light one candle . . .

Good Evening, God

“It is better to light one candle than to curse the dark.” This may be an old Chinese proverb or it may be the creation of Peter Benenson when he founded Amnesty International. But I have been experiencing the wisdom of that saying for 3 whole days now.

I was encouraged by Pilar Gerasimo, author of The Healthy Deviant: A Rule Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World. So, first thing in the morning, even before making coffee, I sit for 3 – 5 minutes looking at a lit candle. I found it so uplifting that I have added it to my Centering Prayer times.

Why? Well, seeing a live flame transforming an old cotton wick into light, seems to apply to Your relationship with us. In anycase, I am enjoying it. And, it also makes me think about stopping my “cursing of the dark”.

Sigh. It is so easy to judge. So easy to feel that I am totally Right. And from there it is a short step to feeling that those who are Wrong are somehow wicked and evil. WOW! That is really NOT loving my neighbor as I love myself. In fact, it feels as if I have been caught up in evil . . . or at least darkness.

So, tomorrow I am going to suggest to the Prayer Group that I am part of that we resist judging. Ideally, we might try stepping up a level to unconditional love and lovingkindness. As I heard in a sermon the other day, we are called to be rebuilders of the breaches in the wall.

I am hearing, God, what You said in Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”

Help us to hear . . . help us to respond.

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Posted in Compassion, complexity, connecting, Light, Light shining through, LOVE, Super Complexity, the Light of the World

A FUN idea

https://www.campmokuleia.org

Good Morning, God!

I’ve been STUCK because I have TOO MUCH wanting to get out and be shared. WAY too much for my little mind and heart to put into words. So, I’m going for SMALL.

WE MATTER TO YOU! That’s my “fun” thought for the day. We matter to You because You CARE for us. Your Lovingkindness has surrounded us since conception. You have been with us every part of our journey. And, in this Time of Disorientation and Depression, I feel You saying FEAR NOT! I am with you.

This photo taken some years ago at a Women’t Retreat symbolized how we may look alone . . . but we are enveloped in love. Your Love. You ARE Love. And shame on all the well-meaning folks who pictured You as the Great Rule Keeper.

Jesus was so clear . . . His story of the Prodigal Son returning broken to his father . . . who RUNS out to meet and EMBRACE him. . . captures Your kind of love.

So, this morning, I just want to affirm Your Love. I want to share HOPE in You. And remind myself and others to BLESS and not CURSE. To Overcome Evil with Good. To Pray FOR those doing harm.

May Your Spirit FLOW LIKE A MIGHTY RIVER over us all.

Posted in asking for and accepting forgiveness, being FORGIVEN by God, Blessing, connecting, Faith, Forgiven!, Forgiving, hope, Hope as a gift from God, kindness, LOVE, renewing, The daily details of love, the essential nature of hope

The Joy of Sharing

A Roadrunner that paused outside our daughter’s bathroom window in Tucson

Good Evening, God

Sometimes I get inundated by the Larger Picture. And, yes, we do not wrestle with flesh and blood but with Principalities and Powers and darkness in high places. Sigh.

But, just this morning, I sent a friend a link to one of my old stories — While Waiting — which is about praising You, God. So, I am going to swim up to the surface and PRAISE YOU FOR ALL THAT IS!

And having done that I will rejoice in the small moments that bring us joy. Joy in remembering them. And even more joy in sharing them. This is a photo of a Roadrunner . . . a large bird . . . that just happened to perch outside our daughter’s window for five minutes. Long enough for her to take a photo.

I am learning, God, that I can stop whenever and see beauty . . . feel appreciation . . . feel joy. I just turned my head and saw the right side of my desk was mostly clear — delight!

Posted in appreciation, beauty, JOY, Sharing, simple joys of daily life, the joy of sharing

A Powerful Voice that we need to hear

Mr. Zapata speaking to the Shasta Board of Supervisors

Hey, God!

I’m doing pretty well here. And my news — while filled with COVID 19 and politics — is still pretty upbeat. I do know I am more fortunate than most. And I have been worried about folks with no safety net. Still, hearing from a real life person who is a victim of the lockdown, was an eye opener!

