Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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Forward Momentum

road between rocks with icicles (2)

The snowflakes looked pretty at first making us think we could make it to Lexington that night. When the snow got thicker, I started looking for something closer as my son drove.

Plenty of truckers braved the storm. Following behind threw more snow and salt on our windshield, so we passed with care. Fear reached for me through eyes involuntarily drawn to the trucks as we passed. My mind imagined them drifting into our lane, thinking, what if the driver doesn’t see us…?

passing a truck closer

( I didn’t think about getting pictures til the trip home.)

 

I knew that wasn’t helping, that I had to get control of my thoughts. I remembered, “What you focus on gets bigger,” and shifted my focus forward. On the next pass, I forced my eyes to stay in our lane, on the road in front of us, beyond the truck.  I prayed, Angels make our path clear and safe. I felt their energy like streams of  light on each side of us, inside and outside the car, moving forward with us. For a few seconds, the car felt weightless. The tension was erased. Instead of fear, I felt courage and slightly exhilarated. All because I shifted my focused to where I wanted to go.  And because of the angels.

 

We stopped in Richmond, Kentucky for the night and made it to Indianapolis the next day. Now, we are home safe. And now, I know how to pass a truck, how to pass anything: Call the angels and focus forward. 

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Still, I think I’ll stay home for a while.

 

 

 


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Hopi Elder Speaks

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I’ve been holding on to this message from the Hopi elder, waiting for the right time.

This feels like a good time.

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.  And there are things to be considered . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!”

“There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.   They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.

“Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.   And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.  At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves.  For the moment that we do,  our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

“The time for the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!  Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

— attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder

Hopi Nation, Oraibi, Arizona

The river is moving fast for me this week. I’m getting ready for a trip to see my grandchildren, heading into a bit of weather maybe, so prayers are welcome.  I’ll be driving to the NC mountains to pick up my son, then it’s on to Indianapolis. My son will be doing most of the driving. He reminded me he has ten years of experience driving in snow.

Angels, make our way clear and safe.

Sometimes, I’d rather be the lone wolf, staying close to home. But when I look around and see who is with me on this journey,  I see magic and meaning.  A decade ago, when my son was in his early twenties, he was physically and emotionally distant. For one year, he barely talked to me. Now, we enjoy each other’s company. I look forward to our time together.

Love still flourishes. Love carries the best kind of courage.

I feel a pull that I sometimes resist, but I’m going with it now, to the middle of the river where the water runs deep.  I remember that I’m a good swimmer and at home in the water.  It’s time to celebrate like a breaching whale, to keep my eyes open, my head above water, and let my heart go with the flow.

New River via VA State Parks

All waters – rivers, oceans, rain, and snow – have much in common. Just as we are more alike than different. It is time for each of us to find our sacred way and to see that our rivers connect.

Everyone belongs.


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Muslim volunteers help so Christians can attend Church on Christmas Eve

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Salem United Church of Christ normally provides meals and shelter every Sunday night for homeless women and children. But since Christmas eve was on a Sunday, they didn’t know how they’d be able to attend Christmas Eve church and meet their usual rotation in the BEDS plus homeless program. When the pastor shared this dilemma with an interfaith association, Karen Danielson, of the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation offered the services of Muslim volunteers.

This story demonstrates one more example of how we are stronger together:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-muslims-help-christians-christmas-eve-st-1224-20171221-story.html


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The Box of Salvation

 

Heart box on leaves (2)

 

If I stay quiet,

Don’t rock the boat,

Will they think I agree

And never know

I’m not part of their

Exclusive club of condemnation

With all the right answers?

But if I judge the judgers,

Am I a judger, too?

What’s that, God?

The bottom line is

To lean into,

Hold on to, and

Share the L O V E of Jesus.

We are all part of creation

All loved by the same

God of different names.

Even the judgers.

How big is the box of salvation?

Is it big enough for all of us?

Is it made of concrete?

Is it a box or a cage?

Or  could it be a sphere

Safe and warm

With soft openings

For everyone?

 

heart puzzle from pixabay

 

 

 


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Song Lyric Sunday: Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

Song Lyric Sunday

I’m doing my own thing for today’s Song Lyric Sunday. The beautiful voice of Hillsong’s Taya Smith becomes a meditation in the middle of the song, transporting me to a place of trust, comfort, and faith. I hope it helps with whatever storm you may be facing.

