Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 28

As is the story of the elephant in a room full of blind people, the stories in what we call sacred scriptures are all based on the manifestations of The Sacred Spirit that we each see, hear, and otherwise experience. Each of us experiences every reality through our own history-colored lenses and our own available senses. We must stop persecuting those that experience life through different experiences and abilities than does our own tribe.

The pretense that we all must be and believe the same in order to belong has led to much hypocrisy and rejection. I like to think that, if I was in a group of blind people describing an elephant, I'd attempt to find a commonality that we could all share instead of siding with only one experience.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we all look for common sacred manifestations, rather than continuing to side with only one of the human tribes.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 27

Until we convince our men that we are next to them in their foxholes, we will continue to foster fear in them. Fear begets desperation, which begets mindless destruction if flight with honor isn't an option.

The tragedy in my lifetime has been the perception that any man who wants his women (grandmother, mother, sister) to stand with him is somehow less a man than those who simply destroy without forethought., responsibility, or compassion. We must all wake up to the vast possibilities available to all the universe when we take away our arrogance and fear of uncertainty. There will always be more that we don't know for certain than there will be things we know. It is not for us to understand or predict the future; it is our mission to act responsibly in the now.

Not all women are nurturing; neither are all men brave. We must seek balance in our lives and communities rather than living on fantasies and fault finding when life doesn't measure up. I lived and dragged my children through two marriages that were doomed by preconceived ideas of perfection. We must embrace the new paradigms of partnering and parenting, or our universe will turn backward until we reach our sure doom as the human race.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we open our hearts, souls, bodies and minds to The Sacred Spirit's balance in all of creation.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 26

I can honestly understand prejudice against those who attempt to turn our children away from our own paths. As the responsible party in their actions, we are hard pressed to keep up with all of the changes they naturally cycle through; it is much more difficult to keep up with the changes going on outside them and our own societies. How much more important it is to stay close to them in multiculturalism than it was in singular societal influences.

I have thought for many years that bringing up children is like living a PG-13 movie; we must stay available to discuss what they saw and what we hold dear as messages that we want them to incorporate into their own lives. Without this constant piece in their perceptions of the universe, they will often go adrift in a vast sea of uncertainty about their goals and their paths to reach the way points.

Making multiculturalism against the law is irrelevant to those who take the time to really listen and learn from their children. We are here to ask them questions about how their experiences mesh with the values that keep them feeling a part of our family's and friend's universe. We are not here to frighten them away from anything outside our understanding; otherwise, our values die from lack of growth and incorporation into their evolved realities.

How sad it is that, as the universe throws more complexity at our youth, our young people seem to have fewer elders who will take the time to listen to and guide them. Our communities must expand with the universe, not contract to fit ancestral molds and modes of behavior. Unless we diligently search for the universal kernels of truth in all humanity in all human eras, we will lose, not only our children, but the whole of humanity.

My prayer for Pentecost is that our eyes become open to eternal, universal, responsible, compassionate community for all of creation.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Laws of Love

Religion (from O.Fr. religion "religious community," from L. religionem (nom. religio) "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods,"[5] "obligation, the bond between man and the gods"[6]) is derived from the Latin religiō, the ultimate origins of which are obscure. One possibility is derivation from a reduplicated *le-ligare, an interpretation traced to Cicero connecting lego "read", i.e. re (again) + lego in the sense of "choose", "go over again" or "consider carefully". Modern scholars such as Tom Harpur and Joseph Campbell favor the derivation from ligare "bind, connect", probably from a prefixed re-ligare, i.e. re (again) + ligare or "to reconnect," which was made prominent by St. Augustine, following the interpretation of Lactantius.[7][8] The medieval usage alternates with order in designating bonded communities like those of monastic orders: "we hear of the 'religion' of the Golden Fleece, of a knight 'of the religion of Avys'".[9]
According to the philologist Max Müller, the root of the English word "religion", the Latin religio, was originally used to mean only "reverence for God or the gods, careful pondering of divine things, piety" (which Cicero further derived to mean "diligence").[10][11] Max Müller characterized many other cultures around the world, including Egypt, Persia, and India, as having a similar power structure at this point in history. What is called ancient religion today, they would have only called "law".[12]
Many languages have words that can be translated as "religion", but they may use them in a very different way, and some have no word for religion at all. For example, the Sanskrit word dharma, sometimes translated as "religion", also means law. Throughout classical South Asia, the study of law consisted of concepts such as penance through piety and ceremonial as well as practical traditions. Medieval Japan at first had a similar union between "imperial law" and universal or "Buddha law", but these later became independent sources of power.[13][14]
There is no precise equivalent of "religion" in Hebrew, and Judaism does not distinguish clearly between religious, national, racial, or ethnic identities.[15] One of its central concepts is "halakha", sometimes translated as "law"", which guides religious practice and belief and many aspects of daily life.
The use of other terms, such as obedience to God or Islam are likewise grounded in particular histories and vocabularies.[16]


There are numerous definitions of religion and only a few are stated here. The typical dictionary definition of religion refers to a "belief in, or the worship of, a god or gods"[17] or the "service and worship of God or the supernatural".[18] However, writers and scholars have expanded upon the "belief in god" definitions as insufficient to capture the diversity of religious thought and experience. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion#Etymology

Those who call themselves Christian are bound by two laws: Love "God" and your neighbor as yourself. The questions are, "Who is your God?" "Do you see that "God" in yourself?" "Do you look for that "God" in all others?" "Do you seek to serve the "God" in yourself and share this "God" with all others?"

