Tag Archives: God

All Things Work for Good for those who love God …why do I sometimes forget?

Faith…sometimes I momentarily let it slip

It is 6:30 Sunday evening. I am still feeling full of energy (another story for another day) despite sitting in a house that is now 85 o. At one point I thought I actually felt cool with the fan blowing on my legs and the ceiling fan stirring the air behind my head. Due to the humidity, that is not the case any longer. I now feel quite clammy and sticky. I touch my hand to my arm and it actually feels as if there is a layer of weak glue trying to hold it there.

Unfortunately, my air conditioner broke yesterday. Since I have a repair contract with an air conditioning company, I was able to get a repair person to come check the outside unit at 5:00 pm on Saturday evening. Since he was just here last Thursday and pronounced my AC ready for another season, there is no charge for this return visit.

He says I have a couple of valves broken in the compressor. I sit there in the dining room (I can’t stand now because of the news) and listen to Dave. He’s the one who has been coming spring and fall to check my furnace and AC. I am too stunned at the thought of having to buy a new AC for my house to be able to listen. That’s because, in order to cool this house, I need a five ton three phase unit. The present AC is a 1998 model. That’s thirteen years. It replaced a model that was installed in the early 60s and didn’t die for almost thirty eight years. I was expecting longer service out of this model.

I feel sorry for myself and call Maxine across the street. I haven’t talked about Maxine in quite a while. Whenever I begin to feel sorry for myself, she snaps me out of it. I honestly don’t remember what she says. I just know I feel a lot better when our conversation ends. For those of you who don’t know Maxine, I call her that because she is so much like the cartoon Maxine, I swear the cartoonist knows my neighbor personally. It’s not just her attitude. She could be a model for Maxine herself.

After I talk with her, I feel much better. I start to tear up but those tears soon dry up. There’s just no reason to cry when you talk with her. Sorrow for self just doesn’t cut it with her.

It’s just that I feel I’m being bombarded from all sides. One issue is the hail damaged my roof and I’ve been dealing with the contractor and delays for many days.The roof was supposed to be done last Wednesday.  The contractor is a nice  guy and I really appreciate him, but I will be very glad when I can put the roof behind me. I called him to tell him he can stop looking for a sub-contractor to do another job I asked him to bid on because I would not have the money for quite a while due to my AC breaking.

We’ve talked several times about topics other than roofs, and I enjoy his company. I know he is younger than I am but I find him quite attractive. I realize the attraction is one way. When I tell him about no AC in my house, he actually extends an invitation to sleep on his couch in his apartment! I realize he is offering for humanitarian reasons and no other, but I thank him politely and tell him I’ll be fine. It’s still getting down into the low 70s at night. I assure him my bedroom will cool down sufficiently. (It actually did. By 2 am I had to pull the sheet over me between the ceiling fan and the stiff breeze blowing into my bedroom windows.)

If we had been in the same situation thirty or even ten years ago, I would have been knocking on his door in a heartbeat. He would not have had time to hang up the phone. I really have been too trustworthy all my life. He probably has too. Besides, he has a cat. Next to dust mites, cats are the second on my list of thirty four allergens I’m allergic to. I would be miserable before the night was over. One, because I would be out on the couch, and two, I would be sneezing and my eyes would be itching. I may even be wheezing. It doesn’t matter if the cat is in the same room with me or not. Cats are a great reason for me to remain sane with invitations like that.

Now I am in the process of contacting AC companies and getting bids. I probably won’t know until Wednesday or Thursday who will do the job. In the meantime, I have a window unit in my converted garage and a friend brought over a floor unit for my bedroom. If I recline under the ceiling fan in my family room, I actually do not feel too warm. I think I will make it.

I slipped for a moment yesterday when I panicked over the thought of such a large bill. I know better than not to trust that all will be well. Once again in my life I am “Letting go and letting God.” That’s all I can do. I affirm that all my needs will always be met and I will have enough provision to have some of my wants as well. That’s all I can do. That’s all I need to do. The rest is in the “hands” of a power greater than I. I am grateful I live an abundant life. All is well. Namaste. Attic Annie

 

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I am not a Christian

I am going to have my roof replaced starting Wednesday due to hail damage. For whatever reason, I have found talking with the sales rep for the roofing company to be a very enjoyable experience. How I ever thought I could or even should start talking to him about my religious beliefs totally astounds me. He was a complete stranger until last week and I have only seen him a total of three or four times. But I have been close to his last call of the day and he is beginning to unwind so he takes a little more time just to chat.

