SHOWER TALK

GOOD MORNING WORLD

…..fools to the left of me …..to the right of me….. here I am stuck in the middle …..scattered scattered  – I cannot seem to focus on any one thing these last 48 hrs – so much effort has been put into the day of reflection we presented on Saturday that the rest is now a blur………it has been a wildly busy time.  Are we not old and is this not supposed to be the time to slow down……..I was left with a blur, unsettled thoughts about what to do next and where when and how do I start.  The news has been full of the election the Pope and controversy surrounding all of it.  I myself even entered into some of that controversy which did nothing except unsettle me more……in the middle of all of this is daily living and doctors appts regular blood work dentists meals life…..CALGON TAKE ME AWAY.  Can you still buy Calgon???

When I left the OCS on 9-11, an interesting day to leave, I was filled with new resolve to live a new way of life.  As I sit here this morning the thought occurs to me – when is it going to begin.  The answer comes as readily – when you are willing to begin.  I am thinking perhaps today is the day.

I have been struggling all this past week with all the admiration this Pope is receiving.  He is the successor of Peter and many men have held this same position.  Why is this man now the new darling of all, especially the politically left leaning among us?  I struggle with this and then I think my answer came this morning while I was taking my shower.  You have heard of pillow talk before well let me introduce you to shower talk – I am not the only one who hears this either.    Another friend of ours gets light bulb moments in the shower as well.  As I type I am certain we, each individually alone in our own showers for clarity, are not the only ones.  The only real difference in pillow talk and shower talk is the ease of writing down your thoughts is not available. I keep pen and pad by may bed for pillow light bulb moments – the shower – well water inhibits any of that so one must rely on memory.  I did and here I am developing this stream of consciousness  conversation with myself.  While this will be public this is more for me than anyone else.

Let me start ( and maybe even end) with the Pope.  I have absolutely no right pontificating about this wonderful man nor his position.  This is the faith that I chose for many reasons.  Probably first it was my husband’s faith and I wanted one religion in our family.  Many other validations of my choice have come over the years.  PLEASE – this does not to negate any faith at all.  I believe in faith and church. My second mom said “I don’t think it matters what pew you sit in – just that you sit in a pew.”  She made that ever so clear to me once when she told me about her church attendance in Boston while getting chemo.  She was a Catholic now Protestant sitting in a church on Sunday  in Chinatown in Boston with my dad’s boss who was a Jew.  Now if that is not ecumenical I do not know what is!!!

My problem with this Pope is all the hoorah.  He is not the first Pope to come to the US.  Why is he being celebrated and touted as being so different from the last two?  Is he being seen as the second coming?  He is a different man in the same position of many before him.  His life work has been to serve as the other Pope’s before him.  Anyone elevated to this position is there from a life of service to Christ not just the church I believe.    What makes Pope Francis so different?  What makes the media see him so differently?  I have been chewing on this for a bit now and this morning was the light bulb.  I had to do some further looking.

What I found was very interesting regarding the media.  Before anyone jumps all over me, the media has reported widely on both the previous Pontiffs though maybe not in quite the same manner.  Pope Francis is getting a positive full court press and I wondered why.

While both the previous men were amazing as well their outward positions were not aligned with much of the media in the USA.  The agendas did not mesh.

Pope John Paul II – well you can read the summary. (1)

Plenty have been written and said about the remarkable journey of Karol Jozef Wojtyla, popularly known as Pope John Paul II, to the most sacred seat of catholic community in the world. Throughout his lifetime, he earned both the admiration and criticism for his stands and opinions and enjoyed great influence over the masses. Along with being the longest serving Pope in history, he was also the first non-Italian since 1523 to become the Pope. Considered one of the most powerful religious authorities of 20th century, he was instrumental in improving relationships of the Catholic Church with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. Never restricting himself to the comforts and safety of Vatican, he pushed aside the boundaries of religion, culture, caste and creed to spread the message of ‘God’ and apologized for the wrong doing and sufferings inflicted by the Catholic Church over the centuries. However, he defended the church’s decision to oppose the marriage of same sex couples for which he also faced great opposition. He vehemently opposed the various aspects of Liberation Theology (liberation movement in catholic theology) and also criticized the U.S invasion of Iraq, incessantly.

