Our Stolen Future

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This past week 2 young children in Alberta, Canada died from pesticides used in their home. Because I too have experienced the devastation caused by pesticide poisoning, I feel compelled to share this story I wrote many years ago. Today I am remembering Cindy Duehring.

When I first became chemically injured, I was guided to Cindy Duehring who lived in a small rural community in North Dakota. Like me, Cindy had also been poisoned by pesticides and the continual assault on her system by toxins in her community forced her to live in isolation as well. She was a great source of hope and encouragement. Whenever I spoke with her I came away with new courage to face the day. Those were difficult times of adjusting to chronic illness and disability, and she helped me to go on.

Cindy had been a brilliant pre-med student when her apartment got sprayed. Before that, she had been extremely healthy, active in sports, and pursuing a degree in medicine. The poisoning caused a steady deterioration in her health including a seizure disorder, reactive airways dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and a disorder of porphyrin metabolism, as well as auto-immune, kidney, and neurologic damage. Even low level exposures to chemicals caused seizures and severe bronchial reactions so that she had to live in a specially created environment with windows covered over with foil to protect her from sunlight which triggered a reaction. Cindy had not left her space or even seen the sun shine for eight years. Continue reading

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory!

Peter

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dearest husband on your
70th Birthday! Oh how I have cherished our years together.
Here is just one of your special moments.

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory!

It was 1965, 50 years ago this spring.
You had just turned 20, and I was 17.
We’d dated a few times and had been writing
letters to each other for a little over a year.

It was the year of the march to
Selma, Alabama; and there you were, in the midst of
making history.

You had gone off to Morehouse College, the alma mater
of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on a student exchange program . . .
one of 3 white students at an all black college for men.

I wondered: “what was this tall, blonde, handsome, Scandinavian
guy doing – – going off to risk so much in these turbulent times?
What had awakened you to this movement for civil rights?” Continue reading

With Eternal Love In Christ ~ ~ ~ We Lit The Candle

PT LT Candles

It was on this night 48 years ago that we lit the candle.

I walked down the aisle to meet my Beloved, and in front of family and friends gathered there, we said: “I do.”

We said: I do take you ~ to love and to cherish ~ above all others ~

I choose you to share my life ~ for better or worse ~ richer or poorer ~ in sickness and in health until death us do part.

We knelt together, blessed by the pastor, with a song of prayer sung over us ~ ~ then we lit the candle.

We took our own individual flames and joined them together as One in Christ.

We lit the candle to say:
Now our two lives are lived with the guidance of a Higher Power ~ a Sacred Presence ~ always with us no matter what we face. Continue reading

May We Always Send Forth Ribbons and Doves

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I was very angry at our neighbors. Their choice to burn slash piles had significantly damaged my health. I was angry that my health had relapsed once again and I could no longer leave our property.

Someone reminded me I needed to do something to get rid of my anger, or it would bring more harm to my health. So one day I set out walking towards the boundary of our properties. As I walked the winding prayer path, I fantasized how I would shout my anger towards their land and throw sticks with a vengeance.

Then suddenly I became aware of a pink ribbon in my pocket on which our granddaughter had written the word JOY. There was also a metal piece with a dove shape cut through the middle and the inscription: Where there is hatred let me sow love.

By the time I got to the boundary of our land, I could shout no anger after all. God had removed it from my heart. I could only thread the pink ribbon through the dove and place it at the point where our properties meet.
O Lord, give us the strength to withstand injustice, and the courage to choose not to send more hatred into the world. Instead, make us channels of your peace.

Seek Peace and Pursue It

Advent peace

In 2006 the peace of an Amish community in Pennsylvania was shattered when a gunman intruded a schoolhouse and shot ten young girls, killing 5 of them before turning the gun upon himself. I was overcome with compassion for their community of faithful people. And then, I was amazed as I watched how they dealt with such tragedy. In the midst of their overwhelming grief, they offered immediate forgiveness and reached out to comfort and care for the shooter’s family.

