Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lent 2013 (14th Day of Lent)

Thursday, February 28, 2013
I am one with the infinite Law of God --- one with the principle of never-ceasing growth toward the fulfillment of God's perfect idea embedded in all creation.
Mystical writer Evelyn Underhill wrote in the early 1900's: "The Spiritual life does not begin in an arrogant attempt at some peculiar kind of other-worldliness, a rejection of ordinary experience. It begins in the humble recognition that human things can be very Holy, full of God; whereas high-minded speculations about His nature need not be Holy at all."
The Holy Presence of God in even the most mundane human experiences reflects the fact that all of life unfolds according to Spiritual Law. This Law assures us that God is a solid and reliable source for our greatest good.
"Whatever a man sows," we're reminded in the Epistle to the Galatians, "that he will also reap." (Galatians 6:7). And this is literally all we need to know about Spiritual Law. If we sow thoughts of lack, fear, anger, disease, that will be the crop we reap. But if we work with this Law instead of ignoring it, the result will be infinite good. If we plant seeds of love, appreciation and compassion, we will reap the benefits richly --- not just as we sow, for God does not deal in even exchanges, but "heaped up, pressed down, and running over."
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

My Lenten Devotional (Thursday, February 28, 2013)

Gospel reading: Luke 16:19-31

"There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores."   --- Luke 16:19-21

My offering to God:

I will help feed the hungry, whether by giving to a charitable organization, volunteering at a soup kitchen, giving to a beggar in the street or taking a meal to somebody whom I know is struggling. I will eat sparingly as I reflect on those who have very little or nothing at all to eat.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lent 2013 (13th Day of Lent)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
We affirm that our Divine Power of zeal is tempered with wisdom, and we maintain a perfect balance within and without.
Zeal is the Spiritual force that moves us out of inertia and into action. However, our zeal may also express as perfect stillness. This is beautifully depicted in the New Testament story of Mary and Martha receiving Jesus and His disciples into their home. Mary "sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teachings. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; only one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken from her.'" (Luke 10:39-42 RSV).
There is a Spiritual danger in zeal if it is not banished by the wisdom to recognize right priorities. How many of us spend our days like Martha, so busy doing that we forget to be?  Mary brought great zeal to her decision to simply sit and listen. Enthusiasm for serving others is good and important, but it is also important to take the time to simply be with the Christ Presence of God within us.
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

My Lenten Devotional (Wednesday, February 27, 2013)

Gospel reading: Matthew 20:17-28

"And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave--- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
--- Matthew 20:27-28

My offering to God:

I will thank the Lord for His sacrifice on my behalf and I will humble myself and continue to serve others rather than to be served.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lent 2013 (12th Day of Lent)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Today in the face of any doubt or challenge, we affirm: "My will and God's Will are one. I want only the perfect expression of God at every moment."
How can we know the difference between our will and God's Will? When we are truly connected to the Spiritual dimension within us, there is no difference between our will and God's Will. God's Will for us is perfect Good, because Good is what God is. God's Will for us is unconditional Love, because Love is what God is. What else but perfect Good and unconditional Love could we want for ourselves?
The challenge comes when we allow our self-will to become enmeshed in ideas of separation and lack. The easiest way to recognize that this is happening is to consider what is fueling our will. If our will is based in fear --- if we are willing to do something because we're afraid what might happen if we don't --- then we can be sure that we are not at one with God's Will. If, on the other hand, our power source is love --- for ourselves, for others, for the world, for God --- then we can know that the good we will for ourselves and the Good God would have us enjoy are one and the same. 
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

My Lenten Devotional (Tuesday, February 26, 2013)

Gospel reading: Matthew 23:1-12

"But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant."
--- Matthew 23:11

My offering to God:

I'll follow Christ's example of servanthood and look for ways I can serve others.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lent 2013 (11th Day of Lent)

