Gaff ~ Thoughts of a Fisherman

GAFF on Hurricanes 
Lorena R. Peter, Ph.D.*
[as it appeared in the June 2010 Newsletter]

[Previous Article]

Gaff got to the beach early. Early enough to watch the sun coming up over the ocean. Early enough to enjoy the sparkling light effects of golden sun on water. He didn’t set up his stuff until the show was over. Once his baited hooks were out there ready to bring in the big one, he settled into his chair to wait.

Bobby arrived later. The job as security guard in a local factory was cutting into his time on the beach. He repeated to Gaff-and to himself-the sacrifice would be worth it once he got up and running with his security consulting business. He was learning a lot that answered questions he had as a cop. It was all good, he kept saying. It’s all good.

The two men looked to the pelicans for signs of fish. They sat in silent wonder at the dark clouds rolling in from the southeast, clouds that spoke of violent storms.

Bobby asked, “You don’t think we’ll have to run out of here fast, do you? That looks like a pretty big front.”

Gaff nodded toward the clouds. “Might be that tropical storm they keep threatening us with. Missed Florida this time.”

 “Hope it misses us.”

Gaff squinted toward the water. “I think I see the predators working the schools of fish. Hate to think we might miss the big one because of a little wind.”

 Bobby laughed. “You and the big one. Have you ever caught it?”

 “Yep, I get ’em from time to time. Got you, didn’t I?”

 “Ha, ha.”

Beyond Bobby, Gaff could see Sally stomping up the beach. “Uh oh. Did you make Sally mad again?”

Bobby turned to look along Gaff’s sightline. “Nope. Haven’t seen her today.”

“She looks like a squall storming toward us. More threatening then those clouds.”

They watched as Bobby’s cousin moved toward them, fast enough to kick up quantities of sand. Her face was red and drawn into a sour grimace. Her hands clinched into fists that beat the air as she moved.

Bobby groaned. “Now what?”

They didn’t have long to wait for the answer. Sally started before she got to them. “You tell that she-devil to move out of my house. I won’t have a pagan or a devil worshiper living with me. I am a good Christian woman and I won’t have it, you hear? I won’t have it.”

Gaff answered even though Bobby was the object of the tirade. “Who’re you talking about? What she-devil?”

“That Priscilla. That’s who.”

“Is she a pagan because she’s a writer or because she’s dating Bobby?”

“She’s got a lot of strange reading material that’s anti-Christian. She’s got the Gospel of Mary and A Course in Miracles. And she’s reading it right there in my living room. The nerve of her. She knows I’m a Christian.” Sally jammed her fists on her hips.

Gaff laughed. “Will you have to get your preacher to come over to bless your house to get all the devil germs out?”

Bobby looked at him reproachfully.

Sally hurrumped loudly. “Has she turned you, too?”

Gaff motioned for Sally to sit on his cooler, but she refused. Couldn’t fold that anger into a sitting position.

She turned on Bobby. “I want you to go get her out of my house this minute. This minute, ya hear.”

“Why do you say those books are of the devil?” Gaff checked the tip of his rod for signs that he had one on the hook. Maybe.

“They’re against the Bible, that’s why.” She kicked the sand to punctuate her statement.

“Have you read them? What in them offended you?”

“I wouldn’t read that tripe. My preacher said it was of the devil.”

“So you accepted what he said without checking it out for yourself.”

“He’s a very smart man and trained at seminary.”

“Does that mean he’s infallible?”

“You mean, like the Pope?” Her brow furrowed in thought. Gaff had heard her rail against those Catholics.

“Did you ask him what parts of A Course in Miracles he didn’t like?”

“No, I didn’t. He says that the people who wrote it say it came from Jesus. That just can’t be. Blasphemy.”

Gaff decided to take a different course through these shoals. He looked at the clouds coming from the southeast. “We might soon get a storm.”

Sally looked uncertain, but soon turned to look toward the southeast. “Could be.”

“Those clouds are moving pretty fast, piling up on top of each other.”

She nodded. “It does look ominous. You think it’ll get to us this time?”

Gaff ignored her question. “I’ve heard that a butterfly in Africa can stir up so much wind with its wings that it can result in a hurricane on this side of the planet.”

Bobby laughed. “Do you believe that?”

Sally laughed, too. “That’s silly.” She relaxed enough to sit on the cooler.

