Monday Muse: With Love and Faith: Finding Joy in everyday Life

Love Remember the old Beatles song: “All you Need is Love?” It seems so simple when we are talking about just the concept of love. And yet, we know there are many different kinds of love that exist. The other sixties song that comes to mind is “What the World needs now, is Love, sweet Love.” So what kind of Love are we really in need of? When we know that God is love, then we may begin to feel the truth in defining what it can mean in our lives. For an example, we may have a problem that seems insurmountable in our lives, and we then ask for God’s help and guidance. There is no way so many of the problems, at least the ones that exist in my own life, could be solved without divine guidance.  There is a feeling of warmth and comfort that comes over me when I feel His presence in helping to guide me through a difficult path in life. So perhaps what we might add to the popular song vernacular is the fact that we all need love, and we also need to feel that we are surrounded by God’s Love The Daily Word begins with the keyword Love followed by this statement: “I am a loving presence to everyone I meet.” When we begin to see our problems and our life through the eyes of His own divine love, we can begin to look beyond the pettiness and the conflict that often drives our daily interactions with others. Love can become for us mor than just a vague concept for others. We can begin to look for the Love that is within us and is the embodiment of the heart and soul of who we are and what guides us to love others.  This knowledge of how our love can guide us may trigger that divine spark of love in others.   Faith Faith in the idea of divine love can guide our steps in dealing with those with whom we don’t agree. It gives us a sense of  that same divine spark of God’s love that can help us to get past the disagreeable traits we see often in those people. When we place our faith in God, we are entrusting that no matter what occurs, the possibility for the best outcome is always present.  We recognize that God has put his faith in us as individuals. And we have a sacred bond with His spirit that guides us with love and compassion.  That bond is the same one taught by Christ. The power of being invested in the faith that He has instilled within us and upon us is a power that we will always find in moments of stillness in meditation and prayer. We often talk of needing to have faith in ourselves and what we believe. This faith becomes like a mighty river within us.  It is a powerful stream of love and trust that leads us to realize what we are capable of doing through God’s faith in us.   Joy Speaking of songs, there is the hymn that exults: “Well, I’ve got joy, joy, joy joy down in my heart….” With the little children in our church, we used to repeat: “Where?” The answer: “Down in my heart, down in my heart!”…. The joy that we find when we are together, as families that have been apart, and as loved ones who long to talk and to embrace and hold each other, is one of the best feelings to be had in this human experience. And it’s a spiritual feeling also, when we realize that love and joy are often felt together in an emotional catharsis.  We may have this wonderful feeling if we are lucky enough to find those who can return our love and live with us as helpmates and partners in life. Joy is often felt through our children, and even in those accomplishments that we share with others. Graduation, and marriage and childbirth are manifest experiences that lead to the best expressions of joy for families and loving couples. When we can experience the feeling of joy and love that may be within us, and to express that in our spiritual relationship with God, it is a feeling that we should work to repeat in our hearts often.  And even in our moments of quiet contemplation, we can continue to expand this feeling each day in our lives. Joy is something that cannot be exhibited as a contrived or pretend emotion. It comes from a deep well within us. As we spoke last time of what true inner peace can mean in our lives, let us now simply contemplate what the wellspring of true joy can feel like on a regular basis!   It’s a wonderful goal to set- to bring about this feeling of joy in our lives that will go hand in hand with the inner peace that we are striving for.   Mantra: I will strive to fulfill the belief that I can be a loving presence in the lives of others. And I will contemplate what the power of faith can mean in my life. My faith in myself will expand, along with the faith I have in God’s loving presence in my life. Finally, I will strive to bring that joyful feeling into my life on a regular basis.   Bible Verse: I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete-John 15:11

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Monday Muse: Acceptance & Renewal for Easter!

Totality Reverend Eric Butterworth, Unity minister and author, speaks of the totality of life as being all of life-the ‘whole of things.’ We live in the present, the now of life that is all together. Remember that Beatles song: All Together Now? That’s the best way I can think of to contemplate the happy thought of a unified world. Rev. Butterworth tells us not to think in terms of separation, absence, and doing ‘all sorts of magical things that you think are going to cause something out here to come into you.’ “Be still and know that I am” tells us that God is present all around us and within us. And within our Spirit lies the divine spark.  If we can allow the spirit to express itself, we can relax and know that it will hear us, guide us and direct our lives to unfold according to divine order. Acceptance It is hard to do what we speak of with Reverend Butterworth! Just relaxing and allowing the divine order to come to us is difficult. It’s hard to accept our lives sometimes. We were brought up to believe acceptance of our fate is a very passive posture that brings with it the notion that we have failed. Yet when we acknowledge the reality of our lives, we can say yes and open the door to our hearts and our spirits that will allow new ideas and new wisdom to enter into our lives. It is argued that active acceptance really does require not just incredible faith but strength of character.  To have a loving acceptance in all aspects, in the totality of our lives, it then allows for the divine presence of God’s everlasting love. We can use that love to pay it forward in our own thoughts and words and actions. We accept God’s presence in the totality of our lives. Renewal That is the word of the day when we think of Easter Sunday. We think of renewals and endless possibilities in our own lives. “The old is gone. The new is yet to be. With Steadfast faith, I rest, knowing that my Spirit is being renewed” These are the words of a young woman minister from South Florida, Reverend Elizabeth Longo. Reverend Longo speaks of reveling in the process where her body, mind and soul are being renewed-resurrected from the tomb of self-pity. And then delighting in the creation that is unfolding. We can think of endless possibilities in the totality of our lives when we not only accept God’s presence, but begin to renew our own souls and revive our spirits daily. We can then begin feasting on the word and living with the promise before us. That is the promise that we gain from celebrating Easter and the new beginnings we seek. Mantra This week I will be still and Know that I am in the presence of a divine spirit. When I accept the possibilities before me by opening up my heart and soul to God’s love and presence, I will begin to renew my own spirit and revive that spark that I had as a Child of God. Bible Verse …The Mystery hidden for ages and generations….which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”- Colossians 1:26:27

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