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Thursday, November 26, 2009


Here in the USA it is Thanksgiving Day. Our oldest son & grandchildren are on the way here through hopefully not too heavy traffic. Our youngest called, as they are out of town at other relatives. Our daughter called last night & will come tomorrow for she always goes to her in-laws on Thanksgiving.

So, I've made the pumpkin pies & am about ready to make the Dutch apple pie. Soon I'll be roasting a turkey, making stuffing, making green bean casserole, baking yams, making garlic rolls the grandchildren love & finally the gravy. Soon the house will be filled with amazing smells. The table is set. The turkey roaster is ready. Almost time for me to spring into action.

In a few hours there will be hugs, laughter & lots of great food. Tonight there will be grandchildren on air mattresses & cots all over the living room floor. Our son will be slumbering in the guest room. My heart will be bursting with joy.

There is so much for which to be thankful. My list would be pages & pages long. I think a grateful heart is essential for mental & spiritual health. Lately, there have been times that I've been ungrateful & negative about some of the things whirling around about me. It doesn't feel good. It's not even appropriate in the context of my values & who I am & who I am in process of becoming. It stunts my ability to act positively & be the difference I want to see happening.

So, today I once again align myself with an attitude of gratitude.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pseudo Gnostic

I am the blessed participant in a couple of small spiritual discussion groups. Our discussions & prayers help me to grow spiritually. We are engaged in discussion of spiritual ideas, how they relate to our lives & we clarify what it is that each of us believes at this current spot on the paths which we walk.

Yesterday, one of the things I heard myself say was something to the effect: Theology is just other people's ideas/opinions re: God, Truth, scripture, etc. Some of these people were sincere, some were manipulative for various reasons. Also, I think that some found & shared some of the Truth & some were erroneous. Because of the incalculable nature of INFINITE, absolutely no one, not one finite being, can know It all. So, I think it behoves those of us who are sincere seekers to question & think & pray through whatever it is others tell us about things spiritual.

That's why I put pseudo Gnostic as the title. I certainly do not follow the traditional Gnostic line of teaching, thinking, reasoning, etc. But I do follow that part that says we can know intuitively things that are in some ways unknowable. There are things that I "know" from mystical as well as outer life experiences that I am pretty sure are the truth or at least closely approximate the Truth. There are some things in theology that I am pretty sure are not the Truth & do not even closely approximate the Truth.

I want to know the Truth. I want to let go of untruths. I think ignorance stands between enlightenment & me. Ignorance is lack of both Truth & truth. Ignorance of either can lead me into dangerous territory. Ignorance can be the cause of hurt, pain & suffering.

One of the things that I "know" is that God nudges, even maybe nags, me ever toward the Light of Truth. God being ALL Truth, containing no ignorance, calls me to enter the journey toward the Light of Truth that leads to Oneness, to coming home to God.

Beloved God, I come to You this day to renew my promise to You to keep moving the best I can toward Your Light. I welcome Your guidance so that I may walk this path with sure heart. Show me the Way each & every step, each & every moment. Let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be awakened in me so that I know as You would have me know. Thank You, God. I stand in awe & joy before You. And so it is, Amen.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

re: childhood

I just finished watching "Hour of Power." He is always so inspiring. His thoughts re: how it all works out when God inspires us to do something, surely IS my experience.

One thing that came to me this morning was when I was watching Dr.S. with his daughter, Sheila. My 1st thought was - What could my life have been like if I had had such faithful parents who loved me so much? How blessed Sheila is.

Immediately on the heels of that thought came - You were given the exactly right parents for you. Your message is partly that a flawed person, a wounded person, can rise & follow God's guidance & make a difference. You don't have to be perfect to be who God made you to be. Look at King David for heaven's sake!

I received a call from a dear friend in Russia this morning. Interesting timing. Part of her communication to me was that they all miss me & want me & need me to come. I thought of how almost magical it has been for my work there. Doors that opened, experiences had, moments of incredibleness!!! Deep friends, deep insights, deep days. Money that showed up, the right people at the right time, needs met. It has all been sooooo amazing & impossible at the human level. Maybe someday I will tell you about some of the miracles in my life in relation to my Russian ministry. Today I just want to let it be known that none of it could have happened except that God was at the reigns.

