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Monday, November 28, 2016

Around Every Bend

What surprises lie around every twist and turn of the journey here on earth. Sometimes glorious, sometimes challenging, sometimes wonderful, sometimes downright awful. It certainly keeps one on their toes.

It is fascinating, and it makes me want to stick around for a long time to see what happens next. Oh, I realize that I have some influence on what happens and a lot of power to focus my responses, but I don't have as much power as I once thought.

Perhaps there is a list of hoops we have to successfully jump through while here. Overcome the errors/sins available in the earth experiences seems probable to me. But then there is the need to put into practice the behaviors that testify quietly to living awake in the Divine Presence and not be swayed by darkness or use excuses for not living up to the highest.

I am struck over and over by the book of James, the brother of Jesus. It is a KEY I am sure to know how to live spiritually. I've read it in many translations, each giving unique nuances. I've read a variety of commentaries. I wrote an entire chapter on it in my book, "What On Earth Is Going On Spiritually Speaking." For all seekers, I suggest regular reading and contemplation of it.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Living On Hinges

The metaphor of the door is profound, for the door is not just something allowing entrance and exit from our homes, our businesses, our churches. Spiritual writings have spoken of doors in many ways, such as, "I am the door."

I just read about Jean Paul Sartre's play, "Exit." Basically, people are trapped in a room for eternity, but then the door is unlocked. Guess what happens. No one leaves. They trap themselves. The obvious question then is, in what ways do we trap ourselves?

So let's look at doors in our lives. They are on hinges and can open out or in. They are a gateway to another place. A door opening out is a metaphor for us walking out of what is less than whole. Let's say something seems to bind us, and yet we hesitate to walk through the door to something else, something new. The binding may be an addiction, or the feeling of entrapment, or our own lack of self-worth, for example. The door is present for us to walk into something else, to freedom and to growth, yet the hesitation often seems to be the fear of the unknown. We know the pain of this place, but the other side of the door is what? Take courage and walk through it. There are other doors ahead. There are many opportunities ahead. Doors lead to other doors, to eventually a more cosmic life.

From a spiritual vantage point, the Christ is a door. This door opens in, for it lets into the core of who we are the Light Divine. To be a follower of The Way is to walk through that inner door and let the Christ walk in. James, the brother of Jesus, has told us that following The Way is an active thing. We are to do good and merciful things with our lives. We are to live in such a way that we are doors for others. We are to be our unique versions of Christ, shining our lights, doing kind and loving things. We are to be forgiving. We are to have a deeply personal relationship with the Divine Presence, so that we too can have the knowing that God is our Divine Parent, our Beloved, and we are within that Presence every single moment -- as are others, some of whom just don't know it yet. We are compassionate for we recall how we were before we walked through That Door and welcomed it to swing in to welcome all that is Holy to every fiber of our being and every millisecond of our existence.

When we actively live The Way, we become doors for others. And, we discover more and more interior doors that open for an ever deeper walk in The Way.

Beloved Divine Presence, guide me to open more inner doors to You, and at the same time to open out to shine Your Light and be a door to You for others. I humbly present myself to You this day as I set my life once again on Your Path and do my best to walk The Way.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Story of Job and Marlene

I've re-read the Book of Job a number of times in the past 3 years, being that I've been under siege from the powers that be this entire time. I keep looking for clues. I keep pondering the responses of people around me. I keep checking to see if there is some stone I've left unturned that could set us free and give us our money back.

I re-read Job this morning in the new translation, "The Message." I received several new thoughts from this reading. In chapter 13 I found a favorite:
You graffiti my life with lies.
Wow!That's just what happened. An anonymous accuser told lies - put graffiti on my life, on our lives. Without even one interview or one question or even one email from them, our life has been financially frozen by the powers that be. They put another layer of graffiti on my life. Many of my friends and family are like Job's "friends" in their unbelief of my/our innocence and their surprising trust in the powers that be and pointed disbelief. They added another layer of graffiti on our life. It is amazing and oh so disappointing to me.

