Strength of Martin Luther King Jr

Thank you to Martin Luther King Jr for the strength to stand up.  Thank you for seeing beyond color and seeing character.  Although I was a child, I want to see "thank you."  I hope that I can assist to help open eyes even in this day and time.  We are far from true interconnectedness with each other but I hope we can connect better.   Thank you for your brief time of this earth and may you always live in the hearts of all freedom loving people.

I ask one thing, please do not let us forget the power of the human will to be faithful to stand up for right.  Please let us continue to work through faith, strength, and courage for what we know is right!  Unity is a gift of God!


Winter Relief, St. Phillip's, Shift 10:15am to 7am

This is the hardest piece for me to write.  This was my third year of doing Winter Relief and the stories come alive in moments.  Whether it was what they have for a late night dinner to their personal routines.  They told a story.   The story was they have a life and presence.  It didn't matter they are homeless as we all are homeless in true.  We choose not to see it.  Their homelessness was physical and easiest to spot.  Their homelessness is the scariest.

When you are in that space, even if you are on the cusp of homelessness yourself, you understood the blessings of even the small things.  The gift of a door with privacy and time to be by yourself.  The joy of special moments being present in your sight whether small or large.  The warmth of a thick blanket covering you after a tiring day at work.  You knew one thing when you are there, which was the simple act of being presence.  The simple act of caring.  

The things these individuals received was connection and faith.  People so often see people who are homeless because of a bad lifestyle but the truth is anyone can become homeless.  Homelessness doesn't know class, race, religion, gender, or employment.  Homelessness is scary place and lonely.  Hopefully through Winter Relief it isn't so scary and lonely, hopefully...

The most humor moments of the night was the struggle to stay awake.  The middle of night I found my friend, coffee-man, and we made eye contact.  He wanted his coffee and I was overjoyed to share the moment.  He made me laugh inside as coffee is a small thing and so normal.  He talked about how strong it wasn't and how he needed to remix and still would not be right.  I found another gentlemen to talk to and coffee-man told us we were talking too loud and they would blame him.  Another moment was with Jesse, from AACC to UCCA, when I found our AACC friend on Facebook, Andre, and started a conversation about being cold out there.  I started a word game with "cold" words.  Here were some of them: Cool Finger & the Midas Touch, Frozen Light, As The Frozen turns, Harry Potter & The Goblet of Ice, Golden Cold Awards hosted by Jack Frost, and The Frostinator.  We were reminded about the cold when people wanted to sleep in the bathroom including ourselves.

Winter Relief is something worth doing and a good reminder about homelessness.  Homelessness is in the heart too and yet it is the homeless that reminders us that connections and faith are strengths.  Imagine how much strength it takes to be without a home.  I look forward to next year and what I can do throughout the year...Thank you, Thank you.


Promises of a new year

tainted with the past

the challenges & the victories

the problems & the solutions

the greed & the heart,

Yet through it all

we find our way.

Promises of a new year

is the blessing

of what is to be.

Embrace that blessing,

seeking out the path

Yet Unknown

Yet Unknown!!! 





I walked the years like miles...

I fought the emotions like thunderstorms...

I embraced the battles like a dance...

I saw the love of the season through many eyes.

The memories will always live

deep within my spirit and my soul,

But your love, Dearest Christmas, can only grow.

My family: Ellen (family friend), Lia (Reed's Wife), Maureen (Mom's Sister), Reed (Cousin), Erine (Me - LOL)

My family: Ellen (family friend), Lia (Reed's Wife), Maureen (Mom's Sister), Reed (Cousin), Erine (Me - LOL)


Life is chapters.  Some chapters continue even with gaps and others fad into nothingness.  What I have learned over time is to understand we are not in control.  We think we are but Our Creator is.  There is a reason for these chapters.  We can never understand the reason until the time is right.  

I put a challenge in front of you today.  Look at the year for what it is.  Chapters have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Where it is depends on where you are in relation to the situations.  I say, "Fear not the place you are and embrace it."

When all is said and done, the answers will be present.  I hope the chapters bring you knowledge, strength, and courage.  I hope you share that knowledge, strength, and courage with those that need the wisdom.  That is a gift from Out Creator to a trusted messenger.




Gift means

Gift has many means from physical to spiritual.  Yet I find it almost funny how the meaning of gift has become one-sided.  In a recent discussion with friends, the issue of gift-giving was brought up.  Some struggle to understand that sharing time, support, listening, and joy is not a gift.  They expect the physical gifts and don't understand the importance of the spiritual gift.  They think it produces happiness within themselves and it does not.