Dear beloved God, thank you for the jet stream of Your Love & Guidance that has moved my life. Thank you for then times I have been able to listen & follow. Forgive me for the times I did not. Lift me into more & more of the moments of listening to You. Once again open the doors for me to make a difference with my life. Help me have the courage to follow. Clear my mind, unfog my heart, keep me aware of You in every moment. I am open to go where You lead & do as You call. I once again hear the words of Isaiah - Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night....
Amen, Amen & Amen

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Being Who I Am

It's a lazy Saturday. I've done some sewing, a bit of grocery shopping, some reading & a little walking. I'm about to clean out & reorganize my spice cupboard, maybe helpful in getting ready for the holidays. Once done, I'm going to make some pumpkin butter for gifts.

While walking gently today, many other thoughts drift in & out.

Much of my life I've had to walk gingerly, as if on egg shells. There have been an assortment of characters coming into the story of my life who require me to be someone else other than who I am. To be sure, I have always had others around who celebrated me as me, & fortunately they have been in the vast majority.

Who am I that inspires some people to require me to be someone else while others think I'm fine just as I am? Who am I that even brings out violence in word or deed in opposition to who I am? I've been considering this during the course of this week.

I am a spiritual being having a human experience, as Teilhard de Chardin once said. I like to play at the human part, but sometimes I take it too seriously, as if it were as real as the spiritual being that I am in the larger scheme of things. I guess, the times when I take the human part too seriously are the times I let myself get hurt.

For some people, I am too playful, too happy. My spontaneity & creativity can be very irritating to people who want/need control, organization & clear lines. Most think my creativity & spontaneity fabulous, while one person thinks I have impulse control issues. On the other hand, when I do get serious about some aspect of earthly life or the other, some people think I am too intense & are a bit intimidated by me. When I demand congruity of myself or others, I am out of line. When I am having a day of confusion, I am out of line. Some say I am the sanest person they know, while others find me confounding.

I have an underlying understanding that God is the ultimate, infinite, Alpha & Omega, while we humans are finite. So I question our human understandings, endeavoring to more closely approximate the "truth" not just agreements, habits, traditions, etc. that came from who knows who or where. Because of this incredible God, I know God is not threatened by my quest, my questions, my musings. God, being ALL intelligence, "wants" me to dive into the quest for knowing HIM/HER/IT without reserve, unhindered by what others have decided upon, as if Infinite could be fully known & decided upon. Seems strange to me.

I am eclectic. I am sincerely seeking, exploring, weighing, considering, wanting God.

So, of the 6 billion plus humans currently here on earth in the 3rd dimension, some will celebrate with me, some will attack. Some will demand me to be someone else. Some will be okay with who I am. Some will really "get it."

Whatever the future holds, I want to go fully into it. I have some unknown quantity of time left here for this life. I refuse to waste it on those who want me to be someone else. I have worked long & sometimes hard on healing the shadows of the past. Waking up spiritually is my main priority for the rest of my life. I may not do this in the confines of other people's rules about God, but I am clear that I am beholden to God only. Jesus, the New Testament & God brought me through my childhood & continue to guide me. They know more than some dusty person who wrote some convoluted theology, perhaps born of political expediency long ago.

I walk with renewed vigor into the quest.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


We saw the movie about the life of Coco Channel. I was drawn back to my original dreams of my long gone childhood. I had 3 passions: spirituality, sewing & art. Most of the time I wanted to be a fashion designer or a missionary or an artist. My mother & life re-directed me from the full realization of the dreams I held so vividly

I in some measure I did all three, even though not to the fullest expression that maybe could have been. I have taught about God & forgiveness & spirituality in other countries (missionary) & was a senior pastor something like 22 years. I have sewn a huge number of garments & quilts for friends, family & self. I have painted some pretty good paintings.

But here I am in my "old age" & wondering how I can combine the 3 original passions of my life. I have been exploring combining them in quilting. I've pieced traditional quilts, & I enjoy that. But even more enjoyment comes from sort of art quilts. I've done 2 quilts where I printed a picture out of my computer onto cloth sections, pieced them together, made details in various colors of permanent ink, pieced borders, quilted & thread painted them. I've done 2 quilts where I drew an enlarged copy of a photo onto muslin & made collages of little pieces of cloth, then defined a bit with inks, made borders & quilted & thread painted them. I have uploaded these 4 for you to see. One photo my son took in Africa this summer. One photo I took of my husband & granddaughter. The angel & Jesus were originally found on Google images. I don't think they are copy written, but I'm not planning to sell them & am only experimenting.

