Monday, January 31, 2011


I have to admit that the folks most likely to set my teeth on edge when I try to contemplate the possibility of the light or the spirit dwelling within them are the ones that would take a map, compass and a backhoe to find it. Maybe.

On a lighter note here's a link to an unusual blog Quaker Pagan Reflections. Yes, the couple who create the entries are Quakers who are also Pagans. There are some wonderful entries about balancing the two streams of their spiritual lives. And yes, the combination does sound and is unusual. However, I've run across some, I'll use dogmatic it's kinder, evangelical types who are very sure that Quakers are practically pagans anyway. Heretics of some kind or another certainly not Christians. Traditional Quakers honor scripture. Many of them know the written word forward, backward and sideways. However sometimes the leading of the Inner Light doesn't agree with the written word. And then. utter chaos:they will usually follow the light. Keep on shining.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


"You will realize that doctrines are the inventions of the the human mind, as it tries to penetrate the mystery of God. You will realize that scripture itself is the work of human minds, recording the example and teaching of Jesus. Thus it is not what you believe that matters; it is how you respond with your heart and actions. It is not believing in Christ that matters, it is becoming like him." from the letters of Pelagius a British theologian. He disagreed, intensely, with Augustine's theology of Original Sin. He's come down through the history of Western Church as a heretic. I first ran across the pesky Britain, oh it must have been twenty years ago. My mention of him during a home visit with our pastor brought an immediate "he was a heretic." OK, we won't go there right now. The Eastern Church wasn't quite so sure about the heresy charges and withheld judgement. He saw the world with different eyes, and what he saw he loved.

The Celtic church is widely believed to have taken its inspiration from the Gospel of John. The emphasis was on listening for God in the world around us. Listen carefully and you can hear the heartbeat of God in all that is around us. It sounds easy, yeah really easy. Until you damn near knock yourself out when you run into the brick wall. If the Spirit is in every man, woman, child, fish and flower then it not only dwells where it's least expected but where it's least wanted. Who do you think of when you find yourself thinking "you really don't mean that the Spirit can be found in ______________?"

Sunday, January 23, 2011


When I started this blog a few years ago, I called it the Cottage by the Hedge. I was interested in the path of the hedgewitch and wild wood mystic at the time and the title seemed to fit. I’ve always had a soft spot for gardens and stone walled cottages with herbs by the door. My path has spiraled a bit to the more traditional side of the hedge, if you can call exploring and sympathizing with your Quaker ancestors traditional.

As I explored I found that there is a common thread in all paths, hope. And it’s walk with hope and love or go under. But, I’m finding hope kind of thin on the ground these days. I guess the last few years have eroded my trust in just about everything but God, (however you see Him/Her) my family and few very close friends.

The president is set to present his constitutionally required State of the Union address early this week. And as I checked out the cable programming for the afternoon, what do I find on the National Geographic Channel? All 9/11 all day long. Including an hour titled Rudi Giuliani’s 9/11. Now, fifty percent of NatGeo is owned by News Corporation which also owns Fox News. Strange bedfellows don’t you think? I’m asking myself why these programs now and I’m not too happy with my conclusions. What the heck I already had a date with a bunch of Ranters, Seekers, Diggers, Quakers and other 17th century British undesirables before I checked out the cable guide. I’ll keep it.