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His Mercy

To be merciful is to know compassion one step higher.  It beckons an act of doing, answering, and feeling to embrace as even in forgiving the needy.

From my dearest cousin’s daughter Stela Galben from Romania.

I often rely on The Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus, Son of God, please have mercy on me, a sinner.”  I have also used it as an intercessory prayer for others.

To be merciful brings memories and I suppose we could sit in a circle as friends and find a story to relate.  Each one of us can begin by remembering a time when we extended our hearts to the max because it was the most we could do, and innately, naturally so.  The woe of loved ones hurt us as parents like no other yet mercy abounds to family, friends, and all.  Mercy is a mindful response of kindness, and ultimately, of love.

Photograph taken last weekend by Stela Galben in Cluj, Romania.

 

“The quality of mercy is not strain’d;

It drouth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;

It blest him that gives and him that takes:

‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it become

The throned monarch better than his crown;

.   .   .   .   .   .   .    .   .   .    .    .   .    .   .   .   .   .   .    .

And earthly power doth them show likest God’s

When mercy seasons justice. “

Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, IV, 1

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7

I like the lightheartedness Shakespeare so skillfully plucked in using these words, and I hope the seriousness of being merciful is welcomed as he suggests.  The analogy of mercy being like the gentle, heavenly rain upon the earth is brilliant.  It is not strained.  The quality of being merciful yields a two fold blessing as both the merciful and the recipient are graced as we all will be by God’s merciful justice.

To” be merciful” is the call for the letter M in the blog Come, Become Alphabetically Savvy…   I hope you enjoyed this short one…

 

 

 

 

Docile Hearts and Education in Four Languages

The assignment suggested in Come, Become Alphabetically Savvy, has taken wings.  When I chose the word “docile” for the letter D, I also considered the word “dependable.”  These two characteristics have allowed me to navigate the skies like migrating birds that find their way to survive the seasons.  The difference is I just kept moving forward and did not return.

A couple of open composition notebooks called EDUCATOR, educator, with handwritten lessons in Spanish.

I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to parents who fled their native country of Romania.  I learned their language at home and once in kindergarten, Portuguese became my second language.  The desire to learn and belong were in my fabric.  The Catholic nuns at Nossa Señora D’Assuncao kept an orderly classroom where everyone spoke when spoken to in order to respond, and standing up. There were no disciplinary problems.  We must have been a bunch of docile youngsters eager to be in school with paper and pencils neatly stacked on our desks.  The nuns could depend on us to obey the rules and pay attention.

A language is learned word by word and one after the other like putting on socks, then shoes, learning to make the knot and bow, and then taking one step at a time.  That is all there is to it, literally.  Having an ear for words and the ability to mimic the sounds, I found Portuguese to be as fun as the kids, the nuns, all whom I met and heard speaking at school, in the neighborhood, or at the beach.  The simplicity in my first nine years of life primed me for the education that would follow in two other countries. Keep Reading

Calm Surrender

Calmly surrendered to serve our Lord…

Magic awes the spirit to be calm, and Rae Whitney has this quality, perhaps a real touch of the divine.

She has a direct line to the heavenly Father above, inspired by the Book of Common Prayer, by the King James Bible, and the outreach instilled by God as a mission for an inner circle of the faithful who sing praises in hymns.

Her faith is noble.

Rae has delivered her gifts in teaching by listening with an open mind always willing to extend a word of understanding.

I remember the first and last time I saw her and we conversed an hour ago.  I called to respectfully forewarn her before sending this out into the Universe.  She merely said it is good to have this outlet, and invited me to another blog by a remarkable, spiritual friend.  Her website is Aprilfiet, and it must be worthy of attention, or Rae would not have mentioned it.

Well, the calm risen in having met Rae Whitney was imbedded in my heart with the ultimate gift anyone can ever give or receive, time.  Those hours in minutes with seconds by days, months, and years counted by God’s precision, lifted me time and time again.  She said we recognized the friendship in each other; it is an honor to behold from her like an Oscar made of stars.  Her light hearted optimism crosses her lips with a smile. Keep Reading

Being Brave

Have you a clue of how it feels to say so much of what I think?  Well, sometimes it is scary.