Bearing false witness can cause havoc in an innocent person's life. So, I thought it is really important that we speak only truth and refrain from accusations, refrain from putting graffiti on the lives of others. As Jesus told us - let your ayes be ayes and your nays, nays. Just tell the truth. Don't accuse others we supposedly know and love, for we don't ever know the entire story. Find out the story. Stand with them.

This dark valley has been challenging to walk. I have grown and deepened. However, I may have experienced just as much growth and depth without the deep valley, because I am always on  a quest to learn and grow and shine more and more Light. It is said that it is almost over. I hope and pray so.

I declare the end of the power of graffiti on our lives. The Truth shines brightly. Let there be Light.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


As holidays approach, I feel a particular kind of angst. I have always loved the holidays. I have always loved my kitchen working at full speed, filled with incredible smells, mounds of gifts under a sentimentally decorated tree, sparkles everywhere, laughter and hugs galore. I loved the candlelight services I used to lead on Christmas Eve, and after retirement loved visiting various church services on Christmas Eve.

For 3 years of challenges, we've had none of that, well except we still go to other's candlelight services.

Now, we are supposedly within a hair's breath of restoration, life given back, a new start, and the Christmas holidays in our own home once again. I try not to want it too much. Afterall, part of the lesson of these years has been non-attachment. Yet, my heart aches for return to "normalcy." Scenes of what could be, maybe will be, drift into the pictures in my mind.

I know there are many associations tied to Chrismas for many or most people. My family had tragedy on Christmas of 1976 (my husband's aneurysm and subsequent death on New Year's) which has tainted the holiday for my children and me for a time. There are crystal clear memories of what was, of joys, of disappointments, what never was but was yearned for nevertheless.

But this Christmas has never been lived before. It is a new celebration of so much, of family, of friends, of love, of hope, of the birth of the Christ in the cradle of our hearts. Let us prepare ourselves once again for the Divine Light emerging through us. Let us prepare once again to birth a fuller version of the Christ in our lives. Let us love one another and answer the call hurled across the centuries to us - love God, self and one another. Let's do it.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


If you've read my book, "What On Earth Is Going On -- Spiritually Speaking?" you know that the book of James deeply speaks to me. The brother of Jesus was the head of The Way after Jesus left. His words convey pointed keys on how to walk The Way (what the group was originally called).

I recently noticed quite a few quotes from a modernized translation of the Bible called "The Message." so finally I ordered it from Amazon. Today I read James again, but in this new translation and received some more light on the subject.

First of all, since my husband and I have been walking through, and hopefully out of, a 3 + year deep valley, and the opening speaks to that perfectly:
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4, The Message
Since I recently gave a sermon on the 23rd Psalm, I have been seriously considering something like the above. I can honestly say that my faith walk HAS deepened during this conglomeration of experiences. Looking at light at the end of the tunnel as imminent, I can see who I am walks into it with a more aware spiritual consciousness. Masks have dropped off. Attachment to outcomes has shriveled. Prayer life has deepened. Peace has expanded. And much more.

In my attempt and goal to be congruent - that is the same person without masks no matter where I am or with whom I am - My faith has definitely been in the open for all to see, if they are looking. I have done my best to continue to participate in life and make whatever positive differences I can. My moments of grief and of joy have been/are genuine.

I want to share one more James quote today:
Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light.  James 1:17-18, The Message
Light, Heavenly Light, Divine Light -- all real and important to me. I've had numerous experiences in and with That Light, moments of true Treasure, precious moments that live on in a continuous flow. Even when it is not visible to me, I know It is enfolding me, always with me, filling me, lighting the way - Lighting The Way.

The empty souls that try to fill empty lives with material things will hopefully find, or be found by, The Light. There ARE rivers of Divine Light cascading from our Father of Light right this very moment. We can turn to receive and then shine that Light.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pedigree - Body, Mind and Spirit

This morning I felt compelled to write about who we are, what our pedigree might be. These thoughts came whirling in.