Please, God! Help us all take a few minutes to listen to this video. Open not just our ears but hearts and our minds.

Posted in connecting

The little things

IMG_5705Good Evening, God

This little water lily lives in a small pot on the porch of my neighbor next door.  She was up and smiling yesterday.  And she brought me much joy.  My brother lives in Grass Valley on 20 acres filled with blackberry bushes.  And he has a pond with water lilies in great abundance.  Well, compared to the small pot of lilies next door.

But, it only takes ONE water lily to fill me with joy.  One was enough.  One beautiful water lily to be gazed at and appreciated . . . just for a moment before continuing our morning walk.

Small flowers — small moments to stop and sink into — these comprise a true bounty.  I am beginning to understand, God, why You told the Israelites not to take a census.  Not to count.  We are not to put our trust in numbers — but in You.

And so I am off to bed — putting the World and all my worries in Your Hands.

Posted in beauty, connecting, gratitude, JOY, Peace, simple joys of daily life, the joy of sharing, Trusting God

A World Wide Invitation to a Morning of Centering Prayer in Honolulu

Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 7.22.12 PMGood Evening, God

This is what I have been working on . . . creating screens is a joy . . . but not truly challenging.  But, now I am trying to condense a beautiful Welcoming Prayer so that it can fit into the time allocated.  And I haven’t really done that for many years.  So THAT is the true joy!  Difficult . . . but hopefully, not impossible.

I emphasized that it is a World Wide Invitation because I am hoping that some of our friends from Australia or UK or South Africa may attend.  But, it is open to anyone interested in Centering Prayer.  Indeed, the nice thing about Zoom is that you can sneak in and sneak out.  Staying for a taste — or staying for the whole thing.

These are the both the best of times — and the worst of times.  But, definitely a Time to Turn to You!

Posted in acknowledging my need for prayer, Centering Prayer, connecting, Prayer, praying, the JOY of praying together, the Light of the World, web of life

I’m sorrowing

IMG_4705 2

Good Evening, God

I am sorrowing . . . over so many things.  And this photo from back in April expresses my mood.  I miss life as it was back in the OLD normal.  I remember the call — in mid March — from our daughters saying DO NOT GO TO CHURCH!  You are in the vulnerable category.  And we do not want you putting yourself at risk.

And so we joined everyone else in adapting.  I’d already been co-hosting a weekly Zoom chapel so I started offering to host other groups.  And I truly enjoy that “getting together” but, it isn’t the same.  And, it is true, one day blends into the next without the Markers we used to have.  The line that captures that is “Every day is Blursday.”

I’ve lived though a few bad spells.  Not going to swimming pools during Polio season.  There was the Hong Kong flu back in 1969-70.  It killed 1.1 million people worldwide. And that was back when the world population was only 3.5 billion — half what is it is today.  But, I don’t remember any major societal response.  We all just went about our business — hoping and praying for the best.

I guess most folks are waiting for The Vaccine.  I am not. I am is very cautious about its possible effects on my body.  It is MY body. So it was a shock to learn that the head of the University of California campuses has decreed that no unvaccinated person can teach, work or attend any of the UC campuses.  WHAT?

So, God, I guess I’m not just sad . . . I’m worried.

Posted in connecting, fears, freedom, going THROUGH the sorrow, Sorrows of the Deep

Cherishing each moment

IMG_4273Good Evening, God

I enjoy Beauty.  I would say, Who doesn’t?  But, I am more and more aware that Goodness is even more to be appreciated.  My wonderful husband Kit is good.  Good in an un-self-conscious way.  Never even thinking about being a good person.  This makes him a Treasure!

And I keep resolving to do a better job of treasuring him. . . and cherishing him.  I’m smiling God.  I really enjoy doing a blog where I have no preconceived ideas as to where I am going.  Messy . . . but more fun for me!

