FEBRUARY 2017

Graphic of sun with Valenties Day chocholates

BRYN ATHYN HISTORY from BRYN ATHYN POST

JULY 1, 1965 Rick Simons and Don Robbins left on Wednesday of last week for California on bicycles. Rick is writing articles for the Breeze while on the trip.

August 26, 1965 Don Robbins and Rick Simons arrived in Los Angeles at midnight on August 18th. The last thousand miles of their bicycle trip which started from Bryn Athyn on June 23rd was greatly speeded up and facilitated by a friendly truck ride from Salt Lake City to San Francisco. In their trip across the continent they stopped in eight or more N.C. [New Church] homes and received heartwarming hospitality not only from these friends, but also in the homes of countless complete strangers all the way across our wonderful land….

January 13, 1966 Under the leadership of Bishop W.D. Pendleton and director Dan McQueen, twenty-five Bryn Athyn Boys Club members braved bitter cold and winds to start a Borough Clean-up drive last Saturday. With the Bishop driving a jeep and McQueen, a pick-up truck, teams of boys scoured roadsides to collect trash and papers.

February 17, 1966 Mr. Theodore Klein has been given a Teaching Assistantship in Philosophy of Education at Harvard University.

WINTER

Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.
Winter is a season of:
Cold hands and warm hearts
Mitten weather                  Ogden Nash.

QUOTATIONS

“He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.” - Leo Tolstoy

In reference to masculinity and femininity, especially in marriage, Emanuel Swedenborg wrote in his book, MARRIED LOVE, number 32: “The difference essentially consists in this, that the inmost quality in masculinity is love, and its veil wisdom, or in other words, it is love veiled over with wisdom, while the inmost quality in femininity, is that same wisdom, the wisdom of masculinity, and its veil the love resulting from it….Therefore from creation there was implanted in both male and female a love of uniting into one.” “And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed the flesh in its place. And the rib which Jehovah God had taken from the man He built into a woman, and brought her to the man. And the man said, ‘This time it is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh; for this she shall be called wife, for she was taken out of man.’” - Genesis 2:21-23

AMISH SAYINGS

A child can read a parent’s character before he can read the alphabet.

Excuses are the nails that hold together the house of failure.

It is better to hold out a helping hand than to point a finger.

Strange how much we’ve got to know before we know how little we know.

Develop a forgiving attitude.

If you are not happy today, what day are you waiting for?

Pray for a good harvest but continue to hoe.

EDITORIAL OPINION – TOUGH LOVE

Oh, I guess that it was about seventeen years ago that my wife encouraged me to apply for a job that I had previously had. I did apply and at the job interview I walked into my potential employer’s office. I was surprised to see that he was not alone. Another member of his office staff sat next to him. I sat directly opposite them and she sat about five feet from him. Then I noticed something strange.

After they greeted me, the lady began to move her shoulders gently from front to back. It was an odd sight. Then I saw my potential employer staring at her boobs which she was swaying from side to side. After about fifteen seconds of this spectacle, he seemed to withdraw his consciousness from his obsession with her chest. He turned his head away from her and tried to concentrate on me. He cleared his voice and said, as I recall, “Ah, we should ask some questions.” He proceeded to but I had lost interest in working for and with him. I said little and the interview was soon over. And now, today, I would ask him if this is anything other than the very truth. He knows it isn’t. My account is accurate.

I wonder if he cared then about this woman’s husband and I wonder if she cared about the man’s wife. Obviously not. Lust seemed to consume them. I will add that this man had a fondness for hugging people, often sighing after the hug with a moan of apparent enjoyment and self-satisfaction. So I have observed.

Also I conclude from this job interview that, in my opinion, this man’s spirit was not obedient to the Lord’s words: THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY. (Exodus 20:14) He seemed to ignore totally His Divine Command. I believe that the Lord’s words meant nothing to him that day in his office long ago. He may have regenerated since the time of my job interview, but consider the following:

In last October’s issue of SUNSHINE, I related another experience (in 2016) that I had with this man at a local restaurant. There he revealed his anger toward me. I had written, “I sensed his rage and even his desire to smash my face.”

It was quite clear to me that at that time that he could care less about the implications of the Lord’s words in Genesis, chapter 20, verse 13, THOU SHALT NOT MURDER. I do hope that he has not encouraged others to be supportive of his sense of murderous anger at me. No true friend of his would so support and solidify those apparent infernal feelings in his soul toward me.

Further I wonder if his apparent public nervousness is caused by the possibility that the Lord’s Ten Commandments are not ruling and guiding his life. He may be quite skilled in the art of communication, especially in counseling people with emotional disturbances in the natural mind. He seems to have many “people skills.” But without the principles of the Ten Commandments ruling in the human mind, spiritual chaos abounds there and bodily nervousness may result.

Yet I do not desire to expose and mock this man. No, not at all. And I think that I am not a bit better than he is. Perhaps we are somewhere on journeys going away from an enjoyment in hell’s pleasures to finding joy in heaven’s lifestyle. And we may find enlightenment in this insight by a man named Stephen Covey: “We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” We, all of us, are spiritual beings whose natural humanity needs to be transformed into angelic humanity.

The man I am critiquing is a spiritual being and I am a spiritual being on journeys, I hope, toward living more truly human lives. And I do hope that he can rise above any anger he may have toward me for expressing my opinions about him. I hope that he comes to a point where he says to himself: “Damn it, Richard is right and I will change. I have come to see that he is my friend by being brave enough to share his tough love with me. Now, Richard is unaware of many other burdens I carry, but I think his assessments of me are essentially correct and useful to me.” I would suggest humbly to this man that he consider serving as a guide at our Cathedral. I can envision him there on Saturdays and Sundays and perhaps on warm spring and summer evenings, talking informally with our many visitors. He can learn to become a patient fisherman there, answering the question, “What are the doctrines of this church?” Maybe later, visitors he has met with and to whom he has represented the Lord, will talk among themselves, echoing a statement made long ago about the Lord: “Never a man spoke like this Man.” (John 7:46) The new truths still need to be preached to those who are thirsty for them.