Pentecost Prayer Day 25

Before any religions or humans, there was The Sacred Spirit available to all who had the capacity and compunction to embrace the responsible compassion on which the continuation of the physical manifestations of The Sacred Spirit depend. The "faces" (manifestations) of The Sacred Spirit shine in all the universe, except for in those who have it snuffed out by themselves or others.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we all accept, honor, and practice responsible compassion toward all of creation. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer day 24

Sometimes we have to pretend to be tough in order to be of any help;
My children know I will always be there if they can't defend themselves.
In order to test their own strength and those most closely bonded to them,
They push me away, so that on others, they're sure they can depend.

Those who believe God's grace is all they need are deluding themselves,
Unless they admit that humanity is that in which The Sacred Spirit dwells.
So many times we and others are given incredible, unseen graces
When the situation at hand, our conscious helplessness, embraces.

We must stop acting as if manna falls directly from the heavens;
The Sacred Spirit, on the creatures of earth's presence, depends.
Nothing on earth was meant to stand alone, without support of another,
Even though science continues to produce progeny with only a mother.

The skills we've ascribed to one gender or another, whimsically,
Have never been the absolute truth of how nature was made to be.
It's important we realize we are meant to find complimentary peers,
So that every tribe and generation has guidance by which to steer.

I know many of my experiences don't provide ways for me to relate
In the societal situations to which my children must acclimate.
My most urgent request as an elder of their community
Is that they have patience in explaining those areas I can't see.

I would gladly close my heart to all emotional input from them
If I hadn't, by giving them birth, promised, on me they could depend.
No matter the pull of business or my relationship with others,
The only non-negotiable position I've held is that of their mother.

My Pentecostal prayer is that we all accept procreation as a responsibility,
Not to those we create, but to our own sense of perpetual accountability.
Only then will we stop putting our egos and old-age comforts above
The responsible compassion that must come to define sacred love.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 23

Do you know your mother was sent to live with others; the most sacred thing to her was to keep her family under one roof?
Do you know that your toddler mother lost her father; her mother spent her life doing penance; his death, of her sin, proof?

Do you know that your father killed fathers of foreign children, and he was never able to erase that image from his mind's eye?
Do you know that childish human frailty was persecuted by our own parents and church, no matter how diligently a child tried?

Do you know that religion has wrought more recriminations than all the family feuds in history, combined,
Promoting blame, shame, ridicule, recriminations, tribal war, and territorial greed destroying all humankind?

Until we allow men at home smelling, soothing, teaching and testing their own babies, they will never know
The truthful imperative that only creating peace on earth will allow a universal community of faith family to grow.

My Pentecost prayer is one for respect for the past while we move on to greater informed, individual freedom,
To connect directly with The Sacred Spirit that will allow us to fully responsible, compassionate humans become.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Sacred Spirit from the Sea

We carried home multi-hued seashells, a gift from The Sacred Spirit in our seas.
Some have been broken to manifest the wings of the angels we can readily see.
Some have been ground down to manifest the delicately silvered mother-of pearl.
Some are bonded with others, never to be individually or collectively unfurled.

These permutations of our natural world remind us of the varieties allowed
In a universe in which only humans are, with complete freedom, endowed.
We can choose to bond to others, of our mirror images or not related;
That humans need common goals should not be ignored or underrated.

We worked together to sort shells into complimentary groups and pairs;
This is a function of humanity about which The Sacred Spirit didn't care.
The vast variety of manifestations of the glory of the universal energy
Is much too immense for us to, in one lifetime or community, fully see.

Found seashells are more precious to me than the gifts of diamonds mined;
I feel that the time spent searching with friends was a gift from The Divine.
I now have the opportunity to continue to celebrate this sacred gift;
I wish that all involved in the adventure could enjoy this creative lift.

Pentecostal Prayer Day 22

The stories in the Old Testament seem cautionary; not a narrative for how to live;
These are words of what happens when humankind doesn't work to forgive.
When Adam and Eve felt greed and envy for what they had no capacity to understand,
They, their offspring, and the offspring of these, created disaster for all the body human.

We've since been grasping for all that we see, pretending we can prosper without each other;
Even though the path to eternal peace includes all our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers.
We prefer to destroy that which we can't, in our own lifetimes, learn how to control
Than to trust that only responsible compassion will make each of us eternally whole.

