Month: October 2015

Week 4: Soul on Fire . . .

flickering smoky candleLast Sunday started out with a battle between the ‘ol subby trying to push its way around . . . and I must admit it was giving me a run for my money.  I woke up a little later that I wanted to and then I was slow to initiate my morning reading.  Finally it got to a point where I just said to myself,  “Self . . . you’re gonna have to take the bull by the horns and get this reading done!”

I had every intention of going to church, however, by the time I straightened subby out and finally took control of the situation I had already talked myself out of making it to Sunday school.  By the time I had finished with my morning readings I had almost talked myself out of going to Service completely.  This is when I had to take a step back and look at the situation.  I was clearly falling in line with the old blue print mentality  . . .

I pulled myself up by the ‘ol boot straps and told myself, “I could be missing the most powerful message of my life!”  .  .  .

Who is in you?  .  .  .  He’s a CONSUMING FIRE!

Our God is a consuming fire

Once I made it to church I knew I had made the right decision to go.  The music was especially on point for this service.  To be honest with you . . . this is one area that is a bit of a challenge for me.  The church is going through some changes and has recently lost some gifted singers.  Most mornings I find myself closing my eyes especially tight so that I’m not focusing on the off-key notes being sung (I myself am guilty and very thankful that I’m not on stage with a microphone).  I have to constantly remind myself that it’s what’s in the heart that matters.

Once Pastor Pat initiated his part it was clear that he was delivering a message that would resonate with my soul . . . literally!  The question was put out there, “Who is inside of you?”   Little did I know that this message would go hand in hand with Week 4’s lesson:

18.  Lyman Abbott, in an address delivered before the Alumni of Bangor Theological Seminary, say: “We are coming to think of God as dwelling in man rather than as operating on men from without.”

19. Science goes a little way in its search and stops.  Science finds the ever-present Eternal Energy, but religion finds the Power behind this energy and locates it within man.  But this is by no means a new discovery; the Bible says exactly the same thing, and the language is just as plain and convincing: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of the living God?”  Here, then, is the secret of the wonderful creative power of the “World Within.”

WhOoa .  .  .  It just got real  .  .  .

Firewall 3
Firewalls are to a Consuming Fire as plaster and cement are to the Golden Buddha

“Well if the living God (Holy Spirit) resides inside of me then why am I not living a life of victory?”  This is a valid question I had to ask myself.  What it honestly comes down to are the firewalls that we construct in our lives.  This is comparable to the cement and plaster that is covering the Golden Buddha in our lessons.

Right now I feel as if I have a flickering, smoldering ember.  The problem with this is that I’m stinking up the place with SMOKE!  The ideal is to tear down those firewalls that I have built-in my life so that the smoldering ember can be stirred up and kindle a consuming fire within . . .  that will present to the world without.  The funny thing about fires  . . .  the hotter the fire the less of a presence of smoke.  Consuming fires devour firewalls!

After such a power message in last Sunday’s service and in Week 4’s lesson I felt that the following song is an appropriate theme song for the topic at hand.  Enjoy  . . .

Week 3: Inspiration and Transformation . . .

grapes

This past Sunday I took a field trip to an equine therapy farm, and oh how glorious and mystical that day was.  It almost seemed as if the land and the animals were speaking a message of inspiration and transformation.  At the beginning of my tour around the grounds I noticed some vines growing alongside the barn.  I did a double take as I thought to myself, “If I didn’t know any better I would think that those were grape vines” . . .

Sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed.  I chuckled to myself as I recollected the words of the first scroll:

Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all.

Today I pluck grapes of wisdom from the tallest and fullest vines in the vineyard . . .

Today I savor the taste of grapes from these vines and verily I swallow the seed of success buried in each and new life sprouts within me.

So it is with these grapes of wisdom from the ages.  Much has been filtered and tossed to the wind.  Only the pure truth lies distilled in the words to come.  I drink as instructed and spill not a drop.  And the seed of success I swallow.

Started off the day strong making links and associations with the analogies in our lessons to the everyday world.

DEEPER THOUGHTS ARE SURFACING

As the day progressed I learned of the history surrounding the farm and at one point Indians dwelled on the land.  I was fascinated as I heard stories and explored the different areas of the farm.  The wild animals seemed to retreat to the farm as if some unspoken rule deemed it as a sanctuary and safe haven of sort.

Torward the end of the visit I was checking out the chapel that was perched on the hilltop and I couldn’t help but notice this massive dragonfly hovering feet from me.  I was amazed at its size and its peacful posture.  After the tales of the Indians and the experiences of the wildlife through out the day I thought it would be interesting to see what the dragonfly totem symbolized.

dragonflyThis is what I discovered:

Dragonflies carry messages that deal with deeper thought – and they ask that we pay attention to our deeper thoughts and desires.

Further symbolic insect meaning of dragonfly comes into play when we observe the dragonfly’s mode of transportation as it skitters across the top of water surfaces. This implies that our deeper thoughts are surfacing and we must be mindful of the outcome we wish to have.

The dragonfly is a reminder that when our deeper thoughts rise to the surface we must pay attention – there are lessons to be learned, and we are also reminded that what we think is directly proportionate to what we “see on the surface.” …In short, our thoughts (even the deeper ones that we might not be as in-touch with as we are with our conscious thoughts) are responsible for what we see in our lives – in our physical surroundings.

The dragonfly gives us a very powerful meditation tool. Close your eyes, and focus on a thought – let it rise to the surface of your mind’s ocean – see that thought float lightly up to the water’s surface. Now upon the top of a smooth, calm glass-like surface – visualize that thought moving across that water – sliding across – smooth and fast.

This exercise is useful when we want to visualize positive outcomes in a situation. We see the thought of hope happily moving across an ocean of peace (peaceful mind) and skitting to a perfect outcome.

Lastly it should be noted that the Dragonfly lives a short life, and it knows it must live to the fullest with what it has. This lesson is huge for each of us.

How appropriate this whole day has been.  I feel truly blessed . . .


Week 2: the power of ENTHUSIASM !

Young funny looking blonde geek wearing big black glasses.

“What is this word that you speak  . . .  ENTHUSIASM  . . . and how do I get me some of that?”  you may be asking yourself.  “Before you even tell me how to get it . . . why on Earth would I even want it?” 

Well, these are all great questions.  Lets take a look, one at a time . . .

DEFINITION

greeks

enthusiasm  (ĕn-tho͞o′zē-ăz′əm)                                           

n.

  1. Great excitement for an interest in a subject or cause.
  2. Source or cause of great excitement or interest.
  3. Archaic
    1. Ecstasy arising from supposed possession by a god.
    2. Religious fanaticism.

SIGNIFICANCE OF

Essentially, enthusiasm is power  . . .  this weeks lesson mentions such power:

Thought is energy.  Active thought is active energy; concentrated thought is a concentrated energy.  Thought concentrated on a definite purpose becomes power

definition of faith

Enthusiasm in combination with faith can work together in a synergistic manner and transform adversity, failure and temporary defeat into action.  The mentioned transformation is contingent on one very important factor  . . . consciously monitoring and controlling thoughts;  being the “gatekeeper” to the subby.  This is important because thoughts can easily be expressed as either positive or negative.  Through the application of unbridled enthusiasm a person has the ability to replace negative expressions and experiences into positive one.


BENEFITS OF

enthusiasm chalk boardThere are numerous productive effects that result from unbridled enthusiasm.  Essentially the subby is aroused in that ones burning passion and strategy for achieving such passion is perceived as objects of attainment.  Furthermore, when the conscience enthusiasm begins to fade and flicker the subby’s enthusiasm will kick in  . . .  kinda like a back up generator . . . stocked with illustrations of your achievements to assist the stirring of the conscious fires of enthusiasm once more.

The following are results of unbridled enthusiasm:

1. increased intensity of thinking and imagination

2. promote a pleasing and convincing tone of voice

3. decrease monotony in work

4. gain self-confidence

5. build personal initiative

6. spread enthusiasm to others

Now you tell me  . . . does enthusiasm sound like something you would like to carry around in your tool box?  Sounds like a very simple yet powerful tool that can be utilized to fulfill our Devine Purpose in life  . . .

cite enthusiasm. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved October 10 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/enthusiasm

Week 1 Master Key – Let the Journey Begin . . .

PO food stance

As I began my lesson this week I had to laugh to myself as I was reminded of a Disney character and essentially the journey he went through.  If I could relate to a story it would probably be his.

I am referring to Po, a clumsy, overweight panda, who is a kung fu fanatic that lives in the Valley of Peace and works in his goose father Mr. Ping’s noodle shop.  Po is unable to recognize his dream of learning kung fu.

One day, a kung fu tournament is held for the elderly spiritual leader of the valley, Grand Master Oogway, to determine the identity of the Dragon Warrior . . . the one kung fu master capable of discerning the secret of the Dragon Scroll . . . which is said to encompass the key to limitless power.

Everyone in the valley presumes the Dragon Warrior to be one of the Furious Five  – Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Viper or Crane  – a quintet of kung fu masters trained by Master Shifu to protect the valley.  To everyone’s bewilderment, Oogway designates Po, who accidentally stumbles into the tournament area after arriving late.

kung fu

Refusing to believe that Po can be the Dragon Warrior, Shifu subjects Po to torturous training exercises trying to encourage him to quit. Determined to change himself into someone he himself can respect, Po perseveres in his training and befriends the Furious Five, who had previously mocked Po for his lack of skill in kung fu.  Furthermore, Shifu discovers that Po is capable of martial arts when motivated by food, and successfully trains him to learn kung fu. After his training is complete, Po is given the Dragon Scroll, which he discovers to be blank. However, Po realizes that the key to limitless power lies within himself.

Hmmm . . . I wonder how many others can relate to this character? If Po is able to see that the world without is a reflection of the world within . . . there might be hope for me after all . . .