Real-ness

I'm not what is expected

I live as I am and I am me...

I am not a fashion plate

nor am I a head-turner

and yet I am real

I make mistakes...

I misjudge things...

Man is forever learning

Being real and accepting the real-ness

of what one is in the beginning,

the middle, and the end.

Embrace your real-ness

and find the path to your self-truth.

 

 

Will You

I am not the weather

I am not a brief "Hello."

I am not a side conversation

I am not to be talked at but to

I have a lot to say...

It may not be earth-shaking

It may not be your favorite subject

It may make you uncomfortable

What do you think I feel?

I want my voice heard over...

Can you take the time?

Or Will you?

Really, Will you?

Disconnect

Today, May 2nd, going to morning shift I heard an interest fact.  It stated that the loneliest people are no longer the elderly but between the ages of 18 to 22.  The radio hosts stated "could it be social media."  At that point I was almost at the light but the thought lingers in my head.

I work in service (support) industry and that is my source of income.  That is not to say no one else works with people.  People are disconnected but connection is present if we look for it.  Yes, social media is connection but it's not physical.  Yes, retail is connection but your job decides how much connection you have.  Health, Education, Ministry, and volunteerism is more people-based.  It is the same in our personal life.  

Recently, the importance of connection was reinforced.  The recent death of our church member, Sherry, was all about connections.  She spoke up and stood up for the greater community when many people are too busy being self-absorbed.  She put fire under people's feet and pushed by being presence.  Thank you is too little to say.  Pass it on...Pass it on and continue!

Every year, I attend 2 free fleas at a church in Severna Park.  This year, my friend named Mary stated her prayed for me to get a full-time job and I have.  We connect only twice a year but we are happy to see each other.  This year was different as I had a friend call in need and her family is going through another member passing.  I let my friend know I trusted Mary and they prayed together.  They connected.  Mary commented, "People don't talk face-to-face anymore."  I have to agree and I miss a good conversation.  We are now connected by more than just the free fleas and prayer

I use social media a lot and in a way this is social media.  I use it for people I rarely see as we have busy lives and live in other areas.  I do feel the disconnect but I know with some I can physically connect through phone or direct contact.  It is still very difficult.  I see the struggle to find connection when more of your interactions are not physical.  I understand what it takes to reach out.and I have to improve in my personal life.

How to solve disconnect? It won't get better unless we put the phone or other devices down.  We need to stop and listen to each other from body language to spoken.  We need to trust each other and not fear what we don't understand about each other.  We need to be able to disagree and still embrace each other.  Disconnect is not easy to solve and I will not make it easy to solve.  I will say just being presence in the space, really in the space, is connection.  This is why I enjoy my work...I can share and embrace of beauty of connection.

Invisible

How do you measure invisible? Is it measured by how many friends you have or don't have? Is it measured by what you do today? Is it measured by who's in contact with you? Or, if you are on social media? Is it???

Invisible is impossible to measure. Everyone feels invisible, yet we choose not to see it. Have you ever had a moment when you're with a group of people and they're making introductions, and somehow your introduction gets overlooked? You know distraction is easy and once somebody starts talking to somebody well.... We all have done it. Recently invisible and individual have clarified itself to me. It is surprising that the simple act of listening, engaging, and experiencing can do for a person. It is surprising how invisible isn't discussed.

I have held many jobs in my life. Most of my jobs have been with children, but I also have worked with adults in all facets of my life. It is surprising how when you become the Wallflower that you notice so much. You know your own story, and how and why you have experienced invisible. When you stand back and see how others experience it, it is gut-wrenching and makes you wonder... Wonder, Wonder, Wonder.

I wish I had an answer to break the invisible. This is an answer I don't know. But I know what is important is to not fear or get so angry that you feel like punching a hole in a wall to bring out life from it.  Invisible is not a bad thing, there are times we have to become invisible or have quiet times so we can punch a hole and pull that life out. When you do that you'll find some of the most beautiful people all around you and the bond of warmth, love, and encouragement will grow. So dance with the invisible and see the beauty that lies deep within.

Dandelion

I am a Dandelion

I am strong...

I am tough...

I don't know the meaning of...

My faith is present...

My seeds will spread...

My faith will grow...

So will our faith...

If we are a dandelion!!!

"I declare I am a Dandelion."

education and faith

I attend the Applebaum Training Institute training, Love Play Grow, on Saturday April 7th.  The presenter, April Vernon, spoke of many topics including attention of children, respect, stress management, millennial parents (18 to 34), and activities.  Here is what I found interesting about this training which took me aback.  I hear people talking about putting God back in the school would solve our problems yet I heard the principles of God at the training.  

Here are some of points:

1. Engage the child or group and really listen to their concerns or problems.  Did God not that?

2. Be the example of how to act.  Is God open and welcoming to all despite what or where they are?    Or how to treat each other? 