We must stop honoring only women for waiting, and only men for other's protection;
In marriage, we bond our strengths and protect the values of our own unity's election.
There seems to have been a time of re-balancing The Sacred Spirit's "voice" in nature;
My prayer for Pentecost is that we begin to honor, by incorporation, all earthly creatures.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 21

So many people are wanting to "get back to" the "good old days" with no clue what the "good old days" really entailed. A girl helping grandma churn butter and chase chickens, helping mama "mother" the siblings and cousins or stir the pot are not the same as a woman being a mom. A father who knows his family won't eat if he doesn't find a way to feed them, even when his wife is unable to put the children on hold to help, is a far cry from a boy with a work gig to attract a hot chick.

We really need to learn the difference between primary responsibility and playing at being an adult. Only responsible, compassionate adults should have true authority. We seem to have created a country of whiny wimps. As my daughter once told me, "You want your children to grow, but you don't want us to go through the pain that goes with it."

I encouraged them to grow, but it is true that I couldn't always watch as they made their mistakes. Most times, the best I could do was to be waiting in the wings for when they needed or wanted me. While I am still available to them, the greatest joy in my life is that they have found communities that can take my place in their times of need. To paraphrase Kenny Rogers' The Gambler, "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to scold 'em, when we should walk away and when we should come..."

My prayer for Pentecost is that we all learn to allow and encourage growth and compassionate responsibility in those with whom we're in relationships. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 20

We just celebrated out twentieth anniversary of marriage with a trip to the beach offered us by our next-door neighbors, both highly passionate people. It was pure magic experiencing their joyful abandon in expressing their emotions to each other, no matter who may be watching. Maite, who is from Venezuela with all the passion that one can imagine that entailing, and thirteen years my junior, serenading each other and our spouses every chance we got.

We were joined for different celebrations by others of great passion. T. Sue, another friend ten years my junior, romped with us on the beach, as excited by seashells as if we were all six-year-old schoolgirls. My brother Bill made, for my belated birthday gift, an ice cream cake that was the most amazing rendition of this dessert I had ever encountered: three flavors of cake enveloping three flavors of ice cream, wrapped in three flavors of icing. He joined us for a supper of New Orleans style red beans with andouille sausage. This creative concoction was a fine finish from a fabulous brother.

We had a bit more cake that we could consume, as the original creation must have weighed in at thirty pounds. We took the rest to T. Sue's family, which had relocated to Florida from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, where we were enthralled by her delightful ten-year-old daughter's piano solo, her son's delightful manners and wit, and her husband's hospitality and joy in showing off the garden that he and T. Sue have created, as well as sharing her culinary skills with us.

We sang, danced, laughed, ate, and drank with great gusto. I'm now twenty years younger than when we left for Florida one week ago tomorrow. Some emotions simply need to be sung, some cried out to the heavens, some embraced with such physical strength that they seem ready to crush us unless we wrap others in our arms. My prayer for Pentecost is that we all learn to be at peace with our passions and comfortable passing them on to others. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 19

My Pentecost prayer for today is that we each look for a center of calm so strong that nothing the world exposes us to can force our vision away from the goal of our Sacred mission. We must look inside with loving eyes to find our own abilities and authority to access The Sacred Spirit in our own souls. Only then can we set a proper path to connecting our energy to the responsible, compassionate care of the universal family.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 18

If you can't tell what I believe by watching my habitual actions,
Our relationship is built on only superficial attractions.
I prefer to follow example of others, rather than to lead,
But I want to observe and process before I proceed.

When the choices are to lead, follow, or get out of the way,
By myself, while I think, is where I will often stay.
I used to feel great grief in being left behind,
But in hurrying, to The Sacred Spirit, I'm blind.

I love to brainstorm with others about my professed plan,
But my actions are based on the values on which I stand.
My prayer for Pentecost is that we can agree on common goals,
And, from these visions, a set of universal values mold.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 17

What if I could will my excess medical care to my grandchildren,
Would I then be inspired to let go of my life?
What if money saved would support an unwanted child's adoption,
Would my efforts to save others finally suffice?

What if we stopped pretending we have all the solutions?
Would we then be open to a sacred future?
All of our arrogant mistakes of the past need absolution;
This way we secure community of which we're sure.

It is not for anyone but those we've hurt to forgive us;
This is the way of all human community.
The give and take of faithful friends is what builds trust
And the only path to peace that we can now see.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we realize that we pass The Sacred Spirit on to and through each others actions, including our words.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 16

A very dear friend from the time I was fourteen told me that many people go home when they're tired of being nice. What good is home and family if not to comfort one another? The world may not be fair, but I expect at least an honest effort at fairness from those who call themselves my family and friends. I would rather live in a box under a bridge than to have my spirit eaten alive by those who say they love me.

Our culture of comfort leads us to blame, and even attack, anyone who makes us uncomfortable with their truths. Animals move in packs, but humans are supposed to have the ability to choose individual behaviors. Were we lied to by the writers of Genesis? Are humans actually endowed with the image and likeness of The Sacred Spirit, or are we simply animals who act on ancestral impulses?

