Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Healing Touch

During this Lenten season Pastor Kris has been has been reflecting on the theme “Sensing the Gospel” during the Wednesday evening worship services. Two weeks ago she talked about the sense of touch. This reminded me of one of the events that happened to me at Holden Village. Each winter in February we had visitors from St. Placid Priory, a women’s monastic community in Olympia, Washington. Sister Monica and one or two of the other sisters would come for retreat and when they arrived the old spinning wheels in the attic of the dining hall would appear and the sisters would teach us how to spin sheep’s wool into yarn. I never could get the hang of that, but quite a few people did, including several of the children. It was always a special week when they came. However, I digress.

In February of 2007, a couple of the sisters from the priory were at Holden on their annual visit. One of the sisters had a special gift as a healer who practiced what is called “the Healing Touch.” She explained that we all have this electrical field surrounding our bodies and the healing touch involved passing her hands over the body through this field. This did not involve actual touching, but rather passing her hands over the body through this electrical field while praying silently. At the time I was having worse than usual aches and pains in my legs and back. Skeptic that I am, I was both curious and ready to try anything that might help. I signed up for a session with her and it was amazing. After about 45 minutes, I got off the table and honestly had absolutely no pain anywhere in my body. I had spent the entire time totally concentrating on relaxing and releasing the pain while she was doing this. I had two days of complete relief from pain following this session. This woman had a real gift of the healing touch which she shared with others and I was lucky to be in the place where I could be blessed by her gift. 

Gail Johnson

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tony's Gift

Throughout grade school I was the smallest boy in my class. I was short and skinny.  I remember being referred to as Shrimp Boat as in the “Shrimp boats is a-comin’” song.  That was fine except my size made me an easy target for bullies.  There were a couple of boys in my class that would pound on me from time to time.  I learned to avoid them.  One of the boys was named Mark.  I really disliked Mark.  No, I hated Mark and the name Mark.  The chubby boy in the class was Two-Ton Tony.  His full name to playground comics was Two-Ton Tony Full of Baloney.  One day Tony pulled me aside and told me about Mark.  He said that Mark’s Dad beat him.  I was shocked.  I was used to the idea that there was meanness and danger in the world.  But home was safe.  It was where I got unconditional love and support.  Yeah, I got yelled at and the occasional swat on the behind, but the idea of my Dad beating me was incomprehensible.  I felt sorry for Mark.  I actually felt compassion for him.  I still avoided him because I still didn’t like being pounded.  But I no longer hated him or his name.  Thanks, Tony.

Tom Petersen

Monday, December 7, 2015

Following Jesus

Of all the gifts God has bestowed on me, Jesus is the most important one.  God sent Jesus to show us how to live. If I am a follower of Jesus I want to use his life as an example for mine.
Jesus showed us how to love all, serve all, and welcome all. Feeding the hungry, helping the homeless, caring for those who are ill, spreading kindness to all are some of Jesus’ teachings that I should be trying to emulate.  However it is easy for me to forget these things during everyday living. I know I am not doing a very good job of doing these things but I try. Some of the issues that I am most concerned about are environmentalism, homelessness, immigration and peace making. I am becoming aware that peace making may be the most important as it probably covers all the other issues. I am not yet an activist on any of these issues. I spend time reading and talking about them, I sign petitions occasionally (for whatever good that does) and I pray that I will become more outgoing and really get actively involved.
For the past several years my mantra has been “Be still and know that I am God,” ps. 46:10. This verse quiets me and helps me focus on a loving God who wants us to help bring God’s kingdom to earth. Jesus is our example of how we can work toward this.

God, help me to follow the example of Jesus so I may be a blessing to others in my life.  
Gail Johnson