Persona-non-grata in light of Pentecost

It is not that I want to dwell too much on the fact that I am often considered a persona-non-grata, particularly among my family members. It is much more about expressing decades of hurt feelings and having been told what an unbearable human being I was.

Even though, I am aware and in agreement with the fact that we all attract experiences into our lives that we need to ‘have’ in order to remove all blockages and debris from the road to God, the pain is still real.

Having listened to and fought others’ constant disagreement with everything I am, I stand for, I do or do not do made me very angry, particularly because I lost most of my fights.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Pentecost, The Journey | Comments Off on Persona-non-grata in light of Pentecost

The scapegoat

I am the designated scapegoat.

As soon as the discomfort surfaces and it starts feeling uncontainable, the need for release is inevitable. I am often a good source for such a surface. It is rather easy to get cross with me. One of the reasons is that I carry this energy of ‘it can be done differently’ inside of me.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on The scapegoat

Thoughts on choices

I have been observing the days, the movement of seasons in a matter of hours, and my feelings as they float on top of the swimming pool, changing colours.

I have the need, this overbearing desire to live in a community, to work together, have harmony and kind communication … but I always chose the wrong community, the wrong person. It is not that there is something wrong with them …

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Thoughts on choices

Resurrection

Mothers and daughters aka We all deserve better

“Who is it about me that attracts this abusive behaviour … or is it only me who sees it that way?”

As soon as we are in the same room the torture begins. She turns into a monster who terrorizes both of us. She starts desperately criticizing everything in and around her, requests absurds, pushes love and care in the corner while in a mental haze. I am shocked, at first, then I become distant then I completely disappear. As if our childhood never ended, as if she has not managed to move on … neither of us really.

Though, the wine quickly clears my feelings of desperation and upset, the tensed atmosphere of something-is-wrong lingers on in a never ceasing, thick fog.

Continue reading

Posted in Easter, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Resurrection

Crucifixion and resurrection

Well, it has been ‘hell of a Lenten Season’. I have been fighting my way through it.

Yesterday afternoon, however, the fog lifted and I started to hear the voice within again.

For how much longer are you planning to put blockages between us? – asked the voice.
What blockages? – I asked in sock.
Well, your grievances! – came the immediate response.
I did not know what to say for a while then I remembered the scam incident.
But the scam! I was robbed, and you weren’t there. – I argued.
It is just energy, energy that you can regenerate. – said It gently – No harm was done.
My tears started to run.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Easter, The Journey | Comments Off on Crucifixion and resurrection

Being held

I always complain.

I complain about how hard life tends to be and how alone I am dealing with life’s challenges. I probably mentioned it before that I do not hold an image of ‘God’ as the saviour. God resides inside of us all. What we make of it is up to us. We are all our own saviours. Not feeling supported has nothing to do with God or His lack of efforts. It is an energy I carry inside myself. I cannot ask for help. I demand it  when I need it because I think I deserve it. I am hard working. I do everything on my own. When I cannot do more, I have the right to get some help. Well. Though it sounds ‘right’ it does not work that way. Life (God) does not respond to demands very well.

Therefore, it is rather rare when I truly feel ‘held’.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Being held

Kicking and Screaming

So, what is happening for us in this Lenten Season? How are you doing?

Well, for me it is ‘hell of a season’. 🙂 I am going through a rough time. I am angry all time. I attack my environment and demand their cooperation while they look at me in shock.

After a few days in purgatory I decided to start observing my behaviour and my environment response more closely. The Lenten Season is a precious time of investigating, letting go and forgiveness. We are allowed to see beyond the layers of self-deception and the lies we live with daily.

As we withdraw our attention from the world and turn it inside we start noticing those parts of ourselves that make our life ‘a living hell’. Though, it can be painful to become aware how our so-called ego or lower-self drives us off the road as we stand there paralyzed in helpless terror. It is not a time of self-pity or regrets, either. This part is on automatic pilot.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Lent, The Journey | Comments Off on Kicking and Screaming

So what to give up this Lenten season?

Recently, I became aware how much of a trouble maker I am and how much compassion and love I have for ‘troubled’ kids. My heart goes out for them. The education system I work ‘in’ (mostly out) is corrupted and we all suffer it.

Naturally, I want to go in and fix it. I want to heal the pain I suffered as a child. Having been a rather curious and artistic child it was not very easy to fit in a black-and-white and militarized system that cared none for originality but the ability to stay grey and unnoticeable. I rebelled then I broke in. The result of my tameness, however, turned out to be a disaster. I became a very angry and suppressed person (even as a child) who only generates trouble because she is in constant pain. It is like living in a bubble where you cannot reach out from. Thought the bubble is see-through, it is also made of glass. I am trapped in it. I am visible to the word but I cannot make contact. Each time, I act, a disaster strikes and we all walk on broken glasses.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on So what to give up this Lenten season?

UUSM 2.5 Book of Esther

Book of Esther

In general, I like this story because it reminds me that all is well and that God is ever present.

3:3 Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” 4 Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a wayto destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

In my point of view, Haman’s behaviour represents ‘sheer fear’ in the world and a lack of Faith. When fear and a sense of lack of control rule one’s life, one may act immorally in his desperation. I can also see Haman’s behaviour as a fearful thought that tries to diminish the rebelliously free part of our consciousness that goes with its own truth and bows in front of no other but God’s will. In God we are free, we are not to honour others’ authority but our own, and we are to follow our inner guidance stemming from God’s Essence.

Continue reading

Posted in Studies | Comments Off on UUSM 2.5 Book of Esther

How I became everyone’s mother

For the past few days I have observed the behaviour of my environment and myself. It has been uncomfortable and challenging. It feels that I am under siege and everyone blames me for the discord between us. There is nothing special, I am simply tired and unwell which makes it hard for me to care much for other people’s moods and needs.

But a habit is a habit. It runs us tirelessly.  My mum wants me to think for her and tell her what to do. My father wants me to fulfil his needs and supply him with necessities that he cannot produce for himself. My brother wants me to be his load-bearer while I put up with his crudeness. My cousin expects me to be her best friend and find the way to be accepting of her ways because she is ‘becoming’ and it takes time.  In the meantime, all of these people claim that I am a difficult person who tries to control them and they strongly believe that they must put up a fight while I try to make them do things they do not want.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on How I became everyone’s mother

UUSM 2.3 Exodus

3. Moses, oh Moses- a treasure trove of metaphysics! Choose one story of Moses and give a metaphysical interpretation, including how it relates to you.

Exodus 3:13 I have experienced many times that I wished I could avoid undertaking a task. I asked if someone else could do it or if I could do something else because I felt inadequate for the job. However, at the end, whatever I did, it served me well. Later, I realized that the experience I tried to avoid was necessary for me to learn something either about myself or a skill or else. 3:14 I can also relate to the ‘mate’ aspect of the story. God sends Aaron to support Moses on his quest so he may feel more supported. I think it is essential to meet and have like-minded ‘mates’ with us on our journey both inner and outer. I have never been able to accomplish anything on my own. I truly appreciate all the support and guidance others have given me over the years.

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Bible, Studies | Comments Off on UUSM 2.3 Exodus

Stirring up – Exodus 5

Looking at the state of the world these days, I can safely say that the world with all its inhabitants are in a great upheaval at the moment. The against-ness in the world that is often expressed in violence, rage, riots or complete disinterest  is burning and tangible. We blame each other and attempt to take revenge on each other for some long-standing or not so-long-standing wound. There is blame and shame everywhere. We do not seem to be able to agree on anything anymore. We all feel a deep sense of dissatisfaction, a feeling of being cheated and at loss. We can neither find the source or the way out. We, s a race, are deeply frustrated.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Bible | Comments Off on Stirring up – Exodus 5

UUSM 2.2 Genesis2

1. What is the metaphysical meaning of the reconciliation between Jacob and Esau? How is this apparent in your life?
I think this story is about guilt and forgiveness and also about doing what is right even though it does not look that way. In my experience, something an action or deed can look different from different perspectives. In the story, it appears that Jacob and Rebekah are in the wrong by lying to Isaac but at the same time, they follow a higher guidance or call that might not be apparent to other e.g. Isaac and Esau. In Easu’s forgiveness, I see acceptance and embracing. It seems that he came to terms with the higher truth. At the same time, Jacob approaches his brother with a sense guilt and asking for forgiveness because the way he had come about achieving what he believed in might have been hurtful and deceitful.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Bible, Studies | Comments Off on UUSM 2.2 Genesis2

Genesis and I

There is always and inner and an outer journey. They happen along one another. It is as if I existed on two different planes at the same time. My body, emotions, mental consents and my imagination run on the plane of free will. They collect experiences, go from one places to another, meet different people and learn to be useful and let go their own desires along the way. Whereas my soul longs to return to her Source, Love Itself and so she journey her way through different realms, collecting her true identity and deepening her commitment along the way.

Reading the Genesis, I came to understand how much my life is both an inner climbing and an outer unfolding. As I was reading about the many twists and turns of the protagonists of Genesis, I started to see some resemblance to my own life. I understand now that my life is not linear and it unfolds on two plains:both on an inner and on an outer sphere.

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Bible, The Journey | Comments Off on Genesis and I

Creativity

Lucky for me, chronic insecurity breeds creativity.

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Creativity

UUSM 2.1 Genesis2

2. What does it mean to have ‘dominion over’ the birds, fish and every creature? (hint-what do these animals symbolize?)
It probably means that man was allowed to use these creatures to maintain himself. It may also mean that man received the highest level of intelligence or the capacity to ‘think’.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Bible, Studies | Comments Off on UUSM 2.1 Genesis2

God

God is a state of consciousness.

I now know who I am and I am capable of expressing that knowing. I release all that is not Me.