A couple of days ago he was here to measure my roof line. When he finished that, I just started chatting with him on non-business related topics like we had briefly done a couple of other times. Part of me says he’s just being a good salesman but another part says he just likes to talk. He and his wife parted ways in December and I think he gets a little lonely.

Anyway, how it came about I’ll never know but I started talking with him about my church and my beliefs. I don’t usually even share those topics with life long friends.  It was crazy! I told him about growing up in a very conservative Lutheran church. When I was old enough, I learned I was a LUTHERAN. I referred to myself as a Lutheran and connected all of my religious beliefs with that name. We did not refer to ourselves as Christians. My close friend was CATHOLIC but my father didn’t forbid me totally from associating with her. It just wasn’t encouraged. She wasn’t referred to as a Christian either.

When I began dating my first fiance, I went with him to his church and became a Disciple of Christ. I married in that church. (Not to him) I was a Disciple. We moved to Connecticut for one year and back to Illinois for the next year and we were Congregationalists. After trying to find a fit in Texas, we settled in to attending the Cumberland-Presbyterian church. After the divorce I no longer felt welcome in the couples oriented small CP church so I tried the Methodists. The large church downtown had a huge singles group so I tried that. I immediately sensed I was in a meat market. There were too many women dominating the activities who were prime rib or T bone for me to be comfortable. I have felt my entire life that I’m more the equivalent of hamburger…still hot and juicy but not prime category.

I decided to go to the Methodist church close to my home. I attended church there but was not involved in any activities. After almost two years, I decided to join the Bible study group before church. I was at the same time dating a guy named Jim. The class was made up of people my age and I was welcomed since I brought Jim with me to the activities. It only took a little while for me to realize this was a COUPLES Bible study. When Jim and I broke up, I sensed from the other women that I was no longer as welcomed, especially if I chatted with any of the other men, the HUSBANDS. I was there long enough for my son to be confirmed. Other political things were happening in the church with which I couldn’t agree, and, at the same time, I was getting more and more unwell so I soon stopped going to church altogether. I was no longer a Methodist.

I became unchurched for twenty years. It was during that time that I realized there was a definite change in the climate and many more people were calling themselves Christians as opposed to the names of the founders of the churches they attended.  There were now Christians everywhere. As I said earlier, when I talked about religion with people I would say I believed I was now very spiritual but did not consider myself religious.

Back to the present and my chat. This guy opened up about this theologian who lives not too far away who professes to anyone who will listen that he is a Christian and a SOUTHERN BAPTIST. I happen to know this gentleman although our paths have crossed only a few times. The roofer was sharing that this man USED him to meet with the insurance adjustor and for all the preliminary paper work and then the following day there was the sign of another roofer in his yard. That reminded me of the Christian contractor who did a miserable construction job in two of my rooms. I had hired him at that time because he was a Christian and I trusted him. I paid him before I discovered all the half-a&^ errors he made. He never did come back to correct the work.

It was then that I blurted out that I did not consider myself a Christian. He got a very startled look on his face. “I wouldn’t be able to say THAT,” he said. I explained that the older I got, the more dismayed I was with the people attending the churches I did and the protestors of several different causes who hold rallies in the name of Jesus to spew their hatred and condemnation. All of these people wear Tee shirts and wave banners, and bracelets and crosses and rings professing what good Christians they are.

My faith in the ONE GOD is as strong as it will ever be.That does not mean I do not believe in Christ. My faith in him has matured and gotten stronger in the past six years than at any other time in my life. I totally believe in following his teachings, but I have found myself feeling uncomfortable around the loudly proclaiming Christians whose actions I observe speak to me in volumes much louder than their words. I guess it would be the Christian thing to do to accept them and love them completely anyway. I’m still working on that.

My cousin was a devoted Joyce Meyer fan. I like to listen to Joyce occasionally as well. She really resonated with me when she said the following:

Sitting in church every Sunday does not make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car

I really am a Christian. I am just not religious.  I just can’t call myself that if it means being like so many of the others who have come crawling out of the woodwork.  Namaste. Attic Annie

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Should We Be Rejoicing the Death of Bin Laden?

