Saturday, February 25, 2017

Love is Sane; Fear is Not

“Everyone is on a spiritual journey; most people just don’t know it.  Spirituality refers not to some theological dynamic outside ourselves, but to how we choose to use our minds.  The spiritual path is the path of the heart; at every moment, we’re either walking the path of love and creating happiness, or swerving from it and creating suffering.  Every thought we think leads deeper into love or deeper into fear.  Love is sane, and fear is not.”

“The spiritual universe is the Mind of God.  Miracles are the thoughts of love, extended from the Mind of God through the mind of humans and out into the world.  God is Love, and as God’s children, so are we.  Our purpose on earth is to think as God thinks, which means to love as God loves.  When our minds are attuned to love, things unfold miraculously.  Loving thought creates loving feelings, and loving feelings create loving behavior.  In this way we create happiness for ourselves and for those around us.”

The above is an excerpt from an article in the March/April 2017 issue of Unity Magazine titled “The Miraculous Universe,” which was written by Marianne Williamson in her book, “Tears to Triumph.”

I’ve always believed that when we were born, we were born as the pure, unconditional, perfect love of God (by whatever name you use).  If we were made in God’s image, and God is Love, then how can we be anything else?  After we’re born, we start to become ‘humanized.’  Our caregivers begin to teach us what it is to be human by passing onto us all their strengths and weaknesses, all their beliefs, and everything they’ve learned from their own life experiences.  And soon, we begin to forget who we really are.

I also believe that on some level within our hearts and minds, we have a slight remembrance of how it felt to be embraced in this love so pure that human words cannot even begin to describe it.  Therefore, we become seekers of Truth, and on our spiritual path, we try to remember this love that we once knew so well.  In order to find this love, we need to quiet ourselves, go within, and listen to that still small voice that speaks only of love, compassion, and kindness from the deepest recesses of our souls.  This is how we know that we are hearing God’s voice because God only speaks the language of unconditional love.

Marianne Williams said, “Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.”  Willa Cather stated, “Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”  And A Course in Miracles teaches, “Teach only love, for that is what you are.”


Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper February 24, 2017.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Shack

“The Shack” is a beautiful book by Wm. Paul Young that has been made into a movie being released March 3.  Though it is a work of fiction, it has so much spiritual truth in it, and it questions everything we might ever have believed, but in a good way.  And even though its foundation is Christianity, there is something to be found for people of all faiths. 

The story is about Mackenzie, a man who suffered a great tragedy that turned his life upside down.  Four years later on a very snowy day, he receives a note in the mail signed by God suggesting they meet at the shack that was part of what caused ‘the great sadness’ in his life.  Not knowing what to expect, he decides to venture back to the shack and back into his darkest nightmare.

Instead of the beaten down empty building he once knew, the shack had been transformed into a beautiful home.  To his absolute surprise, God answered the door in the form of a beautiful black woman.  Jesus was there, too, as well as the Holy Spirit in the form of a very pixyish yet amazing young woman.  It questioned everything he believed about who or what these three entities were, but they appeared to him in these forms for reasons that would start healing his heart from ‘the great sadness’ and all the horrible experiences from his past.

Please open your mind and see this movie as there really is so much to be learned from it.  Better yet, please read the book, too!  Of course, I may not have agreed with everything in it, but that’s okay.  We can take from it what works for us, file in our minds what we need to ponder further, or just ignore anything that doesn’t resonate with us.  And yet I received so much wisdom and knowledge about who or what God really is (by whatever name you use) and just how much we are totally and unconditionally loved no matter who we are or what we’ve done in life.

In the book, Jesus said, “Those who love me have come from every system that exists.  They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims; some are Democrats, some Republicans and many don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions.  I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous.  Some are bankers and bookies, American and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians.  I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved.” 

I think Jesus said it well.  And if you love “The Shack,” please read the sequel* “Crossroads.”  You’ll love it just as much if not more. 

“As much as you are able, rest in what trust you have in me, no matter how small, okay?”  God.