Gaff shrugged. “Does it matter? Butterfly’s wings or change in pressure up there. End result is a storm. If it comes our way we need to get ready for it.”

Bobby looked at his friend and smiled.

Sally looked confused. “Board up the windows and evacuate… It doesn’t matter whether a butterfly started it.”

“Hurricane can change your life forever. Sometimes, it’s important to look at the result instead of the cause. If it was started by a butterfly would you take the hurricane any less seriously?”

Sally shook her head in response. “A hurricane’s a hurricane. That’s serious.”

“Isn’t that book supposed to teach people the Way of Love?”

The sudden change of direction confused her. “What?”

“I know a little bit about that book. It shows people how to come out of love in every situation. Is that bad?”

“Well-l-l, no. I don’t think that is. Is that what it’s about?”

“I’ve looked at it and that’s pretty much what it says.”

“It says everybody can work miracles, doesn’t it? That’s blasphemy.”

“What makes it blasphemy?”

“Only Jesus could work miracles. That’s why.”

“Are the Pope and the higher ups of the Catholic Church blasphemous when they canonize someone to give them the status of Sainthood? A lot of times Sainthood is justified by reported miracles.”

“Well-l-l, no. But those are special people.”

“What makes the Saints so special? They were people living lives just like you and me.”

She took some time to mull this over. “Didn’t they spend their lives doing good works? Like priests and nuns.”

“Not all of them and not all priests and nuns are canonized. No, what makes them different is they were expressions of the kind of love that Jesus preached… and lived.”

She nodded enthusiastically. “That’s what I meant.”

“So if you learn to be an expression of unconditional love, why can’t you work miracles?”

Her answer came quickly. “Because I’m not a Saint.”

“They weren’t either when they were alive. They made mistakes and had serious doubts. Sr. Mary Elizabeth Seaton had a husband and twelve children before she became a nun. Then she founded an order and did good works. She’s a good example of how we can grow from life experiences.”

Sally leaned over to pick up a shell. “I didn’t know that.”

“What set them apart from others is a personal relationship with God.”

“A personal relationship?”

“A relationship that doesn’t depend on someone else as a go-between. A relationship that’s based on understanding the power of faith.”

“I understand the power of faith.”

Gaff noticed the tip of his rod wiggle. “Once you have that relationship, you can call on it to work miracles in your own life.”

“That’s the power of prayer. How can I do this?”

“That’s what the Course is about. How to develop that personal relationship with Jesus and then how to express that love in miracles to help people around you.”

“Do you think my preacher is against that book because he’s afraid it’ll put him out of work? After all, if people have a personal relationship with God then they won’t need him.”

“People won’t need him, but what about the good feelings you get from being in a group expressing love? That’ll draw us to church. The singing is full of love, too. It isn’t a competition. Church leaders should encourage people to study inspired writings so they get more out of the services.”

“But, first, he would have to read A Course in Miracles to find out what’s in it.”

 “And that might force him outside his comfort zone. People fear change more than anything and he might be afraid that reading this little book might require him to change.”

“I’m going to get a copy of it. If I know more about it, I’ll be more convincing when I talk to him.” With this, she stood to retrace her footsteps back up the beach. Sally had only walked a couple of yards when she turned to them. “Bobby, Priscilla can stay… You think she’ll let me read her copy of that book? Until I get my own, of course.”

Bobby grinned. “Of Course! I’m sure she would.”

Once Sally was on her way again, Bobby turned laughing to Gaff. “You are a wonder, you know?”

“According to the Course, there is no difference in the magnitude of miracles.”

“And you work miracles all the time!”

“Not me alone. I’m guided by Mother Water. She’s the physical expression of the Christ Energy and the spirit of the planet. For me, she’s the ultimate expression of unconditional love. She brings the people to me and tells me how to help them.”

“Like that movie, hunh? Where the inhabitants of Pandora knew they were a part of the whole, including the planet and everything on it.”

“Like A Course in Miracles. We are one, a part of the whole. Hell is the belief that we’re alone.”

“Of Course!”


*Lorena Peter, Ph.D., writes entertaining mysteries, romances and wisdom books. All have strong spiritual underpinnings and paranormal elements. She blends a medical intuition and healing practice (and travel) with her writing. For more information go to WWW.LORENAPETER.COM. There you will see photographs of locations discussed in Gaff as well as a chapter for your perusal. You may contact her on Facebook. For her understanding of the Course, she thanks Carmen Cameron and the class in Louisville, KY.

