God is With you when you Wonder and when you Wander

Lessons from the dunes of the Cape

Here are a few pictures from a walk Jog from Head of the Meadows to Provincetown and back.  That was not the plan.

The context is As I was walking along the sandy beach early Saturday morning, lost and wonder of God’s nature and happy to be gaining strength and losing weight, suddenly realized that the Piping plover (birds) had blocked all exits from the beach (or rather the environmentalists had).  I eventually found a cut back into the dunes but what I found was a few bungalows I never knew existed in the valley of the dunes with multiple roads and paths with no indication which one would lead me to the road (Rt 6) so I could get back to the hotel.I took a few deep breaths relaxed and trusted God to lead me but I was lost more than found until I just looked around to enjoy God’s nature, reflect on the seals who never get lost, or the birds who always seem to know where they are going even if a stranger scares them early on a Saturday morning, or just the beauty of the day.  I then (as you will see in the picture below saw paw tracks to what looked like a sandy bridge to somewhere and it was by then I was 3 plus miles form home on Rt 6 and thoroughly wasted by the 10-12 miles over the dunes and down the deserted but divine shore.  I arrived at the hotel refreshed my body with water and juice then dove into the cool swimming pool that had just opened  and met Debbie and Ginger for a free breakfast.  God is with us always even when we wonder where we are and wander from where we should be:

A Poem that came to me that morning and some pictures:

Went for a walk along the beach…
Saw lots of God’s creatures










birdsscaredSeagulseabranchseagullsseal1surf

Got lost in nature and thought
Could not cross the protected dunes
The endangered birds protection
Caused me great consternation
I walked, jogged and walked
exhausted found a path through

Only to realize a little late I knew
what path to take, I had no clue
Found homes and paths too many
bungalowsJeeptrailtrails
Which one to take, what choice to doIMG_2067
Then finally a dogs’ paws, a clue
I followed paws to a road, I knew
Then to the place I started from
I walked and jogged and walked
More miles, I went, than planned
0ver sand and trails I had traversed
Not smart, leave without water or plan
God always has water and a plan
God meets me where I am, with his hand
Guides my steps and thought
Grants me courage in my life plot


Sent from my iPhone

 

What lasts for ever?

Happy Independence Day

Someone said to me this past week, “Nothing lasts for ever”.  s I thought about that I realized two things. 1) That I did not like the implication of that and 2) There are things that last forever.

The Bible says that three things last forever:  “Faith Hope and Love”. Faith because in the present it gives us optimism regardless of the tragedies in and around our lives.  Faith sees goodness in all that happens, sees what no one else sees, and is transformative.  It may be one of the greatest assets in eternity as it compels us to shed humanity and its negativity.  Hope is what drives us to act in positive and optimistic ways regardless of natural temptation to lose hope in some circumstances.  Hope is perennial in eternity. positive in expression, and persevering in extension.  Love or charity is limitless in its scope, practice and effect.  Love never fails.  People fail to work internally and collectively on loving but love never fails.  Love always perseveres.

Other religious literature  suggest that goodness and kindness lasts for ever.  They liberate us from legacies of our pat and propel us into better futures.  They pay forward while judgment in debt us to our past.

I realized there is another thing that lasts forever: “un-forgiveness”.  Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose (release) on earth will be loosed (released) in heaven” (Matthew 18:18).

 

On this independence day set your self free for eternity by “forgiving from your heart” and setting your spirit free of “un-forgiveness” or you may labor for eternity under its weight.  This is true for self forgiveness (even if other’s cant) and forgiving others their offenses toward you.  Maybe that is why the line is present in the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father (who forgives all and operates as if we never sinned at all) forgive us our sins (trespasses debts) as we forgive those who sin (trespass, debtors) against us”.  There is a hint that our forgiveness is connected to our forgiveness.  o Forgiveness and un-forgiveness lasts forever.  One sets us free for ever the other is our burden for ever.  One is burdensome the other is releasing and renewing. It is our choice.

