Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, church, Jesus, Spiritual Practices

Loving as Jesus Loved – Walking the Talk

Below is an excerpt from this week’s Agape’ Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  The full newsletter (published weekly), along with the weekly Virtual Church Video Service is available by subscription.  Click on the Paypal icon below to subscribe: 

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Walking the Talk:

I will be the first to admit that loving as Jesus loved is perhaps the most difficult task in the human experience. Jesus, in fact, died doing it. At the same time, it is in truth, the ONLY point of the human experience. If we are not here to learn how to love – then what is the point? Right!?

Learning how to love as Jesus loved is a life-long process and one that we will likely never perfect. All we can do is show up….and do our best, knowing that God loves us without condition no matter where we are on the journey. Learning how to love as Jesus loved starts with showing up. One of the ways we show up is through our daily spiritual practice. This week, your meditation “assignment” is to just show up. I’m not offering any specific practices, other than the invitation to show up. If you are able, show up every day to whatever practice you feel called to that day.

  • Show up to silence.
  • Show up to mantra prayer.
  • Show up to reading and meditating with scripture.
  • Show up to the enjoyment of nature.
  • Show up to snuggling your children or cuddling with your beloved pet.
  • Show up to listening to a friend.
  • Show up to singing or dancing your gratitude.
  • Show up to making love to your beloved.
  • Show up to recognizing God’s love in your daily life.
  • Show up to creating something beautiful.
  • Show up to giving expression to your feelings through writing or art.

Show up. This is all we have to do and how we get started in the journey of learning love as Jesus loved.

How are you showing up?

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Virtual Church

Life Sucks and Then You Die

An excerpt from this week’s Agape Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual church:

job

Nobody says it better than Job. Life sucks and then you die. Ok, not really, but that is often what it feels like, especially when we come face to face with the very real truth of the human condition. The human condition includes suffering, setback, disappointment, failure, heartbreak, betrayal, disease and even death. Life is hard, and the story of Job provides for us a mythological portrayal of just how hard life can sometimes be. The challenges, however, are not the end of the story…..

 

To read more, subscribe to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  Click HERE to learn how!

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Virtual Church

God Speaks – We Resist

Below is an excerpt from this week’s Agape Meditation Newsletter – supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church:

The first reaction to God’s voice is almost always RESISTANCE.

This week’s Psalm speaks to this truth and uses the Israelite’s journey through the desert as a metaphor for this process. Liberated from a life of slavery, do the Israelites celebrate and look forward to their new life in the promise land with joyful hopefulness? No….they whine, complain and argue. They even go so far as to say they would have been better off if they’d stayed in Egypt. SIGH! This is how we are. We have an opportunity to leave behind a life that is too small for us….and then we ask for our small life back.

In response to this very human response to growth, the psalmist PLEADS with us:

If today your hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.

How are you being called to listen to God’s voice and how are you invited to recognize resistance when it arises and meet it with an open heart instead?

To access the full version, subscribe using the Paypal icon below.  For a low monthly fee, you will received the Agape Meditation Newsletter, Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Video Service and weekly Superhero Report. 

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Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Christ Consciousness, Empowerment, Jesus, Oneness with God, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Love is all you need – Authentic Freedom Christmas message

Special Christmas Edition of the Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter, Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service:  In lieu of a Sunday service, this week, I am offering one in celebration of Christmas – the day LOVE was born into the world through the person of Jesus.  LOVE is the message of Christmas, thereby transcending religious, political, personal agendas.  How are we all called to follow Jesus’ example by knowing the love that we are and embodying it in our lives so that the world itself may be transformed?

 nativity

 

Scripture Readings:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as people make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

Is 9: 1-6

 

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 Lk 2: 1-14

 

Additional Readings:

 Ps 96: 1-3, 11-13

TI 2: 11-14

 

 

The People Who Walked in Darkness…

… Have Seen A Great Light!  

THIS is who Jesus is. Beyond any political, religious or even personal agendas one might have, Jesus came to know the light that shined within him and sought to reveal that light to others, thereby giving light to the world. The light that Jesus came to know was the light of his intimate connection with God that he experienced as Oneness. In this state of light, in this experience of Oneness, Jesus discovered the remedy to the perceived darkness of the human condition. Darkened by perceived separation and its resulting fear, humanity felt (and still feels), the human experience as if one is “dwelling in gloom.” Jesus learned another way and tried to teach this way to his disciples and all those who found themselves in his presence. And through his Spirit, Jesus continues in these attempts.

