Letting go is scary. Letting go means letting go of control. No one wants to be out of control. But you can’t control everything. You can’t control outcomes. You have to let it go.
Letting go means trusting God. The outcome is in God’s hands. God knows every situation and what is on every person’s heart. The sooner you let go and let God handle a challenge or problems, the sooner you will feel lighter.
My friend Jill Farmer… Continue reading
The top ten inspirational photos with quotes are taken from my Facebook page. As with The Guided Life Ezine, my inspiration comes from a variety of places. Most of that inspiration seems to be coming from nature or from animals. My yellow lab Wilson is a source of inspiration 1) because he is so handsome and 2) he is so silly…. as you will see. He received the most views so far from my postings.
Thanks to the iPhone,… Continue reading
If you want to live in the present moment and tame your run-away thoughts, all you need to do is learn from animals and think like an antelope. Seriously, stay with me.
I love animals, so I am interested in watching animal documentaries. One documentary talked about animal behavior. I had never given it much thought but man is the only animal that worries and dwells on an event. No other animal does that.
Take for example, an… Continue reading
If you are going through some really tough times, and I mean really tough times: the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one either to death or to a relationship breaking up, financial difficulties, if your health is failing or you or a friend has been given an unexpected diagnosis, if you feel riddled with anxiety and fear and feel like you’re going through the worst of times, I would urge you to think of Easter… Continue reading
To meditate or not meditate, that is the question. Meditation has been a spiritual practice for centuries. Reducing stress, gaining focus and developing a deeper relationship with God are all benefits. So, why would anyone even question to practice meditation with so many benefits?
The two reasons I believe that people don’t even try meditation are:
- It takes a commitment of time
- People are afraid of losing control
While every one of us is given a 24 hour day, everyone seems to be time poor. We’ve been taught that time is money, not to waste time, and somehow, if we are not busy or doing something we are unproductive.
The perception of sitting and “doing nothing” for 10-15 minutes, doesn’t put meditation on the priority list. I used to think that way too until I turned to meditation out of desperation. (You can listen to this story.)
The truth is, meditation is not doing nothing. It’s a powerful tool to silence the voices of anxiety, doubt, self-criticism and fear. Meditation quiets the mind and allows you to actually think more clearly. This quieting allows you to respond instead of reacting because of having more peace.
God loves us especially in our messes. This whole mess business was inspired by a huge renovation project that is going on at my church and a lovely email I received from a Guided Life Ezine reader who shared her story of transformation to trust God in the midst of her messes. (You’ll love her dialogue back and forth with God.)
Our church project involves getting a new pipe organ to be installed over the period of almost a year. The first step is renovating the front of the sanctuary.
The choir had a rare Sunday off from singing, so instead of sitting in the choir stalls, Robert and I sat in the congregation in our usual spot, pew two (I’ve heard the self-assigned pew is a Presbyterian thing).
Reaching up to the three or four story ceiling was scaffolding surrounding the area where the chambers hold the organ pipes. In our direct line of sight was a sign which read:
I was immediately struck with the thought; God loves us in our messes. After the sermon I took a picture of the sign and told my pastor that I was going to do a post on this subject. He added the word, especially. He said, “God loves us especially in our messes.”
As I mentioned, this mess subject made me think of a lovely email I received from Loretta. I asked her if I could share her story with you and she gave me an enthusiastic yes.
Being happy. Are you happy? I found that happiness has more to do with being than pursuing.
Perhaps the most profound example of happiness I’ve encountered was on a mission trip to Guatemala. I went with a group from my church to help build homes for mothers and their children. Three women had been abandoned by their husbands and were raising children on their own.
These homes were in the middle of the jungle and were made out of cinder blocks. The floors were not parquet or carpeted with plush frieze. The floors were made of dirt. There were bars installed on the windows to keep out bandits. Even a loaf of bread was worth stealing.
Every day we showed up to the work site and so did the women with their children. We were greeted with enthusiasm and big smiles. While we had an interpreter, we couldn’t communicate through language. We communicated through God’s pure love.
They were proud of their new homes and kept the dirt floors immaculately clean. (I still don’t understand how dirt can be clean, but it can!)
Hope is what we cling to when everything around us can be falling apart. Having hope keeps us motivated to keep on keeping on. In the original Star Wars movie Princess Leia sends out her plea, “Help us Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.” Obi Wan answers.
When we embrace hope our confidence increases. We believe that things will get better. Proverbs 13:12 says,
Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
There is the hope in the earthly realm and the ultimate hope of the heavenly realm. In Titus 1:2, the Apostle Paul wrote,
In hope of eternal life, which God, cannot lie; promised before the world began.
Most of us will ponder the question sometime in our lives – “Is this all there is?”
There are several books written by people who have died and gone to heaven and returned to tell their story. Two books I’ve read personally are:
This is a story of how we are all connected. This supernatural encounter happened at a local diner. Robert and I sing in our church choir, and we had a rare Sunday off. We decided to skip church and sleep in. Robert suggested we go out for breakfast at one of our favorite places, Spencer’s Grill. Little did I know that I would experience church that morning sitting on a bar stool instead of a pew.
Ten years ago I lived in a little rental house. My neighbor’s wife died of cancer. She owned a bookstore that focused on spirituality. After she passed, her husband had a yard sale. A huge part of what he was selling off were hundreds of books and audio tapes. I made out like a bandit, buying up books and cassettes (remember those?) for just a few dollars. One book I purchased was A Course in Miracles.
I was fascinated by this 600 plus page book because I had heard so many spiritual teachers quote from its text. After acquiring it, I dove right in eager to devour the message. But, to be honest, it didn’t resonate with me. I found it extremely difficult to comprehend. Ten years later, however, I have picked it up again. Since I’ve learned the power of practicing to be still, its message is speaking to me in a profound way.
As of this writing, I am not quite half way through the book. But summing up what I’ve learned is that we have two choices to make. We can choose fear or we can choose love and that we are all connected. When we choose love, we can also be healed from past hurts and experience wholeness. Healing always produces harmony. I am reminded of 1 John 4:16-21:
So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. The commandment we have is this; those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
I had just read about healing, harmony and how we are all connected when the lesson came to life at Spencer’s.
Thanksgiving and giving thanks is not just something we can do during a given season. Giving thanks is a worthwhile, spiritual practice. When we approach each day with thanksgiving and gratitude, our hearts and souls feel lighter. When we ask God to help us to be more giving, we can open up our true potential and increase the positive impact we can make on the world.
There are two parts to this word, however, thanks and… Continue reading