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Blog of the Grateful Bear

ramblings of a freelance panentheist {"all things are in God, and God is in all things"} . . . musings on Emergent spirituality, powerlifting, LGBTQueer issues, contemplative prayer, mysticism, cats, music, healing, and more. I like my coffee and my existentialism dark-roasted.

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Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States

I'm an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), in private practice in Marietta, Georgia. My writings on queer spirituality have been published in Whosoever and several other magazines. I live in a house-in-the-woods (Bear's Hermitage) in Marietta with Leonidas (Lenny) and Guy, Mighty Warrior Cats, and way too many books.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Book-Lover's Dream:
Benedictine Abbey of Kremsmünster, The Monk Library



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

When the priest makes the sign of the cross, with ashes, on my forehead, I find these words, this reminder of my mortality, not morbid, but comforting. I am dust. I am earth. I came from the stuff of the earth and to the earth I shall one day return. I am made of the same elements as my fellow human beings, my fellow non-human beings, my fellow trees and sunflowers and stars. I am connected to the Whole. I am earth, and fire, and water, and air, and spirit.

As I receive the Eucharist, the sign of the cross newly imprinted on my forehead, I feel my spirit remembering its connectedness to God, its sacred origin. The opening words of the Ash Wednesday prayer, “
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made,” remind me that the feelings of self-hate I sometimes feel, those moments of self-denigration when I forget my origin in the Divine Beloved – those moments do not come from God. God hates nothing God has made.

As children of God we all have what the Quakers call “the divine spark” within us. We are all connected to God. We are all connected to God's creation. We are all connected to each other.


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Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Amazing Story of the Televangelist and His Gay Grandson

This article in Details magazine, The Amazing Story of the Televangelist and His Gay Grandson, was difficult to read. I got choked up reading about the suicide of Oral Roberts' gay son Ronnie, then I got nauseated reading Oral's sermon against homosexuality, then I got angry reading how Randy Roberts Potts was denied access to his grandmother's funeral, then choked up again at the end of the article. Thank you, Randy, for sharing your story.

I attended Oral Roberts University for 2 years (1980-1983) and reading this article brought back a lot of negative memories. I'm grateful for the friendships I made during my time at ORU, and especially the relationship I now have with my godsons John and Sterling, the sons of 2 of my dearest friends from my ORU years.

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The Goose and the Common

This anonymous protest poem from 17th century England reminds us that what we today call “privatization” of common resources is an old story. Let’s subvert the paradigm, by supporting public institutions like schools, libraries, and parks.
~ from the 2012 Peace Calendar, Syracuse Cultural Workers

The Goose and the Common

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from off the goose.

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don’t escape
If they conspire the law to break;
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.

~ 17th century protest against English enclosure