Tuesday, January 30, 2007

An Idea - How About Love?

The finger of God never points where the hand of God isn't somehow making a way.
- Rev. Alvin Kibble

Giving and receiving are one in truth ... an act of love ... sometimes difficult to do.

In my thouhgts I came to ponder that perhaps there is only one mind.
The mind of the Creator. Each living being is an idea in Divine Mind. We are not separate, as it seems. We are linked through the mighty power of breath. Since we are one, we cannot give anything away, we can only give to ourselves. Whatever we give, whatever we do, we are giving and doing to an expression of the one Mind. If we give good, we will receive good. If we do harm, we will feel its effects. If we understand the concept of Divine Mind, we know there is no such thing as stealing from anyone. We can only take away from ourselves. Whatever the guilt, shame or fear cause the pain, we will take away from ourselves that which we believe we are taking from another. When we give, we receive. When we receive it is a reflection of what we gave up. Since we are all one in Divine Mind, we should make a commitment to always give the best.

There is nothing we need that we do not already have.
There is nothing we need to know that we do not already know. There is nothing we want that does not already exist. There is nothing that exists that is too good for us. There is nothing anyone has that we cannot have. There is nothing more powerful, more intelligent, more sacred than you or me. We are the stuff life is made of. We are the essence of life. We have been chosen at this time, in this place to be among the living. We come from a long line of successful living beings. We are one of the King's kids ... born into the world to inherit the kingdom. We are equipped to handle anything. We live by grace, built by love. We are the cause and the reason of everything we see. We are one with the Source if we let ourselves be. We are creative. We are alive. We have been given a most precious gift of life by virtue of our being loved. What else could possibly matter?

Our crown has been bought and paid for. All we must do is put it on our heads.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Magnificent "7"

Life is full of surprises! That is what I unwittingly experienced last evening. Over the last number of days it appears that life has not been the easiest. In the midst of those days, although thinking I was on track, I had to admit that I was moving from the track ahead of me. This is where the 'Magnificent 7' stepped in. During a meeting of this particular group of spiritually centered friends and supporters, our agenda was not followed and the result was one of putting me back on track, opening my mind to a new way of thinking, and, best of all, providing me with the ability to accept and know that goals, if truly desired, cannot be stopped by derailments. They reassured me and gave good counsel ... something we don't always have the means to do for ourselves alone. Additionally my sisters and mother have been present during these times and I am blessed to have them.

What this vigorously reminds me of once again is that God puts people in our lives for a reason ... in this case I received and in return felt a closer bond to family and those who have now been termed "The Magnificent 7." Laughingly, I know that I am blessed to have support each day of the week in my journey because there are seven of us. Being candid, it has always been hard for me to ask for help ... always had to do it myself (guess in some ways I still do) but isn't that the reason for the people God has put in our lives? I have more to learn obviously ... it is easier most times for me to give than to accept. I'm working on it and know it is not a failure on my part to ask for help because God is, through people in my life, providing the source I need ... when I need it.

Life is going to be a challenge. There will be rough times, difficult situations, things to fall into, major obstacles, hurdles, stumbling blocks, forks in the road, mountains to climb, things to get over, oppositions to resolve, unpleasantness to face, feelings to understand, disappointments to accept, mysteries to solve, wonders to unfold and promises to keep to yourself. Now that I have been reminded of what I should expect (I don't believe I ever truly forgot them), it is time to prepare myself (yourself). Get ready. The only way to get where you want to be is to do what needs to be done to get there. Do it fast. Do it slow. Do it right. Do it up. Do it in the daylight. Do it by the moonlight. Do it alone. Do it with others. Do it for free. Get paid to do it. Do it for yourself. Do it for the world. The moment you give up on doing it, it will never get done.

Lessons learned in life a never really forgotten. Sometimes it takes a reminder when we find ourselves in the valley. Yes, we will make our ways out of that valley, but it is so much easier when we allow ourselves to be open to the help of others. For me, "The Magnificent 7" are truly that ... magnificent!

