Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving and a Little About Me

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Just wanted to say how thankful I am for each and every one of you, my dear friends who stop by this little blog...

You have all encouraged and supported me over the years with your helpful comments, sharing, friendship, warm fellowship, wonderful thoughts and insights, and kindness..

Sending out a big hug to each of you and prayers for a wonderful Thanksgiving for you and yours!

I thought I'd take a few minutes to share a little about myself, something I don't do too often, just to give a little window into my world right now and share it with you, my dear friends who read this blog..

I go by Sparrow online, but my real name is Nancy.  I live in South Carolina, in the southern United States, in an adorable little town with two traffic lights, a couple of restaurants, a post office, library, two grocery stores and a school. And a beautiful little park where you can sit by the river that runs through town and watch the leaves on the trees as they flutter in the wind..I love living in this tiny town, and we are near enough to bigger towns to have all we need, yet it's so nice to withdraw to this quiet town every day and be 'away from the rush' of the busy city.

We live on a little place in the country about 10 minutes from our town.  There are houses around, yet it's quiet and peaceful.  We have a couple of acres, with a little wood in back for us to roam around and play in. In the woods there is a tire swing, trampoline, and homemade fort (built by our neighbor) that the kids have used over the years.  There is also a trail where I walk either alone or with my daughter and just let the cares fall away in the quiet woods.  I love the woods and grew up on a farm with woods, so walking in the woods has always been a de-stresser for me.  So that's a real blessing for me, to have some woods to walk in here at our little home place.

We live within sight of the mountains and only a couple of hours from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a favorite vacation spot for us.  We also live about 4 hours from the Charleston area and the coast, and so we love to go to the beach for vacation too.  If I can figure out better how to share photos I take here on my blog, I want to share some pictures from a recent trip. Maybe my husband or teen daughter can help me!

My dear hubby and I have 4 great kids, from elementary age through high school.  We have 3 girls and a boy and they are a great blessing to us.  Each one is so different and so interesting and so wonderful!  We're delighted with who they are and they bring much joy to us.  Our youngest is our miracle child - she has a complex heart defect and had 3 surgeries in her infancy and early childhood to repair her heart enough so that it can function well.  She is doing great and we are so thankful to God for her health!

My parents live 30 minutes away on the farm I grew up on.  My brother lives in the home.  They are both struggling with dementia and we have helpers come in for many hours a day to take care of them.  My mom also has diabetes and my dad has Parkinson's disease.  They are fragile but stable right now.  I am so thankful for every day I have with them, every smile I receive from them.  Every day with them is precious and I appreciate any prayers you think of to pray for them and my brother as he does a lot of care-giving and watching over them, with the nursing aides there to help.

My hubby's family is scattered all over the country so we don't get to see them much.  They are hispanic (from El Salvador and the Basque region of Spain - our last name is a Basque name), so all my kids look hispanic except for the youngest, who looks more like anglo-saxon me!  My ancestors originally came from a little town called Gourock, Scotland - I hope I spelled that right.  And also some from other places in England.  That's all I can think of from our family background.

My dear husband is my true best friend and really funny in a quiet, reserved way.  He loves puns, loves music, can play the guitar beautifully, speaks Spanish, is willing to eat my poor cooking!  He works with computers, which is great for me, because I tend to 'break' computers a lot, haha! As for me, I majored in Chemistry in college, mainly because both my parents did, but my real love has always been writing, I think.  And nature - I love being out in nature and feel so much happier and alive and free when I'm outdoors. Right now I am a stay at home wife and mom and we homeschool our kids. 

What are my days like?  My days are filled with things like writing in my journal, helping my son with algebra (if I can remember it myself, haha), talking with my oldest teen about how all people are going to heaven (it's so enjoyable to have deep talks with my teen daughter as she has many neat insights!), reading aloud an Astrid Lindgren book to my youngest daughter, walking in the woods with my quiet middle daughter, cleaning up a little (or not! I'm a bad housekeeper!), birdwatching a bit with the kids, reading in my free time, making dinner for the family, and watching a favorite TV show (like Star Trek) with my hubby.  Our life is slow and peaceful, just the way I like it.  Sometimes the kids have outside classes at the library or get-togethers with friends.  Often we run errands or check out new books to read from the library.   We visit my parents once a week and run by an organic-type grocery to get some good foods. 