3.  Mindfulness: the awareness of being in the presence.  Creation Spiritually speaks of this and how important we need to be mindful of each other and ourselves.  In more tradition structure, the quote "You are a difference maker" has been used in many christen songs to show anyone has the ability to change the world.  This is a form of mindfulness.

4. Box of Love is an activity with kisses.  The child paint a box and blows kisses into the box.  They close the box and place a small note of top.  They give it as a gift to someone they love.  Is this not an act of faith?  No one can see blown kisses yet you have the faith they are in there.

5. Educators are persistence and know the importance of never giving up.  Mindfulness came back on this one as well as a few thoughts: "Fear is the opposite of faith. Believe in the best. Let go and forgive.  Resentment is a poison that you swallow."  

6. Connections are another.  God build connections into the plan.  The millennial parents value the strength of relationship and want their child/children to have choices.  One way is not the only way. One group is not always right.  Faith does not come in one package.  People do not look or act the same yet we can find a connection or connection points.

How can we say God is not in education when the principles are present...  What we need to understand is God is everywhere but are we seeing or searching God out?  That is a question to consider.  Is that one we are willing to consider?  Is it?  

When

When

You have traveled and the road is rocky

When

standing becomes difficult and you are tired

When

Your voice grows weak from being overdriven

When

You have to look deeper than ever before

When

A funny peaceful feeling comes over you

When

You have faith that God does have a plan

When 

You understand, really understand the power of God.

Hope

When all is say and done

the season of Lent and Easter

is about Hope.

Hope through each other

through faith

as our voices and bodies

united together create

Community and Family.

When all is say and done

Lent and Easter 

can be a time for change...

 Signing the March For Our Lives Banner, March 24th

Signing the March For Our Lives Banner, March 24th

Answers

Doing Lent Study has been both challenging and helpful.  I have been in a strange place like Alice in Wonderland.  I have been pushed to a breaking point until recently.  The Lent study has been challenging because I had to see through other eyes and express my viewpoint.  Am I not open-minded?  Yes, I am open-minded but fearful to express my opinion as many devalue your viewpoint.  They overpower you and make you feel invisible.  It was a welcome change to feel like I matter and my importance in this community counts.

Job was challenge as answers were thrown out to Job to why he was in the position he was in.  He tried to get his friends to listen but no avail.  They laid everything out at Job's feet and did not comprehend the injury to Job.  He was still strong enough in spirit to withstand the blame.  When the young man did the same thing, he still withstood but the frustration build.  Have any of you had that happen?  Have you done that? 

The discussion points to pride and pride is many things.  Pride is having a high opinion of oneself.  Pride is not just knowing-it-all but feeling invincible and that leaves a bitter aftertaste.  Answers are easy when you think that way but listening can give answers as well.  Community get broken when pride overpowers listening.  Pride can rebuild community when you give it back.  The selflessness can foster pride in others and help them to discover their answers.  

Answers to some degree are always open-ended as they require input and that is the greatest community builder.  They require wisdom and knowledge, respect and understanding, and faith and courage.  We can't invisible when we know we have a community to help support each other and see each others struggles and strengths.    

 

Lent Study

How can I begin? First if you would have told me that I would be a part of spiritual active community I would have said no way.  It was only though many years of personal growth did I come to this place.  

Breaking into Job is like present day to me.  It appears the problem is the lack of listening to each other.  The parties all see their viewpoint of what faith and God is but yet fail to understand the harm in the constant over driving Job.  He is in a battle but is not faithless when he should have every reason to be.  We all have our thin places and they matter.  Job makes you think what makes a friend.  How can you be a better friend even to yourself.   

American Prophets points out anyone can make a difference.   It doesn't matter what your upbringing is but you can be a prophet with open hearts and open minds.  It doesn't matter if your world was based by God or not as we know God is everywhere.  It is our personal belief that matters and the willingness for health discussion.  American Prophets highlights the differences as well as the similar between people.  The common bond is community.  We all love the strength of our communities.

Knowledge or Wisdom, that is the question.

Last Sunday morning, our group discussing Job 28:20 got involved in what is knowledge and what is wisdom.  It was one of those moments when you think the more I know, the less I know.  We could have had a full discussion on that one point.  I am still pondering the question...

Wisdom is already known.  Wisdom is passed down from experience.  In order to gain wisdom, you need knowledge.  Sounds simple, correct?  It is but it is not...  Wisdom is positive and in order to gain it you must go through the challenges to establish a solid understanding to pass on the blessing of this knowledge.  It is an equal partnership.  Knowledge is going through the process of learning and builds on itself.  It is time consuming but once established benefits all who enacts with you.

We can never really establish where God got Wisdom but that discussion I would not want to enter.  What matters in the wisdom God shared with man to be successful in following the guidelines to a solid understanding of life.  Thinking, processing, and accepting is a gift given which continues to grow.   Thank you are my final words. 

Book of Job 4 -27

WOW...