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo at the Sistine chapel, Vatican city, Rome, Italy

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on God

Coptic/Orthodox Christmas – January, 7th

At the Coptic and Orthodox Christian Churches Christmas Day isn’t celebrated on the 25th December but on 7th January (like in Ethiopia and by some Orthodox Christians in Russia and Serbia).

The Coptic month leading to Christmas is called Kiahk. People sing special praise songs on Saturday nights before the Sunday Service.

For the 43 days before Christmas (Advent), from 25th November to 6th January, Coptic Orthodox Christians have a special fast where they basically eat a vegan diet. They don’t eat anything containing products that come from animals (including chicken, beef, milk and eggs). This is called ‘The Holy Nativity Fast’. But if people are too weak or ill to fast properly they can be excused.

On Coptic Christmas Eve (6th January), Coptic Christians go to church for a special liturgy or Service. The services normally start about 10.30pm but some chapels will be open for people to pray from 10.00pm. Many people meet up with their friends and families in the churches from 9.00pm onwards. The services are normally finished shortly after midnight, but some go onto 4.00am!
source

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, Advent, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Coptic/Orthodox Christmas – January, 7th

Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night

This well known story is about mistaken identities and revealing one’s true identity to the Beloved. Shakespeare was a deeply spiritual man who understood the Soul’s longing for God and knowing him/herself in God.

I am going share my understanding of the story from a spiritual perspective.

Let  me start with an extract from a talk that says “Because first, you have to come into union with yourself before you can now move into union with God. That polarity of where the two become one, the uncrossing of the wires, is where you come into union with yourself where the polarities within you, the male-female, are harmonized. And in that balance is that place of honoring and loving that then frees you now to go on the greater journey of the soul now moving into union with God.” Source: ilm.org It  made me think … first, then, I must embrace who I am, in the totality of who I am, every single bit of me, the parts I admire about me as well as the parts that I feel ashamed of.  As a result of that union, then, I can look to God and come into union with Him/Her.

Continue reading

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night

The season of Epiphany

In the Season of Epiphany we observe the revelations of our divine nature as God’s unique spark is being expressed through us.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.” “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)”

In simple terms, if we love each other God is in (with) us. Our unique nature is revealed to us through our interactions with others. We can observe our-selves without judgement as we connect with others.

 

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on The season of Epiphany

12 Days of Christmas – Day 12

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

The Twelve Drummers Drumming

The Twelve Drummers Drumming Symbolize The 12 Points Of Belief In The Apostles Creed

In the early days of England, they had town watchmen, known as waits, that went around patrolling the streets and calling out the hours of the night. By the 18th century, they got a little more skilled and turned into town musicians. During Christmastime, these town musicians were nicely rewarded. They sang day and night, often serenading sleepers from midnight to dawn.
But, odd as this seems, Europe wasn’t really into drums. They actually first got introduced to them during the Crusades when they brought them back to Europe as their spoils from the Holy Land. These drums were basically Egyptian and Sumerian. Soon, the beat of a drum became associated with warfare. And, a symbol of marching into battle.

source

If you are interested in the Twelve Articles of Catholic Faith you are welcome to read about them here. Not being a Catholic, I decided to find a more jubilant way of celebrating the Twelfth Day before the Twelfth Night.

The number twelve carries religious, mythological and magical symbolism, generally representing perfection, entirety, or cosmic order in traditions since antiquity.[11] Notably, twelve is the number of full lunations in a solar year, and hence the number of months in a solar calendar, as well as the number of signs in the Western and the Chinese zodiac.
The Twelve Olympians are the principal gods of the pantheon, and Hercules carries out twelve labours.
Ishmael – the first-born son of Abraham – has 12 sons/princes (Genesis 25:16), and Jacob also has 12 sons, who are the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. This is reflected in Christian tradition, notably in the twelve Apostles.
The “Twelve Days of Christmas” count the interval between Christmas and Epiphany. Eastern Orthodoxy observes twelve Great Feasts.
The number of twelve jurors in jury trials is depicted by Aeschylus in the Eumenides. In the play, the innovation is brought about by the goddess Athena, who summons twelve citizens to sit as jury.
In English Common Law, the tradition of twelve jurors harks back to the 10th-century law code introduced by Aethelred the Unready.
There are twelve Jyotirlinga(Self-formed Lingas) of Lord Shiva in Hindu temples across India according to the Shaiva tradition.
The Sun god Surya has 12 names.
There are 12 Petals in Anahata or “heart chakra”.
There are frequently said to be 12 Âdityas.
In Twelver Shi’a Islam, there are twelve Imams, legitimate successors of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. These twelve early leaders of Islam are—Ali, Hasan, Husayn, and nine of Husayn’s descendants. Sura 12 in the Quran is sura Yusuf, narrating the story of the sons of Jacob.
Source: WIKI
… and more

Number 12 symbolizes completion and procession. The seeker is ready to turn the page after having journeyed and learned. S/He released his false idols and became pure at heart. Now, s/he makes himself available, turns within and awaits.

 

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 12

12 Days of Christmas – Day 11

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

Eleven Pipers Piping

By the 9th century, the bagpipe was the instrument for all medieval celebrations. This music had only one single line of melody, which suited the bagpipe quite nicely, especially for dances called caroles.
Drones, which could produce only a single tone were added to the bagpipes in the 13th century. The drone is what creates that background hum that you hear. As the demand for more harmony, multi-notes, and melodies grew, the bagpipes were losing their popularity and being replaced by other musical instruments. But, in never died out in Scotland! In the 16th century, the bagpipe became an instrument associated with soldiers and fighting. It had a real stirring effect on the men! Because of this, the English banned the bagpipe in Ireland.
In France, the bagpipe was popular as an accompaniment for dance. In the 17th century, a new kind of bagpipe was created called the musette. … Many French musicians often played the musette as entertainment for Twelfth Night celebrations.

source

The Eleven Pipers Piping Stand For The Eleven Faithful Disciples

Well, the eleven pipers referring to the Eleven faithful disciples is a bit high order for me. First of all, in my understanding there were 12 disciples. Judas was as much a disciple of Jesus as the others. We may not agree with his actions but it does not make him less of a disciple. Nevertheless, I wish to investigate what the story of the Twelve Apostles teach us.

Though Jesus had many disciples, the notable twelve are important because they were sent out to convey Jesus’ teaching. They were Jesus’ closest students who perfectly understood the message Jesus carried. It is obvious from the Bible that Jesus talked to the masses in terms of parables so those less educated could understand His message from the stories. However, those who could hear His teaching in plain language were the ones closest to him, the Apostles.

They all tell the same story. The story of devotion and commitment. They embodied the teaching and the law. “You shall have no other gods before[a] me. (Exodus 20:3) They followed the calling and served humanity to the best of their abilities.

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 11

12 Days of Christmas – Day 10

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

The Ten Lords A-Leaping

Leaping dances were strictly for the men. These dances were for the purpose of fertility as well as for war. These physically exerting dances were meant to rile up the men for battle to create some kind of mental exhilaration.
The Roman god of vegetation and war was Mars. The Roman priests of their Salii ritual would leap as high as they could in the air in hopes of inducing the corn to grow. It was believed that the height of their leap would be the height of the corn. Swords were a part of their costume.
In Britain, the lords a-leaping are assumed to be morris dancers, highly costumed ceremonial folk, who performed between the courses of a Christmas feast. One form of morris dancing included swords (just like the the Salii ritual mentioned above) also. In this dance, twelve men in two teams performed intricate patterns, ending with the swords being braided together to form a Lock or Nut above the Lord of Misrule (during the Twelfth Night Celebration). In other morris dancing, instead of swords, antlers were worn.
By the end of the 18th century, this style of dance was no longer of interest to the upper classes for entertainment. It was being performed at festivals or fairs only.
Some believe that the lords a-leaping did a dance called the gavotte for the Twelfth Night celebrations because it was accompanied by a drum and bag-pipe. The gavotte lasted until the end of the 18th century and then faded away in popularity.

source

The Ten Lords A-Leaping Are The Ten Commandments

Once more, we see people dancing and expressing a sense of joy. I suspect that what these jubilant and ecstatic creatures celebrate is the message of the teaching found in the 10 Commandments.
Let’s have a look.

The Ten Commandments
20 And God spoke all these words:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
(Exodus 20) source

I would like to offer a short interpretation of the ‘teaching’ of Moses the way I understand it.
Moses, first of all, requests the faithful seeker to devote his/her life to God. He suggests that man should avoid following false idols and only keeps his/her eyes on God within. Truth, stability, peace, serenity – all that is good – can only be found with-in God. All the other fanciful attractions that this world can offer are mere distractions that appear and disappear as they please. (Exodus 20:3-6)

Moses warns us to keep our relationship with God holy and not to use His name to threaten or please others. Then, he remind us to devote time to God. He suggests to take a ‘day off’ and keep it holy and restful. According to my observation, one can only create a relationship with God in the time of silence and rest. (Exodus 20:7-11)

Then he lays down a the laws that are relevant to a time when people were rather uneducated and ignorant. In my opinion, he offered these laws of common sense in order to encourage kindness, goodness and a loving relationship between people of the time. (Exodus 20:12- 17)

pic source

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 10

12 Days of Christmas – Day 9

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

The Nine Ladies Dancing

This is the result of my research:
The Nine Ladies Dancing Are The Nine Fruits Of The Spirit (Gal.5)

“… many non-Christian people danced from left to right because they were worshipping the sun (round) as a way of representing the sun’s movement from east to west. The sun was a priority in many dances. They didn’t do it as a form of evil. In some cases, the dances were done in a circle around a fire. The fire represented the sun’s light, warmth and purifying qualities. Eventually, the Christian church failed in banning dancing, especially in circles going left. And, by the 15th century the word for carole was replaced with the word branle, because dancing was then associated with songs. Eventually, the songs turned into stories, like those about Christmas. This is how the term Christmas Carols came about. As the years went on, the round dance, grew into many different types of dances.”
resources

I very much like the idea of dancing being a way of worshipping. Observing the dervishes dancing is enlightening. As they swirl around they reach a level of meditative consciousness that allows them to connect with the divine. I do believe that one symbol of the dancing ladies is the joyful nature of spirit. It reminds us to dance and have fun in our lives because it is meant to be a gift.

