IN MY 8TH DECADE……

My parents were raised in the Methodist Church. My father was awarded a Bible for perfect Sunday School attendance. I was christened in a big, old stone-faced Methodist church with a steeple, rows of dark wood pews, an organ, and a kneeling rail where we all took Communion once a month. We all went to Sunday School, and I still remember the words and melody to most of the hymns in the Methodist Hymnal. I can recite The Apostle’s Creed, sing the Doxology, and the Gloria Patri. As a teenager I joined my parents  as a member of the choir.
Thoroughly indoctrinated in the Christian faith, Methodist version, and not really knowing anyone of a different tradition, it is quite understandable that as soon as I emerged from that cocoon, and met some decent, intellectually curious people who never went to church, but spent their Sundays doing something else that interested them, I would be like a kid in a candy store.

In college–even an Agricultural & Engineering college where I went–it was fashionable for the Science students to be either agnostic or studying  Eastern theology. I read the Bhagavad Gita and “Bridey Murphy.” I learned to play chess (sort of), hung out at the college radio station, and felt that I had found a place where my questions about philosophy would not be considered heretical, but interesting. I even had a novice ham radio license (KN5KBL) for a year, though it was more a trophy than something I used. Though I could not stay longer than 3 semesters, due to lack of direction and money, when I left to get married (in a church), I took my attraction to Eastern theology with me, and I did not go back to church for several years.

I missed it, though. I missed the music, mostly. I tried taking the kids to Sunday School a few times, but it was a hassle getting them dressed and driving to the Methodist church where we didn’t know anyone. It didn’t last long. We stayed away from any church until the kids grew up. Once they went to a Vacation Bible School and were indoctrinated with some Bible stories and learned to recite the names of the books in order. It is not surprising that two of them never went to church after becoming adults.

What IS surprising is that the other two did attend regularly, at least for a few years, one at a Baptist church where he was the sound engineer, and the other at a Unity church where she served on the Board for one term.

After we divorced, my husband got involved in a correspondence Bible Study course. After some time, he told me that the teachers had encouraged him to become a minister, and he asked me what I thought. I told him that I honestly thought they encouraged anyone who stuck with the program as long as he had. Since he was a socially shy person, I suppose that he decided against it, kept his religion to himself, and lived a basically moral, Conservative life. He had burglar bars on the house and went to the Target Shooting Range every Sunday.

In the years when one is busy making a living, church does not seem important, especially if his/her weekends are the only time left to take care of personal things and get some rest. Newly single, with the kids on their own, I wanted spiritual company and support. By then I had studied astrology and been through nine degrees of the Rosicrucian Order. The Unity Church seemed the right place for me to find others with unconventional beliefs. I found friends there and discovered abilities that I did not know I had. I sang, I wrote, I healed, I reached out, and I loved. I went to retreats. And then I went back to college to train for a career as a health professional. When I graduated, I moved 500 miles away to a part of Texas where I could get a job and comfortably work as a middle-aged white woman who couldn’t speak Spanish.

I found a Unity church 25 miles away from where I lived, and I attended for a while, even after I moved farther away from it. But every Unity church is different, and this one was more formal than the one I had left in the Rio Grande Valley, and most of the people had more money than I did.  I did not fit. So, soon I was spending my Sundays at home with my cats, or doing something  that interested me, often with someone I liked.

And then I retired and out of necessity moved back to the Valley. Less able to go anywhere and do anything I wanted now, due to physical and financial restraints, I went back to the little Unity church where I had blossomed many years ago, and I took an active part. But it is because I wanted to avoid becoming a “potted plant” at home. IN MY 8TH DECADE, I no longer accept the dogmas that were the foundation of my spiritual beliefs when I was younger. I believe that we all have to work through these ideas near the end of our lives, in order to discover what we CAN believe as the truth. And at this point, that’s ALL I am interested in. (Well, almost all.) 😉

Here is where I am now:
ENERGY—->BEING/”IS-NESS”(I AM)—->EXPRESSION—->OTHER.
DESIRE (to act)—->ORGANIZATION—->MATTER—->CHEMICAL REACTION—->LIFE.
CONSCIOUSNESS.

All this I can believe.
Where does the idea of a personal God come from? Or the idea of many gods? It is that there seem to be forces more powerful than we are, and that we cannot control. It is that we don’t know how we got here, why we are here, what we should do, and what happens to our “self” after the body dies. We need a God in charge of all that–and someone to blame for it. Most of us need to believe that someone knows the “how” and “why”, and that someday we will know.
But has anyone heard a voice, seen a non-material being, or been transported instantly to a place off the planet? I can only say that I have caught hold of occasional intuitive ideas during my lifetime, and acted on them with success.
I have felt healing energy, gentle support and guidance, and on rare occasions, joy when I had no reason to feel it.

DO WE NOT LIVE IN A CLOUD OF ENERGY THAT CAN BE DIRECTED AS NEEDED? POWER IS DIRECTED ENERGY. IS THAT NOT GOD? God is not outside the creation: God expressed IS the creation, and that explains how S/He can be everywhere at once and know everything at once.

