Category Archives: Gratitude

I am thinking about you

I found this beautiful poetic writing by Bishop Charleston on Healing Soul Streams.

You might wonder, “Of all the people she knows, how could she be thinking about me?”

The generic specificity of Bishop Charleston’s short piece takes me to that “All is One” place. There, I am thinking about you because we are one and the same, all seeking to discover our next miracle.

_______________

I am thinking about you, thinking about all the good that you have done in this life, all the people you have helped, all the kindness you have shown to others.

No, don’t shake your head.

I know you will want to argue that you are far from saintly and have much to regret, but counting your mistakes is not my job.

My calling is to celebrate the goodness within you, to honor you for who you are, to encourage you to keep going so you will discover the next miracle waiting for you around the corner of hope.

You go do what you do now. I will be thinking about you, thinking how wonderful you are.

—Bishop Charleston

 

 

3 questions for Father’s Day: Ric Elias

Father’s Day seemed like a good time to share this TED talk with Ric Elias, who survived the Flight 1549 plane crash into the Hudson River in January 2009, but I think these questions apply to everyone, not just fathers.

What are you putting off that you could be doing right now?

How can you get rid of negative energy from your life?

Are you being the best parent you can be?

“What has you by the heart these days?”

My excellent friend, Willow-Marie, wrote a blog last week about this question: What has you by the heart these days?

When a friend posed the question to her, Willow-Marie focused her attention on it during a visit to Ottawa’s Byward Market. Not surprisingly, a child became part of the answer. Isn’t it often so?

“It was one of those moments when you can actually feel delight moving through space. You catch it from another person and it becomes yours too.” —Willow-Marie

The question prompts us to notice things that might otherwise pass us by. 

I encourage you to read her post and then focus your attention. What delight moves through space to become yours?

By the Heart On the Byward Market —Willow-Marie.real

 

The laying on of hands: A touch of love, power, blessing

“Every moment is a starting point.” —Etienne LeSage

On the weekend, I attended the ordination and commissioning of two friends of mine into the United Church of Canada. The ceremony touched me deeply, and since then I’ve pondered what to write about it.

So many aspects of the event filled our emotional wells to overflowing. We cried happy tears.

The two people involved are both joyful givers; they embrace all people, work for justice, don’t sit in judgment of others, and allow and encourage questions. Love envelopes them; their parents, spouses, siblings, friends, children and other supporters glowed with it. The two people possess the perseverance and the indefinable “something more” that propels them into the challenging work of ministry.

Photo courtesy of Shaun Dunmall https://www.flickr.com/photos/llamnuds/

Photo courtesy of Shaun Dunmall
https://www.flickr.com/photos/llamnuds/

In the end, though, I kept coming back to the laying on of hands.

Those unfamiliar with the practice, or those who have never been on the receiving end of it, might see it as an empty ritual, or even as a showy bit of hocus-pocus. But the ancient tradition of laying on hands is a powerful experience for both giver and receiver. It recognizes the potency of human touch. Like a comforting squeeze on the shoulder of someone bent over in grief, like a cool touch to hot brow, like a gentle nudge to the back of someone who hesitates—hands have the potential to soothe, heal or empower.

After the ceremony, one of the two people, Mark, told me that he felt the love flowing to him from hands placed on him by his parents, spouse, family and friends. But when he felt the touch of his daughter and his toddler son, his heart burst—the power of children blessing a father.

I lay hands on my friend, Etienne, as he was blessed and ordained. I was a member of his discernment committee, and I walked with him—metaphorically speaking—on his path to ministry. When I lay my hands on him, it was a conduction of love, power and blessing.

I sent him love, because the tremendous amount of love I had for him grew even stronger during the psyche-testing process of discernment.

I sent him power for his journey, because the path he has chosen (or that was chosen for him?) is not an easy one. He begins ministry in the face of assumptions about Christianity that just don’t apply to him. He’s funny and open, not sombre and judgemental. He knows that love is the foundation of a strong and healthy marriage, not gender. He sees the soul in people, no matter what race, ethnicity, religion or shape the body that carries it around, so he excludes no one.

I sent him my blessing of courage and compassion to face it with strength for the highest good of all.

Both people, in their individual ways, had to overcome big difficulties to arrive at the day. They both chose to take the road less travelled, and it is one that is fraught with challenges.

They both know that their lives, in so many ways, would be so much easier if they were taking the well-trodden path. Now that they have been sent forth with the love, power and blessing of the touch of those who love them, they might just make it.

One corner left open to represent open minds.

The Trinity United Church cross, designed by Rev. Dr. Glen Stoudt. One corner left open to represent open minds. http://www.trinityunitedottawa.ca/

 

 

 

A different kind of daytime television

If you’ve been saving for a bigger screen TV but haven’t quite managed it yet, this will make you feel better.

In May of 1948, General Electric (GE) advertised “the one and only kind of television you can enjoy in broad daylight.”

daylight-television1

Their ads promoted a television with a “super-big” screen─3 square feet—and they promised clear reception of all 13 American channels.

