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Everything posted by BrDevon

  1. As mentioned above, the basic list of reasons to lose an ordination with the ULC come down to three: 1. The ordination was fraudulent, rendering it null and void (Father Fido, and the Dead Reverend amongst other examples) 2. Laws were broken requiring the ULC to nullify the ordination 3. At the request of the ordained (one renounces one's ordination).
  2. Yesterday, the world lost one of the true role models of grace and elegance. Lena Horne passed away at age 92. The gifts she shared in her lifetime are too many for me to number. I truly feel a loss learning that she has entered the next phase of life. Thank you, Ms. Horne for the legacy you left. The world is a better place for your contribution to it.
  3. God be with you. Don't let the door hit you where He split you.
  4. Fawzo beat me to the post. I was also going to ask what Satan has to do with Wicca (generally, the answer is NOTHING). Are these people harming others? It is one thing to pray that they not harm others, it is another to pray that they abandon their faith because it is not in keeping with your view. I am Christian, I am clergy and it works for me. The reason I chose to be ordained by the ULC as opposed to a more mainstream denomination is that I have the freedom to accept that others do not have to practice their faith (or lack thereof) in accordance to my standards. Yes, I personally believe in a day of judgment, and that works for me, personally. I am happy to discuss how that fits my life with those who wish to discuss it, but part of my truth is embracing that my truth is truth to me, and not necessarily to all.
  5. One thing I used to say when I worked at a suicide hotline (and I use this advise myself): There is at least one person on this earth whose life you need to make a living hell. Find that person and live to do it. My supervisor used to cringe every time I would take the conversation there, but I often had people call me the next day and tell me they survived the night if only because they hadn't found the person to get even with. Remember, I care. I have migraines for at least one week a month, often they run 10 to 13 days on an attack, and have had them for the last 30 years. People have learned that if they see tears in my eyes and I'm not at a funeral, they had best run away. When I get to about day 4, I am no longer a sane person. Not to compare my pain to yours, just to say I understand debilitating pain. Keep fighting. I pray one day we will find the cures to these things that cripple us. Let's live for that day.
  6. You answered it yourself... because we do care about you. Like you, I find each day to be a bigger and stinkier pile of doggie doo than the day before. I also remind myself that there are people who have had less and had to fight harder. I am making less now than I did 30 years ago washing dishes at my high school. Every month I am late paying rent and threatened with eviction, but I still fight on. In my case, some days it is the fact that there are folks on this forum that give a damn about me that keeps me here too. I just watched the movie "Schindler's List" on New Year's Eve. Not a nice movie, but something I recommend to anyone. When you think there's nothing worth fighting for, remember the millions who weren't given the choice. There's a line in the movie that I like for it's irony and the message within: A woman speaks of walking into the electrified fence, which will certainly kill her. Another woman says to her: "Do not walk into the fence. If you do, you'll never know what happened to you." Never for one moment forget that there is someone on this earth for whom you make a difference. When you stop caring for yourself, care for them.
  7. I so understand this point of view. I also share it, since Thanksgiving through Epiphany runs a series of bad memories: My father died from a very slow and nasty cancer. At the slow and tortuous end of his life came the holiday season which went along the lines of: Thanksgiving: The last meal he ever ate at the dinner table - and then we had to feed him. Christmas: The last time he ever ate solid food - and then it irritated his mouth so badly from the texture he had open sores in his mouth - and what was this abrasive food he ate? Turkey that had been pureed in a food processor, yams that were so watery they might as well have been soup... you get the idea. N ew Years: He was semi-comatose. We had to feed him by dropping liquid food (Ensure and other yummy canned "food") from a long-nosed syringe being careful not to exceed half a teaspoon at a time - enough for him to swallow without choking. Epiphany: His last day on earth. He died at 4:12 am January 7. And yes, this many years later, it had such a lasting effect I can remember the time to the minute. So no, this is not a joyous time of year for me. What I have done to make it at least tolerable is turn to my faith: Christmas is a time to celebrate the coming of Christ for those who follow that spiritual path, and despite retail's efforts to corrupt the season into a Visa feast, I *do* enjoy doing for others. At Thanksgiving, I volunteer some sort of service to those who have less than I - either at a soup kitchen, or this past Thanksgiving I helped a friend who has disabilities around her house and enjoyed dinner with her and her husband who also is disabled. This past weekend, about 1/3 of the people at the church where I enjoy fellowship went caroling at two different nursing homes, spending about an hour or so in each. It was such a joy to see the residents' faces light up as they heard us approaching their rooms and several joined in. The most moving part was when we got to the end of one unit, a nurse asked us if we would be willing to go to one more ward - the Alzheimer's and psychiatric ward. I am proud to say no one gave it a second thought. We were all in. I had to fight tears when one nurse told me that one resident who held my hand and sang the Christmas songs with me hadn't talked coherently in months. She usually babbles, but for one happy moment, she remembered those songs and the words and joined right in with us. If only for those few precious moments, that was a gift that could not be wrapped that will get me through the season. And that is my survival system at the holidays. I accept that they will suck for me, so I work harder to help them not suck so badly for the next person.