As two of the "7" pointed out to me I should "Lighten up a little" and "Chill."

* * * * * * * *

"Life has two rules: number 1, Never quit!; number 2, Always remember rule number 1."

"A problem is a chance for you to do your best."

"Now I can say loudly and openly what I have been saying to myself on my knees."
- all quotes by Duke Ellington

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Pattern of Thinking

There is a story told of a man who many years ago started with his company at the bottom but with determination reached the top. He had unusual abilities and energy and used all of it. Today he is president of his company and he has all the things that go with this position.

Yet, along the way, he left something out, and one of the things he did not achieve was happiness. He was a nervous, tense, worried and a sick man. Finally, one of his physicians suggested that he talk with a minister. The physician wrote out the necessary prescriptions but also an additional one ... the Twenty-third Psalm, five times a day for seven days. Orders were to read it the first thing when he awakened in the morning. Read it carefully, meditatively, and prayerfully. Immediately after breakfast he would do the same thing. Also immediately after lunch, again after dinner, and, finally, the last thing before he went to bed.

It was not to be a quick or hurried reading. He was to think about each phrase, giving his mind time to soak up as much of the meaning as possible. At the end of just one week, his physician promised things would be different for him.

That prescription sounds simple, but really it isn't. The Twenty-third Psalm, I believe, is one of the most powerful pieces of writing in existence, and it can do marvelous things for any person. It can change your lives. If your physician prescribed medicine be taken after each meal or every certain number of hours, I don't believe any right thinking person would take the full day's dose at one time.

Just thinking about the Twenty-third Psalm throughout the day doesn't work. To be most effective, it must be taken exactly as prescribed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A man is what he thinks about all day long," Marcus Aurelius said, "A man's life is what his thoughts make it." Norman Vincent Peale says, "Change your thoughts and you change your world." The Bible says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).

The Twenty-third Psalm is a pattern of thinking, and when a mind becomes saturated with it, a new way of thinking and a new life are the result. It contains only 118 words. One could memorize it in a short time. In fact, most of us already know it. But its power is not in memorizing the words, but rather in thinking the thoughts.

The power of this Psalm I believe lies in the fact that it represents a positive, hopeful, faith approach to life. We assume it was written by David, the same David who had a black chapter of sin and failure in his life. But he spends no time in useless regret and morbid looking back.

David posses the same spirit that St. Paul expresses: "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark" (Phillippians 3:13), or the spirit of our Lord when He said, "Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more" (John 8:11).

I am not a physician but believe in seven days a new way of thinking can be deeply implanted within your mind that will bring marvelous changes in your way of thinking and put you on a road to a new life.

Just my two cents this morning!

Sunday, January 21, 2007


What you give you get, ten times over.

- Yoruba proverb

We have been trained and conditioned to give gifts on specific occasions. Occasionally we give gifts to those who have a special meaning to us. Unfortunately, this kind of giving is more often for ourselves than for the person receiving the gift. Usually, we tell ourselves, "I don't have anything to give." We have been miseducated about gift-giving. We believe gifts must always bear a price tag or be given for a particular reason or season.

It is this kind of thinking that causes a drought in our giving supply. The real joy in giving comes when we give what we have spontaneously, with no reason other than for the joy of giving. It is this kind of giving that opens the door for us to receive. When we give for the sake of giving, rather than out of duty, we will begin to understand. We give our time, our energy, out thoughts.

We can give a book when we've finished it, something we can no longer wear or use, pay the toll for the car behind us, or give someone we don't know a compliment. We actually have a great deal to give in many ways.

How often can we say, "I give joyously from my heart just for the sake of giving?"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rock Bottom

In thinking over the past few days I revisited low points in my life. With the help of a wonderful group that I am working with, we shared our walk of faith. I realized some time ago 'rock bottom' is a place to re-energize our faith, reacquaint ourselves with the love of God and learn. It is the very point or place in our lives that our God is the strongest for each of us if we allow Him to be. I believe it is at these very points that we are to seek Him the most.

God isn't alarmed when we hit rock bottom. He made the rock!