THE BARRIERS INSIDE by Anonymous

Lord, I wish to live a long life,
but I fear growing old.
I want to accomplish great things,
but I fear risking what I already have.
I desire to love with all my heart,
but the prospect of self-revelation makes me shrink back.
Perhaps for just this day,
you would help me reach out.
Let me bypass these dreads and see instead
your hand reaching back to mine –
right now – just as it always has.,

WEED POWER

Even in our toughest moments, Lord, we yearn to grow into fullest flower.
Give us a faith as resilient and determined as dandelions pushing
up through pavement cracks. - Anonymous

A FLOWER

God’s plans, like lilies, pure and white, unfold;
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart;
Time will reveal the chalices of gold. - Mary Louise Riley Smith

EYES by Richard Linquist

“The Lord was seen by me, in a dream, with the face and form in which He had been when He was in the world…. There was a certain one at no great distance from Himself, on whom He gazed and then raised the eyes slightly, and, thus knew who and of what quality he was….” (SDm 4791)

Swedenborg does not provide a description of the Lord’s physical qualities, yet this statement does arouse my curiosity about the Lord’s eyes. And this is more than intellectual interest. It is personal. It is as personal as when Peter denied the Lord three times, as recorded in Luke 22: 61, 62: “And the Lord turning looked upon Peter…. And Peter went out and wept bitterly.” My story, however is more cheerful, and occurred while I was serving uses at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral.

Unblinking and open in innocence, his clear, light grey eyes caught my attention and held it. I was standing in a doorway to the curator’s office and he stood on the path outside.

Apparently oblivious to my smile and friendly words, this boy, about three feet tall, stood motionless and unresponsive. His calm gaze entered deeply into me. Suddenly turning away, he ran toward two adults who were walking on the path toward him. An elderly gentleman and a woman about thirty years of age greeted him, and she lifted the boy into her arms.

Together we walked into our Cathedral’s choir hall. As usual, I began the guided tour with a few introductory words about the history of the Cathedral. But I became silent as my sight rested on the puffy, white baby skin of the boy’s arms. Instinctively I reached out with my right hand toward him and he reached for me. My hand rested gently on the top of his hand, small wrist and forearm. His eyes never changed their placid expression. I saw in them a serene, heavenly aura, high above earth and earthy concerns. “He is five years old and will always have the mind of a one year old,” the elderly gentleman confided to me. “The young lady is his attendant.”

Later I speculated about the possibility of him always having celestial angels as his heavenly companions. Apparently his eyes will have that inner tranquility when he is eighteen years old. How many hearts will be touched by those innocent eyes, reminding humanity that heavenly love dwells in peace and is not harmful? Bishop George de Charms observed in regard to the first year of human life: “Because of the presence of celestial angels the infant is held by the Lord in a veritable Garden of Eden….” (Growth of the Mind, p. 132) Heaven on earth, within an infant, within this boy, seemed to reach out and perhaps contact celestial remains from my own infancy, hidden within me.

I realize that I am not the first or only person to wonder what the Lord’s eyes looked like when He walked on earth. In fact, it is generally thought that there is not a description of Him. But I dare to present one. Whether fictitious or factual, this account certainly is interesting. I discovered it while doing research on a stained glass artist. It is alleged to have been written by Publius Lentulus, a friend of Pontius Pilate. As a Roman official in Jerusalem, he is supposed to have written this information for the Roman Senate: “A very extraordinary man is living in Palestine today….He is called the Great Prophet by the masses but his closest friends call Him the Son of God. He raises the dead and heals all manner of diseases. He is tall, erect, and well proportioned. A marked serenity in His countenance attracts the love and reverence of those who see Him. His auburn hair is parted in the center and hangs down on His shoulders in curls, after the custom of the Nazarenes. His forehead is high and intelligent. His face is without blemish or wrinkle. His cheeks have a flush. His beard is thick and the color of his hair. His eyes are grayish blue and very piercing. His reprimands are sharp but his exhortations and instructions are amiable and courteous. There is something wonderfully charming in His face ….He is the handsomest man in the world.” (This letter is supposed to have been copied from Roman Annals by Constantine’s secretary, Eutropius. It is claimed to have been preserved by Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1093-1109) However, there is no doubt about the authenticity and veracity of the Word, so let us learn from it about eyes. “…for with man the face is a representative image of the affection of his love, and especially the eyes, for from these the love shines forth, from which they sparkle as from fire.” (AE 504:4) I do not know if the Lord’s eyes had a shade of grey like that of the boy. But I did perceive a supra-natural life and warmth in the boy’s eyes. It was as if the Lord was looking at me through celestial angels with that infant-child. Perhaps many of you have had similar experiences with children and have thought carefully about their significance and value.

NOTE: This article was published in New Church Life in the February, 1998 issue.

TRUE LEADERS

Your plan for us is that we follow those who follow the right and the good.

Your spirit fills those who walk in humility, patience, and self-sacrifice.

Please open our eyes that we may see those gentle faces beckoning us upward and onward in the spirit of love. They are all around us, we’re certain. Only open, open our eyes! - Anonymous

STAR SIGNS

To those scanning a night sky, you sent a star. To those tending sheep on a silent hill, you sent a voice. What sign, Lord, are you sending to me to come, be, and do all you intend? Let me hear, see, and accept it when you do.