Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gotta love the guinea fowl

My husband and I rescued a couple of Guinea fowl, after their tribe of twenty was picked off by predators or hit by cars on the road. Needless to say, they are fairly wild.

Fortunately, we have three chickens that welcomed the guineas.

Two issues I’m dealing with:

They roost in the tall trees behind the house, which is sort of safe, but it’d be safer if they slept in the hen house.

Also, we have a 500’ foot-long driveway and the guineas want to walk down and stand in the road. Probably because they lived near a major road in the past and were familiar to the traffic noise.

Our neighbors drive slowly but when I see the guineas down by the road, I tromp down with a couple of long sticks. I hold the sticks out to each side and herd them back. No rushing. I observe the tree leaves turning bright oranges, reds, and yellows. I watch the guineas. I think. I wish the guineas would break their habit.

Why do habits seem universal? Animals and humans alike are challenged by habits that place us in danger or shame us. I don’t know why, but I do know that I definitely see habits improve when I work with patience and encouragement rather than human will-power or threats.

It requires me to look past my own expectations and see what tiny step I can take that the guineas understand. So far, I’ve removed obstacles and I leave feed corn near the hen house. They are becoming more comfortable, more receptive.

But a key element to success is to call upon a higher source of patience and encouragement since my human reserves are rather puny. When I lose my patience, its gone. I have to look to God, an unlimited source of goodness, to re-coop my patience.

The patience of God flows freely and is available to us all.

It’s no wonder Paul told the Hebrews, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”—Hebrews 10

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Radio interview

Click here for radio interview about Christian Science today.

Bonnie Lykes interviewed Cheryl Petersen in New York. Cheryl talks about revising Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health.

Cheryl also reads a chapter from the book she is currently writing about her life.

Anger only a wake up call, wisdom motivates

I interviewed a candidate for 19th District Congress in New York. We talked about the bigger picture, this election year’s uproarious campaigning.

It was noted that some candidates behavior is reckless, but it spotlights an anger in America.

Maybe so.

Even I get disgusted with immoral politicians. But egos, greed, and self-service aren’t new to humanity. Big money people don’t have a monopoly on dishonesty.

Anger does seem to be in the air, however. People are ready for change. We are ready to get out any vicious cycle that demeans the good in humanity.

But unless anger is seen only as an alarm clock to wake up, and not a motivator, that vicious cycle continues.

Anger never provides an inspiring or logical answer or reason to do something, or not.

Anger is only the extreme opposite of passivity, indifference–the habit of repeating the same behavior because that’s the way it’s always been done.

I don’t ignore my disgust, but I know it’s only a warning to wake me up to follow life, truth, and love. I need to get out of the bed of anger or inaction and get up with wisdom.

 “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26, NIV

Quoting from science & religion to God: The manifestations of evil which counterfeit divine justice, conjure the picture of an angry God. “And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey.”[1] Correctly interpreted, the Bible verse shows that catastrophes, famines, and plagues are the self-destruction of error, not the destruction of God’s children. We have the ability (matter doesn’t) to demonstrate the strength and permanency of Spirit We can witness the brightening light of Truth, harmony, and the entireness of God.

orange sky

[1] Micah 5:15

Midlife joy

Vowing not to be those parents who hang onto the family farm with the hope that the children return to continue the tradition, my husband and I put our farm up for sale after our girls were out of college and told us they had no interest in farming. The property sold in five days. Stunned, my husband and I stared at one another and said at the same time, “Now what do we do?”

I believe that question was the beginning of a premature midlife crisis. It led to a year of colossal upheaval. The disruption in our life, however, bashed the typical definition of midlife crisis referred to by the public.

Boston psychologist, Lynn Margolies, PhD, wrote, “A sure sign you may be in a midlife crisis is if you are feeling trapped and very tempted to act out in ways that will blow up your life.” Margolies likened this phenomenon to a rebellious teenager and warned against jolting loved ones or pursuing unrealistic, hurtful goals.

A midlife crisis can be boiled down to a person discovering or rediscovering their identity and self-confidence.

Discovery is not a bad thing when taken by the horns and wrangled to our benefit rather than bane. Four fundamentals to motivating a positive crisis comes to mind when recalling my midlife predicament:

Family can be separated from the job. Family and farming were my identity or so I believed. We raised our children on the farm and fostered children, all of whom thrived, surrounded by nature, animals, and fresh fruits and vegetables. When the day came in which welled up inside me a storm infused wave of desire to escape the farm, I was able to see that I could escape the farm without leaving family.

Realistic goals are priority. My husband and I were unable to retire, financially and mentally. We needed to remember when making decisions that we were unemployed empty-nesters who needed to be practical. To start a new career meant starting at the bottom.

Stuff had to go, but not good memories. With no children in the house, there were less material demands. We also no longer needed a lot of the stuff we had. Getting rid of stuff made it easier to start at the bottom. Because my good memories are not attached to the stuff, I still have them today. This freedom made it easier to discover. It also made it easier to move across the United States, for the fun of it.

Take on a challenge. We decided to move to a whole different community. Mapping out a strategy, we met fears head on and it left me with a feeling of accomplishment. Piling it on, my husband said to me, “Let’s ride our motorcycles from Washington State to New York.” My brain could barely process his comment, but it did sound motivating. I agreed only to almost back out at the last minute. The idea of riding my motorcycle 3,000 miles was daunting, until I realized if I only made it to Montana, fine, I’ll sell the bike and fly in an airplane the rest of the way.

The motorcycle trip across America is indelibly marked in my mental databank as the best two-weeks in the history of trips and vacations. We rode Highway 2, a northern route that took us through Glacier National Park, over the Bitterroot Mountains where Lewis and Clark traversed 200 years previous, on foot.

