Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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Serving at Cursillo: a Spiritual Weekend

 

Trinity Center pond

My weekend was intense, busy, and very social. I knew it would be outside my comfort zone, but I was asked to be on the music team, and I wanted to give back for all the blessings I’ve received. Leaning heavily toward introversion, I’m more comfortable finding my spiritual moments alone in quiet places, but thankfully, I found God in many varied moments during my four days serving at “EC 95” (The 95th Cursillo weekend of the East Carolina Episcopal Diocese.)

Cursill is a three day adventure for 20 pilgrims who are there to learn about Christian leadership and to be loved and served by the team. One of the common experiences shared by pilgrims was a deeper relationship with Jesus and one another. As a team member serving the pilgrims, I felt this deepening, too. Even with the lack of sleep from late nights and early mornings, even with my occasional discomfort from being around  many people who I didn’t know well, I felt the deepening. I felt the love for people who became family.

It helped that our Cursillo weekend was held at Trinity Center, a place close to nature and close to my heart, where they build around the trees.

Tree in deck

Trinity is an Episcopal retreat center nestled on the North Carolina coast between Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunset at Sander's Point (2)

ocean from the pavilion

One of my favorite places at Trinity Center, besides the beach….  and the sound….. and the pond….

pond throug trees (3)

Trinity Center pond

…is the tunnel that runs under the main road and leads to the beach.

tunnel sign

tunnel entrance

tunnel with turtle

The tunnel is a great place to sing. Imagine the echo. Or is it called reverb?

On Friday afternoon, as I walked the wooded road to my room during a short break, I stopped to admire the light shining through the leaves ahead.

path of connection with Mom and Dad (2)

It was here that I felt the powerful and undeniable presence of my parents. They “told” me (in feelings more than words) of their joy that I was there serving with my husband, and that they are proud of us both. My parents had a long history of ministry in soup kitchens and working with veterans. This is the first time I’ve felt them both together since my father died in January. The confirmation that they are together still makes my heart sing.

djembe purple background

I finally got me a Djembe!

And I did a lot of singing at Cursillo. As part of the music team, I sang, played my guitar, and got to experiment with the new drum I bought for this occasion.

Cursillo music is mostly folksy with some contemporary praise songs. When somebody requested “Wade In the Water,” we had to hunt for the music because it wasn’t on our song list. But it turned out to be such a big hit, we sang this powerful spiritual three times during the weekend. This article explains that “Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade in the Water” to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water to make sure the dogs slavecatchers used couldn’t sniff out their trail.” 

The following arrangement, while different than the simple version we sang, gives a feeling close to what I felt during our closing service singing with about 50 people and three guitars as I kept a strong, steady beat on my drum.

In spite of the intensity, I’m thankful to have served at EC 95. But some day,  I want to go to Trinity Center just to relax. I bet I’ll do some singing and wading, too.

Silver beach (2)


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A Gift

forest-605505_960_720.jpg pixabay (2)

Have you ever fallen under nature’s spell

walking in the cathedral forest

with sunbeams streaming down from heaven?

It is a gift from the Creator

Maker of heaven and earth

Creator of the universe and willow bark

crystals and all that we need

for healing and nourishment.

When we fall under the spell of nature,

we honor the Creator, God, The Great Spirit, Yahweh, Allah, Goddess –

Creator of Gaia, her trees, flowers, rivers, oceans

and all kinds of beings that fly and crawl and swim and walk.

We were made to love this gift of love,

to protect and cherish the wonders of the earth.

Mother Earth is a living organism

Blessings to you on this Earth Day.

SOCS

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was the word, “spell,” brought to us by Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-2217/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


15 Comments

God’s Glitter

Look up at the stars

Connect to infinity.

You are not alone.

 lonely dog or wolf howling at the moon

Years ago,

I sat on my hardwood floor,

my back against the wall,

wondering why this dry spell

seemed to last so long?

I yearned for someone,

hoping there was one for me

but learned to accept God’s plan,

even if it meant there was no one else

but me and my dogs

getting older by the minute.

When I walked out into the darkness

and saw the glitter high above,

I remembered it was there every night

Even when I didn’t see it for the clouds,

Even when I cried myself to sleep

with tears that watered the garden

of my weary soul.

Gazing at the glitter overhead

dried my tears with love that never ends.

