Mountains into Molehills, Travelogue 26Mar – #107 *

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Mountains into Molehills, Travelogue 26Mar
The best thing about being so high up into the heavens above earth is that IT IS CLEAR and you can see how God fills in the rough spots and only the tops of mountains are visible… (these are the Swiss Alps). And that is so true with my life and maybe yours. When we look at things from God’s vantage point, mountains are REALLY molehills, and we can climb them with HIS help… And HE gives us the power and energy to soar higher than we could have ever dreamed. Amen.swiss alps mountain molehills

Know Thy Self, email from the Bishop, mid-March – #106

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106 Know Thy Self, email from the Bishop, mid-March

Hello Debbie,
Blessings and thanks for sending along your writings. I will read them as time allows. Blessings.

On Mar 22,, debbie wrote:
Honestly, I feel my call is in a connections ministry… being who I already am, but expanding that and witnessing to others how awesome God is…

I don’t plan on giving up my day job (yet)…I am a scientist (which pays the bills) and I am known at my work as a Christian… so i pray to make a difference – planting seeds gently… I am the VBS director and UMW president, and newly in the contemporary praise band… I really want to help our church reach out to more folks… the sky’s the limit… so especially while my kids are young, I need to pray on this increased enthusiasm and use my time effectively… but who knows?… God knows… I pray on it all!

I will forward you my whole set of writings… don’t need to binge read them, LOL, it’s a lot to digest…
Debbie

On Mar 22, Bishop wrote:
Hello Debbie,
It was good to chat with you yesterday. You write very well and have a fresh approach to devotional thinking using illustrations like yeast and Legos. I hope you will publish. Have you also felt a call to ministry? Blessings.

Know thy Pastor, mid-March – #105

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Know thy Pastor, mid-March
I have so much report about the conference i attended… but just one blessing to share tonight… I was sitting next to Pastor when they brought up mega churches…and how a lady had to go buy a book for a book signing just to meet her pastor… and here I am sitting next to my pastor whom I know journeyed in his own way… and in addition who personally placed a book in my hands which he inscribed to me…my Pastor “Subarus with me in Christ”… meaning he unites with Christ…awesome… a pastor trying “to reach”… not just “to teach” or just “to preach”… keeping it real…

SmilesPj subaru

Deal with Yourself, mid-March – #104

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Deal with Yourself, mid-March

After the best refreshing pain-free straight 5.5 hrs sleep, I woke up to Saturn in the sky over my shoulder and a clear viewing of some hooked constellation…unknown to me… when I pulled out the Google sky map app, I found out it was Scorpio… THAT’S ME! COOL!… I never saw it (well never noticed it) before…my zodiac sign…cool… another affirmation that you yourself need to learn how to deal with yourself… that you should know HOW you deal with yourself better than anyone… you have been doing it your whole life…That was sage advice another friend gave me last Thursday…that rough day… when I was overwhelmed with self…

After a brief awake time, I played some total awesome drift away music…got some extra sleep… only to wake up to the haunting “veneno para las hadas”, lyric: “When you’re young you’re sleeping” mmmm… good album – good lyric to wake up to – good to wake up after sleeping…

Picking up pennies and people, face up, 22MAR – #103 *

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Picking up pennies and people, face up, 22MAR

You ever pick up a penny face up? A lost penny that is now found? What if it is face-down? Bad luck? Hmmmmm…

I don’t pick up face-down pennies, but sometimes, when I have the opportunity, I kick the penny and maybe (50:50 shot) just maybe it will land face-up for the next person… and they will feel lucky. I don’t pick these flipped pennies up… I don’t need the luck, I have ALWAYS been lucky and I CERTAINLY am blessed.

What about people? You ever try to pick up people when they are blue? down in the dumps? Or even at the end of their ropes? You ever try and not prevail? Does that stop you from trying again? With a new person?

Maybe that person, down on their luck, eyes to the ground, is the face down penny… they can’t see you, your hand, your blessing… maybe they aren’t ready to get picked up…

But I don’t think one should give up hope completely… perhaps someone else has the right words at another time. Perhaps the person needs to be face up and looking for help in order to teach up when you come, maybe the person needs to reach their hand up before you can help them.
Perhaps that person like that penny might need a little kick.. just a little one… Maybe only in light touch –  maybe you’re supposed to just nudge them… Maybe a few people will have to nudge them… Then maybe down the road, at a time unknown to us, someone else can come along and find them face up.

Hope.

Hope and Prayer are the most powerful. Action helps sometimes, and the idea that you are willing to try to help speaks volumes…. but it’s important that they know that Grace is already there and free.

God also does some kicking of the pennies and the people… He is there to give hope. He sent Jesus for action. God knows you need to seek Him… you have to do it… So do those face-down people.

Keep hope and prayer alive for those folks, when they aren’t praying for themselves. Keep kicking and nudging those pennies. If you have hope, and reach out, maybe they will flip over and reach up too.

Keep praying… Keep hope…

Hmmmm…. Religions, 21MAR – #102

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Hmmmm…. Religions, 21MAR
Why do people adhere to religions? Why do people like rules? I have written about my Catholic youth and my lost religion… I have not regained a new religion that hems me or God in… don’t think I will… Now, don’t get me wrong, I like Methodism of what I have seen off it… but mostly I think I like the people… and that could be said of everything on my life – when I have ever left a workplace I haven’t missed the work a fraction of how I  certainly miss the people – I am a people person – always…

SO – why do people continue in their religions? sometimes we continue things in life for convenience – or rather to not have to do something else – for example I pay $1.99 a month for extra storage on my google account simply because i don’t have time to go search through 5 years of emails etc to remove large photo files – it’s convenient and I don’t feel like changing…

Anyway – life is for living you know… why do we choose a religion in life? or why don’t we re-choose – but so many of us do… i was raised catholic by default… and I know so many who didn’t like going to church – didn’t like the sermons – didn’t like the hypocrisy of religions? (definition: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform) – yeah, i don’t know all what they didn’t like – but i can imagine…. if any of us weren’t following all the rules of the catholic church are we destined to burn in hell? – i would think not… but following the spiritual guidances the Bible shares with us – those are crucial!!!

Hmmmm…. Religions….

Sheds, Snow, Be Still and Know that I AM GOD, 20Mar – #101

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Sheds, Snow, Be Still and Know that I AM GOD, 20Mar

“Be still and know that I am God.”    I think about that scripture a lot… and yet I’ve always thought that doesn’t mean I have to be idle. I was thinking so much about God, about me, about the church, and about bringing people back into the church… and about the conference I’m going to tomorrow about why people leave church.

Maybe we should ask why people stay in church rather than why they leave church. Maybe people are not being fed with spiritual wholesomeness, maybe they just don’t have time for light church activities, maybe they stay when they really feel connected.

If I hadn’t reached out with my faith questions I wonder how long it would have taken for someone to ask me (in love): “Hey there, Debbie, where are you with your faith?”  You know, I think people really had already asked me that, perhaps I really didn’t hear them talking to me!  An early person to whom I told about my faith questioning said something like: “Oh, you are a church leader… we really are not doing a good job of tending to our own are were?”. But well, it’s OK – no one knew – I know that everybody’s busy… it’s not really anyone’s fault…it’s no one’s fault that we are so busy… there’s so many people to attend to….  If I felt the time in the place to question to vocalize my struggles years before, I wonder if I would have done it. It took me awhile to get over this embarrassment of my faith questions. So, who knows where I’d be now…. it was God’s timing – not mine and certainly not anyone elses…. It’s always God’s timing… God took the corrective action on me now, after I was already well established in my church community, so maybe I’m the one that is supposed to now ask you people, you friends, “Where are you in your faith?”

People say read your Bible everyday, I didn’t… I did certainly talk to God everyday and I had just said to myself:  ’well I get devotions emailed to me everyday… I see God everyday… the bible scriptures seem to come to me while I am moving asking on this life… do I really need to pause to read??? I really am only idle when I write…. “… Well it was JUST then, immediately, that God ANSWERED my question. See, I’ve been cleaning out the shed and talking to God….you know idle hands do the Devils work, right? and for me moving hands frees my brain to think, and to talk with myself, and to talk with God. I had just finished getting the shed ready for somebody who is currently homeless and we are going to store some of his stuff. It’s okay we have some room. But that’s NOT why God blessed me in His attentiveness. That’s not why you are blessed. It is not the good works that cause God to give us Grace… We have it already. God made us human to get work done – He gave us two hands, two feet, a brain and He certainly gave us a mouth.   Sometimes we are to use our mouths to comfort and sometimes to keep quiet….when we know that we could say something, but the fact that we don’t speaks more volumes… Maybe we are to ask somebody everyday “where are you in your faith?”  and then shut up and listen..  I had just finished these GOD thoughts when I walking back to the house… it starts SNOWING! I stopped – cold – dead in my tracks. God, I really stopped, I was truly shaken to a stop… for two maybe three minutes looking at the small precious unique snowflakes.

Stopped IDLE in my tracks… looked up in tears and said:  “Thank you God, for the snow….Thank you God, for listening to me… Why did you choose me to witness your glory? Thank you God… for making me still and know that YOU ARE GOD.

Be STILL and KNOW that I AM GOD.

WOODSTOCK, Journey Back to the Garden, 19MAR – #100

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Music therapy has been so profound for me this whole journey… this week alone probably three or four songs… this month probably 20 or more…. this last three months maybe 100 – or more – i won’t get to write about all of them – maybe I will start a separate chapter for them…

But today this song is me. WOODSTOCK

WOODSTOCK, Journey Back to the Garden, 19MAR

Joni Mitchell never made it Woodstock in 1969, she had to get on the Dick Cavett show, it was so important for her career so she could not risk getting stuck there with the millions and the mud.  But she wrote this song for her comrades in song, CSN, as well as for herself: “WOODSTOCK”.

Joni Mitchell is my favorite female artist my favorite female songwriter. I invoke not only my Joni Mitchell hair but I so feel myself in so many of her pieces. I didn’t make it to Woodstock, either, I was born the year of Woodstock, 1969. For the 25th anniversary I turned 25 and my friend Bruce (who was at Woodstock) felt so old…  but that is life – we all join this journey at different times of man.

As I am journeying – everything in this song calls out to me:   “I came upon a child of God he was walking along the road and I asked him where are you going?”   Please read ALL the lyrics below because they really pertain to me – they all so mean so much…

I have met so many “child of God” folks walking… journeying… making their way to Woodstock.. making their way back to the garden. I have connected with so many of them on so many levels…

So many references in this song: “a child of God in a rock and roll band” – yep I know him – i know her – (actually quite a few hims and hers);

“Trying to get my soul free” – we have to actually try to achieve this – yes there is Grace – but we have to accept it.

“Can i walk beside you?” – yes, i had to call out for help for prayer for discernment and for learning…the Holy Spirit moved in and thru me… a wild ride;

Getting ourselves “golden” –  yep that’s the Kintsukuroi sermon piece from Pastor – about showing our flaws where God has repaired then with golden healing as an example to others – we are more beautiful because of these golden repairs;

The “butterflies” – yep that’s something my friend is looking for as a sign;

Being “stardust” –  so much stargazing in my life and my essays these days – and the comfort from the stars is amazing – and the dust? yup – for dust you are and to dust you will return;

“I don’t know who I am but life is for learning” –  me me me;

“bombers turning into butterflies” – that’s world peace –  always a prayer;

“getting back to the garden” – a devotional teaching piece that Pastor used this month for my UMW meeting – I thought he meant the garden of Gethsemane but no – the garden of Eden (see, I need education and reflection so much);

and are “WE caught in the devil’s bargain” ? –  you better believe we are!!!  That’s why we are all journeying –  walking along the road back to the garden.

I have always loved this song –  now I know it’s me..

Do you think you could come walk with me? I could use the company…

I think we will get back to the garden – just not in our time here on earth – but we will get there…in God’s time… if we keep walking…

———————–

“WOODSTOCK”

JONI MITCHELL

I came upon a child of God

He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going
And this he told me…
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m gonna try and get my soul free

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who l am
But ya know life is for learning,

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

We are stardust
Billion-year-old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

——–

videos i recommend: a 1970 live  https://youtu.be/cRjQCvfcXn0 version

and many years later  https://youtu.be/ZEaRuuTKvyM

 

 

OH LOVE, 19MAR – #99

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OH LOVE, 19MAR

LOVE is the greatest commandment… Period. You can’t get around that one. Yelling is not the greatest commandment. Cajoling is not the greatest commandment. Teaching is not the greatest commandment. Praising is not the greatest commandment. Listening is not the greatest commandment.

No. There’s only one greatest commandment.

LOVE is the greatest commandment.

When I found the Holy Spirit working on me that’s when I had spurts of spiritual growth. A multi multi-faceted God means many levels of spiritual growth… achieved over the course of time… in God’s time… It’s God’s way for each person to find Him, not our way. Pray they will fine their own way… Praise the people who demonstrate LOVE, for it is these people that demonstrate the Holy Spirit. You have no idea whether the Holy Spirit is being successful in already working on people.  Sometimes demonstrating LOVE can be very difficult because we want to shake them into realization that God is good.  But please remember that sometimes the Holy Spirit come in a whisper…. not always with flames and fierce winds… It’s the whisper that will open their hearts open their minds and save their souls. It’s God’s timing, combined with our LOVE.

Let the Son Rise, 19MAR – #98

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This is going to be my first Easter as a Christian, in spirit and in truth… my truth … God’s truth… now that I truly believe. I want to be at that sunrise service and feel this… God heard this piece before I wrote it – but it is Easter – my first real one –  and I need to feel the profoundness of my first Easter.  Lots of three’s in this piece and I want to be at three services. Arise at the sunrise, mediate at the 9 and sing out in exuberant joyful praise at 11.

I am in such joy and feel so empowered  that I feel guilty that I don’t feel the pain of Jesus’ death – I see His pain – but I feel the joy in His rising…  but chatting this week with my friend who is piecing her life back together from a total crash, I can see her struggle and journey in picking up the pieces to learn how to rise again…  I can also see the pain in my cousin Mike’s life – not his death which was instant – but in the pain with which he struggled so much thru his life – and yet I know he was a good soul…. I can feel his smile in every southern drawl I have conversed with i the last 2 days…and  i know he is cracking up St Peter at the Gates right now…

I know the pain is there for so many in everyday life …..  I pray for them to rise…. but I know they have to rip their own curtains from their eyes and see the glory in life…

 

Let the Son Rise, 19MAR

I believe Jesus existed not only as a human but as a facet of God here on earth.

I believe Jesus came to save me from me. Why am I so lucky? Because I am blessed.

I believe that we are all so blessed.

Why are we so blessed?

Why did we need this human facet of God?

Why did we need His birth and then His death???

Time to ponder.

Time to believe.

Time for Jesus.

I Believe that I needed a catalyst of change, a Prince of Peace, a Savior..

Yes, I believe that WE needed a catalyst of change, a Prince of Peace, a Savior.

Was it a Savior to rescue us from the world? Was it a Savior to rescue us just from evil in others?  No.  In truth, Jesus came as a Savior to SAVE US from OURSELVES.

Jesus is our Savior from our misguided past, our boastful present, our uncertain future. We need Jesus as God to show us how to rip the curtains that we stitch ourselves, in our own lives, that we use to shield us from God’s plan for us. We mask our truth, we shield our eyes from the brilliance of the Son Jesus…we stitch that curtain right back up…We need to rip those stitches out and see the brilliance of the SON of GOD.

The brilliance of the sunshine rising in the east reminds us that every day is a new start, a new opportunity to do God’s divine work, to listen and feel the Holy Spirit move us, and to witness the power of the human Jesus rise. Three facets of God. Three days to rise. Three ways to affirm our belief.

