In Honor of Colin Powell

It was sometime around 1993/1994. I was learning a new life where practicing spiritual things was not virtuous – it was necessary to keeping my new life.

One key to this was being a student of Jim and Elaine Chambers’ teachings about prayer and meditation, and being introduced to THE Holy Spirit in a whole new and more personal way than I had known as a child. I would visit them once or twice a week. Their love and encouragement lead me to the most consistent spiritual practice, and not unrelated, one of the most precious and personal times with God that I have ever known.

It was a beautiful time in my life.

I was single. Reading my Bible. Praying and meditating with ease and joy in both Christian faith and Zen traditions.

One week in our discussions, they suggested that I had been a soldier in a previous life – a life a long, long time ago. I listened, politely, left, and went to work the next day.

On my way home from work, I stopped at the Dress Barn in what was Windsor Plaza. As the salesperson was ringing up my purchases, I looked down on the counter and saw this quote. As it is here. Perfectly cut-out. No additional notations or explanations. I asked her, “Do you know where this came from?” She said no. I stuffed it into my pocket, shaking, and thanking THE Holy Spirit.

I have no idea what that, or this, is all about. But, on that day I believed in the creative power of our Holy Spirit to reach us – and me. Today, as I hear of Colin Powell’s passing, I can’t help but risk sharing this little story in his honor.

Finding Purchase

Finding purchase has a different meaning for me in the mountains than in the city.

In the city, finding purchase is about acquisition. Accumulation. Here, in the mountains and on our hikes, finding purchase relates to the quest and commitment in choosing which rock to place my boot on, or, deciding where to plant my walking stick before taking the next step.

Finding purchase, I notice, can be a sacred act of letting go of what was grounding for what will support the next step in moving forward. And, in the quiet companionship with my fellow hikers, finding my purchase can also be about the broader question that I brought with me to the mountain.

What’s next?

God, help me find purchase in your what’s next.

Bleed the Greed

“Don’t regulate,” they say. “People will do the right thing if government stays out of their lives.”

I doubt that as an absolute, but let’s prove them right with self-honesty about IF our family needs the government check that may show up. And, if we are not in need for food and shelter and resources for taking care of our health and our family, let’s consider donating it to a local food bank. Not in protest of anything but rather…in community and compassion. You know, a Jesus/divine humanity kind of thing. And a gentle, very human and practical way to bleed the greed.

Click on the following for easy links to give. Thank you, with love.

Houston Food Bank

West Houston Assistance Ministries

Fair Haven Food Bank

Feeding Texas

Feeding America

Time Marches On

Theresa & Toby Allen

I had no idea what massive changes were headed our way when I took this photo November, 2019. It was a few months before everything changed in our world. We have since lost too many people and another layer of innocence and trust.

It feels too soon to look back and fully understand what happened, the physical, emotional and social effects (subtle, direct, long-lasting and permanent), and how we can grow from this in love and practical care of ourselves and one another. But, this morning I am remembering my grandmother saying, “You can add years to your life or life to your years.”

Time marches on for some of us. Kitties grow up and I am graying. And I am asking myself, what can I add to this moment? From this place and where I am right now?