What I aspire to…

“A person who cares nothing for praise or blame knows great inward peace….Praise does not make you holier than you are, nor blame more wicked. You are exactly what you are, and cannot ever be any better or worse than that, in the eyes of God. Attend to what is really within you, then, and you will not care what others say of you. People look at externals, but God looks at the heart. They weigh actions; God knows your intent….To feel no need of human support and assurance is a mark of inward confidence – of those who truly walk with God in their hearts.”- Thomas À Kempis

I know it is nearly impossible to imagine, however, it’s like another quote I like to refer to “It’s better to aim for the stars and land on the moon than to aim for a mud puddle and hit it.”

wild yellow
wild yellow

Wishing all a blessed day and that your’s shall be just as it should.

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Gazing at the Light

The lamps are different,
But the Light is the same.
So many garish lamps in the dying brain’s lamp-show,
Forget about them.
Concentrate on the essence, concentrate on the Light.
In lucid bliss, calmly smoking off its own holy fire,
The Light streams towards you from all things,
All people, all possible permutations of good, evil, thought, passion.
The lamps are different,
but the Light is the same.
One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind,
Endlessly emanating all things.
One turning and burning diamond,
One, one, one.
Ground yourself, strip yourself down,
To blind loving silence.
Stay there, until you see
You are gazing at the Light
With its own ageless eyes.

– Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

DailyOM

I will Abide

“…you see, my desire for you is relentless and consumes me much of the time.

 I know not of what fills your day and the mystery only fuels my passion. The fact is, that I refrain from pestering you constantly, as I’m sure you have a full life as any person would,  may or may not be of any interest to you. The fact remains that I torture myself for you.”
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“if God and the relationship to God are left out, then this is not love, but a mutual and enchanting illusion. For only in love for God can one love in truth. To help another human being to love God is to love another person. And to be helped by another human being to love God is to be loved.” Soren Kierkegaard Provocations
peoney wet
touched by the rain
 “…You see because of where we are and what we’re each up to and my wanting you too much, and your human inadequacies and mine I am left only to seek that which is eternal when I want badly to gain from you which you can’t possibly provide. You help me to love God and in turn am being loved by you…”
“…I know it’s deep and may not have ever occurred to you or even is remotely comfortable for you to consider…”
soren-kierkegaard-watercolor-portrait-fabrizio-cassetta
Kierkegaard Painting – Soren Kierkegaard – Watercolor Portrait by Fabrizio Cassetta
 “But the one who loves says: I abide. Put the past out of the way; drown it in the forgiveness of the eternal by abiding in Love. Then the end is the beginning and there is no Break.” Soren Kierkegaard
…In love, your love J.”

On my list

My list of things I am grateful for, living in Minnesota. The Mall of America is on there. This place is such a blast. I enjoy looking for things I might like to buy or be given should I be fortunate enough. There is also the opportunity to buy presents for those I care about. There is also a place at the center of it all, created for children of all ages. That being Nicolodeon Universe, a full-sized amusement park.

Here are just a few places I like to shop for myself and others. I’ll leave it up to you to ponder, which are for who.

I was here over the weekend and wanted to express my gratitude for being close to the wonderful place. I know that the time to be here is when most are still getting up. Of course, there are many other places of interest and utility, too many to list in my brief post. It’s just fun for me.

Bless all of you who have made it this far

Jeff

Something out of the Ordinary

Or perhaps, for you, not so much. Today or I should say. Beginning late last night I went to Christmas midnight Mass. I felt led to participate in this blessed tradition and am not sure of why. I went embracing the mystery of it all.

I am not Catholic and am still mystified by all the gestures and rituals. I have found great value, though, in ritual. It has become the foundation for improving my life, from my however flawed, perspective. I did feel a bit out of place but welcome none the less.

Inside

I attended the celebration at The Cathedral of Saint Paul. What a magnificent place! I can only imagine what it must have been like in 1915 when the first liturgy was held on Palm Sunday, March 14th of that year. This is the biggest Church I have ever been in.

Nothing out of the expected occurred. There were carrols, prayers, readings from scripture, a homily by The Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, Arch Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. A profession of faith. The offering, and of course Communion. I did not take communion as I am not, or do not consider myself Catholic. I did, however, go up for a blessing Arms crossed over my chest.

Liturgy Guide

I am still processing the occasion and take away these

  1. All are invited
  2. I am flawed and in need of forgiveness
  3. I am forgiven in Christ’s Life, death, and Resurrection
  4. His Spirit as God Lives in me
  5. I am to give as I have been so graciously been given

Merry Christmas until then enjoy divinely inspired Rock Guitar

Under My Skin

It was a lovely late summer afternoon. The sun was shining brightly the breeze was light and constant. There couldn’t be a more perfect day for me to be working and enjoying this glorious early Autumn weather. I’m doing my thing, earbuds blasting from my playlist. When suddenly I brush up against the fence. Ouch! I have been pierced by a splinter. No time to deal with it now so I keep going.

Upon completion, I load up my equipment and get into the truck. I grab a cold water out of the ice chest and check the site of the injury. It is on my left forearm on the pinkey side. There is a trickle of blood. I attempt to find if any of it is protruding from the wound. No such luck. It’s lodged in there.

wed wose
Wed Wose

I got home and washed it off properly and used a mirror to try to get a better look. I could tell that I was going to have to leave it alone to make its own way out. You see I have some experience with first-aid. My general quarter’s assignment in the Navy was triage and firefighter. Everybody on board is a firefighter. I knew that my body would reject the foreign object and it would come out eventually.

On a side note. Do people, things situations, get under your skin? You cannot be free unless you allow others to be free to be who and what they are without your ideas about what you think is right for them.

It has emerged! 3/4″ long and a sharp little devil.

ouch
Cedar Splinter 3/4″ long

Thanks for stopping by and for that I love you ❤

 

Do you know the difference?

Allow me to introduce you to the Yellow Jacket Wasp.

Profanity Warning!

These little bastards are fucking mean! They are considered to be beneficial because they eat other insects like mosquitoes, apids and the like. I have become acquainted with them, quite painfully 6 times in the past week.

Yellowjacket.Mostly.Dorsal
Yellow Jacket

They will defend the colony very aggressively. A giant, pushing/chasing a lawnmower over the nest is to be attacked mercilessly. The sting is painful initially leaving a sharp ache the rest of the day.

MDAgroundnests
Ground-nesting insects

When the ache subsides, what you are left with is not unlike a large mosquito bite that itches for a week or more. I am amazed at the tenacity and courage of these little fuckers. Imagine giving your life trying to kill a creature several thousand times your size to defend the queen and her brood.

What I have learned.

  1. They only nest annually
  2. Only the inseminated queen survives the cold winters (not sure how I don’t care)
  3. She starts a new colony in spring
  4. Late summer the nest is at its highest density (ah now I am beginning to understand)
  5. Upon discovery stay away, let them settle down and take another pass if necessary.

The Takeaway. I have a profound curiosity for all of God’s creatures. There is something to be learned from nature that I can apply to the miracle of life and existence.

Courage, what are you willing to give your life for? Survival of a representative republic?(that’s a worthy blog post by itself) Tenacity, How adamant are you about your faith? I feel I could be better. Defense of your family. I know I can be hard on them, but I only want what’s best and will expect the same in return.

God bless all of you and thank you for reading to the end.