Pope Benedict:

During his time as a cardinal, Ratzinger’s liberal Catholic critics dubbed him “God’s Rottweiler” because of conservatives positions and actions such as his denunciation of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, his disciplining of Latin American liberation theologians, and his censure of Asian priests who viewed non-Christian religions as part of God’s plan for humanity. (2)

Ratzinger was elevated to the papacy on April 19, 2005, upon the death of Pope John Paul II, and celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass five days later. Known for his rigid views on Catholicism, he has sought a more inclusive image as pope.(3)

In 2008, Benedict made his first visit as pope to the United States, where he spoke out against clerical sexual abuse and delivered an address at the United Nations. That same year, to foster relations and understanding between religions, Benedict addressed the first Catholic-Muslim Forum, a three-day conference of Catholic theologians and Islamic scholars.

All three men proclaimed Catholic values.  All three men really not wanting the job yet accepting, believing and living according to and in the shoes of the fisherman who came first.  Pope Francis, is seen as a new wave in the church.  I have to admit I did not understand it.  I was struggling with this man, as well, though you revere the Office.

I could not understand why he said it was not necessary to go to church.  Why did he say “If a man is gay and searches for the Lord …who am I to judge?”  I was confused when he stood in the well of the Congress and asked for capital punishment to be abolished and did not ask for abortion to be repealed.  Why bother speaking about climate change and gun control?  Then I read another article or two and discovered what he actually really said in some case and through conversations found clarity with the others.

One article quoted,  “Since the start of his papacy, Francis has sought to shift the hierarchy’s focus away from what he said is an “obsession” with sexual issues and toward a greater concern for the poor and all those rejected by the church and society, a social justice priority that many gay Catholics also share.” (5)

Then I saw an article about Mo Rocca. The article was from a militant church group (4) and they were incensed that Mo Rocca was a Lector reading the first Scripture during the Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden.   They described him as an actor, comedian and openly homosexual.   This struck me odd in this context.  I am not labeled openly heterosexual.  Why specifically when speaking about a church service was his sexuality mentioned.  In the context of church is not the prerequisite of our going that we are all sinners? This article was of course focusing on what they believed was Rocca’s sin.  I was very confused at first about what all the hubbub was about.  AND there it was in the shower – the light bulb – who am I to judge?

The media in this country is obsessed with liberal leaning pundits who focus in and aggrandize all the social issues so why would they not adore this man who is now apparently focusing specifically on a social agenda.  The issue, that was not coming across to me via the media, poured down on me like the water in the shower.   Pope Francis is still speaking the beliefs of the Catholic Church.  The Church in the Mo Rocca case has always accepted homosexuals. What the media is hearing now is a different lead line.  Pope Francis is leading with the Love One Another and feed the poor.

The light bulb said to me he is speaking acceptance which I live daily.  I love everyone.  I simply took for granted others did as well.  It evidently is new to some that the Catholic Church – the people in the Catholic faith –  actually does love everyone.  Pope Francis is calling us to love one another – something I live or try to remembering I am human too.  His message was not new to me so I could not understand all the flurry of newness.   That was the light bulb.  The Pope proclaims hope and reaffirms the promises of Jesus.  He is walking in the shoes of the fisherman and bringing us the same message as all Popes before though it appears many more are listening.  That is a good thing. The different way he is packaging his message is what is being heard first now.  New Pope new packaging that evidently appeals to more of the masses, certainly the media.  His message in Congress was really clear.

“This rule points us in a clear direction: Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves,” he said. “In a word, if we want security, let us give security. If we want life, let us give life. If we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.

“The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us,” the pontiff said, drawing a standing ovation from the assembled House and Senate. (6)

I struggle with my faith and stand on scripture probably more than Catechism, truth be known, yet they really are one in the same if you do the study.  Probably more correctly speaking the Catechism is based directly on the Bible.  Regardless as Christians, followers of Christ, we are called to follow His standard for us all.  Pope Francis is continuing to proclaim that.