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit, according to chapter 5 of the Epistle to the Galatians. source
“… The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6) ” The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Gal 5:14)But the fruit of the Spirit is
Love (Hebrew: agape, Latin: caritas)
Joy (Greek: chara, Latin: gaudium)
Peace (Greek: eirene, Latin: pax)
Patience (Greek: makrothumia, Latin: longanimitas)
Kindness (Greek: chrestotes, Latin: benignitas)
Goodness (Greek: agathosune, Latin: bonitas)
Faithfulness (Greek: pistis, Latin: fides)
Gentleness (Greek: prautes, Latin: modestia)
Self-control (Greek: egkrateia, Latin: continentia).” (Gal 5:22)
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spiri
t.” (Gal 5:25)

Once again, we are reminded of the qualities that allow us to live in Spirit. I believe the qualities stated above need no explanation. Read the text on the picture below. The one Fruit with 9 parts is the Soul itself expressing Its inherent qualities.

pic source

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 9

The 8 Beauties and their meaning

Matthew 5:3-10 describes Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount, which contained what are known as the Beatitudes. Jesus said:
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
3. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
4. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
5. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
6. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
8. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Continue reading

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on The 8 Beauties and their meaning

12 Days of Christmas – Day 8

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

Eight maids a milking

Matthew 5:3-10 describes Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount, which contained what are known as the Beatitudes. Jesus said:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Beatitudes are at the core of Christ’s teaching. … The reward promised in each of the Beatitudes is primarily heaven. The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate purpose of human acts; God calls us to his own beatitude.

source

There is not much I can add to the above. The Beauties reveal the desirable qualities of the seeker who wish to attain enlightenment and a place in Heaven. I thought I take the time to clarify what Heaven really is. I understand that many, mostly religious. people believe that Heaven is a place where humans pass on to after life if on judgement day they are found deserving. In my understanding, however, Heaven is in the heart of the seeker. It is ever present and inviting and there is only a few things the seeker must do in order to ‘gain entrance to Heaven’ and experience happiness: see the list above.

Regarding the milking ladies, I can only guess how the milking ladies symbolize the 8 Beauties. My suggestion is that it has been believed that milk has beauty enhancing qualities. Cleopatra only washed in milk believing that it preserved her youth and beauty. The milking maidens also symbolize purity that is the ultimate goal of the seeker – to clean him/herself of the dirt of this world , to relieve all limitations and stand pure and clean so he/she can enter Heaven.

As I suggested before, Heaven is in each Heart. In order to enter Heaven, the seeker must enter Heaven he/she releases all bondage of this world through a rigorous practice of meditation/prayer and following the guidance that Jesus and other teachers before and after Him laid for all those to search for the Truth and ready to let go and enter the land of Joy and Happiness that is in our Hearts – the place where we meet God aka our Essence and the pure Love we all seek to experience.

source

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 8

12 Days of Christmas – Day 7

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

The Seven Swans A-Swimming

The Seven Swans A-Swimming Represent The Sevenfold Gifts Of The Spirit

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit is one of several works in Christian devotional literature which follow a scheme of seven. Others include the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, the beatitudes, the seven last words from the cross, the seven deadly sins, and the seven virtues.  The seven gifts are found in the Book of Isaiah 11:1-2, where the Biblical passage refers to the characteristics of a Messianic figure understood by Christians to be Jesus Christ empowered by the “Spirit of the Lord”.

Wisdom – according to St. Bernard, it both illumines the mind and instills an attraction to the divine
Understanding – the gift of understanding gives us a profound appreciation for God’s providence
Counsel – the gift of counsel operates under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the will of God
Fortitude – is often identified with courage, but Aquinas takes its meaning to also encompass endurance.
Knowledge – the gift of knowledge allows one, to see things from God’s perspective. It “allows us to perceive the greatness of God and his love for his creatures” through creation.
Piety accords with reverence – Pope Francis said that piety is a recognition of “…our belonging to God, our deep bond with him, a relationship that gives meaning to our whole life and keeps us resolute, in communion with him, even during the most difficult and troubled moments”.
Fear of the Lord is akin to wonder (or awe). – Pope Francis said that it “is no servile fear, but rather a joyful awareness of God’s grandeur and a grateful realization that only in him do our hearts find true peace”. 
source

According to another source:  Egypt linked swans with immortality, just like they did the geese. The Greek priests, who worship Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, are believed to be descended from swans. Old Celtic and British myths believe that lost loved ones turn into swans, with gold or silver chains on their necks to symbolize their enchantment. The transformation is believed to take place during their Samhain festival, where the gates of the other worlds open up and souls are free to pass.

I see swans as graceful and royal. When you watch two swans mating, they perform a beautiful dance of gentle embracing. In the seven swans dancing (swimming) I see the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit embracing the seeker each offering one of the gifts. It is a true offering not a nagging. The seeker is waltzed around by these gracious creatures laying the gifts of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, guidance, courage, reverence and the joyful awareness of God by his/her feet. By the 7th day we are over half way towards the end of this imaginary bridge of the 12 days. By now it is evident the the qualities that we are to collect and embrace are mostly repeated and re-encouraged.

 

 

 

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 7

12 Days of Christmas – Day 6

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

Six geese a laying
Going back to Neolithic times, the goose is one of the oldest domesticated birds. It’s also been the topic of a lot of folklore. This is probably the reason it’s part of the song.
Because of their migration habits, they were often considered to be a symbol of the solar year and also fertility. Ancient Egyptians believed that a mummy’s soul rose up in the form of a goose with a human head. The Roman goddess, Juno (rules heaven and marriages), considered the goose sacred.  – In 387 B.C. the geese in her temple cackled and honked, warning the Romans that barbarians were close. Ever since then, the geese were honored for their protective services. Medieval seafarers had a strange tale on the origin of the goose. It seems that on the hull of their ships grew this long, goose-shaped barnacle. Coincidentally, there was also an Artic goose that migrated around England. Since this goose and the barnacle looked a lot alike, the sailors said that the goose originated from the barnacle, and in some tales a seaside tree.
source

The Six Geese A-Laying Stand For The Six Days Of Creation
source

Having read the different ideas around the ‘6 geese a laying’, I decided to go with the protective nature of the story of creation. It may sound strange at first but I strongly believe that the story of creation tells the story why we feel so loveless and lost. It is protective because it comforts the seeker by explaining who the world came about and  why we became separated from our God nature. With Adam and Eve ‘turning away’ and choosing ‘knowledge’ over faith hu-mans became lost. But the story also shows that there is a source – God – where were are to return  The story of creation also tells why God created the world. God wishes to experience Itself through the experiences of its spars that are implanted into human forms.

For me, the symbol of birds always convey the message that I am inherently free.

In my opinion the teaching here is awareness of how we, humans, came about and accepting our divine-mortal nature as well as knowing that were are divine in our birthright.

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 6

12 Days of Christmas – Day 5

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

The five golden rings
This is what I have found on the ‘five golden rings’:
If you’re a jewelry fan, you’re going to be disappointed to learn that it’s not actually gold rings that are given on day 5. Once again, this is reference to birds and the 5 golden rings are said to represent the gold rings on a pheasant’s neck.
It all begins with the legend of Jason and the Argonauts back in 750 B.C. when they sailed from Thessaly, Greece in search of the “Golden Fleece”. During this epic journey, they landed in Phalis, acquiring not only the sorceress, Medea, but also a lot of golden birds. The Greek word phasianornis means “bird of Phasis.” It is believed that this species of ring-necked pheasant are from the sub-species of the infamous “Golden Fleece.” S
Source

“Another interpretation can be that Golden Rings are The Pentateuch or The first 5 books of the Old Testament. Ring also symbolizes eternity.”

“The Golden Fleece caught my attention so I investigated it further. This is what I found.
In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-haired winged ram, which was held in Colchis. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.” Source

So, my thoughts are that the five rings represent the pheasant feast of the king who has authority.  In terms of teaching, regaining our sense of authority is a must and when it is achieved it deserve a feast. There many of us who  handed their authority over to another person, organisation or else either upon force or willingly. When you are without your sense of authority and kingship, you don’t drive the boat, it is dragged and you are being pulled with it. I hear many people complain about the way they are treated at work or at home, how they are misunderstood or misinterpreted or even abused. Well, here is some news for you: start learning to stand up for yourself and regain your own authority; know that you have the right to be he author of your life whatever way you may want to lead it. Access your courage and lead your way!

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 5

12 Days of Christmas – Day 4

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

The symbols of four calling birds

Result of my research:
“… All these years you’ve been singing “calling birds” when the reality is, it’s colly birds. So what are these birds? A colly bird is a European black bird. Colly means black. It’s my view that it’s the word “coal + ie” said with an little accent? Therefore, a dark, black bird looked like black coal and was called a “coalie” or “Colly Bird.
So, the song is really saying… four crows.  back in medival times this bird was considered a delicacy. In the children’s song “Sing a Song of Sixpence” there are 24 blackbirds backed in a pie. Pies seem to be a real gourmet food in the peak of The Twelfth Night days and were often a sign of status and competition among the wealthy. Dining during this time was a form of entertainment, with food presentations having fireworks, and surprises coming out of them.  …” Source

According to another source, ‘Calling Birds’ means “Either the Four Gospels or the Four Evangelists.” source

In Christian tradition, the Four Evangelists are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authors attributed with the creation of the four Gospel accounts in the New Testament that bear the following titles: Gospel according to Matthew; Gospel according to Mark; Gospel according to Luke and Gospel according to John.
Matthew – a former tax collector who was called by Jesus to be one of the Twelve Apostles,
Mark – a follower of Peter and so an “apostolic man,”
Luke – a doctor who wrote what is now the book of Luke to Theophilus. Also known to have written the book of Acts (or Acts of the Apostles) and to have been a close friend of Paul of Tarsus,
John – a disciple of Jesus and the youngest of his Twelve Apostles.
They are called evangelists, a word meaning “people who proclaim good news,” because their books aim to tell the “good news” (“gospel”) of Jesus.
source

The song goes like this:
“On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
4 Calling Birds”

In my reading ‘my true love’ is Jesus Christ who gives me his teaching through the writings of the four Evangelists. Beyond the teaching that they conveyed, they also represent certain qualities that the seeker of liberated life may embody.

