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Old 11-30-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
bluidkiti
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Default Daily Feast - December

December 1st - 7th

TWELVE
Tali Du'

SNOW MONTH
U ski' Ya

Twelve times the trees have dropped their leaves and yet we have received no land.

CHIEF COBB - CHOCTAW, 1843

December 1 - Daily Feast

Distant hills are blue-gray humps along the horizon and a blend of orange and purples sprays across the sky in extra-long pointed fingers. Millions of bare tree limbs give the appearance of gray fur laid across the valley. It is winter and the first snows have dusted the woodland and sparkle on the rocks and along the trickling stream. There is a quietness here, a muted sound of dogs barking and an owl tuning up for the evening. Now is the time for honest reflection, time to leave the gritty and unseemly, to make a new beginning. Time is of the essence. Find the new path, raise the new hope, lift up your voice in thanksgiving. This is your opportunity.

~ I desire you would open and clear your eyes. ~

TEEDYUSCUNG - DELAWARE, 1760

'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 1

"Sometimes dreams are wiser then waking."

--Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa), OGLALA

The Great Spirit has many ways of communicating with the human being. He talks to us through the five senses-sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. For example, we can observe nature and see a lesson or get an answer. These five senses function primarily in the physical world. But we also have the ability to receive communication from the Unseen World. To do this we have a sixth sense. It comes in the form of dreams, imagination, intuition, inspiration or a hunch. Along with the dream or intuitive thought there is a feeling, a knowing. We just know it's true without the need for proof. We need to pay attention to our dreams and intuition. Don't cast them off as being silly or useless. Be respectful to our dreams and feelings.

Creator, if you speak to me through dreams, let me know it in terms I can understand.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

At times, Americans seem too easily taken, too docile to political movements, and too indifferent to their own responsibilities as a free people. How easy it is to turn our heads and tell ourselves that there are intelligent people in high authority looking over our interests and that they will never let our freedom be lost. This kind of thinking is a fallacy. America still belongs to the people, and it is up to us to tell our representatives in Washington that we want it kept that way.

We are too easily left to believe that we deserve a way of life that appears free and easy. But seemingly free handouts will eventually take away our freedom unless we decide to personally do something about it.

Americans are known for their ability to start with a little ingenuity and a lot of faith to build powerful financial empires. But in great and small there beats a heart of devotion to God and country. In battle, no one could display more bravery, more determination, or more loyalty that these defenders of America. In the face of seeming defeat, young Americans have stood together and fought courageously.

Now, people of all ages must stand together. We must make our views known to the government. We must continually develop within ourselves moral, physical, and spiritual strength and we must pray to God - without that faith, all is lost.
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December 2 - Daily Feast

Some of our greatest victories come when they are least expected and from sources that we have the least faith in. If the most beat-down person keeps the faith and moves ahead just as though he has a written contract with success, he will, even to his own amazement, come out a winner! Most people think there's not a chance of success without great publicity and promotion - and the right connections. But the best connections are spiritually motivated by faith and caring that far overshadow puny human efforts. The will to win is important - but the Almighty Hand never has a failure.

~ The Great Spirit whispers in my ear! ~

BLACK HAWK - SAC

'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 2

"The smarter a man is the more he needs God to protect him from thinking he knows everything."

--George Webb, PIMA

A spiritual person needs to be careful. The more confident we are, the more likely our egos will get us into trouble. It's relatively easy to become self-righteous. We start to think we are teachers and others are students. We start to judge others. We start, very subtlety at first, to play God. After a while we really get good at it. This is very dangerous. We need to remind ourselves, we are here to do God's will. We need to pray every morning. Each day we need to check in with God to see what He would have us do. At night we need to spend time with God and review our day. By doing these things, we will stay on track.

My Creator, guide my path and show me how to correct my life.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Have you ever stood on the sidelines and watched the drama of your own difficulties being acted out in someone else's life? Does it provoke a feeling of gratitude that here I will witness something that will help me solve my own problem? Or does it invite a feeling of smugness that they were not so capable of hiding theirs as I have been of concealing mine.

Hiding one's difficulties can be compared to concealing an elephant. The only possible way to keep it a secret would be to keep it from those who could care less in the first place. If they were face to face with your elephant they would register little surprise and proceed immediately to forget it.

In fact, there is considerable danger in looking down on those who are trying to get their lives on the right track. At least they have the intestinal fortitude to try. And to pretend that one has nothing to overcome is merely polishing the front glass while the back door falls away.

Smugness or compassion? It was Cowper who reminded us, "Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will."

