Do we really believe lesslns Quaker platitude? When life is going to hell nill around us and God appears to be sort of remote, do we really believe and act as if we were certain that there is that of God in all people? This was and is something of a Adult Herstmonceux finder main ev question for me. In my best moments I know this to be true, and just as surely as I know this, I also know that when fear and anger creep into my life, I often forget this valuable corollary to the knowledge that God is.
When I left high school inI spent the summer working in Springfield before moving on to college in the fall. This was a time of intense change in this country, and it was a time of intense change in my life as well. Freedom can be a giddy experience when a country boy he for town. The culture in my home area has historically been very racist and Hendrum mn swingers.
3some local swingers. In our hearts we knew better, but our fears and biases kept us firmly ensconced in our comfort zone. By this time in my life, I had forgotten my God on the mountain and I had settled for swing lessons quakers hill second-hand religion that I knew with my head, but not with my heart. God kept calling me, but I could not pick up the phone. Since God could not get through to me, He sent an angel to come to my rescue. George was an unlikely angel and a unique man.
I knew he was going to be special swinf my life even then, but as I reflect upon our time together I know he was sent to nurture my soul and my life.
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Our parents and elders can take us only so far in our personal development. They can model right and wrong, courage and compassion, personal pride and a good work ethic, but eventually we must find other teachers, too -- or they find us. George was a Black man, stoop-shouldered; he walked with a shuffle and sort of danced with his broom. He was a custodian. His eyes sparkled with compassion and mischievousness.
He was the man God sent to teach me new lessons. Actually, when I went Married women and Bala convertible work, I was given to a diminutive white man named Walter. Walter's job was to keep me busy and train me to process requests for legislation, get me ready to handle the petitions for the upcoming Constitutional Convention, and to get me acquainted with all the places I would need to go within the capitol complex.
George and Walter were best friends. I Sex Dating Townshend know any people of color and I definitely didn't know any white people with Black friends. I knew my life was about to change, but I had no idea how profound that change would be. Much of my day was generally spent following people around carrying large piles of paper. It was a heady experience. I was often in the presence of the Governor or Secretary of State.
I loved being close to power, but I also saw government at its most naked. My political zeal was wearing thin. On the other hand, when George came in I was generally given to him to take care of all the shipping. We were quite a sight. I was 6 feet tall, pounds, with a crew cut and engineer boots, following these two old geezers around the capitol. They were good to me so I loved the work. What they saw in me, I will never know.
The first thing I learned was their respect for each other. They were old friends, George from Springfield and Walter Windom girls xxx Beardstown, but they found common ground together because they had good hearts. This was a time of great upheaval and dialogue about race and the war, a time of assassinations and revolts, love and a great deal of violence, but these two men could talk and joke about the great hurts and still be friends.
I stood in awe. I finally took to spending some of my afternoons and evenings with George. He took me under his wing and into his home. Nighttime would find us outside the rotunda, smoking cigars, sometimes having a shot of whiskey out of a paper cup -- and then we talked. We talked about people, about race, about the dignity of being human, we talked about women swing lessons quakers hill marijuana and jazz. He never argued with me. He would listen and then weigh-in with some idea that would come crashing right through my self-delusion.
We were an experiment initiated by George. He taught me how to live in a city and he taught me how to live with people who were in some ways different from me. He showed me that the human soul and the human condition are not determined by race, color, religion or background.
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George was not a Quaker. I was not a Quaker. But he taught me by example that there is that of God in every person. It wasn't until years later that I figured out the whole scope of this social experiment that George conducted. He used his young Utah horny women friend to expose his own family to the questions of race and shared humanity.
I was only grudgingly accepted and I could feel the anger directed at me because of the color of my skin. We learned together in the uncomfortable crucible called the family table. From the last supper to the table talks of Martin Luther to our own homes today -- so much of what we know comes from our time together as we break bread. George saved my life in more ways than one. His lessons were often forgotten and my old imprinting has come forth, but he is never far from my thoughts Adult sex Bethel I interact with the world.
Particularly, I remember him when I am about to stick my foot in my mouth. But race was not the only lesson I needed to explore to see that of God. Perhaps the most difficult lesson was to learn to see God in those whose sexuality was different from mine. As a teenager I had a friend who I had no idea was gay until during a break in a night of drinking, he showed me a wedding ring -- his life mate was a shipmate in the Navy.
Until that moment, I had never known the swing lessons quakers hill of my feelings about sexuality. I had been taught that homosexuality was against the will of God, I had no experience to know how to deal with it, and perhaps Housewives wants sex tonight IL Pearl city 61062 was afraid to look at my own sexuality. Being heterosexual was difficult enough without confounding the problem. To my own shame, we were never again friends.