Matthew the Evangelist is symbolized by a man who speaks a lot of the Kingdom of Heaven. It reminds us of our human and mortal nature.

Mark the Evangelist is symbolized by a winged lion, a figure of labourous worker and servant. It reminds us to be strong and courageous and to never cease to focus on God.

Luke the Evangelist is symbolized by a winged ox a man that represents man to God. It shows us our Godlike nature, the essence of our true self.

John the Evangelist is symbolized by an eagle, a figure of the sky that remind us to become like God loving, caring and merciful.

 

source

pic source

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 4

12 Days of Christmas – Day 3

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

The third symbol is Three french hens
According to my research,
The Three French Hens Stand For Faith, Hope And Love source

French Hens = Faith, Hope & Charity (The theological virtues) or The Gifts of the Magi (Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.)

Some believe that the French hens prove that this song originated in France. The Latin name for France was Gaul, which comes from the Latin word Gallia. This is close to the Roman word for rooster.

In the Christian religion, it is believed that a cock crowed when Christ was born as a sign that “the light of the world” has arrived. This is why, a rooster on a Christian tomb symbolizes the resurrection.

During the 18th century, large, exotic fowl from the Orient were brought back to England. These birds mated with the descendants of the Roman-breed chickens. It is believed that the “three French hens” in the song represent a new breed. White chickens are believed to bring good luck. And, hens are believed to symbolize motherly devotion. source

In the number three and the symbol of a hand I can see a message to embrace our three-fold self. Among many names they are also called: the ego, the self and being or  ‘me, myself and I’. These are the different layers of our personality that we are to live in harmony with in order to have a balanced human existence.

Though the Ego-part maybe over protective and slightly out-dated, it is till an important part of our person. No part is to be dismissed.  Looking  at it from an Enneagram point of view, I would say that the Ego is the lower scale of the Enneagram type we are. The Self is the higher octaves, still limited but it expresses the unique qualities of the person. They are mortal. Finally, the Being is that of God. It is a spark of the Whole. It is immortal.

In order to be ready to receive the Teachings in the Holy Spirit that was delivered by Jesus, we must come to alignment with each part of our person and stand united. The three hens remind us to embrace in motherly love all parts of ourselves. Love them as they are for who they are.

Pic by Alex Clark

3 french hens alex clark

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 3

The Twelfth Night

The Twelfth Night is what we labour towards during the nights and days of the 12-Days-Christmas.

Below is the result of some of my research:
“It all goes back to the early 4th century Christian church, which believed that January 6 (Epiphany) is the date that Christ was baptized, representing the birth of Jesus’ soul. This was more important than December 25th to them, regardless of the Winter Solstice at the time. It took a few hundred years; but, by the 6th century, the Christian emperor, Justinian, proclaimed Christmas as a public holiday, with 8 days of feasting. Then, by the 9th century, King Alfred of England increased the celebration from 8 days to 12 days. He declared December 25th – January 6th, with the twelfth day falling on January 6. Note: This means the actual night would be the day before on January 5. Confusing, I know.

One tradition for some on Twelfth Night is to go around wassailing fruit trees as a kind of fertility rite. Exactly how this is done had varied from century to century. But, in the 18th century (when the song was created) wassailing was done by pouring cider, honey, spices and pulp from a burst baked apple (all mixed in a bowl) around the trees. The term “Wassail” is taken from the waes hael meaning “be whole” (aka be in good health).

Another folklore claims that a young maiden was suppose to walk backwards around a pear tree three times on Christmas morning. Then she gazes into the branches. She should see the image of her future husband.”
Source

During Epiphany, we celebrate both the three kings’ (or three wise men’s) visit shortly after his birth and also Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. According to the Story, three Magi arrives to the crib bringing gifts to the new born. In sacrament of Babtism, Jesus receives the Holy Spirit.

Continue reading

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on The Twelfth Night

12 Days of Christmas – Day 2

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

Second symbol is two turtle doves

“The dove is not at all associated with a turtle, but rather a slurring of the Latin which is based on the Hebrew. In biblical Hebrew the dove is the tor. In deference to the Hebraic origins, the Latin name was turtur, the biblical Hebrew word, tor, twice. When transliterated to English, the word turtur became the garbled turtle dove.” Source  “The Turtle-Dove is an old symbol of love and faithfulness. (Apparently these doves form really strong bonds with their mates.) That’s why the turtle-doves makes a perfect match for the golden bells and the wedding and all the other happy, stable images found in the second section of the poem.” “Turtle doves are a symbol of friendship and love.”

Yesterday, we were asked to move higher. Today we are promised that we are not alone on our journey. As soon as we allow our faith to take hold, God sends partners who support us on our journey.

Pic source – Ann Shen

2 dives ann shen

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 2

12 Days of Christmas – Day 1

Introduction to the symbology of the 12 Days of Christmas starts HERE.

The first symbol is a partridge in a pear tree

I found that “according to Greek legend, the first partridge appeared when Daedalus threw his nephew, Perdix, off the sacred hill of Athena in a fit of jealous rage. Supposedly mindful of his fall, the bird does not build its nest in the trees, nor take lofty flights and avoids high places.”Source: Wiki

There are many ways to interpret this symbol. In my view, this particular partridge that is found in a pear tree is a courageous one. On the first day of Christmas, we are asked to gather our courage and aim higher. We are shown that no matter what we are taught about falling and what consequences we drew from our experiences, the notion of fear can be replaced by faith and we must risk and find higher ground.

According to another source, the partridge is Jesus, who appears to us as our guide in our journey on the first day.

All writings on the Symbolism of the 12-Days-of-Christmas

Pic source – British Heart Foundation

partridge-in-a-pear-tree-christmas_cards

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Day 1

12 Days of Christmas – Symbology and messages

The 12 days of Christmas last from Christmas Day (25 Dec) to the 6th of January. On the 6th of January Roman Catholics celebrate Epiphany.

“By ancient reckoning, days and nights were counted separately, and the important night was often the night before, not the night of, the celebration (hence modern traditions of Christmas Eve and All Hallow’s Eve, or Halloween). The 12 day count actually begins with the eve of December 25, the “first night.” The day of December 26 is the “first day,” the eve of December 26 the “second night,” and so on. The famous Twelfth Night is the eve of Epiphany, and the twelfth day is Epiphany itself.” source

I decided to play around and search for meaning and wisdom in the song ’12 Days of Christmas’ in order to find guidance during this Holy time.

Continue reading

Posted in 12-Days-Chx, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 Days of Christmas – Symbology and messages

Another kind of love

WOW! Such an angry man.

He says Brexit will lead the way and allow other EU member countries to leave. He seemed particularly angry with the French and the German. He says The Brits will stop buying French and German products and that will be the end of the french champagne industry. I do not remember what the Brits will stop buying from the Germans. He is a hunter kind of fellow. Though he was born in the outskirts of London, he lives in Scotland.

He seems so angry all the time.
He says he goes to China twice a year and loves Chinese food which is interesting because he does not seem to like foreigners. He loves his beer and wine. He loves his food, full stop.
He is an Enneagramm 9. A gentle anger-ball.

enneagram9

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Another kind of love

Lessons for ENG8 in God-ing :)

I am an ENG8w7. There is a little bit too much sin, condemnation and judgement in the text for me but the description is spot on. I also like the Bible examples. Steve Job was an ENG1 not an Eng8. There is quite a bit of resemblance. Both ENG1 and ENG8 are in the instinct triad. Both of them tend to control and fix the world though differently. ENG1 perfects whereas ENG8 drops a bomb and rearranges the debris. Anyhow, I love the video.

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Lessons for ENG8 in God-ing :)

Advent Week 4 – LOVE

Loving who I am

I am a failure in every sense of the world.
I have a brilliant mind. I am intelligent. I creative. I used to be beautiful. I am well travelled. I am self- and environment aware. It has always been like this.

I was an artistic, restless and hyperactive child and soon got the label ‘trouble’. I do not recall anyone encouraging me to become ‘someone’ apart from a strange aunt. She was a psychologist who used to have me for overnight stays during which time she took me to artsy events. She encouraged me to make art. My parents were too immature to care which direction I was going. Most of my teachers were viscous and were adamant that I was a useless looser.

Early on, I decided that I would prove my prosecutors wrong and spent most of my time to prove what a worthy and valuable human being I am. I went to uni, I trained to become a teacher, I traveled extensively, I did lots of volunteering, I fought for lost causes, I took care of other people, I studied more, I created different educational projects.

Continue reading

Posted in Advent, An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on Advent Week 4 – LOVE

Advent Week 3 – Joy

I have struggled with writing about ‘joy’. I have not experienced much of it lately, neither do I – I realized –  understand the word itself. I understand what ‘hope’ and ‘peace’ means to me. I know how I feel when I am with them. Somehow, I am not sure what ‘joy’ is really like. According to the dictionary, Joy is “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness” or “rejoice”. I find it easy to laugh or to find something funny and smiley at it. But  ‘I am not feeling great pleasure’ in the process.

