Is America Doomed?

Pentecost

We Americans have never expressed fear for our country the way I’m hearing it expressed now. We cry out looking for “someone” to SAVE America. Of course, most people are looking to one of the Presidential candidates to “save us”.

Yet we all know, there is no leader so powerful among us that can accomplish this overwhelming task. In fact, there is no leader so skilled that can even come up with a solution. This fact, that niggles the back of our thoughts, hidden in a deep dark corner because we know it’s true but we think if we hide it, it won’t gain life. Yet it does have life and what a hole we have dug for ourselves.

This is a hole filled with emptiness, a hole filled with the dust and dry bones of our pompous, egotistical, self-serving ideas. It is a black hole sucking in all those get rich quick ideas we’ve tried, big business spiraling in on itself as it seeks the newest, better, best idea to overwhelm competition and stepping all over the underdog again. This is a hole of pain for everyone. It seems to drink us dry with no where, no energy, no ideas, to go.

Sure there are those who are in denial of all this. But denial never wins over reality.

There was a man, hurting terribly for his county in this very state. A country who had lost it’s way. And one day he stood looking into this terrible valley with the dry, dusty bones of his family, friends, community, culture, country, people, life. He stood totally out of breath, in grave pain weeping loudly and cried out: God! Why!

And God heard him, and swept him up with the divine Wind carrying throughout the miles upon square miles of piles and piles of these dead, lifeless, dry, worthless hollow bones until the man could take no more. And God said to the man,: Can these bones live?

The bedraggled horrified man dragged his face from the ground and looked. “Live?!” he thought. “Live?, How can something that never had substance in the first place possibly live?” Slowly brushing his hand over his soaked eyes, feeling the hollowness of loss, he forced his heart, his soul to think. And he said, “God, you and you alone know.” (as he saw that old familiar pierce of light, hope, beyond human skills/knowledge/ability beyond anything human, the hint of hope divinely somewhere/somehow)

God held this man up, in the Divine Palm, and said,: Prophesy, my beloved man, Prophesy to these bones and say “O dry bones, it is now our Creators word, not the impotent work and word of people alone, but the one who gives all blessings, and life, and hope, the One who turns walls into windows and open doors, this One now says to you: I will cause the Divine Wind the Holy Breath to breath in and through you and You Shall Live. I will flesh out these mere bones of structure and there will be a Divine Cause for you and you shall live and be covered by skin, the skin of belonging, the skin of the beloved and Only I shall give you breath and you shall live and you Shall Know that I am God.

So the man, wrapped in the Divine Palm prophesied to the dead dusty dry hollow impotent bones. As he prophesied, only as God commanded him, there was a sudden noise, a rattling and the bones came together. They were no longer the old dry bones; they were now the bones, the makings, the ideas, the commands of God. They came together and the flesh was created on them and skin had covered them. They stood, but there was no breath in them.

Then God commanded the man: “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy mortal and say to the breath: thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

The man, now stunned and believing even deeper than ever before, prophesied and the breath came into them. The Holy Wind enlivened them and they lived and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

God commanded: Mortal, these bones are the whole house of your family, your friends, your community , your culture, your country. And they cry out “Our bones are dried up and our hope is lost, we are cut off completely. Therefore, prophesy again and say: The Creator, Giver of all Life and Breath and True Being says: I am going to oen your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O MY PEOPLE. And I WILL BRING YOU BACK to me and the home I gave you. And you shall know that I am the Lord. I will put my spirit within you and you shall live and I will place you on your own soil, then you shall know that I, the Lord have spoken and will act, the Divine Giver of Life says.”

As we stand on the cusp of the hole, stop stooping down to hear the dry dusty creaks; but look up and around and cry out to the one who calls you and I beloved and will always always always always … always carry us in the Divine Palm, Breath life in and through us, empower and strengthen us to face any and every monster we encounter as we listen and respond to God’s call and charge for our lives and living.

And may we all know God’s blessing in and through all things

 

Eat Pasta and Support Living Springs Counseling

pasta dinner

The Sons and Daughters of Italy are having their annual Pasta Nite! 

September 18, 2016, Sunday

Two Sittings: 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM

We all know what amazing cooks they are AS WELL AS how generous they are.

They will donate $5 to Living Springs Counseling for every ticket that is purchased through Living Springs Counseling

Please click on Pasta Nite above to purchase your tickets!

Valentine’s Day isn’t all Roses

Is Valentine’s Day a creation of Hallmark? Perhaps comes from the Christian tradition, when a Roman Catholic Priest started marrying young people in God’s name at a time when the popular and legal tradition was polygamy AND it was believed that unmarried soldiers fought better than married ones.  After all, who do the unmarried soldiers need to be concerned about if they die?  Stunning isn’t it?  St. Valentine? well, he was beheaded for his troubles.

single long stem rose

Where’s the romance in that?  And even more amazing, we don’t truly know the history of St. Valentine or even if there was one or TWO of them. In fact, in 1969 the Catholic Church took him off the list of Saints because so little is actually known of truth. Don’t worry, Catholics still honor him. In fact, most of the United States recognizes St. Valentine’s Day. However, over time, with the help of Shakespeare and others, Valentine’s Day has become a day about romance, love, cupid even.

One priest was quoted as holding St. Valentine’s Day in his heart as a day to remember that our love and dedication to God is to be held even to death. My guess is most people don’t think in that direction but more in the romantic chocolate and roses type day.

However, what about those who have lost a loved one or their one special loved one or perhaps simply have no special person in their lives at the time. This day and the weeks building up to it become quite painful for many of these persons. If you know someone who is alone this year, perhaps you can reach out to them in a special way to remind them they are still loved or maybe that their loved one is still remembered.

My husband and I took the opportunity to spend the day on the beautiful Florida Bay sailing a catamaran, complete with our picnic basket.  Whatever your Valentine’s Day was this year, I pray that you be able to use it to grow your love, embracing those around you in helpful ways.

img-hobie-island-club-thumb

 

 

Accomplishments at Living Springs Counseling

This year

Pam has completed the level of training and certification required to be a Certified Pastoral Counselor.  She has been an Ordained Elder in Full Connection with the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church serving since 1994.  This year she earned permanent designation as a Certified Pastoral Counselor (CPC), from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.  Additionally, in 2014 she was Endorsed by the United Methodist Endorsing Agency as a Pastoral Counseling Chaplain.  The state of Florida does not license Pastoral Counselors.  Congratulations for such an accomplishment!

Our office.

Coral Isle Church has graciously donated the use of their Chapel for Living Springs Counseling services.  In appreciation, we tithe (10%) of our intake from our clients back to the church.

Our fees.

Because the economy of the UK continues to decline, we generously implemented a sliding scale:  Household income divided by 2, then multiplied by .001

Therefore, if Susi’s household income is 30,000/2 =15,000 x .001 = $15 per session

At least half of our clients make less than 20,000, and accordingly we waive their fee.  We’ve applied to several foundations for scholarship money so these clients can receive the counseling they need. The scholarships will be distributed at $35/session.  Of course we will hold sacred all confidential information.  We’ll work out appropriate means of reporting for the foundations.