My Books Available Now on Amazon ebooks

Amazon Kindle books now have some of my books. Please keep checking for more titles as they become available. Thanks!

Monday, July 31, 2017


I was thinking this morning of the mountain of inner work I did to cleanse the dreadful things of my past so that they do not infect this moment or distort what I see, say or do in the here and now. I know there is still work to do, and I can see vast distance from where I once was. Tagore, in this morning's reading struck me with this:
Those who have been brought up in a misunderstanding of this world's process not knowing that it is one with themselves through the relationship of knowledge and intelligence, are trained as cowards by a hopeless faith in the ordinance of a destiny darkly dealing blows. They submit without struggle when human rights are denied them, being accustomed to imagine themselves born as outlaws in a world constantly thrusting upon them incomprehensible surprises of accidents.
I can clearly see that it took me a long time to accept that I had rights because I was denied so many, so violently, so unbeautifully early in my life. My courage was aimed at survival not at gaining any rights that might have been mine, but never even entered my head. It was clear from the messages verbally and physically that the dark blows were somehow deserved. I was told what a bad little girl I was countless times, but I did not seem to do anything "bad," so it seems my conclusion was that it was me, I simply was bad.

It took years of reading, thinking, praying, meditating, journaling, taking seminars and a ton of forgiveness before the crushing load of dark blows was evaporated so that I could see clearly. There were many spiritual lessons, of course. There were benefits, such as I could teach and write authentically about forgiveness.

My heart goes out to other children of God who still have such work to do. I weep for those in my own family who have this need, yet are not ready to see and proceed, certainly not able or willing to speak of it.

I suppose we all have some forms of abuse to neutralize so that it has no role in today. Some have a mountain and some a bucket. I have come to know that any speck of it has no place in the heart and soul of one sincerely walking The Way of Christ.

Once again, I call out to our world - let us forgive - let us join together as the human family to create a magnificent life for all upon this earth. Let us love one another.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Raging Temperature

This morning in reading some of Tagore's words, I came across something he wrote in 1930 that sounds like he wrote it this week:
Every people, weak or strong, is constantly indulging in a violent dream of rendering itself thoroughly hurtful to others. In this galoping competition of hurtfulness on the slope of a bottomless pit, no nation dares to stop or slow down. A scarlet fever with a raging temperature has attacked the entire body of mankind, and political passion has taken the place of creative personality in all departments of life.
It is well known that when greed has for its object material gain then it can have no end. It is like the chasing of the horizon by a lunatic.
It almost sounds like he has been watching television news, for it does seem many people of this world have gone mad.

I lay this on the turning away from spirituality and either the turning to some rote and unthinking religiosity or to the world and its flavors, the chasing of the horizon by lunatics.

The question I often contemplate is - how do those of us who notice what is going on get a turning of large numbers of people to deep and profound spirituality? The paint by numbers religions, the charismatic leaders, the separations of the family of God into strange and false categories, the promotions of violence, the promotions of promiscuity, all the diverse ways modern people turn from spirituality, are like a planetary illness.

Let's say a prayer for healing of this planet-wide illness.

Lord, Divine Light, Spirit - we come to You this moment as we lift up our planet and all of its inhabitants to You. We see raging fevers of violence - and we seek Your Peace to descend upon the angry ones. We see raging fevers of greed - and ask that You calm these feverish waters. We see promiscuity in all of its degrading forms - and we ask that You open hearts to Your Love and Joy to bring integrity to relationships, integrity that honors Divine Life in each and every person. Lead Your children back to You. Lead Your children to remember who they are and to live from this knowing. Let there be a glorious spiritual awakening on this planet. Oh God, how deeply we feel this prayer and desire Your work fully in our lives and in the lives of all of your children. In faith, we seal this with the ancient seal, Amen, Amen and Amen

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Spiritual Check-Up

It has been an interesting week, and it has been a week to check on my spiritual progress and perhaps to reassess.

I taught 15 children ages 8-11 from 10 to 4 every day last week how to sew. It was in a local store. The person who taught it last year had surgery and could not do it this year and they really needed someone. Lesson one: I did not feel at ease accepting their plea for me to teach, which at the time was to be no more than 9 children. Once again I failed the test of listening to my intuition.

Monday I was told there were 14 children, but that morning the manager signed up 1 more! I was to lead them through making a pillow case, pajama bottoms, a robe and a backpack, and some of the patterns were too complex for beginners, plus 2 couldn't find the robe pattern and purchased a shawl collar robe pattern that was even more complex. The manager had told me that an intern would help. It turned out the intern was 13, her only sewing experience was last summer in this class and she hadn't sewn a stitch since!

