Socialism Explored

RUSSIAN ONLINE DATING

“Man with PhD seeks woman with tractor” (joke)

I was motivated recently to read what I could find on the ideas behind the political philosophy of Socialism. (Thanks, Jeanne.) Why is it attractive to so many people—especially young people—and why is it, at least partially, the form of government in so many countries today?

Also, I wondered if the people who are attracted to it really understand it.

Karl MarxThis is some of what I read: (bolding mine)

FROM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_ownership

“…Notable non-Marxist and Marxist socialist theorists alike have argued that the most significant argument for social ownership of the means of production is to enable productivity gains to ease the work burden for all individuals in society, resulting in progressively shorter hours of work with increasing automation and thus a greater amount of free time for individuals to engage in creative pursuits and leisure.

Criticism of private ownership

See also: Socialist critique of capitalism

Social ownership is contrasted with the concept of private ownership and is promoted as a solution to what its proponents see as being inherent issues to private ownership.[20] Market socialists and non-market socialists therefore have slightly different conceptions of social ownership. The former believe that private ownership and private appropriation of property income is the fundamental issue with capitalism, and thus believe that the process of capital accumulation and profit-maximizing enterprise can be retained, with their profits being used to benefit society in the form of a social dividend. By contrast, non-market socialists argue that the major problems with capitalism arise from its contradictory economic laws that make it unsustainable and historically limited. Therefore, social ownership is seen as a component of the establishment of non-market coordination and alternative “socialist laws of motion” that overcome the systemic issues of capital accumulation.[21]  [???]

The socialist critique of private ownership is heavily influenced by the Marxian analysis of capitalist property forms as part of its broader critique of alienation and exploitation in capitalism. Although there is considerable disagreement among socialists about the validity of certain aspects of Marxian analysis, the majority of socialists are sympathetic to Marx’s views on exploitation and alienation.[22] Socialists critique the private appropriation of property income on the grounds that because such income does not correspond to a return on any productive activity and is generated by the working class, it represents exploitation. The property-owning (capitalist) class lives off passive property income produced by the working population by virtue of their claim to ownership in the form of stock, bonds or private equity. This exploitative arrangement is perpetuated due to the structure of capitalist society. From this perspective, capitalism is regarded as class system akin to historical class systems like slavery and feudalism.[23]

Private ownership has also been criticized on ethical grounds by the economist James Yunker. Yunker argues that because passive property income requires no mental or physical exertion on the part of the recipient and because its appropriation by a small group of private owners is the source of the vast inequalities in contemporary capitalism, this establishes the ethical case for social ownership and socialist transformation.”

[More:] These links work, by the way, if you are interested.

“Karl Marx’s theory of alienation describes the social alienation (Entfremdung, “estrangement”) of people from aspects of their human nature (Gattungswesen, “species-essence”) as a consequence of living in a society of stratified social classes. The alienation from the self is a consequence of being a mechanistic part of a social class, the condition of which estranges a person from their humanity.

The theoretical basis of alienation within the capitalist mode of production is that the worker invariably loses the ability to determine life and destiny when deprived of the right to think (conceive) of themselves as the director of their own actions; to determine the character of said actions; to define relationships with other people; and to own those items of value from goods and services, produced by their own labour. Although the worker is an autonomous, self-realized human being, as an economic entity this worker is directed to goals and diverted to activities that are dictated by the bourgeoisie—who own the means of production—in order to extract from the worker the maximum amount of surplus value in the course of business competition among industrialists.”

[Somehow, I find this idea “backwards,” and more appropriate to the relationship of the worker to the collective.]

“In the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (1932), Karl Marx expressed the Entfremdung theory—of estrangement from the self. Philosophically, the theory of Entfremdung relies upon The Essence of Christianity (1841) by Ludwig Feuerbach which states that the idea of a supernatural god has alienated the natural characteristics of the human being.”

I started reading a MUCH LARGER Wikipedia article on SOCIALISM, but quickly got bogged down in historical definitions and variations—felt that I was in over my head, as someone who did not major in Political Science in college…and frankly do not care that much about the fine points—and started looking for the meat of the ideas behind the politics.

I came out with the same conclusion that I have held for all of my adult life: IT DOESN’T WORK!!!!! (at least, not for everyone.)