Poems by J.Michaels

The Realm of Endless Stock
By J. Michaels*
[as it appeared in the June 2010 Newsletter]


Enter the realm of knowledge

The Mind without a frame

A point of reference so vast

Eternity and it are the same

No analysis, no calculations, no fee

Nothing to figure out

No place to look for answers

To questions of what about…

You simply know

That is all

There when you need it

Preventing all falls

It sure is a lot easier

When certainty exists

To know what is needed

To need not insist

On nuclear responses

On keys to doors unlocked

There is nothing to acquire

In a realm of endless stock

From The Final Step – copyright 2010 J. Michaels

*J. Michaels is a longtime ACIM student and lifelong student of the human mind and spirit.
He has authored books in non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. Profoundly influenced by ACIM, his writing challenges popular beliefs and expresses the spiritual in a unique storytelling style. His poetry is published in the Musings of Mind and Spirit series and he is also author of the novella
Treasure of the Mind. [reviewed here] Works by J Michaels may be seen on his blog at


Q and A with Carmen

Good Questions 

Questions & Answers

By the late Carmen Cameron*
[as it appeared in the June 2010 Newsletter]


There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question“, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years. 


“There are so many spiritual teachers to choose between and some of their teachings seem to conflict. Do you have any advice on how to discern between them?”


What a great question! (And also what a delicate one, as well.)

I will share with you what has helped me in my own learning to discern whose teachings will be most helpful for me.

One of the things (and it took me years to learn) is that there are no “perfect” people for the Holy Spirit to use as teachers.

Just like you and me, dear soul, even the “big” teachers are still learning, too. Some faster than others. Some with purer hearts than others. But ALL of them are flawed, one way or another (or they just would not be in form, would they?)

And it is also important to remember that the Plan of the Atonement is so all-inclusive and yet completely gentle that each and every teacher is responding to a call from a specific set of hungry minds that can best hear the truth as it is expressed by that particular teacher’s method of explaining it.
(I call that group of people specific to each teacher their “divinely ordained target market”.)

Plus, in my own internal struggles with this question through the years, I have gotten some very specific guidance on how to discern a genuine teacher of truth that might also be helpful to you.

TIP #1: Are they empowering their students or are they “special”, claiming some unique connection to Spirit that isn’t available to EVERYONE?

It is a really bad sign if someone is claiming the latter simply because it goes against everything the Course has to say about authentic teachers – THEY teach in order to EQUALIZE.

And Spirit is simply never partial!


TIP #2: While not expected to have perfected any one of them yet, is a teacher clearly demonstrating the 10 Characteristics of a Teacher of God listed in the Course’s Manual? 

And those traits are:  Trust (of both God and their brothers), Honesty (what they do is consistent with what they teach), Tolerance, Gentleness, Joy, Defenselessness, Generosity, Patience, Faithfulness and Open-Mindedness.

The Manual is like the photograph on the cover of a jigsaw puzzle box – it shows what the “completed picture” looks like – in other words, how to recognize what the Course’s goal for YOU actually is by seeing its demonstration by an authentically advanced teacher.

TIP #3:  Can they be questioned or are they upset or angered by it? Are they open (“Open-Minded”) to new or different information or do they reject (or ridicule) a questioner?

If the really good teachers have anything in common, in my opinion, it is that they must first be consistently devoted and committed life-long STUDENTS.

And a good student not only allows for questions but actually welcomes them as a precious gift – a way to refine their own understanding – a highly useful learning tool that, not incidentally, actually serves to  underscore their innate equality with their brothers and reaffirms their actual status as the HOLY SPIRIT’s student.

And it might be helpful to remember that absolutely everyone, who is actually growing, will “graduate” from one human teacher to another human teacher as the student authentically progresses (and the teacher being graduated FROM should be happy for their students’ progression). And this process will be both natural and true until the student is ready to go straight to the Ultimate Teacher – the Holy Spirit – for themselves, once they feel confident enough to do so. This would be the natural result of a state of mind that is hopefully achieved through the love and encouragement of all their former (merely human) spiritual teachers.

