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Friday, December 23, 2011

Helen Keller Speaks to us with her books

I just picked up a book I've had for a long time, but I don't recall reading. It's Helen Keller's "My Religion." I hadn't realized how much she was influenced by the thoughts of Swedenborg. Makes me want to find my Swedenborg books somewhere, probably on shelves in the garage. Or, if I'm blessed to get a Kindle for Christmas, maybe I can download some of his writings.

One of the things she wrote about near the beginning is how he was able to see spiritual dimensions and hear from the cloud of witnesses. At the risk of sounding daft, I have had quite a few such moments. Someday I'll share more of them with people -- I've told a little to some.

She describes some of the problems with narrow thinkers and extreme fundamentalists. Wow! Have I ever had that experience in spades, so to speak! They don't even try to reconcile their lack of loving kindness. They somehow think they can take the Bible completely literally! They don't want to know a lot is in poetry, song, metaphor, instructive stories such as parables and myths. They don't want to know what were the customs or idioms of the people back in the day.

In fact, here is a quote: I was glad to discover that the City of God was not a stupid affair of glass streets and sapphire walls, but a systematic treasury of wise, helpful thoughts and noble influences. Gradually I came to see that I could use the Bible, which had so baffled me, as an instrument for digging out precious truths, just as I could use my hindered, halting body for the high behests of my spirit....I can only say that the Word of God, freed from the blots and stains of barbarous creeds has been at once the joy and good of my life..."

As a person wounded deeply by loved ones who think they are always and only right, her book is healing for me and a gift I really needed to receive right now. Thank you, Helen Keller, if you're looking right now.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Reflections

Christmas has been so dear to my heart as far back as I can remember. As a child the secular and the sacred parts mixed together into a homogenous blend.

In Sunday School we sang "Away In A Manger" and listened again to the beautiful Christmas story. In the stores I sat on Santa's lap and asked for some special little thing that my heart desired. We put up the nativity scene and the Christmas tree. My dad made a wooden moving silhouette scene for the window of the Wise Men enroute while also putting up multi-color lights. Smells of cinnamon wafted out of the kitchen as mother made her famous filled cookies and then later the smells of my dad's Christmas candies filled the house. It all seemed to go together.

Today there are those who want to take the Christmas experience apart and dissect it and cut out Jesus. What a strange idea that Jesus might offend someone. A baby born who came to teach us to love and forgiveness and God's Love for us and oneness and spiritual understanding is now controversial. Who did that? Was it the media desperate for a story who magnified the delicateness of the atheist or people of other religions? Was it the ACLU wanting to control everything? Was it the Madison Avenue advertising geniuses who wanted to make it a commercial venture? Was it our lack of courage when we didn't say "ENOUGH ALREADY!"?

For me Christmas is a sacred time, even with Santa and elves and trees decorated. It has changed in my life. My parents are not on earth any longer. My family is scattered. There are painful memories of the Christmas when the father of my children had an aneurysm and died. There are current painful moments due to some family crises. But, the child WAS born. The child grew up. The child died. And the child LIVES again.

My hope and prayer is that The Child will be born in the cradle of millions of hearts this Christmas and a great spiritual awakening will ignite a wave of love and peace. Let us call forth this awakening together, first by being a welcoming place for the Christ Child in our own hearts and lives, and then in the hearts and lives of millions, even billions of others. Let us call forth a Christmas miracle together.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Open Letter to My Loved Ones

My entire life I have tried to model love, forgiveness, oneness, light, etc. in the way Christ asked me to do. I've not always done it well, but I have always tried. I've learned a great deal in the process. If you still hold darkness in your heart, I urge you to turn it over & let it go. Anything less than unconditional love binds you in a place you don't want or need to be. The ugliness of resentments, fears, arrogance, judgments, etc. keeps the person entertaining such things in a special kind of prison.

Sometimes it has been with huge effort that I have swallowed hard & almost forced myself to let loose of the resentments & let God's Love in to heal.

This Christmas is such a time. I swallow hard as I move into a place of forgiveness for the one who falsely accuses me & shuns me. God is present, even in the darkness of such rage & hatred in this person's heart & words. Transformation is possible. The Christ Child can be born in the cradle of even such a dark spot. Then there will be light.

God, I stand back, releasing all to You. I watch for the unfoldment of Your miracle.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Also on Social Control

I was just thinking of the connection between creativity & critical thinking. Being able to sort through things & come up with a new solution, idea or way requires training of the mind in creativity. In creativity we are able to see outside of the box & find new ways of looking at things.

So what do schools take out of the curriculum the most often? Art, debate, music, home ec, woodshop & so forth. If the youth don't get this kind of creative experience at home, there is a deficit in the development of the ability to think creativity & therefore critically.

I have an idea about us offering creativity experiences -- will keep you posted.

Social Controls Amuck

Sometimes I get inspirations & insights in the shower, sometimes as I awaken, sometimes when walking, meditating, praying, etc. This morning I awoke with some clear insights re: Social Control, one of my most meaningful college classes, & what's going on in the world right now.
So I watched in amazement as people fought, pepper sprayed, shot guns, threw punches, camped out for days, etc. in order to shop for some material thing. First I got a funny picture of people so motivated that they behaved that way to get into church. Then I thought, what is the difference?

Church offers spiritual food. Church offers help with the big & real issues of our walk on earth. Church gives us places to serve & express. Church gives us friends that are also spiritual seekers. Church offers a place for spiritual conversation. Church asks of us to do & be in certain ways that may be challenging & even difficult.  Church deals with infinite & eternal things.

Shopping offers us things that will rust, rot, go out of style, go obsolete & are temporary, but relatively easy. Shopping gives us things that entertain for a minute or make us believe we belong because we have the latest or most in style thingamagidget. Shopping is a huge distraction, when it goes beyond intelligently providing our needs & starts controlling us.

So why the difference? Social Control. What controlled us when I was a child? There was TV only from the age of 12 on in my town. We were the 2nd family to get a TV & it was 1952. There was no internet. There were no computers, no portable phones let alone cell phones, etc. Tradition, family, church, school, home, friends, books were the main social controls - they informed us about what was important & how we ought to behave.

Today the media, including social media & especially TV & computers, has huge control over people. I was thinking about studying the mind years ago & learning that TV & computers are extremely hypnotic, gaining fairly direct access to  the sub-conscious mind. The sub-conscious mind reasons deductively - that is, it can only reason from what is in it & cannot seek out new information to weigh & balance.