There is no shortage of blogs, newspaper articles, radio or television programming about Osama Bin Laden today. I am certain my one little blog will be totally ignored but I feel compelled to write about him anyway.

I was slightly turned off with all the shouts of joy, the dancing, and the flag wearing of people all over the United States and probably much of the world. People gathered and showed their ecstasy at the news that Bin Ladin was dead.

It bothered me that I could not muster the same joyful response as so many people were showing. It reminded me of the frenzy which occurs with the playing of the Super Bowl. I was troubled by thinking maybe there is something wrong with me when his death has made so many people happy. Why can’t I feel happy too?

Before leaving my house this morning, I checked the messages on Facebook and discovered ONE message from a former student of mine who echoed my sentiments. I really felt a connection to her.

This is what she posted this morning:

The only death in this world I am comfortable celebrating is the death of Jesus; while I support my country &, especially our troops, it’s still tragic that it ever had to come to the point that Americans would so gleefully celebrate the death of another human being.

Upon reading that, I responded, “Well put. I do not sense any joy in my heart over this. I fear Bin Ladin’s work is not over. Revenge and vengeance are double edged swords”.

When I got home and logged on, she had added a Bible verse. Maybe I’m not so wrong in not feeling any sense of jubilation.

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice” Proverbs 24:17

She is quite the Biblical scholar. I would never have been able to find a quote from the Bible but she had memorized much more than I will ever take the time to do.

One song in the Wizard of Oz that has troubled me since I first saw the movie on TV many years ago was the one sung by the Munchkins, “Ding dong the witch is dead.” Is the celebrating of the death of someone what we should be teaching our children? Even though the story is fiction, the lesson that children learn from that is not one I would prefer they learn.

However, in doing some research before I started to write this, I discovered that our pleasure at seeing someone else punished may be hard wired into our brains. I had difficulty in believing what I was reading in the article called “Revenge is Sweet.” There is a German word, “schadenfreude” which is the pleasure felt over someone else’s misfortune. This is the second time this month I have run into that word. I do not understand how people can find it pleasurable or funny seeing someone else get hurt. (America’s Funniest Home Videos comes to mind.) The article actually states that “Fehr and his colleagues suggest that the feeling of satisfaction people get from meting out altruistic punishment may be the glue that keeps societies together”. I guess that means the more we find pleasure in punishment, the tighter our society will be.  I cannot wrap my mind around the phrase “altruistic” punishment, since altruistic means unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.

There is also the English proverb quote ,“Vengeance is a dish best eaten cold” According to a Wikipedia article, the proverb suggests that revenge is more satisfying as a considered response enacted when unexpected, or long feared, inverting the more traditional revulsion toward ‘cold-blooded’ violence. In early literature it is used, usually, to persuade another to forestall vengeance until wisdom can reassert itself. This sense is lost in recent presentations.

I was always brought up thinking it was not right to seek revenge. Vengeance was not supposed to be taken in our own hands. Some people interviewed today expressed concern that Bin Ladin’s followers will try to seek revenge for his death. To revenge the revenge that we felt. Enter karma and the never ending cycle of retaliation. That was my first thought also, a feeling of “Uh oh. Here we go.”

Because I always seem to have to know the verses which come before and after those that are quoted, I googled Proverbs 24:18. or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.  The parallel commentary then added, “The meaning is “Thy joy will be suicidal, the wrath of the righteous Judge will be turned upon thee, as the greater offender, and thou wilt have to bear a worse evil than that which thou exultest in.”

I fear we may be entering into the second phase of the conflict with Bin Ladin and his followers. I never fully understood the motive of Bin Ladin when he attacked. It seems it was because the USA and Israel are allies.

 In 1998 Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, (a leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad), co-signed a fatwa (binding religious edict) in the name of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, declaring:

[t]he ruling to kill the Americans and their allies civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Makka) from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, ‘and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,’ and ‘fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah’.[37][38] 

It also seems to be because Manhattan has a very large Jewish population and is also our nation’s financial center. He wanted to hurt the USA as much as possible because he hated this country.

As a result, today he is dead. But is it over? I honestly don’t believe so. The Golden Rule is nowhere in this picture. I am uneasy about the future. I pray my thoughts are without merit and this will be the end.