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December 3 - Daily Feast

Much has grieved us, we cannot deny it. Strong as we are, believing as we do, we are still grieved, and we must overcome it. To stop grieving does not mean we no longer care, but that we cannot let this emotion consume us when we need a steady hand and a firm step. It will creep back in unlikely moments to make us cry but time will replace the pain with happy memories. Once we have a flicker of light we can know that grieving is at an end. It can no longer take our whole thought because we have things to do, places to go, and a life to live. This is the time.

~ He orders all things, and He has given us a fine day. ~

RED JACKET - SENECA

'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 3

"Listen to the howl of our spiritual brother, the wolf, for how it goes with him, so it goes for the natural world."

--Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders

If we watch nature, we can tell a lot about what is going on in the world. The animals and the plants are great teachers. Some time ago, crops were sprayed with a poison to kill the insects. Other animals ate the insects. The small animals were eaten by the Eagles and the Wolves. We live in an interconnected system. What we do to one, we do to all. If our spiritual brothers are living in balance, chances are we humans are also living in balance.

Great Spirit, let me listen to my Earth teachers, the plants and the animals.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Before we can share with others, we must have something to share. And all of us do have something to give. Not material things, but we can share our peace and our love and our loyalty.

Before we can share with others, there must be others with whom to share. For if we are selfish and self-centered enough, we will never have to worry about sharing anything. We will be alone.

Before we can expect others to share with us, we must be capable of accepting. We must be worthy of others who desire to share with us; we must deserve their love.

Before the two of us can ever find anything in this world of mutual interest, we must have enough concern and enough love to feel a need within to produce something good enough to offer; not only to others, but to ourselves. If we have abused our own nature with thoughts of bitterness, harboring painful experiences, self-condemnation for little progress regardless of circumstances, then we have nothing to offer.

The French philosopher Achilles Poincelot once said, "Some people think that all the world should share their misfortunes, though they do not share in the sufferings of anyone else."

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December 4 - Daily Feast

Early December has rich earthy color that stands for strength and durability. Hundred-yea-old oaks stand guard over a multitude of younger growth and bear the brunt of cold winds and heavy snows. The little creeks hollow out from rushing waters and refill with sand and stones washed down from the hills. Everywhere are signs of longevity and power. Huge boulders tilted on end or covered by moss and lichen harbor the fox and possum. Regardless of how cultivated the land may be in one season, it returns to nature in another. No time shows nature's raw strength like winter - and few things have to be hardier than people.

~ The Great Spirit and giver of light.....has made the earth and everything in it.... ~

PONTIAC - DELAWARE

'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 4

"In the end I tell my children, there's no way I can tell you how to be an Acoma, how to be an Indian. You have to experience it."

--Stanley Paytiamo, ACOMA PUEBLO

Each person must make their own journey. It is like every human is given a life canoe. The canoe has one seat and one paddle. In order to get anything out of life we must be in the canoe and we must paddle down the river of life. Now, I can share with you how my journey has been, but I cannot paddle your canoe. You must paddle your own. Good luck!

Creator, I'm so glad I have You to guide my path.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Two qualities so well liked in people are brightness and warmth, both parts of the sun. Sir David Brewster was a Scottish physicist of the eighteenth century. His study of the material world and its phenomena called the sun glorious, "the center and soul of our system, the lamp that lights it, the fire that heats it, the magnet that guides and controls it, the fountain of color which gives its azure to the sky, its verdure to the fields, its rainbow-hues to the gay world of flowers, and the purple light of love to the marble cheek of youth and beauty."

What more beautiful qualities for any human being to possess than to have a soul at the center of its system, to light the appearance, to warm the feelings, to guide and control it through its colorful moods, and to let it rise as high as the azure skies and as wide as the gay world of flowers. But better yet, to be most beautiful with the purple light of love. What more to be given than the same qualities of the sun - by one Creator.

To live we need more than light, we need warmth. We need more than strength, we need grace. And more than all these we need love. There can be no greater joy than to see our respect for each other - the warmth and grace and love that bind together people in mutual concern.

Only when we can lay aside our personal feelings, our self-concern and worry of our own gain, can we join in true communion and fellowship with others. And to feel a sense of belonging is necessary to humankind.

It is the nature, not only to be liked and wanted, but to like and want others. And in this relationship find not just warmth but light, not only grace but strength, and in all of these find love.

