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The noise of Fire

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Alone. Fearful for some, pleasure for others. The fire starts, it grows, increasing and decreasing in intensity. The sun sets, slowly, at its own pace. Darkness takes over light, Stars replace clouds, and the moon shines. Wind feeds the fire, Fanning the flames, heat from the logs. Quiet is the noise that surrounds the crackling of the fire. An occasional car in the distance, an unseen animal wandering around, the intensity of of the peace.

Nature has its own pattern, as light and darkness makes its way and its own time, winds come and and go, Flames rise and fall. There is no control within my power, no desires outside of what is around me. Peace and serenity, Darkness, surrounding nature, these are my companions this evening.

The power of my God is evident. I am always at His will. I am to walk, and He will set the direction, if I am wise enough to listen. God blesses us with a simplicity of his creation. We must learn not to muck it up with our busyness and our own noise.

Peace an…

Challenges

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I've been readings "The Promise" by Fr. Jonathan Morris. He has challenged me, not with I did not know, but rather to practice what I already knew.  The social world view tells us we should always be happy, we should not be suffering, and if we are unhappy in life and/or suffering, it must be something we are doing to cause our suffering and/or something we are not doing to alleviate our suffering. Our suffering is our own fault, stemming from our personal inadequacies.
Sure, some of our suffering is a result of our choices and believe systems.  We need to evaluate these and begin to making the changes we can to decrease suffering and to improve the quality of our lives.  But isn't suffering, aren't challenges, part of our existence?  Is not suffering part of our life?  Suffering and Challenges can be our most difficult teachers in our school of life.  God tells us not to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6), that we can do all things through him who streng…

Did God Really Say That?

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Don't expect those who desire to pull you from God to always be bold and in your face. When the serpent guided Adam and Eve away from God, he simply said, "Did God really say that?". Just a few words to open the doors of doubt and rationalization is often all it takes for you and I too take a step away from the truth of God. Deception often plays to our ego and desire to be self reliant, not God reliant. When we embrace such words and allow ourselves to become more aware and intelligent than God, we open ourselves up to all kinds of lies that exist within the world. The lies are older that you and I and will be spewed from the serpent as long as we are open to listen. We must beware of false gods who desire our attention, even when that false god is self. It is hard to watch someone you love embrace a false god, and it is harder still to see our own false gods that flatter our egos. Our egos tell us God owes us for our good deeds, that God is not as powerful as we, an…

The Fog

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God reminds us of who we are in our journey of life through His creation. Driving this morning on the highway, I entered very thick fog, limiting my vision and awareness of my surroundings. Soon, I left the fog and was greeted by bright red and orange colors of the sun, welcoming me into the light, showing me clarity and direction. I had to thank God for his gentle reminder, "See Me, Focus on Me, and Trust Me - I'll get you through the unknown fog of life".

As we encounter the fog of stress, uncertainty, worry, obsessions, etc, take a moment to breathe and STOP:
S - stop and remember who you are, where you are, and reality that you are a child of God.
T - think it through, don't allow your feelings to run amok (guilty of that one).
O - observe your surroundings, remember you are not alone, God's got this, He always has.
P - pray, get out of your head (that's a dangerous place to be), plan to be present and in God's future.

Embrace the day and be Well

Building a Memorial

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I had the opportunity to travel alone, driving over 1100 miles, through the prairie and plains of South and North Dakota. I saw God's beauty all around me, the great vastness of land, the beauty of a sunset, the breathtaking wonder of the Badlands, to name a few.  I was able to experience solitude, loneliness, reliance on God, silence, and me in a different way than I had in a long time. During this time, I drove through and stayed in four Indian Reservations, visited three Tribal Colleges, met so many relatives, created new friendships, and gained a refreshing of my soul.  Along the way, I encountered many memorials to people, places, and events that hold significance to Indian people. I walked through cemeteries of my ancestors, honoring them and walking along the memorials that honored their sacrifice. They were there to remind us, never to forget.
There are many references in the old testament where God commands man to build a memorial, to create something that would help man …

Seasons

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I've discovered in life that we walk through cycles and that these cycles are like seasons of the year. The seasons travel through cycles and have a pattern. Each season has its own qualities, it's own specifics. Each season relies on the season before it for its own birth and looks to the season after it for its death. That sounds gloomy but in reality, the cycle of seasons are the rhythm of life. We need each season as we move through the years.

Serenity comes when we realize the season we are in and learn to understand and accept the flow and events of that season.  We enter our seasons with hope, the blossoms of spring and the great and new feelings that come with reviving rain and the warmth of the son. Our spirits remain joyful and hope and life is all around us.  Summer is a season of contentment, of peace, of relaxation. We walk the earth in new and wondering ways, our senses alive and active of all that lives around us. Fall brings with it beauty, maturity, and the p…

Wisdom of Elders

"There is a dignity about the social intercourse of old Indians which reminds me of a stroll through a winter forest" - Frederick Remington.

I like winter, the snow, the cold, and the beauty that winter brings. It has a sense of wonder, of renewal, of a freshness for me. It also brings with its beauty an element of danger, of a wisdom and strength that needs to be respected. If we do not respects its strength, we can suffer at its hand. When I respect winter, I can enjoy her beauty and appreciate the life she brings.

Remington's words tell of a respect and honor for the wisdom of the Elders, from a non-Native who found a peace in the presence and lives of the old Indians he encountered. We have become a people who forget the wisdom of the Elders, who want to keep up with the worlds pace and not take the time to be in the greatness of those who walked before us. Being who we are is knowing where we came from, practicing the ways of our ancestors, and listening to the stor…