Category Archives: Religion

Day Forty

It begins (Genesis 2:8) and ends (John 19:41) in a garden.

Today I had a chat with my mother Sally in the Memorial Garden.  I told her how much I missed her and how much I still need her.

In the gentle breeze blowing the nascent blooming jasmine framing the bench on which I sat, in the burgeoning pedestrian pink pansy, in the swaying of the palm fronds, she whispered, “I am here.”

A little girl ran through the covered walkway surrounding the garden singing,  “BEST DAY EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!”

YES.

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Happy Spring!

Another one of my favorite spiritual authors is Brother Richard Rohr.  A Franciscan priest, he approaches the Universe in a unique way, deeply, profoundly.  Sometimes so deep and profoundly I don’t know what he is getting at.  But I persist in trying to understand him.  I do not think I understood most of what he wrote before I turned 50.

Today is his 75th birthday.  Reading his birthday memoir post was a gift to me this morning that I would like to share with you.  The truth, of course, makes an appearance.  Enjoy!

Hot music tip:  download Sarah MacLachlan’s Prayer of St. Francis and Medicine for the People (all of it).

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Jesus Calling

As I have noted, I lost my reading brain last year.  It is just beginning to come back.  One of my favorite books is a book some of you know of called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  Jesus Calling is a daily devotional, perfect for short nuggets of truth, Biblical uppers which remind one of important promises.   Texas Belle gave me a fancy edition which I love because it is large print.  In addition to losing my brain, I am losing my eyesight.  You can also get the Jesus Calling app for your phone.  Bea Long gave me one too that’s by my bed.   Even this easy practice evades me frequently.

But today I picked up my book and this snippet of Wisdom spoke directly to my heart:  “I speak to you from the depths of your being. ….  I speak to you in love-tones, lifting you up.  My Spirit convicts cleanly, without crushing words of shame [emphasis mine].  ….  Be transformed by the truth that I live within you.”

This morning I took my yoga class to the beach.  As it was thunder storming outside, we laid our mats down the studio floor.  Each student picked a shell from my collection.  If you can’t find God in a shell, I don’t know what to tell you.  Think about it:  The hard exterior protects our soft insides.  A pearl is born of irritation and friction from the depths of our gushy innards.  How often do you hide your true selves with a complex outer layer to shield our truest self?

Some shells are smooth, others spiny, bumpy, or rough.  Some have crusty ridges.   Some are plain and others are iridescent or colorful.  Large or small, curling or flat.  You get the idea.  God loves variety.   Within each shell there is order.  How would you describe your shell?  Do you honor it?

Johnny Nash‘s Mr. Sea made an appearance on the playlist as did Miley CyrusMalibu and the Eli Young Band‘s Saltwater Gospel.  There was a little Antonio Carlos Jobim bossa nova to boot.  When the class was over, it was a bright, sun shiney day.  When my class leaves happy and relaxed, I know I have done my job.   Inside I am mentally jumping for joy, fistpumping the Universe, giving thanks, and loving the shell that houses me just a little bit more for carrying me through another hour in the ebb and flow of life.

 

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Truth from the Fort

“The truth is the truth, no matter the container.”

Jeannie McCabe, spiritual mentor, Fort Smith, Arkansas

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Awaken to the Truth

Working diligently on closing out the Arkansas chapter of my life (and yes, it’s still open), I leave you with the miracle of  Awaken with JP’s video Entitled How to Get Offended as I am busting my chops to get the hell out of the Fort.  Today’s short video is for all the people out there not reading my blog.  Sally did tell me to keep a sense of humor.  LOLZ!

Before becoming an internet comedic sensation, JP Sears earned his living as an emotional healing coach (think of it as a New Age priest or pastor).  You can read the entire article in Yoga Journal here or just embrace this nugget, ” … I look at humor as an alchemist—it has the ability to help transform energy, so when we carry experiences that are painful, when we begin to look at them through the lens of humor, how they feel and how we react to them and how we interpret them can change.”  True, that.

JP’s first book How to Become Ultra Spiritual comes out in March.  Already in the shopping cart!

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I Only Have a Few of the Answers

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6 (NIV)

 

One of the more problematic phrases in all of Christianity is the second sentence in the above Scripture.

