Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Training a Wild Mustang

posted by Cheryl Petersen

A local 9-year old boy is training a wild mustang. I marvel at the sight of this 9-year boy next to a brawny power horse.

Innocence and dedication pierce through the barriers of fear and bulk.

The training began mid-March as part of the Youth Mustang Challenge.

The challenge was open to youths age 8-18. To participate, the kids needed to fill out an application and write an essay. If approved, the youth would be allowed to pick up a yearling Mustang and train it for 90 days. Once the 90-day period was done, horse and trainer would be tested on handling.

At this time the youths also can chose if they’d like to adopt the mustang.

The mustang horses are descendants of wild horses. In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act was passed to place these 4-leggd critters under federal jurisdiction as living symbols of the historic and pioneering spirit of Americans. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (USFS) are in charge of preserving and protecting the wild horses, however they are also required to maintain animal levels that achieve a balance on the ecology.

When populations exceed the capacity of their habitat, the BLM kicks into action and remove animals from the range and place them in suitable homes. The challenge prepares the mustang for adoption through training.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Ps 147

 

The mustang with a halter

The mustang with a halter

The family cookbook

posted by Cheryl Petersen

moms recipe book open to carrot cakeMom kept our family of 7 fed with homemade meals. She typed out favorite recipes and put them in a green ring-binder notebook. The green binder was imprinted in my memory, whether I knew it or not.

Mom died more than a decade ago, and when I recently visited my younger sister, I found the infamous green recipe book. My sister had kept it safe. What fun I had looking through it.

When a kid, I definitely grew up when margarine was the thing to use. And, every third recipe contained a box of Jello.

The pages stained with food ingredients contained recipes for cakes and cookies. Next to each recipe however, mom added the name of the person where she got the recipe. Mom (my grandmother), Jeanne, Doris P., Charlotte R., and so on. I remember growing up with those people.

A swoosh of memories flowed through my mind as I flipped pages in the green binder.

I came to “Lemon Angel Torte” and smiled as I read the recipe. This was the “Christmas Pie” recipe I remembered. I kept asking my siblings if they had the recipe for the “Christmas Pie,” but it didn’t ring a bell and I thought it must be lost.

I obviously titled it “Christmas Pie” because that is when I remember mom made this special unique pie. Everyone else knew it as Lemon Angel Torte.

I made Lemon Angel Torte the other day. I need to practice, because it wasn’t as good as mom’s, but it was still good.

Lemon Angel Torte

Pre-heat oven 450°

Beat till stiff. 4 egg whites, ¾ c. sugar, ¼ t. salt, and ¼ t. cream tarter.

Spread the meringue on the bottom of a buttered 9” pie plate. Put it in the oven and turn the oven off. Leave in in the oven for 5 hours, or overnight.

In a double boiler, beat 4 egg yolks, 1 T. grated lemon peel, 3 T. lemon juice, ½ cup sugar, dash of salt. Cook and stir till thick. Cover and cool.

Whip up whipping cream. Put half of the cream in the meringue. Add the lemon sauce, then top with remaining whip cream. Chill 5 hours.

We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “The lost image is not an image. The true likeness can’t be lost in divine reflection.”

Balancing spiritual independence and group settings through leadership

posted by Cheryl Petersen

The fastest growing “religion” in the West is the trend toward spiritual independence. Spiritually independent people are eager to explore the teachings, texts, and techniques of all religions and refuse to be limited to or labeled by one religion alone.

The religion of Spiritual Independence is trending in the West. Refusing to be pigeon-holed into one religion, spiritual seekers eagerly explore the teachings, texts, and techniques of many religions.

walk fine lineTrends are set by daily decisions that shape the present culture. Some trends are big and involve many people, however, this doesn’t make insignificant those who are small in number.

Why do we make certain decisions such as becoming spiritually independent? Sometimes it’s simply because there aren’t many other options.

Spiritual seekers are seeking inspiration, guidance, and heart. When not found in current religious organizations, the other option is to seek divine Spirit independently.

In the book, Christian Reflections on the Leadership Challenge, by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, a salient point comes to light. Spiritual independence didn’t come about because of the fault of a religious organization, but because of poor leadership.