So I tried to get it organized. I assigned the intern to ripping and ironing. I began to teach the machines (all different ones), how to thread, wind bobbins, etc. I started them sewing on designs on paper to learn to control the machine. We had some usual things, like sewing with the presser foot up and therefore a ball of thread to be cleared out, but mostly it went well.

After demonstrating the project, I had the children come to me with their projects when they needed help or call me to their machines if there was a machine problem. It was going pretty well. From time to time a parent came by and wanted to help their child, but gave them wrong instruction and so we had to rip or find a way around this new problem. I didn't sit down but maybe 10 minutes a day, it was constant needing of me.

On Wednesday a father came to be with his daughter, He had helped the day before some and was quite helpful, watching what I showed and having her do the same thing. At one time I had 4 children in line for my help. He looked at me angrily and quite loudly said, "She has been waiting 10 minutes for your help!" I told him I was sorry, but I had 15 children needing my help, I was going as fast as I possibly could and it would be all right we'd get it all done.  He began to scream "IT IS NOT ALL RIGHT. I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS CLASS AND MY DAUGHTER IS NOT BEING TREATED RIGHT." (he paid the store $99 for 30 hours of sewing lessons and childcare, so I guess I was wasting a few pennies of that trying to be fair to all the children). I told him that I am a retired pastor and was only teaching this class out of the goodness of my heart. He began screaming again, "WHERE'S THE MANAGER. I WANT THE MANAGER." I told him it was her day off and he could talk with her tomorrow. He got more belligerent when I told him I did not have her number, was not an employee. He was raging as he went to the store employees demanding the manager's number.

Well anyway, it was not pretty. It turned out the chain's policy was to have one employee for every 4 children. On Thursday the manager and one employee helped, so it was smoother, but you could feel the tension in the air.

Most of the children gave me great hugs and thankful parents greeted me astonished their child who had never sewn before made 4 things in one week. One little boy that I was worried about because he kept telling me he was evil and wanted to be Darth Veder and had a hard time focusing, gave me a sweet hug, and looking up at me plaintively asked, "will I ever see you again?" When I told him that I didn't know, he tightened his hug and sunk his head into me. It was poignant and real pay for the week. He will live in my memory for as long as I have memory, and he is in my prayers. It was painful to hear him many times during the week exclaim he is evil!

There were many moments - great and horrible - all my teachers. Lesson one, listen to intuition. Lesson two, even when you don't listen, some good can come from it and there will be some tough lessons too. Lesson three, there are persons out there deeply in need of forgiveness work. His out of proportion behavior showed that he was putting some past problems on top of this moment and could not see this moment for itself.

I had not been screamed at for many years, and so I admit that I was shaken. Also, I did not know if his violent speech would become violent actions. I was able to remain poised and carry on that day and the rest of the week. But inside I felt wounded. I was not fully able to rise above it internally for several days. Perhaps I am not as far along The Way as I thought. I want to remain centered inside and out and not give my peace of mind to any circumstance or any person.

So back to the spiritual drawing board.

I want to pray for that man and his family who surely also have received the brunt of his anger and rage.

My beloved Lord, I lift up to you the raging man of last week and his family. Lead him to peace. Teach him of forgiveness. Surround his wife and children with the blanket of your protection. Let healing flow in this family. Help them in all the ways they need help. I am relieved to remember You have heard this prayer and are even now bringing them Your healing. Thank You!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

It's All Right to Be Sad

Sometimes people trying to walk The Way of Christ put impossible restrictions on themselves, supposing, for example, that they are always to be cheerful and shining radiantly. While we walk towards this goal, we need to allow ourselves a bit of slack. It is more important to be authentic than to be phoney-cheerful.

Today I feel moments of sorrow, not solidly, but poignant moments rise up from my heart echoing this day 7 years ago. On that day my family was split apart and there has been the loss of memory-making days for all this time. There is sorrow for what was not allowed to be, for the moments of laughter and tears, for the sharing and caring, for the teaching and learning, for the hugs and kisses that did not get the opportunity to be. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood - and my broken heart watched them walk away - full of anger they were over nonsense, over false assessments. A hole never to be filled was created, for there is love for many, but there is the stifled love for those that cannot reach except in my prayers. There is no going back to recover what could have been. There is no rewind on earth except on VCR's.

My husband was so upset, he had a major eye occlusion and temporarily lost his sight in one eye. His sight was restored by superb doctors, but the broken heart still ticks with a bit of a limp.

Forgiveness practices, God's Love and our love got us through. Today we have many loving people in our lives. It's what it is.