Just as some say charity begins at home, so I say, does responsible compassion. Charity without shared responsibility is simply enabling behavior. Action without personal responsibility is unfettered capitalism. Responsibility without compassion is religion. Responsible compassion forms families of faith.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we form families of faith in place of rites of religion.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 15

We must not go backwards in seeking the truth of human faith. We have come too far in our understanding of full humanity to offer ourselves up again as sacrificial lambs being led to slaughter by those who promote fear as a substitute for faith. Awe-filled respect is not the same as fear. Fear is not the same as faith. We can only entertain fear for so long before we develop bravado and reject that which causes our terror. Either that, or we freeze in place, becoming useless, even to ourselves.

Our ancestors were a fear-filled people, attributing all pain to our own inability to please and appease angry gods. Discomfort is simply part of all change, both in growth and in death. We can choose to either ride the currents or take down our spiritual sails, so as to stay anchored to only that which is familiar.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we begin to understand that anchoring without the ability to move with the seas of The Sacred Spirit can kill our souls as certainly as can being adrift with no direction.

Pentecost Prayer Day 14

Openness to The Sacred Spirit can be a two-edged sword. The city where I live is seething with spirits, which all set souls on fire, but not all of them lead to responsible or compassionate actions. There are many debates about the nature of good and bad, the nature of heaven and hell, the process of repentance and redemption, and the nature of truth in religion. I propose that we attempt to find guidelines that we can all live with.

I propose:
Good is responsible compassion, something that harms neither oneself nor others.
Heaven and hell are both being personally adopted by each of us and shared with others, beginning with (and sometimes before) our first breaths.
Redemption comes from personal repentance.
Repentance comes from a commitment to make right what we can, and to offer restitution (or at least admittance of our wrongdoing) to those we have harmed.
Religions are rituals that help to bond individual communities. The Sacred Spirit is free for the asking.

The ten commandments and Jesus' life point to two rules: All humans are tasked with honoring The Sacred Spirit in themselves and in others. We humans were given The Sacred Spirit inside of ourselves. My prayer for Pentecost is that we see opportunities to honor and strengthen The Sacred Spirit in our every earthly encounter.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Birds on the Balcony

Yesterday, as I sat writing, a seagull crashed into the glass door that looks out over the harbor. It fell to the balcony and stood stunned, moving almost not at all. I thought about intervening in it's plight, but realized that I had no ability to be  a bird savior. I watched for some time as he/she simply "sat" silently next to the door.  I don't know if birds get concussions in their bird brains, but this is what seemed to have happened.

After what seemed to me a long while, the bird began to move. It turned from the door and spread its tail feathers and wings, as if testing itself for readiness to fly. By whatever measure, it must have ascertained that it was a bit crippled, so it sat silently for a while longer. I watched with a bit of a prayer in my breast that the bird would, once again, fly away.

A bit of time passed before the bird hobbled over to the edge of the balcony and peered over. It spread its wings again. I was almost sure that, this time, it was going to take off, but it demurred, once again. I could see that with each effort it was getting stronger, and my attention was called to something else for a few seconds. When I focused again the gull was gone, much like in the lives of our children.

Today, a hummingbird drank from the nectar in our hydrangea plant on the same balcony. I'm beginning to think of it as a miniature bird sanctuary.

Pentecostal Prayer Day 13

My Pentecostal prayer for today is that Pope Francis I has the humility to admit that the church has no power to confer absolution for sins. Only God and those who have been harmed can forgive the perpetrators for creating mortal wounds in the community of The Christ.

I pray that this pope will call on all who took part in taking away the faith of those abused by clergy to come forth, confess to their victims, and turn themselves into the legal system, rendering "unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." Perhaps this way, some of the formerly faith-filled who lost their faith in God through these abuses will be rendered back unto God.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 12

A friend of great faith has asked many times, "If we don't pray to God as a Father, or as Jesus, to whom do we pray?" She asks this because I insist that, for me, there is no particular "face" or "person" of God. For me, their is a living Sacred Spirit that permeates the universe. I have prayed over and thought deeply about this disconnect in our discussions of prayer. This morning The Sacred Spirit came over me with an answer. I pray to the people who are the branches on the vine of responsibly compassionate people. These are the people who seem fed by The Sacred Spirit, no matter their religion, race, or region.

It is so much more difficult to humble ourselves enough to ask a person to help us than it is to pray to "God" and then have someone simply show up with hands to help. We owe no debt to "God," but we seem to feel dis-empowered by feelings of gratitude to another human. Do we feel that we have to pay back what we admit was done for us out of pure love or compassion?

It is my experience that there are few people who openly appreciate other people on a deep personal level, as if appreciation will make a person less humble, or will diminish one's own worth. There are also people who are uncomfortable with outspoken appreciation; is this because they are afraid of losing their own humility? Sadly, there are those who see open appreciation as a sign of weakness in the person showing it, and seek to exploit this vulnerability. I don't know what to say about these people, other than to avoid them.

