Posted in Discernment, Divine Revelation, Empowerment

You Have Been Called

Today’s blog continues the discussion on Divine Call.  How are you called to be a vessel through which Love is known in this world?

Thus says the Lord,

Here is my servant whom I uphold,

my chosen one with whom I am pleased…

I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of justice,

I have grasped you by the hand;

I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations,

to open the eyes of the blind,

to bring out prisoners from confinement,

and from the dungeon those who live in darkness.

Isaiah 42: 1, 6-7

 YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED:

Today’s blog is more of a reflection activity than an actual “blog.”  I invite you to slowly and prayerfully read the scripture passage above, imagining that these are God’s words FOR YOU!  Imagine that these words are being addressed to you personally, that you ARE the servant with whom God is pleased.  Now imagine that you are the one being called for the victory of justice, to be a light of peace to the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to set prisoners free and to lead people out of darkness.   Because guess what?   YOU ARE that person…..as are each and every one of us.  Now, in your notebook or journal or on a random piece of paper, write down how you feel about this call.  How, specifically, are you being called to live out this call?  How are you already living out that call?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Discernment, Divine Revelation, Empowerment

Feed My Sheep

Today’s blog explores the topic of “Divine Call.”  How do we know what we are called to do in this life and how do we respond?

Ok, So Maybe I’m Weird!

For as long as I can remember, I have had a profound sense of purpose.  I felt like I was supposed to be doing something – specifically something that would help other people and have some sort of positive impact on the world.  Perhaps I felt his sense of purpose because of the time in which I was born – 1965 to be exact.  I was born too late to be a hippie, but that didn’t keep me from wanting to be a part of “The Revolution.”  Maybe it was because the first song I ever remember hearing was “The Age of Aquarius” which continues to be my all-time favorite song and the song that has been the guiding principle of my life :  Harmony and Understanding, Sympathy and Trust Abounding… Then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.  Really, who doesn’t want that?  Maybe it is because I was raised Catholic and encouraged to believe in the magical, mystical, mysterious and impossible (you know, like turning bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ).  Or maybe I’m just plain weird and a little delusional.  At any rate, I have always believed I was put here to facilitate change and to work toward bringing more peace, love and harmony to our planet.  This belief, I have learned, was the beginning of what I would now call a “Divine Call.”  I have also learned, that this “Divine Call” is not unique to me, in fact, each and every human being on this planet is here to do the work of the Divine…..if we would only take the time to be quiet enough to hear what that call might be and courageous enough to break through the obstacles that might otherwise prevent us from living that out.

Bricks Can Fly Baby!

For me, the revelation of Divine call began with impatience, frustration and restlessness.   I found that I could never be satisfied in corporate America and went from job to job to job trying to find fulfillment and satisfaction.  Needless to say, I got nothin.  So, one day, in a fit of frustration I poured my anger out to God.  “What the heck am I supposed to do?  I went to college for four years for this?  I’m not making any money.  I hate my job.  Please tell me what the heck I’m supposed to be doing.”  The answer came in the form of a red brick that flew through the air and hit me square between the eyes.  Not literally, but it sure felt like it.  I can still hear Fr. Jeff’s voice ringing in my head, “If there is something you’ve always wanted to do and you haven’t done it….get off your ass and do it now!”  (PS  He really did say “ass”….he is a really cool priest!)  That brick led me into seven years of advanced education and formation in theology, pastoral ministry, adult faith formation and spiritual direction, and empowered me to enter active ministry within the Catholic Church where I worked for nearly 10 years.

Feed My Sheep

As my ministry work continued to grow and expand, I found that the Catholic Institution was too small to hold the expansive sense of the Divine that I had come to understand and that had been revealed to me in my prayer, meditation, contemplation and life experiences.  I found that as I tried to live out this sense of an expansive God within the Institution I kept hitting the wall created by doctrine and Canon Law.  So, apparently it was time to go.  So, I left, but I did not leave my faith or my relationship with Jesus behind.  In fact, in another moment of “Divine Revelation,” while sitting in quiet contemplation Jesus himself took me by the hand and led me down a long hallway.  At the end of the hallway was a door which he opened and invited me to enter.  I stepped through the doorway and before us stood a multitude of people….too many to count.  As I looked out on this sea of people, Jesus gestured toward them and said to me, “Feed my Sheep.”  I fell to my knees in humble awe over this invitation.  It is this encounter with Jesus and his words of invitation “Feed my Sheep” that has guided my ministry for the past seven or so years.  And it is this invitation that I respond to as we launch the Authentic Freedom Ministries’ Sunday Service this coming weekend.  I don’t know where it will all lead, or even what exactly it will look like, but I know that it will be about nourishment – giving those who attend the tools through which they can find the spiritual nourishment they crave while empowering them to come to know the Divine that lives within their own hearts, to know themselves more fully and to begin to explore what their own Divine Call might be.

