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This is the dawning of a new day…where you will find God.

This is the post excerpt.

Reflections Blog

Here you will find messages inspired by God to you.  This is very different than the Book Series.

Book Series Information

Title…

I and Thou: Reflections on God, Scripture and Human Relationships by Ruth Walton

Here is where you can track the progress of the book series.  The writing is complete.

In a nutshell, it is a cross between a self-help and a daily devotional.   The launch of the first book will be January 2021!  In the meantime, you can read excerpts on:

https://www.facebook.com/IandThouReflections/

IandThou_FBTake4

First blog post

I and Thou – Zero Contact

Blog_Pic56Relationships are not simple, far from it. Many parents have experienced children who pull away – sometimes for reasons parents can’t figure out others for apparent reasons. Children who distance themselves from parents believe the parents failed in some significant way – typically unbeknownst to them. The parent is left befuddled and profoundly heartbroken. Like a limb that has been severed; yet still feel is there. Human relationships are fragile. A relationship with the Divine is 100% contact. Faith in God is your rock. For those of you who have zero contact with your children – don’t lose hope. As long as there is breath in life – so is there a chance of reconciliation. Today, tomorrow or the day after. May you find restoration.

 

I and Thou – Global Pandemic Part 2

Family Roots.

These unprecedented times in which we now live may cause you to reflect upon the Pandemic of 1918.   Did the 1918 global event impact your family?

It has certainly inspired me to do a bit of family research. I am grateful that my Mom wrote down some of our family history in 1993, of which, I paid little attention to until now.

Since my dad was bBlog_Pic55orn in 1918, I thought maybe somewhere in my family history I could find out whether or not the pandemic affected my family tree. And, yes, sadly, I did discover a death in my family due to the Pandemic of 1918.

According to History.com (https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/1918-flu-pandemic)…

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans. The 1918 flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before swiftly spreading around the world. At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer flu strain. Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended its deadly global march.

My maternal grandparents were married in 1910. My maternal grandmother who died way before I was born (at the age of 48), had 5 pregnancies. Her eldest son, died at age 3 from whooping cough. In 1912 she gave birth to  a girl and in 1919 she gave birth to twins, a vibrant girl and a stillborn. 5 years later, in 1924, my mother was born. It turns out she had scarlet fever at age 9. Quarantine signs appeared on the doors of her home indicating no one could enter for 30 days. She writes that she felt like a leper because everything she had touch had to be burned including her toys and books. Hmmm. That explains a lot.

My maternal grandmother was born in 1890, making her 28-29 years old during the Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919. She was one of 7 children. It was my grandmother’s sister who died during the Pandemic of 1918. My great Aunt Bess, (not to be confused with my not “great” Aunt Bess) was born in 1893 and died at age 26 in 1919 leaving two small children behind. I never knew them. (as far as I know).

My father, the youngest of seven children, was born in 1918.

From theconversation.com/past-pandemics, “Those conceived or in gestation during the 1918-19 flu crisis in the US had reduced educational attainment, lower lifetime incomes, and disability rates that were 20% higher compared to those in other birth cohorts.”

I regret not asking him if he felt any impact of the pandemic on his childhood. What I remember most about my own childhood was the reference to “the Great Depression” of 1929. We (me and my siblings) never knew how good we had it – my parents would remind us quite often, especially if we were complaining. My father left school in the 8th grade to care and support his family. Later on, as an adult, my father earned his GED. My father was a sheet metal worker and died from pulmonary fibrosis in 1992.

As of today, June 28, 2020 there have been 10 Million people who have tested positive for Covid19 with 500,000 deaths so far. In the US, there are 2.5 Million cases with over 127,000 deaths. If this Covid19 virus is anything like the 1918 flu, we will be experiencing infections for the foreseeable near future.

To end on a more positive note, live each day as if there were no tomorrow.  Be kind.  Be gentle and please think before you speak. (that goes especially for me!)  God has a purpose for your life.  Go live it!!

As an update to my April 13th post –

My long time friend from high school lost her dad to Covid 19.  Both of her parents had the virus and her father passed away while her mother was recovering from the virus in a rehabilitation center.  So sad, to hear that a couple married for so many years that one spouse could not attend the funeral of the other.  On the other hand, maybe that was a good thing? May God rest his soul.

