesh formed from nature's stuff, the elements of the earth, as the mode of his most decisive self-revelation. God chose to live within the bounded limits of space and time, and still chooses to do so, indwelling all creation – including streams, rivers and oceans (of course!) – with the breath of life and evidence of enduring love. On my Red-Winged Blackbirds blog I asked, "Where can God find a home?"

Back in the olden days, BP was British Petroleum, a name that evokes memories of a worldwide empire of colonies, protectorates, and other entities on which the sun never set, all administered by or somehow connected to the United Kingdom. From scriptures and other sources we recognize word and speech as both source and immanence, with lively power to initiate, suggest, birth, relate and transform. In many cultures, a person's name formally expresses the essence of the person, and it is not a stretch to suggest language carries similar power for us 21st century dwellers.

Those "theys" who remind us water is life also insist oil and water do not mix, cannot form a chemical alliance. The olive tree, giver of one of my favorite fruits, has long culinary, religious, political and liturgical histories and typically lives for a very long time. The forehead of a person being baptized is signed with a cross traced with chrism made from olive oil; just like prophets, priests and kings of Israel, they are "Christed" or chrismated, anointed. The olive tree frequently is considered the Tree of Life referred to in Revelation 22:"1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations."

The tree depends on the river and the nations, the "people," the ethnos – the plain ole folk – depend on the tree that depends on the river...that depends on human care, covenant and faithfulness.

Deuteronomy 8
6Therefore keep the commandments of the Lord your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him. 7For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, 8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. 10You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you. 11Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today.
After the deluge, Noah released a dove, "And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth." Genesis 8:11

But also, with its purported 613 kernels, symbolizing the 613 commandments found in the Hebrew Bible, pomegranate is considered the tree of life: to be saved, whole, redeemed, shalom-full "keep the Commandments," keep covenant with all creation, that we all may live. Did I not blog, "so much of the rest of creation is in need of restoration, revitalization and resurrection from death primarily because of human sin and failure to steward creation (which naturally results in failure to take proper care of human needs)." Okay, BP, listen up!

As Lin C commented on facebook, "The ocean is the Earth's circulatory system. Kill that and we kill the earth." The whole concept of human supremacy and invincibility has been killing the earth for too long. I'm not a scientist, but from what I understand, light is life and this planet *should* survive as long as earth's Sun Star shines and is not extinguished (by human stupidity and greed). On her blog, Yearning for God, Jan linked to some beautiful, hope-filled water blessings. Where can the earth find a home and not be a stranger to itself?

my second blog about the gulf coast oil spill—last days: deepwater horizon take 2

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

prophetic imagination 5

Pulling it all Together

...and Walter Brueggemann's book, The Prophetic Imagination, again. In blog 4, I reminded readers the Nurturing the Prophetic Imagination Conference I attended at Point Loma Nazarene University was late during the season of Lent and, as I pointed out when I finally posted the blog about John August Swanson, next Sunday will be The Day of Pentecost, in case an explanation is in order.

Expressing life in-between Friday and Easter as necessarily including "Refusing to be Consoled" was particularly striking related to my own situation of loss that I seem not to be able to explain to anyone and coupled with my sense of needing to experience some Good Grief, the wrenching sorrow that includes regenerative washing with tears and perspective gainable only from ongoing conversation with others who at least sort of "get it." Recently I'd blogged about Brueggemann's insisting a huge amount of our days are sabbatarian, times we spend waiting, almost suspended in the interstitial time between Good Friday afternoon and Easter Sunday dawn. And, of course, that's another liminal, threshold experience, another one that's closely related to baptism.

As again I turned the pages of my copy of The Prophetic Imagination, (it was either the first or second thing by Brueggemann I ever read) the necessity of grief - and, of course, acknowledging that everything is not okay, cities are broken, relationships are fractured, lives are unwhole, the world has crumbled into chaos - that must go ahead of times of grieving jumped off page after page. It hadn't been that obvious to me before; it has to be something about the close relationship between truth and freedom!

Moving a few meters away from my own "place," the constant emphasis on all creation during the conference met me where I live and heartened me immensely.

Someone recently reminded me that the new creation is not pristine, but carries within its very being scars and other reminders of the pain, troubles, devastation and experiences that have brought one to the place of newness and that each of us continues carrying with us, not as unwanted weight but almost as a condition of redemption.

nurturing the prophetic imagination posterIn the conference sessions I attended, they didn't talk much overtly about Divine freedom – or its corollary of God's elusiveness – but the discussion still strongly implied both attributes of God. Like Walter Brueggemann's perspective on scripture, these were no talks about "god sightings" or "god experiences," yet like King Solomon and the Yahwist, each of us longs for a modicum of control over our own destiny and for a god of predictable, programmable behaviors. Scripture, the earlier Church fathers and mothers, the Reformers and a faithful contemporary Church cannot assume miracles, wonders, spectaculars, or petitions to heaven answered in compliance to man formulations or suggestions.