A new day. Each day. EVERYDAY! Rip the curtains from our minds. Rip the curtains from covering our eyes. Rip the strings we tie our hearts down with. Let them all free to believe, to see, to feel.   Let yourself RISE with the Son. Let yourself free to believe that Jesus rises for you, to feel the empowerment of God over the burdens of self.

We have an opportunity to be of service to God’s will – to use Jesus as an example – to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  We CAN rise!  We CAN rise AGAIN! WE CAN RISE EVERYDAY !!!

We have the opportunity EVERYDAY to say “Thank you God for the opportunity to be of service!”

Every new day a new chance to rise with the SUNRISE – to RISE with the SON.

Every new day a new chance to rise to our full potential and glory.

Every new day can be our Easter – we can believe – we can be Jesus – TODAY!

Amen, Amen and Amen

Cousins in Christ, Blood and Blood, 17MAR – #97

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Such an important piece – I love the connection God put in my head about “Cousins in Christ”!!!

Cousins in Christ, Blood and Blood, 17MAR

Yesterday I felt so glad to get some “unfinished” writings out… Because I told myself that I was now going to fill my mind with things that I (with a capital I) wanted to fill it with….that I asked God to empty my mind – and yes He did…  and I did get about 3 hours of real work work done in the morning.

… and then God filled my brain, unexpectedly, in the afternoon with the thoughts HE wanted me to have – and HE filled my mind with actions and connections and LOVE.  Not my mind anymore is it? – it’s HIS…. sigh…  a new normal… I will try to remember this always… I am God’s instrument… tune Him in, not out… God… sigh….

So my beloved cousin Mike died on Saturday, he was mid 50’s… I learned via Facebook (of all places), someone posted on his wall RIP.  I said “wait what??”, I messaged that person and was trying to balance my fear with my disbelief – turns out Mike dropped dead instantly in a bank from a nearly 100% blockage from heart disease – with complications from diabetes and not taking care of himself – which very few of us do….  Heart disease and diabetes and stroke are our Irish destinies – our whole family struggles…

My flood of emotions – sorrow and questions – we hadn’t talked in years – couldn’t get a hold of him – but we loved each other – all my cousins – we love each other even if we don’t connect… we are connected by Grace and by our family tree.

Well, God filled me with sorrow first but then with so much action.  He chose ME to start spreading the news – I have the connections to the whole family – I had to get the word out, as my mother’s generation would have – it is now my generation’s job…    I spent the whole afternoon and into the evening on the phone, only to look up at 7:30pm, when the people locking up work said “it’s time to go”…  I spent the whole afternoon on the phone and email and texting with my cousins – there are 23 of us third generation Irish.  My cousin Mike was an only child – the first one to pass of our first cousin generation. We stem from 6 brothers and their amazing 6 wives (my father being the youngest) – the number of children are 23 AND then of course the marriages and children and grandchildren of our cousins – we have exploded across the US and are spreading family love and spiritness everywhere.  Yes, we are a family of Leprechauns if there ever was one!!!.   So God filled my mind with memories and the love of my cousins –  the best family gift ever!

If people ask where I draw my strength – that is an easy easy answer – I draw it from my family – and there is an overflow of strength…

Oh, I just made the biggest epiphany about my church family…not lightbulb epiphany but big fireworks going off epiphany…

My church family, I love them so much, I just realized they are NOT my brothers and sisters in Christ they are my “Cousins in Christ” !!! God’s love is so reflected in the love of cousins. Just because I don’t know them all yet, and they come from different backgrounds (and I want to know them all more), doesn’t mean I don’t already love them. Our ancestors would tell us to love them even if we don’t know then.

Cousins. Some are distant and some are close. Some are lost. Some are found. Some are blind. Some can see.

Some of us as cousins don’t get connected until God Himself connects us… maybe WE are their connection… maybe they’ll find their own connection. Maybe we just need to remind them that we are all connected.

My mother’s family cousins are in the Czech Republic… I am SO longing to see them… I will see them next week. I will embrace them. I was the one that God picked to make the connection between the Old World and the New World.  God gave me the gifts to make this connection, I simply pulled on a string that God dangled in front of me.

God gave me a ministry of connection. A ministry of encouragement, someone once told me… of friendliness… actually I think it is a MINISTRY OF CONNECTIONS. I will make the connections. I will write about connections. I will connect to my words and thoughts and I will connect my people to their God and all that is good.

Blood relative cousins ….Blood cousins in Christ …

Life is good.
God is good.
God, Thank You for my cousins. All of them.
God, Thank You for connecting me to You.
I believe in making connections.
AMEN!

4 unfinished but important pieces, March, #96

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Well, I made it through the Ides of March – not that I really thought that something bad would happen but my thought process was ready – it’s just that i was not sure if i was Julius Caesar or was Brutus – so I tried to be extra careful in my interactions at church anyway…

I don’t think God woke me up this 3AM – but now that i am up, I have been thinking about these unfinished pieces,   from feb and march – i have to get these out and released (unfinished because I never try to force my writing – i didn’t choose to have to write these – but I do choose consciously to process my thoughts this way) – maybe I won’t ever finish these – maybe I don’t need too…  God already listened to the thoughts that i couldn’t get down on “paper” fast enough – so here they are mostly uncut and raw…

*****  this is a long email – don’t read it all at once – there are 4 essays here – I think almost 7 pages in text *******    AND these pieces are separate  – they are just lumped together as the “unfinished ones” ******* I trimmed my list of people…. there are “just” 20 of you trusted folks on this email… not the 70 of “normal” emails ….. *******

I’ve got to release these unfinished pieces because i need to put them out of my mind – i need clarity…  it is a brand new week and I have SO MUCH to do before i take a trip overseas to the Europe in a week’s time…   I need to get these thoughts out of my head  – stop the distractions – i need to finish the taxes (well to the accountant anyway), lots at work to do at work before vacation, and got to do those ten things that I keep re-writing on the back of my hand…  plus all those new things I want to do – like sew, pack, dream, and write…  oh and maybe get more than 6 hrs sleep at night…. I want my 8 hours back…

Well – when my cup overflows it means my mouth does too  – and my writings – and in addition, yesterday, i overflowed my sink – running water for probably ten minutes, oops.  I started cooling boiled eggs for deviled eggs and walked away – a frying pan at the bottom of the sink stoppered the drain and ten minutes later my kitchen was half covered in water – like 8 giant bath towels worth of water – one way to clean the floor – but also a reminder that distractions are going to be a downside of this spiritual growth….  I won’t mention all the distractions I have because my daughter was fuming yesterday that I would post too much info about my day to day life – including my water flood on the internet…  well, she has no idea…..  sorry kid…..  so – do me a favor and don’t mention that I email you folks all this stuff – don’t tell her that i have been releasing my “journaling” – she is living the ughs of teenager life already….. don’t need to add fuel to the fire….

These four collective unfinished vignettes are called “Distractions/Unfinished Pieces: Mud,  Discernment, The Devil, and Mad Man Moon, 16MAR”

1) Unfinished: Mud:  (written just after GC camping and muddy fun trails – and not finished due to a distraction – )

The Subaru, the Mud, and BEING a Christian, 16MAR

Stepping out in a Christian way takes patience, perseverance, and sometimes full throttle acceleration thru MUD.
If people wait on the Lord, if they are adhering to “Be Still” to know that God is God, then why should we come in as that clanging gong, an air horn trying to wake them up…  Although it is great to toot the horn of Jesus – you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar…

But sometimes you so have to step out in a big way… put that accelerator down…plow forward knowing that you will get splashed with mud…
Subaru Forester mud… LOVE IT
That’s what that car was made for…  out in the forest… out in the mud….
That’s what Christians were made for…out in the world… out in the mud…

You don’t have to be physically still to hear God – nope – God loves Mud…  Driving, singing, in a room of screaming kids, doing dishes, yup – you can “Be Still” there –  God is there too – Just because you can’t feel the earth moving doesn’t mean that it isn’t – just watch the sunrise or the sun set or the moon rise and you can visually see that the earth is moving.

See how big the moon or sun size appears when it is closer to the horizon than when it is high in the sky? It is the trick of the horizon and the angles of the light waves that hit your eyes – the trick on your perception when you know that the sun and the moon are of only one size…  your perception will change everything – everything you see – everything you hear – and that means that everyone else has their own perception too…

Some will challenge you… both non-believers and believers will challenge your beliefs – both will test your mettle – both will want to see you in mud while they stay squeaky clean…

You can’t brow beat the Bible into someone – you can’t “stand” on the bible –  I don’t like that image of a Bible under your feet – I would rather have the image of people lifting the bible up with their hands with their mouths…   instead of standing on the Bible – you can stand on your experiences – tell of the blessings you have seen from God – you can stand on history and facts – and you can stand on your hope – all while lifting the bible up – lifting up the stories of redemption – the stories of perseverance – and extol the joys of Love and Grace – free to all.

Sometime you have to challenge yourself – and step out – and put your Christian mettle on display – and embrace your fear and just go for it… accelerate into that flooded, mucky territory that people are afraid to go…

MUD – you will get covered in it as a Christian – if you are doing it right… and you will LOVE IT!


2) Unfinished:

Compartmentalization and Discernment 16 MAR

How is Bill Murray funny?  How is he funny after one of his best buddies dies? Harold Ramis (Stripes, Ghostbusters, director of Groundhog Day) was brilliant, funny, and it’s seems so unfair for him to have died young…how does someone like Bill Murray get over his friends death and still continue to be funny. I bet he compartmentalizes.

Why do I sit I the edge of my chair, holding my tongue until the right opportunity arises too tell my story… I have to keep discernment… I have to wait for the right conversations, for the ebb and flow… I have to know my audience… I have to fit in with “normal” even when things don’t feel normal. And sometimes moments are just normal everyday moments and not special moments… sometimes a cloud that looks like a peace dove is just a cloud and not a miraculous sign that the whole world is supposed to take notice of…sometimes mopping the floor is just a task, not a miracle. Discernment…I pray for that everyday…

I think I always knew how to compartmentalize, separate sad thoughts from happy, tragedies from triumphs, put thoughts in my brain to draws upon but also to separate… right before I was “planning” to be inspiring and energetic at my UMW meeting, a friend told me of a terrible and yet swept under the rug tragedy… It WAS important for her to share that info –  and it WAS relevant to the situation, and it DID actually bring me down to a normal level instead of way off the diving board…which really I did need…I needed to compartmentalize my over-exuberance, store it for a bit, and address the issue at hand.


3) Unfinished:
The Devil, 16MAR

Just as I wrote in my Lego piece (18DEC) – I have gathered bits of the bible lessons – the parable of the sower is a great way to describe people I know – and it is a way for me to start this discussion that i need to have about the devil – I hesitate to even say the name  – and even though I agree that you can’t pick and choose the parts of  the bible that pertain to you – I am not sure I ever really understood the devil in the biblical way  – this parable talks of little birds stealing seeds – that might be the devil image of my choosing – that the devil is an opportunist – just taking what he can get when you aren’t paying attention – taking and stealing joy…  I feel though that i have fought the devil well in my own life and journey – I have put him down for years – chastised him – and stomped my foot down and said no to those little opportunistic birds – they scatter and I pick up the seeds from the sower and saved them for another day…
… I used to wonder what attracted me to the song “A Case of You”  Joni Mitchell – “Oh I am a lonely painter. I live in a box of paints. I’m frightened by the devil. And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid.”

I always interpreted that to be me – (and not just because I enjoy my Joni Mitchell hair) – but that is me being drawn to those fun rebel-rousers – those bad boys – those tantalizing adventures that might await….   BUT, no, I was also afraid of those folks too – and too much of a control freak to let myself go down those paths…  yeah – maybe a fun thought – but no…

well – I am changing my tune – I realize that I am now drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid – because these people I speak of now – in my new balance and my new appreciation – are the people who don’t fear the devil because they are wearing the armor of GOD. SO many people are so gifted – and the number of people who are so beautifully led by God’s Holiest of Spirits is an inspiration to me…
If the devil is in the eye of the beholder – then there is a vast difference in how people relate to him – I know of a few who are like the seeds sown in thorns and the thorns choke out the good – is this the devil too?  or not?   is it simply the bitterness due to self-absorbed thoughts?  I don’t know…  perhaps hell on earth is the lack of pruning away the thorns inside of us…  ask God to sharpen your shears…

In preparation for valentines, I saw too many Lucifer sun catchers at the dollar store compared to the cupids… the devil pieces were moving so fast – twice the speed of the cupids and that was so sad to me – and yet the devil pieces were only being powered by the sun – so they too are not even allowed to take the credit for their own movements……  it is the torment in our lives between the pull of the cupid pure love and the temptations of Lucifer – I never really believed in the devil much – but now I do – you can’t pick and choose what you believe out of the bible – you have to accept the devil if you accept Jesus…  and watch out – the devil can creep up on you…..  but if you can praise the multitudes of blessings from God, then you have less time to worry about and get distracted from the seeds of the devil in your head….

some scripture:
>
> Mark 4:1-20 The Parable of the Sower
>
> 1 Corinthians 12 New International Version (NIV)
>
> Concerning Spiritual Gifts
>
> 12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
>
> Ephesians 6:10-20. Spiritual battle.
>
> 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. Satan’s deceptive spiritual nature.
>
> John 4:22-26. God is spirit.

—–
4) Unfinished:   Mad Man Moon – this Genesis song (full lyrics below) is my favorite on the Trick of the Tail album (I return to this album almost everyday for a snippet of relief and distraction from the hectic life) – I don’t know what this song really means  – I don’t know why it is my favorite – all these meaty 7 to 10 minutes genesis songs (pre-MTV generation and certainly before they worried about 3 minute airplay) are super cryptic and the authors doesn’t lend any official info – well, this song is a warning to me – about something – I don’t know…

Maybe Man Man Moon is about my worrying of my river flood of spiritual growth drying up – or someone or myself damming it up?  “Was it summer when the river ran dry, Or was it just another dam.”  Maybe it is worrying about taking off with the lack of discernment in a hubris display of excessive pride of defiance – this is what I pray for the most – discernment – between my holy spirit and blarney stone derived words and actions…  I see hubris creep up on me… I worry about conversations i am not ready to have – about forcing conversations and issues that should rest…  i wait for God’s timing but i am on such a speedy pace – I don’t know why….
….Well, “So I pretended to have wings for my arms, And took off in the air. I flew to places which the clouds never see, Too close to the deserts of sand, Where a thousand mirages, the shepherds of lies, Forced me to land and take a disguise. I would welcome a horse’s kick to send me back, If I could find a horse not made of sand.”
…It’s a warning- i know it is….  I pray for discernent and not to go here… “If this desert’s all there’ll ever be, Then tell me what becomes of me. “

“A fall of rain? Within the valley of shadowless death, They pray for thunderclouds and rain, But to the multitude who stand in the rain, Heaven is where the sun shines.”

whew – I hope I can prevent this  – I hope my mouth never causes my river to run dry….
>
> Genesis – Mad Man Moon https://youtu.be/IQ_U4XkAarE
>
> Mad Man Moon
>
> Was it summer when the river ran dry,
>
> Or was it just another dam.
>
> When the evil of a snowflake in June
>
> Could still be a source of relief.
>
> O how I love you, I once cried long ago,
>
> But I was the one who decided to go.
>
> To search beyond the final crest,
>
> Though I’d heard it said just birds could dwell so high.
>
>
>
> So I pretended to have wings for my arms
>
> And took off in the air.
>
> I flew to places which the clouds never see,
>
> Too close to the deserts of sand,
>
> Where a thousand mirages, the shepherds of lies
>
> Forced me to land and take a disguise.
>
> I would welcome a horse’s kick to send me back
>
> If I could find a horse not made of sand.
>
>
>
> If this desert’s all there’ll ever be
>
> Then tell me what becomes of me.
>
> A fall of rain?
>
> That must have been another of your dreams,
>
> A dream of mad man moon.
>
>
>
> Hey man,
>
> I’m the sand man.
>
> And boy have I news for you;
>
> They’re gonna throw you in gaol
>
> And you know they can’t fail
>
> ’cause sand is thicker than blood.
>
> But a prison in sand
>
> Is a haven in hell,
>
> For a gaol can give you a goal
>
> [and a] goal can find you a role
>
> On a muddy pitch in Newcastle,
>
> Where it rains so much
>
> You can’t wait for a touch
>
> Of sun and sand, sun and sand…
>
>
>
> Within the valley of shadowless death
>
> They pray for thunderclouds and rain,
>
> But to the multitude who stand in the rain
>
> Heaven is where the sun shines.
>
> The grass will be greener till the stems turn to brown
>
> And thoughts will fly higher till the earth brings them down.
>
> Forever caught in desert lands one has to learn
>
> To disbelieve the sea.
>
>
>
> If this desert’s all there’ll ever be
>
> Then tell me what becomes of me.
>
> A fall of rain?
>
> That must have been another of your dreams,
>
> A dream of mad man moon.

