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Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

New York and Their Soda

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Living in upstate New York, surrounded by weekenders who come up from New York City, I hear about Mayor Bloomberg’s strategies against obesity. Last year, Bloomberg banned the sale of sugary beverages over sixteen ounces. However, March 11, 2013, Justice Milton Tingling of state Supreme Court in Manhattan overturned the ban, saying it was “arbitrary and capricious.” The Big Gulps are back.

For whatever reason, I never developed a taste for soda. I rarely drink it. The only drink I carried around in bulk was water. When we worked on the farm, we’d fill a gallon jug with water the night before and put it in the freezer. In the morning, we took the jug of ice to the farm with us and drank the water as it melted. Because we lived in a region where it got to be over one hundred degrees during the summer days, we’d stuffed the jug in a 5 gallon bucket and surround it with old newspaper for insulation. I must sound like a red-neck. But, I knew sugary drinks would not satisfy my thirst. Those jugs of water were prized tools, invaluable on the farm.

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This blog, however, isn’t a push for water, or soda. We can look past the drink, past the size of cups, and past the court rulings. This whole soda drama doesn’t have to be a contentious issue. Soda is a luxury. It’s a treat, not a necessity. We want to treat it as such, and moreover remember there is always a consequence to over-indulgence of any kind.

Obesity is a problem in America. How the problem is resolved is more complex than banning soda. We shouldn’t be excessive when it comes to drinking soda, not because of the soda but because the consequence of excessive behavior is always a short-lived diversion, leaving a feeling of dissatisfaction.

The size of our drink or the kind of drink isn’t the issue. I ask, What’s the attitude when drinking? Is it to prove you can drink enough liquid to fill an aquarium or a radiator? Or, it is to satisfy an honest thirst? Is the drinking a habit, similar to blinking? Or, is it a form of self-control?

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As the “purpose” of our drinking is answered, the solution can be improved upon. Satisfaction and self-control aren’t found in a court ruling, but within each of us.

From 21st Century Science and Health,The act of allowing our thoughts to excessively contemplate physical wants or conditions induces those very conditions…Learn respect, self-control, patience, and a reliable happiness that comes from spiritual growth.”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”[1]


[1] Gal. 5:19–23

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New Pope

posted by Cheryl Petersen

The world has a new Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who took the name Francis. I am not a follower of Catholicism, however, I still know the value of including all religions and religious leaders in a prayer.

We’ve all seen good people turn bad, and bad people turn good, therefore, the personality isn’t necessarily prayed for. My prayer encompasses all people to be influenced by love and truth.

To live my prayer and thus make it valid, I will strive to be more loving, yet truthful, today and tomorrow. I can already see the need for me to replace, negative thoughts I’d barbed yesterday, with spiritual thoughts today. Prayer has a position.

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Avoiding Landscape Amnesia

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Spiritual lecturer and author, Marianne Williamson speaks on A Course in Miracles at The Saban Theatre, Monday evenings in Los Angeles, California. After reading her book, The Law of Divine Compensation and How it Works for You, I went to hear her speak. Williamson is bold, bright, clever, and attracted my respect.

Williamson reminds me of other spiritual leaders who have not succumbed to Landscape Amnesia, forgetting how different the surrounding landscape is from 5, 50, or 100 years ago.

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Effective healing strategies take into account the physical and mental landscape of today. The language and studies of 5-, 50-, or 500-years ago do not prove valid today.

Scientific evidence shows that we can’t reconcile spirit and biology or human mind. Therefore, I’m comfortable getting to know a God that is Spirit.

In divine Science God is not humanlike but is Spirit, Mind. it’s important to know, the human mind and divine Mind are not the same thing. They don’t even cooperate. Divine Mind is supreme and fully capable of controlling the human mind with love, health, and usefulness.

We read in 21st Century Science and Health “Real ideas flow from the divine Mind. Unreal thoughts, coming from the brain or from auras, are extensions of the human mind; they are an accumulation of imprinted mortal beliefs and experiences. Ideas are spiritual, harmonious, and eternal.”

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Threats of Attack

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Supposedly, North Korea has threatened nuclear attack against its aggressor. We will never know the whole story unless we personally talked with leader, Kim Jong Un, which probably isn’t going to happen.

But because the threat is splashed throughout the media, it’s pretty difficult to ignore. The warning generates worry and strain.

It’s a matter of keeping our head on straight. No over action and yet no inaction. Going by my own puny experience, I do remember when our first grade daughter attended a school known for its bad reputation. The day she entered I made a vow to be involved, actively but not with a smoldering passion that could burst out and over react.

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Every day, I surrounded the school with a prayer. One day, it became urgent that I pray more for the school, the community, and the children. I did.

Our daughter came home and confirmed what was eventually spread over the media. A bomb threat had been received at the school office. All of the children were quickly and calmly evacuated. Neighboring homes were opened up to allow the children to come inside out of the freezing cold winter weather. Hours passed. A bomb squad searched and found no bomb. School was resumed.

The test of my prayer was not to prove prayer works but to love more. And, love was definitely felt for our child, the teachers, the school staff, the neighbors, and the community, including the caller who hopefully found something better to do.

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