PARIS… A LOVE LETTER

16 11 2015

Eiffle Tower

Dear Paris, France…  I’ve been trying to get cozy with you for more than a three hour layover.   Read the rest of this entry »





Gimme a Break!

13 11 2015

“Give me a break – Give me a break… Break me off a piece of that   ____  ____ bar!”  canstock15861901

Since Yours Truly get’s no affiliate remunerations for gigging a product; you’ll just have to let your automatic pilot imagination fill in the blanks as I’m sure you have.  This product is the hottest TV commercial in Egypt (this month) and I personally need a break from hearing it.  I also need a break from the upcoming “Gratitude” posts that are the salt and pepper of the Internet Thanksgiving season (no let up until after January 1st it seems).

However, due to being sledge hammered by Flu; I’ll kick off the Season of Gratitude by saying I am grateful that it was only AFTER coming back to my twelfth floor, elevator-ed apartment and taking a dose of the potions in the Pharmacy bag; the building electricity cut off!

Not only “Thanks to High Heaven,” I could practically jump down, spin around and pick a bale of cotton!  Especially if I had the energy to jump/spin or knew anything about  picking cotton [which is how my ancestors allowed me  to be here (smart-mouthing) this very day].

cotton pickers

Seriously, from one claustrophobic person to another  (wait… there’s no room for two of us)  I am very grateful not to be stuck on the elevator during the half hour brown out.  I’m grateful that no one was on-board for that little fiasco.

So there ya’ go: Gratitude!  

turkey n cranberries

Disclaimer: No feathered creatures or cranberries were sacrificed for the making of this post.

                   Salaam     Be Blessed!





How to Pick a Peck of Pickled Peppers or… How I kicked the Flu in the Head

9 11 2015

Source: How to Pick a Peck of Pickled Peppers or… How I kicked the Flu in the Head





Understand?

8 11 2015

Source: Understand?





Understand?

8 11 2015

        She didn’t walk through those double doors of the sanctuary; she glided.  Yes, she did. All six-foot, two inches of her atop Jimmy Choo’s that made ripping them off her slim feet and running as fast as possible cross my mind.  Immediately realizing that those triple-A-narrow, size 9 Jimmy’s, wouldn’t come close to my 8½ wide’s (curses, foiled again); I simply smiled and she smiled back.  Her blonde tresses cascaded thick and shiny just below her slim shoulders.  She had a whole, “Nicole Kidman” look, adorned with deep green eyes.

Nicole KidmanJimmy Choo pumpsThe gentleman, who I would soon find out was her husband, Richard, was also stunning.  He was a pre-meltdown ringer for Mel Gibson.  Good grief; who “are” these people?  However, there was no time to keep staring.  I’d been Steel Magnolia’d into  substituting for one of the Sunday School teachers and made a hasty exit downstairs to Children’s Church.  As it turned out, the Youth Pastor was showing the kids a film about, “Being a Good Friend.”  The other teacher’s hustled me with them to the Church kitchen for coffee and cookies.”Did you see her?”  One of the teachers, a heavy-set brunette with tiny eyes like a ferret, announced to the four of us in general.  Several nodded and rolled their eyes heavenward.

“First time this month!” A pale woman said, pinching her nonexistent brows together.

“Been spending time in Nashville,” an older woman nodded conspiratorially.  Her tone when she said “Nashville” sounded like the same tone pious folks use when saying, “Vegas” with undertones of Sodom and Gomorrah-like condemnation

I knew instantly they were talking about Ms. Jimmy Choo-shoes, since other than myself, being the only African American staff member at this all-Anglo Church; Ms. Jimmy Choo was the most noticeable person to have graced the pews in my short tenure.

“Miz “A” doesn’t know about her,” Pam, the brunette announced while tossing an inquisitive look my way.  With my permission, everyone called me “Ms. A” since I hated to hear the Southern hatchet-ing of my name.

“Oh… You haven’t met Leslie and Richard Dowd?” The older woman, Anne, asked me, leaning forward as a hush fell on the group.  “You couldn’t miss her in that red dress and high heels.”  She laughed without joy as I stuffed a chocolate chip cookie in my mouth as quickly as possible.

“Um… Uh uh…” I shook my head and lip-smiled.

“Well… “He” runs his Daddy’s big concrete company in town.  “She” doesn’t work a lick!  They have servants!  They have one son.  They have some kind of trouble with him; he’s a teenager…  and “he” never comes to Church.  Leslie drags herself in here from time to time.  She barely speaks; real snooty.” Pam filled in all the blanks as the other’s nodded.

