Monday, May 14, 2018

The Book of Ephesians

Welcome and Good Morning!

God has been nudging me for quite some time to read the Book of Ephesians and this morning I finally got around to reading it. I've read the book before, but today it answered so many questions I have been chewing on for so long.
Why didn't I read it with the first nudge, you might be asking?
I'm asking that myself, but maybe I wasn't ready yet to hear what it had to say.
Maybe I needed to chew and stew for awhile to accept all I needed to hear with an open heart.
I heard it today. I'm rejoicing in the answers!
I can't remember where I read a story about a man who read Ephesians every day for a month. He said it gave him new insight in the book and made him able to really embrace the truth of the words and make them his own to live by. If I remember where I will share it with you. It was a great story.
I'm taking the challenge.
I'm going to read the Book of Ephesians every day for a month.
Anyone want to join me?


Another beautiful picture I took when I was home.

Gratitude
1. His word
2. Answered questions
3. You, my dear reader

Ephesians 3:17-18
And I pray that you,
being rooted and established in love,
may have power,
together with all the Lord's holy people,
to grasp how wide and long 
and high and deep
is the love of Christ.

Blessings,
Deborah

Thursday, May 10, 2018

P.S. My Cat Died, Too.

Welcome and Blessings.

Somehow, when I was talking about all the deaths I have experience lately I forgot to say my cat died the same week that my mother did.
How could have I forgotten to mention that?!!
My dear, sweet Maverick.


Such a silly cat. Afraid of his own shadow. Friends had rare sightings of him, if any at all. I had to show most people his picture to prove we really did have a cat. Sometimes he would even act afraid of us, especially if we had a hat or a hood on. Even if we spoke to him to prove it was us, he would go into his low rider mode and run under the bed. So silly.

I miss him dearly.

I thought I wouldn't want any more animals when he was gone. Five years ago we had 3 dogs and 3 cats and now we have none. Too many losses in such a short time. That's what happens when you get them all close to the same age. We lost our last two dogs last year. One in January and one in November. Tears another little hole in my soul when each one passes. Anyway, after the last dog passed I thought, "NO MORE ANIMALS!" I can't take this loss. But now that Maverick is gone I'm not so sure. On the morning my husband told me he had passed in the night my first thought, after sobbing over the loss, was, "Oh my! I don't have a cat anymore." I'm not so sure I can live without a cat in my life. I'm not rushing out to get one. I want time to grieve Mav's loss, but I'm pretty sure there will be another cat someday. 

My life just isn't complete without that purring in my ear. 

Gratitude
1. Tootsie (dog)
2. Leena (dog)
3. Molly (dog)
4 . Lili (cat)
5. Sassy (cat)
6. Maverick (cat)

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.

Blessings,
Deborah



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Grief is Hard

Welcome. I hope you are having a blessed day.

"Grief is hard," is an understatement.
It is effecting me in many ways, especially in the writing department.
I told myself today that I need to stop staring at blank notebooks and blank screens and write something.
Anything.
So, here I am.
My mother died.
My favorite high school teacher died.
A young man, who was a preschool student of mine 13 or so years ago died a year ago. I found that out, too when I went home for my mother's funeral.
Now back home, I found out last week that my best friend's wife has cancer.
Write?
Really?
You want me to write poetry or a short story?
Now?
No.
I can't.
It's not in here inside this numb brain so filled with grief I can hardly breathe.
I love to read.
Can't focus on the page.
Craft?
Pfft.
Cry?
I can do that.
Stare off into space?
I can do that.
Go through the daily motion of getting dressed, fixing meals, talking when spoken to?
Yes, I can do those things.
Pray?
Yes, if I ask God for help with my prayers.
Write?
Well, I guess I just did.
Just don't ask me to be creative about it.


A picture I took while home.

Gratitude
1. Oceans
2. Flowers
3. Birds

Hebrews 13:5
I will in no way leave you,
neither will I in any way
forsake you.



Blessings,
Deborah

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Beloved Community

 
 
 

Welcome and Good Morning!

I'm sharing another wonderful article by Fr. Richard Rohr. Enjoy!


The Beloved Community
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

 
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. —Martin Luther King, Jr. [1]
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw clearly in the last years of his life, we face a real choice between chaos and community—we need a moral revolution. If that was true fifty years ago, then we must be clear today: America needs a moral revival to bring about beloved community. —William J. Barber II [2]
I believe that “moral revival” is a natural outgrowth of realizing how connected we already are: what we do unto others or to the earth, we really do to ourselves. All created beings are included in this one Body of God. Protestant pastor and political leader Rev. Dr. William Barber writes:
The main obstacle to beloved community continues to be the fear that people in power have used for generations to divide and conquer God’s children who are, whatever our differences, all in the same boat. [3]
It takes a contemplative, nondual mind to see foundational oneness—that we truly are “in the same boat.” The first philosophical problem of “the one and the many” is overcome in God as Trinity. The Trinity reveals that God is precisely diversity maintained (“Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Spirit”) and yet that same diversity overcome (God is One by reason of the infinite love shared between the Three). Each of the Three perfectly loves and is perfectly loved. And all is created in imitation of this divine shape of Reality. As of yet, we humans have neither done unity nor diversity very well. We have not solved the essential problem that was already resolved in God. (Please read that until it sinks in!)
The goal of the spiritual journey is to discover and move toward connectedness and relationship on ever new levels, while also honoring diversity. We may begin by making connections with family and friends, with nature and animals, and then grow into deeper connectedness with those outside our immediate circle, especially people of races, religions, economic classes, gender, and sexual orientation that are different from our own. Finally, we can and will experience this full connectedness as union with God. For some it starts the other way around: they experience union with God—and then find it easy to unite with everything else.
Without connectedness and communion, we don’t exist fully as our truest selves. Becoming who we really are is a matter of learning how to become more and more deeply connected. No one can possibly go to heaven alone—or it would not be heaven.
Inherent Goodness can always uphold you if you can trust it. I call that goodness “God,” but you don’t have to use that word at all. God does not care. It is the trusting that is important. When we fall into Primal Love, we realize that everything is foundationally okay—and we are a part of that everything!
 

Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.
 
 
[1] Martin Luther King, Jr. used these words (with slight changes) in essays and speeches from early 1958 to his last Sunday morning sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC on March 31, 1968.  See A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. James Melvin Washington (HarperCollins: 1991), 52, 88, 207, 252, 277, 460.
[2] Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, in the foreword to Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion (InterVarsity Press: 2018), 3.
[3] Ibid.
Adapted from Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, ed. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018), 102, 104-105.
Image credit: Welcome (detail), Canticle Farm, Oakland California. To learn more about Canticle Farm, visit https://canticlefarmoakland.org/.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I Remember Mama

Welcome and Good Morning.

I've been trying to write for days now, but just come here and stare at the blank screen.
My mother passed away last Saturday.She was in the last stages of life for a week and the words just would not come to me.
Saying that last good-bye always seems to get stuck in my throat; clogged there with too much love and sadness to get by.
I didn't grow up with Hazel, my birth mother, so I don't have years and years of memories to cling to, to help ease the grieving moments. But I do have some very sweet memories to cherish and cling to, and cling I will.
Grief is a funny thing that comes in waves to knock you down when you least expect it. Like yesterday at the florist and later at Safeway when I was at the olive bar trying to get the stupid lid on the container of olives I wanted to buy. I tried FIVE times to get that stupid lid on and finally handed it all to my girlfriend and said, "I'm going to give these flying lessons unless you do this for me." She started laughing, it was a pretty funny thing to say, until she looked at me and saw the tears welling in my eyes. Stupid things like that can get you going out of nowhere.
I take comfort in other places, too especially my Bible like Mama always did in times of sorrow or joy.
One of her favorites was Psalm 23. I haven't met anyone who doesn't like that Psalm, but I'm finding new comfort there now that I learned it was one of Mama's favorites.

"He calms me beside still waters.
He restoreth my soul."

I don't like the feeling of being an orphan now either. Who thought I was grown up enough at 63 to take charge of the world?  Scary thought! *shudders*
At least I'm not the Matriarch of the family now. That honor falls to my oldest sister. She will do an awesome job of it, too I'm sure.

Good-bye, dear Mama.
Easier to type than say.
Rest in peace you sweet soul.
You will be so missed.




Mama on her Wedding Day.

Gratitude
1. My mothers, Hazel and Beverly
2. My family
3. My friends

Take a few minutes and read Psalm 23 in memory of Mama.

Blessings,
Deborah





Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Thoughts About Mother

Welcome and blessings.

My mother is back in the hospital again.
This will be how it is from now on; in and out as the need comes.
Her body is breaking down. The pneumonia is not going away. Last night they gave her heavy duty antibiotics and this morning the 103* fever is gone.
Thank you, Lord.
They say they can only keep her comfortable now.
They say they are doing everything they can for her.
We appreciate all the tender care.
We appreciate her strong faith that she lives each day and models for us.
We appreciate her love for each of us and give it right back to her joyfully.
We don't know how much time we have left with her; days, weeks, months?
Only God knows that.
We do know we are facing a time without her.
Reality check time.
I want to throw a good-ole-two-year-old-tantrum!
I would if I thought it would do any good.
So, instead I will surrender her over to God;
leaving her in His hands that are so much more capable than mine.
I will cherish every moment with her; every conversation on the phone.
And I will pray.


My sweet mother, Hazel.

Gratitude
1. My mother
2. My family
3. A loving God

Hebrews 13:5
I will in no way leave you,
neither will I in anyway
forsake you.

Blessings,
Deborah

Monday, April 2, 2018

Weight Loss Bible Study - Me Again

Welcome and blessings!

Here I am again...the yo-yo queen.
I know how to do this so well.
Scale down. Scale up.
Down. Up.
Up. Down.
Trying so hard to stop the madness and
failing miserably.
I went down 2lbs this week and now the scale this morning says I'm back up 4lbs.
A total gain of 2lbs. for the week from last week.
What. The. Heck?!!

Cruising through Pinterest I found this article that I thought you might like to read.
http://motivateddays.com/the-spiritual-battle-to-lose-weight/

I also found this one on Barb's blog, "10 Lies, 10 Verses."
https://barbraveling.com/2013/09/29/weight-loss-bible-verses-10-lies-10-verses/#comment-1074425027

I'm going to pull out "Taste for Truth," and read some chapters again.
Get my Bible verse cards out, too.
And do a lot of praying.
Restore my mind.
State my truth.
Restate my boundaries.
Get back on the bike.
At least I'm not starting completely over.
*sigh*

How are you doing?
Have any suggestions?
Help!!


Gratitude
1. Bloggers who understand about how hard this is.
2. Knowing I'm not a failure
3. Accountability partners

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.

Blessings,
Deborah


The Book of Ephesians

Welcome and Good Morning! God has been nudging me for quite some time to read the Book of Ephesians and this morning I finally got around ...