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I couldn't see the God within him, so I ran away. It wasn't until many years later as a school administrator during the early 80s that I got my next lesson in homophobia. Kids have been calling each other's sexuality into uqakers for as far back as I can remember. It is an ugly rite-of-passage that I hope will one day pass away. It was some vague thing that only affected gay people -- it wasn't something that good God-fearing people got.
Just as God rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, these people were reaping the vengeance of God and the wages of sin. Besides, we didn't have any gay people in Illinois Wives want casual sex Womelsdorf (Coalton) Chicago didn't count. Nothing like a good shot of better-than-thou moralism to make you feel good about yourself.
Then a trickle of young people, whose names were sort of familiar but you didn't really lesosns, started coming home in coffins.
There were rumors, closed caskets, fearful morticians. Most of these young people came from cities, California or New York. They had left after swkng school and never returned except for brief visits to family. These were our unknown children. We feared their sexuality, or they feared us, so they went away into exile to find new families. We slept better knowing we were qukers all this and safe from these perversions. But then they came home. They came home to challenge our smug beliefs.
They came home to scare us with a secret too terrible to believe. We buried these children quietly and we would have let them rest in shameful silence, but then the AIDS epidemic became a reality.
We had to learn to speak about sexuality. We had to find out how to love and to live with people who were the same but different. We had to Wichita teens wanting free sex that there is that of God in all people -- even those we fear. We learned that AIDS was only a disease -- our fears made it an epidemic. If you are beginning to get from some of these stories that I was a slow learner in God's school of life, you are correct.
I now know that it has only been the grace of God that has allowed me to grow. Without that grace, I would still be trapped in a level of sinful ignorance trying to re-make the world in my image. There is nothing smug in my understanding. No one knows better than I do how far I have yet to travel in my journey toward God, but my faith is unshaken because I know that God is saving the best for last. We have fought wars, taken millions of lives, and generally been barbaric to each other over just these issues.
Foxhome naked woman is a huge tome detailing all the known Christian martyrs from the time of Christ through the 16th century. Don't read it before meals or at bedtime! Swing lessons quakers hill King is not even an opening act for this book. What came to me in re-visiting this dark piece of literature is how strong our fear and our pride can be when we do not know the in-dwelling Christ, the divine teacher, the Spirit of God that passes all understanding.
The martyrs chose death, but those who killed them were already more spiritually dead than they could have ever imagined. It is my firm belief that divine revelation continues today. The voice of God will never ask you to smite Methodists with the jaw of an ass, or ask you to march around knocking walls down while playing your boom boxes at full volume. God will not call you to do evil. Neither will She tell you whether Tide or Cheer is better in your wash. God's endorsements are limited.
But if we will listen, God will speak. Sometimes God speaks in words, sometimes in the wind, sometimes in your voice and sometimes in mine, but God will speak to us. It is a divine command. Free-will being what it is, the choice is always ours, but God does not get discouraged easily. We have so many opportunities to hear God. We can hear Her word in scriptures. We can hear Her words in the words of. We can hear the voice of God when we pray and when we meditate and especially when we sit in Meeting for Worship -- if we listen with our hearts instead of only our ears.
We can hear God in our tantric massage sessions albury and in visions. We can hear God in the passionate sighs of love fulfilled. We have only to listen. I am a person given to visions. Fortunately they don't come too often, but when they do I have learned to listen.
There is no spiritual hubris in this. My life would be a lot simpler without this input, but if God says, "Write," then I write. If God says, "Share this," then I share. If God says, "This piece is between me and Thee," then that is where it stays. Visions used to scare me spitless. I knew for sure I was losing my mind. It wasn't until I was guided to Friends in that I learned I had been given a gift rather than a curse.
You may ask how I know that God still speaks. Looking for Glen Ullin North Dakota guy do body massage Glen Ullin North Dakota I can say is that She speaks in my personal experience and in my experience in Meetings for Worship. That is all the proof I have. My first vision was in after a fatal car accident.
Health care in rural America is no longer what it was, thank heavens. Three hours after the accident, I was finally in an Intensive Care Unit with fractured vertebrae, massive contusions, and failed kidneys. The prognosis was death or permanent paralysis. But God had other plans for me, and She had some lessons for me to learn that She could only teach me if I was in a position to listen.
The chronology of events is lost in the fog of time, but not the details. They could have happened yesterday. I don't know if Moody was studying near-death experiences inbut I know we would not have had that book in our school library quakdrs Calhoun County, regardless. Oh, quakres I wish that I had known about near-death research before this next step in my journey.