So today we are shown people camping out, interviewed, glorified. Special sales on various items that can only be gotten this week-end & of course no one can be without are presented with urgency. We see rag tag groups occupying various places, glorified by the media, yet having no seemingly coherent issue or plan. Entranced people learning how to blow themselves & others up as they stare into the computer screen. We are informed that smart people go into the streets to demonstrate or into the malls to shop or spend the day searching the internet for great deals. So they do. We are mindlessly controlled to do & be whatever the media decides & promotes.

Even many churches have switched to hype rather than deep spiritual practices. People go to be entertained, swept up in emotion & told the absolute "truth" from the new denomination's point of view. What was the original intent of the founder (I mean Founder such as Jesus), is ignored or twisted. So, for example, where is love in all of this? Where is awakening? Where is something with true meaning?

All of this is profoundly influenced & kept in place by critical thinking skills being absent, as they are no longer taught in schools. Students are mostly taught to pass a multiple choice test.

So we have a terrifyingly large amount of people who are hypnotized & have no skills in thinking themselves out of the fog.

I see it. I don't know if there is anything to do about it. I wonder how many are awake? How can we get at least most of our own Social Controls in our own hands?

Lord, show us the way out of the fog of others controlling us. Show us how to be mindful & walk as awakened people.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Prayer for this week

We are told we are children of the Light. We have the DNA, so to speak, of THE Light in us. We are children of the Most High.

Lord, help us to peel away all that we have placed upon Your  Light, so Light can shine through us & glorify You.

You have placed in each of us talents that await use. As we move into living as Light, we ask You help  us re-discover the talents within that wait to be expressed. We have come to the moment that we no longer wish to bury the gifts that You seeded in us.

As we look out into our families, our church, our community, our nation & our world, we see that much has to be done to create the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

I come this day ready & willing to participate in a larger way. I come ready & willing to shine Your Light, to be the best I can be, to make a difference with my life. Lead me Lord.

What joy floods my soul as the glittering truth of these words filter into the very center of me. Thankfulness dances in me. I realize that You have heard my prayer. In the name of Christ I ask for it to be accomplished. I seal this with the ancient seal of faith as I say Amen, Amen & Amen

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prayer for the Week

Each Sunday I write a prayer as an insert in our bulletin. I write them relative to one of the scriptures for the week.  I felt guided to share some of them here. This is last week's prayer.

Lord, you tell me two simple actions that are our bottom-line. I seek guidance on how to fulfill them more fully.

I do love God, but I know I can love more. Show me how to love God more completely & open my life without reserve to God.

I do not always love all of my neighbors. Cleanse my heart so that I may truly love each & every neighbor as You ask me to do. I ask that You also cleanse my heart about myself. You tell me to love my neighbor as myself, so clearly a key is to love myself. Help me forgive myself for those things that linger as hurt & pain & self-attack. Lead me to embrace what I am &what I am not. Help me have a generous heart towards myself & toward all others & be at peace.
I know that compassion is one of the signs of a spiritually mature person. I ask that You open a deeper, fuller compassion in my heart. Just as You love me, accept me, encourage me,  & guide me without judgment, help me to accept & do the same for myself & others.

I humbly surrender all that is unloving, judgmental or unlike the call to love that Jesus has given us. I walk onto a higher path as I become willing to be the love You call me to be.

Thank You, God, for hearing my prayer. Thank You for Your action in my life, leading me more fully to You & the life You ask me to live. I ask this in the name of Christ and seal it with the ancient seal of faith as I say Amen. Amen & Amen

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The month is whirling by. The year is on hyperspeed. I have a theory about the relativity of time. Einstein said all is relative to the reference point. So here I am at 71 & so a day or a week are a small part of all of those years. When I was 5, a day or a week were a larger portion of those 5 years -- so they seemed longer then than they do now.

In the speeded up life I now live, each moment is even more precious & important to live well. It all goes by so quickly that I have to stay focused to be fully present so as not to miss the gift present in each moment.

I'd like to live the rest of my life without regrets -- I came to that conclusion quite a few years ago. But what I find is now the regrets I suffer are mostly from the actions of others. I have missed some precious moments as they whizzed by because of choices of others to be absent from my life. The heart ache is a different one from the one caused by more direct regrets, but it is still heart ache. The frustration inherent is different too. When the heart ache is from the choices of others, & there is nothing I can do, I feel a certain helplessness. 

Now helplessness is not usual for me. I usually can find something to do or say to move a situation. I am a doer by nature. I am not only an observer of life; I am a person who participates. When someone vanishes from my life, the helplessness is very strange & also very painful. I cannot do what I am good at. I cannot take action.

A significant part of my life has disappeared. They are gone to some unknown place doing some unknown things. They are out of my reach. I have done all I can think of doing, short of hiring a private eye. The only place they are not out of reach is my prayers.

If those who have gone, ever read this, please know I have never stopped loving you for a moment. You are constantly in my heart. The tears that fill my eyes are longings for you. The choice I have is to release you to God over & over again. There seems nothing more for me to do. 

I regret the memories we won't be making & haven't made this past year or so. I pray you are making other happy memories wherever you are.

Dear God, I am thankful to know that You are everywhere, always. You are where my loved ones are. Surround them with Your Light & Love. Protect them. Guide them. Heal them. If it is Your will, bring them back to me.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More on Mercy

As I prepare for my forgiveness class that begins this Sunday after church, I am contemplating mercy once again. 

The model I am developing includes this: 
  • In a box on the left are resentment, judgment, fear, upset, anger, imprisonment - these are imposter values
  • In the center is forgiveness, mercy - the exchange - the genuine values
  • To the right is freedom, & there is the possibility of spiritual awakening, letting the mind be in you that was in Christ, as Paul said.
Or another way to say it might be: Cosmic trade in program - trade in bondage for peace of mind, cost = forgiveness.

We are free to choose what kind of person we will be. I choose freedom, peace of mind, Christ.

I exercise mercy. I exchange all that is unlike Christ in me with forgiveness. I accept a new freedom.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I'm working on a new concept to me. It's not totally formed yet, but I want to write the beginnings of it as I begin to work it out.

The root of the word "mercy" is "exchange." So, when I say "Lord have mercy," I'm saying exchange this for that. Exchange this problem for Your will.

When I take the bread and the wine, God's mercy is an exchange. I exchange my separate, isolated self for joining with Christ. Let the mind be in you that is in Christ Jesus is the exchange I approach. It seems to be a process, that is the first time or the twentieth time or the two hundredth time is not the when this happens. It slowly, for most of us anyway, sort of creeps in. When we sincerely seek mercy, we move toward having the understanding of Christ express in us.

