Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Yoou Have Already Won the Lottery

You have already won the lottery
Human Origin, Story and Happiness.

A new remarkable book by Robert Emmons, Thanks, describes how the old adage, "Count your blessings" is the key to health, happiness and longevity. An attitude of human gratitude is found in repeated research to be the key to coping with the setback of life and living happily.

Among the numerous blessings in life are some we have no control over. We did nothing to insure our parents met and decided to love one another. One night, in a loving embrace a tiny seed was planted, an egg met a sperm, and our tiny life began. We are an "accident" of love.

As that tiny thing began growing, the cells had to multiple a billion times correctly for us to be born healthily. About five out of a hundred children are born with some defect, hidden or obvious. We did nothing to earn that singular gift of live.

And that was only the beginning. All we did for several years, is eat, sleep and poop. Depending on how poopy we were and how neat our mothers were, our diapers were changed 3-5,000 times. It took about 10,000 meals to get us to age 18. We are alive today and prosper because of much loving. No parents are perfect and some children, due to illness, accident or disease do not survive.

When I was born in 1929, the average age span was 58. Now I am a survivor of metastasized cancer at age 80, and statistical tables give me another 6 or 7 years. My wive wears a pacemaker and still skies and manages our beautiful outdoor wedding garden where we live. Could we not each be surrounded by blessings we seldom appreciate?

We are the reason our parents and ancestors lived. We are the reason they cross oceans, prairies, mountains, often with great struggles to have a better life for their children. Born in the U.S.A., we enjoy blessings that are the envy of most of the rest of the world, but won at the terrible cost of about one million lives, In the Civil War alone, 600,000. Despite the flaws and corruption of our government, few of us would move elsewhere. we live in a country built on a view of human rights utterly inconceivable even in the Bible.

Further , the fascinating story of human origins is not usually told and seldom celebrated. We had a hundred grandmothers back to the time of Jesus, but 350 generations back to the time of the first written stories. When we go back to the beginning of storytelling and mythmaking, that journey took about 5,000 grandmothers.

The human race has been on earth about two million years. We know now by archeological evident that all four limbed critters come from a strange looking fish that crawled out of the sea to escape ferocious predators, about 375 million years ago. Scientists today are amazed at how many things Darwin got right, yet the accidental and serendipitous nature of his discovers are not well taught and seldom celebrated. (See Nova program, What Darwin Didn’t Know and the PBS website on evolution)

Why should any of us be here today, to have been born in an age when we can begin to recognize the great and incredible story of our origins, the human journey, and the blessings of this technology age>

Long ago, n the long, long nights when there were only storytelling, it is no wonder that themes were Overcoming the Monster and Rages to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return and Rebirth Themes (Crhistoper Booke, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We tell Stories). These stories helped us survive.

No wonder children love these stories. Their DNA craves them. They are hardwired to adapt and survive, and they love the wonder of the adventures awaiting.

We ourselves, alive today, are the ultimate rages to riches story.
Even more fascinating, it was the storytellers that helped create and shape the culture and beliefs that enabled us to survive and prosper. And become the people we are today.

Just as we never dreamed of computers, the internet, microwave ovens, and cell phones, our children loves stories because they are preparing for worlds we never dreamed of.

Ahh. The mystery and wonder of evolution when story and belief gave us humans a “leg-up” in coping and survival.

Are we blessed? Are you blessed. You answer.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Seven Great Gifts in LIfe

The Seven Great Gifts in Life.
Lessons from fifty years of minister
and twenty years of prison ministry.

Question yesterday from an inmate:
Can anyone recognize and accept these?
A. Yes, it is never too late, with God.

1. Life itself. An accident of love. I did not have to happen. I already won a great lottery at Brith. A story...

2. My mother’s love. Men do not know that material love does not come with the package at birth. A mother’s love emerges from caring for this infant who can only eat, sleep and poop.
Another story...

3. Understanding of the preciousness, singularly and uniqueness of this one life that has been given to each, to me, totally undeserved. A story.

4. Gratitude. Appreciation of the undeserved gifts of live and love that one has been given. Another story..

5. Faith. Another undeserved gift that cannot be bought or obtained by human effort. Honoring this as the gift that can transform everything. Another story.

6. My Brokenness. Awareness of oneself as a flawed and wounded person. This is critical to appreciation and escaping from one’s own bubble. Otherwise words of Amazing Grace hymn are only words. This is the great blessing in disguise.

7. Giftedness. A sense of the giftedness of everything. Nothing had to happen the way it did. Most all of these gifts are undeserved, cannot be earned, only accepted, embraced and employed in order to own and bless them by one’s own love and gratitude. Stories connected with each gift can facilitate this welcoming.

Interestingly, research by Robert Emmons over many years supports the view that humble gratitude is the secret to happiness as well as to health, healing and general wellness.
His latest book is called, simply Thanks. See Amazon. This is congruent with my own research project of collecting factors contributing to longevity and body/mind/spirit wellness.

Noblesse Oblige. Tikkun Olam
April 19, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Story by Paschal.

A Story. By Paschal

Once upon a time, long time ago, truth went around the world seeking notice, welcome and a home. But Truth was naked and people were afraid of him. Sol they avoided him.

Sadly, the feeling was mutual as Truth was afraid of humans. He was afraid humans would use him, spin him, warp him for their own ego purposes. So he mostly hid from them and was alone.

Then one day, Truth saw a beautiful woman down the road, with man friends talking freely with each other. He timidly approached her and asked: What is your name?

My name, she replied is Story. Truth was astonished. She said: I could dress you and we could go around the world together. And so she did, and so they did.

And they were both happy, for a long time. Then in mid-life Truth began to realize that humans were using their stories for their own private and personal purposes.

Truth began to argue with story and their marriage was in trouble. His main desire was to share his truth and have humans respect him, not use him.

Then one night he had a dream. His dream was about the power of love. as the real hidden power of the universe. Maybe this was the only safe truth to teach humans.

Truth explained his dream to Story. Luckily she was entranced with the possibilities. So, from then on, their stories were about the power of love. They were happy and made many people happy, with an adventurous life together.

As he grew older, Truth was so happy that he had touched and moved many people, that they only story he wanted to tell now, was about humble gratitude, and so he did. The end.

Moral.. 1. Truth alone, without Love, will be used to divide, for purposes of power over. 2. The test of genuine spirituality may be humble gratitude.

Now take this story and make it better...

Paschal Baute, April, 2010

Sunday, April 04, 2010

My Easter Greeting for you, 2010

My Easter greeting for you this morning

is two of my favorite morning songs, namely


(other favorites at the end)

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day

How Can I Keep From Singing?
by Rev. Robert Lowry (1826-1899),

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation.
I hear the real, though far off hymn
That hails the new creation.

Above the tumult and the strife,
I hear its music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

While though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
And though the darkness round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since Love is lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?

In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging.
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since Love is lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation.
I hear the real, though far off hymn
How can I keep from singing?

Lord, how can I keep from singing?


Amazing Grace
Magnificat see Luke 1: 46 ff 16 vv
Prayer of St. Francis.
Psalm 23
Romans 8: 36 FF
On the Sunny Side of the Street (Louis Armstrong)