Monday, December 31, 2018

TIME TO START SOMETHING NEW....

And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.
Meister Eckhart (GRATEFULNESS.ORG)




Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Love one Another....

Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Jesus (gratefulness.org)




Monday, December 24, 2018

Three Straight Christmases on a Deserted Island

My Favorite Christmases (getting away for a true Christmas Spirit)
Three Straight Christmases on a Deserted Island
                                                                                                     Ron Alexander
With about 20 students on board for our Marine Science under Sail, we celebrated our third straight on a beautiful deserted Cay called Little San Salvador. It lies only about 25 miles South of Eleuthera in the Bahamas.
Little San Salvador 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 & lots of lobster and conch.
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 on Christmas 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. Singing Carols after dinner, what could be better?





Friday, December 21, 2018

A Greater Miracle


Presidency in a Tailspin by Nicholas Kristoff N.Y. Times

bout 20 years ago, I was in a small plane that was forced to crash-land in Uganda. We knew that we were in trouble and that the pilot had lost control and we assumed the brace position during that terrifying descent — and that’s what the Trump presidency feels like to me today. When Trump took office, one theory was that he would be surrounded by smart people, learn about the issues and grow into the presidency. The other was that he would gradually become more confident and more crazy, and that’s what has happened.
Domestically, we see a series of self-inflicted wounds, from government shutdown threats to the gyrating stock market, to revenue shortfalls, to trade and immigration chaos. But at least domestically a president faces real constraints on policy making. Trump has managed to appoint far right judges and issue regulations undermining the environment and public health, but most of his agenda has been foiled (and he will be even more stalemated domestically by the Democratic House next year). But a president faces fewer constraints internationally, and that’s why Jim Mattis was so important as SecDef. Mattis was a champion Trump tamer, managing to get the president to back away from torture, a military parade, threats to leave NATO, his transgender ban, etc. Most alarming, Trump was pushing the Joint Chiefs a year ago toward military strikes on North Korea, which would have been catastrophic, and Mattis was heroic in resisting them.
So now what happens without Mattis? Yes, it’s reasonable to worry. As Jeffrey Toobin put it, Trump has been found unfit to operate a charity in New York, but is somehow fit enough to hold the nuclear codes.
Mike Pompeo is smart and knows the world, but he is also proving to be a Yes Man rather than one willing to push back. John Bolton is smart and willing to push back, but he’s also extremely hawkish, particularly toward Iran. And Saudi Arabia and Israel, Trump’s buddies, would both be happy to have us clash with Iran.
I should say that Trump isn’t crazy to want to pull troops from Syria and Afghanistan; what was crazy was the impetuous way he went about it. In Syria, he is betraying (once again) the Kurds, and in Afghanistan the reports of a pullout may make it harder to reach a peace deal with the Taliban (which should be the all-out focus, since that would be the way to provide for Afghan stability leading to a pullout of U.S. forces).
One open question is how congressional Republicans will react in the coming months, and whether they will show more independence. It was striking that they have been praising Mattis, even as Mattis has been saying that he completely disagrees with the president. The implication is that the congressional G.O.P. completely disagrees with Trump on foreign policy, although of course no one will put it that way. Unfortunately, no one has made money in recent years betting on congressional G.O.P. backbone.


Patrick Chappatte

The TV Is Telling The President What To Do

The Last Word Flynn Wanted To Hear: 'Treason'

Monday, December 17, 2018

We are all connected to each other...

We are all connected: To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. And to the rest of the universe, atomically.
Neil deGrasse Tyson(gratefulness.org)





Sunday, December 16, 2018

A new world is born with a new friend...


Simple as snow on the tongue of a child

Simple as snow on the tongue of a child. Yes, God appears like that.
Mark Nepo(gratefulness.org)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Needy?


We all need one another, much and often.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman(gratefulness.org)

Monday, December 10, 2018

STOP ACTING SO SMALL

Image may contain: text

When is this guy going to be chosen










The older I get the more privileged



Gratitude is the understanding that...the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege.
David Whyte(gratefulness.org)

Friday, December 7, 2018

And if you have Heaven as a place where you’re rewarded for you goodness, and Hell is a place where you’re punished for your evil, then you sort of have control of the population.

“Religion is always in the control business, and that’s something people don’t really understand. It’s in a guilt-producing control business. And if you have Heaven as a place where you’re rewarded for you goodness, and Hell is a place where you’re punished for your evil, then you sort of have control of the population. And so they create this fiery place which has quite literally scared the Hell out of a lot of people, throughout Christian history. And it’s part of a control tactic.” (From 2015)
Here’s an interview retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong did with Keith Morrison of Dateline NBC back in August of 2006.
A partial transcript of the interview can be found beneath the video link:








Not believing in hell and the devil is 2 of several things I love about Unity. Now if they would drop the belief that the "ego" is the inner "devil" it would be even better.
Dallas Kent: You were created in the image of the creator of the Universe. Our world is a result of people failing to take personal responsibility for their words, actions and relationship with the creative force. The only Satanic forces out there are willful ignorance, personal prejudice and fear. Revelations was written 320 years after the death of Jesus and not included in the Bible, by the Vatican, until 720 A.D. for purely political fear and control purposes. Spirituality is God given. Organized religion is man made. Thus the phenomenon of man creating God in his own fearful, intolerant image Unity Charleston SC

Teddy Gingerich Well, we with functioning brains have known this for a long time. Religions were invented by early humans to explain the natural phenomena they didn't understand. When humans began to develop knowledge about the world and its science, religion became a powerful tool to control people. It has been just that ever since.
Manage
Reply6h
Ron Alexander Unfortunately, the "new age thinkers" has twisted Freud"'s concept of the ego into the "devil".
Manage
Reply6h
Teddy Gingerich "New age thinkers" don't really understand Freud. As with all concepts that require study, they prefer bumper-sticker statements and the Cliff Notes versions of complex subjects. I'm not a fan of most of Freud's thinking, but I did learn enough in school to understand his methodology.
Manage
Wow
Reply6h
Ron Alexander Teddy Gingerich Yes, the ego was the middle, moderating part of his system between the Id (the instinctual "snake" lower brain) and the Superego, the higher more rational part. He even called the ego conscious mediator....!