Since I have taken the challenge I asked all to take in the next twenty-six days, today we are on the letter B and the word chosen is “brave”.  I am referring to the blog written a few days ago, Come, Become Alphabetically Savvy.  It is a call to discover the ways we can communicate and may I add?  Bravely so… as I am doing…

The only cabinet without a quote, top center, with the Scottsbluff Monument in Gerring , Nebraska, across the North Platte River.

In 1994 my dear husband Dan accepted to serve his skills at the Regional West Medical Center, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  Sometime after I joined a team of ladies to help redo an older home purchased by  the city for the purpose of housing young ladies in need of a shelter.  It was a  unique opportunity to provide a service needed in the area.

I mentioned the project to an angel friend, Edna Lofing, and she agreed to clean and paint the kitchen, cabinets, and all.  She was by far more experienced in the nitty gritty and elbow grease venture.  I felt drawn to draw upon my leanings and convinced myself I could simply paint each cabinet door to my liking with a quote.  Call it madness, call it zany, and I’m sure there were others who said more!
However, I do remember a young man who worked at the young man’s shelter in Gerring, Nebraska, complimenting me galore, and I think he wanted me to consider doing the same there.  That didn’t happen.  By the time this kitchen was finished, the food for thought remained aplenty.  With no art education, the scribbles were nibbles of goodness I yearned to give to one and all of the girls.
Here is a quote I wish I had chosen:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” _ Nelson Mandela

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Infinite Choices @ Apple, PC, Google, Yahoo, Facebook and MORE

At Ho’okipa Beach, the mecca for surfers’ delight where tide pools like this one caress the less brave. Monk Seals are known to sun themselves and turtles abide aside the black lava rocks. I love the heart.

“To see a world in a grain of Sand

And Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.” _ William Blake, 

a fragment from Auguries of Innocence.

William Blake’s quote refreshes my soul like the pool of water refreshed my feet long ago.  What can we extract from Blake’s choice of the word “augury” and “innocence”?  How does a grain of sand coupled with a flower become an omen to behold, a prophecy in disguise, and thereafter even favorable or unfavorable?

I think we are invited to consider the moment at hand.

A few days ago I wrote a blog entitled COME, BECOME ALPHABETICALLY SAVVY, and offered a challenge for you to write something beginning with the letter A through all the way to the letter Z .  The exercise would say a lot about one’s interests in just twenty-six days.  Life is a classroom.  I sought to figure out how I would take to task the suggested word AWARENESS for the letter A.

As Palm Sunday is celebrated, I look from the Hemphill, Texas, woodsy area to the sky for inspiration, and the garden welcomed my visit. Keep Reading

The Trust Perk

On a blustery, cold afternoon, the night comforter appeared as if brought by the wind to take away the light of day.  The tea kettle was on, and my son stoked the fire totally ready to sit for a supper of onion chicken soup.

We stared at the image and wondered, is it a frog ?  Maybe two?  An obstructed owl or a crab?  The heart spoke out to me.  It was a moment to be captured in a photograph.

The trust perk is in knowing that we can sweep the worries out the door and mop it off the floor.  Worries leave a dusty trace unkind to any luster.  The storms in life are like that.

If the following verse were to be read out loud, one would know the plea so plainly ladened with love, hope, faith, and trust.  All in one breadth, it is an answer to prayer.

” Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” __Philippians 4:6-7

In prayer trust is secured through our filters, by our guideposts.  We choose them as we go through life.  We speak to God, our Father.  We trust His Son, Jesus.   The perk is to be free of worries. Keep Reading

The Green In Us

Are we not seeds?  “Me thinks we are”…

Then why do we battle?  Are we harvested to quarrel?  “No, me thinks not.”

Can we agree there is a green in us?  “Me thinks that is brilliantly so.”

The green in us needs to be taught, and when better than on St. Patrick’s Day ?  He was born in England and taken by the invading Irish as a slave.  He was just sixteen.  Could we have survived it?  For six years he lived mostly outdoors as a shepherd; he was sorely underfed, ill-clothed, mistreated to despair yet the gold in him sparked.  He turned to the God he had previously scoffed.  The story is filled with nuances too dear to ignore.  Even though it was known to the Romans that Ireland had no snakes centuries before, St. Patrick is said to have been the one to run them off the island.  His prayers were answered as he escaped, and returned to Britain.  He then studied in France for the priesthood, and later had a dream that led him back to Ireland.  How many of us take heed of our dreams?  He converted the Irish to Christianity.  Thus, metaphorically, he is said to have rid Ireland of snakes…. Keep Reading

Rose and Wayne Younkins

A year ago tonight…the hall was ready…The altar was set in the corner…and the place beamed for Rose and Wayne to come and join their lives before Family, Friends and with our Lord’s blessing.  Dear Pam provided the cobalt blue bottles and with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, everything unfolded beautifully.

