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 Being Human, God, Healing, Spiritual Practices

Hope in “God”

In today’s scripture, we are reminded that the source of comfort and strength is that which some call “God.”

They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength,

they will soar as with eagles’ wings;

They will run and not grow weary,

walk and not grow faint.

Isaiah 40: 30-31

Life’s Challenges

The human condition is hard.   No matter who we are, we experience suffering, challenge, difficulties, loss, death, betrayal, loneliness, sorrow.  These are the pits and valleys of the human condition.  No one is exempt from the “negative” experiences of being human….regardless of our virtue or our good deeds.  Bad things happen to good people and bad things happen to “bad” people.  It is not because of some sort of Divine retribution or punishment for our “sins” or the “sins” of our parents that we suffer.  If we are going to be human, it is simply part of the deal.  As all of our greatest spiritual teachers (like Isaiah above) knew and taught, however, there is a comforting balm, a source of strength and inspiration in helping us deal with the challenges of being human.  This source of comfort, some would call “God.”

Turning to God

In today’s reading from the Hebrew scriptures, Isaiah reminds us that God is the source of comfort, healing and strength as we face the challenges of the human condition.  While God may not remove the challenge, turning to God in humble prayer helps us to find the strength to move through the challenge, the resources of human support we need to weather the storm and the inner peace and contentment we need to see beyond the struggle to the promise of new life.  Turning to God may also help us to see our challenges from a wider perspective – opening us to see the opportunities for growth, reconciliation, forgiveness, love, mercy, generosity, humility, etc. within that which we might perceive as a burden.  In this way, God lightens our load, eases our burden, heals our hearts.  And the best news is that WE don’t have to “do anything” to fix, remedy, change the struggle, for when we remember to turn to God, God is the one “doing” something about it.  We need simply rest in God’s loving arms and allow the Divine Source of love, comfort and peace carry us through what is sure to be a temporary blip in the roadmap of life.

An Invitation

So, next time you are facing the struggles of the human condition….Go to God.  Turn it over to God.  Engage your favorite form of meditation, prayer, contemplation and invite God to be present to you in that struggle.  And the most fantastic news is that God is already there, whether we know it or not.  Turning to prayer simply helps us to remember and in remembering, to allow God to be the source of comfort and support that has been waiting there all along.

What are your favorite spiritual practices during time of human struggle?

Where have you experienced God as a source of comfort and support during times of challenge?

How might you begin to embrace a daily spiritual practice that can build the foundation of you recollection of God’s love and support?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com