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Maui

Shipwrecked: Vacation Bible Camp

Shipwrecked?  When do we realize we are stranded?  Are we ever really all alone?

The wisdom to navigate life’s inevitable struggles contains the humility and kindness Jesus’ legacy provides in the New Testament.  The Old one is the Torah, and there the prophecies tell of the tales to unfold.  The New one continues to fill the minds and hearts of all who welcome the Holy Spirit’s presence.  It is through this form of hospitality that we arrive at being closer to being holy.  Can we really ever be?  We must strive to be holier as I found out even as I tripped over one of my Senior Tibetan Terriers…

Falling and aiming to break the fall without the ability to stop the second twist of the body that struck the unyielding tile floor, I remember the alarm of a new felt ache drawing and pulsing from hip to knee in a burst like the flame of a quickly struck match.  Not exactly surprised, I was shocked to feel a knife like stabbing in my neck when I instinctively turned to tell my family audience I was okay.

On a walk on Cougar Run with Dandelion and Tumbleweed…

Everyone extended a hand to lift me up, and I looked at the eight arms rather embarrassed by the ungraceful plump pose, and declared not to be touched.  That was wise, so  much better than to jump up without feeling the extent of the damaged body parts that now ached to be soothed.  Thanks be to God, nothing was broken.  Thanks be to God, I sat up slowly with the help of my oldest son’s pair of hands, and then stopped again to evaluate the situation.  The right side bruised without mercy let me know the only way up was to lean to the left…and since I was guided by the pain to know how to finally stand, I did so reassuring the group of stunned observers I was okay.  I looked for Tumbleweed, the sixteen year old mutt that still wished to be by my side, as close as possible to lick my foot, bless his doggy soul.

The point is I didn’t swear.  I thanked God. Keep Reading

Inspiring Company

HOPE is an acronym…
Help
Other
People
Evolve…

We are truly inspired by the good company we keep.

The giving of ourselves to others can inspire them to become inspiration for others.

That is exactly why teachers hold the torch for the future of men and women who will eventually design the path taken by their children…

Be not ensnared in despair by keeping company with those who mislead anyone into an undesirable reality…  To get out of there is to take one step forward and then another, and another and on and on..

The mind that welcomes God in a prayer of thanks giving for the new day, the fresh air, the clear dew drops, and even hot tears that speak of a silent, wounded heart, can find the way to survive because He hears the plea.  His peace arrives as a light to show a path of wholeness, fulfillment, and certainly joy.

On Easter Day the praise for Jesus’ resurrection is proclaimed in Alleluias…  Witnesses of His return to life were the candles burning that have lit ours on the table or the altar, all in awe, still looking up to say, “Oh, my God, dear Lord, How Great Thou Art.” Keep Reading

Be Faithful

Zac Vanderbusche, son of my dear friend Pam, father of Arlo, and remarkable landscaper on Maui. Hawaii.

To be faithful to God is being faith full on a daily basis, and sometimes keeping a prayer on our lips throughout the day.

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day, as if nothing had yet been done.” _ C.S. Lewis

It is in this spirit that we can survive the emotional upheavals that happen in our lives.  When we give our attention to our Lord’s promises, we recognize the daily miracles that occur and not so much by chance.  One can actually feel heart connections, the hedge of God’s protection, and even the effervescent calling to complete tasks, to prioritize the important while attending to the urgent.  Loneliness needs to be given up to holiness.  It is the way to the truth and the light as a guiding light to our every step.

I have been surprised and even shocked to hear “I don’t care.”  I care so much about everything , no wonder sometimes I get confused about the little things that matter just as much.  I bet I can blush at the times I have asked God to help me make more of a difference.  Who do I think I am to be in a position to straighten out messes that need not clutter to obscure problems  that can and must be resolved by each and all with complete integrity?  I am me like you are you, and they are they, and together we are us.   We can responsibly do our part as a light to the world. Keep Reading

Be Encouraged

What does it mean to be encouraged, and when do we get it?

Why is it important, and who are those that offer it?

“IT” is all here, in this blog.

You determine which path to take because the how to be encouraged rests inside one’s personal intent to be so.  Our intentions are birthed in our will.  These thoughts have soaked in my tears for many years  They are now presented as if on the platter I searched to find by observing and absorbing.

An Angel delivering the holiest of gifts designed to bring comfort on a perfectly sized pillow. I purchased it from an astrologer, Bethea.

To be encouraged is to feel lifted in the direction of dreams and visions intended to benefit one and all.  The humble person bears great humility so its fruit takes time to ripen.

Life is in the presence of spirit.  Given the free will to act as we choose, regardless of circumstances, ultimately leads us to a new place.  That place is always at the moment we call now.

As most of you may have already heard “the present is the present.”  ( This is why I love the English language!)

