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Holiday Gathering Success (WHAT?)

For 50 or 60 years, give or take a few, our family has gathered at holiday times to share meals and do the “family thing.” What that has historically meant is carte blanche for any and all bad behaviors and not one ounce of remorse or regret from those perpetrating their ill behaviors upon the all expecting family. Yes, all expecting. The family has tolerated some real crap from the excessive, completely in denial “drinker” who urinates and defecates on himself and furniture, to the “almighty know it all” who resounds a  humongous demeaning vocal dissertation upon all of us who have an ounce more knowledge about a subject than he.

So, to experience the joy of a holiday without the drama was such a delight! The know it all found a new love and moved in with her family. He is on best behavior at this time as it is a rather new (less than 2 year) relationship. We all went to their new love nest, complete with her 80 year old mom who puts up with next to nothing. The drunk and his drunk partner came as well. His usual bodily functions were none existent as they would not have been tolerated in this new venue! The entire new family were wonderful hosts. Their family way is for each person to bring a contribution to the meal so as not to stress any one person out with cooking for the 28 of them. What a success and what a joyous assortment of food that would not be reasonable for any one person to have created alone.

So, finally, after all these years I have learned that the cure for the holiday drama and stomach pains is simply to find a new venue to share the meal and create an atmosphere that is not conducive to the previous bs of holidays past.  No more tolerating and enabling the bad behaviors just to appease our Patriarch, Momma. Instead, create a space that would cause major embarrassment to the perps if they carried on in their typical unbridled behaviors by adding new blood (new people) to the scene.  SO simple.

It worked.

We are using the same for Christmas!

Yes, it was THAT SIMPLE!

(your welcome!)

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Breast Cancer As An Emissary

The Journey of a wonderful Soul.

Aligning With Truth

The diagnosis of breast cancer is just that — a diagnosis

An identification of the nature of an illness.

An identification of the state of the cells in my body. Of the imbalance between the healthy and harmful cells.

I view it as merely an imbalance in the energies. A misalignment.

And when there’s an imbalance or misalignment, what does one do?

Put some balance. Put the energies into balance. Re-align.

Bringthe energies into alignment.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/

The diagnosis per se isn’t where I keep my focus and energies; it’s in what the Universe, my Higher Self, my Soul is telling me via the diagnosis.

My Soul chose breast cancer as a messenger. An emissary.

The diagnosis is a messenger of what needs attention. Of what needs re-direction. What needs increased awareness.

It is a messenger of validation for what it is that I have…

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An Open Letter To Those Who Doubt Or Deny God

Lots of food for thought here. Reblogging because these thoughts and their author need to be absorbed by more thinking minds.

THE RIVER WALK

It has been a while since this most commented of posts has received much traffic. When I was read Psalm 53:1 in today’s scripture reading, I thought it might be time for a revisit…

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 53:1

Read: Numbers 14:1 – 15:16, Mark 14:53-72, Psalm 53:1-6, Proverbs 11:4

To The Doubting Christian – If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. – Rene’ Descartes Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith, it is an element of faith. – Paul Tillich

To The Agnostic – Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. – Thomas Jefferson

The Militant Atheist – Man is manifestly not the measure…

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Fringe No More…

I have been listening to a whole lot of Jesus TV lately.  There are new, younger preachers that are making Jesus seem so much more approachable and real. I think this is a good thing as the catechism that I grew up with kept the Lord at a distance. I am not religious or pious. I am just your simple generic sinner type that is trying to live each day as if it were a new assignment by seeing everyone I meet as Jesus and having the opportunity to acknowledge the beauty of that to them.

It seems the more awake I re-become, the more I feel I am being drawn towards a life that is not so secular. I have an inner pull to become more outspoken and more bold in my faith walk. I want to share the Good News with others and am becoming discontent with “just” going to work and living to take care of self. I remember the days when I was a new Christian, full of Love, Energy,  Music, and the Spirit. There was a fire burning inside that was all-consuming. There was a need to serve and there was always an outlet for that. I was surrounded by like-minded people and life blossomed with all sorts of possibilities.

And then what happened? I could say, God only knows. But, I think I do know. I was young and open to falling off the tracks. I started dating and “Poof!”,  I could no longer sit in church with church people.  I felt I would be judged by them. So, I stayed away. Far away. I missed ministry, but I did not dare walk among the righteous, or self-righteous. I found myself on the outside looking in. It sucked. I had no confidence that  I was alright with God, so I just let the distance happen to me.  I always knew God was with me despite the ignorance of His followers and that I have always been protected by His best angels. I just know this. I also know I am His child. I guess I just sort of went into this survival mode and have been in it for some 30 years.