 

What can you add to this idea?  What additional things last forever for you?  Email me at parakalein@hotmail.com

Thank you

 

Happy 4th of July

Thankfulness for a heritage of sacrifice

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 Today is my father’s birthday.  He would have been 97 today. His military service and his life embodied this quote.  I am thankful for the heritage and legacy of faith hope and love and the sacrifice to let that happen in life

“The Willingness to Sacrifice is the prelude to Freedom”

I found this quote outside a military base years ago and have logged into my mind.  On this Memorial Day as we celebrate in parades all across this great land those who gave their lives or portions of their lives as a heroic hope for the liberties and freedom we today share, I give thanks.  In our family they are many in the nearly all passed generation that have done so.   There are people today who do so.   Not just in the military though that may be our focus today.  I would extend that to all civil servants like EMT’s, Police, and Fireman to name a few groups who every day in a similar way are “willing to sacrifice (as a part of their very job and oath) so that we the citizens of this great land can live in and enjoy peace and freedom.”  Without this prelude to the same who knows where our nation would be,
Thank you all.
As we remember so we will not forget the heroism of the past and the heroism (not just celebrating all ho died or sacrificed limbs but all who were “willing” to pay the price) of the present which give us the gift of hope, faith, and love in this great land.
Bless you every one

Grateful Memorial Day

Celebrating Sacrificing Attitudes

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“The Willingness to Sacrifice is the prelude to Freedom”

I found this cute outside a military base years ago and have logged into my mind.  On this Memorial Day as we celebrate in parades all across this great land those who gave their lives or portions of their lives as a heroic hope for the liberties and freedom we today share, I give thanks.  In our family they are many in the nearly all passed generation that have done so.   There are people today who do so.   Not just in the military though that may be our focus today.  I would extend that to all civil servants like EMT’s, Police, and Fireman to name a few groups who every day in a similar way are “willing to sacrifice (as a part of their very job and oath) so that we the citizens of this great land can live in and enjoy peace and freedom.”  Without this prelude to the same who knows where our nation would be,
Thank you all.
As we remember so we will not forget the heroism of the past and the heroism (not just celebrating all ho died or sacrificed limbs but all who were “willing” to pay the price) of the present which give us the gift of hope, faith, and love in this great land.
Bless you every one

 

On the Wind of Spirit, with wings of Hope

With wings spread wide, the seagull flew high.

As I walked the beach, I noticed the ease of his flight as he spread forth his wings. I thanked God for all of you who have prayed and for the strength and healing that is returning to my body, and the wind under my wings.

Today is 11 months since my accident and surgery. I swam 54 laps in a pool (3/4 mile)and walked 4 miles. My goal is to by 12 months be swimming a mile, walking six and to feel ready to start jogging. I still have pain and am still a bit wobbly yet praising God all the wy.

Thank you God.
Thank you family and friends who have been supportive and prayed. God is good.

“Those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength!!
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint!
-Isaiah 40:31

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A Mother’s Day Tribute

The Earth Mother, the Mother of All Living Things

Eve The Mother of All Living: Her The Role and Rule of Love

Love Does not Compete, Conflict, Condemn,

Love is Contrite, Calm, Compassionate, non-competitive, non-condemning and conflict free………Adam and Eve had learned this. They were not made or angry that God had kicked them out of the garden. They understood it was for their own good. To protect themselves form themselves. The single best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. They had eaten of a tree that they were not to eat of. The second tree they were told to not eat of was the Tree of Eternal Life. Imagine had they eaten of the Eternal Life they would have lived forever in an eternal state of sin

Even the creator, God would be unable to change the reality of that state.

So the kindness and goodness of God is again visible in the act that at first sight seems to be God’s anger or judgment or punishment and upon a second look is clearly an act of God’s love, grace and mercy.

Did God have a right to be angry? Yes. Was God angry? Yes. Did God act with anger against the sin of Adam and Eve, or the sin of Abel. No exactly the opposite.

Note to self:

#1 You can be angry you can even hate but you cannot turn that anger and hate into acts of violence, vengeance, for that would be to violate the very role and rule of God in the World. God’s rule and role in the world is to rule with love and grace not anger and violence.