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/211528513717826885/

 

 

I and Thou – Memorial Day

 

Today is Memorial Day. A day to remember people who have lost their lives for the sake of freedom. Yet, today is different. Something seems radically different. A renewed sense of hope is emerging as the country slowly begins to open back up from the ravages of the global pandemic. Be cautious. Life is short. Every day is precious.IMG_0528

  • Take time to reflect.  Pay homage to veterans. Mourn with the families of nearly 100,000 who have lost loved ones over the past few months.
  • Take time to connect. Most of us have had our lives turned upside down.  Reach out to family and loved ones with a phone call. Order a surprise gift by mail. Write and send off a letter.
  • Take time to enjoy. Stop and smell the flowers. Notice how many shades of yellow are in a daffodil.  Count how many different trees you see in a park.   
  • Take time to listen. What types of sounds do you hear in the morning? Or, at night? Hear the birds chirp. Listen to the frogs.  Hear the fire snap in the fire pit. Listen to the owl hoot far off in the distance.
  • Take time to see. The leaves sway back and forth. The stars shine and sparkle. The clouds glide by.

We mourn together as a nation. Lay aside political views. Honor those who have lost their lives in service to our county.  Let’s learn from past mistakes, so we can move forward together toward a new normal.

Be well, be safe!

 

 

Photo Credit: American Legion Hall. Clarksville, AR by Ruth Walton

 

I and Thou – Love, Sweet Love

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Love for a child,
Runs deep in the soul.
Anger shades the leaves so green.
Love for a child,
Runs deep in the soul.
Shame shades the leaves so red.
Love for a child,
Runs deep in the soul.
Blame shades the leaves so brown.
The tree grows and matures through time,
The leaves once green are now so brittle.
Deep in the roots the tree lives on,
The roots fed by love sweet love.

 
Photo Credit:  Abhishek Kumar

I and Thou – Global Pandemic

Easter 2020

Online church services.
Passover Seders through zoom.
Communion in homes.
Choirs singing virtually.

In Arkansas…

  • 1,280 confirmed Covid19 cases
  • 27 deaths

In Massachusetts…

  •  25,475 cases
  • 756 deaths

In New Jersey…

  • 61,000+ cases
  • 2,350 deaths

In New York…

  • 188,00+ cases
  • 9,000+ death

In the United States…

  • 558,000 cases
  • 22,000 deaths

The numbers are everywhere.
Online. On CNN. On MSNBC.
On local news stations. Unless you live under a rock, the impact is real.

How deeply are you affected by this virus? The stay-at-home orders? The work from home orders? Wearing facial coverings in public? Did you ever think you would live to see this day? 90% of the country has shut down.

Loss of celebrations.  Loss of livelihood. Loss of time with loved ones. Loss of life. It becomes personal when you know people in your circle who have tested positive and who have lost their lives because of this virus.  Until that happens, it really isn’t all that personal.

I’d like you to meet David Hoganauer.

He attended Prospect Presbyterian Church in Maplewood, NJ, where my two children attended Nursery School. I was a substitute teacher when needed. That is how I knew David.  He was one of those people who smiled at everyone. The neighbors. The children. The nursery school teachers. He was gentle and kind. He passed away last week.

https://obits.nj.com/obituaries/starledger/obituary.aspx?pid=195900208

I’d like you to meet GeeGee.

I met GeeGee in Tai Kwon Do Class.
No, not for me – for my sons.  But, GeeGee did take the class, her husband, and her daughter.  It was a family activity.  That was many years ago.  GeeGee is a Dean at a local community college in NJ.   She tested positive. Was ill. Has recovered.

I’d like you to meet Beth.

Beth is the daughter of my friend Maryann. Maryann and I attended Wednesday Bible Class together for several years at Wyoming Presbyterian Church in New Jersey. Beth works in NY.  She tested positive, was sick, and has now recovered.

On this pandemic Easter 2020, let’s us all become one. One in spirit. One in friendship. One in love.

Blog_Pic53Photo Credit: blissshine.com

Easter is…

A time of refreshment
A time of renewal
A time of rebirth
A time of new birth

A time for planting
A time for plowing
A time for joy
A time for sorrow

A time of reorganization
A time of recommitment
A time of reconciliation
A time of rededication

A time for life
A time for death
A time for caring
A time for loving

A time of retreat
A time of reflection
A time of restoration
A time of resurrection

 

I and Thou – Numbing Times

Blog_Pic52300,000+ Covid-19 cases in US
8,000+ Covid-19 deaths in the US

Today seems to be a good day, to begin with, a prayer.

