Friday, September 28, 2007

stand by

Having some techie difficulties.
Please come back on Monday and have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

the amplitude, grandeur, vastness, enormity and fullness of God's love

Spiritual resource to share: immensity

    (So I had a little fun with the thesaurus....) Okay - a little thought-spill* here: If you were to add up all the evil in the world, the injustice, disease, sin, stagnation, apathy, the threats, depression, intellectual self-justification and futility - would that overwhelm God? The textbook answer is no, but to answer that with our hearts, we would have to understand the largeness of God.

    How to understand the largeness - the infinitude of God? It's a lifetime assignment. But for me and some friends, nature helps. "All nature teaches God's love for man" writes MBEddy and there is no better way than to look up to the stars, gaze across an ocean or hike up a mountain peak to get a glimpse of God's great love for us.

    • A friend was healed of being overburdened when she felt a great clarity of God's love - as if God's love was the overarching sky and her human love only a pinprick in that large expanse.
    • Another friend felt waves of God's comfort and warmth sitting in a field of acres of wheatgrass being gently blown by the wind, healing her of the stress of her circumstances.
    • And I felt cleansed from an obsessive argument I had been having over an incident with a friend when I sat and prayed at lakeside. The depth of the lake and the consistent waves taught me about patience and trust in God's control of this situation.

    Feeling the largeness of God's love makes everything else look small and inconsequential. All of the past hurts, complaints, injuries and injustices weigh "not one jot" in the kingdom of heaven. Their only purpose is to be overcome.

    So we overcome them, drop them and turn to where it is really happening - to the truth of being. This is where the real story is. This is where hope blooms into help and creativity finds solutions for all kinds of problems. This is where we join God's divine adventure.

    This quote from MBEddy's book Miscellaneous Writings (p. 42) helped:

    Only as we understand God, and learn that good, not evil, lives and is immortal, that immortality exists only in spiritual perfection, shall we drop our false sense of Life in sin or sense material, and recognize a better state of existence.

    Enjoy today - and don't forget to look up at the sky and remember how infinitely loved you are!

    *thought-spill=an elevated form of brainstorm

    photo by Gabe Korinek - copyright2007

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    "... a time to keep silence"*

    Spiritual resource to share: integrity

    It seems the more experienced I become in dealing with relationships, the more I learn the lesson of keeping silent.

    At times when I want to blurt out some injustice and take someone to task for it, keeping silent has saved me from some pretty embarrrassing situations.

    Now, I am not advocating ignoring situations that need to be brought out in the open, or dismissing our responsibility to speak up when needed. But when dealing with relationships where there is some kind of problem, keeping silent may be a good place to start the healing process.

    Keeping silent many times has helped me to:

    • step back from an emotionally charged situation
    • given me space to prayerfully examine the whole picture
    • given me space to stretch my understanding of God's governance of the situation: trusting Truth to reveal whatever needs healing, trusting Love to work in each individual's consiousness and trusting Principle to bring things out in an orderly and logical way.

    MBEddy writes in her autobiography, "The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action."

    There was a time early in my marriage when I felt a strong attraction to another person. It made no sense, I was happy in my marriage, but this attraction seemed mutual and compelling even though nothing happened between us. But I felt that the only way to break this spell was to confront this person directly. As I continued to pray, I realized that this was not the way to go. I saw that this compelling attraction was nothing more than a type of mesmerism. I could rest in our spiritual foundation of integrity and purity to burst through that dark cloud. And it did. The next day, I felt totally free of this attraction. And so did this other person.

    Keeping silent and working this situation out prayerfully with God was needed in this situation. It also helped to move a small ego (me) out of the way and made room for divine Love to work. In the space of silence, I was able to turn my desires over to a higher law:

    The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

    The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

    *"...a time to keep silence...." from Ecclesiastes 3: 7

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Friday, September 21, 2007

    oh my gosh, it's Friday

    Spiritual resource to share: apology

    So I woke up and filled up my day, only to remember that I needed to post last night and didn't.
    I am working on two posts and never completed them, and now it is evening. So sorry.

    One post is about a very insightful conversation about Christian Science, medical studies and absolute assumptions that I had with two good friends: one friend is a very down to earth metaphysician and the other is a very funny physicist.

