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Romania

To Be Of A Christian Heart

In Bucharest, Romania.

There are so many Christian denominations, it may be difficult to count or name them.

At the heart of all the Christian Churches, is the reverence, and love of God, His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and an undeniable faith undoubtably blessed by the Holy Spirit.

However, the first Christian Church, The Easter Orthodox Church, is the ancient one from which the Catholics broke  in 1054.

The Lutherans broke from the Catholic in 1522, The Anglican Church of England was founded by King Henry the VIII in 1534, the Congregational Church was founded by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582,  and 1606, the Baptist Church was Founded in Amsterdam by John Smith, the Dutch Reformed Church was founded in New York by Michelis Jones, the Protestant Episcopal Church was an offshoot of the Church of England, founded by Samuel Seabury, in the American Colonies in the 18th Century, John and Charles Wesley founded the Methodist Church in England in 1774.  and that same year , in London, Theophilus Lindley, founded the Unitarian Church, and the Latter Day Saints, The Mormon Church, was founded by Joseph Smith in 1829.  In 18888, the Salvation Army was founded by William Booth in London.

In the Protestant tradition, hundreds of other religions have started in the last 100 years: Church of the Nazarenth, Pentecostal Church, Holiness Church, Assemblies of God, and many Bible and Evangelical and non-denominational Churches, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The Bible has served to bring the word of God.  All of these Churches worship differently yet they unite in our Lord.  I have been to most and know the good intended for all through the teachings of Jesus.  I love so many hymns… Keep Reading

To Be Unburdened

A collage of my cousin Adriana, her daughter, Monica, and her husband, Dan.  I love them.

Today is Orthodox Easter.  The greeting in Romanian  is “Hristos A Inviat!” Christ is Risen!

The response : “Advevarat A Inviat!” Indeed He is Risen!

My cousin Adriana Muntean from Constanta, Romania, sent me a text…and I’ll try to translate it:  The whiskered bunny is a  lucky omen on Easter…  He does not leave presents in your boots…  He has other secrets…  “pasca” a soft braided bread filled with cheese…  red eggs, and “cozonac” similar to the Italian “panettone” sweet bread with raisins or nuts…  roasted lamb…  and a Happy Easter…  It all rhymes and sounds like a jingle.

What matters most is that Adriana thought to send me the message…  Unburdened by the weight of the reality the family experienced due to my mother and father leaving Romania, my cousin’s husband called and I spoke with all of them, including my Tanti Lila.   They did not hold a grudge.  They forgave my parents.  My grandfather was imprisoned for years.

“When inward tenderness finds the secret hurt, pain itself will crack the rock and AH! let the soul emerge.” _Rumi  Keep Reading

To Be Patient Is to Be at Peace

The calm before the storm is said to be ominous yet I always long for the calm I associate with patience and peace.  Things turn out better when done calmly.

Today…in about forty-five minutes, I will ring a bell at home in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am holding down the little girl ready to leave the scene…I remember that day…My mother is standing on the left.

I am always saddened by the conversations fueling a battle no one ought to be fighting.  God has created us differently.  Our physical characteristics don’t determine our characters.  The development of who we become as persons stands to be best understood by our Maker.  I wish we could appreciate our differences, even as men and women.

I was born and raised in Brazil, and my father worked in Mato Grosso measuring the land along with a team of men accustomed to the terrain.  My mother and I also lived in the compound as I can best describe it.  We were side by side with men, women, and children of Portuguese origin and mostly black folks.  I wrote a piece years ago that I will publish another time.  The truth is I did not hear of racism until I came to the United States of America at the age of fourteen.  It seemed so strange to hear people talk about the Civil War, Yankees, and racism.  It is as my parents explained it back then an attack on skin color as antisemitism is against the Jewish folk.   I listened and learned as much as I could along with speaking English, my fourth new language. Keep Reading

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…

 

 

 

 

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

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

One’s Endurance: a Grateful Immigrant’s Story

Sometimes the “A HA!” moment comes in a quote:

”  Let yourself silently be drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  It will not lead you astray.” _Rumi

I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.
The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!” _Emily Dickenson

One’s endurance is measured by the breadths taken day and night to survive rejection.  It is inexplicable to the unbeliever because the life of faith delivers an ever restoring, flowing Holy Spirit.  Without it, I could not have arrived at this moment in time.

I can count my encouragers.  Who are yours?

In this abundantly planted orchard of life, the fruits ripen to be chosen rather than discarded.  In today’s bowl, endurance is at the center; it has an old flavor recognizable for its ancient characteristics.  Its value is as long as the beginning of each day is observed.  It is delightful to the soul, gentle in texture and borders  on honey for sweetness.

I remember the aches clinging to my joints as I gathered a handful of acrylic paints, three preferred brushes, and a trusty folded stool to take along to the gate waiting as a blank canvas on a palette ready to receive the very Spirit in me.  It is in this laboriously searching to create a vessel to renew the luster of words written to welcome each soul that I found respite, consolation, and determination to honor a church whose people chose to invite my father to be their priest.painted in the far away right side…I wish I had taken a close up.  There is a squirrel with a bushy tail in the lower left and two bobolinks in the tree, North American migratory blackbirds.

I used my father’s magnifying glass to see “the onion” church so dubbed because of the shape of its steeple.  It is barely visible.  It is painted in the far away right side…I wish I had taken a close up shot.  There is a squirrel with a bushy tail in the lower left and two bobolinks in the tree, North American migratory blackbirds.  Go figure. Keep Reading

The Lady Named EUGENIA, My Mom

My earliest memory of my Mom is wrapping myself in her skirt.  I was born in Brazil.  She wore skirts and took them off at the beach to swim in the ocean.  She paced herself elegantly wherever she went.  I recall watching her in wonder because she could wood burn any piece of wood and turn it into a treasure.  The designs were of her native country, Romania.  She had a flare for cooking though I was not allowed to disturb her, and to this day I try to recreate the wondrous soups she served, to no avail.  She read and she wrote.  She sewed and she embroidered.  She painted icons.  She was odd in that she was unpredictable in the face of being a priest’s wife.  She held her own opinions and standards about absolutely everything, and though she sought to be friends with others, people tip toed, as I did.

I remember my Dad softly calling her name “Gina” when it was obvious she was about to say something we wished she would not, like the time the wife of the President of the church board mentioned that in America women mostly had short hair cuts.  She was a lovely lady, and my Mom raised her big eyebrows, and announced the braid would stay on top of her own head.

She proudly told anyone interested that her name meant “well born,” and she was despite being a premature baby.  The oldest of seven, she was dearly loved by her family.  Unlike the gals her age, she left the parents’ farm in Timisoara, to go to Bucharest and attend the University.  She did some study of milk, and no one could know more about it.  Her degree was in Chemistry.  I remember feeling intimidated coming home from High School; to me, Chemistry class was close to Mandarin, Chinese, a language I had not heard of at the time.  However, it was my mother who told all the parishioners about the benefits of Chinese tea.  I didn’t know how she knew that and often wished she would say no more.  Those dear folks just nodded. Keep Reading