This Saturday morning 9-11:30 HST (GMT-10) I’m helping to host a Morning of Centering Prayer.   That’s the link if anyone wants to go.  And a friend is going to read Guard of the Heart written by Fr. Thomas Keating.  In the article Fr. Keating says that “contemplative prayer is aimed at transforming daily life with its never ending round of ordinary activities . . .”  My first thought is that my daily life could use some transforming.  But, my daily life is wonderful!  I am the one needing transforming.

I have named myself “An Appreciator” but really, God, I fall far short.  Once again I think of that quote from William Butler Yeats:
            The World is filled with Magical Things
           patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

    Our senses to grow sharper, indeed!  But, also, God, for my Heart to grow larger.

 

Posted in appreciation, beauty, Centering Prayer, Cherishing, connecting, Expand my Heart, Goodness, LOVE, simple joys of daily life, The daily details of love, the gift of persistent love

A Hole in the Center of Our Past

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The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America

Good Evening, God

It really is fun to discover that you had a HUGE hole in the history of America.  And, I am certain that there are many more holes that would enjoy being filled.  But, with the story of the Dutch in America — it is a hole that I had papered over with one small fact —  the purchase of Manhattan for $24.

Actually, buying it, instead of conquering it — tells a fair bit about the Dutch.  At that time they were buying and selling more than settling or invading.  They made an effort to contact and trade with the Mohawks.  The Mohawks in turn wanted to trade with the Dutch because their enemies, the Hurons, were allied and trading with the French.

Money seemed to be at the heart of the Dutch culture.  But, it wasn’t just Free Trade that they valued.  They also valued individual rights, and religious freedom.  Two very important values!  So for the most part their territory was open to everyone. . . ethnicity, language, or religion.  At that time, it was virtually alone in its tolerance.

Another surprise was the extent of their area.  South to Delaware and north to Albany.  The trade with the Mohawks was a very early precursor to the Erie Canal and the opening of the Great Lakes.  This one missing piece helped build connections with what I had previously learned.

And the reason it was missing?  The paper records of that time were lost!  The records in the Netherlands were actually sold as scrap paper in the 1800s.  Just recently have Dutch records of that time been found in the basement of the New York library in Albany.  Now the old handwritten Dutch is being translated and transcribed.  And the puzzle of who we are as a people becomes a little clearer.

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Posted in connecting, Curiosity, learning

Finding Another Inner App

IMG_5634Good Evening, God

I love finding beautiful flowers and ripening fruits as we walk in our valley.  And I especially love the areas that fall “outside” of anyones responsibility.  To me, they are tiny oases of wilderness.  And their exuberant messy snarl is appealing.  Well, it is appealing outside.  I do not like it nearly as well when it grows and proliferates in my office.

In fact, God, I still remember the moment when I saw the face of the new iPhone.  To me it was perfect!  Lots of options.  Clearly presented.  With an uncluttered black background.  Sigh.  This is not the space I inhabit.  Although, I have not given up!

Perhaps that is why discovering that I can reframe some of my inner qualities as Apps, is  so very appealing.  It brings them up to the surface of my mind.  It sets them off as having a semi separate existence.  And it reminds me that they have settings.  I can recalibrate and adjust them.  It gives me a neutral way of accessing and influencing my own behavior. . . not judging or shaming . . . just adjusting.

So this morning, when I realized that I have A Starter App I was overjoyed.  This will help me break into the flow of my day.  I drift through the day enjoying whatever. . . and then it is time for bed.  Ah ha!  A Starter App would allow me to interrupt my pleasant haze and start my 5 minutes of exercise.  Or start filling out a form or call a friend.  Once I started,  then inertia would work for me.  But, as You can see, God, I am thinking small.  Five minutes.  Or maybe ten. I know I need to build in a Timer, because, once started I can forget to stop.  I can get so excited at finally starting exercising that I pull muscles, get sore, etc.

Once again, life is all about balance.  I want both Messy Creativity AND Purposeful Organization.

Posted in beauty, connecting, Creating, creativity in loving service, embedded in God's Time, Flowers, Inner Apps, Office Overflow, organized, supportive organizational structures, The Flow of God's Love, time

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