    The other post is about the nature of evil and the obliterating power of divine Love to eradicate evil. (It's not as heavy as it may seem. Love always wins out in the end.)

    So, stay tuned! (Or what would we say now -- stay connected!?!) and thanks for stopping by.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Metaphysical Fitness

    Spiritual resource to share: practicing spirituality

    After reading a detailed account of a friend's healing and the prayer that led up to it, I realized that everyone I know who practices a spiritual discipline has a certain theme or tone to their approach. Some approach their metaphysical practice

    • with sweat: they take on hard challenges and/or really put themselves out on the line. People who come to mind are Paul from the New Testament; think bold and adventurous.
    • with grace: they take repetitive exercises and work with them to reach a higher and more refined expression. Dancers are good examples here; think stillness and consistency.
    • with power: they take strong leaps into faith that ripen into understanding. Parents come to mind on this one; think trusting, strong and receptive.
    • with precision: they cover all angles of an idea or inspiration and blend, extrapolate and contrast it with other ideas to reach a higher understanding. I think of teachers with this one; think analytical, strategic and logical.
    • with yielding: they feel the communion with God and totally release ego. I think of the disciple John on this one; think wise and patient.

    There must be infinite ways to approach one's spiritual practice. How do you approach yours?

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    pocket knives, motorcycles and a prophetic t-shirt

    Spiritual resource to share: tenacity in prayer

    A peninsula somewhere in the Sylvania Wilderness Area

    Well, we had a pretty major adventure this last weekend - a metaphysical workout, a prayer extravaganza.

    Here's the scoop: Saturday afternoon, our son started out for a run in the woods by his school, wearing shorts and a hoodie. He got off trail and ultimately lost. When night started closing in, he found a peninsula on the other side of a lake, swam to it, made a lean-to and waited out the night. At day break, he heard the faint hum of motorcycles and walked toward the sound until he hit a road. From there he hitch-hiked to the nearest place with a telephone (a resort ten miles away from campus) and phoned home about 8:30 am.

    When my husband and I were first notified that our son was missing, Rick was at home and I was 4 hours away. After the call, I started reasoning: I knew the night was cold - down to about 40 degrees. There are occassional wolf sightings reported in that area as well as black bear, coyote and bobcat. The 1300 acre campus is surrounded by thousands more acres of wilderness. The terrain is beautiful - a fact that mattered very little to me at that time - filled with lakes, swamp and thorny brush - a fact that mattered a lot to me. I also knew that I had a four hour drive home and then another hour drive up to the school. I knew all that time would be spent in prayer.

    To me, prayer is a very active mental state in which I literally talk to God at times, listen for inspiration, wrestle with fear and hold to a standard that I believe Christ Jesus taught: that God is love and constantly guards, guides and protects us. God, to me, is not a glorified human, but a power that is omnipotent, omnipresent and is the source of all intelligence and the source of our lives. Understanding that harmony and protection have divine authority has helped me to bring these qualities into experience time and time again.

    When I first got in the car to head home in the middle of the night, it occurred to me that I was all set to go. The night before, I had gone to bed uncommonly early, had filled the gas tank and bought all kinds of goodies and drinks to take back with me. In fact, even a bag of veggies chips was half-opened and tilted toward me. It struck me that everything I needed, to the littlest detail, was right there. A small thing perhaps, but it was part of a larger law: "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." If this was my experience now, it was my son's experience now as well.

    I don't think the school could have done much more in its search. As soon as it was determined that he was not on campus, community and state officials were called in. My husband left to join one of the search parties. By now, Micah had been missing for well over 14 hours. I was receiving updates and support from the school and from family and friends every half hour on my drive up.

    After a few hours of hearing updates, but no Micah, I got flat out scared. Holding back sobs, I just, well, literally cried out to God "Where is he?" And the answer came, quicker than I could end my question, "He's with me." This comforted me, and I knew that if I could feel this comfort, so could Micah.

    Now this may seem odd to some, but I wanted to talk to Micah, so I did. In my thought and sometimes outloud, I told him what I wanted him to hear. I wanted to feel his presence and I did. "The intercommunication is always between God and man" and I feel that my needs were being met through God in a way that I could handle and make sense of. If my needs could be met in this way, I knew that Micah's needs could be met in a way that he could understand and handle.