My notes, jotted down as I read:

Collective ownership of means of production:

Breaks the spirit of man—becomes a beast of burden.

No ambition to improve the product

Shortages or waste of excess product

Work at what is needed, not what one wants to do

Love for fellow man cannot be legislated or inspired by patriotic speeches

Abortion and euthanasia of defectives is accepted

No pleasure in work or art

No hope

All decisions by committee or vote

Would anyone WANT to live like that?


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-Sis G ❤

PS: Happy bird-day* to me last Monday—I was 82!

*I got a fold-out card containing a beautiful pop-up blue jay (among other things!)

Birthday

 

 

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Gratitude

VitaminG

“Want to be Happier? The Answer May Be Gratitude” (Excerpt)

-by Kirsden Digwood MSPT, DPT, CLT

(Reprinted from article in Western Schools e-newsletter)

Focusing on the positive and feeling grateful can improve sleep quality and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Furthermore, levels of gratitude correlate to better moods and less fatigue and inflammation, reducing the risk of heart failure, even for those who are susceptible. In a recent study patients completed standard psychological tests so researchers could assess the patients’ levels of gratitude and spiritual well-being at baseline. Higher levels of gratitude were found to be associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue and less inflammation, a factor that worsens with the progression of heart failure. The study was able to find an association between feeling grateful and improved heart health markers, however, it was not designed to prove that feeling grateful actually caused the improvements. After the original cross-sectional study was completed, the researchers then sought to find out if prospectively introducing a gratitude intervention would show benefit in these patients, and whether feeling grateful actually led to improvements in heart health. In this study, patients were randomized to keep a gratitude journal for eight weeks where they were instructed to write down three things for which they were most grateful, on a daily basis. These patients were compared to a group that was treated with the standard protocol. This interventional study showed that keeping a gratitude journal seemed to help heart health even more.

“We found that those patients who kept gratitude journals for those eight weeks showed reductions in circulating levels of several important inflammatory biomarkers, as well as an increase in heart rate variability while they journaled. Improved heart rate variability is considered a measure of reduced cardiac risk,” study author Paul J Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego, said in a journal news release.

“It seems that a more grateful heart is indeed a more healthy heart and that gratitude journaling is an easy way to support cardiac health,” he concluded.

The answer as to why gratitude is so impactful to health and well-being lies within the brain. In a neurological experiment conducted by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles, brain activity was measured using magnetic resonance imaging as subjects were induced to feel gratitude by receiving gifts. The areas of the brain showing increased activity were the anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex—those associated with moral and social cognition, reward, empathy, and value judgment. This led to the conclusion that the emotion of gratitude supports a positive and supportive attitude toward others and a feeling of relief from stressors.

Gratitude also triggers activity in the hypothalamus, which impacts metabolism, stress, and various behaviors. The hypothalamus is located at the base of the brain and regulates hormones responsible for many critical functions, such as body temperature, emotional responses, and survival functions like appetite and sleep. One of the neurochemicals associated with the parts of the brain affected by gratitude is dopamine, a pleasure hormone.

When times are difficult, or stress is high it may be a challenge to be grateful. A few ways to implement gratitude are:

  1. Write a thank-you note: Make it a habit to send or hand-deliver one thank-you note each month. It can be to express gratitude for something someone has done for you, or just let someone know what his or her friendship has meant to you
  2. Do a daily journal and list at least three things for which you are grateful. Many people feel that is best completed first thing in the morning or at night before you fall asleep.
  3. Take a moment each day to think about what you like about yourself. Often people get into the habit of negative thinking about themselves and forget to focus on what we like.
  4. Try to tell someone in your life everyday what appreciate about him or her.
  5. Meditate:  Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).

Taking some time each day to implement gratitude into your life can pay off by giving you a happier and healthier future.

Heartfelt

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A few years ago, I was repaid—with interest!—for a loan I had made to a friend 30 years ago! I barely remembered having given him the money. To say that I was surprised hardly does justice to what I felt. But I am betting that this friend banked enough positive energy with that act that he felt very healthy for weeks, if not months!