“Oh… I think the film is finished.  I’m going to see about the children.” I replied, making a beeline for the classroom.  I could feel the hard stares on my back as I left, but knew not to turn around.

Services came to a close and everyone filed into the “Fellowship” room for the official serving of coffee and cookies.  My perch was on the opposite side of the room, far away from the devils own invention; chocolate chips.

Then it happened.  Miss Jimmy Choo’s was standing idly, right next to me.  She looked uncomfortable and pressured.  It was obvious she held her styrofoam cup of tea more or less as a prop than to quench thirst.

“Good morning, my name is…” I introduced myself to her stunned downward look.

“Oh… Good morning, I’m Leslie Dowd; nice to meet you.  Is this your first visit?” She asked, perplexed.

“No… but it’s only been about a month since I joined the staff,” I replied.

“Oh; you’re the one… you’re on staff.  Richard… that’s my husband… over there.  He’s one of the Board members and he said they’d just voted in a new staff member… a woman… Nice meeting you and… Welcome!” Leslie said with more energy and dawning recognition.

“Thank you…”  I replied.  Close-up, it was easy to see the worry lines around her eyes and mouth.  I decided to lighten up the heaviness I perceived emitting from her whole being. “Since your husband is one of the Board members that got me this gig; I guess I should cancel any plans for running off with your pretty shoes, huh?” I winked at her.  She gave up the most charming bubbles of laughter.  It was as if they had to travel a long, long way in order to surface.  However, her whole face glowed with delight and… relief?  Immediately, Richard was standing in front of us, taking in his smiling wife and looking at me as if I’d performed a magic trick or perhaps a miracle.

“And what’s going on over here?” He semi-sang, taking his wife’s be-diamond’ hand while giving me deeply, quizzical looks.  Leslie introduced us as he nodded.  It was obvious that he knew exactly who I was.   I also knew that “he” was the Board member who voted me in, but immediately had to leave town for a few weeks.  All very hush-hush stuff.  This was our first time seeing one another in person.

“….  Nice to finally meet you; your gifts are needed!” Richard said, shaking my hand firmly.  His eyes seemed to hold a question; more like an inquiry of some kind.

“Thank you… Nice to be needed,” I smiled back, trying to stay casual. In my spirit, I was “on hold.”  Something was about to happen.  This feeling was very familiar.  I knew to be still.  Let it rise.

“Darling, why don’t you two go to the office and finish your tea?” Richard prodded his wife as she seemed to immediately become aware of what he wanted.  Off we went to one of the ministry offices.  Settling down on opposite ends of the couch, we smiled at each other.  In my heart I asked her, “What do you want?” although I said, “So… Leslie, how’s it going?”

“Not very well I guess….” Leslie said.  Immediately tears sprang to her eyes as I fetched the box of tissues.  In the space of a few minutes, Leslie related that she and Richard fell in love in college.  She was born in Minnesota. Yes, she’d been Miss Minnesota and he was Captain of the college football team.  They had one son; Terry, born with severe  disabilities.  They both firmly refused to have him institutionalized.  Terry had just celebrated his twenty-first birthday.  He was wheelchair bound, incontinent and due to choking seizures that had almost taken his life many times; he was under a nurse’s care in their home round-the-clock.

Leslie herself suffered from paralyzing migraines and low-grade depression.  Richard inherited his business and wealth from his deceased parents.  Neither of them had other family.  They were passionately in love with each other and their son.  Their son’s team of Specialists were in Nashville, but they maintained residence in this small suburban town to be close to the business.  Their son would be the last Dowd to be raised on the  seventy-acre family estate.

Richard refused to allow his son to be misunderstood and ridiculed in public.  An incident of children teasing Terry when he was ten years old, fueled Richard to be adamant that Terry was not to be exposed to the cruelty of people who didn’t understand. The only outside people his son was familiar with were his medical team, the house staff and the hired body-nurse who could lift the young man whenever needed.  Few other’s knew of Terry’s existence, outside of a casual mention of them having a son. Devotion to Terry made the handsome couple secretive and reclusive.

Half a box of tissues later, Richard joined us to say that everyone had left Church and the maintenance staff seemed anxious to leave also.  “How about I treat you two ladies to lunch?” Richard asked.

After lunch at their home, I asked to meet Terry.  They looked hesitantly between one another, but I kept smiling at them.  Dismissing the nurse after brief introductions, I found myself looking at the most beautiful young man.  He reclined twisted in his wheelchair; his face making a hard left while his body contorted right.  He was neat, clean and glowing when his eyes caught sight of his parents.