Monday, February 25, 2013
Today we affirm that Divine understanding within us unites us with the presence of God, and we always know the wise and loving next step.
Spiritual understanding is most often associated with Solomon. When God offered Solomon anything he wanted, Solomon did not ask for riches, power or fame. "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people," he replied, "that I may discern between good and bad." (1 Kings 3:9 KJV). Because he first sought an understanding heart, Solomon also received riches and power and fame. He kept his promises clear, and all of the good of the universe flowed freely through his life as a result.
Spiritual understanding is an energy of the heart, not the mind. It is an intuitive recognition of the will and presence of God, and it is available to all of us seeking guidance in our lives. It will not come to each of us, however, in any predictable way. Each of us will have a different experience. For some, like the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, there will be a blinding flash of illumination. Others will reach the same level of understanding gently and gradually.
Spiritual understanding will always come, though, if we sincerely seek it. "Ask, and it will be given you," Jesus taught us. "Search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you."  (Matthew 7:7)
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

My Lenten Devotional (Monday, February 25, 2013)

Gospel reading; Luke 6:36-38

"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."                  --- Luke 6:38

My offering to God:

Today I will donate to the less fortunate, whether by giving to goodwill organizations or by giving to the homeless standing at the street corner.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

TIME TO TESTIFY (My Lenten Lesson --- Part One)

