Thursday, December 31, 2009

"So, I Guess You Throw Out the Bible..?"

Y'know, I really don't believe in coincidences (though I've been known to think of such things as God-incidences). I find that God comes to me cleverly disguised as my life. So, this morning, while reading from a rather formidable-and-controversial book, called The Urantia Book (some see it as divine -- some see it wholly as science fiction -- but I see that truth can be gleaned anywhere -- I swallow what feeds me, and spit out what doesn't), I came across a passage that utterly struck me in the gut..!

This passage is a response to a question that's tossed my way on a regular basis. It goes a little bit like this, "So, I guess you've completely thrown out the Bible as your Authority, huh?" If the question is asked in person, it's usually accompanied by a sneer, wide eyes, a look of fear, and body language that indicates that the inquirer is about to dash out the door, making the sign of the cross, and/or spraying holy water over their shoulder.

My simple answer would be in the form of another question: "Who says that the Bible was ever meant to be our Authority...?" The answer to that, of course, is, "the traditions of man."

Now, this passage is admittedly written in a rather stilted fashion ... so try to overlook that, and don't concern yourself with the source (I mean, if God could talk through a donkey...!) ... just see if it speaks to you, in any way. As for me, it quite articulately expresses how I have come to view scripture (& FTR, I also read and find truth in scripture outside the Bible, even in other religions/cultures).

This resonates with me ... and I have no problem imagining that it's at least *possible* that Jesus did indeed speak this to his followers ... regardless, I'm inclined to take it as a word from him to me, for me, at least at this time (and if that ain't relativity, I don't know what is, LOL!). Here goes (I have emboldened the portions that stood out to me):

Nathaniel was much bothered by some of Jesus' pronouncements which seemed to detract from the authority of the recognized Hebrew scriptures. Accordingly, on this night, after the usual period of questions and answers, Nathaniel took Jesus away from the others and asked: "Master, could you trust me to know the truth about the Scriptures? I observe that you teach us only a portion of the sacred writings—the best as I view it—and I infer that you reject the teachings of the rabbis to the effect that the words of the law are the very words of God, having been with God in heaven even before the times of Abraham and Moses. What is the truth about the Scriptures?" When Jesus heard the question of his bewildered apostle, he answered:

159:4.2 "Nathaniel, you have rightly judged; I do not regard the Scriptures as do the rabbis. I will talk with you about this matter on condition that you do not relate these things to your brethren, who are not all prepared to receive this teaching. The words of the law of Moses and the teachings of the Scriptures were not in existence before Abraham. Only in recent times have the Scriptures been gathered together as we now have them. While they contain the best of the higher thoughts and longings of the Jewish people, they also contain much that is far from being representative of the character and teachings of the Father in heaven; wherefore must I choose from among the better teachings those truths which are to be gleaned for the gospel of the kingdom.

159:4.3 "These writings are the work of men, some of them holy men, others not so holy. The teachings of these books represent the views and extent of enlightenment of the times in which they had their origin. As a revelation of truth, the last are more dependable than the first. The Scriptures are faulty and altogether human in origin, but mistake not, they do constitute the best collection of religious wisdom and spiritual truth to be found in all the world at this time.

159:4.4 "Many of these books were not written by the persons whose names they bear, but that in no way detracts from the value of the truths which they contain. If the story of Jonah should not be a fact, even if Jonah had never lived, still would the profound truth of this narrative, the love of God for Nineveh and the so-called heathen, be none the less precious in the eyes of all those who love their fellow men. The Scriptures are sacred because they present the thoughts and acts of men who were searching for God, and who in these writings left on record their highest concepts of righteousness, truth, and holiness. The Scriptures contain much that is true, very much, but in the light of your present teaching, you know that these writings also contain much that is misrepresentative of the Father in heaven, the loving God I have come to reveal to all the worlds.

159:4.5 "Nathaniel, never permit yourself for one moment to believe the Scripture records which tell you that the God of love directed your forefathers to go forth in battle to slay all their enemies—men, women, and children. Such records are the words of men, not very holy men, and they are not the word of God. The Scriptures always have, and always will, reflect the intellectual, moral, and spiritual status of those who create them. Have you not noted that the concepts of Yahweh grow in beauty and glory as the prophets make their records from Samuel to Isaiah? And you should remember that the Scriptures are intended for religious instruction and spiritual guidance. They are not the works of either historians or philosophers.

159:4.6 "The thing most deplorable is not merely this erroneous idea of the absolute perfection of the Scripture record and the infallibility of its teachings, but rather the confusing misinterpretation of these sacred writings by the tradition-enslaved scribes and Pharisees at Jerusalem. And now will they employ both the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures and their misinterpretations thereof in their determined effort to withstand these newer teachings of the gospel of the kingdom. Nathaniel, never forget, the Father does not limit the revelation of truth to any one generation or to any one people. Many earnest seekers after the truth have been, and will continue to be, confused and disheartened by these doctrines of the perfection of the Scriptures.

159:4.7 "The authority of truth is the very spirit that indwells its living manifestations, and not the dead words of the less illuminated and supposedly inspired men of another generation. And even if these holy men of old lived inspired and spirit-filled lives, that does not mean that their words were similarly spiritually inspired. Today we make no record of the teachings of this gospel of the kingdom lest, when I have gone, you speedily become divided up into sundry groups of truth contenders as a result of the diversity of your interpretation of my teachings. For this generation it is best that we live these truths while we shun the making of records.

159:4.8 "Mark you well my words, Nathaniel, nothing which human nature has touched can be regarded as infallible. Through the mind of man divine truth may indeed shine forth, but always of relative purity and partial divinity. The creature may crave infallibility, but only the Creator possesses it.

159:4.9 "But the greatest error of the teaching about the Scriptures is the doctrine of there being sealed books of mystery and wisdom which only the wise minds of the nation dare to interpret. The revelations of divine truth are not sealed except by human ignorance, bigotry, and narrow-minded intolerance. The light of the Scriptures is only dimmed by prejudice and darkened by superstition. A false fear of sacredness has prevented religion from being safeguarded by common sense. The fear of the authority of the sacred writings of the past effectively prevents the honest souls of today from accepting the new light of the gospel, the light which these very God-knowing men of another generation so intensely longed to see.

159:4.10 "But the saddest feature of all is the fact that some of the teachers of the sanctity of this traditionalism know this very truth. They more or less fully understand these limitations of Scripture, but they are moral cowards, intellectually dishonest. They know the truth regarding the sacred writings, but they prefer to withhold such disturbing facts from the people. And thus do they pervert and distort the Scriptures, making them the guide to slavish details of the daily life and an authority in things nonspiritual instead of appealing to the sacred writings as the repository of the moral wisdom, religious inspiration, and the spiritual teaching of the God-knowing men of other generations."

159:4.11 Nathaniel was enlightened, and shocked, by the Master's pronouncement. He long pondered this talk in the depths of his soul, but he told no man concerning this conference until after Jesus' ascension; and even then he feared to impart the full story of the Master's instruction.

Thar ya ar -- for whatever it's worth to you.

As for me, this nearly identically fits with what I read in Marcus Borg's(brilliant! recommended!) book, "Reading the Bible AGAIN, For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously, But Not Literally".

I very much appreciate, use, read, and study the Bible. I always have. But I now see it for what it is, what I believe it was intended to be: an inspired (and yet often-fallible) collection of the best thoughts of man at that time (or, at various times), intended to be useful to lead us to the knowledge of truth -- and NOT as a substitute for the living connection between the Creator, and the Beloved Creation -- discerned in the heart/mind/soul/conscience/being of each one. For I see and experience that only the Spirit-within is able to lead us into all truth ...

The Bible, taken seriously, but not literally, does indeed lead me to the knowledge of Him. But then, the Spirit leads me into all truth, using all things, including, but not limited to, the Bible.

Shalom, Dena

[Edited to fix my boo-boo -- I love the writings of both Karl Barth and Marcus Borg, and my brain tends to transpose the names ... dunno why. Let's blame peri-menopause! Anyway, I'm sure that the men belong to a mutual-admiration society, though Karl has gone through the veil, and I've just fixed the error -- read both of 'em!]

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

About the Battle: A Conversation

A dear friend of mine is in the midst of some personal and inter-personal turmoil. Whilst giving me an update, she asked me some questions, about the nature of the battle she sensed going on.

With her permission, and yet honoring her identity, I'd like to share a bit of the conversation with the rest of y'all ... on the off-chance that you might be able to relate ...

Friend: Pray for me... If God gives you a word again.. don't hesitate please to pass it on to me. These are very difficult times... Lots of lies and deceit coming from both medical and family... Family who thinks of medical professionals as a God. I'm walking in God's leading and in truth and there is tons of lies, accusations, and deceit being thrown about and at me. and I've been silent, that's the funny thing. It's really strange. Words being put into my mouth that I've not spoken..

I do feel like I'm right smack at the center of a spiritual type of battle. Now, I know that you and I have some similar thoughts about hell and even the devil. But, I do believe there is something ugly and wicked going on. I don't have it figured out.. I don't even have a clue.

But, you can bet I'm spending alot of quiet time, alone, and drawing close to Him. I have been especially doing so for the last several days now.

Thank you Dena for your sensitivity to His voice

At this point, at the end of the first message, I felt a strong urge to write to her ... to share with her my thoughts of the source of evil being within us, from our own egos, rather than from without. But, before I could do so, I noticed that she'd sent a second message:

One more thing.. With all the players, both family and medical people, there seems to be alot of Ego involved. and the compilation of everyone's ego is horrific.. very damaging. Now is this what's really happening Dena? Individual ego's contributing to one big "ego" centered mess that looks like the wars we are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq? Or is it a spiritual warfare of some sort between good and evil? It's just a nightmare....

And so, I responded:

Praying ... seeing you coming into clarity ... seeing Father as HE is ... seeing yourself as He does ... seeing you IN Christ, using the Mind of Christ, which you (we all) have (present tense). Seeing you making the shift from the thoughts of this world, to the Mind of Christ. Seeing this renewal of the mind happenING, ongoing, AS the journey, the Spirit leading you into all truth ... AS you can bear it. Seeing you comforted, and even at peace, even in the midst of the unsettling confusion of this transition, which very much *does* feel like a battle ... but the battle is in the mind ...

This is uncanny ... I read your first message, and put it aside, even as the response to it came to mind ... "tell her that the battle is not without, but within ... that the 'battle' is between the ego and the Spirit, the darkness within one's own thinking, and the collective-thought of mankind around us ... but remind her to notice that when the Light is turned on, the darkness is utterly absorbed by the Light -- it does not fight back. The only remaining darkness one sees, is when one turns one's back to the Light Source, and thus creates, and focuses upon, one's own shadow. One cannot follow one's own dark-shadow-self, i.e., ego, when one faces the Light, and the shadow is thus behind them, in it's proper place."

So, then I read your second message, and look, the Spirit is already showing you these same things ... yes, our individual egos put out thoughts, which are energy-forces, which combine with the energy-forces of others ... creating a large mass of negative energy ... this force, which is part of our own latent creative powers (for we are created in the image and likeness of Creator God - we are even a manifestation of Him), has often been misunderstood, particularly in the primitive mind of man, who imagined forces of both good and evil, competing, battling ... and invented the notion of "demons" ... including a chief demon ... which they then doctrinalized into the belief of satan ... a word which merely means "adversary". Now quoting from St. Pogo, "we have met the enemy, and he is us."

When Jesus was asked about the source of evil -- a fine time, btw, to instruct us about the "fallen angel" lucifer, who became satan -- he said that evil does not come from without, but from within our own hearts. The Hebraic notion of heart is our own soul ... our mind. That which imagines itself "fallen/separated" from God, and now depraved. That which thus thinks/believes/behaves in a fallen/separated way ... for as a man thinks in his own heart, so IS he. We become, in action, what we believe about ourselves. Christianity, an invention of man, the institutionalization of egoic/religious thought, requires this foundational belief in separation (and came up with the notion of "original sin" ... not found in the early followers of The Way, nor in scripture), and bases all of it's subsequent doctrines on this notion of separation from God.

And yet, we have the psalmist saying, "where can I go from Your presence? if I go to the abode of the dead [Sheol], there You are." How can we be separated from the One who is Omnipresent?

And we have Paul, much later, saying, "you were enemies of God in your minds" - and reminding us that we need to *renew* our minds. We need to come up higher ... to no longer think as the world thinks (i.e., separation, limitation, lack), but to think as God thinks ("in Him and of Him and through Him are all things" -- "nothing created shall separate us from the love of God" - "My ways are higher than your ways").

We are to die to our carnal/egoic thinking ... not to slaughter our egos (for they are a useful tool, once we start to recognize it), but to no longer live according to it.

The ego is our impostor ... posing as us, but not us. Paul articulates this well, "it is not I who sins, but the sin that lies within me." It is not me who thinks the egoic thoughts ... it's that which I *think* I am who is doing this ... much as how I am not what I dream, but I am the one observing the dream. So, too, can I learn to observe this egoic chatter, and realize that I don't have to buy into it. I can take every thought captive, I can question what I think ... I do not have to believe everything that flits through my mind. I can actively participate in renewing my mind ... I can trust the Spirit who is leading me out of captivity to lies, and into all truth. God comes to me disguised as my life ... it's all useful, all good, all fodder for learning. I can come to my senses, in the "far country" of my own egoic thinking, and return Home, to the Mind of Christ.

And when I discover that I have chosen the ego over the Spirit (which does indeed happen, for I am human, I am learning, I have not arrived), then I can choose *again*.

[Thank you, my friend, for allowing me to share this here...!]

Shalom, Dena

Monday, December 28, 2009

What Jesus Might Be Saying ... To You?

I do adore synchronicity! That delightful awareness of the leading of the Spirit, as His messages and promptings begin appearing in all manner of startling, wonderful and delightful ways ...!

I'm in the midst of an ongoing quest ... daring to ask "Who was Jesus, REALLY? And what is The Christ? How are they related? How are they distinct?" (& this may well become the gist of a talk I'll be giving at a conference in the Houston area in February ... more on that later).

Lately, I've been reading so much amazing stuff that I hardly know where to begin to share! But I'll just dive in, and show y'all what grabbed me by the heart this morning, in my early morning readings. A-MAZE-ing stuff! May it tickle your soul as it did mine!

Imagine, if you will, that Jesus is saying the following, to YOU:

You have come out from among those of your fellows who choose to remain satisfied with a religion of mind, who crave security and prefer conformity. You have elected to exchange your feelings of authoritative certainty for the assurances of the spirit of adventurous and progressive faith. You have dared to protest against the grueling bondage of institutional religion and to reject the authority of the traditions of record which are now regarded as the word of God. Our Father did indeed speak through Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea, but he did not cease to minister words of truth to the world when these prophets of old made an end of their utterances. My Father is no respecter of races or generations in that the word of truth is vouchsafed one age and withheld from another. Commit not the folly of calling that divine which is wholly human, and fail not to discern the words of truth which come not through the traditional oracles of supposed inspiration.

I have called upon you to be born again, to be born of the spirit. I have called you out of the darkness of authority and the lethargy of tradition into the transcendent light of the realization of the possibility of making for yourselves the greatest discovery possible for the human soul to make—the supernal experience of finding God for yourself, in yourself, and of yourself, and of doing all this as a fact in your own personal experience. And so may you pass from death to life, from the authority of tradition to the experience of knowing God; thus will you pass from darkness to light, from a racial faith inherited to a personal faith achieved by actual experience; and thereby will you progress from a theology of mind handed down by your ancestors to a true religion of spirit which shall be built up in your souls as an eternal endowment.

Your religion shall change from the mere intellectual belief in traditional authority to the actual experience of that living faith which is able to grasp the reality of God and all that relates to the divine spirit of the Father. The religion of the mind ties you hopelessly to the past; the religion of the spirit consists in progressive revelation and ever beckons you on toward higher and holier achievements in spiritual ideals and eternal realities.

While the religion of authority may impart a present feeling of settled security, you pay for such a transient satisfaction the price of the loss of your spiritual freedom and religious liberty. My Father does not require of you as the price of entering the kingdom of heaven that you should force yourself to subscribe to a belief in things which are spiritually repugnant, unholy, and untruthful. It is not required of you that your own sense of mercy, justice, and truth should be outraged by submission to an outworn system of religious forms and ceremonies. The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you. And who can judge—perhaps this spirit may have something to impart to this generation which other generations have refused to hear?

Shame on those false religious teachers who would drag hungry souls back into the dim and distant past and there leave them! And so are these unfortunate persons doomed to become frightened by every new discovery, while they are discomfited by every new revelation of truth. The prophet who said, "He will be kept in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on God, " was not a mere intellectual believer in authoritative theology. This truth-knowing human had discovered God; he was not merely talking about God.

I admonish you to give up the practice of always quoting the prophets of old and praising the heroes of Israel, and instead aspire to become living prophets of the Most High and spiritual heroes of the coming kingdom. To honor the God-knowing leaders of the past may indeed be worth while, but why, in so doing, should you sacrifice the supreme experience of human existence: finding God for yourselves and knowing him in your own souls?

Every race of mankind has its own mental outlook upon human existence; therefore must the religion of the mind ever run true to these various racial viewpoints. Never can the religions of authority come to unification. Human unity and mortal brotherhood can be achieved only by and through the superendowment of the religion of the spirit. Racial minds may differ, but all mankind is indwelt by the same divine and eternal spirit. The hope of human brotherhood can only be realized when, and as, the divergent mind religions of authority become impregnated with, and overshadowed by, the unifying and ennobling religion of the spirit—the religion of personal spiritual experience.

The religions of authority can only divide men and set them in conscientious array against each other; the religion of the spirit will progressively draw men together and cause them to become understandingly sympathetic with one another. The religions of authority require of men uniformity in belief, but this is impossible of realization in the present state of the world. The religion of the spirit requires only unity of experience—uniformity of destiny—making full allowance for diversity of belief. The religion of the spirit requires only uniformity of insight, not uniformity of viewpoint and outlook. The religion of the spirit does not demand uniformity of intellectual views, only unity of spirit feeling. The religions of authority crystallize into lifeless creeds; the religion of the spirit grows into the increasing joy and liberty of ennobling deeds of loving service and merciful ministration.

Never forget there is only one adventure which is more satisfying and thrilling than the attempt to discover the will of the living God, and that is the supreme experience of honestly trying to do that divine will. And fail not to remember that the will of God can be done in any earthly occupation. Some callings are not holy and others secular. All things are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit led; that is, subordinated to truth, ennobled by love, dominated by mercy, and restrained by fairness—justice. The spirit which my Father and I shall send into the world is not only the Spirit of Truth but also the spirit of idealistic beauty.

You must cease to seek for the word of God only on the pages of the olden records of theologic authority. Those who are born of the spirit of God shall henceforth discern the word of God regardless of whence it appears to take origin. Divine truth must not be discounted because the channel of its bestowal is apparently human. Many of your brethren have minds which accept the theory of God while they spiritually fail to realize the presence of God. And that is just the reason why I have so often taught you that the kingdom of heaven can best be realized by acquiring the spiritual attitude of a sincere child. It is not the mental immaturity of the child that I commend to you but rather the spiritual simplicity of such an easy-believing and fully-trusting little one. It is not so important that you should know about the fact of God as that you should increasingly grow in the ability to feel the presence of God

When you once begin to find God in your soul, presently you will begin to discover him in other men's souls and eventually in all the creatures and creations of a mighty universe. But what chance does the Father have to appear as a God of supreme loyalties and divine ideals in the souls of men who give little or no time to the thoughtful contemplation of such eternal realities? While the mind is not the seat of the spiritual nature, it is indeed the gateway thereto.

Take whatever the Spirit may impress upon you, and release the rest ... He leads us into all Truth as we can bear it.

Shalom, Dena

Saturday, December 26, 2009

On Being Duped ...

[Note: I sent this out, in email format, to several people ... but felt that it deserved wider exposure ... so here goes!]

We've been duped, folks.

Including me.

Five years ago, at the age of 43, following a "standard procedure" bone scan, I was diagnosed with "osteopenia" ... which I was told is the precursor for osteoporosis. With stern voices and intense expressions they told me that I was in serious danger of fractures, due to thinning bones (as I am white, petite, small boned, of northern-European descent, and had a long previous-history of bulimia).

I must, they said, begin taking high doses of calcium, and do weight-bearing exercises. Thing is, I'd been doing that for 30 years. So, they said, I had to begin taking Fosamax -- a prescription that would keep my bones from thinning further.

Like a good non-questioning patient, I got the prescription filled, and took it ... when it came time to refill it, I happened to be pregnant ... while pregnant or nursing, Fosamax is a no-go, so I suspended it. My intention had been to get another bone scan as soon as I was done nursing ... but, a funny thing happened; when I stopped nursing my last baby, I was just no longer feeling compelled to do the bone scan, or to return to the Fosamax regimen. I didn't understand that ... after all, I'd been told this was medically necessary - urgent even! I just had a funny feeling that wouldn't go away ... I couldn't shake it. Having no peace about taking Fosamax, I didn't follow through with the plan prescribed for me.

And now I know why ... it finally makes sense...

Last week, I happened to catch a story on national pubic radio, that featured the whole "osteopenia" story ... and then I *knew* why I'd been led to not take it again. Turns out, osteopenia is an entirely fabricated condition -- not a medical condition! It was created so that a drug company could make a significant profit (though doctors were led to believe that this would save many women from the dangers of broken hips). Further, Fosamax can even end up doing harm to bones, when taken long term -- it's particularly hazardous for women younger than 50 -- as I had been when prescribed.

Yes, we've been duped.

You deserve to know the TRUTH, so go here to this link, and give yourself the gift of listening to the broadcast ... and reading the story. It's important to know all the facts, before you make a decision that will affect YOUR health, and YOUR life.

(Ironically enough, I had my scan done in the very imaging center that's mentioned in this story -- in Fairfax, Virginia, where we used to live.)

We are being led, in many subtle and even misleading ways, to accept what we are told by the medical experts ... when some of them are far more motivated by profit -- whether directly/knowingly, or indirectly/ignorantly. I'd like to lean toward the latter, as I know many good-intentioned folks in the medical profession. The medical system, however, while created to assist us, has become yet another institutionalized-machine that demands our service, our allegiance, and all too often, our health. That doesn't mean it's "all bad" ... it means we need to use discernment. It means we need to be proactive with our own lives. It means we need to trust the Spirit of God within, more than the ego of man without.

Be informed. Question. Research. Be intentional about your life.

Shalom, Dena

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Antidotes to those Excuses...!

Let's look again at those pesky, all too-familiar excuses. This time, let yourself feel how "true" the excuse may be to you. Then, just for kicks and giggles, try on the antidote to the excuse ... repeat it to yourself (even outloud - yeah, g'head, scare the spouse, the kids, the co-worker and the neighbors!), and see if you can allow it to be as true, or even possibly truer, than the excuse has been for you.

And, just because scriptures started coming, unbidden, to my mind, I thought I'd share what occurred to me, as I was reading these for the first time, myself. (These are taken from "Excuses Begone!" by Dr. Wayne Dyer, pp. 62-64 -- Highly recommended!).

Here goes:

~ "It will be too difficult."
Antidote: "I have the ability to accomplish any task I set my mind to with ease and comfort."
Scripture: "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13)

~ "It's going to be risky."
Antidote: Being myself involves no risks. It's my ultimate truth, and I live it fearlessly.
Scripture: God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” (Gen 1:26) (note: like begats like)

~ "It will take a long time."
Antidote: I have infinite patience when it comes to fulfilling my destiny.
Scripture: "Having been confident of this very thing, that He who did begin in you a good work, will perform it till a day of Jesus Christ." (Phil 1:6)

~ There will be family drama."
Antidote: I would rather be loathed for who I am than loved for who I am not.
Scriptures: "And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and father child, and children shall rise up against parents, and shall put them to death..." (Mt. 10:21)
"Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master'
"If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you..." (Jn 5:20)
"It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Lk 1:17)

~ I don't deserve it."
Antidote: "I am a Divine creation, a piece of God. Therefore, I cannot be undeserving.
Scriptures: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." (Acts 17:21)
"Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?'" (John 10:34)

~ "It's not my nature."
Antidote: "My essential nature is perfect and faultless. It is to this nature that I return."
Scripture: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." (Gen 1:31)

~ "I can't afford it."
Antidote: "I am connected to an unlimited Source of abundance."
Scripture: "You are ever with Me - and I have is yours." (says God: Lk 15:31)

~ "No one will help me."
Antidote: "The right circumstances and the right people are already here and will show up on time."
Scripture: "Trust in God with all your heart - lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Prov. 3:5,6)

~ "It has never happened before."
Antidote: I am willing to attract all I desire, beginning here and now."
Scripture: "Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Ps 37:4)

~ "I'm not strong enough."
Antidote: "I have access to unlimited assistance. My strength comes from my connection to my Source of being."
Scripture: "My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth." (Ps 121:2)

"I'm not smart enough."
Antidote: I am a creation of the Divine Mind. all is perfect, and I am a genius in my own right."
Scripture: "We have the Mind of Christ." (1 Cor 2:16)

"I'm too old (or not old enough)."
Antidote: "I am an infinite being. The age of my body has no bearing on what I do or who I am."
Scripture: "I will praise You, for I am awesomely and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." (Ps 139:14)

~ "The rules won't let me."
Antidote: "I live my life according to Divine rules."
Scripture: "What is that to you? You follow Me." (Jn 21:22)

~ "It's too big."
Antidote: "I think only about what I can do now. By thinking small, I accomplish great things."
Scripture: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." (Mt 6:34)

~ "I don't have the energy."
Antidote: "I feel passionately about my life, and this passion fills me with excitement and energy."
Scripture: "Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not get tired; they will walk and not become weary." (Is 40:31)

~ "It's my personal family history."
Antidote: "I live in the present moment by being grateful for all of my life experiences as a child."
Scripture: "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things." (1 Cor 13:11)

~ "I'm too busy."
Antidote: "As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul."
Scripture: "Be still, and know that I Am God." (Ps 46:10)

~ "I'm too scared."
Antidote: "I can accomplish anything I put my mind to, because I know that I'm never alone."
Scriptures: "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me." (Ps 139:7-10)
"So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." (Mt 10:31)
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." (Jn 14:27)
"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'" (Rom 8:15)
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love." (1 Jn 4:18)

Next, I'd like to explore some principles in overcoming the excuses that limit, and cripple, us...

Shalom, Dena

Monday, December 21, 2009

Back to those Excuses...!

(Wondering if folks are taking a blog-reading break, and if my blogging will be for naught...? No matter -- this will be good for me to write it out!)

Returning to those excuses ... the ones that may be keeping us from living the Abundant Life that God has for us. I think I'll group several together, for I'm eager to get on to the counter-thoughts that we can "try on"... just to see if they perhaps fit better than do the excuses that are oh-so-familiar...

As you read, take a mental inventory, see if any are in your own arsenal. Be particularly wary of any immediate "no way" that comes to mind... could well be the ego seeking to keep you from finding freedom...! Sneaky lil' sucker!

"I've always been this way -- it's my nature -- I can't change (or achieve my goals)."
(a handy-dandy excuse guaranteed to keep us stuck in whatever isn't working, but which feels comfy-familiar -- plus, it gets us off the responsibility-hook!)

"No one will be there to help me change (or achieve my goals)."
(Oh? Isn't the world filled with people? Can you know for certain that none of them could, or would, show up to help? What if your thought that they won't is what's keeping them from doing so..?)

"I've never been able to change (or achieve my goals) before."
(This is a close cousin to "we've never done it that way before." Are we slaves to our past? Are we doomed?)

"I'm not strong enough to change (or achieve my goals)."
(If I see myself as a weak person, then I'm assigning the victim role to myself. Has not God given us all we need to live the life we've come to live?)

"I'm not smart enough to change (or achieve my goals)."
(I figure that if I'm smart enough to conceive of a thing, then I'm smart enough to achieve that thing. This, I believe, is where passion and perseverance come in to play. If I think of a thing differently, I'm creating new pathways in my brain chemistry ... that allow for new ways of considering, and then new ways of acting. I figure I have access to Divine Intelligence ...!)

"I'm too old (or too young) to change (or achieve my goals)."
(So, the number of trips I've made around the sun determines what I can do...?)

"The Rules won't let me change (or achieve my goals)."
(Ahhhh, this one is insidious, no? Especially if we've been duped into thinking that a successful life is the life that adheres best to the rules. I've even used the rules to drown out the Voice of God! I've been nearly strangled by the shoulds.)

"That which I would like to do/be/experience (the goals I want to achieve), is too big."
(But the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step...!)

"I'm too tired (to change or achieve my goals)!"
(What if this is just a learned response ... what if our thoughts dictate directions to our bodies, and our bodies just obey? What if low energy is a result of habitual thinking, more than body chemistry? What if there's fear of failing behind this excuse?)

"I've inherited my family's history (so I can't change or achieve my goals)."
(Oh yeah? So, because those who came before me made certain choices, I must make the same ones? What if this excuse is based on the fear of exploring the lies I believe? What if my old perspective can be replaced with a new one? What if Truth can replace lies? My life is a testimony to that.)

"I'm just too busy (to change or achieve my goals)."
(What if we're all overextended because we've *chosen* to be? What if we try to stay so busy that we can't get quiet, can't be still and know the Voice of God within ... what if we so believe in a scary-God that we're terrified of being "alone" with Him ... horrified at what we might hear?)

"I'm too scared to change (or achieve my goals)."
(Well, at least now we're getting real! Fear is THE biggie in the catalog of excuses. When all the fluff is blown away, all choices come down to either love or fear. Yeah, I know there's much resistance to that thought. But give it some time, dig deep, and get very, very honest. At the root of everything, you'll find one or the other. One is the calling cart of God, and the other of the ego. Being aware of it is the first step to no longer being enslaved to it...)

"Fear knocked on the door. Love answered, and no one was there."

Next, I'll repeat all of these excuses, and offer a positive option to consider instead ... AND share some scripture verses that came to my mind as I read them. It was enlightening to me ... very powerful.

Shalom, Dena

Sunday, December 20, 2009

HAPPINESS PANDEMIC (HP101) Hits Worldwide!

A Worldwide Epidemic is spreading with enormous speed.

The 'WWO' (World-Wellness-Organisation) foresees billions of people becoming infected within the coming decade!

Here are the most prominent symptoms of this wonderful enlivening 'disease':

1). The tendency to let yourself be guided by intuition instead of acting under pressure of fear, forced ideas and pre-conditioned behaviour.

2). A total loss of interest in:- judging others, convicting yourself and preoccupation with things that create conflict.

3). A complete loss of the capacity to worry: This is one of the most serious symptoms!

4). A continual pleasure in appreciating humans and things the way they are, which weakens one's tendency to want to 'change' others.

5). The desire to change oneself so that innate thoughts, feelings, emotions and bodily matters are managed in ways that facilitate only Health, Creativity and Love.

6). Repetitive attacks of smiling - a smile that says THANK YOU and stimulates being at-one with all those around.

7). A growing openness towards childlikeness, simplicity, laughter and happiness.

8). More frequent moments of communication with one's Soul in non-duality, that in turn creates the pleasant feeling of fulfillment and joy within.

9). Finding pleasure in acting as a Healer who spreads Joy and Light, instead of criticism and indifference.

10). The ability to effortlessly live alone, as a couple, with family, or in a community on the basis of equality, without any need to play the role of executioner (or wanting to be sacrificed!).

11). A feeling of responsibility and joy to share with the world one's dreams of an abundant, harmonic and peaceful future for all.

12). Total acceptance of one's own presence on Earth and the will to choose each moment only for what is gracious, good, truthful and alive!


Do you want to continue living in fear, dependency, conflict, dis-ease and conformism? If so, then at all cost avoid people who display these symptoms; this disease is very contagious! Medical treatment can temporarily repress the symptoms, although the progress of the disease has very often been inevitable.

There just isn't an 'anti-happiness' Vaccine'!

Because this Happiness Pandemic causes a loss of fear of death, the central pillar upon which the beliefs of materialistic modern-day society rest, there is now a risk of societal turmoil with a complete loss of interest in warfare and the necessity to always be 'right'!

Gatherings of happy people who sing, dance and celebrate life, the emergence of people who celebrate their physical and spiritual healing, crises of extreme joy and even Stances of collective emotional vent, are all now at hand!

(May you infect others with 'HP101' where ever you go...)

[this did not originate with me ... one of those anonymous giftings that I *had* to spread ... may it go viral!]

Shalom, Dena

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Living the Abundant Life - What Excuses May Be In the Way? (Part VI)

Looking now at, "I don't deserve the Abundant Life". Or your personal variation that tells you that you are "undeserving" of goodness ...

Having grown up in the USA, and more importantly, having been in the thick of the Christian sub-culture, I am quite familiar with the notion that we are "undeserving". I regularly heard comments like this, even from the authority of the pulpit:

"We are wretched creatures."

"We are fallen and depraved."

"We are enemies of God."

"We are but flesh" (which I love to transpose into "we are but(t) flesh," or "we are but(t) dust" -- one of those verses, along with "don't cast pearls before swine", which are best said in one's one head, rather than out-loud, to those who may take personal offense from thinking themselves likened to swine and/or human posteriors -- even if the description might temporarily *fit*).

Oh yes, I know of the verses that seem to imply that we ARE undeserving ... that we ARE enemies of God ... that we are fallen and depraved. My personal and current (awaiting further revelation) view, is that much of the scriptures was written from the perspective of the ego. It's inspired by God, of course. But so are WE (we are God-breathed), and yet I see that we have egos, too. Good darned thing that Spirit co-exists alongside ego, no? Perhaps not something that God puts up with, as much as what God works within? Perhaps God lets us go into the "far cocuntry" of our own egoic thinking, just as the Father let the prodigal go, knowing that it takes whatever it takes for us to come to our senses...?

I love the verse that says we were "enemies of God in our own minds". Not for a minute do I believe that we were ever an enemy of God in God's mind.

It seems to me that if we think we are undeserving of the sunshine and rain (which fall on the "righteous" and "unrighteous" alike), then we should do some questioning of that thought. We don't have to believe everything we think, y'know.

Do any of these seem familiar:

"No matter how hard I try, nothing works out for me."

"Other people get blessed, but I guess something is just wrong with me -- I don't deserve the good stuff."

Unworthiness seems to be a self-protective mode ... it seems to protect us from exploring our worst fear: that we are not worthy of love. That we have to somehow earn love -- but we that can't do it. That there's something *wrong* with us. Much of our lives are spent either desperately covering over this supposed wrongness, or else living in a such a way that says, "you want to see wrong? I'll show you wrong!"

Unworthiness is not a protection, but that which prevents us from discovering who we really are -- how God sees us. Not the ego-projected fear of how God sees us, but how He REALLY sees us.

We can ask Him ... we can discover our true identity, worth and purpose.

If you knew how God sees you, you would smile - a LOT.

Shalom, Dena

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Living the Abundant Life Yet...? What Excuses May Be In The Way...? (Part VI)

"I can't afford what it would take to change."

"It would be too expensive..."

"I can't use the money I now have because something bad might happen in the future."

"I have a lack of funds."

Obviously, not all changes require money ... but if higher education or travel is what you'd like to experience, then the concept of money -- and whether you have enough -- is likely to come up.

Looking around at the world, especially in the past year or so ... there seems to be a near-universal belief that there is a limited supply of money/wealth ... and those who want it (the "have's"), must acquire it at the expense of others (who become the "have-nots"). The have's thus have an entitlement/greed-fest mindset, and the have-nots have an "undeserving/stuck-in-poverty-or-striving" mentality.

Both seem rooted in fear that there is "not enough" ... that supply is scarce.

Methinks we can afford to look at that...!

God, our Source, who spoke all into being, is our Supply. He does not lack, in anything. And He says to us (each and all), "Son/Daughter - you are always with Me -- all I have is yours."

When, I wonder, will we start to believe that?

My Supply is *not* derived from my income ... from my husband's job, from our bank accounts, from our investments, from the value of our mortgage, or even from money. My Supply is God. Is my image of God one of a Withholder, or a Lavish Giver? Could it be true that I receive as I give...? Could it be true that if I sow (put forth) a belief in limitation, lack, scarcity, that that's what I reap..?

Could it be that I get in my own way...?

Perhaps I could afford to shift my thinking from, "I can't afford that" to "Whatever I need, in whatever form of assistance I need, will show up in my life, to guide me into all the abundance that is God's." And ... "even though I do not yet see it, I can trust that it is on its way -- and I will receive it as I am open to it."

Couldn't hurt to give it a shot, no?

Perhaps I just need to become more observant, and grateful, for all I *do* have:

- All the air I can breathe (and then some)!

- All the water I require for drinking, cooking, cleaning ... with a surplus!

- Fire and heat, which show up as I need it, when and how I need it...!

- The sun, which I notice generously shines on each and every one...!

- The moon, which I love to watch transforming in the sky ...

- The ground, which has not yet failed to hold me up!

- Gravity ... again, it's been pretty dang reliable!

- My body ... which manages to breathe, circulate blood, navigate this realm, and fluctuate hormones, without me having to direct it to do so!

- Other humans -- who provide me with endless lessons in seeing my own blind spots (free and live demonstrations, played out before my eyes!).

- Beauty ... which is all around me, should I choose to notice!

I couldn't possibly "afford" those blessings, if I had to purchase them! And yet they're lavishly, even "wastefully" poured out for me...!

And yet ... I manage to fathom a God who would otherwise stingily hold out on me, in order to "teach me a hard lesson"...?

What if my frame of reference about money (which is just a tool to an end ... meant to be a blessing) needs reframing...? What if I've been tripping over my own faulty thinking?

In general, whether we believe we can afford to do a thing or not, we're right.

Question those beliefs ... choose again.

Shalom, Dena

P.S. Just as I signed off, and checked emails, I found this, which I had missed on December 5th (coincidence? God-incidence?):

"We each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mind-set of scarcity. Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don't mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn't two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn't a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn't an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough."
~Lynne Twist

Today's Affirmation

All of my needs are met.

Today's Meditation

Dear God,

Thank You for providing everything I need.
Thank You for the order that is now evident and at work in my life.
I am grateful for Your abundance which flows though me.
As I give I receive, lavishly and with good measure.
Thank You very much.

AND, my friend Kevin Beck is also in synch...! Read on:

At this time of year and especially in tight economic times, retailers are doing everything in their power to get your attention and your dollars. They are in the business of creating wants and promising to fulfill your wishes.

Try going a whole day without saying, "I want (need, would like, gotta get, must have, think it would be fun to own, wish someone would give me) something."

You'll quickly realize that humans always want something. A new hair style, cool clothes, the latest technology, vehicles, another cigarette, reading material, gadgets, artwork, delicious food, hot coffee, extra money, a vacation, more Twitter followers.

Our desires aren't limited to material possessions. We want happiness, recognition, respect, spiritual satisfaction, health, passionate sex, approval, world peace, meaningful work, people to agree with us, better weather, forgiveness, revenge, political victory, wisdom, enlightenment, salvation, heaven, God's blessing, love.

When our wants are met, we almost immediately crave something else. Lunch was wonderful, but I can't wait until supper. This week's game was awesome, and I expect next week's to be better. Open one Christmas gift and hastily toss it aside in a frantic search for another.

There is always something more to want. Tearing down your old barns to build bigger ones might be the most common of all human activities.

Even so, wanting is not immoral. You are not a bad person because you want. Wanting arises from a perception of deficiency. Want assumes lack. The illusion tells us that we are less-than and that in order to measure up, to feel satisfied, or to attain fulfillment that we must obtain something.

Once we acquire it, we hope it will fill our perceived emptiness and quench the fires of desire.

Yet, when we get whatever we wanted, we inevitably want something else. By our experience we know that attainment does not produce fulfillment. "When I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had spent in doing it, and again, all was vanity and a chasing after wind."

Constant longing accompanied by agitated restlessness indicates inner discontent, and external stuff cannot satisfy an internal attitude.

Hoping that attaining something outside of yourself can bring fulfillment is fueled by absence. Imagining that now is not enough causes your mind to wander through an existential desert. This belief pushes you from one supposed oasis to the next, yet each oasis is a mirage.

The delusion of deficiency drives you to move heaven and earth to get what you suppose will fill your desire. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Your cup runs over right now.

Presence opens the eye of the spirit and enables you to see past the deception of dearth. Living mindfully in each emerging moment awakens you to the immediate wholeness of the all-in-all.

Presence generates gratitude, contentment, self-assurance, joy, and tranquility because you eat of the Tree of Life only in the now. When you attend to the present, you revel in wonder over the miracle of your very existence.

Because we live in a universe of infinite unfolding, situations always change. Recognizing this reality empowers you to see wants for what they are. Contextual desires that are not necessarily good or bad. Knowing that wants by their nature cannot be filled because they always want more frees you from their oppression.

Therefore, become aware of your wants and express them. The old Christian hymn, Sweet Hour of Prayer, advises that you make all your wants and wishes known. If done in a spirit of greed, you may consider yourself a magician attempting to manipulate God into performing your will. You may even get what you want, but you'll be left with a false sense of satisfaction or a true sense of bleakness.

However, stating your desires opens you to explore why you believe you want. You will learn about yourself, your relationships, and the source of true fulfillment. By making your wants and wishes known, you will discover liberation from their tyranny.

In this newfound freedom, you will trust that you don't need whatever it is that you want in order to be fulfilled because fulfillment already embraces you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Meanwhile ...

Taking a short break from the on-going expose on Excuses that Block the Abundant Life ...

I received a lovely message from an old friend this morning ... about achieving oneness, and about how the currency of the Kingdom is not money - but love. My friend is rather brilliant ... and I always learn from his sharings ... and in turn, I wanted to share my current thoughts on the topic. I thought I would share them here, as well ...

My (current, awaiting-further-revelation) thoughts:

I see Oneness as our inherent state of being (not someothing to achieve -- but something to realize) ... I see that we are a temporary-physical manifestation of the very Life of God ... I don't see any other Source of Life out there, but His life. I see all life as God's life -- all of creation as a manifestation of Himself. I see that He is OmniPresence... where can I go from His Presence ... even if I should make my bed in the abode of the dead, there He is...! And nothing created (including all humans, including myself) can separate me from the love of God. And the love of God IS the most powerful force (really, the only force) in the universe...! (all the rest of the "powers" are merely the shadows in our minds, that block us from seeing the Light of Love ... and I notice that darkness does not resist, much less fight back, the Light ... Light utterly absorbs the darkness...!)

My only problem, is that my eogic/carnal thinking (& that of collective humanity), has convinced me (by lying) that I am an enemy of God - Paul says we are enemies of God "in our own minds". My (fear-and-shame-based) ego tells me that I am separated from God ... yet how does one become separated from OmniPresence... from the only Source of Life that there IS...? When I believe a lie, it becomes "as truth" to me ... but Truth remains Truth. God brings others into my life ... others who demonstrate, in living color, out-loud in front of me, the very ways in which I am believing lies ... I see my stuff in others, whereas I'm blind to it in myself. The temptation is to scape-goat the other, and to banish them from me ... the gift comes when I embrace the message the other brings (showing me my blind-spots), and thus receive the healing that mind-renewal brings.

I see that Oneness, the very Life of God, is that which flows through all and every thing -- including each of us (created in the image and likeness of God). Like begets like: acorns beget oaks ... dogs beget puppies ... eagles beget eagles ... God begets sons of God... we are offspring of God -- sprung off of God. The wave of the ocean is not the entire ocean, yet neither is it separate from the ocean ... they are one.

Soooo ... my ego, the lies I believe, get in the way of me experiencing and knowing and living out this oneness, because of my faulty/skewy perspective ... as a man thinks in his own heart, so is he. What I believe, what I focus on, that becomes my experienced reality. If I believe myself to be separate from God -- that is my experience. If I believe myself to be an enemy of God -- that is my experience. Once I have my mind renewed (and this is a process -- the very process of this life), so that my thoughts freely align with God's thoughts (which are my own deepest/truest thoughts), once the ego/carnal nature is seen for what it is (once I die to it ... not slaughtering it, but no longer living according to it), and once I see who I really am, In Christ, then the Oneness, with ALL the inherent fruits of it, flow through me ... He lives His life through me, for we are one, and my real life was always His life.

I was just utterly confused and deceived by my own ego ... we have met the enemy and he is us.

And yet, as Paul says, that ego is not the real me ... just the impostor me. That which wants me to think it's me ... but I am not the dreamer ... I am really the one observing the dream -- and learning how to navigate it ... cooperating with the Spirit in bringing the awareness of the Kingdom into this realm - for it has been here, in our midst, within us, all-ways.

Jesus still has much more to show us ... the question is, can we yet bear it? Will we trust the Spirit as He leads us into all truth...? Can we let go of the nullifying traditions of man enough to let the ever-flowing Truth of God renew our minds...?

Just my thoughts ... your mileage may vary! Lead on, Spirit! Increase our bearability!

Shalom, Dena

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Living the Abundant Life Yet...? What Excuses May Be In The Way...? (Part V)

Drama, drama, drama...!

"If I change it will kill my parents!"

"If I change, I'd be disOWNed!"

"If I change, there's too high a price to pay!"

"If I change, my spouse would leave me!"

All of this is rooted in fear ... fear that criticism of others could cause damage.

Here's the choice: to live a life hemmed-in by the squelching expectations and demands of others, or to live a life we're destined to live ... a life that requires the willingness to risk and endure the (imagined or real) attacks that *could* come from others, as we respond to our Inner-Leading, rather than reacting to the opinions of others.

Which will you be glad you chose, when all is said and done...?

Are you willing to leave this realm with your song still un-sung within you?

We don't belong to our family-of-origin-or-marriage so much as we belong to the Human Family. We mistakenly believe that we are owned by our parents, or that we own our children. None of us are the possession of another, nor can we possess another. That's slavery.

We're not obligated to fulfill the wishes of another's expectations for our life, either.

We're here to demonstrate and experience all that God has for us ... to learn from our choices, to discover who we really are.

We answer only to God ... even as we learn how to love God, and love each other. Love means living our convictions with kindness and respect -- including self-respect.

Sometimes that means disappointing a loved one ... when their well-meaning, but mis-guided expectations are more about themselves, than about us. A life well-lived, unapolagetically, unhindered, without excuses ... is a life that others will not only ultimately admire, but can even be influenced by ... they can be inspired to live-well themselves.

This is not about selfishness ... this is about authenticity ... which always includes blessing others as we live. It's not either/or, but both/and.

And, I'm not bound to continue in ways that once served me, but no longer do. That which aided me as a child, as I was learning to navigate in the dark, may now be impediments, as I am learning to walk more in the Light.

Reasons for the past can become excuses in the present.

I can gracefully and gratefully let go of that which once served me ... but which no longer fits me.

I believe I honor and bless others, when I live my most authentic, most transparent, most celebratory life, here and now.

The Abundant Life is the God-manifested life ...

Shalom, Dena

(Next: "I Can't Afford the Changes Required to Live the Abundant Life")

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Living the Abundant Life Yet...? What Excuses May Be In The Way...? (Part IV)

" ... Change will just take tooooooo long."

"I don't have time to change ..."

"I'm getting too old to change -- can't teach an old dog new tricks."

Ohhhhhh yeah. Been there, done that. Still creeps up on me.

And so I ask myself this question, posed by Dr. Dyer: "If you wish to elevate your life, it really doesn't matter how long it takes, does it?"

Let's say it takes me two years to focus on a particularly limiting thought-habit, become aware of it, examine it, expose it, question it, and have it replaced with truth. After those two years, I shall be 50. I'm going to be 50 in two years regardless, whether I still have that unexamined thought-habit or not. Why *not* spend those two years in more freedom, rather than passively allowing the continuation of limitations?

And -- good news here -- so far, when I've set out to uncover a limitation (to expose a lie), it's *never* taken two years...! In my experience, the moment I intend to replace a lie with truth, the process begins, and whether it happens in a moment (ala Theophostic or The Work, or a God-download), or it happens over time, the truth and resulting freedom are *inevitable*.

If I intend it, it happens, whether my intention is to change, or to remain entrenched. Make no mistake, thinking "I *can't* change" is an intention that becomes reality...!

One thing I'm becoming more and more aware of ... is that we all only live in the moment. The past is gone - the future never comes. My *MIND* may travel to the past or future, but it's only happening in the moment-at-hand. The question is, how do I want to spend the precious moment-at-hand...?

I notice that I built negative habits (of thought or of deed) one moment at a time. So, too, can I build new, positive habits.

Stop -- did you just have the thought, "Yeah, but I have to become AWARE of my negative thought-habits - if I'm unaware, than I'm stuck!"

Do you realize that that's an excuse? A limiting belief? Do you realize you have a *choice* in what you think, and what you believe?

Do you WANT to become aware of your limiting, negative thoughts...?

Have you expressed this, to God and yourself?

Do you realize that you are here, were led here, to read this, which is reminding you that you have, and can become aware of, your own negative thought-habits...?

Do you see that the process of freedom is happenING, right now, this moment?

Do you see, or can you entertain the possibility, that you ARE on the path to freedom...? Can you choose to trust that process, to thus participate in that process?

Like the blossom that gives way to the fruit, you just have to BE.

And ... is it your business to lead you into truth, or is it the business of the Spirit? Can you trust Him? do you?

If you don't yet, do you know you can choose to trust...?

To quote the Tao Te Ching,
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

What can you do/think/question/believe in THIS present moment, that aligns you with that journey...?

Try imagining that you ARE on that journey, because you have the desire to be ... and know that God gives you the desires of your heart (He both gives you the desire in the first place, AND brings it about to fruition).

Bloom on! Be fruity!

Shalom, Dena

(Next: "If I change, family drama will result!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Living the Abundant Life Yet...? What Excuses May Be In The Way...? (Part III)

"Change will be too risky."

"People may resent my changing."

"This could upset so many relationships."

"What if something bad happens to me, if I change?"

"What if I don't like who I am, after I change?"

"What if the Real Me is a creep?"

I've heard and/or thought these excuses ... what about you?

Of course, we can never be totally sure that any venture will be risk-free. And honestly, how many of us would enjoy a life that was 100% guaranteed risk-free ...? How B-O-R-I-N-G...! Isn't risk an inherent part of life itself...?

What if holding back, guarding oneself, protecting oneself out of fear of criticism or judgment is actually far more harmful than taking a risk...?

Such fear is paralyzing ... self-limiting ... life-squelching ... leaving us with a diminished and meaningless existence that cannot even be called a "life". May as well be a rock.

Neither can we live a life dedicated to pleasing everyone else ... such a life is built on fear, rendering one a victim of their own excuse-based thinking.

It's incredibly empowering and fulfilling to live from your own convictions, to follow your passion, to let nothing prevent you from experiencing your own fulfillment...!

As Wayne Dyer says, "The peace that you feel because you ignored the worry of a risk is far greater than staying stuck in a belief that is really only and excuse."

Most of what I fear risking is only a projection of my own imagination. So, when I let it keep me from venturing forth, and remain stagnant, I reinforce that fear. I sit there, feeling that fear, as IF whatever I had dreaded had occurred. BUT --- when I step out, with confidence, not looking back, I find that the thing I dreaded doesn't materialize ... it was a mere figment of my own imagination. And it evaporates. And I laugh.

And even if it *did* materialize, I have the power to face it and make choices ... something I cannot do if I opt for avoiding the risk, and just sit there, IN the fear, in the first place.

Choices, choices ... if I don't like what's happening, I can "choose again."

Shalom, Dena

P.S. Next examined excuse: "Change Will Take a Long Time."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Living the Abundant Life Yet...? What Excuses May Be In The Way...? (Part II)

"Change will just be too difficult."

"It's too hard -- this is how I've always been -- I can't change my innate nature."

"It's overwhelming -- I don't know where to start."

"Why rock the boat ... if I change it would affect too many others, it would be too much of a battle."

Any of those, or something similar, sound familiar?

I've certainly had those thoughts ... and they still creep in, when I'm not aware of my own thinking ... (I'm in process here!).

Let me get honest with you and myself for a minute ... life itself is hard. Whether I'm struggling with relationship issues, addictions, habits, obesity, depression, or anything else in my life, if I REALLY look closely, I can see that it's not what's happening to me that's causing my suffering ... it's what I'm *THINKING* about what's happening to me that's causing my suffering. The story I tell myself makes ALL the difference in how I experience what's happening. Even deeper still, the story I tell myself actually *creates* what happens ...! (if you don't yet see that, you will one day.)

So, if life is going to be difficult anyway, why don't I choose to have some *purposeful* suffering, in the form of re-examining what I think, what I believe, and thus what I experience..?

Here's my choice: to be a "victim" of what happens to me, or to become a participatory co-creator of my life.


And just because I thought I had no choice in the past, just because I thought I had inherited things I am now stuck with, doesn't make it true. I can find out IF it's true.

What if changing my thinking turns out to be easier than I thought it would be? Many times I've spent more time and energy stewing over, and avoiding, that which I thought would be hard ... than in doing the "hard" thing itself...!

Avoiding, procrastinating and fearing change, is FAR more exhausting than actually going with the flow of the change ...

When I was bulimic, and had tried everything I knew of for 21 years ... I finally "accidentally" (thank You, God) discovered a woman who did a unique prayer-approach to healing ... a participatory process called Theophostic (btw, that woman is now back in my life, and often reads this blog -- as I read hers! Hi Marianne!).

The first thing she had me do, in preparing for our first session, was to make a list of all the "reasons" I binged and purged. A list of everything I "got out of" being bulimic. I filled both sides of a sheet of legal paper. Things like, "I don't know what else to do with my time" ... "this feels like my identity - who I am" ... "if I don't do this the feeling of deprivation is overwhelming, and I feel like I'll die."

From there, she was able to discern and hone in on what seemed like the most prevailing lie ... but rather than point it out to me, she let God lead me in my own imagination and memories to the root of that lie-belief (thus it was a less-cognitive, and more-experiential approach) ... then God showed me His truth instead, which utterly "absorbed" the lie, as Light always does with darkness (no resistance, no fight -- shadows don't resist the Light, nor do they fight back -- the battle is an illusion).

I suggest, if you're open to it, to try the same exercise. What "limitation" is currently in your own life ... a runaway temper? reckless behavior? a disease? an addiction? a habit you "can't" lick? negative thinking? procrastination?

What's keeping you from living the Abundant Life?

Write down all the reasons why you do/think/believe this "limitation". What are you getting out of it? Let your imagination flow ... write down all that comes to mind -- *don't* edit or question it yet ... just get it out, get it down. No matter how silly or "unimportant" it may seem to you (that would be your ego yammering, btw).

Then, see which one seems the strongest, the "truest" to you.

Focus on it ... let the feelings rise up that are associated with it ... let your mind drift to an earlier memory that "feels the same way" ... even ask God to show you when that same feeling first came to you ... when you first felt that way.

If a memory surfaces, experience it. Even if it's one of those memories you intentionally try to avoid (it cannot hurt you now, though the lie you believe about it *does* still hurt you) ... ask God what He wants you to know about that memory. You can ask Him if you've believed any lies since that time, due to whatever you then experienced.

Feel the "truth" of whatever lie you may become aware of ... because when we believe a lie it feels like "truth" to us.

See how that lie has affected you in your life.

Now, do you want to keep believing that lie...?

If not, ask God to show you HIS perspective of that situation ... ask Him if the lie is true. Ask Him for HIS truth, instead of what you *thought* was truth.

Don't try to drum up a verse of scripture ... let Him show you what He has for you, personally, uniquely. Again, don't edit - just receive.

See which feels "truer" now ... what you *thought* you believed before, or whatever it is that God has shown you.

(Another option is to ask yourself the following questions:

- Is it true?
- Can I know for *sure* that it's true?
- How does that thought make me feel?
- Who would I be without that thought?
- Can I think of any stress-free reason to keep that thought?
- Can I turn that thought around, and see if the "opposite" might also be true, or truer? -- Adapted from Byron Katie's "The Work")

How 'bout this: The belief that changing our beliefs is too hard is only a BELIEF...!

We don't have to believe everything we think...!

(Tomorrow, let's look at the excuse: "Change is Too Risky.")

Shalom, Dena

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Living the Abundant Life Yet...? What Excuses May Be In The Way...? (Part I)

Having been inspired by a book I'm reading (OK, one of a few I'm reading), I felt inspired in kind to share what I'm seeing here ...

(The book I reference is "Excuses Be Gone!" by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer -- and I do recommend it thus-far -- I'm currently half-way through it, and vastly enjoying it.)

'Tis my belief (your mileage may vary) that we are meant to live the Abundant Life. Not the "So-So" Life. Not the "Getting-By (But Just Barely)" Life. Not the "Hanging On 'Til Jesus Comes Back to Rescue Me" Life. Not even the "Christian Life". The Abundant Life is the only one Jesus ever spoke of.

If He's offering, I'm taking!

So, if He's offering, and it's available here and now (it's "at hand"), and if I'm *not* experiencing it, I figure that there must be something in the way, on MY end.

I've learned by now that the only thing that can come between me and what I'm meant to have, is my own skewy thinking. I have met the enemy and it be me (loose paraphrase that nonetheless works!).

So, what's wrong with my thinking?

Only the lies I believe, and the excuses I tell myself. I continuously tell myself a "story" in my head ... and if I believe it, it becomes my reality. It's how I co-create, for good or for harm. Since I have the choice (and I do!), why not examine what I believe, why not listen-in on the story I tell myself, why not scrutinize the excuses I'm using, and see if it's all TRUE?!?

I love this quote by Henry David Thoreau:
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.

You catch that word "conscious"...? Yeah, this requires a wee bit of intentionality on our part ... we are participants in the glorious life we're living...!

"Come up higher." "Take every thought captive." "As a man thinks in his own heart, so is he."

What if it's our *responsibility* to stop living unconsciously, wake up in the pig-sty of our own making, come to our senses, and start living consciously -- awakened..?

Don't like how your life is playing out? Re-interpret the past scenes, and re-write the present (& the future will follow)...!

If you're up for it, why not join me on an exploration into some commonly-used excuses, that tend to clog up our thinking, and thus limit our life-experience...?

Tomorrow we can peek into this one: "Change Will Be Too Difficult."

Oh yeah?!?

More tomorrow...

Shalom, Dena

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear...?

I know what you're thinking -- and no, this isn't going to be about a Christmas song...!

Once upon a time, when I was in the thick of puberty, about 13 to be precise, I started having episodes of dizziness and imbalance ... coupled with an odd, persistent, attention-getting ringing in my ear. It would reach a crescendo, and then decrease ... at times I had to lie down 'til the vertigo passed. I got checked out for all the possible causes, and it was chalked up to a mystery. "Stress," they said. But of course. I am human, therefore I am stressed.

Over time, it passed, and I forgot about it, unless and until it came up during family get-togethers, "remember that time Dena got so dizzy in the store that she had to lie down in the aisle...?"

Fast-forward to the spring of 2008 ... April, to be precise. Mark and I had been invited to participate in a live TV show, the "Mike and Juliet" show in New York City ... it was about "Christians who enjoy sex" -- apparently, this is national news. We were flown out there, with the folks who own The Marriage Bed (a web-site about marital sex), as they then lived in our guest house. So, we had a whirlwind trip ... 31 hours from our front door and back again, with many plane take-offs and landings in-between, much ear-popping, and *very* little sleep (the garbage is picked up ALL night long in NYC -- our hotel was in Times Square - continuous cacophany!) ... and, of course, stress (even good stress, such as being a "TV-star" for the day, is stressful-stress) (BTW, I had my make-up air-brushed on sitting next to Willem Dafoe - he's not much taller than I am, and I'm a wee-woman).

That evening, immediately after landing back in Oregon, we had arranged for a meeting with some other friends ... for the purpose of them determining whether our "new theology" (i.e., no longer believing in endless torment in hell) would exempt us from participating in their ministry, and would revoke their invitation for us to serve on their board.

It did.

It was a highly-intense, investigative, emotionally-charged conversation, to vastly understate the situation. Devastating is another apt description (& not the first, nor the last, time that we were expelled from "fellowship/relationship" due to our morphing beliefs...).

The point of all this, is to describe what I experienced that evening ... in the midst of that intensity, with all the suddenness of a free-fall, I was overwhelmingly struck with that old, familiar sound in my ears ... that persistent, insistent ringing, that only I could hear. It was loud, intense, and disturbing. I even asked if anyone else could hear it (they could not). I could hardly fall to sleep that night, due to the overwhelmingness of it.

I chalked it up to stress (well, duh). I figured it would go away with that "perpetual-motion" feeling that I often get after a plane or boat ride.

It didn't.

It stayed with me.

I noticed it more when things were quiet, but it was always there, like background music in my ears.

After a few months, I began visiting specialists, to determine what was amiss. First, my general practitioner, who determined that perhaps I had been too-vigilant with Q-tips, and had likely caused a wax-blockage. I endured an ear-irrigation (water down the neck, ugh), and I'll spare you the results, but while some "matter" came out, it was not enough to account for the ringing. Plus, even with the "all clear" the ringing was still evident.

I then went to an audiologist, concerned that perhaps this was a sign of hearing loss ... I had done my share of rock concerts in the past ... perhaps it was catching up with me?

Nope -- everything checked out fine ... excellent hearing, and no medical reason for the ringing. The audiologist looked me in the eye, after the extensive exam, after ruling out all manner of alarming possibilities, and asked, "have you been under stress?"

Well, duh.

So, I then went to a Theophostic facilitator, thinking that we could get to the root of this ... perhaps this was getting my attention for something deeper, something emotionally unresolved? Perhaps it was a sign that I wasn't "listening" well? That I was ignoring something inside?

During the TPM session, the facilitator had me focus on the current stress in my life (the fact that most, nearly all, of my former friends had decided that I was spiritually dangerous, even heretical, and had to be distanced and avoided). However, the ringing was so invasive, that I couldn't get beyond it. I was quite frustrated that I couldn't focus -- I remember commenting, "Wouldn't it be funny if I'm hearing the frequency of God, that I'm tapped in to Him, and here I am trying to make it go away?!?"

We both had a good laugh at that...!

We had a great session, and I felt much-appreciated (despite my heretical tendencies), and I resolved some other issues, but the ringing went home with me.

At some point, I decided that I had to make peace with this thing ... much like I've had to make peace with dust-bunnies and spider-webs (the price one pays for living in a Victorian, I've discovered). Despite my attempts to conquer it, it wasn't going away, and I no longer wanted to live in a state of resistance and anxiety over it.

So, it's become part of the fabric of my life ... the landscape of my experience. So be it. I figured that if, one day, I EVER learned to live in a stress-free way, it would diminish or leave.

Regardless, I was going to live life.

I've noticed that it has nuances ... louder at times ... changes pitch at times ... sometimes seems to "shift" inside my head ... sometimes seems to switch from one ear to the other ... and is sometimes even accompanied by little "clicks" -- I can only compare them to the sound of Morse code going on inside of my head, near my right ear. I am aware that I sound a bit loopy here ... and I've hesitated in the past to share all of this, lest someone want to put me into a too-tight white jacket and haul me away, and inject me with who-knows-what...!

But I'm pretty much getting over that now...! ;)

Imagine then my surprise, when I was recently reading through a recommended-reading-list of a friend, and came across something called, "The Ringing Sound - An Introduction to the Sound Current", by Eric Gustafson. It arrested me, I purchased the book, and I was off to investigate...!

The next thing I noticed, is that the image on the front of the book is of the Buddha statue that's in Japan ... a statue I visited often as a young child, when we lived in Japan for 2 years. I went up into the statue (it's HUGE!), up the stairs, and looked through the "third eye" in the head of the statue. It was one of my favorite destinations in Japan. It felt uncanny to see it on the book ...

But what was even *more* uncanny is what the author says in the book ...! His premise is that the ringing sound, the very sound that had been plaguing me for 18+ months, is indeed the very frequency of God ... the sound of the vibration of the universe ... the divine tone of all creation.

Somehow, part of me knew this, even though the information came to me in the form of a ridiculing joke, out of my own mouth.

According to those who practice and teach meditation, the ringing sound is the highest form of meditation ... that which they aspire to experience -- the left-side tone is that which ascends from us, and the right side is that which descends into us (I have heard/felt the difference).

I've been sitting there for *months*, trying to meditate, and being "distracted" by this incessant ringing sound in my ears/head..! When all the while it was what I most desired ... evidence of a connection to God! Talk about uncanny!

Apparently, more and more people are experiencing this ringing ... and most write it off as a sign of hearing loss and/or stress ... doctors call it "tinnitus". But they are in the dark as to what causes it, or how to alleviate it.

But, why alleviate a gift...? Why try to stop a blessing...? What if we just need a new perspective?

What if it's merely a natural occurrence due to the supernatural awakening that's happening ...? What if we could learn to tune IN to it, hear the message, and discover it's purpose?

What if ...?

Shalom, Dena

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm Baaaa-aaaack...!

Finally! Back home and back to blogging!

I didn't want to exactly announce that Mark and I were vacating our home, and abandoning our children for 3 days, so I was covert. Well, 2 of our kids are adults, and another one nearly-so, so it wasn't exactly abandonment ... but I didn't want to invite anything troublesome.

I decided, very last-minute, to participate in what's billed as the "World's Largest Christmas Bazaar" in Portland (Oregon, of course). I wasn't sure whether to put out the money, after participating in an abysmal show the week before ... how many times can I afford to *pay* to sit there for 3 days..? But, a friend I'd met at the previous show (my new-found-friend-for-life, Vivian - the modest biker-chick!) encouraged me to go ... and it turned out that out of 900+ vendors in two buildings, we were right across the aisle from each other (what are the odds? well, 900 to one!).

Earlier that week, I had hung a mirror in a local bakery (the marvelous folks at Cascade Baking Company devote an entire wall to local art being displayed!), and it sold within 18 hours! And they want me to hang another one! Soooo ... that more than covered the booth fees for two shows, freeing me to enjoy this show, consider it as "advertisement", and not be concerned about sales. Mark sacrificed the weekend to get away with me (I could NOT have done it without him!), and we enjoyed taking advantage of his frequent-hotel-invading points (got upgraded to a suite, sans kids!), which helped to remind us why we had 8 kids in the first place...!

For 3 fun and festive days, I got to schmooze with hundreds (thousands?) of people (15,000 attended the show), and enjoy the folks who were drawn into my booth (it's a happy space ... full of life and light and joy ... one woman said she felt like she'd had a massage and therapy, after our conversation!). I love to encourage others to discover their OWN artistic/creative bent ... I discovered I could paint at age 40, so this gives them "permission" to give it a shot. I even explain how to do it. There's no competition ... my stuff looks like me, and their stuff will look like them, and there's room for all manner of creativity on the planet! Lord knows we've all got to do what we can to eradicate beige from the earth ... beige being the root of all evil, y'know.

I sold 3 tables and a couple of smaller items ... and many more fell in love with various pieces, though most were unable to afford them now (Oregon has been particularly hard-hit with the recession, as most of the industry here is construction and lumber). No matter -- I gave away scores of business cards, and expect to get many commissions in the near-or-distant future.

I couldn't count the number of people who just stood there, looking around (there's much to take in), sighing and smiling...! I had a long conversation with a man from the Czech Republic, who moved here 4 months ago with his love, and are now expecting their first child. He said that my booth made him (almost) become an optimist...! Besides enjoying Vivian (who looked fabulously authentic-biker-babe in her leather chaps!), I got to know Chuck, who visits Nepal, pays the folks a (get this!) fair wage, and sells their items (journals, hats, prayer flags, etc.). I bought a Tibetan prayer flag, which I shall hang on my porch (wonder if it will horrify the neighbors?) ... as it fades in the sun, the legend is that the prayers are carried on the breezes to God. Lovely thought, festive display.

We spent time getting to know a nurse from Ghana ... he sells the handmade masks and drums from his native country, & works at the trauma center in a Portland hospital (& likely runs into our son, who is doing his EMT internship in the Portland area). He played the drums frequently, and invited customers in for jam sessions...!

Then there was the winery from my birth-city, Eugene, Oregon ... the sweetest, most grape-fragranced wine I've yet experienced! We bought three bottles. Being Sunday, I stopped to talk to the young man selling Christian jewelry (well, you know I *had* to!) ... hope I didn't ruin any of his potential sales, since I parked my wine bottle on the table next to his crosses, while we talked for 45 minute! He now has several "new" ideas to consider, after our encounter...! ;)

Oh, and Mark treated me to lobster (get this!) three nights in a row! I adore lobster, and hardly ever get it. We had the same waitress twice, and were treated like royalty ... the first night, I kept listening in on the conversation of the table next to us ... very entertaining, ribald and witty comments, and one man even sang, outloud. As we got our coats on, I leaned over to them, and said, "Thank you for the dinner show -- do we get a dance on the table next time?" That led to a wonderful impromptu conversation of longish duration ... in which I discovered that the gentleman owns or manages a Victorian B&B in downtown Portland (we were staying in the heart of the city) ... and he invited us to come and stay at a discount ... he's a former member of a legalistic church, and we realized we had much in common ... the woman with them was leaving another legalistic denomination, and was in the fear-place. I gave her this blog-address ... who knows if she may show up! I'm thinking I oughta be putting my furniture IN that Victorian! For display and sale!

On a sad note, as we approached our home town, we had to take a detour ... the highway was closed, beause a terrible traffic accident had just happened, claiming the life of a young woman in a small car, which collided, head-on, with a large SUV, a the top of a hill. My son was on duty, and had to commandeer the recovery operation (his first time to do so). He learned that he no longer wants an economy car, and is going for a big and sturdy model. We realized that if we had not stopped on the way, to purchase a mirror for me to paint (to replace the one that sold), we would've likely been at that crash-location, at the wrong time, or close to it ... one just never knows when this chapter of our existence has expired ...

Life is sweet, when we look for that which is sweet. At any given moment, we can find something for which to be grateful, for which we can celebrate, from which we can learn. Let's go through this life intentionally purposeful, intentionally conscious, intentionally participating in the adventure we've been offered ... and which we are, one way or another, creating.

Thoughts are powerful -- choose the good ones.

Shalom, Dena

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Life, As I Know It, Has Been Temporarily Interrupted...!

Some wonderful events have conspired to lure me into an adventure of the art-kind ... and so I may be too otherwise-occupied for the next few days to make much of an appearance here ...

If I can, I certainly shall ... but I'll have to see what unfolds.

In the meanwhile, perhaps this link will be helpful...?


Shalom, Dena

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wondersome Wisdoms...!

Ahhh, I'm becoming a blogging-delinquent! 'Tis the season to go insane, I suppose. I'm gearing up for my hugest-ever art/craft show this weekend ... up in Portland, Oregon. It's dubbed "America's Largest Christmas Bazaar". There are almost 1,000 vendors, and last year over 30,000 people paid to enter (there were many more under the age of 12, who were free). I figure it's excellent exposure, even if no one buys anything. I shall happily schmooze my heart out for three days -- Mark (that be my main squeeze) is joining me for the event -- to help me, support me, and reconnect with me in the hotel room (sans children!). We've been passing each other like ships in the night...!

So, blogging has fallen by the wayside! I'm pooped tonight, so I'll be sharing a few things that have fed me today, via email messages ... and tomorrow I want to write about something that's been transformed from "annoying" to "awakening".

With no further ado, be blessed with the following, from various reSources:


Question of the Day:

When have I been so lost that I have had to go back
to the very foundations of my faith?

For fourteen years I was a jail chaplain in Albuquerque. During this time I realized that jailed men and women always feel so bad about themselves. They carry a lot of guilt and shame. These men and women had to learn to dig into places inside themselves that you and I don’t have to dig into.

Religion of itself is not enough for such women and men. They must scratch their way back to faith, and when they get there, it is often the real thing. We always said: “Religion is for people who are afraid of hell or afraid of God, whereas spirituality is for people who have been through hell and ‘undergone’ God."

We nice guys usually have to scratch our way back to faith. We’re comfortable with external religion and polite morality for a long time. God will lead each of us, I am sure, but by a different path, so that all religion one day has to be faith, love, humility, and surrender—or it is not true religion! None of God’s "little ones" will be lost. And we are “one of these little ones” too, just in a different way.

(Fr. Richard Rohr)

Adapted from Preparing For Christmas, pp. 25-26

Current Mantra:
Be Awake.


On this day of your life, I believe God wants you to know...

. ...that this is not the end, but the beginning. All endings
start something better. It is inevitable.

Here is God's promise: Life proceeds, it never recedes.

Life progresses, it never regresses. Not even death
ends anything, so how much can this particular event

It is true. When one door closes, another does open.

The movement of life is ever upward. Six months from
today you will know this. For now, trust it.

Do you think God does not know what She is doing?

(Neale Donald Walsch, "Conversations With God")


"Sometimes dreams are wiser then waking."
--Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa), OGLALA

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

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


Actually, it's not just that you have countless angels, inner guides, conspiring elements, and a radiant soul.

But, that everything in time and space is make-believe!

I see you -
The Universe


Tuesday, December 1, 2009 – Wonder

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content."
~Helen Keller

Today's Affirmation

Peace and joy are everywhere I am.

Today's Meditation

Dear God,

Thank You for the love of my friends; a life filled with wonder; the assignments You have given me; and the sense of peace and wonder that fills me.
May all the Earth hear Your voice and feel Your love.
I confidently let it be.


Shalom, Dena