Author Archives: Cheryl Petersen

Uninterrupted love

Divine love can’t be interrupted.

The continuity of God’s love persists through time and change.

Here is an example:

Yesterday, I spoke on the phone with a friend I hadn’t talked to in two years. We both are busy in life, yet we think of one another often with thoughts of joy and compassion. Those memories and expectations are what keep love continuous.

The second we connected on the phone, our conversation was serious and happy. There was no discussion about weather, politics, or trivial tidbits. She told me about her niece, who is living with her and her husband now because the niece’s mother just never adapted to motherhood and moved to Mexico.

The niece had fallen back two grades before moving in with my friend and her husband. She is in sixth grade now and doing well in school. And playing the flute in band.

Love is magnified with gratitude.

Even though we don’t talk with one another often, our love stays uninterrupted, unbroken, and only gets stronger and clearer.

 

What to eat on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the second busiest holiday for restaurants, after Mother’s Day. The optimist in me sees happy couples lingering in the candlelight of love. The realist in me sees people eating. Love may make life worthwhile, but we eat food to survive.

And, the farmer in me knows that food doesn’t come from the grocery store.

Let’s take a quick look at fruit.

Fruit trees are planted. The trees require 5–8-years of growth before a commercial crop is produced. All the while, the trees and soil require care. Then, to harvest successfully, the fruit must be picked at a specific time of maturity, before being taken out of the field to be washed, packaged, and shipped to grocery stores.

Furthermore, if we expect to eat fruit in the winter, the produce is preserved either by means of canning or freezing.

Basically, a colossal amount of work, time, and thought goes into food availability. The elements of weather and the market are accounted for. And it’s the same for love.

When needing, or even wanting, love, I remind myself there is more to it than romance and eating chocolate. Many attributes and elements are involved.

To find elements associated with love, I plodded through the Bible and read this verse from Galatians, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

In other words, I read, don’t try to cultivate only love. The fruit of Spirit isn’t only love, but love, joy, peace, patience, yadda yadda.

Seemed acceptable. I couldn’t argue with the fact that the attributes on that list were things that I, well, like to experience. So, they all must be important.

However, I got a bit stymied by the word “Spirit.” I mean come on, what is Spirit? It’s unseen, indescribable, immeasurable, pretty complicated.

Added to the complication is bad timing. Just like on the farm, if fruit was picked before it ripened, it was sour. And, if we waited too long to pick, the fruit was rotten.

Sour or rotten love, is the pits.

Screeeeeech, that is where I applied the mental brakes to stop myself from going in circles around only love.

I broadened my diet, so to speak. I made, and still make, efforts to eat up joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

For example, while negotiating today’s societal culture of women working outside the home and men working inside the home, I exercised faithfulness and stayed married after telling my husband, “Please don’t ever wash my blouse in the same laundry load with the mudroom rugs ever again. Stuff doesn’t just come out of the machine, clean. The mud from the rugs got in my blouse and ruined it.”

Okay, I confess to selective memory and probably told my husband, “Start helping around the house better or we’re getting a divorce,” but we’re still happily together after 33-years.

As for the element of patience, this is very interesting.

For certain: I am not a source of patience.

And because of my bossy gene, I can’t help but admit that the source of my husband’s patience with me must be infinite.

The source of patience must be unending, why not call it Spirit.

I may not be able to see or measure Spirit, but I can know Spirit. I can know Spirit as source. The fruit source. Said in another way, when I stop believing and acting as though other people, or I, am a source of love, I’m in line to reap success in love.

We can reap success in love because love isn’t dependent on dinner or a personal relationship. Love is internalized along with peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, all of which we can get our teeth into this Valentine’s Day, or now.

 

Bio: Cheryl Petersen lives in Delhi. Her books are: “from science & religion to God,” and, “Zen Kitty: and other meows”, available on Amazon.com

Winter reading

I bumped into a book that I’d like to recommend. It was an easy read about why human beings have religion. It wasn’t offensive and I didn’t feel any attempt to convert me toward, or away from religion.

The book:

A Little History of Religion

By: Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh

Number of Pages: 288

Holloway brings up some good points about human nature opposing new and useful changes. But the author also shines light on the fact that we do progress, we do change for the better.

 

Our eternal strength

Reading about Samson, the Nazirite with long curls, I got to thinking he wasn’t very smart. He kept hanging with people who wanted to find his weakness. Samson point blank finally revealed that if his long curly hair was cut, he’d be weak.

As read about in Judges 16, Samson’s hair was secretly cut and his enemies then bound him after jabbing out his eyes.

Once his hair grew back, Samson did turn to God for strength and killed a lot of Philistines.

This hints that although hair wasn’t really his strength, he didn’t have to get rid of it. It’s like know money isn’t our strength, or possessions aren’t are strength, or job position isn’t our strength, and keeping God important in our life.

Moreover, we know that it’s the thinking that we’re dealing with.

Bounding or killing off people has never killed off hate, fear, and even disease.

Because those negatives make life miserable, it’s natural for humanity to strive to break the negative thinking apart and turn to infinite Mind. God is infinite Mind and our source of strength.