What do we 'do' for church?  It's been challenging to find a church where I hear as much grace teaching as I'd like, but that's okay because we can stay home and worship or go online for teaching or just be with God on our own and not feel we have to 'do' something on Sunday that is programmed, you know?  On Sundays we may stay home and my hubby may share with us from the Bible, or we may watch a church online, or even go to a little church up the street where the pastor talks about grace (a real treat it was to find this little church and hear the pastor talking about how much God loves us unconditionally!  He said that people are afraid they'll hear condemnation from God, when really He just wants to say He loves us!  I wish I would hear that in every church I went to, don't you?)  I do find that I fare better emotionally and spiritually if I stay out of the traditional Christianity/church arena. It helps me stay out of dualism/legal ways of thinking.  But that's just me and where I am right now.  And there are many wonderful grace teachers and churches out there, especially online.  I feel we should go where we are nourished and just watch what our feelings are inside and do what brings the most peace and least stress and tension and fear, don't you think?

What grace teaching do I like right now?   I get most of my nourishment straight from God or through a Richard Rohr devotional I read sometimes online.  I probably have about 100 grace books, and for a while I was really into reading a lot about grace, but now I seem to be in a different season.  I can read a little bit, and just soak in that for a while, but I just can't handle too much reading and thinking right now.  I find myself not wanting to read so much but just wanting to enjoy life, knowing God's alongside me in the journey.  I find I don't need to have all the answers.  There are many things I don't know, and for the first time, that seems to be okay, lol!  There's just this deep down knowing that everything is okay, and I just want to soak in that right now and not think too hard.  Does that make any sense?

So we are a quiet family and feel very thankful for all the blessings of family life God has given us, so thankful for our kids and for the health of our youngest, so thankful to be alive and see the sunrise and just go through the day together with God and then rest our heads on a warm pillow!  Life is good and our Papa is so good!

And that is about it for our quiet little lives!

I hope I haven't bored you all!  I just feel that usually I feel reticent sharing about myself, and I realized that I really wanted to share some about me and my life for all of you dear friends so we can get to know each other better.

If any of you would like to share about yourself, your life, your family, your vocation, your hobbies, where you live, etc, please do!  I'd love to get to know you better.  We're all one happy family here on my little blog, aren't we?

Once again, I thank all of you for being the friends and kind people you are.  You all embody grace and it's so beautiful to get to 'meet' all of you wonderful friends here online!

Happy Thanksgiving, with lots of love from

Sunday, November 15, 2015 Eric Champion

Here's a wonderful old song I loved back in the hubby played it this morning as one of the wake up songs he blasts through the house on the weekend to wake us all up with music, brought back great memories!  I tried to find the lyrics online but couldn't..I love how it says that no matter what storms are swirling around, deep inside we're peaceful..what a wonderful peace we have inside with God, floating in His sea of love and grace and peace within, His very Spirit within us one with our spirit- ONE Spirit, beyond all explanation!  What a beautiful place to have inside, what a beautiful ONE to live out from every day and every moment!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Eternal Moment

The Eternal Moment - All is Clear and God IS, Love IS, Beauty IS, Eternity IS! 


Moonlit Garden Gate, Provence, France
photo via bonnie

 (photo from

I came across this passage in the wonderful children's fantasy by E. Nesbit, The Enchanted Castle.  At this point in the story, a moonbeam shines on a certain stone in the garden of the enchanted castle and the enchantment is broken; everything is seen clearly once again.  The passage described so beautifully that eternal NOW moment with God where we experience Him and everything is so clear, so perfect, so you are seeing to the heart of all that is and finding HIM there, knowing that truly, all is well!  Nesbit says it so well:

"The moonbeam slants more and more; now it touches the far end of the stone, now it draws nearer and nearer to the middle of it, now at last it touches the very heart and center of that central stone. 

And then it is as though a spring were touched, a fountain of light released. 

Everything changes. Or, rather, everything is revealed. 

There are no more secrets. 

The plan of the world seems plain, like an easy sum that one writes in big figures on a child's slate. One wonders how one can ever have wondered about anything. 

Space is not; every place that one has seen or dreamed of is here. 

Time is not; into this instant is crowded all that one has ever done or dreamed of doing. 

It is a moment, and it is eternity. 

It is the center of the universe and it is the universe itself. 