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BIRD CORNER

Flying on BirdDoves are not peaceful! As anyone knows who has a population of these plentiful birds visiting their yard, and especially their feeding stations, these birds get very aggressive, whether they are big like the Whitewing, or small like the Ground, or Inca dove. Some can be real bullies, chasing off other birds while they get first chance at the birdseed. All of them also have a characteristic defensive posture of raising one wing, sometimes to a vertical position, which can be quite intimidating to other doves, I suppose.

While the doves are feeding, the tiny sparrows hardly have a chance! But when one group of doves has had its fill for a while, the sparrows descend on what’s left. (Even they push each other around, though!)

BTW, those black “thrashers” that I described last week may have been something else, such as COWBIRDS, which have a similar body type.


STAY DRY, FOLKS! GET YOUR SANDBAGS! THERE’S WEATHER COMING!

Love, Sis G ❤

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In Transition

In Transition

My two-cents:

Tomorrow my friend, Rev. Tommy DeLeon will speak on the huge change that most of us are going through this year. We will never be the same, it’s true. This will be a pivotal year in which our plans have gone awry or have been drastically altered. Many have suffered painful or even catastrophic losses.

On the other hand, some of us have found opportunities to take on projects that have long been shelved. Some have learned new skills because we had to.

Our day-to-day lives are certainly not what they used to be logistically or socially, and our horizons keep shifting. But this is NOT the “new normal.” This will NEVER be normal. The human spirit can fight its way out of this plague, if the energy that is being put into riots and senseless destruction were used instead to build, repair, and improve outdated utilities and infrastructure that we all need. And we could do better with managing our natural resources: instead of blaming “climate change” for the wildfires that are devastating our west coast, we could be using good forest management to keep dead and dying trees from building up and becoming kindling for any stray spark.

We will never be the same, but we can be better. Has anyone noticed the new successful efforts to negotiate peace among Middle Eastern countries that have been at war for generations?

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Sunday, 11:00 am, live-streaming on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/UnityPharrTx

Speaker: Rev. Tommy De Leon

Subject: “Finding Yourself in Transition, Part 2”

Paraphrasing Rev. De Leon:

We have an unceasing pandemic… social unrest filled with hatred that is suffocating… political division that has rendered our democracy inept…an economy that is faltering… people without food or jobs being evicted from their homes… raging fires; it goes on and on. Indeed, it truly seems everything is in complete disarray. For many, that is the reality of America today.

Unity teaches that the world is unfolding into a new and higher consciousness. Admittedly, given the current state of affairs, that is a hard ticket to sell.

[But] turmoil and confusion are always forerunners to the unfolding of a higher consciousness. (It is our time in the wilderness.)

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ME: Is a “new day” about to dawn on our world and our planet?

How bad does it have to get before enough people have a true change of heart…before we are sick of our petty divisions, the frankly silly and superficial categories in which some of us have tried to redefine ourselves and blame them for our inability to succeed in life? How long before we grow up and realize that our feelings exist to move us to action, not to be wallowed in for self-gratification?

Nothing makes a person feel better than cleaning up a mess, and we have a BIG mess to clean up—the entire world does!

Twenty-twenty is perfectly normal vision, without artificial lenses. If we must wear corrective lenses or undergo surgery in order to see normally, let us realize that it is clear, normal vision that is the goal, not the endless redesigning and re-inventing of lenses and techniques for their own sake.

We need a fresh, clean view of what is important, and of what we can live (often better) without.

If you have read this far, thank you! And here’s a “treat.”

BIRD CORNER

Curved-bill ThrasherAs you know, I have a number of Texas Field Guides for birds that either live here all year or spend a few months here. The birds that visit my feeder are my pets, since I am not allowed to have the usual furry companions, and when I see a new bird, I get excited about identifying it.

I’ve seen a thrasher or two in my yard before, but now they are here in a small flock. And they don’t look exactly like any of the species described in the books. These birds are grey to black on top, with a paler breast and no (or indistinct) speckled markings. They have a long curved bill and are 11-13 inches long. No white wing bars that I have seen so far. They have a loud “Phee-o-weet” song. They eat seeds and dig in the ground of gardens for worms and bugs.

Thrashers, without doubt, but what kind?—Sis G<3

PS: Someone is now writing a Newsletter for Unity SC-RGV. You may have received one in your email this week. It tells you all you need to know about services and events.