I  have set out to investigate the ‘land of Joy’ to see how I could have more of it.
First, I investigated the meaning of the world by looking up synonyms such as amusement, bliss, cheer, comfort, delight, glee, humour, festivity, alleviation, wonder, satisfaction, and even ecstasy and exultation. Wow! Joy seems to have a rather varied and wide scope of meaning!

Continue reading

Posted in Advent, An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Advent Week 3 – Joy

Advent W3 – JOY (to the world)

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Advent W3 – JOY (to the world)

Shred of Thought

We are doomed. Looking at her, the way she retreats in fear, I understand how much we do not stand a chance in life. We were robbed as children of all our abilities by imbeciles. Neither can I blame them, though. There is a long line of abuse we were only tiny part of. The result is lasting, however. We are here to observe our inevitable mortality and decay from a place of compete surrender.

No matter how angry I am at times at those who knowingly or not contributed to my dismay, there is only one way ahead: forgiveness and surrender.

My unforgiving-ness harms no other but my self. I keep myself stuck in a loop of horror and inconsolable despair. Until I fight for ‘justice’, for the wrong-doers to be punished, I do nothing but recreate the pain and frustration of the long-ago.

I must know that I can only be my own master if I let go of my grip on the past and surrender to the present. Only when I start seeing myself again in my own light, instead of gazing into some dimmed shadows, I start having a chance in life.

But for now, I am an anger-ball who is only just learning to surrender to the reality of her existence – what there is, goes.

forgiveness

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Shred of Thought

UUSM 1.1 From Bondage to Freedom

The essay below is part of Unity Urban Ministerial School – Foundation Course – Week 5 Assignment. Task:  In your paper, document what you learned and how you are applying what you have learned in this class that is applicable to your topic.

I found H.E. Cady’s book very supportive, particularly, in a way that it puts words on some of my feelings and understanding that I have had but was not able to verbalize before because of the lack of appropriate vocabulary. In preparing for this assignment, I decided to write my essay around some quotes from Cady’s book.

Continue reading

Posted in Studies | Comments Off on UUSM 1.1 From Bondage to Freedom

Blessings at Hannukah

Blessing for lighting the candles
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah light[s].”

Blessing for the miracles of Hanukkah
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.‬

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, she’asa nisim la’avoteinu ba’yamim ha’heim ba’z’man ha’ze.

Translation: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time…”

Source Wiki

738a89cd1051e7facf4ef71f2fc4fd2ab7e8ac4a

 

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Blessings at Hannukah

Hanukkah – The Jewish Festival of Lights

In 2018, Hanukkah is from the evening of Sunday, 2nd December until the evening of Monday, 10th December. We are soon approaching the end of the Festival of Lights in the Jewish tradition and I thought it is time to remember this beautiful celebration.

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights and it remembers the rededication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, in Israel. This happened in the 160s BCE/BC (before Jesus was born). (Hanukkah is the Hebrew and Aramaic word for ‘dedication’.) Hanukkah lasts for eight days and starts on the 25th of Kislev, the month in the Jewish calendar that occurs at about the same time as December. Because the Jewish calendar is lunar (it uses the moon for its dates), Kislev can happen from late November to late December.

Continue reading

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Hanukkah – The Jewish Festival of Lights

Coptic Christianity in a Nutshell

The Coptic Orthodox Church split away from the broader Christian community in 451 A.D. The Coptic Church diverged from other Christians during the 5th century in part due to differing beliefs about the nature of Christ. Coptic Christians believe that Christ had two natures ― one human and one divine ― united as one “without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration.” Catholics and other Christian denominations believe in the incarnation of Jesus, which similarly holds that Christ was both fully human and fully divine. But at the time of the split, Coptic Christians were accused of believing in monophysitism ― the belief that Christ had only one, divine nature.

Coptic Christians trace their founding to the apostle St. Mark. Tradition holds that Mark brought Christianity to Egypt and founded the Coptic church during the first century. It is one of the oldest Christian churches in the Middle East and was the first founded in Africa.

Continue reading

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Coptic Christianity in a Nutshell

The story of the Two Christmases

Coptic Christmas is observed on what the Julian Calendar labels 25 December, a date that currently corresponds with 7 January on the more widely used Gregorian Calendar (which is also when Christmas is observed in Eastern Orthodox countries such as Russia).

The 25 December Nativity of Christ was attested very early by Hippolytus of Rome (170–236) in his Commentary on Daniel 4:23: “The first coming of our Lord, that in the flesh, in which he was born at Bethlehem, took place eight days before the calends of January, a Wednesday, in the forty-second year of the reign of Augustus, 5500 years from Adam.”

There may have been more practical considerations for choosing 25 December. The choice would help substitute a major Christian holiday for the popular Pagan celebrations surrounding the Winter Solstice (Roman Sol Sticia, the three-day stasis when the sun would rise consecutively in its southernmost point before heading north, 21, 22 and 23 December.

Until the 16th century, 25 December coincided with 29 Koiak of the Coptic calendar. However, upon the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, 25 December shifted 10 days earlier in comparison with the Julian and Coptic calendars.

Continue reading

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on The story of the Two Christmases

Advent Week 2 – Peace

I am at Peace, I have no more demands.

God does not live in the Heavens. He does not guide us, neither does S/He give instructions on how to live our lives. That God only exists in our distorted imagination.

However, it is perfectly understandable that we spend precious time and effort in ‘creating’ a father/mother figure outside of us, sitting up in the Heavens lovingly guiding our life; to whom we can confide in and who in response forgives us and tells us what the correct way of living, thinking and breathing is. Most of us need this loving parent whom we desperately missed as children.

Throughout history, each religion created its own God. They all serve the same purpose: God fulfils our desire to be loved and cared for unconditionally. Except, each religion requests its members to believe in the particularly image of God.

In our bigotry  we believe in One Particular Image of God and not noticing that each vision of God is just as false as the other, at the same time, they are entirely the same. They all serve one single purpose: a substitute parent figure. They all are just a fragment of our imagination. It is all just fantasy.

Until recently, I prayed to such a ‘fantasy’ God. I used my image of God to demand and receive guidance and support. My particular image was of a God who led me to find the right job, the right place to live, etc. At least this is what I thought. It all worked perfectly until one day something went really wrong and I felt being let down by my loving Father, by the Entity who was supposed to make sure that no harm befalls me.

In my rage, I demanded an answer. ‘How dare you let me know? How dare you betray me? How could you do this to me, your faithful prodigal son?’

There was no answer and there was nowhere else to turn, either. My imaginary father-figure disappeared. The image I created in my mind was gone. As I was screaming into the dark emptiness His Place left behind, I realized how I betrayed myself by having created this false parent-God.

I came to realize that I had desperately needed a loving parent, someone who guided me, who told me what to do when in doubt, someone who cared about me unconditionally. In my desperation, however, I did not notice how much I deceived myself with this false image of God.

This morning in my meditation, I saw a brilliant and witty but uncontrollable man and a woman suffering his tempers and tantrums. Then, I saw a young woman hiding in a dark room, peeking outside through a crack on the blinds covering the windows. If all these figures are different aspects of my-self what do they want to tell me? I realized how much I was afraid of my own uncontrollable self, how much I needed a loving and understanding parent because the parents I grew up with and internalized were weak and punishing.

I am supposed to be my own loving parent and council even though I do not know exactly what the hack I am supposed to do. Parenting and guiding is not God’s job.

I know and experience that the Truth of God resides within me. God’s Essence is who I am. I am a unique spark of God. I am God in my Essence. This is no Fantasy. Each time I close my eyes and look within I can see the Spark and the Essence of Who I am.

My journey Home is no longer about finding God residing in a High Place. My journey is no longer about finding an unconditionally loving parent.

My journey, from now on, is to connect with my God-Self and to Honour the opportunity that I can be of God consciously.

two candles

Posted in Advent, An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Advent Week 2 – Peace

Advent Week 1 – HOPE

The first week of Advent starts today. HOPE is the theme. This morning in my meditation I was contemplating on what to ‘hope’ for this coming week?

Looking at the state of affairs the world is in and the way I have felt these past few days, I realized that the best I can hope for is compassion.

For me, compassion diminishes the dark-feel of disparity and the adjoining judgement and indifference.

Today, I had a discussion with a fellow traveller who is on a rather different point of view to mine when it comes to ‘paths to enlightenment’.

In my world, ‘all roads lead to Roma’; whatever path you chose to attain enlightenment, make sure you chose what works for you regardless of what ‘main stream’ ideologists, theologists, or mystics claims to be the one and only true way to God.

The world is full of misunderstandings; we do not seem to use the same words; we strongly believe that what we consider ‘right’ or ‘just’ is the only way to live-and-breath; we tend to be righteous. And it is understandable, I must add, because our sense of security is based on our personal understanding of how the world operates.

I remind myself that I only have to answer to God; the God who resides within me. S/He is my counsel and judge. S/He loves unconditionally. So, I remind myself to dare, to dare to do my own thing, to dare to find my own unique and personal way to God and enlightenment!

For that, however, I must develop compassion. It is fundamental that I have compassion. I must embrace myself in my own Loving so I can stop judging myself in light of the dissimilarities that I may display. It is also crucial that I have compassion for others so I can prevent myself from judging them in protection of my own ‘integrity’.

I HOPE for compassion because compassion allows us all to live, let-live and to be – just as we all are.

candle

Posted in Advent, An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Advent Week 1 – HOPE

Baha’i Faith

“Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit…”— Bahá’u’lláh

Baha’u’llah’s Revelation affirms that the purpose of our lives is to know God and to attain His presence. Our true identity is our rational soul, whose free will and powers of understanding enable us to continually better ourselves and our society. Walking a path of service to God and to humanity gives life meaning and prepares us for the moment the soul separates from the body and continues on its eternal journey towards its Maker.