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday. I plan to make it special as I can. I am honored to be preaching on forgiveness- something I surely know a lot about.

Lord, guide me to say the words of healing tomorrow that those who are led to come need to hear to heal the pains in their hearts. I turn over to You the remaining pangs of grief and trails of tears over these 7 years, and know with Joseph -- You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Joseph and Generosity

This morning I was reading about the importance and power of generosity, highlighting the Old Testament Joseph.

You may remember his brothers sold him into slavery, and with a lot of plot twists, he ended up as assistant to Pharoah. He interpreted Pharoah's dream that there would be years of drought and famine, so that he should store up food for those years in order for his people to survive. You can read the details in Genesis if you want.

His brothers came to him from their homeland during the famine, not recognizing him, and asked for food so their family would not starve. He sent them for his father, and then revealed himself and gave them what they needed. It is a very fascinating story in a wide variety of ways.

One way it is fascinating to me is one of my favorite Biblical responses. After all was said and done, Joseph said to his brothers you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. There was no forgiveness needed because Joseph saw the larger picture, the God Picture.

Also, Joseph did withhold food supplies, enough that all could survive the times of famine. One of the keys here is that it was not selfish, not to keep for himself. It was generosity so that many could benefit. The above statement also spoke of generosity of heart. I think when we are able to live from the God Picture, all things in our lives look different.

We might ask ourselves - During _______ valley in my life, in what ways did God mean it for good?

I think that when we walk with sincerity and integrity along the path of our lives, all or at least almost all of our experiences could be said to be good in the larger God Picture. Joseph did not wallow in the low points of betrayals and imprisonment. He did not use them as excuses to not be his best self. He ended up at the top, able to do much good for he was able to feed many, many others. He lived generously at many levels.

Lord, help me to live generously in all ways. Help me to see the God Picture in my life. Help me to know that all will be well. Help me stay on Your Path and walk The Way as fully as possible. I dedicate my life to You.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Kindness Is a Big Spiritual Deal

Sometimes we get a bit sidetracked in our spiritual quest and overthink ideas. Sometimes we argue over fine points of some theological notion or the other. But, we can quite easily see how well we are doing on our quest by how we live our lives.

Are we exuding kindness, forgiveness, and compassion? Are we at peace? Do we approach life with a generous heart? Can people know we believe what we say we believe by how we act and speak?

If there are a few hitches in the above landmarks of walking a fairly advanced spiritual path, it seems to me we need to go back to basics - the most basic is forgiveness of self and others.

I'm speaking on forgiveness July 16, 2017, at the Temecula United Methodist Church. If you're in the area, I do hope you will come. Anyway, in preparation, I'm re-reading my book on forgiveness. I haven't read it for a couple of years, so it seems fresh to me. I am always amazed when I go back and read something I wrote that flowed as if through me, beyond me. It reinforces my knowing that the Holy Spirit is active in our lives, as we sometimes seem to know more than we know.

The Key - Forgiveness and Beyond by [Oaks, Marlene]
I' m going to share the beginning of the introduction:
My experience tells me that few people want a miserable life. Actually, I think almost all people want the good life, which includes: peace of mind; prosperity; harmonious and loving relationships with self, other people and God; a healthy body and mind; some meaningful contribution to life so that a positive difference is made by one’s life; spiritual awakening; in general all that life on earth has to offer. We have been told that all of these are available. Often what stands between us and our dreams coming true is us. Alas, we do not always know what to do with this information and ask ourselves, “What about me is it that is standing in my own way?”

Well, I don’t have all of the answers, no one does. I know it has to do with our self-talk, the way we speak to ourselves in the privacy of our own heads. I know it has to do with our ability to live authentically from our core, having discovered our own core by letting go of false ideas of self and embracing the wholeness of who we are in Reality. I know it has to do whether or not we are able to be in charge of our own emotions, at least most of the time --- or if we are puppets on other people’s strings being happy when they pull one string or sad or angry or in a rage if they pull other strings. I know it has to do with whether or not we are in harmony and personal relationship with God. And, I know all of this has to do with forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the keys that opens the door to the kind of life we want. Forgiveness is freedom from a great deal of baggage we may be carrying in our heads and hearts. Without forgiveness, we are ever importing sorrows and upsets from the past into the present moment, infecting it with stale and cloudy echoes that do not belong here. Life without forgiveness is a bitter life, full of resentment.  Lack of forgiveness inhabits and inhibits all aspects of our lives. That’s a big statement, and I have come to know that it is very true.
If you find this helpful, go to Amazon in the Kindle section. You can download it and consider the ideas that have given me freedom and peace and see if they could do so for you too. God bless you in your spiritual quest.