Every so often I would knock on the doors of a church. I actually had some welcoming and affirmative conversations with the pastor of my “home” church in my mid 30’s. He was wonderful, accepting and kind. He was sort of fatherly in his own way. He and I had many conversations, some that he even thought pulpit-worthy enough to share with the  general congregation at mass. I started to let myself feel at home with this Pastor in the church of my childhood. After semi-retiring a couple of years later, my Pastor, Father C. moved away to a smaller parish. I missed our talks and soon found the new pastor and the new “in” group was not a good fit for me because I could not BE me. So, off I went to try other churches, denominations, and locations.  There was always a reason why each of these did not feel like home. And to this day, I have not found a church that I call home. Sometimes I am close, but in the end, until I can have a conversation with the one who is the leader of the congregation and feel a connection, I feel still very much like an orphan kid.

That is sad. I feel I have a lot to bring to brothers and sisters in the House. I just cannot do that without being able to be who I am. During my conversations with my old Pastor, he had asked me how I could reconcile my self to my faith/God. It was an interesting and perhaps simplistic approach I had taken to make this happen, although it took almost 15 years to articulate. When asked what sin is, the answer I understood was  “anything that keeps me from FatherGod.” And what keeps me from FatherGod?  His followers. And in making that my mantra, I was not admitting to any harm. And in this I firmly believed and in this he never questioned.  Father C. was my friend and I loved him for letting me be me. He was never condescending or judgmental and never once made me feel like he was just tolerating me.

All these years later, I have started attending a new non-denominational church. Currently I feel tolerated and prayed over in hope that I can change and learn to leave who I am behind. The lead Pastor seems to want to reach out to everyone and has gone so far as to sing praises about one of his gay staff members, even going so far as to say that that person is one of the most passionate on his team towards our Lord in one of his recent podcasts online. This is not unfamiliar ground to this Pastor as he has a family member who is of the same fabric. I originally thought this was wonderful because Pastor is supposedly in tune with us folks who are on the fringes of church life but hunger for the word of God and the opportunity to share that word with others. But later in the same podcast Pastor advises he can only personally accept people who are not true to their nature and are basically willing to give up who they are after they meet and start their walk in faith. He offers that anyone can disagree with him and all he offers to you at that point is the right to disagree with his righteous posture. But I am a child of God, created by Him. No less than anyone else, I do believe that we are meant to be true to ourselves in praise of our Creator and to throw away who we are is to throw that in His face as if He made a mistake.

What I know now is that we are all put on the planet as different threads that make up the fabric of human kind. We are meant to be different. The bible has thumped many Peoples over the years and one by one the ones in charge finally get enlightened and make their adjustments in their interpretations and one by one they acknowledge their mistakes and send out word that there needs to be an amendment in how people are treated. I think that the last of the religiously thumped-on peoples will some day be realized as wrongly judged by man and will go on to be treated as God intended, just like anyone else. We all sin, we are all fallen, and we are all forgiven and asked to sin no more. And truly loving another and being committed to that other is not a sinful act. Judging others and keeping them on the fringes just might be.

And that brings me to my original thought: that I am watching a whole lot of Jesus TV lately. Something in me is rekindling. I am starting to feel a fire in my butt to get off of it and reach out to others. I think to myself, “who am I” and “what have I got to offer?

I have Jesus. He has washed me clean and sent His Spirit to dwell in me. I am His and to share is a gift from the One. Everything else about me is just about how I can relate to others and not be ashamed of any part of me. I am no better than anyone. I am also no worse than anyone. We are all one.

 

 

“get a bicycle. you will certainly not regret it, if you live.” ~ mark twain 


I didn't have my glasses on....

15305154

i was

so excited

to buy

my brand new

townie bike

it was

cream-colored

and fancy

flikr.com

and

i imagined myself

riding on a beautiful sunny day

into town

carrying spring flowers in my basket

looking at all the sights

along the way

waving to neighbors

i named it

‘white lightning’

because

of it’s beautiful color

and

because

i would ride fast on it

with the

wind at my back

i rode it out of the store

and

because

i’d been in spin class

for a while

and

feeling free

and confident

i took off like a rocket

into the parking lot

and quickly

lost control

and

slammed into

my daughter’s shopping cart

i’d forgotten about

the

‘balance factor’

and

we laid in the parking lot

laughing our

baskets off

as

people walked by

probably

thinking we were drunk

in the middle of the day

but we knew

it was only

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Well, it didn’t happen, yet; & an OPEN INVITE to share…

11229755_506558662853487_1255380033322317068_n**So about a half hour before my phone meeting was supposed to happen I received a text from Pastors’ assistant stating the meeting needed to be postponed due to unforeseen meetings that had come up.

