Posts from the ‘higher power’ Category

Shaky ground

Recently with all of the unsettled feelings I have been having my faith has been a bit shaky. I have felt very poor in spirit and have really been leaning on my friends to keep me grounded spiritually. I believe that God has really been watching out for the monsters lately as their momma has been checked out.

If I can let go of the despair and resentment I am feeling then I can see that there is a method to the madness that my life has become. This is what I work toward every day. This is the solid ground that I am able to find and stand on when I give all of the worries over to God and just do the next thing in front of me.

I carry this quote around with me just about every where I go. It helps me see that things do make more sense when I slow down and work on faith and not my own will.

The fruit of silence is prayer.

The fruit of prayer is faith.

The fruit of faith is love.

The fruit of love is service.

The fruit of service is peace.

~Mother Theresa


Mary, love, and grace

In my ladies book and Bible study the other day we read a story called “Love Casts Out Fear”. It was a short story written about Mary Magdalene and her trip to the tomb on Easter Morning. The story describes Mary’s fear of being arrested for tending to Jesus’ body, her deep sadness at seeing his body broken and bleeding, the first time she met Jesus, and his appearance to her first after His death.

According to this story, their first meeting took place on a day when Mary was suffering terribly. The seven “demons” that were possessing her were in full force that day and she had broken free of those tending to her. At this point Mary was the lowest of the low in society, a woman, and a sick one at that. Mary was contemplating hurling herself into the well in the town when Jesus saw her, wiped the blood from her face and cast out the demons. After that, Mary became what some call the disciple to the disciples.

For me Mary is the ultimate example of why God sent His son to us. The first person to see Jesus alive on the first Easter morning was Mary. Before Mary women had very low position in religion. And now, the Son of God is appearing to a woman and asking her to spread His message first. Before this no one uttered the name of God because it was too holy and above the common man. Jesus brought the grace and love of His Father to everyone. I don’t need to go to a priest or rabbi or whatever to converse with my God. He is always right there available to me. Open to me.

And I don’t need holy relics. The history is there to be seen. Much of what is written can be backed up with archaeological data. That’s great. I find all of that very interesting and fun to learn about, read about and study but it is not a necessary part of my spirituality. I can accept much on faith. And I can do this because I have felt the grace and love that is what God gave me when Jesus appeared to Mary on the first Easter morning.

What’s your life’s ambition?

My friend was telling a story last night about a visit with her family.  The sisters were talking about their life’s ambitions.  Now, this friend of mine is a very hard worker and I really think that she has it all together but she felt uncomfortable at the start of this conversation as she has always thought that she was far less ambitious than anyone in her family.  But her answer to the question-what is your life’s ambition?-really struck me and I think she is onto something here.

She told her sisters that her life’s ambition is to know and learn to trust God and to love and serve people.

How amazing is that for ambition?

Not proof, just faith

I had a post all written for today but decided to hold off on actually posting it until I was sure it was what I wanted to say. I am so glad that I did because it was sure a sad tale of self pity and woe. I later decided that what I want to talk about today is God. The Big Guy. Sky Daddy(I know this one was said tongue in cheek but I happen to like it). My Higher Power.

During my day I heard two things about God that I thought I would like to write about. One of them had something to do with not shooting the messenger. The second had to do with God being vengeful, judgmental, and down right scary.

I am a Christian. You guys know this about me. I have questioned my religion at times but never my faith. I think this is where we were going when we were talking about not shooting the messenger today. I question key points in the Bible. I enjoy having conversations with people who do not believe as I do. I also enjoy having conversations with people who are very knowledgeable about the Bible. I don’t believe that I will ever understand all there is to know about my God. I do believe that the Bible was written by man. I believe the writings are divinely inspired but ultimately man is flawed and there are parts of the message that are dim and confusing. I also believe that there are parts of the story that God doesn’t want us to know yet or in some cases ever. Because we are small, flawed creatures that will forever be unprepared for His glory. The messengers are flawed. The message is a good one.

In conversation today someone was talking about the God that they knew as a child. The punishing, vengeful God. Big scary guy with a booming voice and debts to call in. Not so much my idea of God. When I look around and consider my religion, my faith, my God I look at the way I was raised and the love that I always felt. We were raised to look at the beauty around us. The love surrounding us. As I got older I asked questions about God and judgment. And I found out that not everyone felt the same way I did about God.

When I moved to Colorado I found myself surrounded by people with great knowledge of the scriptures and religion. I found people with love for those like them. And I found people with love for those around them no matter what they were like. I see the intolerant and I see the tolerant. I think the thing that I have learned the most about while living here is grace. That is what I want the people around me to feel from me. Love and grace.

I don’t need to pray to saints or confess my sins to a priest. Those are all human devices and constraints placed on the almighty. I don’t need an intercessory. I need to open my heart and mind and let my faith lead me. God gives me grace for all the rest.

Stay spiritual and don’t worry

Last week was the beginning of the Lenten study for the women’s bible group I belong to. The title of the study is Attentiveness: being present. It is part of a larger series of called A study of Christian Character in Community.