Dear God,
As our nation and the world grieves for those who have suffered, are suffering, and those who are yet to suffer, lift your country, your world, your creation up to God.  Pray that God will comfort those who are facing death. Weak with labored breathing. Void of their loved ones. Alone. Pray for our health care workers. Doctors. Nurses. Therapists. A warm hand. A warm smile. These front-line angels who are the last people on earth your dying brothers and sisters are seeing. Thank God, for these angels who are connecting patients with their loved ones by cell phone, or other technologies. Thank God, for signs in windows. For claps at night in the streets for front-line workers. Ask God for courage. The courage to help neighbors in need. Even if it means staying home. You need to do your part to limit the spread of this deadly virus.  Ask God to provide the strength of Samson to each front-line worker. Health care workers. Public safety workers. Grocery stockers. Grocery cashiers. Corporate leaders who are stepping in and out of their game to help the greater good.  Thank you, God. As you enter HOLY WEEK, this week, say a prayer each day of gratitude. Gratitude for what you have. Amen.

Today is also a good day for a spiritual check-in.

How are you? How is your spirit?

This pandemic has extraordinarily impacted you in some way, shape, or form. Whether it be wearing a face covering when you embark on your food shopping trip or finding websites spinning in never-never land. Or, working from home, or not working at all. Weeks have gone by, and your life is different. There seems to be much more noise. More news. More chaos. It is more difficult to calm your spirit. To take a deep breath. To take all of this in. Stop. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Count to 10. And then open your eyes. Are you breathing? Then, you have life! Life to live. Life to love. It is okay to feel sadness. To feel lonely. To feel hopeless. When you do – take a breath. And remember you have life! Life to hope and life to love. Reach out to those you love. It only takes a few minutes to pick up the phone. In these times, it is essential to hear a voice. If you have no one to call – Call God. God hears all.

 

Photo Credit:  <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background photo created by kjpargeter – http://www.freepik.com</a&gt;

I and Thou – Heart is Home

blog_Pic51Home is where the heart is, so you say. You have all heard this before. Yet, after 15 days of “social distancing,” maybe home isn’t really where the heart is.
Where is your heart? Is it with family? Friends? Or is it sad and lonely? Is it reaching out to those you love? Or, is it making amends of a fractured relationship?  Home is where you feel attached.  And, that may just be in your heart.  And, your heart wants to feel loved. It wants to feel comfortable. It wants to feel secure.    Safe.   Safe from hurt.   Safe from harm.
As the country shuts all non-essential services, it creates the opportunity to assess what is indeed essential in life. Don’t look backward for the what-ifs. Look forward to what’s next. You now have the time to dream. Or, at the very least, to contemplate what is really important. Dig within yourself to create that bucket list of what you want to do in the years ahead.
Spend more time with family.
Spend more time reading.
Spend more time with friends.
Spend more time doing what you love to do – whatever that is.
Name it. And, why don’t you create a cute container that you can write a note to drop in?
In fact, how about list the following:
One activity you want to spend more time doing.
One act of kindness you want to do next week.
One book you want to read in the next 30 days.
Take this gift of “shelter in place” and make it count for yourself and for others.
Humanity in the face of a global pandemic…starts with you!

[Photo Credit: Rainbowswithinreach]

I and Thou – The Beacon

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You are a beacon of God’s light.
The light reflecting on water from the moon.
The light at the end of a tunnel.
The light that inspires us.
The light of strength, energy, confidence, and encouragement.
The light that guides others to the love of God.
The love of friends and family.
The love that comforts us in grief.
The love that rejoices in our accomplishments.
An unconditional love.
Love for ourselves, others, and strangers.
Love for humanity.
The desire inside all of us – to be the beacon of light.


Image credit:  http://www.lightworkerenergyart.com/

I and Thou – New Year…New Path

The Bible isBlog_Pic49 a living document that speaks to each person in their own unique way. It is the Holy Spirit dwelling within you who discerns the word of God. The words of God that are in your heart and mind need to direct your path. These words can profoundly influence each decision that you make in your life. For each choice, there is a wide path and a narrow path. God walks beside you on either one. You choose one over the other for many different reasons. Some go back and change their minds. Others realize the wrong path and then have to live that path until another way becomes available. God does walk alongside; yet, some do not know. Many seek God in deep distress. And that is okay. When you surrender and ask God to participate in all your decisions, life becomes more bearable, and your path will become more evident. When you stick to the principles that God has outlined in scripture, you will prosper. And, in so doing, you will experience God’s love where you are. Where ever that may be. The place that God has led you to. For now.  Wishing you a new path, full of joy and love for 2020.

Photo Credit:  Dominic Martinelli