Angels of Wisdom and Grace, A Prayer Poem: by Sharon Lia Robinson

Thanks to my friend, Sharon Lia Robinson, for writing this poem and giving me permission to publish it. You can see her work at http://www.sharonrobinson.org
 

(In his 2015 encyclical, Laudate Si, On Care For Our Common Home, Pope Francis writes about awareness and concern for protection of planet earth in connection to theology, spiritual practice and science. At the end of his encyclical, he offers prayers.
I am inspired by Pope Francis and by my own experiences to write the following impressions).

Angels of Wisdom and Grace, A Prayer Poem: by Sharon Lia Robinson

Honoring our Mother Earth and the Cosmic Christ.

Pray for forgiveness for all who have hurt or harmed you.

Pray to be forgiven.

Pray for planetary healing for our Mother Earth.

for communion of the vision
of the Cosmic Christ
for the healing of all humanity

in this holy wisdom
lives the ancient secret
of salvation
of resurrection
of planetary stewardship
care and concern

for all of life
is the body and blood
of the Cosmic Christ and Mother Earth

the suffering of Mother Earth
is the loss of her caring children
who are no longer her stewards

God please send your angels
of mercy to heal Mother Earth
impart your holy vision once again

Amen

angels of stardust
are coming to heal the planet

in various forms
in various manners
they are transmitting
rays of illumination

all who feel this
new vibration
partake of the resurrection
the holy communion of saints

the darkness will no longer be darkness
the heavens are descending
to recover the light

and redemption
in the spirit
of social justice
integrity and love
for our Creator
in the living
breathing cosmos

Please shape Mother Earth back into the holy image you created for her, O Lord.

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you

My prayers for myself are also for the planet and the healing of Mother Earth.

Lord, help me to be anchored in your love, to find to know to live the wisdom in connection to the Love and the healing of our Mother Earth.

Lord, help me to be anchored in your love.
I pray for wisdom and sacred guidance for the healing of our Mother Earth. Amen

Ask Mother Earth’s forgiveness for the damage done to her.

Dear Mother Earth,

Please forgive all who have in the past or present continue to harm you and your Beloved creation, including all beings and creatures. Inspire us with the flame of heartfelt passion to work ceaselessly for your healing, renewal.

Thank you, Angels of Wisdom and Grace.
Amen.

October 15, 2016
www.sharonrobinson.org

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Big Changes to Report!

Friends, I’ve had a faith shift. I am no longer a Christian although I still consider Jesus as my friend and guide. You can read about my faith shift here.

I am changing the name of Jesus Vegans Ecovillage to Vegan Utopia Ecovillage. You can still learn about that at http://www.VeganUtopiaEcovillage.com and the blog is http://www.veganutopiablog.com

I will be blogging about my faith shift here on this blog site from now on.

Thanks for visiting!

 

 

A Young Man Shares About His Experience Leaving Christianity

I am going to be sharing some articles from a young man who wishes to remain anonymous because, unfortunately, he might receive some negative attention if he was to reveal his name. I feel grateful that I was able to encourage him in helping him realize that he can still connect with Jesus even if he no longer calls himself Christian.  Here is the article he wrote: 

Christianity in the house I have grown up in through the years has always been a choice that my brother and I had. I started going to church when I was around nine years of age and went off and on until about nine months into my sixteenth year of being on this lovely planet.

One thing I always remember feeling while being a Christian was a ton of guilt every time I messed up. Many will say the saying we hear a lot among churches “ you never truly let him into your heart.” I don’t feel that this statement applies to me I truly felt a connection to Christ and in many ways still do but it was the “religion” behind it that made me feel terrible. Always feeling a constant pull away from my family and friends because I felt like I needed to mention God to them any chance I got.

Knowing they just simply didn’t want to talk about it was something as a Christian I couldn’t really accept. Later realizing that it would be better to not “push” God onto my family and peers. This would, in the end, bring us much closer.

It was 9 months after my 16th birthday I tried psilocybin mushrooms. This experience really broke me out of a state of feeling guilty about some life choices and made me truly question my faith in Christianity. During the “trip” I came to the conclusion that mother nature is God and the all-powerful.

With this in my head, I lead a much happier life, with regular meditation in the mornings and reflections on my day in the afternoons. Needless to say I was happy. One of my spiritual beliefs that I hold onto today is that psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms should be used as tools to better one’s spiritual and emotional life, not something to just “get messed up” on.

After getting into some trouble with the police I spiraled down into a dark place which I am just now coming out of. I lost a lot of the lessons I received that day, but it’s not a guilt thing it’s simply life. Knowing this and realizing that it’s okay to mess up and figure things out on my own is remarkably motivating. Christ teachings of love and forgiveness have always stuck with me, and In my head, I feel connected to him because of that.

