Saturday, December 22, 2012

#41: After taking time out to finish the presentation, which has just been posted, I can get back to describing my travels.  This presentation, which is titled “The Urantia Book and Perfection Hunger,” has been posted and the link is here.  In three days there have been 12 viewings!  It is a bit long for the web, over 23 minutes, but I felt the message needed to be put out there in one piece.  Hopefully our unseen friends will direct to it those who could benefit from this message.  Anyway, it says what I want.

From South Carolina I moved to Dade City, Florida and parked my house on wheels so I could make a quick journey over to Lake Worth on the east coast for Thanksgiving.  After a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Betty Lou and family we did a bit of exploring.  The most interesting was the A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, which is southwest of Lake Worth.  Another enjoyable outing was to the Morikami Gardens in Delray Beach.  After returning to Dade City there was a study group meeting and I also discovered another fine place to visit, J. B. Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey.

To some individuals prayer is the calm expression of gratitude; to others, a group expression of praise, social devotions; sometimes it is the imitation of another’s religion, while in true praying it is the sincere and trusting communication of the spiritual nature of the creature with the anywhere presence of the spirit of the Creator. The Urantia Book (1001.8) (91:8.4)
                                Lumpkin at A.R.M Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

Thanksgiving was a fun day, with turkey and fixings for six.  There is not much to say about it except that it was good to be with these people and remembering all that we have to be thankful for.

The day Betty Lou and I went to the A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge was great for getting outside and enjoying nature, however something Betty Lou had for lunch that day did not agree with her; nevertheless it was a good outing.  We watched the Lumpkin for some time as it went about its business.  I was not familiar with that bird, but I recently got “Sibley Birds” on my tablet and using that app it took only a minute to positively identify the bird, which is located mainly on Florida.  The next day I saw more of these birds in John Prince Park (an excellent place for a walk or bike ride) when I was on my morning power walk.
                            Young Buck at A.R.M Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

This young buck, note the bumps on top of his head where his horns will grow out, was down a bank from where we were walking.  Isn’t he just the sweetest creature?  We also saw a sizeable alligator near the boardwalk, but I had my telephoto lens on and all I could see in the picture was his head.

One day we were on our way to someplace and saw a sign for the Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area.  This was a 26-acre tract of Florida scrub; the most interesting thing about this place was looking at the animal tracks in the sand and trying to interpret what was going on.  Even though it is in the middle of a well-developed area, it looked as if there was a lot of things going on there at night.  There was also a statue near the entrance that commemorated the Barefoot Mailman, mail carriers that carried the mail between Palm Beach and Miami from 1885 to 1892.  They would row boats for 28 of the 68 miles, but the rest of the way they walked barefoot along the beach.  There were no roads and there was not enough water for horses.  My father was a rural mail carrier, but at least he had a Jeep and could wear shoes!
                                            Morikami Gardens

The Morikami Gardens in Delray Beach are a lovely, peaceful place to explore and meditate.  The Garden was named after George Morikami who was the only member of the Japanese colony to stay in Delray Beach during World War II.  The members of this colony were recruited from Japan in the early 1900’s to set up farms in the region.  These gardens are truly beautiful; we sat in one rock garden for some time and watched shadows of the Pine trees drift slowly over the freshly raked sand.  There is a museum and also model schoolrooms that had letters and drawings from young Japanese students; these letters were recent enough that some showed their playground and said they hoped to be able to go back and play there after the radiation went away.

Not long after returning to Dade City there was a study group meeting at Bill and Share’s house.  Since this was between Thanksgiving and Christmas the theme of the meeting included both.  Each of us received a small fancy package containing candy (chocolate!) and a sheet describing one of God’s gifts to us; these included the Thought Adjusters, the Spirit of Truth, etc.  Mine was the Gift of Revelation, which seemed appropriate given my recent experience.  We also walked into their meditation garden and read various quotations from the Urantia Book dealing with thanksgiving.                               
                                   Fungus at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park

I think I am getting a bit long winded, so I will close here except to say that my visit to the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey was also enjoyable.  They even have separate trails for hikers, bikers and horse riders.  The texture and color of the above fungus intrigued me; it was on only a couple of trees in the area.  I also watched iridescent green Dung Beetles busily working with their choice materials.  (What a note to end on!)

(From the religion Ganid developed after studying the transcripts he and Jesus made at the library in Alexandria.) “I will every day thank God for his unspeakable gifts; I will praise him for his wonderful works to the children of men. To me he is the Almighty, the Creator, the Power, and the Mercy, but best of all, he is my spirit Father, and as his earth child I am sometime going forth to see him. And my tutor has said that by searching for him I shall become like him. By faith in God I have attained peace with him. This new religion of ours is very full of joy, and it generates an enduring happiness. I am confident that I shall be faithful even to death, and that I will surely receive the crown of eternal life.”  The Urantia Book (1454.3) (131:10.6)

Monday, October 15, 2012

# 40: I am on the road again, having stopped in Virginia to meet with Dick and Janice, then on to Greensboro, North Carolina and then settling for two weeks in Waynesboro, which is a bit west of Asheville.  While in Waynesville I met with a reader in Young Harris, Georgia, explored the Cherohala Skyway, hiked to Hen Wallow falls (what kind of name is that?), saw a bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway and attended the study group meeting in Asheville.  I gave my new presentation, “The Urantia Book and Perfection Hunger,” to the study group and it was well received, they even applauded.  Next I move to Joanna, South Carolina to meet with Lamar’s relatives and then on to Ladson for a few weeks.

