The Fast Runner runs out the bad guys

Igloo-inside_largeThe 2001 film, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner doesn’t have a lot of dialogue or fast action, but even in light of our fast paced lives in America, the show did keep my attention. The setting is in Eastern Arctic wilderness at the dawn of the first millennium, in Igloolik.

The population of Igloolik could fit in one igloo.

The Canadian film, directed by Zacharias Kunuk is the first feature film ever to be written, directed and acted entirely in Inuktitut.

It’s rated R for a reason as there is murder and sex. The 172 minute movie showcases the patience of forgiveness. The story tells of an Inuit legend of an evil spirit causing strife in the community. Atanarjuat battles the menace with immense resolution, spurred by his love for his wife and child.

A ceremony is performed in the end and the people who caused so much hurt were asked to leave the community. There was wailing and begging for more forgiveness, but the Inuit Grandmother stood her ground. The envy, greed, and hate walked out of the igloo.

“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.” (Eccl. 9: 5-6, ESV)

Digging through sacred text or thought?

excavation_largeIf reading the Bible is a challenge for you, I recommend reading Bruce Feiler’s book, Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land through the Five Books of Moses.

Linking his own personal thoughts with the thoughts of Bible scholars, archeologists, and people who live in the eastern region today, Feiler broadens the view of the Pentateuch, considered sacred by Jews.

Feiler’s discourse on anachronism was helpful to me last night. An anachronism is define in Merriam-Webster as: something (such as a word, an object, or an event) that is mistakenly placed in a time where it does not belong in a story, movie, etc

For example, “Edom” is presented in the Bible during the patriarch era, however there is no archeological evidence that Edom existed then. Similar to “The Clock Strikes Three” in Shakespeare, when clocks were not invented yet.

Words and phrases get entered into text later. But, does that affect the spiritual integrity of the Bible?

Push the Start button

When struggles drag on, and you feel as though you’ve scanned every thought corner to find a morsel of sin you need to get rid of,  ask yourself, are you trying so hard to stop the suffering and sin that you stop everything?

Allow the thought to permit. Give permission to do something new, useful to the world, and encouraging to your spiritual identity.

Start - Green ButtonFrom 21st Century Science and Health, “We can follow Jesus’ divine example, and permit spirituality to replace all ill works, error and disease included.

“When Jesus came to John the Baptist for baptism, John was astounded and reluctant. Jesus read John’s confused thoughts and reassured him with the remark, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”[1] Apparently, Jesus acknowledged several human ceremonies as a means to advance spiritual good, including baptism and marriage.”

[1] Matt. 3:15 (NASB)

Pope’s one year anniversary

Pope Francis has been a year almost walking the streets rather than sitting on a throne. Irregular to the religious position, Pope Francis comes across as one of the people. Conversations surrounding his less judgmental approach ring with hope. But, some shake their heads slowly. A neighbor recently told me, “Pope Francis is disingenuous.”

Suspicion threads through the disingenuous opinion. “The Pope can sound accepting but religious organizations don’t follow through,” said the neighbor. “People shouldn’t be fooled with feel-good words.”

Sylvia Poggioli wrote thought provoking statements in her NPR article, “One Year Later, ‘A Pope for all’ keeps Catholics guessing.”

Negative and positive human traits can seem to neutralize one another, however if the positive outweighs the negative, it serves as reason to keep our hope and continue striving for spiritual understanding.

The Samaritan at the well

wellOn his way to Galilee, Jesus stopped at a well in Samaria. We read in the Gospel John, “A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

Jesus and the woman talked for a while. Christ was recorded to have said, “24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth…

“27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you seek?’ or, ‘Why are you talking with her?’” English Standard Version

This event apparently took place rather early in Jesus’ ministry. It’s chockfull of lessons.

  • -Christ Jesus was objective.
  • -The message Jesus shared was uncomplicated and fruitful.
  • -The woman was content with the shift in thought about worship that Jesus presented to her. She didn’t expect a “sign.”
  • -The disciples marveled yet kept their mouths shut. They didn’t protest when Jesus listened to the woman and then spoke to her in a way she understood.

Interestingly, the woman returned to her city and told other Samaritans about Jesus, who then invited Jesus to stay with them for a few days. Many recognized Christ.

From 21st Century Science and Health, Christ is defined as “The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error.”

The incarnate error of restricting Christ to a nation or ethnic group has been destroyed. And, Christ isn’t pushy. Christ offers spiritual truths without expecting us to be like Jesus. We can be who we are.

Food and God

A deer near our home

A deer near our home

On a whole, I eat fairly healthy. But, evidence shows that food isn’t all it claims to be.

I live in upstate New York, where weather is hovering around zero degrees lately. Deer are a natural part of our environment. You can’t help but take pictures of them. Currently, they are so fuzzy, I stop the car, dig out my camera and take a shot.

I wonder, how can the deer stay healthy, strong, and warm during these winters? They eat bark, leaves, no meat, and dry grass.

I’m not going to stop eating healthy, and I’m not going to stop eating, but my mind can move past thinking food has more power than God. I can grasp better what I read about food in the modern Science and Health, first written by Mary Baker Eddy. We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “Semi-starvation or anorexia is not acceptable to wisdom and it is equally far from Science in which being is sustained by God, Mind. Food has less power to help or to hurt us after thought has transformed to the spiritual. Without the consent of human mind, food and the stomach can’t make you suffer. This new-born understanding brings with it another lesson, that self-indulgence, gluttony, or bulimia, are sensual illusions and can’t give you satisfaction. It is a human deception to believe you have to eat if you feel hungry. It is another deception to believe purging food will help you stay thin. As human deceptions disappear we better understand our spiritual existence and ascend the mountain of a balanced life.

“Food affects the body only as fleshly mind has its material methods of working. One method is to believe that proper food supplies nutriment and strength to the human system. The human mind’s recipe for health never gets it right, whereas Truth regenerates this fleshly mind and feeds thought with the bread of Life.”

Visiting the Tenement Museum in NYC

At the Tenement Guided Tour in NYC

At the Tenement Guided Tour in NYC

As my friend, Matt, says, “The stars aligned.”

Not that we depend on the stars to determine an outcome, but sometimes, when everything falls into place, we use the phrase as a funny expression of gratitude.

Upstate New York winter weather this year has kept the snow shovels and plows in high demand. But, when Bryan came to visit us from Washington State last week, the temperatures relaxed. We got to travel to New York City and walk around comfortably. It was a long, but fun day.


???????????????????????????????We visited the Tenement Museum, which I highly recommend. A guided tour took us through a Tenement housing where thousands of American immigrants lived. My appreciation for the energy and strength of people who overcome many odds to succeed and expand their perceptions increased.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “The calm, strong forces of true spirituality are manifest as health, purity, and a magnanimous self. Spiritual mindedness must expand the human experience until the beliefs of temporal being are clearly exposed as impositions. Confusion, danger, and disorder will then give everlasting place to the scientific demonstration of divine Spirit and to God’s perfect child.”