a place to come and discuss in peace, things of religion, life, and families

Archive for May, 2007


Posted by tawodi on May 31, 2007

There is a form of mental discipline called, active listening. No it doesn’t entail hanging upside down  from a tree or anything wierd like that,  but it does require a little effort to learn and understand.

The point is,  to get in touch with parts of yourself that you normally pay no attention to. In the daily “noise” of life we very often don’t hear what is being said clearly to us by those we are in contact with let alone the things  God may be trying to tell us.  We wake up to a clock radio in the morning and fall asleep in front of the T.V. at night and stagger off to bed to repeat the process the next day,  and so on,  and so on. Then when you add in all the conversation with spouses,  kids , fellow workers,  bosses,  customers and any,  and everything else,  clamoring for our attention,  it’s no wonder at all that we don’t hear God,  or ourselves.

I’m up early every morning, usually about two hours before my wife or daughter are stirring. This gives me quiet time to reflect, read or pray, and when praying I use this technique.

The very first thing you need is about half an hour when you KNOW you will NOT be disturbed. This is critical to the endeavor,  as to be interupted is sometimes worse than if you never tried at all!!  It is incredibly frustrating to begin and just get to where you want to be and the phone rings or some body in the family wants something and breaks your concentration. Unplug the phones,  turn off the  One eyed brain sucker, any thing that can prove to be a distraction. 

Now you need to have a comfortable position a recliner or easy chair or even the couch can be appropriate it’s up to you but you have to stay awake for this to work, just checking!  I also use a radio turned very low as a sort of “white noise” generator, soft music that can barely be heard,  for me,  is appropriate.

Start by consciously relaxing your head and neck,  then your shoulders,  then your arms and hands,  then your torso,  then hips,  legs and feet.  You get the idea.  now for about a minute listen to the “white noise” going in the back ground and ask a question, then wait for a short time,  then ask the question again. What you are actually doing is listening for an   answer from a part of yourself you don’t normally talk to,  or listen to.  I know that sounds wierd but given a moderate amount of time it will happen. Each time you pose the question ask it a different way. For instance,  Which of the two computers that I looked at,  should I buy??  Wait a bit, no answer…..Which of these would best fulfill my needs?  Wait a bit……Which of them is the coolest!!  Wait a bit……do I really need either one of them??  Wait a bit….Get the idea??

Will you hear voices,  maybe, some do,  but you will usually just hear yourself thinking . As you develop this skill different parts of your experience will come forward to help you formulate the answers and by listening to YOU for once  without the distractions we normally have around us,  comes clarity.

It generally takes about five or six tries before you get the hang of it,  but it does work and it’s not some wierd zen thing,  it’s just learning how to center yourself and see what YOU have to say.

There is one other benifit to this practice and it is that a considerable amount of relief from pain can be gotten,  using these techniques. I have suffered from severe back pain for over twenty five years and kept myself working full time by doing this with out drugs except Tylenol and aspirin up to the present day.  I am also gifted with heart problems and a colostomy as well as having broken two vertabae in my neck in 1984,  so trust me on this,  IT DOES WORK!!! 

This same technique is also that which I mentioned in regard to active listening with prayer, there again it is like a soldier walking around in a mild state of alert,  not really expecting any thing,  but ready to hear it,  if does come their way.

That’s it,  try it,  you may be pleasantly surprised,  by what you have to say to yourself!!!

Be Well All…..TAWODI


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Posted by tawodi on May 29, 2007

Hello all tonight I did the third Tawodi’s hawks nest and it was fun!! hope it was for you too.  I wandered a bit because quite frankly I was a little giddy……..allright a lot giddy!!

Today it became official,  I am now registered with the state of Massachusetts as Independant Clergy,  affiliation  to the Tree of The Mustard Seed ……..Church.  Non Denominational,  Following the Apostle’s Creed.