The eternal light rests on and illuminates the eternal heart of things."

from The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit

God's Body, God's Beloved...Thoughts on Oneness

"In a letter to a man who had lost his young son to polio, Albert Einstein writes, "A human being is part of the whole called by us 'the universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind."  Richard Rohr
I love this statement by Einstein about humanity's main striving - that it is the striving to overcome this delusion of separation.  The separation was never real, but we believed or felt it was.  It was real only in our minds.  As Paul says, we were 'separated in our minds' but never in reality!  I believe we all have a longing to feel connected, feel belonging, feel one with others, with's the longing to be loved, the longing for family, for home, for security, for oneness.  We can feel separated from all that and thus strive so hard to 'find' or experience/feel it.  I know I have spent most of my life, and most of my Christian experience, searching for and trying to overcome that false sense of separation, trying to achieve that experience/state of oneness with God and so find relief and rest for my soul.
Richard Rohr says the universe is the body of God.  People want to know they are one with something bigger than themselves.  They say they want to be one with the universe or may say 'the universe showed me..thank the universe'.  But what they/we really want is to be one, not with the material body of God so much (the universe) but with the spirit of God in that universe (the Person!).  We want a soul connection of love, not just a feeling of connection with matter.  We want a personal relationship with a real Someone who cares about us, holds us, talks to us, loves us.  We want a Friend!  When we see we, as creatures of the universe, are all part of God's body, we realize we already have that connection within and we rest, we relax, the searching ends.  We were never separate from Life, Love, or God's Person.  We are part of Him.  We are God's body.  And our spirits are part of His Spirit!  In fact they are/it is ONE SPIRIT!  We have always been just One, exhibited in many forms and facets..many branches, yet all one tree!  The tree of Life is God and it is us, too, for we are part of Him..what a relief!  This is true rest for the confused mind and soul!
So we are God's body and that's great to be one with the universe, all people and things in creation being God's body.  When we meet a person, hug our pet, hold a beautiful flower, watch the waves of the sea, we are meeting God in His manifestation as matter.  That is special and wonderful!   Yet even better to me is that we are part of His Spirit deep down, having a real relationship with a real Person, connected on the spiritual level and the personal, relational level, friends with God, children of God, God's beloved! 

And maybe what Richard Rohr is hinting at is that in the final analysis, matter and spirit merge and everything is really made up of the spirit of God, just manifesting in different forms, whether energy signatures (such as sounds or light) or touchable material objects.  All is really part of God's being.  Matter is just Spirit in another form, just like everything is made of atoms, which turn out to be described at the fundamental level as neither solely matter nor solely energy but somehow BOTH.  All melding at the most basic level into the oneness that is God.  Everything made of this wonderfulness, which is turning out to be God Himself!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Ocean of Grace

All is well.
Just remember,
Everything is perfect.
Nothing can go wrong
In this beautiful place,
This ocean of Grace.
You are part of it.
You are in it.
It is in you!

How wonderful that this Ocean of Grace, of Luminous Buoyant Love, is a Living and Personal Friend, a Very Special Someone - God Himself!  Our very own Dad!  In Him who is PURE LOVE we live, and move, and have our being.  Wow!  Cradled in these Oceanic Arms of Grace, our whole lives are swaddled tenderly in the One who is Perfect Love!  THAT is eternal security, THAT is eternal life, to BE in Him who is pure kindness, to know Him as He truly IS at all times - LOVE.  We rest on those endless waves of grace, lulled to sleep by the gently rocking, caressing Sea of Love Himself.  We sink into His depths and experience a peace and restfulness that is truly unfathomable!  We are at Home here in this Ocean of Grace called God!

The Floating Garden

The Floating Garden

My life is a garden
A hidden garden
A floating garden
An island garden
Floating in the Sea of Grace
Part of His Being
Carried by Currents of Love
I am in a garden
And there is a garden in me
A place of refreshment and ease
Beloved and Lovely
Peaceful and at Peace
Whole and Holy
Homey and Home

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sparrow, what are your thoughts on universalism?

I want to share something with you, my readers and friends,  in order to be fully honest with you, and so you will know where I stand. 

I have been asked what my view is on universalism and have been asked if I am now leaning towards that, and how I came to the place I'm at right now.  So this post is to hopefully answer that question:

Over the course of the last year, in going through some really hard times in my family with sickness, hospitalization, loss of a family member, I have come through some deep experiences with God and just experienced His presence in such a powerful way, and experiencing the eternal reality in a vivid and life-altering way, it is like God just impressed upon me very strongly that everything is okay deep down in the ultimate sense and that everything will be okay in the eternal sense, for me, for my family, for everyone.  Having this experience of God and of spiritual reality, almost like experiencing a taste of heaven and seeing how the heavenly realm and really God Himself just underlies and holds up all things in the universe, and that since He is perfect and pure love, love is behind and beneath the surface of everything, it just grounded me in a deep way and brought a rest to me, a deep sense of knowing that all is well and all will be well, for everyone..that it's all going to work out okay for everyone in the end..I now don't think anyone will be in hell eternally but that all will end up in heaven eternally.