*Clarification:  "Crossroads" isn't an actual sequel to "The Shack" with the same characters, but is a sequence of books with the same, but different, story line of meeting God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit with different characters.

Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper February 17, 2017.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Peace Happens One Heart at a Time

One of my favorite poems on Peace is “The Prayer of Peace” by Ilchi Lee.  It’s a beautiful prayer and probably says more than I could ever say on the topic, especially when it comes to peace and religion.  (Verses are separated by commas.)

“I offer this prayer of peace, Not to the Christian God, Nor to the Buddhist God, Nor to the Islamic God, Nor to the Jewish God, But to the God of all humanity.

For the peace that we wish for, Is Not a Christian peace, Nor a Buddhist peace, Nor an Islamic peace, Nor a Jewish peace, But a human peace, For all of us.

I offer this prayer of peace, To the God that lives within all of us, That fills us with happiness and joy, To make us whole, And help us understand life, As an expression of love for all human beings.

For no religion can be better, Than any other religion, For no truth can be truer, Than any other truth, For no nation can be bigger, Than the earth itself.

Help us all go beyond, Our small limits, And realize that we are one, That we are all from the earth.  That we are all earth people, Before we are Indians, Koreans, or Americans.

God made the earth, We humans have to make it prosper, By realizing that we are of the earth
And not of any nation, race, or religion, By knowing that we are truly one, In our spiritual heritage.

Let us now apologize, To all humanity, For the hurt that religions have caused, So that we can heal the hurt, Let us now promise to one another, To go beyond egotism and competition, To come together as one in God.

I offer this prayer of peace, To you the almighty, To help us find you within all of us, So that we may stand proudly, One day before you, As one humanity.  I offer this prayer of peace, With all my fellow earth people, For a lasting peace on earth.”

I wish I had the magic words that would bring love and peace to everyone in the world, but I don’t.  What I can do is to work on myself to try to be the most loving and peaceful person I can be, as well as to commit random acts of kindness whenever and wherever I can.  When we do so, we spread a little bit of that love and peace to all those around us.

Galatians 5:22 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “If we are to have peace on earth…our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”   Dr. King also said, “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”

Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper February 10, 2017.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Never Give Up Hope

I admit it.  I enjoy Facebook.  I’ve connected with old friends, as well as made new friends from all over the world.  It used to be that the majority of the posts I saw on my stream were spiritual and inspirational.  Now?  Not so much.  The majority of the posts I see are now political.  I don’t mind the political as long as they inform and are from legitimate sources.

I’m also seeing countless posts about the millions of people, not only from our country, but from all over the world who are uniting and coming together for the common cause of embracing each other with love, peace, and harmony.  We’re done with the hate, bigotry, and ignorance that are separating people. 

What’s sad and heart-breaking is to see all the comments from people, some I know and others I don’t, who are expressing their fears and hopelessness at seeing what is occurring because of politics.  In fact, some are living in complete terror and it doesn’t matter their color, race, religion, politics, nationality, gender, etc.  One friend commented that she gets up with less and less hope, that she goes to bed feeling defeated, and that this is not the country she loves and was so proud of.  Most people really do love and care for our country and its people.  And then there are those who could care less about others as long as it doesn’t affect them.  Until it does. 

We need to uplift others with love and hope, but there are times that even I feel discouraged and hopeless.  It is during these times that I need to get quiet, go within, listen to spirit, and be reminded of who we really are.  We are messengers of light, love, and peace and we need to continue to try to lift people up and to encourage each other to never give up.  There’s always hope.

As for Facebook, there are all kinds of posts that show people coming together in spite of the illusions of any differences.  They warm my heart and re-fuel my hope.  I’ve seen numerous videos and posts that have had me bawling a river of tears because of the love and kindness people are showing towards each other.  We’re coming together to be supportive and encouraging, and we’re reminding each other that we really are one humanity regardless of what we look like, what we do, or where we live.

Maya Angelou said, “Love recognizes no barriers.  It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”  Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.  Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.  Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”  And for those who follow Jesus’ teachings, he stated, “As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper February 3, 2017.