My God

Written December 1996

I’ve come to realize that God, by whatever name I wish to use, is a being, an entity, a consciousness that loves and accepts me. This Divine entity is within all of us. We are within it. We are one with each other. We are one with God. An envelope that encompasses all creatures great and small. My God is a friend. A friend who loves me because I am me – not in spite of me.

My body is a physical thing. I should take care of it, since it’s the only one I’m going to get. At the same time, I can choose to do with it as I wish.

My Soul is a part of the Divine. God in the broadest sense. God encompasses not only all living beings – but all beings. Those who are – those who ever were – those who ever will be. Each of us is a piece of God. It is this soul that links me with my God.

God is in many ways like a parent, a Mother/Father. I am like a child. I struggle to be on my own. My parents are always there to support me if I allow them to do so. I can snuggle up to my God and know that I am loved, protected, and warmed — no matter what.

My God feels my guilt, my despair, and my joy. God feels the depression of my failure and the exhilaration of my success. She shares the warmth of my inclusion and the cold of my exclusion.

Like a friend, God perceives my feelings and decisions and responds to them. He calls me to pull from those experiences whatever good I can find. I can then move in future directions that will present a greater good.1

Like a mother, my God knows even my most secret thoughts, words, and actions. Still, she is there to hold me as I shed the tears I would hide from the world.

My soul, the souls of those who were, and those who will be, are within God. We are like the leaves on the vine that John talks about.2 Our souls are a dynamic, interactive part of God. My soul is within my body. It will remain there until released at my death. Those souls who are without bodies are the angels of God.3 The souls without bodies are the messengers of God that we find throughout history.

The term “Angel” comes from the Greek word for messenger.4 Maybe Angels are the direct interaction with God through souls with whom we can relate. “Eyeball-to-eyeball” contact with God is scary. Maybe Angels are the physical links between those who are and God. It doesn’t make much difference. The relationship is the important part, whatever the details.

A Theologian from Belermine College reviewed my first draft. He taught me several new words. He tells me that this perception of God is known as PANENTHEISM. I was pleased to know it had a name. That I was not the only person thinking this way. I looked up Pantheism and Panentheism. They will help us understand the basis for much of what I an talking about.

Pantheism is the belief that God is the universe. Everything in the universe is God. God is the eminent force or soul. This is sometimes called absolute pantheism. If we ARE God, if God IS US, then there is no free will, no choice. We simply are divine. What ever God does is “Godly (?)”, Perfect by our definition of God. Therefore we are committed to being perfect. We cannot do otherwise.5

Panentheism is the belief that the universe, or its animating force are a part of God, who is also transcendent. There is a subtle, but very important difference. From a Panentheistic point of view, God is within us. Our soul is a direct connection to God. At the same time, we are a unique entity from which God is transcendent.6

Even the most conservative Christian definition states that God is transcendent. God is an unclassifiable entity. God is beyond the limits of experience and knowledge. God is beyond what we can perceive with our senses.

You may already be blowing off this whole idea. I’m saying. That’s your choice, but Ephesians says One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.7 Corinthians tells us “Now Ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.8

The Baltimore Catechism told us that God is all present, that he is everywhere.9

Paul Tillich, a 20th century theologian and philosopher, stated that “God” refers to the source and ground of all being and that all other statements about him are symbolic. The picture of God constructed by men participates in the ultimate reality but is not in itself ultimate.

1 Mesle. Pg. 15.
2 (KJV) John 15:5.
3 Baltimore Catachism, Saint Joseph Edition, 1964. #19.
4 Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1966.
5 Encyclopedia Britannica, 1994.
6 Encyclopedia Britannica 1994.
7 (KJV) Ephesians 4:6.
8 (KJV) 1 Corinthians 12:27.
9 Baltimore Catachism #11.

Mother’s Passing

Alfreda T. Beeler, my Mother, died on July 16, 1991. She was suffering from Alzheimer’s, a broken hip, collapsed lung, and a cracked rib. I thought she was gone. I’d see her when I too passed on.

We moved her and Dad to our home and made our living room into a hospital room with the help of Hospice. Several times she’d tell Vennie to look at the light. The beautiful light. There was no special light that we could see. The first time, Mother was amazed. The other times it was more enjoying an expected beauty.

Vennie would reassure her. Tell her it was OK to go toward the light if she wanted. Vennie would ask what she saw.

Once she answered, “a man, a woman, and a little child, waiting there in the light”. She either didn’t know or couldn’t say who they were. Maybe they were her Mother and Father with John Javid, the son we lost at just after birth. The inevitable happened and she passed peacefully.

