Our world of many faiths

December 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Christmas, faith, family, Holidays, inspiration, knitting, Life, love, women | 7 Comments
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There is a tradition of faith and religion, the seeking of an understanding of the nature of God and our relationship to whoever or whatever God is going back at least 10,000 years on our planet. During those 10,000 years many faiths have emerged helping people find their way to a connection with God from many different viewpoints. Each has validity, each has value.

With so many different faiths the world over, the concept of any one being the one and only true faith is peculiar to me. It doesn’t make any sense if you think about it. However, it does make sense that one faith is the one true faith for one particular person … at a time. Each individual person who wishes to understand the nature of God and what his or her relationship is to God needs a path to follow to get there. For George, it is religion A and that is the one true faith for George. For Natalie, it is religion C and that is the one true faith for Natalie. Michael, on the other hand, finds that religion H works for him, so that is the one true faith for Michael. George, Natalie, and Michael are all on the right path … each has found the one true path of faith that works for him or her.

They should all wave to each other and say, “Hey, way to go! Isn’t this amazing!”

Wouldn’t it make sense that if God exists and has anything to do with the affairs of mankind, that there would be some wisdom coming from that source to provide mankind with many different paths to follow in reaching the God connection.

I believe it would have to be so. We are so different, one to another. We have different cultures, different life experiences, differences in our spiritual nature, and so forth. There would have to be many different paths leading to God. The most fundamentally important thing is seeking God and gaining a closer connection to whoever or whatever God is for you, not which path you use to do so.

If God is love, it could not possibly make any sense at all that conflict, hatred, or war would lead any one of us, some of us, or all of us to a closer relationship with God. That part of the equation must come from somewhere else, and leads to erroneous illogical conclusions that don’t add up.

I’m right, you’re wrong, my God is the one true God, my faith is the one true faith. No — we are each right, our Gods are God, our faiths are faith, our love is love. We are all united in love and faith, regardless of the tradition of knowledge or ritual that gets us there.

I have a dream of a community church of all faiths where people from all over a community from any faith within that community could gather together for the purpose of sharing faith and love, learning more about what unites us in our religions, and celebrating together our gaining of a closer connection to God. You know, if we brought our faiths closer together in friendship and trust we would inevitably grow closer to God all of us together.

That makes sense to me.

One of my favorite Christmas memories is from quite a few years back in Los Angeles when my children were still fairly young. It was a particularly challenging Christmas for me as a single mother. My car was broken, I was out of work, and out of money for the most part. Determined to create Christmas magic, my children and I made Christmas gifts for family members using materials we had on hand for the most part.

I had some red velvet fabric I used to sew Santa outfits and Santa “bags” for a couple of little teddy bears. My son made two cube shaped boxes with lids out of a decorative paper and lined them with some gold-leaf we had on hand in our art supplies. The boxes looked very magical, and we put them inside the red velvet Santa bags that went with the teddy bears. We gave one of the Santa bears and bag with the magic box inside to my parents and the other to one of my older brothers and his family.

I painted watercolor portraits of several nieces and nephews for others in the family, and was up painting the last one on Christmas Eve. While I was painting I watched a televised Midnight Mass. I had never attended a Mass of any kind, and didn’t know what to expect. It was beautiful. Ministers from a wide variety of religions spoke for several minutes each. They all gave a holiday message based on their respective theologies but all had a common theme: love.

Sometimes I think the real reason behind all of the hardship I was experiencing at that time was so that I would be up late painting on Christmas Eve and therefore watching television to help myself stay awake and thereby see that particular show…it was an important part of my own spiritual path.

This holiday season I am thinking of you, whoever you may be and whatever your faith may be. I am sending to you my thoughts of love, my prayers of hope and peace. I am longing to feel a deeper connection with God by reaching out and touching your hand (in spirit) and expressing my gratitude to you for your part in the worldwide search for God along many different paths shining many, many different lights toward truth.

Love,
firefly

About wishing you a Merry Christmas

December 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Christmas, faith, family, Holidays, inspiration, Life, love, women | 14 Comments
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The other day I stopped in at our favorite local apple grower’s roadside store to buy a few pounds of apples and some fresh pressed apple cider. After paying, the lady at the counter said, “Have a nice Christmas,” and I could see a little look of doubt in her eyes as if she wondered if it was okay to say “Christmas” to me. I smiled and said, “Merry Christmas!” She relaxed, smiled and said, “Merry Christmas! It is so hard to tell what to do say these days.”