Source

“Every created thing in the whole universe is but a door leading into His knowledge…”— Bahá’u’lláh

The Bahá’í Writings explain that the reality of God is beyond the understanding of any mortal mind, though we may find expressions of His attributes in every created thing. Throughout the ages, He has sent a succession of Divine Messengers, known as Manifestations of God, to educate and guide humanity, …

God, the Creator of the universe, is all-knowing, all-loving and all-merciful. Just as the physical sun shines on the world, so the light of God is shed upon all Creation. Through the teachings of the Manifestations of God—among them Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh …


Humanity, having passed through the ages of infancy and childhood, now stands at the threshold of its collective maturity, …

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Baha’i Faith

To serve or not to serve

The boy killed himself in the church yard. The pastor talks about the society we, adults, have created for our children. A society that compares and judges. A society that must have ‘the best’ and everything else is mediocre or disappointing.

The 15-year-old boy killed himself in the centre church’s yard broad daylight. NOBODY NOTICED him, though, he had been missing for two days and showed up on various security cameras all over town.

But why the church yard? What was he communicating?

My first thought was: How could God let this happen?

The Church is a holy place of love, acceptance, and unconditional care. Why couldn’t the boy ask for help from an adult, a priest, maybe? He went to the church to end his sufferings but could not enter the church for support.

Isn’t there something wrong with the Church if a troubled soul cannot find solace in it?

I am a regular church-goer. I love attending masses because I sense that all present are there with one single reason, turning towards God and bathing is His Presence. The Church, as an institution, however, offers nothing but pointless rituals.

semicolon

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on To serve or not to serve

A time for rejuvenation

This morning I was reading an article on Ramadan. Ramadan started on 15 May 2018. Interestingly Christians observed Pentecost or Whit Sunday (Monday) on 20-21 May finishing the 50 day observation period since Easter, and Jews celebrated a week of Passover more or less at the same time.

Both events are about connecting to Spirit of God on a deeper level. Pentecost focuses on receiving the wisdom and enlightenment of the Spirit and the start of the ministry of the Apostles. Whereas during Passover or Pesach Jews celebrate a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.

Reading the article below, I realized that we are all at a cross road this time of year. It is time to rejuvenate. Spring breeze brings new beginnings and asks us during these times of spiritual observation and reflection to choose a new way of being.

ramadan3

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on A time for rejuvenation

Wisdom and Freedom

Some background info on Pentecost & Passover here

For the next two days we are asked to review the past 50 days and see how far we have come since Easter. At Easter, Jesus was revealed to be one of our guides on the way to Home. His teachings became a source for personal wisdom that must be exercised individually.

So, have you been preparing yourself during the past 50 days for receiving the Wisdom?
For the next two days Wisdom of the Holy Spirit awaits us. New roads can open up that swishes us closer to our freedom in Spirit allowing us to eventually see God’s true face – our guiding light.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Wisdom and Freedom

Acts 2

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Continue reading

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Acts 2

The Road to Freedom

YouTube Preview Image

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on The Road to Freedom

Pentecost & Passover

History + Traditions of Pentecost/Whit Sunday & Passover
The word Pentecost is Greek and it means “50th day.” Fifty days after Easter Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and their followers, and the beginning of their Earthly ministry to make disciples of all nations.

At Pentecost, the Apostles and their followers were gathered in a room. Jews from all over the world were gathered with Peter, the leader of the Apostles and the Eleven. At this time, a great wind blew and a flame appeared as a tongue of fire, which split itself into many individual flames above the heads of all those present. The Holy Spirit came upon these people and each began to speak in tongues.

Peter then called all those present to be baptized and about three thousand people were baptized that day.

pentecost2

painting by Ed de Guzman (2014)

Continue reading

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Pentecost & Passover

Abandonment

I though then I demanded, finally, I hoped that it was somebody else’s job.

I spent the Holy week contemplating on my life, how my life developed into its present shape. I looked for signs where I might have taken the wrong turn. I was searching for answers. I have found none.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Abandonment

The Promise of Easter

This week the Christian Church observes the Via Dolorosa, Jesus’ last days and hours that are depicted in the 14 Stations. During this week, we walk the sorrowful way towards Resurrection in Easter.

The origin of the stations are a bit hazy, some claims it originates from Mary, Jesus’ mother, some say that the stations were created by the Catholic Church in the 15th century. It does not really matter. With the right focus any ritual can be used to support one on the Path Home to God. The simpler, the better.

So, I asked one of my teachers how I might be able to use the practices and rituals of the ‘main stream’ churches for my benefits, Via Dolorosa and Easter in particular. He gave me some hints on the meanings of the Stations that made me ponder over the possible meanings of the stations and how I could use them to support myself personally.

The Bible describes The Stations as Jesus’ last moments between his condemnation and placement into the tomb. These moments seem to me as different aspects of human life between birth and death. With this in mind, I chose to contemplate on Life itself, from my birth until my inevitable demise. As I was observing the stations I started to see my humanity with all its challenges and blessings reflected in them.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on The Promise of Easter

Via Dolorosa

The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross, or Via Dolorosa (Sorrowful Way), is a popular Lenten devotion. This time we are asked to call to mind the Passion of Christ, that is, the journey Jesus took from his condemnation to his death.

THE HISTORY OF THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS
The Way of the Cross has its origins with the Blessed Mother. It is said that she, who pondered all the mysteries of Christ in her heart, retraced the steps of her Son’s Passion and the significant events that happened along the way, keeping in her memory, and for the memory of the Church, the sacred path on which the Son of God trod to accomplish our redemption.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Via Dolorosa

Psalm Sunday – Letting go of the not-letting-go

The priest was talking about the Stations of the Cross and asked us to be vigilant, during the Holy Week, of the manner we walk the stations with Jesus every step of the way.

The past month has been tumultuous for me, a roller-coaster ride with tears and anger. I felt physically sick as well. Church is the only place where I feel consoled.

As I was meditating in the church this morning and partially listening to the sermon, I remembered a short conversation I had had with one of my teachers. I told him how unwell and weak I had been feeling. In his short response he shared that the reason for my feeling under the weather was my expectations. It made no sense at the time. In the church, this morning, however, it downed on me how my expectations work. Sadly, I also realized that I simply cannot let them go.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Psalm Sunday – Letting go of the not-letting-go

Fractions

God could have arranged something by now. You know, like Echart Tolle, who one day found himself enlightened. Out of the blue. The Holy Spirit could have intervened. I could have reached a relevant state of peace, I could have let go of my past, my pre-dispositions, some of my fears, I could be enlightened by now.

Obviously, that is not the plan. It has never been the plan.

There is no plan.

Nothing matters.

I can struggle as much as I want to and it still makes no difference.

God knows, regardless of my present state of being and my hard-headedness that I will return to Him one day without fail.

He smiles and laughs at my feebleness.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Fractions

Peace of mind by non-participation

What to fast on this Lenten Season?

Lent stared early this year. I just made my new year’s resolutions then, suddenly, it is the day of Epiphany asking me to meditate on what spiritual focus I want to hold for myself to this year. And here we are again, another season of contemplation: The Lenten Season. This time we are asked to release something that does not work for us anymore.

Since Ash Wednesday, I have contemplated on what to sacrifice on the altar of purification. Well, I can name quite a few things that do not work for me anymore. I wish to release, for example, my angry disposition, my vexing nature, my impatience, my defensiveness, my inability to forgive, my obligations and put it all behind me. However, I am also aware that my life does not revolve around this wish list; I am on God’s timing. Letting go is when He says “It is time!”

So, if there is nothing I can let go of, what is it that I could possible gain by observing the Lantern Season?

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Peace of mind by non-participation

Lent 2018

Lent 2018 began on Wednesday,14 February
and ends on Thursday, 29 March

pray fast give

picture source

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Lent 2018

Fate

I have recently noticed that I just want time to pass. I constantly count down the minutes and the days. Each morning I wake up, I just cannot wait for the day to end. For a few decades I hoped that the next day would bear more fruit. By now, I have learnt that life runs on its own course, it has its own agenda, and takes no interference. Life is Fate.

The power of Fate is portrayed so beautifully in Romeo and Juliet. My favourite version is ‘Shakespeare in Love’.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Fate

St. Valentine, the true story


He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time,” Father O’Gara explains. ” He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died.”

“I think we must bear in mind that it was a very permissive society in which Valentine lived,” says Father O’Gara. “Polygamy would have been much more popular than just one woman and one man living together. And yet some of them seemed to be attracted to Christian faith. But obviously the church thought that marriage was very sacred between one man and one woman for their life and that it was to be encouraged. And so it immediately presented the problem to the Christian church of what to do about this.”

“The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict.”

Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are legends surrounding Valentine’s actions while in prison.

Full article

saint-st-valentine_SI

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on St. Valentine, the true story

From Ashes to Ashes, from Dust to Dust

Ash Wednesday, which falls forty-six days before Easter, marks the beginning of the Lenten season. The churches of the Anglican Communion, as well as some other Protestant churches observe Ash Wednesday. Eastern Rite churches, however, do not observe Ash Wednesday, their Lent begins on the preceding Monday.

Lenten Season is a period of self-observation and fasting on worldly ‘matters’. It is also a time to contemplate on our life in the physical. From Ashes to Ashes, from Dust to Dust.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on From Ashes to Ashes, from Dust to Dust

Preparing for Lent, Ash Wednesday

A couple of days ago a friend suggested that my main karma is that I feel obliged. The Hungarian word ‘köteles’ when translated literally means ‘by rope’. I think it is rather interesting that I constantly feel that I am ‘by the rope’. It is true that I am convinced that this life is somehow not mine, it is more like an obligation to fulfil. Most of the experiences I encounter are so ‘not like me’ that I am sure I did not chose but I somehow found myself in them. Because they are unfamiliar and uncomfortable I just want to get over with them hoping that, maybe then, I will have my own wonderful life.