While I am not a fan of the format for a large series like this I have a found some parts of this study to be wonderfully spiritual. The part of the study that I have done so far is called Lectio Divina. Briefly described in the text as “praying the scriptures” it is a 5 step process to give the reading your entire attention. Silence yourself, read the passage silently and/or aloud, meditate on a word or phrase from the scripture reading, pray for transformation through the word or phrase, and finally rest silently-just be.

One of the first passages that I did this with was Matthew 6:25-34. This is the Lillies of the valley passage. These verses advise us not to worry. The flowers and birds around us don’t worry and they are provided for so why do we worry. I think part of what is being said in this passage is that while it is okay to plan ahead, to live in tomorrow is very damaging to our spirit.

I had read this passage before. Alot. The page is dog eared at the top and bottom. The passage is highlighted in a big block of yellow. There is underlining in a couple of different inks. Notes scribbled in the margins. I have it in my list of scriptures that are important to me in the back of my bible. I guess I think about worry alot.

The thing I had never noticed or processed or whatever you want to callit is the very last sentence of the very last verse: “Each day has enough worry of its own.”

Funny how that has been highlighted for me this week.

No showings of my house last week or over the weekend. Should I worry? It wouldn’t do any good if I did. Very sick little girl in Bubba’s class. Should I worry? Nope. Bubba contracts one of the illnesses the little girl had, impetigo. Should I worry? Nope-we spent 3 hours in the ER on Tuesday just to get the scrip for his medicine. No worries. Except we were no where near gonna make it to pick up Lullibell from school on time and all of my fall back pick up people were out of town or sick or moved away. No worries-called the fabulous Trish to pick Lulli up when she picked up her kids. Lulli had a marvelous time with them. No worries. On Wednesday we had in-line hockey and a showing. No worries. In the mean time Lullibell locked her guitar in the bathroom to keep it away from Bubba. Never mind that she didn’t think far enough ahead as to how we would get the door open when we needed in said BATHROOM. Tried my lock picking skill on that one. Still couldn’t get it open (damaged pride). Finally we took the door knob off and got in. No worries.

Sometimes it just gets to the point where you have to laugh about it all or you end up crying about it!

But no worrying!!!

“Each day has enough worries of its own” has become my mantra this week. A kind of slow down and take it a little at a time-instead of running in and bulling through life!

Silent Sunday: The flood


The glass at the church I go to was inspired by the story of the flood. I was feeling like I was caught in a flood and being swept away yesterday so I thought this was appropriate!

“And is not love the light of the soul?”


Yesterday I mentioned a little book I found at a thrift store(my favorite place to buy books). It’s called The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke in 1896. I had read about this little story in another story written by Dr. Leo Buscaglia.

The story opens with the main character, Artaban, preparing his home for visitors. He is a Zoroastrian from Parthia waiting for other members of his circle. Artaban tries to convince these scholars that he and three other Magi have seen the star and found evidence that will lead them to the “Prince who is worthy to be served”. The other three are waiting for Artaban and they have all prepared gifts to present. He himself has sold everything he owns and bought three precious stones, a sapphire, ruby and pearl, to present to the King.

As Artaban gets under way he meets with a series of events that hold up his travel and cause him to have to part with his gifts for the Prince. A sick Hebrew man, a baby destined for slaughter by Herod’s troops and, after 33 years of looking for this king, on the threshold of meeting him, a young woman bound for slavery. All met along the way and all cared for by Artaban. Throughout the story he suffers from internal conflict “between the expectation of faith and the impulse of love.”

I won’t ruin the end of the story for you but I will tell you that Artaban does meet up with his King and it is a beautiful meeting.

Artaban asks himself several times along his journey if he should “risk the great reward of his divine faith for the sake of a single deed of human love?” Given the choices I know that for me that single deed is far more important than all of the rituals of religion that I have ever been faced with. The most important words that Jesus speaks in the New Testament are ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:37-39.

You may be saying to yourself that this seems contradictory but stay with me here. The Lord goes on to say “‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” Matthew 25:40. So by loving the very least among us with the best that we have we are actually loving our God with the very best of ourselves as Artaban did.

When I finished reading the story I did a little reading in the way of research and got linked up with Dr. Buscaglia’s love quiz. When I saw the link come up I thought it would be some sort of cheesy compatibility thing but it’s not. The questions are very similar to questions Artaban asks himself during his journey. They are questions I will ask myself nightly. I hope they are questions that help you learn about yourself!

Love Quiz

Asking yourself questions and answering them honestly is a good path to self-knowledge. In keeping with this idea, I’d like to propose a few end-of-the-day questions for each of us . . .

· Is anyone a little happier because I came along today?

· Did I leave any concrete evidence of my kindness, any sign of my love?

· Did I try to think of someone I know in a more positive light?

· Did I help someone to feel joy, to laugh, or at least, to smile?

· Have I attempted to remove a little of the rust that is corroding my relationships?

· Have I forgiven others for being less than perfect?

· Have I forgiven myself?

· Have I learned something new about life, living or love?

. Have I gone through the day without fretting over what I don’t have & celebrating the things I do have?