Namaste. Attic Annie

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Jesus loves me. Dying in peace

Jesus loves me, this I know” I can still see myself sitting in that front row primary Sunday School classroom with Mrs. Z standing in front of me leading all of us in song. Singing made me happy. Even though the older I got, the more I felt like nobody loved me, I was safe in the knowledge that at least Jesus did. Those were the very early days when I still could feel happy.

 

Sixty years have passed since that memory. My relationship with Jesus has changed. I no longer really address my prayers to him. I pray directly to a God who has changed in my mind as well. The bearded white male God of my childhood has been replaced by something the likes of which is really impossible to describe. Instead of male, God is both Mother and Father. But there is no body that I picture. Instead God is a feeling, a feeling of love and comfort that surrounds me and gives me peace. It took me years to really understand what was meant when we sang “God is love“. That was one of the first concepts about God that I was taught but one of the most difficult to understand.

I subscribe to a daily inspiration email. My thoughts about Jesus were stimulated by this story. I have read this story several times before. You probably have too. I try to talk to God the way many people talk to Jesus.Perhaps it is easier for them to picture an Anglo-Saxon fair haired man listening to them. Whatever, if I can transition as peacefully as the man in this story did, I will be blessed.  I wish to be in my own bed, wrapped in the arms of love.

Namaste. Attic Annie

DADDY’S EMPTY CHAIR

A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit.

“I guess you were expecting me,” he said.

“No, who are you?” said the father. The minister told him his name and then remarked, “I saw the empty chair, and I figured you knew I was going to show up.” “Oh yeah, the chair,” said the bedridden man. “Would you mind closing the door?”

Puzzled, the minister shut the door. “I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,” said the man. “But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head.

“I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest. Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It’s not spooky because he promised, ‘I will be with you always.’ Then just speak to him in the same way you’re doing with me right now.’ So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.”

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. “Did he die in peace?” he asked. “Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me, and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead.

But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?”

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, “I wish we could all go like that.”

 

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Perhaps perhaps perhaps I can be grateful

“There is a line that stuck in my head, from King Caspian at the very end of the movie. He tells Aslan, ‘I’ve spent too long regretting what I’ve lost instead of being thankful for what I’ve been given.”

I am unabashedly borrowing my opening sentence from the young blogger/former student I blogged about yesterday. I just finished reading her Monday blog. It’s one of the better ones of hers I’ve read. She has a knack for description which is truly enjoyable. The quote from King Caspian is from “The Dawn Treader” which she just viewed.

I have not been a Chronicles fan so I probably would have missed this. What the king said resonated with me.

Perhaps it is because I am an introvert and subject to over introspection. Perhaps it is because I inherited my propensity for depression from my father. Perhaps it is because I was born a Cancer. This description from the Cancer website seems to fit me perfectly…

“Cancerians have a particularly strong memory for emotionally laden events which they can recall in detail for years. They are governed by childhood memories and since they live intensely in the past in memory…etc”

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.  Again with the introspection.

Are we destined to live our lives in certain ways? Is it in our genes? Those three “perhapses” are pretty convincing to me as reasons I have lived most of my years backing into the future keeping my eyes on the past. If it were a recent development, I’d blame the fact I’m getting older and doing a retrospective analysis of my life. Such is not the case. The past has always been more vivid to me than the now.

I spend way too long thinking about the past and its losses. According to Eckart Tolle, I am not living in the now. There is power in living in the now. Since my mind tends to live so much in the past, I am not using the most of my power.

I have had many losses in my life including loves, family, friends, health, retirement funds, etc. I find myself, like King Caspian, revisiting those losses and ruing them, choosing to do that far more often than making the choice to make more positive memories in the present. It is not what I choose to do, but I make the excuse that it is what I am destined to do.

Is it possible to change our destiny? Tolle seems to think so. For those who blithely say, “Forget the past”, I respond that it is extremely difficult and for some impossible.  Some seemed to be forced to stay there forever.

But is it impossible? I would like to think not. There are those readers now who are saying, “With God all things are possible”. I try to agree.
I try more every day to be thankful for what I have been given. Albeit I view my life as having been a rather boring, uneventful, and lonely and often sad experience, I would not trade it for the lives of millions, nay billions, of  women now living throughout the world. In comparison, I have been bountifully blessed. When I hear of the experiences of others, I am more than satisfied with my own. It is once again, “There but by the grace of God, go I.” I choose to not walk in the moccasins of any other woman. I am grateful for my own.

