An Appalachian Country Rag-- By Faith Alone

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By Faith Alone

Sola fide

Thou shalt love your neighbor as yourself, Leviticus 19:18, Click graphic for In God We Trust

click for Kim Upton's 'Art of the Spirit' website “The first duty of love is to listen.” –Paul Tillich

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What is accepted as the spoken and duly recorded Word of God varies between accepted canons of Islamic, Judaic, Catholic, diverse Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Slavonic Orthodox, Georgian, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac, Ethiopian and Gnostic paths to spiritual guidance and enlightenment emanating from texts and traditions considered Holy by them individually. Perhaps what they have most in common is faith in a unified, interacting and communicative Creator Divinity as opposed to the previously-accepted pantheon of animistic pagan gods and goddesses worshipped, entreatied and interwoven into structures of their cultural civilizations by Greeks, Romans, Minoans and Canaanites amongst many other early regionalized ethnicities and nationalities in the "western world," and similarly for the Orient East and in the then-unknown "new world" of the Americas. Within two millenia of Judeo-Christianity the most controversial of sacred writings also multiply-translated, saved and studied have been the Gnostic Gospels and recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls. --jh

"Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven." -- Jesus (Matthew 12:31 ESV)

"Knowledge is power." -- Sir Frances Bacon

Video below: Gospel song He by Richard Mullen

"Sincerely, God"

go to Mararet Gregg's 2010-2011 Artful Worship and Praise

God is an Owl

by Kim Upton

He respects Owl, because you can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right.” -- A. A. Milne

"I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places." -- Psalm 102: 6

Greetings and Salutations!

Yesterday I engaged, fully, in a spiritual temper tantrum.

As a dear friend says, "Okay, God, I'll do it...but I'm not liking it."

Travel with me here, as I unravel some yarn, and sort of ramble a bit. :)

All of October was resplendent with colors, life and transformation. That month has brought return after return of answers, reminders and reflection. I hope it has been the same for you as well.

My "mystical" side comes from a hard background in "logical" things like math, science and so on. Fractals, song, math, equations - they all speak a Divine language in a very special way. Mysticism, for me, was just a very nicely packaged way of making the Unknown easy to understand for those who needed a deeper understanding.

And, with all of this, "science" engaged the Woo Woo fully. Ghosts, spirits, thought forms, all ways of manifesting a tangible reality.

Dreams, portents, way-seeing...and Shamanism...each one had its own set of parameters that were quantifiable.

Well, you get the picture.

However, what happened to me on Sunday, October 9th, 2011 was something totally unexpected (even more so than having morning tea and toast with Jesus yesterday).

For about 24 hours I researched everything about my experience. Not a head injury, not a body issue. Had nothing to do with my physical body at all. Looked up things in medical journals, tried to self-diagnose myself with rare and unusual diseases.

Nothing. No Thing. Nothing.

While doing a few Google searches into "light and song," followed by "Jesus and light," I found some links with stories of others who had the same kind of experience.

Buried deep in message boards, and on websites, there were people, preferring to stay anonymous (and, no, that that creepy organization). After that, many said, their life was just not the same. Some of them had to quit work. Others changed their name, moved to another state and stopped being a part of communities.

However...there was a key element missing in their accounts, that had happened in mine. Those folks were given a message to tell people about some event, or to find a certain person and help them. Instructions were given in a pretty clear manner.

No one wrote that Jesus said, "Tell people you saw me."

Now this doesn't mean that my experience is unique in any way. Unique for me, sure, but it is my firm belief that others have experienced the same moments as I did. However, no one has written about it (that I could find).

So yesterday my human will threw a big, nasty, really horrible, temper tantrum. In fact I actually wrote a note that said, "Dear Jesus and all this weird stuff... Please find another person more willing, able and more open to being publicly ridiculed, harassed, and otherwise put in motion to be considered clinically insane to take your messages. Already my life is busy with talking to the trees, being with the flowers, tending Rosie the rose quartz and so on. Not to mention the fact that I have 4 kids, 2 acres and 1 house in need of care, a lot of it, every day. Trust me when I say that there are about 200 people, some I can vouch for personally, that would love nothing more than to have You talk to them. But for me. Nope. Nada. Move on, get along, and don't let the door hit you on the way out. All the best, Kim."

In the Dreaming last night, Hildegard de Bingen came to me and touched my forehead. From her touch a beam of light came out. Falling to the ground, she picks me up and says, "Dear Child...we do not pick who gets called. You can make this a hard time, or an easy time. Either way you will still be loved and honored, as we all are. However, and this was the case for me, it is the thought of not following through to the end that will get to you. As a child it was obvious my life was for something other than what I intended. If I'd never gone off to look for it, life would have been very boring, 'eh? Do you have enough strength to say, 'I don't want to know'?"