My weekly reflection on this second Sunday of Lent gave me time to truly listen to God. I chose to allow His Word to guide and strenghten me while maintaining a strong faith in His promises.
Faith Produces Patience
     As I reflect on the first twelve days of this Lenten season I feel a sense of peace and joy overcome me as my journey towards Spiritual growth begins. The more committed I am to awakening my awareness, the more I see it taking shape and playing a major role in my life. The things I do, the way I act, the things I say, my thoughts, how I treat others and so much more.
     But what I've really come to realize is the importance of my faith. You see, I've always seen faith as an instrument that brings to reality God's promises. You know, "faith is believing things not yet seen". Therefore, faith is to not worry because we know God is taking care of things. But I never realized the way that faith can actually attribute to who I am.  
     It all begins with the first Sunday of Lent, when we encountered an unpleasant issue. I discovered a gas leak at our home and had to call the emergency number to the gas company so they could send somebody out to investigate. Within a matter of minutes after that phone call, we found ourselves without a gas meter, the gas shut off and we were "red tagged" until we had a licensed plumber come and do the repairs.
      Realizing we won't be able to use our gas furnace for heat, I braved the cold wind outside and rushed to our shed to gather the three portable heaters I put inside just a few months prior. While I'm hauling them one at a time, into the house, I'm praising the Lord that I still have them.
     You see, back in November, when they cold weather started closing in, my friend's home wasn't heating properly. I knew I had four portable heaters so I took them to her house and allowed her to choose which one she thought would be suitable for her home. One heater I planned to keep because my dogs stay in a spare bedroom when the weather is very cold but the room doesn't have sufficient heat. But the other two heaters, I was going to give away to charity. But due to my procrastination, or possibly just my laziness, I never took them. Now I was giving thanks to the Lord that I still have them to use to warm the house.
     After all the heaters are now in the house, I praised the Lord that we will be warm, we had plenty of sandwich meat and microwavable food to eat. Our only issue would be the hot water. But my sister invited us over to her house to shower if we wanted. So, although we would be slightly out of our comfort zone, we were still more blessed than some.
     First thing Monday morning, I called to have the plumber come fix the gas leak. He begins telling me I need a new gas line. Immediately I can hear that cash register noise, you know the one that goes, "Cha-ching!" Then he needed to go inside to check the gas appliances to make sure they were ok. Once inside he begins with, "I'll need to replace those gas cocks because they're old and outdated and you need the new ones to get you up to code." Again after his words I hear, "Cha-ching!" While looking at the furnace and water heater, again he says, "I'll need to put gas cocks here and here also. Plus I'll need to replace the piping to the furnace because that one is now illegal. You'll also need a vent cap...." His words are fading out as I'm beginning to hear "Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!"
     I'm now feeling a slight sense of hopelessness but know I must do whatever is necessary in order to get the heat on. He quotes me a price, "Cha-ching!" and I tell him to go ahead with the repairs. Then he informs me there is one other slight problem... I needed to get somebody to move my metal shed before anything is done because it was sitting directly above the gasline.  "Cha-ching!"
     Tuesday the shed was moved and Wednesday the plumbers came to work on the repairs. Everything seemed to be going well, that is, until after all the necessary work was done  and they still could not find the leak. What began with three plumbers working on the repairs soon became six plumbers trying to find the leak. As the sun began to set, they called it a day and vowed to come back first thing Thrusday morning.
     I didn't worry, though. I had faith that for sure it would get fixed the next day. That night, I praised the Lord for letting things go smoothly and, although they hadn't found the leak, I thanked God because my faith reassured me that it will all work out and I won't have to worry about the gasline for many years. Plus, as the plumber said, "Your gas bill should be a lot less now." Though, after we installed new windows and had the house insulated I didn't think the gas bill was very high.
     It was late Thursday before the leak was totally fixed and we had only 2 hours to get the inspector to approve it, then call the gas men to bring my gas meter and turn my gas back on. Problem was... the piping wasn't lined up properly for them to install the gas meter. Another day, no gas. I am now getting very frustrated and testy from being out of my comfort zone.  But I'm still holding onto faith that we will have gas on by the next day.
     First thing Friday morning, I call to have my gas back on but am displeased to find out I now must get a second inspection and yet, another permit before it can be turned on. The inspector came immediately and was surprised about all the hassle I seem to be facing.
      After much wrangling, we finally called the plumbers and the gas man to come back out. As we were waiting, the inspector and I were discussing what I had been going through and he must have noticed my patience was growing very thin because he suddenly told me, "Lighten that heart. Come on now. We're gonna get your gas back on so lighten your heart."
     I was surprised by his statement because I wasn't raising my voice and I thought I was still remaining relatively calm, but I responded, "Man, I'm tired of this crap. I'm losing patience. This gas man seems insensitive to our needs."
    "I know, I know. Everything's gonna be alright." The inspector reassured me again. "Lighten that heart. Come on now. I see you trying to smile. Come on bring that smile out."
     At that time, both the plumber and the gas man arrived. The inspector asked me to step away for a minute while he talked to the gas man so I went to tell the plumber what has been going on. I must have given the impression that I was complaining or angry because unexpectedly the plumber spoke up.
     "Lighten your heart." The plumber told me. "Remember what your cap says."
     By now I'm shocked that the plumber repeated the very same words told to me by the inspector, "Lighten your heart." And when he told me to remember what my cap says, he was referring to the "I, heart shape, Jesus" which is embroidered on my winter beanie cap.
     I came to realize, two different people speaking the same identical words to me could only mean it was God telling me not to lose heart. I've faced the trial this far because I had faith He would work everything out so I must not become angry now because my breakthrough is just minutes away.
     This awakened my awareness of my faith. You see, faith endures trials. Although, trials will come and go, a strong faith will face those trials head-on and develop endurance. Faith knows temptation but doesn't allow us to fall into temptation, but instead obeys the Word. Faith is shown by obedience and believes in the promises of God. Faith will wait patiently on God's timing. Even during trials it suppresses complaining.
     During this first part of the Lent, I've Spiritually grown to the awareness that my faith provided me with the ability to resist the devil by not getting angry but instead I humbly drew nearer to God with a heart filled with love and understanding. Thus, my faith demonstrates not just my trust in God but who I am in Christ.
James 1:2-3  "My brethen, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."