BODY - What are our bodies? From one perspective they are the host or the spacesuit for our soul to wear in order to navigate life on earth. They are carbon compounds, made of Mother Earth (and belong to earth and will stay here when we go on). In that respect, the 2nd version (which is actually the 1st historically) in Genesis makes more sense. Our bodies have something called DNA that carries messages from our ancestors. Our bodies are made of earth and sunshine that come from plants and animals and miraculously turn into finger nails and elbows. At the atomic level, they are mostly empty space made up of whirling bits of particles and energy and unknowns that emerged from the beginning big bang, bursting forth, declaration of  "Let there Be..." Those fast moving bits interchange constantly so that it is said that we all have atoms that were once part of everything that ever was and is. Physically we are ONE.

MIND - The first thought about mind is often the brain, which goes back of course to body. The brain is truly a phenomenal thing. We keep learning more and more about this mysterious organ. But then, there is consciousness, the who that is using the brain, the something greater. The mind is unique yet part of the one. That is, the way we think, the thoughts we think, the actions we take because of our thoughts are more than a physical organ sparking, rather they are something of a record or blueprint of where we are in the journey of awakening. It has been said, "You cannot hide your consciousness." It just shows up in the way we respond to life with all of its twists and turns. The intuitions that flash in our minds are something greater. The moments we experience God, are something far, far greater. As we still the craziness of unfocused thinking, we get a peek into the Divine that indicates we are inlets and outlets of the Divine Mind. Our consciousness, our souls go on when we give our bodies back to Mother Earth. In Mind/Consciousness we are ONE.

SPIRIT - Variously called the Cosmic Christ, the Cosmic Buddha, the Holy Spirit, the seed of God in us, God. As we awaken, we understand Spirit to be a verb. The scriptures speak of the wind, of light of all kinds of motion to hint at the Divine. In the beginning, God breathed life into humans. We all carry the Breath of God in us. The daily miracles working in our bodies, in our gardens, in the tiny atom, in the cosmos are shouting to us that Spirit is moving in, around and through us. We are not separate from God, we are part of an infinite dance of Spirit moving, dancing, expressing, and showering us with evidence that Yes, God not only exists, but exists in all I see, all I hear, all I learn, all that I am. Spiritually we are ONE.

Oh Divine Presence, I celebrate as I come to know that You are with me, are part of me, created and re-create me every moment of every single day. I realize that my body is a holy thing that comes from You and houses my soul for a time. Body, Mind and Spirit are in You. Still my mind that I might Know You more fully and live as You would have me live. I accept the sacredness of this life and go forward into this journey on earth ever aware of this Truth.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Light is a universal understanding about the Divine, and darkness is likewise an understanding but of being far from the awareness of God, in the dark, not in the know.

Scientifically, spiritually, metaphysically Light is the glorious ignition of creation. The big bang/flash, in the beginning, in the whirling atoms, Light, mystical experiences, writings of the illumined -- all point to Light.

In Christianity, we are called to be the light of the world, to let our lights shine, to get out from under our bushel baskets.

We were also told of a great measuring stick - by the fruits we shall know. The result reeks of the origin.

The fruits we seek, when we live as best we can in and as Light, are the fruits of the Spirit, and as Jesus boiled it down, love.

Today is the day to sincerely look at ourselves and our fruits and just check out how Lightfilled they have been up until now. Then to take courage and redirect any parts of ourselves that are not in Light, not creating Love, but creating murky or even dark results. We know if we will just admit to ourselves, because The Light dwells within us.

Lord, I open myself to fully embrace and express Your Light. Flow away all darkness in me and lead me to live in such a way as to produce the fruit of love in every corner of my life. I throw open the windows of my being and welcome Your Light to shine fully in me. I am Yours.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Once Upon A Time

This morning I saw the following:

Peeling off the layers of centuries of people saying a huge range of things about Christianity, Jesus, the Cosmic Christ and theologies, I stand on a hill under an olive tree, looking down at the lake called Gallilee during the time of the birth of The Way.