As with most of my blogs I come to the end more educated and find my own message.  Grounding – that  is what I need and that is one of the mindful gifts I am going to give to myself.  Back to the basics of a daily study of faith.  Daily prayers are good and not enough.  I need more grounding than that so this stream of words has brought me to a new resolve.

Last Saturday at our enrichment I was speaking to one of our friends and shared with them that I had a very interesting walk with and without faith in my life.  The part that really impressed me the most is that while I was all over the place God had not moved.  He was right there waiting for me to return.  Blessedly I did and receive His blessings daily through the gifts He has given me.  For all of that I am grateful.

Pope Francis said, “We have a father who waits for us. In the midst of our worldliness, He calls us his children. We are not orphans.”

Thank you.

ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…….

(1) http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/pope-john-paul-ii-81.php

(2)http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-pope-benedict-xvi

(3)http://www.biography.com/people/pope-benedict-xvi-15045109#promotion-within-the-church

(4) http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/outcry-after-open-homosexual-serves-as-lector-at-pope-francis-nyc-mass-vide

(5) http://www.religionnews.com/2015/02/16/gay-catholics-find-new-tone-pope-francis-bishops/

(6)http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/24/pope-francis-tells-congress-to-seek-common-good/?page=all

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WORDS FROM WEIRD PLACES – THANK YOU JIM CARREY

GOOD MORNING WORLD

This morning started like every other day with the exception that t is Saturday and I have no gatherings or meetings or people to see.  I have essentially a free day.  This in itself is amazing.  I started as I did most other days.  Got my beverage – today it is coffee, some days it is tea – and headed to the computer to check emails and facebook and scrabble.

As I am scrolling down my facebook page I came to a post that said “What Jim Carrey Explains In 1 Minute Will Change Your Life Forever. Seriously.”  Now I am not a big Jim Carrey fan and would have moved quickly on had it this link not been shared by a friend  from a past life who is a sweet, very quiet, unassuming and kind lady.  I actually hope one day to be able to be with her again.  Years ago we had the most delightful day touring a plantation house in Louisiana.  I clicked on the link to see what she had shared.

The link took me to a video (1)of Jim Carrey making a graduation speech in 2014 at Maharishi University.  I had no idea where that was so of course did a quick wikipedia search.  It turns out the University is in Iowa. (2)

Maharishi University of Management (MUM), formerly Maharishi International University, is an American non-profit university located in FairfieldIowa. It was founded in 1973 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and features a “consciousness-based education” system that includes the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.[6][7] Its founding principles include the development of the full potential of the individual, fulfilling economic aspirations while maximizing proper use of the environment and bringing spiritual fulfillment and happiness to humanity.[8]

The university is accredited through the PhD level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and offers degree programs in art, business, education, communications, mathematical science, literature, physiology & health, Vedic Science and sustainable living.

Interesting search into the credentials of the University.  The average cost per student it said was about $16,000 in 2011.  With the costs of some schools this appears to be fairly reasonable.  You be the judge of its programs.

The speech was what held my interest.  I heard what had been shared then went back to hear more.  Jim-Carrey 3I had a new appreciation of Jim Carrey.  Besides his movies, he has written and children’s book (3)and is a painter (4).  In fact in his speech he references one of his paintings.

I will not go into all of this.  I will simply leave you with the links and a few of his words.  Got to say my day has taken a different direction.  Has listening to this speech changed my life forever?  Who knows.  It has impacted my morning for sure.

At this time of graduation and transition for many, it simply seems like a good thing to share.

From the speech……………

“…all there will ever be is what is happening here and the decision we make in this moment based is either love or fear…”

“You cannot fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance at what you love.”

“….the effect you have on others is the most powerful currency there is.”

“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible…..risk being seen.”

“….to find real peace you have to let the armor go…….”