Today I went to my former Episcopal church in Arkansas.  The Reverend’s sermon focused on Billy Graham and how his formulaic message left little room for mystery.  This Reverend grew up in a very strict-constructionist-interpretation-of-the-Bible home as a child – he eventually left that church and found a different home in the Episcopal church.

For some folk, clarity of message is comforting.  For others, it is confining.

I myself am banking on mystery, the stuff whereof miracles are made.  I put God in way too small a box for a long time – a tidy, ring sized Tiffany blue box with white satin ribbon as opposed to no box at all, the size of the Universe, an infinite space of a non-box.  I am now (mostly) content to let Him figure it out – my attempts at controlling situations have not worked out well for me.  Go figure. The last year cauterized parts of my heart.  This was actually a good thing even though it was excruciating at the time.  Can you smell the prideful parts being burnt off?  Burnished?

Here is what I do know about Jesus and His truth:

  1. Praying is like checking in with your parents regularly.  Some days you need a long sit-chat and other days a text message will have to do.  God enjoys hearing from you.  He likes to hear about your problems.  Phone home!
  2. God is going to figure out how the Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Amazonian natives, the unbaptized, atheists and agnostics are going to find Jesus.  That is His job, not ours.  I am available for consultation if the need arises, however.  His mansion has many rooms and they are all for guests.
  3. Life simply goes better if you walk the way of the path, paying attention to the signposts labeled TRUTH.   There are no short cuts.
  4. Worry only shortens your life.  Somedays I feel mine shrinking and I have to remind myself that I am taken care of.
  5. I don’t have to have it all figured out.  Neither do you.
  6. He loves me!  And Y-O-U!  Buddha probably does too but I do not know enough about him to comment.
  7. Jesus wants you to feel his peace.  Occasionally, he’d like you to be happy.   Happy all the time happens in Heaven, not on Earth.  Adjust your expectations accordingly.
  8. Love is always His answer.

Notice I did not use the word “believe”.  These are things I know.

Night night!  XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Almost Forgot a Title

As I have stated in previous posts, I have witnessed several miracles.   Not only the everyday graces but the major full-blown not-scientifically-verifiable kind.

Continuing with our Greek definitions to amplify our knowledge of truth by going to the source of the word miracle, you can click here to read about the different kinds, according to Biblical sleuth Peggy Overstreet:  “There are four primary Greek words translated as miracle: works(ergon), wonders (teras), powers (dunamis), and signs (semeion). These various terms are used because no single term can possibly exhaust all the significance of a miracle. These words do not depict different kinds of miracles. They portray the miracles from different perspectives.”

Eighteen years ago today one of my favorite miracles was born.   A dear friend was informed during her first trimester of pregnancy that something was “terribly wrong” with the fetus.  The doctors did not know exactly what, only that it was a massive genetic glitch.  Learning disabilities were thrown out as a distinct possibility.  Body parts might be missing.  Out of respect for The Miracle That Is, I will refrain from going into further details.    You get the picture.  Cue months of agonizing waiting during which many people all over the globe prayed that baby up.

I was forced to examine pretty much all of my beliefs during this period, to hold them up to the light like one does a crystal wineglass, examining it for dings along the rim or unsightly soap spots.

I am happy to report that the baby came out happy, healthy, whole, and intact.  He scored an 800 on his math SAT.  No mental slouch is he.  Congenial to a fault, he cracks up his mother when he exhibits even a scosch of teen spirt.  His very presence makes us REJOICE.

My truth for today is that the power of prayer actually works.  Magical, mystical, miraculous changes happened in that womb, out of our purview and control.   What to do when the power of prayer does not bring us our desired result?  Good question.   Persistence in prayer is one answer.  Acceptance of the reality/truth of the situation is another.  Bottom line: each circumstance presents one with an opportunity for growth.  This is either a beautiful or a painful truth.  The latter just sucks.  But somewhere, inside that utter suckiness, there is the knowledge that maybe, just maybe, something so outrageously beautiful will be born, even if all it is is an expanded sense of compassion for your neighbor, a feeling you were not sure your heart was even capable of feeling.

Hot tip for today:  Download/stream the musical experience Anthem by the artist Emancipator.  It just sounds like the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

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