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Current Quality of Time

Note: You will notice immediately that Sister Grumpy’s Blog has changed. It is no longer a newsletter for my church—others can do that more efficiently now than I can, and I have decided instead, to write about other things that interest me.-Sis G

 

THE CURRENT QUALITY OF TIME

Zodiac-Icon

I have been wondering if anyone else has tried to figure out what is going on in the world this year in terms of the astrological positions and aspects of the planets?

If you believe that such occurrences have an effect on events in our lives and in the world, you might be interested to know that the slow-moving planets are in powerful angular relationships in 2020.

The quality of time in September is still marked by the strong tension between Mars in Aries and Saturn in Capricorn. The tenacious struggle for solutions will continue. However, the mood changes noticeably in the course of the month, as Mars turns retrograde and Jupiter and Saturn turn direct.

“On September 10, Mars in Aries becomes stationary retrograde (until November 14). During its retrograde phase it will form squares [90º] with Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto. All of the latter are within the range of the positions they held last spring and are thus linked to the themes of that time. Now, the consequences of the events around Covid-19 must be dealt with. Behind all this, however, there is a deeper conflict, the main issue being whether to return to normality or whether the former normality is actually the problem itself. Jupiter ends its retrograde phase on September 13, and Jupiterʹs solution is usually called “even more.” Presumably, big and expensive ideas will be presented again and partially implemented. However, a cautious attitude towards such interventions is called for.

“Towards the end of the month, on September 29, Saturn also ends its retrograde phase. At the same time, it will square to the Mars-Lilith conjunction. The Sun, in Libra since September 22, forms an opposition to Chiron in Aries. The Jupiterian solution of “even more” will therefore hardly be sustainable. Any structural weaknesses are now becoming more apparent again, the mood is becoming more nervous, and here and there fuel is probably being added to the fire. There will be fights with no holds barred, because some have a lot to lose.”

-from the Astrodienst Newsletter

http://www.astro.com

Back in the 60s and ‘70s I began to study astrology. I had always been curious about ESP, reincarnation, Eastern religions, etc. Many people read their daily horoscope in the newspaper, and everyone knows their “Sign.” But I decided to study astrology and try to understand both the art and science of it—the science being the ability to do the math of calculating the exact positions of the sun, moon, and fast-moving planets, using tables in a book called The Ephemeris for a specific span of years. I also had to know—to the minute—the time of birth and the place, to do the most accurate chart.

Nowadays, there is probably nobody who still does the calculations by himself, since there are online astrology sites that will do it for you. (I probably could not do it now, if I tried.)

But “back in the day” I drew up birth charts for everyone in my family and for my friends, as well as for myself. It was fun, and later I began to meet other people who had studied astrology, and who practiced yoga, meditation, and energy balancing. Much later, I became a massage therapist and a licensed PTA, and I sometimes used the energy-balancing techniques when appropriate. (But I have not done it in years.)

Astrology does not predict specific events: it can only show a favorable or unfavorable “climate” that may support one’s efforts. I certainly don’t schedule my life according to my horoscope! But I admit that I still have a copy of the Ephemeris for 2000-2050, and when the world is getting “weird,” I check to see if anything important is happening in the energies among the planets.


LINKS:

Event: Unity Spiritual Center RGV Sunday Service 9/6 at 11:00 am

Speaker: Michael Scales, LUT

Subject: “The Power of Non-resistance”

Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/UnityPharrTx

 

For general info, Zoom meetings, and Coming Events:

Consult Myrna’s Excellent Website!

https://www.unity-pharrtx.org

 

Love, Sis G ❤

HeartsWreath

 

 

 

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Shining the Light on Fear with the Positivity Switch

RevIvery02Unity Spiritual Center RGV continues their online virtual Sunday service live on Facebook at 11 am.  This Sunday’s speaker will be the Reverend Ivery De la Cruz and she will share a message titled “Shining the Light on Fear with the Positivity Switch”.

 Unity Worldwide Ministries World Day the Prayer affirmation for this year isStanding in Truth, I move from fear to faith.” What an appropriate theme for this challenging time the world is going through. This COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a lot of fear along with tremendous changes and a lot of grief. One of the greatest changes was staying at home to slow down the spread of the virus until we could figure out how to handle it.