In response I said, “Let’s not have our communication stifled by such negative considerations. Wishing people a Merry Christmas is a kind, good-natured thing to do.”

That is how I feel about it.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, because wishing you a Merry Christmas is to wish you a season of love and kindness. That is how I mean it. I do not mean to wish Christianity on you, and in saying it I am not saying I am a Christian. The fact is, you don’t know what my faith is (unless you are my immediate family) I don’t discuss it because that is my personal business, not yours. Just as your faith is your personal business, not mine.

But whether I am Christian or not, I wish a Merry Christmas to all of the people of the world.

To attempt to stifle people from wishing one another a Merry Christmas is to stifle well wishing and thoughts of love. Why do that, when love is what the world needs.

Yes, Christmas is particular within the Christian religion is a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

But people of any faith or no faith could enjoy a sense of the celebration of brotherly love for the good of mankind and acknowledge a heightened sense of love during this season was inspired by some guy named Jesus who lived back about 2,000 years ago — regardless what the significance of that guy is. Whether he was a prophet, the son of God, God himself, or just some guy … he said some cool stuff and the coolest thing he said was, “Hey guys, you really should stop all the hating and do some loving instead.”

And there was something very convincing about the way he said it, because his words impacted the way much of mankind has lived and regarded one another positively in a huge way and that impact has lasted for more than 2,000 years.

So, I say to you, Merry Christmas. I say this because I wish you well, I wish you love and a sense of peace. I wish these things for you and those you touch and those you love. I wish these things on you and yours today, and for this season, and I hope those feelings will last for as much of the coming year as you can possibly carry it on. I don’t know you personally, perhaps … but I wish you love.

That is all it is, and even if you take a stance of being offended by my wishes of a Merry Christmas to you and yours, I love you any way and wish you love and peace any way. I respect your beliefs, whatever they may be. And, I wish you love.

So, Merry Christmas!

Love,
firefly

New Knitting Pattern … How Cute is That?

September 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Posted in art, baby, country life, faith, family, gifts, knitting, knitting for babies, Life, love, marriage, shopping, socks, travel, Vintage, women, yarn | 3 Comments
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Remember I told you all that my son made a custom Subway Roll Sign style print for me for my birthday back in early August? And, I was going to take a photo of it to share with you all, but I had second thoughts about posting that particular one on the Internet. It has some personally identifying landmarks from my life on it, and I don’t feel comfortable broadcasting that out to the universe. Please forgive me, it is not anything personal.

However, I did want to share this photo with you of a custom sign he did, because I think his custom signs are such a unique gift idea. They are totally cool looking, very unique … and a wonderful way to commemorate all kinds of things: weddings, anniversaries, births, birthdays, retirement, graduation, concerts you’ve attended, places you’ve traveled to, neighborhoods where you’ve lived, milestones in your life.

The one he did for me has my childhood neighborhood, the places I was living when he and his sister were born, our favorite home we lived in back in California (the three of us together), and now my new home on the farm in New York. It tells a story about some of the most important moments and times of my life and because of that, I love looking at it hanging on the wall in our dining room, loving the fact that it conjures up those moments of pleasure and happiness. He printed it on watercolor paper, and in the bottom right hand corner there is a little tiny line stating the print is “1 of 1” … I love that he thought of that finishing touch!

This photo here is a sign he made for some dear friends of theirs as a gift on their wedding day. I love it, it is so thoughtful and must be a delight to them. I also love how he added “Est. May 27th, 2011” near the bottom — what a great way to mention the date of their marriage.  Check out his full line of prints (he has some awesome new stuff) and contact him via his blog here:  Flying Junction.

Now, for my knitting pattern. I have finally finished my granddaughter’s slouchy socks. Not only are the socks don, I have actually managed to write and publish the pattern on Etsy, my website, Ravelry … and I made a version of it for Kindle. Phew, there are many steps to complete when one sets out to be an online publisher of knitting patterns.

And, I have to be honest with you here … I don’t know which is cuter … the socks I made for my granddaughter, or the photograph I shot of her wearing them. Is it just me, or is that a totally cute photograph? I can hardly stand it, it’s so cute to me.

Now I have started making her an adorable little knitted shirt using eyelash yarn — it was a whim of an idea, and now that she is no longer ripping my knitting needles out of projects, I am on a little bit of a roll. Hopefully I can maintain it!

Well, now my back is sore from being on my laptop all day. I am going to take a great, and hope you have a great week!

~firefly

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