    A friend called who was praying with me. "Life is irresistable," she said. Of course, I thought. We are not swinging from fear to hope, from death to life from lost to found. Life is right now, complete and entire. Found is our natural state as we are never out of God's care. And love, a presence that can be felt anywhere and anytime, has no room for fear.

    I trusted that Micah knew what to do and when to do it, that he has the presence of Mind (another word for God) to listen and act wisely. Micah is never separated from God - who is good, loving and protecting. And Micah would be led in the way that would keep him safe and protected. He could not resist doing the right thing! Knowing this broke that hypnotic hold of fear.

    Well, once we were finally reunited, more of his story came out. He had found a pocketknife while walking. This pocketknife was complete with case, and included a saw, knife, screwdriver, scissors, etc. ("Oh, this is so God!" said a friend when she heard this.) This helped him build a lean-to. Building on a peninsula helped protect him from any wildlife. "Oh yeah," he said in answer to a question about wildlife encountered, "the coyotes were far enough away to be interesting."

    Hordes of motorcyles groups pass through this area during this time of the year. I usually find this annoying, but now I'm pretty grateful to them - especially to that group who were noisy enough that early morning for Micah to hear their hum and head off to that road.

    Our son said he was never afraid, sang all the songs he knew, and used the outdoor skills taught him by many of his teachers at the school. It was his own kind of vision quest, his own rendition of weekend Survivor and will now be a part of the school's legendary stories. The shock, swelling, cramping, infection, and fever predicted to happen never got a foothold in our son’s thought and he experienced none of it.

    Now for something really funny. When Rick and others got the word that Micah was okay and found out where he needed to be picked up, he and another staff member went to his room to get him some warm clothes: long pants, thick socks, a fleece jacket. And then Rick pulled out of the drawer a long sleeved t-shirt. On it, it read "I have taken the road less where the hell am I?" Micah wore it back to campus with a huge smile.

    Sylvania Wilderness Area. Photo taken on Clark Lake by H.G. Judd, June 2006.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    changes, transitions, detours and diversions

    Spiritual resource to share: songs

    I have been thinking and working with this hymn all week and wanted to share it with you. I have known this song for years -- even decades!

    And I have sung it through all sorts of changes and transitions in my life: going off to college, getting lost in a foreign country, having a baby, having another baby, starting out on my own in a new city, healing disappointment and discouragement....

    All in all, it's a wonderful healing poem and song. Enjoy!

    In heavenly Love abiding, no change my heart shall fear;
    And safe is such confiding, for nothing changes here.

    The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid;
    But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?

    Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back;
    My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing can I lack.

    His wisdom ever waketh, His sight is never dim;
    He knows the way He taketh, and I will walk with Him.

    Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen;
    Bright skies will soon be o'er me, where darkest clouds have been.

    My hope I cannot measure, my path in life is free;
    My Father has my treasure, and He will walk with me.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    saving Rocket J. Squirrel

    Spiritual resource to share: choosing life

    I saved a life last week. And it felt so good. The whole incident was a reminder of another one of life's lessons to choose life.

    I was taking a little hike when I saw a little life form on the ground. Black, with a long tail and large disproportionate feet, this little guy must have fallen about 2-1/2 stories from above and landed in the gravelly path. He was struggling to take a breath every 5 seconds or so.

    As I ran back to my car, the thought came that this little animal was not going to make it. Even when I got back to him, he seemed to have stopped breathing. Right then, I knew I had a choice --- and I chose to see life. Regardless of what the physical picture looked like, I decided that I was going to help.

    I scooped him up and placed him in the warm folds of my towel. He wasn't larger than my hand. I decided to take him to our local wildlife hospital where he would be appropriately cared for. During the trip I sang songs about life, old tried and true hymns that have been sung for generations, like "Oh Life that maketh all things new...." and "I know no life divided ....from Thee..."

    When I got to the wildlife hospital, the little guy looked the same. The staff took him and immediately identified him as a 2 week old baby black squirrel. They poked him and he reacted. They poked again. Another reaction. They looked for injury and finding none, put him in an incubator. They felt he would come around. They assured me that they would simply keep him warm, clean and hydrated. A few days later, I called back and learned that he was doing great and would be weaned and running in the wild in about 5 weeks.