As we learned some of the ways we could protect ourselves and others through social distancing, wearing a face mask, sanitizing everything and washing our hands, we could start to breathe and venture out.

Last week was the first time I ate in a restaurant and believe it or not, I was really scared. I felt the anxiety in the pit of my stomach. With all the precautions in place, I knew intellectually it was as safe as possible yet there was that nagging fear.

This Sunday we will discuss the wilderness experience of Moses, the Israelites, and the snakes, getting Unity Co-founder, Charles Fillmore’s take on a metaphysical understanding of how fear can be turned upside down and transformed into powerful energy.

 Law of Attraction teacher, Katherine Hurst, shares in her Intention Point Accelerators, an addendum to her book Origins, four steps we can take to turn our “positivity switch” on by redirecting this energy. These steps are 1. Turn the fear into a goal.  2. Visualize a future that makes the fear irrelevant.  3. Turn the goal into reality. 4. Monitor your mood to retain productivity.

These steps worked for me to redirect my fear energy into positive energy. It can work for you. Bring your fears with you this Sunday. No judgment here. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience and fear is part of that experience. Let’s use it for something good.  See you Sunday.

For details on class schedules, times and links go to www.unity-pharrtx.org.

Sister G played “hookie” from the Thursday night Zoom meeting and watched the last night of the Republican Convention.

Things that impressed me (besides what was said by the speakers):

Many people in the audience were wearing masks, although the event was held outdoors on the south lawn of the White House.

A Chinese national, given asylum in the USA, gave a short speech in English, trying very hard to pronounce the words correctly. He wore the black shades of a blind person and read from his script in Braille.

A 25-year-old candidate for Congress appeared in his wheelchair to speak, but when the National Anthem began, he requested help to stand. A group of guests in the front row, also in wheelchairs, also made the effort to stand, using their braces and prosthetics.

Baron Trump, the teenage son of Donald and Melania Trump, now stands half a head taller than his father, who is over 6 ft. tall.

President Trump delivered an acceptance speech of about  2 hours duration, making no mistakes, then stood while an Italian opera singer performed and led the audience in patriotic songs, and then a prodigious fireworks display went on behind the Washington Monument.

All well worth seeing and hearing!

Love, Sis G.

Is it safe?
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Freedom

 

Note: WordPress has “upgraded” its format to a “block system,” which I find impossible to use. I am supposed to be able to still use the old classic system, but I can’t find where that option exists as a choice. As a result, I am lucky to be able to publish this week’s blog at all! Sister Grumpy’s Church Blog may be run over by Progress!

 

This week our Unity RGV guest speaker is Deborah Cole from Austin, TX.

Debby is a teacher, author and photographer living her best life.  She

is a Licensed Unity Teacher and graduate of the Seminary of the

Southwest, with degrees in Spiritual Direction and Hospital Chaplaincy. 

She has a recently released book titled “Letting Go: How Less Becomes

More.” It is the story of transformation from one identity to [another one]

–something new, different and unexpected.  

Her topic this week is Freedom. In her words: Freedom is so much

more than the civil liberties we enjoy as citizens of our country. 

Personal freedom is what we seek in order to express peace, joy, and

love,  as taught by our Master Teacher Jesus the Christ.  Consider how

simple (but not easy) it might be to achieve perfect freedom in today’s

world.

Websites: http://www.deborahcoleconnections.com and www.deborahcolephotography.com

Virtual Amigo Sunday on Aug. 30. It will be a Zoom meeting at 12 pm (Noon) after the service.

Are you bored? Lonely? Feeling disconnected from your ”Unity Community?” We are going to try putting together a “virtual” Amigo Sunday on Zoom on Aug. 30, after our livestream on Facebook. Use the same codes as the Tuesday night Let’s Get Metaphysical meeting (see below.) We think that will that work!!!

No food, unless you bring your own, but we envision it as a kind of meet & greet with “air” hugs, and a chance to catch up on what life has been like for our friends with social distancing, isolation in some cases, working/studying from home. No masks required! More about this as the date comes closer!

AS A REMINDER, Unity World Day of Prayer will be observed Sept. 10. Rev. Ivery has something planned for the evening before, Sept. 9, which we will hear about soon. If we ever needed a world day of prayer, this is the year! http://www.Unity.org will have a schedule of events on its website.