I listened closely when an interviewer asked one: “How are you able to have such a forgiving attitude?”
The answer was something like:
“It is because our lives are continually focused on the love of Jesus, and through that we develop 100% inner peace within us.”

100% inner peace. I wrote that down, because I knew at that moment I wanted that in my life. 100% inner peace no matter what difficulties come to me. That has become an overriding intention for my life.
I have found that it comes gradually, as I learn to trust the Divine Source no matter what the circumstances. We learn to grow in grace and peace.

This, my friends, is the gift of Christmas. The Prince of Peace is given to us so that we may know 100% inner peace. Not just for ourselves, but so that it naturally flows out bringing peace to all the world.

On this day, may you seek peace and pursue it with all your heart and soul.
And may the gift of 100% inner peace be born in you through Christ. Amen.

Seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14

Ferguson ~ O Ferguson: You Teach Us We Are So Much More Than We Allow Ourselves To Be

Ferguson ~ O Ferguson: You teach us we are so much more than we allow
ourselves to be.

I am still trying to process all that is happening in Ferguson, Mo.
This situation tears at the depth of my soul and I lament.

I know, I know, I’m taking it personally – – because I know that this young man that was gunned down could have been my son.
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This month marks 43 years since we got the call:

“There is a 9 month old boy that needs a home.
Would you be interested in adoption?”

We were poor, very poor seminary students at the time, with a three year old daughter of our own. But our hearts reached out to these children in need.

We hoped to give this one child more opportunities in life.
Hoped that in time the world would be a better place and racism would be overcome with love and peace.<!–more–>

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I remember a song I especially loved singing as part of the Civil Rights Movement.

Tell me why you’re crying, my son
I know you’re frightened, like everyone
Is it the thunder in the distance you fear?
Will it help if I stay very near?
I am here.

Refrain:
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done.
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done.
Day is done, Day is done
Day is done, Day is done

Do you ask why I’m sighing, my son?
You shall inherit what mankind has done.
In a world filled with sorrow and woe
If you ask me why this is so, I really don’t know.
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And so, we reached out and took his hand
and he taught us to grow and love and learn in
ways we had never imagined.

We saw first hand the incidents of racism, discrimination,
hatred, abuse, injustice, racial profiling that he experienced
only because his skin was brown and not white.

Only his skin color distinguished him from all the other
children at his all white schools, all white sports teams,
all white places of employment, all white neighborhoods and
communities and family.

And so, this incident in Ferguson – – I take it personally.
I struggle with the fact that even after 43 years there is still
such racism and injustice in our North American societies.
There is still so much denial to face this disease that permeates
our culture. There is still such inequality among people.
It stings at my sense of hope for a greater humanity and seems a set-back
to any signs that progress has been made over the past 43 years.

And so I dig deep, and pray that I can find a way to do more – – to be more loving and kind in a world that still dishonors those who are different than ourselves.

I ask that in each moment we could choose wisely – – to do and be that which is most truly the expression of our loving and gracious God.

May our hearts open to love, honor, and respect each others differences,
and rejoice in the diversity of humanity.

We are so much more than we allow ourselves to be.

Dyslexia ~ My Story

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month.  1 out of 5 people have dyslexia and many don’t even know it.  Most schools are not equipt to deal with the learning differences persons with dyslexia face.  So I’m re-posting from my other website Well Bless My Soul that deals with spirituality for those with dyslexia.

If you have had any learning difficulties throughout your life, I encourage you to check out one of the free screening sites for dyslexia that are available online.

One link is:   http://www.dyslexia.com/dyslexiatest/

Dyslexia ~ My Story

Dyslexia ~ My Story

Like many persons with dyslexia, I experienced trauma and confusion in my childhood. In grade one and two I spent much of the time standing out in the hall or in front of the class with my face to the chalkboard or sitting in the corner. The humiliation instilled a sense of unworthiness within me that affected my sense of self worth for many years. Continue reading