However, that day has never come. I kept on feeling obliged to lead a life I cannot relate to, at all. Therefore, I soon decided that the reason behind it must be some kind of punishment. Nevertheless, I kept on waiting for the day when I am done with the doom, the hardship, the abuse, the upset, and the anger; when I am free to be me.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Preparing for Lent, Ash Wednesday

Love – Rumi

love

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Love – Rumi

Beyond right and wrong

As often, I did the intro to our morning meditation. In my prayer, I asked God to come and meet me in the garden where no right and wrong exists. I sound such a committed devotee, at the same time I feel such a fake. I struggle immensely to stay with ‘it’.

My life is so not what it is supposed to be like. Every bit of it seems so extremely challenging to me. I experience my life so out of order, so out of balance … I am angry, resistant and upset most of the time.

I am nothing like a ‘pastor’ is supposed to be like. Pastors are faithful creatures kneeling at the feet of the Lord, saying Grace for their very life. No, not me. Mostly, I find it impossible to see God’s grace in my life, the beauty of my existence behind the giant clouds of my expectations.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Beyond right and wrong

Meditation for beginners

image

How I Started my
Meditation Practice

By Christine Kane

Continue reading

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Meditation for beginners

So, how do you measure your lovable-ness?

This morning, in my meditation I found myself upset with the world for not appreciating me. I remembered how I was told off as a child when I asked too many questions and the way my teachers reacted when I said something ‘stupid’. It took me a very long journey to realize that I am not actually ignorant but too intelligent. I am a creative and as such I constantly question the equilibrium. We are all good at something, we are just good at different things. The reason why the present education system does not work for the majority of students is the standardization. One fits all. So, I quickly learnt that I am not lovable the way I am because I do not fit the one-size.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on So, how do you measure your lovable-ness?

Forgiveness

Acts 10:39-43
We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen — by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (NIV)

Have you ever wondered …

  • Who is a witness, a chosen one?
  • What is the name that grants us forgiveness?

***

What is forgiveness by God?

Forgiveness has nothing to do any wrongdoing in the world. That is why God cares none if you are a murderer or you are a saint. He loves both equally. We may not like it because we see ourselves through a moral lens that says that there is a ‘right’ way and a ‘wrong’ way, and there a good kind of person and there is a bad kind of person.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on Forgiveness

The greatest SIN

The greatest sin is that we take on the image the world shows us of ourselves and lose touch with our true nature and the gifts we arrived here with.

This is how we are separated from God.

We allow the separation by willingly become the person we are asked to in order to feel safe and protected in a crazy and violent world. The price we pay is our identity in God.

identity

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on The greatest SIN

Morning awareness

This morning as I was contemplating in the conservatory looking out into the morning darkness and observing how the faint light becomes stronger and stronger with each minute, I noticed how unsatisfied I was with my life.

I consider myself an exceptionally bright human being with a unique sense of creativity and depth of vision that is not available to the majority. I am gifted. I have a lot to offer but all that is trapped inside of me within the bars of the cage I live in. Some people call it comfort-zone, some barriers or blockages that prevent me from fulfilling my potential.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Morning awareness

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Source

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Philippians 4:8

Dissatisfied

As I am heading back to the UK to work, I sadly noticed how dissatisfied I was with my life. It is not that I am not grateful for what I am given. Neither is it about not being expecting to be rich or running my own company or having some giant deal going on for me in the world. It is simply the nagging feeling that I somehow block myself to be the Best of Me.

Though I doubted my abilities for decades after having been put down and been told what a useless human being I was. Now, I know what I can offer, I also know what actions bring me a sense of flow and satisfaction. I am still not doing them. Not much anyway.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Dissatisfied

Epiphany in disguise

Yesterday, I was observing the epiphanies in my life.

In the morning I had a lovely chat with my best friends discussing our New Year’s resolutions and how we envisage our life the next year. Life was good and I felt a sense of connection and being supported. I had many epiphanies during our discussions on how I sabotage myself in areas of my life where I feel stuck and ‘unlucky’.

After our talk, I went to have something to eat and I found my mum with a measuring tape and a list of furniture outlets. After my inquiry she told me that she and my brother had decided to move my bookshelf, put my books into some cabinet in my brother’s bedroom and stand a hanger in place of the bookshelf that so far had stood in my brother’s living room.

I went into an unexpected rage saying ‘You do not dare touch my things! If anything is on your way, I’ll take care of it.’ With that I steamed upstairs and moved the whole book case into ‘my’ bedroom. Upon my furious rearranging the living room my brother questioned my behavior. I told him that I was only moving my bookcase and books into my bedroom. I was simply told that it was not ‘my bedroom’ and I am only quest in his house. My mother seconded that by saying that I was behaving like an idiot.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Epiphany in disguise

Blinded By Your Grace, Pt. 2

(Stormzy)
I’m blinded by your grace
I’m blinded by your grace, by your grace
I’m blinded by your grace
I’m blinded by your
Lord, I’ve been broken
Although I’m not worthy
You fixed me, I’m blinded
By your grace
You came and saved me
Lord, I’ve been broken
Although I’m not worthy
You fixed me, now I’m blinded
By your grace
You came and saved me
One time for the Lord

Continue reading

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Blinded By Your Grace, Pt. 2

Observing the 12 days of Christmas

As I am observing the days of this Christmas season am becoming more and more aware of the excruciating effects of my narcissistic expectations.

I expect the world to roll up its sleeves and fight for the good, the noble, the exceptional, the unique, the better, the more human, the perfect … In response, however, the world is upset with me. Each time I demand a change the world throws its fists at me. Justly, I must add. What I do not see is that each time I request a better version of what is the world feels judged, criticized, dismissed and condemned.

Though, I understand that my critical nature was formed under immense amount of scrutiny as a child and it eventually developed into a full-blown discerning meddles and fault-finder, I still believe that the problem is not with the ‘what’ but the ‘how’.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Observing the 12 days of Christmas

Hafiz

“ Beloved,
I am waiting for you to free me
into your mind
And infinite being.
I am pleading in absolute helplessness
To her, finally, your word of Grace:
Fly! Fly into ME!
Hafiz,
Who can understand
Your sublime nearness and separation?”
(Hafiz, I heard God Laughing)

hafiz

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Hafiz

I heard God sharing (Sept 2017)

God often talks to me. I used to ignore Him because I did not understand what He said. He was persistent. He never gave up trying to find the way to share with me. So, eventually, I bowed at His wish and started to listen. Then I learnt what a special experience it is when He talks. He is kind and clear in His sharing. He guides with His words and shows the way forward. i feel very grateful for His friendship. I decided to share some of His words.

During a meditation session, God revealed to me that He want me to see and love His Creation. He is proud of it. He explained that the next step on my journey is to start journeying within. This may result in me journeying less on the outside.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on I heard God sharing (Sept 2017)

Jar of Hope

jar of hope

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Jar of Hope

12 days of Xmas + NY resolutions

Today I was contemplating on the significance of the 12 days of Christmas. I have read various articles and watched videos on how different cultures celebrate Christmas, New Year and the time between the 25th of December and the 6th of January.

According to the Christian Church each day of the 12 days of Christmas is devoted to a saint or some religious act. In the calendar I found a day devoted to St Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury (29 December) or another to St Egwin of Worcester (30th Devember). I understood that Christians celebrate Mary, Jesus’s mother as well as St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen or St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint. The dates, events and celebrations all depend on the type of Church you follow.
My guest for the twelve days of Christmas is to see ‘how much devotion I can generate in my spiritual practice for the next year’. On the 6th of January, at Epiphany, I will commit myself for a year of delight. Until then, I am gathering focus and understanding on what I mean by ‘delight’and what the truly meaningful ‘things’ are to my soul’s journey in the physical.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on 12 days of Xmas + NY resolutions

Advent W4

The fourth week of Advent: LOVE

When I wrote about the week of joy, I somehow secretly expected it to be fun. But the week, though it was easy going with some laughter it was not very enjoyable at all. I felt exhausted. Still, I kept on going, kept on smiling, kept on doing the work I had been assigned to. Then I snapped. I could no do it any longer. Like a stubborn horse, I budged, and I did not move. I said I was done and I was off. It did not go down very well but I was so firm in my decision that universe co-operated and I was released.

Last night, upon my arrival I had a huge glass of wine then I watched Heaven is for Real. I cried my eyes out. The equilibrium was restored. But joy still had not arrived. Then I set down to see if there was a movie I fancied on TV. I found a channel that ran a Jennifer Aniston marathon. I watched and laughed through two of her movies. I felt much lighter, I felt the healing effect of my light-heartedness, a sense of carelessness. I enjoyed that I was free to do as I pleased because the ‘house’ was mine fi\or the night. But my sense of Joy still had not come.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on Advent W4

The joy of being me

I am happy. I experience joy, suddenly. I realize that I carry the energy of the court jester. Someone who can be laughed at and made fun of because nobody actually understands what she is saying. It is always, however, that the jester is witty and entertaining because he is intelligent and bright. I live in a world of magnificence. I see colours, shapes and forms experience depth that is not available to many. My mind is wired in a way that allows me to see the vastness of our human existence. I can actually experience and grasp the layers of my hu-manity; my God-Essence in a human form.

Sadly, I denied who I am in God for many, many years because I was told that I was wrong.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on The joy of being me

Advent W3

The third week of Advent: JOY

This week we reclaim our sense of joy.

After having become aware of a layer of our personality that does not serve us any more and having made peace with it, we can rejoice.