Over the next few months, Mother made her presence known. I kept finding the aspirin bottle top loose. I’m the only one who uses the aspirin. Everybody else uses Tylenol, Advil, and other stuff. I close the safety cap all the way. Mother hated safety caps. She’d leave them open. The top just sitting on the bottle. Was she trying to make her presence known as we let the dead sleep within our hearts?

Vennie kept finding the front door open. It should have been closed and locked. No one was opening it. Mother?

Vennie saw what appeared to be a movement. A person in the hall several times. It must have been a shadow. No one was there. Mother?

These things kept happening over the next six or so months after her passing. We’ve even joked about it. Was she still here since she had died in our living room?

One week , Vennie was in Muleshoe, Texas visiting her family. Muleshoe is 18 miles from Earth. Earth, Texas that is. Anyway, I was Doing the domestic thing at home with our son and daughter, Elaine.

I decided to cook a roast. There were two in the freezer. About 2 inches thick 6 inches by 10 inches. Frozen like rocks. Why not cook both of them.

Use the corning ware. Easier to clean. Won’t fit. I used the good old Ginsu knife to saw them in half. Took over an hour. Instead of deciding there had to be a better way, I got stubborn. Wasn’t about to stop sawing, except to thaw my hands. Success.

All four pieces went into the Corning ware like four slices of toast. Tight squeeze. Hard as a rock. By this time it’s 10:00 at night. Set the oven on 250 degrees. Don’t want to burn them. Half cup of water in the bottom of the pan to keep them moist. Little salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, and Cayenne for good luck.

10:30 and the roasts are in. Opps, I’ve got to get up tomorrow at 5:50. Workday, you know. Can’t stop now. We’ll see how they look at bedtime.

Come midnight and I can’t stand it. I’ve got to get to bed. What’ll I do. Too hot to put in refrigerator. Can’t leave out all night. Too tired to care. Almost jokingly I called on Mother.

“Well Mother, I need your help. Let’s cook this together, cause I’ve got to go to bed. Don’t let it be too bad by morning.”

I went to bed. 12:15 AM.

1:00 AM. I’m wide awake. I know I have to check on the roast. My “toast slices” are fully thawed. Dark brown for the top two inches. Bloody red from there on down. Not much room around the meat. Juice less then two inches from the top. This won’t work. Get out a flat Corning ware casserole with top. Everything fits. Add half inch of the juice. Cover and put in oven. Back into bed without a thought. No idea what time it is.

3:00 AM. Fully awake again. Know I have to check on the roast. Looks perfect. Put on counter. Two pot holders to protect the counter top. Slice the two thickest in the middle. Nice, brown, tender, and juicy. Put top back on to keep the cat out. Back to bed.

5:00 AM. Wide awake again. Got to check on the roast. Cool enough to put in the refrigerator on two holders. Don’t want to crack the class shelf. Back to bed.

5:50 AM. Alarm goes off. I’m as groggy as usual. Stagger to the bathroom.

6:00AM. While sitting on the pot, I suddenly remember the roast. Then I remember the cooking events. Finish on the pot, wash my hands, then check on the roast. Perfect. I looked up with a smile. WE did it. Suddenly the warmest feeling came over me. You know that feeling you get as a kid when your Mama gives you a great big hug? Mother and I had actually cooked the roast together. Just like the time we baked cookies.

=====================

The Mexican Wedding Cookies had been one of the few times Mother and I cooked together. It was on a Saturday morning. It was my first cooking lesson. She tried to teach me how to cook. My sister Lucia would refuse to eat anything if I helped with the cooking of that meal. I learned how to cook in Boy Scouts and when I was a bachelor after college.

Now I know that Mother’s with me. So’s Dad. And other released souls with whom I’ve bonded. I know Dad will always be in the background. Silently supporting. Mother will be in the front. She was always so outspoken. Sometimes to a fault. I assume there are no more secrets between Mother and Dad about me. Maybe there never were. Each just played their perceived roles.

Mary Grace’s Last Visit

What happens when we die? I think we rot, recycle. But I also think we continue on in spirit. Don’t ask me for details, but I have had some experiences. This is the one and only time my God mother, Mary Grace came to visit me.

We were all paying attention to the priest. Deacon Jay intoned, “Let us turn now to those around us and exchange a sign of peace.” Vennie and I kissed , turned and began shaking hands with those around us. I turned, to greet the person behind me. I caught my breath as we shook hands in peace. I was amazed at how much she looked like Mary Grace, my Godmother who had recently died of a heart attack. She gazed into my eyes, smiled took my hand while telling me to be at peace. Returning from communion, Vennie leaned over and asked me if I had noticed how the woman behind us at the sign of peice was the spitting image of Mary Grace. We looked back, she was nowhere to be seen. I asked the lady who was there if she had seen where the lady in the trench coat had gone. The lady did not remember seeing a lady in a trench coat.

