Friday, January 25, 2008

Own The St. Francis Prayer!

This wonderful prayer can be switched to an empowering "I Am" prayer. After all "there is no place where God is not". And that includes within, and since we are all One as Parts of Christ's body, we can claim the "great I Am" by personalizing - owning- it by switching a few of the words:
Lord, I am an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, I sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Presence, I may not so much as
be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving, that I receive.
It is in pardoning, that I am pardoned.
(It is in listening, that I am heard).
It is in dying, that I am born to eternal Light.
It is very helpful to memorize now and to use to "Pray without ceasing" all during day.
More on "there is no place where God is not":
God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent good; all theistic religions agree upon this point. If God is omniscient, then God knows the good you need and want and how to give you that good. If God is omnipotent, then God is able to give the the good you seek. If God is omnipresent good, then your good is already present. Logically, then, there is never anything to seek in prayer but the realization that God is already your present good. Therefore, if all religions are correct in their assertions that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent good, it is illogical to petition, beg or bargain for God's help.
The Rev. Jim Gaither's article (Transcendental Prayer) in Unity Magazine (Jan Feb. 2008)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Newest Article: for - giving!

The Sun – A Poor Man’s Blanket
A For-giving Christmas
Ron Alexander

For three straight years in the early 80’s, we anchored at uninhabited Little San Salvador Cay in the Bahamas over the Christmas holidays. “We” were crew and students of sailboats from IFS – International Field Studies - (teaching sailing, navigation, island geology and marine identification). The Cay has a large anchorage with turquoise clear water and a large pink sandy beach. At the Southern tip is a orange, green, red, blue coral reef loaded with a sparkling rainbow-colored marine life plus edible fish & lobster.

As a teacher/captain, I enjoyed being away from stores and the heightened commercialization of the holiday. Our celebration was simple. The nearby reef was an abundant hunting ground, and we captains and crew caught and cooked a
sumptuous feast – lobster, grouper, and the versatile conch – conch salad, conch fritters, & fried conch for the Christmas Day Dinner.

Early in the day we drew names for gifts. Only one gift per person, and with nowhere to make a purchase, it would require some ingenuity and creativity. I will never forget the sweetness and humor provided by these simple gifts handed
out after dinner on Christmas day. A nice little manger scene crafted from
pieces of coral found on beach was my favorite gift. A funny little poem composed especially for the recipient was a welcomed frequent read during the after dinner exchange. I usually gave a nice shell I found while hunting under­water or sometimes a specially prepared (sautéed with ginger sauce) lobster tail for an addition to the meal.

These special Christmas days were satisfying compared to my childhood
memories of getting up early for Santa and gorging on many gifts and
so much food that by the afternoon, I was left feeling sugar sick and frustrated that there were nothing left to open. There is a lot to be said for simplicity - who is richer - the poor man with the warm sun and an abundant amount of food for family or the anxious last minute gift shoppers (like me historically)? As Thoreau said “most men lead lives of quiet desperation”. Sure I enjoyed my gifts but something always seemed missing?

In my elder years, 1 realized what was “missing” was the giving that fills and
soothes the soul! The "empty" feeling of youth was from expecting more
instead of giving to others. Furthermore, I can create my own
deserted island in my life right here and now. This is a place of silent
stillness that has all the peace I need, and prayer/meditation is all the sailing vessel
I want, with the Lord as my Pilot! I actually had a peaceful faith-building dream while sailing solo in the Gulfstream that Jesus was at the helm.

Yes, except for those three island Christmases, and a few times when I really got into the sweet energy of this special Holy Day, I have been a “Humbugger”,
I am going for change of attitude this year. I am going to try to get my
Mom and Aunt down here from near the mountains. It will need a miracle.
Mom is under nursing care, and I will need to build in some handicap assistance in this family beach house, I have been restoring more than two years. I will build a scrap book both paper and digital for Mom, and a digital frame for her and Aunt Jo’s Birthdays. and honor them with a great Merry Christmas of giving and receiving. If she feels well enough, Mom really wants to come down…”I know, Son, that it is going to be hard to be down there for Christmas, how about my birthday?” Her birthday is Dec. 26th - Bless her heart!

P.S. It has really reduced my normal holiday distress creating this scrapbook for Mom.
I highly recommend creating a gift instead of anxiously shopping for one.
The book is also for my dear Aunt Laura Jo Berry, as she has been like an “Aunty Mame” for me – a wonderful combination of Aunt, Sister, & surrogate Mom that is so valuable to one growing up. Also, like my beloved Grandmother – Bubba, who spent the last years with her dear sister – Dot Dobbs, Mom and Laura Jo live together. Sisters can
truly be like “blossoms in a garden”.