Being joyous requires a little bit more than just having some fun time over the holidays. In our joy we are reconnected with your God Essence. It is, however, only possible if you have freed yourself from some of the blocks that held you hostage. The part of your shadow personality that you made peace with last week can be let go of now. In the releasing of the blockage you can suddenly see and experience more of who you are.

When we light the third candle, let us remember who we truly are: a sparkle of God’s Essence. With that let us embrace, this week, our ‘good and bad’ and have great fun with it all.

 three candles

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Advent W3

My word for the year 2018 is …

delight

 

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on My word for the year 2018 is …

When your nemesis is your saviour

She is just a trigger. One of the unaware ones.

In a sense, I am grateful to her. Not only for myself but for the other two girls, too. She is our nemesis. She drives us off the wall. Each one of us differently.

She shows one how much she tries to avoid conflicts and how hard she tries to smooth the rough edges in order to avoid it bursting into her face. She shows her how much efforts she invest into covering it up so the real issue would never show its face. This one needs to learn to face the music and know that others have responsibilities too over matters. She needs to learn to trust that others bear the ability to deal with troublesome issues themselves, alone.

One she probes on her sense of maturity and inner-stability by asking confusing questions and pretending to be the wise one. This one needs to learn and know that she does not need to explain herself because her decisions are valid and just. She is powerful and has the right to be angry and say no to unacceptable behaviour.

With me, well, she blames me for it all. So, I need to learn and know that I am not to be blamed and that I am immaculate.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on When your nemesis is your saviour

Your DIVINE WORD for the YEAR 2018

Focus creates experiences.

Have you ever noticed that when focusing on a type of car, they start appearing everywhere? Or when you focus on a certain colour it seems to be all around you?

No surprise! These experiences are due to your focus on a particular matter or idea. Moreover, all of your experiences are consequences of the focus of you attention. You may not be aware but if you observe your experiences they tell you where your focus is laid.
Luckily, you can consciously direct it in a way that your focal point creates miraculously divine experiences for you.

When you pray to God to deliver you a certain experience you actually sharpen your focus on the very thing you wish for. Why don’t you support God’s effort by straightening your own intentions? To maximize success you can chose a focus for a whole year. In God’s Grace, your divine intention will be delivered to you via miraculous serendipity.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on Your DIVINE WORD for the YEAR 2018

Jung Quotes

10392452_10152570791256980_7132133562976119572_n

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Jung Quotes

Advent W2

The second week of Advent: PEACE

Last week I was contemplating on HOPE and how hope can change my focus from the negative and depressive to the light-hearted and joyous.

The theme of the second week of Advent is PEACE. When we light the second candle on the Advent Wreath we shift our attention from HOPE to PEACE. This week, we are asked to make peace with something that has long been troubling us.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on Advent W2

Answers to questions, Advent W1

This week I needed some self support in overcoming my challenges. During the week of HOPE I decided to remind myself of the good things, particularly in areas where I feel the most challenged by negative thoughts. I created a few questions to help me remember.

1. Can I find anything positive about the way I was brought up? – I grew up with value system that taught me to appreciate knowledge and education. My parents loved travelling and I received many gifts on their returns. In my family giving gifts to each other was the major way of showing love and appreciation so I received a lot of things as a child.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, The Journey | Comments Off on Answers to questions, Advent W1

Advent W1

The first week of Advent: HOPE

According to the Christian Church Advent means “coming” and in this season we prepare for the coming of Christ. One of the ways we prepare for the coming is by making the Advent wreath and lighting its candles to remind us of the gifts Christ brings to the world. (source)

In my experience, however, Advent is about walking through the darkness like a tunnel and coming out at the other end at Christ-mass. This is when we celebrate our rebirth in Christ-consciousness; in the Loving through the eyes of God.

Continue reading

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor | Comments Off on Advent W1

Dia de los Muertos

A beautiful celebration of remembering. The Day of the Dead reminds us to embrace the wonderful memories of our loved ones who are not with us any more but whom we can connect with in spirit, particularly, during this fun-filled and light-hearted event.

The celebration of  Dia de los Muertos asks us to remember that in spirit we are all connected and that no soul is lost in God’s realm. The loss of a loved one pains us, nevertheless, we must remember that our journey does not stop at our departure from the physical world. Our spirit travels on and we can reconnect with and celebrate the freedom of the spirit who is not binded by the limitations of life in the physical any more.

The book of Life Trailer

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Dia de los Muertos

Heartfelt Connection

The Heart’s Intuitive Intelligence: A path to personal, social and global coherence

The Spiritual Heart — is in a way a little like a smart phone, invisibly connecting us to a large network of information. It is through an unseen energy that the heart emits that humans are profoundly connected to all living things. The energy of the heart literally links us to each other. Every person’s heart contributes to a ‘collective field environment.’ This short video explains the importance of this connection and how we each add to this collective energy field. The energetic field of the heart even connects us with the earth itself.

The HeartMath Institute is helping provide a more comprehensive picture of this connection between all living things through a special science-based project called the Global Coherence Initiative. They hope to help explain the mysteries of this connection between people and the earth…and even the sun.

Scientists at the HeartMath Institute (HMI) have already conducted extensive research on the power of heart, the heart/brain connection, heart intelligence and practical intuition.

Whether personal relationships, social connections, or even the global community – we are all connected through a field of electromagnetic energy. Increasing individual awareness of what we bring to this field environment could be the key to creating a sustainable future, a future that we can be proud to have helped create.

Links to visit

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Heartfelt Connection

Forgiveness

After a life-changing head injury, Kimberly Yates realized that the path to forgiveness was not what it seemed to be. In describing what she learned after stepping outside of her comfort zone, Kimberly teaches us to take a long, hard look at how we forgive.

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on Forgiveness

Personal Storytelling – HOLOS 1

(Extracts)


During these years of self-discovery, I found healing through art, meditation, and by attending personal development seminars and such. I soon understood that I am not only interested in finding my own answers but I wish to support others in finding theirs, too. As a next step, I embarked on a journey of becoming a coach and a trainer and later a minister.

Sometime later, with the support of some friends, I established a non for profit organisation and started to work with teachers, parents and children, particularly children living in orphanages. During these years, I gathered how important it is for me to be available for the emotionally needy and to help them find inner resources to recover from their losses and difficulties.

Continue reading

Posted in Studies | Comments Off on Personal Storytelling – HOLOS 1

Upclose and personal

Good God! A 4-hour chatting marathon. It helped me understand that I was hanging in the void for quite some time thinking that I was with God but I actually wasn’t. When I realized this I felt cheated and very lost.  I hold God responsible for my ‘stuck-ness’.

I suddenly understand how stuck I am. I have been stuck for a very long time, even before I arrived here. I seem to have been lingering in the void all along. And I still have not realized why I could not go through the void the first place. I must be holding some grouch, somewhere. What I understand now is that I feel that God has let me down. I hold him responsible for my stuck-ness. I feel that he does not help me though it though he could. He should. I know it is silly but this is how it feels right now.

Continue reading

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Upclose and personal

FRANCIS DUNNERY – WOUNDING AND HEALING OF MAN

YouTube Preview Image

I don’t know if I’m getting old
I don’t know if I’m getting tired
I don’t know if I want to go to work today
‘Cause I spent last night with my old friend
He said its make or break time
So I asked the burning question
Why when I want to make a forward move do you knock me to the ground?
And he said…

He said I’m gonna break you down
And then I’m gonna build you up again
Stronger then ever before

I don’t know if I’m getting wasted
I don’t know if I’m disillusioned
I don’t know if I want to make the effort today
I had another bad night with my old friend
He said there’s no separation, there’s only integration,
He really isn’t anything physical
Just a voice inside my head, that keeps saying, keep saying, keep saying. ..

He said I’m gonna break you down boy
And then I’m gonna build you up again
Stronger then ever before
(he says I’m gonna break you down boy)
He said I’m gonna break you down
Then I’m gonna build you up again

He said I’m gonna take your mother away
So I can watch your boyhood burn
E’en though your father failed to show you the way
And now there’s no where left to turn
He said I’m gonna break you down boy
I’m gonna turn your rock to sand
He said I’m gonna crush your spirit boy
Then you’ll have to take a stand
He said I’m gonna hurt you so bad
You’ll have no where left to turn
(He said I’m gonna break you down boy)
He said I’m gonna break you down boy
Then you can finally be a man

Posted in An Uncommon Pastor, Encountered on the way | Comments Off on FRANCIS DUNNERY – WOUNDING AND HEALING OF MAN

A child’s world …

Worried that their son was too optimistic, the parents of a little boy took him to a psychiatrist. In an attempt to dampen the boy’s spirits, the psychiatrist showed him into a room piled high with nothing but horse manure. Instead of displaying distaste, the little boy clambered to the top of the pile and began digging.

“What are you doing?” the psychiatrist asked.

“With all this manure,” the little boy replied, beaming, “there must be a pony in here somewhere.”

Ben Jonesx

 

Posted in Encountered on the way | Comments Off on A child’s world …

Shreds of Thought

The wounded are the best healers.

I would like to give the kids in my care the opportunity to know God, or rather I’d like to prevent them from loosing God’s Love.

I don’t seem to be able to heal myself or give myself back what is lost. I seems to be lost forever. But I wish to help the kids to recognize God within themselves, that the are co-creators with God and in His Power they are safe. So, they do not need to sell out, they do not have to become powerless creatures in the storm of emotions. They can learn to recognize His Power invested in them and consciously hold onto that power through meditation and  praying. They can know God and not lost in the world.

I wish teens could understand that living in mystical love is a state of continuous orgasm of the soul. The body does not understand the soul’s desire for ecstasy. The body thinks that its pleasured state is the best place to be. How wrong. The pleasure that the soul brings about through its connectios with its originator is the deepest pleasure of all.

Bernini-Ecstasy-of-St.-Teresa

images (1)

Posted in The Journey | Comments Off on Shreds of Thought