Lent 2013 (2nd Sunday of Lent)

February 24, 2013
My imagination is my treasured link to the creative power of God.
The Old Testament character who most embodied the power of imagination was Joseph. He demonstrated through dreams both the challenges and the rewards of using one's imagination.
From an early age, Joseph was able to exercise his imagination to interpret dreams. At first his unwise use of this gift got him into trouble. He forced his guidance onto others --- his brothers --- who were not ready to receive it. They sold him into slavery and he was later imprisoned. These traumatic events helped shift his Spiritual awareness. When he was next called upon to interpret dreams --- the Pharaoh's --- he first affirmed that the power was not his but God's. When he became willing to be a channel for God, allowing his imagination to serve a greater Spiritual energy, his life was transformed.
Let us recognize that only when our power of imagination is allowed to be a channel for love, strength and Spirit does it find its true role in our unfolding journey.
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

My Lenten Devotional (Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gospel reading: Luke 9:28-36

And a voice came out of the cloud saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!"    ---Luke 9:35

My offering to God:

I will pay attention to Christ's teachings by reading John 14:1-6

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lent 2013 (10th Day of Lent)

Saturday, February 23, 2013
We embrace the power of God expressing through us. As we call upon that power with words of love, faith and joy, we begin to create the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
We're told that when Jesus began to teach and demonstrate the power of God, the people 'were all amazed and kept saying to one another, 'What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!'" (Luke 4:36). They realized that the healing power of Jesus demonstrated sprung from the words He spoke and the energy behind those words.
So it is for us, Jesus teaches that our words have great power. We commit to exercising greater care in the words we use, knowing that they evoke the power of God.
When we speak negatively about ourselves, hoping someone will contradict us, the power of God within doesn't recognize such ploys. If we speak negatively of ourselves or others, we put our personal power behind those negative statements, and bring that negative energy into manifestation. If, on the other hand, we choose words that are at least nonjudgemental, we find an ever-more-positive energy expressing in our lives.
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

My Lenten Devotional (Saturday, February 23, 2013)

Gospel reading: Matthew 5:43-48

"Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you..."
--- Matthew 5:44b

My offering to God:

I will pray for someone who has wronged me.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lent 2013 (Invitation To Know God Better)

Day Five: Be Restored

     Do you remember Peter --- Christ's fearless disciple who became faithless when the pressure was on? Three times Peter emphatically denied the Lord during His Passion. You might call him a Biblical "cowardly lion". But after the Resurrection, Jesus specifically sought Peter out and restored him. He became the foremost leader of the early church.
     Perhaps you've begun your Lenten journey in a similar state --- discouraged by your own faithlessness, weighed down by the darkness you find as you search your soul.

     There is good news: God's invitation, "Return to Me," still stands.

     The promise of Lent is that He is waiting to restore you, to raise you from your brokenness and to make of your ashes more than you ever dared to dream was possible. Let Him restore the joy of your Salvation today.

For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. --- Psalm 103:11  NKJV


Holy Father, create a new Spirit in us, as You burined us with Christ in baptism. Help us to walk today in the newness of life to which we were raised. Make us channels of Your love, Lord. Help us to reflect Your glory and to serve others as Jesus did. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition copywritten 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970. Confraternity of Christian Doctrines, Inc. Washington, DC.
Photo's are an exception to copywrite rules.

For King and Country - The Proof of Your Love Lyrics (with Monologue)

Please read the message that follows after these lyrics to the song.

If I sing but don't have love
I waste my breathe with every song
I bring, an empty voice
A hollow noise

If I speak with a silver tongue
Convince a crowd but don't have love
I leave a bitter taste
With every word I say

So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You
And what You're made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love

If I give to a needy soul
But don't have love then who is poor
It seems all the poverty
Is found in me

So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You
And what You're made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love

Ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
When it's all said and done
Ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
When we sing our final song

Only love remains
Only love remains

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all of His mysteries and making everything as plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump" and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give all I earn to the poor or even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, no matter what I believe, no matter what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You
And what You're made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my love be the proof
The proof of Your love.

"God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love, even when we were dead in our tresspasses, made us alive together with Christ --- By grace you have been saved." --- Ephesians 2:4-5

I sit here with an unveiled face reflecting the Lords glory as I am being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes only from the Lord, who is the Spirit within me.

May you all, recognize the importance of love because we were created by LOVE  and because GOD IS LOVE, our hearts can never really know what love is or be satisfied in any other way but by Him, who IS LOVE.

Remember... those with ears to hear will hear. The world will never totally approve of God's Word because satan will not allow it. But we, serving as God's army here on earth, approve wholeheartedly. So keep up the good works and keep the faith! Your path is not easy but well worth your efforts. As God will surely reward you for your faithfulness and your loyalty.

~ One Love ~

Lent 2013 (9th Day of Lent)

Friday, February 22, 2013
Thank you, God, for the endless availability of perfect love in my life and in all the universe!
"God is love," we read in the epistle known as 1 John, "and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them." (1 John 4:16). Love is the truth of who we are.
This is why Jesus consistently invoked love as the greatest commandment. "Love one another as I have loved you," He told His disciples. (John 15:12). Why? Because it is through the power of love that we align ourselves with our true Self --- with the Presence and Power of God within us.
All of our challenges, and any sense of limitation or feeling of being alone and unsupported, stem from fear. If you doubt this, focus on any challenge in your life and ask yourself, "What am I afraid of?" If you are honest in your self-awareness, you will see that behind any negative emotion is fear.
1 John later states, "Perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18). We love in order to align ourselves with God and to express who we truly are.
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"1

My Lenten Devotional (Friday, February 22, 2013)

Gospel reading: Matthew 16:13-19

"'Who do you say that I am?'
Simon Peter said in reply, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,'"
--- Matthew 16:15b-16

My offering to God:

I will confess my faith in Christ.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lent 2013 (Invitation To Know God Better)

Day Four: Refocus

     Lent calls us to turn our focus away from ourselves, but that can be a struggle. So many things compete for our attention and affection. Saying "no" to these distractions, perhaps by fasting or giving up something we enjoy, takes us out of our comfort zone. It can leave us feeling empty, even weak.

     But emptiness is pleasing to God. When we empty ourselves at His invitation, He will fill us in ways that nothing else can.

     When we are at our weakest, He is at His strongest. And in humbling ourselves, we are like Jesus, who gave up His Divine rights in order to die in our place. 

     Won't you turn your eyes on Him?

Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
--- Philippians 2:5-8  NKJV
Heavenly Father, we humbly ask for Your Light in the midst of the darkness that shadows our vision. Show us the way to You, Lord. Renew our minds and create a new Spirit within us. Fix our eyes on Your Kingdom, that we may grow to be more like You. Amen.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition copywritten 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970. Confraternity of Christian Doctrines, Inc. Washington, DC.
Photo's are an exception to copywrite rules.

Lent 2013 (8th Day of Lent)

Thursday, February 21, 2013
We tap into the indwelling power of wisdom when we affirm, "I know, I remember, I understand and I express myself perfectly." Thank You, God, for Your Presence within me as perfect wisdom.
Wisdom does not have to be learned. Wisdom is inner knowing beyond the knowledge of the mind.
What does that inner knowing tell us? The message is different for each person and circumstance, but it always reflects the essence of God. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stated the essence of that inner voice guidance is simply; "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12).
This love-based law is the very heart of all wisdom. And the power of wisdom is always present within us, empowering us to understand how to apply that law to every challenge we face.
Charles Fillmore wrote in Keep a True Lent, "As I dwell upon this all-knowing faculty within, I become conscious of the Christ radiance lighting my mind and my whole being is illuminated."
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

My Lenten Devotional (Thursday, February 21, 2013)

Gospel reading: Matthew 7:7-12

"Do unto others whatever you would have them do to you."
--- Matthew 7:12a

My offering to God:

I will perform a kind deed for someone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lent 2013 (Invitation To Know God Better)

Day Three: Repent

     Is something standing between you and your Heavenly Father as you enter into Lent?

      Now is the time to open your heart and be fully known by God. Giving up simple pleasures for a time can be a valuable way to focus more fully on Christ and His Passion, but there is an even greater reward in letting God search you and reveal to you an area of your life that is a genuine roadblock to knowing Him better.
     Are you frightened of taking that risk? You don't need to be.