If The Sacred Spirit is the water for the vine of full humanity, appreciation of every leaf is the sunshine that feeds more energy into the vine. The person who mops the floors can either celebrate The Sacred Spirit  by doing the best job possible or can make mopping a punishment. This goes for every person doing every activity on earth. In Shakespeare the term, "I pray thee," is used. Perhaps we'd feel more imbued with The Sacred Spirit if we began saying to people, when asking for assistance, "I pray thee."

Don't forget to celebrate and openly appreciate the cook, the housekeeper, the babysitter, the janitor, the cashier, etc. when they do their jobs as celebrations of The Sacred Spirit inside themselves.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we learn to pray, not only over and with each other, but also to The Sacred Spirit in each of us.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Prayer for Pentecost Day 11

What is more important in a life of faith, attempting to do good or attempting to do no wrong? I can tell you, from experience, they get a person in equal amounts of trouble. When attempting to DO good, people believe you are being arrogant and attempting to take control from them. When allowing yourself to simply do what comes naturally, you come away without a community of competence, often adopting a leader who understands how to manipulate our animal instincts to their own advantage.

Just as the unexamined life does not seem worth living, so to does the unexamined community structure. I cannot say the creed of the religion into which I was baptized as a baby. Much of it I don't believe, and much I don't care about, one way or another. I can't participate in rituals that turn off my best judgement in favor of the soothing brainwashing that enters with the chants. I can't seem to nod mutely as others repeat the "party line;" therefore, my presence becomes a source of great discomfort for the true believers. The good that I attempt to do is often then perceived as doing wrong.

Having spent one third of my life in for-profit corporate management positions and one third in non-profit corporation management, it seems that they all have a creed to which we must pretend  to bear witness. As one who asks questions, it is very seldom that I don't end up seeing the dark underbellies of the agendas of the leaders. I was not meant to be an enlisted person, as was pointed out to me when I attempted to enlist in the military. I have been instrumental in helping to lead a number of important movements, leaving strong leaders in my wake.

Jesus was asked to physically lead for only three public years. My prayer for Pentecost is that each of us finds a life-long mission to inspire our actions. For instance, my husband's mission is "To be useful." Mine is to learn, process, and pass on my wisdom. What could be more fluid than that? What good is personal Pentecost without purpose?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 10

What are your core values? What if every one of us wrote a mission statement for our lives, similar to the ones written by corporations, both for-profit and non-profit. We know that publicly traded corporations have only one mission, which is to make money, but they have wonderful, flowery creeds, as do religions. These wonderfully flowery creeds are often memorized, but hardly ever dissected for how we can apply them to our lives in practice. Sometimes, though, it is inspiring to add a bit of poetry to our plans.

A creed for one's own life should be developed early in our teen years, as this will guide us on the path to achievement. We can hardly successfully merge our lives with others if we don't really know our own goals. This is what I see as the problem plaguing teens, adults, marriages, families, communities, corporations, the world in general . If we don't know where we want to end up, we can not find good partners to help us on our journey.

Peace, for me, isn't about pretty poetry and prose; it's about knowing what path we're on and how we plan to choose partners for our eternal journey. If my goal is simply to get to heaven, how will I know if I'm succeeding until I'm dead? But if my goal is to help create peace "on earth as it is in heaven," I can see the products of my life in the eyes of others and in their interactions with others in community.

Is your religion's creed a mission statement for an action plan, or is it simply flowery words? Perhaps we can all ask The Sacred Spirit to give us personal Pentecost to help us in developing our own mission statements for ourselves and our families. This is something for which I pray.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Another Sacred Spirit Question from Gayle

Learning to Hear the Voice of God Within

A few weeks ago, I asked, "How does the Holy Spirit speak to you?"  "When/how do you hear Him?"  The answers that came back were remarkably similiar to one another and to my own:  Sometimes I am pulled from my own thoughts into reflection; sometimes, it sounds like the voice of my mother/ my father; sometimes it is the halyards from the boats in the harbor; sometimes it is the voice of others.

Today, I am asking a further question:  How do you know when it is the Spirit and not your own voice speaking to you?  And I am torn between wanting to reflect on the answer myself and wanting to allow each person who reads this the space for his/her own reflections.

So I will wait until tomorrow to post my own answers to this question.
Gayle's blog: OneBirdWatching.blogspot.com

Pentecost Prayer Day 9

I read on a recent Patheos.com Jewish entry that in old Judaic law, a person who stole from another was subject to becoming an indentured servant, treated honorably as a family member during the service, until the debt, plus interest, was re-payed. This raised the eyebrows of my husband who saw this as rewarding the wrongdoer. I do understand his resistance to sharing his resources with someone with such poor moral upbringing, but I also understand the value of taking one who has transgressed under one's absolute and compassionate authority to teach the ways of responsible community.

Herein lay my issues with religion and our penal system. We, in the United States, seem to be a bit schizophrenic in our way to address these issues. Because we don't want to enter any real discussions of what is best for our society, present and future, we tuck our criminals away out of our sight and hope that things will get better on their own.