With most of our days on earth being sabbatarian, neither Good Friday afternoon nor Easter Sunday dawn, I'm still waiting and trusting.

prophetic imagination 4

Meeting the artist, "Art, Justice and the Imagination II: The Art of Prophets"

Although the Nurturing the Prophetic Imagination Conference happened during late Lent, I'm only now posting my 4th and 5th blogs, and we're more than halfway through Easter: next Sunday will be The Day of Pentecost.

power to the people john august swanson
John August Swanson's website explains,
"John Swanson studied with Corita Kent at Immaculate Heart College. His unique style is influenced by the imagery of Islamic and medieval miniatures, Russian iconography, the color of Latin American folk art, and the tradition of Mexican muralists."
As each person entered the room, they received gifts of three full-color, high-quality reproductions of John Swanson's best-known art. For the actual presentation, the artist narrated a slide show depicting his own artistic journey through what has become an extremely sophisticated artistic style and an involved process for producing limited edition serigraphs. What an open, gracious, humble guy! At the end, supposedly to reward us for staying through the hour plus, he gave everyone a poster-sized copy of Power to the People, one of his best-known, most detailed pieces that illustrates this blog post.

I was especially excited to meet John August because he specializes in illustrating theological subjects and because a few years ago someone told me some of my Isaiah interpretations reminded me of John Swanson's. I'm still a tad disappointed that I got to only part of the 2-2/2 day conference, but the richness and wealth of my experiences there – including the surprise of connecting with an artist I admire – as well as discovering the beautiful, dreamlike PLNU campus made it more than worthwhile.

Friday, May 14, 2010

family tree 5

Sophia hosts today's family trees friday 5.

1. I've no current serious interest in genealogy, mainly because I'm defensive about my origins and upbringing, yet I consider it a fascinating study that can help us learn a lot about ourselves, including our idiosyncrasies, habits and other behaviors. I love that liturgically we worship with everyone and with all creation, past, present and future and I love how the sacraments are acts of the treeentire Church in every place and time. As insecure, angry and otherwise not very positive as I can be when people start talking about their families and ask me about mine, I know I can rejoice in my multitudinous baptismal relationships.

2. About ancestral countries, nations and peoples and partly referencing my response to #1, as an adult I finally found out that my great-grandfather, my father's dad, was an immigrant Russian Pennsylvania coal miner. On my mother's side, my great-grandfather was Irish, though since he was nominally Prot I don't know if John/Sean Lang was Scots-Irish or ethnic Irish. He immigrated to Canada and rode on minor-league tracks for minor-league stables. I definitely have some Dutch, German, generic British Isles and other assorted sundry ancestors and yearn to be a little bit of everything since each ethnicity has at least stereotypical traits anyone would like to claim, most of those based in history. And the food, too, needless to say!

3. Great-great-great-grandmother Eliza Close is the farthest back ancestor whose name I know.

4. Regarding favorite saints or notorious sinners, my grandfather, who was raised Southern Presbyterian and would not attend church outside the South (no or not enough hell, fire and brimstone), said his uncle William P was a circuit rider, many of whom were methodist, some baptist and their ranks including Lutheran Henry Melchior Muhlenberg.

5. I want my descendants to remember that I'm tough, driven, creative, almost too persistent yet highly inpatient with people and circumstances at times.

Although I don't have a bonus a song, prayer, or poem, I've illustrated this with one of a series of drawings I made for a color theory class. And, I'll conclude saying that I love Sophia's "family—blood or chosen."

Friday, May 07, 2010

faith and politics friday 5

from across the pond in the wake of a well-publicized election with a hung outcome, Sally outlines 5 about faith and politics for today. Originally I blogged in purple that's not red, not blue yet a subversive combining of both.

to play this one even semi-adequately would take forever, so here are my quick answers for now.

1. "Jesus a political figure: discuss..."

My response to 2. helps answer this one, but Jesus was completely human and the Way of Jesus is comprehensive, so you cannot omit any facet of life from consideration of Jesus or from your own journey.

2. "Politics in the pulpit,"

Yes, to encourage everyone to participate in ongoing processes of local, state/provincial and national government because to be human is to be a citizen denizen, part of a polis, a people, so you cannot not be political. But never to advise voting or activity on behalf of a particular party, candidate, issue or cause. God does not belong to a particular party or style of governing; in fact God is not proprietary at all. However, I'd definitely encourage people to pray and perceive in order to discern the best ways justice, integrity and dignity for all creation can be achieved.

3. "What are your thoughts on the place of prayer in public life..."

No, not, though there's a longer, more detailed answer, needless to say!

4. "Is there a political figure, Christian or otherwise that you admire for their integrity?"

So very many in terms of both integrity and results! Ted Kennedy, the late senior senator from Massachusetts; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Mahatma Gandhi; Nelson Mandela—all of them very public about their faith, but doubtless I'll remember many others after I post this.

5. "What are your thoughts on tactical voting, e.g. would you vote for one individual/party just to keep another individual/ party form gaining power?"

It would depend on the urgency of the situation. One doesn't need to have achieved much chronology in order to discover very few, if any, politicians ever are able to fulfill many of their campaign promises and few of them are as skilled and able at negotiation and healthy compromise as public or politicians would desire.