Power For Life Now, January Newsletter

Welcome to 2015!

2015 started with a bang as Jeannine and I hosted the first Tap Into Transformation event of the year the day after New Years Day. Eighteen participants showed up on January 2nd. Our theme honored and celebrated the elephant, which is an endangered species. We had a very special guest with us for the evening, Kristal Parks. Kristal runs a non-profit organization called Pachyderm power. Her mission is to save the elephant. Jeannine and I invited her to tell us about the plight of the elephant and her experiences in fighting the poaching and abuse that have brought elephants to the brink of extinction. Kristal’s story is amazing, poignant, sad, and ultimately hopeful. Click here to visit Kristal’s website if you would like to explore her important work.

ELEPHANT

In our tap dancing, we connected with elephant energy, concentrating on the strength and grace of this magnificent animal. I highlighted steps that allowed us to feel our feet firmly hitting the ground. In tap dance, there are two distinct ways to feel the movement. There is a way of dancing that constantly lifts your body off of the floor; that challenges you to feel the lightness of your being. The other way is to feel the downward motion of steps… to feel your body as a grounded entity, even going so far as to sense this connection running deep to the center of the earth. This kind grounding is very powerful, indeed. And as the group “tapped” into this energy, our steps reverberated with a power and volume that impressed us all. It was awesome to feel this power we all generated as a community, and it gave us a sense of what the elephant may feel all the time. I have a feeling this time spent with the elephant will have lasting effects in all of us. Thank you Kristal, for your work, and helping to inspire us!

For the February Tap Into Transformation, on February 6, 2015, Jeannine and I are going to celebrate the great moves of Michael Jackson. It is Valentine’s month, which I think fits, because of Michael’s great love for love, and for children. One of his constant messages was a call for us to love each other, and he called us to begin by looking at the Man in the Mirror.

MJ DANCE MOVES

How, you may ask, are we going to transfer his moves to tap dancing? Well, the dance has been choreographed, so stay tuned, as the promo video will be out soon! We are dancing to the song BAD… but it is going to be GOOD. At the very least we are going to have fun dancing like one of the best performers ever.

On Valentines Day, Jeannine and I will present our multi-media performance piece, TAP INTO LOVE. It is the true story of how the love of tap dancing brought us together, and the miracles that can happen when you follow your bliss. It is going to be a great alternative for anyone who wants to do something unique and different on Valentines Day evening. We will be serving hors d’oeuvres and refreshments and the cost is only $20.00. If you are interested you can buy tickets by going to www.viriditasllc.com, or you can call 1.888.612.8189.

FIRE TAP DANCE

Continuing our busy time, Jeannine and I are also preparing for our workshop, Tap Into Power For Life. This potentially life-transforming event will be held March 21-22, 2015. It is a two-day workshop that explores areas of your life you want to engage and address – be it joys or pains, dreams or dreads. In this workshop participants are invited to offer the wounds or issues they feel are still with them, holding them back in some way, that they are ready to transform. Jeannine and I facilitate a process that allows breakthroughs so that you can move forward in life with newfound strength, freedom, creativity and wholeness. Using the arts as a tool of exploration, expression and healing we begin with simple tap steps (no experience is necessary) as we explore what is in us to be stomped and stepped, tapped and touched, acknowledged and honored, remembered… even forgiven. Using storytelling and an array of props, along with our counseling experience and the arts as a doorway, Jeannine and I help participants in their personal journeys and spiritual evolution. The environment is safe, intimate and sacred. This will be the second time we are offering this, and we are very much looking forward to it.

Our JOY COLLABORATIVE website now has five offerings. The newest piece is called Tap Dancing with the Royal Drummers of Burundi. I love their enthusiasm and joy, and the rhythms these marvelous musicians create. Jeannine and I so wanted to dance with them somehow. So, using iMovie and its green screen magic, I created a video where we combined our tap dancing with their drumming and dancing. Here is the link: www.thejoycollaborative.com/listen. Enjoy!

ROYAL DRUMMERS OF BURUNDI

On January 17th, I had the incredible privilege to preach a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fred Peterbark, the head of recruiting for the music department at the University of Colorado Boulder was giving a concert in honor of Dr. King’s birthday. He asked me to deliver Dr. King’s 1957 sermon, Love Your Neighbor. The concert was at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado. I must say, it was amazing to try and channel Dr. King in this manner. The sermon is 40 minutes long and expresses his philosophical approach and belief in non-violent social change.