With an eye-flick, I asked their permission to sit where the nurse usually sat, facing Terry’s “good side.”  Intelligent eyes scanned me before searching his parents face for an explanation.   “This is a friend of ours… Miz “A” and she wanted to visit you, son.” Richard said clearly.  I then noticed two, large hearing aids.  However, my attention was on the much-used chess board with oversized chess pieces.  I knew just enough chess moves to make a fool of myself.  I pointed to the board as Terry’s eyes followed my gesture.

“Arrg… ooo!”  Terry managed as drool was quickly mopped from his mouth by his adoring, beautiful Mother.

“Your move…” Richard interpreted for me.  I let Terry see me stare intensely at the board as I stroked my chin as if deciding which piece.  It was apparent that he and someone had been mid-game.  I chose a knight and moved it the way I’d remembered from sixth grade (… in a galaxy far, far away).  A choking, braying sound emitted from Terry immediately.  Before they could interpret his sound, I already knew that Terry was definitely laughing at me.  He made two short sounds and his Father moved Terry’s side of the board to the sounds of Terry’s approval.  Then Richard said, “Check… and mate!”

“Aw… No… no fair, Terry!  Okay – You win!  Hooray!” I said, laughing and pretend-clapping my hands along with Leslie.  Terry’s whole body moved up and down rigidly within the wheel chair while he made his laughter noises toward me.  Later, looking through his stacks of music tapes, I sang “The Farmer in the Dell” and Terry joined me.   We had a wonderful time.  Soon I asked his parents to hold hands with me as I laid hands on Terry who sat amazingly still and expectant.  I prayed and told Terry “Bye, bye” as he told me the same in his own way. His was a beautiful, bright spirit.

“Two of my loving children are the perfect pair to raise up my special creation… (Terry). His work is helping my other children understand loves many faces.  (Terry) is filled with My love.  You can trust My love…” I heard myself speak to his parents before departing their home.

This announcement, I knew, was not my own.  It was how the Lord used me in Words of Knowledge and Wisdom.  This was a Spirit message for the couple.  They soon confirmed this “knowing” – saying that this answered questions they’d had for a long time: “Why did this happen?”  As well as, “Are we being punished?”

My assignment in this Church concluded when Richard, Leslie and Terry Dowd entered the sanctuary together as a family a few weeks later.  It was now Terry, the perfect person, to minister “understanding” to this flock.

Dear Reader: Someone needed to know this message.  Always understand that ridicule of any sort (self-ridicule; ridicule of others) is a lie that attempts to hinder and mask the love, blessings and intent of God. There is no failure in God and His love for each of us will never stop.     Be Blessed!

All names changed, incident is true.

Nicole Kidman image and Jimmy Choo pump, courtesy Google Images





UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

1 11 2015

Heart Hands Silhouette

Unconditional Love

Ever hear of it?  It’s elusive at best.  You’re supposed to give it to Family, Friends, Lover’s and all humanity; in equal doses.  The only thing about that is:  If you’re not giving it to yourself, you can’t give it out to anyone else.  Surely there must be some sort or guide or example of what we could follow in our quest to ‘clean up our act’?

The Model Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer, as found in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 9-13 has often been called the, “Model Prayer.”  We know that a model is a template.  It can be utilized as a basic format, an outline for unique content that follows along the same lines.  As we enter into the yearly equinox with its changing season; let us consider this model:

Our Father, who is right here within each of us: Holy, is Your name and not a prefix or suffix to our ranting’s.

Your unquestionably right way of perceiving things; the Kingdom; is coming.

Your will, will be done: Cutting through all of the ugly stuff flying around on earth as it is (first)… flying around inside of our heads.

Give us this day our daily ability to do it better.

Forgive/Release us from our injustices, as we forgive/release those who are unjust to us.

Lead us…  Not into being tempted {by the crazy junk we see all around us}, but deliver us from the {crazy junk we Do get involved with} evil.

For Your way of doing things is the Kingdom;

Your merciful, miraculous interventions into our madness is the Power;

and Your loving providence of Grace, even when we don’t deserve it, is the Glory,

forever (we can always count on You) …and ever.  Amen

About the author:

Rev. Corliss Acosta: A hard-headed minister of Christ Jesus who observes and shares (outside the box). Operating according to Spiritual Gifts of: Teacher, Evangelist, Prophetic words of Wisdom, Words of Knowledge, Spiritual Discernment and Prayer Warrior/Intercessor.   Just as those that came aeons before; often the message and messenger is rejected.  However, knowing that if just one is enlightened; then to God be the glory. Be Blessed!

©The Lightkeeper  





Change Your Mind !