My mind was blown when reading Trish’s article regarding her not identifying as a Christian and I relate to it in so many ways. I am ecstatic to see what the future holds regarding my spirituality and am open to anything that I know will help me treat others and myself better. That, in my opinion, is what a happy life is about, doing what fits your needs as a person to help you live a fruitful life in most cases a good spiritual connection with a divine being is the key to that.

I am 17 years old and look forward to having an open mind through this mind-blowing journey we call life.

Where I am at now: Jesus Vegans Event Center and a Community In Formation

Things have changed so much! I have decided I am not a Christian even though I consider Jesus as my guide and friend. Here is an article where I explain my new position.

Check out what I am doing with my community http://www.jesusvegans.com which will soon be changed to http://www.veganutopiaecovillage.com

This is what I wrote a while back.

……………………..

Hey friends, I can’t believe that I haven’t written here since November!  I have been SO busy working with a staff comprised of friends and family–to build Jesus Vegans Event Center and an intentional community at Living Springs (near Kingston, AR)

I am now attending a Sunday gathering called Resurrection Church, and enjoying re-connecting with the folks who inspired me to surrender my life to Jesus sixteen years ago in 2001. We’ve had some rocky roads to travel in the past, but it seems like we have all learned lessons, and reconciliation is happening as trust grows between them and I.

Yes, I actually have the means to hire people to help–and that makes all the difference. And I still don’t have enough time in the day to do all that I want to do! I hope you will let me know what you think about my new project–it’s what I believe God has wanted me to do ever since I became a vegetarian at age 18, waking up to the fact that animals, just like humans, should not be eaten! Or that animals should suffer at all because of our human needs.

Like us at http://www.facebook.com/jesusvegans and join the conversation!

thanking everyone for a great thanksgiving

Hello all,

can someone forward this to Lanae’s parents, or read it to them? thanks!

I just want you all to know how much I enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner together. I have not sat down and talked to you, Kathy and Mark, in such a focused way, and I am overjoyed to hear how much we have in common.

I think we are all grateful to Lanae and Chris for bringing us together!

Hey, if I said or did anything to offend any of you…will you forgive me? I get a little excited when I am around new people, and also I just felt really relaxed and happy–so I might have said jokes or perhaps said more words than were nurturing to all–​I hope you know that I am happy to accept ​people’s feedback especially when the truth is told in love.

I look forward to getting to know all of you better, and feel so happy that our community is growing, in a sense.

love to all, and see you at the wedding (Maud’s and Josh’s, that is!)

Patricia Mikkelson

Community Organizer and Coach

Professional Organizer

Founder of the Community: Connect! Project

Creator of Wellspring Ecovillage Project

updates on my arrival time

Okay, family. I decided to come home fairly quickly from Madison. I might stay a few extra days if I am invited to do a community connect or something…but I want to get home, and start supporting you all, and get going on the eco village.

love you so much:)

Patricia Mikkelson
Professional Organizer and Simplified Living Coach
www.simplifiedlivingcoach.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/simplifiedlivingnow

On Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 2:50 PM, Patricia Mikkelson <livablefutureproject> wrote:

My workshop in madison ends on aug. 28. i’m trying to decide if i might take my time in coming home because adventures await me in that part of the country–like eco-villages in st louis, greg boyd in st paul, my friends in chicago, some cool things in kansas city.

i cold take a month to get back…but i want to get your feedback and counsel.

reasons:

i am already in the area–i might make connections and get rides

I could find people interested in the ozarks because they are closer

i could learn some more good stuff.

reasons against:

ii want to see my dear family!

it will start cooling off, and i can work physically on the land

never know what might happen in this very fragile political climate–maybe it is time to get home.

Hey–i am just praying about it. 🙂

I get to fly to madison–got a cheap flight with the help of Raines. $30 more than bus! 20 hours less!

​i love you all a ton:)​

Patricia Mikkelson
Professional Organizer and Simplified Living Coach
www.simplifiedlivingcoach.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/simplifiedlivingnow

updates on my arrival time

My workshop in madison ends on aug. 28. i’m trying to decide if i might take my time in coming home because adventures await me in that part of the country–like eco-villages in st louis, greg boyd in st paul, my friends in chicago, some cool things in kansas city.

i cold take a month to get back…but i want to get your feedback and counsel.

reasons:

i am already in the area–i might make connections and get rides

I could find people interested in the ozarks because they are closer

i could learn some more good stuff.

reasons against:

ii want to see my dear family!

it will start cooling off, and i can work physically on the land

never know what might happen in this very fragile political climate–maybe it is time to get home.