This was a time of strong restraints from almost every direction. The Romans ruled with iron fists. The Pharisees had so many rules that were mandatory, yet it was impossible to find enough time in the day to actually do. There was widespread poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, lack of hygiene, short life expectancy, etc.

Into this tightness came a breath of fresh air. Love for all, forgiveness, redemption, healing, personal direct relationship with God, and it was for everyone. It was not just for those who jumped the cultural hoops successfully. It was for every single person!

It was a sweeping energy. In the presence of such Presence, everything changed.

But then the unenlightened, the power hungry, the greedy, the partially enlightened began the calcification of this breath of fresh air, of Light. Layers grew as each generation of these pilled on more and more nonsense.  And then we were back to the restraint, just in new forms.

It seems to me we need to touch again that Breath of Fresh Air, that Light, and set our feet onto The Way . Something is telling me we actually can.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Jigsaw Puzzle

This morning I was thinking about a new television show that is about time travel and trying to stop a villain from popping in to crucial historical moments and sabotage them. It occurred to me for that to be actually possible, every moment of our lives would need to be still going on. Those horrible moments and those ecstatic moments would be forever actively operating. Perhaps one could view past times, but to interact with them seems to me to be not probable. What confusion if our history kept changing via someone interfering with the events. I know it changes now in the books as new evidence is unearthed or new interpretations are applied. However, to go back and stop one moment of folly, for example, would create all kinds of ripples of unexpected consequences that could change everything.

Yet, at another level, in our minds, our lives and our tapestry of life, all we've experienced is here with us.

I saw jigsaw puzzle pieces that fit together to make a pattern of who I currently am. Some of the pieces are dark shadows and some sparkling light, in a rainbow of dazzling colors. They all have a place. Without any one of them, the puzzle that is my life would have a hole. My puzzle is incomplete, in process and lived at various levels.

There is this earthly life of Marlene that began one day a very long time ago and one day will be complete. One day I will place the final piece of this puzzle and it will be a rap as they say in the movies. There is also the unending journey, the infinite puzzle, which includes this puzzle of this particular life as a tiny piece. There is the eternal soul of me that was before and shall continue to be (think eternal).

So, I see it essential to embrace all the pieces of the Marlene puzzle that are in place and already lived. They contribute to this moment. They can inform me, be a reference, point out consequences, but they cannot be discarded. They are part of this puzzle. I can relax and stop vainly trying to change the past or relive it. It's just there. Now I must turn my face to the puzzle piece of the moment. Which part of the puzzle will this moment fill -- the dark corner of despair or the sunlit center?

Just before I act, before I speak, I can consider if I want this _______ to be in my puzzle or not. My today will soon be my yesterday, my last year, my last decade, as I move forward through the corridors of time and then into the infinite expanses of eternal life beyond earth.

Today I hold in my hand two pieces - fear and love. Which shall I put into the puzzle to be part of who I am forever?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Matthew Fox in his new book, "Stations of the Cosmic Christ" points out:
... we now know that we belong to a universe that is vast and in motion and expanding and full of creativity (a star is being born every 15 seconds!) and deeply mysterious... Given the facts that there are seven billion humans on Earth and at least 200 billion galaxies in our universe each with hundreds of millions of stars, you and I and every human being on the planet could "adopt" or hold in our hearts and minds our own "nest" or "family" of galaxies. This would come to over 27 billion galaxies per person on the planet.
The question that comes to mind for me is - is your understanding of God big enough?

It seems to me that the incredible creation, its vastness, its magnificence, its variety, its never ending surprises, shout of a God that big and beyond and beyond and beyond.

When anyone tries to make God small, containable, controllable, in the image of humans, they are delusional.

Whatever we know about God - there is more, it is Infinite and Eternal afterall. Our words are arrows pointing, metaphors speaking of unspeakable things, only in an expanded interiority, deeply can we experience that which cannot be spoken.

Do we have the courage to let go of the small god we have placed comfortably in a corner of our lives and open to the Great Mystery?