About Me

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I am a pastor and a clinical psychotherapist. My life's passion is defining healthiness from a human perspective and paralleling it to the holiness of God, divine perspective. Shifting perspectives creates a paradigm that is alongside of rather than over and against. The parakalein of God and the paradoxes of humanity are redefined. Humanity is all about winning and yet we are losing ground everywhere. Divinity is all about letting go of the desire to win and the fear of loss. The Divine embraces the world with loving care regardless of anything.

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The Secret, you have it

Posted by Don Paine

Someone asked me again today about the Secret.  I said it is no secret>  It is what the Sages of the Ages have said.  It is the Wisdom of the Ages and the Wisdom of the Sages.  Everyone wants to say it in new and different ways and claim, "the News".  No new news is present here.  The wisdom of the ages is a triple A message.  This is my way of thinking about it  but it is not a special revelation to me by any special medium.  The wisdom of the ages is ageless but age does help shift perspective.

My daughter who live sin Korea where she was born tells me that 60 is the age of wisdom in that culture.  Perhaps this is because at 60 you are done trying to do the new thing in a new way for the new age.  What is important at 60 is the wisdom of perspective from the goddess of perspective and the god of wisdom who are done and the same.

Acceptance of Everything / Welcoming All
Affirmation of Everyone / Affirming All
Appreciation for Everything and Everyone / Appreciating All

promotes Wisdom of the wise who see with wisdom everything and everyone.  Wisdom does not seek to control or be controlling, She does not seek to be understood or be understanding.  He does not seek to be affirmed or be affirming.  She does not seek acceptance or to be accepted.  He does not seek to be appreciated or be appreciating.

Wisdom is Affirmation, Acceptance, and Appreciation.  It has understanding, and is in internal and eternal control without needing temporal control of anything.

This is the Wisdom of peace and love.  It is the Wisdom all Sages claim but lose when they endorse their own wisdom.  This is the Wisdom of the Ages in the words of many Sages.  It is no secret.  It is in all of us.  Really.

What is your secret?

Trouble with Turbulence, Turbulence without Trouble

Posted by Don Paine

I was on an airplane and we were entering into hefty not heavenly turbulence.  A woman on the plane stared to verbally present her fear and I said to my wife, "she is going to crank up everyone's fear".

I thought is that not the reality of turbulence in our lives.  When we focus on the turbulence or the trouble the trouble always is worse but when we focus on the reality of our internal calmness the turbulence regardless how real and present is lessened.  This is a lesson to be learned.  The trouble is not often the trouble but adds to the trouble.  The trouble is that "trouble is as trouble does".  The trouble with turbulence is that it perpetuates more of both.  When in the presence of what ever turbulence comes into my life, I believe that all will be well one way or another.  I am okay with either way. Then there is no turbulence that is disturbing.  All disturbances are no longer disturbing.  All turbulence is just that turbulence nothing more or less.

All the things that disturb me most can be looked at in a calm and compassionate way which makes them free of disturbance.  The pilot knows that this momentary disturbance from natural turbulence is temporal and temporary so has no power to disturb the flight plan.  Like the plane that flies through turbulence into peace without disturbing its flight plan, so people can learn to trust their flight plan and not be disturbed when turbulence comes into their path.  It is just the nature of things to create turbulence.  It is also our nature to know and live in peace.  This is the peace we often lose when we focus on the turbulence and not the peaceful skies around the turbulence.

Where is your peace? Where your focus is there is your peace.

Get in Line

Posted by Don Paine

This morning after a long weekend in the state of Washington for a family wedding, I was leisurely driving to work and came upon the ubiquitous experience of highway construction.  I had been on I-90 in Washington, I was now on I-90 in New York.  As I moved over to the lane as the blinking arrow directed me I noticed that everyone was politely and respectfully getting in line.  No one was speeding up to my left edging for that one or two car lengths that would say to them "I am superior", "I win", "I am more important", "I am woman, and I win", "I am man, and I win",  "I do not have to be respectful or polite, but I of course want people to be respectful and polite to me".  Yes, I am sure the latter part of that one would not be in the awareness of the people I am about to talk about.