I have a dear friend who works as the chef at a governor's mansion in the southern United States. The staff that serves the residents of the governor of their state is made up of potential parolees who were convicted of murders. My friend has trained many men to become productive citizens of our society through this program. She has very few employee issues because she can threaten them with being sent back to prison from their halfway houses. But, I don't think this threat is the secret to the success of this program, at least for those working with her. I think it is her genuine caring and compassion.

My friend has a huge heart for offering hospitality. Jesus would have loved having her as his official party planner and caterer. There is nobody unwelcome under her hospitality tent. Each of her employees is treated with a grand mix of humor and individual instruction. She also sets an example of how to succeed with her own work ethic.

This is how we bring up successful, compassionate children, but we cannot succeed when others are interfering with our "family" dynamics. A house divided against itself always fails. We must stop all the anonymous "charity" if we want to save souls. We must accept people who are sincerely wishing to be parented again as parts of our communities.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we begin to willingly re-parent with the strength of communities of The Sacred Spirit for those who have had no real parents and are ready to submit to community authority.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Suicide and The Sacred Spirit

It breaks my heart all over again when I hear people discussing what their god will do with the soul of Matthew Warren, who apparently took his own life. Why aren't people comfortable with what they can't see? Why do we want charlatans acting as if they know the "mind of God?" There is much that we aren't wise enough to know. Live with it!

I have had several members of my family take their own lives, one a beloved uncle, back in the day when my religion refused church burial to these "sinners." We were told that my uncle would forever burn in hell. What unmitigated arrogant bull dung this was and is! I have had several family members persecuted by church people attempting to exorcise the demons of their mental illness, rather than simply stepping in and holding them until their fears dissipated.

Here's what I know. My uncle's Sacred Spirit never left my soul or my mind's eye. Those with terrible "demons" nipping at their brains to the point where they couldn't hear the sound of The Sacred Spirit anymore still shared much of their beautiful souls with me.Their spirits live on in my soul, and presumably in all of the earth that they touched. Some I still see and hear in my most contemplative states.

I made up my mind as a child of six that if my siblings weren't going to heaven, I didn't want to go. I still stand by that belief. While I wait for the fires of hell, all those who ever loved me are parts of my "heaven on earth."

Pentecostal Prayer Day 8

Abrahamic religions must begin to see the light of the end of their adventures toward true enlightenment. If they are to believe that all humans are made in the image and likeness of one same Sacred Spirit, they must stop killing each other to appease this god. Abraham's hand was stayed as he attempted to offer his own son's blood as sacrifice to his god. Moses led the Israelites to peace, having been stopped from taking up a sword. Jesus reattached the severed ear of his enemy and started a movement that worked for peace on earth, as it is in heaven. Muhammad began as a man of peace.

All these religions seem to have gotten scared or impatient with their progress toward peace and took up arms. Has The Sacred Spirit ever actually asked for bloodshed? I think not. If peace among the Abrahamic religions was possible in the seventh century, we know that we can reclaim this brother/sisterhood. Perhaps we should all look to the peaceful protests of our own century, which did produce many martyrs. Perhaps we should follow examples of our twentieth century prophets who gave their lives and their blood to this endeavor.

I believe that Gandhi, MLK, and Moses were listening to The Sacred Spirit while leading us away from our own fears.  I pray that more prophets speak out against fear and accept that only respectful, responsible communication and compassion beget peace.

The flames of The Sacred Spirit burn deep in our souls, but they never burn up babies and the bedridden. My prayer for Pentecost is that we recognize the prophets and potential of peace "on earth as it is in heaven."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Deborah's Sacred Spirit

Deborah is physically dead after a life of almost unbearable physical pain;
The only explanation that I can accommodate in both my faith and in my brain
Is that her beautiful manifestation of The Sacred Spirit will live on
After all creatures that were touched by her courage are long gone.

I will see Deborah's face, hands, and smile any time I remember her;
This continuation of her manifestation of The Sacred is what I prefer
To the belief some share that we wait until the coming of The Christ
Before we can join our loved ones in continuing of their life.

I don't need a preacher to tell me Deborah shared The Scared Spirit;
It wasn't her tiny voice that spoke so that all could hear it.
It was the courage she showed in making every day of her life
A celebration of being alive, not a miserable martyr's sacrifice.

I don't believe it's in the dying, but in joyful living we become whole;
These are the parts of our journeys that inspire others' souls.
When we put too much emphasis on the pain of one's life's end
We lose the eternal promise and power of what it means to be a friend.

Deborah and her special sacred spirit will always live in me,
As it did when her frail body lived, and through all eternity.
Her laughter and her voice, her scent, and her generosity
Have become, for all eternal life, parts of the best of me.

Pentecostal Prayer Day 7

A reply that I received to one of my own comments on a post from a comparative religion site Patheos.com led to my doing further study on Islam. It seems that early on Islam was a religion succeeding in unity and peace with other Abrahamic brothers and sisters. 
In the Koran, "God" referred to "God" as "We," not as "He." In Muhammad's day, all Abrahamic religions were under siege; they bonded as people all seeking a common code of conduct and justice in a hostile world. Their practices were different, but they lived in the harmony that only respect can achieve.
This seems to also be the way with the early Christians. It seems the “Age of Enlightenment” actually brought on more darkness. I believe EVERY age has prophets, but we perish when we promote them to worldly "kings," leading storm troopers for the purposes of "conversion."
I pray that we are experiencing a new “Pentecost” in this “new age” of religious inquiry and threats of world annihilation through war. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 6

I lived in a small town; out of respect I went to another;
This is the same reason I deserted my own mother.
To the values that connect them, I can't adhere;
They deny the essential values that I hold most dear.