Mary Grace knew that I felt bad about not keeping in touch over the years. She wanted to reassure me that we were indeed still in touch. Her body may still be in the casket, but not her soul.

Intercession Offered – Intercession Refused

By Bill Beeler

God was there even when I didn’t listen to his messenger.

Sticking my head through the lace like frame that use to be my passenger side window, I was struck more with curiosity than shock. The cab of my two week old pickup was radiant in the morning sun. Sparking diamonds highlighted every nook and cranny. Glasses, maps, registration papers and star mints flowed from the glove box like fruit from a cornucopia. Morning dew clung to the rest of the windows forming a hazy frame like you see in some old tintypes. For a minute, I was struck by the beauty of the setting.

Reality took hold of my consciousness. Stomach spasms sent bile to the back of my mouth. My heart raced. “We’ve been robbed!” Some punk has messed up our vacation for a lark, for pocket money! That reality made everything look very different, very real.

The window framing my head was a useless, gaping hole. Hundreds of glass chunks swarmed over the seat waiting to ravage cloth seats, bare legs and thin clothes. Once neatly stored goodies were scattered without thought of their importance. Glasses critical for driving tossed carelessly. Insurance and ownership papers crumpled and scattered. Candy littered the floor.

My gait was a little unsteady as I went back to the room to tell my wife, Vennie, and call the police. The police ask me what was taken, only them did I think about what might be missing. In all of my fifty-two years, I have never had to endure a car burglary. You know how it is, the OTHER guy gets broken into. Well, this time it was me. Almost everything taken had more then monetary value.

While waiting for the police, I began to realize that we were blessed.

Blessed?

Yes, blessed in spite of refusing to heed my guardian’s warning.

Yesterday had been an exciting day first day for our trip.

Tired, we decided to find a nice place to stop. Just then, we saw a Best Western sign. They are usually nice, so we decided to pull off. Good, It had a restaurant. We didn’t care for the lounge, but they had all night security. We decided to stay. It was our lucky night, we got their last room.

With the pick-up unloaded and Vennie settled in the room, I went to park. Pulling into an overflow lot, I noticed that I was one of only three vehicles in the lot. My new truck and two older cars. To the front of me was the end wall of the motel. Behind me was some major thoroughfare. There were two security lights. One was not working, but the other was okay.

Turning off the engine, a rather deep male voice said, “Don’t park here.”

“Why not?” I asked aloud. Then I realized that I was in a closed pick-up cab by myself with the radio and air conditioner running. Laughing, I thought it must have been a part of the song. I just misunderstood the words.

Dismissing that nonsense, I secured everything. Camera, glasses, and extra tapes in the glove box. CB, and Vennie’s jacket in the back. Lock all the doors. With one last check, I placed my confidence in the guard on duty.

The Newport police officer explained just how lucky I was. There were probably three thieves, one in the back, one in the front, and one driving their vehicle.

New pick-ups in that area are usually stolen. It is much easier for the thief to steal the vehicle and then take it to a quiet place for a careful search and stripping. My truck was simply burglarized in the lot.

One thief worked the back. He popped open the topper by hand instead of using a pry bar which would have damaged the topper and tailgate. A bent latch bar costing $3.98 was the only damage. He was a big man according to the smudge mark his knee left in the dust on the tailgate. Reaching in, he grabbed my tool box, the plug-in CB, and Vennie’s wind breaker.

A second thief probably worked the front. He hit the window with something heavy, like a tire iron. The officer pointed out that kids or amateurs would have thrown a rock. It would still be inside. He hit the window hard enough to scatter glass all over the cab, but there was no damage to the window frame.

He took four cassette tapes, flashlight, and 35 mm camera from the glove box, but left four more cassettes in the organizer on the seat. He did not try to remove the stereo system and left my gold framed driving glasses.

The officer and insurance adjuster were surprised at the small amount of damage. I’m not. We were blessed. I think intercession was offered. I refused the offer. Maybe my Guardian Angel or Saint Christopher was there to whisper in the thieves’ ear that the cops were coming just at the right moment to minimize the damage.

There may be a blessing for the thieves too. The main event of that first day was visiting a little Baptist church just outside of Knoxville, TN. Beautiful crosses can be seen in the plain, frosted windows during the day. After dark, those crosses really glow. Our camera had almost a full roll of pictures of the church and crosses glowing in the windows. Maybe the person who has the camera got them developed. Maybe the crosses will have a message for him too.