I know that many consider this heresy and I did for many years, too!  But this is where I am on my journey.  I don't take my change in beliefs lightly, in fact I struggled with such ideas for quite a while and was afraid to believe such things, afraid God would be angry with me, eventually hoping this was so but afraid it wasn't true, then relieved when God assured me it IS true!  Now my experience is a personal one, not something that could be scientifically verified, not something that necessarily will hold water with other people..but it is real for me, it is true in my life, it has brought me such peace and relief.  It has brought an end, finally, to the searching and seeking I've been through all my Christian life, searching for a place of real REST in the arms of God, searching for a way to be able to really, really, TRUST Him ...I have found that through experiencing Him so deeply in that troubling time of family crisis. 

Before, I wasn't able to fully, completely trust Him, because there was a hesitance in my mind, a fear of someone who would allow some  to suffer in hell in eternal was like there was a dark side to this 'god' that would do such a thing, and I couldn't fully relax, rest in Him, or trust Him because He didn't feel completely, totally 'safe.'  Even after coming to understand Grace, which took away many fears and helped me see Him as love, there was still something struggling to rest completely and fully.  There was somehow still a hidden fear of wrath, a fear He might turn on me...for God seemed willing to reject some and allow them to suffer eternal torment in a place he made called hell...hell remained in my belief system, and as long as it was there, so was my fear!  This was truly the cause of my problems with distrust, with my fear of God, with my inability to rest, with my endless seeking for relief from some undiagnosed angst, but I didn't know it was the cause or root of these problems until God impressed upon me the depth and scope of His grace and love and His assurance that 'all will be well' for all people!  And then I immediately began to rest, to trust, to relax in Him!  The weight of that hidden, nameless, deep fear fell off!  It's so wonderful because now I can really believe Him to be all LOVE, because I know He won't leave anyone out in the cold, He will bring all the people He made, all humanity, for we are all His offspring, home to Him in the end! 

Everything will be okay, for me and for all people..He will get us home no matter isn't up to us but up to Him..therefore we are truly safe, all of us!  He's got the whole world in His hands and we can't fall out, there is not even a place to fall out to, for all of the universe is IN Him, there is no OUT!  What a relief!  Hell dissolves, it never was real, the hell was in our minds as we were only separated from Him in our minds - in other words, we thought we were separated, but it was an illusion, a lie! We never were separated!  All of creation exists by Him, through Him, in Him.  For from Him, and through Him and to Him are ALL things!  Unto Him ALL flesh shall come!  Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, and He completed the work the Father gave Him to do!  He reconciled all things to Himself, and all flesh shall see it together, the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, all nations will come to Him, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, for He is the spirit in man, He is pleased to reveal Christ IN us, and the spirit RETURNS to God who gave it!

I don't know how, don't have a clue what some Bible verses mean, don't have it all worked out in my mind, I just know that I know that all will be well for everybody and that grace means something so much deeper than I ever imagined, it really means He will bless us, keep us, love us, save us, no matter what, all of us, bring every last little lamb home no matter what!  Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (for we were lost in our thoughts of loneliness and fear, confused by lies of separation and abandonment) and now I see He truly accomplished His mission and will bring every person home, and that was never in doubt! 

There is so much I don't understand, but this is where I am at right now and where I feel God Himself led me.  It is just my personal experience and I am not asking or demanding that anyone else believe this, not trying to push my ideas on anyone, I hope!  I respect anyone else's belief and I have definitely believed other things for most of my life!  But this is where I feel God has brought me.  I have been relieved and encouraged to find that there are evangelical Christians who believe that all will one day end up in heaven.  This has encouraged me.  But it wasn't through reading books of others that I came to believe this, but simply through a deep experience of God as pure love and grace in time of crisis.  I will never be the same.  It was like a near death experience, coming at the same time as a dear family member was passing into heaven.  I look back on that time now and in my memory, it is just flooded with the light and warmth of heaven. I can't explain it! But anyway, that is where I am at and I feel I need to be honest and share that. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Taking "God Is Love" to its Logical Conclusion..We're Safe in His Arms Forever!

For most of my life I have said "God is Love," yet the image I've held of Him has been anything BUT Love!  But He impressed on me so much this past year that He is love, real love, unconditional love..and He impressed on me what that really means..not through words or books or teachings but just through experiencing Him as Pure Love in my time of need! 

And the God I experienced is noone to be afraid of at all..He is a Love that is so all-embracing, so warm and friendly, so joyous and strong and good..a Love that sees us all as perfect, just like a proud parent with a little child! 

We are His little babes and He wouldn't let anything harm us or keep us from His embrace..and He wouldn't do anything to hurt us in any way..He never has a 'mean face' towards us..never has an unkind word..He takes care of us and always will..He will always hold us, always keep us safe, always carry us, always make sure we are warm, happy, and contented in His matter what! 