We can look to those who have successfully made this exchange to varying degrees -- from the Apostles, to the mystics, to saints, to great thinkers such as C.S. Lewis (I quoted him today on my website's Thought for the Day). If it is possible for one, it is possible for all.

Lord, I sincerely, fully say to You this day, have mercy on me. Exchange all that is unlike Christ for Christ. In the exchange, let Your Light shine & draw others to You for their own exchange. Let Your Light shine in people all over this planet. Lord, have Mercy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dealing with Life's Extremes

The old curse is may you live in interesting times. In so many ways, we who are on earth are indeed living in interesting times. But to make it closer to home, I am personally living in interesting times.

There is someone that I love very much who seems to have gone off the rails as the Brits say. This person has gotten into an extreme position re: religion & has decided that he is the only one who knows the truth & all others are wrong, bad & to be avoided. Others' spiritual experiences are invalid, false, not from God, etc. according to him. He has to protect his children from all of us who see from a slightly different perspective. He has gotten paranoid & imagines all sorts of false things & then acts on his false assumptions as if they were proven fact.

He has gone off, disappeared, left his livelihood, sold his home, shunned his family & friends, except for his nuclear family. He is beyond our reach -- except we pray for his peace as obviously he is not at peace. We pray for him to actually find Christ & realize that to emulate Christ's behavior is something other than this. We pray for him to know that for some of us our relationship with Christ is intimate, personal & deep & is not about shouting bumper stickers & making a public show. For some of us our walk with Christ is to be in a close & quiet relationship that informs us as to how to live so as to live in his Way. We are quietly, steadfastly, obviously (if you are paying attention) very Christian.

So while we pray, we also have a few tears rolling down our cheeks. Oh, what was & what could have been.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Joys & Sorrows

I just posted a quote from Mark Twain on my website re: the importance of sharing joys.

So, this is what I'm considering today. I have dear friends, whom I treasure, & with whom I have the privilege of sharing our joys, but also our travails. It seems to me that the weight of life's troubles is lightened when compassion from loved ones enfolds you.

The joys do seem to multiply when shared. Tonight 30 of us from church are going to a community theater play, "Gypsy." How much fun it will be to not only enjoy the show, but also to be able to share it with others. Last Saturday my daughter & son-in-law met us at the San Diego Quilt Show. It was so much more fun to share that time. The joy was multiplied.

Thank You, Lord, for friends & family!!! Thank You that we have such wondrous gifts as friends & family & are not wandering alone on this planet. Thank You for the times they seem like Your Hands lifting us. Thank You for the times we multiply joy together. Bless them one & all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've felt rooted to earth & to my body for as long as I can recall. It somehow seemed to me that as long as I felt such interlaced rooting, I would have a strong grasp on continuing life on earth, & that at some point that grasp would loosen & loosen until it was time for me to go on to the next life effortlessly.

So, the point is, it is in fact loosening a bit. With the multiple odd, serious health challenges I'm experiencing during this year, I feel the connection here softening. I'm not ready to go on, yet I do feel the strong hold fading. I feel certain that when the ties are totally loosened, I will drift into the Light & the next phase of life eternal.

Now don't get morose. It's okay. It's natural. What a mess we'd have if we all stayed here forever. Plus, for me it's not imminent, it's just that I am aware the hold on my body is not as strong as it once was. I have some miles to go before I sleep as Frost said.

I do think that we need a Christian version of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead." We Christians don't prepare very well for going on. In some places it's almost a taboo to talk about it, let alone consciously prepare.

I know that God is Love, knows my heart, is with me always, & there is nothing to fear. I also know I have some things left to do here on earth. It is more vibrant, what I have to do, realizing that I don't have forever. I am at least in the last 1/3 or 1/4th of my earthly life. So the time to wait is not now. I need to get on with what I'm called to do. Afterall, I will be asked "Did you learn how to love? Did you complete your purposes for going to earth?"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Children & Parents

This week-end I finished a book I call "my doctor's office book," as I usually keep it in the car to take in to read while I'm waiting. I got 2/3 or so through it & wanted very much to see what happened, so I brought it into the house.

Anyway, one of the thoughts shared in the book was that children are preoccupied & unaware often of what is going on in the lives of their parents, so their view of parents is from a limited perspective. They only know that something is out of whack & they're not getting all they want/need, etc. They make judgements from this vantage.

So, I think back to my conclusions about my own parents. In later life, learning some things about their childhoods, softened my hurts about what they did or didn't do to/for me. But I was not privy to their own personal struggles with each other, work, life in general, etc. I now suspect some things that were going on, but cannot be certain. My suspicions though help me release some hurts that were created in my heart by assuming I was not loved & wanted for the most part.

Then my thoughts turn to my own dear children. My love for them has never wavered. My ability to care at the highest level for them did waver at times due to the overwhelm of things happening in my life. Although, I always did the best I could in every moment, I did not do the best I could have if things would have been different for me. It seems to me that I have been given a huge portion of extreme life lessons to learn - at least more than most of the people I know. I often struggled to learn, failed, fell down, eventually picking myself up, learning & moving forward. In the throes of the agony of some of the times in my life, not all of me was available for others.

My children do not know what I was going through for the most part. To this day I've not shared most of the horrors. They have each made up their own version of who mother was/is from their own assumptions. I am such a different mother through the eyes of my son and my daughter. You'd think they did not have the same mother. It is very interesting. 

Now their children carry this on, not knowing the inner lives of their parents; assuming this & that & creating their own versions of their parents.

Under it all is the development of each soul. I believe we are sent to earth to learn certain lessons that are unique to this planet. Looking historically, we see the same lessons at all times & places -- learning to overcome the darkness & live in the light, forsaking fear for faith, hatred for love, etc. 

Perhaps the hurt is our resistance of the lesson. I don't want to go through this, God! I don't want this lesson! But learn we must.

Lord, I give thanks for each moment of this life, for the difficult times & the glorious times. I know that each moment leads me to soul-strength. Each challenge gives me the chance to flex & use my spiritual muscles. Each valley is an opportunity to walk in faith. Each person is my teacher & I theirs. I release resistance. I open to You, Lord. Open my eyes to Your Light in each step of my life. Help me to learn the lessons You set before me, & help me to look back over my life to see the purpose & value of each moment. Your will be done, always.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

On the Cusp

I feel that right now I am on the cusp of something wonderful. Newness is in the air. The end of the valley is in sight. Hope is rising up.