The tables were fun to arrange and the bride showed up and we rearranged to accommodate.  Wish you could have been present if you missed it.  We turned the lights off and hoped to get home before dark to be up early to begin “fussin” with the bride though she was really no trouble at all.  Pam was and is her quiet angel… Keep Reading

In My Heart

In my heart (and yours too) abides a longing for the ultimate good.  It was in the quiet afternoons when I could get away from the ever present mundane tasks, that I dared to retreat with a quote in honor of the day, for the sake of marking it as important, and mostly because its outpour could not last in my pocket.  My heart needed to live in acrylics, had to express in paint the gratitude for the time, place, and peace born within the compounds of the words.  That’s how the gates sobered the peace beyond my understanding.

Somehow the signs continued miraculously appear…  A visit inspired activity blossomed in the heart of a pineapple for me to share…

 

“i carry your heart with me ( carry it in my heart)….

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

( here is the rotor the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of a tree called life:which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart ( i carry it in my heart)

__e.e. cummings

 

It was a time to come home for healing and Daniel, the oldest of four, came to harvest a pineapple from our garden.  Sometimes words fail us to have a salve to a problem, and that’s when doing the right possible thing leaves us refreshed…

To grow a pineapple, all one needs to do is slice the crown and place it in water for a few days to see the roots evolving.  Then it’s about putting it in ground and watering it to give it hope to thrive, just like humans…  The length of time may surprise you…  So much depends upon the weather…  and the sun does make a difference…  Maybe that’s where the warmth sweetens the juice.  They say the smaller ones are sweeter.  I seldom had one that wasn’t and some were even bigger.  Go figure.

 

 Daniel had called to say he was coming and I remembered him saying he was standing by the edge of a river near Hailley, Idaho.  In Sun Valley is where he first set his heart to learn the practice of being an adult.  What ?  I’m still working at it !
We unfold chapter by chapter…

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Signs of Divinity

I see more than I saw when I was there yet I wished just as much of the embracing love to be shared with one and all.  It was on a walk alone for an hour that  I found myself in a banana tree grove.  In an instant I was enveloped by an invisible force and I turned myself around, looked up and slowly down.  I experienced an awesome envelopment like a physical vortex though its lightness rose in me a spiritual well-being.  Whatever it was, I returned to find the spot.  Unfortunately, I could not.  

Back in the days, Kodak made a fortune.  Folks like me were intrigued by the loveliness of moments, and we lived to their motto to capture  “a Kodak moment”.  I had the least expensive one on the market; it was my delight to pick and click at the right time the image, the color, the spirit that held the magic.  If I could choose today what to become in my life once again, it would have been to learn to use the best camera, become a professional photographer, and serve my wares to National Geographic magazine.  The world has always been smaller  in its grandeur as I had the honor of meeting an unforgettable young lady who did just that for a living.  Her parents were the Baldwins and they lived across the street from us.  In retrospect, she herself would have been a beauty to behold  in a photo as a prize.  She sublimely moved to speak as she smiled demurely.  I can’t remember her name yet I think Angel would have been fitting.  To take in what one beholds in admiration is to embody respect in appreciation.

We hold images of our loved ones in the midst of joy, and the photographs remind us of how swiftly the moment embedded in the memory eventually sheds light on the empty.  The missing misses the joy.  Nonetheless, we frame them, we carry them, we revisit, we keep them as tokens of our love.  Photographers have the skills of artists though theirs depend on the eyes to find the shadow and the light.  Their canvas moves unforeseen.  Today the advanced technology may skip the old time steps yet the photographer must be there in full force to know the angles that will be there no more in an instant.  The beholder must still be led by spirit, a feeling, a sound in flight, a dot on the line.

When the above photograph came developed, I remembered where it was taken.  I wondered how it related to that strange phenomenon experience.  I studied it.  I showed it to anyone I saw had an interest.  Some saw what I saw.  I have looked for a quote to recapture the possible symbolic experience in the banana patch.  My photograph of the photograph does not do it justice, and the intent here is to tell the story.   Keep Reading