I have very seldom to my knowledge held any envy for whatever anyone else has had. For that I am thankful. Envy can lead to coveting. Coveting sometimes leads to stealing. Stealing can lead to punishment. Punishment can be far worse than not having the object of our desires in the first place. I very much believe in “Be careful what you wish for.”

There is a prayer I have learned that goes like this:

“The Light of God surrounds me, the Love of God enfolds me, the Power of God protects me, the Presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is, and all is well.” Some add, ” And I am grateful!”

Whenever I say that prayer, I AM grateful. Now if I can convince myself to live in the Now, I will be a more complete person. Namaste Attic Annie

 

 

 

 

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Beware the man with only one book

I finally visted the blog site of one of my occasional commenters Tuesday. It’s an unusual site. He calls his site The Other Gardener but then writes as The Underground Lady. He is currently on page 40. I don’t have a clue as to how to get back to page 1. His thoughts are short paragraphs and eclectic. His background is black and his writing is white making it a little difficult for me to read. It is soon obvious that he is highly intellectual and well-eduated.

The reason I am mentioning this is that he has the following phrase at the top of his page. Cave ab homine unius libri. It is Latin meaning beware of the man with only one book. I had to google it to get the full meaning. My high school Latin failed me. I couldn’t put it all together. I got man one book.

My thoughts immediately turned to those of religious extremism who believe only one book has all the answers. As far back as I can remember, as a very young child, I was haunted with questions about why only Christians could get into heaven. I wondered about all those in the world who had never heard of Jesus the Christ. I wondered about all the babies who never had a chance to learn.

Instead of being comforted by the thought that as a Christian I didn’t have to worry about where I would end up for eternity, I was discomforted about the thoughts of the trillions of other souls who wouldn’t be up there. My religious upbringing caused me to have more questions than perceived answers.

My religious life was one of traveling from one Christian church to another and another during my 20s and 30s. None of them gave me satisfactory answers. For about twenty-four years I became unchurched. Since I live at ground zero within the Southern Baptist world, I’m certain many of my co-workers and neighbors considered me close to being a heathen. It was not that I was a non-believer, it’s just that I could not begin to find any answers among those who considered themselves religious.

I became exceptionally leery of those who deemed themselves ministers, who held the Holy Bible in one hand and thumped the air or the pulpit with the other proclaiming that this (referring to the book being held) was the ONLY answer. Believe in this [the book] or find yourself in hell. Now that was comforting.

Devout extremist Jews believe that of the Torah, Muslims, of the Qur`an. I am not familiar with extreme Buddhists or Hindus, but perhaps theirs is the same story.

I have come to a belief that has been forming most of my life, that there is more than one path to God. I have found a like-minded community in which to pursue that belief. My belief in God is stronger than it has ever been in my life. What has been so enlightening to me and  a puzzlement as to why it hasn’t been to others, is many of the great spiritual teachings have so many core thoughts that are exactly the same. In many ways, they mirror each other.

I cannot understand why those with extreme views cannot or will not sit down with those of other faiths and explore their commonalities and form bridges with those ideas rather than to exclaim their differences and build even wider moats to surround their own island worlds of the ONLY answer.

The lives of Jesus and Buddha who preceded Jesus by 500 years, are remarkably similiar. The things they  both said are almost identical.

http://www.heartlandsangha.org/parallel-sayings.html

http://tomstine.com/jesus-and-buddha-parallel-sayings/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallels_between_Buddha_and_Jesus

http://www.eclectica.org/v2n3/gaborro.html

http://www.eclectica.org/v2n3/gaborro.html

These sites are only those on the first page when I googled Jesus and Buddha.

Many such comparisions can be made of the thoughts of the Holy Bible and the Qur’an. They both share, along with the Torah, the same stories of father Abraham, Adam and Eve, etc. The Qu’ran mentions Jesus in several places.

With so much being similiar, when or even will the human beings who populate this earth begin to realize we have so much in common? Are we doomed to use religion and our religious books to bang each over the head for eternity, each screaming louder than the other that “Our way is the ONLY way?”