Little children mess up all the time - so what?  The best parent understands that child, their limited understanding, their times of hunger, tiredness, and pain and how all that affects the child's mood and actions.  Parents understand that little children need understanding and compassion, and that hugs and acceptance are the most powerful things of all..

And no matter what the child does, that good parent will never disown the child, never throw that little one out in the cold, never turn away from that baby!  Just imagining a little helpless toddler or baby left out in a cold, snowy alley-way makes me feel so awful, for it's against the basic parental instinct of "protection and care for the baby at all costs!"  And if I, a simple human mother, could feel that way, imagine how much more strongly that parental instinct runs through the veins of our Perfect Heavenly Dad! 

He sees us all as His little ones, babies in His lap, and He is protecting us at all costs!  There never was a question of being in true danger IN ANY WAY!  He has always had us safe in His arms and always will!  Daddy's got us and we're safe forever..forever and ever!  There has never been a question of 'going' any other place but into His arms forever - in fact, when I think about it I see that we've never been any other place and there's no other place we COULD be at all, for this whole universe rests in His arms!  There is no other place to be but in His safe we all are!  I really see that now! 

It makes so much sense for me just to see God as the Best Parent and see that is what any parent would want and do for their hold that child safe forever...and that nothing the child did could ever change how MUCH MORE will God do for us, His offspring..'for we are all His offspring!'

Some thoughts on the meaning of Justice, according to Perfect's all about Reconciliation and Relationship!

It's wonderful to think of God's justice as reconciliation (being forgiven freely and seeing relationship restored without any of your effort required - GRACE), instead of the human definition of justice, which is more retribution (getting what you deserve, having to make payment for what you did wrong, having to earn good payment by doing things right- LAW)!

Julian of Norwich made an interesting statement in her book, The Revelations of Divine Love... She said that in all her talks with God, in all the words she heard from Him, He never once mentioned hell..I found that wonderful and it gives me hope that all will be with God!  Some call this ultimate reconciliation, I believe.  I love this idea of ultimate's like the ultimate grace, taking grace to its logical and perfect conclusion!  I love how it is all about restored relationship, not performance/payment for sin!  It love how it is all about friendship, not being in a 'court of law!' It makes everything a family matter, not a court matter.  I love that!  At the heart of the universe is not a stern Judge in a courtroom with a gavel but a smiling Daddy by a warm hearth with outstretched arms!

I have heard that the Orthodox Church sees salvation as reconciliation, renewal of relationship, more than a forensic/legal "payment for sin" type of thing, and that their idea of justice is more reconciliation than retribution (which seems to be the main idea of the Western Church..) I really like that idea, and it makes sense to me to think of God in more relational terms rather than legal/courtroom terms.  He is my Papa and good Papas forgive their kids without needing a 'payment' first.  So wouldn't the Best Papa of all do the same, and much more!?  He would go farther and actually bless us even when we did wrong, would give us presents and throw us parties!  Sounds just like the father in the prodigal son story!

It gives me such hope to think of all being safe at home with Papa one day, of Jesus bringing to fruition a true reconciliation of Papa with all His confused little ones, who have been wandering around far from home (distanced in their minds only, for God is always with us, how wonderful!), bringing them all safely home to sit on His lap and enjoy parties in His beautiful palace forever! 

I know that Christians have many different views on what happens after this life in eternity..I am coming more and more to see that my Papa is such a wonderful Dad that He wouldn't bear to have any of His kids out in the cold, that He wouldn't rest till He had them all safely home in His embrace and care..I truly believe Love Wins, as a recent book of the same title says..and the way Julian of Norwich said that God never spoke to her of makes me think we have interpreted some things wrong and that there isn't a hell like I was always taught..I love to think that we all go straight into the arms of God forever..after all, Jesus came to save the lost and I believe He is successful in His mission, right down to the last little lamb..I do believe that the good Shepherd will have us all back safely in the fold in the end!  I don't have it all worked out in my mind, don't understand every Bible passage (I feel like a little child in my understanding and know I have been and could still be wrong about so many things)..but He really impressed upon me in this last year that He is LOVE and Love never hurts anyone, Love will make everything okay in the end for everyone, Love couldn't bear to have it any other way!

He really is perfect love, wow!