Is one’s Spirit, the Soul, aware of conscious or unconscious acts?  Does the soul give a life to live while one’s heart and mind determine the route to take and to learn and teach to fulfill by one, or more of the myriad of possible purposes?  I am suggesting mean spirited purposes are sadly present.  Humans are not perfect.

How can we find the ultimate good reserved for each one of us to achieve?  What happens when we falter?

To seek our God’s wisdom is the way to the truth and the light; however, the choices in the Garden of the Universe encourage us to navigate, and we do.  We are free to choose our way of being in the presence of any circumstance.  I think it is known as the attitude we carry.  We arrive at knowing moment by moment according  to choices made with attitude at hand.  Hand in hand they direct the route we choose to navigate. Keep Reading

Come, BECOME Alphabetically Savvy

Have you persistently sought to seek  understanding, self-improvement, and a way to serve purposely day by day?  It’s been my blustery bug for decades.  Not long ago, I came upon a prayer I wrote to God.  Maybe I’ll share it someday, not now.  There is beauty, truth, and love to be harvested for you.  To desire to be better is a personal endeavor.  To be tempted to err calls for immediate discernment, and I believe every human can step up to lead a noble life.

When and how does one learn the alphabet?  Can it be any more valuable than to gift a Webster’s Dictionary?  I think not.  In full disclosure, I must admit a deep love of learning.  Years and years ago, and I purchased a book about Mr. Webster.  Today there is one entitled Noah Webster: The Life and Times of an American Patriot, by Harlow Giles Unger.  Who would have known what I am about to tell you next?  Life is full of wonderful surprises.  When we yearn for the good, the better, or even the best, God’s Universe conspires to bring things about.  I have been blessed.  Read on.

I must tell you once again about my friend Pauline Garron.  I smile to  think of how her beloved, departed husband said, “I don’t know how you gave up your maiden name ‘Webster’ for Garron.”  Oh, it was love and it still is love, that’s how; are you smiling?  I think it splendorous to have been born with such a name.

The Webster’s dictionary’s friendship has doubled its value.  The alphabet challenge is ahead. Keep Reading

Our Angels

“Oh sovereign angel, wide winged stranger

above a forgetful earth,

care for me,

care for me.  Keep me unaware of danger

and not regretful and not forgetful

of my innocent birth. ” _Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

When we least expect the unexpected joy, it arrives, and we are surprised.

The thing lifts the very spirit to pump our hearts in dismay. Keep Reading

An Open Letter For My First English Teacher

Mr. and Mrs. George Rugh
August 13, 1966

I wish I could show up to be near you to thank you for being my first English teacher.  I was about to turn fourteen years old, and could not speak a word of English.  You were the spinster parishioner in the church that hired my Dad, a Romanian Orthodox priest, to serve St. Elias Orthodox Church in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.  You and others treated us kindly, took pity on us, and offered all that you could to welcome us and help us become established.

You were my particularly favorite person because you and your brother spoke broken Romanian, peppered with English, and mischievously taught me to call all boys “honey”.  Just like Red Skeltom though, you would laugh so heartedly, I knew you were joking.  I loved that you invited me to visit you at your home where you two also lived with your Mom.  I often remember how hospitable you were to invite me to join you for dinner.  I ate my first Venison roast with you.  The plums were picked from the trees just outside, and your warmth filled a void in my life. Keep Reading

You Are a Star

How would I know?  Have you looked at the sky at night to see the miracle of sparkling  stars?  Near and far and some like dots still giving a light.  The sky can be seen all around the world; the stars shine just as bright.  They mesmerize the eyes to deliver the heart a silent note of comfort sparkling like diamonds.  In our immediate world, we can look up and recognize the shapes if we were to connect them as dot to dots.  I wish we could travel around the globe to capture the stars from as many points as possible.

“The sky can never have too many stars; there is room for everyone to shine, including you.”_ NIN

The truth is the sky can never have too many stars.  The world can never have too many sparkling souls.  They are the ones whose dignity rises to shine.  You are a star.  The light within you yearns to light the way.  Circumstances differ for each unique soul to fulfill a best possible purpose.  Along the way many good deeds are done and none is ever too small.  No good deed is ever overlooked as that is when the beam of light shines brightest.  Humbly accept your lot of being star shine daily.  There is an immense need that only you can fulfill.

To recognize it in ourselves, we often look and see the light in others.  It means we see more clearly.  Lights merge.  It is the light within that seeks to merge with the light of others.  It is when we recognize the sparkle of each soul that our spiritual energy beams a welcoming strength of calm.  Anyone in that state of being sees the light’s potential.  Even though these words may challenge the reality we live in, they are the words I have to offer as a means of inviting all to give each star a chance to shine, including yours.  It should be of no discomfort to discover its yearning to be bright, brighter, and even brightest. Keep Reading

Heart Signs

The iron gate painted orange stayed open.  It was nearly time to leave, to say farewell, and Aloha.