From the time I was a baby, I'm told, I turned away
From any bullying behavior that came into play.
I would not look at my father who had beaten me;
I will not look at anyone in whom intimidation I see.

When societies are formed by agreeing to lies,
I must speak up about the abuses that I most despise.
The fact that I will not be a witness to martyrdom
Is the reason that I've, isolated from society, become.

Most people my age are looking for comfort and peace;
Any thoughts of protest have long ago ceased.
I don't understand this hanging on to physical life,
When each generation seems to accept more strife.

Anything I can do to help my grandchildren succeed
In turning our society away from individual greed,
I will gladly do, including becoming a martyr,
If my death could move human compassion a bit farther.

The spirit of Jewish Jesus that was left upon the earth
Is the same Sacred Spirit which accompanied his birth.
Pray that The Sacred Spirit that was left at Pentecost
Will infuse humanity with the peace that we have lost.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 5

When we read the Bible from a family perspective, we see a pattern in humanity's continued failure to live in peace. Competition and jealousy continue to lead generation after generation to war, apparently to become "favorite children." We MUST STOP making "God" in the likeness of humans with all our fears and power plays. We MUST begin to believe in The Sacred Spirit that contains potential for continued greater power based on synergy. The more we cooperate, the more the universal, eternal Sacred Spirit accomplishes.

The more snow attaches to a snowball, the more power the snowball has, regardless if the snowball picks up sticks, stones, and other "foreign" matter. If we can stop fighting for ascendancy of one tribe over another, the snowball of faith in The Sacred Spirit of humanity would include the universe. 

The sun shines on all the earth, no matter the race color or creed of the inhabitants. On some it shines more briefly and in different cycles than in others. The trees that grow in my climate are not superior to yours; they are simply trees in other manifestations of tree life. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could know all manifestations of life without judging each as good or bad?

I will never understand the immensity of the energy that manifests in so many forms of animal life and death. Neither will I ever understand the manifestations of what we know as life in the rocks, soil, and gasses of my earthly dwelling place. I will continue to seek The Sacred Spirit's presence in all of the bits of consciousness that I'm allowed to experience.

The Sacred Spirit was there before any physical manifestations. The Sacred Spirit is the gift of a Pentecostal presence. I pray daily for an earthly, eternal Pentecost.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 4

I have some who are family to a relation of mine who take offense at my taking offense over things he says. "It's not personal," they say, even when he is addressing others about me, in front of me. I've not taken it personally that they don't defend me, but I do take it personally that they put personal pressure on me to change my reaction, rather than putting personal pressure on him to change his actions.

I will continue to take woman bashing personally as long as I, my daughter, and my granddaughters are destined to be women. I will continue to take Jew bashing personally as long as even one of my friends and Jesus are Jews. I will continue to stand with blacks as long as even one of the people who have loved me is of dark skin. Respect for all of humanity is personal to me; they may already be my friends or neighbors, or may, one day, be.

When we refuse to recognize the light in another's eyes, we, in my opinion, are denying our own humanity. These are the people I fear and attempt to avoid. They are nothing but animals seeking to create territorial tribes that they can control with their false explanations of the great mysteries of the universe. The light of being humbled by awe and wonder is the only truth that I recognize.

I take the honoring of the light that I see in Pentecost very personally. The peace that Pentecost could bring, if we all took it personally, is that for which I pray.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 3

I used to be very accepting of whatever life gave to me,
Until many insisted I see the god that they could see.
I believe a god cannot simply be my best friend
And be the being on whom my eternal life depends.

For four long years I've pondered my friends' visions;
I have finally reached my own existential decisions.
Any god who always insists on one face or one name
Is not a source of universal sacred power I can claim.

I understand we need common languages to communicate,
But the gods envisioned by humanity seem a bit second rate.
They all seem threatened by the strength of their children;
Is this the god with whom my earthly life will end?

If these gods had true authority, there would be no threats of pain;
Their children would do anything to, the parents' favor, regain.
Religions have diminished the image and likeness of god
To images of human leaders that, on this earth, have trod.

I am not interested in following the divine rights of kings,
And all the misery that, to their subjects, this brings.
I am interested in following those who lead by peace
Hoping that their examples will, earthly harmony, increase.

"Christians" have become warriors of Jesus' chosen nation;
Is there any way we can lay claim to a peaceful creation?
Pentecost is coming; will we accept a new vision of sacred fire
That changes, through peaceful protest, all of humanity's desire?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 2

Why do "Christians" continue to justify their fear of others by the old law,
When their Messiah, Jewish Jesus, told them that law was obsolete?
The day of blood sacrifice to the gods to redeem sins is over;
Jesus going to his death was supposed to make that cycle complete.