I now show the comments this blog has received on the left side of the page.  To add a comment there is a link at the bottom of each posting.  I would appreciate comments be kept short. 

The brotherhood of man is, after all, predicated on the recognition of the fatherhood of God. The quickest way to realize the brotherhood of man on Urantia is to effect the spiritual transformation of present-day humanity. The only technique for accelerating the natural trend of social evolution is that of applying spiritual pressure from above, thus augmenting moral insight while enhancing the soul capacity of every mortal to understand and love every other mortal. Mutual understanding and fraternal love are transcendent civilizers and mighty factors in the world-wide realization of the brotherhood of man.  The Urantia Book (598.2) (52:6.7)

                                      Pisgah Covered Bridge

My first stop on the southward journey was in Natural Bridge Station, Virginia.  I drove over the mountains to meet with Dick and Janice in Lynchburg; I showed them the presentation and they made some excellent suggestions for improving it.  Dick has several videos posted on YouTube about the life of Jesus.  Dick and I visited Poplar Forest, where Thomas Jefferson owned some property and designed the house.  It was an interesting tour; they are still renovating the house to undo changes made by more recent owners.  One of the most delightful parts of the tour was outside on the grounds.  The previous day it had rained, in fact my move the previous day was in the rain.  Archeological excavations are being carried out near the house and one such dig was covered by a blue tarp.  Water had collected in the middle of it and a group of Bluebirds were enjoying an invigorating bath in the water.  It was a joy to watch them but unfortunately I did not have my telephoto lens with me and I did not want to get closer and interrupt their bathing.  Before moving on to North Carolina I did some hiking in the Jefferson National Forest behind the campground where I was parked.

The next move was to Greensboro, North Carolina where I had hoped to meet with a student of the Urantia Book but that did not work out.  The most interesting excursion while there was to drive forty or so miles south to Pisgah Covered Bridge, shown above.  It is in a peaceful setting and there was a nice walk in the woods, where I managed to get a small spot of poison ivy; I am usually on the lookout for the plant and was surprised later when I saw a small spot appear on my wrist.  There was also an excellent park a few miles from the campground where I did my morning walk.
                                 Cherohala Skyway

From Greensboro I next parked in Waynesville, which is a bit west of Asheville, North Carolina.  From there I drove to Young Harris, which is barely inside Georgia.  I wanted to meet Paul who is a good friend of Betty Lou and we had an interesting conversation.  I did ask him who Young Harris was but he had no idea.  When I was ready to leave we went outside so I could show him the Monster (my Ford F-350); as soon as I opened the door he reached in, removed the floor mat and dumped the dirt out of it.  You don’t think he was making a comment on how clean I keep my truck do you?

One of the places I wanted to visit was the Cherohala Skyway, a beautiful drive up the mountain in the Nantahala region of the Smoky Mountains.  Lamar and I wanted to take that drive several years ago, but it never happened when he was with us.  The leaves were just starting to change, especially in the higher elevations.  On the way back I visited the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, located near the beginning of the Skyway.

                                            Near Hen Wallow Falls

The main reason I drove the Blue Ridge Parkway was to bypass the tourists and traffic of Cherokee.  The best hike I had was from the Cosby campground, near the end of the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee.  It was about two miles uphill through the woods, a lovely walk.  Hen Wallow falls was at the end of the trail, I have no idea what that name refers to and I could find no reference to the derivation of the name on the web.  The above photo was taken on the way back down.  Beautiful country! 
                                      Asheville Study Group

I met Linda at a McDonalds so I could park the Monster there and ride to the meeting with her; last time I visited their study group, parking the Monster was a bit of a challenge.  As you can see, the meeting was well attended and they were appreciative of my presentation.  They read Paper 70, “The Evolution of Human Government.”  Because of discussions and such they only got through Section 5, “The Beginnings of Government.”  The following quote is from this reading.

The nations of Urantia have already entered upon the gigantic struggle between nationalistic militarism and industrialism, and in many ways this conflict is analogous to the agelong struggle between the herder-hunter and the farmer. But if industrialism is to triumph over militarism, it must avoid the dangers which beset it.  These are:  the strong drift toward materialism, the worship of wealth-power, the vices of luxury, the increasing dangers of indolence, biologic deterioration and the threat of standardized industrial slavery.  The Urantia Book (786.2 – 8) (70:2.11 – 17)