First I want to acknowledge and talk about the 30-35 cars who had along with me slowed down and took their respectful role as their road to politeness.  I was actually pleasantly amazed that some of the politeness and respectfulness of the west was now visibly being noticed in the east.  It was so marked that i continued to marvel as four cars came up behind me and took their place in line.  Then the apparent inevitable happened.  First a white van with obviously more important things than courtesy or respectfulness going on flew by me proceeding by at least 20 cars until one motorist tried to move over to delay his "passing game".  The person in the white van swung to the left annoyed that someone would get in the way of his obnoxious and rude behavior.  He then swung back to the right cutting the person off, intimidating the one who was asking him to be aware of others, as if they were in the wrong. A car followed the van's lead yet most were getting in line. I noticed a trucker behind me doing the same thing that is passing the polite respectful motorists that were just getting in line, as if to say they were wimps of weakness while modeling "dukes of hazard".  I decided to move over to be in the way of this barreling beast of the road.  He flashed his lights then high beamed me at 7:30 am!!  I was getting in "his way" as he did not have to "get in line".  I stayed my position as he tried to stare me down.

Why is it that most of us who behave in a respectful and responsible way are suppose to get out of the way for the rude and obnoxious.  Is that the rule of the road?

Why is it that some people insist that they are the more important people and that others should just get in line behind them as they refuse to get in line with anyone in front of them?

What will it take for the whole world to learn to get in line in respectful and responsible ways that demonstrate courtesy and compassion toward all others and receiving courtesy and compassion from others?  I am curious?

Get in line!

Truth is as Truth is

Posted by Don Paine

I was walking down the hall in a airport terminal in San Francisco.  I found myself in the corridor of Deities of Stone.  Hinduism's main tenet is God is in everything and everything is in God.  While it does not seem so it does not mean that it is not so.

Genesis 1:31 echoes a similar tenet.  And God saw everything that was made and said it is "very good".  There is goodness in everything and everything has goodness in it.  There is a resin why God used no superlatives to acknowledge each day of creative fiats.  Each day is good in itself and as it balances and harmonizes with other days and things within days.

Jesus taught that he was the truth and that truth sets people free.  When we are truthful with ourselves and others we are set free of falsehood and futility.  In the multiplicity of truth there is truth in all things and that truth sets all free from agendas or attitudes, from ego inflation or deflation, free to be all that God is in you to be.

Rigveda in 1700 BCE translated by R.C.Zahnwe (1984, London) stated
"Truth is one, the sages call it by many names"
Truth is Truth regardless the name tag you put on it.
For me Jesus is the "Truth" not as religious dogma but as the character of honesty, honor and humility that perpetuate sacrifice, serenity, and surrender to and by all things.

The truth as I believe it to be in my personal living is the truth that controls and directs my living.

There is pone truth that all truth of honesty, integrity, and forthrightness is the righteousness of God in and for all things.  It is the world without end!  A world of truth justice and righteousness.

Personal Responsibility and Global respectfulness, God at work

Posted by Don Paine

Personally responsible and

Globally respectful provide a couple for moral high ground.

Respectfulness calls for us all to not put anyone's God over any one else's but also not omitting God which imposes the restriction of faith in God on someone.

If God is not a respecter of persons but respects all persons then it follows that all the controlling and directing down in the name of organized religion of any kind breaches the the most solemn and sacred frame of all religious groups.  Organized religion attempts to promote faith through the organization. The organism that is the energy of vital faith is is Self energizing and Self propelling.  Organizations form around organisms to asset people discovering "faith".  The problem is that organisms exist independent of and cannot ne contained, contained or communed by organization.  A breathing organism needs to breathe in solemn and sacred space.  While the intention of a organization is to promote "the organism" the reality is that organizations that seek to codify, commune, and commodity.  A living breathing organism often unintentionally drains the organism of its very energy while trying to replicate and reinforce the organism.

God obviously respects the freedom of choice that God gave and with integrity embraces

God obviously responsibly and respectfully maintains internal moral value on and for all living things and with responsibility toward creation remains guided by the light that removes the bondage of decay  and perennially restores the blessing of faith, hope, peace, and love. 