One thing Vennie and I have learned, we are not traveling alone. The next time we hear a voice, we’ll listen.

Gay

Note: The following is a poem I found on a website geared to gay and lesbian youth that I liked very much way back in 1996. As I have started rebuilding the blog, I want to include them. I tried unsuccessfully to contact the poets for their permission. If this is your poem, I would love to hear from you.
"G a y" by Evgeny
(it's also name of the boy to whom I wrote this poem).


It's happening just sometimes,
It's happening from the dreams!
You meeting somebody nice,
That you don't want to loose him.
But you loosing him any way,
You can't do anything more.
Any miracle, any chance,
Will not help you to get him for more.
This not tale, this really life,
True life, with hope and shock.
This can put big knife to your heart,
And destroy him so quickly for all.

Passive Sage

Note: The following is a poem I found on a website geared to gay and lesbian youth that I liked very much way back in 1996. As I have started rebuilding the blog, I want to include them. I tried unsuccessfully to contact the poets for their permission. If this is your poem, I would love to hear from you.
Passive Sage by Roland Thrower

I've been different all my life
yet I've never picked up a knife

I walk naked for the world to see
the person who is really me

They may stare and wonder why
why mustn't he not die!?

I see their bludgeoning words, hit my skin
for I can do little to defend

I have no armor to protect
Nothing but my intellect

Sometimes I wonder: why go on?--
Because of the morning Sun

As I knell down to pray,
Not the ordinary way

I ask for them to understand
I just want to be their friend

Unreachable

Note: The following is a poem I found on a website geared to gay and lesbian youth that I liked very much way back in 1996. As I have started rebuilding the blog, I want to include them. I tried unsuccessfully to contact the poets for their permission. If this is your poem, I would love to hear from you.
unreachable by Danielle

reach out your hand slowly, not quite aware
moving quickly you surly wouldn't dare
slowly growing closer to the fire
we can no longer contain our desire
the kids in the halls are starting to wonder
your feelings and actions are pushing you under
into their world of harsh words and hate
any kind of hell that they could create
your eyes are cloudy and your mind confused
your body is weak and weary, your feeling used
i feel great sorrow when i think of you
we are both alone and scared... not knowing what to do
when i am with you my troubles melt away
but because of our surroundings our feelings must be put on delay
so sit across the room and smile from a distance
until it is safe to stop this harmful, fake resistance

Fighting Over God’s Love

This occurred in Albuquerque, New Mexico while I sold real estate for Falls Land and Development Co. 1970-71

Audie was a handsome, neatly tailored conservative Baptist turned Mormon. Hard working and easy going., he pored over the newspaper to improve his reading skills. Customers never realized that Audy’s sons helped him memorize the contracts. He asked customers to fill in the unique personal data on the contracts to make sure the data was correct. Actually, he did not trust his spelling. You would never guess He was anywhere near his forty-five years. Tom was a rotund Seventh Day Adventist. He killed time reading magazines or watching the game on TV. There was no problem working on Sunday morning. Everybody should know that the Lord’s day was yesterday. Looking down his beak nose, he griped and moaned to anybody within earshot about the terrible state of the world and moral corruption. Tom was sure his sixty years and strong religious convictions gave him the right to issue moral rulings on almost any subject.

Waiting for Sunday morning customers in search of investment property to wander into the real estate office, we got bored. Like whittlers around the stove, we chewed on just about any subject. The Sunday paper often sparked righteous discussions between Audie and Tom. I was one of the group when it came to sales. They respected my salesman-of-the-month trophies. In these conversations though, I was considered a hopeless outsider. Each referred to himself as a “saint” and tried to enlighten the other about how the other was following a misguided faith.

They were God’s artillery corps hurling verse after verse was thrown at from one to the other. Never was there a calm discussion of logic or fact. Only verses to be stated from memory and used as absolute proof of the other’s ignorance. I was not even welcome in these discussions because I tried to reason and be logical. That was heresy indeed. The one thing they agreed upon was the fact that I, a Catholic, was only a slight notch above an atheist. I worshipped statues and a Pope in Rome. They even quoted the same scriptural verses to show that I was a damned sinner beyond hope.

I hate to admit it, but their barrages made me wonder, to doubt even more my worthiness to be with God. They seemed so sure. I have always been so unsure.

