Posted on Sun Bulletin

We can change for the better, a comment I got printed by Press & Sun Bulletin, Binghamton, NY

Have you ever got a song stuck in your head? Terrorists have “concepts” stuck in their heads and defend them to death.

Fortunately we have a window of opportunity for getting unstuck built into nature. Change.

Change happens. We can’t stop it. We can though, harness change and use it to benefit humanity, like harnessing electricity to turn on the light.

Changing for the better requires courage. Think of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Harriet Tubman. They were extremists. We just call them revolutionaries.

They had in common the aplomb to put themselves out-there in the face of danger and death. They stood for new positions that represented something greater than themselves. Equality, freedom, and progress.

Great thinkers and doers ally with what I call spirituality, a trust in good. They show forgiveness and integrity when attacked by hate and brutality. They show meaning in life when demeaned.

After 9/11, the word terrorist was nailed to the word Islam. It’s since been hammered into our heads by the media and by horrifying events. The words seem to be one and the same but this is a concept that can change.

Five years ago in Delaware County, New York, where I live, a Muslim community, the Osmanli Dergahi Sufi Center, became the target of suspicion and animosity. The Muslims were accused of illegal behavior in regard to two plots in a small cemetery on their property. It got ugly.

The Muslims verified the plots legitimacy but their word was not enough.

The Town leadership told the Muslims to disinter the bodies. Legal counsel was brought in to show that the Muslims had indeed followed the law. Moreover, non-Muslims mobilized to stand with members of the Sufi community on the side of justice. Today, the cemetery stands in peace.

The Muslims are not standing still. They’ve become involved in local municipalities and Villages, thereby improving the concept of Islam.

The Town of Sidney Supervisor, Eugene Pigford, told me recently, “A Muslim, Hans Hass, is on the Planning Board and offers useful input.”

At the newly opened Tulip & Rose Café, Manager and follower of Islam, Hasan Siddiqi, told me, “We need to put faces of kindness and integrity into the public.”

The effort is attracting the willingness to trust, not so much in human beings, as in the ability to get along, to support and respect one another. A concept worth fighting for.

I’ve also visited the Muslim community and listened to its key representative, Sheykh Lokman give a sermon. He said, “The only jihad we have is against our own egos, against hate and self-righteousness.”

The Sheykh’s discourse touched on respect for the old traditions that have proven sound in Islam. “Do not take away the power of speech. Support peace and justice,” he said.

The natural force of change is universal, unbiased. As a Christian, I too can support the concepts of self-improvement, peace, and justice.


Bio: Cheryl Petersen is a freelance writer for The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY; Catskill Mountain News, Arkville, NY; The Delaware County Times, Delhi, NY; and Kaatksill Life Magazine, Delhi, NY. Her book is, 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A modern version of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health.

Film: Age of Adaline

I wouldn’t say the film, The Age of Adaline will be a classic but I liked it. The storyline reads: after miraculously remaining 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline Bowman has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.

The film crew includes Blake Lively as Adaline, Michiel Huisman as Ellis Jones, and Harrison Ford.

The explanation as to why Adaline didn’t age was a fictional cosmic narrative, nonetheless it didn’t dent what I got out the movie.

Three words.

“She can’t change.”

The show concluded with Adaline regaining the ability to change. She began aging and was glad.

From I Corinthians 15: 50-58, ESV

“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Beautiful, everytime I read it

“[A]nd assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Matthew 2:4-6 ESV

heliocopter and rockies


He is part of the family, a younger man who grew up with our daughters. When he was single and living on his own, I encouraged him to cook at home, rather than eat out all the time.

He remembered the Christmas cookies we’d make and asked for the recipe.

Later he called me on the phone and said, “The cookies turned out good, but the frosting is terrible.”

I asked, “What did you do?”

He answered, “I mixed butter and sugar.”

After pondering I finally asked, “What kind of sugar did you use?”

“Gran you late dead,” he enunciated carefully.

“Ah, that’s granulated sugar. You want powdered sugar,” I said.

He learned about powdered sugar and I laugh at myself when working cross word puzzles. Sometimes, when all but 1 block is filled out with letters, I can’t pronounce the word, especially when they add 2 words and I think it’s one.

Our human minds are limited. When we know their limits we are more open to hearing ideas from the unlimited divine Mind.

The green in the woods

Green ferns linger in the woods, although its winter. The green color sticks out because everything around it is brown. Decaying leaves, dormant trees and bushes. The green looks so vibrant that I can’t help but think about the scene.