The character of God remains in recidivous peace and resilient love.

The moral value of God respect the choice of all people and things and remains responsibly modeling love toward all regardless of anything and with positive regard toward all. 
This promotes the social value of  love and peace from all and toward all , with liberty and justice from and toward all.

Legitimate Rape, no such thing

Posted by Don Paine

Sandra Fluke, was demonized in a judgmental way by Rosh L. and now she is speaking out about Todd Akin, Congressional candidate from Missouri.

I responded to her call for responses in the following way:

I support all that you indicated, and you, though I do not know you.  You represent woman who I work for, work with and care about.  We all know someone, a friend, a sister, or a daughter, who was raped.  Rape is when a woman or a man says "no" and that "no" is not heard or respected.  Rape is rape.

I believe contrary to the "NOWWITHALEX" show yesterday morning that what we need in America is not more woman in the congress though I am not opposed to that. What we really need is more men and women willing to stand up for decency, integrity, respectfulness and responsibleness as true "moral values".  Judgment is not a "moral value".  Neither is "moral condoning or condemning".  "Core Moral Values" should be the holding to high standards the respectful choice of all people regardless of anything and holding out positive regard toward everything and everyone. Personal respectfulness and public responsibleness are key and critical moral values. 

Todd Akin demonstrated disrespectfulness, indecency, irresponsibleness, and total lack of integrity.  All rape is the illegitimate activity of oppressive power in a morally intrusive and reprehensible way.  We should all be offended when the offense of rape is illegitimately legitimized in any way.  Humanity in its core value is diminished when I or anyone diminishes choice, the right to choice, the imposing of choice on anyone, or removing choice from anyone. Justice and liberty for all demands respectfulness and responsibleness from and to all.

Man Up

Posted by Don Paine

In the lectionary text form the old testament last week, I kings 1-3 David again show his humanity.  It is all around us.  In the advertisements, it is everywhere.  Young and pretty women make men stand up and take notice?

David was old in years and in failing health.  He had reigned 40 years and had united the kingdoms, had set in motion a leadership transition to Solomon, had won many battles and had put Israel and Judah to gather as a force to be reckoned with and as a testimony to God's faithfulness.  Instead of blessing the next generation and letting that be enough which was what Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had done.

He sent for a young virgin to (go ahead you fill in the blank) come to him so as to give him renewed energy in his last days.  No one in the Kingdom was strong or courageous enough to tell him that that was not a good idea.  None one "manned up" in fact they manned down and did the King's bidding as no one wanted to incur the wrath of the King.  It is easy to man up when it gets you accolades or gets you some benefit it takes courage to man up when it might cost you standing.  To not stand up is to stand down in fear of loss.  To stand up is to take a stand for honor and honesty regardless of the potential fallout or loss from taking a stand.

Paul said, "Be unlovable, steadfast, stand fast and tall in the work of Lord, knowing that your work or labor is never in vain in the Lord".  Isaiah, "Those who honor me (the Lord) and stand tall, I will honor"

The honor code of "man up" is to stand up regardless of loss, in the face of fear, without any agenda, and with the courage of character that is the true honor code!

Man up.

Tune in to your escape

Posted by Don Paine

"No weapon formed against you will prosper!" take two:

This is a scripture verse that many take to offset the idea that people cannot use or abuse me.  As I sat with someone who was feeling abused so feeling that this verse was not true for them so they needed to confess their failure and ask God to make it true of them.

I asked this person if she could ask that part of her that saw it that way, if that part would step back an d let her look at it in a new way.  A hesitant yes emerged from within.  Then as we tried to cultivate that inner voice two new perspectives emerged:  Here is the second one:

Jesus found himself often in a position where people were coming against him.  Sometimes they accused him of having a devil, other times they simply accused him of begin human, and still other times they were so incensed they were ready to stone him.  He always stepped out of their line of fire.  Sometimes with words other times in an amazing capacity to be come obscure.  This I imagine was hard of rJesus.  It would be like Michael Jordan being in a crowd and no one noticing him slipping by.  Doubtful that that could happen.  Jesus was  often in a crowd that was stirred up by something he said or did.  The forces against him took up the weapons of a stone to stone him.  We read, "and Jesus slipped out of the crowd unnoticed".  We noticed that this too was of Spirit-energy. Slipping way, or stepping aside is a way of disarming any weapon formed against us.  We can simply step aside, slip away form giving that weapon any power.  When weapons that are intend to hurt and disarm us comes against us and we believe them they burden us and then prosper against us.  While we can simply and slyly step aside from their focus and let them pass by or just obscurely pass by them, they will not prosper against us.  When hurt and pain become our focus and they overwhelm us, depress us, or harm us they win.  When the same hurt and pain create in us the capacity to step back and look at the hurt and pain with a renewed and renewing assessment, we in.  No weapon against us will prosper unless we given that weapon the power to defeat us.  No weapon forged against will prosper.  All weapons forged against you create opportunities for you to grow in your capacity to step our of the fire of adversity that can effect defeat into the fire that purifies and strengthens the soul, that effects the win!

I have never seen this verse in that way for myself but this person helped me to see it differently, no the energy of Spirit-Self breathed new perspective into me from this verse!.

Breathe in what is good for you and breathe out what is not good for you!

Breathe in Your Prosperity

Posted by Don Paine

"No weapon formed against you will prosper!"

This is a scripture verse that many take to offset the idea that people cannot use or abuse me.  As I sat with someone who was feeling abused so feeling that this verse was not true for them so they needed to confess their failure and ask God to make it true of them.

I asked this person if she could ask that part of her that saw it that way, if that part would step back an d let her look at it in a new way.  A hesitant yes emerged from within.  Then as we tried to cultivate that inner voice two new perspectives emerged:

That while weapons that are formed against us do hurt us, wound us, disarm us, and harm us the promise is that they will not prosper that is they will not win, defeat us.  They may blow a mighty wind that bends us but they will not break us or rather they need not break us.  Jesus, himself, was wounded, beaten and hurt.  He was hurt by what weapons were used against him even though he refused to reach for a sword to defend himself.  Those weapons did not prosper.  They won for a day but on another day they appeared what they were, "powerless" to hold him down, to contain the energy of Spirit, or to let hatred win.  Love does ultimately triumph even though hatred has its days of triumph".

So the promise is not that there will come no hurt or pain into my living.  The promise is that the hurt and pain of living will not be weapons that prosper but weapons that will become instruments of my gaining strength of mind and courage of soul.  I will prosper in the presence of hurt and pain.  No weapon against me will prosper!

I have never seen this verse in that way for myself but this person helped me to see it differently, no the energy of Spirit-Self breathed new perspective into me from this verse!.

Breathe in what is good for you and breathe out what is not good for you!

When the Forest of Feelings Fells the Heart, Grace Heals

Posted by Don Paine

In II Samuel 18, David instructs all the hundreds of soldiers to watch over Absalom, his son.
This was not because David loved Absalom more than any of his other children.  Preferential treatment was not part of the palace sop or was it?

During the battle vs 8 tells us oddly enough that "more soldiers died in the forest that by the sword".

Really, that seems odd.  With javelins flying through the air, swords wielded by the strong arms of warriors, and arrows flying through the sky, more soldiers died. What if tucked in this passage is an amazingly neglected truth.  Inside of people when they hold anger, hurt or violence they will eventually succumb to that violence or act that violence out toward others.  Absalom, who David knew held in his heart the anger and hurt of his half brother's murder of his full sister and more her silent banishment into a remote part of the palace to liv ever life our in shame and obscurity.  The real shame is that David cared more about what people thought than the life of his daughter.  Absalom took matters into his own hands and when in battle the opportunity arose he slew Amnon hi shelf brother to avenge his sister's hurt.  Amnon had raped her but Dad had raped her of her life by not standing up for her and offering justice.

So on this day when Absalom was riding throughout the forest of his own mental anguish he was not paying attention so the just and pain in his heart and the violence inside blinded him from good self care.  He ran in to a tree limb that hung him out to his death.  So true that our inner hurt an pain cause us pain in living and in death. This is why David wash concerned of his son and why when he learns of his sons death he exclaims, "I should had died instead".

