Well, it’s Valentine’s Day. Couples, hopeful suitors, friends and family members are professing and accepting expressions of love. In each case love means something different.
There is so much packed into the word, the practice and the concept of love that we’ll never begin to see anything close to its meaning if we don’t take it out beyond our everyday, human sized understanding. In a previous article posted here and titled “Loves Got a Hold on You!, Love was seen to be, not just universal. Possibly much more startling, the idea was introduced that it is a Universe pervading, fifth force like gravity, responsible for self organization of the material and living worlds. So let’s look from a place approximating that altitude again.
Love most often shows up in one of two ways. Comparing them will help us see both what is confusing as well as the best of love as our heart and understanding matures. Continue Reading
January 14, 2013
Also posted at: www.sedona.biz
When spiritual and religious authors write that “God is love,” they often use the Greek word, Agape. Agape is safe. It suggests unconditional love, either from God or a really spectacular friend! Toss in a couple more Greek words for love, philia and storge, and we’re still safe. A friend for a friend and a mother’s love for a child. All three of these words are under control – our control. Just the way we like it.
Eros is unique. Those other words each carry the suggestion of self-will, choice, even self-sacrifice. But usually only for predictable people – in predictable situations. By comparison, Eros moves right in without waiting for an invitation, saying, “I want, I need” and in some cases, “I will!” Eros does not ask permission. Eros is desire! Continue Reading
January 1, 2013
Also posted at: www.sedona.biz
Abundance. The word means more than enough. Not necessarily piles and piles of money and supplies but all that you really need, and at least a little more. Prosperity seems to mean something similar, but with a slight difference. This word suggests the continuing condition of abundance. So once you possess abundance, you want to couple it with prosperity – those conditions that sustain abundance. Let’s call them A&P like the supermarket chain located in some parts of the country – an appropriate metaphor and a little quicker to refer to as I write. Continue Reading
Christmas is coming, already here in a sense. Everyone that can is taking Monday off. Parties are in full swing and gifts are receiving last minute attention – wrapping, bows and ribbons. I have just got one question,
“Mary… Did you know? Yes, it’s that line… from that song. But, did you? Did anyone have any idea what would flow from a questioned birth, a tumultuous life and the death of one young man? Continue Reading
“I told the witch doctor, I was in love with you. The Witch Doctor told me – he told me what to do. Ooh eeh, ooh ah, ah.
David Seville. Witch Doctor. “Ting tang, walla walla, bing bang? Takes you right back, doesn’t it! But that’s just a pop song.
Then there’s Malidome Patrice Some’, a West African man, kidnapped by French missionaries as a child and later returned to his family where he is re-initiated into tribal society. In his book, Malidome tells the story of being catapulted into another world – like the other side of Alice’s looking glass. One moment he’s dancing with the other men on hard ground. Next, it’s his turn to jump through a hole between two animal skins held by the village Shaman and wham! He’s falling through space. It’s completely dark except for a lattice work of light beams. Without being told anything, Malidome knows that he must grab and hold onto a strand of light or continue falling – forever lost to the “real world”. Ding, dang! Major, “bing bang!” Jumping through an inter-dimensional portal? Latticework’s of light where just a moment ago his pals were standing? Continue Reading
A recent trip to Israel generated the following account of a day in the Holy Land – not so unlike any other land. Not unlike most other days filled with random acts of chaos.
… Just reaching out from warm, sunny Israel with all its blooming flowers. I drove down to the Dead Sea yesterday afternoon. Down in that lowest spot on earth I thought to myself… “The Dead Sea might really be dead and you’d never know for sure because it’s preserved by all that salt. ” I never thought of it quite like that before!
