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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Thank You God and Medical Science

Over the years, I have been blessed by not only God and by the people of my life, but also by medical science. I believe that God has inspired great people to know new things and make leaps forward in many areas, including medical science.

Tomorrow I will again enter the doorway of a hospital and some really strangely worded things are happening due to mesh malfunctions.

I give thanks that I know God is with me, is inspiring the hands of the doctor and all who participate in my surgery.

Wherever we go, whatever is going on, the living Presence of God is there, filling all, enfolding all, guiding all willing to be guided. Lord, I am completely willing and desiring to be guided by You and to follow as You lead me. I know there is more that You require of me here on earth, so I know the future is well lit by Your Light.

I relax into Your Love and let go in peace.

Thank You!

Monday, May 25, 2015


Before I got up this morning, I was reflecting on some of the "mistakes"I have made along the journey of this life. I realized that some turned out to be blessings that simply redirected me. But I could not escape the thought of how flawed I am and how I have not fully been the person I know I could have been - still could be.

A voice said "human means flawed." I laughed out loud.

Then I thought, I am here, if not perfect myself, to at least refine myself and reveal the spiritual being God created. Sometimes the "mistakes" are the sandpaper required to smooth off the rough spots. I guess I needed a lot of sandpaper:)

All works together for good for those who are called -- so said St. Paul.

It's all okay.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Christianity and History

Yesterday we watched a PBS program on Constantine. I have long been fascinated by him and how he changed the course of history in general and Christianity in particular.

Before Constantine decided that it would unite his empire to have one religion as the approved religion, Christianity was a varied, small and scattered sect. Paul had taken it beyond the original Jewish renewal movement to what were called Gentiles, or the non-Jews.There were many writings circulating and used by the followers of Jesus. Some of them were not widely used and some were. The followers were persecuted, executed and scorned by most. It was dangerous to be a follower of Jesus,

Helena, Constantine's mother, became a Christian, and it is thought by most people that it was her influence that led Constantine to choose Christianity as his uniting religion. He was baptized many years later on his death bed, some say just in case it really was true. And he was the first emperor to have a Christian style burial.

Anyway, in 325 c.e. he called together some of the leaders of the baby Christian movement to have the now famous Council of Nicaea. He called together less than half of the bishops, I think it was more like a third, but you can check on that. There is much speculation as to why some were chosen to come and some were not. Anyway, they decided which documents would get the seal of approval and which would be burned. The writings that were burned were some odd ones plus some of the most popular and widely read. These were now heretical to read or to own. The Council then set up what we call the New Testament, and from that point onward contained the only approved writings for Christianity. (Some of the burned, "heretical" documents keep being found and are fascinating, such as the Coptic find, Dead Sea Scrolls and others.) The Council did quite a few things, including writing the Nicene Creed, which said what was written in this creed is what we believe, period, no other, this is it. The Nicene Creed is recited in many churches regularly to this day with only minor changes that were made a few years after written.

Historians may cringe at the abbreviated history lesson above, but it does give the gist of the matter. Anyway, this and other things led me on a quest to try to discover what the original teaching was before the good old boys started the manipulations and controls. That explains why I read Origen and other 1st and 2nd century Christian thinkers. It made me wonder what made Paul run all over the place? What was life like in the first century? What did they eat? How did they live? What was the context of the times? What was the Jesus movement like in the beginning? etc

So I researched over a long period of time, and then wrote a class on it and taught it a few years back. I have uploaded the handouts to my website - - under classes, First Century. If it interests you, I hope you will go there.

I have a thing in me that has to know the Truth as best as it can be discovered by human minds and hearts. I know God exists as much as I know I live and breath. The details of various religions, including mine, have been made up over time and may or may not bear any relation to the original. I have to know what really happened and what was really taught. I know that it takes courage to go on a quest to find the Truth. I can do no other.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Some Thoughts on Emma Curtis Hopkins

My morning reading time focused on Emma today. She said that miracles are nothing to the power of faith. Jesus said that one grain of faith could move a mountain.

She gave an example of how attention magnifies something. Imagine a jealous person who spends time going over and over the imaginings of his mind until he is so enraged that he takes ugly action.
Emma says: Faith in Goodness will feed itself and increase itself in the same way, till we rise and work miracles by reason of it... mind is as free as it has the courage to deny... mind is as great as it has the courage to affirm... mind will certainly demonstrate as much greatness as it has courage to stand by its intention... In all great lives you will see that it was what they did when some storm of adversity struck them which made their characters count... We do not know the value of our high principles and laws until we test them in trial... Nothing is sure at all in your life until it has been put through the furnace, which is the meeting of the opposite to it with its noble steadfastness to itself.
"There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding," said Job. I have been paying attention to Job of late since it seems to me I have been going through a version of the Job experience. My faith is my anchor in these rough times.

In my values program, I have paired the values and we are somewhere between them, moving towards and away. There are 40 sets, and one of them is faith and fear.The opposite of faith is fear. That is, I have faith in what I don't want. Either way you use it, faith works powerfully. We are somewhere dancing between Faith in God, in Goodness and Fear, faith in shadows.