"Walk in the light and thou shalt see thy path, though thorny, bright; for God, by grace, shall dwell in thee, and God himself is light." - Barton

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December 5 - Daily Feast

The Cherokee calls this month U Ski'YA - the Snow Month. A dusting of snow softens the rustling leaves and defines the edges of rocks and trees that are hidden in heavy foliage in other seasons. This is the quiet time, the sharp edge of winter adjusting the land unto itself. The woods would be gray if it were not for the blue mist that hangs like soft gauze drapery through every glen and cleft in the hills. Evergreens thrive in soft leaf-matted ravines, and cottonwoods stand stark against the dark woods. When the winds lay down in late evening the horizon clears to show vivid colors and every window is gilded gold until the sun disappears and the blue hour comes. It is as quiet as when the earth was created - and then an owl calls.

~ I stand here upon this great plain with the broad sunlight pouring down upon it. We shall be brothers and friends for all our lives. ~

RED CLOUD - OGLALA SIOUX

'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 5

"I've had a long regard for generational things: pottery, cultural things, participation in dancing, extended family. Only in that way does culture survive; only in that way is culture active.

--Tessie Naranjo, SANTA CLARA PUEBLO

Culture teaches us how to live and it ensures that knowledge about life is handed down from generation to generation. Culture gives us the feeling of belonging. It helps us raise our family in a good way. It teaches us how to treat one another. Culture sets boundaries for societies. We need to develop our culture. If we have left our culture, then we need to come back to it. Culture leads us back to the Great Spirit. Sometimes in our lives, we leave what we know works and experiment with something else. Then we get into trouble. So we need to come back home. Indian people are lucky to have a culture to return to.

Creator, thank you for the culture. Let me live it today.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Henry David Thoreau, whose love for simplicity often took him into solitude, also wrote of the sensitive side of human nature. "The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling."

How easy is it to destroy the only approach to our true selves. And how often communications are broken down by the brutal force of "getting to the point" and speaking "frankly."

The only time an agreement has been reached by the frankly route is when two people already believe in the same thing. And it is a most infrequent occasion when two people can meet head-on and believe the other honest because that person is direct and wordy.

More often, there must be some thought given to the sensitivity of the other person. First, that person is a human being with human dignity; feelings and thoughts, strong likes and dislikes. And it is a considerate person who has the sensitive perception and insight into the heart of another, and because of that thoughtfulness can be more honest and direct and progress by it.

Nevertheless, if one has to be constantly on the outlook to keep from offending a friend, then that person is not really a friend. It isn't difficult to be a friend to someone who is endearing to everyone. Indeed it is a pleasure to be counted among the person's friends. But it is another thing altogether to be a friend to someone who finds little friendship anywhere.

Other people seldom see us as we are. In fact, who we truly are is lost somewhere among our daily contacts. We react differently to nearly every person we meet. Their personality DNA ours may blend beautifully or they may clash horribly. And we can rather tell where the faith lies when we balance out the blends and the clashes. Are we easy to be friends with, or are we merely acquaintances and nothing more?

If people have to dodge around so many issues in order to keep us sweet, we need to hear some truth about ourselves. If we can't do it, it may have to come from a friend. Then, we must remember the words of Thomas a' Becket, "Better are the blows of a friend than the kisses of an enemy."

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December 6 - Daily Feast

My child, know that you do not follow in the ways of those who experiment in danger. The Great Spirit has given you a mind of your own and it is a good mind, a straight mind, with strengths and vision sacred to you. When your equals jeer and rag and call you a coward, reach down deep in your own mind and know you have gifts and power they will never know about. Never try to explain yourself, but be an example of what you have been taught. Remember if anyone, including an elder, has led you to believe a lie, that you have another Teacher that cannot lie. Hear that voice and listen well. It is grace to you and it will not let you fail.

~ When you say, "Fight!" we shall fight. When you say, "Make peace," we will make peace. ~

FOUR HORNS - SIOUX

'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 6

"And that, I guess, is what it all boils down to-do the right thing, everything goes fine; do the wrong thing, everything's a mess."

--Robert Spott, YUROK

The Elders say every person is born with free will and every person has a specific purpose to accomplish during their life time. When our life is relatively free from obstacles we are walking the path of God's will. If our life is full of obstacles, we are not doing the will of God. Often, the Great Spirit guides us through a system of coincidences. We need to pay attention to coincidences. If we are aware of these, we often can recognize the path which God is showing us. We need to pray and ask Him to show us the path in terms we can understand.

Oh, Great Mystery, let me recognize the coincidences.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Have you considered the effect your presence may have on people around you? Do they need you? The answer is yes. We are somewhat selfish with our presence at times. We want to withdraw and think our own thoughts and read quietly rather than entertaining someone or just listening to them. But we never really know how much they need us, not to perform good deeds for their good, but only to be company to share a happening of the day.