Will humans ever accept humanity's internal presence of TheSacred Spirit,
Or will we continue to kill each other until there's nobody left to hear it?
We continue to spread our own seeds by any means necessary
Because there are are those continuing to make "different" humans look scary.

We can all choose to be fruitful and multiply the positive energy,
Or we can continue to contribute to fear, hatred, and greed
As we seek The Sacred Spirit in all things in all eternity,
We may learn what we want is often not what humanity needs.

Look for The Sacred Spirit, free in the universe of today;
Every child with any innocence has this in his or her eyes.
Isn't openness to others that for which we've long prayed?
If we look past the man to the frightened child, love may arrive.

No animal on earth is ever immune to some fear,
But we don't have to believe those who use fear to lead.
We say that, we as humans, hold the child's innocence dear,
But we continue to plant war's destructive seeds.

Come Sacred Spirit, upon today's earth, and rekindle the fire
That lights all humans with a sacred compassionate vision.
We are drowning in the products of animal fear and desire;
Please enlighten our universal, fully human mission.

Perhaps all humans have been anointed as bits of the messiah,
To spread responsible compassion around the whole earth.
The fire of The Sacred Spirit is the image of godliness,
And the gift with which humans are blessed before birth.

We can choose to snuff out the flame or join in fanning it.
Every good deed we do, every child that we soothe
Is a place where The Sacred Spirit does naturally fit.
Let the sharing of compassion in this life be our spiritual food.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Whos of Humanville

Will the Jewish Messiah be a warrior or a man of peace?
Will he be an earthly king or walk among the earth's least?
If he's a great earthly ruler, will he rule by the mighty sword,
Or will he have such wisdom that he will lead with words?

Will he be a rabbi, as he sits upon his earthly throne?
Or will he, in quiet contemplation, spend his life alone?
By what traits will he (or maybe she?) be recognized?
Is control of this earth the Jewish messiah's prize?

What if Israel was a part of each Jewish soul,
The Scared Spirit that makes humanity whole?
What if wherever there are two real humans
The Sacred in them reaches out and blends?

What if we had a worldwide truce for a year,
Using children's words to make our needs clear?
Would the children want us to kill their fathers
Because we adults don't play well with others?

What made me want to be good was the sadness I felt
About the pain that my sins, Baby Jesus, had dealt.
His bloody adult human body didn't bother me
As much as the shame of hurting this tiny baby.

The only thing that I can see as ever bringing peace
Is the agreement that killing of innocents cease.
It matters not if we're Jewish, Christian or other,
We are all sacred seeds of both father and mother.

If my baby needed life-saving blood transfused,
Would blood of a different faith be refused?
Our blood, bones, and skin are only camouflage
For The Sacred Spirit that dwells inside.

I wish that the earthly life that is left in me
Could be used to help set my grandchildren free
From the fear and scorn we have for other beliefs.
Perhaps they'd learn more if fear of war ceased.

Will the Jewish messiah bring an end to war?
I hope that's what their earthly messiah is for.
Will he have the right words and amount of charm
To bring about a world that is finally disarmed?

Or have we come to the point in human evolution
Where we see war as a temporary solution?
Can we try praying for the burning Sacred Spirit
Loud enough that all the angels will hear it?

And all the Whos down in Humanville will rejoice
When the sound of celebration is the only voice,
When the bombs have stopped dropping on babies
And all the earth, for each other, will sing praises.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Scent of The Sacred Spirit

Fresh-baked Cuban bread and buttery biscuits, lime cheesecake, French pressed coffee, New Orleans brewed beer and red wine. What could be better ways to round out the Easter feast? All of these finishing touches were lovingly made by Maite's mate, Larry. What a baker he is! And such a perfectionist that Maite has to regularly remind him that his food is not to be hung on the wall; the taste is more important than the presentation. For Easter, everything was beautiful and delicious.

The morning dawned with a  fog so deep we couldn't see the marina just downstairs from us. As Richard and I sipped our coffee facing the marina, the fog suddenly disappeared and the sun glistened briliantly on the boats and ripples. We both commented on the feeling of resurrection of new life possibilities this brought to us. As the day of back and forth with our neighbors wore on, we felt a general feeling of celebration as that which we used to share with so many people in our various homes.

What may have dampened the days of many who had planned backyard Easter egg hunts, for me, was another gift of being back in Louisiana. We could see the dark clouds coming in on the water and could "smell the rain" coming. I have always felt extremely energized by the certain scents that waft in just before a major thunderstorm. It is the combined smell of the ozone that comes with the energy of lightening and the smell of fecundity of the rich earth in the swampland surrounding us. It is the smell of life for me.

Isn't that what we are told molded us? Sacred Energy was breathed into bits of earth, and humanity began. There is no place teaming with more life that the swamplands that are enjoyed by my ancestors, the Cajuns.  And The Sacred Spirit even has a scent. What could be a better Easter blessing than that?