These days “daytime television” means soap operas, inane talk shows or re-runs of sit-coms. In 1948, daytime television meant a physical TV set with an image bright enough to see during daylight hours.

We take our big screens with clear colour pictures that we can see in any light for granted. Every once in a while it’s good to pause and acknowledge with gratitude the technology behind it all, and the people in our past who harnessed that technology to create something that has become so omnipresent in our lives.

Isn’t it a shame that all that marvelous technology gets used for such frivolous, and sometimes harmful, drivel? Don’t you wonder what the great minds of our television pioneers, John Baird, Kalman Tihanyi,  Leon Theremin and Philo Farnsworth would think about the potential of their technology being harnessed for such beauties as Sharknado, or Duck Dynasty, or 19 Kids and Counting, or—God help us all—Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?

I think they would throw their hands up in despair. I think that if they had known what was coming they would have drawn up legal contracts forbidding anyone with the name Kardashian from ever appearing on their screens.

I hope that they are—right now—plotting ways to come back to haunt the producers of Toddlers and Tiaras. 

As I write this, my words appear on a computer monitor with a screen larger than the one in the 1948 GE advertisement. Its picture is bright and clear and colourful. I take a moment for gratitude for this incredible technology and the pioneer minds of the people who invented it.

Tonight, I think I’ll go home and kiss my big-screen television in all its bright, clear glory.  And I won’t watch The Bachelorette. I respect the great minds of television pioneers far too much to do that.

Gardening wisdom: How does your garden grow?

“Gardens, like lives, require choices. What will we let grow? What will we encourage? What needs cutting back because it’s growing too wildly and out of control? What’s crowding out what you really want in life?” —Rev. Sharon Moon

red-roseI listened to a reflection by Rev. Sharon Moon about spiritual wisdom gained in a garden.

It’s true, isn’t it? When we putter in our flower beds and dig in our dirt, we “plug in,” as she calls it, to a different energy level—a spirit channel, if you will.

At least some of us do. I enjoy my time in a garden and I do “plug in” to an infinite place, but I have many friends who regard gardening as a chore. But no matter whether a person loves or loathes a horticultural pursuit, the activities, complexities, the growth, the pruning and the death in gardens so closely mirrors our human existence that we can learn from them.

We learn to be ready for surprises: the flower you didn’t plant that suddenly appears or the tender sprouts you admire one day gone the next thanks to a hungry rabbit.

We learn that sometimes a plant needs to be moved to an area better suited to its needs.

We learn that when a long, cold winter buries treasures under snow, it is easy to forget the bounty we have.

We learn that weeds are inevitable, and that a garden left untended quickly becomes overgrown and filled up with “things that come in and just steal the energy from the life that you want to encourage.”

As Sharon Moon points out, a garden teaches us that pruning is a good thing—cutting out the dead wood that no longer serves a purpose. A garden teaches us to give of ourselves—generous perennial dividing and sharing for the good of both the plant and the recipient. A garden teaches us that “a material that has been allowed to die transforms into new growth.”

What is happening in your garden these days? Are you bursting with new growth? Do you have weeds that need careful pulling? Have you had a shock or trauma that requires you to take some fallow time? Do you need some support and attention from “the Gardener”?

How does your garden grow?

_________

Listen to her reflection here:

Gardening God

http://www.trinityunitedottawa.ca/reflections/gardening-god/

The inevitable weed

The inevitable weed

 

 

Notes Along the Path

A Lighter Way of Being

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

Ba'slan shev'la

A strategic disappearance, for the purpose of regrouping and recovering from extended engagement with one's quarry.

Capturing God

Finding Spirituality through Photography, Art & Nature

A Small Act Of Kindness Can Bring Smile On Million Faces

Kindness Like a Boomerang Always Comes Back!!

LORIEB

My passions: current events, health & wellness, wheat allergy, parenting, gardening and more...

The Theological Wanderings of a Street Pastor

"I've been looking for a Savior in these dirty streets." -Tori Amos

Can Anybody Hear Me?

Uncovered Myself One Pound at a Time; Still Discovering Myself One Day at a Time

MINDING MY P'S WITH Q

A LOT OF P'S WITH A BIT OF QUIRKINESS THROWN IN FOR GOOD MEASURE.

Simmer and Boil

Cooking Light

The Ink Never Runs Out

Writing, literature, literacy and articles about the writing life and life as it happens.

Healing Soul Streams

Healer of my soul ~ Quiet me in Holy Stillness

Mrs Red's Reviews

Book Reviews

Healing Your Grief

How to walk through the journey of grief after losing a child

New Earth Paradigm

2015 Affirming Heaven on Earth

Sophia's Children

Reclaiming Ancestral Wisdom. Restoring Our Humanity.

Taking on a World of Words

Homepage for fledgling writer Sam A. Stevens

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 784 other followers

%d bloggers like this: