About http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/?flash and https://thespiritualfamilymessages.wordpress.com/

We have a chapel site, a message site, and spritual chat room, open to all. thespiritualfamily.chatango.com. In addition, there is a blog that presents a spiritual and uplifting message, weekly. At this writing there are almost three hundred messages available. https://thespiritualfamilymessages.wordpress.com/ I am an ordained minister, recently retired from serving as a chaplain at a prison as well as serving as ministry leader in several community activities, organizations, and churches. I am also very active in serving in geriatric settings, bringing love and showing how faith and trust can bring the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Life is Perpetually Unfolding

 

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the  Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4

 

 

 

The seasons, as they come and go, speak to us of the mystery of transformation. As we move from winter to spring and now spring into summer, we see that life is perpetually unfolding.  In other parts of nature we see this transformation as well.  Our hummingbirds have returned and are enjoying our esperanzas and plumbagos, plus several other flowering plants, native to our area.

 

 

 

Think about the little frog and where it had its beginnings. It begins as a little egg. In the fullness of time, that little egg will burst forth and a tadpole will appear.

 

 

 

Have you ever gone to a pond and watched the little tadpoles. It was always such a mystery to me that after a while the tadpole that looked like a little fish would no longer be that. It would start to grow legs, and in the fullness of time it would walk on the land.

 

 

 

(Here we go again with my butterfly metaphor – hope you aren’t getting tired of it.)  The same mystery of transformation unfolds in the butterfly. A little butterfly begins as an egg. Then, out of the egg comes a little wiggly thing that is furry and has lots of legs – we call it a caterpillar. Then, when it feels an inner push, it will make a chrysalis around itself. Out of that chrysalis will emerge a winged creature of great beauty. I often use the butterfly as a metaphor when speaking of transformation and see each of us in a stage of this metamorphosis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about our transformation? We might call ourselves “just a human being.” Then the day comes when we see more of who we are. We say, “I’m not just a human being. I’m a child of God.” We begin to see the child of God seed unfolding. A spiritual transformation has begun.

 

 

 

Then the day comes when we think of ourselves as not a weak human but we think of ourselves as a child of God as Jesus said we were. I know, in my inner self, that the destiny of the little tadpole is to become a frog, and the destiny of the caterpillar is to become a butterfly. And our destiny is to become a child of God as a human being.

 

 

 

What do I mean by a child of God human being? I have but to look at the life of Jesus Christ to know at least a bit more about what this new creature in Christ looks like.

 

 

 

Jesus came to us to acknowledge, discover, experience and be the fullness of who He was and is. I think He must have, gone through all sorts of seasons of His life; times when He felt VERY human, times when He felt VERY Divine. Then he came to that place in His life where He was aware that He was a child of God, a God – FULLY incorporating the human and the Divine. Then he taught us that we should follow him and do the same.

 

 

 

Ephesians 3:16 , “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”

 

 

 

 

Our hardest task will be to dissolve the critical, crippling, self negativity that is trapping us; where we thought we were only a weak human. We will need to do what seems impossible–to walk paradoxically in two worlds at once, inhabiting an earthly body with a new spiritual intent. What we on this planet now are about seems to be impossible because we ARE walking a paradox between two worlds–inhabiting an earthly body with spiritual intent.

 

 

 

 

1 John 4:4, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

 

 

 

 

As we walk through the seasons of our lives, we will come to powerful junctures that will call us to leave behind old ways of thinking, speaking, being, and living. For God draws us, woos us, pushes us, and pulls us forward. Now, more than ever, I think we are being pulled forward to the stage where we combine our human and Divine, and we honor both. We are both, somehow, at the same time.

 

 

 

 

This critical time may offer a baffling crisis of the spirit. It may be the time in our lives when things happen, and we don’t understand why. We may not understand why those pieces are configuring they way they are. We may have been doing everything we thought correctly, and then our world begins to crumble. We experience an illness, or someone we love goes away, or something else happens that is catatrophic to us.

 

 

 

 

It may very well be that a number of us are in a baffling crisis of the Spirit trying to understand. It is in these times that we oftentimes ask many questions. We ask: “Is this all there is to life? Isn’t there more? I want more, but I don’t know how to get it. I’m afraid to take the steps forward.” We ask the deep questions of God.

 

 

 

I think this process of going through the seasons of our lives occurs over and over again. It’s not that we have one baffling crisis of the spirit or that we have one time of major transformation. We have many. We go through that process again and again. So we may be at the point right now where we are beginning another cycle, and we’re baffled. We ask questions.

 

 

 

A book titled “When the Heart Waits” talks about a time when the author, Sue Monk Kidd, faced such a time in her life and some of the questions she asked. Maybe they are our questions also.

 

 

 

 

“Is it possible, I asked myself, that I am being summoned from some deep and holy place within? Am I being asked to enter a new passage in a spiritual life-the journey from false self to true self? Am I being asked to dismantle old masks and patterns and unfold a deeper, more authentic self–the one God created me to be? Am I being compelled to disturb my inner universe in quest of the undiscovered being who clamors from within?”

 

 

 

 

What are your questions? Think about your questions. Even if you may not be in a mighty crisis of spirit, you may still have questions about your life-what’s happening and where you’re going. We need to ask the questions. Even if the answers may not come instantly, it is the questioning that is important for spiritual growth.

 

 

 

 

We ask our questions and we search. We find that the bottom line will be that we must commit to becoming a new person.  Thomas Moore said, “That was the major commitment of humanity–to become a whole, new person.”

 

 

 

 

Do you know what happens when the caterpillar goes into the chrysalis and forms a cocoon around itself? When the caterpillar goes into the chrysalis it becomes, over time, a yellow-gold liquid. It becomes liquefied. It is not a caterpillar as it was in olden times, and it is not yet a butterfly. It is liquid. Out of that liquid there is a configuration of cells out of which eventually the new comes forth.

 

 

 

 

The caterpillar must have a time of waiting, a time of allowing that inner process to occur. When we are in a crisis of the spirit, and we are moving from one stage of evolution to another, one stage of growth and change to another, we must allow ourselves some waiting time. We can not push it; we must allow it to evolve in order for the fullness to emerge.

 

 

 

 

We, as humans, don’t like to wait. We want it to happen, and we want it to happen now or sooner. We don’t like to wait. We have a concept that waiting means we’re doing nothing. But this waiting I’m talking about is a deep introspection where we do our spiritual work through prayer and meditations, where we honor all the guidance from God that speak to us.

 

 

 

 

James 1:1-27 states this about the stages of spiritual transformation, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

 

 

 

 

We may have all kinds of internal voices pulling us and shaking us up, and we may have a lot of external voices as well that want to dissuade us from moving into that which is our destiny.

 

 

 

 

Let’s remember it is our destiny to go beyond just being human. God has created us from the beginning of time to be a child of God human being. All the spiritual insights, and Jesus point to who and what we are becoming.

 

 

 

 

Our commitment is to become an entirely new person that is strong spiritually. Didn’t Paul say something about being a new creature in Christ? We’re going to be a new creature in Christ; a new, wondrous being. But we must allow time and let the waiting do its holy work. As we take our time inwardly in prayer, let us remember that. Sometimes it may take weeks or months to move through all the layers and come to the place of resolution. We will have conflict, stress, and pulling in many different directions, but the day will come when we will feel a peace in our new way of being. It will be all to the glory of God–to honor that Spirit that is us. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

 

 

 

 

Henry David Thoreau had the luxury of choosing to live part of his life at Walden Pond. He talked about this time at Walden Pond. In February, 1857, he wrote: “You think I am impoverishing myself by withdrawing from men, but in my solitude I have woven for myself a silken web [or chrysalis]. A nymph-like shell, air long, bursts forth a more beautiful, perfect creature.” In our waiting we are creating a chrysalis and we will burst forth a new creature.

 

 

 

I would invite you to close your eyes at this point, and acknowledge with me (as I acknowledge within myself) that each of us is so much more than the eye sees or the mind declares. Let us acknowledge, for a moment, this wonderful body in which we live, move, and function in this world.

 

 

 

Let us acknowledge that we are one with God by nature. We have the seed of Spirit planted within us. Probably, for many of us, we have been loving, and acknowledging this Divine essence of our being–maybe for a long time. Maybe we have been struggling with the either/or of the human and the Divine.

 

 

 

 

Maybe today we are facing a baffling crisis of the Spirit. Maybe we consciously choose to have a baffling crisis of the Spirit so that we might hold the possibility – of something greater.

 

 

 

 

Even in the midst of any anxiety that this thought might bring up, let us hold the wonder, excitement, and joy of the new that is being birthed in us and through us. Our destiny is to become a child of God human being.

 

 

We know as we walk through the seasons of our lives that we do not walk alone. We have the promise of Jesus Christ that He will always walk with us, be our friend, companion, and Way – show-er. He has already gone this route. He already knows the ups and downs, twists and turns. We do not have to go it alone or figure it out totally by ourselves. He will whisper in the ear of our heart and make the road a bit less bumpy.

 

 

 

 

In the fullness of time we will stand in consciousness, in beingness, in expression, with Jesus.

 

 

Let us pray.

 

Thank You, God, for our holy destiny. May we have the courage, strength,
and conviction to become a totally new person. In the name and through the
living, loving presence of Jesus Christ we pray and believe…Amen.

 

 

May God bless you as you transform into a deep, loving child of God.

“Beloved…..”

1 John 7,8 states strongly, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;  and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”   I saw a bumper sticker on a car in front of me. The bumper sticker said,  “God loves you—and I am trying.”

Love is a journey not a destination. Love is like a river, never ending as it flows, but
gets greater with time. God is love.

One person said, “Love is like swallowing hot chocolate before it has  cooled off. It takes you by surprise at first, but keeps you warm for a  long time.”

What would Jesus say about love? I believe that He would say, “Love is my  religion!” Very simply, love is all there is. Love is really all there  is—God IS love, the only energy, the only presence. The only power that  we should express in life is the energy of God’s love, for if we do,  our life will be successful.

You and I, truly, are radiating centers of God’s love. Our spiritual  purpose is to express love to others and to allow others to love us.   Everything we do should be an act of love, the only thing we should  express.

In the first letter of John, it says twice that God is love. It is in the  Bible because it is a reality. God is the very presence and power of love.   God is not necessarily loving, like a human being can be loving, or not  loving; for God is the very essence and quality of love itself.

Because, as it says in first Genesis, you and I are made in the image and  after the likeness of God – so,  it must be that  we, as God’s own creation, also are Divine love in expression. Love is our basic nature, and love is our essence.  If we are not living in that natural essence and expressing from that  essence of love we feel disjointed, and out of kilter.

It is that spiritual essence, that truly binds everything together in  perfect harmony in this world.

Paul’s letter to the Colossians in chapter 3, verse 14. There, Paul is  listing some of the qualities that we need to express in life, like  forbearance, forgiveness, etc. He finally winds up, in verse 14, by  saying, “And ABOVE ALL THESE put on love, which binds everything together  in perfect harmony.” It is the spiritual glue, which, in a sense, holds  this whole world together and holds our lives together. How truly important it is.

There are two major choices in life at any given moment—being loving, or  not being loving. It is as simple as that. It is an experience we have all had, to live from the higher vantage point of life, or from the lower.

It seems in life there is always the flip side to everything, just like on  a record. You play one tune on one side, and then you flip it over and  there can be another tune on the other side that is quite different than the one you just listened to. And so it is with love.

Love is a wonderful quality, but we express it according to our  understanding of it. If our understanding of it, at any given moment, is  not what it ought to be, then it comes out as something that we might even call unloving. This is also represented in the Bible, in particular by one of the gospels; the apostle John could represent the spiritual quality of
love.

In the gospel that bears John’s name, we see that love is mentioned a number of times.  What did Jesus have to say about love? Jesus said many things about love.   He also expressed love in His actions as well as His teachings.

The kingdom of God was Jesus’ main teaching, His main theme. He talked  about that kingdom not being so much an outer, political kingdom, but  being a kingdom within us.

At one point in Jesus’ ministry, a certain gentleman asked him what was  the greatest commandment in our law. In other words, what is the greatest  teaching in our Bible? Jesus gave him two answers instead of one.

First of all, He said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This comes from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament,  chapter 6, verses 4-5. Then he said a second is like unto it, love your  neighbor AS yourself. So, you see, at first glance Jesus gave him two for  the price of one.

And when we love God, what does that mean? How do we love God? So much of
loving God in the churches has been the idea of loving a God out there, outside of us, as if God were sitting on some great throne in the sky.

Jesus’ concept of God is a God who wants us to express our own Divine loving self, and in that way, to love God. If you truly want to love God, then what you need to do is to express more of your personal love from God in everything you do. To do this it might be a complete re-creation or rebirth of yourself and the way you live life. It must be accomplished to truly live within the kingdom of God’s love.

I think this is the kind of God that was meant by Jesus. At one point in His ministry, Jesus quotes the prophet Hosea from the Old Testament and  says, “I desire mercy and steadfast love and not sacrifice.”  In other  words, what Jesus was doing, in quoting Hosea, was saying that God does not want ritual or all of these outer observances, but God wants mercy and  steadfast love to all. It is spiritual, inside of ourselves, and through our daily actions. What God wants us to do, in a sense, is to  express our own love. That is how we can love God to the fullest. The  bible says that ALL love is from God, so, to follow Christianity, we MUST express it.  Express and live the  love of Christ.

 

 

 

God bless you!

____________________________________________

Transforming

You all know I talk about butterflies a lot. I love to watch them and even meditate as I enjoy their flittering around, dancing in the gardens of life.

 

 

Image result for dancing butterflies

 

 

 

Nothing illustrates transformation as much as a butterfly does. It begins its journey as an egg, then out of that shell crawls a caterpillar. It has lots of legs and is usually very furry. At a specific time within nature, it starts to weave a chrysalis or cocoon around itself. Following another specific length of time, once again determined by nature, the lovely and winged being emerges and takes flight.

 

 

 

What does that have to do with us? We begin in the womb and emerge after a specific length of time. We develop day by day as the human being we are. As we grow and age we become more than just a human being. We can see ourselves as a spiritual being with great potential to do wonderful things. The “seed” we once were is unfolding and Christ is part of it all.

 

 

 

And suddenly the time comes when we realize that we are a complete child of God. We are whole; we are complete; we are one with God and nothing can change that. We have evolved just as the butterfly did. Our destiny is the path toward becoming a Christ-like human.

 

 

 

Wayne Dyer said, “Transformation literally means going beyond your form.”

[

 

 

The 93-year-old great-grandmother was seen wearing a T-shirt that said
“God’s not done with me yet!”

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:12 states, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then
we will see face-to-face, now I know only in part; then I will know fully,
even as I have been fully known.”

 

 

 

Looking in a mirror, we see only the reflection ( and a foggy one) of what we are now. We do not see what we will become. We do not see what God sees in us. In time we will see fully, as we have been fully known by God.

 

 

 

Our Lord made us so that we would have this need, this sense, this discontentment that stirs inside and pushes us forward so we can become greater than we are, developing into a new creation in Christ, just as the butterfly became a new creation in nature.

 

 

Monarch butterfly chrysalis hanging on milkweed branch. Natural green background with copy space.

 

 

Jesus came to human life to acknowledge, experience, and to be the fullness of who He was and is. I think He must have gone through all sorts of seasons of His life; times when He felt very human in His mind; times when He felt very Divine. Even though He was the Divine, He came to earth to experience human-ness. I think He went through the phases as we do.

 

 

 

To follow Jesus, our hardest task will be to dissolve the critical,  crippling, dualism trapping us, where we thought we were ONLY human or  only spiritual. We will need to do what seems impossible-to walk,  paradoxically, in two worlds at once, inhabiting an earthly body BUT with a spiritual intent. What we are about, seems to be impossible, but not with new awareness of God.

 

 

 

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Matt. 13: 43

 

 

 

The stages of our lives create so many forks in the road – powerful twists and turns. This enables us to move forward in a positive direction, a path toward the All Knowing Lord. Old ways, old habits, old human “ness” disappears and our spiritual life evolves as our human spirit becomes advanced and one with Christ. We are complete – human and one with God in our spirit, somehow, at the same time.  We must  embrace this and live accordingly.

 

 

 

“Never look at the problems that seem to be in your life at this present moment and think this is ALL that it will ever be. Tomorrow changes the past. The past is past and the future calls us forward to become more than we were.”

 

 

 

“Questions must become one with answers. Problems must become one with solutions. Where there is the one, the other is soon to follow. The human must become ONE with God. This critical time may be a baffling crisis of the spirit. It is the time in our lives when things happen and we do not understand why. We may not understand why those pieces are configuring the way they are. We may have thought that we have been doing everything correctly, and then our world seemingly may begin to crumble.” C.C.

 

 

 

We go through these crises over and over. It just doesn’t happen once, and sometimes we are totally baffled at how it happened and where it is going to lead us. We ask God for answers. We wonder where this is going to end up and where we will be when it is over. Will we be one with God?

 

 

 

Do you have questions? Think about it. You may not be in a crisis of spirit right now, but that may change over time. If you do have questions or when you do, then is the time to search and find the answers.

 

 

 

Thomas Moore said that IS the major commitment of humanity-to become a
whole, new person.

 

 

 

When the caterpillar goes into or creates its cocoon, it becomes liquefied. It is not what it was or what it will be. At that time, it is in such a transition, that it is neither its former self or its future self. It is actually a type of yellow liquid. The center of which is a grouping of cells which eventually brings forth new life…a beautiful new life.
But this is a time of pausing to allow that transition to happen. We are doing the same thing spiritually – we are growing and changing and becoming. What a beautiful concept.

 

 

Monarch butterfly chrysalis hanging on milkweed branch. Natural green background with copy space.

 

 

“Remember that it is our destiny as the creation of the Creator to grow into our full potential. God has created us from the beginning of time to be Christ like. All the things we see Jesus being in the past and in our world today are who and what we are becoming. How do we know-Jesus said so!”

 

 

 

Right now your destiny is being born again, a new creation in Christ. Even in the midst of any anxiety that thoughts might bring up, let us hold the wonder, excitement, and joy of the new that is being birthed from God, in us and through us.

 

 

Our destiny is to become more than we are right now. Our destiny is become that new creation in Christ. And as we go through all the changes/transformation during our lives, all the twists and turns, we know that Jesus Christ is going through it with us, walking right beside us. As I said many times and as the famous song says,  “You never walk alone.”  He whispers to us in our heart and soul and that makes the road a little less bumpy and just a little bit straighter.

 

 

 

Then at the exact appointed and determined time, when the cocoon is about to burst open, we will be aware of the truth and will be part of the true expression of Jesus Christ. We will be as the butterfly dancing in the garden of Love.

 


 

 

Let us pray: Thank You, God, for our Holy destiny. May we have the courage, strength,
and conviction to become a totally new person in Christ.

 

 

In the name and through the living, loving presence of Jesus Christ we pray and believe. . .Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We transform into a wonderful life form that can dance in and with the love of God. Dance and fly with that love.  And with the butterflies, you may just touch the spirit of Christ.

 

 

As so it is. . .

Lamenting

Pouring Out Your Heart in Lament to God
by Debbie Przybylski

 

 

Lamenting is a perfect title for this weekend’s message.  We lament as we remember or even relive the times we lived through all the  Memorial Days.

 

 

 

Charlene shared this article with me; and since I was planning a message on lamenting anyway in the near future, I thought that Debbie has written so eloquently that I would use her article from CROSSWALK.  I do so with giving her and Crosswalk complete credit.  .

 

 
“It seems to me that we do not need to be taught how to lament since we have so many models in Scripture. What we need is simply the assurance that it’s okay to lament. We all carry deep within ourselves a pressurized reservoir of tears. It takes only the right key at the right time to unlock them. In God’s perfect time, these tears can be released to form a healing flood. That’s the beauty and the mystery of the prayer of lament.” – Michael Card

 

 

 

 

Dear intercessors,    Did you know that even in sadness you can worship God in prayer?

 

 

 

You can worship Him in the midst of difficulty through a prayer of lament. There are many of these kinds of prayers in Scripture. All the major Bible characters poured their hearts out to God in lament. This is a type of prayer that we rarely hear about, yet at times, it is a necessary part of each one of our prayer lives.

 

 

 

When experiencing the dark night of the soul, prayers of lament are so helpful. We live in a broken world where things do not always go right. There are times when we don’t know what God is doing or which way to turn. Bringing before God a prayer of lament can make all the difference in the world, because God actually changes us during these times when we pour out our hearts to Him.

 

 

 

 

Prayers of lament are a form of worship and faith. We worship God even in the midst of pouring our difficulty out before Him. Instead of backing away from God during a hard time or a dark night, we face the pain and worship Him with it. As an act of love, we offer it all to God. We lay everything before His Throne.

 

 

 

 

“Lamentation is a powerful, and meaningful, form of worship because it places our love for God above even the worst of circumstances in our life… God does not ask us to deny the existence of our suffering. He does want us to collect it, stand in those things and make Him an offering. The Holy Spirit, our Comforter, helps us to do this: He aligns Himself with our will and says, ‘I will help you to will to worship God.’ The glory of the majesty of God is that He helps us will and do.” – Graham Cooke

 

 

 

 

The following is an example of a song of lament that has touched many of us throughout the years. The Spafford family lost everything they owned in a fire. Making plans to rebuild, they moved from Chicago to France. Horatio Spafford carefully planned the trip from America to France and booked tickets on a huge ship for his wife and four daughters. He was planning to join them a few weeks later. On the voyage, the ship was rammed by another vessel and sank, carrying his wife and four daughters to the bottom of the ocean. All his plans suddenly were crushed.

 

 

 

 

In grief and lament as his ship passed over the watery grave of his wife and four beloved daughters, he wrote this famous hymn, “It is Well With My Soul”. Many of us know that hymn and have been touched deeply through the words expressed in every verse. Horatio Spafford knew the power of the prayer of lament in that instant. His words have helped multitudes face their own sorrows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He refused to let God go in the midst of difficulty and grief.

 

 

Prayers of lament may look like prayers of complaining, but they can still be prayers of faith, because this type of prayer refuses to let God go even in the hard times. God may seem absent, but He is not. Prayers of lament are honest before God and bring us face to face with Him as we try to understand what is going on in our heart. Job was one who prayed deep prayers of lament. He had lost everything—his family, friends, home, and health. Yet he wrestled through with God and clung to Him as he sought for meaning to his struggles. He held onto His faith in God and turned to Him with all his heart. He wanted to see God in the midst of his pain. Job did not let God go. He said:

 

 

 

 

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eye—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! – (Job 19:25-27)

 

 

 

In the end God gave him back so much more. Job was able to see God in a far deeper way than before his trial. Not letting go and bringing our heart to God in the midst of pain is an act of faith. Well-known musician,

 

 

 

Michael Card tells us how we can learn faith from Job’s prayer of lament:

 

 

 

“Finally, we see in Job one of the most fundamental lessons we can learn from lament: that protesting and even accusing God through the prayers of lament is, nevertheless, an act of faith. The lament of faith does not deny the existence of God. Rather, it appeals to God on the basis of his loving kindness, in spite of current conditions that suggest otherwise. Job simply would not let go of God—in spite of death, disease, isolation, and ultimately, a fear that God had abandoned him.”

 

 

 

How to Write a Prayer of Lament

 

 

Habakkuk 3:17-18 is a well-known example of a prayer of lament. Habakkuk was living in difficult circumstances but through a prayer of lament, he was brought to a place of peace. In chapter one his prayer was prayed in frustration; he was asking God “how long” and “why” regarding his circumstances. He was not denying the existence of pain. He was bringing it before God. Perhaps the situation sounds similar to our day.

 

 

 

“Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted” – (Habakkuk 1:3-4).

 

 

 

 

Through Habakkuk’s prayer of lament, God changed his heart. He didn’t immediately change his situation. God had directed his attention to His long-range plans and not the present circumstances he was facing. He told Habakkuk to wait and to live by faith. By the last chapter he prayed:

 

 

 

“LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy” – (Habakkuk 3:2).

 

 

 

Though his circumstances were difficult, God met with Habakkuk in his prayer and changed him on the inside. He began to see from a new perspective. He began to put his faith in God’s eternal hope, and his prayer of lament was a form of worship to God. In lamenting, you actually worship God with your sorrow. We read in Habakkuk 3:17-18:

 

 

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

 

 

 

You may want to write down your own prayer of lament using the words “though” and “yet” to begin to phrase your lament. Do this when you are facing difficulty. Save this exercise in prayer for the hard moments in your life.

 
• Find a quiet place with God – Being alone with Him is a necessity for this kind of prayer.

 

 

• Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you – He will lead you in a prayer of lament. He will open up your heart to God.

 

 

• Be in God’s presence – We are often so much in a hurry but a prayer of lament takes time spent in God’s presence. Give yourself wholly to God.

 

 

• Write down the “though”circumstances in your life – What difficulties and challenges are you right now facing? What pain or grief do you feel? These are the “though” circumstances.

 

 

 

• Offer these things to God – Offer God the hard things as a sacrifice. Don’t ask for anything.

 

 

• Worship God by completing the phrase – “Though these things have happened, yet _________.”Worship God in a series of yet statements. Bless and praise Him even in spite of the difficult things.  I guarantee that this will have a great effect on your life.

 

 

 

As Debbie explains, ‘I had some very difficult moments in my life nine years ago. I was facing cancer, several surgeries, and a lengthy recovery. I learned that through pouring out my heart to God in prayers of lament, my heart was changed. I began to look at things in a much more positive light.

 

 

 

Praising God in the midst of difficulty is so powerful because God stands in the moment with us. The thing that I can testify during those moments of difficulty—when I brought my pain directly to God and walked with Him through it—was the reality that God was really there, and He gave me a deeper revelation of Himself.”

 

 

 

Think back a few days to the massacre of children at the concert in Manchester, GB.  Those who lost loved ones were in major mourning.  And, ..

 

 

 

“If you are in mourning, you have the opportunity to worship in the most powerful way possible:  lamentation.   This worship isn’t done in order to have God remove the pain. It simply recognizes that God stands in the moment with us. Lamentation elevates God in the presence of our enemies. It brings out a side of God that other forms of worship simply cannot touch.” – Graham Cooke

 

 

 

Together in the Harvest,
Debbie Przybylski

 

 

Thank you for accepting this article by Debbie as a message and learning tool.

Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
http://www.intercessorsarise.org

 

And now from our author, Peggy:  I urge each of you reading this to engage in your own personal  prayer journey of lamentation.  Remember to give God all glory as you worship.  We all have our pains and sorrows AND we all have our joys.  Take that all in and make t part of your lamentation prayer.

 

God bless you!

TURNING INADEQUACY INTO MORE THAN ADEQUATE

One day, two Kansas cows were standing at the edge of the pasture looking  over the fence, watching a huge tanker milk truck come down the road. As  it passed by, they read the signs on the side of the tanker that said,  “MILK . . . Homogenized, Pasteurized, Grade A, Fortified with Vitamin D  … Both Plain and Chocolate.” As it passed by, one cow turned to the  other and said, “It makes one feel awfully inadequate, doesn’t it?”

 

 

The feeling of inadequacy in our lives sometimes can overpower us. We have  with us the power of God which will make us feel adequate; God can give us  the strength, the power, and the joy to press forward to victory in any  goal we set for ourselves.

 

 

Let’s turn to a passage of scripture where Jesus acknowledged the
truth of His being. He had asked His disciples the question, “Who do men
say that I am?” They gave Him many answers, and then He turned and said,
“But who do you say that I am?”

 

 

Peter, who was the great spokesman for the twelve disciples, came back with the
words, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”

 

 

Jesus responded, “Blessed art thou Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and
blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father who is in heaven . . .”

 

 

In other words, it was a spiritual revelation.

 

 

If we are going to lift ourselves up to function at the highest possible  level, we, too, must come into a spiritual realization of who we are.   Sometimes, placing ourselves on this spiritual plane is a difficult task,  because our five physical senses are looking out into our world, and  perceiving all kinds of chaos, trial, tribulation—obstacles that seem to  block the path to the higher good of God. The path to the highest good  starts within, in prayer.

 

 

 

Some time ago, Sid Caesar was being interviewed about his early days in television.
The interviewer asked him, “What’s the funniest thing that ever  happened to you?”

 

 

 

He told of a time when he had just come to television with his Show of  Shows. It was one of the early extravaganzas of television that helped to  build it into the great media that it is today. He reflected a moment, and  then said, “I guess it was the time my little girl came home from school  and said the children at school were talking about Sid Caesar and how funny the show was.

 

 

 

“My wife looked down at her and said, ‘I’m glad that you’re proud of your
father.’

 

 

 

“My little girl looked up at me and said, ‘You’re Sid Caesar?’”

 

 

 

If we listened to Peter’s response to Jesus, we will agree with him about  what he said about Jesus. Jesus was the Christ the son of the living God.

 

 

Jesus said things about us, which we have found hard to believe, “These  things I do you shall do also and greater than these shall you do.”

 

 

So, when Jesus accepted for Himself Peter’s words, “You are the Christ,”
He was making an identity that is valid for each of us.

 

 

A favorite passage in scripture is “Christ in you, your hope of glory.”

 

 

 

 

With God’s help, you can lift yourself above the reservations that you may  hold about your potential. You can lift yourself above the human part of  you, and elevate your mind to a level of identity that allows you to feel  the power of the Word of God about the creation.

 

 

 

I like to link the title “Christ” to God’s individual name for us as  revealed in the Old Testament.   It came out of the burning bush and was  given to Moses. It was the time God gave Moses the assignment to go into  Egypt and bring the children of Israel out. You know what Moses’ great  response was: “WHO AM I to do this?”

 

 

Sometimes, that’s the way we all face life. We say, “WHO AM I to be able  to handle this challenge or accomplish this goal?”

 

 

 

God said to Moses what God says to us, “I am always with you.”

 

 

Moses came back and asked, “By what authority can I tell the children of
Israel that I have come to do this thing?”

 

 

 

God said to Moses: “Tell them I AM hath sent me unto you.”

 

 

He gave Moses the one name that “that no one else can claim; the one  name I have that no one else can even speak for me; the great and holy  name I AM.”  Then, God said, “I AM that I AM,” meaning “I am that I AM which is the name of what I am in you and WITH you.” When you use that name, you release everything that I AM is for you..  Think about that for a minute.

 

 

Say “Christ, I am – willing, available, and ready.”  Say it to begin your day and your prayers and when you close your day with your prayers.

 

 

 

 

 

We go to church every week, but what is the church? Peter said, “Thou art
the Christ, the son of the living God.”

 

 

 

Jesus responded, “Blessed are thou Simon. Flesh and blood did not reveal
it to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And upon THIS ROCK I will build
my church.”

 

 

Many people in the field of religious teachings see Peter as the rock, but  that is not the foundation rock of which Jesus was speaking. The rock of  which He was speaking was the answer that Peter gave: “You are the  Christ.” And the church of which he spoke is not a physical edifice into  which we enter to build our spirits and commune with each other in  fellowship in the ideas of our spiritual teaching.  It is the inner church
of spiritual connectedness and knowing—a church not made with hands, and
above human thinking.

 

 

 

If you want an exhilarating experience, to the degree I assure you will be
transforming in your individual life, enter that place of spiritual  consciousness every morning when you arise, and ponder the reality of your  Creator and your oneness as a child of God. Let the spiritual knowledge  integrate itself, not only into your mind, but down deep into the heart  of your soul where it takes over as an unconscious belief about yourself.

 

 

 

The knowledge about who you really are cannot be given to you by human  minister it has to be, as Jesus said, not from flesh and blood, but from  God in heaven. You will then see the great transformation taking place in you.

 

 

 

Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell  shall not prevail against it.” Hell can be right here and now, when we  move away from God, and dwell in worry, human anxiety and fear.

 

 

 

When you put God first and draw that power from prayer to your world, the  gates of hell (the life filled with chaos, trial and tribulation) shall  not prevail against you.

 

 

Following this statement, Jesus said, “I will give you the keys to the
kingdom.”

 

 

Jesus said, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and
whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

 

 

 

These are the keys to the kingdom—the power to use the word in prayer.

 

 

 

Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount said, “In all things say ‘Yes, yes and  no, no.’” Through the power of prayer, you can say “Yes!” to something or  you can say “No” to it and release its spiritual power backing you up.

 

 

 

This old farmer had a mule and an old, dried-up well in the middle of his  farmyard, barely covered with some fragments of board. One day, the old  mule walked across it, the boards broke, and down to the bottom of the  well he went.

 

 

 

The well was deep. The old farmer figured the old mule probably would not  survive the fall anyway, so he decided, much to his own dismay, that the  best way to handle the whole situation was to bury the old mule in the  well and solve the problem of getting rid of the open well at the same  time.

 

 

 

So he hauled in a cart-load of dirt and dumped it down into the well. But  instead of laying there and being buried in the dirt, the old mule got up,   shook himself off, and tromped the dirt under his feet. Soon he found  himself just a few inches higher than he was before.

 

 

 

The farmer dumped down the second cartload of dirt, and the old mule again  tromped the dirt under his feet, and he was then a little bit higher.   Finally, many cartloads of dirt later, the old mule stepped out on safe  and solid ground.

 

 

 

That’s what binding and loosing, elimination “no” prayer and positive  affirmation “yes” prayer, is. Elimination prayer is shaking off the dirt  that falls on you in this world, and positive affirmation prayer is  tromping it under your feet and raising yourself up a little.

 

 

 

Those are the keys to the kingdom of heaven—heaven being the opposite of  hell; heaven being movement into the total oneness with God, wherever you  are.

 

 

 

The joy of knowing God’s Truth about yourself is so great, so complete.   A little boy, 5 years old was in Sunday School it came time for the  offering. He had his offering clutched in his little hand. The Sunday  School teacher had all the children seated in a row in the classroom. She  came down in front of them with the offering basket, and each child  (one-by-one) put his or her offering into the basket.

 

 

 

Then she got to him, and he refused to put his offering into the basket.   The teacher said, “Please put your offering into the basket.”

 

 

 

He said, “No!”

 

 

 

She asked him a second time and he said, “No!”

 

 

 

Finally she said, “That offering belongs to God.”

 

 

 

He looked her in the eye and said, “I’ll give it to God myself.”

 

 

The way you give yourself to God is to claim your oneness and let the  power of the word of prayer infiltrate the whole of your being. Become one  with God and let that become your prayer.

 

 

 

 

To be able to live in awareness of our  oneness with God is very transformational. Then take the power of that  awareness into your speaking of binding and loosing; taking hold of or  letting go of the things of life that are not in agreement with the  perfection of God.

 

 

 

I would like to close with a story of the young minister who was beginning in his
first ministry. He had a church assigned to him up in the ranch country of  Montana. This was to be his first Sunday in the pulpit. A blizzard hit the  night before, and was still raging on Sunday morning. The young man came  up to the lectern on his church. As he stood behind the lectern and got  ready to begin, he looked out at his congregation and he had one old,   tough rancher sitting in the crowd—a crowd of one. He said, “You, sir,  seem to be the only person here. I really don’t know what to do.”

 

 

 

The old rancher said, “Well, if I only had one cow in the corral, I sure
would feed that cow.”

 

 

 

So the young minister lit into his sermon and he talked 10 minutes, then  20 minutes, then 35 minutes, then 50 minutes. It was over an hour now, and  he was still going. Finally, he brought his talk to a fiery close and  feeling rather proud of himself he leaned over the pulpit and said to the  old rancher, “How was that?”

 

 

 

The old rancher said, “Well, if I went down to my corral and saw only one  cow there, I sure would feed the cow, but I’d be darned if I would give  him the whole barn full of hay.”

 

 

 

“Christ, I am – willing, available, and ready.”   Repeat this phrase to yourself and others as you put Christ solidly in your life.

 

 

 
You are equipped by God. You are more than adequate. God gives you all
that you need and will continually give to you all that you will need in the future.

 

 

 

 

Thank You, God, for the fullness of Thy Being expressing through  me now, and for the joy of knowing that You are with me now.

.

 

 

 

I pray now for my loved ones and friends and  ask You dear God to watch over  my loved ones and friends. Be with everyone in such a direct way that  they cannot miss your guidance and help in their minds. Strengthen and  renew their bodies with health. Renew and energize their motivation to do  the right thing all the time. Bless their lives with Divine ideas and lasting abundance.

 

 

 

Thank you God for again answering my every prayer in most profound ways.

 

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name…Amen

 

 

 

God bless you!

 

Mother’s Day

Mildred B. Vermont said, “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs…the payment is pure love.”   Ask any mother today, and she will tell you. To hold a little one and feel love is one of the wonders of the world.

 

 

In 1 John 4:12, the Bible states “God’s abides in us and God’s love is perfected in us.” It is certainly perfected in mothers. A Mother’s love is such a mighty force.

 

 

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” Tenneva Jordan.~ I LOVE THIS QUOTE!  I remember m mother always said she hated the chicken breast and only wanted the thigh.  Years later when ordering rom KFC she admitted the breast was her favorite but knew we kids liked white meat the best, so she relinquished her choice for a secondary one.

 

 

There was a scientist at the University of Wisconsin who created a mothering machine for little animals. It was made out of wire and covered with terry cloth. Out of the wire was a bottle of milk and there was a light bulb to keep the little one warm. But they found that the little ones were dying because little ones needed love.

 

 

Love is the one thing you cannot recreate with wire, terry cloth, and a light bulb. At some point in your life, someone held you in their arms, close to their heart. They had the look of love in their eyes and a truly open heart. This happened to every one of us; somebody somewhere along the line did this, and it was the greatest expression of love. You know how special it is, and you know how special it was in your life, whether this person was your natural mother, your adoptive mother, grandmother or relative.

 

 

You are here reading this on this day as testimony to that holding. You are able to love because of the love you received. You learned how to love. It was a silent thing, but it was profound and it changed your life, and continues daily. There were times when you made lots of noise, but you were responded to and you were cared for. You were loved.

 

 

The real religion, the only religion that counts (no matter what denominational name we call it) is love. We always have to ask ourselves as a test for religion (which is a system of life) is how loving is this? We should carry our religion of love, our God, into our homes, our lives, and our actions.

 

 

 

Whether we are female or male, we should allow that love to come forth from us, whether for something or someone very young, an adult, or someone that is very old that needs our love. We should always allow that wonderful aspect, the best aspect, of human love to come through us-the love, the magic, of motherhood. And this motherhood is God created.]

 

 

 

Twenty some years ago, a lady came to a minister. She was very, very distressed. She sat in the minister’s office and she said that through a series of events her nephew was coming to live with her. She said to the minister, “I’ve never had any children, and I’m a harsh woman — I admit that. I don’t have the kind of love that I would want to give to a child. I’m scared. How can I, being harsh, hard, and stern in life, give love to this young boy?”

 

 

The minister said to her, “You have God’s love inside of you. If you consent to that God love coming through you, it will come through. It is the love of God that will equip you to love this child. If you allow yourself the privilege of having this love come through, it will come through.”

 

 

She said, “Yes, yes. But I was never created to do that. You don’t understand my nature. You see the good too much, preacher.”

 

 

The minister said, “No. I know that God love can come through you-if you let it.”

 

 

That was many years ago. Today that woman has a grown nephew. She was changed by that experience, and so was he. She was a great aunt; she was a wonderful mothering influence. But she didn’t become something; she allowed something to become her. We, each one of us, already are loving children of God. We just have to allow the nature that our mother (or that individual who was the model of a mother) allowed some time ago, to come through us. Why not do it in honor of mother? What greater honor of a mother than to express today in our lives some of the love she taught us how to express?

 

 

There’s a great story I want to share with you about this same idea. It is a story of an Arabian horse. As a young horse, he was orphaned. This Arabian foal was adopted by a family of camels. Every day he looked around and all he saw were other camels, so he decided that he was going to be the best camel he could be because he didn’t know he was an Arabian horse.

 

 

Daily through the hot sands of the desert he would carry heavy loads. He would drink at every oasis because he was so parched and thirsty. And every day he would put his hooves down into the sand and move slowly because that was the way a good camel was supposed to be.

 

 

One day, when he was very, very old, he looked out across the desert. From his weary eyes he saw an Arabian horse running in the distance on a sand dune. He said to himself, “That is the most beautiful animal I have ever seen in my life!” The shiny mane was flowing back from his head and neck. He said, “If I could only be like that.” He thought to himself, “Once, years ago I had the desire to run, leap high in the air and go over the sand dunes . . .” but he quickly remembered his place as a camel. He died from old age never knowing what he really was.

 

 

The worst thing we can do in human life is to die not knowing what we are. Male or female, we are meant to love; we are meant to express God’s love. We are meant to cuddle little things, nurture, and cause great things to happen in individuals.

 

 

We are meant to celebrate life. According to Jesus Christ, the ultimate way to celebrate life is to love all, realizing we are one in the humanity with each other. Otherwise we’re doing a great disservice, to ourselves, but also to our mothers, because that is the way mom would want it to be.

 

 

Mom told us to play nice on the playground. She told us to treat other people well. We should never forget those lessons in our adult life.

 

 

Being Christian, we talk a lot about Jesus Christ. Perhaps we do not talk enough about His mother and the importance she played, not only in His ministry but in the formation of His life.

 

 

Every mother who has ever conceived a child has conceived miraculously. You know that. When you were in the hospital and held that little one you could not help but to believe in God, love and power that is greater than ourselves.

 

 

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”  Sophia Loren

 

 

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.

 

 

Jesus’ first miracle says so much about his mother. The wedding at Cana [John 2:1-8, 11].On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.” I’m sure she was invited by the family because she knew them. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding, but I’m sure they were invited because of Mary. “When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’

 

 

I don’t suggest you say to your mother, “Woman. . .”   But in Jesus’ day this was a very endearing term. It was saying, “Marvelous, marvelous lady.” But He was also saying what you’ve said to your mother many times: “Mom, I’m not ready yet. I can’t do this.”

 

 

You know what mom said to you. She said to you in various ways, “I believe in you. You, more than anybody else in the world, can take care of this problem. You’re my son/daughter and I believe in you and I know what you can accomplish with your life.” That’s what mom was saying to Jesus.

 

 

I’m sure there were many other things she said besides what is written down here. I’m sure He went on and on, for ten times, to his mother saying such things as, “Mom, there’s no way I can do this now.” Mary didn’t even listen to Him, just like your mother didn’t listen to you when you said “I can’t.”

 

 

“His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’” Keep in mind this was His first miracle.

 

 

You know how it was for you when you were producing your first miracle . . . like that first day of school or the first day on your new job when you felt so insecure. You just didn’t know if you had it in you to do what you had trained all these years to do. Yet this was the time. You had your mother calling and telling you, “I believe in you!”

 

 

“And they filled them up to the rim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’” You know the rest of the story. They did and it was the finest wine they had ever tasted. It goes on to say,” and his disciples believed in him.” It doesn’t say that then Mary believed; she already knew, and believed. The disciples didn’t, but Mary did. Then at the end of the story it talks of how Jesus went with his mother to the next place they were going.

 

 

Jesus’ mother was so important to Him that the parting words on the Cross, almost the very last thing He said, was, “Woman, behold thy son, and behold thy mother.” He was looking out for his mother. He was getting someone to take care of his mother, whom He valued so highly. He was caring for her, even while He was in great pain.

 

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls.”

 

 

There is a wonderful story of Abraham Lincoln when he was riding one day in a coach. There was a colonel from Kentucky with him. The colonel reached into his inside vest pocket and took out a container of whiskey. He said, “Here Mr. Lincoln, have a swig of whiskey.”

 

 

Mr. Lincoln said, “No sir; thank you. I never drink whiskey.”

 

 

They rode along a little while longer and the colonel reached into his other vest pocket and took out a big, long cigar and said, “Here Mr. Lincoln. Have a cigar.”

 

 

Mr. Lincoln said to the colonel, “No. I never smoke cigars.”

 

 

Then Mr. Lincoln said, “Let me tell you a story. When I was nine years of age, I was called to my mother’s bed. She held my hand and said, ‘Abe, the doctor tells me I’m very sick and I’m not going to get up from this bed. Dear boy, I want you to promise me something from my deathbed – that you will never smoke or drink.’” Abe Lincoln said to the colonel from Kentucky, “Now, would you wish at this time I break that promise?”

 

 

 

The colonel paused and said, “Oh no, dear kind sir. I would pay $1,000 if I had made that promise and kept it all these years. I would be a better man for it.”

 

 

Abraham Lincoln, when asked about his incredible strength, said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

 

 

We’ve made many, many promises in our lifetime. Most of them have been to our mothers. And how many thoughts she had for us as she was raising us. How good it is to have a day to honor her and realize that she made us.

 

 

Whenever Alexander the Great was entertaining people in the palace, he
would always put on a special gown that was woven for him by his mother. Every time we go out in public, we put on a gown that was woven for us by our mothers-not only the skin we have, the eyes, teeth, and hair, but also the way we act.

 

 

Perhaps over years we have forgotten some of the things that mom has taught us, but this is a day to remember. This is a day to go back and remember the very best of mom when she was at her best. We become our best by recalling and reliving her best.

 

 

The VERY BEST she taught was LOVE, by her example.

 

 

A man was talking with a woman and asked, “What do you do?” She said, “I’m
just a mother.” This is what Theodore Roosevelt said about being “just a
mother.”

 

 

 

“When all is said, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls who are to be the generation of men and women of the next generation, is of better use to the country if only she would realize it. A more honorable as well as a more important position than any man, the mother is the one supreme asset of national life. She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, businessman, artist, or scientist.”

 

 

 

I have one more story to share with you that will touch you. It is an old
Chinese story. Po Yu did wrong and he cried when his mother chastised him with a stick. “You never used to cry when I thrashed you,” said his mother. “Why do you cry today?”

 

 

He answered, “When I did wrong and you thrashed me, it always used to hurt. But this time mother’s strength is such that it did not hurt. That’s why I cry.”

 

 

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

 

 

Let us pray. Dear God, one of the most incredible gifts you ever gave me as a human being is my physical mother. I thank You for that incredible gift. I thank You for all the times we’ve spent together and all the lessons she shared with me. Every day I will make my life an example of her love, and in my life I will make her love very much alive and her life not wasted. Her love is the life I live.. Lord, we know our mothers were not perfect, nor were or are we. We ask You to bless them whether they are with You in heaven or with us here on earth.

 

 

I thank you, dear mother, for your love, patience, and incredible kindness hour after hour. For the life I have today, I give credit to you.

 

 

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name I pray and thank you for the love of my mother….. . . . Amen

STOP DIGGING

STOP DIGGING!

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

 

“A stone may have been lying at the bottom of her riverbed for 10 million years,
but if you pluck it out and set it in the sun, in five minutes it is dry.”

 

 

“If you take a dry stone from the bank and switch it in the water for just two seconds, put it down to dry again, then a moment after, you will not be able to tell the difference between the two stones. The one that was wet for millions of years is just as dry now as the stone that was only wet for a few seconds.” Tolly Burkan

 

 

 

The point? Your future does not reflect your past. No matter how long you have been telling your story and living stuck in the bondage of your status quo, once you set an intention to make a shift into a new level of living, the quality of your life can change forever.

 

 

A life that has been newly found has exactly the same dynamic energy as someone who has been living that life for decades. The moment you start expressing your newfound life, you bring new life to everyone and everything you touch. To coin an old phrase, you can hold a candle to anyone! If you are holding a candle, a hundred people can lineup with unlit candles, place theirs in your flame, and walk away with a flame of their own. And even after you have given that much of yourself, your flame is not diminished.

 

 

Let your light shine; it will illumine your way out of the dark hole of your problem.