He is Love, and love always forgives, love always embraces, love doesn't hold anything against another, love doesn't judge or point out faults, love doesn't shame or condemn, love doesn't demand payment for wrongs, in fact love sees only the good in people, love doesn't see sin, love sees us all as innocent children and love truly understands why we have done the hurtful things we've done, all because of pain and confusion and lies we've encountered during our understands and love has infinite compassion for doesn't reject us because of our confusion and heals our pain, love frees us by giving us the truth, love shows us we are worth something, that we are truly innocent and good because we are made in the image of a good God, love shows us we have a home, a place of belonging, and it's with our Dad, who has always loved us and will never stop doing so, with a love that is not passive but active, a love that goes out and finds us wherever we have wandered and carries us home, just like a little lost lamb on the shoulders of the shepherd!

Love tells me in my heart that everything is going to be okay, that all shall be well, that no matter what, it's okay and it will be ultimately and eternally okay!  Love has us all in His arms and He isn't letting go!  Love won't drop us or throw us away!  Love won't desert us in our hour of need or in our hour of error!  Love understands us, Love has compassion on us, Love has nothing but kindness for us, nothing but good, nothing but blessing! 

It truly warms my heart to begin to understand Love's idea of justice and how it's been about family love and relationship, not rules and punishments, all along!  Love's idea of "justice" is making everything "all right" and setting everything back into alignment, harmony, and good other words, bringing it all back to being one big happy family again!  His way of setting things right is about putting back the broken parts into wholeness, healing the hurts, restoring the ones who've felt they were too far gone to come home again, embracing the lonely, bringing everyone back to being a child again, safe, warm, happy, innocent, loved, accepted, HOME!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quotes on God's Love from Julian of Norwich

I have recently been enjoying reading a book by Julian of Norwich called The Revelation of Divine Love, and I just wanted to share some wonderful and comforting quotes from the see God as perfect Love just makes things so simple and beautiful..since the Beautiful One at the heart of it all is Pure, Strong, Unconditional, Unending Love, then everything will be okay..all IS well and all SHALL BE well!  Love has us and won't let us go, Love will make everything alright!


Julian of Norwich quotes 

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
“The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.”
“He said not 'Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased'; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome.”
“God loved us before he made us; and his love has never diminished and never shall.”
“Our Savior is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly born and out of whom we shall never come.”
“And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.”
“See that I am God. See that I am in everything. See that I do everything. See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally. See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began, by the same power, wisdom and love with which I made it. How can anything be amiss?”
“...deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what he means where he says, 'You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well', as if he said, 'Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time you will truly see it in the fullness of joy.”
“...the goodness of God is the highest object of prayer and it reaches down to our lowest need.”

“Grace transforms our failings full of dread into abundant, endless comfort … our failings full of shame into a noble, glorious rising … our dying full of sorrow into holy, blissful life. …."
“And He that made man for love, by the same love He would restore man to the same bliss, and overpassing; and like as we were like-made to the Trinity in our first making, our Maker would that we should be like Jesus Christ, Our Saviour, in heaven without end, by the virtue of our again-making.”

from The Revelation of Divine Love

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Glorious Good News

The good news we are meant to share is that God loves us and is looking out for us no matter what, and that nothing we do, even killing His Son, could ever drive Him from our side! 

A message that God is love and nothing else, love and nothing BUT love!  And that He's got us all in His hand and is bringing us safely through everything, that everything really will turn out fine for all the whole universe! 

Sometimes people make it all about how bad we are and how angry God is, all about sin and payment and wrath, when really it's all about LOVE.  Love only sees the best, only sees us as pure little children!  Love bears all things we could possibly do, Love believes in us no matter what, Love endures to the end of all our misguided acts, and Love never fails us!  Love loves us when we can't love ourselves and keeps on saying that we are innocent and 'don't know what we're doing' no matter what we do!  Wow!

His mind just isn't on sin or punishment at all, is it?  For He has never seen us as anything but innocent!   Love just doesn't see or think or dwell on sin - Love thinks no evil!  Love thinks no evil of US!  Love thinks only good and beautiful thoughts of us, thoughts of compassion and care, thoughts of blessing and peace, thoughts of giving us the future we hope for..Love thinks of us as "my beloved children, in whom I am well-pleased!"

And He would never harm us..He would never hurt or wound His dear little children..That is the FARTHEST thing from the mind of a good father; on the contrary, a good father is wanting to PROTECT his child at all costs! 

The good news isn't God is going to get you if you don't shape up but that Daddy will never 'get' you, that He is instead always protecting you and will never let anything fatally, eternally, happen to you to damage you in any way! 

Salvation..means saving..rescuing..preserving..protecting..

Daddy will protect us, save us, rescue us from whatever mess happens..

I feel I can hear Him saying to us, like the best father would (and of course, He IS the best!):  "Don't worry, little one...I'm holding you, I'm protecting you..I will always be there for you, I will always save you.."