Perhaps within their minds we can quiet some restlessness, assure them that they are needed or give them a feeling of tranquillity. To many life is no simple matter, and to hear them out may be the remedy.

It has been said by a very wise man that if you never make a mistake you're not doing anything.

It is a relief to know that every day, without fail, we come in contact with people who put such confidence in us that we strive ever harder to never fail. Such people build human beings - and there is no job more worthy, or more creative.

Building character and confidence in fellow human beings is a delicate task....for no two people respond in the same way. Challenges may be the way to boost up some individuals, while others may need encouragement and praise to guide them on the way. But, oh, how human we all are having the need for accomplishment....for attention....for approval.

And how great the responsibility for leaders who must have the wisdom to inspire....the integrity to trust....the heart to understand. The race is hard for leader and follower, for each must understand the other - and there must be compassion for the slow, courage for the weak, and appreciation for the loyal. To follow one must be secure to lead one must be very wise.

It should be the practice of all of us that when we hear something complimentary about someone - so tell them. It is so true that man does not live by bread alone, and to be recognized in having done something that rated approval is a very great reward.

Nothing so builds character in children than to let them know someone believes they have a fine potential. That feelings that "someone believes in me" can be the very thing that will anchor their faith deep in hope for humanity.

To be able to see the good acts of others renders service to ourselves. Swiss theologian John Casper Lavater once said, "He is incapable of a truly good action who finds not a pleasure in contemplating the good actions of others."

Appreciation for the achievement of others is akin to sunshine - we simply can't help it shine on other people without feeling the glow ourselves.

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December 7 - Daily Feast

She woke me at midnight to see the pink snow that lay on the ground - the only time I ever recall seeing aurora borealis, the northern lights playing in the far northern skies and tinting the snow. She called me to sit beside her on the doorstep to watch the evening star nestled in the crest of a new moon. It was the only time I ever remember such a thing happening. She got off her horse on a rocky hill near the creek and said simply, "The horses are snorting. A rattlesnake must be nearby." It was coiled and ready to strike - but she showed no fear. She took aim with a rock and we dragged it home on a rope for others in the family to see the rattles. She was an artist in her heart, a teacher, but most of all my loving mother.

~ I had a dream.....one small round stone appeared to me that the maker of all was Wakan Tanka. ~

BRAVE BUFFALO - SIOUX

'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 7

"A man should rely on his own resources; the one who so trains himself is ready for any emergency."

--Oral Tradition, OMAHA

Man is designed to function independently and to rely on the Creator for his resources. If we build our relationship with the Great Spirit, we are ready when emergencies occur. We need to build a trusting relationship with the Creator. We do this by constantly talking with the Creator. It's good to talk to Him many times a day. Then we will realize, even though we can't see Him, that He is always with us and He is ready to respond to our requests.

God, let me remember to talk to You many times today.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Every year at the time of festive paper, ribbons, and shimmering tinsel, we hear at least once, "Christmas has become so commercialized." Christmas is whatever we make it. If we contribute to the commercializing of Christmas by choosing gifts begrudgingly, giving thought only to the dollar spent but never to the spirit of giving, then by our own minds we are losing sight of the most beautiful time.

In the face of those who miss the true meaning of Christmas are the happy people whose lives are based on the gifts they share. There's a simplicity in their shopping, but there is splendor and great joy in the gifts of light they shed.

Their presence is a silent blessing, their words are cheerful, and they smile with kindness. These truly beautiful gifts of sincerity give a rise to the heart that cannot be matched. They are basically the one gift that God gave us called Christ - the priceless gift of love.

If at Christmastime you receive one gift of love, you have received the best gift of all. The genuine product is never packaged, never purchased and impossible to commercialize. And the most delightful and heartwarming time to receive it is right after having given it. It is said that it is not the amount of food, but the cheerfulness of the guests that make the feast. And when we consider that we are guests at the table of life, we must also decide whether we are making it a feast or a famine.

In fact, we are living evidences of whether our lives are feasts or famine. Everything we feed ourselves, whether it is thought, word, deed, or bread is written upon our physical and spiritual lives.

To think of feasting brings to mind a table laden with different and delicious dishes. But, deep in our thoughts we know that without the warmth and light of others, a feast is only a meal. The cheerfulness would be replaced by a meager existence. There would be no laughing faces, no sensing that all is well because love dwells at that table.

And so to share our lives in that manner is to make living a feast. But to withhold our friendship, to know no close communion and happiness is to feel the barrenness of famine.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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