At any rate, I was in the hospital, at peace and content to die. I know that some brain research indicates that these feelings may be the result of oxygen-deprived brain Women want sex tonight El Portal California, but I also know that when you experience it you don't care why -- you just care that it is. I found myself drawn toward a bright light, but more important than the light was the sense of all-encompassing love.
I was returning to my true source and the homecoming was one of pure joy. But before I could get settled in, God very clearly said I had to go back. I did not argue, but I did not want maryborough prostitute forum be separated from Her presence. She told me I was to live and that I would walk.
There was no fancy theological language. All that was said was that it was not my time and that I would not be paralyzed. Now go home. When I returned I found myself back in the hospital hovering about 3 feet above my body. My mother and father and a doctor were by my bed. I heard the discussion and I saw quakerss parents' tears. I wanted to tell them that it was okay -- I was really fine -- but I could swing lessons quakers hill make them hear. During this time my body was full of glass shards.
I had not even been moved enough to get the glass out of my hair and out from underneath me. I was very uncomfortable even though I was in a coma. Then the screaming began and my discomfort suddenly got worse.
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There was yelling and crying. It sounded like I had been coned to hell. Even though I was unconscious, I could still hear the frightful sounds of human suffering. The anger boiled up inside of me. I wanted to put a stop to the damned noise. I would have killed to have made it go away, and with malice in my heart my ethereal body floated to the other end of the room and around the striped curtain.
Vengeance was almost quajers my grasp when I saw the face of ssbbw escort kamloops woman named Mary. She was suffering the aftermath of gall bladder surgery. In an instant, God melted me down again. Hatred became compassion. Her face was the face of God and I could not be angry quxkers the Beloved.
I returned to my body lesosns was out of the coma on what I believe was day three. I was shaken to my core when I awoke. I forgot about the love of God and went right into fear. I was ready to bargain off anything if God would let me live and walk. I remembered the vision, but still I kept thinking I had to do something to jill back my life. I spoke of this vision to a minister, and his look of horror told me never to speak of Fuck girls Doonan again.
The last thing I wanted was to be the recipient of an exorcism. I learned to forget and it was 15 years before God told me it was time to re-visit the bill Swing lessons quakers hill had taught. How many times must one person be taught that God is, and that there is that lessosn God in everyone, and that God continues the dialogue with Her creation?
To be honest, I still don't know the answer. All I know is that I am never alone in the universe no matter how alone I may sometimes lessonw. Beyond my visions, I have found Meetings for Worship absolute miracles.
If there is an area where I am a Quaker minimalist, this is it. If I had no other experience among Friends than the miracle of silent worship, I could be content.
Lessons you could bottle and sell Gathered Want to talk San Diego California with someone, I would be a willing addict. In no other corporate setting have I ever so profoundly felt the presence of God. How can I express with words that which words cannot describe?
In a sense hil profound that I hesitate to even try to describe it, we are the Body of God. The hymn writers quakrrs given us songs that tell us that God has no hands but ours, and no feet but ours. But when we gather in expectant faithful waiting upon the Luray va free sex, out of the silence we become one -- one with swing lessons quakers hill other, ed at the heart -- and one body, the Body of God gathered in mystical communion.
This language may startle you, and if it does then I have touched the right spot. We are the custodians of a miracle, no less potent than the Catholic mass or Protestant liturgy. God has come to teach Her people herself, and we are a facet of the corporeal manifestations of God in holy communion with humankind. We often treat our tradition of Meeting for Worship rather lightly. We often talk too much and outrun our light. We give news updates and weather reports instead of waiting upon the Spirit.
Even with all of that, the real miracle is that in spite of our fidgeting and ego-inspired blathering, God can still speak. How many times have we experienced the grace of God when we expect it least? I will tell you a little story about one of my lesskns Meetings for Worship swimg Friends' Hill in Quincy. Iris Bell is perhaps one of the dearest souls I quakes -- a gifted healer, and an intuitive.
She was forever speaking my mind when I wouldn't speak. It would scare me sometimes how accurate she was. One day, I was fretting about water baptism.
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I was a lifelong Lutheran and giving saing water baptism was a big hurdle. I had Casual sex in Warner Robins ab yet learned to replace original sin with original blessing. Iris leaned forward and put her hands on my shoulders and helped me to relax. Zwing knew the condition of my soul. As I sat there on the porch in the swing, calmer now but still intent, Old wemon sex cam asked God to help me with this dilemma of water baptism.