After that an Owl came. It looked much like the little barred owl I'd seen a few days previously (it was dead on the road). It immediately turned into a large winged thing that was like nothing I've seen before. It picked me up, cradled me, and sang with words, but its beak didn't move.

In one of its feathers it held my letter, the one I'd written in the day time, and at the end of the note there was something written in ink...

"Get over it. Love, God"

The Owl kissed me on the spot where Hildegard had touched, and then I woke up.

So, with that, I've no idea what is next. It does have to do with helping people transition - from one place to another, a way of life to another, or from one realm to another. After my meeting with the Spirits, one of whom called me "Azrael of the Crows," and the Dreaming about people waiting to be reborn, and the fact that my old midwifery teacher visited me... Well, it seems that it is time to put away my expectations of who I was, and make ready for who I AM. ;)

And, as Martha Stewart would say, "it's a good thing."

When I first shared this story, it brought many comments like, “how can I have an experience like this,” or “I want to be like you in these realms.” The answer that always went back was this...

“Sometimes being ‘like me’ is hard for me to handle. When things get a little wonky for me, it is essential to go back to my authentic self...realizing that I’ve always been the person I want to be.

Make-Your-Own seasonal gifts for home, self, friends and family:
  • Dolls and Angels

  • Use your imagination in creating one-of-a-kind ornaments and decorations from "leftovers" inside and/or outdoors (e.g. hand-painted pine cones and nuts with dried flower buds, petals or leaves and ribbon/fabric scraps, or spare buttons even, glued on)

  • Have fun! Explore. Experiment (carefully).

See Kim's website and her Hillbilly Mystic blogspot for other everyday reflections and art-from-nature constructions. She is another highly-valued/treasured member of ACR, Inc.'s Board of Directors. -- jH

Kim Upton photograph

Revelations 8:1 --
En toen Het het zevende zegel geopend had, werd er een stilzwijgen in den hemel, omtrent van een half uur. (Dutch)
And when he opened the seventh seal, there followed a silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. (English Revised)
Kaj kiam li malfermis la sepan sigelon, farigxis silento en la cxielo por cxirkaux duono de horo. (Esperanto)
Et quand il eut ouvert le septième sceau, il se fit un silence au ciel d'environ une demie-heure. (French)
Und als es das siebte Siegel öffnete, entstand ein Schweigen in dem Himmel bei einer halben Stunde.
καί ὅταν ἀνοίγω ὁ σφραγίς ὁ ἕβδομος γίνομαι σιγή ἐν ὁ οὐρανός ὡς ἡμίωριον (Greek)
Lè ti Mouton an kase setièm sele a, pandan yon demi (1/2) lè de tan, ou pa t' tande okenn bri nan sièl la. (Haitian Creole)
E quando l’Agnello ebbe aperto il settimo suggello, si fece silenzio nel cielo per circa lo spazio di mezz’ora. (Italian)
Kad atdarīja septīto zīmogu, kādu pusstundu debesīs iestājās klusums. (Latvian) A i tana wahanga i te whitu o nga hiri, kahore he aha i rangona i te rangi me te mea kotahi te hawhe haora. (Maori)
И когда Он снял седьмую печать, сделалось безмолвие на небе, как бы на полчаса. (Russian)
Y cuando él abrió el séptimo sello, fue hecho silencio en el cielo como por media hora. (Spanish)
Na Mwanakondoo alipouvunja mhuri wa saba, kukawa kimya mbinguni kwa muda wa nusu saa. (Swahili)
Och när Lammet bröt det sjunde inseglet, uppstod i himmelen en tystnad, som varade vid pass en halv timme. (Swedish)
At nang buksan niya ang ikapitong tatak, ay nagkaroon ng katahimikan sa langit na may kalahating oras. (Tagalog)