I love life in times such as these, times that are so pregnant with possibility that good things are peeking at me. 

Valley walking seems to be a requirement in the curriculum on earth. We can walk the valleys with heads up, eyes open, lessons learned. We can also walk them dragging our feet, complaining, ignoring the lessons. Each way leads to different outcomes.

Lord, I give thanks for the vista I see. I give thanks for the goodness approaching. Help me be a good steward of Your gifts.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Aristotle & Me

I've been thinking about Aristotle lately. Perhaps a neuron woke up in the good old college days & the challenge of philosophy classes. 

I was first thinking about taking "Ethics" & Aristotle's idea that the way to walk life would be down the golden mean - neither too far to the right nor too far to the left. I like this a lot & have been moderate in my life, sometimes. I have had moments of great passion too --- so it hasn't been the golden mean the whole way for me. But, for the most part, I think it is good advice.

But then I was thinking about Aristotelian Logic vs Modern Logic --- took the logic class too. I had an epiphany this week. Our crazy world operates primarily under the good old Aristotle way and has not adopted Modern Logic.

In Modern Logic you have to prove your premise before you continue.

In Aristotelian Logic, you state a premise that seems reasonable to you, add proofs & conclusions based on your premise, but you never have to prove your premise. The classic example might be one of his ideas about women. Premise: women have fewer teeth than men. Proof: women are smaller than men, women are weaker than men, women eat less than men, etc. therefore, women have fewer teeth than men. Not needing to prove the premise, no one ever counted the actual teeth in the heads of men & women.

Now this may seem ridiculous ---- but just how many things are decided this way in this day & age? Look at government. Look at the news. Look at education. See what I mean?

Perhaps our "leaders" need a refresher course in Modern Logic.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Hear You

Sometimes I think I feel my loved ones cry out to me. Those who are far away are not far from my heart and love. There is a bond that connects us at some level that may be unknown, but is nonetheless real to me.

I feel the bittersweet double edge of love. My heart yearns for my grandchildren. Do I imagine they too yearn for me? Will I ever know?

I was thinking of Gibran's thought that our children are not our children, they come through us but not from us, etc. Sometimes I look in amazement that they came through me and have gone so far away. But they still live in the cradle of my heart, no matter what.

We all face challenges in our lives. We lose our heart's desire, we stumble & fall & pick ourselves up, we gain some, we learn a great deal if we're paying any attention at all & we develop our souls here on this little blue planet.

Lord, guide me please. Help me to keep loving without reserve. Help me to not be controlled by circumstances. Help me to be true to Your admonition to love without condition,  AGAPE.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Turning a Corner

As I enter the second year after the trauma, I find the grief has almost dissipated. It was almost as if a switch was turned. For most of a year, I awoke each morning with tears running down my cheeks. Then there were no more tears in the mornings. There are pangs during the day from time to time, but they are not so strong that I cannot bear them as they once were.

I want to share the prayer I wrote for church for tomorrow, based on the Epistle quote from Paul that is part of the scripture for tomorrow. It is completely relevant to my journey & hopefully to yours.

St. Paul tells us that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

God, the truth of these words has been shown to me over and over again during the course of my life. Even the darkest valleys, with 20/20 hindsight, have shown their high purpose. So many times You have told me through inspired writings and life experiences that You never abandon me. You are always with me. You lead me through the valleys of the shadow of death. You strengthen my soul. You teach me to understand through life experiences. Everything in my life has been curriculum that leads to You.

Even so, I sometimes complain and delay getting the teaching. Help me to return to the understanding that whatever “this” is right now, it is part of the working together for good. Your requirement for me, in order for this to be so, is that I love You and answer Your call. Lord, I do love You and I am listening.

Help us as a church community to remember that all that has been our experience as a church works together for good, because we love You and we are listening to Your call.

What a celebration is going on in my very depths. It is as if something within has been set free. The truth of these words has quickened within me a remembering. The puzzle pieces are coming together in my mind.

With joy, I say, thank You, Father for all that has been my life and shall be my life. Thank You for leading me always. I release this all and ask that Your will be done today and everyday. I seal this with the ancient seal of faith as I say, Amen, Amen & Amen

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life's Gauntlet

This is a difficult week for me. One year ago a deep and painful situation arose in our family. I have been beyond perplexed by it. Fortunately my husband's ocular occlusion caused by the spike in blood pressure brought on by the upset has healed. My physical reaction is healing.
A friend who is a priest and a psychologist suggested to look at it generationally. This inspired me to begin a new book. I don't know if it will be a private exercise or something I will publish, but I am already seeing tentacles of such behavior going back generations, at least to my maternal grandmother and perhaps grandfather. I hope to have the time to work more on it later in the week and see where it goes.

The working title is "God Trusts Me Too Much" based on the old idea that those who have a lot heaped upon them have God's trust to handle it or they wouldn't have such experiences. I know everyone has challenges to face and opportunities to grow, not always as painful as some of mine and sometimes more painful. Maybe my life could be helpful to others going through the gauntlet of life. We'll see. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What a Life!

In the shower this morning I was musing about my life. You know, I only can recall a tiny fraction of it. I lived all 71 years of it, but most of it is either a blur or deeply buried in my subconscious.

Sure I recall snippets and traumas and high points. I can tell you what I wore to my middle school graduation and dance and the same for high school, but I can't name most of my teachers or classmates. I can tell you about my swing, tether-ball and scooter, but I can't name all the kids on the street. I can name only some of the college classes I took and even fewer professors. And the traumas - I can remember the date rape, the abuse, the terrors, the desperate climb out of it all. I remember graduations, awards, weddings, births of my children, & other highlights. So much has faded though. Much of my life is gone, shrouded by the fog of the past. For some of it, that is good, for it was too painful. For some of it, it is rather a shame for it was lovely.

I suppose all the moments of my life weave into making me who I am today, even though I cannot distinguish all of the individual threads.

To all the threads that have faded away from my memory, thank you for being in my life and contributing to my growth and understanding. I suppose I am a faded thread in the tapestry of your life too. To the traumatic threads of flaming orange and reds, thank you too for you have taught me.

Lord help me to walk with courage and joy as I weave the final threads in the tapestry of my life. However much I have left to weave, lead me to do so as You would have me do.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stepping Into A New Day

Every day is a new opportunity. It has never been lived before. It is unwritten. It is only hindered by the past if we let it. It can be lived at new heights or new lows. So much of how we live it relies on our own choices.