Adam and Eve had learned this. Abel got this and so his offering was one of sacrificial love and abundant grace. His name is among the Hebrews 11 People of Faith: “a righteous man by faith he still speaks, even though dead” (He did what was right in the site of God.) He was a shepherd in the fields of Iran?Iraq and gave his very best. Cain’s offering was disappointing to God, as he gave but not the best or first.

Note to Self:

#2 The emotions of anger is not a Management problem but a Heart problem. When we are threatened by someone else’s success the problem is in us not in them. Upset even anger is okay, violence and hostility is not. Cain could have chosen to look within and see his completive side and transformed it to cooperative via self-compassion. Karen Kneff, Self

Compassion is what can change the world.

Some literature tells that it was “anger” that was Cain’s problem. I disagree anger itself is not sin….the anger was a part of him that existed to cover his own shortcoming, and a cover for the sin of competition and hostility toward his brother rather than dealing with the reality of deception in his own heart. Years later the same problem would be present in Esau and Jacob.

Note to Self

#3 The role and Rule of every mother that produces life is to shepherd that life with the rule of truth and grace, and the Role of Modeling the same with humility and honor.

Eve was called by Adam to infer that she is “Life” and his role and rule was to with truth and grace honor and cherish her life as she would honor and cherish his. As the first couple of earth the secret of reclaiming the lost union that had no place for guilt or shame and restore the state of innocence and grace is a statement to all mother’s: “You are the source of Life, for all Living things, when you honor all life and when you are honestly cherishing and nurturing all life.

The very Nature of Mother hood is to Nurture all living things.

Servants Among Us

Do you have a neighbor or friend maybe even a relative who serves society as a fireman, policeman, military personnel, secret service, etc?

While all of us know that death is no respecter of age, sex, race, or religion and can come anytime in any way, most of us live every day as if it will not happen to me.

The above noted group is more aware of that than most as their very job requires them to daily be ready to give their life a sacrifice for anyone and every one.  Jesus said, “Greater Love has no one than this, that he will lay down is life for another”.  Fireman et al go to work, and their family sends them to work with the awareness in the back of their minds, that this could be the day.  They don’t talk about it every day but it is the reality of their every day service to society.

His name is not important and the exact details are not important because he represents so many who have given their lives in service.  But on a Thursday the last eek of April, a fireman in the line of duty fell to his death in Queens, NY.  The solidarity of the collective consciousness of the “reality of we all face death every day” summoned literally thousands from near and far to gather to pay tribute not to this man alone but to the group of “heroes willing to sacrifice their lives as part of  the job”.  It reminded me of a quote at a military base, “The willingness to Sacrifice is the Prelude to Freedom”.

In the quiet small town of Cheshire/Pittsfield, Rt 8, MA far away form the densely populated city of New York the following exhibition of this “collective consciousness of the communities loss of one of their own stood tall!”:FullSizeRender

A top the extended ladder of a firetruck in for repairs was a bucket with a flag honoring his passing.  No fan fare no signs, no reporters just a quiet symbol of a class of heroes we all sometimes just take for granted.  So here is a quiet Thank You to all those who have served and their families, whether they lived or died, and to all those who now serve and their families:  “You rock!” and your legacy is the gift of “Life Giving Life”!  Thank You

And thank you to whoever was inspired to place this tribute in a humble heroic fashion as a tribute to those who serve with “humility and heroism.”

Happy Easter

A Wonder filled Message of Hope and Healing for today and forever

10 months ago I found myself laying on a road flat on my back which meant all I could do was look up!

I was at a Sunrise Service this Easter morning and everything seemed different.  I do not know how many Easter Sunrise Services I have attended over the years……I remember one when I was 15 when we had a foot of snow.  I went to sunrise Service then came home shoveled my basketball court that I had built in our yard, then had a pick up game before church.   I have attended, led, participated in probably 40 or so bu today was huge;y different.

I became very emotional and could not even sing except in the Spirit and in my heart.  Thy all  bellowed while outwardly I wept.  Tears of rejoicing seeds of growth.  I was overwhelmed.  I felt like I had been to the gates of death, witnessed their power, then felt the raw roar of a lion in me.  I recall at a spirit liberating group session getting on a table and roaring like a lion, as I grieved my father’s death.