I walked out to walk back in, just to let the old Mango tree know I was about to leave for good.  Just then, I was back, walking back, and around it to touch it.  Too many thoughts cluttered my mind joined by a fierce fear of the unknown, and as I stood behind the tree holding it hold me.    I thanked it for always dropping a good sized mango at my feet.  I looked down and  saw the heart shaped vine…  Where on earth did it come from ?  Oh , these signs just keep me going still…  So, I said good bye…  I hung the heart shaped vine at the entrance from my heart.

That’s the way it was.  That’s the way it is.

Are we ever surprised by subtle heartfelt designs ?  I have been every time and they still appear… Back then both Frank and Paul maintained some balance in the ever growing, spreading joyous plants, shrubs, trees, and flowers…  It could have been left to become thick, and luscious as in the rainforest…  In retrospect, that would have been awesome !

These two gentlemen may be sitting together over a plate of sticky rice with Teriaky beef to recall the time on our property.  We celebrated their friendships, and remember their family, their stories.  The largest Haas avocados  on the planet grow from trees in the gulch with a stream on Frank’s family acreage.  Dear Paul may see Frank at St. Joseph’s on Sundays where he volunteers with all that is needed including stacking the shelves with goods for the needy.  Dear Frank is the grave digger and he proudly has had the job since a teenager.  Oh, I miss them.  They were part of our holy encounters.

In our yard, the guavas abundantly spoiled us and what was left to fall on the ground grew shoots of more trees… much like a weed…  The lemons, the oranges, the limes, the bananas all at one time, gave us a sense of the heavens.

Upcountry Kula is said to be the best climate in the entire world.  Makawao, Haiku, and Huelo are more wet, and abound in Lilikois…  The passion fruit just grows as a vine and blooms first as a flower…  Hana is the ultimate center of growth though still remote enough to have stayed mostly untouched, reserved, yet enticing.  There the black sand beaches attract the tourists.  The locals serve and keep a bench by the road with goodies and a tin can for a calabash donation.  It is a place where jewelry makers display enchanting necklaces, earnings, and the ever lovely leis… No matter the distance once on the island one feels at home.  Maybe the ukulele, maybe the breeze, or the all encompassing ocean, mountain, and life abounding “AINA”, the land, cradles the soul.  That was my experience. Keep Reading

Tibetan Terriers

” There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:…” __ Ecclesiastes 3:1

The cycles in our lives provide us with understanding the need for prayer.  The disciples and the people who gathered and asked Jesus how to pray to God, were given our Lord’s Prayer.  Thanking God for what is good in our life is also heartfelt prayer.  Becoming centered quietly respectfully giving God our pressing problems, rises a peace beyond human understanding.  To negate its power, its glory, its presence  is as foolish as to negate the breath of life taken here on earth.  The next one as our souls depart, is in heaven, just as Reverent Billy Graham said.  Well, maybe the next breath after death is in the somewhere where we face our life in full review.  Here is a quote to consider:  “LORD, help me to become the person my dog thinks I am.” __Dawn Ewing  

I once struck a conversation with a young lady checking out my groceries at Walmart and she said she had just wished God a good day.  She said she just felt it in her heart to wish Him a good day instead of just asking Him to bless her with one.  It still makes me smile.  We ought all do that sometimes…  When King Solomon invoked there is a time for everything, he surely knew God’s plan for us is to learn from one another from youth through maturity.  That cycle of every lifetime is the parentheses in time here on earth to fulfill our purpose to learn and to teach.  The light of love within each being is the source of all good.  We each have a divine purpose, and the sooner we realize this fact, the sooner regrets will be a thing of the past.

A dog’s unconditional love gives me pause.  We should all wish to be the human our dog thinks we are.  Dandelion and Tumbleweed are two Tibetan Terriers born to Princess in Lahaina on Maui, Hawaii.  Their Mom belonged to a grandmother whose grandkids scheduled a pick up in the parking lot of the new Bowling Alley in Wailuku for the folks who had responded to the ad in the Maui Weekly.  Since I had been the first to call in December, they let me choose one from a litter of five.   Dandelion was the nudger in the group.  Her excitement was contagious and had to pick her as the others were waiting in line to choose their treasured pup.  As it turned out, she was the first born.  The three new owners chose a male and two of the other two females.  They were also adopted to live Upcountry in Kula.  Each dog was given an assigned stuffed toy and Dandelion’s hound dog was bigger than she was.  The runt, asleep, and oblivious to all that had already transpired, remained to be chosen by someone who did not show up.  After a half an hour, I debated about switching Dandelion for Tumbleweed as she wouldn’t stop barking.  I asked if I could do so and they said sure, it didn’t matter, one would go to the pound.  That’s how I ended up taking them both. Keep Reading

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