Faith or fear - to exist in our lives need to be fed by our attention, our emotions, our time. We need to pull ourselves up and fill our lives with God, God's Goodness, uplift ourselves with devotional times, times of service to others, times overflowing with Good. We need to banish from our thinking the dark shadows of fear and refuse to let them take precious moments of our time on earth. Be gone old fears, God is here so there is nothing to fear.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Being Here, Now

Many years ago, while vacationing with my family at Lake Tahoe, I sat in the sun and read Ram Dass' book about being here now. It changed my life. It is one of the treasured books of my life that have precipitated great ahhas and deep changes.

I have counseled many people over the years about this moment is the only moment you have, and here is the only place you can act. What time is it? NOW. Where are you? HERE. Neither the past nor the future are here. There is this moment in this place.

Yesterday I had a rather cosmic experience at a deeper level of the here and now. I don't know if I can put it into words so that it can be comprehended by others. I'm going to try to at least hint at it.

First of all, it was Mother's Day, so lots of emotions can run amok. However, I was in an observational mode. Some of the moments of my children's and my life bubbled up - times of vacations, our homes, church, school, costumes, performances, tears and kisses, teaching skills to them, warm hugs, laughter, games, fun, being firm and being playful - it was a range of things that made up our lives together. None of it is going on now. None of it has seemed to play a part in where we are today in our relationships with one another in this moment in time. It was what it was, and it is not going on now. In so many ways, I am no longer Mom. Mom is a memory of another time and place. It is not going on now.

For some reason, we decided to visit a local church of a denomination in which I was once a leader. It was fascinating. Only a few knew me and greeted me warmly. None of my past prominence had any part to play in the now. Most people were busy with their friends and did not bother to say hello or inquire about us. What was once my ministry, is not going on now. It is merely echoes in my mind and has given lessons for my soul.

It doesn't matter much what we did, it matters what it did to us - how it sculpted us, who we became because of it. Its influence has done its work. It's about consciousness.

I see that not only is there only NOW, and HERE is the only place we can be, all the gyrations of life are merely to develop our spiritual inner strength and strip away all that seems to stand between us and living in the Presence. Historical value is naught. What the ingredients of the past have added or subtracted to move us onward on our spiritual journey have done their job, and here and now new ingredients add and subtract to move us onward. Ever onward. God is Infinite. We cannot arrive at Infinite. Ever onward. Each step taken in the eternal now and always and only here.

When we are not here, now, we miss the great Cosmic Dance going on in our lives. Nothing is as it seems. It is even more wonderful than we ever imagined.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Caterpillar- or Maybe a Snail

Over the many years of my quest, there are several quotes by Meister Eckhart that I have often contemplated and journaled and occasionally used as the core of sermons. They are my favorites. I want to share one now:

Apprehend God in all things,
for God is in all things.

Every single creature is full of God
and is a book about God.

Every creature is a word of God.

If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature---
even a caterpillar---
I would never have to prepare a sermon.
So full of God is every creature.

Spend a few days mulling this over, and you'll never be the same. It says so many wondrous things that feed the deepest soul.

Sometimes I have changed the caterpillar to a snail because of a personal experience a snail and I had. In 1947 we moved from Pennsylvania to California. We went to visit my old Sunday School Teacher who had retired to a glorious home on top of a hill surrounded by orange trees in Escondido. I went outside while the adults talked. Low and behold I discovered a snail. I'm sure it is too cold in Pennsylvania for the gelatinous creature, for I had never met a snail before. I laid down on the grass and watched the little creature and watched it watching me. We had a connection. I saw God's creation and knew how magnificent it was. I knew God was everywhere, even in this little being, for God had created it. I was 7 years old and a million years old at the same time. An hour or two passed before the adults called me back to humankind.

That snail was my teacher and a personal friend. I honor my friend the snail by putting a little snail on many of my art quilts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Light Within

I guess you could say that my all time favorite thinker is Meister Eckhart. In reading some of his words this morning, I was struck again by the following concept:
"Origen, that great authority, suggests a parallel: that God's Son, God's Image, is in the ground of the soul like a living spring. If earth is thrown on it, earthly desire that is, it smothers it, covers it over and it vanishes from our ken. But in itself it remains alive, and on removing the soil that was thrown on from without, we see it again... the seed of of divine nature in us never dies out, though by chance covered over."

I truly believe this is true. The Spark of our Creator lives in us, all of us. One of my teachers on my journey, way back in the 70's, said to my daughter that every time we pray for someone we help remove a dirty rag that covers their true self (my daughter was having struggles with her father). What a terrific image.

Sometimes I have difficulty remembering that even though a huge pile of dirty rags may cover someone, under it all there is the Light of God. My job is to not buy into the pile of rags but to see the Truth and be part of removing the coverings and help to set the buried person free.

When someone persecutes me, accuses me falsely, speaks in rages - it is often challenging to see that under all that ugliness, there is the Light of God, simply hidden from view. It is so much easier to see it philosophically than to see it when facing extreme real people, especially those that once were close and beloved.

I think Jesus was calling us to this realization when he told us to judge righteous judgment, and not appearances.

I don't think my mission on earth is only to do the easy and the obvious. Today I am working on seeing the Light of God under the pile on my persecutors.

Lord, I surrender my judgments to You. I open myself to be able to remember Your Light in those who persecute me. I pray for the coverings to be removed and for them to be set free to be the holy beings that they are in Reality. Bless them, heal them, reveal their true and divine nature. Give them that sigh of relief when the last dirty rag is removed and they can see and know You as You are, and see and know themselves as Your wondrous creations. I give thanks for this glorious restoration. I turn it over to You and seal this in faith, Amen, Amen, Amen