Hey–i am just praying about it. 🙂

I get to fly to madison–got a cheap flight with the help of Raines. $30 more than bus! 20 hours less!

​i love you all a ton:)​

Patricia Mikkelson
Professional Organizer and Simplified Living Coach
www.simplifiedlivingcoach.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/simplifiedlivingnow

Review of Matt Distafano’s Book, All Set Free

I am sitting in the guest room where I am staying with Matt Distefano and his wife Lyndsey, writing a review of Matt’s book, All Set Free. It seems like a miracle that Matt immediately said “Yes” when I asked him if I could come visit when I felt a strong need to start traveling. His open, friendly welcome both from a distance and now in person helped me to realize that he is walking his talk. Thus I am even more enthusiastic about telling people about this book and how it has helped me better explain as well as deepen my faith in a loving God who looks like Jesus.
In his book All Set Free, Matt explains clearly in language which I could easily understand why the concept of a hell where people go if they don’t believe a certain way is not taught by Jesus or in the Bible. Hell was one of the main things that kept me from following Jesus. When Christians would tell me that I was going to hell if I didn’t accept Jesus as my savior, I wondered, “Why would a good God create a place of eternal torment just because they don’t believe a certain way.” Although I had already embraced the truth that there is no eternal damnation for anyone before reading All Set Free, this book helped me to see the truth even more clearly. Now I also can share what I believe in a way that people can easily understand.
Matt’s writing gave me tools and explanations that gave me confidence that I could explain why the early Christians did not believe in hell. All my research has shown that much of what the early Christians believed and practiced, like non-violence and sharing a common purse in community, has changed as people who are invested in power and profit have chosen to distort this message. But the early church fathers’ writings, historical documents, and the New Testament all give us clarity that the people who were closest to Jesus did not believe in hell as eternal

conscious torment.
Hell is a bad enough concept. But a reading of the Old Testament and what God told his “chosen children” to do would make any person who believes in the value of restorative justice run away from Christianity and I would not blame them. It never made sense to me that God would order Saul to tell his army to slaughter every man, woman, child and animal in a city they were supposed to conquer so that the Israelites could remain “pure”, free from the influence of those horrible people. Then, when Saul saves a few animals and people, he is punished for being disobedient. Who wants to follow a god like that? And this is only one story in the bible which portrays a schizophrenic, sociopathic god who would drive anyone crazy.
What I value about All Set Free is that Matt deftly explains clearly how to look at the whole Bible in a way that helps me understand that the people were doing their best to understand God, but because they were so deeply entrenched in a society where violence and retribution were natural, it was almost impossible for them to hear a Jesus-looking god speak to them.
Using a number of methods of shedding light on the big picture of what is the essence of the message of the Bible, including Paul’s writings, Jesus teachings, early church history, and Renee Girard’s mimetic theory, Matt explains in a logical and warm-hearted way how we can come to see that God never changed. He always looked like the Jesus who said, when dying on the cross,
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

He shows that we can still trust the Bible as being the story of God revealing himself through scriptures, but that we can understand better how many (but not all) of the early writers of the bible misunderstood what God was saying.  Yet God was working through them to move towards a place where finally people could embrace and carry out a vision of a non-violent society where people loved everyone, even their enemies.
Matt’s vulnerable sharing of how he was kicked out of his church because of his beliefs in a God who would not create nor send people to hell touched my heart. He has been willing to give up friendships and his church community in order to stand up for what he believes. People even send him hate mail. Having experienced the hurt of being a scapegoat, I can empathize with him. I admire his courage and willingness to be a pioneer in an area which I believe will, within the next few years, will be explored and eventually accepted by a critical mass of Christians.
We do not need hell to motivate us to be peaceful, loving, and to follow Jesus, as some believe. Matt’s life demonstrates that, as I have experienced in the several days I spent with him and his family. I believe that one of the most telling and convincing ways that show people are peaceful is how they treat their children, and how their children behave. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Matt and his wife peacefully, lovingly, and respectfully interacted with their five year old daughter, as well as the way they treated each other and me.
I hope that you will read All Set Free. If you have an open mind, and read this book with a willingness to change your mind, I think your theology will be transformed. I warn you, however, that you may be inspired to be a pioneer, and join Matthew and myself in risking rejection and attack from people who believe so strongly in the value of having hell as a part of their belief system that they feel justified in acting in hurtful ways to others who don’t believe. But to stand up for what you believe is true is the most important thing you can do, rather than trying to get approval or being fearful of rejection.
Besides, sharing what you really believe is a good way to find out who really loves you and accept  you for who you are. You might lose some friends who reject you, but perhaps they are the kind of friends you don’t need.
I feel grateful to Matt for the gift he has given to those of us who sincerely seek Truth. I pray that millions will read this book, and be profoundly changed in ways that motivate them to wholeheartedly take the plunge and dedicate their lives to following Jesus and helping to bring peace on earth, and a belief in a Jesus-looking God who profoundly loves us and wants the best for us.