It was the first word that hit me.  First are Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad really his friends.  They scare me as they continued to not listen to Job.  He was venting and frustrated that life had taken some difficult turns.  He was faithful despite everything that hit him.  He still believed that God would be present ever if the outcome was not a benefit to him at the time.  Job was a remarkable individual.   

Let us move forward to present-day society.  We are not Job.  We are ourselves.  We do have the same problem as to his friends.  How many times have your friends not listened to your struggles?  How many times have they stood in judgement?  How many times have you not listened to your friends?  How many times have you stood in judgement?  This is a timeless fact and we need to shut our mouths, open our ears and hearts to our friends.  If we give them time, we are being present in their time of need.  It only takes one moment to make a difference.  I remember one of those low days and my friend called to see if everything was alright.  That made a difference.  I remember crying on that phone call and at no time did she say it was wrong to cry or make judgments.  Thank you is too little.  Her friendship is priceless.  We all are priceless and need to know how we handle each other.

 

Prespective

1. Study provides viewpoint.

2. Knowledge is the basis of any idea.

3. Comes through experiences, interactions, discussions, and environment.

4. Open-mindedness is present.

5. Active listening is the key.  Active listening is more than just hearing.

6. Our position changes over time.

During Lent, we go into places of challenge.  We travel into a forest, seeking a path.  We are not alone!  We are never alone!

Changeable God

We question God and what God is able to do.  He is declared unchangeable but he is changeable.  Our actions can change how God handles a situation.  We have to complete our part of the process.  We need to trust the partnership between each other.  

Something to think about...God can override God.  When you ask, "Is the World finished now?"  God will answer, "Ask my partners?" We are the partners.  We are all connected physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.  This is very much simplified but an opening point all the same.  Thank you Rev. Dr. Terry Fitzgerald. 

Strength

Within all of us are coping skills.  The coping skills are the strengths given from Our Creator.  Through the paths of Creation Spirituality, I have learned the power of the four paths and how they you can travel in all them and find your strength. 

Today...My vehicle of 6 years and 11 months was declared a total loss.  It was my place of thoughts and prayers, adventures and stories it will never tell, but most importantly it was a part of my journey.  I'm thankful for all the times in the Hyundai which started with the name Miracle in 2011 to Hoffa for the overstuffed trunk.  It ended with Fossil for surviving 251,800  with Car Arthur creeping in.   How does this equate to the four paths of Creation Spirituality?  It shared my joys, struggles, losses, lessons, victories, friends, and journeys.  It was a friend in its own way.  I will cherish the memories but look forward to new memories however brief in other transportation traveling companions.

The same is true with human companions.  They share their strengths with us and we share our strengths with them. These strengths have many names.  Some call it courage, fight, spirit, drive, hope, faith, determination, and so many more.  The point is these paths like our experiences and give us coping skills.  The skills to feel, embrace, travel, challenge, and overcome the journeys whether physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional.  Though these skills our inner strength is build and connections between the paths are critical.  They balance together and coping skills are the results. 

"Let connections through body, mind, spirit, and soul be connected in all things, living and non-living."

 

Christian: To Be or Not To Be???

Rev. Dr. Terry Fitzgerald of the 6:00 pm service addressed the questions of God, Jesus, and Christianity.  Her first question was "Who is Jesus?"  Second question was "Who is Jesus to you?"  Third question was "Are you a Christian and why you are or not?"  I could give you some of our answers but I thought more about questions and I wanted to address them.

Here is my updated response to all I heard and my own experiences with my walk of faith.  It is a prayer:

We all walk different journeys

and our beings see not only through our body but our spirit...

We know faith is challenging in difficult times as well as victories

Yet faith isn't written in a book or a structure but within us...

We need not look to one place seek spiritual wisdom

for Our Creator gave us the greatest gift possible...

The gift of an open mind.

Let the gift of an open mind declare

that Jesus was and still is an instrument to greater knowledge,

for which united the bodies and spirits. 

May all our journeys be an instrument to our wisdom...

I declare myself to be a person of faith.

   

Moments define Life

Moments are insane and sane but they define life.  Moments make the Bible.  In the children's lessonon Sunday, the parting of sea was the message.  What was unique was the description.  It talked about function of your nose.  It was Exodus 15:8 which stated, "At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up, The flowing waters stood up like a heap; The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea."  What a moment to imagine!

This made me think of all the moments of my life insane or sane.  I thought about how some of the craziest moments to the quietest ones have changed my life, and sometimes they are combined.  I have too many to state but I know one when I see it.  I attended a craft fair at Arundel High School to support my companion, Rick Dove, and ended up running into my friend and college professor, Robyn, and another AACC friend, Nicki.  It made me smile and I was reminded about great gift of companions...correct...family. 

  The enjoyment and nervousness of my field of choice, children.  You don't know what lives you touch.  The job of being lunch monitor and being interview by the children about student-teacher relations.  It is all about connections and moments.  The moments are countless from coffee to nutty butters with whipped cream.  It is life and could only a snooze away.

 

 

 

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!

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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.

2018

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!!! 

 

 

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