From 21st Century Science and Health:

“Fear, sin, and our neglect of spirituality is what brings on and feeds all sickness. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed. Disease is an image of thought externalized. The mental state is called a physical state. Whatever is cherished in human mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body.

“Omnipotent and infinite Mind made all and includes all. This Mind does not make mistakes and subsequently correct them. God does not cause us to sin, to be sick, or to die.

“Infinite Mind is the creator, and creation is the infinite image or idea emanating from this Mind. If Mind is within and without all things, then all is Mind, and this definition is demonstrable.

“Through spiritual perception we can discern the heart of divinity and thereby begin to understand the generic term person. Our spirituality is not absorbed in God. We do not become isolated or trapped in a vacuum. Our individuality goes on and on reflecting Life eternal. We each represent the totality of infinite Mind’s substance.”

 

 

 

March for good in human nature

I vote, but I don’t vote a party line and I always try to support whoever makes it to office with the intent to support our ongoing struggle to fight for justice and equality. I rankle when public servants impose their personal agendas on us.

Because this nation’s last presidential election was so, well, bazaar, I decided to make my way to the Women’s March, to unite for the sake of uniting.

While traveling to Washington D.C. on Friday, I sat in a truck stop diner eating lunch and watched and listened to the inauguration over the television. President Trump spoke pointedly against government status-quo.

But, my take-away on the inauguration was President Obama’s display of decency. A decency I hope never to forget and always to respect.

Come Saturday morning, I was on The Mall at 7 a.m. Words that come to mind to describe my observations until 6 p.m. are: impressive, well-organized, peaceful, offensive, and massive.

I chatted with Lisa Christopher. She told me, “I’ve lived in Washington D.C. for thirty years. I walk this street to work every day. This is big. I haven’t seen close to this big of a crowd since President Obama’s first inauguration. This is big. I was here yesterday during President Trump’s inauguration and it was nothing like this. I had to come see it for myself.”

Apparently, arrests were made on the day of the president’s inauguration. I was aware of no arrests on January 21.

The Women’s March pulled in an estimated 500,000 people.

Activist, Gloria Steinem, told us, “You look great. I wish you could see yourselves. It’s like an ocean.”

Steinem thanked the “hardworking visionaries. The women who led this inclusive march, one of which gave birth when organizing.”

Mayor of Washington D.C., the Honorable Muriel Bowser, talked about female empowerment and D.C. statehood. She told the crowd that women officials are more wrongly criticized than men, and when women are more harshly criticized for speaking up for equality, both women and men need to speak up for women.

The list of speakers goes on. Much of the language mirrored the condemnatory, self-serving agenda rhetoric touted by President Trump. But the majority demonstrated and gave voice and presence to integrity. I hope the same for new administration.

I personally knew someone at the March who voted for Trump. The voter wasn’t angry, but he listened to the marchers. I listened. We went to learn.

When the over-extended, fatigued human emotions were filtered out, a strain of awareness was apparent.

It was a show of we the people. Waking up maybe.

Singer, Alicia Keys, recited Maya Angelou’s poem, “I Rise,” before telling the crowd to respect mother energy.

Filmmaker, Michael Moore, encouraged us to join organizations, talk to our representatives, and run for office. He said, “Petition to run for any public office, whether for congress or the school board, be active.”

A few favorite signs I saw bobbing up and down in the crowd read: Trump, start leading, stop tweeting. All elections matter, local, state, national. I’m with her (next to a picture of the Statue of Liberty).

Once the speakers ceased, the mass of human bodies began walking to the White House.

The march was orderly, respectful, and powerful. We made way for wheelchairs and strollers without hesitation. There were some crude signs and language, but it didn’t barb the true purpose to unite and fight as we the people for the higher good.

During the hours required for the gathering to move, they chanted or rather yelled. The chant I remember: What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like.

marching-to-white-house-wm-small

Light never goes down

The outdoor Christmas lights came down last weekend. We kept the lights up past the holidays because our winters are so long here in upstate New York.

I found other forms of light to enjoy: The brightness of justice as commemorated on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The sparkle of ice on the ground. The enlightened sermon given at the local Catholic church about how we can be ordinary with God and feel extraordinary. And, our neighbor’s cheerfulness as she invited us to dinner tonight.

Quoting from science & religion to God, “Through inspiration and understanding, God reveals the spiritual knowledge that unlocks the resources of truth. Spirituality allows us to read the human situation correctly, with healing intent and power. The light of spiritual truth exposes and displaces erroneous human thoughts, and demonstrates healing.”deer-tracks-in-snow

Women’s March in nation’s capital

A Women’s March is scheduled for January 21 at Washington D.C. One day after the presidential inauguration.

It all started when a grandmother in Hawaii created a Facebook page on last November’s presidential election night. In other words, it got started by a regular person, not some famous activist or organization.

However, activists and organizations are jumping on board to either meet in D.C. or host a local event. More than 100 events are being staged around the nation.

The media predicts everything from solidarity to failure as a result of the march.

But, as with any thought or event, it will evolve or devolve and I’m chipping in for the event to evolve with integrity, honesty, and justice.

It’s happened before, it can happen again.

Women, and others who join them, can be aware, be empathic, wise, and productive.

We can laugh, cry, support one another, and keep warm together as we unite for the sake of uniting. As we evolve in goodness.

 

 

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