Archive for the ‘Fine Lines’ Category

Impending Doom

I have sporadically in my lifetime had feelings of impending doom. I learned over time that it didn’t seem to correlate to any reality that I could perceive. That being said, it is a very disturbing experience. Early on, even in childhood, I decided to just pray about it and the feeling would go away. I should have stayed a child.
Turns out that this feeling is a symptom of various dis-ease. Thus informed, I informed my Primary Care Doctor. A month and way too many health care dollars later, I know that my cardiac system is amazingly healthy, anxiety is not a factor and no medical person has an answer. Then came the Hayian Typhoon. The feeling left to be replaced with great sorrow.
Now, I’m not saying my prayers would have stayed the waters. I mean really, I am not an egomaniac. I’m just saying I’m going back to just praying the doom into prayers for unspoken needs because there is great sorrow and doom on the horizon all over this world. And regardless of whether it is happening to you or to me, we are all on this planet together. May God have mercy. Come Lord Jesus. Christ have mercy. Amen

P.S. One Great Hour of Sharing is a wonderful way to send our dollars to help the victims in the Philippines.

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Re-visioning Mary

A friend of mine’s, Yvonne Lucia, art work is being displayed on two occasions. I have watched these in progress as well as the final product and found them profoundly moving. If you are near either place, take the time to enjoy. To learn more see this website: http://www.sacredartportal.com

Monday October 21, 2013
10 AM to 9 PM
Christ the King Retreat House and Conference Center, Syracuse, NY
500 Brookford Road
Syracuse, NY 13224

The series of paintings, Re-Visioning Mary: Contemporary Icons Inspired by Her Titles is a personal offering, inspired by poetic titles ascribed to Mary in several ancient litanies of praise to her, exploring images of the sacred feminine symbolized in the figure of Mary. The viewer is invited into a state of contemplation and personal experience of the sacred through an encounter with the images, prayers, and walking the labyrinth, around which the paintings are positioned. Paintings will be on display and labyrinth will be available for walking meditation from 10 am. Artist’s talk “Painting as an Encounter with the Sacred” at 7 PM .
Offering: $15

Sunday December 8, 2013
12 noon to 4 PM
The Dancer’s Studio*
19 South Washington Street, 2nd floor
Binghamton, New York 13903

Contemplative Viewing and Labyrinth Walk
The season of Advent invites us to slow down, take time, and enter the transformative space of the womb as we await the birth of Christ. Walking a labyrinth is an ancient way of prayer which embodies this invitation. The contemporary icons of Mary surrounding the labyrinth offer the opportunity for deepened reflection and prayer.
Free and open to the public.
Prints, prayer cards, and note cards will be available for purchase

*door is located behind the building, across from Serv Pro

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God’s Labor

Today is Labor Day and I am having a day of rest. Yesterday evening, my Mother-in-Law shared a DVD with us from a play she had seen in Lancaster. PA called Noah. Like all plays based on a Bible story, liberties with the text abounded. Which caused me to take out my Bilble and re-read the Noah story. (Did you know that Noah sent out a raven once and a dove three times? – I only remember the dove and thought it was only twice). So I decided it was time for me to re-read Genesis. I am enjoying the new translation called The Voice. It can be accessed for free through the Bible Gateway app. Here is an excerpt from Genesis 1:4-9, the second creation story within the first chapter of the first book of the Bible. I hope you enjoy it.

4 This is the detailed story of the Eternal God’s singular work in creating all that exists. On the day the heavens and earth were created, 5 there were no plants or vegetation to cover the earth. The fields were barren and empty, because the Eternal God had not sent the rains to nourish the soil or anyone to tend it. 6 In those days, a mist rose up from the ground to blanket the earth, and its vapors irrigated the land. 7 One day the Eternal God scooped dirt out of the ground, sculpted it into the shape we call human, breathed the breath that gives life into the nostrils of the human, and the human became a living soul.

(When human body meets divine spirit, soul is born. Divine breath and sculpted earth come together to make up the living soul. For thousands of years, philosophers and theologians have posed the question: what is a human being? Here God gives the answer.)