Sure, I cannot choose the events whirling around me. I cannot choose how others are going to act. I cannot choose the economy for our nation. I can choose my responses to whatever comes, and sometimes I can choose what comes to me personally by how I live my life.

I can resign from any traces of being a victim that may linger in my consciousness. I can choose to turn to God for guidance. I can take charge of myself. I can be held in the center of the storms of life in the arms of Christ. 

So much is up to each one of us as to how we live this life. And one day, I KNOW we will be asked about how we lived it. 

Lord, guide me to rise up today to live a triumphant day in conjunction with You and Your guidance.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Thoughts

Today is the day we honor our fathers. I put a note on this on Facebook re: my father -- On Father's Day: My daddy went to his next life at the age of 93. He taught me some important things. One thing he used to say, "You can do anything you set your mind to." He was a quiet man & used to say "Still waters run deep." He blessed me in many ways. I still miss him. He left in Nov. of 1999 & dearly wanted to make it to the millennium. I wonder what he thought would happen. He never said. God bless you, Allen Roy Eakin.

Every person has some sort of memory of their father or even their lack of the presence of a father. In some ways, we are all changed by our father experience. A gentle father, a harsh father, an absent father - all ranges of father behavior - all teach us something. We learn how to behave or how not to behave. We learn how to please an authority figure & create our own ways to live our lives. In some cases we have to re-learn how to live later as we mature.

Whatever our fathers taught or didn't teach, we can thank them for they participated in shaping who we are today.

God, thank You for my father. In Your wisdom You chose for me the father most suited to what I needed to learn. Help me appreciate more fully the gifts he brought to my life.  Bless him wherever he is.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pentacost Week-end

This week-end we commemorate the entrance of the Holy Spirit into our realm & our lives.

I am so thankful for the comfort, guidance & inspiration of the Holy Spirit over the course of my lifetime. I have been guided into grand adventures, amazing friendships, deep love, a deeper walk with God, books to write, ideas for things to create from dresses to classes & on & on. I have been accompanied & led through dark valleys & bright mountaintops.

One of the interesting things is that I notice that there are times, such as now, when I am both in a dark valley & a bright mountaintop. Today is one of my grandson's birthdays. The only contact I have is through the Holy Spirit. He turns 14. He probably is with lots of other boys who just graduated middle school. Maybe they are having a paintball day. I don't know.

Holy Spirit, whisper my love into my grandson's ear. Let him feel his grandma & grandpa's care & concern. Lift him in all areas of his life. Guide him to be all he can be. Help him to know he is not alone no matter where life may take him. If it is God's will, bring him & his sisters back to us. Take care of them please. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Just a Bit of Explanation

As you could see from below, I am a bit aggravated about extreme positions. I try not to have buttons, but I admit I do have this one. And, it's personal. Someone very, very dear to me has become one of those persons who thinks only a small segment of Christianity is really Christian. As a result, my husband & I have been told that we are not Christian & have been shunned from all contact. This week I had a particularly hard time for it has been 11 months since we have spoken.

Daily I grieve a bit. I awaken with tears running down my cheeks. At the same time, I have peace for I know the falsity of the claims, & I know that God knows the truth. But there is something about having someone you love turn on you that creates a special kind of wound in the soul. Perhaps out of the wound a new sprout will emerge & something glorious will flower.

Lord, You know the anguish in my heart. I trust that out of this darkness will come light, for I know You are in charge. Lift me to understanding. Free me of the pain. Bring me to see the hidden blessings. Help me walk though & out of this valley. I know You lead me. To the best of my ability, I release this all to You & ask in the name of Christ for the fruition of this prayer. Amen, Amen & Amen

Saturday, June 4, 2011

More fundamentalism

I know I have distressed some very nice people with my previous comments on fundamentalism. I am sorry for pain caused. But one of my pet peeves is people who just make stuff up & then attack anyone who dares to challenge them.

There are many examples of religious intolerance, most of which is based on someone's limited ideas. A small recent example --- a preacher who declared the so-called rapture to be imminent a couple of weeks ago. Did anyone check the New Testament & Jesus' words??? He said explicitly no one would know when he would return --- that is NO ONE. On top of that, He never mentioned such a thing as a rapture.

It seems to me that studying the 1st century Christians, their writings, the life & teachings of Jesus & the Apostles' & Paul's writings-- that is actually fundamentalism. Taking some person's idea as if it were Gospel without critical analysis, leads a person into sidetracks. Even if the person is a nice person, if they go off on some tangent, I think it is wise to check it out carefully.

What did the 1st Christians believe, live, teach? That would be a place to start if one wants to be a fundamentalist.


From time to time I find myself in dialogue with those who call themselves "fundamentalists." I disagree with their self-proclaimed title. In Christianity, our founder is Jesus Christ. He taught & lived oneness with God, love, faith, forgiveness, caring for all others, etc. He asked us to think things through & not just accept what's told to us -- example when he healed on the sabbath, modeling there's nothing wrong with that even though it was thought to be wrong in His day. He showed us the way. He asked us to live such a life, to follow Him, to do as He did, to do even greater things. Such a life, exhibiting such qualities, in my opinion, would be a fundamentally Christian life.

I do have a lot of issues with the groups who are self-described fundamentalists, but do not try to live as Jesus did & asked us to do. Some focus on fear, which is the opposite of faith, etc. Some are more focused in the Old Testament which is very ancient & has some odd beliefs from the vantage point of today. Many pick & choose from the Old Testament --- polygamy, sacrifices, etc. are not okay, but other things are. Some are followers (perhaps without knowing it) of Darby, a defrocked Anglican priest in the late 1800's who introduced new ideas such as the rapture that had never been part of any Christian or Jewish theology prior to him. Some make the Bible an idol, rather than a holy book that tells us how the understanding of God developed in the Hebrew people & can help us develop our understanding & relationship too. Many of the new denominations have pastors who are uneducated as to the languages of the Bible, the historical context of the various peoples, the idioms of the Bible, the various ways words could be translated, the new archeology, the finds of scrolls that shed new light understanding on the Bible, etc. If my mind is made up, closed, already smug in knowing it all, it is very hard for God to speak to me. These are some of my concerns with the so-called fundamentalists who do not stand on the fundamentals of Jesus.

A quest for the truth requires exploration. I believe God is infinite, so there is no way a finite human can know all about God. We only touch the edges. If anyone claims to know the whole truth, I want to run the opposite direction for they are either deluded or a liar. As I walk through the valley of earth, I can only see a little. I keep walking, open to see more, for God to reveal more. Yet I know I can never know all there is to know.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sewing with Inspiration

For as long as I can remember, I've been subject to inspiration --- ideas, words as in writing & as in speaking, flashes of knowing, etc. Lately the inspiration has been expanded to seeing.