Let’s Get Metaphysical: Tuesdays at 7:00 pm on Zoom. Rev. Tommy DeLeon facilitates.

The class is held online, Tuesdays 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. To attend, simply go to zoom.us and click “Join A Meeting.” Then, enter the following information when prompted:

Meeting ID 813 149 089 and Meeting Password 030 483.

All are warmly welcome to explore the study of the science of being.  Participants support each other in exploring the realm of ideas and their expression.

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The Pathlighters (S. Texas Unity churches meditation group) Thursdays @ 8:00 pm.

Join Zoom Meeting At This (NEW) Link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86962829243?pwd=eUR5MTRYS2NKajlTU0x3a0lHSllrQT09

Or, go to zoom.us online and click “Join A Meeting”, then enter the following information when prompted:

Meeting ID: 869 6282 9243 Passcode: 446313

For those of you who are not into evening meditation, Rev. Janie Kelley of Unity of West Texas offers a noon insight meditation on Facebook Live at noon on Tuesdays. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/Unityofwesttexas/  the 30-35 minute seated meditation offers mindfulness practice.

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NEW!

*NEW* Texas Unity Collaborative – Book Study Begins Monday August 24, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

The Universe is Calling Study

In his book, The Universe is Calling: Opening to the Divine through Prayer, Eric Butterworth, author of Discover the Power Within You, says “There is a great need to unlearn our errors in prayer. The Universe is calling and through prayer, we hear the call and can respond to it.” 

All are welcome, Monday evenings at 6:00 p.m. beginning August 24 – September 28, 2020.  Everyone is welcome. Facilitated by Rev. Beverly Pryor, minister at Unity of the Hill Country, Kerrville, Texas. Purchase of the book is not necessary, but you will get more out of the class if you have a copy. 

Join on Zoom

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84583909644?pwd=Ui91N3VHZ0J3a2R6Um13RE1XZFRldz09

Meeting ID: 845 8390 9644

Passcode: Prayer

“Love 101”

As the popular song asks, what IS love, anyway? Let’s find out! Rev. Jay Mulkey of Unity in Boerne, Texas, welcomes all Unity Communities participating in the Texas Unity Collaborative to his upcoming class. “Love 101” will begin Wednesday, September 2, 2020 and meet weekly via Zoom at 6:30 -7:30 p.m. through October 7. Zoom link to be announced! 

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Voices of Unity (Radio)

Chaplain Birdie Shawker will be on the “Voices of Unity” online radio show September 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Central Time. Rev. Jacquie Fernandez will interview Birdie about her role as a hospital chaplain in the time of COVID 19. Tune in here September 1, 11:00 a.m. https://www.unityonlineradio.org/

Enough to keep everybody busy?

Maybe I’ll see you at one of these meetings. But I don’t have a video camera, so if I’m participating, you may hear me, but you’ll see “Sister Grumpy” in a black rectangle.

Love, Sis G

 

Deb Cole
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Finding Yourself in Transition

Tommy at UnitySanAntonioUnity Spiritual Center RGV continues their online virtual Sunday services at 11 am on Facebook. This Sunday Rev. Tommy De Leon will share a lesson on “Finding Yourself in Transition.”

In his words: I think we can all agree that the keynote to life is change. Everything in nature tells us that change is the only constant. We understand this intellectually. However, when change comes rapidly, or at too big of a scale, we usually find ourselves questioning the meaning and purpose of the change.

Certainly these are difficult and trying days we are all currently experiencing. The changes are major and many are questioning this period of transition. The key to coping with this difficult time is to turn our attention to the larger picture. [It is] to discover that a major life transition is an opportunity for transformation, and that transformation is an opportunity for spiritual rebirth.

Join us this week as we discuss ways in which to deal with the changes around us. Weekly classes continue on Zoom.  For details and links, please visit our web page at www.unity-pharrtx.org.

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Note: the codes have changed for the 8:00 pm Thursday Night South Texas Meditation Group. They are now:

Username: 87841415992

PW:685115

Question: How many of us who have “smartphones” actually know how to use them? I would venture to say that not more than half of us do! How many of us give up after about a year of reading the manual, asking friends, and wasting a lot of time, and just use the text, talk, and maybe the camera?