8 The Eternal God planted a garden in the east in Eden—a place of utter delight—and placed the man whom He had sculpted there. 9 In this garden, He made the ground pregnant with life—bursting forth with nourishing food and luxuriant beauty. He created trees, and in the center of this garden of delights stood the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

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Our pastor is on sabbatical this summer and he has granted me the privilege of preaching 6 of those Sundays. Two weeks ago, when I did the children’s story, the one and only child (whose name happens to mean Christ-bearer), wanted nothing to do with me.  Afterwards I asked him what he would like to talk about and he said “the weather”.  It just so happened that the Old Testament Lesson on the next Sunday would be I Kings 19:1-15.  In it, the great Prophet Elijah ran for his life into a cave where he waited for God to speak. I rewrote this story as a dramatic reading and downloaded sounds on to my iPad for the rain, earthquake and fire.  Then for sheer silence, I downloaded the Eternal Om. The three adults, the children and I practiced our parts before the service. They took turns playing each sound effect at the appropriate time.  When the Eternal Om came on, my new friend looked at me in wonder and said, “That sounds very familiar”.
For thousands of years, the traditions of the East have taught that Om is the sound of the vibration of the created universe. Those who have attuned their ears through the discipline of years of meditation often hear this very sound in the sheer silence of God’s presence. And Jesus said, the little child would lead us. And as they say, you can’t make this stuff up!

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Along my journey to comprehend the doctrine of the Trinity, I came across this. It takes many prayerful readings to catch the profound truth within.

These Biblical words refer to the threefold nature of God as Father, Son, Holy Ghost (SAT, TAT, AUM in the Hindu scriptures). God the Father is the Absolute, Unmanifested, existing BEYOND vibratory creation. God the Son is the Christ Consciousness (Brahma or KUTASTHA CHAITANYA) existing WITHIN vibratory creation; this Christ Consciousness is the “only begotten” or sole reflection of the Uncreated Infinite. Its outward manifestation or “witness” is AUM or Holy Ghost, the divine, creative, invisible power which structures all creation through vibration. AUM the blissful Comforter is heard in meditation and reveals to the devotee the ultimate Truth.

Paramahansa Yogananda. From Autobiography go a Yogi

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Novel Prayer

I love to read a good novel…or rather many novels. I even have to admit that my preference is for murder mysteries. I’m not at all certain that this is a good thing. I prefer the mysteries of Deborah Crombie and J.A. Jance because both authors include a minor character who is a female pastor. However, I recently discovered the novels of Elizabeth George. I am on my 4th novel and have yet to encounter any clerical involvement and the murders are more disturbing and complex. I think I have to take a break and fill my mind with all good things for a good cleansing. I do want to share with you, my dear reader, this one quote:

“I learned what it was to pray. It was to will goodness out of evil, hope out of despair, life out of death. It was to will dreams into existence and spectres into reality. It was to will an end to anguish and a beginning to joy.”

Excerpt From: Elizabeth, George. “A Great Deliverance.” Bantam, 1988

I think Ms. George could use a good theologian in her novels. It is not our will alone, but rather becoming one with God’s will that makes prayer more than wishful thinking. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done” Amen

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“They just don’t get it!”. I’ve heard that phrase so many times that I have become weary of it. The phrase is often used as a way of dismissing or considering others as beneath the speaker. This is so different than Jesus’ words from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!” I am so grateful that God’s forgiveness does not require our understanding.

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God in Our Image

I came across this quote today cited in Sojourners.

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

-Anne Lamott

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Errant Thoughts

If your thoughts don’t bless you, simply ignore them and remember God. Craig Bullock, The Assisi Institute, Rochester NY

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Wisdom from a Yogi

“Thoughts are universally and not individually rooted; a truth cannot be created, but only perceived. The erroneous thoughts of man result from imperfections in his discernment. The goal of yoga science is to calm the mind, that without distortion it may mirror the divine vision in the universe.”

Excerpt From: Yogananda, Paramahansa. “Autobiography of a Yogi.” iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=361745136

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