There is no darkness too deep for God --- can you imagine the agony He felt as His own Son suffered death on a Cross? You can never be beyond the reach of His mercy. You have only to ask for His forgiveness.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He knows how we are formed, remembers that we are dust.  --- Psalms 103:13-14 NAB


Holy Father, thank You for the gift of forgiveness that You purchased for us at such a high price. Help us to receive it --- to live in the hope and freedom that allows us to face our weaknesses. Shine Your Light inside us, dispel the darkness and make us more like Your Perfect Son. Amen

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition copywritten 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970. Confraternity of Christian Doctrines, Inc. Washington, DC.
Photo's are an exception to copywrite rules.

Lent 2013 (7th Day of Lent)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
We take a moment to recognize ways we have been trying to be self-sufficient through our limited human strength. We now gently surrender these efforts to Spirit, acknowledging with Jesus that "we of ourselves can do nothing." In the peace of this personal surrender, we feel ourselves infilled with the strength of God --- the Presence within that truly does the work.
Strength is not only associated with our limited human form. The Spiritual power of strength --- the Divine idea of strength as it is essentially created in Divine Mind --- is far greater than our attempts at strength in the manifest realm.
As Paul reminds us in his first letter to the Corinthians, "God's weakness is stronger than human strength." (1 Corinthians 1:25).
Accessing that Spiritual power of strength requires us to confront one of the greatest of all Spiritual paradoxes: That we can only achieve strength of Spirit through a willingness to surrender.
We surrender our attempts to be self-sufficient, and in the process, open ourselves to the true, unlimited strength of God, ready to express through us.
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

My Lenten Devotional (Wednesday, February 20, 2013)

Gospel reading: Luke 11:29-32

"At the preaching of Jonah they repented and there is something greater than Jonah here."
--- Luke 11:32b

My offering to God:

I will confess my sins to God and as Him to make me more like Christ.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lent 2013 (Invitation To Know God Better)

Day Two: Reflect
       Lent invites us to reflect --- on the price that was paid for our forgiveness, the Divine love that made it possible, and how to reorder our lives so that they reflect that love to others.

    This can be a joyful exercise, for it is an opportunity to ask to be lifted up with Jesus in His surrender to the Father's Will, even if it costs us everything. It can be the moment that we ask God to make us instruments of His healing love, to send us to those who need Him most.
     Will you ask God to do that for you this Lenten season? That's the real secret of what we often call almsgiving. God is faithful, and He will place someone in your path who needs to be loved as only you are able to love them. Give your love freely, just as Christ gave His life for you.

     "I give you a new commandment; love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."   --- John 13:34-35  NAB
Holy Father, kindle in our hearts the fire of Your love. God of mercy, make us rich in good works and generous to all we meet. Teach us to follow the example of Your Son, to be worthy of being called one of His people. Help us to be instruments of His peace. Amen.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition copywritten 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970. Confraternity of Christian Doctrines, Inc. Washington, DC.
Photo's are an exception to copywrite rules.

Lent 2013 (6th Day of Lent)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
We have faith in the presence and power of God everywhere expressing. We have faith in ourselves as perfect expressions of God in the process of unfolding. We surrender ourselves to the presence, the power and the creative imperative within us.
According to the writer of the New Testament book known as the Letter to the Hebrews, faith is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)
If we are to play our essential role in creating the Kingdom of Heaven, more is required than faith in God. We must also have faith in ourselves. We must know that we are God in expression, and have faith in the guidance and inspiration of God as we find it within ourselves. We needn't wait for an external God to do the work --- we can recognize and claim our own Divinity so the work can be done through us.
"Faith working in Spiritual substance accomplishes all things." Charles Fillmore wrote in Keep a True Lent. "This is the faith that cooperates with creative law. Exercised in Spiritual consciousness, it finds it's abode, and without variations or disappointment it brings results that are seemingly miraculous."
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

Lent 2013 (Lenten Sacrifice)

My Lenten Devotional (Tuesday, February 19, 2013)

Gospel reading: Matthew 6:7-15

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you."
--- Matthew 6:14

My offering to God:

I will make peace with a family member who has hurt me.

Monday, February 18, 2013

LENT 2013 (Invitation To Know God Better)

For the next five (5) days, I will post five (5) ways to make your observance of Lent more meaningful.

Day 0ne: Remember

     During Lent, we remember why Jesus died. We face the ugly truth that it was because we are full of evil. But as sobering as this reminder can be, and despite the vast chasm that separates sinful mankind from a Holy God, Lent points us to another, more powerful truth: God is rich in His mercy. It was because of His great love for us that He found a way to bridge the gap.

     Now, like the loving Father He is, He beckons us to return to Him. Will you take a step in His direction? Give up something that is holding you back? Remember, He loves you and His arms are open wide.


      But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved.)
--- Ephesians 2:5 (NAB)


Holy Father, we want to be like Jesus, to be filled with the same self-sacrificing love that brought us mercy and healing. Help us reflect that love to others and to fill us with new life in Him. Amen,


Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition copywritten 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970. Confraternity of Christian Doctrines, Inc. Washington, DC.
Photo's are an exception to copywrite rules.

Lent 2013 (5th Day of Lent)

Monday, February 18, 2013
Twelve Powers
We affirm today that the Kingdom of Heaven will come into being through our creative cooperation as we recognize and release the powers of God within us.
Two powerful images in the Bible attempt to describe the presence of God on earth: the Garden of Eden and the City of Jerusalem.
In the book of Revelation, both the Garden of Eden and the City of Jerusalem are described as having 12 gates. These gates correspond to the 12 principal powers of God present within us: Faith, Strength, Wisdom, Love, Power, Imagination, Understanding, Will, Zeal, Order, Elimination, and Life. These powers are the building blocks of God placed within us for our creative use. As long as we are calling upon these powers for our creative source, we are indeed creating the Kingdom of Heaven.
The essence of our Spiritual purpose is to activate these 12 powers, removing from our consciousness any obstacles that may be blocking their free flow within us. For the next 12 days we will focus on these powers as they express through us.
reprinted from Unity's Lent 2013 "A Season for Spiritual Growth"

INSIGHTFUL MESSAGE (What Ash Wednesday Really Means)

The Meaning of Ash Wednesday
     Ash Wednesday is the first day in the Christian season of Lent and begins about 40 days before Easter.
     The 40 days of Lent represent Jesus' time in the desert and the 40 years the Israelites spent in exile after the Exodus.
     In the Bible, the number 40 is symbolic of A LOT!
    So what are the ashes all about? The ashes, traditionally the burnt palms from last year's Palm Sunday, are worn by Catholics and other Christians as as sign of repentance, humility, and renouncing pride which is why, when ashes are distributed, it's proclaimed;
     "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel" or "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return."
     The history of wearing ashes, symbolically goes back to the Old Testament "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear. But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes." (Job42:5-6 NKJV). We don't wear ashes to proclaim our holiness, but to acknowledge that we sin and are in need of repentance and renewal.
     Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, a day just for Catholics. Ash Wednesday is the day when many Christians focus their attention on three practices; Fasting, praying Almsgiving!
Why do we FAST?
     Depriving ourselves of a basic necessity reminds us of our utter dependence on God. (By the way... the money saved from fasting should be given away to the needy.)
Why do we GIVE?
     What we are given by God is not meant just for us, but for us to share with others for the service of others.
Why do we PRAY?
     We are not totally self-sufficient. We have a need inside of us that cannot be filled by ourselves or others. We have a longing, a Holy longing, and must look to God.
     The mythical American hero is the Lone Ranger ---independent, self-made, alone. But closer to the Biblical definition of a hero might be Tonto, the Native American. He is part of a tribe, community minded and dependent.
     Without community, you cannot be enriched by others nor can you enrich them. Only through the context of community may we continue to find a relationship with God.
     So that, my dear brothers and sisters, is what Ash Wednesday is all about:
May you have a very enlightened experience as you mature in your Spiritual growth to a new awakening during this Lenten season.
Love and Blessing!
~ One Love ~

My Lenten Devotional (Monday, February 18, 2013)

Gospel reading: Matthew 25:31- 46

"Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me."
--- Matthew 25:40

My offering to God:

I will help feed a homeless person whom the world seems to ignore.