There are times in our lives when we feel there is no way up or out. Illness, poverty, confusion, loneliness, desperation. They take us to the place we sometimes refer to as "rock bottom." In these times we may feel weak and vulnerable, and it is easy to lose faith in our ability to go on.

It is exactly in these times that we must turn to the infinite power within us and God ... for the answers and help we seek are all around us. Whatever the answer you are seeking at these times is exactly where we are. The strength we need, the answer we want, the solution that will turn the situation around is right there for us and in us ... opening ourselves to the grace, peace and love of God.

If we can put aside anger, fear, weakness and desperation for just a minute, I believe we can think of "other times" we were at the bottom and how in a moment, miraculously, we were lifted up. That was not by accident!

In some ways I think I've finally got it now.
  1. Begin within, take quiet time alone.
  2. Trust your head, follow your first thought.
  3. Don't be fooled by appearances.
  4. Plan prayerfully; prepare purposefully; proceed positively; pursue persistently.
  5. Be willing to be wrong.
  6. Be flexible.
  7. Do the best you can where you are with what you have.
  8. Be prepared.
  9. See the invisible; feel the intangible; achieve the impossible.
  10. Focus + Courage + Willingness to Work = Miracles.
  11. Help somebody else.
  12. When in doubt, pray.

Just my ruminations of this morning.

There is no spot where God is not.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tests ... How Well Do We Take Them?

Tests. We've faced them since our years in school and maybe that is what is more easily remembered for most of us. As I think back, some of my schoolday tests I passed with ease and some I didn't. Perhaps the reason for not passing these particular tests had to do with not applying myself. Most were not of a pass or fail nature. Tests were to reason what we've learned and hopefully apply it. Life is the same but not in the easy and comfortable environment of a classroom.

The tests of life are not something to take and cast aside as we are promoted from one grade to another. Life tests us in all we do because in all we do there is a purpose. When was the last time you were faced with a life test? Did you pass or fail? My grandson has a T-shirt on which the following words are written, "Failure is NOT an option." I look at these few words with a different perspective from what the shirt was probably designed to mean.

Getting through life even on the best of days includes facing some sort of a test ... whether it be on the job, in our personal lives, with finances, with our faith, with ourselves. Sometimes we are are own worst enemies and without realizing it continue to come face-to-face with our tests but don't take them seriously and ultimately fail. Should there be blame? Should we just forget about them? I think not.

Our tests in life, for me at least, are the measure of how we accept the hand that we are dealt. Facing them and dealing with them is the key. We may not pass them each and every time, but if we avoid them altogether we have failed. As we mature, the knowledge of facing and taking the tests of this life become part of the innermost being that we are. So my topic of this post still stands .... "How well do you take the tests of life?"

I believe in spiritual intuition and embrace this intuition as the spiritual faculty that does not explain, it simply points the way. You cannot fix what you will not face.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Journey to the Present

From the moment I took my first breath God had a plan for me. Over the years I've learned that and now walk by faith and not by sight. I find comfort in this and believe all journeys are not by accident. What is by accident is that we often don't take time to look back on our life's journeys and see the gifts we've been given along the way. No way, I believe, would I be the person I am today without recognizing my journey thus far.

Along the way, I've been lost as a traveler but have managed to continue this journey (detours and all). We are persons created in the image of God and therefore should understand life is a journey that is not to be taken alone. It is to be taken within the context of community and given back to those we are called to help.

Just as Jesus journeyed to deliver the message of love, peace, hope and finally salvation, that is the journey I am trying to walk as well. Through this blog, I hope that I can share my thoughts and that in some insignificant way you are touched by them.

God loves us and has given each of us gifts. If we don't share them with others, how important is our life's journey? When is the last time you reflected on your journey? Remember we are not alone nor are we limited.

The past is gone .... today is fleeting .... tomorrow? only one knows. Has your journey been the trip you've wanted to take? If not, I pray you join me in being able to take the time to give thanks and open hearts to love and direction. It's not as hard as it may seem.