I started out with that announcement and quickly realised that if I stayed in that mood, I was going to be giggling all through the show.  Maybe not a bad thing,  and when I listened to it after it was archived it had me laughing in spots, because it was all stream of conscienceness stuff off the top of my head.  I felt that it had gotten away from me,  but when I listened I realised it went fine.  I didn’t sound like any bigger an idiot than I actually am!!!

For those who read this I need some input as to what YOU  want and expect from the show and this site,  I’m still feeling my way. The interfaith movement of reconciliation between Christians,  Muslims,  and Jews,  MUST be the first consideration as that is my sworn lifes mission,  till I shuffle off this mortal coil (or am pushed) so lets hear from you out there.

I think I have discovered a way to put up the Catholic reconciliation dialogs that I mentioned I would.  So those of you who want them,  can access them and print them out, free of charge.  To bring to those who are active in your churches and mosques and synagogues,  for you and others of your congregations,  to study and perhaps join us here,  to bring about understanding in this country and later the world,  if possible and I believe that it is possible!!!

If you have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed you can move mountains!!!   Be well all………Tawodi

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Posted by tawodi on May 28, 2007

We all think of this as the big kick off to summer and I know you and every body else,  has heard about how we should never forget those who sacrificed so we could   HAVE   a Memorial day weekend.   Of course,  we celebrate,  remember and in some cases,  mourn those we,  or others,  may have lost over the years,  indeed over the centuries,  in combat and service related accidents around the world.

Yes,  you heard me right,  a great many men and women have been lost to accident around the world,  in peace time and in war and I have always wondered how many see  their deaths as a sacrifice,  besides their families.

God tells us,  that they who but live in the world,  also serve Him.  Well logic tells me that those who are far from their families even though they are not in a theater of war also serve  US .

Some where,  right now,  a Coast Guardsman or woman is serving right around the corner from you  no doubt wishing they could be with their family on this holiday instead of on duty where ever they are.

On an air base or a fort  for instance,  there are trainees who are on base for the weekend,  far from home,  missing their families also. There are officers and men at Quantico others are serving quietly to keep us all free in less than glamorous surroundings all around the world. As I write this,  are they any less missed by their children,  wives,  sweethearts and families??  Of course not!!  They are HEROS,  each and every last one of them!!!

SO,  If you see a man or woman wearing the uniform of our countries service members today,  no matter where you or they are,  thank GOD  for these people who are sacrificing so much now and are prepared to lay it all down for you and this great country we all live in.  Thank them for their service, that’s right walk right up to them stick out your hand and SAY IT!!!          THANK YOU FOR YOUR VALIANT SERVICE TO ME,  MY CHILDREN,  AND ALL OF US!!

Be proud when you do it,  don’t feel you will embarass yourself or them. Too few in our world of jumbled politics and hate filled rhetoric,  will see the man or woman beneath the uniform and realize there is an AMERICAN  in there…..JUST LIKE YOU…..Who wants to live,  prosper, raise a family and be loved,  THANK THEM THEY DESERVE IT!!!

And from me to you before you do it…… THANK YOU TOO…….

Be well all,  and be assured you are blessed,  to be living here under the protection of all these wonderful young men and women…..Tawodi…out

Posted in family | 1 Comment »


Posted by tawodi on May 26, 2007

This has been an eventful day and a half.  I’ve been busy again. Had to get registered with the county where I live as independant clergy and I decided what the heck, go for it!! 

My affiliation all my life has been with the Methodist church I will always be a Methodist. I was told however,  that what we are doing in the faith reconciliation effort,  must not be said to have the Imprimatur of the United Methodist Church, unless it was cleared with them first at national headquarters, guess we’re not ‘sposed to work for peace just as simple Christians,  all by our lonesome.

ANYHOO…. as I filled out the registration forms,  there was a question: CHURCH AFFILIATION.  Hmmmmmmmm.

