Archive for February, 2018

28
Feb
18

2.28.18 … “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.” – Mother Teresa

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (15/40), private labyrinth near Gaffney SC:

I am on my way to Atlanta again and I decided I would try to find a new labyrinth. I thought it might be nice to be serendipitous. I opened the labyrinth locator and I found one. The one I found was the private labyrinth of Rev. Faith Nettleton-Scherer at an address in Gaffney, South Carolina, and it’s about 10 minutes from exit 92 on I 85 south. I love it that the labyrinth builder/keeper built it in 2009 at a different address in Gaffney, and then moved it, stone by stone, to its current address in 2015.

As I drive there, I noticed lots of Bradford pears in full bloom. I noticed a few in Charlotte earlier today and some that were even beyond bloom and greening out. This seems awfully early. This is however nothing to compare with the unseasonably warm weather at the Arctic. I have been paying attention to this because I have a son in Alaska this year. This weather at the Arctic is 50° above normal for late February, early March, let me repeat that, 50° above normal!

I mentioned that I was being serendipitous. And this is the perfect labyrinth for a serendipitous walk. It is whimsical. There is every imaginable yard art item from a small hedgehogs sculpture, several angels, a dragon and multiple frogs. And many have solar lighting attached. I imagined it an enchanted garden at night The labyrinth keeper has great fun I can tell!

For those of you who know of my relationship with my father and our long-standing joke about frogs, this walk gave me the opportunity to think of him at every turn.

Close to the finish, the owner came out. She was glad to see me walking. She said very few use it and told me the story about her love for labyrinths. I loved sharing this time and space. She is a retired universalist minister. I’ll have to research what the universalist believe. Because clearly she loves this place and loves sharing it. That’s a lot.

As I head back to I85 and am near Cowpens National Battlefield, a major battlefield of the American Revolutionary War, I see a field of lovely cows behind a white fence, cows in a pen, and another orchard of peach trees in bloom .. not good

Quote for today …

“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.” – Mother Teresa

Cheers to serendipity!

2.28.18

27
Feb
18

2.27.18 … “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” — Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976), Nobel Prize in Physics 1932

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (14/40), Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC:

It was noticeably cooler and the sky was the perfect shade of blue, Carolina blue. There was a light breeze so the chimes were ringing. The labyrinth was half sunshine, half shade. And it was one of those days that when I was in the shade it was noticeably cooler.

As I walked, there was a big ol’ weed right there on my path. And as I looked around, I saw emergent green in the garden, the grass was noticeably thicker and brighter, and there were the early shoots of flowers. I know spring is on the way.

At the center, I realized that if the center does not engage me physically, I am less likely to stay and be still for a minute. This one has a round center with Psalm 119:105 etched, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” I enter, look around for a second and then head back out. I don’t know if it was because I am so familiar with the traditional Chartres design, with a rose in the center with the petals that are meant to be worked like rosary beads, that I did not stay and ponder.

The chimes played gently the entire time as I walked. I did not hear the birds singing today, but I did hear the steady tap tap tapping of a woodpecker in the distance.

Seventeen minutes … a little more rushed than I like.

This is a quote from Dr. Eben Alexander’s Facebook page. Dr. Alexander is an American neurosurgeon and author of a book I found interesting, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife (2012). In his book he describes his 2008 near-death experience. Dr Alexander believes that science can and will determine that the brain does not create consciousness and that consciousness survives bodily death.

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

— Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976), Nobel Prize in Physics 1932

This profound quote is exactly the focus of our revolutionary new book, Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness. Our modern science must better define our interpretation of the measurement paradox in quantum physics to fully grok this emerging view of reality, but individual souls don’t need to await that scientific awakening. Personal experience through going within (centering prayer/meditation) can lead the way to far greater wholeness, healing, meaning and purpose!

Visit http://ebenalexander.com

2.27.18

26
Feb
18

2.26.18 … “Love demands both give and take, which is what we mean by a “personal” God. And this is exactly what people of deep prayer invariably experience—an inner dialogue of give and take, of giving and being received. This is why the mystics consistently use words like mercy, forgiveness, faithfulness, and healing to describe what they experience as God.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (13/40), Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:

It is amazing how quickly I can get used to the warm weather in February in the South. Daffodils are in full bloom, tulip trees are generally out, and I swear I have seen a few Bradford pears in bloom. However, the temperature is dropping today. It is raining now at 6 PM and is 48°.