I also liked what he had to say about faith – take a listen it might interest you today.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

(1)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V80-gPkpH6M

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maharishi_University_of_Management

(3)http://www.amazon.com/How-Roland-Rolls-Jim-Carrey/dp/0989368009/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432999450&sr=8-1&keywords=Jim+Carrey+books

(4) http://www.palmspringslife.com/Palm-Springs-Life/January-2012/Something-to-See-Here/

…IF YOU WOULD HARKEN TO MY COMMANDMENTS…

GOOD MORNING WORLD

The title of this entry is from the Bible.  It is in Isaiah 48:17-19.  It was part of my scripture reading on Friday the 14th.  This was the day the shooting happened in Newtown, CT.  Is it something we should be paying closer attention to as we review this horrid day?

Since the shooting I have heard from dear friends that their family who live in that town were okay.  I knew their family was in Connecticut and never made a connection.  I did quickly look up where our niece in Connecticut lived referencing Newtown.   She was over 20 miles away so I assumed her children went to a different school.  Sad when you think that they may know people who were directly effected by this tragedy.  Heavens as I told my husband we had stopped for lunch at a Subway in Sandy Hook last year.  It was a quaint little village.  No man is an island is a recurrent theme.

When a tragedy like this occurs we look back.  We have been hit by many tragedies in the last 20 years.  The bombing in Oklahoma City took 168.  In the attack on 9/11 there were @ 3000 deaths.  We can go down a list from Columbine in 1999 with 13 souls lost, Red Lake 7 souls, Virginia Tech 32 souls, Northern Illinois 5 souls, Oikos University 7 souls, Aurora CO with 12 souls, January 2011 Gabby Gifford was shot with 6 souls, the two souls at the Oregon Mall and on Friday there were 26 more souls.  This does not include the injured or the people effected emotionally by these incidents.  When is enough going to be enough?

That is just this country.  There were 87 killed at a summer Camp in Norway in 2011.  Babies were stabbed in a daycare in Belgium.  Is anyone aware that on the same day Friday the 14th 22 people were harmed in a violent stabbing attack in China.  It seems in the past few years school stabbings are up in China and more authorities are now going into their schools.

In math we were told to take a problem and bring it down to a common denominator.  Is there one in all of this violence?  Who can understand the mind of madmen who carry out such evil?  I certainly cannot.  To bring this down to a simple common thought might I suggest, this being Sunday, that faith is lacking?

Do not the majority of faiths have as their guiding principles to love our neighbors and live in peace with all of those around them?  I quickly looked through faiths from Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, to the Jews and Deism including as many as I could.  All call for love and/or respect for others.  All speak to good over evil.  If we believe in these values how can we be killing our brothers?  Could it be that we have strayed far from the basic tenets of our faiths?   Have we forgotten that if we have good then there is also bad.  Have we forgotten that every action has a consequence?  If so how do we change/restore? More questions.

I will put forth ever so cautiously that if we as a society do not find a way to change our behavior, we will allow EVIL to rule our world.  Despite Sir Isaac Newton’s scientific theory that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, I put forth that good brings good.  A negative pole cannot adhere to a negative environment.  A negative pole can  only adhere to a positive.  If all the positive in the world would come forth wouldn’t it smother the negative.  If we actively speak and put forth all of the good our faith gives us would we not be a better world?

I leave this morning with two things.  One is the greatest hoax’s in all the world is that Satan has convinced people that he does not exist.  The second is one of my favorite Church Signs sayings.  It is, “You know that love thy neighbor stuff?  I meant it.  Love God”.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

WITNESS WEDNESDAY

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I read the scriptures most mornings.  These last few days they have been about faith and trust I believe referencing these words:  ‘unless you turn and become like children’ and ‘leaving the 99 to go for the one’.   Do I have the kind for faith that would allow me to go for the one leaving all else behind?  Or make one decision over all advice?  Do I approach life like a child with trust?   

This morning as I looked at Facebook our daughter’s post caught my eye.  She posted these words: ‘When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place.’  Faith and trust – this child has led us all in this in the last year.  It has been a lesson for me and could be for you after I share it.