The tragedy is had David stood for life of his daughter his sons would have lived in the green pastures of grace rather than die in the forest of confusion and pain.

God is here, there, and everywhere: I Swear!

Posted by Don Paine

I was in Huntington, LI the other day and observed that the local park was named after Billy Joel, who sang 25 years ago a song, "These five words I swear to you, I will be there for you!"

26 years ago when I shared my first NYC Marathon Worship Experience for fellow runners that was the song I used to present the simple truth that God, by whatever name you call, promises "I will be there for You".  These five simple words contain the might and power of the greatest force of energy in the world.  Every step along the journey of life is like every step of a marathon.  Life is one step at a time as is a marathon.  The "emanuel God" promises to be with you.  Emanuel means, God is physically present with you regardless of anything and with grace for everything.  In the physical world you may not always feel God present but nature assures us that as the sun is always there even when storms and clouds seem to block it out.  The sun is physically still and always present even though it seems that it is gone.

Even when Jesus on the cross felt like he was abandoned he knew what we all can know, that it was not true even though it seemed true.

Amy Grant sang a song years ago that reflect this theme that when something seems to be true it might not be as true as it seems.  On the other hand, what seems to be true may not be true at all!

She sang, "Storms may come and storms will go, wonder how long it will take me to know you are there always with arms of love,  even when the skies are grey teach me to stay in your arms of love"

What ever is rapping on your life journey remind your heart what it already knows: that it is wrapped in arms of love from the God above and the God within you.

I swear even when I swear in frustration I know
by faith and experience that what God swears God delivers!

The Great I am is in You!  I swear!

Grace for Guns, Guns for Grace

Posted by Don Paine

I was in Huntington, LI the other day as a keynote speaker at a Wellness Day where I saw a t-shirt which read, "If we outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns!".  I mused about the safety of our world and what will make it a safer place for my 14 year old grandson, specifically or personally,  and also generally for the next generation as well.  It is not laws that make the world a safer place and space or the multitude of laws on the books would already have created a safer world.

As I was musing this I heard the news report of a shooting in Dorchester, MA where two young woman in a parked care will killed and two other sent to the hospital in an early morning shooting in that town.

I found myself further musing that it is the letter of th flaw and focusing on the letters of any law that not only kills but fosters the freedom to kill.  So how might I want to change that t-shirt if I would wear it.  No part of me does not get the sentiment of that woman sporting.  Her t shirt probably reflected her  concern for safety in her neighborhood or perhaps because she had been a victim of violence of one kind or another.  The world is full of tragedies of people who had gun violence that violated the space of pace and safety.  The reality is no gun laws will outlaw the anger and hurt that perpetuates violence in our world.

So here is my musing of a t-shirt:
"Hearts of Calmness and Compassion offer to
Wounded Hearts that might Reach for Guns the Courage
that Might let Grace not Guns settle their hurt"


"The Might of the Responsibility to bear Arms of Grace is
Mightier than the Right to bear Arms and Guns"

What will make our world a safer place is to help people who hold "hurt, pain, and anger" in their hart for experience a healing of the hurt, the liberty of healing, and the justice toward all.  Laws will never protect people form violence, no matter how well crafted and regardless of how protective of the right to bear arms and or how protective of society front hose who bear arms to do harm.  Violence will only cease when the hurt, pain and anger that is held in the heart is balanced by the holding and healing of that hurt heart. Violence toward others is an expression of the violence held in the heart.  Only when violence of the heart is healed and released form its burden will peace come and safety follow.

Intentional Acts of Kindness will lead people to Change to promote liberty and justice for all.
Hold it, Guns are not the problem People Are
People are not the Problem, They Just Hold It

Hold In
Hold Up
Hold Out

Muscular Chrisitanity

Posted by Don Paine

Last week I visited with my grandson from Seoul, Korea the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.