Lets see can’t say that,  it might tick them off. Make them twitch or jump and then they might fall off that tower and get hurt and it would be all my fault,  soooooo I filled it in as follows, this saying of Jesus filled me as I thought and where this originated on military chat threads with armed soldiers,  sailors,  airmen,  and marines,  currently serving and veterans all,  those who have and,  are bearing the cost of war.  The most unlikly place for any one to think of something like this starting,  is where it began, this is the saying.  ” If you have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed,  you can move mountains!”

So I filled in ,  THE TREE OF THE MUSTARD SEED….CHURCH         Rev. Bruce  H  Holzrichter  D.D.

That is for the men and women who are serving as our warriors,  who are laying it out there for our and others freedom,  it is named for them,  No one hates war more than those who must bear the cost,  so that’s who this is for and all who would be joining us,  to a brotherhood of acceptance no matter what faith you embrace,  or no faith at all.  Every one is welcome here. who will stand together for interfaith acceptance.

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Posted by tawodi on May 24, 2007

The  single most frightening thing about being a human being is that someday we,  all of us,  must die.  There is no way out of this and the only way we have to prepare for it is to live through the death of a friend or a loved one.

I do a lot of visitation and Hospice work.  Many ask me how I can deal with the depressing aspects of it.  The answer is complex and at the same time simple.  As any human being who has reached maturity knows,  death comes to us in many ways,  almost all of which are too soon.

Other times some one is told they have a terminal illness and palliative care is all that can be given to ease them through it. In  todays world  this is a great blessing,  because the patient can be kept conscious and alert,  with  almost no, or no pain at all,  some times till they enter the time of fatal stress.

Some may think that this is a macabre subject to put on a blog page,  but it is part of life.  Most assuredly one that we shy away from,  but part of life none the less. To turn away in fear or not prepare for these things,  is a grave disservice to our families and those we may leave behind.

To turn away in fear from those who are in this extremity is forgivable,  but just barely,yes,  just barely. Those of us who labor in this field find that great knowledge and comfort can be given and gained,  from  sharing with those who will pass . How we love them,  the things they may want done,  writings that may be engaged in,  to prove to them they will NOT be forgotten and the legacy of their dreams for their families,  children,  wives,  husbands and friends can be assured.

First and foremost,  the way to approach this is that death is just the other end of life,  it is natural  and at some point,  if there is time,  must be accepted.

Time is what we are addressing here,  time to adjust,  to accept,  to plan,  share,  grieve together,  prepare for  the loss and then prepare for the celebration of the life of the one who has passed over.

A  large section of the populace has discovered by passing through these trials, that  a deep and lasting bond of knowledge of the person involved is gained.  They reveal things and events no one knew,  or at least you didn’t know and the depth of the person can more readily be appreciated.  Who they are,  what they are,  what they have accomplished,  the things they excelled at and the failure they overcame to finally win through,  to whatever success they enjoyed in life. A rich tapestry can be and often is,  created of the person we THOUGHT we knew.  Something to carry with us in our own life.  To enrich us and our loved ones as well,  by bringing to them a fuller picture of who this person was.

This is just the opening dialog of this category,  and it is a long ongoing work,  as detailed  and as different  as the human beings on the planet,   in it’s complexity and as I said,  it’s simplicity.

As time goes on you will see an increasing body of knowledge in each category and they are to be designed to be a reference for you to use to direct others to and use and in general begin to cover many subjects that seem to be taboo in society but really shouldn’t be.

As you have visited and read and perhaps are thinking of sharing or asking a question feel free to do so as these posts have gone up and you have read them you are seeing more and more of who I am and what I think and believe. If you feel it a help,  use it.  If you think I’m  full of beans,  well  maybe you’re right!!  I just might be!!  Some think so,  others do not,  but all come to understand we,  together,  can do some amazing things,  and then you,  by your self,  can do them,  and amaze others!!

Be well friends,…Tawodi…out

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Posted by tawodi on May 23, 2007

I was sitting here wondering what to say and came up with this question.  I like you sometimes wonder “What difference does it make what I say or do??”