27 09 2015

CHANGE YOUR MIND

By Rev. C. .Acosta    September 27, 2015

                   John, the baptizing Prophet (PBUH*) of Palestine was an Ascendant, reportedly living in isolation out by the Jordan River in Judea.  It is written that he ate locusts and wild honey.  He wore camel hair clothing that was little more than a covering for protection from the elements,

Having a large following of adherents to his lifelong wisdom teachings; we can understand that he had ascended to a high level of knowledge while isolating his life in the wilderness; thereby divesting himself of the last vestiges of society, custom and any other kinds of conscious resistance within himself or flowing from others (the less evolved).  This man obtained many answers learning in the Temples of knowledge in his youth and in adulthood while isolating himself.    John the Baptist  (3.)

Most traditional purveyors of the message of John usually smile, shrug and keep on reading after describing Johns living and dietary habits.   Most Preachers want to quickly reach the part where the Prophet shouts:  “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” (1)                     However, let’s back up a minute and look at some things.  The background description that is recorded of this ancient Ascendant specifically notes John’s lifestyle as being alone or isolated off from the surrounding community of his geographic location.  The Judean ruler, Herod the Tetrarch, local religious officials, spies, snitches and even the many adherents of his message; all had to travel a little uncomfortably, just to “get” to John.

However, John didn’t just pop up on the scene yelling and screaming, “Repent!” as Scripture has ofttimes been misinterpreted or neglected to be correctly taught.   No, John had been teaching, preaching and strongly leading the way for thousands throughout the region who sought him for his teachings based upon the desire of the ages: To know the Truth.

In fact, we read that Jesus called John the “Greatest or Chief” of all Prophets “born of a woman” that had come before, there was none greater than John

Accounts of John that are most familiar in Judeo-Christian teachings focuses upon  the initiation of baptism for the symbolic remission of sins; his recognition of Jesus as “The Lamb of God;” and lastly Herod the Tetrarchs’ horrific beheading of John while imprisoned

The message began as any other principle must; with discipline.  As Christians, without personal discipline in our tri-level being; one can turn to either becoming a self-deceiving, pious fraud or a pretentious zealot.  Most of us exist somewhere between the boundaries of either extremes as we bounce around in our inconsistencies.

The message of the Prophet John has been desecrated down through the ages to mean groveling before a Church full of congregants and asking forgiveness of member-perceived sins.  For example: A woman becomes pregnant out of wedlock; answer? Grovel in front of the feigned shock of the membership.  A man cheats on his wife with another woman; answer? Come to Church and grovel.  Don’t forget to show up regularly and volunteer often for any and all service-related functions.  Most of all, don’t forget to bring cash!

These displays may make for a good Sunday morning show and the Church coffers increase substantially; depending on the depravity of the transgression.  However, this is totally not what the Prophet John (the Baptizer) was requesting out there in the wilderness.  He was telling us to “Change our mind,” to go beyond (meta-, a prefix in Hellenistic Greek of the Jewish writings of the first century) our thinking (noia), a derivative of the Greek, nous meaning, mind); thus “Repent” is written in original Greek manuscripts as Metanoia: To change ones mind.

The best working, usable translation is “conversion” of ones thinking; to go beyond as well as within; seeking God as we seek to transform the way we’ve lived, believed, and thought.   To set ourselves to become a higher thinking person; aligned with God in our thoughts and our conduct.

In religious society, the sorrow-filled, looking back, groveling, self-shaming regret for past deeds [since the past can never be changed] has no place in Johns’ proclamation.  Biblical scholars from the time of Tertullian (2.), a second century scholar of the Scriptures, up until the scholars of the 21st century all agree; that the mistranslation of the word “repent” has been Christianity’s greatest tragedy. Therefore, to paraphrase the Prophet John; his message would sound more like this:

Repent!”  [Seek to convert, transform and upgrade your thinking!]

For the Kingdom of Heaven…” [God’s reign and God’s way of doing things…]

Is at hand…”   [close by –prophesying/referencing the advent of Christ’s earthly ministry].

Be ye baptized…”  [Act! Symbolic water submergence of body, mind and soul in preparation; the cleansing of oneself in order to start fresh and to drown the past].

If you or a loved one has been suffering, tormented by sins of the past and cannot seem to get beyond those misdeeds; earnestly, faithfully seek Creator God’s forgiveness, and His way of seeing the world.  Seek Him and His way to cleanse your thoughts and conduct.  HE loves us with an unending love.  In a word…  Repent!

Be Blessed!

References and Acknowledgements

* PBUH: Peace Be Upon Him

(2) Tertullian – see:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tertullian.jpg

(3.) Painting – John the Baptist – Google Images – Public Domain








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