A religious organization is founded on a religion. Many of us have no problem with religion. We appreciate a group setting. It’s the religious leaders who make decisions to try to homogenize the members, or restrict spirituality to a code or text, that is left behind.

Or, is this trend a sign that the unseen, yet all-present God, speaking to each of us independently, is our true leader?

The blend of spiritual independence and a group setting both have validity. I believe we can find a fine line and walk between the two.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Complete and infinite Mind ordained, is heaven.”

 

 

Timeless gender that makes us feel whole

posted by Cheryl Petersen
dad me tractor

Dad and me on the farm tractor back in the 80′s

Growing up on the family farm, I worked right along with the guys, never thinking much about gender until I was in High School when someone said I was gay. Fairly clueless, I had to ask what gay meant.

Getting the definition of homosexual, I thought this prospect through and came to the conclusion that I was Cheryl, nothing more, nothing less. My body wasn’t Cheryl, my human mind wasn’t even Cheryl.

I’d learned in Sunday School that God was my creator and I was the image of God, divine Mind, male and female. Gender, so to speak, is a state of divine consciousness.

The human mind will take ANYTHING, including gender and try to split it and break it down. I was not to be broken down into mortal elements so I confirmed in my mind that my gender can personify both male and female qualities.

I continued working on the farm, operating heavy equipment. I also didn’t bother attempting to blend into the girly talk in school centered on fashion, frills, and fluff. The boys accepted me as a participant in bike racing and wood shop (which I had to convince the counselor to let me sign up for instead of home economics).

The boys never really interested me as serious partners, and when I paid attention I discovered there were plenty of us individuals, both sexes, that didn’t think we had to have a partner.

High School and College were graduated from and it was simple and natural to meet a man who later became my husband. Then, after years of still working on the new family farm, I got pregnant.

Pregnancy was a shocker to say the least, and plunged me into gender thoughts. However, the knowledge that God is the creator dimmed my notions of wishing I wasn’t in that situation or that one gender was better than another. I focused on divine Mind, greater than my human mind.

After the birth, I’d hear:

“Is the baby a boy or a girl?”

I’d ponder, “Is there a difference?”

Sure, physically there was a difference when I thought about it, but to me, the baby, any baby, is the representative of Life, Truth, and Love. Not a sex organ.

When we fostered children years later, the ability to make decisions centered on the spiritual truth of us representing divine Mind, both male and female, allowed me not to get hung up on gender and background, which in turn didn’t create the need to get hung up on gender and background in the future. The children were freer to develop as a product of God, rather than a product of human beings.

Physical bodies are temporal and therefore not good representatives of Life, Truth, and Love, or even of our self. They don’t need to become the object of our expression.

The divine consciousness is eternal and personifies all the qualities associated with male and female and we can freely express this Mind to a greater extent each day.

 

 

 

 

Previous Posts

Training a Wild Mustang
A local 9-year old boy is training a wild mustang. I marvel at the sight of this 9-year boy next to a brawny power horse. Innocence and dedication pierce through the barriers of fear and bulk. The training began mid-March as part of the Youth Mustang Challenge. The challenge was open to you

posted 3:59:40pm Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

The family cookbook
Mom kept our family of 7 fed with homemade meals. She typed out favorite recipes and put them in a green ring-binder notebook. The green binder was imprinted in my memory, whether I knew it or not. Mom died more than a decade ago, and when I recently visited my younger sister, I found the infamou

posted 10:27:18am Apr. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Balancing spiritual independence and group settings through leadership
The fastest growing “religion” in the West is the trend toward spiritual independence. Spiritually independent people are eager to explore the teachings, texts, and techniques of all religions and refuse to be limited to or labeled by one religion alone. The religion of Spiritual Independence

posted 7:08:06am Apr. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Timeless gender that makes us feel whole
Growing up on the family farm, I worked right along with the guys, never thinking much about gender until I was in High School when someone said I was gay. Fairly clueless, I ha

posted 8:01:36am Apr. 05, 2014 | read full post »

Zen kitty talks about the weather
I curl up on Cheryl’s lap, glad she has returned home from her trip out west. She showed me pictures of flowers that are in full bloom in Seattle. Then we looked out our window here in upstate New York

posted 8:13:47am Apr. 02, 2014 | read full post »


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