What is going on?

(1) We are in the end times.

(2) Humanity has never seen such greed and selfishness before.

(3) We are experiencing life as chaos.

As people experience their world spinning out of control and sense their own powerlessness with daily craziness, acts of violence, and unimaginable suffering, nothing seems stable.

Destruction and ruin lurk everywhere, taking many forms. It feels uncertain, too many anxious individuals living in a worn out system. Our vulnerability is increasing as cyber technology exposes us and hacking holds us hostage.


It is scary stuff filled with fear and anxiety.

We are not able to function well – our thoughtfulness, creativity, and ability to respond with kindness is being compromised.  The surge of unbridled greed and selfishness is effecting everything; our families, schools, governments, the eco system, religion, commerce, science, etc. Greed and selfishness bread evil, destructive, supremacy, and lives with no reverence. We are living in a time of social regression, “charity no longer begins at home” . Our hearts are tight, our souls are afraid, and our minds have ceased to think well. We are living separate and isolated lives, tainted by the “loveless” behavior of others.

Co-operation among people, states, cities, counties, and nations have all been thwarted by chaos. We live in a world of lies, forgetting that one part of the system does indeed affect all parts of the system. We live an illusion outside the natural order where all things are connected. We believe the sun, the rain, the earth, the stars and ocean all work in cosmic harmony, without us. We live privileged lives thinking we are not part of a larger, complex world system at virtually every level.


Fractals are a hopeful metaphor for what is happening.

Out of chaos emerges the new order. Chaos is a natural part of the universal cycle of life. Chaos is not a total absence of order. It appears we are living with a profound lack of organization or order, yet with time what eventually arise is a pattern for the future. Within the “chaos” is everything needed to create the future. A fractal is a thing of beauty and wonder that when seen in small scale may seem disconnected. Yet as you back up and away of the one part, all the parts become organized beauty and pattern. The metaphor is a good one for today, each of us is being called to get out of the one moment or one problem or one person and see a larger landscape. The new bigger picture is filled with pattern repetition and grace. We have a grand opportunity to interpret and connect the dots in new and different ways.

I paint with millions of grains of colored sand mixed with egg yolk, who could possibly believe what the whole image looks like if you only saw a fragment. Again the metaphor, we cannot see the whole if we look only at the moment. We cannot see the ocean if we keep looking at the beach.


In the midst of all this chaos of greed and selfishness

something wonderful is happening.

By God’s grace we are living in a fractal moment. God’s gift to us, is precisely the possibility of this moment, even if it appears like horror show. I would ask, “What do we see, think and understand and what are we to do?” First, make the commitment to live in the midst of this moment through acceptance, none of us own it, sustain it or maintain it. Step up to the creative process of living, experimenting, focusing, examining, seeing all the potential that has been given. As a believer I ask myself, “How can I best serve God? Creation? Others? How do I connect the ocean and the sand in my mind and make peace with things which are so much greater than I? How do I learn from the wonder and beauty of great situations and accept them as simply patterns repeating in millions of ways.

The Spirit will lead us to create the new things,

in a new order that will support, sustain, and enliven our future.

It will be good, a complete and bodacious surprise.


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Mend the Hole in the Cosmos

The question may be, is there a whole in the cosmos? As a metaphor perhaps there is. Humankind is making real deep and lasting gash on the face of the planet, deep bleeding holes in continents around the world. We are using up the resources for our own benefit with little thought for the future health of the planet. Sheep have eaten grass for centuries with no noticeable change to the environment, but humans have created a massive machine cranking out everything in its wake for its own self preservation leaving their footprint all over the countryside.

Greed and Beauty

Magnificent coastlines which have no buildings, and pristine mountain slopes standing naked but for some weathered trees are both visual comfort zones of peace and rest. The fields grow wheat and oats, the sheep and cattle graze on a thick bed of moist green grass. At first glance the beauty will take your breath away until you realize a few, a very few humans own it all, swapping its production and output among themselves. The beauty is owned by the unbridled greed of the supper wealthy, fortunes amassed in an age of greed and excessive power.

When is it Enough?