Lyrics:

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine
Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Ligthelm

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted by Helen at:

https://helenswordsoflife.com/2017/09/09/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-91017/


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Dream Message

morning drive rays of light (2)

I had a dream about the daughter of my former colleague. RT was the most compassionate and best-loved counselor I’ve ever known. She always made time for clients who needed her in spite of the mountains of paperwork piling up, in spite of the extra hours of overtime, in spite of commendations that we “worked tirelessly,” yet we got plenty tired.

My colleague came down with cancer while serving in the trenches,  helping others fight the monster of addiction. For many months, she continued to work her heart out. But there came a time when the physical pain was too much. She put up a brave fight, but she had to go home. RT died a couple of years ago.

Now, to the dream I had two weeks ago:

I was at a community event organized by RT’s daughter who I’ll call B.  I saw my former colleague in the background, beaming her proud mama smile at her daughter from across the room. Later, I went up to B, gave her a big hug, and handed her a package of disposable razors. 

After I woke up, I debated about whether I should tell B about the dream. I’ve run into her around town, and we are friends on Facebook. But why would I give her razors?

In spite of the weirdness, I sent B a Facebook message about the dream.  She responded with excitement because she’s in the process of organizing a community event in memory of her mother. She said she knows her mother is happy. And she told me she keeps forgetting to buy razors.

I think I’m supposed to help B with this event. We’re planning to meet later today.

I can still see her mama’s big, beautiful smile.


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Bad News or Good News.What Will We Focus On? How will we live?

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The following is a slightly condensed sermon with two stories from my favorite pastor, Dan Macgill. Our gospel reading was about the ascension of Jesus.

Jesus is at the end of his earthly work; his victory is at hand. That is the good news, but he is leaving his disciples in a world that will not be easy for them They will suffer and be persecuted and put to death in his name. That is the bad news. So, what will we, in our lives, choose to focus on – the bad news or the good news?

There are two stories that took place not too long ago in the same town. It was Erie, Pennsylvania. In the first story, a local man of limited mental capacity robbed a bank. The incredible thing was that he had a live bomb attached to his body by a metal collar that someone had locked around his neck. He was carrying a note written by his assailants ordering him to go to four different places after the robbery to get instructions about what to do next to have the bomb defused. He never made it to stop number one. The police intercepted this simple man in a parking lot immediately after he left the bank. He did not try to run from them, but begged them to help him. He told the police he had been forced to rob the bank because the bomb on his neck was on a timer. The bomb squad did not reach the sight quickly enough, and there on main street, the bomb went off and the man blew up. The man had lived in a tiny house alone with his cats. He earned very little money and spent little. He did not have the mental ability to plan a robbery. This bizarre story made headlines all over the country.

But there is another story that also took place in Erie, Pennsylvania. It is a story about a nun, a block full of children, a small corner store, and an old, drug infested neighborhood. The nun lives there in the center of town with her 90-year-old father who refuses to move. It is his home and it is where he raised his children. When the nun returned to this neighborhood, she immediately went to meet the neighbors. She organized a set of after-school games. She gave reading classes on the front steps of her house. Before long, they all took on community projects such as picking up cans, filling garbage bags with trash, and planting flowers along the curbs. They swept the streets and planted grass. And for this work, they got coupons that the local grocery store accepted for food. They even painted houses. Soon, the neighborhood, and it’s very nature, changed.

The nun wanted to go block by block and continue this project, but that required a lot of money. The local paper gave the story good coverage, but the national press ignored it. (I wonder why.) The bank story is about the evil, violent murder of a simple man. More than that, it is about the deterioration of the US as a human community. The other story is about the rejuvenation of an old neighborhood by young children living in the evil of its neglect. But it is also about the possibility of rebirth in American life.

So, what is the gospel telling us about ourselves, today? Is it telling us more than we really want to know? Are we any closer to carrying out Jesus’ mission that he left us in charge of? Has it become too easy simply to allow ourselves to be squeezed into the world’s mold?

Angelique Arnold wrote once that perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.

Amen.