It started with painting & interpreting  & quilting on fabric from photos I've taken or family members have taken. Then it was to paint the icon for our Quiet Day on fabric & quilt it. Then it was to show the rising of our spirit in spite of the clouds of various kinds of pollution here on earth, including inner pollution - done with paper piecing, piecing, painting, thread painting, embellishing, etc. on & with fabric. These are on Facebook in my art quilt photos. Last week it shifted to painting on fabric, thread painting & quilting, visions shown to me.

The one from last week I'm going to post on my Facebook page in the art quilt photos later today, once we upload it from the camera. I saw an angel for earth who funneled the Divine Energy coming to earth through duality because free will has no meaning without choice.

I have now "received" several others that I have placed in my sketchbook, getting in line to come to fabric via sketching, fabric paint, thread paint, ink, embellishments, etc.

It feels like I'm returning full circle but at perhaps a higher level, maybe in a spiral formation. When I was a little girl, Aunt Eleanor saw talent in me, found a textile painting teacher nearby, got me beginning textile paints, etc. I started to paint on pillowcases & other cotton things & won a blue ribbon for roses on pillowcases at the L.A. County Fair. I was maybe 9ish years old. Then it was discovered an oil painting teacher lived a couple blocks from the house. She came from India & wore the traditional clothing with a red dot on her forehead. I found her exotic, intriguing & inspiring as she taught me lacking skills. I painted calla lilies first, as I loved them so much. I took art in high school, but was blocked from going on to art school for some odd & interesting reasons.

Anyway, also during that time, I was in a deep relationship with God & Jesus. My life was heavily focused on trying to follow Jesus by living the life he called us to live. I faltered, of course, but I tried & never stopped trying to this day.

Now in my old age, art & spirituality are coming together in a new way for me. I am at this time in life feeling that I can maybe "tell" more in spiritual art quilts than with words in a book. I am interested to see what comes next.

Lord, as I follow You, I find the journey more & more fascinating. In some ways, my life feels as if I am watching it as You lead it. Once again, I let go & invite You fully into my life. Help me continue to live in awareness of life with You. Help me to be all that You created me to be. To God be the Glory, forever!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Force of Nature or God's Fault?

It fascinates me that "natural disasters" produce questions such as Why did God do this? 

It seems to me that God created our universes & set them up with various natural laws that work the way they always work. Gravity remains constant, so if we jump off a skyscraper, it is not God's "fault" when we hit the pavement below. Rivers overflow from time to time, so if we build in a river valley, it is not God's "fault" when our house is underwater. Faults in the earth slip & create earthquakes, more often in some areas than others, so if we build on top of an earthquake fault, & an earthquake destroys our home, it is not God's "fault".

But, God did also create us with intelligence, creativity & intuition. If we don't use them, it is not God's "fault."

While we send love & prayers & aid to those suffering from natural disasters, & we should, the disasters are the way it works here on earth. Life on earth is fragile, & our "stuff" is even more fragile. What is hearty are our souls. Inside is the glory of God either shining or available to shine when we cooperate. Let us all turn within & ask for Guidance to live a life commensurate with the call from our souls to let the imprisoned splendor out.

Oh, Lord, Your Light pulses within me. I am Your creation, made from Divine Substance. Help me remember who I really am. Help me rise out of the vast stories of my life & of earth's life to no longer look through the glass darkly. Help me release from the depths of my soul Your imprisoned splendor. Help me to be all You call me to be. I ask this with every fiber of my being in the name of  Christ as I seal this with the ancient seal of faith, Amen, Amen & Amen

Sunday, May 15, 2011


The experience of being falsely accused & then to have the accuser make life-changing decisions based on the false accusations -- is still hard for me to understand & cope with. I know that there is a purpose for my soul's development in all earthly experiences. In some instances knowing that does not take away all of the pain.

The Epistle this morning was I Peter 2:19-25. It really spoke to me especially about this experience.

Lord, help me accept the lessons of this life more gracefully. Some of the lessons seem soooo hard. Guide me through the valley. Help me get done with at least this particular valley. Open my eyes so I see the lesson and can take it to heart. Help me complete the lesson, and give me peace.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

That's a NEW Idea to Me Anyway

I was praying the Lord's prayer this morning. When I got to the forgive trespasses part, I also added please help me not create any more trespasses. Help me be better at this life.

Then I heard this: The only way you can avoid all trespasses is to leave earth. As long as you are here, you will make mistakes because you cannot know everything in advance. Does that mean you want to leave?

Of course I said, "NO, I'm not ready to leave!" It really got me to thinking in an expanded way about my trespasses, how they are my teachers (sometimes instructing me what to do next time, sometimes what not to do), how looking back for the most part I would have made the same decision given the same circumstances with the same information available. Obviously, I have not made massive trespasses, just little mistakes. I have never intentionally hurt another person. I am honest. I sincerely have worked since I can remember to make wherever I am a bit better. I have spent much time and resources in reaching out in helpful ways to even those unknown, starting with rolling bandages for lepers when I was in middle school and on and on.

Yet, in my heart, I have always wanted to be better. I can see that it may be impossible as a human to avoid ALL trespasses except for the big ones (which I am pretty sure can pretty much always be avoided). But, can I avoid a higher percent of trespasses? How many more lessons do I need?

Lord, I have known You most of my life. I have known that You are right here, everywhere. I can always turn to You. Yet, I make mistakes. Help me listen to You better so that I make fewer of them. Help me become better at this life. Help me relax a little as I learn the remaining lessons of this life so that I may learn them well and without so much pain that resistance causes. Thank You for being with me always.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

His Peace

It has been a tumultuous time in our lives as well as for our country and the world. I was sorely in need of peace. As I read the story in John about the locked room & Thomas who became known as "doubting Thomas," I was struck by the first words Jesus said when he appeared in the locked room, "Peace be with you." 

I cannot tell you how much I needed to have Him say that to me this week. It penetrated deeply. In the silence following the reading, I had an experience of "Peace be with you" being said to me by Him. New interior doors opened in me. I had a bit of a paradigm shift.

This experience inspired me to write the Sunday prayer for church that follows. (The church part is in reference to the changing of our pastor as one retires & another comes.) I hope He speaks to you today too.