This is, to me, the message of the gospel, the good news of great joy which is for all people, the message of peace from God towards all on earth, and of God's good will toward mankind!


He's got us in His arms and won't let us!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Nothing has to come..we are in eternity now!

I just read a wonderful quote I wanted to share here with all of you, my wonderful online friends!  I don't know anything about the author of this quote, but I love what he says about the eternal reality we are in right now!

"It is eternity now,
I am in the midst of it.
It is about me in the sunshine;
I am in it as the butterfly
   in the light-laden air.
Nothing has to come;
It is now,
Now is eternity;
Now is the immortal life."

Richard Jefferies, in The Story of My Heart

Wow!  I love that!  The phrase that just sticks out to me over and over is that idea that "nothing has to come."  We are not needing to get something  -  we are in eternity right now, wow!  And in this eternity within our hearts, nothing can ever be lost or destroyed, nothing can ever die or be ruined..In that place all is beauty, all is laughter, all is light...We are always children there, living in carefree abandon and joy! 

Complete, okay, full, safe, loved, perfect...nothing has to come...everything is already with God, living in eternity, carrying eternity around inside our chest, wow!  As we say here in South Carolina, 'nothing could be finer!' 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

"No despair of ours can alter the reality of things; or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there.."

I love this quote from Thomas Merton about all of us being part of God's dance!  I can let go of trying to understand it all and just get carried along by the Dancer and enjoy the Dance!  Life is so precious, so beautiful..something to treasure and savor, not analyze and categorize.  Life is meant to be lived, a Gift is meant to be enjoyed, a Dance is meant to be danced!  I love the carefree abandon of the Grace Dance we are all caught up in, whether we are aware of it fully or not..yet when the light of Grace breaks like dawn upon our hearts, how wonderful to let go of our works and thoughts and struggles and just watch ourselves flow with the Dancer in HIs beautiful Dance!  It's always so playful and light with Him, all earthbound heaviness somehow rising in the lilting buoyant arms of the Dancer as He holds us, swings us high, laughs with great laughter like bells ringing, and twirls us around in LOVE!
Here is Merton's wonderful quote to savor:
"What is serious to men is often very trivial in the sight of God. What in God might appear to us as "play" is perhaps what he Himself takes most seriously. At any rate, the Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious, cosmic dance. We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that game, and of that dancing. When we are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet Bashō we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash--at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the "newness," the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.
"For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness. The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast. The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair. But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things; or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not.
"Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance."
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wonderful Quotes on Our True Self

I love these uplifting quotes on our True Self that I recently read in a devotional by Richard Rohr, and so I wanted to share them here.  It is such a comfort and joy to know that our True Self at our deepest core is Spirit of His Spirit!  Christ in us, making us who we are, Christ in us, the hope of glory - glory already in us, one day to be fully revealed!

"I have the immense joy of being [hu]man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now [that] I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun. . . [This realization] was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God's eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time....We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time."
Thomas Merton

"At the center of our being is a point ... which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, ... which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point ... is the pure glory of God in us. . . . It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely."  
Richard Rohr

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How Can I Love and Forgive Myself?

I'm posting this as something I wrote in response to the question:  "How can I love and forgive myself?  What do we do when we don't see that change that we hope to see, and have trouble loving and forgiving ourselves for our messups?  Here are some of my thoughts, for this is something I have struggled with so much throughout the years..

I know this may sound crazy, but one thing that really seemed to be a turning point for me was when God showed me that all will be well for all people, that ultimately all will be with Him in heaven. This happened during a time of personal crisis when both my dad and grandma were very ill (and my grandma passed away)..God just spoke to me within in such a deep and wordless way, letting me experience eternity somehow.  I can't explain it.  But I just knew that everything was okay and that everything will be okay for everybody. It was like a glimpse of heaven.  I can't explain it!  But it was a very powerful thing and went along with some things God was teaching me about His true character and about how He sees people, about our true character or nature.

I know a lot of people don't believe that everyone will be with God eventually, and I was brought up to believe in a eternal conscious torment in a literal fiery hell...but I really believe that the God I've experienced has shown me otherwise.  Once I experienced this from God, this inner knowing that everything will be okay ultimately for me and for all people, it was like I could finally relax.  I could finally trust God, trust His love for me, and somehow that opened me up to love myself.  Because I was seeing that we are all His children, all created by Him, loved by Him, and yes we've wandered from Him in our thoughts and deeds, forgotten the Father who gave us birth, but He'll bring all of us back to enjoying our place of belonging in His arms..we're all His kids, always were, always will be...and just like any good Daddy, He wouldn't ever turn His back on His children, wouldn't ever be happy till all were safely home with Him enjoying life in His palace!