    What strikes me about this incident is that even though I didn't know that recuperation from a major fall was likely, I did know that I had a choice in how I could view the matter. I did know that life is indestructible. MBEddy's comment was particularly helpful:
    All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible.

    For another sweet story on the healing of a hummingbird, visit buddy blogger Kate's site.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    a God at hand

    Spiritual resource to share: God's ever-presence

    Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?
    Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord.
    Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. - Jeremiah

    I have been thinking about this blog ever since I read about Mother Teresa's "crisis in faith" that chronicles her most intimate fear and despair, feeling that God did not show Himself to her once she took up the work with the poor. Now there is much to be said about this, and many questions I have about the ethics of publishing some of what Mother Teresa had to say. But the idea that has continued to egg me on to write this blog is the one that suggests that it is possible for anyone or everyone to feel a great gulf between God -the source of all good - and oneself.

    I can't think of any single experience more difficult to deal with than this thought of separation. After a drawn out and difficult situation I was in, I felt this disconnect and it took me a long time to crawl out of it to the place where I am now - understanding that we can never be separated from God.

    I'll share a couple of things I learned from this experience:
    • I am worthy of love.
    • God is always present; that means that a connection with God is always present.
    • It is only fear or pride that would try to tempt us that we have lost our connection to God.

    God cannot be outlined; when I pray, it is helpful for me not to outline how I want God to speak to me! Instead, I listen. God's presence can be felt in a memory that comes to me, a friend's communication, time spent outdoors appreciating nature, a thought that comes while I'm walking the dog, writing, driving, etc.

    God can speak to each of us audibly as well. At different times in my life, I have heard, in answer to my prayer, the words, "Go this way" (when I was lost and alone in Central America); "Shutup!" (in answer to a rather self-centered and whiny prayer) and "You are dearly loved" (in response to a prayer where I was struggling with overload and anxiety and needing direction). For me, this audible response doesn't always happen, and I have learned to not limit God's voice to only one way.

    There are times when I feel I am not getting any response. In those moments, I have found it helpful to know that those desires have been posted and trust the all-knowing Mind to already be operating on my behalf. Right now (because God is always loving and caring for His creation) progress is continuing, divine Love is supplying and Principle's laws are in operation. With this, I can take whatever steps I feel are a result of my highest sense of right and trust any necessary adjustments to God.

    We are never alone. Jesus' promise "The kingdom of God is within you" is not a pantheistic claim, but a present fact that God is as close to us as our breath. Because God is, we are and because we are, God is. To Mother Teresa, whose work inspired a world to be more selfless and to love and serve one another, I hope that she will feel that love and closeness to God is still there.

    See also Laura's blog about this same issue.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Friday, September 07, 2007

    delete - permanent trash - spam guard

    Spiritual resource to share: removing obstacles and affirming what is true

    A couple of quotes from my favorite author, MBEddy:
    "But the pursuit of modern material inventions?"
    "Oh, we cannot oppose them. They all tend to newer, finer, more etherealized ways of living. They seek the finer essences. ..... We use them, we make them our figures of speech. They are preparing the way for us." (from Miscellany, p. 35)

    AND juxtaposing that with this one:

    "Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously."

    So now, we have a new way of looking at ways we can "stand porter."

    When a thought comes, tempting us to doubt, be dishonest, think less than well of others, etc. we can choose to thoroughly eradicate it by
    • deleting it: no need to go into the details of how it has been programmed, how long or short it has been, where it has originated -- just press "delete"
    • permanent trash: confirm file delete - go after it and confirm that it has been deleted; empty out all the trash permanently. Trust that this is the end of that thought.
    • Spam Guard: be alert to other similar thoughts that try to sneak into consciousness. Trust the protection that God has given us to "rise in the strength of spirit to overome all that is unlike God."

    Now the fun and wonderful part - admitting only those thoughts that are good, enduring, spontaneous and brilliant. Nothing can stand in the way of a thought filled with these truths!

    (yes, I know. The picture is so clichẻ.)

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    two years of blogging!

    Spiritual resource to share: exchanging ideas

    This just in from a friend:
    Hi Kim,Well, I feel like we've had a good chat -- listening to your thoughts and counsel and delights tonight has been a real treat!

    Well, now it has been TWO YEARS of blogging!! I love this activity. I have gotten to know so many people through blogging - and it is like having a good chat when I read others' blogs, comments on my blogs - and most wonderful of all - get to talk with those who have been introduced to me through my blog.

    So, in celebration, here is one of my very first blogs entitled: Playing

    I tell this story so much that my sons roll their eyes when I tell it to someone in their presence. Although they have heard it a gazillion times, it still holds fresh lessons for me.

    This is the story. Gabe (at 4 years old) had a bad earache/infection. I was praying for healing, praying and affirming God's allness and the powerlessness of illness to harm Gabe, when Micah (at 6 years old) came to the door. I asked him to help me pray. He waited about two seconds, said okay and then said 'Gabe, let's go play!!'

    Gabe immediately woke, his ear totally cleared up. Both boys then ran into the next room where they proceeded to jump up and down on our guest bed.

    After a while I joined them. I asked Gabe how his right ear was and he said fine. I asked him how his left ear was and he said fine, then went back to the business of jumping.

    When I asked Micah how he prayed he told me that "God gave me His playing thoughts."

    Micah knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God made us to play. Nothing could convince him otherwise. Nothing could stand in the way of that clear truth. Although my sons are much older now, I continue to draw lessons from this wonderful healing.

    We are made to play. Our Father/Mother God did not make us to suffer, God made us to jump up and down. God made us in His image and likeness, perfect, whole and entire.

    Play (in a very unplayful analysis) is about engagement, presentness and adventure. I once attended an educational conference on play. The speaker, Herb Brokering, started off with an umbrella, a brick and a plastic flower or some other obscure thing on the stage. It was a widely disjointed talk, at times even silly and I found myself getting irritated. But as his presentation went on, there was also something magic in what he was saying. He kept talking, weaving stories and anecdotes along the way. Toward the end, he got us all to sing a beautiful lilting tune.

    He had invited us all to come to a place of playing. Here was this huge auditorium of students and professionals all singing. It was almost hushed and reverent tone. And we were quietly happy. We were remembering what it was like to play. We were all made vulnerable a bit, being caught with one another playing. It was delightful!

    Those experts of play - children - are showing us the way back to play. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

    Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, - this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony.

    In the book of Matthew of the New Testament, Christ Jesus says,
    Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    So I think that playing is about dropping pretension. Play is selfless and is about the serious business of discovery. It's about being open to new possibilities, about connecting to very different things and laughing that things do connect in surprising ways. Play brings us home to who we really are. And in healing, who we really are is God's perfect and play-full child.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Seeing as God sees

    Spiritual resource to share: loving each other

    There is a discipline I am always working on: to be able to see others as God sees them. There seems to be no higher way of loving one another than to practice this over and over until it is comes easily and effortlessly. It comes out of an explanation given in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

    Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.

    Imagine with me, the ability to truly see others in this way. And to realize the healing power this carries! Of course, this is easy to do with friends who are wonderful, children who are brilliant and colleagues who are witty and kind (all of whom I have blogged about at one time or another). But when the other person is less than enamored with you, well, that's another story.

    The scenario was that I was to be married. One of the family members (his side) was not happy at all. However, the wedding took place and so did the patient and persistant effort to see this person as God did.

    In this space I had to see that my self-justification had to be ruled out, as did trying to withhold affection. It was impossible to ignore this person although I did try avoidance, arguments, and stony silence. Of course, none of these things helped one bit.

    What did help was to keep finding those things that were Christlike in this person. I would do this even though I was tempted to indulge in some of those things mentioned above. Soon, it got easier and easier to sees this person as Christlike. Soon, I was defending this person when I heard an unkind comment. It was getting easier to see in this person the qualities of dedication, loyalty, fairness and commitment. I was also sharpening my ability to separate the wheat from the tares, and not get caught up in arguments.

    Years later, we got an unexpected check from this person with a note that this gift was given to all the children when they got married, and in a gracious way, we were to get this check now.

    This relationship continues to get better. And so does my quest to continue to see others as God sees them. To me, it is the key to loving one another - whatever the circumstances may be.

    There is a beautiful song by Mindy Jostyn, In His Eyes, that inspires me each time I hear it. Click here to hear a clip.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.