When Jesus appeared in the locked room, His first words, "Peace be with you," ring out to us today. Jesus enters our locked hearts & says, "Peace be with you."
Lord, I turn to You & unlock my inner doors.I welcome Your peace to rush in. I stand in this moment fully open to You & Your profound peace.

Into Your peace I place the ups & downs of my life. As I lift them to You, I see them in a new way. My eyes open to a larger context. I am lifted out of the limited view of the valley into Your full view. This larger understanding brings its own peace also.

Help me to open myself & align myself so fully to You that I am able to live in Your peace. Help our church open itself & align itself so fully to You that we as a spiritual community are able to live in Your peace. We open to welcome Your depth of understanding as our church moves into its new life. Lead the changes unfolding in our church, Lord, in the direction You would have them go.

What joy floods my soul! I know You are with us offering Your peace. I know the words & the heart of this prayer have been heard & this prayer is now in Your hands. Thank You! I let go as I welcome Your perfect work in & through us. I seal this in faith as I say, Amen, Amen & Amen

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Is Coming

As I write this, Holy Week has begun. We celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday, recreating the triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. I couldn't help but think of so many times in life we enter into something with that joyousness only to discover the the destination was somewhere quite different.

Jesus, of course, knew the path he had before him. Sometimes I think we know too, at least with a nagging feeling at the back of the mind. How many times have we said something like, "I knew I shouldn't have done that!"? There is a place in us that knows, but we don't always honor that place by listening carefully.

Jesus knew & knew that he knew. He was fully conscious of the drama unfolding, its destination & ultimate revelations. He was fully about His Father's business.

Last week in preparation for Centering Prayer, we did lectio divina based on the Lazarus story which we read 3 separate times. The lines loosen him & let him go, echoed inside of me as I closed my eyes for our 20 minutes of silence. We are supposed to be still, releasing all thoughts during those 20 minutes, but I had an overwhelming experience that could not be dismissed.

As I closed my eyes, contemplating loosen him & let him go, I found myself in the center of a hurricane, but I was not alone. Jesus stood with me. I had a deep, powerful, freeing experience of all that had gone before & all about to come whirling around, but in the center there we were in total calm. I loosened & let go not only dramas in my life, but dramas on the planet, from family matters to the bubonic plague, it was all loosened & whirling away. Jesus, radiating light, embraced me & I felt our oneness, His deep love, His healing power & the entering into a new life free of what was.

I do not know how to put into the constraints of language the full impact of these moments with Jesus. It inspired a prayer I wrote for Sunday. I'll just put it here, & maybe you can feel it too.

Jesus, I see you standing calm in the midst of the whirling activities of Your Passion. Dramatic events unfurl around You, yet you are unmoved.
I see You also standing with me in the center of that whirls around me. Your calming touch moves me to the center with you. The world is doing what it is doing, but You stand with me in the midst of it all. We are One. I feel Your embrace, & I am comforted.
You told us Your peace is not of this world, & now I understand. How glorious it is to know & experience this peace.
I also see our church in the center with You, standing with You, teaching Your Peace & Love. The outer of life may move this way or that, yet You stand in the center, not caught up in the dance of the outer, & we stand with You.
I ask that You open in us a deep understanding so that we may more fully walk our lives aware that no matter where life takes us, we are with You in the center.
Thank You for hearing our prayer. Thank You for always being with us. Thank You for patiently waiting for us to come to You. We ask that this prayer be answered in Your perfect way, in Your perfect time. We lift this to the Father, asking all of this in Your name. We seal it in faith by saying Amen, Amen & Amen

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sunday Prayers

Each Sunday I write & print out a little prayer. We use it in the chapel before the service, & we give a copy to other church attendees too. This morning I felt led to share here the prayer I wrote for this week. It is inspired by the Epistle reading for the week.

"You are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you." Paul is one of many who speak such words to us. There is a chorus of enlightened men & women who tell us we are the Temple of God, the Spirit of God dwells in us. Wow!!! We so glibly read & say these words, but what if we were awake to what they mean? How would our lives be different?

Lord help me to fully settle into this Truth. Help me become conscious of Your Spirit that is already within me & within all others I meet. Teach me to live honoring the holiness that is within. Let my eyes see the Truth; my ears hear the Truth; my lips speak the Truth; & my heart dwell with Your Spirit that is present in my soul.

Since Your Spirit is within everyone, awaken here in our church the full realization of what this means. The vitality that emerges can only draw to us seekers who hunger to know You. Help us be a welcoming place to all those You call.

As we deepen in our spiritual journey, we rejoice so fully. Truly there is good news, & we feel it & share it with abandon. What a glorious day this is. Thank You Lord for leading us to this moment. This is the moment for which we have so long prepared.

With a deep sigh of joy, we let go & ask that Your Will be done today & everyday. We ask & accept all of this in the name of Christ. And so it is, Amen, Amen & Amen

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Time seems to be on my mind lately, perhaps because I just got another year older.

I have heard so many people remarking that time seems to be passing more quickly. I think that one of the things is that as we get older a day or a week is a smaller percent of our lives than it was when we were younger --- everything relative to the reference point. But I've heard young people thinking time is passing more quickly as well as old folks like me.

One of the ways I experience time is as if we are walking forward in a corridor, the corridor of time. We can look back over where we have walked but cannot go there. We can only rarely look ahead with any accuracy. The present moment is prettty much IT.

Lord, help me to be present and live fully in each present moment You give me to live.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another Year

Another year has passed. It went so fast. I cannot help but thinking it's another year less to live. I have to look within & ask myself if I'm doing all I can or should do to be the person God calls me to be. What more can I do?

This year that just passed has not been the happiest. It has taught me a great deal, some that I'd rather not have learned. As I strive to be more loving, more helpful, more forgiving, I find others that I care about do not have those aims. I have grieved an amazing amount over this.

But now I enter a new birth year. I'm another year older & maybe wiser.

My dear husband planned a great birthday for me. On Wednesday we went to San Diego to Visions Fiber Arts & Quilt Museum, the Watercolor Society's gallery, to Old Town for lunch in the gorgeous courtyard with perfect weather. Last night we went to Pala to Chubby Checker & Chuck Berry. Soooo much fun!

Now I go to church to participate in our annual Quiet Day. This year it is called "Praying With Icons." I have my presentation ready to go. I think there are 4 or 5 of us presenting.

So the absurd swing from old time rock n'roll to old time mystics. Life is so interesting.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Insights for Lent

Last Sunday after church, I led a lesson on the story in John 3 about Nicodemus. As I prepared, I realized that there was a whole series of stories with part of the message being not to take His teachings literally. Nicodemus is the first in this part of the Bible.