I learned 85 % of land in Scotland is owned by 7% of the people, the percentage may vary a bit but it illustrates the point. Ownership keeps the land beautiful and productive but at what expense to the rest of us, our education, freedom and human diversity? Perhaps we should thank these few chosen dynasties for their environmental concerns and conservation efforts. Perhaps we should hail the rich persons vision of shared resources. I cannot, it is a lie, this sort of pristine beauty is controled and not shared, not sustainable and not realistic.

So Where is the Hole in the Cosmos?

The hole is in the greedy heart, it designs systems for its own gain. The Lord, Duke and Earl paradigm is over, it no longer works in a world that loves plastic, fast food and Cell Phones. Their wealth drives the system and is intimately linked to the ignorance the ones in power perpetuate by seducing the poor and the way they a taught to live. The wealthy owners of great conglomerates hide their waste and miss management of the environment from the press but not from the poor souls who see the destruction happening in their fields, forests, water systems, air quality, etc. More and more of the population is squeezed into small urban areas, working long hours, with very little beauty around them, their glory is in buying more stuff and sending selfies to one another. The unavoidable effect from the greed driving these “unseen owners” is costing the rest of humanity our ability to live on the planet in a flourishing environment.

There is no way to stop the behavior but there is a good bit of waiting to see what our collective future will be. The time is now, to see clearly. There is hardly a place you can look and see beauty with no human footprint. When we notice original untouched beauty, not created or manipulated by humans our heart is filled with the thought, Ha! This is the way God created it!

Mathew 18:15-20

Whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” I wonder what it is we are doing on earth which will be reflected in heaven? There is an abundant amount of great beauty being created as well as a great amount of misery. I would suggest we reflect, think carefully and go gently through life. Don’t waste, or take more than we need and be kind.

Perhaps this small effort, to shift our consciousness will be enough to keep it all in balance.


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The Dialogue, Peace Between Us


“THE DIALOGUE” has been cleaned and dusted, ready to be packaged and shipped to Houston, Texas

We invited anyone to sign  their name on the back as global residents dedicated and committed to the idea of peace beginning everywhere. People signed from around the world; from New Zealand, Holland, Canada, India, Australia, England, Ireland, Argentina and more. Adding more names to our book of visitors. Lighting a candle for peace, or tossing a tiny signature of angers or prejudices from the past years right into the bonfire are small ways to commemorate our desire for new beginnings.. The Dialogue installation now lives in Houston at the Raindrop Institute for Interfaith studies, after a long ten year  journey in making it, marketing it and finally sending it into the world in peace.

  March 4th 2018

The Interfaith Dialogue Institute in Houston. The group is run by the Raindrop Turkish Center. If you do not get the message from the name this organization is founded and administrated by a large Turkish/Muslim community settled in the USA. They are a delightful group of “immigrants”, many of whom have fled from their own country. They have a new vision for a peace garden, it began construction and was halted by lack of funds. Their intention is to build programs for education around the installation to promote and encourage construction again and for the dream to be completed. We need these kinds of gardens in every city around the world.

Fatih Ozcan is the founder and coordinator, when I met him I was immediately taken by his smile and obvious comfort in who he is and what he believes, I think he is a warrior like myself, he does not shy from stepping into the arena of controversy, NOT for the purpose of knocking down but rather to build, to listen, to learn and to understand. He and I both believe humanity can have peace.  Now we begin one heart at a time.

Connections are interesting these days in case you have not noticed. In my case it was one client by the name of Kathlynn Curtis who crossed herself before a meal in blessing. The architect beside her noticed and inquired about her faith. She informed him she was looking for support about placing the art Installation called The Dialogue, made in Mexico but her desire was to move it to Houston. He himself is Muslim and said he knew  Fatih Ozcan, well schooled in religions and spiritual debate, a scholar of Islam studies and always willing to listen to new ideas. With that she contacted him and then me and now we are all looking forward to new beginnings, new events and new insights.


We hope to see you in Peace, Valentin and Mary Jane



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For too many seasons our focus on Advent  or “coming into place, arrival” is a season of expectation and a sense of reviewing our past to go forward. Christmas is the season after the completion of Advent, when “the divine energy of man is sent”. Advent and Christmas  are not physical locations, rather they are mystical perceptions which happen in a variety of ways within the human experience. These two words or moments present themselves for valuable reflection every year. One place to begin this year is on Thursdays at St Paul’s Anglican, focused contemplative prayer  and silence.

What is spiritual life and how does it manifest in the world? Centering prayer, contemplative prayer and the prayer of quiet are helpful ways to explore your interior as the season unfolds. We can actively try to open ourselves to listening to spirit arriving in our soul and remember whose we are, why we are here.

Advent is a time for unexpected fulfillment

and Christmas potentially sends us in a new direction.

Christmas is a brilliant idea, a divine baby born, a human like us, walking with us! Why would spirit do such a thing? Because we humans need an image to show us the way, for love to grow in us. In Christ we have a reference point for discovering life in the spirit, an example of what divine spiritual life looks like, to reflect on in ways that are true, good and lasting.

Come and prepare a place within yourself.

Advent is the Christian celebration of what other religions might call enlightenment. St John in revelations waited for Christ, the woman who was about to be stoned waited as well. Enlightenment is the inward realization and unveiled consciousness of being, identified with who we really are. We are individual expressions or manifestations of God, we wait, we seek, we are a wave of energy, light and purpose which is flowing through us and we see the same  perfectly in the man Jesus Christ who arrived on Christmas day and now walks among us.

All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. When our ego and agenda  get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, we find that the little place inside where we really are. Ironically it is small but more abundant, real, precious and more than enough. At that place, we will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. We will be fully alive one breath at a time.

Offering every Thursday 9:15 in ADVENT. Learning and sharing on Texts for lectio through December. St Paul’s Anglican San Miguel Allende.


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Christian Feminism

Many women are restless and dissatisfied with the Churches refusal to dignify women. They find no benefit from their long devoted silence. No matter how much female devotion and dedication to the teachings, the Church institution continues to limit the service of women. Most women active in today’s church have come into contact with those in control who refuse to re frame the outdated “ancient” teachings institutionalized by men. Women and tired of always getting permission form a man. Bias changes too slowly.

In 1960 the Roman Catholic Church changed celebrating mass in Latin to each countries native language, before that it was Latin everywhere. It was a necessary alteration in the mass. People had changed and many no longer studied or spoke any Latin anywhere. In addition for centuries Catholics were encouraged not to read the bible independently for fear of false or misleading interpretations. The church had to change a long tradition to suite the times. This was a magnificent change opening communication and debate and thinking. How the church treats Women is a similar landscape which also needs change. Imagine men went to the moon in 1964 but after 2,000 years only a few nations are beginning to ponder the position of women in today’s church or society.

TRUTH Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”.

Catholic Theological Society of America,“Tradition and the Ordination of Women”

Some biblical text defend the absence of Women’s voices. It began with Adam and Eve but remember they both got thrown out!  Words fuel theological debates but without reflection and new perspectives we are victims of living in a sate of ignorance about our contemporary world. Centuries ago women were accepted as inferior to men and considered unworthy, poor things were easily led astray. In the 2nd century Tertullian, said of woman: “You are the devil’s gateway”; in the 3rd century Origen wrote: “What is seen with the eyes of the creator is masculine, and not feminine, for God does not stoop to look upon what is feminine; in the 4th century Epiphanius said: “The devil seeks to vomit out his disorder through women.”

YUP outrageous, Harsh words indeed!

The early Gnostic influences must have really threatened the mainline developing church institution during the first two centuries. The teachings were decidedly unacceptable, too radical, too inclusive, too mystical to teach and therefore rejected, ridiculed and squashed. Many of the texts highlighted commonality and common spirit within all of creation. Yet, the church chose to shape the cultural prejudice against women making them inferior to men by nature and by law. A male dominated church rose and kept the control. As late as St Thomas Aquinas 1250, we have a well developed attitude: “… the individual nature, a woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power….”. Theology like this altered the agenda of the day.

Ladies, if you have ever wondered where the teachings came from, the framework for our continual debasement, the doctrines which have been hailed as word of God, these kinds of text held to be truth are it. If the men are so enlightened and want to teach the word of God, those in power will have to recognize the error and make amends, for too long we have failed to see accurately the God given blessed commonality within the male/female relationship. Those in power have the power to omit the words and teaching which do not serve but only hinder and separate women. The passed has passed and we are fast coming into a new age of awareness. We are waking up to a new world. The sky and the mountains and the oceans have always witnessed truth, only humanity has failed to see clearly how balanced creation is and how it fits together as a whole.

We Can Allow Change.

It is not heretical to think there is equality with difference between the sexes. We are by no means finished learning to be one body in Christ, we have yet to fully develop and honor the feminine side. Our leaders must condemn sexual discrimination in their congregations on every level and work to put an end to the subordination of women in every community and societies around the world


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Coloring Books

Time to order Coloring Books with

beautiful images to share


This is great resource for your church or school is this book filled with spiritual imagery offering contemporary ideas with an old world feel for the divine. The 26 historical images are bold, and fun to color, while the journal space beside each image is for jotting down reflections and insights.

Ancient Image, Sacred Lines is an ideal option for members from the christian community who want to work on a commemorative project; for a love one who is about to move from the congregation; or a wonderful memorial gift for any one of your parishioners. If you’re a painter or like to color, the artist in you can pick the image you’d like to work with or for those who like to write in journals, take notes or just write down thoughts, Ancient Image, Sacred lines is also perfect combination.

For children and adults alike.

Each of these 26 historical images can be used for meditation or as a template for those who have been painting icons and are looking for new ideas to experiment with.

Coloring Books today are increasingly popular. Write a book of your own, where you color the illustrations as well as write the text. Experiment with markers, watercolors, crayons, pencils or pastels to create your own iconographic art.

Each image has a tiny message and an empty page to fill with text, encouraging you to write out your own insights and thoughts about the image. With time you will have a wonderful visual journal filled with memorable insights and memories.

A collection of images, ideal for those reflective moments in life; whether at home or in the hospital, this is something you can use during those WAITING moments in life. Ancient Image, Sacred lines is designed to offer caring spiritual support during difficult moments in life.     Ancient Image, Sacred Lines  CLICK

Mary Jane Miller has 20 years experience as a master iconographer and today she is offering a creative idea, a way to slow down and concentrate on the beauty happening within

Buy One, or order several for school or the hospital gift show

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Iconography Workshop Scheduled

Jubilee House Retreat & Conference Center

July 16 to 20, 2018

In Southwest Virginia, the historical town of  Abingdon there is  a delightful retreat center filled with light and good energy to host an iconography workshop. We will have long mornings and afternoons to meditate, paint and enjoy the atmosphere. Great conversation and exchanges always arise at these workshops, the subject and tradition make for a fascinating mix of ancient technique and contemporary revival of eternal wisdom. Do not miss this opportunity to take time out from your busy life, to accept some instruction and meditate on what an amazing thing it is to be alive and here now.

This is an ancient language handed down from Byzantium times, 1,500 years ago. The practice reveals itself through the image and patient application, one brush stroke at a time.  Each  movement, breath, emotion or insight is left on the surface as a small history recorded as a witness to who you are.

The idea of moving small particles of sand around with a brush to create a divine image is exhilarating, it is contemplative.

Details on our website, Sacred Icon Retreat

Some say, “It is a surprise to be here, or I know nothing about this kind of painting  or this is amazing”. It is a wonderful time out; there is no place to get to, only a chance to gaze into icon images with silent satisfaction. Keeping the mind still and focused as seeing and listening “is” prayer. It could be someones first encounter with an icon and could be their last but one thing I am certain of, the experience and meaning are unforgettable. I am a rebel icon painter, self taught and un-orthodox but not without tremendous love of icons, its theology and an honest desire to share what creating them has taught me.

For info contact  and cost  Karen & Bob Vaughan

Or write to Mary Jane Miller

The facilities mountain atmosphere, good food and labyrinth circle make for a perfect retreat center. All ages welcome as well as all levels, no experience necessary.

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