After driving south a few more miles I took a right turn up over the mountains into the Negev Desert, following signs to Dimona. That’s the secret place where they do secret things like making and storing atom bombs. Guess it’s not a secret anymore. But the multiple, “DO NOT STOP,” signs suggest that they don’t want you to see anything. That would make something secret – right? As requested, I did not stop and as the signs also commanded, I did not take pictures – no camera with me anyway. But I think some lenses may have been focused in my direction. Keeping this in mind, I was careful not to touch my nose in a potentially embarrassing way. Continue Reading
Wales is a country – an independent jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. The Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea wash its Western border, with England as it’s neighbor to the East. No. 4 Cefn, Gethynog, Talybont on Usk, Brecon, Powys, Wales. This was the address of friends I had come to visit. Having driven from London that morning and crossed the wide channel at Bristol, I followed signs for the town of Brecon. With each mile I was weaving my way deeper into the heart of an ancient land. “Ancient,” is a flexible word. Some places were the location of significant historical events – ancient history. Wales has a history so ancient that it has outstripped our ability to remember. The roads I drove and towns I passed through were rooted in this prehistory. In spite of mankind’s inability to preserve a record, there is a memory in the land that still speaks – still influences the land and Welshmen of today. Continue Reading
Late afternoon daylight was fading. lights that illuminated Jerusalem’s Western or Wailing Wall had already been turned on. The Western Wall itself – one hundred eighty seven foot, section of the ancient wall that rings theTemple Mount. The Temple Mount – site of three temples – the first, built by Jewish King Solomon. The second by the Roman appointee, Herod. And a third temple, so far existing only in the minds of Jew and, Christians. Muslims too – but with contemplated with dread and anger.
Walking here from the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, Jane and I had descended a long series of stairs, passing through a security check point as we reached the plaza below. The plaza, a stone paved expanse built to accommodate crowds exceeding one hundred thousand – the immense crowds that gather on holidays – holy days. It stretches out and away from the Wall at the southwest corner of the Temple Mount. At its North West corner a waist high retainer of stone blocks bisects the side of the plaza directly in front of the Wailing Wall, forming a retainer, preventing falls to the prayer floor, two meters below. The prayer floor,paved with white marble, stretches the full length and thrity meters back from the actual Wall. Capped with an angle cut stone lip, the retaining wall is comfortable to lean against as many do, content to watch the ever shifting specticle. Hwere ever you were in the world at that time, if you were Jewish your attention was on this place – this gathering. Attention and intention are key words. I was about to learn something but not nearly all there is to understand of theire significancea. Arriving early, Jane and I had this front row view as the spectacle unfolded around us – perfect for events that would mark the evening and set a furhter progression of events in motion. Continue Reading
I met Glorian Bonnette at a meeting where she was speaking, a meeting sponsored by a mutual friend – an evangelist with a reputation for giving accurate prophetic readings. Glorian did the prophetic thing too so after listening to her stories of miraculous encounters I asked her for a “read.” Short story made shorter I was intrigued enough with what she said that by the end of the afternoon I had offered to travel as a member of her ministry group. Injury and age had combined making travel and the heavy lifting it requires painful. It was clear that she needed more help.
So began a four month odyssey in South East Asia. Singapore would be our “home base.” It’s alsop one of the most beautiful cities in the world. From this comfortable oasis we traveled the archepelego. Bankock, Kuala Lumpor, smaller cities and remote villages up and down Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Glorian was a self styled evangelist, an encourager. The people who came to her meetings were looking for a message from God. To Glorian’s credit she came to give – not to get. Good thing, because by appearance, certainly by comparison, most who attended, were extremely poor. Continue Reading
The Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River which drains it, The Dead Sea and The Red Sea – all lay at the bottom of the Great Rift Valley. Defined by an immense fault line, the Rift Valley continues three thousand mile south into Central East Africa, Just ahead of us the fault has split the earth so deeply that we were soon below sea level. Signs along the way mark the descent in 200 meter intervals. The highway twists back and forth in the rocky canyon and occasional flat spot opens to one side or the other. On one of these small deltas a ragged Bedouin tent flapped in the dry wind. A beat up old truck with a water tank mounted on its bed sat in the sun. I could see why they wanted my rental car. Herds of multicolored sheep and goats grazed optimistically in the flinty dirt. Words of a song came to mind, “If you can make it here you can make it anywhere!” Ya, Frank… ever tried it here? Continue Reading