He wants to know how he can go back into his mother's womb to be born once again. Jesus, possibly exasperated yet patient, explains he speaks of a birth from above, a birth of Spirit within the person.

Of course, to hold this conversation, Nicodemus came in cover of darkness, at night. You might say, sneaking in to speak with Jesus. Have you ever been somewhere out in the country to true darkness? Before electricity had been discovered, night was very dark. I asked everyone if they had ever snuck in the darkness to Jesus. Some said around atheists and agnostics because they didn't want to fight. Some said around evangelicals because they are combative about theirs being the only way to understand God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and the Bible.

Get out your Bible (I was using the New Jerusalem version ). Start with John 3 and see how many times Jesus explains he didn't mean what he said literally. He was speaking in metaphor, analogy and parable.

Then I thought about how Jesus had told us not to judge by appearances, but judge righteous judgment. It seems that he was constantly surrounded by people who were judging by appearances, including his disciples. He even complained that some come only for the loaves and fishes.

I think it was/is hard to fathom this new understanding of which He spoke and was/is. After the resurrection, some of them began to get it. Now they could see with new eyes, beyond where they had been able to see beforehand. They testified dramatically to what they now knew and tried to share it so everyone could understand.

2,000 years later, we are split about it: numerous denominations, heated arguments, accusations, attacks, etc. Supposedly Christians are trying to follow Christ in their living, but what some do does not seem to reflect the man from Galilee.

So, let's ask ourselves some tough questions: Does my life reflect Christ? If others watched how I live, would they see a Christlike life? When do I come to Christ under the cover of darkness? Do I sometimes judge by appearances?

I lift my life into the arms of Christ. Help me to live a life that reflects You. Lead me to be loving, forgiving, healing, accepting of others, and aware of being at one with God as You are. Help me look at Your life as an example of how I am to live. Help me welcome my brothers and sisters, even the lowest, for You showed me this is my calling, if I am to truly  follow You. Help me to be a beneficial presence wherever I find myself. Help me to shine Your Light in every corner of life. Take from me my unbelief and fill me with Your vigor and faith. Help me live my life so that when we meet on the other side, I can hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant." I ask this in Your name. Amen, Amen & Amen

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Idea of Master

As I was falling asleep, these ideas began wafting through my mind. This morning it occurred to me that it would be interesting to share.

If I wanted to be a great artist, it would behoove me to apprentice myself to a master artist. If I could go anywhere in time I might choose Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Renoir or any number of other masters of art.

If I wanted to be a great musician and composer, it would behoove me to apprentice myself to a master musician such as Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Tchaikovsky or other great master musicians,

So, I want to be awake spiritually. to whom do I apprentice myself? Who would be my master? As I've said before, there is only one place to go. There is only one person who lived with no wall between Him and God, who was so at one He called God, papa. There is only one who lived a life that showed us how God wants us to live by word and example.

I apprentice myself to my Master, Christ. I learn all I can from Him so that I can do as He did by following Him. I study His life. I practice His teachings. I fall down; He helps me pick myself up. I make mistakes; He forgives me and teaches me what would be a better choice. He is present in my life in a way an earthly master teacher could never be.

He asked me to do as He did and to do even greater things. I'm starting with trying to do as He did, with little hope that in this life I can do greater things. I am willing to try and to do the best I can in each moment. With His help, this life I lead will glorify God in many little ways.

For His Sake, I pledge to do my best.

This is the day the Lord has made. None other can make a day, that's for sure.

In this day, God, I will do my best, with Your help, to live a Christly life. Your Son, my Brother, has shown me what that means. Help me to be alert and conscious of all that I do so that I can shift back to Christ whenever I begin to err.

I give myself, my life, my energies to Your work. I know there are many ways to live a spiritual life, show me the way you wish me to walk. Keep me close. Help me to do my best each moment.

In the name of Christ, I seal this with faith by saying, Amen, Amen & Amen

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Where Is Beauty?

Where is beauty anyway? This week I've been distressed by some news, two stories in particular have me concerned.
  1. Women & girls are going to lay people in hotel rooms & back alley places to get silicone injections to make themselves have a more "beautiful" body part - you fill in the blank as to which parts _____ . Some are even flying to the USA from across the pond. They are dying from the injections of silicone, which are purchased in hardware stores & drug stores! Silicone is poison for humans. If injected into the buttocks, the large blood vessels can carry it to heart & lungs in minutes & cause death. For most so desparate for "beauty" the best case scenario is disfigurment & pain.
  2. A teen beauty pagent winner is being threatened with loss of her crown because she is now a size 2 & a bit bigger than her pageant clothes.
  3. And remember from a few years back the lady who had multiple surgeries to look like the plastic doll, Barbie.
I'm sure you can think of more examples of the same phenonmenon. Have humans collectively gone mad?

In my opinion the problem lies in several laps.
  • First, we have many, particularly women, with low self-image, poor self-love, the need to look gorgeous on the outside because they feel so inferior on the inside.
  • Then there is the need to look young because society doesn't see the beauty in aging women. There is little honor given to our elders, to their wisdom, to their experiences, & yes to those sags & wrinkles that stand for a life lived.
  • Also, we have seen a decline in church attendance coupled with an increase in shallow movies, tv & music, & an increase in immorality - an everything goes mentality. The deep spiritual values seeded in the hearts of the young are not being seeded in the majority of instances. Sunday morning is no longer reserved for church, because so many churches have become irrelevant. Sunday mornings are reserved for other things deemed more important than growing spiritually & being part of the community of Christ -- the Sunday paper, sporting events, personal sports such as skiing or basketball, sleeping in, etc., etc., etc.
With the coarsening of society, true beauty is lost. It is not in silicone injections so that one's body has a round behind. It is not being a size 0. It is not in anything exterior at all.

I suggest that beauty is inside. It is an inner glow that turns into a radiance in people who are devoted to a spiritual journey. A person with such a glow is beautiful, no matter what the details of the outer form shape up to be or not be. With rampant neglect to the spiritual journey, we forget what beauty really is, & we seek polyester beauty. No matter how wrinkle resistant polyester is, it can never be silk. No matter how much we do to the outside, we can only achieve radiance & true beauty by devotion to the spiritual journey.

Lord, help me develop inner beauty. Lead me to where You would have me be. Surround me with people who can take my hand & lead me into a deeper walk with YOU. Help me release that which is shallow in me. Help me embrace inner beauty in myself & in others.