Anyway, I think I shall explore these things more fully & see how well I can combine my original 3 passions. I think I will have done more of my life's mission if I can succeed.

Musings on prayer

In recent days I have been reading some newsletters from a mystic in the mid 20th century. 2 big notebooks of his letters were gifted to me some years ago, but I was not led/motivated to delve into them until recently.

The first one is from 1954 on prayer. His point of view is that speaking, thinking, writing or anything involving words would not be prayer, but rather preliminary to prayer. Prayer is silence when God is the speaker. It dovetails into my practice of centering/contemplative prayer which I have returned to for several years now. I first learned this Christian practice years ago when I was a minister in Hawaii. Related to this practice are various forms of meditation which I have also practiced. The entering the silence is key to being able to hear the "wee small voice," although I sometimes experience it as a big loud voice.

The mystic basically says that the only kind of prayer that uses words & is still "Prayer," is something along the lines of, Let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be in me. I have been saying this prayer rather consistently now for a couple of weeks & find it to be quite powerful. I don't really like to take other people's word, but instead I like to try out their ideas & see if they resonate in my heart & mind, in my daily walk.

I am deeply committed to silence/contemplative prayer, but I think that limiting prayer to this only is not developing my full relationship with God. While God, being infinite, already knows what I need, I often find it helpful for me to focus it & bring it to God in prayer. My clarity, my faith, my deepening spiritual walk are all facilitated by both silence & speaking. I would not like to eliminate one or the other. I am more of a both rather than either/or kind of person.

Jesus seemed to model both kinds of prayer. He went apart & into silence. He also spoke prayers, the most famous of which has been called The Lord's Prayer. If it is good enough for Jesus to practice both kinds of prayer, it is good enough for me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


It's been a month since I have written here. I've been going through some inner conflicts re: "organized" religion. I seem to need to have spiritual conversation with others, & I am doubting if it needs to be in the context of a church.

Perhaps it is simply because we the people are flawed, but it seems that in "organized" religious groups there rises politics, need for money, power, ego, control, lack of sincerity in the journey & other issues. It seems that in small groups, there is a more sincere exploration & dedication of the spiritual path.

I had thought that I had found a church where I could grow spiritually, experience the Presence of God, learn to apply Christian principles in my daily life & make great spiritual friends. Maybe I have, but today it doesn't feel that way. Today it feels like church is about the rigmarole, the doingness, the busyness, the control, the ego of leadership. It feels like that which serves the people is not relevant. It feels like a headtrip, without the heart; the intellect without the feelings.

I am a part of a couple of small groups of truly sincere people wanting to know, wanting to be with the Presence, wanting to spiritualize our lives. This where I am challenged & fed spiritually, not on Sundays. So, do I keep playing the Sunday game in hopes it will get "better"? I know that I am too old & too tired to go back into the ministry myself. I ask myself, "Is there anyone, any place where there is organized religion & actual spiritual awareness together?" Are the "leaders" just doing a job, or are there some really exploring their relationship with God & wanting to walk the path & help others walk it?

It occurs to me that maybe walking the path is always a personal thing. The mystics, the great spiritual ones were often to themselves & only marginally part of "organized" religion if at all.

I am somewhere in the last third of my life. I am sort of running out of time for this life. As far back as I can recall, I have known moments with God & felt intense yearning to be there more & more of the time. I don't want to waste the last days/years with form rather than substance. I truly have the goal for consistent enlightenment in THIS life. So, the question presents itself to me, "What is the path to enlightenment?" Jesus told us that "by the fruits you shall know them." So, I ask myself, what organized religion produces those who are enlightened in any numbers? I really don't know of any. Sure leaders claim to be enlightened, but seldom are, maybe not ever. I don't think the really enlightened ones actually claimed that for themselves. They were much more humble.

The closest I have come to an enlightened person that I know is the Dali Lama. I was privileged to spend a week with him in Newport Beach some years back. He radiated joy, humility, & a palpable presence. But Budhism is not my path. Where are the Christian enlightened ones these days? Where are the apostles on fire with God's Presence? Where are the medieval mystics who directly experienced the Light?

Dear God, You know my heart. You know how I have sought You these many years. You remember, as do I, the glorious moments of Oneness we have shared. Lead me to You more fully. Show me the path to enlightenment. Give me the vision & courage to walk it. I am open to Your guidance. Let the mind be in me that was in Christ Jesus.