Spiritually Speaking Blog

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Wise Men Still Seek Him

As we are busy packing up the decorations, taking down the tree, and wrapping the figurines from the crèche scene, we cannot lose sight of the holy day that we haven’t even celebrated yet. That is the feast of the Epiphany, ending the official 12th day of Christmas. Their message is important because we see ourselves in the message of the 3 Magi. The Wise Men sought out the birth of Jesus following the light of the star.  Like the Wise Men we must continue to search and seek out the Divine in our daily lives in this upcoming New Year? But where in this crazy world do we find God living amongst us? I’ll liken my big “Christmas learning” as “Finding Waldo”. Reading that children’s book, “Where’s Waldo”, we are invited to search for Waldo in a field of distractions. Waldo is disguised, blending into the background of ordinary pictures. After picking our way through the maze of distractions, we joyfully declare, “there he is”, when we finally identify our man, Waldo. Like looking for Waldo in an array of color, lines and images, we seek God amongst our everyday lives. We have to keep our eyes and hearts on alert to identify God masquerading in our daily routines asking ourselves, what is God inviting me to learn, to give or experience during this particular event? God isn’t going to pop off the page of life. We still need to take an active part to keep up our part of the relationship. As we enter this New Year let’s adopt the intention of seeking God in each situation that arises.... read more

You Can Take It With You….

You CAN take it with you, and you SHOULD take it with you! I’m talking about all the love, peace and joy that you experienced over this holiday season. Take it with you into this upcoming New Year. Think of all the love that people showered on you in the days leading up to your celebration. Love came in the forms of concerns in the baking, preparing, wrapping, decorating, connecting and reaching out. Think of all the clerks putting in extra time and effort to meet shoppers’ needs. Think of the mail, UPS, FedEx and Amazon delivery people working long hours into the night to make sure you received your orders in a timely fashion. Think of all the clergy and choirs that practiced overtime to ensure your beautiful service. Think of all the grocery store clerks standing hours on end checking your items making sure you have what you need for your celebrations. Many people, known and unknown went out of their normal way to make your holiday a happy one, showing you the real reason for the season. You experienced a season of love. If we don’t take this love into the coming year, we will have missed the whole reason for all the celebrations. How do we take this season of love into the New Year? -Is it friendliness and courtesy? Good, but not enough. -Taking care never to hurt anybody? Very good but still not enough. -Praying each day for all who are in need? Very good indeed, but still not enough. This Christmas season shows us what real love looks like and what it... read more

Christmas Note to Self

Christmas Note to Self The celebration of Christmas gives us that reflective moment to consider our own birth and our own “reason” to be here. Do you know your earthy “mission?” “What’s my purpose in life?” I asked the void. “What if I told you that you filled it when you took an extra hour to talk to that kid about his life?” said the voice. “Or when you paid for that young couple in the restaurant? Or when you saved that dog in traffic? Or when you tied your father’s shoes for him?” “Your problem is that you equate your purpose with goal-based achievement. The Universe isn’t interested in your achievements….just your heart. When you choose to act out of kindness, compassion and love, you are already aligned with your true purpose. No need to look any further!” (Unknown) How beautifully this demonstrates how we follow God’s greatest commandment: “to love one another as I have loved you.” Wow…what a charge, to love as God has loved us. But let’s not be overwhelmed with this weighty responsibility. Remember to keep a watchful eye on the little things and all will fall into place, fulfilling your bigger mission in life. Just imagine if we all tended to the little things around us each day, what a big difference it would make. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. “ – Mother Teresa What do you see when you throw a pebble in the water – waves moving out to make rings, very small at first and then expanding... read more

Be That Gift

This Christmas season brings many traditions.  One of our seasonal traditions is the giving of material gifts, representing the gift of love that we are all called to partake of. Yes, believe it or not we are all gifts to one another. This advent, this time of refocus let’s rededicate ourselves to giving the gift that we were meant to share. The Lord is dwelling here in our midst, where he has always been showing himself to each of us in diverse and subtle ways every day. Some of us will recognize his face sharing his love and goodness with others.  Some of us, on the other hand, will see little if anything of his face, sharing hollow sadness and disappointment. Casting aside our blindness to God’s Ever-Presence let’s make a particular effort to open our eyes and hearts to all. Every person comes into your life for a reason. It’s an invitation from God to respond. How will you RSVP? Christmas Gift Prayer In this Advent season, may we give: – to our enemy, forgiveness, – to an opponent, tolerance, – to a friend, our heart, – to a customer, service, – to all, charity, – to every child, a good example, – to ourself, respect. Amen (Terry Hershey) “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” (Leo... read more

Let the Season Begin

We are now officially in the “Christmas Season” bringing with it the joys, stresses, anxieties, anticipations and disappointments that can come with any overinflated, long awaited “buildup”. Commercially, we only have a few short weeks to prepare for this upcoming holiday.  Our Christmas “to do” list includes cookies to be baked, gifts to be purchased, trees to be decorated and parties planned. Religiously the world is also in “ready mode”. Jewish people are prepping for Hanukkah with the treasured traditions of the lighting of the Menorah candles. Christian churches singing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel“ celebrate this preparation time as “Advent”, commemorating the 4 weeks representing the 4,000 years longing for the birth of Jesus. Spiritual leaders everywhere attempt to refocus the attention of the faithful to what “Really Matters” in this life, kind of like a wakeup call. Especially during these busy days we need to remember the admonition that life is not about the destination, but “The Journey”. With so many family, cultural and religious traditions, it’s easy to overlook the “Reason for the Season”. We all get in our little ruts and maintain the habits that numb our thinking and feelings and propel us through this life just going through the motions, failing to notice the important things that we have been missing. Like the rude guest at a cocktail party, who talks with us while all the time being distracted while watching for someone more interesting to move on to meet, we often look right over the present moment right in front of us! We squander our attention on trivia losing out on the special people and unique opportunities right... read more

Prayers for Thanksgiving Day

The coming weeks are filled with traditions that bind us together as a family, friends, neighborhood and/ or people “walking each other home”. Many of these traditions, are created around the dinner table sharing memories, laughs and love while enjoying the fruits of many working hands. When we sit down at these special meals it’s important to bow our heads with grateful hearts. But when it comes to prayer sometimes words escape us. Here are a few choices you can choose from to use for your Thanksgiving Celebration. THANKSGIVING BLESSING: O Heavenly Father: We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry. We thank Thee for health and remember the sick. We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless. We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved. May these remembrances stir us to service. That Thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.- “Dear Abby” A PRAYER FOR THANKS AND BLESSINGS PAST AND PRESENT:  Lord God, we gather around this table to humbly thank You for all that You have given us this past year – not just what is on this table, but who is sitting around this table. Thank you for life and laughter, for health and happiness, for relationships and memories. Thank you too, for the lessons learned and the tears we’ve cried because of Your ability to grow us through them. Thank You for Your comfort and Your presence, in light of good days and bad. Thank You for what we have now, for what we had yesterday, and for what You will continue to give tomorrow. Let us never take... read more

Be Still And Give Thanks!

  Gratitude, being the lynchpin for a happy life, is the official celebration kicking off this holiday season. We should take a page out of the Pilgrims playbook. They understood the power of gratitude. If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart  Those two potent words, “thank you” should be carried around uppermost in our minds and hearts as we go about our daily routines. We sometimes fill our lives with chatter and we end up missing so much of what really matters. This holiday season, let’s stop talking and be very, very quiet and stand in silent wonder at the vastness and goodness of God. Be still and watch God our Father, in the continuing act of creating new things before our very eyes: this morning’s flowers, this evening’s sunset, tiny new infants and ourselves – still here, the universe still growing, all manner of good things continuing to tumble forth from creative, caring hands. Be still and give thanks! Be still and listen to God’s gentle presence, always with us, as we fulfill our mission on earth. The Lord silently guiding and challenging, comforting and encouraging, showing us the way and helping us to walk in it. Be still and give thanks!  Be still and wallow in God’s Loving-Presence here on earth. Leaning on the Almighty’s help through a friendly gesture. Acknowledging God’s generosity through a helping hand. Reflecting on the difficult lessons learned at the feet of your teachers. Be still and give thanks!  And finally, be still and remember what the Lord has told us... read more

We Can Only Imagine!

I’ve never looked to Dennis the Menace for spiritual inspiration, but in this cartoon, he nails it! Dennis is with his friend looking up at the starry night sky, pointing upward he ponders, “If heaven is that pretty on the bottom, think how it must look on TOP!”. We all have our ideas about what heaven is like, but we have been told in Corinthians “”No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” We know that something good is ahead of us. Wayne Dyer helps put it into perspective for us. He explains that we are really spiritual beings having a temporal experience. So this life is not who we really are. Our situations, for better or worse, do not define who we REALLY are. I do believe that we carry around a little bit of heaven within us to remind us every once in a while of our Godly indwelling. Our Divine flame burns within. When something or someone literally takes our breath away, we get a glimpse of heaven, remembering we are ”awe-some” beings just passing through. We feel this connection when we experience seeing the vastness of the ocean for the very first time, or when we hold a new born child, or being touched by the glorious colors and miracle of the daily sunrise and sunset. This life is supposed to be an “experience”, a chance for us to learn while we search for communion with ourDivine essence. We are on our journey back “home”….back to heaven. We must find some awe, some piece... read more

 Get the Most Out of Your Day

 “This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use, as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever. In its place is something you left behind. Let it be something good.”- Unknown This is our challenge each day. We don’t want to live our lives waiting for the “real thing” to come along. No matter what holds us back, whether it is fear of failure, fear of success, doubt, hesitation or procrastination, it’s time to say yes to “life”. Sometimes lots of folks never get it. They never understand how life really works, even at the simplest levels. Here is the crucial question, “Do you know what your life is all about?” We can find out that answer by checking how we are living. Are we living like people who know for sure that a loving God is walking at their side? Let’s see: -Have we stopped wasting our time worrying? -Do we welcome life with a happy heart” Are we glad to wake up in the morning? -Do we see how gifted and special we are? At least sometimes, does seeing our own giftedness just make us want to smile? – Do we have hearts so full of thankfulness that we instinctively work at helping others be as happy as we are? If that’s the way we are living, then we understand how to use each day. It means that we’ve been... read more