Pi Day Eve, 13MAR – #95

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95

Pi Day Eve, 13MAR

It’s not Friday the 13th, it’s “PI Day Eve”…. Tomorrow is Pi day of this 21st century….  .3 14 15, at 9:26 AM. Are you ready? I am will be ready but been kinda busy…. This year I have been so involved in God sighting and writings, and oh yeah….working full time an hour away and raising kids, being a wife, running a house, and helping the school play and girl scouts and running church committees and…. ? You name it…

See I have all my holidays mixed in together, not mixed up, but mixed in…. I am going to hang Easter eggs on my Christmas light outside…seems fitting…you wouldn’t have Easter without Christmas…  Pi Day – just an extra joy to add into the mix.

Ok PI Day for PI 3.1415926…..it’s a constant, a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. IT”S COOL….no matter how geeky you are, you have to admire mathematical constants, they always are consistent and they always are right, and they always are cool….

Oh yeah, can you think of something else like that? Yes, I can!!!

That constant is God.

God’s a constant, a life constant…no matter how you divide God… God Jesus Holy Spirit…  God remains a constant in our lives…IT”S COOL….no matter how happy/sad you are, you have to admire God as a constant, always consistent and always right…

Thanks Be to God!

I AM the Experiment, 12Mar – #94

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94

I AM the Experiment, 12Mar

It is becoming more and more clear to me every day that I am God’s experiment.

It’s not that I have to experiment with God. But, He is having fun experimenting with me and my friends. I think it is because i am taking all this in stride and in fun and that I am accepting that the signs I see are for my benefit and not for my distraction.

I have been trying to read this book (and I don’t like read for fun), called E squared by Pam Grout, for my neighbors “life improvement club”. Now I know it sounded a bit hokey to me, but you know when a neighbor opens the door, says walk right in, and she really helps me with my exercising, my diet, and has just a great life energy…. well, you know we should ALL be so lucky to be in this club and to have a open-door neighbor like that!…. So I’ve been trying to read this book and every week looking up the “experiment”. So, one experiment this week… with a wire in a clothes hanger and feeling energy… well I didn’t do that – not just because it sounds hokey – but because i didn’t like that the quote at the top of the page was from a debunked plant scientist whose experiment showing plants hooked up to polygraph tests have emotional energies when you do bad things to them… well, no… my professors for my Plant Biology PhD degree would talk of how that guy was debunked – bad controls – so there! silly book – really??…. That said – the experiment was to show “i have my own energy”. My own energy? – GEEZ- I actually got that one covered!. “show yourself that you are a force of energy… and then that energy will attract things and people to you …” “Well duh!!!” !!!! God’s been giving me energy beyond the already amazing energy I already had even before this great spiritual growth… even before I had so many people gravitate to me for some energy – my friend even rubbed my arm to see if she could transfer it. Well – it’s energy from God inside us!!! The light comes from God and we have to open ourselves to let it shine through! That’s where we get the energy, my friends! My friends call me a “Soul on Fire” and matched me to the new Third Day praise music song – two of these friends sent me the you tube link within 20 minutes of each other and when i sent it to a third friend, that friend has also had just purchased that whole album in the same time frame – wow – triple wow…. a fourth friend sent me the whole you tube play list yesterday – it’s energy flowing back and forth from all sides – music therapy is my theme this week anyway… so it fits….its energy not for our personal benefit – even though we certainly reap plenty of benefits from it – it is energy for the benefit of others who get to share in it!

Anyway – so i am that experiment – check the box – energy accepted and flowing….
The other experiment… I flipped to that page on my electronic smartphone version that speaks the book to me while i drive – ain’t that convenient?! I said okay I’m going to try this because i wasn’t going to do the other one and I hate looking unprepared at any meeting… My neighbor told us this one takes 2 days to do. You are supposed to pick something that you want to notice every day…. anyway the experiment for this chapter is that I am to notice something that you just haven’t been paying attention to… like look for a certain color car and then start counting how many you see. Because once you make the intention to look for something – you know all of a sudden your eyes are opened to amazing sights – umm……. “DUH!!”……. An activity I have enjoyed for years – that annoys my family – is that i call out EVERY Subaru Forester I see! Did I tell you that I love my Subaru Foresters? Yeah – unless your eyes and ears are welded shut, you should have picked up on that by now… Well, guess what? That experiment IS me… I have actually been doing a brand new version of this experiment for the last 3 months too – intentionally?!? I don’t know… I’ve been noticing box-shaped cars – cars that on back the end look like they are cubes with sharp ends. I think multiple reasons for this one is that 1) I love my boxy-shaped Subaru Forester EXCEPT what I don’t like is every model that comes out now is getting less and less box-like in the back…. 2) my then boyfriend and I while dating in college both admired the brand new Jeep Cherokees that had that very boxy look… 3) I’ve been noticing these Ford “Transit” trucks that are just so cute… same with the “cube” cars with boxy rounded edges and 4) it probably doesn’t hurt that a major god-sighting that happened to me three months ago involved a boxy car – after my initial contact to that first friend to discuss my faith issues, that friend said “let’s talk soon” and less than 10 hours later he was directly across the street when I was driving out of my section, he was getting his car repaired and I noticed his car…. And he said to himself: “I think that’s Deb’s car” – So – you see – perhaps it is not me noticing these God-sightings – perhaps it is my car… hmmm…..no, it’s me… Well anyway, in the last 3 months, I notice EVERY one of these boxy cars and i look for them – maybe a hundred or more – yeah this experiment was already in progress in me – BECAUSE THE EXPERIMENT IS ME!!!!

God must experiment with lots of people – probably everyone right? Just I got clued in on this – and probably because I am supposed to do something with this knowledge and observation right??? I was thinking about writing this piece while driving – and I saw this cool green colored CUBE car (green is the color of the month if you didn’t already catch that). I noticed the car in the right lane on the turnpike and it had a bumper sticker of the “Lady of Guadalupe”. This is my favorite version of artwork of Mary!!! I have a beat up card of her somewhere in my purse –

I am a recovering Catholic, OK? So i really miss having Mary- she disappears in the protestant church – except for at Christmas – even my mentor professor (who is Jewish) when I was an undergrad in my summers back home, had a gorgeous famous painting in his living room of Mary.

Yes when I saw that Lady of Guadalupe on that car I said “yep, I have to write this today” – I AM the experiment – and I couldn’t be more pleased. I think God picked me to be an experiment in this manner because I’m having so much fun being open to the way the Holy Spirit flows…

And my friends are having so much fun with it too! I see my friends also becoming souls on fire.

Of course – I am not naive enough to think that this is always going to be fun and games.. There is pain here too – just less fun to write about…. Today, I also saw a square box truck right in front of me – it was a casket manufacturer’s truck… When you see those trucks – or a funeral progression – it reminds you of your mortality. I think God has to remind us that it ain’t all fun and games here – but don’t worry after you are done on Earth, He has a better place… I drive thousands of miles each year – 13 years 90 miles round trip each day to work – I am so clear that driving is VERY dangerous. Sometimes I do wonder how will I meet my end… will it be in a
fiery crash? I’m not trying to get depressing here, but if I do meet an untimely
death – please have balloons at my funeral! i want to be remembered for happiness and cheer.

I do not want to be cremated because my friend told me soon as you die you have a few loose ends to tie up, so don’t get cremated. I would like Amazing Grace sung at my funeral (sang it at my wedding and I’ve been singing it ever since) and it is AMAZING all the GRACE the people of the world have. Also – i would like real silverware – paper plates are fine, but I want real silverware for the lunch afterwards. OK? That’s not too much to ask for, right? Anyway, I will steer clear of those casket trucks in the meantime – and I will continue to be God’s experiment
for his enjoyment… And I will continue to write, and to be a witness for my friends about how much fun it is to be an experimental soul on fire.

Have a Blessed day! I am certainly having one every day – we all are – we just don’t recognize it all the time…it’s fun when you do…

93 emails about my awakening story presentation (#92)

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emails about my awakening story presentation (#92) – #93

93A)

On Mar 11, 11:33 AM, “Pastor” > wrote:

Like some of us!

From: debbie
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 11:21 AM
Subject: Oh s….

I poured some of the extra grape juice onto the soda bread from last night to moisten it up this morning and it didn’t soak in it for like a minute….
I said “holy you know what”….that bread unleavened by God is so dense, it doesn’t absorb Jesus blood….oh s…..

yeast soda bread juice

93B)

On Mar 12, 10:59 AM, “R” < > wrote:

Thanks so much for this Debbie, Love the Irish soda bread analogy.

So beautiful how God is using you and you are allowing your spirit to overflow to all of us!

Love,

R

 

My Condensed Story for UMW presentation, My Conversation from Soda Bread to Yeast-Leavened 10MAR – #92

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92 My condensed story for presentation

Here is my text for telling my story to my first mixed audience …at umw… half who have been reading my story and the other half whom I haven’t had a chance to tell yet… Obviously still a safe audience for me to step out in, I always say I could just go up there and smile and these ladies would be happy, I am so blessed to have the support I have, just existing makes these ladies happy and proud … how could you ask for anything else. Makes it easy to stand there each month… And now I move from being a good meeting leader to being the spiritual leader I need to be, the spiritual leader God wants me to be.

> ———- Forwarded message ———-
> From: “debbie”
> Date: Mar 10, 5:28 PM

My Condensed Story for UMW Presentation, My Conversation from Soda Bread to Yeast-Leavened, 10MAR

While preparing for Communion this evening at UMW – i remembered back to a couple of years ago when i forgot to purchase the bread – oops – well luckily i had made irish soda bread for the snack that night (was a recipe from my non-Irish but east European-heritage mom) – luckily we still were able to break bread with Pastor. So, yesterday, preparing for today I thought – I wonder if I should make Irish soda bread?  I checked with Pastor and he said sure – if there was enough time to make it  – well I never have enough time for anything – but I have learned how to make time – so I made some bread this morning – couldn’t find the recipe – but i got one off the web that said  “on St. Patrick’s Day, save a spot on the table for Irish soda bread to remember how far the Irish have come from the days when it was the only thing on the table to today when our tables are filled with good things to eat and thoughts of the Famine years (An Gorta Mor) are long forgotten.”

Yes – we shouldn’t forget how far we have all come from our famine years – but for me that meant something different – it also means I forgot that yeast bread is traditional for communion

Yes – i remembered that I taught a Sunday school class not too long ago that used yeast as an example – used it for the living organism used to make bread and wine – and that Jesus was living and he was the one we are to remember when we break the communion bread –

The act of communion is to remember the last supper and the time just before Jesus was crucified, died and was risen – all for us – for each and every one of us…  see Jesus was sent by God to show us the way to Heaven and to show us the way to Peace here on Earth – by LOVE – the greatest commandment is LOVE

Well, I knew that – but I forgot that – and i forgot that until i was thinking about irish soda bread… i forgot that  Sunday school lesson of using yeast bread as an example of Jesus.  and baking soda is man-made – not alive…  Irish soda bread represents man-made leavening… not God-made leavening…

Well, I also taught you a bible timeline and used yeast as an example of Jesus as a catalyst – where the addition of yeast to hydrogen peroxide and dish soap caused it to foam and overflow – and that this related to the spread of Christianity – that God sent Jesus to be the catalyst for change – to make the reaction go faster…  and now I am going to tell you that when i taught that experiment about a year or more ago – that that experiment changed me – not just the chemicals – but it actually changed me –

Yes – that experiment is how I became a Christian…  now, please believe me that I always loved God – and I even believed in the Holy Spirit – but I had a mental hang-up on whether Jesus was real – yeah i know, your president of UMW – a Sunday school teacher – person in charge of vacation bible school – I didn’t know if Jesus was really real – i didn’t know if he existed – if he was just another prophet with a good publicist…  none of this cast doubt on God – but i doubted man-made stories – how could i really trust the new testament to be real..

Well – that yeast experiment opened my brain and I said – hmm…  maybe God did send Jesus to be the catalyst of change – and i meditated on that – I prayed – i started to ask questions of my own belief system – you see – I had most everything in my head – but i didn’t’ accept it – i had it in my heart – but I didn’t allow my brain to believe it – and I was stuck – I needed help – i questioned myself – and I questioned a few trusted souls…  and one day – three months ago today – Dec 10th – I wrote a 5 page diatribe out – I only shared it with one person – whom I asked to be non-judgmental- someone whom I listened to guest sermons from – in the safe sanctuary of my car – sermons that touched my heart AND my head – and made me think – and he always said at the end – “Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, to be changed by the Holy Spirit” – and offered at the end of the sermons to pray with you if you had any questions and movement in your heart…. so well, I took him up on that offer – and I sent him my 5 page diatribe – carried it out of embarrassment for a week hidden in my car and then I got up the nerve and sent it as well as two other pieces, Christmas Flood (Dec 17th) and Lego Christianity (Dec 18th), to him – and soon he replied that it was “very honest and intense in a good way” and that we would talk soon – and guess what? – literally the NEXT morning I pulled out of my section from a completely different entrance onto the main road and guess who was right across the street at the car repair shop – outside? Yup, our cars recognized each other -there he was… God placed him there I am sure… And in our 10 minute conversation, and in one a few days later…in those conversations I was able to be so honest about how I did not question God but I questioned what man may have made up… questioned what I believed in… that started a month of continued conversations with so many people from all sides of my life… including both scholars who showed me the data and the writings of the new testament…this led me down and up the narrow path…right into Jesus.

Yeah – that started a series of God-sightings, unexplained interventions in my spiritual life – Christmas – a flood of good things – i had so much going on that i had to figure out how to process this all – and I started to write – and guess what? I haven’t stopped writing since – I have written and written – I have over 150 pages – Dec/Jan is all processing and Feb is all praise…  March is more processing and praise.

I have listened in my car to so many sermons (both from our guest sermonist and from Pastor (whose sermons do speak to me now – so differnt than before because my ears were CLOSED) and now I listen to others sermons, and of course praise songs in my car – my Subaru, that is my temple – I have read and studied the bible in it – especially when a verse of a song points me there… I listen to all the clues God places in my path. I am in a feeding frenzy – I have shared with first one person and then three and then a dozen – and now 100. I must say that my biggest vocal pep band leader-cheerleader – you name it …to reply to EVERY single one of my early essays – all 150 pages – was/is Pastor S…she has encouraged me like no other. And “K”, my pocket counselor, had been the most carefully conscious and concerned for me…truly a great friend…

and then, finally, on Jan 25th- I finally got a quiet moment to talk to Pastor – and he said “I KNEW!!”  – you cannot imagine how blown away I was…  what a joy for both of us! And that joy continues … New conversations, about faith, science, relationships,  I am, we are, so blessed with an amazing Pastor!

With an original admission that was embarrassment and questioning – I grew into a sincere seeker – and GOD IS GOOD – He is so good – he has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams ever since – the small miracles and god-sightings i have seen – I have been a part of – well, I don’t’ have time to tell you everything now – but Praise the Lord, I have been writing them!

Yes, over 150 pages for this story. I would be glad to send the whole packet to anyone.

I am not embarrassed now to tell my story…I have been empowered to tell it- –

I have been put here for a reason – and I don’t know why this was God’s timing – – I am 45 years old… God said now is your time to shine, so let’s fix this, let’s throw so many God sightings your way that you have no choice but to believe, and no choice but to tell your story, which is really God’s story, not mine.

When God put a mountain right in front of me and told me it was time to climb – well I had no choice to go anywhere else – I had to start climbing – I had to accept that this is where God was taking me -from skeptical cynic to sincere seeker in just over 50 days…I got to 99.44% pure, like ivory soap.

Then, I FINALLY GOT IT – and Feb 1, – Superbowl Sunday – after I had lunch with the women’s retreat planning women – which was immediately after I was blessed to hear from a wonderful friend part of their story of becoming a Christian. So, after lunch (where we saw an American Bald Eagle in flight), “K” offered for me to come for a cup of hot cocoa and decompression at her house…  But I got lost and found my car near the 911 reflection garden – never been – that’s where I stopped and I went to hold the trade center steel beams – I held them and prayed for the 3000 lost, prayed they were found – and prayed for the evil doers in the world- I then went from 99.44% believer in Jesus to 100%. There were coins filling the inside of the beans and I flipped over a plastic gold coin that had John 3:16 on it – God so loved the world that he sent his only son – on superbowl Sunday – a scripture always tied to athletic events because of the signs people hold up – and for the first time ever – I KNEW I believed it – 100% . I was filled with warmth – I really believed it… first time ever…I became Christian 100%.

So – back to the soda bread story – I realized that I WAS the soda bread – leavened by man-made means and not risen to the level that GOD wanted me to be – I was not there – I am SO there now –

See I am half Irish but my other side is from a place I’m going to journey home to in only 2 weeks, over to Europe.  My mother’s maiden name is xxxxxx which means CROSS… this speaks to me that I am not complete without Jesus… BOTH  sides I need  to be myself.. I need the cross of Jesus to make me whole.

I am so humbled to have God work on me and send the Holy Spirit to me. I am now the yeast bread…leavened by Jesus as the yeast…created by God’s will…filled with the Holy Spirit…And ready to share wherever and whenever God’s good news.
I ask that we have communion with both breads…Have two pieces….yeast for those accepting, and soda bread for those who were like me, a few short month ago, pray that they become sincere seekers…Please pray for them to find their way.

I am in Pentecost – I am in thanksgiving – Christmas – a new year – Valentines – St. Patrick’s – lent – Easter and most definitely in Pentecost – the Holy Spirit is coming strong and sure – and blowing me to places unknown – and sending his energy and fire through me and into whomever I can see – I can talk to – and I can inspire – and yet – this is not any of my doing – I just let it happen – and all this is due to GOD… and if anyone is getting any ripple effect from this it is because they are just witnessing my witness, and then they themselves are allowing God’s Holy Spirit to work in them. It is not my doing….and I take no credit.

Praise God and may Jesus receive the honor He is due!!!

Amen

God Therapy, Tears and Re-Confirmation (Soubirous-Subaru-style), 10MAR – #91

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91

Well, today has been one of those days…  and I have so much to do…  but I have to write – I have no choice – it is my therapy…Thanks for being on this journey – i never  intend to burden anyone – there are just about 40 on this email – maybe it’s because I am almost at day 40 of being 100%. hmmm…

God Therapy, Tears and Re-Confirmation (Soubirous-Subaru-style), 10MAR

God has been my “All in All”.

The Holy Spirit fills me – and moves me – taking me to places unknown – the path is narrow but it is sure.

Jesus shows me the way – keeps me humanly possible to achieve who I am meant to be.

Music has been my muse and therapy.

The writing has been my spiritual-flood therapy, as well as the way I am sharing my journey.

I have been feeding on Scripture, Sermons and Song.

…and the Subaru?  That brings it all together – I find my rest – my temple – my quiet still place – my salvation all came in the Subaru.  It “unites” all these things together – a fitting translation of the Japanese word “Subaru”.  All these things while I am not standing still but constantly moving on my journey!

So today’s music therapy confirmed a thought about my eventual confirmation service.  No, I don’t need to be baptized again – I don’t need to be called “born again” – I will accept the term “awakened”. I will call this “corrective action by God”. And every day has been confirmation – God throwing mountains in my way and telling me to climb – God showing me more miracles and signs than I deserve to see – God has my back…  He comforts me with friends and faith – with GRACE – he aligns the stars, planets, the moon, and the sun – and the SON – to shine upon me…  He makes me notice all these things with praise – and forces me to process my thoughts to prose.

Today’s music therapy comes from Paul Simon – always one of my favorite artists – maybe my favorite – both as solo and as Simon and Garfunkel…  these are my favorites as well: Sting, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel and Warren Zevon…  there are others too – like the Beatles, the Moody Blues, the Greatful Dead, Tom Petty…..  But Paul SImon has sustained me from my youth – my favorite song “Scarborough Fair” – i have all the albums – another set of resources for my ongoing life therapy.

Today’s songs included a couple songs that moved me this morning – moved me to write…  But this song – “Cool Cool River” this morning – in the Subaru – while I was thinking of the way i want to be confirmed again… this song is the one that moved me to tears – “Cool Cool River”  the lyric “I believe in the future …I may live in my car…My radio tuned to… The voice of a star”

Yeah – I so want to go through re-confirmation for my own selfish reasons – I know God confirms with me everyday – visions? well not to the level of my confirmation name St. Bernadette Soubirous – the Lady of Lourdes –  I have a whole lot to write about her – about me….I grabbed her name for confirmation class as a teen from a favorite movie… NO, I am not seeing her vision – and I don’t expect miracle healings from my words – but my experience feels like i am seeing miracles everyday – that is until you realize that this is the “new normal” for me and miracles are EVERYWHERE – just like GOD is EVERYWHERE…  Please believe me when i tell you that i did not chose to take up this journey by my own doing… to have this path – it was chosen for me – and i accepted it when God moved the mountain path right in front of me and told me to climb…  and he reminds me every day to continue to take his path –  don’t stray – even though i don’t always see where I am going…

You know – it is not lost on me that the pronunciation of  the last name of French St. Bernadette Soubirous sounds EXACTLY as it is written – Subaru – sigh…..been thinking about that for at least a week … I wonder, God, have YOU been planning that since the early 1980’s when I was confirmed? or when I was born?  How long do you tinker for fun and faith in this sandbox called Earth? How do you have time for me and for everyone?  Tell me, please, when i get to Heaven, OK? I am dying to know how YOU do it all…. Please tell St. Peter to give me a golden ticket to see how YOU do it all…

So – Yes – after I go through some more study – and i am not ready yet – i will plan a personal confirmation service – but not in church…. sure, i will re-confirm verbally (without being called out) when the teen confirmands take their oaths of faith in the late spring – but I actually want to take my re-confirmation – my REAL confirmation – in my Subaru – with my “core 4” inside and maybe (just maybe) I will invite a couple more – this is not a public confirmation show – it is a private personal journey – a personal confirmation – to “Unite me” – to “Subaru-me” to God’s plan for the rest of my life….to help me find Peace.

——–

Cool Cool River – Paul Simon

http://youtu.be/7LUyp34g3p8

Moves like a fist through traffic

Anger and no one can heal it

Shoves a little bump into the momentum

It’s just a little lump

But you feel it

In the creases and the shadows

With a rattling, deep emotion

The cool, cool river

Sweeps the wild, white ocean

Yes, Boss–the government handshake

Yes, Boss–the crusher of language

Yes, Boss–Mr. Stillwater

The face at the edge of the banquet

The cool, the cool river

The cool, the cool river

I believe in the future

I may live in my car

My radio tuned to

The voice of a star

Song dogs barking at the break of dawn

Lightning pushes the edge of a thunderstorm

And these old hopes and fears

Still at my side

 

Anger and no one can heal it

Slides through the metal detector

Lives like a mole in a motel

A slide in a slide projector

The cool, cool river

Sweeps the wild, white ocean

The rage, the rage of love turns inward

To become prayers of devotion

And these prayers are

The constant road across the wilderness

These prayers are

These prayers are the memory of God

The memory of God

And I believe in the future

We shall suffer no more

Maybe not in my lifetime

But in yours, I feel sure

Song dogs barking at the break of dawn

Lightning pushes the edges of a thunderstorm

And these streets

Quiet as a sleeping army

Send their battered dreams to heaven, to heaven

For the mother’s restless son

Who is a witness to, who is a warrior

Who denies his urge to break and run

Who says, “Hard times?

I’m used to them

The speeding planet burns

I’m used to that

My life’s so common it disappears”

And sometimes even music

Cannot substitute for tears

———

 

the whole Paul Simon Greatest Hits album will be my therapy today…typing as i listen…

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1T0hHFDjgDEsdJmnvTbE0eZpHgzWMxGc

 

– from “Graceland” –

There is a girl in New York City

Who calls herself the human trampoline

And sometimes when I’m falling, flying

Or tumbling in turmoil I say

Oh, so this is what she means

She means we’re bouncing into Graceland

 

 

– from “You can call me Al”

He looks around, around

He sees angels in the architecture

Spinning in infinity

He says Amen! and Hallelujah!

 

 

– from “The Obvious Child”

I’ve been waking up at sunrise

I’ve been following the light across my room

I watch the night receive the room of my day

Some people say the sky is just the sky

But I say

Why deny the obvious child?

 

The way we look to a distant constellation

That’s dying in a corner of the sky

These are the days of miracle and wonder

And don’t cry baby don’t cry

Don’t cry

 

 

– from “Take me to the Mardi Gras”

And I will lay my burden down

Rest my head upon that shore

And when I wear that starry crown

I won’t be wanting anymore.

Take your burdens to the Mardi Gras

Let the music wash your soul

 

 

– from “Hearts and Bones”

Easy time will determine if these consolations

Will be their reward

The arc of a love affair

Waiting to be restored

You take two bodies and you twirl them into one

Their hearts and their bones

And they won’t come undone

Hearts and bones

 

 

– from “Bernadette” –  oh! my confirmation namesake!  – yeah the whole song speaks to me – i am not going to post this whole song – but it brings a smile to my face 😉

Come with me

There’s a place I want you to see

When the leaves are dark

I’ve got a hiding place in Central Park

And the sky is a coat of diamonds

 

 

– from “Slip Sliding Away” –

God only knows

God makes his plan

The information’s unavailable

To the mortal man

We work our jobs

Collect our pay

Believe we’re gliding down the highway

When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away

Slip slidin’ away

Slip slidin’ away

You know the nearer your destination

The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Slip slidin’ away

You know the nearer your destination

The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Mmm…

 

– from “Still crazy after all these years” –

– YES – I AM – Still crazy after all these years!

EMAIL to Pastor and Music Therapy – Paul Simon “Senorita with a Necklace” – #90

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90 EMAIL to Pastor and Music Therapy – Paul Simon “Senorita with a Necklace”

Pastor, I have been carrying this book in my car for probably 3 years now.. I don’t read but I knew I wanted to read it at some point … forgot I even had it.. till this morning God put it in my hand. I had emptied my car for camping … decided to bring my 4 cases of music cds back in because I’m looking for 1 particular paul simon song. And apparently this book came along in my arms with them… didn’t even know until I sat down in my car seat…I flipped my arms over and there it was…on top of the cds…ugh….God chuckles at me (that’s a good thing)…

Dalai Lama spirituality and science

Why God? Why show me so many signs? Why did you put that Paul Simon song in my head this morning to match the conversation I was having in my email? Which would force me to try to find it on cd? Why am I where I am? Why can’t I accept I stumble? Why I think because You want to remind me who I am. So blessed… Can You remind me any more than you and I are on a journey? Geez… Over and over again… whew… I am still in for a wild ride…

And I still haven’t found that song in my CDs yet…
“I know who I am, Lord knows who I will be”
…instead the first Paul Simon song that came on the greatest hits album is Graceland… “we’re all going to Graceland”…figures…

Here is the lyrics of the song in this cd collection somewhere, the one I was singing this morning:
“Senorita With a Necklace”
Words & music by paul simon
I have a wisdom tooth
Inside my crowed face
I have a friend who is born again
Found his savior’s grace
I was born before my father
And my children before me
We are born and born again
Like the waves in the sea
That’s the way it’s always been
And that’s how I want it to be

Nothing but good news
There is a frog in south america
Whose venom is a cure
For all the suffering that mankind
Must endure
More powerful than morphine
And soothing as the rain
A frog in south america
Has the antidote to pain
That’s the way it’s always been
And that’s the way I like it

Some people never say no
Some people never complain
Some folks have no idea
And others will never explain

That’s the way it’s always been
And that’s the way I like it
And that’s how I want it to be
That’s the way it’s always been
And that’s the way I like it
And that’s how I want it to be

If I could play all the memories
In the neck of my guitar
I’d write a song called
“senorita with a necklace of tears”
And every tear a sin I’d committed
Oh these many years
That’s who I was
That’s the way it’s always been

Some people always want more
Some people are what they lack
Some folks open a door
Walk away and never look back

I don’t want to be a judge
And I don’t want to be a jury

I know who I am
Lord knows who I will be

That’s the way it’s always been
And that’s the way I like it
And that’s how I want it to be
That’s the way it’s always been
And that’s the way I like it
And that’s how I want it to be

Music Therapy – IONA – Divine Presence – #89

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89) Music Therapy – IONA –  Divine Presence

I find it easy to sing with the Iona singer – especially for “Divine Presence”, a beautiful song…

“I wish this wind
Could carry words to me
To tell You what
Is in my mind
But deep within my soul
Your Spirit speaks
With words that I
Could never find”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gylRtwfh6p8

From Romans 8:26New International Version (NIV)  26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

I was having a conversation with someone and talking about “Be Still and Know that I am God” and he says he has a hard time being still – and I said that it doesn’t really mean you have to be physically still – obviously I hear God so much when I am not still physically but still mentally  – when I am in the car – I could be washing dishes and hear God – and you could be walking and hear God – i was talking to God while mopping two huge floors at camp – and that was really what I was feeling this weekend so much…  You can hear God in a room of 50 squealing kids…. yeah it’s easier to remove yourself from distractions – but it’s your mind that you have to still – not always your body…  besides, even if we were still, we are still moving – we are on the earth moving fairly fast when you watch the moon rise – you can’t feel it but you can see it – and it is pretty fast – astronomically-speaking  (wow astronomically is a real word?  it didn’t autocorrect it on me – wow – two new words today).  anyway – I explained that when I look at the moon I feel God and when I see Orion I feel God  and while I was walking the moon looked just like an eyeball – and then in the morning I was just walking to the lake to see the sunrise and just happened to look up and see the moon in the early morning – very comforting….

 

emails from/to friends – 87, 88

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87, 88  emails

87A

Awesome!!!! I have so been wondering how everyone else feels with this awakening process!!!!!  I feel so overwhelmingly blessed….

You will have to tell me your story, I am so excited to hear…

On Mar 7, 7:40 AM, “Pastor” wrote:

AMEN!  Amazing!  This is so much my experience!  TRULY a kindred experience.  You are articulating/verbalizing/expressing for others. And they smile, their heads nod and they unknowingly say “Yes! That’s what I could have said. That’s what I meant or feel.”

Thanks & Blessings

Pastor

—–

87B

This whole experience is overwhelming and yet your advice of the “new normal” is really how I get thru the days…because God pauses me only long enough to write, otherwise he strives me forward to more and more amazing things…

Girl scout camp is awesome… gifted God’s Grace…

Smiles

Thanks for sharing not just the stories but your spiritual energy, Deb.

Love,

R

——

87C

On Mar 7,9:44 AM, “S”  wrote:

So glad the camping trip is going well and everything worked out. Enjoy God’s presence in nature.

—–

88A)

I am so lucky to have such great support and positive influences on everyside of my life…

The seven sister stars in the Pleiades watched over me tonight as always, while I used them in an astronomy and greek mythology badge lesson.   the sister moon too was my guide, walked with me to my home cabin along the frozen lake…breathtaking after an amazing day with my sister moms

Beautiful beyond words…..

Thanks …Pleiades and me…God only knows what’s in store for me, huh?

I have never read Job, ever…probably should read that whole book! Thanks for your help on the Greek gods and constellations…the 13 13 year olds were very interested and I teamed them up for constellation researching and finding them in the sky… it’s a bit scary to step outside my comfort zone to have taught them… but I have been out of my comfort zone a lot lately, huh?  

Job 38 NIV

The LORD Speaks
1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone– 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? 8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? 12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, 13 that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? 14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment. 15 The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken. 16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death ? 18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. 19 “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? 20 Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? 21 Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years! 22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? 24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? 25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, 26 to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, 27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? 28 Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? 29 From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens 30 when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen? 31 “Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? 32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? 33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up [God’s] dominion over the earth? 34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? 35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind ? 37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens 38 when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together? 39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions 40 when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket? 41 Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?

On Mar 710:02 PM, “D” wrote:
> See Job 38:31
> D

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88B)

If you need a good “pick me up” sermon on this bright sunny Monday – one that makes you laugh –  then this is a great one!  (xxx email me for the link) This is my fairly new friend  – Pastor P – whom we “stumbled upon” – meaning he was GIFTED at the right place at the right time – because it turns out he is an alumni from my undergraduate institution!  He has had a great story of coming to Christ and also life-changing/saving surgery – and he is in such an upbeat phase of ministry – he is a pastor at xxx – lives locally with his wife and kids – and he wrote a book!  He is one of the 2 ministers (he and another) who provided me the academic enrichment sources that helped me get my brain fed for how the new testament was written – and that got my heart and brain in sink – and the rest is history!

The story he tells in this sermon is of his praying for a guy holding one those furniture signs near a local  store – well the story is as heart warming as it is hilarious… He would be good for a guest speaker at a youth conference – or anywhere!

there are so many many ways to get the word in – and whether you are feeling a soulful song – or an upbeat VBS song – or a quiet reading of the gospel –  a contemplative heart pulling message or a laughter-filled upbeat heart pulling message – there is sure to be a style that hits you right at the right time…  just have to tap into what feels right at that right moment…

luckily all these social media sermons and messages are out there – it is an endless smorgasbord – so this is just one more course option – enjoy!  its the most recent march 8th one – i haven’t heard any of his others – but after he posted on facebook that he had a simple and profound message – i put it on my “to-do” list to listen…..

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: debbie <
Date: Mon, Mar 9, at 12:22 PM
Subject: “Can I pray for you” message – great!!!!
To: Pastor P

WOW – i love your style!  That March 8th sermon is the first one i listened to…

Really energetic!!!!  I can see you walking around that stage even though i am just listening on the computer –  i loved it when you said the soil was dry (the 4 soils parable is one of my favorites)  – again and again i am hearing the reiteration of us needing to pray for people to get God to soften their hearts! we can’t do it – but HE can…

I liked your use of the props, the numbers and the word letters – really a great style to connect with people who are there to listen more deeply when you draw them in with a bit (well a LOT) of humor – there are really so many different styles and yours is definitely a good you-tube – inspirational speaker style – that fits you so well!!!! Obviously everyone’s style is so different – and certain styles fit different situation – and i see/hear the excitement in your voice carries a long way in touching the people in the audience and they could tell that you are for real and are connected in realty – and you are also a regular guy too…   and you accept that you might be crazy too  … cool…. you love being you and there is nothing more real to others than that…

The part about praying with people – about how when you say that when you quote scripture you are talking to their brains – but when you pray FOR that person they really feel it in their heart…   that has been a really neat and satisfying aspect of this new spiritual growth i have had –  that chik fila story and that guy with the signs…  tears in my eyes from laughing so hard and from such a touching story!!!!

It is so true that prayer touches the heart – i am so praying for your continued excitement – its awesome!!!!  and for your continues heart health!  and for your family – life is awesome isn’t it!?!!!!!

The job of the Pastor is to get the body of the church to go out and do the work of the church – so true – so true!!!  love that saying that our Pastor says – “Be the church!!!”  just like your “Be that bridge” – I really know we have a strong faithful congregation here and it is so clear to me that my leadership roles, my experiences, my energy is really here to support our Pastor and our congregation – and of course the extending out into the world – the people i get to meet everyday is so inspiriting – well i wrote inspiring – but that is a word isn’t it?  Inspiriting – i wondered why autocorrect didn’t fix it – well it must be a word?!! yup – I just googled it – it is a word – to inspirit is a transitive verb to fill someone up with the spirit….  Well – i am going to take that word for myself!!  Talking to people and hearing their stories is truly IN-SPIRIT-ING – filling my soul and their soul with the HOLY SPIRIT…  cool….  i mean hot…..  fire hot…..  throw some fuel on the fire and re-inspirit – up!

So, – what can I pray for YOU?  give me a specific and i will pray it!

GOD BLESS !!!!!

Sister Moon and Faith will be My Guide, 06MAR – #86

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moon for 86

86

Sister Moon and Faith will be My Guide, 06MAR

These last two nights, my increasingly normal wake up call, between 2 and 3 AM, have found me turning over to see the beautiful full moon in my face. Why am I so lucky, why do I see what I see and why do I appreciate it so much?

I saw a fireball at 7pm last night…thought it was a bit brighter than a normal meteor…I told one friend (via email), who then told me they had seen their first shooting star last year….I remarked later to another friend that I couldn’t believe someone of my age to have only JUST seen one…And guess what? This friend had NEVER seen a shooting star….EVER….wow…. Why am I so lucky, why do I see what I see and why do i appreciate it so much?

I have seen many many shooting stars, and even this was not my first fireball sighting…This was bright and sustained…the best shooting stars I have ever witnessed were when I wasn’t looking for them! Last time I purposefully went to look for a shooting star, I sat quietly outside, but instead of a sky show, I watched a skunk creep up around me, I sat as still as I have ever sat in my life…had to wait him out about five minutes…yeah, I don’t go purposefully looking for shooting stars anymore!!!

The time I “camped” in a lake house, located way out in the sticks, couple of years ago, I saw the most amazing display of the Milky Way and dozens of shooting stars, plus satellites moving across the sky…at my undergraduate school, we saw the Milky Way wherever it was a clear night. Last month, I had come out of a very moving women’s meeting at church and saw a brilliant meteor streak thru half the sky…Yes, seeing falling meteors are so cool (i mean hot) when you don’t expect them.

Yes, life’s most amazing moments are when you don’t expect them.

Tonight, the moon was awesome…I am girl scout camping, and brought a telescope… The girls were excited to see the moon thru it. We were ALL excited to be camping, because our original camp cancelled due to snow…And I scrambled with my troop leader yesterday and landed a new camp, just 24 hrs notice, tears into triumph… we (50 of us) lucked out. …wow…. Why am I so lucky?

No, it’s more than just luck…I have faith…blessed with the gift of faith…

I remarked after landing this camp, with the simple clicks of my smartphone, that “this a great lesson for the girls and moms and families about how to not give up, how to pull on all your resources…And most of all – to have faith, whatever the outcome if you try your hardest, you know you did everything you could…And even though “you don’t always get what you want, you try sometime and you just might find… you get what you need!” “… just like the Rolling Stones sing…”

This time we lucked out…but only because others were there for us… This camp tip came from a friend (who, like me, has faith, fortitude and follow-thru) and a Park Ranger who was/is doing us a big favor…And this camp? It’s gorgeous, it’s warm, and it’s a gift.

Seeing the moon, the stars and the planets are a gift. The colder the night, the clearer we see. The more faith we have, the more we receive…And the more we appreciate.

I have faith that the moon is there to comfort us, to tug on our tidal waves of the heart and remind us that we not alone, we are never alone. Especially on these clear nights, we can “Be Still, and Know that I AM GOD”‘

I have faith in that God has a plan… even though I am not privy to that plan. It’s not predetermined fate…it’s still us moving and being moved….it’s when we appreciate life and open our eyes…it’s God’s Timing…it’s God’s gift… it’s God’s Love.

Thanks for the Gift of Faith, God. And let me know if there is anything I could ever do for You. I know You will…That I am faithfully sure of…

😉 😉 😉

—————————–
Lyrics – Sister Moon – Sting
“Sister moon will be my guide.
In your blue blue shadows I would hide.
All good people asleep tonight
I’m all by myself in your silver light.
I would gaze at your face the whole night through.
I’d go out of my mind, but for you.”

Peas, Seeds, Snow as Rain Sustained, 04MAR – #85

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85

Peas, Seeds, Snow as Rain Sustained, 04MAR

Using the 4 soils parable, I tend to wonder what soil everyone is in their faith journey. And I wonder what soil I am…or at least what soil I used to be…   See I am striving and striving to be the good soil – just enough of everything mixed in…  add the right nutrients, soil types…maybe with a few small stones thrown in to give drainage (decompression), strength and a little excitement…

So, what soil did I used to be? Well, it would certainly have been the DRY SOIL – because there were tidbits of the Word of God that I didn’t absorb, I got much of it, but not all… The dryness of my soil allowed the birds to eat some of the seeds – but NOT ALL the seeds, because the seeds of God and the Holy Spirit I absorbed and nourished, but most of the seeds about Jesus I DID SEE scattered along the path of life – although I didn’t partake in these seeds, I decided to protect them from the birds…. No I didn’t plant them in my soil – but instead I scooped them up and put them in my pocket… Whether I thought I would plant them or not later, I don’t know – but at least I had knowledge of these seeds of the Word of God – and I could certainly take them out of my pocket and show people these seeds and marvel at these Words of God…. Yes, the seeds I DIDN’T plant were the seeds of a real human Jesus – of a real Jesus in me as a savior…

But they were there in my pocket, some seeds dried up, I probably ate some too for nourishment… As I kept walking along the path of life, I noticed that the Holy Spirit swirled as a wind all around me….and then it started to sprinkle rain… and then I had a huge Christmas Flood. This flood of gifts from God forced me to take notice and dig some drainage ditches of retaining water – holding it until i could find all the seeds I had lost in my pocket. And I started to gather some more new seeds to replace the ones I let dry up… or ate…  or lost….  And then the Sun came up – and the Son too – yes, both were there to warm me and remind me to plant these seeds of Jesus in my brain and in my heart – and to keep them warm with God’s Love – and to share some with the other farmers of faith.

This year – these seeds are getting planted! Physically there are pea seeds going into the ground by St Patrick’s Day – it’s a much earlier a planting season then where I hale from (one whole month earlier – “get them in the ground by St Patrick’s Day” a carpenter friend told me).  Peas are one of my favorite fruits – and I always ate them right out of the garden. Even my grandfather (also a carpenter and a farmer) had his OWN garden – separate from the family garden, and he planted ONLY peas.  And he did share some with me.  When I planted peas in the past, I didn’t share them with hardly anyone – only family… I just ate most myself – except for those I forgot to pick… those went to the birds…

BUT this year, i am going to get these seeds into the ground on time, even if I have to shovel the snow to plant them safely down in the soil. See, the snow doesn’t bother me – the snow is a gift from God – it lets the soil rest – it is beautiful to cover the mud – it is “sustained rain”.

See, the Christmas flood and spring flooding rains are bad for the ground and can drown your seeds – in the ground and in your hearts… But the earth and these seeds – planted at St Patrick’s Day – will appreciate the slow-melting snow – a sustained rain – enough water to creep into the soil slowly – and replenish the earth for a wonderful spring.  The snow will cover the pea seeds and protect them from the birds – and the rabbits –  no stealing my seeds this year! And when/if I get a bountiful crop – I will plan on sharing them.

See, the seeds of a Savoir – of MY Savior – of MY carpenter –  have been and will be safely planted and nourished/protected in my heart this year – and every year.  If I lose a few to the rabbits instead of the birds, well, then I will just go get more seeds – I have a good source now….  I know exactly where to get the RIGHT seeds – they are free every year – every DAY – they are readily available and they are stored inside the right hand of the Father… And when I get a bountiful harvest of God’s Words this year, I will plan on sharing them with the Holy Spirit as my guide!

Amen!

Mark 4:1-20 (NIV)The Parable of the Sower

4 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,

“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]”

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Luke 8 (NIV) The Parable of the Sower

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you,but to others I speak in parables, so that,

“‘though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.’

11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

 

Devotion about Fear -02/03MAR – #84

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OK everyone I am bcc-ing on this email (about 30):
As I said, I am going to tell my UMW folks the whole back story next Tuesday…but it is fine now for you to start speaking about my awakening openly if it comes up on conversation…. I told “most” of those folks weighing on my mind…. I have so many more to tell of this amazing adventure… I will spend the rest of my life telling it… and I know a lot of people!!!!!
But feel free now… I am not saying this because I am worthy of major conversations, but if it comes up in conversation you don’t have to keep it quiet for me anymore….
It’s a new morning!!! You should see the beautiful sunrise that I’m looking at!
I am no longer embarrassed at where I was, I am striving to be as brave as I can telling people without freaking them out…
I found this great devotion about fear… “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2nd Timothy 1:7
Thanks and God Blesssunrise 84 -1fear 83-1fear 83-2

Jesus and His Parables, Just a Click Away – 02/03MAR – #83

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Ok OK – i know i was going to let the Lord lead me on what this devotion for the church newsletter – but i didn’t know it would come so quick, LOL …..

So – it is March and i have been writing now in a way that i can easily and freely share – not of where I was in my faith journey but of where I am now…

So this is about parables and reading the bible and spreading the word…  if you want to use it fine – if not – that is fine and i will likely be writing another one soon, haha…

Thanks and God Bless!

Jesus and His Parables, Just a Click Away

Click, Click, Click – I have been reading the Bible a lot lately – but not that one sitting next to me – instead I have been reading an electronic version even closer – one already in my hand – right on my smart phone – take it wherever I go. When Pastor preached earlier this year about Jesus promising “greater miracles than these” – the Bible on smartphones must have been one of those advances – because it really makes a difference.

The Stewardship committee gave us each an index card and a flyer about daily prayer – it’s a great idea – to challenge us to read the Bible and to share our favorite meaningful passages… and to be hones with you, I looked at that card and said: “How am I going to fit all these exciting Bible verses on it?” because I have been binge reading Bible verses on my smartphone….  Well, when Pastor asked me to write a devotional for the newsletter it took me a minute and then it clicked in my brain – and I want to tell you how easy it has been for me to read the Bible when I click click click….

Teaching Sunday School, we use the vast resource of Jesus’ Parables – these stories are so numerous in the Bible – and you can find so many to relate to you and your friends.  Jesus used parables to teach disciples and make disciples: “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Jesus knew if they were true disciples they would understand the stories – but if those listening were confused and were sincere seekers, then they would take the time to ask Jesus and His disciples questions – YES ASK QUESTIONS!  Challenge your Faith – and see where you stand – Lent, Easter, Christmas are all excellent times to question your own faith and see where you stand.

One of my favorite parables to share with others is that of the Four Soils – three versions are in the Bible – Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-34; and Luke 8:4-18. This summation is from Mark, after the disciples asked Jesus for an explanation:

‘ 13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”’

Click, click, click – into my brain – and then when you click forward or backward on your smartphone in the Biblegateway.com or other Bible online sources into the other chapters – you would be AMAZED at how chuck-full the Bible is with these great parables back to back – just the reading of the titles will bring you memories of favorite stories. Then there are many new stories you may have never heard of!  I was reading Luke and saw a reference to the beheading of John by Herod – and i had no idea what that meant – so I asked one of the trusted disciples I know and it led me to Mathew 14 – where John the Baptist was beheaded – oh! Then that led me to the next paragraph about Jesus Feeding the Five Thousand with Loaves and Fishes – then next to Jesus Walking on Water – and Pete doubting and sinking in the water – only to be rescued by reaching out his hand to Jesus who caught him. Jesus, the Fisher of Men, is truly found in that account…  Now, I clicked back into the previous chapter and found the Parable of the Net, of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl, of the Weeds, of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast, and then back to the Parable of the Soils…

Yes – we are able to work these parables into our daily lives  – with the ease of a click – and just be open to reading and listening.  Then, if we are able, we are to start working the yeast into the dough: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Enjoy the Parables in the Bible and Yes, ASK QUESTIONS! Then spread the Word of God as if you were trying to spread those tiny grains of yeast until everyone in the world has heard…  “Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Music Therapy – Iona – Irish Day – 02/03MAR – #82

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Yeah, I didn’t have to read deep into the lyrics on this one IONA song… it’s all me…

“Here, I kneel upon this ground
Love can heal
When truth is found”

This glorious white snow still has beautiful green under it…it’s S.t Pats all year round for me… I wrote about the Green Lantern, I even copied a green poem from that tiny book I found (and still resides on the closet across from the copyroom) and dropped a copy in pastor’s mailbox… green green green…I so enjoyed both my trips to Ireland….I will tell you sometime about how I got to turn the page on a copy of the Book of Kells, and was saved from freezing to death when stranded in snow in Sally’s Gap in the mountains outside Dublin….

St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland… “Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

” http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/churchandministry/churchhistory/patricius_the_true_story_of_st_patrick.aspx

Iona – Irish Day Lyrics

Sand as white as snow
Swirls like smoke around my feet
And a sky that turns in a moment
From blue to gray
All these things I see on an Irish day

It is here that time has granted
That the light should still burn on
It was here a seed was planted
In the brave heart of an Irish son

Here before my time
Walked men of faith and truth
In a land that was dark
They followed the way
Bringing sweet light on an Irish day

It is here that time has granted
That the light should still burn on
It was here a seed was planted
In the brave heart of an Irish son

Here, I kneel upon this ground
Love can heal
When truth is found

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WCkAzLawBZo

The Holy Spirit and the Green Lantern, 01March – #81

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The Holy Spirit and the Green Lantern, 01March

The Holy Spirit was moving in our midst today! A young man in the confirmation class (whom I call “the Green Lantern”) did an awesome job assisting Pastor with communion today. Just prior, he and I made up for last week’s missed pre-confirmation class (I was the substitute teacher). Our experiment produced a good amount of foam for our Holy Spirit demonstration…

Just before the experiment, I was comforting him with his mom out in the hallway…they had to put his favorite pet down the previous day. He had left the service upset because there was so much discussion about loss. Tough on a young kid, tough on an adult, no matter how strong you appear, these matters of the heart are powerful and overwhelming.

His Mom and I encouraged him that he did everything he could for his pet, and it was just like both his grandmother and my father-in-law where their cancer took over… Our words seem to help and he seemed able to pull himself together. Then after that we proceeded to go do our experiment.

In this experiment, Jesus is the living yeast that is warmed up in water just like we warm up Jesus in our hearts. We add this yeast as a catalyst to hydrogen peroxide and soap. The hydrogen peroxide chemically becomes oxygen and bubbles the soap which overflows the cup. The soap bubbles represent the Word of God and they are filled by the Holy Spirit which is the oxygen bubbles made by the hydrogen peroxide. The reaction is exothermic and is quite warm to the touch. The hydrogen peroxide does not react with the yeast but it’s just catalyzed to go through the process faster. This word of God spreads rapidly and overflows… when the catalyst, Jesus, was added… This is why God  sent Jesus to be a catalyst and teach us how to spread the word of God.

I shared with him that this was exactly the experiment that turned my brain around, and enabled me to accept Jesus – to stop my wondering (for years) why Jesus was sent, if Jesus was real as the Son of God. That Jesus as the catalyst was needed so badly in the world to save us – that Jesus was sent by God to spread God’s Word…

This young man is the “Green Lantern” to me because he was one of my #1 vacation bible school helpers a couple of years ago, and he is a great organizer and he organized all the other helpers and he named each of the other helpers including Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Iron Man, and even made them name tags and that made it so much easier for me to remember their names. The Green Lantern is a double checker, making sure he understands. And I appreciate that, because he REALLY wants to understand…And that’s me too. I really like to know if people understand!

To see his restored confidence after our talk and experiment was amazing to me, then to see Him walk back into church, just in time, up to Pastor to assist, He zoomed passed his older brother (who was going to help instead) – JUST IN TIME… that just took my breath away… I was truly stilled – as in “Be Still and Know that I AM GOD”.  Yes, really I got my confirmation today…  I witnessed that the Holy Spirit works in our lives EVERYDAY. EVERYDAY – WE JUST HAVE TO OPEN OUR EYES – we have to be willing to let the spirit move us. The Holy Spirit equipped me that day – I did not know my impact because it was the Holy Spirit. His mom looked at me and mouthed “What did you do?” not me mom, the Holy Spirit!

None of the words were my words this day, they came from the Holy Spirit at the right time…timing was EVERYTHING today… thank you Holy Spirit for using me!

I am so glad and so humbled to share in God’s word, God’s warmth, and God’s experiments.

Summing up February – a Wild Ride, Pride, and Being Honest, 28FEB – #80

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Summing up February – a Wild Ride, Pride, and Being Honest, 28FEB

Summing up February as a Wild Ride, Pride, and Being Honest, 28FEB

Summing up February – it’s been a wild ride. A wild ride indeed! My feelings fill me with pride – and yet that pride is wrong…  I should be humble – and I am so grateful for what God has done for me…  Yet I am joyfully proud of how God has worked me into a spinning vortex of faith…  So far I have come, in mere 3 months… it makes my head spin – and that makes me humbled knowing that NONE of it was my doing…   I wonder what March will bring…. a new chapter in my book certainly…. continued chapters in my life, prayerfully.  Yes, only God knows where He will lead me and how I will follow. And as we march into March, it’s lent, it’s time to be honest with ourselves – I have to be honest with myself – pride or no pride – I’ve got to be honest and take stock of my faith – when the whirlwind is hopefully quieted down.

I am watching “The Nun’s Story” – Audrey Hepburn….a pivotal movie of my younger adult years… kinda sums up the struggles of the ways to worship Jesus, God and the Holy Ghost – the struggles of living to the Catholic rule. The Nun postulates are struggling to learn the controls of passions, the destruction of their love of self, and of course they are journal-ling to make confessions – all efforts to make their pride crumble – and not regain pride when they succeed in learning how to crush pride – a hard struggle – doesn’t seem that making 3 Hail Mary’s equated to each imperfection will truly help. But Sister Luke (the daughter of a prominent scientist/doctor), who seems to have endless doubts in her ability to be a nun,  pushes forward anyway and sees this life as a nun in a hospital as the way to the Belgium Congo in 1930s and to become the nurse that she always wanted to be.

Why? – why? – why such loss of self required to achieve such higher state of humility demanded of this nun-candidate – why? – such the contrast to where I am now – in a non-Catholic Christian church – no one here is stopping me from spinning my faith vortex…  The contrast between her spiritual health and my spiritual heath is interesting. See, I feel I am not supposed to forget my background – see I feel I AM supposed to use every last little bit of my background, all my history, all my experience to witness to the powers and gifts of God… to do God’s work…. I just don’t know…just like Sister Luke asks in the movie, “How do I know this is what God wants of me?”

So much to learn from this movie – if you have never seen it – I recommend it – very reflective of struggles – Sister Luke even was asked to fail her final examination (in the most specialized tropical medicine course that she could even teach) in order to allow another sister to pass – she tries but she can’t… too much pride.  Sister Luke asks “How do I know this is what God wants of me” – she doesn’t know – I don’t know…  she doesn’t take the fall – she can’t help herself but to shine in the exam…and because of that she is not sent to the Congo anyway, until she learns more humility.

She is sent instead to nurse at a horrific sanatorium – it is the worst place ever – and she is sent there to learn humility – and yet she finds herself with more pride – without another sister present she enters the room of a very mentally ill person who calls herself “the arch angel Gabriel” the most violent of patients…  she is tricked and she is over-confident – with a sense of heroism and yes, she gets what you could see was coming to her – she is overpowered and hurt…  her pride and disobedience get her.

Sister Luke wants all or nothing – she wants a resting place where humility and obedience are easy…  NOPE – no such place exists…. NOPE!  Now, there is where she and I are the same – we both want to find EASY peace. We both want to channel our overconfidence into the higher strength – we both want to get to that Congo – and make the most of our God-given talents…

So much for me to pray about – about overconfidence – about using talents and yet – taking care to not over-commit to what is not easy and should never be viewed as easy…

Last week my experience with an unknown person exemplifies this…  This kept me on that edge of friendliness and overconfidence…. watching out for those boundaries…  Thankfully I was told that this person had suffered a traumatic brain injury and he wouldn’t even remember me five minutes from then…  and yet – it was important and good for me to act as a friend –  but not be overconfident – it’s practice. He and I had a great conversation about Jesus – about staying clean and saying no to peer pressure – about his past wrongs – about mac and cheese – about life… yes – the whole gamut of conversation…. He certainly was a humorous fellow – he even propositioned me twice and he tried to be funny!   Yeah – you got to be careful – I have to be careful – he could easily have become my “arch angel Gabriel” and overpowered me if I was alone – he could have made me fall from grace by being overconfident – funny but not so funny…  Be careful – always be careful my mind keeps telling me – yes put yourself out there – use your God-given skills – but be careful.

Eventually Sister Luke sorrowfully is pulled out of the Congo – called to be an example for the incoming postulates – the reverend mother says: “the more we are looked to for example, the better example we will become….”

Eventually Sister Luke does break – she does decide she is more useful not as a nun – but as a rebel – part of the underground group fighting against Hitler. She has had too many struggles with her pride – she had even half fallen in love with the wild and brutally honest surgeon who calls her out – he tells her she will never be the nun she strives to be….  she knows that…she has tried – but her pride…. she finds being honest with herself is the best she can do – live life as it comes – day to day…

We all have to be honest with ourselves… pride or no pride – we might as well be honest since God already knows every thought we have …  Honestly, we have to pray for the strength we need  –  “the more we are looked to for example, the better example we will become….” I pray always for discernment….  let me know Lord what words come from You and what words come from me…. This post is probably 90% me  – the other posts are so spirit-led…  but this post is just me being honest…. God knows my inner thoughts – and I do ask God to move me forward as the best example I can be…. “the more we are looked to for example, the better example we will become….”

I pray to live to Your purpose – not mine!
Let’s march into March….
Praise God always.

Rolling your R’s, Learning to Tap into energy, a NEW NORMAL, 27FEB – #79

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I wrote this one this morning at 2:30 – had to get it out and get back to sleep – and then later in the morning (driving to work, after doing the turbo fire workout with my neighbor who I mention here)  I wrote the really important one about being in Pentecost.

This essay is about tapping into an energy stream that isn’t yours – but from God…  sounds like the Holy Spirit to me!

Rolling your R’s, Learning to Tap into energy, a NEW NORMAL, 27FEB

Learning self control is one of St Peters tips to bring a better Christian…

Can you learn it? Probably!’… If you can chill the nagging pesky thoughts and desires, if you can fill the void with something in replacement then yes…you can learn self control. At least I pray that I can.  “You can’t say ‘no’ until you say ‘yes’ to something”…that was from an awesome video I saw at a retreat.. so push out the nagging thoughts by filling four head with “yes!”.

My neighbor held a first life improvement club meeting…I was gifted with a spiritual awakening and empowerment which I thought I already had…apparently I was wrong…I REALLY was gifted with a burst of energy…was I gifted or did I learn this? Does that really matter? Either way I got it.. and I keep feeding from it.  I am thankful and I am prayerfully praising everything I can…and it keeps coming…  I can only wish for you to grab some energy too… grab it, tap into it, and say ‘yes’ to it!

My best friend says about winter: ” I think the cold  keeps us held back but then when you damn a river too long  then it will overflow.   Makes for some strange floods”   – so true – so true – makes for some strange floods! I have had the strangest flood… I could have never imagined.

My former pastor says: “The Awakening process is very intense. After a while it seems less intense because it seems like a new normal. The beauty is that you are facing your fear about it and “allowing” this energy to enhance and empower your life.”
R

My best friend also texted me: “I am thinking of you often.   I hope you are not on an unstable roller coaster   but  hope you are on a nice water slide with some bumpers  🙂 ” , A
Yup this roller coaster is very secure… but Easter slides….you are bound to get wet!

The woman sitting next to me at the life improvement event has tapped into an energy source…she and I found a truth on each of the statements relayed by the study book, E squared… She already started journaling…My neighbor too certainly has tapped into some amazing burst of energy…she was bouncing and bubbling like no one I have seen…made me look pensive and quiet…which of course I was… thinking  how “coincidental” this new club was… Here’s a house, less than fifty feet away, where the door is always open to me… she obviously tapped into a great energy source… she grabbed onto it and is riding the wild ride… She refuses to have her spirits dampened…a good way to say no to nagging thoughts. It’s a new normal….

Can you learn to roll your R’s? Yes, rather you can re-learn…since as a baby we all had the ability….you just have to practice and tap into that tiny tidbit lost in your brain…the woman next to me used this good example in her journaling.

Can you learn to roll things off your back? Yes…I believe you can learn… having a solid internal knowledge base comes with absorbing and assembling what you experience to be true..you can learn to move your feet as fast as Muhammad Ali… you can start to see the barbs hurled at you as last ditch efforts before the opposing side collapses…maybe you can anticipate them and catch then mid air…you have to practice…

Can you learn to tap into an energy source? You bet you can…just find the right examples and you can learn and you must practice…you MUST practice what you preach…you MUST practice what you teach…

Can you learn self control? You bet you can… …just find the right examples and you can learn and you must practice… you MUST practice what you preach… you MUST practice what you teach…

Say ‘YES’ to Second Peter One, make it a new normal.

Goodness
Knowledge
Self Control
Perseverance
Godliness
Brotherly kindness
Love

Making One’s Calling and Election Sure
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;

6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;

7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,

11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Psalm 104, 27FEB – #78

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Psalm 104, 27FEB

Hi Pastor, another one of those OMG moments.

I just listened to one of your old sermons from 2013 that I randomly had on cd but hadn’t heard… I had asked for a couple specific dates and this one came along extra with them, so in my reflective nature (all the time now), I thought “well that’s probably a reason why I have it”.  oh yeah! When I heard the meat of the sermon I had to stop the car and write you…

You read Psalm 104 and spoke of God as a tinkerer and thinker-er   …. I had to pull over the car and write this email… Because of my thinker-er poem, that I wrote before and I will post below. Wow – amazing duplication…

You said inside the sermon:
“God offers everyone food in due season, we the people making sure what God has provided is available to those who need it …”

OMG…it was your Pentecost sermon, 5/19/13… I said holy “s” in my car but I should have said Holy Spirit! Wow wow wow God is good!