As I approach the labyrinth, I smile because the lamps are lit that I have told you about. You know, the iron-ic ones. And the labyrinth itself is wet which makes it more difficult to see the path in the very dim light of the evening. I am sure there is a metaphor in that. And later in my walk, I hear a train in the distance. The sound of the train’s horn must be able to travel for miles. I cannot even think of where the closest train tracks are. I hear a plane overhead. When i am trying to be quiet and still, it is amazing how noisy everything is. Even the cars traveling on damp surfaces are noisy.

Not much to see tonight. I do see the moon peeking out from behind the clouds which are moving rapidly.

I love this quote from Richard Rohr. This is one of my favorite things to ponder.

Today, every academic, professional discipline—psychology, anthropology, history, the various sciences, social studies, art, drama, music, and the business world—recognizes change, development, growth, and some kind of evolving phenomenon. But then we go to church and think we must switch heads. Somehow, Scripture study and systematic theology thought themselves above the fray, untouched by our constantly changing context. In its search for the Real Absolute, theology made one fatal mistake: It imagined that any notion of God had to be static and unchanging, an “unmoved mover,” as Aristotelian philosophy called it.

Yet there is little evidence that this rigid god is the God presented in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and even less in our Christian understanding of God as Trinity, who is clearly much more an active verb than a noun. But then, this central doctrine of the Trinity had very little effect on practical theology or the ordinary lives of most Christians. We preferred a stable notion of God as an old white man, sitting on a throne—much like the Greek God Zeus (which became the Latin word for God or “Deus”), a critical and punitive spectator to a creation that was merely a mechanical clock of inevitable laws and punishments, ticking away until Doomsday. What a negative world view!

This is not a God you fall in love with, because humans are not programmed to fall in love with mere principles and forces. Love demands both give and take, which is what we mean by a “personal” God. And this is exactly what people of deep prayer invariably experience—an inner dialogue of give and take, of giving and being received. This is why the mystics consistently use words like mercy, forgiveness, faithfulness, and healing to describe what they experience as God. These all imply a God who does not just impose rules, but in fact changes them for us! If God is Trinity, then God is Absolute Relationship, even inside of God. And every time God forgives, God is saying that relationship is more important than God’s own rules! Did you ever think about that?

I am convinced we are still in the early years of Christianity! Our appreciation for the Gospel is evolving too, as we learn to honor context as much as text. The Christ Mystery itself is still “groaning in one great act of giving birth . . . as we ourselves groan inwardly, waiting for our bodies to be set free” (see Romans 8:22-25).

Source: http://email.cac.org/t/ViewEmail/d/5FC6F41E71261DCF2540EF23F30FEDED/1DC1AEAE5E535C1F0B3A73003FEB3522

2.26.18

25
Feb
18

2.25.18 … “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.”- Anais Nin

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (12/40), Almetto Howey Alexander Labyrinth @ McCrorey YMCA – Charlotte NC:

After first attending Worship at FPC (Sermon was fantastic, Pen) and enjoying the youth bells and singing one of my favorite hymns, I headed out to walk. It was raining, so I knew this one would be quick…

I decided to head to the Almetto Howey Alexander Labyrinth @ McCrorey YMCA. It’s on the north side of Charlotte so I do not make it here very often. It’s a unique labyrinth because it has an Afrocentric theme. I have attached a video here and in the comments (https://youtu.be/CoPzCImBf2Q).I love this labyrinth!

As I walked I watched the rain play on the concrete slab, I listened to a slow moving train sound its horn in the distance, and I heard the sound of the rain on my red umbrella. I paid careful attention to the labyrinth. It’s concrete pad is pocked. I hope it’s not wearing too quickly. The outer edges of the lunettes are scored concrete. I never noticed that before. There are other places where the concrete is scored, the center and the last rungs of the “ladder” entering the labyrinth. I wonder why. It might be worth asking the artist. I never noticed before but scoring of the rungs leading into the center and the scoring around the Center area does not match up to the tile pattern at the center and together create a cross.

A quote:

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.”- Anais Nin

2.25.18

24
Feb
18

2.24.18 … “Lent is about finding ‘the still point of the turning world’ — the still point around which the world is turning, turning around you”.