Well I got up at five and made the coffee and settled in to figure what I was going to do, take my daughter to school,  check, take my wife to work,  check.  Oh yeah put the tables I refinished for a friend back,  check. Eat breakfast,  check. Go to bank,  check.  I think I’m seeing a pattern here!  Crank up the puter,   O.M.G.  military .com is going nuts the guys found out ,…..well I told  ’em last night,   but they woke up and found out I got my degree,  congrats are falling out of the trees!!

It does feel good,  as the last ten days have had some set backs,  but all in all there has been a lot of good too.

So  I wrote some E mails to offer thanks to them all,  then wrote some historical fill ins to answer some religious questions some had and offered up prayers to others that need them tried to mend some fences,  for some feelings that I had hurt  of one of my friends,   checked my blogradio archive to see if the show was any good yesterday (it was O.K. I guess) asked a gentleman if I could put up some of his poetry here,  for all of you and of course attribute it to him,  it’s some of the most beautiful writing I have seen in a long time,  about being a father.

ate dinner then went to my friends wood shop and built four high chairs for dolls for a sale our church is going to do in July it’s for wooden toys my friend Fred and I have made. There are twenty five bird houses of five different kinds a big riding pig ( like a rocking horse)  a tricycle made like a pony that I made two desk sets ….Ya know something we’ve been busy!!

Got home at 9:30 and sat down to check my blog and you have already heard the thought process that brought us to this point.  Gee for a retired guy, I’m damn glad I don’t work any more I couldn’t stand the pace!!

Oh yeah,  the degree     this is          Reverend   Bruce Holzrichter   Dr. of divinity      Signing  off.    IT DID MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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Posted by tawodi on May 21, 2007

If you are a human being, you want to live. You want your children to live and have a better life than you. Unless of course you’re crazy.

All anyone has to to say to be part of what we are doing, is to say,  ENOUGH!!









Formulated April 4 2007.  Approved that same date.

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Posted by tawodi on May 19, 2007

In the Chaplain Corp in the military it,  means that when the Chaplain speaks and/ or preaches he realizes that the soldiers and sailors who are listening,  are a captive audience.  In peace time they may be on a base, aboard a ship, or on duty some where there is no Church,  Synagogue,  or Mosque,  any where nearby,   where worship would be possible for his charges to go and worship in their own faith structure.

Some of the finest preaching I have ever heard,  has been done in these surroundings.  Some of the finest people I have ever known,  have been one or the other of those in attendance rendering worship to the God of Abraham,  Isaac, and Jacob, later Israel. Abraham being of course the Father of the Jews, the forefather that led to founding of the Hebrews, the Arabs, brothers of one another by Abraham, followed later by those of us known as Gentiles welcomed into the covenant, by the Grace of God,  through the sacrifice of Jesus,  The Christ our Lord and Master.

In short,  the people of the three major faith systems in the world,  have worshipped, at times, together.

In 1964 the Vatican issued the Lumen Gentium in November of that year.  It came out of the Vatcan 2 council,  which,  as some of you may know,  there are still Papal Encyclicals being issued which were adjudicated then and are still under study even now. When the Lumen Gentium was sent to the world,  it out lined the acceptance of the Muslim faith and the things which would and have and are being done,  to create bridges of understanding between the two disparate faiths.

That’s right,  there is a fourty three year history of reconciliation,  that has been carried out between the Catholic Church and the world of Islam,  right under our noses.  Pope John the sixth and Pope John Paul the second have issued over the years many encyclicals dealing with this effort and have preached many times in Mosques around the world.  

I have in my possession,  the entire history of this,  given me when I requested it right from the Vatican archives .


Also in my possession,  is a thirty eight page  compendium,  of the ongoing efforts of reconciliation between the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church .


It will take awhile for me to set up links,  so it can be sent to you over the net and you won’t have to give me your E mail address.  Something you may not want to do and I wouldn’t blame you,  with so much spam out there today.