My next question is: Why have I not heard of any classes for learning to use this small computer with a phone app? I think there is a hunger for this knowledge, though some people might like to claim they don’t need it.

It looks easy on TV when people use them to “instantly” bring up what they need, shoot ‘selfies’ and videos, and text quickly with their thumbs, but for most of us, especially those of a certain age, I’d say it’s torture trying to do what we need to do, quickly, on the first attempt. If it weren’t so hard to text on the keypad, I’d love to have my flip phone back!

Anybody agree?

Smartphone

 

 

 

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Put Everything in God’s Hands

GODUnity Spiritual Center RGV continues their virtual Sunday service on Facebook at 11 am.  Licensed Unity Teacher Michael Scales will share a lesson titled “Put Everything in God’s Hands.”

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

As children, a lot of us used to have toy airplanes that were powered by a rubber band. You would turn the propeller and it would wind that rubber band tighter and tighter. It’s amusing in a toy airplane, but it’s not so amusing in life when we see a human being twisted, tight, and under pressure. Something has to give.

Something has to release that buildup of pressure and stress inside of us. This pressure is accumulative. It seems to get tighter and tighter day by day. What will release this? A soothing, relaxing prayer will release this, and make us new again.

It will make the day a new, joyful experience; you are going to view things from a new level of spiritual consciousness. You are not going to be as affected by the things that come to you because you’re empowered by something within you. The ordinary muck and mire of life is not going to bother you, because you’re connected to something greater.

There are several elements that go together to make up successful prayer, and the first of these is the most important. If you only do this, you will go a long way to releasing the pressure that comes from the mental habit of holding onto problems and trying to solve them all by yourself. That element is as follows:

Set aside a few moments every day. Do not say anything. Simply think about God.

Before, you were thinking about your problems and all the things that were making you tight, angry, and nervous inside yourself. Now, instead, you are relaxing and thinking about God.

This is the golden key that author Emmett Fox wrote about in the book “The Golden Key.” Think about God instead of the problem. When you think about God, everything begins to change in a miraculous, wondrous way. This will make your mind spiritually receptive.

This step prepares your consciousness for the rest of the prayer process, which we will cover in our lesson.

Join us this Sunday and learn how to unwind.  Weekly Study group classes continue on Zoom.  For details go to www.unity-pharrtx.org.

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Thursday evening we had the South Texas Meditation Group on Zoom facilitated by Birdie Shawker. She worked hard to put together a meditation with music. The music was supplied by composer and choir conductor, Eric Whitacre.

Virtual Choir 6   https://youtu.be/InULYfJHKI0

More than 17,000 singers around the world adding their voices to a “tapestry” that you will not believe!

ON THE SAME YOUTUBE PAGE…………Virtual Choir 4 “Fly to Paradise” features an Anime character, and the scene-–an empty city full of people confined to their apartment buildings—is fascinating, though CREEPY to me.

Note: A large part of the second half of these performances is taken up with a list of the many performers, which may not interest everyone. You can also choose to skip the ads.

If you want to know how this was accomplished by Mr. Whitacre, here is another link to his TED Talk where he explains the process:

https://youtu.be/2NENlXsW4pM

There is also a “Blooper” page where some of the inevitable errors occurred during the rehearsals (very funny!)

https://youtu.be/3B7P_UGA8Ys

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Remember, The Sunday Service is at 11:00 am on our Facebook page, and recorded on our YouTube page. See our website www.unity-pharrtx.org. for complete information on these events and where to see them.

DonateUnityRGV

Our tree trimmer finished his job today and there is another pile of brush on the curb to be picked up. More sunlight can now reach the lawn. The fence is not completely repaired yet. One small palm tree was leaning precariously after Hanna, but looks like it may survive. WE ARE OK!!

HappenedLove, Sis G ❤

 

 

 

 

 

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Home Is Where the Heart Is

Khalif_MulhollandSpeaker this Sunday: Khalif Mulholland

In his words, “Most of us, if not all of us, have experienced the feeling of missing our home when we’ve been away for a time. The latest human experience has given us a glimpse of how it feels to be home again. When the world economy came to a standstill and the working force found itself confined to their homes, many people found themselves in a new norm. More quality time with family was a totally new experience. Join us Sunday as we dig deeper into how home is where the heart is.”