Kingdom of God

1 ܘܚܙܝܬ ܫܡܝܐ ܚܕܬܬܐ ܘܐܪܥܐ ܚܕܬܐ ܫܡܝܐ ܓܝܪ ܩܕܡܝܬܐ ܘܐܪܥܐ ܩܕܡܝܬܐ ܐܙܠܘ ܘܝܡܐ ܠܝܬܘܗܝ ܬܘܒ ܀ 2 ܘܠܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܩܕܝܫܬܐ ܐܘܪܫܠܡ ܚܕܬܐ ܚܙܝܬܗ ܕܢܚܬܐ ܡܢ ܫܡܝܐ ܡܢ ܨܝܕ ܐܠܗܐ ܕܡܛܝܒܐ ܐܝܟ ܟܠܬܐ ܡܨܒܬܬܐ ܠܒܥܠܗ ܀ 3 ܘܫܡܥܬ ܩܠܐ ܪܒܐ ܡܢ ܫܡܝܐ ܕܐܡܪ ܗܐ ܡܫܪܝܐ ܕܐܠܗܐ ܥܡ ܒܢܝܢܫܐ ܘܫܪܐ ܥܡܗܘܢ ܘܗܢܘܢ ܥܡܐ ܕܝܠܗ ܢܗܘܘܢ ܘܗܘ ܐܠܗܐ ܥܡܗܘܢ ܘܢܗܘܐ ܠܗܘܢ ܐܠܗܐ ܀ 4 ܘܗܘ ܢܠܚܐ ܟܠ ܕܡܥܐ ܡܢ ܥܝܢܝܗܘܢ ܘܡܘܬܐ ܠܐ ܢܗܘܐ ܡܟܝܠ ܘܠܐ ܐܒܠܐ ܘܠܐ ܪܘܒܐ ܘܠܐ ܟܐܒܐ ܬܘܒ ܢܗܘܐ ܥܠ ܐܦܝܗ ܀ 5 ܘܐܙܠܬ ܘܐܡܪ ܠܝ ܕܝܬܒ ܥܠ ܟܘܪܤܝܐ ܗܐ ܚܕܬܐ ܥܒܕ ܐܢܐ ܟܠ ܘܐܡܪ ܠܝ ܟܬܘܒ ܗܠܝܢ ܡܠܐ ܡܗܝܡܢܬܐ ܘܫܪܝܪܬܐ ܐܝܬܝܗܝܢ ܀ 6 ܘܐܡܪ ܠܝ ܗܘܝ ܐܢܐ ܐܠܦ ܘܐܢܐ ܬܘ ܪܝܫܝܬܐ ܘܫܘܠܡܐ ܠܕܨܗܐ ܐܢܐ ܐܬܠ ܡܢ ܥܝܢܐ ܕܡܝܐ ܚܝܐ ܡܓܢ ܀ 7 ܘܕܙܟܐ ܗܘ ܢܐܪܬ ܗܠܝܢ ܘܐܗܘܐ ܠܗ ܐܠܗܐ ܘܢܗܘܐ ܠܝ ܒܪܐ ܀ 8 ܠܩܢܘܛܬܢܐ ܕܝܢ ܘܠܐ ܡܗܝܡܢܐ ܘܥܘܠܐ ܘܡܤܝܒܐ ܘܩܛܘܠܐ ܘܚܪܫܐ ܘܙܢܝܐ ܘܦܠܚܝ ܦܬܟܪܐ ܘܟܠܗܘܢ ܕܓܠܐ ܡܢܬܗܘܢ ܒܝܡܬܐ ܝܩܕܬܐ ܕܢܘܪܐ ܘܟܒܪܝܬܐ ܐܝܕܐ ܕܐܝܬܝܗ ܡܘܬܐ ܬܢܝܢܐ ܀ 9 ܘܐܬܐ ܚܕ ܡܢ ܫܒܥܐ ܡܠܐܟܝܢ ܐܝܠܝܢ ܕܐܝܬ ܥܠܝܗܘܢ ܫܒܥ ܙܒܘܪܝܢ ܕܡܠܝܢ ܫܒܥ ܡܚܘܬܐ ܐܚܪܝܬܐ ܘܡܠܠ ܥܡܝ ܠܡܐܡܪ ܬܐ ܐܚܘܝܟ ܠܟܠܬܐ ܐܢܬܬܗ ܕܐܡܪܐ ܀ 10 ܘܐܘܒܠܢܝ ܒܪܘܚ ܠܛܘܪܐ ܪܒܐ ܘܪܡܐ ܘܚܘܝܢܝ ܠܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܩܕܝܫܬܐ ܐܘܪܫܠܡ ܕܢܚܬܐ ܡܢ ܫܡܝܐ ܡܢ ܨܝܕ ܐܠܗܐ ܀ 11 ܘܐܝܬ ܠܗ ܬܫܒܘܚܬܐ ܕܐܠܗܐ ܘܢܘܗܪܗ ܐܝܟ ܕܡܘܬܐ ܕܟܐܦܐ ܝܩܝܪܬܐ ܐܝܟ ܝܫܦܗ ܐܝܟ ܕܘܡܝܐ ܕܩܪܘܤܛܠܘܤ ܀ 12 ܘܐܝܬ ܠܗ ܫܘܪܐ ܪܒܐ ܘܪܡܐ ܘܐܝܬ ܠܗ ܬܪܥܐ ܬܪܥܤܪ ܘܥܠ ܬܪܥܐ ܡܠܐܟܐ ܬܪܥܤܪ ܘܫܡܗܝܗܘܢ ܟܬܝܒܐ ܐܝܠܝܢ ܕܐܝܬܝܗܘܢ ܫܡܗܐ ܕܬܪܥܤܪ ܫܒܛܐ ܕܐܝܤܪܝܠ ܀ 13 ܡܢ ܡܕܢܚܐ ܬܪܥܐ ܬܠܬܐ ܘܡܢ ܓܪܒܝܐ ܬܪܥܐ ܬܠܬܐ ܘܡܢ ܬܝܡܢܐ ܬܪܥܐ ܬܠܬܐ ܘܡܢ ܡܥܪܒܐ ܬܪܥܐ ܬܠܬܐ ܀ 14 ܘܫܘܪܐ ܕܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܐܝܬ ܠܗ ܫܬܐܤܐ ܬܪܬܥܤܪܐ ܘܥܠܝܗܝܢ ܬܪܥܤܪ ܫܡܗܐ ܕܫܠܝܚܘܗܝ ܕܒܪܐ ܀ 15 ܘܗܘ ܕܡܡܠܠ ܗܘܐ ܥܡܝ ܐܝܬ ܗܘܐ ܥܠܘܗܝ ܩܢܝܐ ܕܡܫܘܚܬܐ ܕܕܗܒܐ ܠܡܡܫܚܗ ܠܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܘܠܫܘܪܗ ܀ 16 ܘܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܡܪܒܥܐܝܬ ܤܝܡܐ ܘܐܘܪܟܗ ܐܝܟ ܦܬܝܗ ܘܡܫܚܗ ܠܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܒܩܢܝܐ ܥܠ ܬܪܥܤܪ ܐܠܦܝܢ ܐܤܛܕܘܬܐ ܐܘܪܟܗ ܘܦܬܝܗ ܘܪܘܡܗ ܫܘܝܢ ܐܢܘܢ ܀ 17 ܘܡܫܚܗ ܠܫܘܪܗ ܡܐܐ ܘܐܪܒܥܝܢ ܘܐܪܒܥ ܐܡܝܢ ܒܡܫܘܚܬܐ ܕܐܢܫܐ ܐܝܕܐ ܕܐܝܬܝܗ ܕܡܠܐܟܐ ܀ 18 ܘܕܘܡܤܐ ܕܫܘܪܗ ܝܫܦܗ ܘܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܕܕܗܒܐ ܕܟܝܐ ܒܕܡܘܬܐ ܕܙܓܘܓܝܬܐ ܕܟܝܬܐ ܀ 19 ܘܫܬܐܤܐ ܕܫܘܪܐ ܕܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܒܟܐܦܐ ܝܩܝܪܬܐ ܡܨܒܬܢ ܘܫܬܐܤܬܐ ܩܕܡܝܬܐ ܝܫܦܗ ܘܕܬܪܬܝܢ ܤܦܝܠܐ ܘܕܬܠܬ ܩܪܟܕܢܐ ܘܕܐܪܒܥ ܙܡܪܓܕܐ ܀ 20 ܘܕܚܡܫ ܤܪܕܘܢ ܘܛܦܪܐ ܘܕܫܬ ܤܪܕܘܢ ܘܕܫܒܥ ܟܐܦ ܕܗܒܐ ܘܕܬܡܢܐ ܒܪܘܠܐ ܘܕܬܫܥ ܛܘܦܢܕܝܘܢ ܘܕܥܤܪ ܟܪܘܤܦܪܤܐ ܕܚܕܥܤܪܐ ܝܘܟܢܬܘܤ ܕܬܪܬܥܤܪܐ ܐܡܘܬܤܤ ܀ 21 ܘܬܪܥܤܪ ܬܪܥܐ ܘܬܪܬܥܤܪܐ ܡܪܓܢܝܬܐ ܚܕܐ ܠܚܕܐ ܘܟܠܚܕ ܡܢ ܬܪܥܐ ܐܝܬ ܗܘܐ ܡܢ ܚܕܐ ܡܪܓܢܝܬܐ ܘܫܘܩܐ ܕܝܢ ܕܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܕܕܗܒܐ ܕܟܝܐ ܐܝܟ ܙܓܘܓܝܬܐ ܐܝܬ ܒܗ ܀ 22 ܘܗܝܟܠܐ ܠܐ ܚܙܝܬ ܒܗ ܡܪܝܐ ܓܝܪ ܐܠܗܐ ܐܚܝܕ ܟܠ ܗܘ ܐܝܬܘܗܝ ܗܝܟܠܗ ܀ 23 ܘܠܐܡܪܐ ܘܠܡܕܝܢܬܐ ܠܐ ܡܬܒܥܐ ܫܡܫܐ ܘܠܐ ܤܗܪܐ ܕܢܢܗܪܘܢ ܠܗ ܬܫܒܘܚܬܗ ܓܝܪ ܕܐܠܗܐ ܐܢܗܪܬܗ ܘܫܪܓܗ ܐܝܬܘܗܝ ܐܡܪܐ ܀ 24 ܘܡܗܠܟܝܢ ܥܡܡܐ ܒܢܘܗܪܗ ܘܡܠܟܐ ܕܐܪܥܐ ܡܝܬܝܢ ܠܗ ܬܫܒܘܚܬܐ ܀ 25 ܘܬܪܥܝܗ ܠܐ ܢܬܬܚܕܘܢ ܒܐܝܡܡܐ ܠܠܝܐ ܓܝܪ ܠܐ ܢܗܘܐ ܬܡܢ ܀ 26 ܘܢܝܬܘܢ ܠܗ ܬܫܒܘܚܬܐ ܘܐܝܩܪܐ ܕܥܡܡܐ ܀ 27 ܘܠܐ ܢܗܘܐ ܬܡܢ ܟܠ ܛܡܐ ܘܕܥܒܕ ܡܤܝܒܘܬܐ ܘܕܓܠܘܬܐ ܐܠܐ ܐܢ ܐܝܠܝܢ ܕܟܬܝܒܢ ܒܟܬܒܗ ܕܐܡܪܐ ܀
-- Saint John The Divine, (Aramaic) Rev. 21:10-21