Back in the day when James Naismith walked the streets of Springfield, he had an idea prompted by a focus of heart and on God.  This was when kids were getting in to trouble because they had nothing to keep them out of trouble, and when people who worked for the YMCA were very clearly and decisively Christian.  He had joined a movement called "Muscular Christianity".  This was a movement that believed that it was not just about soul and spirit in the monastic tradition but it was about nurturing the whole person.  All the body parts, all the emotional parts, all the spiritual parts.  It was a "Wholisitc" before the word "Holistic" was adopted.  The sport of basketball got kids off the street not only in Springfield but gradually all over the world.  today it is one of the Summer Olympic events.

From that orientation of faith and health he put a peach basket on a pole and used a round object later to become a basketball to encourage people to put the ball in the basket.  That was the beginning of what today is a sport that in the flow of its inception continues to take kids off the street and in some instances give them a life they could never have had without it.  A gift that keeps on giving is at the heart of the true Christian orientation and catalyst of love and peace in the world.

Christianity is about Building muscles in the body, faith muscles in the spirit, and courageous muscles in the soul.

It is about the gospel for the whole person and the whole person the focus of the Gospel.

Forgiveness and un-forgiveness, Off the hook and off the shelf

Posted by Don Paine

Holding un-forgivenss in your heart does not hurt the offending party but the offended party.  Foregivenss is not about letting the offender off the hook it is about the offended getting off the hook and on with living.

I came across this quote that triggered this thought:

"Un forgiveness does a great deal more damage to the vessel in which it is stored than the object on which it is poured"

AS I mused on this, it became

Un-forgiveness damages the heart of the vessel that holds un forgiveness, forgiveness opens the flow of grace not to the offender but to the offended.  Living in grace is not about forgiving the offending person it is about not letting the offense steal grace from the offended.  

As we read in the Lord's prayer, "we are to forgive others as we are forgiven".  We are forgiven by a God who opens wide his heart of forgiveness but knows that forgiveness is a gift both offered not given and received not exploited.  It can be offered and rejected or received without effecting the offer or the offering.

Grace greater than all our offenses is grace that takes no offense in and gives no offense out!  It forgives as we are forgiven, not because we deserve it or because it has to be given but by offering it we are released from all resentment, residue, or reactions created by the offense.  We are released to be who we are regardless of anything.  Forgiving our un-forgiving human parts is the divine grace imparted by us and exported by us to all.  "Forgiving as we are forgiven" not giving forgiveness without self-protection and not withholding forgiveness for self preservation.  As in Christ God offers forgiveness to all for all have sinned, so we offer a heart of forgiveness to all.  As in Adam and Eve humanity judged, shamed and blamed itself and so all entered into a state of un-forgivenss, sin and despair so as all have sinned in Adam so all come alive in living free of sin in Christ.

We get off the hook of self judgment, self effacement, or self righteousness and we get off the shelf of self-protection, self preservation, and self sufficiency.

A little child shall lead them, putting away childish things

Posted by Don Paine

I was at an Ecclesiastical Council review of a candidate for ordination in the UCC and was stimulated in my own personal journey as I mused about a shift from child like faith to adult faith.  She mentioned that her non-thinking child faith had been schooled into adult knowledge of faith.  I asked her a question that channeled my thought.

"In the old testament a prophet named, Isaiah said, "A little child shall lead them" and a new testament apostle wrote, "put away childish things" so please comment on the relationship of "unthinking child like faith" and "thinking adult faith'?

She gave a great answer about it being both.  Here are my musings:

In Child faith that becomes adult faith...

The World of make believe becomes the work of believing that "all things are possible"

The world of childish innocence sees innocence in all things

The world of boundless energy, beautiful letting go, and bountiful faith hope and love becomes the discipline of Loving one another, confessing our faults and failings one to another and praying for one another.

Works of wonder becomes the witness to the world of wonder

World of childish fears becomes the Walk by faith not by sight

Combo of Isaiah's "a little child shall lead them" and  Paul's  "put away childish things" produces people of faith who seeing beyond, walk through, and talk of the fellowship of suffering and the power of the resurrection.  In suffering that I do not understand I become like a child who just needs to now the touch of the hand of love.  As an adult i know what I know not because I know but because "God Knows" and is in the here and now regardless of anything.

IFS lands on Mars

Posted by Don Paine

This past weekend "Curiosity" the flying space station landed on Mars.