Where are you feeling restless, bored, impatient, unfulfilled? 

How might that be the beginning glimpses of Divine Call?

How are you remembering love and living that out in your life in service to humankind?

 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Discernment, Divine Revelation, Lessons

God will be the Death of Me!

I share today’s blog as a way of illustrating the beginning stages of spiritual discernment – learning to recognize the Divine call in action and learning how to discern the path of our highest good.  While this discernment is nowhere near complete for me, I thought it of value to share the beginning stages for those who may be faced with similar life-direction questions.

The Wake up Call

The other day I’m paying bills and when I look at the respective balances in my savings and checking accounts, my heart dropped to the floor and a feeling of panic filled my body.  Immediately, I went to the fear,  “Dang it! Do I need to go out and get a “real” job?”  I spent the next several hours contemplating all the places that might hire a 18 year veteran of ministry.  How do you transfer ministry skills (spiritual direction, hands-on healing, etc.) to a real job….and could I even find something over minimum wage?  Then I felt the tell-tale shut-down of overwhelm and despair and took a nap.  ARGH!  After my nap, I realized that I had fallen right into my own trap….I had indulged in fear.  Isn’t this the very thing I teach my students and clients NOT to do.  Teacher – back to the drawing board with you!  So, I went directly to the only place I know to find persistent and reliable peace, clarity and comfort…..and that is GOD.

Pray Pray Pray

So, since the bill-paying day, I have been praying my head off.  I have placed the questions before God: What am I supposed to do?  Do you want me to get a “real” job?  Give me direction.  Give me clarity.  And in between my begging and pleading, I have been taking time to journal, meditate, chant, practice yoga.  I know that the answer to the question is not in my little pea brain because if I go there, I will end up choosing something out of fear or panic or desperation.  And, I know that God’s way is always better – more in line with what is in my highest good, somehow involving my gifts and somehow in service to others.  I also know and have seen that God’s plan is always WAY better than what I could have come up with on my own…and that God’s plan leads to fulfillment, freedom, peace, joy.  I also realized in the midst of my prayer that the “wake up” ultimately has NOTHING to do with money and EVERYTHING to do with God inviting me to greater expansion.  I’m just not sure how much more expansion I can take!

A possible answer……and God will be the death of me!

Yesterday I’m at yoga practice and as our teacher invited, I had stated an intention in my heart as we began practice.  My intention:  clarity and direction.  Well….I got WAY more than I bargained for.  I am not yet able to share what showed up for me in practice as I have not yet tested it under the scrutiny of spiritual discernment (determining what is “of God” as opposed to what might be coming from my false-self or ego.) and I will not be making any decisions around what was revealed until sound discernment is accomplished and I am DARN SURE that this is coming from God and not from some other less benevolent place.  What I will say is that what showed up is something that has come back around in my journey of discernment….over and over and over and over….and it is something that I have resisted, then tried in various degrees and various incarnations and ALWAYS met with failure.  So why the heck is this what is showing up yet AGAIN!!!???    And, if it proves to be an authentic call and something that is coming from God……it will REALLY tick me off!  And just so everyone knows that it is ok to initially say “no” to God (if this is coming from God) and that we do still have free will……this was exactly my initial response to the possibility of this “guidance and direction.”  NO NO NO  No Way.  No How.  You must be out of your dang mind!  God, you will be the death of me if this is really what you want me to do.  I’ve already done this WAY too many times….and it has always failed?  Why would this be any different?  I don’t want to do this!  Why can’t you give someone else the hard jobs for once?  NO NO NO NO NO!

Then God Laughed at Me

So, here I am shaking my fist at God, telling God there is no way I am doing this if this is what God wants me to do.  Then God laughed at me and showed me the mantras I had been praying in my head as I was practicing yoga while waiting for clarity and guidance, Let it be done to me according to your word.  Lord, I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed.    And then God showed me how (assuming this is authentically from God) this time would be different from the rest and why it might just work.  Doh!  For the record, my answer is still no….at least until I’m really sure this is from God, but in the end, I know that if my discernement proves that this is authentically where God is calling me, I know better than to say “no” because whether I want to do it or not, I know that if it is from God, it will be for not only my highest good but will be life-giving, nourishing and supportive to others and that if I do say “no” that God will hound me until I relent and say “yes” because as I have learned (the hard way)  GOD IS A NAG!  And in this….God just might be the death of me!

How might the things in your own life that stimulate fear be God inviting you to greater expansion, something more life-giving, healing or release?

What tools do you use to find comfort and clarity through times of fear?

How do you discern if “guidance” is of God as opposed to coming out of your own ego, fears, false perceptions or attachments?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com