  8. is asking for prayers for my friend and mentor, Pastor Ken

  9. The pastor of the church across the street from where I live, Pastor Ken, has been very sick for a few weeks. He just went in for further testing and the initial feedback is pointing towards a diagnosis of lymphoma. As fellow people of faith, I ask for your collective prayers. This man has been a wonderful friend and mentor to me and has made me welcome in his church for worship and fellowship while accepting that I am not of his denomination, he has embraced me as a fellow Christian who simply has chosen a wider denominational path. Please also spare a prayer for his wife, children, and the church community he serves. We are all shaken by this news, but thankfully, we do have a strong community which has banded together to support each other. That being said, there can never be too much faith, support or prayer. Thank you for reading. --Br. Devon p.s.: You can also light a virtual candle at my website to show your support. Click the logo on my signature, enter the site, and on the bottom of my links page, you will see the light a candle button. Thank you.
  10. I have lit a candle in our chapel, as well as a virtual candle on our online chapel. You can see the virtual candle by clicking on the link in my signature and once in the site, scroll to the bottom of the main page and follow the "Light a Candle" link. As a survivor of cancer, I know the healing power of prayer. I hold you both in my thoughts.
  11. Translation: As Far As I Know, I'm Not Totally All Fouled Up, but I Don't Have A Clue what language that last post is in. Went Over The Head, that one. But I guess I was Listening With (only) 1 Eye Open. Too Late, Train Gone, I guess. (I will now) Stop Keying I wasn't busting on ya, just showing how when you don't know the abbreviations, it's tough to know what someone's trying to say. If I was really trying to be evil, I could have just typed it all in machine shorthand When I had better hearing, I used to transcribe lectures and take notes for a student who was deaf. I had a Tandy 100 portable and using a combination of abbreviations and the international symbols and alphabets to represent phonemes, I used to be able to transliterate at just over words per minute. The teaching staff were amazed that I could make sense out of a string of seemingly random symbols, but my system made sense to me. I still have the machine, and every so often if I'm doing some writing and want to get my thoughts quickly, I still use the thing. But as I am losing my hearing again, I find that I can type nearly as quickly as I speak if I am typing my own thoughts. Comes from typing chats and phone calls.
  12. AFAIK I'm NTAFU, but IDHAC what language the last post is in. WOTH, that one. But I guess, I was LW1EO. TLTG, I Guess. TYA SKSK
  13. 24 years today, and I still feel like someone stole half my soul. Death can never stop me from loving you.
  14. Thanks. I have had many discussions with friends of differing spiritual paths. What I liked about this one is that is shows the common thread we have as spiritual people. The particulars may differ, but we all need food and drink for our survival as humans, and we can acknowledge how these things came to us and for those who believe in an almighty, deity, etc. This is a simple way to lock onto something real. A bonus extra - a friend who is a practicing Witch says that she uses a cup of tea at work as a quick grounding riteual because no one is going to give a second thought to someone having tea in a break room in a work place, but it allows her a spiritual moment. Since then, I have made it a point to have something hot to drink at work and take a minute to pray quietly. To anyone looking, I'm simply sipping my coffee. It's sad that in the secular world, we need to sometimes have ways to conceal our spiritual side, but that is reality. I hope it brings your kids the peace it brings me.
  15. I am not Pagan, nor do I pretend to understand all the nuances of the faith, but I do have friends who are and, like you, are looking for inspiration for their little ones. One thing that came to mind after talking to my adult Pagan friends about the elements is that there is something most of us do each day (at least in cooler weather) that any child can appreciate: When making a cup of coffee/tea/hot cocoa: As you draw the water, thank it for being the carrier of life. We can not live without water. As you start the heating of the water, thank fire for infusing the water with its energy. Soon you should see steam rising as the water comes to temperature. Acknowledge the air as you see the heated water vapor. Add your tea/coffee/cocoa - which comes from the earth. See how the energy of the heated water creates an infusion. Acknowledge the scent of your beverage in the air. Finally acknowledge Spirit for its power, and for the wisdom to see the five elements in all things, even the mundane drink can be a reminder of the power of the elements. If you are so inclined, you can also add thanksgivings to your desired deity or deities. It seems simple, but even based on my Christian background, when we appreciate the almighty in the smallest things, we find our faith multiplied in the larger things. Kids often think in literals, and the above gives real life acknowledgment instead of treating faith like the tooth fairy or Easter bunny - nice but not real.