God, who heard my cries,

had it all figured out.

And when the time was right,

Brought love home to me.

(I found the picture on pixabay and fell in love with it.)

 

 

 

 

 


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Time After Time

Song Lyric Sunday

Today’s theme from Helen Espinosa is to pick a song from the 80s.

“Time after Time,” written by Rob Hyman and Cyndi Lauper, came out in 1983 when my spirituality was just emerging. I realized later that the chorus could relate, not only to romantic love, but also to the divine, forever love of our creator.

If you’re lost you can look, and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time

You’ll find the lyrics in this “video” where Sarah Mclachlan joins Cyndi Lauper.


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God’s Perfect Grace

Lorrie taps into something powerful here – an awareness that comes when we open our hearts and minds to our loving Creator.

Lorrie Bowden

20170327_102027

God’s Perfect Grace

Some of life’s best decisions

happen in an instant

that is stretched to eternity.

That moment when time slows

and swirls around your head,

distorting all,

and yet your thinking

never had such clarity!

In real time

you don’t skip a beat,

but in this disfigured warp-time

you sense all,

see all,

know all,

that ever was,

that ever is,

or ever will be.

And your soul knows the answer,

because IT IS THE ONLY ANSWER!

And any arguments to the contrary,

just fall to the wayside,

fall out of this other worldly,

time depressed,

image warped place.

And in that instant you know,

where you want to be,

where you were meant to go,

and how you are supposed to get there.

Yes, in that moment,

that is stretched to eternity,

the truth of your soul speaks

in the language of your mind.

And your heart,

View original post 129 more words


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Sometimes We Just Need to Be Held

Song Lyric Sunday

Two songs came to me in response to today’s theme: Healing

At the turn of the century, I thought my world was falling apart. But time gave me a different perspective. “Just Be Held,” by Casting Crowns, affirmed, years later, that  God had taken the divorce that brought me to my knees and replaced it with  a miracle beyond my wildest dreams.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
(Stop holding on and just be held)
Just be held, just be held
Just be held, just be held

 

Natalie Grant sings, “Held,” a powerful song about being held through the devastating loss of a child. The song is written by Christa Nichole. Listening will convey the power and love best with this one:

 

Song Lyric Sunday is brought to us by Helen at:

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-32617/


14 Comments

A Man Who Can Listen AND be Manly

SOCS

Today’s Steam of Consciousness prompt, brought to us by Linda G. Hill, is “man.”

Aside from the fact that I have trouble with using the word, “man,” to mean all humans, just as a matter of principle, I still imagined myself with a man as a partner. I love the company of women, because it’s usually easy for women to understand each other, as long as we are mature enough to avoid the petty drama of adolescence that some people never grow out of. But when I imagined my dog-loving soulmate, I imagined a man. It’s too bad that I still imagine a man sometimes when I think of God, and I wonder if I’ve been brainwashed, or a better word would be influenced, to imagine God as male based on the language in the Bible and mainstream Christianity. But I really didn’t mean to go there. It’s the Stream of Consciousness that led me there. Let me just swim back up river and pick up another part of the stream, because I wanted to tell you about a song I made up when I was looking for, hoping for, my soulmate. I didn’t make up the tune, and I bet you can recognize the tune by the words.

But first, some background: As you may know, I’ve always been a big Star Trek fan with Mr. Spock being my first crush. Later in life, when single again, I developed a crush on Chakotay, the first officer on Voyager.

Anyway, here’s a stanza of the song I made up:

Oh Lord, won’t ya find me, a man who can listen.

Someone like Chakotay, who’s not been to prison.

I’ve tried on my own Lord, and I have been missin’

Oh Lord, won’t ya find me, a man who can listen.

Chakotay was a man who could listen to a woman, because Janeway was the captain. But he could also give orders and be, well, manly. He didn’t give orders to Janeway though, he was protective of her and a good first officer.

It turns out that the Lord did bring me a man who could listen and be manly too. And protective in a non-dominant way. That’s what a real man is anyway, right?

For a chance to win a free, signed copy of When God Says Wait, sign up for my monthly newsletter before March 21st by clicking the box on the side bar on the right, or just click here: http://eepurl.com/ch52KT

Here are the Rules for Stream of Consciousness Saturday:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!