HOW TO WIN THE WAR

 In times like these, I think my kids were right not to have children.

 I just read another piece about how the American public needs to arm itself and buy up ammunition–if they can find it–because  Muslim agents are here in our country, actively working to take us down.  According to the email, specific cases are cited where they are spying on our coastal defenses, and doing things such as buying quantities of pre-paid cell phones to be mailed through Canada to Afghanistan to be used in making and setting off roadside IEDs.

About the “devout Muslims” sworn in and working in our Homeland Security Agency, it could be argued that they are needed because only they can truly understand the mind-set of the enemy and pass for one if necessary. The people we are at war with are indoctrinated barbarians who will never understand the concepts of peace, tolerance, and unconditional love. And frankly, we are fools to believe we can defend ourselves with these “tools” against them. But I don’t want to buy a gun. Our only hope is to *corrupt*  the common Muslim people with prosperity, information, and choices.  People who can find something worth living for in this world, are not so eager to pass on to the next. But it will take a generation or two to accomplish this.

I’ve taken a course in marksmanship, and I can shoot if I have to, but I am not handy with a gun. I forget how it works from one time to the next. And I wouldn’t be able to take it apart and clean it. I’m old and I’ll be gone soon, and in a few more years, so will everyone I care about. “May you live in interesting times, and may you get what you wish for,” goes the famous Chinese curse. Well, it seems that I have…and you are. Good luck!

The November of Life (or Just Call Me “Grumpy!”)

So, at long last, here I am with two of my friends, performing a song I wrote 18 months ago, and had to wait this long to get the people I needed to provide the male voices. It is a simple ballad with a reggae beat, about a little girl, a young mother, and an old woman asking questions of God, and the answers they get. The man standing in the center of the photo is also a singer-songwriter, and one on the left has a beautiful baritone voice. It was fun, and was very well received by the church congregation.

Performing My Latest Song
Performing My Latest Song

 

 What is not fun, is enduring hours of shopping in crowded stores, looking for parking spaces, and standing in line. So I have ordered online all the items on my Christmas shopping list (except one for an elderly aunt who already *has everything*.) Also no longer fun, was riding my stationary bike this morning for a whole 20 minutes. I do it because it helps my knees. It will probably be fun to have Thanksgiving dinner at the home of friends, since all I need to bring is cranberry sauce—mostly for me. And these folks have a houseful of cats (and a few dogs, too), so I will get my fill of kitty-cuddling.

 

 You really don’t want to know how the rest of my life is going. From now until the end of the first week of January, I have come to realize that I cannot expect to relax, and know that things I think I have handled are going to stay handled, that nothing out of the blue is going to pop up, and I won’t wake up in The Twilight Zone. In short, life has become unruly, and I feel that I am too old for that. Just call me “Grumpy!”

 

 It’s not fun to challenge the unknown at my age. It doesn’t keep me young, and it can for darned sure keep me from getting any older! I think I have done well enough by starting to use the freeway to get to some places when it saves time. I’ve done well enough by fashioning a new hanger out of plastic-covered 14-gauge electrical wire and crimped pull-chain connectors for the birdfeeder, instead of buying a whole new feeder. And I have been known to download a new program for my computer now and again.

 

 But mostly I do the same things every day/week and buy the same things at the grocery store for my meals—last time I tried something really new, I bought prickly pear fruit, 6 for $1, and asked a clerk if I had to cook them. She said with a straight face, “No, but they have a lot of seeds.” Took them home, peeled one and cut it open. There was nothing but seeds, and didn’t taste good, either. How do people use these for food, I wondered? And if they don’t, why are they sold in the grocery store? Well, so much for adventurous eating. I’ll stick with my good old American favorites.

 

 I have been craving a large hand-tossed thin-crust pepperoni pizza, though! May have to get it delivered…

Using Intuition

On a Friday afternoon in 1980 while I was at work at the Post Office, a young man came to the window asking if we had seen a large brown envelope. He said he was leaving for school the next day and was expecting something important.

I checked the “flat case”; there was nothing. Then he said it was something that could not be bent, and a dim image formed briefly in my memory. I told him that I thought I had seen something like that, and went to check the parcel shelves where it should have been according to his PO Box number. But again there was nothing. The Postmaster told him that we would be looking for it, and the young man walked sadly out of the office.

Suddenly, it was as if someone whispered, “Psst!” and pointed towards the parcel shelf. I immediately turned my head in that direction, saw a thick brown envelope in a stack of packages for someone else, and I pulled it out. It was addressed to the young man and on the front was “Do Not Bend.”I ran out of the office, found him in the lobby, and called to him. He tore open the envelope, found his high school diploma with a wallet-size version, and stood there saying, “Oh, wow!” I felt very happy sharing that moment, and glad that I had immediately responded to the gentle suggestion of my intuition.