There is and are,  those who for whatever reason are creating walls between  “US ”  and   ” THEM”  these walls must be torn down,  or we will all descend into a maelstrom of hatred we may not be able to recover from,  as a race.

I am not a fool,  I am not saying we should not be on guard against those who would do us harm.  I am saying the blanket condemnation of an entire people is,   WRONG!!!   I don’t care what reasoning you use,  what excuses you make,  or just how terrified you are.  It is   WRONG  to do this.  As I have said elsewhere,  I will fight to my dying breath,  those who would spread this hate.

We are all products of our cultures, some have been twisted by governments,  or hatred and missuse of various scriptures in all faith systems. It is my deeply held belief that those of us who exhibit true servant leadership,  as the faiths themselves dictate  we must,  then God will judge us accordingly,  we must NOT let men do it for us.  That is not their place,  it is the province of God,  no one else!!

Today is Saturday,  whether you celebrate the Sabbath today or on Sunday,   pray for the wisdom of God to make your decisions,  open your heart,  think of your and their children,  who are depending on you to provide a world that is safe for them to live in.  Work for that,  if for no other reason.


Be well friends,  and at peace, …Tawodi…out

Posted in Evangelism | 6 Comments »


Posted by tawodi on May 18, 2007

One of lifes most profound questions concerning religion is prayer.  If we consider what Jesus tells us ask and it shall be given you , and then when we ask and don’t get it,  we say well,  prayer doesn’t work very well does it. Then we set about wondering,  till the next time,  and the next time,  and then we give up.

It has been said God always answers prayers,  but we don’t always get what we want. God knows best.  And the all time classic when  arguing with my wife…HEY!  I might not be what you prayed for,  but apparently I’m the answer !!!   Stopped the argument cold……Maybe this prayer stuff does work!!!

Some years ago I came across something while talking to my mentor in ministry. It’s called active listening. I have found the best times are when the rest of the family is in bed,  either in the morning or the late evening. My preffered time is in the very early morning as I’m always up at five thirty or so.

One of the most profound things about prayer that I have found is we pray then get up and go,  if there’s an answer we don’t hear it above the daily noise of life.

Get comfortable and plan to spend time,  after all this is pretty important stuff. I usually allow half an hour. First I get comfortable and relaxed then pray. Now what you ask for is important,  too many times we give God our laundry list and it changes little on a daily basis. Health,  wellness,  money, yeah I know that’s tacky you wouldn’t ask for money, security, comfort, those things but never money. It really doesn’t matter,  the point is,  we don’t ask for what we REALLY need.

Wisdom,  perseverence, comfort, understanding,  wellness  for our loved ones and strength to deal with what life throws at us and of course,  Gods help through it all.

When you are in a quiet place in the house and in your mind,  pray, open your heart,  ask for those things you need and add those which I mentioned. Then stop,  sit with your hands open,  there is a reason for this. As every day humans we have a tendency to keep ourselves closed we do this to protect our self from the stuff life throws at us this is the time to learn to open yourself to God try and clear your mind and simply listen, see if you can ascertain what if any answer God may have for you . Do this as often as you pray, the purpose is to open your self up be aware of what may come to you immediately and perhaps later in the day or days later.

I must tell you some thing,  answers will come,  not when you expect them or even how, you expect them,  and they may be what you asked for or different than you imagined,  but come they will .

I learned this way of praying at the age of thirty six,  I’m sixty one now and it has never failed …not once …ever.  The answers are there ALWAYS  but you have to be aware of them as they appear in some times surprising ways that you may not expect.

Try it you will be,  as I said, surprised!!

Next time we will talk about active listening and the things you can do to learn the skills you need.

Be well friends…..Tawodi…out 

Posted in Prayer | 2 Comments »


Posted by tawodi on May 16, 2007

Remember the old Art Linkletter show,  kids say the darndest things??  I don’t know why that just popped into my head but I guess it is related. Kids ask some very difficult questions in relation to faith issues and we can sometimes be at a loss, when it comes time to answer them.

