Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reaching the Finish Line

Photo Credit: (c) 2016 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

The finish line is in site.  The 30 Poems in November challenge is at its end.  One more day of poeming and I will be ready to revise my poems, picking one to read at the celebration held at Smith College's Poetry Center in three weeks.

Many, many thanks to family and friends who supported my efforts.  I am blessed, as are our students, by your generosity. For those who may wish to give but haven't yet, simply click on this link: 30 Poems in Nov! Linda Neas. Click on Donate Now and follow the directions.
 

Today's prompt was to write a love poem (my favorite!).  Here is my contribution:

ANOTHER DAY 

The alarm serenely plays 
a gentle calling to awaken. 
I roll over, gathered in by your arms. 
Snuggling, we begin our daily ritual of life together. 
Giggling over silliness, 
we rise to greet the morn, 
giving thanks for another day to dance 
before breakfast; 
to sing harmony to each 
others thoughts; 
to play like children 
in awe of everything. 

 © 2016 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas 

Again, thank you for all the support both emotional and monetary.  I am truly grateful!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Shades of Angels by Teal L. Gray





I am so excited to have my friend and fellow writer/minister, Teal Gray here on Words from the Heart to introduce her new book Shades of Angels. Teal, what drew me to your book, before I even opened it, was the title. Can you explain how you came up with the title and what it means? 

That’s a great question Linda that nobody has asked before. I had interactions with angels throughout my life and they were never the same. There were definite and subtle differences. In life, I believe everything can’t be divided into either a black box or a white box. People, entities, situations, whatever you are dealing with has its own unique traits and perspectives, shades of who they are, if you will. Some are darker shades; some that are more towards the light, would have shades of that end of the spectrum. 

I believe we are in between an unseen battle between angels of light, darkness and other entities between those extreme polarities. Some are battling to protect us, while others have less good intentions for our lives. 

What compelled you to write a book about angels? 

I felt it was necessary to bring the dark angels to people’s attention. I had, especially over the last two years, been met with many people, who have told me they connected with and communicated with angels. This was wonderful because the encounters were all good and helped the people order their lives. 

However, I was alarmed because, after speaking with them, I realized they believed only good, well-intentioned angels interact with us. Some were even ministers! I was shocked. Hadn’t they read the Bibles they were carrying? 

All through the Bible and other religious and spiritual writings there is talk about very different angels: warrior angels, angels of light, the fallen-now-dark angels, and all their battles with us situated in between. 

Throughout the book there are beautiful photos and artwork. How did you find the artists who seemed to be so in sync with your writing?

Mark Elliott Fults is a self-taught psychic, artist, trance medium, songwriter and storyteller. He has two books, Chattanooga Chills and the upcoming, Chattanooga Chills: Scream Louder. He also stars in the YouTube show, “Shadows Paranormal.” 

I met Mark Elliott Fults at an event in 2015. We realized we were kindred spirits, which began a wonderful friendship and working partnership. I believe the angels guided his hand as he created the illustrations and the cover for Shades of Angels

He has explained that his art took on a new level after a near-death experience. He has a deep connection to the spirit realm and I believe they work through him. I believe his art is a powerful connector between the viewer and the world of the unseen. 

I was aware of angels from a very young age. When was the first time you realized, there were angels in the world? What happened? 

When I was young, I don’t remember making any distinction between angels and other spirits. The stories people told me always left me amazed. 

Christmas angels and cherubs, in my mind, were gentle helpers to humans. Only in adulthood, after encountering light and dark angels, spirits, and created beings from deceased human beings, did I begin to understand the complex and gentle balance we walk between the two worlds, as well as the shades in their personalities and intentions. In understanding this balance, we are less likely to fall for a trap, or overlook a helpful intervention. 

In your book, you speak of the existence of benevolent and malevolent beings. How did you come to this understanding? 

I have had a few encounters. One brief story in the book is of one that showed me that they are waiting for us to drop our guard. 

It was a very cold, deep winter day, I was in the back part of my house, which looks out over the acreage of the fruit trees planted there. I had not been thinking about, or watching anything scary, dark, or paranormal. 

I was looking at the snow drifting peacefully over the land and as beautiful as it was, I hoped my fruit trees would survive the extended freeze we were in. All the sudden, I felt a heaviness to the room. A silence fell over everything. I could no longer hear the usual house noises of clocks ticking, street traffic passing by, nothing. Then, in my mind, a deep seductive male voice said, “You only believe in what you can prove these days.” 

The voice sent a chill through me when it ended in a sort of raspy hiss. I knew it was a dark energy. With that realization, before I could pray to God to protect me, I seemed to go into a sort of trance, frozen like my trees. 

The voice seemed amused. It said, “Humans are so easy to manipulate, you think you rule this world, but you don’t. And you can’t control what’s happening to you now. Don’t worry,” he exhaled deeply, “I just want to visit, to correct your thinking.” 

Whatever this entity was, unfortunately it was in control, and all I could do was listen. This was not something that happens to me. I stay very guarded most of the time. 

He went on to say, “You don’t believe people when they tell you a demon came a calling!” He laughed. “Well I am one. I want you to remember this visit, so I’m going to let you go.” He continued in a deep throaty voice that was terrifying yet, inviting all at the same time. “Look outside again, what do you see, tell me?” 

I felt like I had snapped out of the trance, and looking outside, I thought what just happened must have been an awful daydream or something. I didn’t even care, my thoughts were only on the beautiful, sunny day outside and where I could get enough containers to haul all the ripe pears in. I felt such an urgency to get the crops in before they rotted. The trees were so heavy with fruit, that the ground was blanketed with them! It was the best crop I had ever had, and I was so excited, imagining all the preserves and desserts I would make. 

Then, right before I turned to go search for baskets or containers, I felt a light touch run down my face and neck. Then a voice said, “Look again. Do you see how we can make you see things that aren’t there, to feel things, and manipulate you with such ease?” Looking back toward the window, I was more chilled than the temperature outside. My mind was racing trying to make sense of what just happened. The trees were like I originally saw them – everything frozen and lifeless. The only thing blanketing the ground was snow! 

The last chapter in your book is on protections. If angels are spirits of Light, why would people need to know how to protect themselves? 

I believe it is important that people understand when they open themselves up to the spirit world, they do not know with certainty who they are dealing with - angel, demon, deceased human or a long list of other entities. I believe it is crucial to pray to God to protect you from all evil, to surround you with his protective light and to ask only to hear from messengers of God. 

While this is still not a guarantee that all will be well, it is helpful. Angels are communicators and messengers. They work with your higher consciousness, or higher self, to relay those messages. This is your connection to the heavens and God, or a higher source or power depending on your belief system. Your Higher Self acts as a filter, so when you decide to open yourself to new teachings, or messages of inspiration, you can command your higher part of yourself to allow only that which is in your highest, greatest good to come to you, align with your soul’s purpose, and assist you in every area of your life. 

I want people to interact with their higher self, good angels and entities in a wonderful way. I do. But please, use protection and caution. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? 

I hope the varied stories contained in the book from multiple authors gives people a place of reference for their experiences and questions in dealing with angels. I hope Shades of Angels is an enjoyable and informative way to be introduced to angels as well as to those who are very familiar with them.