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

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

Ingredients:

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

Faith Structure and/or Church Belief

Knowledge

Perseverance

Trust

Love

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. 

Serving:

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

 

Community...

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

Warning

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...

Peace Rallies

I will be brief as I do not wish to override the Hurricane.  The Hurricanes have proved that the heart of compassion is greater than hate.  

I have pulled a few quotes from both events I have attended.

(No Room for Hate in 21228, Catonsville, Thursday August 31st)

"WE WERE ASLEEP BUT NOW WE ARE AWAKE"
"NO CHILD SHOULD BE IN FEAR"

(Rise Above Hate, AACC, Thursday September 7th)

"EVERYONE HAS A STORY"
"CHALLENGE OURSELVES TO MEET SOMEONE NEW"
PLEDGE BY ALL PRESENT: "I WILL RISE ABOVE HATE"

Hurricane Harvey Prayer

Let's form a prayer circle for the survivors and victims of Hurricane Harvey...
This is my prayer:
You may have lost what
you called your community;
You may have lost
Your personal world;
Your brain and being are
Processing, Processing, Processing.
But I tell you to "Fear Not"
For we the outer communities
Are holding your hands and hearts
with spirit,
Love, courage, 
and hope.
We will not let you fall.
But reach out to us
And we will be there!!!
AMEN

hurricane-harvey-texas-2017-nteb-933x445.jpg

The Spirit Song

The funny thing about silence
Is you can hear yourself.
The rain as it falls on the windshield,
Rolling down the car
You can hear your heart beating.
You hear how loud we humans really are.
Our breath makes noise
Our nothingness makes noise.
That silence is so loud
You hear your spirit song.

My spirit song(s) are by Air Supply's
"Making love of something at all"
and "Angel on my shoulder" by Reba.

What is your spiritual song(s)?

Cell Phone

Here I am.  I am your best friend.  You don't need physical conversations as you have me, the cell phone, as the conversation piece!  There are things that can be said that not all parties will know about.  In a way, it is a method of being rude to you.  It is not my fault, as the humans holding me are in control of my use. 

My purpose is to make life easier.  The humans who hold me do not understand that I am an object.  It is not my intention to be a shield from real and pure human connections. I am sorry if I hurt you.  I wish I could let humans know.

Let me try,

"Hello, this is your cell phone.  I want to tell you there are people out there that use me as a cover.  I am an electronic device.  I do not have feelings to share, physical ways to touch in spirit, and I am data.  It disturbs me that humans have come to rely on me so-o-o much. 

I understand the uses of the phone like the camera, apps, and phone calls.  I don't understand why you need me when you have people you can talk to and make connections.  I am replaceable!  People are not, and relationships are fragile and beautiful.  Please put me down and let me charge.  As I am charging, be a friend to the people around you.  They need you.  Man made the cell phone, but God made man.  Please listen to me."

thC2UEXRA1.jpg

Balance and Understanding in History

This past weekend an ugly friend as reared its head.  We called that friend racism. There was no need for loss of a life or harm to anyone because of race.  It is the same for gender, orientation, or faith. 

This is where I may be questioned.  I am of the belief that history is important!  My own heritage of being part Jewish only makes my point stronger.  I do not want that to be a reason to remove our history.  It is our history!  

I understand the anger and the need to show that anger. I also believe that ugly behavior is still ugly behavior, no matter which side.  I do respect that President Trump made the statement, "Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."  I hope he will stand by the statement.  

I hope the people out there who are saying remove the Confederate historical landmarks have an understanding what they are doing.  They are removing the history of our country.  We cannot change the past.  This is the mistake people did in WWII.  They hid the truth until no one could defend the citizens of Germany from themselves.

I have an idea and it may be stupid, but I will say it.  Change the message connected to the words.  Make it clear it is not an opinion but history.  People need to know history!

Violence is wrong against objects of history and Individuals.  God did not create life to watch it be destroyed by HATE.  LOVE is stronger than HATE!  Let our history remain; these people were children of God too!

I say, "BREAK THE HATE; EMBRACE THE LOVE!"

Empathy, Sharing, and Realness!

This summer I'm enjoying people watching which is a real hobby.  One of the reasons Wal-mart is so popular after Midnight.  What I'm seeing in general is the lack of empathy, sharing, and realness in a lot of people.  I'm seeing more all about me over all about empathy, sharing, and realness.  Perhaps it's the times we are in, or people so involved in their lives they can't see people breaking down around them.  I don't know the answer, but they know if wish to answer it.

On the other hand, I have seen an increase in empathy, sharing, and realness with people of faith.  I don't just mean people of church.  I mean people that believe God is important and the God has a place in our lives.  These people give, care, and listen.  These people are not blind to human struggle.  These people take time with individuals who are tired, discounted, and fearful and remind them that empathy, sharing, and realness still exist. 

In this process of  trying to get my life back together, I can tell you that I am tired, discounted, and fearful.  I can tell you that some people have left my life because although they claimed to be real and true, they were blind to my struggles.  There are some still present that are blind to my struggles but I remain steadfast as I see their struggles.  A person of empathy, sharing, and realness  stays through the storms.  They stay even when it hurts. 

Empathy, sharing, and realness are important but you get hurt a lot.  You know you are being overlooked and walked on but you know love is real.  A true people watcher isn't watching for entertainment but human need.    

Empathy, Sharing, and Realness looks like this!!!

Empathy, Sharing, and Realness looks like this!!!