A childs first experience with death usually is with a pet such as a canary or a gold fish, parrakeet or whatever.  If they and you are lucky that is,  but we’ll start there.

Many parents are afraid of being honest with their kids in relation to death especially in modern society. well that is a mistake. We in western societies do every thing we can to remove our “lower functions” from our consciencness  and of course this would include death.

In too many ways to explain here,  this is a huge mistake and we’ll just mention the most obvious one.  We need to prepare our selves for life and by shying away from the “icky” stuff,  we are woefully unprepared for the reality of it when it happens.  Bathroom functions,  infected wounds, illness serious and illness terminal, and of course death.  It is an unfortunate fact friends. None of us are getting out of here alive………

Usually a kid can understand something is no longer alive but they don’t understand it will never be alive again. To them it’s asleep and will wake up when it’s not tired any more,  right mom?  It wont never wake up again …..I dont get to play with him/it /her any more??? Why,  was I bad??   Was it bad??   Will it go to hell like the Preacher says??   Is it gonna get all burned up now??   Will it hurt when it does??   If I fall asleep and can’t wake up,  will I get all burned up??   Why does God want to burn me up mommy??   I’ll be real good so He doesn’t burn me up ….will you tell him I’m good, so He doesn’t burn me up???   Gee!!  I wonder why we can’t get the kid to Sunday school any more???

All these and more as a father of four I have had to answer and so will you,  or you have already tried to.  Or perhaps you have thought of these things and prayed that your kid will be thirty five before the question comes up…..don’t count on it!!

We all can understand how to counsel a kid when they encounter death,   that it will not happen to them for a long, long time. That usually holds the fear at bay till they can understand. but some times it doesn’t  work that way,  death like life can sometimes whack us right between the running lights when we don’t expect it and then we’re really in trouble.

Some thing every parent should consider is to use the death of a pet as a teaching tool right now. Don’t shy away from it, but use it as a gift,  to give your child the concept that death,  is simply the other end of life.  If the pet has died from illness you can explain that God has made us so that when we,  or a pet gets “broken” sometimes it’s too broken to be fixed and it really hurts,  to be that broken,  and it dies and doesn’t hurt any more.  To the child mind,  this is a bare beginning to understanding,  in a way they can comprehend.  Toys get too broken to play with,  and so do living creatures and people too.

Interrment can be described as laying to rest, the pet,  or the loved one,  so they can rest and wait for God.  Yes I know, that the concept of a soul for a pet is a theological no  no,  but we are talking about the least damage possible here,  to a child in fear.  Seen that way,  when they go to chatechism, then,  they can learn the theological concepts , at the age of twelve or thirteen they can handle it.

I will tell you a true story that I heard from a mentor of mine in the clergy it may be apocriphal or sort of an urban legend but I can see it happening in my minds eye,  as I have heard parts of it my self and perhaps you have also.

As the story goes a little girl’s father was killed in an accident and when she asked the mom why her daddy had to die she was told that God needed another star in heaven…… we all have heard a variation of this with our own ears,  so that’s why I believe this story…Anyway,  when she was told this,  the little girl exploded in rage and screamed, ” Why didn’t he turn on a light,   He didn’t need to kill my daddy,   He’s God,   He could have lit the lights!!!!!

O.K. you have the basic idea,  you’re not stupid.  If you were,  you would not have read this far,  you are genuinely concerned about this aspect,  of things and are searching .  This is just one look at a very difficult subject,  but is at present long enough.   To stop here, is best,  as we might get lost in the words and lose the meaning. I promise there  will be more in a day or so as this one subject is kind of hard to get our minds wrapped around all at one sitting.

Be well friends, and at peace,  Tawodi…out

Posted in questions kids ask about God and Jesus | 7 Comments »

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