I lost my mother in 2000 to cancer and she focused on physical gifts.  I still own some which is humor in itself.  My favorite gifts were her postcards from her travels personal or professional as she took the time to stop. write, and send me a piece of her journey.  My favorite spiritual gift was her determination to battle whatever life throw at her to only say, "Bring it on!"  

Evolve lost Rev. Wayne Schwandt in May 2015.  The physical I got from Evolve and Wayne was touch.  I am not one to scream the road is rocky but this community permitted me to go on the rocky road and find a place for foot.  The spiritual gift was faith that Our Creator would be present and supportive despite me being someone that struggles to find my place in the madness of society.  

Whatever gift means, it should not be taken lightly.  The way I see it, we are all gifts.  I like that the best!

Advent and Hope

So Sunday evening at EVOLVE service, Advent was addressed. Advent is about hope and hope has two meanings. Hope is wanting things to be better and wanting things not to change. For me, Advent is about both. This year of 2017 has been bittersweet. I treasure courage and dignity, and both have been tested this year.

It is my hope that I can use the lessons learned to take what I treasure and embrace what God has given me. I know it is early and the year is not yet over but I believe I will give thanks now. First I am thankful for my trials as without them I would not have the lessons I have learned. Second I am thankful for my successes as I have tasted its sweetness and know both go hand-in-hand. I am also thankful for those on the journeys and know I love you all. <3 <3 <3


Living Real Life

We spend our lives trying to live real life.  In a frank discussion, Rob (my rock) and I talked about Christmas.  We discussed how people expect gifts this time of year.  I was honest and stated I have no means to give this year.  I stated that time is so much more valuable or helping when in need.

If you really look at Maslow's chart, you realize how much of ourselves are based on our needs.  We see the exterior needs over this season but fail to understand the real needs.  When those around us or ourselves don't have the basic needs this season is difficult.  We have to embrace the belief of physical giving as we cannot offend those that have or think they have.  I accept I can't give so therefore I say think about need first but give what you can from the heart.

The Gift that matter to me are simple:

1. Come workout with me.
2.  Share a cup of coffee together and talk.
3.  Go laugh at something funny and enjoy yourself.
4.  Share a night with games or a movie, or perhaps an adventure.
5. Let people see the real you.
6. Trust each other and support each other.
7. Help out someone in's priceless!!!

Let us give these gifts <3 <3 <3
Thank You


Slaves (just to make you think)

The AM service covered the The Parable of coins the master and his 3 slaves.  Here is what is interesting about it.  It is about wealth, ambition, and greed.  The ethical part of the slaves were overlooked.  It was rewarded when 5 coins to become 10 coins.  It was fair for 2 coins to become 4 coins.  It was not satisfying for the 1 coin to remain the one coin.  This slave received isolation from his world.

How to put this in today's world?  Today our current generation knows very little about struggle.  Their world has many safety nets.  There is a lack fear of falling through society's cracks.  For many, struggle is their best friend and they plod along.  Other people see only what they want to see.

How does slave fit in this?  Slave is someone who works very hard without appreciation, excessively depended upon or controlled by material or personal items, and a device controlled directly by another.  In the parable above, the slaves were all three components.  The needs of the master and the material wealth.  We are no different!  Our masters are our jobs, bills, responsibilities, and rules.  We are slaves to these items, plus money, position, and power rule our thoughts and beings.

What can we do?  The slave that believed in what he knew to be factual was real.  The price of this is great but when you can stand with your position then hopefully we can see beyond wealth, ambition, and greed.  It would nice to have sharing and support, justice and equality, and love and trust.   This I could be a slave to.




Sight is both Darkness and Light. 

Seeing requires the ability to LOOK in the Darkness and SEEK the Light.

From the Evolve Gathering on Sunday, November 12th during Meditation directed by Doc. Rev. Terry Fitzgerald.

From the Evolve Gathering on Sunday, November 12th during Meditation directed by Doc. Rev. Terry Fitzgerald.

The Power of a Backbone...

We are in challenging times.  People are dividing over their viewpoint, social class, faith structure, and knowledge.  They are accepting on new ideas or are remaining with their view of the World.  Many have forgotten the backbone of life.  