 

Death has no sting and the grave no victory as we know the power of the Lion of Judah.

Nothing, no event,no abundance, no adversity has any power over the part in us that is the imago deo. The Lion’s courage is in all of us and is the most present in death and in the face of that which will or will try to destroy.

Greater is the Lion in You than the trouble around you..

 

Happy Easter morning.  More later!

The First Seven Words of God

For however long it was that Adam and Eve lives in total openness, shameless and free they experienced perennial happiness, balance and the bliss of oneness.  The enemy of that bliss and the one who sowed the idea that God was threatened and insecure and did not want humanity to know all that he knows and so had forbidden eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil led to an overreach of freedom and the experience of fragmentation, fracture, and friction in relationships.

The next day God came into the garden in the same way he had on every previous day.  He cam in love and with love.  They had changed but God’s changeless love remained the same.  So God’s first word was “Love”.  Regardless of any choice you make nothing will change the Love of God for you.  This is the Gospel, the goodness and the first word of God to the estranged couple.  The estrangement was inside of them not in the heart of God.

As God looked around for them He was the “Seeker“, “I want a relationship with your no matter what so “seeker” is the second word of God. I will seek you until I find you and you find me the changeless expression of love and grace.

Adam and Eve had felt shame, were soon to engage in blame, and so hid from God.  God sought them out.   God had a heart of forgiveness toward them regardless of anything.  I forgive you is the third word!

God’s fourth word is about “Faithfulness”.  Nothing will cause God to be rattled by anything that people do or anything that happens in the world.  He will be there always even to the end.

God then speaks a word of accountability and about responsibility and respect.  Your choices are your responsibilities. To booth of the mGod gave a different accountability rubric to assist them in their future and their learning about what builds responsibility and appreciation.  Adam will have to work the garden to have him appreciate more the supply of food.  Eve would endure pain in child birth.  Suffering, Work, pain all help us to appreciate and not take things for granted.  God was not engaging in punishment or judgment but rather in building character through work, pain and suffering.  When we work for things, suffer loss, and endure pain as good soldiers we grow into more appreciative and accepting human beings.

Next God “provides” for his creation.  God loved them in their shame and out of their shame. God chose to slay his very creation to provide covering for the shame, guilt, and hiding they had engaged in.

Finally as a crowning statement of God’s eternal Love and eternal protection of humanity from themselves, “God casts them out of the garden and creates an impermeable barrier or wall to keep them from compounding their state of affairs.  The greatest predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  They had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and hd become as God knowing both good and evil.  It is one thing to know good and evil and have the moral fiber to always choose good, and to act with goodness and kindness as God does.  It is another to know good and evil without the moral fiber to choose well. If they had defied one limitation it was likely they would defy the second and eat of the tree of eternal life and be forever in their site of sinfulness.  So full of grace and truth God banished them not in punishment but in redemptive grace and with radiant truth.  God is the “Protector and Preserver” of his creation.

The first Seven Words of God then are: Love, Seeker, Forgiveness, Faithful, Accountable and Responsible, Provider, Protector.  They represent the heart and mind of God, the character of God, and the Covenant of Love by the creator for all creation.  This is the Gospel.  Glory be to God!

What is so Good about Good Friday

Goodness abounds in the heart of God

On Good Friday God who so loved the world that he gifted that world his son.  He did not flinch in the presence of the egocentricities of humanity or the excessive cruelty and hostility.  He suffered for our sins not because it was right but because it was good for him to do.  This act of divine surrender and humility in the presence of human power and hostility modeled the way of Christ and the way of love and peace.

So in memorial today I want to challenge myself and all humanity to do something good and kind, setting aside might and right and taking up sacrifice and humility.  Make every day a “good Friday” not by beign good we all fall short of that, but by doing something good that someone never expected and pass goodness forward.

I am curious if that was not what Jesus did that day.  Passed God’s goodness forward to all from a heart of forgiveness to a transformed heart and mind.