THIS is what we celebrate on Christmas – the birth of one who came to know the light and who is attempting to help us to also know this light. If we look at Jesus from this perspective, the celebration of Christmas transcends beliefs, dogma, doctrine and the perceived separation between religions. Jesus came to know the light and wanted all of humanity to also know this light so that we too might be free as he was free. Free to live in peace. Free to enjoy a life of meaning and fulfillment. And most importantly….FREE TO LOVE.

On the day that Jesus was born, which we commemorate on Christmas day, LOVE was born into the world. How are you, like Jesus, called to know this love and live it fully in your own life?

 

Spiritual Practices – Music Meditation

Christmas is either the busiest or the loneliest time of year – depending on our particular life circumstance. This Christmas, I invite us to transcend the busyness and the loneliness and set aside time to simply be with God – to celebrate the birth of Love into the world in the person of Jesus and in doing so, to give ourselves an opportunity to get a glimpse into this love. I can think of no better way to spend this time with God than through Handel’s Messiah. If listening to Handel’s Messiah doesn’t give us a glimpse into the love of God through Jesus, I can’t imagine what would! So…..for your Christmas meditation, I have provided two links…..a short link and a long link. The short link is a excerpt from Handel’s Messiah, the long link is the Messiah in its entirety. Set aside 15 minutes or two hours and 45 minutes to immerse yourself in God’s love as it was manifest in Jesus who some call The Christ.

 

Short Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS3vpAWW2Zc

Long Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r68P8TBWiIQ

 

Authentic Freedom

As we celebrate Christmas – the day we commemorate the birth of Love into the world through Jesus and the invitation to accept Jesus’ invitation for us too to birth love into the world – I have only one thing to say about Authentic Freedom and how it relates ——

At the end of the day Authentic Freedom is about one thing and one thing only – LOVE. The love of God that dwells within us. The love of God that Jesus (and others) came to remember within himself. The love of God that we are called to remember, fully embody and life in the world.

How are you called to know Love within yourself and to be that LOVE in the world?

 

And one final music meditation – all we need is love!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9_vhYpR9xo

Please note that beginning, January 1, 2015, the meditation newsletter, Virtual Church and Superhero Reports will be available by subscription only.  To continue to receive these life-giving resources, subscribe HERE for a very reasonable monthly fee (about the price of one large cappuccino a week).

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Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Discernment, Divine Revelation, Faith, Jesus, Oneness with God, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Let it Be Done to Me According to Your Word

Perhaps the most challenging thing we will ever do in our lives is to be open and obedient to Divine guidance.  When we open ourselves to God’s direction in our lives, we are led to the path of our highest good and the outcome far exceeds anything we could ever have imagined for ourselves.  In order to do so, however, we first have to give up our pride – our desire for perceived security and perceived surety, and the need to be in control and in charge.  Surrendering our pride and accepting God’s will takes great courage and often requires great risk, but in the end, it is always worth it.  Just ask Mother Mary who agreed to birth God’s love into the world through her son Jesus.

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service for Sunday, December 21, 2014. Fourth Sunday of Advent.

 

Please note that beginning, January 1, 2015, the meditation newsletter, Virtual Church and Superhero Reports will be available by subscription only.  To continue to receive these life-giving resources, subscribe HERE for a very reasonable monthly fee (about the price of one large cappuccino a week).

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Scripture Reading:

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Lk 1: 26-38

 

Additional Readings:

2 Sam 7: 1-5, 8b-12, 14A, 16

Ps 89: 2-5, 27-29

ROM 16: 25-27

 mary-mother-jesus

Honoring the Divine Mother

It is appropriate in this Sunday before we commemorate the birth of Jesus, to give honor to Mary, the woman who agreed to birth God’s love into the world through Christ. In honoring Mary, it is important to understand the great risk she took in accepting her call. Scholars surmise that Mary was somewhere between the ages of 13 and 16 when God’s herald, Gabriel appeared to her. In saying yes to God’s call, Mary placed herself in grave danger. Agreeing to become pregnant when she was unwed made her a “sinner” in the eyes of the Hebraic law. Also by law, her betrothed, Joseph, and her father Joachim, had the right to stone her to death for committing adultery. Through God’s intervention, neither her husband nor her father chose this path. Instead, Joseph agreed to take Mary into his home and fulfill their original betrothal contract by making her his wife.