If you have not heard it, I encourage you to take the time. Dr. King was only 28 years old when he delivered it. To hear Dr. King deliver the sermon click here.

LOVE - mlk

On Sunday, February 8th, I will be conducting the choir at First Methodist Church of Boulder, for their annual gospels/spirituals Sunday. This event is in celebration of Black History Month. The church, located in downtown Boulder, has a beautiful sanctuary and is known for their wonderful acoustics. I have presented there in the past and have enjoyed the people and the atmosphere of the church itself. For this program, I have been invited to teach the chancel choir a spiritual and gospel song for them to perform in the worship service that Sunday. We will be performing the song, DEEP RIVER, as well as a gospel song to be announced. Service begins at 10:30am.

First United Methodist Church Boulder

Lastly, I am thankful to begin another New Year. I have love, work, family, goals… and support for them. I am connected to God in a powerful way, and am growing. And I have power for the life I am called to live. I hope you can say the same.

May you have Power For Life Now!
JUMPING DAVID
David

 

 

Divine Intervention

Divine Intervention is a tricky topic.

Humans have been praying for divine intervention since we could figure out to do that.

divine_intervention- 1

God…is not a Genie… and divine intervention may or may not happen the way we desire it… if it happens at all.

As a 58-year-old man, son of a minister who is also a minister, I am writing this to see what I think of this matter now… today.

I think God is always with us.

I think everything is contained IN God, but not all that happens is OF God.

Just as I can be the head of a household and all that happens in the house is contained in my purview, so to speak, everything that happens may not be OF me – as other people in the house can do things I may not approve of.  That is due to free will, which we all have.

Things happen in God’s world that is not OF God. They happen because God has given us free will; and free will necessarily allows for evil… for bad things… otherwise it would not be free will.

Soldiers on the battlefield, whether they volunteered or were drafted, are in war. The ones that volunteered used free will to say yes to military service, and the ones drafted have said yes to the law, even if they didn’t want to serve; even as others have use their free will to leave the country, or refuse service, stay and suffer the penalty under the law. Nevertheless, we expect war to be violent and deadly. Chaplains are on the battlefield NOT to ask for God to intervene specifically to save life, but mainly to be a symbol of God’s presence with the soldier; a powerful reminder that God is with us no matter the situation we are in; no matter how dire or life threatening.

Divine intervention may look like a miracle of instantaneous healing, or it may be a friend showing up when you need a friend to show up. It may be living longer than the doctors give you, or it may even be dying before time so as not to suffer for years and years.

But what about those who do suffer for years and years? And what about all the oppression and suffering that can last for decades and lifetimes on our planet? Or, the racism that keeps people marginalized? Or, any other of human foibles you want to throw into the pot?

Divine intervention may be the wrong term altogether.

Perhaps a better term is divine recognition. Perhaps we humans need to become more consciously aware that God never intervenes because God is ALWAYS with us.

The intervention is actually PRESENCE. Now, because we pray for certain results and don’t get them does not mean that the Creator has not “shown up”… doesn’t care… or has no power.

I have seen first hand people hold incredible peace in the face of death… their own death. I have also seen people face death in fear and still arguing with family members, etc.  This is truly sad.

Jesus says….”My peace I give you. Not as the world gives.” But we must CLAIM what God has informed us we have as our inheritance as sons and daughters of God. God and God’s peace and power are always with us, reaching through… to touch us, if we are brave enough to open our hearts to discover what has been there all along.

divine_intervention_by_santiago_perez-d6oioki

Now, in a case like the Ferguson, MO, a shooting that happened in August 2014, you may wonder where was the divine intervention?

Perhaps there was none. It would seem so, anyway, to the naked eye; depending on which side of the tragedy you lean towards.

Unfortunate things happen all the time, as we all know.

I am not a believer in a higher power because of physical security. I don’t believe that God will intervene to keep me from hurt, harm or danger, and leave someone else hanging, as we say. God is no respecter of persons even though people like to believe that God favors those who believe. I believe God loves us all, and those who are God-conscious are more able to partake in the graces of God because they are aware of energy field of love that surrounds them at all times.

I believe the favor is in the field… the energy field that is around you – as a belief system. Just as Jesus had an aura and a countenance that looks like what we call a halo; we too… all of us… carry an energy around us that is a perfect picture of our soul energy. Does it protect us? Perhaps – from allowing the world’s hurts to hurt our spirit, but not necessarily our bodies.