And this is the other big thing for me - since we're all from God, we're all good deep down, not bad..we are all in His image of love and goodness..we're good-natured, naturally kind and loving..our deep down character as God created us is love, since we are children of Mr. Love Himself and take after our dad!  We've just forgotten where we came from, forgotten who our Father is and thus forgotten who we are.  We've been so confused, 'alienated in our minds' from the truth, not being able to enjoy the relationship with Him that was always ours for the enjoying.  But Jesus came to dispel the lies, to free us from them, most of them caused by religion, and set us free by showing us the truth - that He sees us all innocent, and even when we do the most heinous acts (like killing God's own Son for instance!) He just says, "They don't know what they're doing."  We're His good little ones, He sees no wrong in us, and there's no wrong in Him, no angry or vindictive or punishing side, just pure love.  Love that brings everybody home.

It makes everything so wonderful and has helped me so much!  But that is just my story.  And that's only part of my journey.  Also, everybody has their own journey and I don't know what means God will use to bring you to rest.  But I do know He will take care of you.  And that it doesn't matter what you do, or if you ever change, or even if you are ever able to consistently love yourself all the time I just know it is okay, we can let ourselves off the hook, we are not our thoughts or actions..we are who we are deep down, in our spirit which is one with God's Spirit..we are His pure innocent good children constantly under His loving care!  Everything is okay, and everything will ultimately be okay!  I just know that is true now, I can't explain how but it has made a big, big difference for me.

I feel like we are all on a wonderful journey together!  Wonderful too that there is nowhere to go on this journey, it's simply a journey of discovery as we discover where we already are - in Christ, and He in us! 

One thing I do want to add is that in the past I've had the idea that if I just believed in grace right or loved myself enough, I'd see my actions all line up with godliness, overcome my hangups, and have victory.  But now I see that is performance thinking I am having.  I want to not think about performance at all, not worry about change at all!  Sure some things about me would be good to change.  But that really isn't my concern.  My eyes are to just be on Christ and I am to just enjoy life knowing all is well, that all is complete and I am fine.  Change is the business of the Spirit.  My business is just basking in His love!  Being a branch is so easy, I love it! It has nothing to do with religion, change, performance, getting better, or getting some victory.  It's not about finally 'getting there' spiritually.  The whole point is we are already there, lol!  What a relief! 

It's like I've been shown that I can separate my actions, thoughts and feelings from my real and true Self..that my mind and body aren't my true Self, my true Self is Spirit, which is my core and the deepest part about me. This core needs no improvement.  This core does nothing wrong, just IS LOVE!  This core is one with God, is Spirit of His Spirit, one Spirit!  I can thus see my acts and thoughts to be the products of mind and body, which to me are like the house that the real Me lives in, or the machine I use to operate in this visible world.  I don't have to get mad at the mind and body, just see it isn't really ME and love and sympathize with it as it reacts to things in this world based on whatever input its received, whether the input is truth and loving experiences or whether the input has been pain, rejection, lies, or performance teaching.  This has freed me so much.  It has helped me see how I can say I'm perfect and everything is all right, even if the outer shell/outer life looks like an absolute mess, lol!  The goal has changed somehow.  The goal isn't to get the outside to 'look right and act right' all the time.  The goal is now to just enjoy life, to live!  To just BE!  For everything really IS okay deep down, and I can live out of that reality, for that IS what is truly real!!

Someone told me once when I was in the middle of a crisis time, "Just remember, everything is perfect."  It stuck with me so much.  There's nothing wrong with me or my life!  All is well deep down!  That has freed me so much to be able to give myself a break and be able to talk to my mind/body so kindly and say these words:

"Hey, it's okay you just blew it.  I love you and I'll stick with you.  I understand why you acted that way.  You've had a lot of hurts in your past and heard a lot of religious lies.  I care about you and just want you to know I"m here for you and accept you as you are.  You are safe and you are known and you are loved.  I love you just the way you are!"

I love being able to say this to myself, to my hurting mind, for the first time ever!

So these are some of my thoughts on letting go of wanting change and just being able to love myself..

And I want to say that if you believe differently, hey, that is great and I am respectful of everyone's beliefs.   I hope I have not offended anyone by what I have written here.  These are just expressions of where I am in my understanding right now and I could be wrong.  I want everyone to know how much I love and respect and honor you all, whatever your thoughts and beliefs are!  We are one in Him and filled with His love, and all the differences of opinion fade into nothing in the light of His Presence in us!  Sending love to one and all from Sparrow!
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14