The backbone is the support system in the human body as well as thoughts.  It takes a backbone to state your position in body and spirit.  When you do that, you know you are secure in who you are.  We all know that positions change for all of us.  It is the better if we can stand up for our position.  It is better to have an open mind with a solid backbone.

If you told me right now that I would be addressing some of the issues I have addressed, I would have said I lack the confidence to address the issues.  How can I address the issues?  It is the backbone and the people who supported me so I could develop my backbone.  It is important we use understand the gift of a solid backbone.  Think about Mathew 7:7-8 which states, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."  

Path of Negativa

EVOLVE is many things and this community embraces what many run from.  Who wants to face their struggles, challenges, and losses.  Who wants to see darkness.  Who wants to only embrace the positive and happy.  These are not questions but commentary.  

The movie, Inside Out, was groundbreaking in understanding the different emotions.  Happy always wanted happy.  She continued to push Sad away until...  I remember the moment well when I was crying.  The girl experienced loss of a game but her world it was big.  She was upset but after her parents embraced the moment of loss she was able to grow from the moment.  Happy understood that lives are multi-emotions.  

For all living things, death is the hardest.  Our community celebrates All Saints Day, November 1st.  I would like to say, "Thank you."  This day lets me cherish and love these in my life for what they have given so I can continue to give.  Their lessons live on.  By sharing them, if only in spirit, means Negativa is a path to better things.  Embrace the opportunities. 

Immigration: Exploring Today's Legal landscape October 24th at AACC

Let me begin with a few facts before I even address anything I heard at the Immigration forum at AACC on Tuesday, October 24th.  Here it is...We were all from immigrants unless you are Native American in the United States.  Some immigrants came as property owners, skilled labors, family members, slaves (human trafficking), or opportunities for freedom and/or quality of life.  In general, laws were always in place against immigrants.  Think about that for a moment.

The first panel member was Dan Smulow, Esq.,  who is the Senior Litigation Counsel at U.S. Dept of Justice, office of Immigration Litigation.  He is assigned to the National Security Unit.  The second was Gabriela Quercia Kahrl, Esq., who is a Staff Attorney at the Immigration Clinic at University of Maryland Carey School of Law.  The third panel was Heather Benno, Esq., who is a Managing Attorney with Catholic Charities of Baltimore, Immigration Legal Services.  She oversees their general immigration and victim services.  Their challenge was time, facts, and more facts.  Dan Smulow pointed out that the table of content for the immigration laws were at least 225 pages with the text being at least 25,000 page.  It was called "the blue book."

Dan began with the breakdown of the order of the immigration system which are Custom Border Protection, Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Department of Justice.  Each part has a place in the process.  The public hears more about the enforcement instead of learning about how many visa types that are present.  One of the points made was the countries that was considered in danger changes.  He was not able to state the countries because of his position.  Another point was the right to an attorney isn't covered.  The individuals are on their own. 

Gabriela stated one point throughout her part, which was the unfairness in the process.  The price paid for making a mistake can cost the immigrant the right to stay in the United States.  Her honest advice if the immigrant were to be in jeopardy was to "remain calm, be truthful, and assert your right."  She pointed out there are ways to "clear" your record by a post conviction removal although it is still present.  It was a lot to process but it comes to protecting your 4th amendment rights.

 Heather started with a real case of a single father with 2 children and an abused American ex-wife.  The father left his wallet at home and his child was sick.  He stole a 7.00 bottle of Motrin.  He required 2 attorneys with his case and one was criminal.  He was part of the community, attended church, and also served in the military.  It was not necessary!  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) biggest reasons for coming the United States was safety,  The important points were coming in before the age of 16, and date, manner, and place of entry.  There are 3 cases that are in the works with one in California, New York, and Maryland.  She addressed other issues of concern like duel positions for officers in the legal system and other policy changes that can be made by the President.  

What did I get from this?  We need to consider the opportunities or skills these individual share with us.  We need to understand they want the same chances that our ancestors received.  They are human beings that deserve a right to live, earn, and improve themselves.  We would hope they give us the same opportunities for our need to live, earn, and improve ourselves if we were in their country.  It is all about respect, mutual respect.

Photo: Dan Smulow, Esq. , Gabriela Quercia Kahrl, Esq., and Heather Benno, Esq.

immigration panel AACC.jpg

Thank you for Loving...

I spent the weekend celebrating my mother, Patsy, Patty, or Patricia.  It depends on how you knew her.  She would have been 71 on October 23rd.  It is hard to believe she has been gone over 17 years.  My friends from AACC Sandi, Sam "spiritual sister & Wildcat", and my Charlotte's Chapel family made this weekend special. 