An Open Letter to The Liturgists

 Hi Mike and Michael
I have been listening to your Liturgist podcast for about four months and I was one of the first people to be a member of Patreon pledging $20 a month. Even though that is sometimes ten percent of my monthly income (I live very simply) I chose to do that because I think the work you are doing is vital. You create a space where people who have become disillusioned with Christianity or have never embraced it, can find a safe place where they can be open to having a relationship with Jesus. I apologize because now that I have zero income temporarily while I am traveling, I have dropped off your list of contributors. But I plan on supporting you soon.
 If I had heard your podcast 44 years ago when I left the church, I would have been saved a lot of grief! As it was, even though I know I was seeking Jesus, almost everyone who called him or herself a Christian, and every church I  explored, turned me off in some way. One of the biggest turn offs was the idea that a loving God would send someone to hell because of what they believed.
Fortunately, I miraculously finally surrendered my life to Jesus fifteen years ago in spite of the fact that the Christians I knew believed this. But I could never embrace the hell idea, and have since then become a Christian Universalist. I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that there is no hell where people go because they are not “saved.”
Which brings me to my main point in writing you. I want to encourage you to have a podcast about possibly the most controversial subject, even more than homosexuality, in the world of Christians today. It is a topic that most people don’t even want to bring up because they risk  being viciously attacked by evangelical Christians.
I want to introduce you to a person who has written an amazing and inspiring book about Christian Universalism,  Matthew Destafano. He is just the kind of person you all like to interview. Young (early thirties), highly tattooed, (his legs and arms are filled with them), courageous (he has been kicked out of his church, and his wife’s family for the most part have rejected him, his wife and children-plus he receives very negative hate mail), and very outspoken about his beliefs.
I had the joy of visiting him and his family in Paradise, California. After having a Facebook correspondence, I felt comfortable in asking him if I could come and stay with him and his wife and 5 year old daughter. I was ready to travel and have adventures getting to know and then helping people like Matt in whatever way I could. His immediate response was “yes!” And when I stayed there, I sensed so much love from him and his family.
Matt‘s passion is to help the world see that God looks like Jesus–and he is Love. The importance of non-violence is an essential part of that message. Sharing in a very unique way about something called Mimetic Theory, developed by Renee Girard, has shaped his thinking and given him a great way to explain why the God of the Old Testament was often misunderstood by the Israelites, (like when they thought God was telling them to kill every man, woman, child and animal in a city) and how Jesus came to set things straight once and for all.
Matthew is one of the most passionate, dedicated Christians that I have met.  I feel grateful that I was able to meet him personally and share meals and share life with he and his family for a few days. I want to encourage you to get to know him. Here is a review I wrote, and another review by his friend at the Raven Foundation where you can learn more about Mimetic Theory.
I think that if you connected with Matthew, he could connect you with other Christian universalists who would be happy to cooperate with you if you wanted to make a podcast about this topic. I am hoping that just like the podcast about GLBTQ that you did, which helped me finally commit to the stand that there is no WAY that God would want to deny people with different sexual orientations their basic rights and joys of having family, or be in leadership in churches. Yes, that podcast was POWERFUL! I kept going back and forth, pressured by family and friends at church to think that homosexuality and other sexual orientations were sins–but you did such a fantastic job of presenting the case for GBLTQ that I just can’t go back.
I am hoping that the same thing will occur if you have a great show about Christian Universalism. Hey, maybe Rob Bell will join you on the podcast. He would be a great person to weigh in on this discussion.
Mike, after listening to almost all of the podcasts you and Michael have produced, I think you are going to be fascinated by mimetic theory. Or maybe you already know about it. I think you will both connect with Matt who shares so much in common with you both, including having a young child.  He is a musician, also.  He almost left the faith of his childhood. But fortunately, things happened that prevented him from completely abandoning his faith..
I encourage  you to have a podcast about Christian universalism, and that you will include Matt on this show. I believe that your connection will be mutually beneficial in so  many ways. And if you can help people to at least be open to the idea that there is no hell–this would help people to be more willing to be open to having a relationship with Jesus.
shalom,
Patricia