Well, ok. Since I had originally written about wanting to communicate with Pastor last September (2015) and I had gotten the first response to that letter in January (2016), I figure…what’s another delay.

I only write this little blurb as I stated an update to that meeting was forthcoming. If and when the reschedule happens, I will indeed share here. Meanwhile, if anyone would like to share their ideas with me, please feel free as I am always open to sharing about things I am passionate about. Namaste’**

Pre Phone-Meeting (with the Pastor!) Thoughts

May 12 2012 at Great Bay**Me and my great ideas!

I am scheduled to have a phone meeting with the lead pastor of the church we have been attending for about two years now. I am a recovering cradle Catholic who has been attending an alternate house of worship. Attending this Christian church has been both a blessing and a constant reminder that as I turn (literally) left at the traffic light to attend an “experience” each Saturday evening, I am “failing” to turn right to attend the catholic mass. It is a choice I have made as I am so not comfortable with being among those who would stone me rather than embrace me for being born a being who was created with a natural inclination towards woman.

Not by choice. Born this way.

So, over the years I have fought with my self and tried to be what I am not. That does not work. I have come to know that being true to yourself is very healthy. Being true to others about your truth is not always so healthy. People have their own views about my life and the way I should live it. Fact is, I am living it my way, anyway. But there is always the nagging heartstring that is attached on the other end to the One who made us all. And, of course, there are the Lessons of Life learned as a child that are almost un-ignorable. As we mature we try to fit all of the life lessons into our adult lives and sometimes things don’t fit. No everyone is a size 8.

So, this phone meeting is to respond to a podcast of the pastor speaking with a friend of his who is a gay pastor in Massachusetts. Their discussion on how to deal with the “issue” of gays in the church, tolerate “them”, and then ultimately agreeing to disagree on whether a Christian person should be gay, but not be allowed to be a sexual being made me almost puke.

How can a human fall in love and be asked not to make love to the one they love? Who does that? Why should they?

So, along with that question, I hope to add that in all of my readings over the years and attempts to delve into the likes of anti-gayness in scripture, all that resonates with me is the constant reiteration that it is NOT what we do that can bring us into the fold, but what has been done already for us by our Savior. It is He who saves, not our works. It is also abundantly clear to me that the Savior came to divide the houses between the old and the new ways as He stated He had come to bring a new way of thinking and a new Salvation. I agree, out with the old and in with Jesus. OK. So, I tend to take things verbatim and the New Testament clearly says that the Lord came to usher in a new way.

I find it very interesting that all of the abomination talk is in the old testament. So, since it is not brought up in Jesus’ ministry, I truly believe that it is because He knows that people are created in the image and likeness of God and that there are no mistakes. It is how people deal with every other person that makes them either Godly and loving, or not. People are not meant to tolerate others, but to Love them. Infidelity, porn, addictions; things that a person can DO can be sins. But how you are born is not a sin. And being tolerated for your nature is like being tolerated for the color of your skin. Who can say who is the greater of those on the earth? There is none. There is only Jesus, and the One who sent Him to and for us.

Sin, I have been taught, is something that separates us from Father God. In my book, it is a whole lot of followers that do not accept me into the fold that seems to be the vehicle of separation. Yet, Father God looks to me, the one out on the fringes, and comes to gather me to Himself to bring me Home to safety.  HE does not want me to feel tolerated. He wants me Home. He wants all of His children Home…together…not thinking one is better than another. And I truly do believe that if the verbiage of tolerance is not corrected within the community of believers, my brothers and sisters in Christ will continue to think of themselves as cleaner, and more worthy and separate from the fringe-dwellers. This perpetuates the  separateness and adds a level of judgment and potentially a sinfulness to those picking up those stones, whether they throw them or not.

I shall return to add remarks about the phone meeting. I pray for the right words to share with Pastor J about what is near and dear to my heart: the love of all of my brothers & sisters in Christ…all of us…and the end to simple tolerance and a new understanding of what it really means to LOVE all others as ourselves as Christ asks us to do…as He showed us how to do by His sacrifice at the Cross for us all….even me.

UPDATE 5-19-16 Still no word as to a reschedule time or date. Praying for Pastor to see the Light! ~ Jersey