Mary’s journey invites us all to take a look at the way in which we respond to God’s call. God’s call is rarely easy, and often comes with great risk – if nothing else than to risk the change that comes in obeying God’s will. Let Mary’s response be our prayer as we ponder the way in which God is calling us to birth God’s love into the world:

May it be done to me according to your word.

 

Spiritual Practices – Mantra Meditation

Mantra is a spiritual practice in which we repeat a word or a phrase over and over and over – either silently or aloud. In repeating the phrase and reflecting on its meaning, we are drawn into a deeper state of relaxation. Also in repeating the phrase, we are allowing its meaning to sink deeply into us where it can facilitate great healing and transformation. In the simple repetition and reflection on the phrase, we are transformed.

Set aside 15-30 minutes. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed and in that silence, repeat the following phrase over and over in your mind (or say it aloud):

May it be done to me according to your word.

After the meditation period, record your thoughts and feelings in a notebook or journal.

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, pride is the compulsion we indulge when we have forgotten our Oneness with God in love. Pride keeps us from being open to God’s guidance and direction in our lives and makes us believe we are alone and that we have to do it on our own. When we set aside our pride and connect with God, we are once again able to receive God’s guidance and direction for our lives, along with the ability to surrender to this call and accept it through spiritual obedience. Humility is the virtue that arises when we are able to set aside our pride, our fears, our need to be in control and in charge. Exercising humility and spiritual obedience we find a place of contentment and ease in our lives as we allow God to lead while we obediently follow, trusting that while God’s ways may not be our own, the outcome is always far greater than what we could ever have imagined for ourselves.

Where are you aware of the compulsion of pride as active in your life – in your need to control, to have the answers, to know the answers, thinking you are alone and have to do it yourself?

How are you being invited to more fully surrender your life to God as Mother Mary so boldly did?

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, creativity, Empowerment, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Our Own Ordination

Each and every one of us has been uniquely and creatively gifted to reveal God’s love in the world and are anointed and sent forth to do so.  This week’s Agape’ Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church explores the truth of our own ordination! 

Please note that beginning, January 1, 2015, the meditation newsletter, Virtual Church and Superhero Reports will be available by subscription only.  To continue to receive these life-giving resources, subscribe HERE for a very reasonable monthly fee (about the price of one large cappuccino a week).

 

subscribe bottonScripture Reading:

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God. I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels. As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord GOD make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.

Is 61: 1-2a, 10-11

 

Additional Readings: 

Lk 1: 46-54

1 Thes 5: 16-24

JN 1: 6-8, 19-28

 

Anointed and Sent

In this week’s reading from Isaiah, he is speaking about himself as anointed and sent by God, along with the specific nature of his mission. In the Christian tradition, these words are reflected upon as a foretelling of Jesus’ mission and the work he would accomplish in the world. These words, however, were not to be interpreted as only applicable to Isaiah and Jesus. Instead, these words are meant for us to hear and understand as descriptive of our own Divine call. We too have been anointed and called by God to: 

Heal the brokenhearted

Proclaim liberty to captives

And release to prisoners

To announce a year of favor for the Lord.

Salvation for the human race is an on-going venture and as Isaiah was anointed, as Jesus was sent, so too are we.

How have you become aware that you are anointed by God and sent to support the coming of the love?

pre-raph

 

Spiritual Practices – Receiving our Anointing

Slowly and meditatively read the scripture passage above.

Re-Read it, this time reading it as if it is your own proclamation. Read it aloud if it helps. As you are reading, take in the words, let them sink in.

Allow yourself to receive the truth of these words – the truth of your own anointing and of your own call.

Pause in silence

Visualize that you are standing before God or Jesus. Imagine God as mother or father, and Jesus in whatever way you imagine him. Imagine that you are standing before them so that you may receive your own anointing.

Imagine God as mother or father or Jesus anointing your head and your hands with holy oil. Then, imagine them placing their hands on the top of your head as a blessing and as a sending-forth for the mission you are being sent to accomplish. Allow yourself to feel the impact of this anointing and commissioning.

Know that through these actions you are being ordained to do God’s work of love in the world.

Offer your own prayer of thanksgiving aloud or in writing.

Rest in silence and return periodically to the reading, allowing it to sink even deeper into you.