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (11/40), Cathedral of St. Philip – Atlanta GA, Karen Wright Marsh, Vintage Saints and Sinners:

I’ll have to admit that one takeaway from my daily walks is that I begin to form connections. Yesterday, I noticed that Karen Wright Marsh was coming to Atlanta for a book signing at the Cathedral. Karen moved to Atlanta in 1976 when her dad Dr. Charles P. Wright was called as the senior pastor at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, my childhood church. I have already read her book, Vintage Saints and Sinners, and plan to lead a book study this spring at First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte. So I knew I wanted to say hello to Karen and get my copy signed.

And that is how I ended up labyrinth walking at the Cathedral two days in a row.

So I was so pleased with my brief visit with Karen and that is where my mind was as I walked. She told me how to get access to her guide materials for my study and just made me excited to reread her book as I prepare. And I loved it that she asked her friend in front of me what she was reading. What are you reading?

(And Cary, I shared our mutual connection with you!)

And I found this from a post from several years ago, from Donna Morris , Paris guide extraordinaire …

“Lent is about finding ‘the still point of the turning world’ — the still point around which the world is turning, turning around you”. – Bishop Whalon at the American Cathedral.

So today I am seeking “the still point of the turning world.”

2.24.18

23
Feb
18

2.22.18 … Today, I focus on negotiating new behavior …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (9/40), virtual labyrinth walk via YouTube, Atlanta GA:

I am in Atlanta visiting my mother. Although I fully intended to walk today as I traveled, I just did not get around to it.

So I again searched “virtual labyrinth walk” and I found this one.

I liked this one because it is an overview of a woman walking, and I could trace my finger through the labyrinth by putting my finger on the walker.

Try it! Labyrinth Walk Bird’s Eye View, https://youtu.be/Rh4o-kDVM5Q

And some info:

“The labyrinth is a sacred place set aside for you to reflect, look within, pray, negotiate new behavior. The rhythm of walking, placing one foot in front of the other, empties the mind, relaxes the body and refreshes the spirit. Follow the pace your body wants to go.

The labyrinth can be walked in four stages. As you encounter other people walking the same path, simply allow them to pass. You walk the labyrinth with your body and rest your mind.”

https://www.veriditas.org/resources/Documents/Handouts/Walking%20the%20Labyrinth.pdf

Today, I focus on negotiating new behavior …

2.22.18

21
Feb
18

2.21.18 … Be still and namaste!

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (8/40), Wedgewood Church – Charlotte NC:

I always wonder about the orientation of a labyrinth. Is there any right way? This one is not oriented in the same direction as the church, nor is it oriented logically to enter from the parking lot or the street. So I checked with the compass and it is oriented to east/west, facing east as I enter.

Wedgewood Church is the church that has rainbow doors that face onto Tyvola Road. They were recently defaced and there was a call to the community to repaint them. They have been repainted.

[Quote]

One of Charlotte’s best-known gay-friendly churches was vandalized, just hours after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board voted during an occasionally raucous meeting to take a stand for LGBTQ students.

The phrase “F— are Pedofhiles” was spray-painted across the front doors of Wedgewood Church off Tyvola Road, with “pedophiles” misspelled. It happened either late Tuesday or early Wednesday, officials said.

[End Quote]

SOURCE: Gay-friendly NC church vandalized for the seventh time | Charlotte Observer,

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article196441634.html

As many of you know, this labyrinth is not one of my favorites because of the surface of the path, small pebbles. Because of this surface, it is awkward to walk and very noisy in your head. But any walk is s good walk.

It is 78° and mostly sunny. Actually, it’s downright hot. I have a sweater on and I am extremely toasty.

For multiple reasons, I feel agitated today. And so it is a good for me to turn to my favorite verse: Psalm 46. And as it was listed in North Avenue’s’s Lenten readings on Monday. I just tucked it away in my notes so that I could come back to it whenever I felt the need. Today is the day.

Come, behold the works of the Lord;

see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;

he burns the shields with fire.

‘Be still, and know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations,

I am exalted in the earth.’

The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Selah

http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=384520124

Because the paths are so noisy, I find myself walking on the brick boundary markers. I feel like a little kid when I walk here.

So what did I see, hear and feel today? I heard a friendly hello from a woman who said she was working on the doors and painting the orange part again. I also heard lots of traffic on Tyvola Road, and airplanes overhead, and of course, the sound of my feet walking in the pebbles.

Be still and namaste!

2.21.18

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