That is why I try to keep reminding people that the Holy Spirit is their best and truest Teacher and that I am (along with ALL the other dedicated teachers) merely one of His MANY helpers for them until they are comfortable that they are able to recognize their own personal, INTERNAL Guidance.

The Course says that the Holy Spirit will bring to each teacher the particular souls that they can help. That fact MEANS that there will be many valid teachers with particular “divinely ordained target markets”. So don’t worry or feel guilty if a particularly popular teacher doesn’t seem to be speaking to you. It just means that you’re not in their “demographic”. Nothing more than that.

Anyway, by way of summation, just trust, dear soul, that your own path is absolutely perfect (and so is everyone else’s) and put aside any doubt or guilt and just begin taking your own first steps toward learning how to TRUST that you, too, have the God-given capacity to discern your OWN Internal Guidance.

(That’s really the only lesson that a genuine teacher of God teaches, anyway.)


* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and presented again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is:


Scribing by Sun~Rose


Jesus Expanding The Miracle Principles
Given In His Course In Miracles
original edition

as received and transcribed by Sun~Rose*
[as it appeared in the June 2010 Newsletter]


May 23, 2006

19. Miracles make minds one in God.
In Truth no miracle could ever be performed were not this Oneness always True.  Were separation possible, communication would forever cease; for though it seems to move through time and space, words falling from your lips and entering the ears, this is but another illusion as all communication is by Mind, just as You can clearly hear Me now and feel My smile.

And do You not feel a safety, a restful undefendedness when We confer? For We are equals, though You remember not.  My Voice is *Realer* to You than anyone You’ve ever heard, and always ready, waiting for your willingness.

It is not so with bodies, is it?  I’ll tell You why.  Each one of Us has Infinite facets of Identity, body – or embodiment – being only one.  Because the limited view of body – from the third dimensional perspective – was so amusing at first, the ego fixated on that as its identity; and so that has become who and what You think You are.

As thought drifted farther and farther from remembrance of Home, embodiment’s distortion grew.  Humor was lost and the body became – to You all – serious stuff indeed, rather than a simple and a beautiful tool – a facet of You for Identification – the exercise of the Visibility and Tangibility of Spirit.

Many myths were invented to explain its odd behavior, and they became the norm.  And yet, Who You Are remains unchanged, held safe by God.  This Fact – Our Oneness and, therefore, your eternal safety – is the foundation of every miracle.


(1972 manuscript as given to Hugh Lynn Cayce
by Helen Schucman and William Thetford)

Chapter 1

I. Principles of Miracles



May 24, 2006

They depend on cooperation,

Whose cooperation?  Yours.  You’ve not got to coerce anyone to be healed, to see it ‘your way’ or the ‘right way’.  Just You.  If You will Join with Me, You are cooperating.  Cooperating merely means being willing to be in your natural state of Oneness with All.

I know this seems monumental to the ego mentality, which absolutely loves to decide everything alone.  Oh, it may ask for advice from other egos, perhaps more learnèd, but ultimately the decision is your own.  You may seem to be only one in millions, even billions, and yet –because the Sonship is the sum of all the Souls God created. – your decision to cooperate – since minds are joined as surely as Mind is One and All – your Joining brings the experience to every consciousness that has decided to go it on its own.  And they are perhaps a little comforted.  And those who do not yet feel anything have had their connection opened.

Miracles therefore rest on the laws of eternity, not of time.  And what makes the shift from time unto Eternity but Joining, for they are always happening one and the same.

Time is what You think is going on, while Eternity is What Is always True.  (Here We see the impossibility of deterioration, which is the key to healing all.  Could You – or anyone or thing – ever have deteriorated from your Ultimate Perfection? This cannot be as Our Source sustains Us All.)

May 25, 2006

Your Perfection and Wholeness is Eternal, ever-available.  It is untouched, unchanged by the human dream.  I cannot say this strongly enough.  It is imperative for You to waken from your mesmeric delusion of Life.

How may You know whether You are experiencing Real Life or not?  By your measure of Peace and Joy and Energy.  This is absolutely a treatment of healing for Melanie and You must hold sacred her Wholeness.

As You continue to listen to the next Miracle Principle, You will see the basis from which I speak.


to be continued….

*Sun~Rose is the scribe of the recently published book,



 BOTH now available on
%d bloggers like this: