Tag Archives: spirituality

The Essence of True Friendship-Missing My Father

 Last Saturday, I witness the honorable burial of my father. He lost his battle to cancer Tuesday, December 18th but with a smile on his face. To some it would have looked cryptic, but to someone who knows God for herself, there was a new light in my father’s eyes and his teeth shone white. He had the brightest smile on his face and everyone is still talking about it.

However, I wish not to speak on the death of my father who raised me and my sister by himself and who worked so very hard for his family and others (the funeral was packed with hundreds of lives he’s touched).

But I’d rather discuss what I’ve learned from his passing on to be with the Lord. I already know that life is precious and “too short”, but my father was a true friend to everyone. Even to those whom others may consider different or misfits. You can call on him anytime and he would help. No matter what.

What saddens me is that I had to let a couple of friendships go two years ago because my Spirit was telling me: “A friend in need is a friend indeed” Do they care for you? Do you hang out together? Are ya’ll real friends anyway?” I had to say no to all of the above and it was hard. I asked my Consciousness: “Why should any of that matter? I knew these friends for years. No one did anything to hurt me. I can’t let them go just like that.”

A pretty interesting but true statement. No one did anything to me- yet no one did anything for me either. It is not about getting something from someone, because all I probably needed was a prayer back then or someone just to tell me, “Erica it will be alright.” But everyone had their own lives to get on with. Sometimes, a crisis on the other side is not the flame to burn in the other’s chest. We are instructed to carry one another’s burdens(Galatians 6:2 NIV).

There were others in my corner who I failed to recognize at the time. These folks cared about me and I cared for them. My husband, my father, my sister in law and others that have gone out of their way to make sure me and hubby were okay. This is how my father lived his life: He cared for his fellow people even when he was tired, even when they did not deserve a handout from him- he did it anyway.

So now I reflect on my self. These last seven days, I have wondered-Am I a good friend? I can speak about those who moved on and forgot about me, but what about my relationship to God and people?

This is my prayer: to be like my Heavenly Father whom my earthly father patterned after….

“Unclean spirits at the top”, poem based off of an exercise

*There are unclean spirits

and they don’t trust you

your name is amongst the

feared and it dirties

the talk, it cramps

their walk and they drive

The low and the downtrodden,

the saddened, the broken

hearts and those who work

at the bottom of hell

and come up streaked and hot

bloodied nails and sharpened

wit on wisdom is washed away

from the news and there is no mention of them

in politics

There is no mention of them

among the rich

no mention of them amongst their

own families and churches

I am talking about the poor.

A debate featured middle class woes who have

homes and their worst problem

is taxes and if their kids will get jobs

after college

What about you who want to get to college

or you who needs a job yesterday?

Did they mention you?

Perhaps they think its your fault

for not forcing them to give you

work but then that is illegal.

Or manipulating to get the job

but then that’s pawn shop bargaining.

The 99 are poor and can storm the doors

let’s not forgot who sweeps the floors

and those who need a little more

*************************************************

 

Here are words  in bold  I used for above poem:(this is based off of a poem exercise involving conversations and snatches of words I heard)

It works

is it clean

evil spirits

it’s not them

they don’t trust you

scared

she ignored me

middle class

Prose Parable: My Lord and the Frog

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I asked the Lord one day if one thing mattered:

Should I go to church?

 Hurt and pain glowed in his eyes

And I couldn’t fathom why.

“My Lord?” I ask. “What is wrong? Is it my question?”

By now the day has grown dark and the pond water becomes filled

with creepy things:singing crickets, hopping frogs, and nagging mosquitos.

His eyes were black as the night pond and his gaze caressed my soul-

such as a lover’s.

“My dear one,” he began. “Out of all the questions that could fill you up in one lifetime. In this expansive universe with all the glorious stars made from His Glory and Beauty, you ask if you must go to church?”

When he put it that way I felt a little silly, in fact I felt angry that I could be so dumb.

But he placed a hand upon a green lily, slid it over closer to the frog eying us.

It shot his long pink tongue; caught something- I yelped because it was so long and nasty!

From green came pink, then green tinted my skin( at least I’m sure it did)

The frog caught its ride, caught up in the rapturous moonlight RIBBIT was its call.

“The frog can be nice,” my Savior said. “Its tongue and preference are biologically wired but it must do this to live. Others may not like it, but the frog’s grand purpose is for this: To eat. And serve as a lesson for you.

“It does not care about congregating with others, although that can be nice and sometimes fruitful. But does being alone  negate its purpose? It catches the flies near your doorstep which if it hadn’t, the flies would have landed upon your food, birthed maggots, buzzed annoyingly in your ear. The frog does this and does not congregate. In fact if it was, it would miss its mission.”

I understood my Lord, but I secretly thought, “I am no frog.”

He smiled, a heavenly smile that made it turn day again. “All are small on this planet to Him who made you, but you are so significant. So precious.”

“I am told its important to fellowship. I must be in a church!” Desperation for a clear answer stained my voice. My Savior did not flinch. He knew everything.

“The world says you need it. Do you need it?”

“Sometimes.” Then I heard an owl say Hoo! “Sometimes.”

“Then if my word is being taught, if it is being lived out and if you can forgive each other in love, it should not matter where you fellowship. Do it in My Name. He is everywhere and in all places, you must choose to open your eyes and see Him.”

Free eBooks weekend: A look at ‘Dunamis Sanctum’ from ‘The Prayer Monologues’

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Church in Vienna at Night from Microsoft Images

Dunamis Sanctum

Daily, I watch the way of people,

Observing and finding flaws so openly hidden.

They do not know what I know.

Some call me shy or fearful

When I avoid their eyes and

Am slow to speak- but they don’t know what I know.

My power comes from abstract dreaming and imaginings

Which doesn’t happen often. Night visions from God

For the appointed time-secrets told in due time.

My smile fazes you,

My praise astounds you, and all the while,

The Holy Spirit slices you from bone to marrow…

***

My Note on why I wrote this poem: I wish I can say I was only inspired by the Bible, which is part truth, but the other half of it involve how I feel about people’s personalities in the church and how we all worship God in our own unique way and should never rely on others’ worship as a model for our own.

For instance, I have been to a church where if you don’t jump around or shout with tears flying around everywhere- then you must not have the Holy Spirit. In other churches, Westernized churches, if you don’t dress in a starched suit or take off your hat when you go inside you are disrespecting the Lord.

This is also not true.

So one day I found some words, either by reading or doing actual research- I don’t remember which and discovered dunamis sanctum- which in Greek means sacred power.  I prefer secret power, but it communicates who I am because I am typically a quiet person everywhere I go but God has deposited unique gifts in me as well and traditional churches can not manipulate that.

In the poem here I highlighted a few choice words and phrases. “Openly hidden” is an oxymoron although juxtapose to one another to convey a point about me. An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. How can something/someone be open and hidden? Well that’s me. A box of conradictions.

At Night is the hour/time I had dreams which were potent enough to manifest the next day or three days later. This doesn’t happen often though. I captialized the N in night because it is an important hour for me.

Finally, the last phrase, “The Holy Spirit slices you from bone to marrow” is just a comeback of what could happen to those who judges others. Learning God’s Word and languishing in His love while still doing kindly to our enemies who judge us is what heaps coals upon their heads. I put a different spin on it though.

That’s my explanation for this particular poem but you can enjoy the entire eBook for free at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/20106

When words are not enough, the weakness of it in time of loss

Me and my husband just got back from a funeral today and the community, the world will surely miss the gentle young man and his smile. I sat in the church today and looked all around me. Some people I haven’t seen in years: they are grown up now with children, full figures, beards and a new walk. They appear more serious now and are not the little children I knew once before. It was downright scary, serious, but wholly the cycle of life was written on their faces.

I smelled the sweetness in the sanctuary, that smell of cologne, or lotions…but I call it love. Some faces were dry but were deep in thought over what happened. Some faces were drenched in tears needing to be wiped away. Needing for someone to shout, “It was all just one bad dream! We’re in it together but we can wake up and our dear friend will be here once again!”

But I know it is real.

The preacher focused on some terrifying but real thoughts. We need to love today. Repent to God today. Tomorrow or even the next hour is not even promised to us and so this I knew already.

But what I didn’t know was how hard it could be to form words for how we feel. It never seems…adequate. Should we even worry over what to say in a eulogy? Is it important? Some got up with a beautiful poem(poetry cuts close to the words we need), some shared advice, some shared funny memories(which lighten the mood some), and others gave what God had to say in His Word(which was Truth) and so I now ask myself. What are the words I can say aloud to the someone who is no longer physically here?

I can start by saying how I knew the person but then it will be a thought bouncing back to the person no longer being here.

I can start by telling a funny story about the person, but then new memories would not ever form. I clasp the old ones to my heart, the eternal memories.

I can quote the Bible, but it works during my time of joy and the words never truly stick until I am at the point of unbearable pain and must seek the ancients, the sages, the high priests of old to say for me what I cannot.

All these things I can say, and it will always be inadequate…

Inadequate meaning, it doesn’t ever compare to We Will ALWAYS Miss You.

And even that doesn’t place a balm to our pain.

I leave this with you all: The words you have for someone today- share them. If they are words that are hard to chew, dress it in love. Tell someone you love them so much today and watch the meanings fall upon them like  summer rain and even if they don’t say it back to you right away- it sunk into their living, breathing souls.

It did.

What is a parable? Looking at the sower and those “stony” places

Photographer| Wolfgang Staudt

A parable, according to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary is specifically a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle” It originated from late Latin, parabola which is formed by para + ballein(to throw more at)

Why am I even discussing this? Briefly, I’d like to mention Jesus’s reason and method for sharing parables.

First, in Matthew 13:3, he tells the story of the sower. If you do not know about this powerful story, please look it up online or grab your bible and turn to the book of Matthew. In a nutshell, it is the story of someone who scatters seeds everywhere and some landed on the “wayside”, others landed on the “stony” places where there wasn’t much soil. And still others fell among the thorns to be choked up. The rest landed in good, rich soil(read more of the story to learn what the parable means)

Now, one thing I enjoy about my Lord Jesus Christ is that he tells you the “why” of something-  including stories. In Matthew 13:10 the disciples ask him why must he tell these stories in the first place? Jesus answers that “the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you” and in verses 12-23 he tells the disciples “people see yet do not see and hear yet do not hear” and he breaks down the parable for what it means.

What Jesus meant with his answer can be interpreted in various ways; however the story of the parable is pretty easy to understand once you have a good grasp on life’s idiosyncrasies. Jesus talks about the prophecies in Isaiah, perception and knowing the truth.

All of this to understand one parable.

At first I was going to break down the entire parable here in this post and see how much fun we can have creating our based on the format of Jesus’ parable, but for now I understand(and I hope you do too), that it doesn’t matter if your parable is really, really short, or just “medium-short”, as long as it illustrates some sort of moral attitude.

It’s a parable.

If you have not already, please head over to my Fringe Fiction page to read my really short parables -this will be updated periodically.