Our daughter and her husband went to Texas with his job in 2005.  They left family and friends behind and ventured out so that they could be employed.  They bought a home and put the kids in school and searched for a church.  They ended up in a faith filled church home, Waxahachie Bible Church,  that fed their needs for Christian Community.  They took a class that got them out of debt and our daughter joined a bible study and the kids the youth groups.  This church is good for them.  They made good friends young and old.  This church prayed for them and with them.  They began to really walk in faith.

Let me make a point here.  I believe that God has a plan for all of us.  I believe that those of us who choose to acknowledge it try to live His plan for their lives.  We do this through prayer, scripture, faith and sometimes blind trust.  This makes no sense to others who do not share the same belief in faith.  Others call it fate or destiny or coincidence – I wrote about this earlier.  I choose to call it God’s Plan for my life.

Now, let’s go back to our daughter’s life as a witness in faith for this post.  They are in Texas and her husband changes jobs and then there is a better job and that goes bust then there is a job back home for him.  In the meantime after working in a few salons our daughter opens her own salon with three girls working for her.  After Thanksgiving last year everything fell apart.  The job her husband had fell through so he had to return to Texas with no benefits of any sort.  Two girls walked out of the salon to not come back.  Christmas was coming and they were really down.  Our daughter said that they would find a way as God would lead them through this.  I am not going through every excruciating detail.  In March our son-in-law got a job back in his home state.  Our daughter got more girls to work for her and sold her interest in the salon to them.  She graduated Texas A&M Commerce in May with a BS after putting herself through these last 4+ years.  They decided to move back to Missouri and put their house on the market. After 4 months it was not selling.

Throughout all of this her posts on Facebook were positive and upbeat and full of prayer and wondering when His time would come around and trusting that it would.  When it did she would post she knew it would be His perfect time.  That time is now!

After not selling their home and not being allowed to get out of the contract and not finding any jobs for them in Texas they were stuck.  They had to sell their house in order to have the funds available to move to reunite the family.  Dad is in Missouri and family in Texas visiting as often as they could afford to do so.   Then God began His work. 

A friend from church needed a place to live while their new home was being built.  The home they lived in sold quickly and they had to get out.  They needed a house for 6 months.  Would our daughter let them live in her house.  They looked over the whole situation and it worked.  The church friends would be allowed to live in the house for 6 months and they would help our daughter with the move to reunite her family and get her to Missouri. The church family wanted to know if they could make the house their home and do some painting.  Our grandson’s room is Spiderman red and blue – bright.  No problem.

The realtor kindly finally took the listing off the MLS and picked up her sign.  When the house goes back on the market it will have fresh paint it seems. 

God was not done.  Another church member came to visit with an envelope with $22 in it.  She said she had been directed to give it to our daughter.  She tried to refuse it and her church friend said she could not as God told her to bring it over.  Later that day our daughter had to get some meds and needed some money.  The bill for the meds was $22.

So they are moving and need a place quick and rental agencies take time.  They found a rental on Craig’s List and our son-in-law said it was perfect.  The man had just listed it.  He was moving in with his girlfriend and wanted his house rented to a nice family and pets were okay.  They could move in as soon as they get there.  Our daughter called an old friend to see about working in a salon again while she looked for a job and had a job by the time she was off the phone.  As I type this our son-in-law is headed to Texas to reclaim his family and move them all back together.  They hope to be in their new home on Saturday.  All this has happened since our daughter came and picked the kids up from Grandcamp and got home on August 6th.  God works wonders.

Our youngest child led us all this year.  We struggled to not interfere and offer to help at the same time waiting for the call to ask us to help them move.  Neither happened.  She held out for the one thing over what all (the 99) were telling her.  She trusted beyond belief that God would lead her to where He wanted them to be.   Who am I to question why her house did not sell?  Would that family have found as nice a place to live for 6 months?  Would they have found any?  Would the fireman in Missouri have found as good a tenant as our daughter’s family will be?  Would a job have been available later?  Keep on calling it fate or destiny or karma if you choose.  Not me.  Lesson learned. 

Thank you Jesus!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…