Quadoshka, Cherokee path to cosmic
consciousness and union with divinity

"O Thou, the One from whom
breath enters being in
all radiant forms.

O Parent of the universe, from your
deep interior comes the next wave
of shining life.

O fruitful, nurturing Life-giver!
Your sound rings everywhere
throughout the cosmos.

Father-Mother who births Unity,
You vibrate life into form
in each new instant."
-- Jesus, "The Lord's Prayer" translated from the Aramaic Gospels, Abwoon d'bashmaya, by Neil Douglas-Klotz

"Apostleship (church development), Artistic Creativity, Counseling, Craftsmanship, Deliverance (from spiritual oppression), Discernment (of God's will), Evangelism, Giving, Faith, Healing, Helping (assisting) Leaders, Hospitality, Knowledge, Interpretation, Leadership, Mercy, Miracles, Missionary Work, Music, Organization, Prayer, Prophecy, Service, Shepherding, Suffering, Singleness (celibacy), Teaching, Tongues, Voluntary Poverty, and Wisdom"
-- Chuck Griffin, pastor of Fairview United Methodist Church, Jonesborough, in "Spiritual Trails," Herald & Tribune 10/27/09, listing the 30 spiritual gifts as taken from NCD NCD discipleship resources

"In the spring of 1908 members of the Fairview community, inspired by the sermon of Rev. Richard Walker, met in the local Quaker Church envisioning another church in which to worship God. They formed a board of trustees who later purchased an adjacent acre of land for thirty-five dollars. With enthusiasm and prayer, with donations of money, materials, and labor, a building was finished in early 1909. Rev. James Robinette of First Methodist Church in Johnson City refused to complete the dedication service and dismiss the people until the remaining debt of two-hundred and fifty-dollars was resolved. The congregation responded with amounts of twenty-five, ten, and two-fifty until only twenty-five dollars was needed. At his request for small pledges, donors began waving one dollar bills all over the church. This collection totaled twenty-six dollars. Pointing to the back of the sanctuary, Rev. Robinette directed: 'Younder is a cracked lamp bowl, go buy a new one, and we will dedicate this beautiful building as the Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church.' The early Vision was fulfilled." -- door plate describing Church founding

Up-To-Date (Archives) -- A Country Rag Index

By Faith Alone main text and cited graphics c. Kim Upton, remaining unattributed text and graphics c. Jeannette Harris and A Country Rag, Inc. January 2012. Jonesborough, TN. All rights reserved.

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