Be!

When God’s voice said, “Be!”

and all the guilt and anger in me vanished

I began to know as I am known—

to understand in deepest heart

that what our mind has told us we must do

can never be divine directives

because our mind attempts to be God,

not listening for his holy will.

When God said, “Be!”

He gave me new relationship

where tasting, feeling, sensing

takes precedence to thinking and deciding.

When God told me to be

I became a born again as Jesus once described

those apprehending life’s abundance.

 

Ann Glover O’Dell

20 November 2017

To Hell and Back

John Noonan says religion is for people who are trying to keep from going to hell and spirituality if for people who have been there and who don’t want to go back.

In order for us to be in intimate relationship with God, something that is not of God must die within us.  As we witness that death, we experience our own personal hell.  There is no way around it if we would truly know God.

Jesus told his God to work out his will.  Jesus gave permission to whatever would follow.  Jesus cooperated with God’s will.

If a death was necessary for God’s plan to materialize in the life of a man like Jesus, how much more is a death necessary in us.

Ann Glover O’Dell

22 November 2016

Transmitters of Energy

Could it be possible that we, as transmitters of the energy of the universe, can enable that energy to multiply as it travels through us?

I like to think so.

First of all, we need to embrace the idea that this energy is a benevolent one, that it seeks our good and the good of all.

Recalling surprising coincidences can begin to show us how that energy can work to make our lives more enjoyable—and give us the desire for more of its miracles.  We may not be able to specifically direct the action of this universal energy, but we can tell it what we want: to be open to its activity within us and its guidance of our choices.

Second, we need to find ways of opening ourselves to its coursing in and through us, ways of inviting it to work its goodness using us as its vehicles.

LISTENING TO SCRIPTURE

Time and again Jesus instructs his disciples and others in his audience to listen.  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” Jesus repeats.  We have come to understand that for Scripture to have the greatest impact on our lives, we must ask ourselves, ‘what does it mean to me?’ Where is it touching me most deeply?  Where am I most affected, and perhaps made uncomfortable, by the Scripture passage?

As we ask these questions, we are better able to see how God might be a part of the situation in the text—and my situation as well.  We are invited to have a personal encounter with the verses we choose to read in the Bible, a prelude to the kind of encounter that God wants to have with each of us.

Look again at the parable of the sower and the soils.  Many interpretations have been given of the various kinds of soil, and even the sower and the grain that finally emerges from the good soil.  But this time you are invited to make your own personal interpretation.

Scripture: Matthew 13:3-8

A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away.  Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Residents of Haven House, a residential treatment center for addition,  were asked to listen carefully as the story was read several times and then share whatever they would of the responses they had and the insights that came to them as they pondered at a deeper level what the story might be saying to them.  All of them related the story to their own stories.

One man noticed that the sower lost a lot of seed but gained a great deal in the end.

Another suggested that we need to plant ourselves around a church family so we don’t wither.

Still another suggested that the thorns in the story represent the wrong people we associate with.

One said it seemed to him that to do good, one has to give up something to gain something else.

Another said we must prepare our heart in a way that we have to prepare soil to receive the good seed.

And finally one said we don’t know how our crop will turn out but we want to be good soil so we can produce a good crop.

What varied and insightful responses!  And all from individuals who chose to listen to Scripture with new ears, and with a heart ready to receive and embrace.

What about you?  I invite you to choose a favorite Bible story and sit with it long enough to let it say new things to you.  I believe you will be enriched by what happens to you.

March 2017

(Note: A number of additional meditations are available on this website under Meditations.)

Ann Glover O’Dell

The Window of My Mind

I  washed the window of my mind

and sitting on the sill, looked out

for views of inspiration from my muse.

Parades gave me nothing as they passed

and wondered I where else to cast my eyes.

Suddenly a fine wind blew the casement open

and circulated dizzingly within

upsetting applecarts of art work

and opinions collected

during years of trips and education

contributing to theologies tried and true.

This fine wind sifted through it all,

blowing the stale and stagnant

into ingenious incinerators

then distributed assorted rainbows

as it exited toward the sea.

 

Ann Glover O’Dell

13 February 2017

Our Name for God

We can use Jesus as our model in our relationship with God and ponder his use of  “Abba” when referring to his father.  God wants to be the same kind of parent to us as he was to Jesus.  He invites us to use whatever name to call him that will evoke for us what  “Abba” did for Jesus.

Our task is to find that name, invent that name that represents what we need God to be to us.  Then use that name in periods of quiet when we are open to experiencing God in greater depth.  We are to embrace that name as our secret with God.  We are to allow ourselves to grow into the deeper relationship that the name affords