Communication between My God and Me

Over the years I have talked to a number of Charismatics and Pentecostals who say that God talks to them on a regular basis. They aren’t Catholics. Most Catholics I know do not really buy this “God Talk” stuff. Most Catholics I know feel that God talks to us through the Church the Pope, the Priest.

A Pentecostal friend says that he actually hears his God. He talks to God, usually while kneeling in prayer by his bed. He often hears God.

“Got to be careful though,” he warns me, “because the Devil will get in there and try to mislead me.”

“How do you know when it’s the Devil talking instead of God?”

“What the Devil tells me doesn’t track with the Holy Scripture, God’s word does. If what I’m hearing contradicts the Holy Scripture, it has to be from the Devil. The Bible is God’s absolute word. If I’m not sure, or don’t understand what’s being said, I talk to my minister.”

Could it be that he has missed some of the best conversations with God? I have come to realize that there is a lot of truth in what a little Trappist Monk explained during a retreat at Gethsemani, KY. The monks are silent. They have a sign language that they use among themselves. I asked him why. He explained in a gentle voice that God talks to us all the time. If we are busy talking or we are bombarded by a lot of unnecessary noise, we will not hear him.

The Baltimore Catechism said prayer was a lifting of our hearts and minds to God.1 The Seeker’s Catechism describes prayer as a loving conversation with God.2

I’ve learned to hear my God, at least sometimes. Hopefully you have too. Rest assured that God is talking to you. Open up your heart and listen, trust. Trust the ear in your h-ear-t.

It was a shock when I realized that I’ve been talking to God for much of my life. He was answering me. I just never really recognized him. He didn’t fit the mold the Nuns said he should fit. I’ve seen the movies and heard the stories about Jesus and Mary appearing lots of places. They always dress like the pictures in church. Mary is always dressed like a Jewish matron of 2000 years ago. Jesus appears dressed like a Jewish traveler of 2000 years ago. That doesn’t make sense. The Bible describes Divine Appearances. What does God really look like? Through history, it’s recorded that Gods come to their people looking like, and dressed like, the people with whom they are visiting. The Bible describes God as contemporary. Therefore if God comes to visit us today, he’s logically still contemporary. He would dress like us, look like us, talk like us, and he would act like us. He would demonstrate his Divinity through his actions, not his dress.

It doesn’t make sense that God would be contemporary two or three thousand years ago – but not today. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? God? The Nuns? The publishers? The film makers? Whatever the answer, I don’t think it’s God’s error. Kind of makes me thing of the TV series where Michael Landon played an Angel. How would people have responded to him if he wore robes and wings? They would have locked the sucker up in a flash.

Could it be that we have the opportunity to talk to God whenever we wish. Most of our lives we don’t. Even when we do, we don’t believe. It’s taken me fifty years to believe, and even then mine is a questioning belief. Over those years, The Divine and I have communicated in many ways. Petitions were the most common. Requests for guidance came later, during the dark years. Now I know that dreams or visions and personal interventions have played a large part as well. I’ll talk more about prayer later.

A little black prayer book I found in the sharing rack at the back of church in Page Arizona shed some light on opening ourselves to God’s words. “. . .Lord, teach me how to pray. Show me that the test lies not in my feelings of devotion or in my knowledge of a technique but in my perseverance and my generosity. The test of the artist and the linguist is this: what happens when emotion, suffering, and excitement intervene? So to with me in prayer. . .”.3

1 Baltimore Catachism # 207.

2 Pennock, Michael Francis, The Seeker’s Catachism: The Basics of Catholocism, Ave Maria Press, Notra Dame, IN. 1994. Pg 106.

3 Zeller, Dom Hubert van, A Book of Privatr Prayer. Templegate Publishers, Springfield, IL. 1960. Pg,143.

Broken and Memorabilia

Note: The following are two of a series of poems I found on a website geared to gay and lesbian youth that I liked very much way back in 1996. As I have started rebuilding the blog, I want to include them. I tried unsuccessfully to contact the poets for their permission. If this is your poem, I would love to hear from you.
Broken by oyster

Your name never spoken my heart lie still and broken.
You never gave me a chance to live,
all you ever wanted from me was to give.
You took my life, you took my gain,
you gave me grief, you gave me pain.
Soon will come one painful day,
a day you will see, a day you will pay.
mailto:tiny@intermind.net


Memorabilia by oyster

As I search through this old box
of old things, and old hearts,
I remember that time of brand new starts.
That time when I believed even magic to be true,
when destiny controlled my life, my fate, and perhaps you.
I see the pictures of smiling faces,
happy people and far away places.
But back to the present my wondering mind drifts,
and the memories of this old box fall back through the rifts.