It’s Pentecost!  See I have all my holidays not “all mixed up” but I have them “all mixed in”!!  But that makes sense and I feel like I’m in Pentecost right now… Not by my own doing!!!  But I have accepted, I’ve been wearing red like crazy, I  already feel like Easter came and having to teach about the Holy Spirit to the pre-confirmation camp it all makes sense too … it’s Pentecost and it’s Easter and it’s Lent and it’s St. Patrick’s Day and it’s Valentine’s Day and it’s  Christmas … it is certainly a New Year! but most especially its Pentecost!!!!

Yes God is good…maybe my next subaru should be red…

Here’s that poem I wrote:

God made me a thinker-er, 02 jan

God made me a thinker-er.
I am not content at being.
God made me a do-er.
God made me a philosopher.
God made me a thinker-er.

I am not a doubter of God,
But a doubter of man,
Of man made realities,
Of twisted truths.

I am not a doubter who brushes aside the question at hand, “forget about that nonsense”.
No, I am a thinker-er. I am a tinkerer. I toy with ideas, I let them take root in my mind.

I am a teacher, a tinkerer who explores ways to teach, to expand concepts, to keep an open mind, to teach an open mind.

I am not just a thinker, I am a thinker-er, a rehash-er, a process-er. Its just who I am, It’s who God made me to be.

Now I have to think about why. Why can’t I just accept – hook, line and sinker.
God made me just the way I am, a thinker-er.
God give me a purpose,
To teach the other thinker-ers and help them find God too.

God made me a thinker-er.
God made me.

And here is the psalm:

Psalm 104
24How many are your works,Lord!

In wisdom you made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

25There is the sea, vast and spacious,

teeming with creatures beyond number—

living things both large and small.

26There the ships go to and fro,

and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27All creatures look to you

to give them their food at the proper time.

28When you give it to them,

they gather it up;

when you open your hand,

they are satisfied with good things.

29When you hide your face,

they are terrified;

when you take away their breath,

they die and return to the dust.

30When you send your Spirit,

they are created,

and you renew the face of the ground.

31May the glory of the Lord endure forever;

may the Lord rejoice in his works—

32he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,

who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33I will sing to the Lord all my life;

I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

 

You are a Child of God, 25FEB – #77

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You are a Child of God, 25FEB

Yeah, did you hear God bowling a strike on me again tonight? Yes He did.

Yeah, my neighbor started this life improvement club, I thought well it might be uncomfortable for some, but she really is a positive person and she is helping me with my workouts and healthy eating… It couldn’t be more convenient because she is my next door neighbor and she’s trying to improve other people’s positive outlooks on life too, so why not join it and try to be an example of a positive outlook on life… The book we are reading of course touches on so many positive aspects of life, and of course there is a quote “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man.” That was a quote from Einstein in the preface about science and the universe and the spirit… That’s something we’ve been talking about for the last month. And it was a very good meeting is very upbeat.

At the end, I heard the God-wink from God when she closed our meeting with this passage (from poet Marianne Anderson) that I posted below: “it is our light that frightens us”… yup that’s me! “You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world”… yup, I am no longer embarrassed, but I am certainly scared of the changes and the intensity in me – but –  it’s time to NOT be scared anymore…… that’s going to be hard….. But yes, that’s where I need to go! “Playing small does not serve the world!” Strike. God rolled a strike and humbly I must comply with Him.

Here is the full quote:  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson is a spiritual activist, author, lecturer and founder of The Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation currently before Congress to establish a United States Department of Peace. our deepest fear #77

Quiet Time, 24FEB – #76

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Quiet Time, 24FEB

…Be still, God speaks whispers more than clanging gongs…

It was an uneventful day driving yesterday, thank God, but as I got to the area where I encountered that tractor trailer yesterday (see writing #74), so guess what song came on my CD player next? Amazing Grace, of course… those silly little God sightings… yeah they’re cool too…sometimes God comes in a whisper… and sometimes they are not silly at all…

How are You?, 23FEB – #75

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I think we should all “journal” to process – to dump our brains and to move forward…  whether you journal on paper or by telling a good friend over coffee – it is therapeutic…

Well – this was an eventful day to say the least – not just this morning with that tractor trailer swerving and me honking amazing grace. The stepping out in faith was that this event i shared with my bigger Facebook family – one of the first times i really took a big step out in faith and put my faith on display  – i know i credit God for so much in person – but not always on Facebook because I don’t want to alienate anyone by making them feel uncomfortable if they are not comfortable in their faith… and yet this was certainly one of those unmistakable God actions that I was participating in…  Today was also super busy at work – busiest day in months – workloads all hit at the same time – but it was great to accomplish so much today!

This morning, I was singing Amazing Grace (as I said in my previous piece)- and replaying it about 20 times in the car to get the lyrics down – and i was actually thinking of questions that pertained to my quest for knowledge of how someone in particular was doing…someone, I know I could learn so much from (well that’s more than just one person of course). I have been sharing with up to 70 people now –  but too much in one direction – it is time that I ask back – how are THEY doing? .. I had just about finished these questions in my head when that truck started swerving in front of me and God and/or something over-confident in me called me into action – I was the one that saw this…I felt I had no choice but to act… I know I was so blessed to be in the right place at the right time…  God’s Timing! Subaru sang Amazing Grace – How Sweet the Sound! Played it on repeat the whole hour the way home.

I have been journal-ling 2 months now – and yes – I do write an awful lot of how I am feeling – but I do actually include a lot about the questions I have about how others are feeling – and this is such a piece – it is a song of concern – it’s not for anyone in my direct family – so don’t over worry about this piece – and it is not for a particular person in crisis mode –  but I can see how these questions pertain to them too…but I am writing this out to reach out to someone… someone I should ask more questions of – someone i care about – in that AGAPE way… and yes, this is the love we should extend to ALL of God’s children – concern and wanting to embrace their burdens to help them carry them… reassuring them that God will take care of them – just as we should reassure ourselves that God will take care of us!

How are You?, 23FEB

> Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
> That saved a wretch like me!
> I once was lost, but now am found;
> Was blind, but now I see.

So – how are you?  I really haven’t talked to you face to face in a while – and I worry about how you are doing – I talk about myself all the time and I wonder how you are processing all the things in your life – I know you stressed over your past transgressions – but are you still wretching and stressing about that time? Have you truly forgiven yourself – God will forgive you – but can you get over it? There is Amazing Grace for you, always.

> ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
> And grace my fears relieved;
> How precious did that grace appear
> The hour I first believed.

Tell me about that first hour you believed, I am so curious – I am so hanging on every bit of the story – tell me about you… what precious moments occurred that first hour? Have you held onto that golden hour…have you lost that precious feeling? Grace doesn’t just come once…welcome it again.

> Through many dangers, toils and snares,
> I have already come;
> ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
> And grace will lead me home.

You have made it amazingly far – I am so glad – I think of you each time I sing this song. What is next for you?  How do you handle your current dangers, toils and snares? Teach me the ways you deal with pain – with difficulty – I can see it on your face – I can see you wear your heart on your sleeve – can I help you? Are you still feeling at home?  or have you drifted away a bit?

> When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
> Bright shining as the sun,
> We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
> Than when we’d first begun.

Do you realize that you have so much ahead of you? Do you stress about your past and your lost time to an obsessive level? Are you willing to let it go? Can you shed your shame? to walk forward in grace and walk shining like the sun? Let me encourage you to walk again – to get up and walk again….  we have no less days…to praise…

How are you?

WOW, 23FEB – #74

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WOW, 23FEB

Oh my God… I am overwhelmed with the Grace of God… I have to share… I just witnessed a tractor trailer…a gas tanker… Swerving not paying attention.. turn signal on… cars passing him… and he still was swerving… Maybe he was texting.. maybe he was asleep… I don’t know… I was scared for the cars passing… I started beeping my horn. I put my flashers on, he was going 10 miles less than the speed limit… I kept beeping,  I decided to zoom up closer, I was listening and singing to Amazing Grace on my CD player, I just beeped my horn to Amazing Grace for 30 seconds? Maybe… I was so close to my exit, I just kept doing it and praying that he would wake up. And as I exited he changed his turn signal and he pulled over the side of the road. He woke up. Whew! Praise God! Thank You God for putting me in the right place at the right time…whew.

God is Good!

ag

Soap, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Yeast – The Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus, 21FEB – #73

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This is the critical experiment for enabling me to open to God’s work in my brain – the experiment I found on the web and then taught with Jesus’ Parables in Sunday School just two years or so ago. Teaching this experiment opened my brain and allowed God to perform corrective action on it – which in turn enabled my heart to sing the praises of Jesus…. I am filling in for the confirmation class “boot camp” tomorrow. This class is continuing a discussion about the Holy Spirit – and the scripture lessons (pasted below) are treasured gems. So to make the process real in a bubbly chemistry experiment way – I am adding this experiment – yet again – showing how Jesus is the catalyst – whose presence enabled the Holy Spirit to come – to come to the disciples and – then spread to us in the gift of the Word of God… here is the devotion:

Soap, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Yeast – The Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus, 21FEB

In this experiment, pretend dish soap is the Word of God…to make people peaceful…to give them hope in the form of soap.

Can we spread this Word of God? Yes!

Can the Holy Spirit help us and use us to spread the Word of God? Yes!

Catalysis is the increase in the rate of a chemical reaction due to the participation of an additional substance called a catalyst. With a catalyst, reactions occur faster and with less energy. Because catalysts are not consumed, they are recycled. Often only tiny amounts are required.

Let’s do this experiment: 1) The soap represents the Word of God.  2) The hydrogen peroxide H2O2 is changed by the catalyst into gas and liquid…The gas is O2, life-giving oxygen… this experimentally-generated gas represents the Holy Spirit.  3) God so loved the world he budded his only son (yeast grows by budding) so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. Yeast represents Jesus. Yeast is alive! Yeast needs to be warmed in water to activate – Jesus needs to be warmed in our hearts to activate (well – actually the Grace of God is always there – God and The Holy Spirit and Jesus doesn’t need to be activated – but realized by us to be ALIVE in us).

Experiment: Pour a couple of inches of hydrogen peroxide into a cup or bottle, add food coloring for fun (household 3% is fine – the more concentrated the more explosive the reaction). Squirt some dish soap (just a little) into the hydrogen peroxide. Add a packet of dried yeast to about half a cup of warm water – just as you would make bread… let sit for a minute…Pour just a little of the yeast solution into the hydrogen peroxide/soap mixture and watch the foam come alive – spread up and out and pour outside the cup – it is warm – exothermic – and yes you can touch and feel it!

Yeast is the catalyst to make the reaction go faster… to reduce the activation energy of change… to get the chemical reaction over the hump… to enable the PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION!

Jesus is the catalyst to make the reaction go faster… to enable the spreading of the Word of God… to reduce the activation energy of change… to get the chemical reaction over the hump…  to enable the PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION!

Remember catalysts are not consumed, they remain intact. Often only tiny amounts are needed to make the reaction go.

The Holy Spirit fills the bubbles of the Word of God… it lifts the bubbles up and carries the Word of God up and out… the warmth of God’s Word spreads…the good news rises and spills out everywhere… watch the Holy Spirit come alive in you and pour out of you when you allow Jesus to act as a catalyst in your heart – and in your mind – and in your soul – yes, it is warm – it is exothermic – and yes, you can touch and feel it!

Even as soap bubbles pop and release their gas – they leave a residue – they are still there…   The bubbles might burst, but the Holy Spirit still exists, is released from the bubble and the Word of God is still the soap film that has been spread. Bubbles may burst – but they still delivered God’s Message. Blessed be the bubbles. Blessed be the Word of God.

Jesus had to come to earth – to bud off God… but then He had to go… to show us in a human way how carrying our own crosses, resurrecting, and rising will allow us to reach God in Heaven.  ALSO Jesus had to go in order to let the Power of the Holy Spirit come to HIS disciples (that’s Pentecost) – to let the disciples spread the Word of God…to teach US the Word of God…to teach US how to spread the Word of God.

Spread The Word of God….

… The Word of God IS God!

AMEN!

yeast experiment $73

John 16:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Romans 8:26 New International Version (NIV)

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

 

1 Corinthians 12:11New International Version (NIV)

11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

2 Timothy 3:16New International Version (NIV)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Hebrews 9:14New International Version (NIV)

14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

 

Neighbors, Einstein, and the Science of God, 20FEB – #72

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Neighbors, Einstein, and the Science of God, 20FEB

So it’s funny of course – well not that funny – but when my neighbor asked me to join her brand new self help (positive outlook on life) group, I thought “I am good” and really wasn’t sure… But since she is a very good neighbor and is the one who is helping me exercise early mornings and giving me healthy food tips and since she wants to help her other friends become happier people too, then I said “why not?”… when someone offers to help you for free – when they open a door – it’s good to walk through it…

… Of course this was over a month ago …  so for next week’s first meeting she asked us to read this quick book – and so when I opened the book … I certainly didn’t expect a quote from Einstein on EXACTLY what my spiritual guides and I have been talking about these last couple weeks…science and spirituality:

“On the other hand, however, everyone who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.” Einstein

So can you hear God chuckling?  I certainly can!  He has me pegged and He is playing with me – and it is more and more apparent that God-sightings are all around.

I am humbled that God has me down to a science!

Smiles

Bubbles and Cups – Filling from God – NOT from Within, 19FEB – #71

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I emailed this to Pastor last night after a text message conversation with a friend…

“I was/am concerned about my bubble bursting – a bit concerned that my enthusiasm would carry me away – and of course I have always prayed for discernment – what is spirit-led and what is not…  a friend of mine said that the word enthusiasm meant “God from within” – which I thought was awesome of course…  and I wonder if my bubble will ever burst – or maybe I should take inventory of replacement bubbles – or maybe even deflate my bubble a little to make it stronger and less pop-able… you know my deliberate lowering of walls had to be replaced by the armor of God – and perhaps bubbles are not the right description of the enthusiasm I need for the future…”

So – yes – after prayerful meditation, I DO have a replacement for my bubble condition. It dawned on me (in the car of course) that even though I feel like this is a bubble of enthusiasm, that I truly know it is more than that  – it is not from me – it is God working me – molding me…  Yes, I am going to deflate my bubble a bit, but only to make it stronger, I am going to cut it open and stretch it up and open -and make the bubble into a cup – my cup overflows – my cup is what is filled with the love of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit – my cup overflows…and when more bubbles come – I will do that again and again – open them and make an even stronger cup.

Here is my devotion:

Bubbles and Cups – Filling from God – NOT from Within, 19FEB

My cup overflows – my new enthusiastic take on Jesus and my appreciation of what God has done for me – these have made me bubble so much inside – it has lifted me higher than I ever thought possible – I laugh more deeply – I feel more strongly – I sing more loudly – and I speak more boldly than ever …  and most importantly I listen more clearly – I listen to subtle signs that clash like gongs in my ears – I listen to the people and where they are in life in their life struggles – and when I feel the thorns coming – I sing…  I actually break out in a song to cover my ears from the thorns…  my bubbles I do not want burst…by me or anyone…

But I realize the bubbles from within are actually filled with overflows of this enthusiasm – which have amplified from an already high level (ask anyone who knows me – I bubble with enthusiasm over EVERYTHING already – so – even I was surprised with this increased bubbling…)

A friend of mine said that the Greek word “enthusiasm” meant “God from within” – which I thought was awesome of course (in a self-centered way)…  and I wonder if my bubble will ever burst – or maybe I should take inventory of replacement bubbles just to re-inflate them……

No – it is NOT bubbles that we are to inflate – because our bubbles come from OUR own excessive enthusiasm….  it is CUPS that we need to fill with GOD’S enthusiastic LOVE – it is God that fills our cups… the cup metaphor is everywhere in our history of spirituality… lovingly used in the bible for the cup that gets filled by God – our cup overflows.