One of the most difficult passages for me to understand as a teenager at Bible camp was 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV. That was the only version we were supposed to read.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I couldn’t get my thoughts wrapped around seeing through a glass darkly. The minister conducting the Bible study was not much help when I questioned him. I soon got the idea I was just supposed to saw off the top of my head and let him pour the lesson in then close my mind again. In this verse,  Paul tries to express the imperfection of mortal understanding. Perhaps we don’t understand because we have only parts and not the whole. Isn’t it time to start putting everything together? To see into [not through] the mirror [glass] fully and completely our reflection in the way that we reflect God? To stop seeing dimly [darkly] but in the bright light of clear day?

Terrorists and extemists are the same regardless of which religion they proclaim. I firmly believe that you cannot “save” someone by beating him or her over the head. You take the child’s hand, and gently lead by example the way that should be gone, and you can take any or all paths to get there, wherever that path may lead. But beware of the man with only one book. Following in those footsteps is like watching a movie with one eye covered and only a slit in the cover of the other eye. It is impossible to see the whole grand picture. Perhaps each different religion has only one chapter. I believe it is time to combine all those chapters into one big book, editing it out so each story is only repeated one time. Perhaps then when we read it without blinders and eye patches, we will be able to at last see the big picture.

Namaste. Attic Annie

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A call to action from Andrew Harvey

I guess I am getting a little lax about posting on time. I try to write my blogs the day before so they will be posted at 6 am central USA time. I’m starting to slip a little.

Once again for the second Sunday in a row I have actually contemplated staying in bed and not going to church. Once again, I got up, showered, and dressed and made it only a few minutes late. I was not the last one to class.

We are discussing a book published in 1998 by Joseph Jaworksi called Synchronicity The Inner Path of Leadership. When we started reading it, I judged it prematurely as not having much meat in it. However, it seems the thoughts in it are bringing up all kinds of comments from the class members. The chapters are very short and written in a much more conversational than textbook form. We seem to be taking only one chapter at a time due to all the sharing.

The chapter we discussed today was 8. The Dream.  Something in the first paragraph caught my attention. The author was talking about having “experiences involving the loss of boundaries where my sense of identity expanded to include God and the entire universe.”

I identified with that. As a child, I always felt so many boundaries and walls keeping me away, especially from God. God was some old man UP in heaven while I was a little child DOWN here on earth with a boundary between that could never be breached. Since I have begun questioning my beliefs and expanding my ideas of ONE God within us, The boundaries are disappearing. I am still taking baby steps in that regard but I am still going forward. This idea of loss of boundaries “is central to every major religion, including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.”

Having come from a background of a much more restricted thinking, at first this idea was very difficult to comprehend. Although there were several ideas discussed in this chapter the one that resonated the most with me was “the physical survival of the human race depends on a radical change of the human heart. This is a call to service that will take great courage–to leave what we have and move out, not without fear, but without succumbing to that fear. It is a call to redefine what is possible, to see a vision of a new world and to be willing to undertake, step-by-step, what is necessary in concrete terms to achieve that vision.

It was my Sunday to usher so, in spite of a headache, I headed for the sanctuary. I think my head must have been twisted in my sleep last night so my neck was stiff. I was soon to be blessed to hear an truly amazing person. Our church brings in about four speakers a year. Today it was Andrew Harvey.  I had never heard of him, but that was not unusual. There are more people “out there” whom I have not encountered than that I have. He spoke on the topic “Passion in Action, Sacred Practices for a Dangerous World”. He is the founder of the Institute for Sacred Activism operating out of Chicago. However, if you look at this man’s schedule, he is traveling all over the world with his message of the urgency to become active in changing the world.

What he said sounded very familiar. I have spoken about some of the issues in my blogs myself. He said the US is in a protective dome. The citizens are only receiving the media messages that the big corporations wish us to learn about. He claims we are really quite ignorant about what is going on in the rest of the world. Please do visit his website and learn more about him. He is really quite impressive as far as the people he has met and learned from, and the extent to which he is willing to travel to get his word out. He was extremely passionate in his presentation. The attention of every person in the sanctuary was riveted upon him for the entire talk.According to our church bulletin, “Andrew  Harvey believes that everyone has a direct connection to the divine and that finding this direct connection is the clue to the kind of radical self empowerment that can help you become a passionate, peaceful and brave sacred activist.

He certainly got my attention today and reinforced my strength of resolution to do the volunteer work that I envision. What better way is there to change the world than to help young, terrified, lonely women to give birth with peace and joy in their hearts instead. Just think of the difference in hormones that would be reaching those newborn babies and their calm, accepting mothers. Namaste. Attic Annie

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