I learned that I could ride in rain, wind, over snowy roads, and under blasted hot sunshine. I spent $9 to fill my gas tank at the station, while a camper owner at the nearby gas pump spent $232 to fill his tank.

I watched terrain change from desert to woodland. I felt a spiritual parallel as I changed from wishy-washy to “I can do this.” We rode into our new upstate New York hometown on our 25th wedding anniversary. We’ll be celebrating our thirty-third anniversary in a few weeks.

dandelion gone to seed

The glitch of complaint

Etta is in her eighties. An amazing woman who taught dance to our daughters when they were children.

I helped Etta last year when her husband was dying. It was a tough time, but she made it through and credits God’s love for being able to get through the death with grace.

On the phone yesterday, Etta told me, “Some days I miss Robert and wish he was here. Then I stop myself because I remember when taking care of Robert I would wish for time for myself.”

We laughed at the craziness of human mind, always wanting, always wishing.

We  talked some more and she helped me put a positive spin on something I’d been writing, a desire I’d been working on for weeks.

Connections such as these are powerful and make life purposeful.

Bing pink bush

What are you looking for?

Are you a peeping tom?

A fancier title for a peeping tom is a voyeur, a person who obtains sexual gratification from observing unsuspecting individuals who are partly undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts.

A broader definition of a voyeur is a person who habitually seeks sexual stimulation by visual means. Or, a prying observer who is usually seeking the sordid or the scandalous.

Whether looking through windows or on the internet for scandalous visual stimulation, we can ask ourselves, Can I look for something else? Can I see something other than the scandalous?

Yes, you can.

And, you don’t need to snoop around to do so. A voyeur is an observer. You are using your vision for communication, however, the satisfaction is short lived. To look for the sordid is to communicate the sordid, and it internally makes us feel nasty, cheap, and despicable.  Therefore, look for that which has more meaning. Look for qualities or character that really satisfy.

When we look for decency, patience, and honesty, we will find it. We don’t even have to snoop around to find it. I can sit on a bench in the middle of a busy park and watch people to find they are getting along and working together. I can see forgiveness and wisdom and courage.  It may not stimulate me sexually, but it does stimulate me spiritually and the satisfaction of being spiritually stimulated lasts.

If it is difficult to switch out looking at spirituality rather than sex, write down qualities worth looking at and practice doing so. You can and will see beauty, not the brutish. You can and will see form, not distortion. You can and will see respect, not prying. You can and will communicate that respect for others and yourself.

The eye of truth and love is at work. It sees integrity, not scandal.

 

Sadness over gay club killings

The distressing news about a gunman killing 49 people in a gay bar in Florida prompts me to express sadness and alertness. The notion that murder is an answer is very sad, and demands vigilant alertness. I want to see the bigger picture so as not to fall into the trap of spiritual amnesia.

Spiritual amnesia comes from broken memories consisting of a few imprints, whether detestable imprints or our favorite imprints. It’s an easy trap to fall into because our human minds are so limited, however, we can courageously and constantly stand with truths to counter these supposed answers that bring so much pain.

The gunman allegedly was affiliated with Islamic extremists and acted on homophobia. On the flipside, the gunman acted on tightly bound fundamental beliefs that heterosexuality is the one right and only way to live humanly and human beings who don’t conform to it will be damned.

Tearing apart those beliefs, if a person does believe heterosexuality is right, fine, they can live that way, but to impose their belief on others or disallow a loving relationship with others who think differently, is painful, unloving, ungodlike.

While we deal with this current gross tragedy, let’s not forget to break apart fundamental beliefs in their emerging stages at all levels, even those beliefs going on right now under the radar. Divorce won’t establish one right and only way of relating. Excommunication won’t promote a right and only way of behavior and thinking. A scientific invention won’t become a cure-all. Acting on those beliefs is also disastrous to humanity’s wellbeing.

Everyone seeks their understanding in different ways because there is no one describable truth to stand on or establish.

Spirituality broadens our views and keeps us from forgetting truth and love as it constantly unfolds. And, I’d like now to share some news so as not to be negatively influenced by my sadness. I do know personally a Muslim community in which are people who are loving and tolerant. I know a Muslim man who purchased a restaurant from a gay couple who he respects and appreciates immensely for their support and help in the business transaction.

I will not forget the good images.

Quoting from science & religion to God:

“People who insist on proving another method wrong, as if their way were the only way, will end up living out their condemnations. Like the person who adamantly opposes abortion, calling it murder, killing a doctor who performed abortions.

“The malicious instinct and morbid curiosity, with intents to kill morally and physically even fellow human beings, is unloosed, in order that the false claim of mind in matter might uncover its own crime of defying infinite, spiritual Mind.

“Does God create a material human out of Spirit? Does divine Mind commit fraud by making man and woman free to do wrong? Does God then stand on the sidelines waiting to reward the pious and punish the wrongdoer? Would anyone call it wise and good for God to create people and then condemn them to remain servants? Did God create human beings and challenge them to take control of, and dominate creation? No. No. No. No. No.

“God remains forever and is our Mind. We can’t lose Mind. Our relationship with God is indestructible. We can admit these facts even if they aren’t supported by human beliefs. Our spiritual senses can detect our unity with the one Mind and its manifestation of truth.

“Prayer is a mental exercise involving spiritual understanding, not human understanding. Our prayers start with faith in God and become deep and conscientious acknowledgments of Truth. We acknowledge a knowingness that we are the image and likeness of Spirit, in full unity with Life and Love.”

 

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