I was intrigued and interested in the name "Curiosity".  Curiosity is a neutral sense of adventuresome exploring,  Internal Family System's (Richard Schwartz) is a therapy modality, a way of being in the world, and a way of servicing resolving conflict in the world.  While compassion, calmness, courage and creativity are the four fundamentals of the system, curiosity plays a decisive role.  Curiosity is an non-judgmental, non-efficacy, non-critical, and non agenda oriented way of being with one's parts and with parts of others in the world.

Curiosity as a quality does not question but explores.  It expands knowing through opening the mind, the heart, and the spirit, opening body soul,

Esther a Woman of Rare Courage

Posted by Don Paine

Queen Esther was not just an other pretty queen.  She was a woman with character as deep and rich as her ravishing beauty.  Esther, a Woman who has her won Book of The Bible to honor her distinct call to woman of all ages, was willing to put in jeopardy everything she had achieved, everything she had, and even her very life to right an injustice, to expose a wrong, and to model that might is not right, and that right is about honor and honesty.

Her Uncle Mordecai was a threat to Haman and his ways so Haman had bullied and bartared the King into approving the death of Hamn at the Gallows as a way of declaring owed and control over the Jews.  Esther spoke up, standing head and shoulders above the weaseling and whining Haman, and stood up for  honor and honesty with clarity and cumin.

She came into the King's presence without being summoned and without permission. The King according to law had to have anyone who acted so aggressively immediately killed.  The only exception to the rule was that he could, if he so chose, offer the person the golden scepter which if the person reached out and touched would be similarly listened to.  The King extended the royal scepter to her not because she was his wife but because as his wife he knew she knew the rules and for her to do such a thing he had to be incredibly and strategically important for him to listen to her. He knew and trusted her.  She on the other hand knew and trusted him.  Mutual trust is at the heart of an honor and honest system.

As Esther told the story, she vindicated her people and her uncle, validated the call for peace and cooperation, and called for truth, justice and honor to determine the King's response.  The King ordered Haman to be hung on the Gallows he created for Mordecai.  He loved Esther more for her courage than her beauty as the one will fade while the other is eternal.

Woman of Rare courage stand up even when it can cost them everything they have and more.  They also stand down in humility when it is the right thing to do.  Honor, Honesty, and Humility are her legacies.

Acceptance is the Only Agenda

Posted by Don Paine

As I was walking I imagined the world as God made it, intend it it to be, and hoped it would be.

All living things giving to and receiving from each other as they all grow and develop.  Survival of the fittest becomes "Fit for Survival".  All things adding to each other in some way expanding life and living on the planet.  It is not about take overs but give overs.  For this to replicate adn multiply agendas have to be released and acceptance employed.

Agenda exploits the good as a veiled expression of evil and a suppression of righteousness and goodness while simultaneously draining good energy.  Agendas are essentially self serving, self protecting, and self propagating. 

Acceptance explores the expanse of goodness in all things  without expanding evil while simultaneously expending and extending good energy towards all.  Acceptance is essentially self-sacrificing, self surrendering, and oriented around self-esteem.  Self-esteem is the capacity to esteem others as better than you while simultaneously maintaining healthy self-esteem.  Appreciating the worth of others while not depreciating your own self worth.  The balance and harmony of nature present in nature and nurtured in humanity. 

What Seeds Are you Watering

Posted by Don Paine

I imagined as I walked that the fields were all filled with good soil and every seed was growing naturally and abundantly free of constraints.

There has been centuries of debate about humanity begin essentially good and self-efficient in goodness or essentially bad and needing redemption to be good.  What if both are true.  There is a seed in us of goodness, kindness, gentleness, faith, patience, perseverance, self-control, peace and love.  There is a seed of narcism, anger, hurt, pain, control, constraint, absorption, entitlement and hopelessness.

Thic Naht Hahn a Buddhist wrote, "What seeds are you watering".
Jesus wrote, "What seeds are you sowing"

I ask myself , "today what seeds in you are you watering?"  In all of us are many different seeds. The ones that grow and take over are the ones we water and care for.

Paul said, "Some plant, others water, but God is the author of increasing our sense of being and are energy for living!"