  17. The last time I ended one I was being cheated on by a wanted felon who was a master liar. The only satisfaction is the lying felon is now an inmate and can have a choice of boyfriends each night. The only other relationships weren't my choice. The first person I ever trusted my heart with committed suicide the day before we were to graduate high school, and my last relationship of 13 years died a couple years ago due to a religious conflict: I was a minister, the other party was not, however, God. So, as I told someone recently when they asked if I had taken the vow of celibacy, "nope. I never had to take the vow. I've always had it GIVEN TO ME."
  18. Or we as a creation could finally have gotten swift, and he can rejoice that he can come back to a peaceful world. (I dream big dreams, and try to be the example I wish for the world.)
  19. Some friends of mine in the clergy who do "repeat" or "duplicate" weddings for benefit of couples who need an extra service basically do the standard wedding with one tweak: at the end, where the couple would be pronounced wed, since they already have that legal status and the extra service is not the one providing that status, the words: by the power vested in me by the [legal authority], I now pronounce you man and wife is replaced with: in the company of these witnesses, I reaffirm your status as man and wife. It reads more awkwardly than it sounds, but having seen it in practice, it actually comes off very nicely, and avoids any possibility of unpleasantness from anyone attempting to claim the repeat service is for any reason than symbolic for the benefit of those who could not attend the "real" wedding. You are not representing yourself as marrying the couple at that service, you are acknowledging them as a couple fully married.
  20. I wanted to be sainted, I wished it really hard. Then Murph and Kevin sainted me, and HQ sent the card.
  21. Very cool. Something to help focus. I like the fact that there is no one specific right or wrong, but the right combination of forces working in harmony bring the desired results. Sort of like life.
  22. At least one person can relate to your point of view -- me. In my journey, I found myself more and more distanced from the Church as I became closer and closer to the Almighty. I finally realized - the Almighty is too powerful and too great to only have a single path. I left the Church to become ordained in the ULC. Most of my friends treat me more seriously as a minister now than before because they realize that my spiritual life is more than a part-time Sunday job. I have ministered to those whose regular clergy has literally left them abandoned. I don't let myself get clogged in dogma. The examples we are given of Jesus teaching usually tell of those gathering around him and just plain talking. I honestly get the impression that if Jesus walked amongst us in human form today, he would be shocked that many followers are so caught up on one day a week for about an hour, that they forget the lesson the rest of the week. It isn't easy living spiritually in a secular world, but I make time to celebrate the Almighty in the everything -- even things unpleasant have a message. I can choose to allow a customer to anger me with their tone, or celebrate that I have hearing (another miracle, but more on that at another time), and the ability to offer assistance. Even if the customer doesn't allow me to assist, I can walk away saying I did what I could. I try to face life with a thankful attitude. In all things, I am blessed. I simply need to take the time to say thank you. If I ever think I'm not blessed, there are plenty of wake up calls out there: a childrens' hospital burn unit or cancer ward. Children who have been abused, etc. I have/had wonderful parents, a wonderful upbringing... now I'd be lying if I said it was easy. It certainly wasn't and far from it for my parents who struggled more than they would let us know. But there was always a hot meal and a house full of love. There was always room for one more at our table and we always volunteered our time and shared our resources with those who had even less. I learned at a very early age the first gift you can give someone is caring. Genuinely care about others. That is more valuable than anything material. The best gifts I have been given in life are the people who I can look back on and say "they cared enough to help shape my life." As a child I promised God that I would return the favors given me. This is before the saying "pay it forward" was made famous. As long as I live, I want to be a model of the gifts I have been given. To me, anything less would be to insult the Almighty who has provided so much to me. I was made capable of this ministry for a reason. It is the ultimate gift that I can be ordained, and I will never forget a saint named Kirby Hensley who founded a church for all walks of life, and a wonderful man named Kevin who ordained me when I asked. I am long-winded, but there is so much more to the story. Welcome to our family!