Record your thoughts and feelings in your journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom we explore the truth that each and every one of us has been uniquely gifted and called to reveal God’s love in the world. We are called to reveal God’s love in the world in the uniquely creative way we have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in our life and when we discover, cultivate and engage in these gifts, we experience a sense of fulfillment, contentment, joy, peace and love. These gifts, however, are not meant to be limited to our own personal use. Indeed, these gifts are meant to be shared in the world – ultimately in service to the betterment of the world. It is important to remember, however, that our gifts are not limited to the things we honor as perfect. God also calls us to be love in the world through those things we might judge as imperfect or flawed – and it is often out of our deepest places of brokenness where we are most able to reveal God’s love.

What are the uniquely creative ways in which you have been gifted to reveal God’s love in the world?  

What are the imperfections, flaws and brokenness within you that seek to be used in service to God’s love?

 

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Grace, Healing, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Comfort for the Journey as the Time is NOW!

Please find below, Agape’ Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  Please note that beginning, January 1, 2015, the meditation newsletter, Virtual Church and Superhero Reports will be available by subscription only.  To continue to receive these life-giving resources, subscribe HERE for a very reasonable monthly fee (about the price of one large cappuccino a week).

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Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 

Scripture Reading:

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins. A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Go up on to a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.

Is 40: 1-5, 9-11

 

Additional Readings: 

Ps 85: 9-14

2 Pet 3: 8-14

MK 1: 1-8

heartchakraclipart 

Words of Comfort and Relief

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated”

 

If the tears that began to fall from my eyes in reading this words are any indication……we have all grown tired – tired of the struggles of the human condition. Tired from the conflict, the hatred, the discrimination, the separation and the war. For 10,000 years, we have made conflict with each other and worked tirelessly in destroying the earth for the sake of our own ignorance and greed. We have grown tired in the face of a seemingly hopeless struggle.

But there is good news: The struggle is not hopeless, in fact, the remedy is just around the corner, it resides within you, and the time is NOW.

The time of pain, separation, struggle, poverty, hunger, war is OVER. The time to save the earth from our own efforts to destroy it is NOW. The change is not, however, coming from the top-down as we had hoped. The change will NOT come from those institutions who have a vested interest in raping, pillaging, destroying the earth for their own selfish desires and neither will it come from those content to grow rich and powerful on the backs of the huddling masses. NO, the change will not come from them. Instead, the CHANGE BEGINS WITH YOU!

A voice crying out in the wilderness talking only to sand? I think not. I think you hear my words and understand my intent. CHANGE begins with you….in your willingness to do the work of healing your own separation, easing your own anxiety, calming your own fears and turning to the God who loves you for COMFORT. The change begins with you…..What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for? Change starts with you! How are you taking time out of your day to receive and remember God’s comforting love and experiencing the healing of your own separation, pain and fear?

 

Spiritual Practices – Balm of Comfort

Slowly and meditatively read the scripture passage above. Go back and read it again, this time imagining it is a love letter from God to you. Read the words as if they are personally addressed to you. Receive these words as a balm of healing comfort, support and love. Allow the words to sink deeply into your being. Rest in the comfort of God’s love. Feel the peace. Feel the love. Imagine yourself being held in God’s loving embrace. Sink deeply into the feeling of being held and comforted.

Rest in silence and return periodically to the reading, allowing it to sink even deeper into you.

Record your thoughts and feelings in your journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

Will we ever comprehend how much God loves us? Will we ever REMEMBER the love that we are in God? Will we ever understand and live from this place of love – absent hatred, anxiety, conflict, separation, jealousy, discrimination, wrath, the need for vengeance? On our own, the answer is no. But with God – YES. This is the purpose for which Authentic Freedom was developed – to give us tools to TURN to God for help, healing, comfort – and in doing so, being freed of the false perception of separation that is the cause of the fear, anxiety and conflict of the human condition. Return again and again and again to God. Remember God’s love.

AND BE FREE

And as we are freed, the love that we are ripples out into the world in waves, changing the world from fear into love.

Again, what are we waiting for? The time is NOW! Return to God. Know Love. Be love. Re-create a world of love and for love. Amen!

 

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Jesus, Oneness with God, Relationships, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

It Just Doesn’t Get Any Easier!