 

 

The first rule about holes: If you are in one – stop digging!

 

 

We have tried to do things alone and it has not worked. What we need, “Is spiritual guts! Spiritual G U T S means, – Going up to Spirit!” Stop digging!

 

 

Based on the Greek Orthodox spelling of Crist, the only difference between crisis and Christ is – is the letter T. The T stands for TRUST. So, stop digging.

 

 

We are here to find freedom in God. Freedom is a state of being without thought or restraint of bondage, limitation or repression, or digging ourselves into a hole. Freedom is having a sense of complete well-being. It is a result of living our life according to God’s Truth.

 

 

Freedom is about learning to live Christianity, to make it real in our day-to-day living. We make it real when we make the decision, and choose, to commit to live in the way of Christ  and can stop digging..

 

 

 

When we make that commitment, we start moving on our spiritual path, in that we begin to make conscious choices. That is what life is about-not being a victim any longer, and not allowing outside pressures to break us down, or to cave in on us. It is about living in the moment and making conscious choices that allow us to change. It’s about making that choice NOT to dig in any deeper.

 

 

In that change, we begin to know that there is only one Presence and one Power of God, and that we can be one with God.

“For to us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.” 1 Corinthians 8:6

 

 

And Freedom is about choice. We can choose to dig or to fly – to trust regardless of the human propensity to feel the need to be secure (even in our victimization). Helen Keller said, “It is mostly superstition. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either an exciting adventure or nothing.”

 

 

 

Yes! I want my life to be an exciting adventure, forgetting, for a moment, that an exciting adventure is not usually very comfortable. Yet, I still make that choice in trust, in trust of our Lord. We want our lives to be an exciting adventure because that is what we are about-learning that we are an expression and the creation of God.

 

 

 

One woman said, “This reminded me of a time when our son was taking skydiving lessons. He came into the pastor’s office (I was there also) and was so excited about it. He was going out the next morning, and he started explaining to us what he was going to do and how he was going to do it when he jumped out of this airplane. I could hear and feel the fear in his voice. Yet, it was about feeling the fear and doing it anyway. That was an exciting adventure.”

 

 

 

We do have that choice. We can choose to try to stay in that very safe space. Yet, trying to avoid danger is no safer than outright exposure, as Helen Keller said. It is about courage. God will give you the courage courage!

 

 

 

It is also about giving up the idea that something bad is going to happen. We go along in this life so often thinking that if we do this, or that, something bad might happen. We need to just give up the idea that something bad is going to happen, OR we start looking for consistency and comfort based on fear.

 

 

Do you know what Ralph Waldo Emerson said about consistency? He said, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”  What it is really about is living in the past. If we are trying to be consistent, we are looking back to the past. But the past is nothing more than history. We are trying to duplicate that history, and we are not participating in that exciting adventure of present life.

 

 

In the exciting adventure, it is time to make choices – to make that choice to experience the courage, love, and discomfort, if that is what it takes, to really participate in this adventure called life.

 

 

We can make the choice to either be out in the world OR try to avoid danger. I invite you to make the choice to commit to being who you really, truly are.

 

 

Commitment is so important. Without that, we cannot move forward. We must be about making a commitment. And what are we making a commitment to???    We are making a commitment to God – a commitment to live in that Presence and knowingness

 

 

Make the commitment, even though your knees may be shaking. God, instead of fear, will take over. There is only one Presence and one Power of God in your life. You make the commitment in this moment to live in that God truth. Choose, from this moment forward, to not allow anxiety or fear to be any part of your life, only God’s protection.

 

 

Go on with your life. How is this commitment able to be so strong in you? It is through prayer – having a rich prayer life, produces a rich spiritual life. Those of us who participate in the Spiritual Family Prayer room  –  http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com –  know about the power and the results from prayer.

 

 

Jesus said, “All of these things I do, you will do, and more.” What that says to you is that the very first thing He always did WAS PRAY.

 

 

Make it a commitment to pray.

 

When you sit down to pray you ARE connected with God. You are connected,
because God is connected with you. It is about intent. It is about relationship, your relationship with your BEST FRIEND – God.

 

 

There may have been times when you have sat down to pray and you have felt that nothing was happening. Yet, it is about the intent. If your intent is to pray, you are praying.

 

 

Arnold Patton says everything in life is about intent, and that we need to have a clear intent to have our life work perfectly.

 

 

So how does prayer make you free? It is about being in prayer and knowing and understanding that you are with God every moment that you are created by Love in love. You find the truth that sets you free; freedom is that connection and understanding that you are not alone.

 

 

In Genesis, it states we are created in the image and after the likeness
of God.

 

 

In First John, our Bible states, God is love. If that is true, and I choose to believe that both those statements are true, then you and I are also love. We discover this and reaffirm it through prayer. The steps Jesus gave us about prayer were to go to your room, go to that innermost chamber (the recesses of your mind), shut your door, and pray to your Father, in secret.

 

 

Shutting the door can also be a metaphor for shutting out all those concerns we have. If you are in the innermost chamber of your mind and heart, with the door shut, talking to God, you cannot think about your concerns or your problems.

 

 

Think about God because God really is the answer to everything you are seeking. If you think about God, if your intent is to sit down in prayer and think about God, you cannot concentrate on any outer concerns. As you let it all go to God in prayer, all of those outer concerns seem to just take care of themselves.

 

 

You cannot know all the details. God told us the details were none of our business. Your business is to just be there in that prayer presence. Then you will realize how free you really are, to let God take care of all those details. Our Lord wants us to put down the shovel, put our hands together and pray and then trust Him to give us the guidance and the courage to make these choices we are free to make.  Stop digging.

 

 

When you are praying to God in secret, you are asking God to change your life, and allow your life to work. You will notice I said “allow.” Allow God to work in and through you. You give God a chance to move through you, and recognize and acknowledge that there is just one Presence and one Power of good and love in your life.

 

 

You affirm through prayer: “Thank You, God, for my life. Thank You, God, for guiding me, directing me, and protecting me. And most of all, thank You, God, for reminding me that I am created in love by love to be love.”

 

 

Through that prayer, you become aware that God’s love supports you and each of us in life.

 

 

In closing, I would like to share with you a few quotes that really are about freedom and the one Presence and one Power. It exeplifies the knowing that there is only one Presence and one Power, and no matter what else is showing up, or whatever other emotions or thoughts are being created, we can always turn back, know, and live in that center of peace.

 

 

Maya Angelou stated in it her poem: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”   Maya Angelou knows it; Brother Lawrence knew it;  St. Theresa of Avila knew it.

 

 

Author Joel Goldsmith states it this way: “True freedom is in the joyous song of life sung when we find peace within.”

 

 

We can have that peace no matter what else is going on in our lives because, everything that is showing up is about taking us to God and finding out who and what we are–as God’s child.

 

 

So, no matter what our circumstances are, when our souls are free through that activity of the presence of the Christ, we are free indeed.

 

 

You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free John 8:32.

 

 

 

 

God bless you all!