I love playing around with various poetry forms. I love learning about new forms. Yesterday I encountered a “Dalit” for the first time. Do you know it? It is 4 lines of 8 syllables each. I thought that would be fun to try. Here we go…
The choice is yours – choose joy today. We are blessed to be in sunshine. I select happiness today, And it splashes over to you!
Yes, even if you are in rain or snow, you can have sunshine in your heart. My heart prays for peace in war-torn places. My heart prays for safety for those in Harm’s Way. My heart prays for rain in Australia and stability in all places of turmoil. My heart prays for joy in your heart. Choose joy!
Try a Dalit poem. Share it! And Have a Marvelous Monday! See ya later.
This Sunday we attended church at the Bloom in the Desert Ministries in Palm Springs, CA. As usual, I took notes while listening to the sermon.
The scripture was Matthew 3:13-17
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. John tried to dissuade Jesus by saying, I should be baptized by you, and yet you come to me!” But Jesus replied, “Leave it this way for now. We must do this to completely fulfill God’s justice.” So John reluctantly agreed. Immediately after Jesus had been baptized and was coming up out of the water, the sky suddenly opened up and Jesus saw the spirit of God descending as a dove and hovering over him. With that, a voice from the heavens said, “This is my Own, my Beloved, on whom favor rests.”
Through my poetic filter, this is what I heard as Reverend Kevin A. Johnson’s message:
The proper completion of a called journey Is the return… the coming back. In our creed, Jesus went down and came back. The Jews and Greeks both were taught that fact.
Today’s scripture tells us that baptism Is personal, and effective for life. Some believe as babies, others think when older, Is the appropriate time to wash away strife.
Baptism is a remarkable, memorable event. It’s a ritual recorded long before Jesus was born. A thousand years earlier, immersion was practiced. The dove hovering was a symbol that glorious morn.
It symbolized the love of God entering in. Baptism is a commitment – a starting point. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the Jordan River, Or if it’s in some crumby back-street joint.
Baptism is a time to promise a mind-set That puts love, compassion, and respect first. It’s a universal embrace of Jesus’ teachings – A chance to promise, and then daily rehearse.
Baptism can occur as a teen or an adult when the person is “of the age of reason” and chooses to publicly agree to live a life of love in God’s grace, with compassion and respect for others, following God’s commandments.
Or – baptism can occur as an infant. In that case, it is the promise of the parents to raise this child in love, teaching the child to obey the commandments … living in grace and obedience.
Do you remember your baptism? I don’t remember mine. My sister and I were baptized when she was about two and I was an infant. There are no pictures, no certificates, no proof… but my sis says she remembers it, and my mom said it happened. So I should believe them.
However, as Rev. Kev said at the beginning of his message, baptism is a part of a journey… and it requires the return, the coming back. Rev. Kev showed us the certificate of his baptism. He can tell you the date, the place, and the time – and he went through confirmation later as a youngster (maybe about age 12) at which time he reaffirmed his parents’ baptismal promises.
Baptism’s Purpose and Proof
I tried to locate my baptismal records. However, the church where my baptism supposedly occurred no longer exists. Decades ago a fire destroyed it and all the records that were in it.
Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It testifies to the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to the believer’s faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Do I doubt my faith in the risen Savior or question my membership in God’s family? Not for a minute!
Baptism has been a symbolic way of joining the Church from the very start of Christianity. The water used is a symbol of washing away sin and the start of a new life. Do I think perhaps I am not “a Child of God” because I don’t have the paperwork to prove my sin was “washed away”? No!!
But would I like to be able to say I have experienced a “proper completion of a called journey” by finishing the trip, coming back to my baptismal roots? Yes!
Baptism is Once and for All
Sometimes I question if infant baptism is once and for all. I wonder if perhaps I should be baptized as an adult now. Do you think at 80 I should reaffirm the baptismal vows that my mom agreed to when I was an infant?
Today’s sermon reminding us to remember Jesus’ baptism and affirming the importance of baptism has me pondering these questions.
The last time we walked in this desert, we had our Boston, TazE, with us.
The desert was greener and healthier looking. Our walking path this year had dog tracks, reminding us of our furry friend. She’s back in Montana being well cared for. Our rental this year doesn’t allow pets.
There’s been a fire since our last visit here. The desert brush all is scorched.
But it still is a peaceful place to walk. I knew we were 3/4 of the way around our course when this familiar landmark showed up.
It is a beautiful, clear blue sky 70 degree day. Wish you were here!
Do you have a peaceful place to walk undisturbed where you are?
It was invigorating!
Meantime, back in Montana, the antelope are enjoying a peaceful day, too. But their weather is considerably different from what we’re experiencing here in southern CA. Look at the picture my friend, Elaine, sent me today:
We are happy to be taking a sunshiny break for awhile. Our friends from Ennis just came to join us for a couple days. Yay! Wish you were here, too.
An especially bright spot in the heart of downtown Faribault is the Second Street Garden, a pocket garden with positive messages like this one. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo August 2019.
BY NATURE, I AM a quiet observer. Not introverted. But a watcher, a listener, the person who mostly sits back, especially in a room filled with strong personalities.
But that doesn’t mean I embrace overpowering people, especially those who talk over and at others. That type of self-centered behavior bothers me, bothers being a tempered word choice. Lack of empathy, understanding and compassion hurt personal relationships, communities, countries. I see too many people driven by their goals, their agendas, their misinformed/uninformed assessments of others and of situations. Their “I’m right” and “I don’t care if I’m hurting you” perspectives.
How do you fix that on a personal level? The answer: We usually can’t. I’ve learned that unless someone is willing to engage in civil dialogue, it’s probably a waste of time to even have a discussion. I can only control how I react. And sometimes the best way to react is simply to walk away, to let it go, to extract myself from those who are toxic, who lack empathy and the ability to think beyond themselves.
The Minnesota Nice part of me screams, “That’s not very nice!” But the reality is that we all deserve respect. To be heard and understood and loved. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
My thought on this blog is that Audrey is so right! As a culture, we seem (in the USA) to be losing sight of common courtesy. We seem to be forgetting the power of mutual respect. We seem to be going down a rat hole… and it’s not pretty!
So, Audrey’s blog spoke to me. We DO have a choice. We do not have to travel down that ugly hole. We can walk away “from those who are toxic, who lack empathy and the ability to think beyond themselves.”
I posted “Walk with Me” a couple of days ago. It was a physical walk around our beautiful neighborhood here in Rancho Mirage, CA. Yesterday Bob & I walked around the beautiful polo grounds in the La Quinta/Indio area.
Today, I am walking again… but this time, it is around a desert path in Thousand Palms. I send funny little kisses to you… from Snapchat … with a tooth in the way. Oh my!
Thank you, Audrey, for your thoughtful blog. I am taking it to heart. If there are toxic people out there, intent on spreading hate, I am walking again…
… Not around the neighborhood or the lake or the desert, but walking way from hate and disrespect.