This week’s Agape Meditation Newsletter, in preparation for this Sunday’s Authentic Freedom Virtual Church, provides us with THE solution to the struggles of the human condition.  If we want peace, love, joy, and harmony in the human experience, there is only one thing we need to do.  It can’t get any easier than this! To find out what that is, read on….

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service for Sunday, October 26, 2014.

 

Scripture Reading:

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Mt 22: 34-40

Additional Readings:

Ex 22: 20-26

Ps 18: 2-4, 47, 51

1 Thes 1: 5c-10

 

It Doesn’t Get Any Easier!

If you ever only read one passage from scripture, this is the one to read. It doesn’t get any easier than this. LOVE. Period! Love God. Love your neighbor. Period! This is all we are asked to do. This is all that is expected of us. To love God and to love each other. Everything else in scripture, every other commandment boils down to this. When we successfully accomplish both of these tasks, we will experience – actually create – heaven on earth. What are we waiting for?

How are you giving time to loving God?

How are you being loving toward your neighbor?

How are you NOT being loving toward your neighbor (hint….EVERYONE is your neighbor)?

 DSCF3146

Spiritual Practices – Knowing God’s Love

There is a critical key to Jesus’ commandment to love your neighbor. This critical piece is as yourself. In order to love our neighbor, we have to first love ourselves. More specifically, we need to know the love that we already are in our intimate connection with God. The path to knowing this love is FIRST to know the love of God. Cultivating an intimate and personal relationship with God is where it all begins. The rest flows from there. The more we know God, the more we know ourselves and the more we are able to know and love another. This week’s simple spiritual practice will help facilitate knowledge of God’s love:

  • Sit in silence.
  • Bring your attention to your breath. Be conscious of each breath as you draw it in and release it.
  • Recognize that the very breath you are breathing is GOD breathing love into you.
  • Breathe in God’s breath and feel it filling you with love.
  • As you breathe out, imagine the breath taking with it your fears, anxieties, any inner obstacles to knowing and believing in God’s love.
  • Continue to breathe in God’s love and breathe out fears, old wounds, etc.
  • Stay with this breathing practice, feeling it drawing you into a place of peacefulness, recognizing that this peacefulness is also God.
  • When you find your mind wandering, return your attention to your breathing.
  • Continue this practice for 15-30 minutes.

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, Compassion/mercy is the spiritual virtue that is attained when we allow ourselves to remember that God is love and we too are Love in our intimate connection with God. When we know God’s love and realize the love that we are, we have no choice but to be compassionate toward other human beings. When we remember this love, Jesus’ second commandment arises without effort, we are just generous, kind, loving, forgiving, tolerant, understanding and accepting of our neighbor and we soon discover that EVERYONE is our neighbor.

How are you growing in compassion as you grow in your love of God?

 

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Discernment, Oneness with God, Spiritual Practices, Surrender, Virtual Church

Humility and Spiritual Obedience

Please find below meditation supplement for the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church for this coming Sunday, September 14, 2014.  In this week’s issue, we explore the topics of humility and spiritual obedience.  God alone knows that path that is in our highest good.  Are we willing to do the hard work of surrendering our own will to that which is promised to be in our highest good?

 

Scripture Reading:

Brothers and sisters: Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Phil 2: 6-11

 

Additional Readings:

Nm 21: 4b-9

Ps 78: 1-2, 34-38

Jn 3: 13-17

 

Humility and Obedience

In the spiritual world, humility and obedience go hand-in-hand. In the Christian tradition, Jesus provides the model for pure humility and true obedience that we are called to follow. Jesus surrendered his own will to Divine guidance, which meant following the course of his truth, even when it meant likely death. (It is not that God sent Jesus to his death, or that God desired that Jesus die for his truth. Instead, Jesus lived the truth that God revealed to him, which threatened the political and religious institutions of his time.) Even when faced with suffering and sure death, Jesus did not give into the temptations of his ego, instead, he turned to God in prayer, asked for guidance, pleaded for support, and then continued along his path. This is the process we are invited to follow as Christians – to turn to God for guidance, surrendering our own will, transcending the temptations of the ego, and follow God’s guidance, trusting it will lead us along the path of our highest good.

How are you taking time to listen and receive Divine guidance?