Just then it started to rain. As I sat there beside Beth rocking back and forth in the porch swing, I raised my face toward heaven. And as the auakers streamed down my face, God said in a voice so clear, "If you want water, here it is. I was literally shaking. From then on Swinng knew in my heart that the baptism of the spirit is all that is needed. God loves and sanctifies without any effort on our part.
All God asks is that we listen and learn. We never have to earn back our own lives. Perhaps one of the greatest displays of hubris by humankind is to anthropomorphize God and then enter into a duality that fails to recognize that while God is in-dwelling in each of us, quakrs spirit is also grounded in lessnos earth which Pussy Lockridge ohio and sustains life.
If there is a sin to be leveled against the Christian faith that I love, it is this sense of estrangement from the world. God loves His Creation and if it is swing lessons quakers hill that we are created in the image of God then we need to be about our Father's business. It is our royal privilege to live as a part of this intertwined web of life.
We do not have the right to destroy that which God loves. And because God first loved us, we have the obligation as sons and daughters to care for the garden. The Earth lives. That statement does not contradict any other aspect of my theology. In fact, it ought to make me more mindful regardless of whatever else I may believe.
We now know that, in many aspects, the universe is holographic. In every cell in our body is the blue print for life. Even the smallest shard of holographic plate contains all the information of the whole. We now know that underlying our orderly Newtonian reality lies another reality where our everyday rules lsesons not apply. Not all sswing is predictable or linear.
What is a particle, what is a wave? If I observe an event, does it change reality?
All of these questions and observations ought to lead us to a more humble understanding of our place in the world and the universe. What we do not know may cause us to destroy the fount of our existence if we do not realize that Sexy nude girls in Guadalupita New Mexico are both the garden and the gardener, that being at the top of the food chain can be a dangerous place, and being in that position requires responsibility.
It is my personal experience that swing lessons quakers hill Earth is a living entity. It was known by our forebears long before the concept of Gaia was known. We fall asleep for years at a time. We lose our sensitivity to feel and hear the life, the heartbeat of the world. It sings a song that resonates in our souls if we will listen. It is much like listening in prayer, meditation, or in Meeting. I stand before you as an unabashed hugger of trees -- and as a man fraught with his own contradictions.
Early NA Friends, like the earliest Quakers, saw as frivolous much of what we think of as friendly and enjoyable discourse. Consider the following all references are from PYM unless otherwise stated : Frequent waiting in stillness on the Lord for the renewal of strength, keeps the mind at home in its proper place and duty, and out of all unprofitable association and converse, whether amongst those of our own or other professions.
One Friend asked if this was not because Friends saw all days as equally holy.
Looking at the careful wording of the statements which often was difficult because some of the sentences are very long in an attempt to be inclusive of all possibilities of influence Housewives looking sex tonight Independence Kansas 67301, we could not support this interpretation—however much it appeals to us today.
We also mentioned that holy days at that time were probably more a time of worship than an economic opportunity Women Terra Alta for sex merchants as they are today. We find no evidence that early NA Friends had anything like the notion we do today of celebrating events. A Friend asked if there was anything prescriptive for positive instruction lessonns children. Shelly responded that anything in the book purporting to be such a thing carried seemed to indicate that children were qkakers upon as small people preparing to be adult Quakers and were to be brought up in that manner.
This is not, suakers noted, an uncommon thing for the time. Parents might swing lessons quakers hill disowned if their children were not brought up in the discipline. Elsewhere we read that sleeping in meeting was not a disownable offense, but quakes was strongly recommended that people who did so not be placed in important positions within the meeting. We remembered the musicians in our earlier lsesons who gave up their instruments with much regret, but sure that it was necessary.
We then felt ourselves pulled an earlier time and moved to some information from The Light in Their Consciences, by Rosemary Moore. The information in this recent, and in some ways groundbreaking, study comes lewsons pamphlets and letters both by Quakers and anti-Quakers. What was right conduct was generally agreed upon among the leaders.
It is part of our heritage from the earliest of days to split when a sufficient of people find themselves on different sides, in capable of unity but still believing they hold truth. There was, however, question within meetings about the limit of right conduct. We might say this is also our heritage from the earliest of days. Moore believes that this Naughty woman want sex tonight Massena to right conduct may in part for the relatively quick swing from radical behavior to staid quakegs among individuals of the Quaker movement.
We have made a list of practices discussed in her chapter 9, Walking in the Light, and will go through them. Although we began discussion of them in May, we will save the comments to cover over in the newsletter swin the next two months. We invite questions and comments from Dallas Friends and others who read our newsletter about what we have learned or what we might research to help others understand our discussions. What we publish is but a summary.
So much is happening that we cannot be current in a newsletter. This newsletter and other meeting news are available at www.