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The Sunday service is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UnityPharrTx.

Information on how to join our Zoom meetings can be found on our website at www.unity-pharrtx.org. You may also find links on my previous blog pages.

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This has been a horrible week in the Rio Grande Valley. Hurricane Hanna made a direct hit on the southernmost counties before it dove into northern Mexico. We had winds with gusts of up to 80 mph and lashing rain.

As usual, the low-lying areas pooled with rainwater. Around 45,000 homes and businesses were without electric power when the storm left. Convoys of bucket trucks arrived from different parts of the country to help get everyone back online.

By the time you read this, only the worst cases, where there was damage needing major repair, remained.

Sister G’s home did not suffer any water damage, but there were large tree branches down in the yard, a few shingles blown off the roof, and parts of the wooden fence that need repair. The power was out 3 separate times, but we did not have any food spoilage.

Our tree trimmer worked hard to saw off damaged limbs, and he and his partner cleaned up most of the debris and piled it on the curb.

The birds are eating from their tray on the porch table now, where I can see them through the screen door from the computer “office.”

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I am keeping up with most of the Zoom meetings during the week. We are going to have to communicate this way for an indefinite time to come, but all that work that our tech people did to get our Live-stream going has paid off. We are still together, and able to support each other spiritually through this “challenging” year.

What does Sister Grumpy have to say to the people raising hell in America—refusing to obey common-sense rules, wanting to have their own way, and tearing up public property?

GROW UP!!!

FREEDOM COMES WITH

RESPONSIBILITY!!!

BabyYodaMask

 

 

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“Your Wildest Dreams”

Sunday, June 26, 2020 at 11:00 am on Facebook.com/UnityPharrTx

Jennifer Shawker LUTGuest Speaker: Birdie Shawker, RN

“The study of dreams and visions is an important one, because it is through these mental pictures that God communicates with people. God has instructed the great and wise in every age in dreams and visions.” – Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing, page 103.

Did you know there are 21 recorded dreams in the Bible? The theme of dreams can be found in everything from great literature, to faith traditions, to pop music!

Without a doubt, dreams seem to be important! It has been reported in this time of COVID 19 that people are experiencing more dreams and dreaming more vividly than usual! Why is that?

The benefits of exploring our dreams are many, including the discovery of hidden facets of personality and how they affect your waking life. Dreams can help solve problems, overcome fears, and enhance creativity.

Let’s explore the insights we can obtain from even our wildest dreams, this Sunday!

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About Chaplain Jennifer “Birdie” Shawker, R.N. LUT Candidate

Jennifer “Birdie” Shawker currently serves at Unity of San Antonio as the Communications Director. She also serves as a chaplain at Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville, Texas.

Zoom classes continue online and you can find the details at www.unity-pharrtx.org.

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YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN THIS:

Interfaith Zoom Meeting Fridays at 6:30 pm:

Link: Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87898396405?pwd=RER3bU80OTdubnhlWG1zMGc0WVR4UT09

Meeting ID: 878 9839 6405

Passcode: 756115

 

One tap mobile

+13462487799,,87898396405#,,,,,,0#,,756115# US (Houston)

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kc0HyXDkCo

(Don’t ask Sis G what all those mobile numbers mean! I just copied and pasted.) IF you already have Zoom installed, all you need are the ID and Passcode.

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Falling rainLooks like a wet weekend, y’all! Depending on how far south tropical storm “Hannah” goes after landfall, we can expect at least 3-6” of rainfall across the Valley. Local flooding is likely.

If only it could wash the Virus away!!!

 

*** Has it occurred to anyone else that if you die of COVID, you can’t be an organ donor? ***

Sister G finally identified the bird that has been calling, “EEE-OOO-EEET” in a very loud voice! (It has other songs, too.) Saw it sitting on a fence top with its beak open! It is either a long-billed or curved-billed thrasher. It is dull brown with a lighter brown breast, but no streaking or spots. Black and white spot on the cheek. It has a black bill and white wing-bars when spread. It digs in the corners of gardens for insects or worms as food.

I tried to find a picture of this bird, but those that match most of this description have black and white streaks on the breast.

I’d better get this online before the weather gets here!

Stay dry!- Sis G

OurChaplains

 

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