How are you following that guidance?

 chakraart

Spiritual Practices – Surrendering our Will to God

What we think we want or need is not always in our highest good. Only God knows our highest good. Embarking on the path of humility and obedience, we first need to understand this truth. One way to facilitate this knowing is through a mantra practice. Mantra is the practice of repeating the same word or phrase over and over (aloud or silently). In mantra practice, two things happen. 1) We are drawn into a relaxed and meditative state. 2) The intention of the words becomes embedded in our consciousness and beliefs. You are invited to engage in your own mantra practice, with one of the three following quotes from scripture:

 

Let it be done to me according to your word.

 

Thy will be done.

 

Into your hands I commend my spirit.

 

During your chosen prayer period, repeat your chosen phrase over and over in your mind, allowing it to draw you into a meditative and relaxed state. Return to this mantra frequently throughout the week as you move about your daily activities.

In a notebook or journal, record any thoughts, feelings, experiences while participating in this practice.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge the crown chakra as our intimate connection with God. It is through the crown that we are able to surrender our own will to that of God’s. It is here that we cultivate humility and overcome the temptations of the ego. It is also through the crown chakra that we know our Oneness with God – not equal, but One as Paul describes in this week’s scripture. In remembering this Oneness with God, we feel content, peaceful, joyful, loving and fulfilled. When we have experiences of peace, joy and love, we are remembering our Oneness with God spontaneously.

 

Where are you remembering your Oneness with God?

 

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Love – the true fulfillment

Agape meditation newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service for Sunday, September 7, 2014.  The theme:  LOVE

 

Scripture Reading:

Brothers and sisters: Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, ” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Rom 13: 8-10

 

Additional Readings:

Ez 33: 7-9

Ps 95: 1-2, 6-9

Mt 18: 15-20

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Love – the fulfillment of the law

As St. Paul observed, there is nothing else we need to learn in the human experience if we learn how to love. Coming to know the love that is our true and original nature, and then living as that love in the world, IS the “do-all, end-all, be-all” we are all looking for. When we know this love, we are happy, content, fulfilled and we know peace. When we live this love, we act accordingly. We no longer act out of our fearful and compulsive natures, instead acting only out of love. This is how we come to experience “heaven on earth” and how we show others to do the same. When we live out of the love that we are, we act as a mirror, causing the spark of love that lives within others to be awakened. Of course, they have to decide what to do with that spark of love. But even should they reject or turn away from that love, the love that we know within ourselves causes us to have compassion for those who are unable to accept the love that they are.

What would the world look like if everyone came to know the love that they are and then chose to live that love in the world?  

How are you called to more fully embrace the love that is your true and original nature?  

 

 

Spiritual Practices – Let’s Pretend

“Fake it ‘til you make it” is a helpful sentiment when attempting to remember the love that is our true and original nature. In embracing this sentiment, we are taking a leap of faith – entertaining the possibility that LOVE really IS our original nature….and not the fears and compulsions that tend to make up the human experience. For this exercise, you will be invited to momentarily set aside any doubts about love being your original nature and PRETEND that you believe. And if you already believe love to be your original nature, than this exercise will be even easier.

 

  • Sit in silence.
  • Believe that love is your original nature.
  • Imagine this love as a source of bright green or fuschia light originating in the center of your chest, near your heart.
  • While sitting in silence, draw your attention to this light of love in the center of your chest and rest there.
  • When you find your attention straying, bring it back to the light of love in your heart.
  • Believe that as you hold your attention on this source of love within you, that your believe in this love is growing stronger.
  • Believe that as you hold your attention on this love, that you are being healed of any inner obstacles to believing more fully in this love.
  • Believe that this love is cleansing and healing you of any places of past hurt or betrayal.
  • Continue this attention and awareness exercise for 20-30 minutes.
  • Record your thoughts, feelings and experiences of this exercise in your notebook or journal.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge the heart chakra as the energy center that corresponds with love. It is through the heart chakra and its related physical, emotional, mental and spiritual correspondences that love resides, along with all of our life experiences which have been a denial of this love. The effects of grief, disappointment, loss and betrayal are all housed within the heart chakra, hampering our ability to love freely. In order to know more fully the love that we are and to live that love more fully in the world, we need to find healing for the past hurts that have hindered our ability to love. Healing comes through active grieving and through diligent attention to forgiveness practices. Being freed of these past wounds, we are more able to love – both ourselves and others with the unconditional love that is our original nature.

What past hurts, losses, betrayals, disappointments are you aware of that may be compromising your ability to know the love that you are and live that love more freely in the world? 

How might you support yourself, or seek outside support for healing these past wounds?