So – when you feel your bubble bursting – or are worried about sustaining joy – remember to know God is to know that JOY is sustained by HIS GRACE – when you can take your ever-inflating bubble – rip or cut it open and then stretch it wide – side to side – and make it into a cup – and then use your own hands to hold it up to the flooding rains of God – you will receive HIS glory. When you ask for HIM in prayers – and  stretch out your hands – HE will fill your cup.

God is Good – All the Time…

Three songs and psalms in my heart to sing these praises:

1) From the song “Ripples” by the Grateful Dead:

” Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again.
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men. ”

2) From the song “All in All”:

” When I am dry You fill my cup.  You are my all in all”

3) and of course, from the most beloved:

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Ash Wednesday, Safety Nets, 18Feb – #70

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ash wed #70

There are tremendous contrasts between beauty and pain, jubilant-splendor and despair.

Ash Wednesday and Lent are to force us to take notice of Jesus’s suffering….40 days for forty days in the desert…His suffering contrasted with the glorious resurrection and the gift of our eternal hope for life in heaven.

Images in my head and on photos I took on my recent trip to home are of medieval portraits of the jubilant birth of a pudgy adorable Christ child… CONTRAST with the sorrowful painful sculptures of Christ dying on the cross…both these were on display at the art museum where I went solely to take photos of the beautiful valley up top the building on the hill…but soulfully I placed myself in the medieval art wing on my way back down… GORGEOUS…CONTRASTS…opulent joy and excruciating pain…

Next, I drove to the bridge overlook…high on top of the falls looking down the breathtaking gorge (and yet so commonplace here)…the icy water… and snow encased hills… the bustling city below…a gorge carved by 12,000 plus years of water cutting deeper into the crack ripped by the glaciers retreat…CONTRAST with the suicide catch nets…installed below to both catch jumpers, to hopefully prevent jumpers… A sad reality in a competitive college town… Hundreds of lives lost, tossed themselves away, hundreds of recovery efforts, brave rescue crews scaling the rocky gorge walls, risking their own lives to bring back the loved ones, who didn’t feel loved….
…When I stopped to take photos, I parked up with the vehicles of a crew of safety net checkers….the team was tossing a rope tethered mannequin onto the nets… three or four sections on each side… testing the thermal cameras that detect people. Twelve degrees was balmy in the sunshine which made the views extra beautiful… and made it extra hard on the testing crew…physically tossing the body over…again and again… pulling the heavy weight up with the rope… but necessary work to prevent eternal tragedy.

The contrast extra stark, between standing on the bridge for beauty or standing on the bridge for despair… GORGES…CONTRASTS…opulent joy and excruciating pain…

The contrast extra stark, between the Christmas gifted Christ child and the despair on the cross… GORGEOUS…CONTRASTS…opulent joy and excruciating pain..

IT IS GORGES…  
Gorgeous contrasts…

I thanked the safety net crew as I left…said “God bless you for this work”

I thanked God for the gorges and gorgeous views.

I thank God for Jesus…Christmas…Cross…Easter…joy…pain…joy…all a gift…

Jesus, a safety net for our souls.

Home Pilgrimages and Holidays, 17Feb – #69

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This might be part 1… I have tons more to write about my trip, but this just seemed to end naturally without extra fluff…so I will write later about more…this writing just feels my gratitude in life…

Home Pilgrimages and Holidays, 17Feb… maybe part 1

To say my pilgrimage to my hometown has been an amazing trip, totally cannot capture in words my experiences… It is home, it is my “mecca”, when I need an “home fix” there is no substitute. I have visits to waterfalls, to family, to nearest and dearest friends…
And it is a week of holidays! Including a school holiday, Saturday was St Valentine’s day, Sunday my Mom’s birthday, Monday President’s day, Tuesday my mom-in-laws birthday and Mardi Gras time Fat Tuesday. Ash Wednesday and Chinese New Year is Thursday…   And Christmas, it’s still Christmas in my heart, in the snow (over foot and a half), in my house, and at my friends’ house last night where I stopped for the most wonderful faith and family discussion… they are the most marvelous newly refreshed but long term couple…newly married after rediscovering love after years and years apart…these lovely folks still had their Christmas tree up, we spoke about Jesus’ love, God’s universe, and all the thorns in between. And they were pre-making St Patrick’s Day cookies. Now that’s my kind of holiday life…all at once.

St Patrick’s Day is every day for me, I am half Irish and half Bohemian…I cling to my fortunate life…I am truly blessed. And holidays are icing on the cake of life.

St Patrick’s Day does fit me for a connection that I just made, my good friend and I talked about how blessed we are that we lack the “demons”… How we are blessed and how we see others who struggle with the demons within. I have been gathering brainstorming stuff to write a major piece on the devil…but haven’t gotten there yet…I deny the devil any place in my heart…I see it in others…I questioned-question whether the devil existed-exists…I wondered-wonder if the devil is just the convenient scapegoat of peoples actions and flaws…BUT…if the scriptures are to be believed as a whole, then I can’t deny the devil’s existence…and yes, I see the devil in the world…and I see the self centered arrogance and selfishness of denying God, denying goodness….as evil forces… 
So yes, St Patrick in my heart year-round does fit me…but not just for my fair complexion, but because St Patrick is said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland…and God has driven the evil devil snakes out of my heart…I am naive to say this…I am likely blasphemous for denying the devil exists in me…I am childlike in my new acceptance of Jesus…but I am faithful to God…and if nothing else, I am to glorify the good works HE has done for me, to me, in me. I AM a child of God, He will mold me to be me.

tree for #69

Transfiguration, Tents, and Erasers, 15Feb – #68

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Transfiguration, Tents, and Erasers, 15Feb

2nd Peter 1 13 “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body”

I am refreshing my memory allot these days with a new appreciation of the Bible stories.

I hears it was transfiguration Sunday… but what does transfiguration really mean?

The wiki version (which you always have to be skeptical of…but gives a nice background) says Jesus was all aglow…lighted up…and Moses and Elijah appeared to Peter and two others…and God spoke…saying “This is my SON” … Before God spoke, Peter offered to pitch tents for them…some say he wanted to make shrines, but I read this as tents…wouldn’t it be cool to go camping with Moses and Elijah, sitting around the fire and hear them say to Jesus, “oh…so this is what God meant by that…”…. Yeah, it is in the discussion of the Word that we understand it…that it sticks…in our human heads.

But then Jesus told Peter not to say anything until everyone had seen that Jesus died and was resurrected….WAIT….WHAT? Don’t say ANYTHING?

How could he not bubble over in excitement? Not only did he get to be with Jesus, he HEARD God’s voice… I have seen God’s creations but to hear his voice? Now that would be a worthy tale to tell…

WAIT, this happened before the crucifixion and Peter still denied Jesus…wow…Peter is so human for his faults….

I read a passage in a little book called “Windows Towards God” by Charles Schmitz – about using a eraser when writing sermons…”[if God told you what to say in your sermons, then why would you need a pencil eraser (or now a computer backspace key and autocorrect) to erase it…to fix it…it’s because we are all humans…even Paul the apostle would use an eraser…]”

A different web author wrote that Jesus spoke in parables so that his disciples would understand, but if you didn’t understand them, then YOU would have to ask questions…the students asked and the answers were clearly given.

So, I see that I write and use my questions to understand, and I need to start using my erase key too…both to remove fluff and remove places where I am glorifying people and not God…and to also make the stories of people less intrusive and more teaching…I need to move from an exuberant Peter, wanting to spill the beans, to a more thoughtful person…finding the words when the person is ready to hear the good news…the God news (as my autocorrect would made good into God).

God spoke briefly and succinctly… Jesus spoke in parables, but we humans speak in REHASHING… we have to discuss, digest, digress, divulge, and dine on the word…sometimes we have to delete because we are humans and not divine.

thanks for listening…I appreciate being able to grow into new and improved writing…

From the King James version:
2nd Peter  1 16-21 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. KJV

And NIV
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

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Encouraging Emails, 12FEB – #67

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Emails, 12FEB

I love my church family…such good re-inforcement and strength they have given me… (like this email below).
The ears of the beholder are important for devotional writing…

Email received:

Good morning Debbie:
You are like a River overflowing —- the flood gate of words, thoughts, observations are pouring out.  Keep up the devotional writing  —- I am enjoying reading them.

Email received:
Wow Debbie I was just reading the email you sent about words flowing from you like a river, I believe someone sent that phrase to you in an email and I immediately thought of this song so I wanted to send you the lyrics to read, it’s beautiful isn’t it?  Of course it happens to be written by my favorite group, Third Day, I must try and reach them and let them know how God is using their music to speak to us.

Have a blessed day and keep a God watch on that special little girl you wrote about, God encounters have meaning, He’s using you to have an influence here, a word a gesture a story who knows in what way we touch others, the important thing is that we do, because of Him, we do.

Blessings,

THIRD DAY LYRICS    “Love Is Like A River”

Your love is like a river flowing from my heart

When this cruel world tears us apart
Your love is like a river flowing from my heart
When sharpened words have left their scars
Your love is like a river flowing from my heart
And it’s overflowing and showing us all
How deep and how wide is Your love
It never stops, it rages on
Your love is like a river flowing from my heart

When I am tired and so afraid
Your love is like a fire that will light my way
When darkness comes and my vision fades
Your love is like a fire that will light my way
And it’s always burning and stirring my soul
To know You and love You much more
It never stops or ever fades
Your love is like a fire that will light my way

IT’S NEVER GONNA STOP
IT’S FLOWING FROM MY HEART
IT’S NEVER GONNA FADE
YOUR LOVE WILL LIGHT MY WAY

When all my strength and hope is gone
Your love is like a rock that I am standing on

Your love is like a river flowing from my heart
Your love is like a fire that will light my way
Your love is like a rock that I am standing on
Your love is like a river flowing from my heart

Snowflake Kisses in the Sunshine, 12FEB – #66

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Snowflake Kisses in the Sunshine, 12FEB

It’s snowing again those big fluffy flakes and the sun is shining behind the clouds… these flakes won’t last that long but it’s still a reassuring sign to me that God loves me and He likes it when I talk to him…

I was very good and kept my phone away while I was driving this morning… another new years resolution I’m going to try to stick to… you would think that at least one encounter with almost running into a giant FedEx truck would have cured me from texting while driving… steering out of his way with about 50 feet to go… yeah, well sometimes I just don’t get the message.

The snowflakes I get… I appreciate them… while driving I was just thinking about Pastor’s sermon about whom Jesus calls…Jesus called disciples whose transformation would be clearly be due to God working in their lives…not because of what they had already achieved…Jesus used them as “object lessons”…   …and I was thinking while driving about my chick-fil-a visit last night… I ran into a family who lives down the street from me. They had come to our contemporary Christmas music fest, as friends of the band leader. Their baby was one whom I wrote about in the Christmas Eve labor essay (around 21DEC), whom I got to hold during the song “Come to the cradle…come and find peace”. It was so very moving for me.
Of course since it was school spirit night, I was bound to run into tons of people that I knew… but this was a nice reminder of Christmas… that baby was cranky yet again… but what was really a treat is interacting with their other daughter, a second or third grader with a free spirit for sure and the happiest most inquisitive girl you would meet. When she saw me she asked me my name – she didn’t remember me – but she asked if I was Mrs. Claus (oh – my cover was blown, and I had to admit that indeed I WAS Mrs Claus…). She also asked me about all the writing I had on my hand, which is my reminder to-do list…my iPalm. She asked if  I would write on her hand too…she is too cute…
This is the same little girl with whom I got to share the Christmas story with as if she had never heard it, heard it for the FIRST TIME (that afternoon of dec 21st sitting with her after the service to keep her busy while her Mom talked with her friends). Yes – she knew who Jesus was – but she said she didn’t know Mary or Joseph or perhaps she just forgot…  but I was sure happy she knew who baby Jesus was 😉

At chick-fil-a – I told her mom that we would love to have her at vacation bible school this summer. I plan to keep an eye on that kid… It dawned on me today that perhaps she was the little kid a few years back whom I stopped my car for and urged her to get back away from the street – yes I do think this was the same girl – I said get away from the road – hey you never know…

Yup – going to keep an eye on this girl….she reminds me of God’s gift of putting us in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time….like snowflakes.

Smiles

Nothing is more important, 10 Feb – #65

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this was so quick I had to write in like 10 minutes – after a conversation by texting with someone very upset with something harsh that someone said about their life – or at least that’s how they perceived the conversation…  Unfortunately one never knows how the person hearing the words you say will take them…How many times have you said something as a praise and it comes out as a criticism to their ears? Well listening and hearing are different – hearing is different than what is spoken – because of the person hearing – the context taken and the tone it is received in.

so this devotional was written while I was driving to a meeting – and therefore I opened the meeting with it (in a draft version which I have been able to expand upon here)  When God wanted me to start being more spiritual at the meetings, I didn’t realize that I was the one He wanted to write it out… I also shared my piece on human trafficking and the lamb of God. it was a great meeting and I got to share afterwards with three pivotal people in this faith journey of mine – three who had the smallest of words but the biggest of impact.  Afterwards driving home I saw a shooting star – God IS Good.

“Nothing is more important, Debbie”

That’s what the headline said in my email from my phone company this afternoon…well what is SO important I asked? I doubted it was about church stuff and actually it was about connecting with people – yes that is important…  but what came to my mind was when, in a church sermon, I recently heard that “Nothing… nothing is more important than serving Jesus”. Well that I now believe with new rigor. We don’t serve ourselves or our family more importantly than loving the Lord and doing what Jesus taught us. Jesus taught us to be non-judgmental…to love as the most important commandment from the Prince of Peace. To love is the way to achieve peace.

Just yesterday, a friend of mine told me about her cool Sunday School lesson… she takes a hundred dollars out of the bank in small bills… she gives each student a tube of toothpaste tells them to squeeze it empty – they keep squeezing and squeezing until the last drop is out. When they have finished down to the last drop, she then tells them she will give them a hundred dollars if they can get the toothpaste back into the tube…  she waves the money at them and gives out spoons – she even has the second graders count the money to make sure it is really $100.  They try and try but no – there is no way anyone can get the toothpaste back into the tube – nobody earns $100 and they are sad but they realize that nobody was able to do it. After they all give up – she tell them that the toothpaste represents their words….  really it’s the harsh words, the painful and hurtful words – the insults – the words that you would pay $100 to take back. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take those harsh words back?   I’ve been listening to a song  that says “ripples never come back – gone to the other side”. Yes ripples from our mouths only travel one way – out they go…  As the words drift away, the harsh words stick to there…. sometimes it isn’t the recipient of the words that the words hurt – sometimes it is the person standing next to them when THEY perceive what has been said.  The actions that we take and these words that come from our mouths are really important. Tearing down takes 100-fold more praise to repair – if it is even repairable.

Even though you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube you should try to model Jesus… we are all human and we say terrible things we wish we could take back.  We are human – so we constantly have to be reminded to keep the peace.   We are reminded to use our words wisely.

I got another Christmas card today, February 10th… I had already gotten one from this wonderful person in early December but they wanted to thank me for my card and for the family movie DVD I sent… They said sorry this card is late – but actually it’s not late – not just because they already sent one – but because it is still Christmas for me… This card says “Peace on earth”… “May your mind and heart be filled with the peace and joy of Christmas”. Yes – your heart AND YOUR MIND – you mind that speaks the words you say. Christmas has been all about peace and  love and Christ in my heart AND MY MIND.

Yes peace… to be Christ-like we must keep the peace… May we pray for peaceful words always… may we pause until something peaceful ripples out of our mouths. Peace is achieved through Love,

Peace be with you!

Amen.

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