Donald O'Dell holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and an undergraduate degree in history from North Texas.
As an ordained United Presbyterian minister, he served as a street gang minister in Trenton, NJ. In addition he had two separate pastorates in Oklahoma, where he also served as Chaplain in a county hospital. He continued to serve smaller congregations after he joined the private sector in business.
Today he enjoys a semi-retired living in North Carolina. He also remains an active in networking with groups and organizations in new thought and critical thinking strategies.
Early in February I tried to explain the difference between reacting to the Trump/GOP agenda as an anger-versus-anger action as opposed to responding out of love – attempting to correct an error.
From Msg-2-Feb-2017 (Being Politically Active and Spiritually Serene): “Now, I know I cannot treat members of Congress or the Administration as two-year olds grabbing for unreal floating spots before their eyes. (Well, maybe a little!) But I can try to correct an issue on this 3-dimensional world I perceive with incorrect perception. I can try to treat these politicians with the same tolerance I treat drivers who cruise at 30 mph in a 45 mph zone because they do not pay attention to road signs. (I admit I’m still working on this.)
“I need to understand that my perception of things, people or events is not really real. I have to acknowledge that these things certainly appear to be very, very real. But they’re not. I need to ask for a different way of looking at the situation. I need to “see” not with physical sight, but with spiritual vision – to “see” the same way the Holy Spirit “sees:” Everything is either an act of Love or a call for Love. That ability to “see” like the Holy Spirit is given to me as a gift from God.
“So, I can protest, write my congressional representatives, send emails, sign petitions, or contribute money sensing that this movement of our new government is simply a call for Love. It is an attempt to assuage fear by accumulating and exercising power to provide themselves with security. I can try to accept (which is to be aware without fear or judgment) their insecurity and attempt to correct their “not knowing” rather than screaming out of my self-righteous anger and fear.”
In the March/April 2017 issue of “Holy Encounter” (a publication of the Miracle Distribution Center, www.miraclecenter.org), Beverly Hutchinson McNeff writes about Collateral Beauty – a term she borrowed from a new Will Smith movie by the same name. She states, then proceeds to expound, on the theme of the movie and its similarity to the message in the Course In Miracles (ACIM): Both the Course and the movie ask “…us to look for the collateral beauty in tragedy, instead of the damage….”
She goes on and states what I tied to state in this earlier February message. I quote from her article: “… We are entering a very different time in our country’s and the world’s history. Fear seems to be gripping most arrears of the world and calls for isolation are being sounded. From the United Kingdom’s Brexit to our country’s election of Donald Trump, there is a fear… and a focus on separation. A focus on the ‘other’ as being responsible for our problems is a focus on the ego’s doctrine of ‘seek but do not find.’ As long as we are looking outside of ourselves for the solution to our problems, the more the solution will elude us. Therefore, it behooves us to not make the same error we see being made.
“If we project our own anger onto those we see as attacking us or others, we will miss the answers, the collateral beauty, the miracles that are all around us. To truly lift our minds to the healing solution of God, which is being held out for us, we must remember [ACIM’s] early workbook lesson that says, ‘My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.’ [Lesson 26] If we want to feel the strength God is holding out to us, then we must act from our invulnerability. Attacking back [against perceived threats] proves we are vulnerable, but a focus on love and unity proves our strength. Once we believe it, we will see it.
“The Women’s March that took place the day after the presidential inauguration was a wonderful example of how this truth can be put into action. This powerful event ... supported women’s rights and other causes including immigration reform, health care reform, protection of LBGTQ rights, racial justice, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. It was not a march against someone but a march in support of everyone….
“These are the moments of unity we need to focus on, the collateral beauty in the midst of chaos….”
As I’ve stated before, “I have to understand, on a visceral level, who the “Me” or “I” really is when I am speaking or thinking. The “I” that says to myself, “I really need a newer, more reliable car” is a different “I” than the one that says to Spirit, “I can’t do this anymore; help me perceive things the way You see them.”
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening to me and getting to know me – warts and all. As always, feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#2 Mar 2017