Jesus let us know that those who are believers in God are part of a powerful spiritual family and community. Not one of us can be stolen or taken by anything that opposed the Divine.

But what does that mean against a backdrop of illness, sickness, accidents, crimes, tragedies, etc… that are part of this world?

Grace is the recognition of how fortunate we are to remain in our bodies to continue our earth experience. People of all faiths, no faiths, and various and sundry ilk all have close calls, near misses, and unfortunate occurrences, etc.  We should recognize that that which keeps us from harm or keeps us even during harm… is Divinity, no matter what happens. It is always…. “Thy will be done.”

Still, the scriptures teach us that we have not because we ask not. So, ask for what you want.

When my wife was sick with cancer, we had faith healers come out to pray and lay hands on her. We had ministers praying… we had people of faith coming by to pray. We did all the things that faith tells us. Still, she died just when as the doctors told us she would months before.

Why didn’t God intervene? And… I am a minister on top of all of that! Doesn’t that count for something?

However… the night before my wife died, I was very low in spirit, from watching her suffer as she labored to breathe. When I went to get some tea, an orderly pulled me aside and told me not to give up, as he could see the loss of hope in me. He told me of people who were at the brink of death; who then came back.

This helped me immensely. I went back into the room and had enough hope that I decided to read from the bible to Linda. I began reciting Psalm 121 in my mind… almost automatically… not knowing that it was what I was going to read in the bible.

That, to me was divine intervention. It is as if God put in my mind what God wanted me to communicate to Linda.

I retrieved the Bible and Linda said, “Are you going to read from the Bible to me?” I said, “Yes, honey.”

I found the scripture and read the whole thing. The last words are… “God watches over your coming and going, now and forevermore.”   Afterwards, my wife thanked me. I said, “You’re welcome.”

She then went into her last breaths and passed on within a minute of my reading.

The divine intervention was there. Not in saving her life, but in giving her peace… and permission to leave, as this Scripture was an exit Scripture. I did not know this when it came to me. I learned of this from my grief counselor later. The Scripture helped to awaken both of us to the energy of divinity, which placed her, in a conscious way, in the immediate care of the Divine. I say immediate in terms of a palpable energy, as if we were at the altar of the Almighty. It is not that it wasn’t there… it was that we attuned to it.

DIVINE INTERVENTION 3

God was in all of it. The hospital, the doctors, etc., but this was a special pouring out; or recognition of a presence. It was grace… ushered in through the willful act of reading spiritual material…of acknowledging God

I did not know Linda was going to leave then. But God did, and “intervened” to “show up” in a way that was specific for Linda.

It was not what my children and I wanted, but it may have well been what Linda needed.

Intervention… grace…. recognition of divine presence…. of knowing there is a God who is always with us, no matter what…?

That is miracle and love… indeed.

May you have Power For Life Now!
David

 

Sharpettes & Annie Ruth’s Truths, January 2015

I began creating what I call Sharpettes over 30 years ago. As a speaker and writer they became my own way of sharpening my understanding of the meaning, power, and energy of a single word. I am sharing them publicly now in hopes that you will enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

The first line is the word.
The second line defines or describes the word twice, 4 syllables for each attempt. You may place a comma or semi-colon between each attempt. So, the second line has a total of 8 syllables.
The third line is a simile. It always begins with the word “Like”, and paints a picture of the word in 10 or 11 syllables.

On some Sharpettes the 4th or 5th syllable of the third line will rhyme with the word on the first line itself. This can yield another insight into the word chosen, and provides a unique and fun poetic challenge.

Enjoy!
David

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honesty

Honesty
Straightforwardness; Truth’s closest friend
Like children playing and water falling.

 

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MOM-AND-ME-IN-TAP-POSE-240x300

 

Annie Ruth’s Truths are my renderings of folk wisdom and country common sense, gained from a lifetime of listening to my mom, who has a unique way with words, as well as a witty, joyous and playful attitude to go with it!  Always fun or sassy, they tell the truth and can make you laugh, shake your head and go “Hmph!” or even make you shout, “Whaaat?!”

 

My twenty-two year old daughter calls her 80 year-old grandmother (my mother, Annie) and complains about getting older.

“Maw-maw (her pet name for Annie Ruth)… I don’t want another birthday.”

Annie Ruth: “Well, you better, because not having one means you’ll be dead.”

Enough said.