Thank you to Sam for your advice, "Celebrate your mother."

Thank you to Sandi for the gift in memory to my mother to help me see Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, and Darren Whitehead, Tomlin's preach.  It was a great night!!!

Thank you to Charlotte's Chapel family for sharing a beautiful Sunday and being good company. 

I thank anyone who takes the time to stop and share a piece of themselves with each other.  You don't know what you do.  Thank you for sharing and continue these wonderful acts.

Here is a sample of the Chris Tomlin Concert/Worship:

Support Soup


Community (Family, Friends, Co-Workers, & Classmates)

Faith Structure and/or Church Belief





Moments (different cuts)

In the pot, we call community, we mix the ingredients.  First, we place faith or beliefs in the pot as they was with us when we were welcomed into our community.  We add knowledge from our different experiences.  Through these experiences called moments, we learn perseverance, trust, and love.

The challenge in mixing the recipe is how it is mixed.  Some mix the ingredients in a way that limit perseverance, trust, and love.  It is the moments that can change the results.  The risk is putting yourself second.  The reward is the healing of both parties.  It is a risk worth taking. 


Share the soup.  Let the gift of perseverance, trust, and love grow and takeover.  Enjoy recreating this recipe.



We look at differences and dare not challenge them.  Recently life has put challenges on people from natural to man-made events.  People have had to face the common bonds of humanness.  They have had to rediscover what is valuable...EACH OTHER!

This Sunday evening, I attended my 1st Sukkot.  The coming together of different faiths and viewpoints but with one common theme, which is we are neighbors!  We are all a part of God whether we are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or otherwise.  The speakers Rabbi Ari Goldstein, Rev. Ryans Sirmons, and Imam Hassan Amim all came to one conclusion.  We need to support each other and embrace the blessing of being in the community of God's Love.  We need to be open to these connections in our daily lives.

This is my position.  The next time, Me included, a new situation or community is present please challenge yourself to go and break your comfort level and find what is different and the same.  It may surprise you, and you may embrace a new adventure never attempted.  I challenge you.


Rev. Ryan Sirmons, Rabbi Ari Goldstein, Imam Hassan Amim Temple Beth Shalom Arnold, MD

Rev. Ryan Sirmons, Rabbi Ari Goldstein, Imam Hassan Amim

Temple Beth Shalom Arnold, MD


Blindness isn't just eyesight

It is also mindlessness, 

Being blind to what

you hear and see.

The lack of concern

for the world around you

How many warnings before

You receive, really receive,

The Cost of not seeing

with your whole being

is too great 

The Warning is happening

Do you hear the bells?




Light Language Workshop

I love a good challenge and I have one today (in writing this).  On Saturday September 9th, I attended my first workshop about Light Language.  I only read about it on Facebook through my niece, Carleigh Kaiser, who was doing it.  I attended it as I'm a believer in what is spiritual.  I believe that God is greater than what I learned in my tradition faith structure.  There are gifts God gives that we have yet to tap into.

What is Light Language?  It is spiritual, internal, balancing, healing, and empowering.  It is language for the soul and the heart speaks Light Language.  There are two important definitions of Light Language.  The first one is Glossolalia is speaking a variety of different languages, unknown sounds, or a non-sense language.  The other is Xenolalia, which is speaking in many real languages or your non-native language.  It is about being authentic and aligned with your inner self.

The presenter, Carleigh Kaiser, did tones or tongues in the tradition faiths.  It ran through us and we could feel the power of the energy travel through us. It was startling as the tones found my arthritis.  I was surprised that my physical discomfort from the condition was reduced.   Next, we did an exercise with two statements.  It was about the tones and the sound.  Carleigh got us into the written format an it was very interesting as there were differences between my right hand and my left hand.  The physical was the movement part and our body knows what movements it needs to make.  

Light language is about the body and inner self connecting.  I connected to my inner self and was able to see within my mind what I needed to see.  My energy was renewed and my belief that God created us to have a higher awareness is established.  How is it helping in my traditional faith structure?  I am more open to ideas outside of my own environment.  I can push my judgments aside better.  I understand the difference between being negative and challenging myself better.  

If you have an interest in the subject, please let me know.   I will gladly get you additional information.



Can you see the difference in the two hands?  It was amazing to see...

Can you see the difference in the two hands?  It was amazing to see...

Light language from workshop.jpg

Our Group...