From plant science class, I know the fern isn’t green itself, but that chlorophyll inside the plant leaves actually reflect the green ray of light from the sun.

In my belief of a God, a good God that shines with strength, peace, and wisdom, I use this knowledge to my benefit.

When I’m feeling weary, I shift my attitude and instead of trying to squeeze more energy out of my mind and body, I reflect. I reflect on the strength of love, truth, and life, attributes of God.

green ferns

Our own answers

When I was a kid, I pretty much went to mom and dad for my answers. When I was at school, I listened for answers from my teachers.

Other times, I basically repeated behavior. Wore the same clothes, played the same games, did what I was told to do.

But when I was in the first grade, I made a decision on my own. I got an internal answer.

I was out on the playground with classmates. A new girl moved to town. She wore a lot of makeup on her face which caused a stirring conversation.

“I heard she burned her face and covers it with that powder,” said Teresa.

“She’s a little smelly,” said Anna.

I decided the conversation was getting us nowhere and walked away. I walked to the new girl and asked if she wanted to play four-square. She did.

Now, I’m not a saint. The other girls soon joined in. It just happened to be the first time, I found an answer within my own head, so to speak.

My parents and teachers didn’t tell me to play with the new girl. I realized to. And, I felt like it was the right answer.

Now, I’ve had answers come to my head that didn’t turn out so well. And, I pretty much chalk them up as wrong answers.

Like the time I needed an answer about my marriage. Being married wasn’t the fun I’d anticipated, so I read inspirational books, looking for answers. None had an answer for me. The authors told about the answers they received and acted on, but their answers weren’t my answers.

It was all getting rather tiring. I think I got tired of, not being married, but from trying to make my anticipation real. I quit, not the marriage, but quit trying to get answers elsewhere.

It freed up my mind. I heard answers about how to act each day within the marriage, according to my husband and me, not just me and some dreamed up anticipation.

It worked. We’re still married, more than thirty years later.

It taught me not to rely on others for answers, not even really great prophets, or their words, since most are dead now. I certainly look to them for guidance, however I must appreciate my own answers.

When I get answers, I test them. I compare and contrast them to proven answers from the past. It’s still a work in progress, but it also reminds me that I don’t know all the answers, especially to other people’s questions and that I can trust a higher power to deliver those answers when needed.

closeup fall leaves elm street




Prophets seeing things

Because it’s part of my routine, I read the daily newspaper a day after print. A day late, basically. I’ve checked out my Horoscope and find it inert, or static. The Forecast, and what actually happened to me the day before, have no synergy. This doesn’t bother me, and I got to thinking, maybe it’s because of my view.

I’ve always believed that Forecasters are similar to Fortune-tellers, Psychics, or Prophets. They are Seers.

But what do they “see”? A future world event? Or, do they see human beings who need to do what the Prophet tells them to do? These questions conflict.

If a Prophet, such as Prophets in Scriptures, foretold a future event, does that mean there is no way whatsoever that future event could be changed, altered, or stopped?

This conflicts with a prophesy foretelling advice for people to follow so as to change the future.

It seems that all the “prophets” I know and read about, have a limited scope of knowledge. Bible scholars may have interpreted and transcribed into the Bible, verses that imply that old-time prophets knew about Christ Jesus’ birth, but did they know that one day, we human beings would be sharing organs or flying the skies?

This is when it dawned on me that true prophecy isn’t about a mortal future, but is when God’s work is expressed. God’s work can’t be divided into pieces with some pieces unfinished and about to happen.

God’s work is finished. Genesis 2:2 The work is the work of Spirit, not the human mortal mind or world.

The human mortal world is a tiny glimpse into Spirit; an immature concept of reality. Human events don’t affect Spirit. Sensible prophecy deals with Spirit, not this worlds events.

So, I’m trying to stop wishing someone would tell me about the future, when to sell the house, get a new job, or buy stocks. I’m trying to more-so remember God’s finished work, it is good and expresses universal Spirit.

As I detach myself from human predictions, and attach to the reality of an all-present Spirit, Life, my mind de-clutters. My expectations become reasonable.

 From 21st Century Science and Health, “Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the divine idea—the reflection of God—has come with some degree of power and grace to all prepared to receive the Messiah, or Truth. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of Christ, which baptized these insightful people in the nature, or essence of Love.


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